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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 71,637

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Thoughts & Prayers

"Positive thoughts and prayer have been the best means available, since the beginning of time, to transform darkness to light." -- Cat Stevens

I'm thinking the republican party has come to a crossroads: one direction offers the opportunity to nominate the defendent as their 2024 presidential candidate, and losing elections up and down the ballot, the other to nominate someone else, insuring that Democrats win contests up and down the ballot. Let us pray they have the wisdom to chose correctly.

It will be a difficult decision for the republicans to make. Yesterday's federal indictments of the defendent will surely create a small, mushroom-shaped lump rise in his popularity among the republican base. Yet this will disappear as quickly as the defendent's premature ejaculation while spankking Stormy Daniels.

The republican leaders know that if they do not follow the passions of the maga cult, the party will be split. Yet if they do, the party will be split. If, on the other hand, they opt to get behind, say, Chris Christie in the buffet of other republican candidates, their candidates stand little to no chance of being seated at the winners' table.

These are my thoughts this morning. I've been trying to identify a proper prayer for them, but all I can come up with is that I hope the freeze-dried ghost of Pat Robertson appears to republicans in their dreams, and says that "God" had nothing to do with their current situation, that it is a crisis of their own making.

Faithfuly yours,
H2O Man

Strawberry Meadows Forever

I can understand why some of the Good People on this forum are impatient for the defendent to be indicted by the DOJ. I get it. The numerous crimes of the defendent seem rather obvious and easy to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt in a court of law. This includes those involving January 6 and the stolen documents.

Some people point out -- correctly -- how quickly the DOJ indicted and convicted a significant number of the people involved in the January 6 insurrection. That's a valid point. However, we should also keep in mind that some of the lads from the Oaf Keepers have only recently been convicted of the much more serious crime of sedition. Hence, we can say with confidence that charges for more serious crimes tend to take longer than those that involve lesser charges more easily proven.

Now, it would seem rather obvious that not only did the defendent steal classified documents, but also obstructed efforts to retrieve them. That would simple enough, would it not? Heck, Attorney General Garland could have had those charges brought by now. What is the hold up, one might ask?

From recent media reports -- which may or may not be accurate -- it appears that one of the reasons that Garland appointed Jack Smith to head what on the surface appears to be a simple case was so that Smith could investigate why the defendent took specific documents. And what he did with them -- including who he may have shown or shared them with. Just as sedition is a more complicated charge than trespass, it may very well be that Mr. Smith has identified the defendent as the target of much more serious crimes than what appears obvious at first glance.

I can only speak for myself, of course. And even then, I often disagree with myself. But I am convinced that not only is this a time to be patient, but it is actually one that we should be enjoying. Keep in mind that a good prosecutor likes to turn up the heat on a target, confident that the target becomes increasingly likely to make errors under pressure. That heat has reached the boiling point, and the defendent -- who many retired prosecutors say is his own worst enemy -- has begun to melt. His attack on Mark Meadows indicates he cannot control himself. And he is confronted now with an even more dangerous opponent than himself.


I woke up early yesterday morning. As I consumed my daily cup of coffee, I flipped through stuff on the internet, and noted a friend had posted a picture of a red ball in the sky. As the sky appeared semi-dark, I figured that it must have been the moon. "That's odd," I thought.

After finishing the coffee, I went out to feed the animals. A pre-dawn rain had not provided enough water for the garden, so I figured I'd need to carry several buckets of water out to start my work in the garden. As I was walking out to the pond to feed the fish, through a small field and a swamp with an amazing display of colorful wild flowers. the caffeine kicked in. I began looking around the valley to locate the source of the smoke I smelled. But there was nothing. "This is really odd," I thought.

By the time I made it back to the house, the sky had turned to a yellowish-gray. I filled a couple buckets from the rain barrels, and headed out to the garden. My eyes and nose began running, and I noticed the smell of smoke becoming much stronger. But looking around, I could not see any sign that a neighbor had a wood stove going in june, or if a house was on fire.

