Cantandum in Ezkhaton 04/14/19

Applause! Mr. Tucker on leftist immigration hypocrisy:

William Briggs begins the week with Summary Against Modern Thought. Some clarity for Mr. Buttigieg: What exactly has God made? Notes on the beliefs of the intellectual dark web. Intellectual maybe…but certainly not dark, or even dissenting. They’re smart people, but in the face of the lunacy of Progressives, they are calling for a time out. They seem to be thinking that things will go back to normal if everyone calms down. I don’t think that’s coming anytime soon. On woke Teacher/Student evaluations. He asks and answers the question: Why Government & Corporations Grow Bigger? (Spoiler: positive feedback loop, caused by regulation.) A request: please share diversity statements with him.

The Orthosphere on the Primacy of Freedom, in part as an alternate to nihilism. A clarification of high art and its purpose. On Berdyaev: Why God and Personality Must Be the Highest Ideal. Also, From Judgement You Should Not Refrain. I liked this part:

For a man who is perfectly non-judgmental must also be perfectly apathetic. He will have anesthetized his will, and will therefore look upon every eventuality with perfect equanimity and indifference. If a scapegoating mob wishes to stone an adulteress, who is he to judge them? And if this scapegoating mob should turn and brandish its stones in his face, the non-judgmental man can only shrug, for he cannot say that an ignominious and painful death is less desirable than other alternative.

But from judgment you should not refrain. Your Christian duty is to rectify your will, not anesthetize it. Your duty is to judge justly, to temper your judgments with mercy, and to judge your neighbor only after you have judged yourself.


Gratuitous Finnish Girl Picture

Z Man blog finishes his trip to Finland, and The Journey Home. An analysis of the recent Congressional hearings on White Supremacy. On HBD: A New Ape in the Tree. His weekly podcast: April Grab Bag.

Evolutionist X with Trump, Mueller and concerns. Also, can one reliably distinguish low IQ and insanity (read the comments too). A comment on why desegregation is a bad idea.

Setting the Record Straight with all the Game Advice you’ll ever need.

Alf gives some advice on how to be happy.

Throne, Altar, Liberty looks at the Liberal Party of Canada’s troubles. Schadenfreude results:

The Liberal Party of Canada has, over the years, made itself odious to all sorts of Canadians but most consistently to two distinct groups who despise them for very different reasons. The old Tories of the kind frequently but erroneously called “Red,” (1) i.e., the ones who prize Canada’s British and Loyalist history, traditions, and heritage, her constitutional monarchy, Westminster parliamentary system of government, and Common Law, her ongoing ties to the British Commonwealth and who associate all of this with an older, more organic, more rooted, vision of society than modern, individualistic, commercialism see the Liberals, quite correctly, as a party of rootless, modernizers who can conceive of value in no terms other than those of a price tag and whose goal is to sell out the Dominion and everything for which she once stood to Yankee capitalism for a quick buck. On the other hand, the rugged, rural, inhabitants of the prairie provinces of the Canadian West whom the Liberals and their academic and media fellow travelers dismiss with “redneck” and other, worse, epithets, have long loathed the Grits [old name for Liberals] as being a party of totalitarian socialists who a) tax them to death, b) ignore, or worse, aggravate, their economic difficulties, and c) display the same arrogant contempt towards them that the Obama/Clinton Democrats display towards middle and working class red state Americans. Both of these negative views of the Liberals are entirely valid. (2) Someone like myself, who has belonged to both groups simultaneously for all of his life – a Redneck Tory, would be one way of putting it, I suppose – has particularly good reason to look upon the Liberal Party with utter abhorrence.

Gerry falls a bit short. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a Liberal, oversaw the creation of Alberta and Saskatchewan from territory the Canadian government already held. He and his fellow Liberals have treated AB and SK as colonies ever since. And engage in plunder and rapine when it suits their ends. We always do better when ignored by Ottawa.

Audacious Epigone on Guess Who Is Interested in White Supremacy?

Filed under “then they came for the for the milquetoast”, Sir Roger Scruton gets sacked as Chair of the Building Beautiful Architecture Commission. He’s one of the few who might be called an actual conservative, but he’s also mostly harmless. His removal shows the fist of progressivism tightening in the UK.


