Monday, January 21, 2008
Whether you like him or not, Ron Paul has become a worldwide phenomenon. His banners fly in the skies over US cities. His signs are springing up alongside our nation´s highways. Bumper stickers are appearing on cars, it seems almost spontaneously. Certain days of commemoration are set up to donate on his behalf. His supporters show up in droves to wave signs and inform the uninformed of Ron Paul´s message of peace, hope and freedom. He even has a blimp to rival Goodyear´s paid for by private citizens to help spread his rEVOLution. It is a spontaneous campaign that depends not upon a flashy candidate who attracts supporters through his cult of personality, but rather depends on the supporters to follow their own gut feelings on how to best spread the message of the campaign. It is exactly this kind of spontaneity, this kind of freedom to act as one sees necessary, attracting many Ron Paul supporters not only in this nation, but in countries across the planet.
One might ask, what is it about Ron Paul that causes such excitement and devotion? After all, he appears to be just a nice 72 year old grandfatherly type gentleman. He´s not particularly well spoken or sexy. In fact, with the rampant ageism prevalent in our society, I´m surprised he gets any support at all. I like to say that it´s the message, but certainly there must be more to it than that. Well, I have to admit there probably is. Ron Paul´s message is the most powerful asset of his campaign as he propels it forward, but there are some things about Ron that make him appealing to a variety of people.
Ron Paul is honest. Some in the media have tried to paint him as a racist, an old accusation that was cleared up long ago and should clearly ring out as propaganda in the minds of anyone paying attention. He has some strange heroes (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks) for a racist. Some have called him an isolationist, again playing upon the fears of those who worry that some powerful nation is suddenly going to be amassing troops to invade the continent. This is also a disingenuous notion as Dr. Paul simply wants to stop policing the world, not stop doing honest business with it. He wants America to lead by example, something anyone with adult thought patterns realizes is the best way to influence others. I´m sure I won´t convince the paranoid few, but there´s a good chance that if the United States stopped acting so belligerent and demanding to the rest of the world, maybe the rest of the world wouldn´t hate the United States so much. Listen to what Ron Paul says. It makes sense. Watch him carefully as he speaks. One can tell how honest he is just as easily as one can tell how dishonest and manipulative other politicians are. You will never see him crying or feigning emotion in answer to a question in order to garner support. The passion he expresses is genuine.
Ron Paul is principled. One can go back twenty years and look at his voting record. He hasn´t waffled. He hasn´t flip-flopped. One knows where he stands on any given issue. He has almost always voted in accordance with the Constitution, unlike other politicians who treat their oaths to the Constitution with about as much seriousness as they treat their oaths to their wives, which isn´t much. He can not and will not be bought by special interests. He is the defender of the Constitution, not a pretender who pays the Constitution lip service but votes for unconstitutional laws. He has a record of voting for smaller government. He has a record of promoting individualism rather than collectivism.
Ron Paul cares. He cares about people. He cares about principle. He cares about this nation of ours. There are very few politicians that care beyond their own egos. Most politicians could care less about anything other than getting elected, gaining power, and taking care of their friends, family and contributors. Ron Paul wants to give everyone the best chance to take care of themselves by taking power from government and empowering the individual. This is not only the right thing to do, it´s the constitutional thing to do. Most politicians are only interested in gaining power over others.
he above qualities are easily identifiable in Ron Paul to those who pay attention. Ron Paul is no sexy movie star type. He doesn´t pay an army of image makers and stylists to primp and preen him. He´s not the son of a general or some other important political figure. He´s not a silver tongued minister that has learned to make his congregation swoon when speaking of things he doesn´t believe in or making promises he will not keep. He´s not some billionaire that can purchase an adoring following (and votes). With Ron Paul, what you see is what you get. He´s a real person for real people, not some wannabe transposing themselves over the fantasies of what people believe their leaders should be. Ron Paul is the genuine article. Many people from all cultures can see this, and that´s one reason Dr. Paul has a worldwide appeal.
