Life in a small town

A Good Day In The Life … (reprise from March 2015)

Oh Earth Oh Earth Return”, Bill Douglas, (1996)

Heaven and HellI just re-read this piece which was originally posted on March 28th 2015, back before we, the citizens of Alberta voted out our Conservative government and replaced them with the Socialist NDP, thereby bringing our previously booming economy to a screeching halt like hitting a bridge abutment at 90MPH — just a sudden dead halt in smokin’ ruin.

Why I re-read this is because I got a comment today from a fella in the EU… Actually I guess he is not in the EU any more since he is actually a Brit and a football fan which means he is probably a fella I could really get along with … maybe … if we were fans of the same club. Anyway, the comment and the piece reminded me of what is so good about living here and just how damned good we all have it.

It reminded me that things are actually pretty good in spite of the frothing insanity of the current government and their legions of minions in academia and the MSM.  And my depression about our economy (or lack thereof) which has haunted me for months was dispelled at least for now, because I really realize that the fundamentals are all still in place and the economy will come roaring back just as soon as Albertans smell the coffee and wake up…

*****

(from March 2015) Started out today about 7AM, feeling kinda fuzzy … went out to the kitchen, made a couple of pressed Espresso (roast) for the wife and I to start on. Put on the 12 cup coffee drip for the pot for the rest of the morning – have I mentioned that we are heavy coffee drinkers around here?

Anyway, went back to the lounger in the bedroom to watch the (televised) morning rat race and accident reports from Redmonton which I do every morning to remind myself of what I haven’t had to do for over 7 years now. It’s great! Sunny with a high of +15, clear and no ice and they are still driving into each other all over the place (6 so far at that point)  in their mad rush to get wherever … people!

Whilst relaxing and sipping my Espresso I noticed in the background … behind the overlay of teachers and NDP’ers whining about how evil the gov’mint is and how they are all being shafted by the new budget, and they should confiscate more from the evil corporations and so on blah, blah, blah drone, drone, drone … a strange hissing, frying sound … I didn’t put anything in a frying pan, thought I? What’s up? Went back out to the kitchen and SHIT!

Forgot to put the coffee pot back under the drip filter on the hot plate.  In shock I promptly inhaled my Espresso and then sprayed it all over the kitchen in one mighty cough. Human lungs are definitely not designed to breath Espresso. And then got the pot back into the coffee maker and saved half a pot. The rest went all over the counter and dripped down to the floor, grounds and all since without the pot in the dripper everything overflows over the top going down the sides and back into the hot water reservoir and everywhere else as well. Sigh …

By the time I got it all cleaned up and made some fresh Espresso it was time to go down to the store and start my day. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not driving to work any more if I can miss putting the pot back into the coffee machine. Duh!

Now, you might think that would be enough to start one off on the wrong foot but no … everything went smooth as silk, all the till cash outs,  invoice downloads, and inventory database updates, and all the start-ups and sign-ons and everything ’til about 15 minutes into the busy morning when the wife announces that the multi-function laser fax printer copier has stopped working. and she is a little irritated because that’s MY job and it has been acting up for a couple of weeks and I have not been able to sort it out yet.

But now we have a mission critical issue – in our kind of business we send and receive over 200 faxes  a day so we need it now! And as any guy who has been married for almost 40 years to his first wife can attest to, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! So I start stripping it down only to discover that one of the main feed rollers in the printer assembly has gotten mushy and wrinkly on both ends – OhOh … not good. This must be the Brother printer made in China version of lead in the Chinese baby formula.

Too bad really, the first unit lasted 7 years and this one lasted 7 weeks. Heavy sigh.  Got it at Staples. Nuf said, they are as useless as the proverbial tits on a bull when it comes to returns and repairs so we aren’t going back there, and we are definitely never buying anything made by Brother again, sooo, it’s 4 hours driving to visit Costco in Redmonton for Joe to pick up a HP unit which the Costco web site said was available for $200 bucks cash and carry at the warehouses in Redmonton (there are 5 Costco warehouses in Redmonton – who says the teachers don’t have enough money).

