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H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
Mon Feb 6, 2023, 10:52 AM Feb 2023

A Merman

" Oh say, can you see it's really such a mess
Every inch of Earth is a fighting nest
Giant pencil and lipstick tube shaped things,
Continue to rain and cause screaming pain
And the arctic stains from silver blue to bloody red"
-- Jimi Hendrix; 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)


A couple of evenings ago, I had a phone call from a lady taking a survey on a wide variety of domestic and international issues. Some questions were easy to answer, such as "do you identify as a Democrat, republican, or independent?" Others were not so simple, such as "do you have a positive or negative opinion of Congress?" I said "both," but that was not an option.

Other questions focused on economic and military threats to the United States. I found the question regarding what country poses the greatest threat to the US the easiest to answer: the United States. What did I consider the biggest problem in our country? Hatred. For not all wars are fought with the weapons that Jimi Hendrix described in his haunting song.

Certainly, with the number of mass shootings here being greater than the number of days in 2023, one could say that there is a real problem with weapons. The levels of individual murders, as well as of domestic violence, are also unsettling. I remember Gandhi saying that poverty is the worst form of violence. And I know that there are forms of poverty beyond economics. Indeed, in just watching the news, I am reminded of what my late friend Rubin called the poverty of spirit that threatened the United States: the poverty of human decency, the poverty of truth, the poverty of kindness. Or, as I said, hatred.



"But you and I know that this war will not have any real victors and that, once it is over, we shall have to go on living together forever on the same soil." -- Albert Camus


An example of those forms of poverty were provided to the public when the republican House members voted to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Now, I recognize that, as Rep. Omar is among my favorite politicians, I am unlikely to be 100% objective. Yet I am easily able to recognize that she has said some offensive things, and has been called out for it by Democratic leaders. But if that is the measure for removing someone, how about those who campaign for the support of the people who carry torches and chant, "Jews will not replace us"?

Unlike some House republicans, Rep Omar has not threatened other House members. She hasn't posted a video of her killing another House member, or called for any politician's execution. She doesn't talk about carrying a gun on the House floor. She's never attempted a coup.As for the "hating America" bullshit, listen to their leader, Trump, and tell me who hates America.

My daughter and I were talking about this ..... how she is treated a bit differently. I said that because I am a white man in conservative rural upstate New York, I get to listen to a lot of white guys. In fact, I've listened to them all my life. (As a kid forced to go to church, I recognized that as a form of purgatory.) I know that the conservative guys have a limited concept of women's roles in the family, community, and country. And there isn't anything more confusing and un-nerving for them as an intelligent young woman of color in a position of power.

That's not to say that other women of any age in lanes outside of their narrow minds aren't upsetting for them. Or, some one like President Obama. For that matter, a growing number of non-white families in their communities, including non-white kids on their school's sports teams. One might notice a pattern here. These guys believe they are entitled to a society where white men rule.

Hours after Rep. Omar was removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee, I saw a republican House member commenting on the news. He said that the Democrats "try to make everything about race." I can't remember his name, but his face and words were the same as those I've listened to over the years in rural upstate New York. As a Democrat, I'll say that "race" -- while an issue -- wasn't the only issue, and that it is the Democratic Party that is willing and ready to put all of the other issues on the table for discussion. And the republicans are going to have to learn to live with it.

