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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 63,613

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Small World

George Padadopoulos sent word to Paul Manafort that he can set up a meeting between candidate Trump and Putin. Manafort passes it on to Rick Gates, noting they can't send Trump, and need to set up a lower-level person to meet Putin. Hmmmmm.....

George worked on the campaign's national security team. So did Carter Page, who went to Russia. And we know who bought his round-trip ticket.

Small world. But not as small as a cell.

Winning

"Winning is only half of it. Having fun is the other half."
-- Bum Phillips

Candidate Donald Trump promised the American public that, when he became president, America would start "winning." In fact, we'd win so much, that we'd get tired of winning.

For nine months, Trump appeared to be nothing but a loser. But today, we are finally experiencing several wins for America. And we aren't tired. Not at all. In fact, the fun part is just starting.

Enjoy this day.
H2O Man

Monday, Monday

Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday mornin´, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday mornin´, Monday mornin´ couldn´t guarantee
That Monday evenin´ you would still be here with me

Monday, Monday, can´t trust that day
Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday mornin´ you gave me no warnin´ of what was to be
Oh Monday, Monday, how could you leave and not take me
The Mamas & the Papas

Who “wins” the indictment lottery? I am convinced that Team Mueller has not indicted Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the national anthem. And it's unlikely to be Hillary Clinton, no matter how many times Jack Kingston tries to convince the CNN audience that the last of the redacted CIA documents prove that she had been photographed on the grassy knoll with a rifle.

Some of the experts on CNN have stated the indictment was sealed, due to concern the suspect may try to flee the country. Others have said that it is routine. Either way, I think that several of the guilty-as-sin Trump team are looking out their windows, to see if there are black SUVs parked outside. More, I believe that several of these people will see such vehicles.

I'd even say it's a safe bet that inside the White House this weekend, there is a high level of stress and anxiety. Every rat inside is thinking about how long it will be to they are indicted? And who can they sell out in an attempt to save their own ass? Keep in mind that, not long ago, it was reported that White House staff were concerned about if others were wearing a wire. Gracious!

At the top of this shit heap is Donald Trump. No doubt, his legal team is concerned about his mental state, for when a personality-disordered individual such as Trump is under pressure, they can experience episodes of psychosis. General Kelly can be of limited help, because he has proven himself to be at least partially under Trump's spell. In “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness,” Erich Fromm documented how those with rigid personalities are prone to take actions to support a psychopathic leader, that they would not take under any other circumstance. Kelly's recent lies about a Congresswoman are a prime example of this dynamic.

As much as we might like to see Jared Kushner frog-marched out of the White House on Monday – and Kelly Ann Conway tasered by police as she attempts to interfere – it is best to set the bar of expectations relatively low. Keep in mind that Team Mueller is pursuing a legal case, not a political agenda. The larger goal is a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations case. It includes conspiring (rather than “collusion”) within a group, where some member or members break the law, to achieve a specific desired result.

Thus, it is possible – even likely – that we will learn that Paul Manafort has been indicted for past financial crimes. Team Mueller would do this, not because they are not pursuing higher crimes, but to insure that Manafort flips. It is uncertain of how Trump will react to the news this weekend, much less next week. Obviously, the utter nonsense that the media wing of the Trump administration (Fox News) and White House cheerleaders were peddling in the days previous to the breaking news was their strategy to divert attention from the coming indictment. But their reaction post-indictment will in the upcoming days be more aggressive.
We are witnessing an extremely important point in our national history. I do not think it is unfair to say the events that unfold will determine if we can regain our constitutional democracy, or if the US becomes yet another empire that self-destructs, and morphs into a dictatorship. Strange days have found us.

Peace,
H2O Man

Plowing Time Again


A while back, I wrote an OP in which I mentioned that in a speech to industry executives, Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons pointed out that 52 of the largest one hundred economic units were corporations. The other 48 were nations. I believe Oren's speech was from 2013 or 2014. Thus, I'd assume that in 2017, corporations hold a larger majority than do republicans in the US Senate.

It would seem rational to say that both of these, corporate boards and national governments, occupy the same space when it comes to global affairs. It follows that other shadowy businesses from various locations have a level of power and influence equal to what Americans have on state, county, and local levels. In fact, at these various levels, we tend to find some politicians and business leaders stepping back and forth between those roles.