Which traveling in the warm sun wasn’t too bad because once I stopped for coffee and a snack half way there I had calmed down and was feeling pretty good about a warm sunny  (+15) afternoon shopping by myself. I have never found entertaining myself to be particularly difficult especially if it involves spending money. And then, upon arriving at the first warehouse I was informed that Costco had not carried laser printers at their warehouses for over two years and the web site was, well, wrong.

And suddenly I had a feeling, as clear as a highway sign, that I was at an inflection point. As clear as the nose on my face, I could “choose” to get upset and go away mad, and things would just keep going downhill, or I could “choose” to just say “Whatever” and continue shopping since I was already there, and just see what developed. I chose whatever … and the day just kept getting better and better from there.

I found a trio of good appliances I had been looking for, off and on, for over a year, a rice cooker from Japan, a low fat fryer from France, and a Croc-pot from the good ole USA, and I also found all kinds of wonderful food products from all over the world and $1500 later I was feeling pretty good over all and the only thing left to find was syrup for my Israeli Soda-Stream machine and a multi-function printer.

Well, I know I can get syrup at London Drugs, so I head over there, and of course they have everything I am looking for in the amounts I want. Then a geek I know walks by, hey! he works there. Hey buddy, have you got any multi-function fax printers for sale?

Why yes, we have a very nice Japanese Canon unit on sale for $149 and since you are such a good customer here we can also give you 10% off on everything you buy today.  TaDa!  That works out perfect and he helps me load everything in my truck. See ya later buddy. Gotta luv Drug Stores – real folks serving real folks.

So here I am at the end of a perfect day, I started out with a succession of issues but in the end, attitude and $1800 led to everything working out very well. I thought to myself just how damned lucky I am to have been born and to live in the time and place I do. I can hop in my 1 ton at any moment and drive 1400km, over excellent roads, without fueling up or stopping, in any direction I choose, without having to ask permission, I can walk in anywhere and with a little effort find anything I want for a price I am willing to pay.

And before anyone starts whining about not having $1800 bucks I am declaring LOUDLY … ANYONE with heart and will and energy can get and hold a job here and now which will easily give them that kind of money and you will make it faster than the gov’mint can inflate it and tax it away, unless of course you’re an NDP’er or one of their brain dead gliberal progressive gang members.

I didn’t have to bribe anyone, or show my papers. No one shot at me or tried to blow up my truck, or even blew their horn at me in anger. I didn’t see any starving people, or fire bombs or burning tires or smokin’ ruins. I passed about 20 active oil wells and over 2000 head of fat cattle, and a brand new multi-million dollar Canola crushing plant, and several dozen tandem Axel B-train grain trucks and tanker trucks and cube vans everywhere all busily moving the products of our thriving economy to market. All private … hmmm … something in that, eh?

And horizon to horizon diesel pickup trucks in their hundreds, not so many prissy little high mileage cars around here (take that, you global warming wankers). And four huge unit trains (over a hundred cars each) hauling oil and grain and potash and containers of stuff from everywhere under the sun. I only saw 2 cop cars with one officer each all day.

And it all happens because of our Christian patrimony, market economy, work ethic, private property and rule of law. Never before, anywhere, in the history of the world, have so many had it so good. It is really heaven on earth if one looks through the right lenses. And the progressives want to throw it all away ’cause it ain’t “fair”? For God’s sake, why can’t the rest of the world get it?

What’s not to feel blessed about?

Cheers

Joe

CSR

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

A Good Day In The Life …

Started out today about 7AM, feeling kinda fuzzy … went out to the kitchen, made a couple of pressed Espresso for the wife and I to start on. Put on the 12 cup coffee drip for the pot for the rest of the morning – have I mentioned that we are heavy coffee drinkers around here? Anyway, went back to the lounger in the bedroom to watch the morning rat race and accident reports from Redmonton which I do every morning to remind myself of what I haven’t had to do for over 7 years now. It’s great! Sunny with a high of +15, clear and no ice and they are still driving into each other all over the place (6 so far at that point)  in their mad rush to get wherever … people!