21 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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A Merman (Original Post) H2O Man Feb 2023 OP
Are we completely lost? Saoirse9 Feb 2023 #1
No, we are not H2O Man Feb 2023 #8
""But you and I know that this war will not have any real victors" Ferrets are Cool Feb 2023 #2
Hence genocide Easterncedar Feb 2023 #5
Last night, I had H2O Man Feb 2023 #9
That was some deep chit y'all were discussing... Ferrets are Cool Feb 2023 #13
Oh, definitely! H2O Man Feb 2023 #20
Thank you for your excellent post, my dear H20 Man. CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2023 #3
That he included both the words of Camus & Hendrix is impressive in this piece, but I too hlthe2b Feb 2023 #4
The two seemed H2O Man Feb 2023 #21
Thank you, Peggy! H2O Man Feb 2023 #10
In my business, I must rub shoulders with a lot of repugs.... Ferrets are Cool Feb 2023 #14
It's a start. H2O Man Feb 2023 #19
Right on. Easterncedar Feb 2023 #6
MTG appears to H2O Man Feb 2023 #11
Crazier than Sarah Palin and no brighter Easterncedar Feb 2023 #16
Right. H2O Man Feb 2023 #18
KnR Hekate Feb 2023 #7
Thanks! H2O Man Feb 2023 #12
Excellent OP malaise Feb 2023 #15
Thank you! H2O Man Feb 2023 #17

Saoirse9

(3,703 posts)
1. Are we completely lost?
Mon Feb 6, 2023, 11:03 AM
Feb 2023

I am sad about Ilhan Omar even though I disagree with her sometimes. Faux News has managed to convince people that she’s evil because of the color of her skin and her background, and the occasional things she gets wrong.

I read about the gaslighting the GOP are doing with despair. Any halfway intelligent person can easily see that it’s bullshit. So why are several intelligent people I know buying this nonsense?

I don’t see the country returning to any semblance of normality until Faux News is a thing of the past.

How can I help accomplish this?

I have made up my mind that when I retire in a few years this will be my cause. I think there’s nothing more important but I don’t know where to start.

Great OP as always brother.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
8. No, we are not
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 02:05 PM
Feb 2023

completely lost. We are just warming up.

I've been trying to think of a proper answer to your question since reading it yesterday. That's why there is the delay in responding. If I were to type 1/100th of what I was thinking, it would be even longer and more boring than the OP.

I remember decades ago, asking Rubin much the same question. He said the answer is most frustrating: all one can do is to be a good person, making a disciplined effort to become a better person. He said until enough people engage in a conscious effort to do that, things can only get worse ...... because all organic life on this Earth follows a mechanical pattern, where they only grow or decay. That includes everything from the smallest individual life form, to bee hives, ant hills, and human empires.

We witness this today, do we not? Unconscious human beings chattering about the concept of being "woke," when they do not have a clue what that actually means ..... for it is NOT a political issue in ANY sense .... it is a human potential that no current ideology has the ability to aim for.

I am feeling the temptation to go on and on -- something you know I can do -- but I will leave it at this for now. And we will discuss this further.

Ferrets are Cool

(21,146 posts)
2. ""But you and I know that this war will not have any real victors"
Mon Feb 6, 2023, 11:07 AM
Feb 2023

"But you and I know that this war will not have any real victors and that, once it is over, we shall have to go on living together forever on the same soil." -- Albert Camus

Unless the vanquished are all dead.

Easterncedar

(2,492 posts)
5. Hence genocide
Mon Feb 6, 2023, 02:30 PM
Feb 2023

I just finished Patrice Nganang’s historical novel “A Trail of Crabtracks”. It’s a thought-provoking work that brilliantly exposes the intersections of colonialism, tribalism, civil war, genocide and diaspora and personal suffering and resilience; it takes place in Cameroon and the US. Nganang had me completely invested in the characters, although I was utterly ignorant of the history.

Your point about the Camus quote really resonated with me today.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
9. Last night, I had
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 02:55 PM
Feb 2023

a fellow contact me on the internet to discuss his concerns with the current state of humanity, primarily in this country. I knew who the guy was, by way of his being connected to the family of one of my children's friends. But I have never been in the same place as him, or ever spoke with him before. I think he is likely in his early 50s, though that is just speculation on my part.

I'm never comfortable when someone asks me what "the answer" is. As if I know! But I told him about when I used to ask Rubin and/or Paul that same thing. We ended up having a long talk about the evolution of our species -- the organic evolution of our brains, and the potential for modern humans to evolve consciously, as there will be no mechanical evolution -- only consciousness evolves, or extinction. Those are the options.