In theory, the case can be made that this is neutral, that it has both good and bad potentials. One of those bad potentials would be the potential for social Darwinism – the twin sibling of economic Darwinism – to creep in. For an extreme example, could you imagine if a spoiled, rich brat, someone who would be like the “evil twin” of the old comic book character Richie Rich were to become the American president?

On the surface, of course, that sounds impossible. The machine in the US would not support such a thing. But, it could happen, if the business and intelligence units from an outside-the-US entity were to underhandedly support an evil, spoiled brat of a candidate. Even if that candidate lost the popular vote by four million votes, it might be possible for him to “win” the electoral vote.

By this time, if anyone is still reading this, they are almost certainly saying, “No shit!” Because, as we know, this is exactly what happened in 2016. And that brings us to Mr. Mueller's investigation. His team has, at this point, enough evidence to charge several people involved in the Trump campaign and/or administration. This includes Trump himself, for obstruction and abuse of power. The information being brought to light in the last 48 hours suggests that it is possible, even likely, that they could prosecute Trump for being a knowing participant in the pre-election conspiring with Russian units (all of which have complete overlap with the Russian government).

So why haven't charges been filed and announced publicly yet?

In his role, Mr. Mueller faces issues that few previous prosecutors in similar roles have confronted. With Watergate or the Plame scandal, the majority (if not all) the players were domestic. Only Iran-Contra involved multiple nations and non-state players, and thus led to an incomplete conclusion. In this case, Mr. Mueller's team is investigating domestic (Trump team), international, and non-state players. The Mueller team's agenda is not political; thus, as urgent as it is to remove Trump, their goal is to remove as much of the malignant growth as possible, rather than merely cutting off the growth that is above the surface.

This may seem unsatisfactory to us right now. For Trump is clearly posing a clear and present danger to the United States and indeed the world. Yet, we should not allow our frustrations and impatience to cloud our eyes, for we actually have a historical opportunity – and obligation – at this very time. There are some 2017 elections, as well as the upcoming 2018 elections that we should be focusing on. And each one of these provides us with a unique opportunity to prepare for the surgical removal of the malignant growth that threatens our nation.

In the field of psychiatry – including “health psychiatry” – it is recognized that everyone has a “locus of control.” It ranges from “internal” to “external” – with an internal locus of control meaning one believes they have control much of the circumstances in their lives, and those with an external locus of control believing that they are helpless victims of circumstance. Our national health is in danger today, and we need to recognize that, while we can't control everything, we can control how we respond. Thus, we should do everything we can to insure victories on as many levels as possible in the upcoming elections.

Don't accept the lie that you are powerless to make change happen. Don't expect others to do it for you. Be a part of the bigger movement to make meaningful change happen. By doing so, we will plow the ground and plant the seeds that will remove the criminal influence of the Trump disease from our society.

Peace,
H2O Man

Hey Joe




It was fifty years ago today that Jimi recorded this song. As much as I like his music, it's not exactly what I want to write about this evening.

Last night, while I was buying groceries, a gentleman with long hair and beard stopped in his chair in front of me. I'd seen him in the store once before, and thought he looked like a late friend, a Vietnam veteran, also in a chair. He had been coming in the other direction in the isle, so we were facing each other. He said he no longer likes people in general (except his family), and prefers being a hermit. By appearance, he noted, I was likely the same.

We ended up talking for about an hour, including his showing me pictures of his family. It turns out he lives on a dirt road outside a town where I lived about 40 years ago, although I was even more remote and isolated there than him. (After a year, I could see the driveway to a new house in the distance, so I moved.)

He had held a fairly high rank, and also taught at a military school. Both of his sons are currently stationed in war zones, one near or in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan. However, he told me, he never follows the “news” these days. It turns out that my younger son knows his younger boy. Also, he is acquainted with one of my friends, and had known the friend he reminded me of. Like them and I, he shares the feeling our nation is in trouble, but prefers not to think – much less talk – about it.