Whilst relaxing and sipping my Espresso I noticed in the background … behind the overlay of teachers and NDP’ers whining about how evil the gov’mint is and how they are all being shafted by the new budget, and they should confiscate more from the evil corporations and so on blah, blah, blah drone, drone, drone … a strange hissing, frying sound … I didn’t put anything in a frying pan, thought I? What’s up? Went back out to the kitchen and SHIT!

Forgot to put the coffee pot back under the drip filter on the hot plate.  In shock I promptly inhaled my Espresso and then sprayed it all over the kitchen in one mighty cough. Human lungs are definitely not designed to breath Espresso. And then got the pot back into the coffee maker and saved half a pot. The rest went all over the counter and dripped down to the floor, grounds and all since without the pot in the dripper everything overflows over the top going down the sides and back into the hot water reservoir and everywhere else as well. Sigh …

By the time I got it all cleaned up and made some fresh Espresso it was time to go down to the store and start my day. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not driving to work any more if I can miss putting the pot back into the coffee machine. Duh!

Now, you might think that would be enough to start one off on the wrong foot but no … everything went smooth as silk, all the till cash outs,  invoice downloads, and inventory database updates, and all the start-ups and sign-ons and everything ’til about 15 minutes into the busy morning when the wife announces that the multi-function laser fax printer copier has stopped working. and she is a little irritated because that’s MY job and it has been acting up for a couple of weeks and I have not been able to sort it out yet.

But now we have a mission critical issue – in our kind of business we send and receive over 200 faxes  a day so we need it now! And as any guy who has been married for almost 40 years to his first wife can attest to, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! So I start stripping it down only to discover that one of the main feed rollers in the printer assembly has gotten mushy and wrinkly on both ends – OhOh … not good. This must be the Brother printer made in China version of lead in the Chinese baby formula.

Too bad really, the first unit lasted 7 years and this one lasted 7 weeks. Heavy sigh.  Got it at Staples. Nuf said, they are as useless as the proverbial tits on a bull when it comes to returns and repairs so we aren’t going back there, and we are definitely never buying anything made by Brother again, sooo, it’s 4 hours driving to Costco in Redmonton for Joe to pick up a HP unit which the Costco web site said was available for $200 bucks cash and carry at the warehouses in Redmonton (there are 5 Costco warehouses in Redmonton – who says the teachers don’t have enough money).

Which traveling in the warm sun wasn’t too bad because once I stopped for coffee and a snack half way there I had calmed down and was feeling pretty good about a warm sunny  (+15) afternoon shopping by myself. I have never found entertaining myself to be particularly difficult especially if it involves spending money. And then, upon arriving at the first warehouse I was informed that Costco had not carried laser printers at their warehouses for over two years and the web site was, well, wrong.

And suddenly I had a feeling, as clear as a highway sign, that I was at an inflection point. As clear as the nose on my face, I could “choose” to get upset and go away mad, and things would just keep going downhill, or I could “choose” to just say “Whatever” and continue shopping since I was already there, and just see what developed. I chose whatever … and the day just kept getting better and better from there.

I found a trio of good appliances I had been looking for, off and on, for over a year, a rice cooker from Japan, a low fat fryer from France, and a Croc-pot from the good ole USA, and I also found all kinds of wonderful food products from all over the world and $1500 later I was feeling pretty good over all and the only thing left to find was syrup for my Israeli Soda-Stream machine and a multifunction printer.

Well, I know I can get syrup at London Drugs, so I head over there, and of course they have everything I am looking for in the amounts I want. Then a geek I know walks by, hey! he works there. Hey buddy, have you got any multifunction fax printers for sale?  Why yes, we have a very nice Japanese Canon unit on sale for $149 and since you are such a good customer here we can also give you 10% off on everything you buy today.  TaDa!  That works out perfect and he helps me load everything in my truck. See ya later buddy. Gotta luv Drug Stores – real folks serving real folks.

