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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 69,005

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Go Ask Alex: Phase Two

"A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and, in order to divert himself, having no love in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest forms of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal. And it all comes from lying -- lying to others and to yourself." -- Fyodor Dostoevsky


I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Alex Jones for proving, in a very public trial, that Dostoevsky was correct.

And I actually do thank the plaintiffs, their legal team, and the judge in this case for exposing the filth known as info-wars.

I hope to thank the jury soon.

Political Climate Change




Despite getting some rain last week, with more to come at the end of this week, it is dry here in rural upstate New York. My rain barrels are again low, and so when I water the garden in the evening, I'm not using as much as I'd like to. Still, I am getting more beans, cucumbers, and peas than I can eat, and so I share some with neighbors. And some will be canned or froozen.

My cousin called me last night. He had visited his 92-year old mother in the evening, as he does daily. They were talking about current events, and he commented that he cannot believe how stupid the republican base is. She said that there has always been about the same percentage of stupid people throughout her life, that it is just that television and the internet get them worked up, and expose us to their ignorance.

This got me thinking about the environment crisis that is here, on Earth, today. It is worse now for some people than others around the globe. I cannot, for example, compare seeing that the open spring that feeds my pond producing less water than in 27 years -- less than in 2016, the worst drought on record here -- to people losing their homes to wildfires in California. Or to the farmers in Central America not able to produce crops to feed their families due to the on-going drought.

I think of how many of us, including myself, can take things like water and electric for granted ..... until a storm causes the electric to go out for anywhere from minutes to days. In other places, such as parts of Kentucky, it will be out for a lot longer.

I, for one, tend to curse out loud if the television goes blank while I am watching something of interest. Then I think of my father, raised in a home with no running water or electricity. Or the people who lived in this house before electricity and running water. It's not that we have to go back to that. But we do need to consider how much we use, and how much corporations -- like those in the above video -- use.

And that is not dependent on if one believes that human beings are the primary cause of environmental changes. If your well runs dry, it isn't going to matter if you say, "I don't believe it." If your house is on fire, it doesn't matter if you are convinced it is a Chinese conspiracy. Burying one's head in the sand is not a good option at this time.

That includes all the forms of denial, across the board. This includes saying it isn't the number one issue voters list in polls, and thus not a good campaign issue. Climate change is real. It is here now. It's not pleasant to think about, but it will change society. And as LBJ said, "We must change to master change."

Today's News

"I read the news today, oh boy...." -- John Lennon, 1967.


It is actually good news this morning. Perhaps on two fronts. Hoever, I must warn the reader that good news on another front -- the recent rains have resulted in an explosion of growth among my favorite melons of the Cucurbitaceae family -- so I do not have the time this afternoon to author my unusual long and tedious essays. I'd suggest having one's wisdom teeth yanked out sans novocaine by using the pair of pliers nearst to you, if you seek to relive the sensation of reading my usual nonsense.

First, let's take a brief flashback to my July 22nd Pastry Recipe, where I noted that:

"Prosecutors look for the weakest links among groups such as this." -- H2O Man; July 22, 2022.

Now, we are all happy to learn that a grand jury, being run by the Department of Justice, recently heard from two human beings closely associated with the Albino Puff Pence. This reportedly focused on conversations involving Trump & Fiends, about fake electors. Clearly a good sign, especially as John Eastman, who I dentified as the weakest link in the pastry shop, was involved. Remember this as summer turns to fall.

Second, as part of my research for campaigning for my candidate in this NYS Congressional District, I'm preparing for my efforts after the August primary. I will work equally hard for either my candidate, or his primary opponent, come the general election. After reading some interesting reports on what republican focus groups are saying, I decided to contact a woman who runs a number of these groups.

I haven't lost my mind.

This lady is of the species I knew in my youth: republicans one could talk to. Rumors of their extinction appear to have come too early, for this one not only is opposed to Trump, but even more focused on defeating cult members in the November election. And within the focus groups, she said the majority are not only opposed to Trump running in 2024, but will refuse to vote for his cult members in November.

When I asked if any group was prepared to go so far as to vote for Democratic Party candidates, she responded that yes, this is especially true among republicans over the age of 60.

I say this in part in response to a number of OP/threads I've read on DU:GD recently, saying we should forget Trump. This included one where a good friend said that in campaigning this summer, they have yet to hear any mention of Trump. Now, I am not trying to tell anyone how to campaign, but in my own experience, when I start after my polite introduction of self, I ask, "What issues are important to you?" And over 50% mention Trump's name in their very first sentence.

This is a stick we have available to use to beat our opposition in November. We ned to pick up on it.

