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H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
December 31, 2022

Please Help!

I have a huge favor to ask of the DU community. It involves the case of a sexual sadist who raped and murdered a 12-year old girl on her newspaper route. This took place on March 26, 1984, and this is the third time that the guy is coming up for parole. See link below:

I am interested in this case for three reasons. The first is that when someone commits a violent crime this offensive, they should not be released from prison. The second is that Cheri's father, a law enforcement officer, was friends with two of my uncles who were BCI Senior Investigators, and I have become acquainted with him since his daughter's death.

The third reason is that, while working at the mental health clinic, one of the people I served was one of Wales' ex-wives. So I know about his history of sexually torturing defenseless victims. Indeed, crimes like this one don't just happen -- there is a history that leads up to it, including where the offender was never caught, charged, and convicted. Wales has destroyed the lives of many people, well beyond murdering Cheri.

Below is a message from her father:
Here we go again.. New York State convicted murderer and child rapist James B Wales SR DIN 84C1060 is once again up for parole. He is the guy that murdered and raped our 12 yr old daughter. he doesnt deserve freedom. please send E mails opposing his release to melissa.celeone@doccs.ny.gov Include his full name and DIN on all emails need all the help I can get THANK YOU PLEASE SHARE

I appreciate anyone/everyone who participates in this.
H2O Man

December 24, 2022

A True Holiday Story

A true Christmas story from my childhood is one of my children's favorites. I was riding the school bus on the way to the final day before the holiday break. As a first grade student, I was mighty excited by the mere thought of getting free stuff, and my buddies and I were excitedly discussing what we had asked Santa for.

Suddenly, an older kid who was definitely part of our conversation turned around, and said, "There is no such thing as Santa." Outraged, I snarled, "What did you say?" For I could not believe my ears! "There is no Santa," he repeated. "It's your parents."

Now, I had been to Kent's store the evening before. Santa had recognized me as I walked towards him, and we had a great conversation on the True Meaning of the holiday -- the gifts I wanted. I was so excited that I didn't pick up on voice being very much the same as my father's friend, Mr. Vaughn.

"My parents couldn't afford a G.I. Joe, you idiot," I yelled as I left my seat to inflict this kid's reward for such blasphemy. I beat him in his seat, and when he tried moving to the front of the bus, I decked him and delivered blows without mercy. By the time we reached the school, all of the other kids seemed please that I had stood up Santa Claus. My older siblings in particular appeared impressed.

As I reached the front of the bus, the driver told me to head straight to the principal's office. Few things could have made me happier. Along with my faith in Santa, my older brothers had convinced me that the principal had a Spanking Machine for bad little boys. I was certain that I would be treated to watching the kid who dared insult a great American further ponishment.

I proudle entered the office, and was told that Principal Dunbar was on the phone with my mother. I found it encouraging that I could hear him laughing. Everything seemed so perfect -- I was there before the older kid, and would watch when he came in for a good spanking! And I was surely entitled to a generous reward!

Before the older kid arrived to take his whipping, I was called into Inner Sactum of the principal's office, for the very first of what would become dozens of times throughout my grade school career. Principal Dunbar was still laughing, enough so that he had some difficulty getting out his first few sentences: "I know he really upset you, but we don't beat people up. Instead, tell your teacher when you get into homeroom, okay?" I was more than a bit confused, because I considered my attack to have been fully justified. But I nodded my head, and was sent to join my class.

That evening, I fully anticipated my father proudly entering our house after work. Surely some reward would be given! I knew it couldn't possibly be anything as expensive as a G.I. Joe, of course, as we were a poor family. Dad was grinning as he pulled me aside, and began asking why I attacked the older kid. For whatever reason -- I have no idea why -- I yelled, "But he has red hair!" My father noddd his head, and said, "Now son, I'm going to tell you one of the secrets of life. You're young, but I want to tell you -- never make a red-haired Irish girl mad at you And don't start fights at school. Okay?"

I had a good Christmas. Santa brought me a G.I. Joe, along with other presents. And a few months ago, my younger sister sent me a package of things that she found while cleaning out our late mother's house. Included was my first grade letter to Santa.