So here I am at the end of a perfect day, I started out with a succession of issues but in the end, attitude and $1800 led to everything working out very well. I thought to myself just how damned lucky I am to have been born and to live in the time and place I do. I can hop in my 1 ton at any moment and drive 1400km, over excellent roads, without fueling up or stopping, in any direction I choose, without having to ask permission, I can walk in anywhere and with a little effort find anything I want for a price I am willing to pay.

And before anyone starts whining and winging about not having $1800 bucks I am declaring LOUDLY … ANYONE with heart and will and energy can get and hold a job here and now which will easily give them that kind of money and you will make it faster than the gov’mint can inflate it and tax it away, unless of course you’re an NDP’er or one of their brain dead gliberal progressive gang members.

I didn’t have to bribe anyone, or show my papers. No one shot at me or tried to blow up my truck, or even blew their horn at me in anger. I didn’t see any starving people, or fire bombs or burning tires or smokin’ ruins. I passed about 20 active oil wells and over 2000 head of fat cattle, and a brand new multimillion dollar Canola crushing plant, and several dozen tandem Axel B-train grain trucks and tanker trucks and cube vans everywhere all busily moving the products of our thriving economy to market. All private … hmmm … something in that, eh?

And horizon to horizon diesel pickup trucks in their hundreds, not so many prissy little high mileage cars around here (take that, you global warming wankers). And four huge unit trains (over a hundred cars each) hauling oil and grain and potash and containers of stuff from everywhere under the sun. I only saw 2 cop cars with one officer each all day.

And it all happens because of our Christian patrimony, market economy, work ethic, private property and rule of law. Never before, anywhere, in the history of the world, have so many had it so good. It is really heaven on earth if one looks through the right lenses. And the progressives want to throw it all away ’cause it ain’t “fair”? For God’s sake, why can’t the rest of the world get it?

Cheers

Joe

CSR

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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The Inner Struggle

Saints …

Thursday, March 19th, the feast day of my name saint, St. Joseph. A name saint is a saint in the Catholic tradition whose name is given to individuals at their baptism within the Catholic Church. The custom of giving the name of a saint originated in France and Germany during the Middle Ages.[1] Although once required, it is no longer necessary to name the child after a saint as Canon 855 of the Code of Canon Law states “Parents, sponsors and parish priests are to take care that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment.” It is still believed that the saint whose name is chosen will serve as a special patron to protect, guide, and be the heavenly intercessor for, the individual who bears his or her name.

The rest of this is a precis of what I found on the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

***

The chief sources of information on the life of St. Joseph are the first chapters of our new Testament first and third Gospels; they are also practically the only reliable sources, because the holy patriarch’s life, as with many other points connected with the Saviour’s history outside these two gospels, is left untouched by the canonical writings. Apocryphal literature is full of details, but the non-admittance of these works into the Canon of the Sacred Books casts a strong suspicion upon their contents.

St. Matthew (1:16) calls St. Joseph the son of Jacob; according to St. Luke (3:23), Heli was his father. Contrary to what was once advocated, most modern writers readily admit that in both documents we possess the genealogy of Joseph, and that it is quite possible to reconcile their data.  At any rate, Bethlehem, the city of David and his descendants, appears to have been the birth-place of Joseph.

Why and when he forsook his birth place to take up residence in Galilee is uncertain, but probably the necessity of earning a living may have brought about the change. St. Joseph, was a tekton, as we learn from Matthew 13:55, and Mark 6:3. The word means both mechanic in general and carpenter in particular; St. Justin vouches for the latter sense (Dialogue with Trypho 88), and tradition has accepted this interpretation, which is followed in the English Bible.

It is probably at Nazareth that Joseph betrothed and married Mary who was to become the Mother of God. When the marriage took place, whether before or after the Incarnation, is not an easy matter to settle, and on this point the masters have always disagreed. Most modern commentators, following St. Thomas, believe that, at the time of the Annunciation, Mary was only affianced to Joseph; as St. Thomas notices, this interpretation suits better all the evangelical data.