I was reminded, in a strange way, of when about 38 years ago, I happened upon a house on fire. I stopped, went to the door, and found a woman screaming that her four-year old had set the house on fire, and that she couldn't find him. I suggested she take her daughter next door and call the fire department, while I searched for him. By the time I located him hiding under an upstairs bed, and carried him outside, the fire department was arriving. I believe I must have appeared a bit like the cover of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung," as a fireman asked if I was the boy's father. "No," I said. "Just passing by this way."

Breathing had become less pleasant, and the simple tasks I had done tired me out. I thought that perhaps I was on the scene of some dystopian movie, where humanity was crossing the tipping point of environmental destruction that would soon result in the total extinction of our species. Instead of taking meaningful actions, human beings had run upstairs in the burning house and attempted to hide under a bed.

Luckily, at this very moment, my son drove up with my grandson. When he got out of his car, he gave me the same look as that fireman had long ago. "Get inside, Old Man," he said. I asked him if he knew where the fire was? He told me this was the result of the wild fires burning out of control in Canada, and that this was smoke from the eight million-plus acres already destroyed. There were air quality alerts saying to stay inside. Thank goodnes, I thought, that this is totally unrelated to humans destroying the environment.


Long, Hot Summer

For people of my generation, "long, hot summer" is a phrase with specific meaning from 1967. The news, especially regarding the federal grand jury looking into the stolen documents meeting again, suggests that the phrase may take on new meaning for the defendent's cult. Let's take a look at why, shall we?

In doing so, I think that it provides a firm answer to those who are saying, "We've been burned before." No, you have not. It is not unusual for any of us to have elevated expectations based upon our beliefs of what is "right" and what is "wrong." I did when Patrick Fitzgerald was investigating the Plame scandal. But reality snuck in.

I remember telling my late uncle that, while I am opposed to people allowing the decaying flesh of a swine to enter the sacred temple of their body, I thought Patrick would cook Dick Cheney in a national pig roast. He said I needed to understand that a federal prosecutor will not seek an indictment on any case with less than a 95% chance of conviction. That as long as Scooter Libby kept his mouth shut, Cheney would skate.

I said if Patrick brought very seriious charges, and Scooter faced decades of incarceration, it would loosen his lips. He said that I needed to remember the "Capone rule" ..... that a good prosecutor goes with the charges most likely to secure a conviction that will not be overturned on appeal. Plus, he said, Libby knows that he will almost certainly be pardoned, or he wouldn't be so cocky.

In the weeks between the grand jury's meetings, Jack Smith's team has most likely composed the final draft of indictments on the case of the stolen classified documents. Assuming that media reports are correct regarding how much evidence his team has, there is a very good chance that they will present the grand jury with those indictments that they are convinced has the 95-plus percent chance of convictions that stand up against appeal. It does take time to present indictments to the grand jury, of course.

We know that the defendent's legal team made a pathetic appeal to the Attorney General for a meeting to discuss their plea for him to stop Jack Smith from going after the defendent. This suggests that they have recently heard from the prosecutor about the defendent's status. And that suggests that the defndent is in for a long, hot summer.

Thank you, President Biden!


" Last week, the White House released its national strategy to counter antisemitism, with hundreds of recommendations. ...."

I find "Bend the Arc" to be among the most important organizations in the country today.

The Fire this Time

"Those born to die by fire never drown." -- Irish proverb

Mid-August last summer, Rudy Guiliani was informed that his status had changed from "subject" to "target" in the Georgia investigation of the for defendent's attempt to overthrow the Georgia 2020 presidential election. Rudy, who was scheduled to testify to the grand jury several says later, had to decide if he would take the fifth, as he had been the defendent's attorney and point man in Georgia.

Yesterday, it was reporter that the defendent's legal team had sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland that both complained about Jack Smith, and requested a meeting. There are reports that Mr. Smith's investigation into the defendent's stealing classified documents and refusing to return the is winding down. I will speculate that the defendent was notified that he is a target, and is being offered an opportunity to testify before the grand jury, to explain exactly why he took the classified documents, and what he planned to do with them.

