Category Archives: Political affairs

Timeless Insights on Humility

Professions for PEACE

Of all trees, I observe God hath chosen the vine, a low plant that creeps upon the helpful wall; of all beasts, the soft and patient lamb; of all fowls, the mild and guileless dove. Christ is the rose of the field, and the lily of the valley. When God appeared to Moses, it was not in the lofty cedar nor the sturdy oak nor the spreading palm; but in a bush, a humble, slender, abject shrub; as if He would, by these elections, check the conceited arrogance of man.

~Owen Feltham (1602 – Feb 23, 1668)

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by | 2019/04/11 · 2:30 pm

Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism

“It’s clearly a sign that Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism and hate against Jews and any group that doesn’t fit into the White Nationalist mindset.
These days are a very crucial time for American Jews to fight back against all threats made by extremists who are very ignorant about history and hope to keep us paranoid and scared.”

Eric Morris Eskenazi

 

Also in the U.S.A. Jews are frequent targets of hateful vandalism.
Here are some numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report on hate crimes in the U.S. in 2017, which show how much of the hate crime vandalism reported in the U.S. that year targeted Jews.

Instances of hate crime vandalism: 2,325
Instances of hate crime vandalism targeting Jews: 691
Proportion of hate crime vandalism that targeted Jews: 30%
Proportion of Americans who are Jewish: Around 2%

Read more:

  1. White Nationalism Is Spreading In The Orthodox Community
  2. Spike In Anti-Semitic Vandalism: What You Need To Know
  3. Think About The Spike In Anti-Semitic Vandalism

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Not or well responding to abuses

Sometimes certain Christadelphians and Christians complain that it is not right for us as Christians to dare to deal with worldly affairs and therefore to be politically active.

It must be known that Christians may try to follow Christ, stumbling, that it is important that they, like Jesus, dare to stand up for those who have no voice or are neglected or who are wronged. Not only in words, but also in deeds. That is why we can and must never accept abuses in the world and we must dare to speak where necessary.

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Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Al of niet reageren op wantoestanden

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a Call to stop the growing anti-Semitism

It is not new. Already several months we can see there is a growing anti-Semitism again in France and Belgium. The home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, France , represents around 550,000, a population that has grown by about half since World War Two, but anti-Semitic attacks remain common. Government statistics released last week showed there were more than 500 anti-Semitic attacks in the country last year, a 74 percent increase from 2017.

Alarming it should be that it seems that the Jewish communities across West-Europe feel much more endangered that non-Jews think they are.
A 28-country survey by the European Commission, published last month, revealed a gap in perceptions between those in and out of the Jewish community.
According to the report, 89% of Jewish people said anti-Semitism had “significantly increased” over the last five years. Only 36% of non-Jews believed the same.

Among the incidents arousing worries of renewed anti-Semitism was a torrent of hate speech directed at Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a Saturday march by yellow vest protesters.

In recent incidents, swastika graffiti was found on street portraits of Simone Veil — a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017. The word “Juden” was painted on the window of a bagel restaurant in Paris, and two trees planted at a memorial honouring a young Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 were vandalized, one cut down.

Friday , two youths were arrested after they allegedly fired shots at a synagogue with an air rifle in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, where a large Jewish community lives. Sarcelles mayor Patrick Haddad told BFMTV on Tuesday that prosecutors believe the motive was anti-Semitism.

According to sociologist Danny Trom, author of “France Without Jews,” thousands of Jewish people leave France every year because of anti-Semitism.

“This is a low-intensity war, perhaps, but let’s not forget the murder of children killed at close range by Mohamed Merah in a school,”

Trom told French magazine Telerama, referring to the 2012 slayings of three children and a teacher from a Jewish school by an Islamic extremist in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

In West Europe since the dawn of time there have been Jews. In the previous century they had a terrible time, but one would have thought after that period everyone would want that human scandal to remain covered for good. Though the last few years it seems there are again seeds of weed sawn. Now, the pressure is such that several Jews are led to consider their country inhospitable.

In a tweet last week, Olivier Faure, first secretary of the Socialist Party, first called on people to gather in Paris for a protest on Tuesday. The event was later organised with the endorsement of more than 50 political parties, unions and associations.

No official number has been reported, but similar demonstrations were reported in 60 cities including Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes.

Thousands of people rallied across what should be “the Land of equality” (France) after a surge of anti-Semitic attacks in recent weeks that culminated on Tuesday with vandals daubing swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans on dozens of graves in a Jewish cemetery.

