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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 65,718

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Important! Please Help!

To the DU community: Below please find two links -- one for mental health professionals, one for the general public -- demanding that Dr. Bandy Lee be reinstated at Yale University. Dr. Lee was fired for her efforts to educate the American public on the dangers that Donald Trump posed to this country, including her most recent, must-read book, "Profile of a Nation: Trump's Mind, America's Soul."

In 2020, I did a series of three interviews with Dr. Lee that I posted on this forum. In the first, we discussed the specific personality features that made Trump a dangerous president. The second focused on how Trump was tearing the nation apart. In the third, we provided a discussion predicting January 6. I am currently working on another interview.

I am hoping that community members will not only sign the petition, but will share it with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, in support of Dr. Bandy Lee. Thank you in advance for your support on this important issue. I will be sending Dr. Lee a link to this OP/thread, so please feel free to express your support for her to read in the comments.

For professionals:
https://worldmhc.org/a-petition-to-yale-to-reinstate-dr-bandy-lee/?fbclid=IwAR1x_mk70o7pZT9Xfr88TQCyBQKpDr2-zMNjnnUAFmx-ZSHfWwNAv7Lf2n8

General public:
https://www.change.org/p/yale-university-yale-unfairly-fires-asian-american-for-speaking-the-truth-we-demand-her-reinstatement?recruiter=1192507885&recruited_by_id=7d1dfa30-9b8e-11eb-b5bf-3f8671c0072e&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard

Peace,
H2O Man

"The Second Birth"

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
- W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919

A century later, Yeats' finest work still holds. Yet, with another horrible shooting being reported in the news and Derek Chauvinst's murder trial playing on live television, we see that our society's center is not holding. What might we make of Yeats' poem in our current context?

The poem is more than a modern twist on the ancient allegories of the religion that had just finished World War One in Europe. A revolution was brewing in Ireland. And, perhaps too often forgotten, Yeats was influenced by the flu pandemic of 1918-19, which was threatening the life of his pregnant wife as he penned the poem's haunting lines.

Might we consider if we are again at a time of extremes in both human violence and the reality of the microscopic virus?

Rather than the image of a falcon turning in widening gyre, let's consider a different model. Frequently over the years I've posted on this forum, I've used the model of a mobile hanging over an infant's crib to illustrate the dynamics of a family system or other relatively small group. Since we are looking at the United States, let's expand that model to that of our solar system.

As the center -- those core social values that people express, if not live up to -- begins to lose its gravitational force, we witness an increase in marginalized, angry individuals like the young man in DC who killed a police officer after ramming his car into a barricade -- become either meteors that burn out before striking our planet, or meteorites that cause a crash. We are in a shower as we speak, though it is difficult to predict exactly when and where the next one collides with civil society. However, if we walk the halls of any school across the nation, we may encounter potential meteors and meteorites.

Within larger structures -- including the republican party, which I cannot in good faith call a "heavenly body" -- we see levels of turbulence that can only and will always result in what appears to start off as organized destruction. It is "organized" in the sense that sociologists identify the pattern it will follow.

Since the Civil War, for example, clusters of white nationalists tend to be visible when there is a "conservative" in office, yet their numbers increase at a greater rate when there is a "liberal" in office. Frequently, that growth involves disaffected young men with an eternal locus of control, answering the call of the gym coach figure to strike out violently for the team. And like the meteorites, they have access to firearms.

The gym coach tends to be an older man, often with a military and/or law enforcement background. His inner cowardice has matured to the point where he only threatens violence when his opponent is out-numbered -- think January 6 -- or may be the type to plant explosives in, say, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, or the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Their names change over the decades, but the lack of character remains constant.

There has long been a romance between the modern republican party and the unstable, authoritarian racist right in America. The "established" republican leadership, including repulsive figures from Patrick Buchanan to Newt Gingrich, believed that they could capitalize upon the right-wing's paranoia, and welcomed the unhinged into their party. Today, as we have all seen, the extremists have become the establishment of their party, and has spawned the likes of Matt Gaetz.

