H2O Man's Journal
Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 49,058
Number of posts: 49,058
Manny Steward died today. He was 68 years old. DU sports forum members know him as the trainer of Tommy Hearns, Lennox Lewis, and the Klitschko brothers. He also was HBO's best boxing commentator.
My brother used to hang out in the Kronk gym during the Hearns era. I think that I've posted some photos here, over the years, of Tommy in training, and of some of his fights, such as his 2-round knockout of Roberto Duran.
A couple of years ago, Manny actually approached me about having my boy join his training camp. Manny and D talked on the phone that day, and he gave me his card with contact information.
I'll post more later. While I am not pretending I knew him well, I really had great respect for Manny. He was one of the most honorable people in the sport.
Posted by H2O Man | Thu Oct 25, 2012, 05:08 PM (3 replies)
(Warning: The following letter from Willard Romney was received at the editor’s office of the Glass Onion this morning. I am publishing it here on the Democratic Underground as an exclusive, even before our legal staff can authenticate it. The last such exclusive that I posted caused discomfort among a few folks that reached almost to the level that led Mitt Romney to write this very letter in the wee morning hours of his sleepless night. So be mighty careful: do not read this while operating intoxicated machinery. Hide the children. And use every opportunity possible to make Mitt Romney the butt of cruel jokes for the next two weeks. I am H2O Man, and I approve of the following message.)
Dear Patriotic Voter:
Last night, you watched me confront Barack Obama in our third presidential debate. Be assured that while I was bravely defending our nation from the dangerous foreign agenda that Obama has subjected America to, I was thinking of you and your family. I was reminded of how the trees on your lawn had grown to the perfect height. It occurred to me that you could cut those trees down, split them up, and sell them as firewood for a small fund-raiser. Won’t you help me cut Mr. Obama down?
In the hours since the debate ended, our campaign -- yours’ and mine -- has been extremely busy. I agree with you that Mr. Obama’s constant attacking not only me, but everything the country stands for, was disgraceful. Even Senator John McCain has expressed outrage on this un-American activity.
Thus, our campaign has decided on two Emergency Actions we must take. The first is to challenge Mr. Obama to a fourth debate. We believe that it should be conducted in the format of the seventh-grade book report. Under these ideal, patriotic circumstances, the American public could benefit enormously from a shallow presentation based solely upon style of delivery.
I am willing to let my challenger select the site of this debate. Mr. Obama can pick between Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, and the LDS Business School. In fact, I will allow him to select the moderator: two of my junior high school teachers are still alive.
Second, our attorneys are preparing an emergency filing for the Supreme Court. I have ordered this action, because Barack Obama is now four years closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon, than he was when he took office. We cannot afford to allow the enemies of our nation to attack us. Hence, I have contributed my favorite quote from President Ronald Reagan:
“The streets of our country are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might, and the Republic is in danger. Yes - danger from within and without. We need law and order! Without it our nation cannot survive.”
Based upon the potential wide-spread voter fraud and the threat of rioting, our campaign is asking the Supreme Court to take bold and patriotic action. Based upon the 2000 case 531 U.S. 98, the Supreme Court can overrule a presidential election after it happens. We believe that they must take this a bold step forward, and rule that I am the winner even before Election Day. A pur curiam decision would allow them to bravely and collectively issue an anonymous decision.
These are the two patriotic steps that we are undertaking on behalf of our campaign. You can also take two steps to prevent your Job Creator from having to fire you and your family members. First, we need your generous financial contributions to help us offset the forces of Hollywood, teachers’ unions, and Muslims seeking to destroy our country. Ask your parents for help with this, or take out a second mortgage.
Second, because I know that you were as offended as I by Mr. Osama’s “bayonets and horses” gaff last night, please call Congress. Demand that they immediately impeach Mr. Obama for his cavalier failure to provide the 7th Cavalry with the proper weapons needed to defend our shores from foreign attack at the Little Big Horn on June 25th and 26th, 1876. This was perhaps the most disgraceful failure of any democrat president to protect our interests, and the entire Obama administration remains suspiciously quiet.