It has been pointed out to me that Dr. Paul is lacking form. This is probably true. He may not be the most physically attractive candidate, but he has substantive ideas and has kept his soul intact. Americans in particular seem to be attracted to form over substance. Perhaps this is why seventy percent of us can be against the war in Iraq, yet ninety percent of us, Democrats and Republicans, have so far in the primaries voted for candidates that support wars of aggression. They are not looking at what their candidates stand for, what they have voted for. They are simply voting for the candidate that looks the best, or smiles the nicest, or makes the best sounding promises. Ron Paul is the only candidate with any substance, and there are many in nations around the world that realize this even if most Americans don´t.
Finally, there is the message. As I stated in an earlier article, Ron Paul is secondary to his message. He knows it as well as anyone else. This message of freedom, liberty and individual responsibility achieved through smaller, less intrusive government is one that resonates with people of all cultures. It´s a message that spurred the massive immigration that occurred when this country was first born. It´s the message that drove those fleeing the tyranny of the European monarchies to our shores. This is why Ron Paul is gaining popularity around the globe. People understand freedom. It´s popular. There are still many who haven´t been exposed to this message. No matter what happens this campaign season, no matter how far Ron Paul decides to take his campaign, we must strive to keep delivering this message. Freedom is always better than tyranny. Removing liberty to gain security never works. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. These truisms have been proven throughout history, and we must keep teaching them for they are lessons easily forgotten. The light of truth will shine upon us and guide us from the darkness of the cave. Those of us who understand these concepts should try the help those who are struggling to understand them. The Ron Paul pandemic is about spreading an idea that was first planted long ago in a land known as America. It is about an idea that needs to come to fruition and should be harvested across the globe. When this finally happens, perhaps then mankind will gain the peace, freedom and hope for the future as should be the birthright of all human beings.
I quit smoking on Oct. 14th, 1996. I did so cold turkey. Everyone was amazed that I was able to quit after smoking one and a half to two packs a day for fifteen years. I´ve stayed quit for over eleven years now. Since I´ve quit I´ve felt much healthier. I´ve gotten rid of a bad cough. I´m able to smell and taste my food better. I just feel better about myself. I personally don´t like smoke. It stinks. It makes my clothes stink. I don´t really like smoke filled rooms or breathing in second hand smoke. It could lead to problems breathing. Some may think that someone like myself might welcome a ban on smoking in all buildings accessible to the general public. Some may think that after one quits smoking one becomes a smoking Nazi and would preach the wonders of quitting to those still addicted to the filtered leaf. Not I. It is not my business if someone else wants to smoke. That is, was and always will be up to the individual.
I got into a discussion at a party with a group of people who liked to go to a specific dance club where I expressed my disdain for smoking bans. They told me they loved the smoking ban and I wouldn´t win the argument. You may ask why someone like me, an ex smoker with no love for the habit, would be against a smoking ban. The answer is simple. It´s a matter of freedom. I´m not talking about the freedom to smoke, or the freedom to be in a smoke free environment, or the freedom of someone to work smoke free, or any of those peripheral issues. I am talking about the freedom for a business owner to decide for himself how to run his business. I´m talking about the freedom for an individual to be able to decide for himself what rules should be followed on his private property. Those with whom I was discussing these matters were only worried about themselves. They were non smokers and so they were happy the dance place they liked to go to was now smoke free. Of course, they didn´t think about the fact that they were bringing the force of government down upon a business owner for running his business the way he wanted. They weren´t innovative enough to come up with new ideas as to how to handle the situation, such as opening their own non smoking dance floor down the street to compete, or boycotting the business to put financial pressure on the business owner who may have come up with a solution on his own if he started losing money. There are other ways to bring about change without passing laws that can end up creating unintended consequences. They never considered the other guy, only their own selfish interests.
It may have surprised these people when I decided to frame the discussion in that manner. They, like many other Americans, were probably expecting an utterance of some kind of "group think" mentality, something to the effect of the rights of smokers to put whatever substance they want into their bodies. This they would have countered with the rights of non-smokers to be able to go out to places without having to put up with second hand smoke. This is the kind of collectivist mentality many of us have been taught by the public school system. This kind of "us vs. them" mentality is the kind of thing governments like to foster to keep groups at odds with each other so they can step in as sort of a referee and exercise power. The collectivist mentality is exactly what the founders of this country were trying to protect against when they crafted the Bill of Rights. It is the type of mentality that allows for government entities (including corporations which are creations of government and should never, ever be considered persons or guaranteed the rights inherent in the individual) to be able to confiscate private property for no good reason or under the guise of eminent domain. Groups of people do not have rights, only individuals have rights, the rights nature´s god grants all human beings. What in the current vernacular is considered to be "rights" of certain groups are in actuality privileges.