Flower Children

" The earth laughs in flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I thought of this quote yesterday, as I took an early evening walk out to my pond to feed the fish. There are more blooms on the apple and cherry trees than there have been in years. The field is also filled with flowers of various colors, and the swamp is displaying the unique ones that grow there. I'm thankful for those April showers, although the lawn needs frequent mowing, and there are more weeds in the garden than usual.

I had read an e-mail from my son moments before going outside. Out of the blue, he said he felt bad about some of the punches he had hit two sparring partners with years ago. Both were state champions, who had never complained, and had landed plenty of hard punches on him. But perhaps what really struck me about this coming up all these years later was that I had just gotten off the phone with my brother.

Among the many things we discussed over a couple hours was some of our regrets from the past. I suppose that "life review" is something people our age do, and one can feel pretty bad about times they were shits to others. I told my brother how, several years ago, I had contacted a lady to apologize for something rude I had said to her in school in 1966. She laughed and said she had no idea what I was talking about, that we are friends, so forget it.

My brother said that he wondered if our father's transformation into a nice guy when we were adults involved him wishing he had not been mean when we were kids? Of coirse. I quoted Rubin, that we are all born into the exact circumstances that we must overcome in life. I told him I understand this best when I am alone -- or with the dog -- out in nature.

I said that a good friend (cilla4progress on DU) had recently spoke of getting out in a park to refresh. (OP linked below) He said that I am lucky to have the property I have, so I don't need to travel to a park. And that where he lives in Eugene, OR, the parks are not as pleasant and safe as they were even a few years ago. The social problems we see reported on the news are contaminating the once safe areas he took for granted in the past. So he may come east, to spend a few weeks with me.


My brother is something of an independent when it comes to politics. His favorite Democrat was always Tip O'Neill in the late 1970s and '80s. But he is far more coservative about some things than our late brother and I. So I was glad when talking about the state of the union, he said that he thinks President Biden is doing a really good job, under the most difficult of circumstances.

As I fed the fish, I was thinking about 2024. The defendent hasn't attracted widespread support from independents in the past, and certainly is becoming more unpopular with them. I think that quite a few of them agree with my brother about President Biden. More, we are seeing that close to half of the republican party aren't supporting the defendent in the primary. Not enough to prevent him from getting the nomination at this point, but surely many who will not vote for him in 2024.

There are numerous serious problems in this country. Progress can and will be made after we win a crushing defeat for republicans next year. As I walked back to my house, looking again at all the beautiful new life hrowing around me, I felt confident about the future. I get inside. My daughter has messaged me, saying she is on the phone with Rev. William Barber. The earth is laughing with flowers.

Hey, Jude

"Hey Jude, don't make it bad.
Take a sad song and make it better."
Paul McCartney; Hey, Jude; 1968

Like millions of Americans, I was opposed to CNN holding a "town hall" with the defendent. This was made worse -- if possible -- by CNN finding an audience of republicans "sympathetic" to the former president. Perhaps next CNN will hold a mess hall interview with Ed Kemper, in front of a sympathetic audience. It might help CNN in their effort to be recognized as the new "fair and balanced" media source.

I do not subscribe to CNN, and thus did not watch it. I did have five phone calls while it was on -- the first and last from the same person. Each told me that Kaitlan Collins was doing a fantastic job. Since then, I have seen a few brief clips from the event. And I have read DU, and watched some coverage of it on MSNBC, primarily saying it was horrible. I think that both of these viewpoints are correct, as there are many diverse aspects to consider.

There have been reports that the defendent's campaign was euphoric with the defendent's behavior. Rumor has it many told the defendent that they reached the most powerful climax of their adult lives while watching the town hall. I assume we all know that to stay in the defendent's good graces, one has to tell such lies. Certainly no attorney watching could be pleased, as we will discuss soon.

