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Fri May 2, 2014, 04:54 PM

Well, well, well

I took my loved one out to dinner,
So we could get a bite to eat ….
We sat and talked of revolution,
Just like two liberals in the sun …..
I took my loved one to a big field,
So we could watch the English sky ….
-- John Lennon; Well, Well, Well


Three events from recent days stand out in my mind. The other day, while taking a walk with a friend, I found a projectile point from the Adena cultural phase. Those that come from the Ohio River Valley region tend to be larger, made of material not found in upstate New York, and are older; those made here are smaller, made of local flint, and are newer. This particular one likely dates to about 450-550 ad. It is as sharp and crisp as the day it was made, without so much as a chip missing.

Last night, I attended the local school board meeting. An audience of about 30 came for the open meeting. There were teachers, students, and interested community members, there to express a variety of interests and concerns. Although our district was just ranked rather high among small schools (in the state and nationally), none of the audience was there to either thank us, or give us a pat on our backs.

Today, on the drive home from a grocery store, and while passing a small lake at the outskirts of our town, I saw an eagle. After checking in my rearview mirror, I pulled over to the side of the highway. It’s not uncommon to see eagles in these parts, but I still find myself in awe of their beauty and power.

I did purchase, among other things, 40 lbs of bird food today. Soon, I’ll go out to my pond and fill the numerous bird-feeders. Later this evening, after dinner, my best buddy and I plan to sit out by the pond, build a small fire, and discuss our plans for upcoming social-political events. I am hoping that we see some fire-flies, as we listen to the peeper-frogs sing.

One of the things that I was focused on last night was how various people “do” tension. I know, I know: it’s difficult verging upon impossible to believe that there could be tension at a school board meeting. Yet, it happens. And there is a wide span of ways people behave in a public setting where there is tension.

Public speaking creates discomfort for many people. Even if it involves a relative small group of friendly, good-natured folks, some of us get nervous. If it is a moderate-sized group of angry people, it can be difficult for many people to speak their mind. Obviously, that increases if one is addressing workplace concerns where supervision is there. Likewise, there is the potential for board members, who serve voluntarily, without pay, to feel like they are on the old “hot seat” when the public questions their insight, their values, and/or their integrity. That potential seems to increase, when the person attacking them has their facts way wrong. (On the other hand, if that person knows exactly what they are addressing, that can create tension, too!)

Other factors can include money, be it in the context of taxes or salaries. Another is how parents view the quality of the education their children get, and even issues involving school sports. It happens.

What I noticed -- and surely not for the first time -- is that certain individuals, on both sides, follow a fairly predictable path: they become defensive; they have a compulsive need to speak (often mistaking volume and quantity for quality); they accuse the target of their anger of things that simply have not been said; and they close their minds, making it impossible to hear, much less process, “new” incoming information.

One of the most shallow things President George W. Bush ever said was the “you’re either with us, or against us” bit of nonsense. That obviously tends to limit one’s perception. And, at times, that’s not really a huge deal, in and of itself. We can all be “wrong” sometimes, and even in situations where issues cannot be simply “right vs. wrong,” we are all human, and suffer from errors in thinking from time to time.

It certainly can be a very real problem in some circumstances, though. For example, there is a certain tipping point, where if enough people become angry, a group discussion loses the ability to be productive. That handcuffs efforts to engage in conflict resolution. It reduces the art of negotiation, into something that crudely resembles a sporting competition, where some participants will do anything to “win.”

Somehow, some way, human beings need to rise above the “us versus them” dynamic. It’s a luxury that we cannot afford. That doesn’t mean that we are all going to hold hands, and be best buds. Or even friends. It does mean that we have reached a point in the life cycle of our species, where we have a common interest -- one that not everyone recognizes -- in taking steps that increase our ability to maintain human life on Earth, on a meaningful scale. We are already in a growing environmental crisis. There are consequences that are to be paid for the ignorance and greed that has damaged the air, land, and water.

In order to be able to deal with those larger and more complex issues, people need to be able to deal with the smaller things that arise in our daily lives.