Peace to you & yours this season!
H2O Man

December 21, 2022

On Prosecuting Trump

"The certainty of being caught is a vastly more powerful deterrent than the punishment. Research shows clearly that the chance of being caught is a vastly more effective deterrent than even draconian punishment."
-- US Department of Justice


Yesterday's January 6 Committee's hearing was a powerful presentation of the violent crimes that will be remembered for as long as the United States remains a nation of laws. It was a stark reminder of how a core group of criminals, headed by Donald Trump, attempted to agitate the overthrow of our country. Like everyone here, I want to see Trump indicted, tried, and convicted.

From the day Jack Smith was appointed by the Department of Justice on, I've noted that I think the indictments will start in mid-February of 2023. However, since Professor Tribe has now predicted March, I am willing to wait patiently for those few more weeks. However, I do experience episodes of impatience, especially after watching the J6 Committee's hearings.

Yesterday's hearing was the icing on the cake. I'm old enough to remember watching the various Congressional (Hous & Senate) hearings on both Watergate and Iran-Contra. The criminal activities that are being investigated -- and I think prepared for indictments -- seem to involve the worst aspects of both of those previous scandals. Thus, I am extremely impressed by the J6 Committee's work.

There are a few things I say frequently here, including "the institutions will hold." They did, but certainly the Trump years did significant damage. I understand that such damage takes time to repair. I think our Attorney General is about as good as was Robert F. Kennedy during his brother's administration. Older forum members will remember how long Kennedy went after Jimmy Hoffa, and how difficult that struggle was, despite the evidence of Hoffa's criminal nature and behaviors.

I think that there are three questions that we should be considering regarding indictments and trials. The first has to do with which case has the greater likelihood of conviction: the insurrection or the stolen documents? That is certainly a question that the DOJ prosecutors have to determine, though for the rest of us, it is a matter of opinion. Thus, there isn't a right or wrong answer for us.

The second is how will Trump's legal team try to defend against each potential case. Mike Pence floated the "he was doing what his lawyers advised" yesterday. As obnoxious as Pence is, the fact is that retired federal prosecutors -- ones that think Trump must be prosecuted -- have said the same thing. And since the jury will not be made up of DUers, it woul only take one to think that creates "reasonable doubt."

At the same time, we know that White House legal counsel told him that he had lost the election, to call off the insurrection, and to return the stolen documents. Likewise, I think that there are ways to counter any defense Trump attempts.

The last question has to do with the DOJ considering if prosecuting Trump is good for the country. I think that after what he has inflicted upon the country, it is necessary to prosecute him. And as the quote from the DOJ at the top indicates, it will deter others from similar attempts, if they know they will be caught and prosecuted.

December 15, 2022

Mind Laundry

I have a nice framed picture taken that shows the Beatles in a Florida gym with a young man named Cassius Clay, who was training to challenge Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title. This picture was autographed by Muhammad Ali. Few people could imagine, at the time, what was to come. What I find interesting is the response of a number of rigid, right-wing people from that era.

On February 25, 1964, Cassius shocked the world by TKOing Liston. The next day, he told the press that he had joined the Nation of Islam, and taken the name Cassius X. About a week later, due to an internal struggle in the NOI, he was given the named Muhammad Ali by the NOI's leader. In response, the "experts" opined that the "Black Muslims" had "brainwashed" the young champion. This was when I first became aware of the concept.

Earlier in the month, the Beatles had appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Like millions of other kids across the country, my siblings and I were watching. The older generation largely viewed them as a fad that would soon fade. While the group would evolve, they didn't vanish quicker than you could say "Bay City Rollers." And thus, the christian right-wing leaders determined the group was a Soviet-controlled plot to brainwash American youth.

Being young, I relied on my older brothers to explain the concept of "brainwashing" to me, so that I could understand the hatred directed at Ali. They explained that Ali had been taught by Malcolm X, a man both brothers considered to be a a good and important figure. And that "brainwashing" was something the Chinese and North Korean did to American POWs in war.

