Will Westjet survive?

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privateer
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by privateer »

I don't think Onex Corp is too worried about their WestJet. They're looking for buys.
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/onex-touts- ... -1.1412645
The chief executive officer of Onex Corp. is reassuring shareholders it has the ability to survive the COVID-19 pandemic even though all of its businesses will likely take a hit.
“Onex is criticized from time-to-time for having too much cash. It’s a drag on our overall return on investment to remain so liquid, as we earn very little income on our cash. With the current crisis, though, its purpose should be clear. It ensures that we can continue investing through good and bad times – it also ensures that we are never a forced seller,” Gerry Schwartz wrote in a March 25 letter to shareholders.
“So, as we make our way through the crisis, the approximately $2.8 billion ($28/share) we have in cash and near cash provides us both opportunity and comfort. We are also debt-free at Onex Corp. and our ability to maintain our dividends, to survive a crisis and to seize opportunities is not in question.”
Schwartz said he expects all of the 36 businesses that Toronto-based Onex owns in Canada, the U.S., U.K., and Europe to be impacted by the virus, with some seeing near shutdowns.
​“During that time, they will consume cash and much of that cash will be lost for all time,” Schwartz wrote. “Then, those businesses will re-open and again serve their customers and generate cash. That’s why it’s so critically important for all our businesses to have balance sheets created for sustainability.”
WestJet Airlines Ltd., which Onex acquired last year, is one of these businesses. The Calgary-based airline has already taken a massive hit due to the pandemic. It announced earlier this week it was slashing its workforce nearly in half by laying off 6,900 employees due to a suspension of its international and transborder flights.
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Bornaflyer
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Bornaflyer »

montado wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:48 pm My crystal ball says yes, they will survive.

And transat will merge into Air Canada, with rouge going into the sunset.

Transat Captains will hold their seats and even become 777 captains. All those who get laid off from AC will only get called back after all the dust settles and only after all the transat pilots have a seat.

Sunwing will be bought by wasaya and rebranded as “the rising sun-wing” “Wasayawing” and provide direct flights from summer beaver to Mexico.

Encore, will come back for one last performance.

Buffalo will be taking some L1011 from the desert to start expanding its network.

And swoop will... oh I don’t see anything left in the crystal ball... guess that’s all.
Your crystal ball seems to be on meth. According to management during a recent recurrent sim, we were told that air Canada is at this point negotiating with Garneau to VOID the bailout fee and call force majeure to get out of the deal. Air Canada doesn't need old ageing planes, no extra pilots, AC already has thousands at this point sitting on reserve at half pay.
Canada will look like Europe at the end of this, ONE airline for each country.. no room for ULCCs in Canada as noone who's cheap enough to fly swoop will be even thinking of buying a ticket to see ol' granny in Abbotsford! Once things pick up, AC will get to pick up what's remaining of the Transat boneyard in Arizona and may look at the their roster to put some new guys into the right seat of the Embraer :rolleyes:
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montado
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by montado »

Bornaflyer wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:53 pm
montado wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:48 pm My crystal ball says yes, they will survive.

And transat will merge into Air Canada, with rouge going into the sunset.

Transat Captains will hold their seats and even become 777 captains. All those who get laid off from AC will only get called back after all the dust settles and only after all the transat pilots have a seat.

Sunwing will be bought by wasaya and rebranded as “the rising sun-wing” “Wasayawing” and provide direct flights from summer beaver to Mexico.

Encore, will come back for one last performance.

Buffalo will be taking some L1011 from the desert to start expanding its network.

And swoop will... oh I don’t see anything left in the crystal ball... guess that’s all.
Your crystal ball seems to be on meth. According to management during a recent recurrent sim, we were told that air Canada is at this point negotiating with Garneau to VOID the bailout fee and call force majeure to get out of the deal. Air Canada doesn't need old ageing planes, no extra pilots, AC already has thousands at this point sitting on reserve at half pay.
Canada will look like Europe at the end of this, ONE airline for each country.. no room for ULCCs in Canada as noone who's cheap enough to fly swoop will be even thinking of buying a ticket to see ol' granny in Abbotsford! Once things pick up, AC will get to pick up what's remaining of the Transat boneyard in Arizona and may look at the their roster to put some new guys into the right seat of the Embraer :rolleyes:
Wow you are as full as shit as I am. Management doesn't disclose information in publicly traded companies. The only thing management tells you is what is public knowledge.