Earth Blues

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/06/colorado-river-drought-california-arizona-00044121


I've been watching various news reports on the environment recently. Reports on the water levels at Lake Mead and Lake and Lake Powell are extremely low levels. Mead is the largest reservoir in the country, and measured to be at only 27% of capacity this month. One guy noted that if people viewed the lake as a bank, people make an increasing number of withdrawals, but there aren't many deposits.

It's the lowest it has been, since 1937, before it was originally filled. If this continues, it will reach "dead pool" level, and no longer pass through the Hoover Dam, supplying important parts of Arizona, California, and Mexico. Thus, it will not matter if one recognizes the reality of climate change: people in those regions will need to adjust their behaviors in their daily lives. It might actually reach the point where government beseech corporate entities to consider changing some of their practices.

I also have been watching reports on the rapidly expanding Oak Fire in California. I've also seen recent reports on fires in England. Many of us remember 2020 reports on the Amazon rainforest burning. Last year, under president Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian deforestation rates soared to a 15-year high. That continues at a brisk pace this year -- so far, 1,500 square miles have been deforested. There are curious ways of deforesting:

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/the-territory-new-documentary-follows-uru-eu-wau-wau-community-fighting-to-protect-their-indigenous-land-in-the-amazon/

If a person pays attention to these things, one might suspect that there are connections between all of these things. Or one can turn away and refuse to think about this. It should be upsetting to think about. I understand that individuals might think, " I'm just one person. The most severe damage is being done by corporations. There is nothing I can do." You have been lied to, to discourage you from realizing you are one among millions. Or, as Gandhi said, a drop in the ocean that takes part in the greatness of its parent.

Corporations do indeed do much more harm than individuals. Individuals working for corporations may, on a personal level, recognize that they are part of a system destroying the natural world. But, if they rely on a paycheck from that industry, they know if they speak up they will be replaced. A number of corporate executives told that to my friend Oren Lyons when he was giving a speech on environmental issues a few years back.

Oren noted that many of them are grandparents, and recognize they are handing down an earth that is severely damaged to the younger generations. People who are adraid of change find many excuses to remain part of a system that devastates the environment. Oren said that the group would likely ask him back in a year or two, so that they could again say, "Nothing has changed since the last time you were. But I care."

In my opinion, it is not just people who get a paycheck from those corporations. It includes those who take -- and depend upon -- corporate donations to run their election and re-election campaigns. In a very real sense, they work for those corporations. If they speak up, they fear being replaced. They, too, say that they care.

That's why I favor those politicians that do not accept corporate money. By coincidence -- perhaps -- they seem to be the environmentally-conscious representatives of human beings, rather than corporations. Thus, the Democratic candidate I am volunteering for in NYS's 19th Congressional district. He doesn't accepte corporate money, while his primary opponent does.

Below please find a message from Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation:


Mother Goose

“History doesn't repeat itself, but It often rhymes” – Mark Twain.


Generally speaking, this indicates the "Walker" rhymes with "Flynn," although the two remind me of repeating cycles of one another. Members of my generation remember, and younger history buffs may understand. But it might be of interest to explain this dynamic, for both General Edwin Walker and General Michael Flynn have posed similar threats to democracy.

Both were in the army. Walker was a general, and Flynn a lieutenant general. Both were involved in wars: Walker in World War 1 and the Korean War, while Flynn was involved in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both were white supremacists. And both had unhappy ends to their military careers.

Important for our consideration is that both were highly paranoid men, at least at the end of their military careers. A degree of paranoia was essential in the process of evolution, in order for humans to survive. It's beneficial to recognize that a slightly higher than average degree of paranoia can, and often does, play a meaninful role in the careers of military members and police investigators. But this pair of generals had a much higher amount of paranoid thinking.

It appears that whatever amount Walker had before the Korean War, that experience brought it into full bloom. It may be similar in Flynn's case. Either way, both came to exhibit almost all of the symptoms that are associated with Cluster A's paranoid personality disorder (PPD). They see conspiracies, especially aimed against them. They question the motivations of others, including presidents. As a John Birch Society member, Walker was convinced that Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower were communists; Flynn, who is in the Trump cult, identified people from President Obama to Secretary of State Clinton as enemies of the state.

After leaving the military, both became active in extreme right-wing political activities. Walker had begun while still serving, and violated the Hatch Act by attempting to indocrinate troops with Birch Society materials, and instructing them how to vote. He quit the military when being disaplined for this, claiming it was an international conspiracy against him. In early 1962, he hoped to become the governor of Texas, but lost in the Democratic primary. He was arrested in October for promoting the riots at the University of Mississippi, because James Meredith had enrolled. Sound familiar? Kind of rhymes with "Flynn," I think.