Political leaders from all parties, including former Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, gathered in Paris filling the Place de la Republique, a symbol of the nation, to decry anti-Semitic acts with one common slogan:

“ça Suffit” = “It is Enough!”

Protestors during a rally in Paris' Place de la Republique

The French have enough of racist acts and of discrimination and hate for others

French President Emmanuel Macron, after he had visited the vandalized Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, a small town in the northeastern Alsace region, said he felt shame at the sight of the defaced grave markers. He clearly was very much impressed and the grieve and disgust for what had happened was on his face. Macron observed several moments of silence in front of the vandalized graves while local Jewish community representatives stood by.

“We will take action,”

he promised.

Afterwards he went to the Shoah Memorial, a Holocaust museum in Paris, to observe a moment of silence with parliament leaders, and said

“Every time a French person, because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened — or worse, injured or killed — the whole Republic” is attacked.”

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*https://www.bbc.com/news/av/embed/p071cd8v/47300117*

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Going to the end of 2018

Once again a year has gone by. Everywhere we heard about fake and other bad news. sometimes we forgot that there could be something like “Good News”. Though we do hope we could give some light in a certain darkness.

Our ecclesia in Heverlee received very bad news in June. We had to leave the place for Starbucks and Burger King taking away our facility to meet and to have our Breaking of Bread at those premises. At the moment we use brother Marcus his living room in Leefdaal and the bar at the Warande in Tervuren, but that public space is not ideal or practical. It would be nice if we could find a better solution.
For Nivelles and Mons nothing changes and for baptised members there is still our internet meeting Sunday morning, though now one hour earlier than last religious year.

Financially the red ciphers grew. Brother Marcus and Steve paying already a lot from their private funds, but next to rent, publishing, internet, copyrights we also have mounting portocosts. In Belgium there seem not to be many people interested to help us in our preaching work. Several people three-monthly receive our paperwork magazine “Met Open Bijbel” and receive the books they request for. But none ever thought or thinks about contributing something to cover the costs.

In case you want to help our preaching work, this shall be very much appreciated. Any gift is welcome, at BE37 9730 6618 2528, with notice “Ecclesial help”.

Remarkable things are happening around us and as we circulate our English printed newsletter today we see France troubled with rioting on the streets, the UK Government hamstrung by its perplexing Brexit challenges, a White House which lurches from crisis to crisis, New Zealand having to apologise for the murder of a backpacker – and in many other places suffering, hunger, displacement and fear. Even the hardest heart cannot be unmoved by these things. Whatever the remaining days of 2018 may bring, let us hold fast to the promise of Christ’s return and be encouraged by the bright prospect of his glorious reign. Mankind’s many insoluble problems will then, finally, be at an end. For “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord”.

We wish you a lovely end of the year and a good new start for 2019.

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If we are ignorant of civics, we are at risk of peril


Civics is important.
We need to know who is responsible and then we can demand performance from those people.
If we are ignorant of civics, we are at risk of peril.
This is not a risk from the outside, but the inside.
~

The Tower of Trump: On Civic Ignorance by ravhiorlow



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Humility

Who is choosing who? Is it leaders choosing people for them or are it people who choose the leader?

In history we can see that more than once people followed the wrong leader, but we also can see how the Divine Creator had chosen Him a people, who not always remained faithful.

Human pride made that people went astray from the Most Precious and Most Righteous Leader, the God above all gods. It is man’s self-reliance and whimsy that brought him into all kinds of difficulties.

Today, man still has a lot to learn about humility and dignified recognition.

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To remember

  • Humility = virtue asserted by every religion + every spiritual tradition > understood by very few.
  • Humility = self-forgetfulness.
  • A leader, particularly one in a spiritual position, must live a paradox.
  • natural + lamentable temptation to see leadership status as a privilege => affirmation of one’s own superiority.
  • best leaders =  people do not notice their existence.
  • Focus on self, whether in praise or in criticism  =/= humility.
  • leader of a people must forget himself => no room for selfishness
  • leader = clear channel for the people’s will + for wisdom => no room for his own desires, his own aggrandizement, his own ego.
  • Beware the rich man bearing gifts.
  • For the leader to be among the wise =>  first necessary a measure of wisdom be found in the people.
  • people follow a venal leader, keep him tightly bound with restraints of law + of their own suspicion => can do little good, dares do little harm, + law + people restrain him.

