Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Charity, Justice and Purgatory …

“Eternity’s Sunrise”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Eternity’s Sunrise”, (2000)

Harvest Time 2018

Harvest Time 2018

Days finally starting to turn cool, got down to about 5 degrees last night. Welcome relief from the 30 to 40 degree days of a couple of weeks ago. Harvest is getting into full swing around this part of the Shire. No complaints yet from anyone about a “bad year”. We can always hope, right?

Thanking God today, for time, for life, for insight, more opportunities for repentance, remorse and regret, atonement and perhaps an efficacious do-over with each new day, and in the end, absent complete reparation at the time of death, thanking God for merciful Purgatory and eternity of reparation, in hope, to look forward to. Ad Aeternitatum …

Sincerely hoping the prayers of others might have some transferable benefit in this economy of prayer and suffering. Pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you. Pray for your enemies and those who make your life miserable. Forgive, forgive, forgive, I have read somewhere that sins forgiven in this life are not held to one’s account in the particular and in the final judgement. Sincerely hoping that this memory is not simply the wishful thinking of a lost soul.

That is what one would do, should do,  as a charitable effort towards saving the souls of our neighbors, especially the ones we don’t really like. That is the effort of making one’s actions fit the idea of “fraternal charity”. Hoping that a rising tide of prayer lifts all souls, not only the praying, but the prayed for as well, in this great economy of prayer and suffering.

Love your enemies

What benefit is there to me of treating well those who treat me well? Of what spiritual utility is reciprocity of self love and self regard?

As Christ says, you have already had your reward for that. Everyone does that, there is nothing special or particularly meritorious about returning good will for good will.

But, the rubber hits the road when we start to put into practice the idea of loving our neighbor, even our neighbor who is our enemy. By demonstrating it in the reality of our daily conduct, the logical application of the moral idea, we live Truth as we find it in the Gospels..

I can’t speak well to history but in this day and age it appears that there are two paths. The first is the difficult path on which our actions follow on from and derive from our ideas, no matter how distasteful or difficult that may be. That path is known as the path of principal, that path which Albert J. Knock referred to in his paper on the “remnant” and the “masses”..

Ideology on the nature preserve. ideology needs protection to survive.

The other way is the more common or easy way in that we choose our ideas, our friends, our activities, and so on to cast ourselves in the best possible light and we espouse those ideas and beliefs which best make our actions out to be reasonable. Virtue signalling as a national Mantra …

This choice is embracing ideology instead of reality and truth, instead of the provable facts of daily existence. While the generally accepted rule of social conduct today is “all right minded people know this to be true” there is still the other path, the hard path, and it will not be denied no matter how loud the opposition gets.

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

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Fulton Sheen said: What a blood transfusion is to the body, reparation for the sins of another is to the spirit. Instead of separating when there are difficulties and trials, the Christian solution is to bear the other as a cross for the sake of his sanctification. The wife can redeem the husband, and the husband the wife. This transferability of sanctification from a good wife to a bad husband, or from a good husband to a bad wife, follows from the fact that they are two in one flesh.

As skin can be grafted from the back to the face, so merit can be applied from spouse to spouse. This spiritual communication may not have the romantic satisfaction in it that carnal communication has, but its returns are eternal. Many a husband and wife after infidelities and excesses will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful partner never ceased to pour out prayers for his or her salvation.”

Fulton J. Sheen,  “Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity” (pp. 167). Ignatius Press.

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Praying Together

Praying Together

As I have remarked previously, real food for deep thought here, food to nourish consideration of love of neighbor as a real, active, concrete, pursuit rather than merely sterile words as part of some ritual.

As between two people in a marriage, between spouses, so also between siblings, and between children and parents, and even between friends and acquaintances, and neighbors, after infidelities, and excesses, after strife and turmoil and betrayal, and oceans of pain, the sinners will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful never ceased to pour out prayers on their behalf for their salvation.

Even the prodigal son upon his return can storm heaven’s gates on behalf of the lost sheep of his or her family and friends and neighbors, and in so doing perhaps atone and make reparation for the multitude of sins of his and their past. So how does this apply to “Loving One’s Neighbor”, “Loving One’s Neighbor as One Loves Oneself”?

