The U.S. Retreat From The World

Happy Fourth of July. Okay–not so much.

I guess Fox News doesn’t mention this sort of thing–or perhaps all those “Make America Great” fans don’t consider leadership of the free world necessary to greatness–but for the rest of us, as this year’s Independence Day dawns, there’s a lot less American greatness to celebrate.

Anyone who actually follows the news is aware, of course, that Trump has embraced authoritarian bullies while consistently insulting our allies and denigrating long-standing alliances. If he and his MAGA troops actually believe that these boorish and destructive behaviors are solidifying America’s stature, or earning the respect of other countries, they are delusional.

Here, for example, is a recent news item we might ponder on this 4th of July:

In a rare snub of the Trump Administration, the United Nations failed to approve an American pick to head an international migration group.

After a third round of voting on Friday, Trump nominee Ken Isaacs was removed from the list of potential candidates to lead the International Organization for Migration.

This is only the second time that an American won’t lead the IOM since the organization’s founding in 1951. Portuguese politician and European Union diplomat Antonio Vitorino earned the necessary two-thirds majority and will become the IOM’s next leader.

Apparently, the United Nations is less enamored of the blatant bigotry displayed by Trump’s nominees–and for that matter, the entire Trump administration–than the enthusiastic and terrifying crowds at his rallies.

Isaacs, the vice president of the evangelical Christian non-profit Samaritan’s Purse, had faced criticism for derogatory statements about Islam that were discovered on his Twitter page. He wrote“#Islam is not peaceful,” “Muslims fast, they also blast,” and “All #Islamic #terrorists literally follow #Islam.”

As a prior Ambassador to the U.N. has noted, the position of IOM Director has been seen as an ‘American seat’ and Trump was unable to place an American in it. So much for all that bluster about “strength.”

Then there’s this:

The U.S. ambassador to Estonia — a NATO ally bordering Russia — abruptly resigned Friday, telling friends that he cannot abide President Trump’s apparent hostility toward institutions that have stabilized Europe since the end of the Cold War.

James D. Melville Jr.’s resignation comes at a crucial moment for independent countries along Russia’s western border — amid the possibility of military conflicts and as Trump suggests he is rethinking the United States’ traditional support for its allies in Moscow’s shadow.

“The honorable course is to resign,” Melville wrote on Facebook. “Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me.”

He added: “For the President to say the [European Union] was ‘set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank,’or that ‘NATO is as bad as NAFTA’ is not only factually wrong, but proves to me that it’s time to go.”

When America’s longtime allies turn elsewhere for leadership, when principled and knowledgable public servants feel they can no longer serve their country in good conscience, when a mentally unstable and profoundly ignorant President retains the support of a significant minority of our fellow citizens by appealing to their racism and resentments–faith in the eventual victory of the Resistance is the only thing we can celebrate on this Independence Day.

We have to believe that victory will come in time to divert inescapable disasters.

Happy July 4th.


  1. The United States is now going through our “Second Illness” (see ancient Egyptian history).
    We will recover, but it will be awhile. And passing it usually involves much pain.

  2. “…faith in the eventual victory of the Resistance is the only thing we can celebrate on this Independence Day.”

    When the majority of our Congress is in the leadership position of the “significant minority of our fellow citizens”…for even in their lofty election positions, they are our fellow citizens…we are in a precarious position regarding Resistance. When Congress (the Legislative branch of our government) is aided and abetted by SCOTUS (the highest Judicial branch of our government) are doing all in their power to prevent voter registration and to remove registered voters from the rolls, they are cutting back the primary source of our Resistance.

    I will again borrow the words of former President John Quincy Adams (whether from his actual speech to SCOTUS in 1841 defending the slaves who took over the ship Amistad or if they were the words of the screenwriter of the movie); “And if Civil War must come, let it come. And let it be the final battle of the American Revolution.”

    “The U.S. Retreat From The World” began with Trump’s retreat from the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill or Rights. We are now in a position of needing a new and different “Declaration of Independence”; we need to put forth a level of Resistance which declares a “Declaration of Independence from Trumpism”. We must regain control of our own government before we can seek to regain our position and acceptance in the eyes of the world.

    On this July 4, 2018, only Trump and his supporters can claim Independence…they are independent of all rational control and law of the land which this country was founded on. We are again under the full control of a monarchy.

    If required to celebrate this American Independence Day; I would have to respond by “taking a knee”.

  3. Sheila, your commentary reminds me of the 1958 book and phrase, “The Ugly American.” I feel like we live a new ugly American experience with every news cycle. We have a president who personifies ugly American.