Was, as UN Ambassador Rice has claimed, this simply a case of people protesting the movie “Dances With Wolves”? Or was it a terrorist attack upon all that we hold sacred? I am prepared to address this disgraceful inaction on Mr. Obama’s part tonight, on Fox News. I’ll report, and you’ll decide to contribute to our campaign.
Yours in Faith,
Posted by H2O Man | Tue Oct 23, 2012, 12:11 PM (33 replies)
Podium rocks in the crowded waves.
The speaker talks of the beautiful saves
That went down long before he played this role
For the hotel queens and the magazines,
Test tube genes and slot machines
Where even Richard Nixon has got soul.
Even Richard Nixon has got it, soul.
Hospitals have made him cry,
But there`s always a free way in his eye,
Though his beach just got too crowded for his stroll.
Roads stretch out like healthy veins,
And wild gift horses strain the reins,
Where even Richard Nixon has got soul.
Even Richard Nixon has got soul.
I am a lonely visitor.
I came to late to cause a stir,
Though I campaigned all my life towards that goal.
-- Neal Young; Campaigner
Tonight’s debate between President Obama and Willard Romney can be regarded as the “rubber match,” to decide the one-to-one split thus far. Although Romney lied virtually every time he spoke in Debate #1, he was given credit for a “victory.” Barack Obama then thrashed Willard in the next contest. Because tonight’s debate is supposed to focus on “foreign policy” -- and Romney’s “experience” is limited to friendly financial dealings with the most brutal, vicious of El Salvador’s “leaders,” sending US jobs to foreign lands, and investing his profits off-shore -- we can expect him to actually lie even more tonight. In fact, it is impossible for Willard Romney to tell the truth, because he is a lie. And he doesn’t even have a soul.
Thus, I thought it might be interesting to consider two questions: (1) What can we expect from President Obama tonight ?; and (2) What do we wish President Obama would say or do? I am hoping that a wide range of forum participants will take the time to answer both of these questions today, not because I’m authoring the OP, but because I think that there might be both value and entertainment if a good discussion follows. Here is my opinion.
#1: As always, a campaign has three groups to consider. The first is its base, or those who will generally be in agreement with your campaign on most issues. The second is the opposition, which can be counted on to disagree with most things from your campaign. And third is the “undecided.”
As a general rule, a campaign should motivate the base; not stir up and energize the opposition; and appeal to the “undecided,” especially in a close election contest. A good example of this balance is found in President Obama’s performance at the second debate. Because of the wide-spread perception that Romney “won” the first debate -- no matter if we agree with that or not -- it was essential for President Obama to appeal to his base. He did. But he didn’t strike any hornets’ nests, to provide the opposition with something to use against him. And he presented solid reasons for any sincere “undecided” voters to support him.
This doesn’t imply that he can merely have a repeat performance. The Romney camp will surely be looking to reach new lows, and Obama must be fully prepared for each new lie that Willard spouts. And that brings us to question #2.
A lot of good people, both on this forum and beyond, would like President Obama to say that Willard is a liar. This includes many who want the President to use that word -- “liar.” The reason that he will not use that word are found in each of the three groups. First, it would energize the opposition; the corporate media would definitely add fuel to the fire, and fan the flames up until Election Day. Second, that would result in the “undecided” leaning towards Romney. And third, it would force the base to waste time by responding to the “controversy.”
Instead, what I hope to see is President Obama exposing Romney’s “errors” in such a way that it appeals to the entire audience to decide if Romney is a pathological liar, or just a dangerously ignorant damned fool. That energizes the base, by allowing them to exercise control over the post-debate discussions. Why is Romney saying these things? Is he purposely fronting for the neoconservative war party? Is he that stupid? Or a combination of both?
It also appeals to the undecided voters. And it does more: it forces the republican voters, especially the republican women, to evaluate if they can actually vote for Romney. I’m not concerned about what they may say in public, or how they respond to poll-takers. What matters is how they vote. And I can say that the two registered republicans that I talk to about politics the most have decided to vote for President Obama. They know that Willard Romney ain’t got a soul.
What do you think will happen tonight?
