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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 68,209

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A Televised Trial

Is anyone watching the Michael Barisane trial on the Law & Crime Network?

Michael was a horse trainer of note. He was unhappy with a lady with horses on his farm, and both had been in contact with lawyers. Michael opted to avoid the potential for a civil trial over their disagreements, by shooting Lauren Kanarek twice in the chest.

She survived, and has been on the witness stand for parts of two days. The prosecutor is doing a solid job. The defense attorney is frustrated, because his client really has no way to excuse shooting the woman. Hence, Barisane appears to be trying to convince the jury that he is legally "insane" with his behaviors at the defense table. It should be interesting when the defense puts on its case.

Bright Shiny Things!

Look over here!

No!!!! Look over there!

Or, another option is to not be distracted by bright shiny things. As the Civil Rights Movement's saying recommended, "Keep your eyes on the prize."

Just my opinion.

Beyond Good and Evil

“Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, and ages, it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


I am not comfortable in agreeing with Joe Scarborough as a rule. Thus, when he said that he agreed with Mark Meadows' text that the effort to overturn the 2000 presidential election was "good versus evil," but that Meadows was on the wrong team, I was stunned. Was it possible I agreed -- kind of -- with Mourning Joe and Mark Meadows? Or was I actually experiencing the dreaded LSD-25 flashback that teachers warned us about in the 1960s? Was I confronted by Jimi's haunting question, "Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?"

As if that was not horrible enough, I then heard that Virginia "Ginni" Thomas had urged Meadows to make Sidney Powell "the face" of the effort to steal the election. I was aghast! More, Thomas almost climaxed when Rudy delivered his oil-stained address. Great googla-moogla! Powell and Giuliani! Still, it is Donald Trumps pre-carcass mug that is the actual face of the insurrection. I was not slipping into a Nietzsche-like madness. It was today, at least so far.

The past few days have provided evidence that the attack upon democracy and reality continues. Watching the Senate hearings with Ketanji Brown Jackson made that clear. It's not, of course, as if a old white male nominee by President Biden wouldn't have faced attacks by republicans. But this is worse. My cousin questioned why a core group of republicans was focused on child pornography? I said that Ted Cruz may have conflicted reasons for doing so, but the others were sending a loud dog whistle to those who believe the Q-anon stories about Democrats running a child sex ring. I was pleased to see an old forum friend saying much the same on facebook.

Speaking of the decomposing ex-president, add his "genius" Putin comment to the mix. There's little doubt that Putin, like Trump, is a very stable genius who knows more than his generals. His invasion of Ukraine indicates that, at least in Trump's mind. But make no mistake: many in the Trump cult admire Putin. They just aren't quite stupid enough to say it publicly. Instead, they attack a lady who they know frightens the grass ruts of the Trump cult -- Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Imagine if you will the thought processes of one who respects Sidney Powell and admires Virginia Thomas. This is the type that views Marjorie Taylor Greene and the para-Sarah Palin, Lauren Bobbitt, as representing all they love about America. And this type demands that their Representatives and Senators compete with the Odd Squad in saying and doing things to stir that pot of madness that Nietzsche spoke of. The type that just ain't comfortable with the thought of a highly educated, capable black woman being in a position of power. So facts be damned, those republican Senators did their best to smear her with innuendo to connect her to the sex trade of children that Q-anoners subscribe to. And that is dangerous.

The madness being unleased upon Ukraine had many good people questioning how it could happen in Europe in 2022. I suspect that this includes people who wondered how January 6 could happen in the United States in 2021. We have an advantage over the people from Ukraine who are suffering. We still have elections, the January 6 Committee, and the rule of law -- imperfect as it times seems to be. But we have to recognize the importance of working between now and November to promote Democratic Party victories. We need to support those working at various levels to keep the barbarians in check.

Water Falls

"... So out there in this pristine, shall we say, land where everybody wants to go and see and be for a little while, that's the beauty of a place and sometimes, there's people there who are so unintrusive that you don't even see them. They've acclimated to the place. They live there with it as part of it. And that's the people who have a knowledge."
-- Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation; Interview with Bill Moyers; 1991.



When we moved into this house in 1995, some of the few nearby neighbors stopped over to welcome us. I learned that another, who lived across the road, had lived in the house some seventy years earlier. His name was Fred, though my four year old daughter called him "Old Fred," convinced he was the character from the Beatles movie "Yellow Submarine." As Fred was in his early 90s, I don't think he minded.