I had a strange thought, something I didn't say. For it could easily be mistaken for "politically incorrect," and since I am exactly as ugly as I look, I try not to comment on the way others look. But I was thinking of how my daughter had used the word "elegant" to describe Ilhan Omar, which I think is a perfect fit. And surely republican men recognize that. At the same time, Marjorie Taylor Greene always reminds me of the picture in the November 1985 edition of National Geographic, of Paranthropus boisei. I doubt she acts as civilized, though. This might be at the root of their rage.

Ferrets are Cool

(21,146 posts)
13. That was some deep chit y'all were discussing...
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 04:01 PM
Feb 2023

especially for having never met.
Your last paragraph is interesting. My gut feeling is that it is more that Ms Omar emits strength in a manner in which they are uncomfortable. They detest strong women of a moral nature.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
20. Oh, definitely!
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 05:44 PM
Feb 2023

That Rep Omar is a highly intelligent, powerful woman upsets them greatly. It reminds me of how angry they got listening to President Obama speak. They don't like hearing the truth from their superiors in intellect and morality.

CaliforniaPeggy

(150,256 posts)
3. Thank you for your excellent post, my dear H20 Man.
Mon Feb 6, 2023, 11:11 AM
Feb 2023

Yes, the Democratic Party is more than ready and willing to discuss many such issues. They will have to get on board with it, too.

If they don't, then the divide between these two groups will only grow, and that could lead to real trouble.

hlthe2b

(102,979 posts)
4. That he included both the words of Camus & Hendrix is impressive in this piece, but I too
Mon Feb 6, 2023, 12:27 PM
Feb 2023

am alarmed at what this all portends.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
21. The two seemed
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 05:46 PM
Feb 2023

to go together when I was making an outline in my mind. The thoughts of two gentle human beings that cared about others.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
10. Thank you, Peggy!
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 03:04 PM
Feb 2023

Two days ago on FB, an idiot tried to dog my cousin, including asking how President Biden was doing? My cousin said that he's doing great, and listed eight accomplishments. He then changed the subject, and the two discussed artifacts. I told him that is the best way ..... we have a cousin who is an ignorant, bitter republican, who has had very limited contact with our side of the family since his father (our uncle) was murdered in 1969. In the last year, I've talked with that cousin, but purposely avoid politics. Instead, we talk about music.

It will take time before we can put the political cards on the table with a lot of that type. Their "leaders" just lie to them. But with patience, we will get there.

Ferrets are Cool

(21,146 posts)
14. In my business, I must rub shoulders with a lot of repugs....
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 04:07 PM
Feb 2023

either that or go broke. I have found that music is the thing with which we are most in conjunction. We never discuss politics but music is that one subject where we can just be humans and enjoy it together.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
19. It's a start.
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 05:41 PM
Feb 2023

I have to admit that I do wonder how it is that someone who listens to the Doors and Jimi Hendrix can be a narrow-minded conservative. But it happens!

Easterncedar

(2,492 posts)
6. Right on.
Mon Feb 6, 2023, 02:39 PM
Feb 2023

When looking at what conservatives believe, I find it commonly breaks along a very cynical line: the spokesmen are ginning up fake issues for ragefarming the ignorant. Obviously the GOP targets Omar and AOC and tolerates MTG and Boebert for political advantage rather for ideology.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
11. MTG appears to
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 03:23 PM
Feb 2023

be making an effort to appear less foolish as she wants to be Trump's choice for VP in 2024. I could vomit.

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
17. Thank you!
Tue Feb 7, 2023, 05:38 PM
Feb 2023

Sometimes when I see republican House members spouting shit, I find myself wishing I was able to sit across the table from them, and expose their purposeful lying. I was pretty good at that when I did forensic cases at the clinic and/or jail. And those republicans are no better at lying -- actually, not nearly as craftly as some inmates I met.

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