  4. We all should be taking a knee with the NFL players. I was referred to Frederick Douglas’s speech to Congress in 1852. Talking about our founding fathers, he said, “They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to.”

    That’s what our founders thought of British rule.

    He went on, “Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression.”

    After giving honor to our founding fathers, he looked to the present day, 1852. He then shared what he really felt:

    “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.”

    Did he stop there? Nope. He hammered Christianity, as taught in the USA:

    “But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines. who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.”


    I am surprised they didn’t cut him off at this point…pointing out the hypocrisy of the church wasn’t fashionable in the 1800’s. He was roasting our “exceptionalism”.

    “You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties), is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria, and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and bodyguards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot and kill.”

    Have we become more civilised? Have we evolved?

  5. John,

    “Sheila, your commentary reminds me of the 1958 book and phrase, “The Ugly American.”

    Eugene Burdick was the co-author with William Lederer of “The Ugly American”

    He was also the co-author with my partner, Harvey Wheeler, of the book “Fail Safe” which was later made into a movie starring Henry Fonda. See

    Their books need to re-surface again. Both Professor Wheeler and Eugene Burdick fought in World War II. They never forgot the dangers and knew, sooner or later, similar forces would surface again.

    Eugene Burdick’s “Ninth Wave” is a terrific book to understand the forces of evil as personified in Donald Trump and the urgent need to remove them from the scene.

    Wheeler’s book “Fail Safe” co-authored with Burdick presents a much needed paradigm for bringing back some semblance of equilibrium to the political scene in the U.S.

    Eugene Burdick
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Eugene Leonard Burdick (December 12, 1918 – July 26, 1965) was an American political scientist, novelist, and non-fiction writer, co-author of The Ugly American (1958), Fail-Safe (1962), and author of The 480 (1965).

    He was born in Sheldon, Iowa, the son of Marie Ellerbroek and Jack Dale Burdick. His family moved to Los Angeles, California when he was four years of age. He attended Stanford University, served in the Navy during World War II, after which he pursued his graduate studies at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar in 1948. He worked at the department of political science at the University of California.

    He first gained national attention as a writer in 1947 when his short story, “Rest Camp on Maui,” which had appeared in Harper’s Magazine, was the second prize selection for the O. Henry Award. In 1956 his first novel, The Ninth Wave, was published, and was a Book of the Month Club selection. At the close of the 1950s, he was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research.

    Burdick died in 1965 of a heart attack, while playing tennis, at the age of 46. After his death, it was reported that he was a diabetic who struggled with chronic heart disease.
    1956. The Ninth Wave (winner, Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship)
    1958. The Ugly American (fiction) with William Lederer
    1961. The Blue of Capricorn
    1962. Fail-Safe. with Harvey Wheeler
    1965. The 480
    1965. Nina’s Book
    1966. Sarkhan: a Novel with William Lederer. Republished under the title The Deceptive American in 1977.

  6. Remember when July 4th was such a proud holiday? When we could bask not only in summer but in the accomplishments of a nation not at greatness but always moving towards it. A nation that seemed capable of realizing the dream of the Great Enlightenment; people living freely and treating and being treated with respect and honor not only for each other but also for the government that we willingly consented to represent us.

    We were the vision for the rest of the world. The model of what could be. Far from perfect but even further from the reality that much of the world struggled under.

    Were we too comfortable? Was too much being taken for granted? Was our world power corrupting us as Lord Acton warned power does? When did we lose our way? What should/could we have done differently and when? What can we and the rest of the world learn from our failure?

    All tough unanswered questions that need answers but first we have to stop the free fall, get the spinning plane under control, take care of us before we can help others.

    Let’s make November 6, 2018 another Independence Day. A day when we signal the world that we can recover our senses.

  7. It is quite clear that Trumpism is wrong for all humanity. Yesterday, Pete listed the five strategies used by Trump for his “success” in business and now, politics. Those five points are, of course, entirely egocentric and have no connection whatsoever to the greater good.

    We all must come to understand that Trump’s insanity and social imbalance is all predicated on these five strategy points. Most telling is the point that says he doesn’t care about failure; he’ll just try something else. Failure, to this pathetic wretch, is just another process step. It’s almost as if Trump has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in that he lacks remorse for any of his actions, no matter how damaging, wrong or idiotic they are. He craves people reacting to his actions. That feeds his egocentricity. He cares about nothing else. NOTHING.

    For these reasons, among others that we rational people find abhorrent, Trump MUST be removed from office before our healing can begin. For every day he remains in office, the country disintegrates a little more. For each Federal judge he appoints, our freedoms are eroded a little more. For each ally he insults and pushes away, we become a little less secure. For every economic “plan” he puts forth, we become even a little poorer.