I rarely saw Fred outside, and when I did, he was usually walking home after spending time at the waterfalls. A c0-worker at the mental health clinic had grown up in the neighborhood, and so I asked her about him. She said she knew his children from school, but could only remember seeing him a couple of times. "He's a hermit, you know," she said. "And he has been for a long time.

Soon, I began taking produce from my garden to Fred's door -- not frequently enough to be a pest, but to use those opportunities to ask him about local history. Eventually, he became comfortable answering my questions. I remember one winter's day, after a significant snow storm, he and I were shoveling out our mailboxes, along with a couple neighbors' which were next to our's. When he took a break -- being in his 90's! -- he explained that as a young man, he learned local history from the old men, born after the Civil War. In turn, he said, they had learned from the old men before them.

Fred remained a hermit for his remaining years, but seemed to enjoy talking to me and granted full access for us to swim at his waterfalls across the road. His only request was that we leave no trash, something we would never have done anyhow. He told me how he used to camp out next to the falls when he was young, because he loved the sound of the flowing water.

This reminds me of conversations that I had over the years with another elder when we sat near creeks and streams. Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman told me about how, as a kid, he liked to sit on a hillside and drink spring water as it gurgled from the ground. That was something my late brother and I did as kids, when we took breaks from clearing stones from the hillside pasture -- after clearing brush.

One night, Paul's daughter told me that he had suffered a stroke, and that I should visit him in the hospital the following day. I was expecting the worst as I made my way to his hospital room, but was happily surprised that he was awake and talking to several nurses. As we talked, I thought I'd do an interview with him for a newspaper I wrote for. I wanted people to learn from another point of view not often even mentioned in the mainstream media. In time, I would do four interviews for publication that I thought were pretty darned good. More, my supervisor at work -- a former English teacher -- said that they represented the best record of a past era that the current society needed to read and understand. I will include a few things Paul said that may relate to these troubling times.

In the first interview, keeping in mind the quote from Oren, I asked how long the Onondaga had lived here? "The first words spoken by my people were the names of the alligator and of the turtle. How old are these animals? And how long have they lived here, on this land? We have ceremonies with dances where these animals are involved. Think about that, and you'll understand how old the Onondaga are, and how long we've lived here."

As the year 2000 approached, a lot of people were concerned that Y2K would cause wide-spread computer failures, resulting in a global crisis. I asked Paul about this? "Listen: if the Creator wants to bring dinosaurs back, they'll be on your front lawn tomorrow. And if he wants to end the world, he will."

At a time when many religious people were praying for divine intervention, I asked Paul what he thought? "Be a good neighbor. If my garden is ready before yours, we should share mine now, and yours later. Too many people don't understand the power of sharing. You have to rememmber that all of the earth is the Creator's garden, and he shares it with us. That's why I say that sharing is divine intervention."

The last question of the final interview was about what message he had for readers? "Live. Don't be afraid to live. We can live through this.

"I did reburials at the Penn Site. Germ warfare killed them. At the Bloody Hill Site, it was small pox. Some of the burials were of parents and their children. They were holding hands. That seems to happen when germ warfare kills families.

"But we are here today. It's our turn to live now. And if you're reading this, it's your turn as well. Make the most of it. Enjoy your family."





Since a number

Man and Superman

"The art of government is the organization of idolatry." -- George Bernard Shaw; Man and Superman.


Four people stopped at my house yesterday, and two so far today. The number one topic is the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, and the destruction and suffering it has caused. Some think it is time for the US, NATO, and/or the United Nations to step up and protect the people of Ukraine, while others are convinced that would lead to another "world war." Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, and mine includes some of the social dynamics that I've commented on here on this forum for years. Let's take a look.

Sociologists recognize three basic types of leadership: traditional, bureaucratic, and charismatic. Since traditional leadership was found primarily in pre-industrial societies, we can focus on the other two as we compare Putin and Zelenskyy. Putin is, by definition, a bureaucrat. He is a specific type, who believes in exercising autocratic power. Reports indicate that he has been isolated -- likely to avoid Covid -- and that seems to have amplified his Cluster B personality traits. In some troubling ways, Putin has begun to resemble a severely disease villain from a James Bond film in real life.

