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Mon Jan 15, 2018, 11:23 AM

State of the Union

“A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally shortsighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well-disciplined mob can do in the hands of a single madman. Unfortunately, this realization does not seem to have penetrated very far - and our blindness is extremely dangerous.” 
C.G. Jung.



I can't think of anyone I know who cares what Donald Trump will have to say in his State of the Union address. Quite the opposite: the tang-colored, scrotum-faced compulsive liar lacks any and all credibility. Thus, I thought that I'd take a few moments to list some of the issues that face the nation here, and to encourage others to do the same. For we are at the beginning of a historic year.

It's good to see that several of the republican rats are abandoning ship. It creates good openings for the elections in November. It is encouraging that a discredited lunatic like Sheriff Joe is running. Essential that he loses in a humiliating manner, of course. And it's nice to see Bannon lose his job, due to the Mercer staff infection at Breitbart.

The book “Fire and Fury” has flaws: initially, after the election, the author had urged people to keep an open mind about Trump, and was on good terms with Steve Bannon and others. Also, among the several errors he made in writing the book, he expresses his belief that there's nothing to the Trump-Russian scandal. More, he falsely claims that Team Mueller is leaking to the press. This is curious, because he documents three sub-groups in the White House that frequently leaked to journalists, and any careful person can identify that recent leaks come primarily, if not exclusively, from the legal teams representing various current and former administration officials. (The leaks from the intelligent community have stopped, as there is no current need for them. Likewise, congressional staff have stopped, and it appears Democrats are willing to openly release transcripts.)

Still, the book is a gift that keeps giving. The coverage reinforces the growing awareness among the general public that Trump is an unstable man, incapable of functioning as president. It also speaks frequently about Trump's “thin skin,” and the information in the book is surely upsetting him. Thus, an unbalanced man becomes further unbalanced.

Trump's attempts to self-define as a “stable genius” was an attempt to counter the book's narrative. His staff set up a meeting with some legislators, to try to show the president could hold it together for an hour. Trump went so far as to try to reach agreement with Democrats on DACA. The result was that his alt-right base, including some jackasses in the White House and Congress, increased pressure on the president to remain unreasonably rigid.

Within days, Trump's core racism came shining through with his “shit hole” comments. The global response was that Trump himself is the “shit hole.” To borrow from Abbie Hoffman, I would suggest that Trump is not actually the muscle known as the sphincter, but rather the noxious gas that at times creates a socially embarrassing noise as it passes through.

Then came the news about the expensive payment to a actress of the “adult film” industry. Additional reports indicate that he requested another actress to join them. This suggests, of course, that there just may be a bit more to the story about the orange scrotum-faced president and the Russian hookers than the White House has admitted.

Can any good come from all of this? And what – if anything – can an individual do?

First, Trump “won” the most corrupt presidential election in our nation's history. And it took a lot to be worse than the 2000 theft. Trump is the least-qualified person ever to serve as president. Our long-term goal has to be electing a good Democratic Party leader in 2020. I'm confident that there are several high-quality potential candidates in the Senate, the House, and among the Democratic governors, to make a strong ticket. I do not think that our candidates will be facing the current Trump-Pence team.

However, the executive branch isn't the only problem. Our party has lost far too many elections at other levels, resulting in it being in the worst shape it has been in since 1920. Obviously, there need to be some changes. This created the environment that allowed the Trump campaign, aided by Russia, to “win” in 2016. Yet, even had either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders defeated Trump, not only would it have been unlikely they could have been effective with the current House and Senate, but either one's presidency would served as a lightening rod for republicans in the mid-terms.

The Democratic Party needs to change to master the changing realities in America. This includes the need for those in the leadership positions within the party to think outside the box that the party has been put in. That doesn't mean getting rid of everyone currently in leadership ,positions. Nor does it mean challenging every Democrat in primary election contests. But it does include new thinking, and some new blood.

An example of the type of candidate I like is Tim Canova, a law professor who specializes economic issues. He's strong in other areas, too, such as the environment. He has progressive values on social issues. Tim is running in the primary for a House seat in Florida, against incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Though I'm not from FL, I have previous experience working for another Democrat who ran for the House in 2016, and network with friends and associates across the state. Tim Canova is exactly the type of candidate that I like, and believe we need in Washington today. Hence, the small amount of money I have to invest in the primaries will go directly to Tim Canova.