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy then took action to have Walker put in a psychiatric ward for 90 days, to be avaluated. The ACLU and and Syracuse University's psychiatrist Thomas Szasz were able to get Walker released after five days. Dr. Szasz argued that psychiatric information should never be used in political rivalries. Yet, RFK and others knew that there was something cery wrong with Walker, and that he posed a threat to society. His paranoid nature led him to identify many, many "enemies," and he posed a real threat to them.

There was little public understanding of those suffering from PPD when RFK hoped to find out was horribly wrong with Walker. Although the grand jury dailed to indict him after the October arrest, his star had fallen. People with PPD lack insight on the role they play in creating most if not all of their problems. Add qualities like racism, and they tend not to benefit from the preferred treatment, which is psychotherapy. Thus, it is unlikely that General Flynn is capable of changing from his anti-social behaviors.

Flynn does not belong in a psychiatric hospital. The only successful treatment option with him is life in prison. I think it is a matter of months until the Department of Justice indicts him. That is an essential step towards beginning to heal our country.

A Pastry Recipe




After watching the J6 Committee hearing last night, I spent some time on DU and FB reading some responses to what I thought was an outstanding presentation. The vast majority of what I read was positive. But a few people -- and I include some that I consider friends -- expressed disappointment.

It is important to keep in mind the context of these hearings. The Committee is making a historic record of the insurrection, not limited to the riot at the Capital on January 6. But they are also targeting two specific audiences, one large, and one rather small. Let's take a look at each of these.

Politics 101 teaches that there are three groups: those that support you, those that oppose you, and those who are undecided. The J6 Committee hearings are aimed primarily at that third group, rather than those who already know the truth, or those incapable of accepting it. Hence, we see witnesses like Pottinger, a military intelligence officer serving in the White House. His testimony is only intended to convince the undecided of the danger the Trump cult posed, not to make him a hero of the Democrats.

Likewise, Sarah Matthews was not there to win the hearts and minds of the Trump cult. There was a soon-deleted message from Rep. Elise Stefanik's office calling Matthews a tool of Democrats, and a liar. While I respect what Sarah Matthews testimony, and truly hope that she becomes fully human in the future, her message wasn't intended to speak to those who already knew, or refuse to accept.

Now to that little group. These are the individuals who I view as the pus around the infection. Let's consider the context in which they viewed last night's hearing. These people are already experiencing discomfort, not only from the J6 Committee, but also from the Department of Justice and a grand hury in Georgia.

These are the rough, tough creampuffs that surrounded Trump after Joe Biden kicked his ass in the 2020 election. Are not creampfuffs made of a rather pasty white dough? And these not filled with maga pus? Earlier in the afternoon, they had heard that the loudest-mouthed among them, who had threatened hell-fire for days while outside the federal court, had opted not to take the stand in his criminal trial. They knew that Bannon had pupped out after all of his sputtering about "going on the offense."

Prosecutors look for the weakest links among groups such as this. In this case, they know that even the lawyers involved have hired lawyers. And that in private, these lawyers have outlined the potential options and outcomes for their clients. That the first person to accept a deal gets the best results. They have also told their clients that Trump will gladly throw them under the bus to distract attention from himself.

This raises the question of who will be first to exclaim, " I was just a pastry!" I think the answer is found under a hat we saw on January 6, 2021. It was a hat worn by one of those who took to the platform along with Trump to stir the crowd into a frenzy. A hat that I think Bannon gave him on January 3, when Rudy and he were the guests on Steve's "The War Room." The hat that could not disguise the fact that John Eastman was a pasty pastry, imagining himself to be the Pillsury Doughboy's evil twin, Skippy, of a mutant dooms-bury cartoon. A legend in his own luchtime.

I openly admit that I do not have access to seismographs that measure the quivering of the sphincters within the small group. But I think that Benjamin Wittes summed up what is going on within the DOJ earlier this week. None of these ass-clowns thought they would get caught as the conspired with Trump in the days and weeks before January 6. But caught they are. And they were fully aware of this as they watched last night's hearing.

Thus, I think it was an outstanding presentation by the J6 Committee.

Grumpy Old Man

“You mean the low-life, ass-wipe, egg-sucker John Gustafson?” — Max Goldman


Two things, before I get started: one, I didn't sleep well last night, and two, there is a thunderstorm coming. Thus, I am tired and sore, with the synergy resulting in me being a grumpy old man. Hence, the above quote from the 1993 classic, which I say is a documentary.