You can listen to whatever Kool-Aid you like but managers are great at telling you how something absolutely won't happen on a Friday and Monday morning have a huge parade celebrating just that very thing that Friday they said would never happen.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by KAG »

Well, we have a solid bank account, lots of owned AC to sell, and deep pockets own us. I’d say we’ll survive but in what form and size remains the question.
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notwhoyouthinkIam
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by notwhoyouthinkIam »

KAG wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:15 pm Well, we have a solid bank account, lots of owned AC to sell, and deep pockets own us. I’d say we’ll survive but in what form and size remains the question.
An owned aircraft to sell is great when there's a demand for airplanes.
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Bornaflyer
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Bornaflyer »

montado wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:31 pm
Bornaflyer wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:53 pm
montado wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:48 pm My crystal ball says yes, they will survive.

And transat will merge into Air Canada, with rouge going into the sunset.

Transat Captains will hold their seats and even become 777 captains. All those who get laid off from AC will only get called back after all the dust settles and only after all the transat pilots have a seat.

Sunwing will be bought by wasaya and rebranded as “the rising sun-wing” “Wasayawing” and provide direct flights from summer beaver to Mexico.

Encore, will come back for one last performance.

Buffalo will be taking some L1011 from the desert to start expanding its network.

And swoop will... oh I don’t see anything left in the crystal ball... guess that’s all.
Your crystal ball seems to be on meth. According to management during a recent recurrent sim, we were told that air Canada is at this point negotiating with Garneau to VOID the bailout fee and call force majeure to get out of the deal. Air Canada doesn't need old ageing planes, no extra pilots, AC already has thousands at this point sitting on reserve at half pay.
Canada will look like Europe at the end of this, ONE airline for each country.. no room for ULCCs in Canada as noone who's cheap enough to fly swoop will be even thinking of buying a ticket to see ol' granny in Abbotsford! Once things pick up, AC will get to pick up what's remaining of the Transat boneyard in Arizona and may look at the their roster to put some new guys into the right seat of the Embraer :rolleyes:
Wow you are as full as shit as I am. Management doesn't disclose information in publicly traded companies. The only thing management tells you is what is public knowledge.

You can listen to whatever Kool-Aid you like but managers are great at telling you how something absolutely won't happen on a Friday and Monday morning have a huge parade celebrating just that very thing that Friday they said would never happen.
Seems like my crystal ball is already starting to show signs of fruition :p. Only a matter of time before Transat staff will be replaced by the laid off rouge ones, as their recall rights come before any Transat FA in a merger.
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Gino Under
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Gino Under »

WestJet is unlikely to survive this.

My personal hope is that it does but I don’t see that they’re in a very good position to survive financially.
They long ago abandoned the LCC model that became their success.
Dash 8s and B787s??? International Ops??? What are they thinking?
Wardair had similar visions of grandeur. A310s, MD88s, and F100s. It all ended in tears. And for Canadian as well.
A large and expensive expansion seemed reasonably and within their grasp until this unanticipated pandemic hit.
A black swan event of immense proportions.

Now look at the reality. Pre-pandemic, The cost of new equipment. The cost of all that training. The cost of all those new employees, per diems, salaries, hotac. Expensive before the virus hit. Now, stopped dead in its tracks. I can only imagine Westjet’s financial obligations pre-pandemic. What’s it like now with little or no income? It must be immense financial pressure.
They’ve shut the airline down. Next to zero income with extraneous financial demands gasping for government assistance. What about firing people without cause? It’s to save money.
Not an enviable position.

Oh yes. BTW Onex’s pockets aren’t bottomless. Their ability to rid themselves of unprofitable companies a simple decision. Westjet will undoubtedly be under their scrutiny. When Warren speaks, others listen.