I recognize that others, including on this forum, believe that DWS is a better candidate. And I appreciate that they have as much right to their beliefs, as I do to mine. That's the way it should be. Hopefully, this forum will provide for meaningful discussions on various candidates, and why it is essential that there be primaries in some states, and not in others. For that is necessary, in order for the Democratic Party to regain its power.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply State of the Union (Original post)
H2O Man Jan 2018 OP
Bluepinky Jan 2018 #1
H2O Man Jan 2018 #3
Bluepinky Jan 2018 #6
H2O Man Jan 2018 #20
olegramps Jan 2018 #27
burrowowl Jan 2018 #28
democrank Jan 2018 #2
H2O Man Jan 2018 #11
Heartstrings Jan 2018 #4
H2O Man Jan 2018 #12
tclambert Jan 2018 #5
H2O Man Jan 2018 #13
Mopar151 Jan 2018 #7
H2O Man Jan 2018 #14
RandomAccess Jan 2018 #8
H2O Man Jan 2018 #15
coeur_de_lion Jan 2018 #9
H2O Man Jan 2018 #16
coeur_de_lion Jan 2018 #26
dweller Jan 2018 #10
H2O Man Jan 2018 #17
dweller Jan 2018 #18
H2O Man Jan 2018 #19
dweller Jan 2018 #21
malthaussen Jan 2018 #22
H2O Man Jan 2018 #23
LongTomH Jan 2018 #24
H2O Man Jan 2018 #25

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 11:48 AM

1. I feel that the Democratic Party needs to align with people, not corporations.

It’s too easy for some people to say that both parties are the same. Democrats need to champion the working and middle classes, get rid of corporate money (fight for publicly funded elections), raise tax rates for wealthy people and corporations, put people to work rebuilding our infrastructure.

I was so disappointed that Obama didn’t rescind the tax cuts for the rich when he got into office, it was something he had promised he would do in his presidential campaign and he had a lot of support to do it. The Democrats could frame the tax rates by stating they would resume the same rates that Reagan had passed.

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Response to Bluepinky (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 01:00 PM

3. Very good!

Thank you.

A while back, I posted an essay about Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons' speech to a gathering of corporate heads. Oren noted that 52 of the top 100 economic "units" (their term) were corporations, while 48 were nations. This was several years ago, and so it's safe to say the number of corporations is now higher. Oren spoke about the need for corporate heads to balance their identity as parents, grandparents, and community members, with their corporate role. He also predicted that he would be asked to return in a couple years, and that little to nothing would have changed.

A president, senator, or member of congress has to find that same balance. Corporations are, of course, a reality (though most are in-natural in their reality). Hence, it is essential that as Democrats, we are aware of what corporations pay to influence what candidates. In the FL example, one candidate is anti-fracking, and progressive about marijuana; the other takes large donations from the "energy" corporations, and is pro-fracking, and from the pharma-industries, and is anti-pot.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 01:57 PM

6. I always enjoy reading your thoughtful posts.

You said that well. A corporation is not a person, but it’s made up of people. Each person in the corporation is part of the local community, the town, the state and the country. As a small part of a larger whole, it would be best if corporations could work to benefit the community they’re located in instead of working to benefit only the shareholders. Like you said, everyone is a parent, a sibling, a cousin, friend or aunt/uncle to somebody else, so decisions made by corporate heads affect so many others. As do decisions by politicians.

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Response to Bluepinky (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 11:11 PM

20. Thank you.

There's a book by Steve Wall, with interviews with the late Tadodaho, Leon Shenandoah, that focuses on what is required for a person to become fully human. Safe to say that the disease that reduces people to craving "wealth" -- surely as much an addiction as any substance abuse -- creates a stumbling block that prevents that potential of human growth. And, as you know, the associated behaviors do harm not only to the sick individual, but to their family and community. And, like other addictions, it lies to the addicted person, convincing them that they don't have a problem, that they are in control of their life.

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Response to Bluepinky (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 17, 2018, 04:50 PM

27. Corporations are an entity without a soul. Unions provided for this deficiency.

Corporations have one and only one primary goal, maximizing profits. This will be done at expense of the workers unless they have been smart enough to organize and demand a rightful share of the fruits of their labor. It is not a complex situation but on with a simple solution. These basic concept apply nationally as well a internationally. The primary determination of every corporation is to undermine any attempt to unionize. The workers inability to grasp these simple facts allows them to be exploited.