Working Together

Our self love, that love with which we regard ourselves and all our actions and thoughts is a very concrete love. It includes all our peculiarities, needs, tastes, feelings, beliefs and habits.

We are geniuses at rationalizing our own way of thinking, and in making excuses for our many faults and failings. We each have a vast sea of sympathy and understanding for our self in all these areas. And we should flood the sins of our neighbor with that vast sea of sympathy and patience and understanding.

This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13, 34 – 15, 12).

But we seem to continue, mired in our self love to the exclusion of all else, and that self love expresses itself in outrage about the conduct and sayings of others, our neighbors.

Reflecting on the writings of Robert Cardinal Sarah, it is easy to see that our modern polite media society drifts from moral rebellion to sentimental rebellion and back to moral rebellion, virtue signalling like a bitter wind on a winter afternoon, striving, like Sisyphus, desperately, ceaselessly, climbing the mountain, always pushing the rock of their discontent and outrage.

Our media, Facebook, Twitter culture demands its rebellion, its hatred, in the moment, of whatever it  self-centeredly defines as unjust and unfair today.

This is the howler jungle, the parrot jungle, screeching its outrage, proud of its correct opinions, which are, in reality, the most pretentious pompous ideas we could ever find, baseless and founded in emotion and self love.

Cynical and shameless, it despicably revels in its dislikes. “I don’t care about the facts, Joe, I just want to have a pleasant hate with my friends”. Our modern polite existence is a propped-up life built entirely on noise, artificiality, and the tragic rejection of Truth.

What is Truth? Well, it depends … From revolutions to conquests, from ideologies to political battles, from our frantic crusade for “equality” to our pathological fixation on “progress”, silence is impossible.

The more noise, the more we “run in circles, scream and shout”, the less the likelyhood that we or especially others will notice what is wrong with us, our failings, our sins, our deviance.

And even worse, our “transparent” societies are all in hot pursuit of anonymity in noise, with an implacable hatred of silence, which we regard as contemptible, a backward primitive defeat, “What have you got to say to that?” “What do you think of that?” “There! that will shut up your jabber!” Let the bright light of noise shine on everything, just as long as it doesn’t shine on my own darkness, my own crimes, my own sins.

Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)

Charles Pierre Baudelaire,  April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867 was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, a book of lyric poetry titled Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century.

Baudelaire’s highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, among many others. He is credited with coining the term “modernity” (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and art’s responsibility to capture that experience.

During Baudelaire’s day there was then perhaps even more scandal and turmoil in the Catholic Church than we now see. Starting with the French Revolution and it’s bloody trail of excess, the massacre of the Vendee, and up to Pius IX’s “Syllabus of Errors,” which was often held up to ridicule as an absurd statement of the church’s stand against the modern world and progress. The Syllabus is certainly comprehensible against the reality of these threats from modernity. In hindsight doesn’t theSyllabus of Errors seem prophetic in the light of secular modernism realized in our society of today.

My dear departed mother often remarked of my Atheist sister that she was “deeply spiritual”, also in commenting on her own sister, my Wiccan Priestess Auntie, that she was a “wonderful spiritual person, so good”. Baudelaire, in one of his most famous aphorisms says: “Everyone believes in God but no one loves Him, no one believes in Satan, but his smell is everywhere“.

My mother, in her short 92 years on this earth, went from devout Christian to total non-belief … dragged down by Vatican II, Church Scandal and personal tragedy … refused the counsel of a priest and extreme unction, the last rites on her deathbed. And her prodigal son storms heaven’s gates daily on behalf of the lost sheep of his family, in hope against hope that the sinners will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful never ceased to pour out prayers on their behalf for their salvation.

This is the tenor of our times; evil, evil everywhere and ne’er a drop of good … love of self, love of our plan, our way, begetting a never ending, ever strengthening, downward spiral of deviance and rationalization of ever greater excesses, no escape from the mirror of our self regard without the grace of the Divine Will and the Word..

Why, when I am so conscious of my own misery and sins, my utter failure to be the creature God willed and wills me to be, without Whom and without Whose gratuitous gifts I am all misery do I have so much room left over in my soul to look with cynicism and censure upon the sins and failings of my fellow man, my neighbor who God wills me to love as myself?