Of course smokers have the right to smoke, but only when they have permission of the owner of the private property they are on. Non-smokers have the right to not frequent establishments that give the smoker permission to do so on their property. They have the right to choose to spend their money at an establishment that prohibits smoking. But this issue has never been about the right to smoke or not to smoke, it´s been about who decides and about the abdication of personal responsibility. This issue is about control. When the government makes the decision that no one is allowed to smoke in private businesses they have taken away the rights of an individual to make his own decision regarding his business and granted privileged status to a group of people known as non smokers. The non smokers, upon condoning this behavior, have accepted the status of higher privilege and have abdicated their responsibility to shop around for a market solution to a perceived problem. They are, in essence, becoming infantilized and crying to mommy government to please help protect them from the big, bad smokers. The government, for its part, has shown its authoritarian nature which stems from the collectivist mentality. Collectivism, in the end, always seems to lead to an authoritarian government. All the rationalizing and equivocating in the world will not change the fact that private business owners are no longer allowed to make their own business decisions regarding a legal substance under threat of fines and maybe even jail time. To me, this is a sad and disturbing turn of events.
I don´t smoke and I think it´s a nasty habit. I wish no one smoked. It´s not good for anybody. But I´m not about to tell people how to live their lives. What works for me won´t necessarily work for you. I will not advocate prohibition of any kind. Time and again throughout history we have seen how prohibition does not work and leads only to the destruction of lives and human suffering. The smoking ban will be no different. It is just another step in granting the government more power and control over the individual. There have already been unintended consequences by making such laws. Some businesses that cater to smokers have closed, costing laborers their jobs. Patrons who smoke may simply decide to stay home from now on and so businesses will lose revenue. More heinous yet, what is to happen in the future? Whenever the government obtains more power, they are loath to give the power back to the people and begin actively seeking even more control over the populace. We have opened the door to government telling us what we can and cannot do in our private businesses, how long until they decide what can and can´t be done in our homes? After all, they are just trying to protect the public. What good is mommy government if it doesn´t try to protect us all, even if only from ourselves?
The votes have been counted from the New Hampshire primary. McCain has been declared the winner of the Republican primary and Clinton has been declared the winner on the Democrat side. I sit in a state of disbelief. Lately in this campaign season I’ve heard much about change. I’ve heard Barak Obama talk about being the candidate of change. Hillary Clinton has claimed she is the one who could change things. Mike Huckabee has claimed he is the outsider that can march into Washington DC and deliver change. What change would they deliver? Would they end the wars we are involved in and bring our troops home as soon as possible? Would they change monetary policy and bring us a dollar backed by something, anything besides debt, a dollar that would not inflate, a dollar that would not end up worthless if I was to save one? Would they stop the insane printing of money? Would they introduce sound fiscal policy? Would they cut the federal government down to proper size? Would they restore the guarantees protecting our human rights as guaranteed by our constitution? Would they protect our borders? Would they get the government out of our lives and let us live as we want to live, or will they continue to exert more and more control over us until their control is total?
Ron Paul is the only candidate with definitive policies to deliver substantive change to our political system. McCain, Clinton, Giuliani, Edwards, Romney, Huckabee and Obama all promise more war in Iraq, more death for our men, more genocide for the Iraqis, more destruction and irradiation of southwest Asia, and more money (your tax dollars at work) for their comrades in the military industrial complex. This is not change. They refuse to get our ships out of the Persian Gulf and will most likely end up going to war with Iran. This is not change. They will not rescind any of the unconstitutional laws passed by this congress and George W. Bush. They will not protect our borders. They will continue to print money to pay for their wars until it isn’t worth the paper it's printed on or the ink that colors it. This is not change. These candidates represent the same old, same old. They do not represent the common man. They are criminals trashing the highest law in the land and not caring one iota for anyone other than themselves, their friends and contributors. One wonders if they ever even bothered to read the constitution, let alone if they understand its meaning.