This is not to imply that everything is gloom and doom. The current Department of Justice appears to recognize the very real dangers that the malignant white nationalists pose. For once, we are seeing good law enforcement officials testifying that George Floyd's death was the result of a thug with a badge. And few things are as entertaining as the recent reports on Matt Gaetz's crimes.

More, I remember while working with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman, a Clan Mother saying that when the world is spinning out of control, we should seek to center ourselves. As more of us do this, the larger center of society will stabilize. I suppose that we all have individual ways of doing so ...... in my case, it comes from sitting quietly in the natural world, gardening, interacting with my animals, and listening to good music. And there are small group activities that, as we get the vaccine, will be more available for centering.

While ugly episodes of extreme violence are likely to increase, most of us are far more likely to see reports on them in the media, rather than being a direct victim. More, we are more likely to experience the toxic behaviors of Trump cult members in public places such as grocery stores and parking lots, that while unsettling, do not result in physical violence. Indeed, we are probably more likely to see the very pathetic breed of tiny authoritarian males who pretend to be police officers, until caught.



Yikes!
H2O Man

Note: "The Second Birth" was the working title of the poem as Yeats was writing it.

Wild Turkey

Three days ago, a wild turkey hen began hanging out at my bird pen/coup. I raise Guinea hens and chickens. While they are "outdoor" pets, they earn their keep. Guinea hens can consume a huge amount of deer ticks daily, and considering how many people on my road got Lyme disease last year, I appreciate their efforts. I have chickens, because Guinea hens will follow them back into the coup at night.

The turkey hen stuck her head into the pen several times to get cracked corn, but one male Guinea hen would peck at her. He pecks at everyone but me or my cats. So I began feeding her at the edge of the pen. By the second day, she associated me not only with food, but a variety of treats not commonly found by wild turkey.

Evenings, she would roost in the pine tree nearest to the coup. From my window, I could see her neck & head, peering up like a periscope in a sea of green.

This morning, as the weather has turned warmer, I opened the bird pen. From a lawn chair my son set out for me, I enjoyed the sunshine, and feeding the birds. The turkey is comfortable enough to come within arm's length of me, while the others scurry around my feet. Soon, they are exploring the lawn. The cats are fascinated by the birds, including one cat that serves as a border collie when one bird strays from the others.

This has provided a break from concentrating on two issues -- my friend Dr. Bandy Lee's being fired from Yale, and a new threat to the water supply in the rural neighborhood that I grew up in. Tomorrow, I'll bring a spiral notebook & pen out with me, and work on what I used to be able of accomplishing in an hour.

Dust Bowl

"Our whole social environment seems to us to be filled with forces which really exist only in our own minds." -- Emile Durkheim


I was thinking about the shootings in Atlanta this morning as I was sweeping the kitchen floor. The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was playing. The line, "I look at the floor and see it needs sweeping" stood out, immediately reminding me of Durkheim's line about a late-stage society being "a disorganized dust of individuals."

Durkheim, along with Max Weber, organized the studies known as the social sciences. Durkheim's concentration in sociology was primarily on the factors that were associated with social coherence versus those connected to social disintegration. Might the theories of a man w3ho died 103.5 years ago be of value today? If so, is it possible that a crank old man, educated by way of the abacus and overhead projector rather than computers, translate these theories in a meaningful way?

There was confusion even in Emile's lifetime. His "sacred-profane dichotomy," which has to do with society's religious cohesion, has often been mistaken for placing a value judgement on religion. Yet it has nothing to do with "good versus bad." Let's consider it in another way, that may make more sense in today's world.

When I was a student, more than a half-century ago, Walter Cronkite of CBS News was recognized as the most trusted man in the country. Those at ABC and NBC delivered the news in as close to Walter's manner as possible. Thus, while the country was divided on issues such as the war in Vietnam and Civil Rights, it was possible to engage in discussions and debates, based upon interpretations of the same set of facts.