Posted by H2O Man | Mon Oct 22, 2012, 02:03 PM (15 replies)
….and I will leave
But the birds stay, singing
And my garden will stay,
With its green trees,
With its water well.
Many afternoons the skies will be
Blue and placid, and the bells
In the belfry will chime,
As they are chimming this very afternoon.
The people who have loved me
Will pass away, and the town
Will burst anew every year.
But my spirit will always wander
Nostalgic in the same recondite
Corner of my flowery garden.
-- Juan Ramon Jimerez; El Viaje Definitive (The Definitive Journey)
George McGovern created a beautiful garden here on earth. Now, upon his death, the news media will invest a small corner of their product to the man and his garden. But these reports pale in significance, to me, to the posts on DU:GD that tell of forum participants having cast their vote -- often, their first actual vote, and other times, in a grade school “mock” election -- for Senator McGovern.
Much of the corporate coverage will center upon his 1972 run against Nixon. Although it was an important part of his political career, I would advise against separating it from that career in its entirety. Indeed, it is best to view it in the context of not only McGovern’s pre- and post-1972 career, but more, as the result of the first actual “grass roots” campaign that led to a major party nomination. And add that it was against the active, wide-spread Watergate corruption of the Nixon administration.
Watergate was not, of course, a mere example of political corruption. It involved gross violations of the law, a severe threat to the Constitution, and the decay of the social fabric. Yes, Nixon won the election. And yes, McGovern’s fall campaign involved serious errors by both the candidate and his staff. These facts were part and parcel in 1972. But there was more -- much more -- and that is exactly why the ‘72 contest is generally lost in the current study of historic presidential campaigns.
That McGovern’s grass roots campaign won the democratic primaries is as important, as it is historic. That his grass roots campaign lost in November was not shocking -- no political party or movement tends to capture the White House on its first try. And that was compounded by the lack of energetic support from the Democratic Party machine for the McGovern campaign.
I will remember George McGovern for many reasons: his honesty (rare indeed at that level of politics), his passion, his optimism, and his compassion. These were what McGovern planted in his garden. The harvest is found in the assistance to the poor and needy in our society. The hungry fed, the naked clothed.
And it is still more: that harvest includes the wonderful, though saddened, comments that our friends in the Democratic Underground are expressing today. A part of this saddness is the recognition that just as “time” moves forward, our experiences -- including many of the most meaningful -- are now becoming the more distant past.
George McGovern lived for 90 years; in that time, he made a meaningful contribution to the Good Fight. He tended his garden in an honorable way ….not only far more so than Dick Nixon, but than almost any other politician of the past 100 years. We can keep that garden alive, by taking a small sprout from George’s garden, and nurturing it in our own. And that is the most important tribute we can pay to this honorable man.
Posted by H2O Man | Sun Oct 21, 2012, 10:47 AM (27 replies)
Voting is not only a right, it is a responsibility. Thus, when I hear a person say, “I don’t bother to vote, because it doesn’t make any difference,” I know that person is not only ignorant, but also irresponsible. And, in my opinion, they are traitors to democracy. Let me explain.
“Democracy” is not a system provided by the nation-state; it is a process that citizens engage in. It is, by definition, a continuous -- thus constant -- process. The right and responsibility to vote is a significant part of that process. Nothing can make this clearer than to consider the current attempts by members of the republican party to deny groups of people this right, in the context of the historical struggle of various groups to secure the right to vote.
“Voting rights,” and the right to run for office, are defined by both state and federal laws. Thus, where the US Constitution and federal law do not define voter/ candidate eligibility, the various states have the discretion to determine the individual’s rights. And frequently, the individual states have created laws to disenfranchise specific groups of people.
Even after the Revolutionary War, various states disenfranchised not only all non-white male property owners, but groups of white men who owned property. These restrictions, not surprisingly, targeted Catholics, Jews, and Quakers. Officer-holders in Delaware had to take a specific “Christian” oath. South Carolina only allowed Protestants to hold office. And in Maryland, Jewish men would not have voting rights until 1828.
