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Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:36 PM

Old Man River

“Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate for the political system we currently have but Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to build the system that we should have.”
-- FourScore; DU:GDP


A few years ago, some environmental activists I was acquainted with asked me to attend a Democratic Committee meeting in a distant town. The drive allowed me to travel through a couple of counties in upstate New York, a setting that is truly beautiful at all times of year. Being the guest speaker in a meeting in a tiny community like this is both “small stuff,” and the essence of our constitutional democracy.

Being the guest speaker also allows one the opportunity to sit through the committee meeting. Like in most of this region, Democrats are the minority. It’s not uncommon for towns, like this one, to have more citizens registered as Independents, than as Democrats. And republicans always are in the majority.

I immediately liked everyone I met. I was especially impressed with three long-term leaders of the town’s Democratic Party. I learned that these three ladies had run the committee since the early 1970s. Before that, in the 1960s, they had been the small town version of “Flower Children,” protesting the war, racism, and sexism. Now they are Elders.

The other leader was a university professor, who teaches sociology and political science. She had her young daughter with her to the meeting, always a good sign. One of the things she said that struck me as important came when she asked for volunteers to distribute something. It could be accomplished by handing them out in the local plaza parking lot, or going door-to-door.

No one volunteered, and this lady seemed slightly frustrated. She said that the people on the left are always willing to step up, and do this kind of activity. The registered Democrats at the meeting are more comfortable doing other types of campaigning.

The topic I selected for my talk was, of course, how everyone’s contribution had value. Everyone is not equally talented in every area of political activity. The simple truth is that we need each and every person to contribute, according to their talents. When we do that, we win. It’s not really that complicated.

On my ride home, I stopped along the Susquehanna River. It is a powerful, living entity, that helps to sustain life around it. I was thinking about how few people have an intimate relationship with the river any more. For thousands of years, it was a highway for the Ancient Ones. Even up until fairly recent times, communities along the river recognized it as playing an important role in their lives.

Every year in May, one town in Chenango County holds a 70-mile canoe race, known as the General Clinton Canoe Regatta. It celebrates a violent chapter in our nation’s early history, during the Revolutionary War. I found myself remembering a story that the Elder of the valley I grew up in told me, when I was a wee-little boy. As a adult, I found some historians -- including faculty at local colleges -- told me that they had never heard of this episode, and could find no documentation. Many years later, in a soldier’s diary, located in the musty basement of a historical society in another state, I found a detailed telling of that very story.

For whatever reason, I found myself thinking of another time, in my home town, when I studied the official records of a huge, toxic landfill. It was 120+ acres of extremely toxic industrial wastes. Among other things, I was looking for documentation to prove that something that an Elder on that mountain had told me. Quite literally, I would find it on page 100,556. The industry was lying, and several state and federal officials had taken the industry spokespersons at their word. What may appear true on paper, may not be true when you visit a site. It’s always good to listen to a creek: like rivers, they don’t lie.

I think about these things, as I sit back as a spectator to much of what is going in the Democratic and republican presidential primaries today. At my age, there are days when I’m not physically able to attend meetings, go door-to-door, or anything else meaningful. Instead, I sit back, and watch the river flow. The currents -- and especially the under-currents -- in the republican primaries is fascinating. While dividing the republican party along harsh, sharp lines, they are creating an opportunity that I have not witnessed in my adult life.

Yet, the growing division in the Democratic Party is concerning. Even here on DU, I see people who I am sure are sincere when they say that the 2016 primary is not as bad as, say, that of 2008. But they are wrong. And sincere but wrong isn’t a winning combination. (Note, for example, that republicans historically demand a combination of wrong and insincere from their ranks.)

Now, back to the quote from our good friend FourScore’s wonderful OP. If we are looking to continue to operate in the current socio-political environment, I think that we can all agree that Hillary Clinton is the perfect Democratic candidate. However, if we view the current system as grossly contaminated, and believe we need to create a very different system, then Bernie Sanders is the only option.