New Hampshire calls itself the “Live Free or Die” state. After these results, I must laugh at that motto. The citizens of New Hampshire obviously need a little lesson in the meaning of freedom. I guess they are no different than any other citizens in these Socialist States of America. Just in terms of the issue of the wars, there are several other candidates besides any of the Democrats or Republicans who ended up on the top in New Hampshire. I’ve seen polls that claim nearly 70% of Americans oppose the war and yet 90% of the voters casting ballots in New Hampshire cast them for candidates who voted for the war and who have no clear cut strategy or timeline to get out of Iraq. Ron Paul isn’t the only anti-war candidate, Kucinich and Gravel also call for the immediate withdraw of our troops from Iraq. The candidates who finished first in New Hampshire have not only waffled on withdraw of our troops from Iraq, but they have also refused to take the option of attacking Iran off the table. Iran poses no security threat to the United States and attacking them would be immoral and illegal under international law. Why is it that in the “Live Free or Die” state, where change is being called for, did the candidates for change do so poorly? Is it the herd mentality at work? Assuming there was no election fraud, and there may have been some but probably not much, then it is difficult to say exactly what happened. One would have thought that in such a state more voters would have done their homework. Either that, or the people have been fooled and believe that they actually did vote for anti-war candidates. Or, the people of New Hampshire are actually in favor of American hegemony and hence in favor of the war. In any case, the results are discouraging.
If Americans choose to continue to vote for the status quo, then so be it. Clinton or McCain, Obama or Huckabee, Edwards or Romney, there is no real difference between any of these people. They all want big government, the bigger the better. They all want to keep extorting money from you. They all want to control your life. They all want power. If the people voting for these big government politicians want to submit to that and remain subservient to the state, that’s fine with me. If they don’t mind sending their children overseas to fight in foreign wars for the profits of the huge corporations influencing our government officials, that’s their business. I hope they don’t mind if I opt out of their little program. Then again, if I decide to opt out, I might end up dead or imprisoned as the force of the state is applied to make me cooperate against my will. Perhaps when people see their neighbors being taken away and imprisoned for deciding how to run their own lives, perhaps then they’ll finally get it. Freedom doesn’t come cheap, and yet the price one pays for service to the state is much more expensive. The state may destroy your life if you seek freedom, but it will destroy your grandchildren’s lives if you choose servitude.
Let us hope the other states vote for real change as the primaries continue. For my part, if Ron Paul eventually loses, I will keep spreading the word of freedom the best I can while I’m able to. A movement has begun and there isn’t much that can be done to stop the snowball as it rolls downhill. The more people who hear and understand the message of freedom, the more they will demand liberty and the harder it will become for those who seek control to stop the snowball. This movement may stall at times, there are those who will try to censor the message, but freedom and liberty are ideas that have survived for hundreds of years. They are ideas that live in the hearts of men. They are ideas carried in the spirit of human kind. These ideas will not die so long as human beings walk upon this earth.
Politicians make a lot of promises to a lot of people. That’s just the nature of the beast. They pander to the lowest common denominator in order to try to get votes. The politicians in this presidential contest are no different. They make promises they may or may not be able to keep. They promise to give to the people what they think the people want, a chicken in every pot, if you will. They realize that people who are starving will cast a vote for someone who promises them food, even if that person is not a farmer and knows nothing about the business of providing food to the population. It does not matter to them that in order to deliver their promise they will have to steal the chickens from one who has worked all his life to acquire them. Nor does it matter to them if they are unable to deliver on their promise so long as there is someone else to blame, and there is always someone else to blame. These politicians will promise what they believe their constituents want to hear, and if they find they are wrong they will turn and promise the opposite. They are not concerned with principle, only with obtaining votes. The only exception to this rule is Ron Paul. Ron Paul promises nothing. He states his positions and sticks to them, and he has the voting record to prove it.
Some presidential candidates, particularly the Democrats, have promised free health care to those who can’t afford to pay. This is called socialized medicine. What they haven’t told you is that this system has proven to be flawed in many other countries. What many may not realize is that they are being promised something for nothing, and one can hardly ever get something for nothing. Someone has to pay. Free health care is not really free and we will all be forced to pay through higher taxes. But that’s not the only problem. Once in charge of your health care, the government would start removing your options. In an effort to keep costs down they would regulate what procedures you could and couldn’t have and what treatments could be prescribed. Waiting times for certain procedures would probably increase to the point where some might start to die as they wait their turn. Incentives for doctors would be removed as competition between health care providers would be non existent as the government homogenized the system. Choices would be fewer, customer service would suffer, and the costs would increase rather than decrease, only we wouldn’t realize this because the government would be stealing from all of us equally to pay for it. This is the promise of free health care, the promise the Democrats are touting. Ron Paul promises nothing of the sort. He wishes to get the government out of health care, allow freedom in the health marketplace, and let you and your doctor determine how to best take care of your health.