Now, I loved Ali and the Beatles. I was convinced they hadn't brainwashed me, because I've always had a dirty mind. As a response to Watergate, there were investigations that documented how US intelligence had tried to master the process of brainwashing, though without good results. As a young adult, I would sample some of the substances that were used in brainwashing experiments, but to no avail -- I still have a filthy mind. But, in the words of Randle McMurphy, "At least I tried."

I came to suspect that people could not be "brainwashed" until I witnessed the rise in influence of groups such as the Moral Majority," which was neither. Yet the growth in technology, which allowed a vulnerable television audience to join these cults, got me to reconsider. I knew that the evil guru Charles Manson was said to have brainwashed his followers, by isolating and drugging them, and that the media had described thm as "hypnotized zombies." Were groups like the Moral Majority be a prelude to something far worse? Might an evil guru exploit advances in technology to create an army of hypnotized zombies?

Watching some of the Trump supporters on the news in the last week, I found the answer.

December 13, 2022

Basketball Jones

Recently some people opined that Kyrsten Sinema has a narcissistic personality disorder. I think that she has some narcissistic features, but that there is an alternative way of viewing her that may shed light on what we are witnessing. I would like to start by noting that, in the relatively brief period that I've been aware of her, there was nothing that made me think she could be trusted.

Thus, rather than define her in the context of boxing, I will opt for basketball, for some of the concepts of developmental psychology can be understood with this team sport. As we know, develomental psychology focuses on the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development of the individual. Initially it was the study of the growth of children and youth, although in more recent times, it includes focus on the aging process.

We shall start at the stage found in junior high schools. If we think of boys or girls junior high school basketball teams, we know that when a team has the ball, there is not a great deal of passing. At this stage of development, most kids want to shoot the ball. There may be one or two that experience anxiety on the court in front of the audience. But most of them are focused exclusively on being the star.

On high school teams, both boys and girls have generally grown to understand that it is a team sport, and that passing the ball is a better option than forcing a bad shot. Now, I could go on and on, and talk about coaches that mistake themselves for being of the quality of the best college coaches, and how their yelling at junior and/or senior high players relates to a lack of understanding of developmental psychology. But I'll spare you -- this time.

Kyrsten can thus be understood to have not progressed on important levels beyond the junior high level. This is not to say that she is not intelligent, or even that she does not have some impressive sports accomplishments. But never team sports.

Now, most politicians in DC have a positive opinion of themselves, including many who should not have. One has to think they can do their job very well. I remember when Jesse Jackson was running for president in the 1980s. A reporter made a snarky comment about his having a siperiority complex. Jesse asked if someone with an inferiority complex should be president? I think Nixon documented why not.

Rather than viewing Kyrsten as having a full-blown narcissistic personality disorder, I see her as a junior high school basketball player. She is stuck in the early teen level where boys and girls try to be the center of attention. She has traded party affiliation more frequently than a young teen changes odd outfits in an attempt to get attention. She fancies herself the "free agent" of the Senate, rather than having loyalty to a team. And she will find that there is a price to pay for that.
November 28, 2022

Bend the Arc: Support Senator Warnock!

One of DU's very best, Faux pas, posted an OP yesterday about the need to keep our eyes on the prize, by focusing on what we can be doing now. Senator Warnock's re-election campaign is what is important right now.

While communicating with Faux pas, I happened to check my e-mail. I found a message -- linked below -- from my favorite social-political grass roots organization. It details how each one of us can help.

Thank you for your attention and hopefully participation in this important activity!


November 27, 2022

Five Eyes

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

A while back, I quoted my late friend Rubin's saying that a mind with very little to compare, finds very little to understand. I explained that this was not intended as a comment on intelligence, but rather familiarity with a given subject. A person might be an expert at a system at one level, for example, but not familiar with the dynamics that come in play at a different level.

In order to not set one's self up for disappointment, it is important to understand the practices and rules governing the system being operated in. Let's consider an example that is currently at hand. For sake of discussion, perhaps we can start with the name Jack Smith. In doing so, based upon my reading of this forum, there seems to be two groups worth considering: those who have been so disappointed in past investigations, that they have lost hope in this one, and those who are hopeful at what I think is an unrealistic level.