I understand that many good people are no more aware of the potential for changes to be made in the system, than they are of the rivers they see each day, on their drive to the factory or office. They are disconnected. They may take note of the rising waters associated with the river flooding its banks. And they understand that a community such as Flint has been poisoned, as a result of a river and some old pipes.

But the Sanders movement has a different relationship, and makes other connections, when it comes to water and land and air. They might live in a city, but they understand the consequences of our systematic destruction of the living environment. I “linked” to an article from the Binghamton, NY, newspaper a week ago -- the article was about numerous sources of water being cut off, due to the unacceptably high levels of lead. It’s not just a few communities facing that type of thing: it is a common feature in both urban and rural areas, from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. It is no longer just the rural poor, and often non-white, communities that have been poisoned for decades.

I think about an American “war” that they don’t teach about in school. It’s a part of New York State’s history, that has implications for this time. It was known as the “Second American Revolutionary War” in its day. It started in 1839, when there were building tensions between the elite land-owners, who lived around Albany, and the tenant farmers in the outlying counties. It was a form of feudalism, of course, and crushed hard-working people, so that the !% could live an opulent lifestyle.

Unlike the Revolutionary War, which was violent, the Anti-Rent War (as it has become known) was largely non-violent. And it worked. It changed the balance of power in upstate New York. The 1% were still wealthy, and as obnoxious as are their heirs today. But the revolutionaries changed the socio-economic-political system. They did this at a time when the establishment said they had no chance. They did so, knowing they faced the wrath of the powerful elite.

Since then, of course, we’ve had the powerful example of the civil rights movement. It, too, had a lot of different participants, who made valuable contributions. Of the most important for our consideration are those of Martin Luther King, Jr., and those he labored with. For, exactly opposite the members of the Tea Party, we know that we are not going to find solutions by carrying side-arms in public. That is not the type of “power” that can repair and heal our society.

Across America tonight, there are small groups in little towns, working on the Sanders revolution. There are student organizations on college and university campuses, actively supporting the movement. And there are rallies and similar events, in cities in every state. We are intent upon building a new society, out of the compost of the current rot. We aren’t interested in sugar-coating the present system, for Washington has become a toxic waste dump site. We aren’t satisfied to think about incremental change, or possible future improvements. We are changing things, now.

That river is rising.

Peace,
H2O Man

58 replies, 3117 views

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Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
Reply Old Man River (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2016 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2016 #1
H2O Man Mar 2016 #33
noretreatnosurrender Mar 2016 #2
H2O Man Mar 2016 #34
NBachers Mar 2016 #3
H2O Man Mar 2016 #35
Samantha Mar 2016 #4
H2O Man Mar 2016 #36
nadinbrzezinski Mar 2016 #5
H2O Man Mar 2016 #37
nadinbrzezinski Mar 2016 #48
panader0 Mar 2016 #6
FourScore Mar 2016 #10
SusanCalvin Mar 2016 #15
JDPriestly Mar 2016 #19
JDPriestly Mar 2016 #22
H2O Man Mar 2016 #42
malthaussen Mar 2016 #58
Uncle Joe Mar 2016 #7
H2O Man Mar 2016 #43
Gregorian Mar 2016 #8
H2O Man Mar 2016 #44
Gregorian Mar 2016 #52
H2O Man Mar 2016 #54
FourScore Mar 2016 #9
H2O Man Mar 2016 #45
mak3cats Mar 2016 #11
H2O Man Mar 2016 #46
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #12
H2O Man Mar 2016 #47
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #51
RobertEarl Mar 2016 #13
JDPriestly Mar 2016 #18
H2O Man Mar 2016 #49
PWPippin Mar 2016 #14
H2O Man Mar 2016 #53
JDPriestly Mar 2016 #16
silvershadow Mar 2016 #17
tommcc99 Mar 2016 #20
PWPippin Mar 2016 #57
mmonk Mar 2016 #31
woofless Mar 2016 #21
erlewyne Mar 2016 #23
pansypoo53219 Mar 2016 #24
Thespian2 Mar 2016 #25
7wo7rees Mar 2016 #26
dchill Mar 2016 #27
FailureToCommunicate Mar 2016 #28
me b zola Mar 2016 #29
lunasun Mar 2016 #30
mmonk Mar 2016 #32
raouldukelives Mar 2016 #38
tk2kewl Mar 2016 #39
Zorra Mar 2016 #40
malthaussen Mar 2016 #41
Autumn Mar 2016 #50
Sensitive soul Mar 2016 #55
Sensitive soul Mar 2016 #56