People recognize that Putin is a bully, prone to making threats, yet his statements about nuclear weapons have to be taken for something that has, at least on some level, crossed his mind. Still, it is important to understand that bureaucrats -- even the blustering bullies -- tend to follow the processes of the bureaucracy they head. Thus, if Putin continues to be frustrated, he will place blame on those just below him. Like Trump, he will then select benvh players to replace them. And that contains some real dangers.

If he becomes more paranoid, especially if he thinks the US and NATO are actively assisting Ukraine, creating problems for the Russian military, he would be more likely to attempt other forms of wardare than immediately using nuclear weapons. That includes a number of options, from attacking the grids of the US and NATO countries, to perhaps resorting to biological wardare in Ukraine. There is no way to predict if the Russian military and intelligence would go along with this. It becomes more likely they would remove him if he demanded nuclear attacks.

One can only speculate at this point, but I think that Putin's time as the idol Shaw describes is running out. The planning of the invasion of Ukraine, while extremely brutal, has not gone as expected. Things have gone a wee-bit differently than in the past conflicts that Putin has been involved in around the borders of Russia. The sanctions that the Biden administration has led the global community to place on Russia are far more intense than Putin expected. Putin did not expect 20,000-plus miltary and medical volunteers from distant lands -- including Canada and the US -- to travel to Ukraine to fight the Russian army. He did not anticipate the condemnation of the global community. Instead, he thought the invasion would solidify the reputation he seeks, as a feared superman. But he is now exposed as a vile little man.

Contrast that to the law school graduate turned comedian who became the president of Ukraine. Is there any wonder why Putin wants Zelenskyy killed? For Zelenskyy, who has an above average grasp of bureaucratic systems, was elected with 73% of the votes. He stood his ground when Trump attempted to strong-arm him. And he has transformed into the most charismatic leader in the world as he leads the fight against Russia. Unlike Putin, he has not sought the safety of isolation far from the conflict. Rather, he has become the voice of the Ukrainian people, expressing their thoughts, fears, and desires. Again, the complete opposite of Putin.

Throughout history, charismatic leaders have been compared to shooting stars that create a bright but brief display of light. Many have been killed by enemies, others by former close aides, while very few have reached old age. However, it seems possible, perhaps even likely, that Zelenskyy will survive longer than Putin. And that, my Friends, is Putin's biggest fear -- that if the Russian people were able to access accurate information, that they, too, will demand democracy.

Peace,
H2O Man

My friend came to me .....

Apologies if this type of information has been posted already. A friend contacted me about supporting the people of Ukraine. It is great that the US and European countries are providing support for the military of Ukraine. I think that there are a lot of people like myself who want to do something. My friend said the group in the below link is a good resource for doing so.

Thank you for your consideration.


https://ucca.org/


Batter Up

Years ago, my father asked my brother and I to assist him in the basement. A rat had literally broke through the cement floor, and had taken up room in the pool table. When we had it trapped in a corner, it quite literally attacked my father. I used a coal shovel to remove and eliminate the threat. I found myself thinking of that corner rat today while looking at Putin.

Now, although the Russian attack on Ukraine came as no surprise, it still made me feel sick when I saw coverage. I felt sick all day. Since my head injury three years ago, I have not experienced "anger," and am disappointed that my doctors said that emotion is unlikely to return. I decided to test that, by reading and watching a number of things on Putin.

This included "old" stuff on youtube. Some of those -- including several from other countrie -- were very impressive in their analysis of Putin. Yet others, such as a speech by John Mearsheimer, were very wrong. Now, John has been called "the most influential realist of his generation. On many issues, he has great insight. So, how could he be so wrong, while others were right on target, when it came to Putin?

I think the answer is thus: John thought entirely in the context of geo-politics among rational human beings. Intelligence sources include psychological assessments of various world leaders. I thought of my 2020 series of three interviews with Dr. Bandy Lee about Trump, his spporters, and finally the likelihood Trump would instigate violence if he lost to Biden. How I've been saying that Putin is the sociopathic thug that Trump dreams of being, since hearing the "genius" bit. So my primary focus was on listening to assessments of Putin that blend military and psychological concerns.