Today, there are the television networks, 24/7 cable news, talk radio, and a massive quantity of internet sites of inconsistent quality, for people to get their information. It is hard to discuss politics in general with a person who "knows," for example, that Barack Obama is an Islamic atheist, born in Kenya, who sought to destroy our nation. And it is near impossible, if not totally impossible, to debate one who "knows" that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

"Yes," you say, "but what about Durkheim's ideas about the impact of 'social facts' and a 'collective consciousness'?" Let me be clear -- I not only appreciate your mentioning these, and agree that they are both extremely important. "Social facts" are those things that exist in and of themselves, and often have an independent reality not connected by the group or individual's beliefs. Durkheim used the example of suicide. For sake of this discussion, I'd use the example of our society's environmental practices: the fact that humanity is, in effect, committing species suicide by poisoning the natural world is independent of if Ted Cruz believes in the human role in climate change. Ted doesn't have any meaningful connection to the great outdoors, for heaven's sake.

The "collective conscience"-- which he also refered to as the "common consciousness" -- is the sum total of the belief systems within a society. Again, "belief systems" can include, but is not limited to "religion." When the society shares these same value systems, it forms the glue that holds things together. An important factor in this, Durkhein noted, was the emotional responses insures common responses in given situations. But when, for example, half of the population believes in science (independent of individual religious beliefs), while the other half puts total faith in a religion (and does not trust them there scientists), the glue no longer holds. And those emotional responses are at risk of shutting out the potential for rational thought.

I imagine that if anyone has read this far, they recognize that all of this is factoring into our current societal disintegration. In my opinion, the largest division in our society is between the collective of conscious people and the collection of unconscious republicans. We tend to recognize that our country has numerous sub-groups that form overlapping identies for the vast majority of people.

One of these sub-groups, which we will refer to as "white people" for sake of accuracy, contains a significant number of folks who are convinced that they are America. They view the non-white people as less than fully American. And they are convinced that their ownership of America is threatened by "others" who are, in fact, just as much American citizens as they are.

Within this sub-group, I would like to focus upon a specific segment, the young males, ages 15 to 25. Within this collection, there are numerous important factors, including education, economic class,and more. They include issues that result in what is known as "dysfunctional families," which in turn create the roles for the children (hero, lost child, scapegoat, caretaker, etc). While the children of dysfunctional families can overcome the associated negatives of any role and become healthy, high-functioning adults, not everyone does. More, even in relatively "normal" families, there can be children who take on characteristics of these roles.

For those familiar with family systems, it is not difficult to recognize those children and young adults who are most at risk of illegal and/or violent behaviors. Add factors such as racism and right-wing media's influence, along with a shit-stirrer like Trump, and as awful as the violence is, it comes as no surprise. More, one can anticipate the differences that this violence may take -- from the group invading Congress on January 6 to the quasi-incel in Atlanta.

What was his motivation? A "really bad day"? Sexual frustration? Oh, race played no role? Bullshit. Look at the family system he grew up in. An adopted Asian-American brother who is extremely successful in life, compared to his being a "loser." Despite a seemingly "normal" family life, a fuck-up in a society where a large percentage believe that violence is an acceptable form of problem solving, of dispute resolution.

Powderfingered




It infuriates him daily. Each and every day since the November election, Donald Trump has fought the acceptance that Joe Biden beat him in a one-on-one contest. All of his adult life, Donald had kind of wanted to be president. He had flirted with the idea coyly in numerous television interviews over the years, and even sent a message to George H. W. Bush, letting him know that he would be willing to serve as Bush's vice president. But Bush ignored his generous offer.

Despite his attempts at tough talk about our country being stolen from and laughed at, and in need of a strong leader, Donald had no real concept of what policies he favored beyond any to enhance his financial status. Indeed, that was the only reason he donated to political campaigns. In fact, Donald Trump had a positive opinion of every U.S. president, from Gerald Ford to George W. Bush. Then things changed.

Trump had started listening to Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention before quickly changing the channel. "Boring," he said out loud, confident that Obama had no future in politics. "What a light weight. Empty suit."