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:47 PM

1. SO very well said, my dear H20 Man!

You always bring such good points together to make a unified and compelling whole. I respect your writing as I do few others here.

Thank you!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 09:11 AM

33. Thanks, Peggy!

You are definitely the nicest person in the DU community. You add a Goodness here that is essential in keeping the place going.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:47 PM

2. Thanks Again

H2O man for another well written, inspirational post.

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Response to noretreatnosurrender (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 09:16 AM

34. Thank you.

I am glad that you enjoyed it.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:49 PM

3. Thank you

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Response to NBachers (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 09:19 AM

35. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:49 PM

4. What a wonderful thread, H20 Man

I really enjoyed it. It has such a peaceful, well-reasoned tone. I look forward to the next one.

Sam

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Response to Samantha (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 09:30 AM

36. Thanks, Buddy!

I believe that a peaceful, well-reasoned revolution is the only way that we might re-capture our constitutional democracy.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:54 PM

5. It is not just small towns

 

and I have heard of this tension within the party already. It is no longer in the closet.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 10:10 AM

37. Right, of course not.

It's been growing for decades. One segment of the Democratic Party believed that the only way to compete with the republicans was to move our party towards the "center," and that so-called center kept moving to the right. And, for sake of accuracy, that rightward movement within the Democratic Party was in large part directed at appealing to a specific group: white males.

How well did it work? Let's consider the presidency. From 1980 on, there was Reagan, Bush1, Clinton, and Bush2. (In 2008, the Obama team ran a different type of campaign.)

What we are seeing today comes as no surprise to folks like you and I. We've watched it building for many years. That it is now out of that closet, or up on the surface, where it cannot be ignored, may surprise those who haven't been paying attention .....such as our friends who truly believed that the left had "no where else to go."

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #37)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:17 PM

48. I expect Perennial Green Candidate Jill Stein to do

 

surprisingly better, even well, this year.

The choice is a madman, or a milquenquast center right politician. Yup, more in the left will conclude that they are not going to go lesser of two evils...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:57 PM

6. This post wouldn't be complete without Paul Robeson:

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Response to panader0 (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 10:47 PM

10. I thought about this song, too!

Thank you for posting it.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:44 PM

15. Oh yes. And this.

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:54 PM

19. Thanks. Paul Robeson's voice is uniquely majestic.

Amazing. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.

His voice makes chills go up my back. It is so full and rich.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:00 AM

22. Fantastic. One of the best voices of all recorded time. Just amazing.

And watch him smile at the very end.

A voice that came from within his soul. Amazing. Just amazing.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 10:25 PM

58. And I'll add one from Jim Beer:



-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 10:08 PM

7. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, H2O Man.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:52 PM

43. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 10:22 PM

8. Tonight Bernie said in a speech, "Togetherness trumps divisiveness".

He has three phrases. Togetherness trumps divisiveness, community trumps selfishness, and love trumps hate.

We've lost touch with those things which are humane. This is what we're trying to create, as I see it. And that even applies to the economics. We are up against resistance. I can't see the Trumps just sitting idle. But we'll see. I've sat waiting for over 40 years for this moment.

I see positive things coming from this election already. We know that we exist. That was the biggest shock to me. The second was the divisiveness. Your colorful post beautifully explains why we should do what we should do regardless of why. But we're out of touch. I also want to say that I've had an outstanding time with the Youtube community. People have been finding ways to stream his speeches, and we have a live chat while it's happening, and then an afterwards discussion with perhaps several people if not just the originator of the live stream. We're the ones chopping up Bernie's speeches into small videos for people to watch. It has been an amazing time.