American Sun on racial IQ differences. Also, on Joseph Biden (it’s brilliant). The false premise under the Benedict option: parallel polis. Ending the week: Five Friday Reads, with extra Lovecraft.

The Big Scene is the Anthropological Basis for Anarchist Ontology, on GA Blog.

Malcolm on creating white nationalism: How to Start a Fire. Also, on selective censorship: Slavery, Abortion, Heresy. Plus, his thoughts on the seasons.

Clarissa on Trump’s Betrayal.

Al fin on Murder Near and Far.

PA Blog with a link to Murdoch Murdoch’s latest: What do you want to be when you grow up? Plus, his thoughts on Songs About the City at Night.

The AntiGnostic asks Why Are We Still In Afghanistan?

Lastly, from Mr. Briggs, a particularly terrifying This Week In Doom – Big Sister’s Hate List Edition.

I’m wondering how long before the sex-reassignment of children is revealed to be based on, well…nothing good. Further, some parents mentioned in the news seem to be finding having a transgender child fashionable.

What are the ‘reassigned’ kids going to do when it turns out they were sold lies? Now, these kids are called “regretters”, because, you know, mutilating them is perfectly normal, so they’re not victims, but simply unhappy with their decision.

In a common law country like Canada, a child is presumed not to have capacity to enter into a contract, and unable to consent to sex before a certain age. A child cannot make an informed decision to change their sex. It appears they are being led down this path by deluded parents and experts.

Future peoples will look back at this era, and in spite of our technology they will say that we were spiraling downward towards savagery, committed to a doomsday cult, sacrificing our children in more and more sadistic ways, all to status-signal. “They had the best lives of any humans that had ever existed”, they will say, “but they wasted it all through some collective derangement.” I understand that a civilization in decline is likely to keep on declining until it is done, in the same ways all the others before it did. But I bet we could at least get a Marcus Aurelius type respite going for several dozen years.

Keep on reactin’

Señor Blanco

Cantandum in Ezkhaton 03/03/19

Victor Davis Hanson on the Jussie Smollett hoax and shit-show: a symptom of the times. Heartiste on the frequency of hate hoaxes. The Orthosphere has a quick litmus test for such hoaxes. Audacious Epigone notes it is a ‘peak hoax’, at least for now.

Lord Black of Crossharbour on the hoax of Trump – Russia connections. Also, Audacious Epigone briefly looks at some family tensions around Trump.

WaPo finally admits it got the Covington Smirkgate wrong. When it takes a Statement of Claim to convince you to remove outright lies from circulation, you are following your insurer’s instructions, not the truth. (I’m not linking to the WaPo: if democracy is dying in the darkness…they are the darkness.)

Courtesy of JayMan’s Blog

I don’t understand the United States of America as much as I’d like. But I can see from my perch in Alberta that a cultural divide is causing a tonne of friction, and this is playing out in the articles linked above. The primary way in which these cultures are fighting it out is through that very media, although it’s spilling over into actions, which include the hoaxes, but may also get more violent over time.

I’m relying on my limited sense of how things unfolded in the transition from Weimar Republic to Third Reich. But without the technology to record and disseminate what actually happens in these hoaxes, any one of the hoax situations above is a potential Reichstag Fire for the Progressive Left. Indeed, the Left in the US seems to be LOOKING for its Reichstag Fire: confirmation that its twisted narrative can be confirmed by manufacturing reality around an event. If that’s true, will YouTube, the Tweets, blogging and instant posting of video footage be enough to stop it? I hope so.

(You may argue that those events are also potential Reichstag fires for the right as well. Notice any any attempts by the right to reduce the US to totalitarianism as a result of those events? No, I didn’t think so. Notice any by the left? Uh-huh.)

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus at NeoCiceronian Times on why the left cannot meme, and how to use this against them.

Scholar’s Stage talks about the real purpose of your reasoning brain – strength in your position.

Anatoly Karlin on Statecraft at work in Venezuela.

Audacious Epigone on Republican support for Trump.

Dr. Spencer on 99.99997% certainty in Climate ChangeTM meaning nothing, actually.