First, let's look at a few cases so we have things to compare to the current situation. This may help us to understand what is possible, what is likely, and what will be very, very unlikely to happen. Many people of my generation wanted Richard Nixon prosecuted for his criminal actions in the vast series of crimes we know as Watergate. The myth is that Al Haig got Gerald Ford to agree to pardon Nixon, if poor Richard would just resign.

Like all myths, there is a thread of truth there. But Haig knew that Nixon'sdefense, if he was prosecuted, would have insisted they needed classified and highly classified documents on national security be turned over. There was zero chance that the highly classified documents would be turned over and made public. What Haig and Ford actually discussed was pardoning Nixon to put an end to "the long national nightmare" that prosecuting Nixon on the serious charges would have extended without success.

Some here have mentioned Patrick Fitzgerald's work on the Plame scandal. Although the operation was conducted out of the Office of the Vice President, many here at the time -- and definitely including myself -- were certain that George W. Bush was deeply involved. As it turned out, he wasn't. Dick Cheney was, however, neck-deep in what the OVP referred to as Scooter Libby's "black op." But because Libby refused to turn on Cheney, Fitzgerald was only able to prosecute and convict Libby.

At the time, no one was more disappointed than I was. I recall talking with one of my uncles, an investigator who had done trainings for both the FBI and CIA. He explained that Mr. Fitzgerald was going after Libby on the charges that were 95% likely to get convictions. And that Libby kept silent, because he was certain that Cheney could convince Bush to pardon him. Instead, my uncle pointed out, it resulted in Cheney being casterated within the administration, and Bush refusing to pardon Scooter.

At the same general time, there was another espionage scandal that was largely ignored by the mainstream media, involving the sharing of highly classified intelligence with a foreign country. It involved the Cheney policy towards Iran, and related to US miliary intelligence activities in Iraq. Without going into great detail, federal judge T/ S. Ellis ruled that the government would need to release highly classified intelligence to the defense teams, in order to move forward. The prosecution dropped the charges. The more highly classified the documents/ intelligence, the less likely a prosecution.

Others here have pointed out the Mueller Investigation. Although this led to the prosecution and conviction of numerous players involved -- including several of Trump's people -- many of us were hoping for a criminal prosecution of Trump. My uncle reminded me that Attorney General Barr was acting as Trump's personal lawyer and body guard, much as he had done to protect the players in the Iran-Contra crimes with Bush the Elder. He said that had Mr. Mueller openly said Trump had committed crimes, much less advocated the DOJ prosecute him, that Barr would have been able to dismiss the Mueller Report from being made public, and done more of a cover-up than he did when the heavily redacted report was published.

Comparing these cases with that which Jack Smith is currently overseeing, we should be able to come to a realistic understanding of how the stolen documents part of the investigations -- there is also January 6 -- might be handled, as well as how it almost certainly will not play out. Yet to do so requires that one have an understanding of more than U.S. federa law, although we can all agree that Trump violated some in stealing intelligence documents. One has to understand, for example, the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, as well as ECHELON. For the most highly classified documents that Trump had involve more than the United States. Thus, one should be familiar with things such as The Fifth Estate's recent documentary on what Trump unleashed by stealing these documents, from a Canadian point of view.

When we take these factors into consideration, it should help us understand that while it is unlikely that Smith has been brought in to make potential charges against Trump disappear, it is equally unlikely that Trump will be charged with the highest potential charges. This has to do with both the 95% chance of conviction, as well as not exposing what is high-level intelligence beyond what is exclusive to the US. Hopefully, this makes sense to those who expect nothing and those hoping for everything. More, as other countries do have a stake in this, and absolutely want some criminal convictions as Trump's consequence for dangerous criminal activity, it sheds light on why I have held since the day Jack Smith was appointed, that he is the perfect choice.

November 24, 2022

A Rubin Quote

".... Because hate, like racism and color-prejudice, is not inherent, because nothing is inherent, but it has to be constantly cultivated in order to be brought into being -- for hatred demands existence! And he who hates must show his hatred in appropriate actions and behavior, and to a certain extent, he must become hate himself! And hatred, running amuck, is what you are witnessing today in America -- because America has become hate, itself, and therefore it is hated."
-- Rubin "Hurricane" Carter; letter to H2O Man; Tuesday, June 26, 1979; 9:45 a.m.