I don't know if this division is one that can be bridged. I need to see through that one. I simply don't see any crossing over. At least on the forum. I'd love to hear ideas on that one. But you and Bernie have spelled it out. Thanks.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:03 PM

44. Interesting.

When we are cut off from others, we could conclude -- incorrectly -- that we are out of touch. But, in fact, we are in touch ....we maintain our balance, by staying in touch with the Natural World, the rivers, the trees, the crows, the deer....

As a young man, entering the boxing ring, my mental and physical balance was the key to victory. More, my opponent's lack of balance -- be it mental, physical, or both -- was exactly what I would exploit.

Of course, back then, my objective was to devastate my opponent, and leave him unconscious on the ground for at least ten seconds. Today, our objective is to render our opposition conscious, and to help them to stand up for themselves, for the rest of their lives. That requires that we have balance and self-discipline.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #44)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 02:33 PM

52. That is absolutely beautiful.

I didn't know you were referring to the actual natural world. I was hoping that's what you had meant, because that is exactly how this scene feels to me. As I have watched in a perplexed state, over the last many decades, I have witnessed people trading the natural world for convenience; and becoming lost souls in the process. Not all, but most.

What an amazing concept: "Today, our objective is to render our opposition conscious".

Oh how I wish I could have boxed. But that's another topic.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #52)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 02:50 PM

54. Right.

A person's mind cannot fully appreciate democracy and social justice, if they do not respect the Natural World. That just cannot happen.

Yet, our "government" -- especially state and national -- are now machines. Literally. There are people who work for the machine, but they are not in control. (There are also conscious people who work in some government agencies. They may be liberal, or progressive. They are definitely good, and important. Same with good teachers.)

We understand the nature of the machine, more than a machine can grasp nature.


PS: I'm glad that you didn't box. It's a tough, brutal sport. Injuries cause long-term problems .....but try telling that to a teen-aged guy. I'm glad I did, because it kept me out of jail or the grave. Met some fascinating people, too.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 10:46 PM

9. I feel so honored, H2O Man, to be referenced in such a beautiful post.

At the same time, I'm afraid I cannot take credit for the eloquent words you have quoted. They were spoken by a vibrant and beautiful young lady at a Colorado caucus site. I only posted them.

In the comment section of my post, someone said that she was quoting Robert Reich. I looked it up and found that she had actually paraphrased him. Reich's original quote was:

"I’ve known Hillary Clinton since she was 19 years old, and have nothing but respect for her. In my view, she’s the most qualified candidate for president of the political system we now have.

But Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have, because he’s leading a political movement for change." http://robertreich.org/post/138036377515


Now that I have settled my conscience, I want to comment on YOUR post. As is so often the case with your writing, you have brought past and present, the natural world and the unnatural, the living and the forgotten all together in a story. These elements are intertwined as you take us on a journey through your writing.

And in the end, you bring it all home.

I believe this - even if Bernie doesn't win the primary (and I think he still can), the impact he is having on the young people of this country is so powerful. They will honor him.

We are on a journey.

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Response to FourScore (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:07 PM

45. Thanks, FourScore!

While I knew your OP contained the words of another person, it was you who brought them to my attention. And I was honored to "recommend" your OP, much as I am honored to serve on the same team with you for this journey.

That OP was very impressive. And it fits the pattern of your contributions to our community's discussion -- always the best.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 10:55 PM

11. Completely speechless K & R... (eom)

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Response to mak3cats (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:08 PM

46. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 10:59 PM

12. Beautiful, H2O Man! Thank you. I do see that river rising in Colorado as well.

Small mountain towns, here and there....

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:12 PM

47. Thank you!

We are witnessing a ceremony, one connected not only to the past, but one for people here now, today.

I've been gathering a nice pile of rocks, and still have a good supply of dry firewood out between my pond and lodge. Even in the remote area where I live, I am participating.