William Briggs starts off the week with his Summary Against Modern Thought. Followed up with Heaven & Hell Are Real. On the ability of AI to explain religious conflict (spoiler: it’s not). Guest post by Ianto Watt: Orthodoxy’s War Part I. Our Statistician to the Stars agrees: Probability is not as Easy as You Think! A classic post on The Magician and the Cardsharp. Closing the week off: The Week In Doom. Related: British Columbia will help your 14 year old transition for free…whether you like it or not.

New and improved non-sexist formula!

Now that the draft will apply to women in the US (who are barely into adulthood at the required age), the Orthosphere declares objections to such absurdity. Also, on Werewolves.

Part 2 of the American Sun analysis of the Smirk Seen Round the World:

Slavov Zizek offers a fresher perspective, unlike the usual lazy responses produced by Conservatism™ media people and the “Intellectual” Dark Web liberals. He states that this is not some conspiracy by post-modernists and Marxists to subvert western society. Instead this widely enforced cultural orthodoxy is enforced by liberalism, it is liberalism’s last attempt to legitimize the flattening of all cultures. There is (in actuality) a sophisticated patronization and control of minority subaltern groups by liberalism. It is the dream of a global liberal order that smashed cultures together, destroyed cultural identities among diverse people, and flattened the diverse cultural norms of societies to begin with. In the current politically correct regime, it is not the celebration of difference, but rather a celebration of homogenization in modern liberal societies.

Also from American Sun, threats to the American Empire.  Double quote this week, with the following from Penance as Social Technology:

One of the great benefits the culture of penance provided was protection against destructive status seeking.  In Neo-Reactionary thinking, this is most frequently discussed in terms of “holiness spirals,” which is actually a specific case of a more general phenomenon: a characteristic of Modernity is individuals pursuing religious ideas, religious feelings, and religious beliefs based on their own personal reactions and experience.  Each seeks to outdo the others, asking “am I not also a prophet?”

American Sun finishes the week with Five Friday Reads.

Clarissa on California’s special effort to separate students from their history. Plus, her very quick summary of Michael Cohen’s testimony before Congress.

Rethink Campaigns on the unknown Winston Smith, still alive and kicking, working for the Ministry of Truth, Oil Sands Division. Also, it’s not enough to stab them, you have to twist the knife too.

Evolutionist X on why child rearing gets easier when you have more children. Does the DSM need to be rewritten? And, Tribalism, for good or ill?

PA Blog discusses Snapshots for a Chinese Century (NSFW, but these days, what is?).

From Razib Khan, who has been pushed too far by snowflakes. I don’t think he’s kidding.


A controversial but apt description of goings on last week in Canada.

In Canuckistan, the Wilson-Raybould / SNC Lavalin scandal blew up. If former Justice Minister Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony is correct, the Liberals engaged in backroom arm twisting to help SNC Lavalin avoid criminal charges of bribing foreign officials, including paying for escorts for Muammar Gaddafi‘s son while in Canada.

Prime Minister Trudeau allegedly pressured Canada’s then Minister of Justice to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) which would see SNC Lavalin avoid criminal charges. She said “no”, and Trudeau, his Cabinet, his staff, and the Clerk of Canada’s Privy Council, ever the raging feminists, thought she meant “try harder”.

Trudeau now actually appears to be nothing more than a cynic, using sunny progressive ways to obtain power, and his staff and government are starting to look like thugs and bullies. Nothing new from the left, and especially from a Prime Minister who loves Castro, and who expressed admiration for China’s dictatorship. Although, Trudeau is also very weak and it’s possible lobbyists for SNC Lavalin simply exploited him. (Something about Occam’s razor and not attributing to malice what is simply stupidity.)

Stefan Molyneaux has a very long but excellent summary here. The only thing I can offer is that this is politics. Canadians may not want to admit it, but I’m sure such political dealings go on all the time. Justin Trudeau held himself out as transparent, woke and progressive, but turned out to be none of those things, playing the very games he accused others of. What is galling is perhaps not that he engaged in these kinds of politics, but that he did it for little to no gain, while throwing his former Justice Minister, his chief advisor, and all his sacred principles, under the bus. His style of leadership reminds me of a toddler in a high chair throwing everything on the ground when he does not get his way. Those of us who were not infected by the latest iteration of Trudeaumania saw this right out of the gate in [The Current Year].