Peace,
H2O Man

29 replies, 2703 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Well, well, well (Original post)
H2O Man May 2014 OP
sheshe2 May 2014 #1
H2O Man May 2014 #11
chervilant May 2014 #2
Bernardo de La Paz May 2014 #3
H2O Man May 2014 #12
Peacetrain May 2014 #4
H2O Man May 2014 #14
Auggie May 2014 #5
H2O Man May 2014 #15
sabrina 1 May 2014 #22
H2O Man May 2014 #23
sabrina 1 May 2014 #24
H2O Man May 2014 #26
sabrina 1 May 2014 #27
zeemike May 2014 #6
H2O Man May 2014 #16
MynameisBlarney May 2014 #7
H2O Man May 2014 #17
MynameisBlarney May 2014 #28
Hekate May 2014 #8
H2O Man May 2014 #18
Sarah Ibarruri May 2014 #9
H2O Man May 2014 #19
Sarah Ibarruri May 2014 #25
malaise May 2014 #10
H2O Man May 2014 #20
7wo7rees May 2014 #13
H2O Man May 2014 #21
Beringia May 2014 #29

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 05:25 PM

1. Beautifully stated as always, H2O Man!

Thank you.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #1)

Fri May 2, 2014, 10:55 PM

11. Thank you.

I appreciate that!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 05:40 PM

2. I am working on an article

regarding our species' relative inability to deal with outliers--of all ilk. Your essay is a timely find.

For example, we are not taught how to interact with individuals who have mental disorders. We are even taught to view mental disorders as aberrations, rather than as the coping strategies they are for those of us who must contend with a different brain chemistry, or PTSD, or any number of stressors that compel us to learn something -- anything -- that helps us to maintain or survive.

I think the same holds true for anger--the "bad" emotion. Early in my work as an advocate, I learned an excellent strategy for determining how one expresses anger, and why. Most of us fail to understand from whom, and how, we learn to express anger. Interactions on the micro level could be our primary opportunities to learn to express anger in healthy ways. We might also learn tolerance, acceptance, conflict resolution, and compromise.

We have to have each others' backs. We cannot continue to indulge in "us vs them."

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Response to chervilant (Reply #2)

Fri May 2, 2014, 06:57 PM

3. It's most species. If you paint a bird (crow, say) white, the others will peck it to death. nt

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Response to chervilant (Reply #2)

Fri May 2, 2014, 11:11 PM

12. Right.

Our culture does not recognize people with mental illness as representative of one of many legitimate human experiences. Instead, the greater culture pretends that those human beings who experience the symptoms of an illness are unworthy of inclusion in society. While they may not be placed in attics literally, they are restricted to the basements and outhouses of society.

More, we see the denial of human emotions ....every television channel has commercials for this pill or that patch, which will numb feelings and emotions (warning: there is a risk of heart attack, cancer, high blood pressure, blood in urine, or death associated with this miracle cure).

Being so far removed from the normal range of human emotions increases the likelihood of people finding a sense of "safety" by doing anger, when they may in fact be anxious, uncomfortable, or unsure of what they feel. Add the alienation that saturates this culture, and the emotional dynamic known as "road rage" spreads unchecked. We witness it even here, on the old "information highway."

I tend to ramble on and on. (smile) Sorry about that -- your post is interesting, and I hope that you share the article you are writing here on DU. I look forward to that.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:00 PM

4. Nicely put H2OMan

Fear of the "other"
..

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #4)

Sat May 3, 2014, 12:10 AM

14. Thanks.

I remember way back, when I had just finished high school, and was filling out "paper work" ..... and a few times in a row, if I remember correctly, there were questions with a selection of answers, including "other." And I enjoyed identifying myself as "other."

Many, many decades later, I still think of myself as an "other." Perhaps others do, too.

(One school administrator and I were talking last night. He deals with the financial business. He's a fairly conservative republican, but over the past three years, have become pretty good friends. We've gone out "artifact hunting" several times, and he's come to the gym a few times. I introduced him to Marvis Frazier last fall, something he really enjoyed.

Last night, he told me that when I had announced that I was running three years ago, another school administrator told him that i was "a wild-eyed radical," and "dangerous." Now, I had never met either of these gentlemen at that point. But the one fellow had a pretty strange opinion of me. Fear of the "other."

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:07 PM

5. Reminds me of crowd / mass behavior from Sociology class

Given the right circumstances, all it takes is one person to incite a crowd. And that one person is smart enough to recognize the tipping point that you mention and use it to their advantage.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #5)

Sat May 3, 2014, 12:16 AM

15. Great point.

It is far, far easier to get a crowd to lose control, than to take control. And it only takes one person to do that.

It's funny: the Beatles stopped touring, largely as a result of John Lennon's recognizing the crowd as an entity, a beehive, so to speak. He saw that by simply raising the neck of his guitar in one direction, the entity reacted with a wave of energy. To use the language of the day (or should I say "lingo", it freaked him out.