Gino Under

Let’s hope for the best. But be prepared for heartbreak.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by co-joe »

Yes they will, their fleet is largely paid for or leases that are easy to get out of and basically 1 type, they own their simulators so they can ramp up quickly to take advantage of seasonal booms like Christmas season. They own their whole feeder network and can move people around whenever/ wherever, and lastly they have an ULCC ready to go they can move 30 tails to as a last resort if mainline doesn't make it, as well as a provision that lets Encore operate small jets as well. Nobody is more flexible than WS right now.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by sstaurus »

They’ve also managed to reduce costs by at least 60% so far. They’re not just sitting around waiting for the cash to run out.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by tailgunner »

co-joe wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 10:48 pm Yes they will, their fleet is largely paid for or leases that are easy to get out of and basically 1 type, they own their simulators so they can ramp up quickly to take advantage of seasonal booms like Christmas season. They own their whole feeder network and can move people around whenever/ wherever, and lastly they have an ULCC ready to go they can move 30 tails to as a last resort if mainline doesn't make it, as well as a provision that lets Encore operate small jets as well. Nobody is more flexible than WS right now.
Co-joe, good morning.
I respect your optimism, but I would counter argue that you have a very rosy view of the actual dire situation WJ/Onex finds itself in. They have shuttered their entire WB fleet. Those leases are still being paid, with 6 more deliveries coming. The leasing company will still want to be paid on those brand new aircraft. If TC/FAA regulates simulation training for the 35-40 Maxes that are on the way, WJ will be in a training deficit simply because of the lack of Max sims. WJ also owns a large number of 737-700’s. The 700 will have an impossible time competing against lowers CASM types like the MAX/A220.
Furthermore, ONEX itself may be under financial pressure elsewhere in their empire. They own or control dozens of companies. These all, or most, have been under the Covid squeeze. So, WJ May, in itself have the ability to survive, it may be eroded by the larger financial burden within Onex’s portfolio. The capital to maintain operations may be needed somewhere else.

Lastly, I would argue that within North America, WJ is one of the least flexible airlines. AC has just announced that they have flown over 1000 international cargo flights in the last 2-3: months. They have a converted fleet of 3 777’s and 3 A 330’s. plus the 787’s are flying. Jazz has also converted, or will be converting 14 Dash 8’s into cargo machines. AC, WJ’s main competition, also has their low-cost idled, but ready to revamp. The US carrier’s are also making adjustments. Those that are domestic only,(SW, Frontier) benefit from a vastly lather domestic market. WJ only has the small domestic market to try and operate in. The border remains closed, and will probably not open for 4-6 weeks at the earliest.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Fanblade »

co-joe wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 10:48 pm Yes they will, their fleet is largely paid for.......
How do you know that? WJ is a private company now. We really have no idea how leveraged WJ might be after the Onex purchase. A company notorious for highly leveraged purchases. For all we know every aircraft was sold and leased back to pay for the purchase.

Not suggesting WJ will fail. Just questioning your assertion that you have any idea what went on under the financial hood during the transaction.

We went through this at AC. You, nor I, have a clue what WJ’s financial situation is. That won’t change until Onex IPO’s it.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by rudder »

Whatever the finances were at WJ pre-ONEX and pre-COVID will change/have changed dramatically. Welcome to private equity ownership combined with the worst downturn in aviation history.

Will WJ survive? Of course.

Will WJ look the same? Of course not.

WJ cannot resort to the SWA playbook since SWA is able to derive most of its revenue from domestic travel. That is why SWA is planning the lowest reduction in capacity for 2021. Therefore, WJ will shrink considerably to match demand and reduce cash burn on behalf of its owner.

There will be a bullseye on the WB International operation. It may be a victim of the downturn.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Furloughed »

Fanblade wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 8:45 am
co-joe wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 10:48 pm Yes they will, their fleet is largely paid for.......
We really have no idea how leveraged WJ might be after the Onex purchase. A company notorious for highly leveraged purchases. For all we know every aircraft was sold and leased back to pay for the purchase.
We actually do have an idea of how leveraged this purchase was. Onyx stated in their latest report that they only put up $347 Million of their own money to finance the purchase. About 10 cents on the dollar for the $3.5 Billion equity portion of the purchase, then there was roughly another $1.7 Billion of Debt that they initially assumed. Who knows how this looks on their balance sheet now, but we can assume Onyx has not sunk a lot more of their available cash into WJ. It's not how they operate.

Will WJ Survive, who knows? Nobody will know until we start emerging from this economic disaster. I think the Feds have made it obvious that a bailout is not on the way. Nobody thought Canadian Airlines would ever cease to exist either, but that was proven wrong. The only thing we can be sure of is that the Govt will not allow YUL based AC to fail. Sad reality of this Government. Anything West of Ontario is fairly distasteful to the Liberals and certainly not a priority.
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Realitychex »

....and if WJ doesn't, (but I have no doubt it will), I know of a few people who've been to the rodeo before 3 or more times who are more than capable of lending their expertise to starting up a new operation that could quickly scale with $165k a month, 189 seat B737-800's that, for you cricket fans out there, would be more than able to knock any of the incumbents for a deep six with costs so low, in a chronically low yield environment, it'd be a nightmare for others to deal with.