After watching Jody’s testimony, I think she is being sincere. Further, I think she knew early on that the efforts by the Prime Minister to keep SNC Lavalin from prosecution for bribing Libyan officials was not going to end until a DPA was done. I trust her when she says she kept records of all conversations: she is a lawyer and keeping copious records (especially when your client is likely to ignore you and do something illegal) is an inherent self-preservation mechanism.

The Prime Minister’s response was surprising. (Here’s a partisan review of his body language, good for a laugh.) He looks like a guilty little boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar. He’s in trouble and he knows it. It’s nice to see him squirm when all his life he seems to have never had to suffer the consequences of his actions. I watched his father commit economic rapine against my province in the early 1980s. I now see Justin trying the same thing: wreck the livelihoods of millions of Albertans to get some votes in Central Canada (and this time, the Left Coast). Trudeau delenda est.

Keep on reactin’!

Señor Blanco

The Semantic Game

Of minor note, there is a controversy in Alberta over Catholic Schools and their practice of asking Catholic teachers to sign ‘Catholicity’ Agreements as a condition of employment. The concern being that some LGBTQ teachers have expressed concerns that their employment may not be secure.[1] (Never mind that a religious school firing someone on the basis of sexual orientation was ruled illegal over 20 years ago.) Alberta Catholic schools insist they need to hire Catholic teachers. A “Catholic lifestyle” is a necessary and reasonable expectation, says the Catholic Schools, otherwise Catholic School’s existence is meaningless.*

This is a fine way to have a semantic battle, which you eventually will lose.

Some advice: do not play this semantic game. Referring to your religion as a “lifestyle”, as “Catholicity”, is playing the semantic game of the progressives. I get that you are trying to downplay any signs of oppression or intolerance, but softening your language looks like you are subordinating your faith in order to satisfy the Left. The Left’s strategy is always defect-defect, your capitulation is seen as weakness, and they will demand more, not leave you alone.

The Catholic faith is fundamental, being a connection to a higher power, providing moral guidance, and a close community. That’s not a ‘lifestyle’.  They should say so.

Señor Blanco


*This is a problem because Alberta (and Saskatchewan) are required to provide two school systems: one public, and one Catholic (mostly…it’s complicated). This was done on the Provinces’ creation, to make Québec happy: see section 17 of the Alberta Act, amending section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

[1] This acronym seems to change on a daily basis. How long before it’s a hate crime to use the wrong version? Kafka laughs.

Republic of Alberta

Alberta in North America. Map by Google.


Alberta is a landlocked province in the nation of Canada, that begins on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and stretches east to the great plains. It lies between Saskatchewan to the east, British Columbia to the west, Montana (United States) to the south, and the Canadian federal Northwest Territory to the north. It has a somewhat diverse terrain, including plains, swamps, mountains, and forests. If you don’t know much about Canada, Alberta is that province you go to when seeing the Rockies, and access to Banff and Jasper is usually through Alberta’s two major centers: Calgary and Edmonton. Alberta’s economy relies to a large extent on agriculture and non-renewable energy production. Smaller industries include manufacturing, tourism, and being a supply hub and transition point for goods and services destined for Canada’s northern federal territories: Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunuvut.

Rhetoric around separation of the Province of Alberta occasionally arises. Sometimes independence, sometimes joining the United States, is the stated goal. Often, there is none, but just venting about the latest raw deal from Ottawa. It seems to appear whenever the province is not content with its place in Confederation (Canada’s term for the collection of political entities that form it and how they came together.)  It’s not a well known idea: when someone says “Free Alberta!” Ottawa wonders if Queen Victoria’s daughter is in jail somewhere, as opposed to when someone says “Vive le Québec libre!” (spoken by someone who was not even Canadian), which Ottawa responds to by firing canons of cash across the Ottawa river and down the St. Lawrence.

Can Alberta separate?