"And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain,
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders."
McCartney; Hey, Jude

There are good people who found the event, and even discussions of it, to be "triggering." That is valid. Having a person that a jury determined to be a sexual predator insulting his victim, while trying to justify his criminal behavior, should disgust every decent human being. But it takes a greater toll on some individuals.

Because the next 18 months promise to be among the ugliest in American political history, with the defendent being the likely republican nominee, those people can and should put self-care first. For we are confronted with a malignant tumor that not only is supportive for stealing classified documents, lying about the outcome of the 2020 election, sparking January 6, kissing Putin's ass, and advocating white nationalism -- they laugh at jokes about sexual offenses.

No matter if we wish it was different, that is the reality of what we are confronted with. Al Sharpton notes we can either ignore the defendent, which would be perilous, or confront him. I think that wee are in a good position to trounce him, and devastate the republican party in 2024.. Andthis town hall can be used to our advantage, to the defendent's disadvantage, and to crush republicans at all levels

"And don't you know that it's just you, hey Jude, you'll do,
The movement you need is on your shoulder."
McCartney; Hey, Jude

Let's set emotion aside, and focus on logic. It is reported that E. Kean Carroll is seriously considering another case against the defendent, for the terrible things he said about. He did not learn, from the jury's verdict two days previous, that not everyone will wilt like a republican primary opponent under his verbal attacks.

The defendent foolishly said incriminating things about J6 and the stolen classified documents. Jack Smith is fully aware of this.

In a normal primary, a republican will campaign to the right, hoping to move towards the centter in the general election. The exception has been when an incumbent faces no serious, if any, primary challenge. In these circumstances, the candidate begins with a positive message that appeals to the entire party.

The defendent, of course is in no sense the incumbent ...... despite what his supporters say in Jordan Klepper interviews. But while he faces no serious primary challenge, his campaign is a self-pitying, bitter appeal to the maga republicans. The defendent has, in the past, driven a number of republicans to become independents. His current attempts to be a victim will result in others either voting for another candidate in the primary and general elections, or to not vote at all. This is a good thing.

The defendent's grotesque attacks on "nasty" women, and his refusal to answer questions on abortion, will damage him even more. There are enough jackasses like those in the simply patheyic sympathetic audience that he will win the nomination. This allows us to hang the defendent around the necks of all other republican candidates. Very few will risk insulting the maga voters by speaking out against the defendent.

We've got this.

True Defendent: Episode Two

In the May 9 episode of "True Defendent," the defendent lost a civil law suit brought by E. Jean Carroll. In today's episode, the defendent ponders is his being found to be a sex offender would be viewed as a positive qualification as he applies for a second stab at being president? Twice impeached, once indicted, and now with his being deemed a sexual predator by a jury, could there be any serious opposition in the republican primary?

Scene 2: Upon learning of his federal indictment, Rep. George Santos recognizes it as an opportunity to improve his chances of the defendent picking him to run as the vice president on the republican ticket in 2024. He reassures himself that it is as realistic as the defendent ever being president again. Being taken into custody is a huge plus.

Scene 3: At a top secret meeting place, some republicans serving in the House and Senate meet to discuss what the defendent's being found to be a sex iffender will mean for their party in 2024. In an act of never-before-bravery, one actual dares to scribble, "I hate him" on a piece of paper. Safety required he not show it to anyone. For there was a general consensus among the others that the defendent was still popular with the base ..... and they really aren't confident they can stop him.

Scene 4: During a mid-morning nap, Mitch McConnell slowly wakes up, and begins to push his head out of his shell. Though Mitch lacks a soul, he is not as stupid as he looks. But he knows that Matt Gaetz is, and that Marjorie Taylor Greene is, too. That while they can be elected in their districts, they are not the people he wants representing the defendent or the party, in that order as elections approach.

Mitch knows that, in the simplest terms, there are three groups in every election: those who always vote for you, those who always vote against you, and the undecided. He knows that the defendent repulses those that vote against him, energizing them. He is ignoring the undecided, and focused only appealing to the maga crowd. But he thinks that there is no possible way for him stop the defendent, and prevent his being a ball & chain on the party.