There is a confusion in our day … modernity has conflated poverty and misery as if these two states are one and the same. They are not … misery seems to be the most common state of those who are the least afflicted with poverty. Attachment and ownership and the failure to find satisfaction in these seem to be at the root of misery

From Robert Cardinal Sarah, his commentary regarding noise … “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise”

327. Unless we seek to suppress all the superficial aspects of our lives, we will never be united to God. By detaching ourselves from everything superfluous, we enter little by little into a form of silence. Throughout her life, Mother Teresa sought to live in great poverty so as to find God better in silence. Seeking God in her heart was the only wealth she had. She could spend hours before the Blessed Sacrament without uttering a single word. The nun drew her poverty from the humility of God. The Father possesses nothing, and Mother Teresa wanted to imitate him. She asked that her sisters be absolutely and sincerely detached from all material goods.

Sarah, Robert Cardinal. The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (Para 327). Ignatius Press.

To paraphrase a famous hymn … “My life flows on in endless noise about earth’s lamentation, I catch the faint, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.”  Yes, the far off hymn … that hails a new creation … the undiscovered country … beyond my self love and attachment to all the “stuff” to which I am so enamored … to leave the self behind and all the misery of stuff … to embrace the poverty and silence of God, impossible without His gift of grace … Aye, there’s the rub.

Maybe this blog is just part of all the noise? I have to consider that thought some more … what am I trying to achieve with this scribbling. I have changed quite a bit from when I started this work back in 2014.

Back then I was consumed with what was wrong with everything and everyone else, and how it all could be fixed, if only … pick my bright idea of the moment … Wow, watch me string all these disconnected events together … looking at them from the “right” perspective, look at what they reveal about motives and intent of the faceless ones … so in love with my cleverness …

so much self love … so little “fraternal charity” …

Cheers

Joe

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Gospel of Matthew, The …

The world is always going to Hell. And sometimes the trip is more hellish than usual, especially for the poor souls caught up directly in world shaking events like a terrorist attack, or a war, or an invasion, or a long siege.

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The Roman Temple of Claudius in what is now Colchester was destroyed in 60/61 AD by Queen Boadicea’s army.

The Roman Temple of Claudius in what is now Colchester was destroyed in 60/61 AD by Queen Boadicea’s army.  According to the Roman commentator Tacitus, 30,000 Romans lost their lives. Many of the victims had barricaded themselves inside the temple in the vain hope that they might survive the attack. Today, archaeologists regularly find a burnt layer in the earth when digging down – an indicator and reminder of the date and the event.

Queen Boadicea was a rather famous leader of one of many groups of barbarians hell bent on destroying the “civilized” Roman invaders. From a Roman point of view she was perhaps rather like a first century Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, just some uncivilized barbarian upsetting the social order because she didn’t share Roman beliefs and values. But Rome’s conduct in it’s foreign and domestic military campaigns was, by later Christian standards, both brutal and barbaric and a fitting preview of where we are going as we shed our Christian heritage for more prosaic progressive values.

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Destruction of Jewish Temple by Roman Legions

Ten years later in 70 AD the Romans did the same thing to their enemies in Palestine, under General Titus, besieging Jerusalem and sacking and destroying the Temple of Jerusalem. An estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million died in this campaign. This vivid print on paper has a view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives showing the Temple with the walled city in the center. There is a soldier in the left proper foreground and women kneeling on the ground near Roman soldiers.

001-stmatthew

Saint Matthew

There happens to be an interesting scriptural prediction of the destruction of the temple in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 24.  I have found Matthew to be, if perhaps not the most cheerful of the apostles, then certainly the most precise and explicit in recording the trials of Jesus and His response to the trials, in a grim, realistic and thoroughly modern way.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. Matthew 24: 15-21

With only the slightest consideration one has no problems translating or transplanting the goings on in Palestine two millennia ago into the current newsworthy goings on both within the “holy roman catholic church” and in the secular progressive world at large which the “modern” church “appears” to be more and more embracing and accepting in the name of mercy, charity, and “ecumenicalism”, much to the joy of the MSM.

001-cardinalkasper

Cardinal Kasper

Preaching and discussing the virtues of mercy and charity in 30 second sound bites and interviews are proving to be handy and useful tools to ridicule and discredit one’s opponents. Name calling and discrediting have ever been the first and probably most useful weapons in the armory of those with weak or non-existent arguments.