Donald the suppressed any thought of Obama until 2008's primaries. He was certain that Obama had absolutely no chance of winning, and hoped to see him crushed and humiliated. It upset Donald greatly when it became apparent that this Obama guy would be the nominee. But, he thought, America will elect John McCain, especially with that vice presidential choice. Trump never felt comfortable around McCain, sure that John was thinking about bone spurs. But Palin was someone he could talk to, maybe even hit upon.

The very concept of "President Obama" was unsettling for Donald. But he either couldn't, or wouldn't, put a finger on exactly what it was. He knew he wasn't prejudiced, for he had a black friend, Don King. He never really liked King, but the boxing promoter had made his casino real money at a much-needed time. Plus King treated him with great respect. But he remembered what his father had told him over the years about black people. No doubt this Obama would be in way over his head, fail miserably, and the public would turn against him, rendering him a one-term loser.

The guy wasn't even born in America. It didn't matter to Donald if this was accurate or not -- for whatever people could be convinced was real becomes true. Plus the guy is a Muslim, he thought, and his being elected had resulted in racial tensions. At some level, Trump thought of Obama as a challenge to his position as the Most Important & Loved Man in America. Time to attack: show us the birth certificate!

Then came April 300, 2011:


President Obama had humiliated him in a public way. Donald was furious. He was determined to become president, in order to destroy everything Obama accomplished in his presidency. While it is true that during his time in the White House, Trump did all he could to advance his family's fortunes, and appointed federal judges he was convinced would thus forever be in his debt, his core theme was to compete with Barack Obama. He wanted to make a record that he believed would prove he was smarter, better educated, more attractive, and far more popular than Obama. And far more loved, respected, and feared around the globe.

In the presidential election of November of 2020, Joe Biden beat Trump. Publicly. It is essential to understand exactly what that meant to Donald. It was as if Batman sent Robin to do battle with the Joker, and Robin won. We have witnessed Trump's refusal to accept that. January 6 was not the end of it.

The on-going investigations show that the planned coup on January 6 was more organized and entrenched within not only those groups that support Trump, but also with the involvement of people connected to the Trump administration. They believed that the response of the police would be different than what it was. Charles Flynn had different plans for the eventual introduction of the National Guard, which explains why there was a more than three hour delay in their deployment.

Everything goes in cycles. Some, like years, are longer than others, such as weeks. Donald Trump did not initiate the cycle of hate we have been subjected to as of late, but he surely rode the wave. He took advantage of it, and he added to it. And that wave of hatred and violence has not disappeared -- it is simply recharging its batteries. The degree to which Trump will play a role remains an open question, perhaps, but one thing is certain: he hates Biden with the same passion as he has hated Obama. I'd suggest he will continue his war on the United States.

Speaking of cycles ..... as I find myself in the part of the human life cycle known as "old age," I try not to waste time. I tell my daughters that I figure I have less than seventy years left on this turn. So even when temporarily sidelined, as I've been the past ten days, I do think about things. But for the unacceptable length of my essays on this forum, I would speculate -- likely with a high degree of accuracy -- what we will experience this spring and summer as it relates to the alt-right.

Frequently, I point to Ireland's "The Troubles" as the direction we should not head in. But I think I might focus more on the situation in Mississippi in the eight months before the Civil War to illustrate some important current dynamics. And discuss the 22-year old from Neil Young's song, who sees black as his face splashed in the sky.

Peace,
H2O Man

Canker Cluster

I am old enough that I should have known better. Clips of the human fungus, Ted Cruz, in his failed attempt at stand-up comedy could have been enough of a warning. Surely the brief film of Roger Stone dancing in the parking lot provided a flashing red light, warning me to stop watching. But I had a valid reason for watching Trump's cpac speech.

(Note: My valid reason is that, due to health & recent injury, I have been largely confined to a single spot in my house since late Friday. With the exception of hobbling to the bathroom -- with my right leg giving out on me approximately 50% of the times I have attempted to -- I have been stationary. The remote was about ten feet from me, too far for me to grasp. Hence, I am currently in the middle of the bathroom and the couch, writing this before I call my doctor to explain why I cannot be there today, as previously scheduled.)