Strange things, crowds. I began practicing manipulating crowds as a teenager, in the boxing ring. Little experiments. I'm less likely to be found in a crowd at this point in life. Not the most stable of environments.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #5)

Sat May 3, 2014, 04:16 PM

22. Well, you have to admit, it is radical to care about this planet in a world where to achieve

recognition and approval it is necessary to be 'pragmatic' about these things. There is an old saying 'money is the root of all evil'. Maybe not ALL but if you want to be considered 'normal' in a predatory society it is necessary to become a predator. Anything else is 'wild-eyed radicalism'. I am glad that at least one of those two men got to know as a person, I have a feeling he at least, has changed his mind.

Thanks for yet another OP that makes DU a better place.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #22)

Sat May 3, 2014, 04:22 PM

23. Thanks!

I remember that once, after a particularly heated and unpleasant meeting, he approached me with a question. He had read my sons' book, about the Native American history in the northeast. In it, the topic of the Power of the Good Mind is discussed. And he said, "That's what you do here, isn't it? To try to resolve the conflicts, by getting people to access that 'good power' of their minds?"

He was, of course, correct.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #23)

Sat May 3, 2014, 04:36 PM

24. It sounds as though he is one of those who can think for himself.

I used to be more conciliatory towards those who use anger and bullying to try to force their pov on others. It was easy at the time as I thought they were just misinformed, about the 'left' eg. Then I learned after a few years of trying to explain to them that their talking points had no basis in reality, 'liberal commies' etc, I realized that theirs was a chosen state of mind and no amount of truth was going to sway them from their 'beliefs'. Much like, as you pointed out, Cult followers.

I try to remain rational when dealing with that mindset, but have failed many times. Perhaps because I realize more than ever how much harm they have and still do by giving support to those 'leaders' who should instead be held accountable.

But you are right, I know that. You can't change some people's minds when they are attached to an ideology and/or a person, rather than the common good. I will try again, from now on, not to waste time on things that will not contribute to making things better and putting that energy into more productive efforts. Thanks for the reminder!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #24)

Sat May 3, 2014, 11:04 PM

26. Well said!

The majority of the public has but a shallow grasp of the true nature of political-social issues. They feign insight. But they can't hang in serious discussions.

I always try to keep in mind that one is only responsible for themselves. So we might tell others the truth -- as best we can -- but it is entirely up to them how they think and behave as a result. I especially think of that, when speaking to elected or non-elected people in government.

I always enjoy talking with you here. I'm glad that you take the time to read my posts, and to respond to them.I'm mighty proud to be on the same team as you! Thank you for all that you contribute to this forum.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #26)

Sun May 4, 2014, 04:59 PM

27. That means a lot coming from you H20 Man.

In a way, I understand when the truth contradicts old, comfortable beliefs it can be disturbing and the instinct is to resist it. I have experienced that feeling. It can be a shock to be told that everything you thought was a fact, never was. But I also believe that given time, some people can come to terms with that and do. Others maybe never find that peace, and it is a relief to accept the truth after struggling to try to defend what is not true.

I always enjoy talking to you also and yours are some of the few posts that are on my must read list here.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:28 PM

6. Another factor you did not mention.

But actually demonstrated in your description of what you would do after dinner is the loss of touch with the natural world.
I know that sounds funny, but I think it plays a larger part in our anger and angst about things than we know.
The average person today will watch TV after diner...that is if they actually have a dinner and not order pizza to eat in front of the TV...and that TV presents a world that is far from natural and full of all sorts of violence and things to be afraid of and things to hate...or indulgences to have.

If people would build a small fire and sit around listing to the frogs and talking with friends much tension would be lost...and we would sleep better at night.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #6)

Sat May 3, 2014, 12:20 AM

16. Huge point.

I'd have a hard time living in an urban environment, at this point in life. I tend to spend the majority of my time alone, and in nature. I'm lucky to live where I do. I spend a lot of time out at my pond; I also have a nice woods here. And in a three-minute walk, I'm at a creek with a beautiful waterfalls.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:57 PM

7. Duuuuude!

You shore do rite rill purdy like!

Seriously, you just wrote what I try to say damn near every day...just with a far better handle on the English language...and far fewer cuss words.

I tend to be more confrontational, I've become intolerant of their intolerance to everyone that isn't one of them. I just blast away with pretty much an uncut observation and brutal critique of their position. Derisive laughter is also used frequently.