    Just as pathetically, the Republican party, in ITS pathology, has attached themselves to this wagon of discord and incompetence. Because they are ruthless and idea-less to begin with, their moves to win at all costs – even at the potential loss of the country to anarchy or monarchy – drive them to their collective insanity too.

    O.K., we all get some portion of this regarding Republicanism and Trump. Never before has it been such an important time to do whatever it takes to foment the change necessary to save our beloved Constitution. We didn’t have nuclear weapons in Douglas’s time, but we do now. There weren’t nearly 8 billion humans on Earth clamoring for food and resources, but we do now.

    Dangerous times such as these, require bold moves and a committed action.

  8. Let’s wake up! We better start recovering today. If Trump’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice is approved, then you can forget the future for awhile and will have to wait another 20 or 30 years with Todd, before there might be another opportunity for change.

  9. We’re left having to hit two birds with one stone; the Supreme Court Justice appointment and the elections in November. One without the other, will only amount to a “fool’s paradise.”

  10. The Hill
    Trump: Supreme Court pick will be a ‘home run’
    By Brett Samuels – 07/03/18 08:33 PM ED

    “President Trump on Tuesday night promised a “home run” pick for his Supreme Court nominee after continuing interviews with potential candidates earlier in the day.

    “I’ve spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about Supreme Court justices. Such an important decision, and we’re going to give you a great one,” Trump told the crowd at a “Salute to Service” event in West Virginia.

    “These are very talented people, brilliant people, and I think you’re going to really love it,” he continued. “Like Justice Gorsuch. We hit a home run there, and we’re going to hit a home run here.”

    Trump met Tuesday with three more potential Supreme Court nominees, the White House said. The president met Monday with four candidates.

    The White House confirmed that Trump spoke with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) about the Supreme Court, but has declined to identify any others. Lee is not believed to be on Trump’s shortlist for the position.

    On Tuesday night, Trump spoke for roughly 30 minutes at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The “Salute to Service” charity event was held in conjunction with a PGA Tour event.

    Trump, who has spent a number of weekends at his golf courses while serving as president, noted a number of high profile golfers in attendance during his remarks. He made frequent references to the golfers in his remarks about strengthening the military and the importance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    While Trump’s remarks focused mostly on the value of military service and veterans, the president spent a few minutes praising ICE for its work in combating illegal immigration.

    “We need tough laws. We need fair laws. But when these people come into our country and come in illegally and then they’re dispersed throughout the country and all of a sudden you see nests of MS-13,” Trump said.

    He then compared ICE’s work to that of a number of professional golfers in attendance.

    “You know, it’s like you’re liberating towns. We send ICE in, and for ICE it’s just another day like Phil (Mickelson), and John (Daly), and Keegan (Bradley), all of the guys, and Bubba (Watson), like the way they play golf,” Trump said.

    “These guys go in and take them out of there so fast, they’re not afraid of anything,” he added.

    Trump has in recent days seized on calls from some Democrats to abolish ICE. The president has said he believes the stance will ultimately hurt Democrats in the November midterm elections.”

    All I can is, we better recruit a SEASONED RELIEF PITCHER to come in, with the pressure on, and strike this megalomaniac out, before the game is all over.

    meg-a-lo-ma-ni-a (meg’ e lo ma’ne e) n. [<Gr. megas, large + MANIA] a mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur, power, etc.—meg'a-lo-ma'ni-ac adj.,n.

  11. Can you imagine a dumb thug like Agent Orange “interviewing” people qualified to be Supreme Court Justices?

  12. Imagine a president that within his or her first eighteen months in office has an opportunity to appoint two Supreme Court justices and dramatically influence history long after he or she is six feet under. Those who Trump is interviewing are not ideologically diverse, so for our purposes it doesn’t make any difference who he recommends for McConnell’s steer job – it will just be another Gorsuch or Thomas, and even the thought of the interchange between this ignoramus and a prospective justice is too much to bear. Let’s hope a few dissident Republican senators will stall confirmation of his recommendation until we can have an election, assuming such dissidents can withstand McConnell’s and Senate leadership’s entreaties and threats.

    Meanwhile, the number 9 is not written in constitutional stone. The Constitution only provides for a Supreme Court, not its number. FDR’s attempt to “pack the court” was shot down because he was frustrated with the court’s declaration of unconstitutionality of some of his acronym agencies. When and if we take over the Oval Office and Senate we can add six justices to the court for a far nobler purpose than FDR had, to wit: saving our democracy. the noblest purpose of all.