There is a strength in our movement that our opposition does not comprehend.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #47)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:46 PM

51. Many many years ago....

We had bad drought, so people decided to ask elders for a ceremony for rain. That particular day, just like many days previously, the sky was blue and sun was strong all day. Then late afternoon, medicine people from far away places started to arrive. Some of them had been traveling via hitchhiking for a few days... (we were in a remote area) --- you know, there were no cell phone, no internet ---- words of mouth traveled faster in those days....Anyway, as several elders started to arrive, I saw cloud suddenly start gathering out of nowhere, loud thunder cracking and by the time we had a tipi ready, there was HUGE storm, pouring rain for hours and hours. They pray all night long. I was designated water carrier. When I brought water to them, rain got lighten up a little and we got to see beautiful sunrise... We had no drought after that year.... I never forget that event.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:12 PM

13. Nicely done, water man

 

There is, in my past life, a place of many waters, that when I first found myself plying, were as wild and free as it had been for centuries. Many, many fruitful hours I spent on this place of waters discovering its secrets and partaking of its bounty.

It is no longer what it once was and it shall never be again. There will never be another young man living there as I did.

What happened? The rising sea has eaten it. The last time I was there it had changed more in 6 years than it had changed in 200.

My heart broken, I wept and have not returned.

I really delved into that global warming situation then and found that the course of the change which altered my 'Young man river' was fightable.


But looked around and saw no one of too great a stature wiling and possible able to really fight it. Until Bernie.

I need be excused for being too strident and too harsh in this political struggle; for it does mean the world too me.

There is no telling how many innocents can be saved undue hardships and undue struggles if we can just, at the least, slow down the coming change. For those innocents I carry on. Those who stand in the way know not the boat I paddle on this upstream effort to be a voice for the voiceless and for what little is left of this 'Old man's river.'

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:49 PM

18. Thank you. Also beautifully written and inspiring.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:25 PM

49. Years ago, I was

on our county's environmental management council. I remember when we were celebrating an anniversary of "Earth Day." Each of us listed ten ways in which the local environment had changed in our lifetimes. I suppose that even in this context, the others considered me an odd person. I talked about things such as a natural gravel bank where, as kids, my brother and I would watch the turtles come to lay their eggs. But a construction company eventually took the gravel from the site, leaving nothing for the generations of turtles.

I talked about the springs on the mountain that I was raised on. Every spring, they ran with the best-tasting water. Even in the hot days of summer, I used to drink from them, although they didn't flow as hard. But "development" on the mountain had impacted the water table, and those springs had disappeared.

I spoke about a toxic industrial waste dump, that some geniuses had placed a stone's throw from a community's water reservoir. And the deformed frogs that now inhabited that water reservoir. And the high rates of cancer, and its impact on the rural community.

No one said a word when I finished. But at least a couple of members would express appreciation for my approach a year later, when the county board of supervisors voted to remove me from that position.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:44 PM

14. Beautifully written. Another heartfelt thank you.

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Response to PWPippin (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 02:33 PM

53. Thanks, Friend!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:48 PM

16. Thank you. So wise.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:48 PM

17. And some Sanders folk are in their 50's. (Well, at least one is).

 

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Response to silvershadow (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 4, 2016, 11:58 PM

20. and some of use...

are in our 60's

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Response to tommcc99 (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 05:10 PM

57. and a great number in their/our 70's and hoping to be here when the tide turns.

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Response to silvershadow (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 08:17 AM

31. This one too until October (not much longer).

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:00 AM

21. You're like a spotlight in the darkness, brother.

Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:06 AM

23. The old river will be there, constantly changing.

In the last few months my democratic party has changed. It
will never be the same. I no longer have faith in my old party.

Maybe Bernie is a new party? I like him. Wish I knew him
fifty-years ago.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:13 AM

24. america needs a reboot.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:20 AM

25. Extremely well thought-out and executed...

Caused me to remember my metaphor for modern America...In 1975, I worked as a plumber on the construction of a large apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida. Our company, like all the other subcontractors used every short-cut imaginable. The inspectors took bribes to pass substandard work. My partner, Doug, and I were exceptions...we took pride in our work...our pipes didn't leak...When the too-long in the bucket concrete was poured for the fifth floor, it slumped...dripping sweat with a torch in my hand, I asked Doug what we were building...his response, future slums...

a metaphor for the rot throughout America...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:33 AM

26. You are the best. You are a DU elder and a treasure.

Thank you so much for everything you share here.