  1. Generally speaking, perhaps, like Iceland. Iceland’s independence movement was a slow going process. They became wholly a part of the Kingdom of Denmark in 1814 (Treaty of Kiel), a nation which did not have much interest in maintaining vassal states. By way of peaceful advocacy, intellectual discourse, and sometimes propaganda, a common national identity asserted itself, resulting in small steps towards independence (independent parliament – the Al­þing), more control over otherwise regional matters, culminating with some lucky timing: Germany’s invasion of Denmark in 1940, giving Iceland opportunity to leave (no sovereign government in Denmark and a disinterested occupying Third Reich), along with justification (need to remain neutral in World War II and assert sovereignty), with luck of location (being seen as an necessary to occupy by the UK and later USA to prevent German U-boat supremacy in the North Atlantic).
  2. Possibly by armed revolution, through violent  struggle which involves fighting armed forces from across Canada (who will be related to the very Albertans they are fighting, not to mention the Albertans fighting with the Canadian Armed Forces), somehow keeping the USA out (or, on Alberta’s side), while importing enough modern weaponry overland (by truck or plane: no ocean ports in Alberta.) This option is likely bloody, ill advised, and prone to failure. (See the unpleasantness during the War Between the States as to how even a well-armed, disciplined revolution, with plenty of ocean access, in North America, was strangled.)
  3. Otherwise, by at least one referendum followed by a not very clear process arising from a not very clear (and overstepping) court decision which was requested by the Canadian government under not clear circumstances: something to do with Québec’s second almost-departure (a province that could likely separate if they wanted to; Alberta, you don’t get that option). All governed, with no hint of irony, by Canada’s Clarity Act. This could culminate in full independence, or might be a way for Alberta to join the United States.

Regardless, you’ll need a concentrated effort of dozens of years of building a narrative that it is just, right, and Alberta’s destiny, to be independent of Canada (in other words, you’ll need to propagandize broadly and hard, something only the NDP seem any good at in Alberta).

So you could…but as you see, the road is murky, and fraught.

None of this would happen overnight. It would mean a huge cultural shift within Alberta, and somewhat of a shift without. And the United States of America would have to be willing partner in such a separation: you need the USA’s assent more that you need Ottawa’s. The United States cannot tolerate instability half a world away when it threatens their interests, so they certainly won’t tolerate it being right next door. And, you see, because of the way Alberta was created, the rest of Canada is likely not letting you out – not without extracting dozens of years of all those transfer payments you keep making right now to pay “your” share of the Canadian federal debt (which should be an amount Ottawa owes you, given the net income flow to them; but you know that’s not how it will go.)

Alberta’s departure will involve making a deal with at least two devils (Ottawa and Washington), or more likely, eleven (add the other provinces).

(This does not include all those First Nations within Alberta. They signed treaties going back hundreds of years with Canada, which require Canada to provide them with certain goods and services in exchange for surrendering their claims over almost all the land that now makes up Canada. How you negotiate in this legal quagmire? Negotiate with First Nations and recognize their claims is the only way I can think of. Offer them a better deal and get them to do a great deal of your agitating for you (which could be as easy as deciding you don’t know better than they do and then not dictating to them how they should live their lives while not offering them only two alternatives: stagnancy or cultural assimilation, and then making sure your indolence does not stick them in a difficult position in between; I digress.) And you’ll need Canada to agree to relinquish title to First Nations lands. Otherwise, you’ll have all kinds of little enclaves within Alberta’s borders whose land is held in a sui generis trust by the very country you separated from: intolerable to all parties involved.)

Should Alberta separate?

Yes. Between 2008 and 2017, the amount of money transferred out of Alberta to other provinces is $5000 per person (over that period). Every single person, regardless of income, age, status, or employment. And that means those of you actually earning income by working or running a business paid much more.

If the British could have counted on this much net income from any of its former colonies, they would still be colonies.

This is balanced out (perhaps) by the good features of being a part of Canadian confederation. Canada negotiates on your behalf against many world powers, that if Alberta were all alone, would ignore you mostly, and play hard with you the rest of the time (USA, EU, Mexico, China, Russia, Japan…and many others are in this list, although if you are separate, Canada will still try to use control of Alberta’s natural resources as a political and economic tool, but they’ll likely be way more honest about it.) You get passports and relatively free international travel, a stable rule-of-law type business environment with courts, while overburdened, that play by consistent rules, and access to foreign markets, stable currency, and lower government lending rates. You’d probably lose some of this (for some time) if you left Canada. Although, the correct response to this is: “all the other provinces get these goodies too…plus our money!”