Mitch knows that Kevin McCarthy lacks not only a spine, but the capacity to tell the truth twice consecutively. Hence, Kevin is able to take every position, and none at all, on every isue. "Any man porking Maria Bartiromo has something wrong with them," the elder testudine says with a craggy grin. The camera fades out.

Previews of our next episode: Mike Pence, convinced that recent events are Jesus's signal to announce he is running, sets down his glass of warm milk, and practices looking presidential for Mother. Senator Kennedy makes a motion to censure Mitt Roomney for saying the defendent shouldn't be president. Eric Trump starts a fire when he throws a match on the toxic combination of the grease from Joe Tacopina's hair, oil from Rudy Giuliani's face, and the corpse wax from the defendent's melt-down. Camera fades as mar-a-lago goes up in flames.

Lonely People

U.S. Surgeon General Vuvik Murthy gave a major talk about the epidemic of loneliness last week. He serves as a strong reminder why we need to elect as many Democratic candidates in 2024. I've had family and friends contact me to say what a great job Murthy did in documenting this growing unhealthy social reality.

There was a time when social isolation was largely considered an issue with the rural elderly. But, as Paul McCartney noted, it involves people living in urban settings. It is not uncommon for people to not know their neighbors in apartment buildings. I'm old enough to remember LBJ's War on Poverty, and Reagan's War on Poor People.

Murthy confirme much of what we already know. It is painful to hear the statistics for teenaged boys and girls today. Adolescence is by nature a confusing time. One tries to answer the question, "Who am I?" and "What am I supposed to do?" No more pretending to be Michael Jordan when playing basketball, as some did in childhood. (In my day, it was cowboys and Indians, though I preferred being Sonny Liston.)

Murthy notes some of the factors relating to individuals having a sense of resiliency. In the long course of human history, "resilience" has been the rule, not the exception. Resilience theory focuses on the human ability to respond to adversity, frustration, and misfortune in either healthy or unhealthy ways. This may remind some about the concept of internal and external locuses of control, a topic I have posted about numerous times here.

A healthy sense of resiliency is something we see in the Netflix series "Chimp Empire." It overlaps the individual and group. It is what brought this country through the Great Depression, WW2, the Sixties, etc. But the lose of resiliency -- correlates directly with the numbers of people who self-identify as victims, overlapping with an external locus of control -- can been seen in what Australian psychiatrist Nick Haslam accurately calls the "concept creep" that blurs the meaning of words such a "trauma."

There is a list, for example, of ten experiences associated with the lives of adolescent school shooters. Some indeed can cause actual trauma, while others do not. Having four or more of these puts a kid -- and it's almost always a white male -- at a much higher risk of such violence. More, there are even more kids that endure these same experiences, that won't commit a school shooting. And those with resiliency tend to become strong adults

There are a list of qualities that adult mass shooters -- another group that is primarily white males -- tend to share. Childhood trauna can be among them, although it has a much closer association with individual and/or less-than-mass shootings, the use of knives, etc. Adult mass shootings tend to be rooted in things other than trauma: racism, being fired from a job, the death of a loved one, and/or divorce or the break-up of a relationship.

None of these cause real, long term trauma in and of themselves -- unless the death of a loved one was violent, unexpected, and witnessed. Having a loved one die obviously is tough, and can result in sadness and depression. That is natural. Being fired from a job or getting divorced can be upsetting, but does not cause trauma. Recognizing that there are more non-white people in the country is not traumatic, though it clearly upsets some individuals.

Encountering rude people -- even the aggressively rude -- in the parking lot is not a cause of trauma. Witnessing people shot, being shot, or having a loved one killed in that same parking lot can cause actual trauma. As noted on page 36 of "The Violence Project: How to STOP a Mass Shooting Epidemic," the "elasticity of the term diminishes the experience of people who have experienced true trauma."

Until our society increases its resiliency, two things will happen: first, there will continue to be mass shootings, and second, too many good people will fail to see it is up to us to put an end to it.
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