Since getting home, I've been thinking about that. I suspect his political and social points of view are distinct from my own, and respect his not wanting to discuss them. He did give me a card, with his e-mail on it, and I think that I'll be contacting him at some point. But not to discuss the topics I usually talk to people about. And that's fine.

In part, I think “current events” can be difficult to discuss, because of the 24 hour news cycle that focuses on an issue for 48 to 72 hours, then goes on to the next topic. Add that during the Trump era, so many issues are outrages. And, even among some relatively good, intelligent people, the threads between the issues and outrages aren't recognized or fully understood.

Over the years I've been on DU, I've noticed some topics often result in foolish arguments. Two that come to mind involve issues of sex and race. Quite often, it is due to people reacting emotionally to those topics. Obviously, passion and emotion can be part of rational discourse; yet, many irrational arguments involve passions and emotions.

With Trump's insulting phone call to the wife of one of the four men killed in military action in Niger, we see rational and passionate discussions on DU. This is, in part, because Trump is an offensive specimen, even when discussing minor issues such as a piece of cake. On important issues, he is a flaming asshole. Hence, on an issue that includes sex and race – and other important factors – there tends to be a general consensus on DU.

Yet, the discussions on the sexual predator from Hollywood included a few things I found to be less on point. Certainly, there are examples of men being harassed, but in my opinion, that is beside the important point that we should be concentrating. And I say that as a man who was twice subjected to unwanted advances while on the job.

The first time was when I was 17, and doing carpentry work in a diner. I was on a ladder, and the owner came and grabbed me in a place he had no business touching me. I assume he forgot I had a hammer in my hand, but I didn't.

The second time was in a human service job. I was in my office, working overtime, and assumed the building was otherwise empty. I was surprised when my new supervisor came in, and asked me, “Do you want to have some wild sex, or what?” I said, “Or what” on my way out the door.

Now, I've had good supervisors, as well as jackasses who liked to make life miserable for me. But none of these experiences come close to what I know my daughters have faced in the past. More, I realize that many, many other women have endured far worse than my daughters. Thus, when I talk to them, I could talk about my experiences, but not to suggest that I know how they felt. Just that I can try.

Somehow, we need to talk about these types of issues. Such discussions can often involve strong emotions and deeply rooted passions, but can still be rational. It's not a contest to see what group or individual has suffered the most. It is necessary, to move forward so that no one is subjected to harm.

Just my opinion.
H2O Man

Raids on the Unspeakable

“Everything is the exact opposite of what it really is.” – Harry Nilsson



In 1964, Erich Fromm came up with the term “malignant narcissism” in “The Heart of Man”, to define a specific type of disorder in certain individuals. He described it as “the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity.” In 1973, he published “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness,” that described how individuals with this “severe mental sickness” rise to positions of power in unhealthy societies. While not enough people read Fromm these days, it's a topic that Americans – and the rest of the world –having been thinking about in recent months.

Fromm is my favorite social scientist/ social psychologist. His books and lectures played a significant part in my meager education, and I continue to collect his writings. Although his definition of “malignant narcissism” as a clinical diagnosis accepted by insurance companies (because it can't be successfully treated), it is an issue of concern because of Donald Trump. It's not just Democrats that see the problem.

An outstanding resource of vital current information is “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” The authors recognize that it is generally not good to diagnose someone they are not treating; however, in this instance, that rule is trumped by the duty to warn the public of a danger to its safety.

I've listened to an interview with Bandy Lee, the lady who led the effort that resulted in this important book, and was extremely impressed. In my own simple mind, I recognized that the Fromm section of my library was incomplete for understanding the severe dangers that Trump poses today, without this addition. Hence, I am eagerly awaiting its arrival.

There have been several valuable contributions between Fromm and Lee's efforts. A variety of names, such as “pathological narcissism,” have been applied to the disorder. Hare's checklist was developed in the 1970s, and is widely recognized for its accuracy. However, Donald Trump himself may be providing the most easily recognized example for the general public's understanding of this illness.

Still, the (very) recent “Duty to Warn Day” was largely overlooked, even by many in the politically active grass roots. Having watched a segment from “Democracy Now” on the book the night before, with a close friend who has been an activist for 50+ years, we may have identified one of the reasons why. My buddy has two PhD's – philosophy and medical – and a background in psychology. He suggested that the terms that the experts use require a degree of translation for the general public.