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Response to Bluepinky (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 18, 2018, 02:25 AM

28. I agree with you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 12:33 PM

2. Thank you for this, H20 Man.

There is a crusty old northern New Englander I know who drives a rust bucket truck covered in bondo, duct tape and progressive bumper stickers. The truck's horizontal space above the dashboard is about 10 inches deep in litter, history, an odd filing system, Ring Ding wrappers, impromptu poetry outbursts and dog biscuits.

There isn't anything standard about him. No cellphone, no GPS, no credit cards, no Starbucks cups. His clothes are from thrift shops, his burgers....frozen, from The Dollar Tree. He tapes up the holes in his work gloves, doesn't always have laces in his boots, lugs his water from a spring in a neighboring village. He's a veteran, childless, lost his wife and both parents, and treats his dog like a son.

Some people laugh at him, question what kind of person he is because he thinks outside their box.
He's not part of any particular political party but votes regularly and is fiercely committed to "underdog" issues. He has some very interesting problem solving ideas.

Because he is issues-oriented and speaks simply but eloquently, I wish he could address the Democratic Party leadership. Like you, H20 Man, I believe we must think....and act....outside the box. It breaks my heart to think of all the seats Democrats have lost in the last dozen years. Yet, we're stuck arguing about Hillary vs. Bernie, or Bernie vs. Hillary from 2016.

The "shithole" I worry about is the desecrated Oval Office, temporary home of #45.




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Response to democrank (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 09:24 PM

11. Thank you.

I've been thinking of how I want to respond to your post, which I really like. And it was perhaps fitting that I'd been sewing more patches on several pairs of pants today. No sense in buying new ones, when I can mend these.

Years ago, after artifact-hunting in my parents' neighborhood, I stopped to show Ike, the area's Elder, what I'd found. I asked him if he had any ideas of other occupation sites. He told me about an isolated rock shelter/cave he had come upon, many decades before. He said it had become one of his favorite places to sit and think, and he was sure others had, as well. He said that people are people, and that while most enjoy living within the community, a few others will live outside, on the margins of the wilderness.

Years later, while Oren Lyons was being interviewed by Bill Moyers, he noted that to really understand a region, you must come into contact with those people who live in isolation, or near isolation, away from the community. In those individuals, Oren said, you find a different form of wisdom. In Iroquois society, it wasn't just the Council of Chiefs and the Clan Mothers that served as leaders. Those hermits did, in a unique manner.

Our society needs us to harness the insights and abilities of both.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 01:27 PM

4. Midterms, Midterms, Midterms!

It's essential we stay focused on them.

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Response to Heartstrings (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 09:59 PM

12. Definitely!

We have the ability to reach an important victory for democracy this fall. There is nothing more important in politics right now. It is, quite literally, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 01:38 PM

5. I, for one, am looking forward to Trump's State of the Union.

I want to hear how "fantastic, really terrific" our colonies on Mars are. I want to hear how Trump single-handedly defeated the Blogon invaders by killing their leader with his deadly handshake. I want to hear how everyone in America has become rich. I want to hear how he permanently solved the immigration problem, without having to deport any white people. I want to hear how he fixed the weather so it would only snow on the lawns, not on the roads or driveways.

We all know the theme of the address will be what a wonderful, smart, stable, winner Donald Trump is. He probably won't say that much about the country. But I'm sure most of his claims will be hilarious fictions.

I guess I'm really looking forward to the comedians analysis of the speech in the following days.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:01 PM

13. Very good!

I am hoping that Trump has a melt-down during his speech. One that even his supporters find embarrassing.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 02:49 PM

7. Democrats need some reinvention in their message

We need to emphasize the basic kindness and decency that is the real underpinning of democracy.

Emphasize that the Merriam-Webster #2 definition of "conservative" is quite compatible with Democratic ideals ( Rachel Maddow calls them "small c" conservatives, praises them appropriately)

Quote Howard Dean a lot! Best as I remember it: "If you want to have money to help people, you can't waste it!"


Educate the public on the realities of the Federal budget. Many of those who whine/moan/bitch about "welfare" beleive it's ~= to 30% of the federal budget. Reality is more like 2%.