As CNN's Brian Stelter recently noted, it is important not o be distracted by the Trump cult's attempts to derail our focus on what is important. Before examining the significance of Trump's speech, let's consider three other important factors. First, the polling of cpackers showed that about one-third of them prefer that Trump not be the republican candidate in 2024. Second, Mike Pence came in lower in popularity than Donald Jr., and was mentioned less than Tiffany Trump. Third, the symbolism of the room and the golden calf are more significant than any of the pre-Trump speeches.

Within moments of Trump opening his sphincter to speak, it was clear that he was re-enacting many of the lines and themes he had used from 2015 on. On the surface, it was evident that his entire term in office was primarily a re-election campaign, with rallies and tweets that repeated a limited number of messages ad nauseam. Yet the repetition of a simple message -- especially of coded appeals to fear and hatred -- is a tactic that tyrants have long found effective in programming their supporters. It reaches the target audience on a level just below the surface of consciousness, much like nazi variant of the Odal rune and the golden calf. None of this was coincidence.

For the first two-thirds of his speech, Trump's delivery was more focused than any presentation he has made since 2016. He was concentrating on his target more intensely than at any time since he was recorded on the Access Hollywood tape. He was sowing the seeds for the continuation of the war against the United States that I had hoped had shot its wad on the January 6 insurrection.

The last section of the speech was all about his being a sore loser, much the same as his obnoxious behavior after the November election. As others have noted, this is no surprise, as he was a sore winner in 2016. It remains to be seen if this helps or hinders his effort to stir the pot of violence in America.

What we can say with absolute certainty is that the struggle continues. I know that many, most likely most, people are tired. A lot of people feel drained emotionally. The pandemic, the loss of loved ones, and the social isolation take a toll upon strong people. Add the on-going horror of the Trump cult, and it is evident that we are in a difficult time.

But there is good news. We won extremely important elections last November. Trump was impeached for a second time. Perhaps the very best thing about being a smear on my couch these past couple of days, unable to sleep due to pain, is that I've watched hours of film of various congressional committee hearings. The Senate Watergate Committee, the House committee debating articles of impeachment per Nixon, the House Committee on Assassinations, the Iran-Contra hearings, the Kerry Committee (1988), and the House Committe hearings on the CIA and drug trafficing (1998).

Now, not everything was wonderful or heroic during all of those hearings. I remember, for example -- regardless of one's beliefs about those assassinations -- Dick Gregory's saying that one House member told him that they knew J. Edgar Hoover was connected to King's murder ....but despite Hoover's being dead for several years, they felt pressure not to address his role in detail. On the other hand, watch John Kerry in 1988, and/or Maxine Waters testifying in 1998, for outstanding examples of brains and guts. Amazing, even after all these years.

The House managers at both of Trump's impeachment hearings were as good a anything I've seen. While I might not agree with everything from each and every Democrat in the House and Senate, or White House, I am 100% confident that they have their end covered. What is important now, and especially as we approach April, is that we at the grass roots level continue to do our job. And I am 100% confident that we can do exactly that.

Apologies for a long, rambling rant. Back to the couch for this old grouch.

Peace,
H2O Man

Rafael Edward Cruz Blues

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter; Thursday, June 26, 1978; 9:45 a.m.

",,,,So the idea that a man's knowledge and understanding depends upon the whole of him -- that is to say, depended upon his level of being -- runs smack-in-the-face and contrary to all Western thinking. But quietly as it is kept, this is precisely why we find ourselves in this predicament at this present point in time: Why is it that we are totally unfit to exercise any kind of wholesome control over the immense forces that man has won from Nature; and why is it that, now having obtained this awesome information, which is far in advance of out present level of being, why it is that this knowledge is now endangering our whole future! And why? Because here, in this Western world, and particularly in America, it has always been accepted that a man may possess immense knowledge but without ever having seriously considered his level of being. In America it is acceptable that a man may be a Supreme Court Justice, a Doctor, a National and International Politician, or an abled Scientist -- and at the same time it is considered legitimate and even fashionable, in this country, that they have the right to be a racist, or a petty, egoistic, caviling, mean, envious, vain and malicious snake! The people of America have placed great value on the level of a man's knowledge; but has no shame on their own low level of being!"

