What follows is not a journey for the hopeful. The path that winds its way through these words is without light or promise. Do not walk it if you seek such things. Only darkness and despair lies ahead. There was the idea of a country once, built on a grand expectation. The dream bubbled boiling hot. But the temperature has slowly dropped. And the magical liquid has cooled; first to numb, and then to freeze over completely. Today there are cracks in the ice as it fractures and break apart. What warmth there was has gone. With it went trust and, perhaps more importantly, the benefit of doubt. Intention, however noble or virtuous, has been tainted from first principles; poisoned by decades of deceit and self-interest. The grand expectation now is one of disappointment and decline. We look into the future and see only a shadowy realm. It is no different from looking back into the past, an equally opaque window, that eats up whatever is put through it, and spits back some wretched truth....

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