Costs are king folks. Airlines that relied on high yield business travel are going to have far more difficulty getting back to where they were than those whose core business was the back of the bus.

8)
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Furloughed »

Realitychex wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 12:14 pm .Costs are king folks. Airlines that relied on high yield business travel are going to have far more difficulty getting back to where they were than those whose core business was the back of the bus.

8)
Certainly not disagreeing with you there. Cost is King, especially in the environment we now find ourselves in.

One option for Onyx is to spin off and sell Swoop. The ULCC model is what is going to thrive for the next couple years as we painfully emerge from this Infodemic induced recession resulting in the worst downturn in Aviation history. It will be like the early 2000's where people bought a ticket because it was $2 cheaper. Swoop already has the infrastructure and a customer base.

The other option waiting in the wings is Enerjet. If Swoop stays part of the WJ Group and is restricted by caveats like not operating into YYC and YVR and YYZ etc, and not directly competing with the Mothership in the vacation market etc, then Enerjet is in a great position to pounce and eat WJ/Swoop Lunch. They are well capitalized, experienced mgmt behind them, tons of cheap Aircraft available for lease, and a massive glut of pilots who will jump at the opportunity to work at a new start up instead of collecting EI with a very uncertain future. I am sure they have a ton of resumes in their inbox already, and although it hasn't been announced, I am sure the starting wage now will make the Swoop pay scale look like wining the lottery. My how the World has changed in a few short months.
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Gino Under
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Gino Under »

All this WestJet optimism is wonderful. Even though it strikes me as a bit delusional.

Fact check.
40% of WestJet traffic flows through Alberta. That’s in and out of Alberta. When they’re back in the sky they’ll be starting with close to a 40% drop in domestic traffic. Ouch! That’s going to impact revenue.

If they revert to a fleet of say, a dozen 737-800s and only operate as a Canadian version of what they think Southwest is probably like, they’re fuct.
No one hoping to one day start flying again is going to be rushing out the door to begin flying anywhere, any time soon. (I could be totally off the mark)

I don’t believe WestJet (or any airline you’d care to name) are going to return to the sky at 100% of their former selves with their former traffic loads and incomes.
Yesterday is gone (with apologies to the Goo Goo Dolls)
Idle aircraft still cost airlines money whether they borrowed those aircraft, leased ‘em, or bought ‘em outright.

It’s just a question of current income versus current operating costs and my guess as to which is greater, is operating costs. If spending exceeds income for much longer Westjet will have to respond by cutting those operating costs (which are currently survival costs as opposed to operating costs).

I wouldn’t think it mattered whether or not the company is publicly traded or not. It just means WestJet could be keeping up appearances and we (especially me) don’t really know how much bluff is in their poker hand at present. Do you?

If Westjet revealed to the potential Westjet “guest” they’re fighting for survival, or it ever became public knowledge they were financially distressed at a time when passengers are losing their minds over ticket refunds and airline ‘policy’, I’d imagine there’s no happy ending.

Gino Under
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Gear Jerker »

WJ has reduced 60% of their costs, and currently operates a small domestic airline with about 30 airplanes. They have successfully reduced themselves to this size, parking 150 airplanes in only 2 months.

767's are retired. 787 deliveries are delayed, but they continue to operate 2 airplanes I believe.

They're not doing as much cargo flying as AC, but they are doing cargo flying and the cargo revenue has increased.

They've successfully entered a holding pattern, which they can sustain for many months until air travel returns.

The premier of Alberta has shown strong support for the long term success of the company. They're positioned to quickly ramp up in which ever way demand dictates.

Despite all the Onex fear mongering chatter here, there is no evidence I'm aware of that they plan to do anything other than support the business through this recession, and then ride the wave for a business cycle or two. And really, why would they? I won't try to speculate a valuation on the business right now, but I think it's safe to say that with the current cash position alone it has decreased in the billion(s). I believe that WestJet leadership has managed this situation reasonably well (not perfect, but reasonably well) and that no other earth shattering moves are currently warranted.