This marriage, was, in the intention of the spouses, to be virgin marriage (cf. St. Augustine, “De cons. Evang.”, II, i in P.L. XXXIV, 1071-72; “Cont. Julian.”, V, xii, 45 in P.L. XLIV, 810; St. Thomas, III:28; III:29:2). But soon after the espousal the faith of Joseph was sorely tried when she announced that she was with child. For a man of that time and culture this must have been an extremely painful discovery.

Notwithstanding his rights, he resolved to deal charitably with Mary and “to put her away privately; but while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. . . And Joseph, rising from his sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife” (Matthew 1:19, 20, 24).

A few months later, we see a whole new source of anxiety for Joseph; the time came for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem, to be enrolled, according to the decree issued by Caesar Augustus, for “her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered“, and “there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7).

What must have been the thoughts of Joseph at the birth of the Saviour, the coming of the shepherds and of the wise men, and at the events which occurred at the time of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, we can merely guess; St. Luke tells only that he was “wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him” (2:33).

Still more trials soon followed. The birth of a new king of the Jews fired the jealousy of the old and bloody tyrant, Herod. Again “an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee” (Matthew 2:13).

The summons to go back to Palestine came after a few years, and the Holy Family returned to and settled again at Nazareth. Finally peace, and St. Joseph’s life became the simple and uneventful life of an humble Jew, supporting himself and his family by his work, and faithful to the religious practices commanded by the Law or observed by pious Israelites.

From that point on, the only incident recorded by the Gospel is the loss of, and quest for, Jesus, then he was twelve years old, when He strayed during the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem  (Luke 2:42-51). This is the last we hear of St. Joseph in the sacred writings, and we may well suppose that Jesus’s foster-father died before the beginning of Savior’s public life.

In several circumstances, indeed, the Gospels speak of the latter’s mother and brothers (Matthew 12:46; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19; John 7:3), but never do they speak of His father in connection with the rest of the family; they tell us only that Our Lord, during His public life, was referred to as the son of Joseph (John 1:45; 6:42; Luke 4:22) the carpenter (Matthew 13:55). Would Jesus, moreover, when about to die on the Cross, have entrusted His mother to John’s care, had St. Joseph been still alive?

According to the apocryphal “Story of Joseph the Carpenter”, the holy man reached his hundred and eleventh year when he died, on 20 July (A.D. 18 or 19). St. Epiphanius gives him ninety years of age at the time of his demise; and if we are to believe the Venerable Bede, he was buried in the Valley of Josaphat. In truth we do not know when St. Joseph died; it is most unlikely that he attained the ripe old age spoken of by the “Story of Joseph” and St. Epiphanius. The probability is that he died and was buried at Nazareth.

***

So, his was an example of a devoted life of sacrifice. Joseph embodies the tradition of Faith, Loyalty, Competence, Pride, Selflessness, Integrity, Courage, Discipline, and Sacrifice.  Quite an example to live up to is Joseph, the bar is set very high. There is a centuries long tradition of veneration of St. Joseph.

Joseph was “a just man”. This praise bestowed by the Holy Ghost, and the privilege of having been chosen by God to be the foster-father of Jesus and the spouse of the Virgin Mother, are the foundations of the honour paid to St. Joseph by the Church. So well-grounded are these foundations that it is not a little surprising that the cult of St. Joseph was so slow in winning recognition. Foremost among the causes of this is the fact that “during the first centuries of the Church’s existence, it was only the martyrs who enjoyed veneration” (Kellner).

Far from being ignored or passed over in silence during the early Christian ages, St. Joseph’s prerogatives were occasionally descanted upon by the Fathers; even such eulogies as cannot be attributed to the writers among whose works they found admittance bear witness that the ideas and devotion therein expressed were familiar, not only to the theologians and preachers, and must have been readily welcomed by the people.

The earliest traces of public recognition of the sanctity of St. Joseph are to be found in the East. His feast, if we may trust the assertions of Papebroch, was kept by the Copts as early as the beginning of the fourth century. Nicephorus Callistus tells likewise — on what authority we do not know — that in the great basilica erected at Bethlehem by St. Helena, there was a gorgeous oratory dedicated to the honour of our saint.