  13. Does Trump and his supporters think that once they have this fifth right wing seat on the Supreme Court that the Evangelicals will continue to support Trump? Of course not! The Evangelicals will have what they have really wanted all along and will have no use for Trump after that.

    I expect to see a call for the removal of Trump from office by the very people who gave him to the country, then the installation of Pope Pence followed by a “moral revival” to do away with abortion, gay rights and all things not “Christian”.

    Keep your eye on the quiet ones.

  14. Pete,

    You are right. Trump is a “dumb thug.”

    This is a portrait of the real Trump:

    What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man

    Jun 20, 2016 – “It is just one of those Roy Cohn numbers,” Mr. Trump told her. … He had been Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Red-baiting consigliere. … But there was one client who occupied a special place in Roy Cohn’s famously cold heart: Donald J. Trump.

    Trump is dumb jerk who has had the money and now has the power to surround himself with a staff, outside of the White House, of the most rotten MANIPULATORS on the face of the planet…… political, legal, religious, and financial.

    For an inside look, I highly recommend “The Manipulators: A hard -hitting inside story of men and money in action” by Leslie Gould who had been the Financial Editor of the New York World Journal (David McKay Company, New York, 1966).

  15. The 4th just won’t ever be the same – Unless we do something THIS 4th to end the Fascism in THIS nation! Damn Trump! and Damn the Fascists!

  16. I am dressed all in black today; consider this day to be Wednesday, we have one in the middle of every week. My laundry is done, fresh sheets on my bed and my pineapple upside down cake is cooling. It has been a pleasant, but extremely hot, middle of another week here in Indianapolis.

  17. Theresa,

    “expect to see a call for the removal of Trump from office by the very people who gave him to the country, then the installation of Pope Pence followed by a “moral revival” to do away with abortion, gay rights and all things not “Christian””

    Also Include in the list: the Bill of Rights and possibly even the Constitution. They won’t be able to “hold the line” without a full blown DICTATORSHIP. The whole damn thing is CRAZY.

    All I can say is that anyone in the Stock Market better get the hell out before the day of reckoning comes, which will be much sooner than later.

  18. The only good news, this 4th of July, would be the fact that the COGNITIVE DISSONANCE surrounding this DEBACLE must be approaching ZERO, and that my 3rd story condo overlooks the area where all the fireworks start to go off after sundown.

  19. “Those five points are, of course, entirely egocentric and have no connection whatsoever to the greater good.”

    Exactly what I thought yesterday when reading Pete’s post.

    For those delusional DT supporters who think he is in any way concerned or speaking for them, it will be a very rude shock when they are impacted by his reckless and constant neediness for attention and the chaos that he seek to control all to his benefit. It is not if, but when.

  20. Thanks to Todd S for quoting Douglas. We must take back at least the House in November. VOTE Remember that what they have taken away from Jefferson’s language and logic is “…..the consent of the governed.” That must be changed. 60 to 75% of the people express opinions and vote one way and the government ignores that and acts the other way. That is flouting the “consent of the governed” and it is as bad as if we still supported slavery. It is not the time for resistance but for revolution.

  21. Everyone be sure to read Nancy McLean’s Democracy in Chains for a blueprint of what has been and will be happening to our beloved democracy if we allow the Republicans and their oligarchic backers to complete the hatchet job on our democracy that is already well underway. When the call for a constitutional comes, take to the streets!

  22. It is more important than ever for Democrats to take control of the U.S. Senate which is the only entity to control Trump appointments to the federal courts – not just the Supreme Court. Mike Braun spent millions of his own money on TV ads in the GOP Primary saying he would be a more devoted rubber stamp for Trump than his two Republican opponents. Vote Donnelly.

  23. Thank you Pete and also those who mentioned his posting of the terrifying five Trump points. Just before I attempt a cogent response, Pete – are you alright with me passing this on to others? Given how some of my friends feel, it is bound to appear on Facebook and other on-line fora if I do.

    These points are fascinating to contemplate – they call to mind dealing with a particularly difficult toddler, teenager, spouse, parent, or boss. They are distinguished by the reality that any win due to any combination ot these tactics acrues pretty much solely to he who weilds them. The list is close to answering that elusive query – does 45 have a plan?

    Chaos is an intriguing state. In science it can describe patterns and/or reiterations that produce myriad essential natural phenomina. As a life plan for a reckless (and feckless) individual, not so much. 45 is a carnival barker in our world, moving the shells so quickly no one could hope to keep up except by luck. That sort of luck is available, in the main, to those already on top, with the flexibility and financial fluidity (borrowing power) to take advantage of it – not the small contractors whom 45 has stiffed. Chaos and try anything might be useful tools for a person who considers himself to be a financial wizard, or aspires to become one.