Fire in the Ice





In 1980, the Onondaga Nation's Faithkeeper Oren Lyons spoke to a group in Binghamton, NY. What I remember most from Oren's speech to the non-Indian audience is when he said that, in a relatively short time, a significant percentage of people in the US would experience some of those same harsh problems that his people have endured for centuries.

I think of that while listening to the news about people suffering in Texas. I think of it when I read from one of this forum's members who I have the utmost respect for, as his daughter and he survive inside their vehicle, desperate for warmth. And I think of it while I walk out to my pond on the frigid moonless night.

Though inpenetrable by way of deep slush in the afternoon, my driveway has become solid ice by midnight. The crust holds my (over-) weight as I venture slowly across my lawn, down the hill to the woods, and across the froozen swamp. There are dozens of oval depressions in the snow -- not crop circles made by unidentified life forms, but by the six deer that inhabit my property. It is so frigid out that I know they will be nesting in the pine trees tonight, and so I avoid them.

Through the darkness, the outdoor light from my neighbor's house provides me direction. Their young son recently died from an overdose of heroin. I think of 17-year old poet John Lennon's line about a pain so deep it hardly became known to him. I have made it to the pond, where various animal tracks lead directly to where the spring supplies water that flows even in this bitter cold. My body is numb, yet I feel everything.

I had gotten word, shortly before midnight, that two relatives rushed to the hospital on Sunday were stable. My oldest brother died recently, his body not being found for several days. This following the death of an aunt, an uncle, a close friend of 40+ years, a neighbor. In hard times, I always try to identify what important lessons are to be learned .....because if one does not learn from suffering, I would suggest they have missed an important opportunity.

I know what I will do when I get back inside my house. I've communicated with a number of young adults, all graduates of the school district where I had served on the board of education over the past 72 hours. This is the village where,as I reported here this past summer, a student-led Black Lives Matter rally was confronted by aggressive, violent, and armed Trump supporters. Over the weekend, a guidance counselor posted a racist meme on the internet, attempting a "joke" about President Biden slipping on the banana peels that VP Harris drops on the White House floor.

The young people I've talked with include some who have contacted the school superintendent. They have heard back from him, and are satisfied -- for now -- that the school will recognize there is a problem that needs to be addressed. I have contacted two school officials, but have not heard back from either. So when I get inside, I will begin my message to members of the school board. I'd like to know, for example, how the school will deal with students of color needing access to a guidance counselor. Perhaps put a "whites only" water faucet outside this woman's door?

A rodent scurries from near my chicken coup as I get on my lawn. It had been attempting to dig through the ice and froozen ground to get a meal. So I bring a cup of cracked corn from the garage to the far edge of my lawn, confident it will find it once I'm inside. It's far from where the cats might be tonight, and it is so bitter cold that I haven't heard a single coyote.

I can't help the suffering people from Texas right now. But I know that if we all do that which we are capable of doing well, we will be okay. Now that includes not believing the lies we were told in our childhood and youth, by the type of adults who tell banana peel jokes. We are capable. It is 1 am/est now. I figure that I've got a good four hours to invest, before laying down and watching a Watergate documentary.

Peace,
H2O Man

Happy



I have read, both here and on other internet sites, a number of Good People who are disappointed with the impeachment trial. Some believe the Democrats should have called witnesses. Others can't believe that the republicans were so cowardly. I'd like to take a couple of minutes, if I could, to try to put things in a different context.

For those fortunate enough to not be familiar with me, let me begin by noting that I am on the tip of the left wing of the Democratic Party. During the trial, I was visited by two friends: one a former member of the Weathermen (now a doctor), and a young man who likes to be further to the left than me. I try to make him understand that isn't actually so -- I just prefer to stick to things that can be accomplished.