The real reason you should separate, Alberta, is that you are ruled by a small cabal of politicians and business men, who govern the entire country, a mari usque ad mare, living and playing politics within an extended golden horseshoe (from Québec City, through Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and back around to Niagara-on-the-Lake), and a little in Vancouver for good measure. Don’t believe me, look at every single prairie politician or political movement that ever went to Ottawa with an agenda: they knew out of the gate they’d have to appeal to Ontario and Québec voters in the horseshoe or it was never going to work (see Reform Party history.)

The current ruling federal Liberal government knows this: a political party does not need a single vote between BC and Manitoba to win power and stay in power in Ottawa. And they only need moderate support from urban centers outside of Ontario and Québec, and about 40% of the vote from within central Canada, to rule. It really is, for Alberta, transfer payments granting continuous opposition status (akin to taxation without representation). And unlike the lead up to the US War of Independence, Alberta is actually supposed to have representation (a promise the original 13 colonies were never given in the UK Parliament).

(Now you know why Justin Le Premier forgets your name, and only hangs out with you during Stampede, when you’re giving away free food and booze and just want to get along.)

The Upper/Lower Canada Cabal sees you Alberta at best as a vassal state, but lately, a colony, and not an independent partner in Confederation. Those provinces which initially started Canada (Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick) were very independent for colonies, with their own legal and political establishments. They enjoyed the same independence that the colonies that would eventually form the USA enjoyed, but the true north strong and free were better behaved. They entered confederation as willing partners in a commonwealth intended to provide for their mutual interests (i.e. to protect themselves from the United States, fresh off its Civil War). Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Newfoundland joined later (being colonies of the UK, running their own affairs with the UK Parliament’s oversight). Alberta and Saskatchewan (Manitoba is a bit of an anomaly) are really of no higher position than the federal territories of Yukon, the Northwest Territories, or Nunavut.

The only difference is Canada didn’t want to be bothered handling all that boring stuff that other provinces handle on their own, in a large swath of the Northwest Territories, so (and this is the kicker) it created Alberta and Saskatchewan from territory Canada already held. Alberta was not an independent state or a UK colony invited to enter Canada; Alberta was created for the convenience of the federal state of Canada from its own territory.

When it has been favourable to Canada, Alberta has gotten more rights or autonomy, but only when favourable to Canada: see the Constitution Act, 1930, as an example, which gave Alberta the mines and mineral rights underlying the land it was made from, twenty-five years after it was created. Further, Alberta and Saskatchewan were modeled on the laws of Ontario and Québec (e.g. the reason for Catholic school funding protection), so as to insure the part of Canada that mattered (the center!) supported the creation of those provinces. Alberta and Saskatchewan were originally conceived as a single province, but ultimately were created separately so that they could never grow to such a size to compete with Ontario and Québec as the centers of power in Canada.

So Alberta: do you see? Your were designed to be small, and remain small, always subservient to the interests of your central Canadian masters.  You are not a partner. You’d be lucky to say you are a vassal state, but you’re not even that: Ottawa interferes far too often in your internal matters, for the sake of Canada of course! (Totally justifying ignoring that annoying division of powers in sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.)

And masters they are. When you are humming along fine, ponying up funds for equalization to everyone else in Canada, and otherwise not being a bother, you get ignored. And what bliss it is. But when you are down on your luck, you get the federal government kicking at you while it can. Almost like an unwanted child, eh? Or a colony? Certainly not a partner.

Will Alberta separate?

Probably not. No one is starving in the street, subject to Gulag style forced labour, persecuted, raped, executed or otherwise trodden upon by some exercise of Canada’s authority to the extent necessary to incite an immediate revolution. There’s no ethnic cleansing or Lebensraum policy being pursued. Sorry, Alberta, but if you want out, you’re going to have to do this like former and current Danish holdings Iceland (see above, independent in 1946), the Faroe Islands and Greenland (still underway), and not Argentine or USA style, and you’d better hope not a lá South Sudan or Timor L’Este.

And going Iceland style means a long-period of independence advocacy (100+ years!) followed by some very lucky breaks. It also means having a sense of nationhood, independence, common-identity, and Alberta, you’ve got some of it, but not enough, and at the end of the day, collectively, you don’t want it. You are way too comfortable right where you are.