When truth doesn’t support one’s position it is always and everywhere expedient to take the position that all your opponents are just plain wrong and then go about discrediting them on those grounds rather than defend one’s position with truth and facts.

Cranach_d.Ä._Martin_Luther_1528Just for a moment imagine Martin Luther with access to FaceBook and Twitter, to blogs and electronic media? Bulverism is rampant everywhere both in the secular world and withing the Church, in fact anywhere one finds people arguing one finds Bulverism raising it’s ugly leprous smiling head. Unfortunately, in order to embrace that route one must abandon any notions of concomitant justice and truth and intrinsic evil as taught by St. John Paul II, namely, that evil which is always and unchangingly evil regardless of fashion and circumstances.

Secrets-of-the-Vatican-at-night-viewWhat defines (or used to define) the Church is that it stands for something unchanging. Eternal Truth, does not lend itself to change in imitation of the fashions of the day or the desires of some of the more articulate figures of authority within and without the Church. Absent that Truth based definition of “Church” we have the MSM mantra of “Not My President”, or “Not My Pope”, or “Not My Church”, which are all really manifestations of the same “faith”, the worship of “self”.

Having surrendered Truth and justice in the name of mercy one is left with just another religious social club, the executives of which differ in no way from the executives of any other social club, or any political club for that matter. And one dare not go against the wishes of the club’s executives for fear of being expelled from the club by said executives, leaving one no choice but to start one’s own club which being “fruit of our womb” will more accurately reflect our self, and our self worship.

Where we end up at the end of this path is a place where we “belong” to a church because “belonging” lets us believe that we are “basically good people”, and coincidentally somehow better than the others, on our own terms, than those who “do not belong”.  We belong to a club that affirms our own believes, in ourselves and about others, and differs in no way from the golf club, the oil-man’s club, the sports club, the bridge club, the young liberal association, the union of public employees, the democratic party, the national socialist party the new democratic party, and so on ad infinitum.

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desertit’s a damned long hard walk to union with God

 

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Why Do Canadians Hate …

“Into The Shadow Realm”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings”

Watching American news on the satellite, trying to get a sense of how things are unfolding to the south of us. Certain concentrations of left wing extremists are trying to whip the universe into a frothing frenzy of “Trunp” hate. The observable fact that the nation is not following is inciting them to ever higher levels of shrill rhetoric.

Mark Steyn writes,

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000-hate-crime“The object of Parliament,” observed Winston Churchill at election time in 1951, “is to substitute argument for fisticuffs.”

How’s that holding up after November 8th? The object of at least a proportion of those on the streets is to substitute fisticuffs for argument, and indeed for Parliament:  The less self-aware even chant “This is what democracy looks like!” – by which they mean not the election but the post-election riots and looting and assaults.

Some among these self-proclaimed champions of women and immigrants wish to substitute rape for argument, a cause of such broad appeal that the ideological enforcers at the monopoly social-media cartels breezily permitted the hashtag “Rape Melania” to “trend” on Twitter.

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philadelphia_furious_protesters_in_the_city_of_brotherly_loveFrom the website “Before Its News”…

…if you keep insisting that half your fellow citizens are haters, maybe you’re the hater.

…one third of the Democrats’ representation in the House now comes from just three states – New York, Massachusetts and California. That’s one reason why they’re calling for the abolition of the Electoral College.

But, absent the upending of the constitution, they have a problem.

ap-election-protests-georgia…John Oliver and Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah have sportingly decided, to judge from their ratings, to prioritize their politics over their comedy. But, whether or not “Love Trumps Hate”, condescension doesn’t trump anything.

For a year-and-a-half they shoveled industrial-strength coastal sneering into the path of the Trump train on a scale that would have derailed any other candidate before he got to Iowa. Instead, Trump just bulldozed through it – and so easily that he won the White House for a fifth of what Hillary spent.

If elite condescension failed to deny him the presidency, is it likely to be any more effective now that he is the president?

Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings“.

a-liberal-loveinWhat “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  On Friday, in a veritable frenzy of virtue signalling, the hashtag #safetypin trended on Twitter, as dozens of people shared selfies with safety pins attached to their clothing.

“Standing together we will be safe,” one user tweeted.