Brian Rush

Humility is a virtue asserted by every religion and every spiritual tradition and understood by very few. It’s something that was brought home to me recently by an exploration of the phenomenon of leadership.

A leader, particularly one in a spiritual position, must live a paradox. He is “above” the rest in certain ways: taking greater responsibility, providing guidance and help to others that they cannot as easily do for themselves, upholding the highest standards of thought and behavior. If he starts to think of himself as above the rest, though, he hampers his ability to fulfill his function as a leader. There’s a natural and lamentable temptation to see leadership status as a privilege, and to take from it affirmation of one’s own superiority. It’s very difficult to avoid doing this, but the very best of leaders do.

As Lao Tzu put it:

To lead people, walk beside…

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Grounded

Daily we are surrounded by bad news-stories via the media (television and social media). All those terrible stories can weaken us and manage to bring fear to many (for no obvious reason, because they live far away from the trouble).

Often it is better to detach because it is not possible to live day to day if you spiral into all in the grief in the world. We have to be conscious about it, but may not close our eyes and ears for the beauties that are around us. And for sure there can be found a lot of beauty, even in the smallest thing.

Each of us can help to give others a feeling of safety and comfort in their own surroundings, accepting the wide variety of cultures that can go together anyway.
A person can not love the others without loving himself first and without wanting to share with others.

Today we can see that the fear for the unknown brings many to choose for extreme right wing political groups, which make use of the fear for other people and cultures, and bring the immigration in a wrong exaggerated light. Immigration, by the way, has been there for ages. It is nothing new. Every generation has come to know about some migration.

When we are willing to learn more about the world we and others live in we shall understand the different positions better and come to accept certain things much easier.

When each person is willing to come closer to the other, and is willing to open his mind to come to understand the other better, by willingness of openness of mind and heart the little environment we live in can change, but like a domino falling can bring something bigger changing too.

Let us always remember that a spiritual shaking is always safer than a real earth shaking.

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To remember

All through life when times get tough, when things start to run away with us or when things start to get too much we often hear the advice

“stay grounded.”

  • to balance us, to remind of something solid, something steady

how exactly do we stay grounded when we can’t even trust the ground we walk on?

  • on a little Greek island = best + worst moments of humanity play out on a daily basis => difficult to stay grounded

Facebook safety check icon > pictures of Parliament + London Bridge > horrors + pictures of frantic families trying to trace their missing children

  • a family connected by love
  • memories of places we love
  • distract ourselves from terrorism on our doorsteps with the escalating rhetoric of nuclear war between North Korea and the US?
  • watch white supremacists march the streets
  • ongoing refugee crisis on shores of Italy + Greece
  • hundreds of lives still lost in the Mediterranean
  • hundreds of lives trapped in camps + detention facilities > endless wait for asylum in Europe.

=> pretty hard to stay grounded

=> have become so desensitized

= not go to denial but keep our heads?

  • most important thing = not buy into all the hate.
  • majority of people = kind + loving
  • fear + when we are really scared => ignorance can lead to some pretty extreme standpoints on issues we never really felt too strongly about before.

== to stay grounded we need to start learning more about the world we live in + we need to discover how we can make change.

Stand together, show love where you find hate and don’t let fear win.

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Preceding

Going on holiday is… silence in your head

Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share

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Additional reading

  1. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  2. What is life?
  3. Immigration consternation
  4. Would you run
  5. Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away
  6. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  7. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  8. I Am Not Alone – By: Kari Jobe
  9. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  10. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  11. Not fear or dread or blind compulsion
  12. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  13. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  14. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin
  15. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow

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Further reading

  1. What Makes Me Bern about Fear
  2. Fear
  3. “… Fears…”
  4. Worry and Fear
  5. Fear, Surprise, Relief, What’s Next?
  6. Courage is not an absence of fear…
  7. What Fear Can Do To You.
  8. The Power Fear Holds Over Us
  9. Overwhelmed
  10. Anxious And Worried? Pray!
  11. Celebrate Victories Daily
  12. Change
  13. Face Your Fears | Choose Joys
  14. Italy: Migrants from Riace are to be resettled
  15. Criminalization of aid puts migrant lives at further risk
  16. Migration: 416,000 more people moved to Germany than emigrated
  17. After the Crisis? Reflections on Migration Governance
  18. Turkey slams developed nations over migration issue
  19. The migration which is changing the demography of India : The illegal migrants of Bangladesh
  20. The Year of Immigration theme seeks to create a renewed sense of community in College Park
  21. Szijjarto rejects the UN Migration compact
  22. Thousands flee due to crisis, Brazil deploys army to Venezuela border
  23. Parliament condemns the Sargentini Report
  24. Crosses Erected For Thousands Of Dead Immigrants Who Never Reached American Dream – Desert Graves