If I were Gerry Schwartz, I'd determine what the aviation industry looks like in the long term. Assuming that picture isn't completely different, no reason to get excited given that the company has already done what it has to do to get through this lowest of lows.

No airline in the world will return quickly to its pre pandemic cashflows. The recovery will take several years. Westjet is the same as everyone in this regard.

Yes, they will survive. Put away your tin hats boysss
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by privateer »

Gino Under wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 2:01 pm All this WestJet optimism is wonderful. Even though it strikes me as a bit delusional.

Fact check.
40% of WestJet traffic flows through Alberta. That’s in and out of Alberta. When they’re back in the sky they’ll be starting with close to a 40% drop in domestic traffic. Ouch! That’s going to impact revenue.

If they revert to a fleet of say, a dozen 737-800s and only operate as a Canadian version of what they think Southwest is probably like, they’re fuct.
No one hoping to one day start flying again is going to be rushing out the door to begin flying anywhere, any time soon. (I could be totally off the mark)

I don’t believe WestJet (or any airline you’d care to name) are going to return to the sky at 100% of their former selves with their former traffic loads and incomes.
Yesterday is gone (with apologies to the Goo Goo Dolls)
Idle aircraft still cost airlines money whether they borrowed those aircraft, leased ‘em, or bought ‘em outright.

It’s just a question of current income versus current operating costs and my guess as to which is greater, is operating costs. If spending exceeds income for much longer Westjet will have to respond by cutting those operating costs (which are currently survival costs as opposed to operating costs).

I wouldn’t think it mattered whether or not the company is publicly traded or not. It just means WestJet could be keeping up appearances and we (especially me) don’t really know how much bluff is in their poker hand at present. Do you?

If Westjet revealed to the potential Westjet “guest” they’re fighting for survival, or it ever became public knowledge they were financially distressed at a time when passengers are losing their minds over ticket refunds and airline ‘policy’, I’d imagine there’s no happy ending.

Gino Under
You talk a lot Gino. Looking at your previous posts you seem to love the eastern half of the country. The great thing about being a "private" western airline is that it drives you Liberal-AC/Bombardier lovers nuts wondering what is under the hood. What possibly could be coming next...

Delta. Enjoy
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Gino Under
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by Gino Under »

privateer
Thanks for the shout out.
Correct. I don’t live in Western Canada. I’m not an Easterner who has become a Westerner and who likes to criticize Easterners at every opportunity.
I’m all for Alberta. The oil sands, a pipeline to the east coast, natural gas. I don’t like Quebec’s stand on oil and gas. I sincerely hope Westjet survives as big and as vibrant as ever once this whole virus crap is finished. But my opinions on other things non-specific are not the topic for discussion. Are they?

Try following the bouncing ball.

Gino
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Re: Will Westjet survive?

Post by RustyDeuce »

Gino Under wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 2:01 pm All this WestJet optimism is wonderful. Even though it strikes me as a bit delusional.

Fact check.
40% of WestJet traffic flows through Alberta. That’s in and out of Alberta. When they’re back in the sky they’ll be starting with close to a 40% drop in domestic traffic. Ouch! That’s going to impact revenue.

If they revert to a fleet of say, a dozen 737-800s and only operate as a Canadian version of what they think Southwest is probably like, they’re fuct.
No one hoping to one day start flying again is going to be rushing out the door to begin flying anywhere, any time soon. (I could be totally off the mark)

I don’t believe WestJet (or any airline you’d care to name) are going to return to the sky at 100% of their former selves with their former traffic loads and incomes.
Yesterday is gone (with apologies to the Goo Goo Dolls)
Idle aircraft still cost airlines money whether they borrowed those aircraft, leased ‘em, or bought ‘em outright.

It’s just a question of current income versus current operating costs and my guess as to which is greater, is operating costs. If spending exceeds income for much longer Westjet will have to respond by cutting those operating costs (which are currently survival costs as opposed to operating costs).

I wouldn’t think it mattered whether or not the company is publicly traded or not. It just means WestJet could be keeping up appearances and we (especially me) don’t really know how much bluff is in their poker hand at present. Do you?

If Westjet revealed to the potential Westjet “guest” they’re fighting for survival, or it ever became public knowledge they were financially distressed at a time when passengers are losing their minds over ticket refunds and airline ‘policy’, I’d imagine there’s no happy ending.

Gino Under
I enjoy reading posts from people who have no idea what they're talking about. It's entertaining.
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