More disturbing than this, however, is what the Republicans are promising. They are simply promising more of the same. They are promising to keep our present wars going until sometime in the future. They are promising more death and destruction. Ron Paul promises nothing of the sort. He promises we will have nothing to do with wars of aggression. He promises we will have nothing to do with entangling alliances. The founders of the United States of America felt this way. That is because they knew way back then that many wars were not fought for meritorious reasons. Even back then wars enriched the elite at the cost of the children and fathers of the lower classes. The only honorable war is the war fought in defense.
I watched on Youtube a couple nights ago a rerun of a Fox News debate where Mike Huckabee discussed honor. He asserts that we cannot leave Iraq until we can leave with honor. When he spoke of the importance of honor it was reminiscent of the Japanese soldiers’ doctrine in WWII. It makes one wonder if Mike Huckabee understands the meaning of the word honor. The war in Iraq has lost all credibility since the lies justifying our involvement have been exposed and any pretext of self defense removed. What honor is there in killing civilians trying to protect their homes? What honor is there in continuing to pollute their country with depleted uranium? What honor is there in fighting with the most sophisticated modern weapons against a people using the most basic and simply trying to regain self determination? What honor is there in destroying lives and property for a few to profit? None of this is worthy of praise. The only vestige of honor we have left to save is the honor of leaving to let the Iraqi people tend to their own business. The only action worthy of praise now is to apologize for our mistakes and leave Iraq and its natural resources to its people. When we leave, at least it can be said that we are finally doing the right thing. Is honor more important than doing the right thing? It seems to me that Mike Huckabee confused the word honor with the word pride. It is long past time for us as a society to forget about pride and realize that the people of Iraq do not want our soldiers occupying their land, just as we would not want foreign troops on our soil. Ron Paul does not promise victory, he promises nothing more than our troops returning home with their lives and limbs intact.
The Republicans also promise to keep taxing you. They make promises about cutting taxes and saving programs like Medicare and Social Security, but they make it clear that they want to keep taxing you. They call for tax reform and implementation of programs such as the FairTax, but that is still taxation. They have made promises as to how they will help the people of this country economically, most of the promises have no real substance. Ron Paul promises he will do all he can to eliminate the IRS and the income tax and replace it with, nothing. He promises to do his best to shrink federal bureaucracies down to, nothing. He promises that he will do his best to make sure the federal government provides nothing for you, but it will also take nothing from you. In this way you will be better able to determine for yourself how you wish to spend, or save your money. He even promises that he will do his best to see to it that our current form of fiat money is replaced with nothing except gold and silver backed currencies, which is something of value unlike the promises backing the Federal Reserve Notes. In that way the value of your money will be maintained and may even increase as time goes by, rather than decreasing. Think about how much money you need to retire today as opposed to how much one may have needed even two decades ago. No other candidate running for president even touches upon that issue.
Never before has the promise of nothing meant so much. All the other candidates running for president in both major parties promise to maintain the status quo. They will do nothing to end the corruption that has rotted Washington DC to its core. They will do nothing to restore the rights taken from the American people by the regime now in power. They will do nothing to bring peace to the world and have promised to maintain foreign policies that may drag us into even more devastating conflicts. Ron Paul may promise nothing to everyone, but his candidacy has already delivered real change, and his presidency would deliver a trend toward freedom at the very least. The foreign policies he would pursue would show the world that a revolution can be won in a peaceful manner and that we can all live together in this world without fighting for domination over each other. This is something worthy of praise. This is something we can honor.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I’ve made a few observations while on this trip called life and some of them I’ve found quite curious. One of the things I’ve noticed when it comes to political assassinations is that it seems only politicians who are popular with the general public are targeted. I could go through a laundry list of victims, John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, Martin Luther King, and John Lennon to name a few, but I think you get the picture. Time and again well loved public figures have been taken from us while persons of power despised by the majority are able to go about their public business without fear. It’s enough to make one wonder.