The-Return-of-the-King-Smeagols-Birthday“My #SafetyPin shows I will protect those who feel in danger bc of gender, sexuality, race, disability, religion, etc.,” another said. “You are safe with me.”

That’s true in the sense that, if Matt Harrington is around and they’ve confiscated his sniper rifle, he’ll be able to borrow your safety pin and stab Trump with it.

Can you really substitute virtue-signaling for argument? Especially when it’s this lame? And, indeed, are there enough safety-pins in America for all those who feel unsafe? Or will Trump’s trade war be dealt a massive crushing defeat as cheap knock-offs from Chinese safety-pin factories flood the US market?

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Bulverism is a logical fallacy that combines a genetic fallacy with circular reasoning. (ed. One of the best current examples of Bulverism can be found at “Salon” with their articles about Trump)

The method of Bulverism is to “assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error”. The Bulverist assumes a speaker’s argument is invalid or false and then explains why the speaker came to make that mistake, attacking the speaker or the speaker’s motive. The term “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis[1] to poke fun at a very serious error in thinking that, he alleges, recurs often in a variety of religious, political, and philosophical debates.

Similar to Antony Flew‘s “Subject/Motive Shift”, Bulverism is a fallacy of irrelevance. One accuses an argument of being wrong on the basis of the arguer’s identity or motive, but these are strictly speaking irrelevant to the argument’s validity or truth. But it is also a fallacy of circular reasoning, since it assumes, rather than argues, that one’s opponent is wrong.

(C.S.) Lewis wrote about this in a 1941 essay[2][3] which was later expanded and published in The Socratic Digest under the title “Bulverism”.[4][3] This was reprinted both in Undeceptions and the more recent anthology God in the Dock. He explains the origin of this term:[5]

You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism”.

Some day I am going to write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father — who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than a third — “Oh you say that because you are a man.” “At that moment”, E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument.

Assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.

CUT TO CANADIAN NEWS ON GLOBAL NATIONAL:

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Canadian Landscape with the Trump Hate contaminating everything

The mood change almost gave me whiplash … The big news item appears to be that “Canadians” are fearful that “Trump Hate” is leaking over the border and contaminating Canadian Water and maybe Canadian politics as well!

As the writer above said: … what “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  One thing is undeniably true “Canadians” are ALWAYS fearful of SOMETHING … it just changes from day to day and even hour to hour. Why can’t they stay focused on our media message?

It seems that the dominant meme of the American extreme left progressives is finding fertile soil in the Great White North, eh?  And the scary part is that this is normal, especially amongst the Canadian chattering classes and the inhabitants of the media swamp.

And why not?  After all, Canada is a nation of facile, self-righteous, hypocritical, haters from sea to shining sea.  And nowhere are they more frantic in their hating than when it comes to hating Americans (a severely overdeveloped case of “Short-Man Syndrome”).

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OMG I’m just SO beautiful and I’m such a nice person too …

violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet” is just about THE perfect encapsulation of how Canadian Liberals of all stripes view ANYONE who has the misfortune to disagree with them or to prefer to deal in facts rather than social media “virtue signalling“.

This sad fact is especially true when talking about Americans or “American” culture. Funny thing though, the roots of American culture are British, and the roots of Canadian culture are British, except for a few privileged minorities who owe their continued existence to the generous way that the British have always treated their enemies.

So where do we get off sneering about American culture? Those holding these violent hate filled views would do well to read Russel Kirk’s “The Roots of American Order“, of course there are a lot of facts in this great book and they don’t adapt well to social media or virtue signalling.

“Yup, huh, huh, huh, ya sure gotta admit it … Trump Hate is showing up on the Canadian scene, contaminating the worship pool. Hey, anyone wanna head over to Timmy’s, I am feeling kinda nibbly. I heard they have a new caramel covered doughnut these days.”

I watch all the usual suspects in their self-congratulatory holier than thou pontification and find I am deeply ashamed of Canadians … deeply ashamed …

Cheers

Joe

Dan Jurac Fine Art Photo of Hoar Frost_DSC2972_Of course always remember to be charitable, even though that is distinctly un-Canadian, eh?.

And of course “anyone who disagrees with ME is a “violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet”. There, I said it first, nya, nya, na nya na …  who the heck cares about facts and truth anyway, that is all just so yesterday.

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

 

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