I am also happy and encouraged. I joined others in phone-banking last night. The Democratic primary is August 23, and I think we will win. I had a number of very positive conversations with voters, and they all said that other people they know are voting for the candidate that I'm volunteering for. They all know the importance of winning the November elections.

One gentleman even thanked me for my call, then said, "I'll bet you are taking a lot of shit!" I said not really, since I'm only calling registered Democrats in the district, only wrong numbers provide rude responses. This led directly to a conversation about the impact of the Trump cult on society.

The campaign staff is all young, energetic, talented, and high-tech. We do something called "Zoom" meetings, and I was glad that last night, there were others of my ancient generations -- fossils of politics circa-1960s - '70s -- who find this technology as confusing as the brown acid at Woodstock. Fucking whippersnappers smiling at us when we ask the same stupid question for the tenth time. No safe spaces for elders these days.

Because I complained about the phone bill that I, on a small fixed income, have to pay, these staff people fixed it so I could call through the computer. I had asked my son to be here then, so he could navigate this frightening process. When he said, "Sure thing, Old Man. No problem," I wondered if he was purposely trying to insult me? There sure as hell was a problem! I was confronted by the prospect of technology!

Any how, that didn't work, because the guy I called could only hear half of what I was saying. While it's possible that was because, as he sounded my age, his hearing was as damaged as mine, that seems unlikely. Fucking technology. So I told the staff I'd gladly use my phone, but I wonder why we were starting at the dinner hour yet again? I noted that, from decades of experience, I can say that the lunch and dinner hour are the worst time to call. Others my age agreed. We know how angry we get when the phone rings while we are consuming food. And did I mention the price of fucking groceries?

No, I didn't get to. Before I could remember what I was saying -- I remembered who I was talking to, though, as I could see them -- one cut me off after a prolonged pause. She said, "The primary will be low turn-out, so even if we reach a few people, it's important." Sensing she was trying to quell the energized elders before there was a rebellion, I responded, "For the heck of it, let's compare the results from 5:30 to 6:45, to those of 6:45 to 7." Another old man said that made sense. Hoping this would happen, I searched for my abacus, but couldn't remember where I put it.

By this point, If anyone is still reading this, you most certainly agree that if any human being was justified in pissing and moaning, and even saying divisive things actually meant in a serious way, it would be me. I think I have more right to do so than those who, for reasons sincere or insincere, I've seen complaining about the Democratic Party, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General, and who might run for office in 2024. Please stop it, or I swear I'll write and post more essays like this.

I really like and respect the young adults on the campaign team. I'm doing the best I can, which leaves no time to crab about others. I know things they don't know, because of experience. They know things I don't know, because they are younger and smarter than me. We learn from one another, in preparation for not just the primary, but for November. Maybe our candidate will win next month, or maybe his opponent Jamie Cheney will.

Either way, we will all campaign for the winner of the primary to win in November. Jamie Cheney is a very good candidate, I'll be glad to work for her. I will probably feel a bit guilty about how, when people on the phone ask about her positions, I say that I just don't think the Cheney family understands average Americans, even though I like what Liz is doing.

Speaking of which -- take the time to enjoy the hearing tonight. And tomorrow, get working to make sure we kick the shit out of the republican party in November.

Matthew & Matthews

As the news that Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews will testify during Thursday's January 6 Committee hearing is being reported, we must keep in mind that we are not alone in keeping our eyes on the prize. Indeed, many others are aware of how this hearing can impact things ranging from the Department of Justice experiencing public pressure to prosecute Trump, to the 2022 elections. More, we know that Trump will be watching, and feeling increased anxiety.

Both Matthew and Matthews resigned from their positions in the Trump White House on the day of the insurrection. Pottiner had been the Deputy National Security Advisor, and Sarah Matthews the deputy press secretary. Both were in the White House during the 187 minutes that Thursday's hearing will focus on.

It is also being reported that Trump thinks announcing he is running in 2024 might provide him with some type of legal protection, including if he were to win. Many in his party do not want him to announce before the November elections, as it would be a ball & chain on candidates in November. But we know two things: Donald does not listen to those republicans who say "no" on anything, and that sociopaths under pressure act out in desperate ways. Will this hearing result in his announcing soon? Let us hope.

