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H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
May 30, 2023

Thank you, President Biden!


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

I find "Bend the Arc" to be among the most important organizations in the country today.
May 25, 2023

The Fire this Time

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

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

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

May 16, 2023

Flower Children

" The earth laughs in flowers." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

May 13, 2023

Hey, Jude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We've got this.

May 10, 2023

True Defendent: Episode Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 9, 2023

Lonely People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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