Certain it is, at all events, that the feast of “Joseph the Carpenter” is entered, on 20 July, in one of the old Coptic Calendars in our possession, as also in a Synazarium of the eighth and ninth century published by Cardinal Mai (Script. Vet. Nova Coll., IV, 15 sqq.). Greek menologies of a later date at least mention St. Joseph on 25 or 26 December, and a twofold commemoration of him along with other saints was made on the two Sundays next before and after Christmas.

In the West the name of the foster-father of Our Lord (Nutritor Domini) appears in local martyrologies of the ninth and tenth centuries, and we find in 1129, for the first time, a church dedicated to his honour at Bologna. The devotion, then merely private, as it seems, gained a great impetus owing to the influence and zeal of such saintly persons as St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gertrude (d. 1310), and St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373). According to Benedict XIV (De Serv. Dei beatif., I, iv, n. 11; xx, n. 17), “the general opinion of the learned is that the Fathers of Carmel were the first to import from the East into the West the laudable practice of giving the fullest cultus to St. Joseph”.

His feast, introduced towards the end shortly afterwards, into the Dominican Calendar, gradually gained a foothold in various dioceses of Western Europe. Among the most zealous promoters of the devotion at that epoch, St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419), Peter d’Ailly (d. 1420), St. Bernadine of Siena (d. 1444), and Jehan Charlier Gerson (d. 1429) deserve an especial mention. Gerson, who had, in 1400, composed an Office of the Espousals of Joseph particularly at the Council of Constance (1414), in promoting the public recognition of the cult of St. Joseph.

Only under the pontificate of Sixtus IV (1471-84), were the efforts of these holy men rewarded by Roman Calendar (19 March). From that time the devotion acquired greater and greater popularity, the dignity of the feast keeping pace with this steady growth. At first only a festum simplex, it was soon elevated to a double rite by Innocent VIII (1484-92), declared by Gregory XV, in 1621, a festival of obligation, at the instance of the Emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I and of King Charles II of Spain, and raised to the rank of a double of the second class by Clement XI (1700-21). Further, Benedict XIII, in 1726, inserted the name into the Litany of the Saints.

One festival in the year, however, was not deemed enough to satisfy the piety of the people. The feast of the Espousals of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, so strenuously advocated by Gerson, and permitted first by Paul III to the Franciscans, then to other religious orders and individual dioceses, was, in 1725, granted to all countries that solicited it, a proper Office, compiled by the Dominican Pietro Aurato, being assigned, and the day appointed being 23 January.

Nor was this all, for the reformed Order of Carmelites, into which St. Teresa had infused her great devotion to the foster-father of Jesus, chose him, in 1621, for their patron, and in 1689, were allowed to celebrate the feast of his Patronage on the third Sunday after Easter. This feast, soon adopted throughout the Spanish Kingdom, was later on extended to all states and dioceses which asked for the privilege.

No devotion, perhaps, has grown so universal, none seems to have appealed so forcibly to the heart of the Christian people, and particularly of the labouring classes, during the nineteenth century, as that of St. Joseph. This wonderful and unprecedented increase of popularity called for a new lustre to be added to the cult of the saint.

Accordingly, one of the first acts of the pontificate of Pius IX, himself singularly devoted to St. Joseph, was to extend to the whole Church the feast of the Patronage (1847), and in December, 1870, according to the wishes of the bishops and of all the faithful, he solemnly declared the Holy Patriarch Joseph, patron of the Catholic Church, and enjoined that his feast (19 March) should henceforth be celebrated as a double of the first class (but without octave, on account of Lent).

Following the footsteps of their predecessor, Leo XIII and Pius X have shown an equal desire to add their own jewel to the crown of St. Joseph: the former, by permitting on certain days the reading of the votive Office of the saint; and the latter by approving, on 18 March, 1909, a litany in honour of him whose name he had received in baptism.

So happy St Joseph’s Day

Cheers

Joe

cropped-sunrise.jpg

 

 

 

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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