Last night I learned of another mass shooting, this one at a Walmart. The "official" reports by police were scant, and we were told more information would be presented this morning. The updates confirmed that it was yet another in the seemingly never ending out-of-control cycle of gross violence in America.

Unable to sleep, I found myself going back and forth between rooms, watching reports on the 24/7 news on television, and looking through several internet sites. This included coming to DU to check to see if there were any responses to an OP that I had posted on Monday, about mass shootings, with some information from the book "The Violence Project." The authors are intent upon educating the public about options for preventing mass shootings.

Hoping to engage in conversation, I was happily surprised to find there were two new responses. That faded quickly, however, when two new members made identical posts that I assume were from those who don't belong here on DU. Later in the morning, I was happy to see that both "people" had been shown the door.

The more I watched the news and read things on the internet, the more I realized I could benefit more from (re-) reading some of the series of letters I got from Rubin, dating from the times he was in solitary. Some of those letters were only about seven or eight pages long, and others were twenty to thirty. The above quote is from one of them.

Rubin did not think that a violent self-destruction was the only option that this country had. Rather, that it was the one that was almost certain if people did not make the conscious effort to change, and not return hatred for hatred. But that it was never too late to make the conscious change in direction.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you & yours.
H2O Man

November 22, 2022

"The Violence Project"

“Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” -- Coretta Scott King

Over the weekend, I had read a post about Martin Luther King, Jr., on -- of all places -- an internet boxing forum I like. The resulting discussion had me making a mental outline for an essay regarding Dr. King for this forum. But that changed in the early morning hours, when a good friend messaged me that there had been a "shooting at the Colorado Spring's Q bar last evenig."

Like millions of Americans, I am horrified by the seemingly never-ending mass shootings that have become so common. And like too many of us, my life has been effected by shootings where less than four people are killed. So much so, in fact, that I decided to use one of my favorite Coretta Scott King quotes to start this with.

Please allow me one paragraph on boxing, an often brutal and ugly sport. It remains the sport most connected with US politics, though not nearly as much as it was years ago. We can think of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. Or Dr. King talking on the telephone with Ali when the champion took an anti-war stance based upon conscience. Likewise, my late friend Rubin Carter was friends with both Malcolm and Martin, but had a longer and closer relationship with Coretta.

Now, she was actually more "radical" in her thoughts on the changes required to bring about social justice than Martin was. Thus, because I consider myself to be on the left edge of the Democratic Party, I have the utmost respect for her. More, I understand that we are not sitting on some tremulous wall, where some will fall while other factions survive, I try to concentrate on what progress is possible -- with a deep understanding that it requires as united an effort as possible.

Back to mass shootings. We know that organizations such as the NRA have and will continue to create divisions that prevent progress by yelping about the threat to Amendment 2. Dispite the fact that even most NRA members would like to keep guns out of the hands of mass shooters, this remains an emotional hot-button that prevents real progress. While I'm not suggesting that we simply step around this stumbling block, I think we need to recognize that it is not the only step we need to take as a society.

Recently, while watching a pre-trial hearing for James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of a school mass shooter, I was extremely impressed by Dr. Jillian Peterson. I am disappointed that Judge Cheryl Matthews ruled the prosection cannot use her to explain "pathways to violence," I do understand that not everyone understands the concept. Obviously, if some see no connection between the parents buying their son a gun, and overlooking his drawings that hinted at mass shooting,, there is a need for more education. Far more.

Luckily, Dr. Peterson and Dr. James Densley have authored a book, "The Violence Project," that provides an in-depth study of the factors involved in mass shootings. I immediately ordered the book, and am reading it now. It is a topic that holds great interest for me. I find that this book helps me to organize the fragments of insight I've gathered over the years, and also taught me new things. I strongly recommend this book.