In between, I watched news updates, talked on the phone, and communicated with people on the internet. I was pleased to know that my west coast brother had been watching some of the same reports on Putin that I have been. I'm confident that everyone has an accurate opinion of Putin, and just how dangerous he is. While the Putin invasion of Ukraine is not going as he anticipated, we must recognize that he might intensify the violence And he has access to terrible weapons.

The pictures and reports of his recent meeting with his gang were curious. The distance between him and them would seem to at least hint that he prefers some degree of isolation. I was reminded of a clip from the movie "The Untouchables," linked below:



The only difference is that Putin carries a bigger stick. He sees the public rejection of his war, not that he cares if people like him. He counts on instilling fear by killing critics. He wants people to be too intimidated by his threats of violence to oppose him. But it is evident that he has miscalculated. Government leaders are not fleeing -- they are taking up arms. The people of Ukraine are determined to fight. NATO is not divided. He expected that fear of him would play a decisive role, and that isn't happening.

We hear the the next 72 hours will be extremely important. Of course that is true, but this will not be over any time soon, unless Putin is removed. I hope someone near him steps up. I know that sounds harsh, but I think it would be best. Yet we have witnessed that those surrounding Trump were too cowardly -- and often too greedy -- to do so, and it seems less likely anyone in Putin's inner circle will step up to the plate. Thus it is likely that Putin will demand an increase of violence, in the manner of a cornered rat.


War Children

" “Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children . . . We could not, so help us God, do otherwise . . . thinking of the Land of Burning Children.” Then came the lines that tore through the consciences of many like me. “How many must die before our voices are heard, how many must be tortured, dislocated, starved, maddened . . . When, at what point, will you say no to this war?” " -- Daniel Berrigan, quoted by James Carroll (link below)


https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/daniel-berrigan-my-dangerous-friend



My daughter called today, one of several who expressed outrage about Putin. Three people also visited me today, unscheduled, who are similarly outraged. My daughter said she was frustrated, because she could not identify anything she could do to make the madness stop. My cousin is upset by film of frightened children, huddled in a bomb shelter.

That reminded me of Daniel Berrigan's poem from a bomb shelter in another "country" that a large country declared existed, and sending up peace-keeping forces. A few weeks after that, he led the group to destroy draft records, explaining it with the above quote. I have the pleasure of communicating with Daniel and Phillip in the 1980s, and their example opened up a new world of thought for me.

A foreign power had done the same thing Putin is doing today on the island of most of my ancestors. Some of my relatives on our island fought and died in the resistance. A distant relative from a US city used to deliver goods to his friend Bobby Sands. My ancestors had been active in the war for their nation for generations. But contact with the Berrigan brothers both allowed and forced me to re-evaluate my thinking. Not about self-defense, mind you. But about war as a historic ball & chain that the human race drags along, with the corpses of burned children, to paraphrase some poet.

I saw on FB some people saying, "Yes, but what about _____?" I taught my children, by the age of five, that if I was discussing their behavior, it was unacceptable to say, "Yeah, but what about ____?" My son who works with kids in crisis at a school tells me that lesson is one that he frequently uses with teens. I find it pathetic that some adults' thinking is still stuck in the weak mindset. I suppose a good argument could be made that this isn't really "thinking." Some are incapable, for example, of recognizing the differences between Gorbachev in 1991 and Putin today.

In talking with my 92-year old maternal Aunt, I am reminded that in some distant chapter of our family's history, a Ukraine girl really knocked one of our grandfather's out. I am not saying that this was the root of McCartney's line in his classic "Back in the USSR." But it was similar. Two former heavyweight champions -- the Klitschko brothers -- and a current heavyweight champion, Oleksandre Usyk, are currently in Ukraine, supporting the resistance. Vitali Klitschko is, of course, the mayor of Kiev. These are all good men. Yet even on internet boxing forums, some Trump supporters insult them today. Asswipes.

I have, for years, though that our country was on the path to experiencing "the Troubles" that Ireland did. It seems likely to me that, for years to come, the people of Ukraine will have a similar experience. Children will grow up suffering from the hell of war. Like my daughter, I wish I could make it stop. But reality is knocking on the door. I told my daughter -- and everyone else that would listen -- the most important thing we can do now is to become fully invested in working for Democratic Party victories at all levels in November. For the only option is that the republican party, now Trump's party, supports Putin's violence. I do not think that all republicans at the grass roots are good with that. Nor do I pretend that all Democratic politicians are "perfect." But, as Rubin used to say, it's the difference between shit and sugar.