You enlighten us every day.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:34 AM

27. K&R!

Exception: Hillary Clinton is NOT the most qualified candidate for any office until Wall Street becomes a State, and gets their own senator. But they'd probably decide that she flip flops too much, and makes promises she won't keep.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:35 AM

28. Thanks for wise words, H2O Man. This river is indeed rising...fast...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:38 AM

29. Recommended!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:20 AM

30. The Anti-Rent War led to the creation of the Antirenter Party. . I looked up a

little bit of info on it. Never had heard of it .
Thanks for passing on the history

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 08:20 AM

32. Recommended.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 11:04 AM

38. One is the face of the system, the other is facing the system.

And our time for honestly facing the destruction the system has wrought to our natural world is at its crescendo.

This election, for me, boils down to that. One wants more of the same, one knows if we don't act now, we may never have a chance to act, in any meaningful way, again.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 11:20 AM

39. Thanks again...

 

Last edited Sat Mar 5, 2016, 02:47 PM - Edit history (2)

I have been contemplating a post on why many feel they cannot vote for Hillary in the GE. We briefly discussed whether or not she could weather a defection from the left in another of your posts - you thought, maybe not.

I have consistently voted for Democratic candidates my entire life; but whenever the option was available, I pulled the lever for those candidates on the Liberal Party line to better reflect my preference - I have not had that opportunity in recent elections.

I am greatly encouraged by the nature of the opposition to the Washington "toxic waste dump." Many, as you say "are intent upon building a new society." I recently read Gar Alperovitz's "America Beyond Capitalism" and have been engaging with members of our local Ethical Humanist Society and Progressive Coalition in support of the ideas of The Democracy Collaborative (http://democracycollaborative.org/).

Over the years here on DU I have often argued with those who supported or defended vote abstention or defection. I did so in the same manner as those who say we must vote for the Democratic nominee this time around, because the alternative is too toxic to contemplate.

This time, for the first time I have actually begun to understand the true nature of the other side of that argument - so many are coming to the conclusion that they cannot in good conscience vote to continue on the current path that will at best not accelerate our demise.

"We are intent upon building a new society, out of the compost of the current rot." But you don't get really good compost, without stirring it up and turning it over. This, for those who don't understand it, is how the Bernie or Bust folks view our situation. I'm still not sure how I'll vote if Hillary is our candidate... we'll see.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 11:40 AM

40. The river is rising, and a hard rain's a-gonna fall

I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
And the executioner's face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell and speak it and think it and breathe it
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it
And I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my song well before I start singing
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

~ Bob Dylan

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 12:12 PM

41. I've often thought the anti-smoking movement instructive.

We are old enough to remember when everyone smoked cigarettes, when they were even included in military rations. And needless to say, there was a huge corporate lobby owning many important politicians, with a vested interest in seeing to it that smoking not only continued, but expanded. And there were radicals of ill-courtesy, doing things like throwing water on guests who smoked on talk shows, and those who labored far from the headlines, slowly but surely changing the perception of the nation to where now, smoking is almost universally considered a vice, and often a crime.

One might contrast this with, say, the gay marriage movement, which labored in obscurity and frustration for decades, yet virtually overnight gained success. On the surface, an entirely different process, yet one knows that again, there were the quiet ones in the background, filing suits and calmly striving to alter perceptions.

One is reminded of the old saw, "Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come." The trick, of course, is figuring out when the time has come. For some of us, the time has always been there. Whether or not that is generally true is something that will be determined this year.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 5, 2016, 01:35 PM

50. Indeed that river is rising and it's about to change the landscape, one way or another.

Thank you for these wonderful thought provoking OPs.

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