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Response to Mopar151 (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:04 PM

14. Thank you!

"We need to emphasize the basic kindness and decency that is the real underpinning of democracy."

In that single sentence, you have absolutely nailed what is most important. Your other points are right on target, too. The most expensive "welfare" is military spending, and socialism for the opulently rich.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 07:25 PM

8. If we want to win elections, it's IMPERATIVE that we also work on

 

voting machines and all the voter suppression / vote stealing methods RepubliCONS use.

For the voting machines, we need paper ballots, hand counted in full public view. I know in my heart that's a part of what gave us the incredible VA election victories.

Good essay.

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Response to RandomAccess (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:06 PM

15. Definitely.

Those are vital issues. Without real reform, any or all of our gains can be stolen.

Thank you! Much appreciated.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 08:09 PM

9. I like what I read about Tim Canova

Too bad he's 23rd district. I am district 12 now.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:08 PM

16. Right.

You're still a bit closer to the 23rd than I am. I'll have to check with some associates in FL, in case I need to reserve a cabin to stay in if I end up working on his campaign there. If I do, I anticipate your assistance.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 16, 2018, 06:39 PM

26. You can stay at my house

Even if it is far away if you don't stop here I might be pretty miffed.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 08:20 PM

10. great Jung quote ...

timely message as well
✌🏼️

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Response to dweller (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:10 PM

17. Thanks.

My younger son has been studying Jung closely in recent times. After reading my books, he's started collecting some others.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:21 PM

18. highly recommend his autobiography

Memories, Dreams and Reflections

I retread it every several years
🙏🏻

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Response to dweller (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 11:05 PM

19. I believe that

my son got that two weeks ago. He's gotten about 50 new books since the summer, many of Jung's (or collected writings & speeches).

During the summer, his uncle shot himself. He was trying to get off pain-killers, and that can lead to dark places. My son was in the ER when his uncle died. Since then, he and his cousin (my brother-in-law's daughter) have been processing that terrible event, and other issues, through studying Jung. It's proven helpful.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 11:49 PM

21. my condolences to you all

peace 🙏🏻

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jan 16, 2018, 10:28 AM

22. An idealistic point, not to be taken seriously:

I wonder if, in the search for "the better candidate," we have lost sight of searching for "the better person." This is where pragmatism meets, and typically annihilates, ideals. The GOP have taken it to absurd lengths (I'm looking at you, Roy Moore), but the Democrats are not innocent of it, either. Wanting the candidate who can "win," regardless of his ethics or his positions, leads more in the direction of politics devolving into salesmanship, rather than statesmanship. The best way to sell is to tell the people what they want to hear; but statesmanship may sometimes require telling them what they need to hear. What serious politician today would echo Mr Roosevelt in hoping people hate him?

As I say, this is an idealistic point, not to be taken seriously. In the present circumstances, dreams must give way to reality, and "whatever it takes" to throw the bums out is what should be pursued. But, friend, we have been waiting all our lives for the dreams of our youth to be realized, and damage control does get tiresome after awhile.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 16, 2018, 12:12 PM

23. I agree.

In some cases, we have the opportunity to pick a "better" candidate for the general elections, who is also a "better" person. I think that the example of Tim Canova illustrates this. In other instances, the "better" candidate might not be the one that seems the "better" person. Primaries have the potential to be helpful or harmful. Let us hope that our party's are helpful, and the republican party's are harmful to their cause.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jan 16, 2018, 12:55 PM

24. Thank you for another insightful post, H2O Man, and condolences to your family for your loss.

By the way, have we had an H2O Man appreciation thread recently? Maybe it's time for another one.

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 16, 2018, 05:04 PM

25. Thank you, LongTomH !!

I appreciate that!

The death of my brother-in-law was very hard. My son was able to be in the ER, and then went to his house and did the clean-up. That was difficult for him to do, and was tough for some time. I still feel bad, because I know he was going to try and quit the pain meds. I had told him, about 9 days earlier, that based upon my experience, that process is brutal on the body and mind. It takes you to dark places that really don't exist outside your head. I wish I had stayed in closer touch with him.

And thanks for even mentioning an appreciation thread -- though I have no need for that. The combination of the responses to my essays, and being able to comment on others' OPs, is much more than enough. I enjoy being a community member here.

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