Hang in there. Take care of yourself. I split my television time between "news" and coverage of the theater-popcorn murder trial. We are currently in a theater of the absurd, and the unsettling previews have ended. The movie has just started. Be safe.


H2O Man

All Together Now




I've been listening to some Paul McCartney today. His works with the Beatles and since is amazing. A lot of great songs. Listening to this today, I was thinking ..... if everyone here works together and with others in our communities, we'll be as happy as this McCartney song come November.

But if we fail to, we risk being more in the mood of John's "Plastc Ono Band" LP, commonly known as Lennon's "primal scream album."

I could be wrong, as I sometimes am. Other times, I'm right. And I'm pretty sure this is one of them. I know that these are frequently stressful times for many, many people. And I think we could all agree that the direction that stress and anxiety is leading the republican party just isn't good. Or safe. So it's up to us, even though we may be dealing with tough things, to be busy between now and November. That doesn't mean a 24/7 concentration of effort, of course. But it does mean supporting those Democrats at every level running in campaigns this year. And putting in a good effort, no matter where you live, or what status you may hold.

Peace,
Patrick

Storms

When I was a kid, I enjoyed major winter storms. While this essay is not about the storm, I will say that as an old man, I still try to enjoy them. So in the early morning hours, before going to bed, I took the dog outside in the stormy weather. She discovered dome rabbit tracks around the chicken coup -- doubtlessly in search of a meal -- and followed them deep into the woods.

Normally, in a snow storm, the woods are silent at nice. I love that. However, with freezing rain, I was treated to one of nature's songs. All seemed good, until I approached the edge of the woods, and watched as a town truck purposefully knocked my mailbox down at 5:15 am/est. Hence, as I came in to lay down "hairy as a dog, for a good bite's sleep" (Lennon), I thought about how, as we walk the path of life, we are bound to encounter some idiots. They may be mad at their boss, frustrated by life's circumstances, or possibly idiots on their best of days

Now to my focus today. Like many of us, I remember when -- after the Columbine massacre -- videos of Harris and Klebold practicing their deadly assault were found. People said it was a shame these weren't found earlier, or there might have been an intervention that could have prevented the massacre. The majority of us are fortunate enough to not have encounters with jackasses like them.

Last week, a couple local guys -- one a high school senior, the other in his first year of college -- made a film that was chillingly similar to the Columbine videos. Their expressed targets were black human beings. The film was made in the county I reside in. More, the one guy attend the school my daughters graduated from. Where I did a few terms on the school board, at the request of the teachers union. Where I have many friends today.

Luckily, the video was posted on social media -- an option not available to Harris and Klebold. The school's administration immediately contacted law enforcement, and there has been an intervention. It remains to be seen what the eventual result of that intervention is, but at least there wasn't a massacre.

I'm in contact with a wide number of people that work in this region's schools. It is a stressful time for them. For, at almost every school, there are kids that are mad at their parents and authority figures, and frustrated with their lives. In life, I have learned one thing for certain: even good teen-aged boys are prone to do stupid things, without a hint of consciousness regarding consequences. It may be their duty, the same as dogs barking, birds flying, and the rabbit coming to the chicken coup for a nice meal. Yet they are still good kids.

Others are simply the type of guys who knock over mailboxes for a giggle. This may be particularly true for those with parents who believe Mike the Pillow Guy is an authority on elections, and who believe that January 6 was noble. Kids from those homes may believe knocking over mail boxes is the highest form of political expression -- the type 'ole Dad would be proud of.

But there are still others who are prone to think about assaulting others with dangerous weapons. Some will even discuss this option with a trusted friend. And a few will rehearse their assault. Like in Columbine, the pair will follow the same personality types, just as with the little girls in the "slender man stabbing" of 2014.

I was pleased to see the governor spoke about this situation. (link below) But it something that a politician, law enforcement officer, or a school superintendent alone cannot resolve. That needs to happen on the local level with an effort coordinated with county, state, and federal resources.

https://www.thedailystar.com/news/local_news/teen-in-racist-video-faces-weapons-charge/article_1243d911-b46d-5c73-9f47-9452d0c4ff10.html
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