I make no claims to being accomplished myself. But there are a couple of things that I do know about: boxing and digging ditches for the foundations for houses by hand. In my youth, the two merged, as digging ditches is great training for fighting. By no coincidence, I pulled out and old scrapbook before starting this essay, and found the 1974 article my late friend Rubin Carter wrote for a boxing magazine. In it, Rubin notes that things such as justice and democracy require constant struggle.

It's not a fight that you win and that's it. Rather, it is only after one recognizes that it is constant that one can find true peace of mind. And that is exactly the peace of mind that allows you the strength to keep up The Good Fight. And we won more rounds in this week's impeachment trial than they did. Just like after most fights, you can tell by looking who won the fight, I dare say we left some lumps and bruises on the republicans. There are none on us. And the judges scored it 57 to 43 for us.

Now back to digging ditches to put in foundations for houses. Rubin had worked for a construction company early in his boxing career. I have photos from 1963 with Rubin working with a shovel. He taught me a good workout with a shovel that helps in boxing. Now, I was always digging in the hardpan and rocks of rural upstate New York, so I needed that peace of mind to even get started on a job.

In 2018, we saw a lot of people picking up their shovels and pickaxes and start on an essential job. We won back control of the House. In 2020, we all had our shovels and pickaxes and ballots, and now we have the House, the Senate, and the White House. Now that is a solid foundation to build upon. And this week, we saw the House managers build a beautiful room upon that solid foundation. But we aren't through, because justice and democracy require constant struggle.

Yes, it would have been very nice if the republican Senators all voted to convict the orange man who lacks convictions. But did anyone actually think there was even a tiny chance of that? No rational person could. It isn't in their nature. Don't put the bar too high. Remember that all important victories are the result of long, hard work and dedication.

This week was huge for Democrats, and horrible for republicans. Let's make the weeks and months ahead even better for us, and more terrible for them.

Peace,
H2O Man

Just Say Know

"Article 2 of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon was just the simple fact that he talked about and suggested the potential use of the IRS against one or two of his political oppenents." -- Monica Crowley

Why, I ask, did Trump not hire poor Monica to run his defense in the impeachment trial #2? I mean, all Trump did was talk about and suggest attacking one or two of his political opponents.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Democratic Party's managers' presentations this week. As an old man who has faithfully watched Congressional hearings since the days of Nixon, through Iran-Contra and beyond, this was as powerfully well done as anything I've seen.

It stands in stark contrast to the case made by Trump's legal team, which was as thin as the few strands of hair attempted to disguise David Schoen's balding skull. It's said that Trump was furious when, on Tuesday, Schoen would hold those strands in place when he took sips of water. Bruce Castor comes across as being as sincere as Abbie Hoffman would have been in making a commercial in support of Nancy's "Just Say No" campaign.

Senators Cruz and Graham, in miserable show of subjectivity, have been meeting with Trump's legal team in an attempt to salvage the republican party in general, and their careers' future specifically. Safe to say that the Senate will not convict Trump. Though I wish that they had the decency to do so, it would be unrealistic to expect the most cowardly of poltroons to experience a brief moment of courage or conscience. For they fear Trump's cult more than than their shadows.

Early in each of my children's lives, I taught them that when I was addressing their behavior, not to try the, "Yeah, but what about ____?" They learned that I was only focused upon them, and not anyone else. And that weak attempt at distraction would only and always result in a consequence. My younger son, now a crisis counselor at an area school, laughs these days about the number of people who never learned this important life lesson.

We win, no matter what path the current republican party opts to take. But we have to understand the nature of the beast, and fully appreciate that we are in for a long fight. As their party either divides or attempts to remain united is,, obviously, important. But more important is that we recognize both the strengths and weaknesses of the two republican factions. And knock the stuffing out of them, by attacking either or both of their strengths and weaknesses frequently.

This week, the vile Claudia Tenney was determined to have won the NYS -22nd seat in the House, my district. In 2018, Anthony Brindisi had defeated her in a similarly close and contested election. Now, Anthony is already going to run again in 2022. So many of us at the grass roots' level are already beginning our plans for supporting Anthony.

It looks like the Senators are coming back in! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
H2O Man
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