As I have in the past, I recommend that people contact the Department of Justice after the next hearing, to express their hopes that the DOJ will prosecute all of those involved in the insurrection, including Trump. Below is contact information:

https://www.justice.gov/contact-us

Water

“In a way, science might be described as paranoid thinking applied to Nature: we are looking for natural conspiracies, for connections among apparently disparate data. Our objective is to abstract patterns from Nature (right-hemisphere thinking), but many proposed patterns do not in fact correspond to the data. Thus all proposed patterns must be subjected to the sieve of critical analysis (left-hemisphere thinking).”
― Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence


Since I was a kid, growing up on a small family farm, I learned from old people ways to be pretty accurate about the seasonal weather forecast. Now that I'm an old man, the number of broken bones I've had help me know when a storm is coming. It's been a fairly dry summer here in the northeast, and the water table is low.
Although my numerous water were mighty low, yesterday I used the last in them to water my garden. I depend upon the food I grow, and am having good results thus far. I also knew that we'd be getting rain last night and today, and hopefully off and on over the next few days. It was a bit more of a chore yesterday, though, as I've had some reaction to the latest covid booster shot, distinct from the previous ones. But I trust science, and consider it a small price. Plus I know that water is essential for life.

I remember talking about water with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman over the years I served as his top assistant. Paul thought that science was documenting a lot of things that were part of his people's traditional knowledge, which was rooted in their experiences living here, on this land, for thousands of years. As such, he was very concerned about the damage being done to the air, land, and water.

All life on Earth came from water. When scientists look for evidence of life in distant worlds, the first thing they look for is if water has existed on them. Living beings are found in water, and those living outside of water tend to have contact with water to maintain life. The only waters that doesn't have life in it are those that human beings have polluted with toxins. And water with toxins poisons those living beings on land that come in contact with. Toxic waters causes sickness and death. The toxic poisons that human beings dump into the water float downstream. This includes going downstream in distance and time, to the next communities and generations.

Now, in the Good Book, it makes clear that the Earth does not belong to humans, that we are but sojourners. (Leviticus 25:23; Psalm 24) But I do not limit myself to religious or spiritual concepts. For example, I talk about the environment with my brother who lives in the northwest. He works at a university, and likes having lunch with the professors of environmental studies. My brother is an atheist who loves science.

His co-workers tell him that humanity is up against it. Things are already in motion that will destroy the ability to grow necessary amounts of food in parts of the world. They will not get enough rain, as things warm up. That isn't just in third world countries, mind you. They think the sothwest will continue to get hotter and drier, and the eastern coast and Gulf Coast will continue to have more frequent and serious floods. Thu, migrations will not be limited to those from Central America already being displaced by environmental changes.

I also think about one of Malcolm X's teachings: if you put aa glass of sparkling clean water next to a filthy glass of sludge, thirsty people will make the correct choice. I think that is true, but question if there are not people who lack the conscience required to stop destroying the environment so long as they can make a dime selling slufge to the public. That would include even a senator, for example, if he/she and/or his/her family made money off, say, coal. That might result in that senator knee-capping a good president's programs to address the environment. It might even make it very difficult to identify when that senator voted with the Democrats on a single issue that energy corporations and republicans oppose.

We are in strange times. But I enjoyed talking on the telephone this afternoon, with a young lady who is a volunteer with the congressional campaign I'm working on. The Democratic primary comes in late August. There are two Democrats: the one I volunteer with has good experience working with our elected representatives in DC, and who accepts zero corporate funding, the other is a now-former Wall Street executive, running on corporate funding. My candidate advocates for things like child health care coverage and other issues that will result in his republican opponent calling him a "socialist" in the general election season.

But he is not. I consider him to be a liberal, who is fairly moderate overall, and who understands science. We need change. Now, I wish he was a socialist, and am pretty darned sure those young adults volunteering with his campaign would agree. And I know for a fact they all have concerns that not enough is being done on environmental issues. Not their only concern, but one that helps get them active in Democratic Party politics. That will matter in November.

Sarah Matthews

“Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is."
-- Sarah Matthews; former White House deputy press secretary

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/07/sarah-matthews-jan-6-hearings.html


Until I heard a news report that the person that Trump attempted to call recently was still working in the White House, I had thought it was likely Sarah Matthews. But she now works as the communications director for the House’s Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. If the person Trump called does indeed still work in the White House, it must be someone else.

Still, I am sure that Trump was unhappy to see Sarah in the news in the days after Cassidy Hutchinson testified. It's curious to me that Trump would know who else had agreed to testify to the J6 Committee if they had not been publicly identified. At the same time, I appreciate that in the current climate of threats, one might be hesitant to be identified in the media.

The old boy must be becoming even further unhinged as he learns of more people willing to testify -- and I don't mean Steve Bannon. Who do you think it was that Trump called?

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/3540045-former-trump-aide-defends-hutchinson-theyre-scared-of-how-damning-this-testimony-is/
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