From Greece With Love

All through life when times get tough, when things start to run away with us or when things start to get too much we often hear the advice “stay grounded.” We are told to “keep our feet on the ground” to balance us, to remind of something solid, something steady that can help bring us down from those dizzying heights that challenging times can take us to. But what happens when that safety net fails, when you can no longer trust the earth to keep you steady?

Recently I experienced a rather nasty earthquake which has left this question playing on my mind. When we live in a world of such uncertainty, how exactly do we stay grounded when we can’t even trust the ground we walk on?

But this idea of losing trust in your surroundings goes further than a shift in tectonic plates, for me personally anyway. Over…

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The corpus separatum and Mahmoud Abbas

When the United Nations voted on a partition plan for a Jewish State of Israel and Arab State of Palestine in 1947, it clearly marked a corpus separatum, a distinct international entity to hold Greater Bethlehem and Greater Jerusalem.

The Arab countries were not pleased with the UN proposal and rejected it. By May 1948 a military coalition of Arab states launched an attack on the new State of Israel.

Arab Legion soldier in ruins of Hurva.jpg

Arab Legion soldier standing in ruins of the most sacred Synagogue, the “Hurva”, Old City.

10 months of fighting, interrupted by several truce periods, took place mostly on the former territory of the British Mandate and for a short time also in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon. At the end of the war Jordan illegally seized control of three-quarters of the corpus separatum including all of Greater Bethlehem and the eastern half of Jerusalem, in a move that the world did not recognize. Israel took control of Jaffa, Lydda and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel AvivJerusalem road, western half of Greater Jerusalem and made it its capital and took some territories in the West Bank.  Jordan expelled all of the Jews from the area it seized and granted all non-Jews Jordanian citizenship in an outrageous antisemitic act in 1954.

The Jordanians gave Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians in the newly named “West Bank” and “East Jerusalem.” They would make no attempt to give them independence or sovereignty throughout their period of illegal control until 1967.

The world one moment thought that the third world war would have started, and as such classes were suddenly interrupted and lots of people went in front of the television screen to follow the  June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, which was fought between 5 and 10 June 1967 by Israel and the neighbouring states of Egypt (known at the time as the United Arab Republic), Jordan, and Syria.

Jordan (and the Palestinians who had Jordanian citizenship) who attacked Israel again  subsequently lost all of the “West Bank” and Greater Bethlehem and eastern Jerusalem. Israel took control of the area, and expanded the borders of Jerusalem in 1980, declaring

Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

On September 27, 2018 the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the United Nations General Assembly presenting it as if Jerusalem always was and should be the capital of the Palestinian state. Though he may forget that the Jordanians controlled the city and made no efforts to give it to Palestinians (from 1949 to 1967)

While Israel has permitted the Jordanian Waqf to have administrative responsibilities for Muslim holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem (and no King Abdullah, Jordan has NO responsibility for Christian sites), the ownership, control and sovereignty of the city is Israel’s.

The world should remember that Jerusalem has never been a Palestinian capital and from old ancient times it was already declared to be the capital of the Hebrew people.

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Please do find

Related First.One.Through articles:

  1. Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem
  2. The Arguments over Jerusalem
  3. 750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem
  4. Arabs in Jerusalem
  5. I call BS: You Never Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
  6. Here in United Jerusalem’s Jubilee Year
  7. The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem
  8. The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem
  9. Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria
  10. The Battle for Jerusalem
  11. East Jerusalem” – the 0.5% Molehill
  12. Jerusalem, and a review of the sad state of divided capitals in the world

Related First.One.Through videos:

  1. The Anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM
  2. Judea and Samaria (Foo Fighters)
  3. The 1967 “Borders” (The Kinks)
  4. E1: The Battle for Jerusalem (The Who)

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The written, the spoken, and the audible a part of the soul and a blessing to humanity but also the trigger to those who love Crusades and the Inquisition

Bill Ziegler who started studying the Geography of the Middle East in 1965, two-years before the Six-Day War, completed his M.A. at Kansas State. Having got a translation eduction and Master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati, he followed a year of post-graduate studies at Justus Liebig Universitãt in Giessen, West Germany. Getting Around in German at Tristate German-American School for 22 years 1989 – 2013, now lives in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where he specialises in

Manufacturing Business/Commerce (general)
IT (Information Technology) Construction / Civil Engineering
Telecom(munications) Materials (Plastics, Ceramics, etc.)