I understand where you come from, and I used to think that we could join together in keeping this planet healthy...but there are Authoritarians in this world, and a whole shitload of people that can't help but to follow them. Some can be reasoned with and enlightened, but some just can't handle the cognitive dissonance. So they shut out the opposing reality because reflection just makes them too uncomfortable.

Luckily, those types are fairly easy to recognize after talking to them for a bit. They can't help but let their hate slip, then I got 'em.

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #7)

Sat May 3, 2014, 02:35 PM

17. One thing:

It's spelt "wreell," not "rill."

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #17)

Mon May 5, 2014, 10:01 AM

28. It depends on the region

I guess, but I've heard both pronunciations. A LOT.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:59 PM

8. Always a pleasure to read your musings. KnR, my friend. nt

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Response to Hekate (Reply #8)

Sat May 3, 2014, 03:56 PM

18. Thank you!

Much appreciated!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 08:44 PM

9. I know. But how? How does one convince Nazis not to hate? Right wingers not to hate?

Is there a formula to use? Or maybe they are just insane and cannot be convinced and will only attack and hurt and all we can do is protect ourselves from them striking out?

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #9)

Sat May 3, 2014, 04:11 PM

19. Valid question.

I appreciate that you asked that. I'm not sure that my answer is one that many people -- including here on DU -- will agree with. But it is something that I'm convinced is true.

I never try to convince anyone, of anything. First, if a person's opinion is based on what someone else says, to convince them, than their beliefs are built upon an external foundation. Far too often, this takes place. And it contains the seeds that far too often lead to tragic results. We have seen the extreme examples in, say, the nonsense with "cult" leader Jim Jones. And while it is not often than tragic in it's results, we have so many related examples .....Bush and Cheney taking the nation to war in Iraq, and on and on.

Whenever a person's opinions and beliefs are dependent upon that which is external, it simply means that the goodness of Truth has not taken root within their self, their being. That being said, I'm obviously willing to engage in conversations about any number of topics. I'm quite comfortable expressing what -- and why -- I believe to be true. At the same time, I encourage others to take the time to investigate what ever they consider important, and to reach their own conclusions.

Now, there are people who are so damaged that they translate everything in a negative, even hateful manner. Even a healthy society will produce some diseased individuals. Yet, when enough people think for themselves -- the very process that allows for the Power of Ideas -- that hateful minority becomes restricted in its ability to do damage to the community. Not to the point where violence is totally eliminated, for that is always a human potential. But lessened to the greatest extent humanly possible.

Again, that's just what I think, based upon my experiences in life, and study of human nature.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #19)

Sat May 3, 2014, 04:44 PM

25. You take the high road, which is a good road. What contradicts it is scientific study which

seems to indicate that genetics plays a part in how people are. I recall reading that right wingers tend to become fearful right away. These are the people who strike out right away, and are likely to use and need scapegoats (in the case of right wingers, they usually scapegoat the helpless and least powerful) in order to feel safe. Can people who (for whatever reason) are born genetically terrified and ready to attack and hate ever be made to feel safe? To see that equality and fairness are the way? Can they be made to see that blaming the helpless is an erroneous path? How long do we allow them to hurt scapegoats before we stop them, maybe even using their own techniques (because that might be their only language)?

By the way, the fact that there are souls like you, gives me hope for the future!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 08:46 PM

10. Beautifully written

Waterman - great post/

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Response to malaise (Reply #10)

Sat May 3, 2014, 04:11 PM

20. Thank you, my Friend!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 11:53 PM

13. Man, have you got your head screwed on straight. n/t

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Response to 7wo7rees (Reply #13)

Sat May 3, 2014, 04:13 PM

21. Thanks.

My children are convinced that I have, literally, the largest head in human history. For that reason alone, it has to be screwed on securely! (smile)

I'd like to think that, at my extreme age, I've learned a few things in life. And among those is the ability to accept life, on life's terms.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 05:15 PM

29. thanks



might be of interest



http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/


http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml?action=doNameSearch&Submit.x=27&Submit.y=16&familyname=Mcelligott&firstname=First+Name&baronyname=&countyname=&unionname=&parishname=


Griffith's Valuation

The primary valuation of Ireland or Griffith's Valuation - carried out between 1848 and 1864 to determine liability to pay the Poor rate (for the support of the poor and destitute within each Poor Law Union) - provides detailed information on where people lived in mid-nineteenth century Ireland and the property they possessed. Griffith's Valuation is fully searchable online, free of charge on the Ask About Ireland website.

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