    For a regular old wage earner, worried parent, aging citizen, or ??, paying off a mortgage or getting secure health care for your loved ones requires rather more attention to detail, perserverance, hard work, and, yes, some plain old luck.

    The person who conceived of the five Trump points also postualted that, somehow, the result of 45’s particular con – in which he manupulates the levers of power to get better press than Putin – will somehow produce a better, stronger, USA. He/she does not seem to ponder any of the many possibilities and outcomes for power that produce a safer, calmer, more productive world, just an improving win for those on top. AND, he/she seems to completely avoid any question of an ethical approach, not to mention a genuinely Christian (or Jewish, or Muslum, or Buddhist) one.

    Perhaps there is a person who can argue persuasively and honestly that a win at the top is a win for all – to reference Pete again: Republicans and Democrats want the same things, Democrats just want them for everyone.

    Good night to you all!

  24. All of us that follow current events, which means everyone that participates in this blog, perhaps still do not realize just how a grave our situation is. We have a perfect storm in a sense going on right now where we have a completely incompetent President at the helm, a thoroughly dysfunctional legislative branch of government, and all sorts of other things that we watch or hear about every day that are unprecedented and totally atypical to be occurring in regard to the functioning of this country. While we can all hope that the fall election will change the composition of the Congress for the better it is not something that we can completely count on. We are in dire straits.

    Nations and empires rise and fall and I hate, oh how I hate, to think that that is what’s happening to us where we are on the downward side and falling fast if but that might just be the case. Nearly 40 years ago, former president jimmy Carter spoke about a mile lady stated the fall in the country and he was mocked in maligned itself because of what he said way back then. Perhaps, his words were pressing it even though they were aimed at a different set of circumstances they’d just might pertain to what we’re dealing with now and why it’s happening.

    No one forced anyone to vote for Donald Trump yet they did. No one asked the Russian intelligence services to help Donald Trump be elected President of United States in order to enhance the collusion between the candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government over what financial deals could be arranged after he took office that would benefit both that country and the President-Elect himself. No one thought that the President of the United States would never reveal his taxes and never adhere to the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution of this country as every other President has. No one thought that we would end up with an Administration that would neglect helping American citizens who happen to live on the island of Puerto Rico when that island was wracked by a tropical storm and hurricane and is still not giving them the support they need. No one thought that we would have a government that would separate children from parents who were seeking asylum from threatening conditions in their home countries and Central America and that we would have a government that would follow those dictates even though they are inhumane and inhumane in the eyes of the entire world. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea or at least I hope you do.

    If we’re going to save this country from collapse and ruin we had better get our butts in gear and fight this with all we’ve got including tossing as many of the ineffectual and sycophantic “Republican” Members of the Congress out this fall as possible. If that does not happen we need to be prepared to think of what plan B would look like because if we don’t have some other way to stop what has been put in motion this country is going down the drain and all of us right along with it.

    On a much lighter note I would like to thank Marv for mentioning two of my all-time favorite books and authors, in particular the great “Fail Safe” that was made into a fabulous movie that scared the daylights out of me when I was a kid. It remains one of my favorite films of all time and helped spark, along with living through the Cuban Missile Crisis as a nine year old, a lifelong interest in what is essentially the unthinkable and the efforts to prevent it from happening. I am really tickled to know that you knew these guys personally. “Fail Safe” and Nevil Shute’s “On the Beach” are still both on my bookshelves and in my overstuffed DVD storage unit.

  25. My apologies – voice activated software strikes again. The “mile lady” associated with my comments regarding Jimmy Carter was supposed to be the word “malaise” which I obviously missed in proof reading.

  26. NVL and others here: please feel free to share anything that I post here in any way that you feel effectively spreads the message and helps people figure out for themselves the why’s and wherefore’s of the mess that we have gotten ourselves into.

  27. Tom,

    “On the Beach” is also one of my favorites. I’ve played my DVD over and over, as a vivid reminder, like “Fail Safe” as to what the consequences are if we make, what might best be called: THE BIGGEST MISTAKE.

  28. I am not too sure it is a bad thing. Our Empire needs to stop. First we had internalized colonization, then we turned our sights on Central America, then Caribbean, then South America, and then finally the world. Enough war, Enough kilingl others to make us feel safe. Enough. If that means pulling out of the UN and allowing others to lead. So be it.

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