 

As a Certified Teacher of German Language: State of Ohio Department of Education he also is a member of the American Production and Inventory Contro, TriState German-American School. He is presently teaching German language and culture to students ranging from Kindergarten to adults: beginners to advanced levels at the TriState German-American School and integrated techniques practised at Cincinnati Waldorf School to dramatically involve each student’s learning with a wide range of teaching methods.

He is aware that

The culture where I live does not seem particularly interested in learning foreign languages. But the written, the spoken, and the audible become a part of the soul and a blessing to humanity when civilized thought can gain a foothold. {Thinking about Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, Gießen and Savak}

Main building of the research university in Giessen, Hesse, Germany, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

My interest in German language led to an opportunity for study in Giessen, at that time West Germany, from 1971 to 1973. Upon arriving at Justus Liebig Universität I learned German as a second language with fellow students from Iran, Japan, Egypt among others. German was the tongue we shared, so that we could talk to the brain. Then we could join the citIzenry and talk to the heart. {Thinking about Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, Gießen and Savak}

For him

Learning a second or 3rd or 4th language is like escaping the gravity of your native land. You probe about in another way of being, of thinking, of observing. Better still — if you’ve the inclination — learn another tongue via a second or third language. Meet the stranger in a place foreign to each.  {Languages, Escape Velocity and Bigly Lies}

He reminds us of a fact we may never forget

Propaganda relies upon endlessly repeated mistranslations, designed to obfuscate. Weaponized language to serve hidden agendas, to move geopolitical stakes through sabotage, bigotry, racism, straw men, false flags, pacification, liquidation; in other words, chicanery of any convenient kind. Whatever works. No questions asked.  {Languages, Escape Velocity and Bigly Lies}

In this world we can find lots of people who tell a lot of lies and nonsense bout other people or about other organisations. They are eager to make use of the knowledge that people can not check certain things because they do not know the language of the others. In many countries we find the presidents or leaders of that country telling lies about “the others”.

Mark Chmiel wonders about certain moments in history

Were the Democratic and Republican presidents who consistently lied to the American people merely making slips of the tongue? … or  …. Were U.S. war crimes merely bumbled into, over and over, month after month for years, an oddly uncorrectable error? {Mistake}
A lot of misunderstandings do come from not having or not grasping the essence of what is being said and meant. Everywhere can be found pepole who hate our world, our way of life, the free spirited, the one who thinks differently than some one else, the one who has an other faith than the main stream religions. Some want to have everything in control or want to dictate their own rules and ways of life. Non-Trinitarians and others who preach pacifism and a life where everybody can accept the differences between each other, are by many considered a danger for society, and as such have to be attacked and must be eradicated. This is not new and has happened more than once. Such an extermination of a certain people or a certain faith group has taken place more than once in history.
All dictatorships are sexually repressive and anti-life. All affirmations of life are diametrically opposed to dogmatic regimes. It was logical for Fidel Castro to persecute us, not to let us fuck, and to try to suppress any public display of the life force.
-— Reinaldo Arenas {Our Only Salvation Lies in Words: On Arenas’s Before Night Falls}
Religious groups have always been the target of those who did not like the free thought of others. To silence those who thought differently the most used weapon was and still is disinformation and telling lots of lies, not giving the other the opportunity to defend himself publicly. (One good example for today is how a certain Dave Norris writes lots of articles about several denominations, but has his readers to believe all the nonsense he writes about those groups. Cfr. his loads of articles on the Belgian Bible Students like “The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents” using a name for an organisation which even does not exists.) Some love to make crusades against others and would love to see the inquisition re-installed.


The Crusades and the Inquisition (The Church Militant) were not good ideas. Spreading lies like Joseph Goebbels lends not a single grain of truth. Truth went into exile from 1933 to 1945. No literature or art of any value springs forth under Fascism. Nothing good comes of Fascism. “When I hear the word ‘culture’…”

Islamophobia (from the xeno family of racism) will not lead to a better gentler world.
~ Arabic is a tapestry

 

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  7. the inherent bias of language
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