He focused on the phrase “malignant normalcy.” What does that mean to the average person? While his point was well taken, I noted that the DU community has frequently noted the dangers of normalizing Trump's behaviors. Thus, there is both the possibility – and necessity – of people at the grass roots level serving as translators in the larger discussion.

We know, for example, that Trump wants to destroy all the advances President Obama made. This went beyond Trump's wallowing in the gutter of the “birth certificate” nonsense. He was furious that Obama roasted him at the correspondents dinner. That rage set the foundation for Trump's presidency.

His campaign – from the primaries to election day – was based entirely on insulting his opponents, and making false claims about how great and talented he is. During the last nine months, his behaviors have been even more disgraceful. He is clearly a pathological liar. His inner need to insult and bully anyone who disagrees with him is creating international crises. He has proven that he lacks any qualifications to hold the office that the Russian mob elected him to.

At the same time, he is the exact opposite – on the inside – of the character he plays on the outside. He's like one of the hollow chocolate Easter rabbits that children get: there is nothing at his core, and Trump is dimly aware of that. This is why he is so reactive to what he views as “insults.” Thus, his need to be “busy,” and to “destroy” those who see through him.

The psychiatrists who contributed to the new book are actually meeting with members of the House and Senate, helping them to put Trump's awful behaviors into context. It's not just Democrats in Congress that recognize there is a very serious problem. We need to be spreading this information on Trump's easily diagnosed, extremely dangerous personality disorder to the general public. And this requires that we do so beyond those formats where others already know these things.

This includes starting with the media in our own towns and cities. It should include letters to the editor of newspapers large and small. Contacts with radio and television stations. And contacts with our elected officials, no matter what party affiliation they have. Request a response from each official, and make clear it will be used in letters to the editor, etc.

We must begin this effort immediately, and coordinate it with the 2018 mid-term elections. Thank you for your consideration.

Peace,
H2O Man

Happy Birthday

to John and Sean!

Columbus Day

Years ago, while working with a Native American support group under the direction of Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman, we were focused on an issue that involved the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy and the US federal government. Thus, we were not surprised when we had some new people join in the group meetings in Binghamton, NY. Over the decades, we had seen many come and go, including good people, confused people, and some “others.”

Early on, we noticed the four new people were familiar with one another, although each one had pretended they had decided on their own that, at this point in their busy individual lives, they wanted to “help Indians.” More, we saw that one lady was taping our meetings, without having mentioning that she was recording our conversations. Hence, I did a bit of a “background search” on the four. For example, I learned the taping lady was employed by a law firm representing our opposition.

The two men insisted that our group had to take a more militant approach. For example, they insisted that we must disrupt the upcoming Columbus Day parade. They proposed that we throw 40-ounce bottles of Crazy Horse Malt Liquor at the marchers in the parade. I said that was not our way, and explained how we had succeeded in convincing area distributors not to carry that product. They countered with a “compromise proposal” that we break the bottles in front of the marchers. I said that was not our way.

Paul had given me instructions before our next meeting. But I was not fully prepared for the four to come to the meeting wearing authentic K-Mart southwestern Native American patterned shirts. Their leader also brought a smudge stick. Gracious. I started the meeting by saying that Paul wanted them to understand that we would not take part in anything that would offend Italian-American people. He said we should instead respect their heritage. More, we had ample opportunity throughout the year to have an honest discussion about both history, and current events.

The leader of the four, clutching his smudge stick tightly, began to speak in a loud, angry voice. He said that I had no right to be the leader of the group. After all, I had not corrected all the historic wrongs done to the Indians he wanted to help. He could not accept Paul or my decisions. He believed he was better qualified to be our leader.

I remembered what Paul had instructed me to do at this point. So I said I wanted to speak alone to him outside of the room we were meeting in. Once in the hallway, I told him that we knew who he was, and what he was trying to do. He was far from the first agent of disruption we had encountered, nor among the most talented. He angrily denied this, and indicated he was ready to fight me. So I provided him with the detailed background report I had on him and his employment.

Once back in the room, before the meeting started up again, our four new friends left. We never saw them again.

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