I'll focus on just one of the issues now -- though I am hoping to interview the authors to share on DU. The majority of young men who engage in mass shooting usually have "leakage" at some point close to the event. They tell someone they trust, or post something on-line. If these result in an intervention, it can prevent the event from happening. If an intervention does not happen, or is mishandled, the results are tragiv. Crumbley could have been stopped. The guy from near Binghamton, NY, that did the mass shooting in Buffalo in May had an inadequate intervention less than a year before. And I am aware of a current case, being mishandled by a well known college in the northeast.

I find mass shooting disturbing, along with a heck of a lot of the social decay. I understand the guy on the boxing site wishing King were here to lead us. But I know that a significant part of both Martin and Malcolm's genius was in teaching people to act differently ..... and that if you want people to act different, you must first make them think differently. To teach them that they have more power than the system has convinced them they have. Then, when people begin to think and act differently, they make changes all around them.

Cutting down on mass shootings is something that can be done. We go in knowing that it would take a miracle to end most, if not all, mass shootings. But as Rubin said in Washinton, DC on July 4, 1976, "Miracles do happen. But they take a dog-gone lot of work.

H2O Man

November 19, 2022

The Good Fight

"The enlightened leader is heedful, and the good general full of caution." -- Sun Tzu

You've likely heard that Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Jack Smith to act as Special Counsel to oversee the investigations of January 6 and the stolen documents. There have been a few OP/threads discussing if this is a good or bad thing on DU: GD. I've even scattered a few comments on a few of them, and decided I might attempt to put some of them together.

The OPs and responses tend to fall into two groups: those who think it is a good thing, and those who think it is a bad thing. Those who think it is bad may have been disappointed by the outcomes of relatively recent investigations' failure to prosecute people they think were guilty as sin, that social status prevents indictments, and/or that AG Garland is weak. Or that this by definition means "delay" -- although the fact that the exact same group from the DOJ that was investigating is still investigating at the exact same pace indicates the opposite.

Situations such as this remind me of something Rubin "Hurricane" Carter told me in 1974, that "those with very little to compare, find very little to understand." To be clear, that does not imply that "those" people are other than intelligent -- it is information on a specific topic. For example, how many DUers knew who Jack Smith was before the announcement? Might the majority agree that knowing him provides more to compare, and perhaps understand, in why this appointment might turn out to be a good thing? Isn't there a clear distinction between Robert Mueller's inability, due to DOJ policy, to prosecute a sitting president, and this investigation of an ex-president?

After the initial reactions on the media, at least one informed source noted that it was done in response to Trump's entering the republican nomination in the 2024 presidential primaries. And that President Joe Biden intends to run for re-election. Trump has already called the DOJ investigations "political." Obviously, he will continue to do so. And so will a number of republicans in DC. It had been a planned response for when Trump announced, rather than :just happening."

I mentioned this on another thread. A person noted that not only were they surprised that anyone could possibly believe that, but also surprised that anyone would say such a thing on DU:GD. In my mind, I heard Rubin laugh and say, "Told you so!" After the Trump presidency, one can be forgiven for being unfamiliar with DOJ attempts to conduct business in a non-political manner. Indeed, the possibility of a former president is uncommon in our nation's history. The bringing in a prosecutor from the Hague to oversee these investigations is outside of any experience in our lifetimes.

On several other OP/threads, some of our good friends in the DU community correctly pointed out that a number of the experts we all respect had previously stated they were opposed to a Special Counsel. That is part of the meaningful discussion we should engage in on this forum. Brooklynite provided an important part of that needed discussion with Laurence Tribe's statement that he had at first thought a Special Counsel should be appointed, then later thought it was too late, but now thinks that AG Garland did exactly the right thing at the right time.

In other words, in these situations, you have to be flexible in both your thinking and strategy. For rigid things snap under pressure, and rigid behaviors are easily countered by an opponent. The very best boxers -- those who stand at the highest level -- never enter the ring with just their A plan. No, they have B, C, and D, because dynamics change in tough fights, and one has to be flexible, and adjust strategy to win. And in that sense, AG Garland ranks high among the "ring technicians" of my long lifetime. Just my opinion -- worthy no more or less than anyone's.

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