I’ve also noticed that those assassinated tend to be advocates of non-violent change, peace and love. These men were oft times heard espousing the virtues of such radical concepts of freedom, liberty, respect for fellow human beings, and concern for the rights of the individual. For these kinds of ideas and for the concern they show for mankind, they are thanked with a bullet or two. How very sad it is that such evil can exist, that such magnanimous leaders can be so easily lost. History is full of honest, principled leaders working for the betterment of the human condition that manage to get themselves killed. One of the more well known stories of this type of thing happening took place about two thousand years ago and involved a man in a place called Galilee that went around telling everyone we should be nice to each other. Yet isn’t it strange that unpopular, tyrannical leaders hardly ever seem to get assassinated. Perhaps this is because they expect it and are so wary of their surroundings they always keep themselves well protected. That could be an explanation I suppose, but I somehow think there’s more to it than that.
There’s something else rather odd that I’ve noticed about many assassinations. Isn’t it strange that so many of these killings are carried out by some lone nutcase that seems to have social development problems? You’d think that someone looking for attention would want to do something that would make him a hero to a majority of people rather than do something to make him hated by millions. I’m sure that some would argue these assassins thought they were doing something that would glorify them, after all they were crazy, yet it seems these people are quite intelligent and sober on another level. After all, they seem to be able to plot these schemes all by themselves. Surely an assassin with the intelligence to act alone, speak to no one and plot such actions would realize how hated he would be as a consequence and might reconsider. It makes one wonder why no such loner has acted against an unpopular personage in a position of power, especially given the success rate of the lone gunman against well protected (and not so well protected) powerful individuals. It seems that whenever an attempt is made on some tyrannical leader (such as Hitler or Stalin) it is some vast conspiracy and many conspirators are put to death.
Assassinations are seldom what they seem. History has shown that often times the investigations and the explanations given for the event are more convoluted than reported. In fact, it seems to me that many assassinations benefit a power base that is threatened by a freedom movement. The Federal Reserve would lose its monopoly of printing fiat money should the government reestablish its constitutional duty to print money based on a gold standard or even if competing money was introduced into the banking system. The CIA would lose power should civil liberties be honored, the constitution followed and the government be made more transparent. The military industrial complex would suffer greatly should war be ended and troops brought home. I’m certain there are other powerful benefactors I haven’t mentioned, but it seems these same powers or those who have ties to them are often in charge of the follow up investigations. Too often in hindsight one can point at a few specific persons in high positions on panels investigating these assassinations and find a conflict of interest or two. This makes any conclusion reached by such panels or investigators dubious at best.
It is said that history is written by the victors. This is more or less true. Those who maintain power have thus far been able to create an aura of legitimacy around themselves. They have used this to bury or minimize important facts they don’t want reported. I would guess that there are many people who have gotten away with crimes too terrible and numerous to mention. These are the types of people who rule when secrecy is allowed to cover government dealings and fear grips the populace. Yet justice is never done as these devious powers are allowed to write history. Justice, as blind as she is, cannot see what deeds are left unpunished. As each year passes they become more emboldened. These powerful individuals stay back in the shadows and continue to plot, becoming more brazen as they begin to believe they are above the very law they claim to protect. This power they hold, a power that lurks in the darkness and seeks to stamp out all that would oppose it, is the danger all must be wary of, but there is a weapon to use against it.
It is the light of truth this power is afraid of. It is the torch of freedom those who yield this power fear most, for if they lose control over the lives of others, they have no power. In liberty will we as a society find the means to avert this danger. When we as a society shed our fears and demand to be freed, to be allowed to interact not through coercion but on a voluntary basis, not through force but through honest dealings, when we demand to be allowed to live our lives as we see fit, to be allowed to make mistakes, to innovate, to learn, to love, to hate, to achieve, to play, and to just be ourselves, then the plotters will be removed from the halls of centralized government and go off to grumble in some corner of the world about bygone days. When freedom’s light shines, the deviants are exposed. When we come to the understanding that our founding documents were penned by freedom loving men not so the government could protect us, but so we could protect ourselves from the government, maybe then we will live in a land where we no longer have to worry about plots. When everything is in the open, history writes itself, for we are all allowed to record it, and since there are no victors, no one is defeated.