The question of Native American voting rights has always been complicated. It wasn’t until the 1879 Standing Bear trial in Nebraska, that Indians were deemed human beings “within the meaning of law” in the United States. Just how “human” was long a matter of individual state interpretation, of course: up until the mid-1960s, for example, a white man who raped an Indian woman could only be charged with a misdemeanor.
By no coincidence, issues of voting rights began to change in the post-Civil War era. The 14th Amendment (1866) provided citizenship to black people -- in theory, though not often practice, this added 2/5ths to their previous 3/5ths legal status as “humans.” Then, in 1869, the 15th Amendment determined that black citizens could not be denied the right to vote based upon race.
Thus, in the years between 1890 and 1908, ten of the 11 former Confederate states would ratify new constitutions with provisions to disenfranchise potential voters by way of literacy tests and poll taxes. This, of course, provided the added bonus to restricting the rights of poor white men, as well: it targeted specific ethnic groups that had immigrated to the US in recent decades, such as the Irish and Italians.
In 1913, the 17th Amendment allowed for voters to determine who their US Senators would be. Until then, a handful of people in each state selected their Senators.
The right of women to vote cannot be found in Mitt Romney’s binders. The 19th Amendment (1920) provided women with the right to vote. There had been individual states that recognized this right even before 1920: Wyoming had provided for this right in order to be granted statehood. And women could vote in Colorado before 1920; however, women’s votes didn’t count as much as men’s votes.
In 1962, the state of Arizona was still attempting to deny voting rights to non-white citizens with “Operation Eagle Eye,” which enforced literacy tests. And it wasn’t until the US Supreme Court ruled in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that poll taxes were found to be unconstitutional.
The 2000 presidential election involved the state of Florida’s denying a large number of citizens the right to vote. The vast majority of those disenfranchised were black people. Surprising, right?
In 2002, the Bush-Cheney administration -- installed by the Supreme Court in opposition to the actual 2000 election results -- would pass the Help Americans Vote Act (HAVA). In 2004, the Bush vs. Kerry election would be determined by voter suppression in Ohio.
Only 14 states do not require a mailing address to register to vote. In the others, those who are homeless (or frequently move, due to low income) are disenfranchised. Residents of Washington, DC, have long had separate, but unequal, voting rights. Citizens with past felony convictions face hurdles intended to keep them from voting. And the current “voter ID” law movement is certainly just the updated version of the historic effort to declare that while all people are created equal, some are a heck of a lot more equal than others.
Democracy is a muscle. Voting is one important exercise. Exercising that right to vote is a vital part of the process of keeping democracy in proper shape. Having it in proper shape is the best option for preventing the theft of the 2012 elections.
Posted by H2O Man | Sat Oct 20, 2012, 11:00 AM (14 replies)
CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me get — let me get the governor in on this. And Governor, let’s — before we get into a…
ROMNEY: I — I…
CROWLEY: …vast array of who says — what study says what, if it shouldn’t add up. If somehow when you get in there, there isn’t enough tax revenue coming in. If somehow the numbers don’t add up, would you be willing to look again at a 20 percent…
ROMNEY: Well of course they add up. I — I was — I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years, and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. I ran the — the state of Massachusetts as a governor, to the extent any governor does, and balanced the budget all four years. When we’re talking about math that doesn’t add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits over the last four years, $5 trillion? That’s math that doesn’t add up. We have — we have a president talking about someone’s plan in a way that’s COMPLETELY FOREIGN to what my real plan is. (Emphasis by H2O Man)
The transcript alone does not tell the whole story behind this little exchange in last night’s debate. (You have to watch it, to fully appreciate how Romney is attempting to insult Barack Obama.) And I have been disappointed that no journalist has focused on it -- yet. But I do expect that either Chris Matthews or Lawrence O’Donnell will report on it soon.
Simply put, at a time when Romney was getting his ass kicked by President Obama, he pulled this line out. It was one that his campaign had prepared, and that Willard had rehearsed, for two reasons: one, it was an obvious shout-out to the rabid right wing; and second, it was intended to throw the President off balance, by showing the willingness to deliver the dirtiest of low-blows.
It didn’t work in the intended manner.
Posted by H2O Man | Wed Oct 17, 2012, 07:46 PM (4 replies)
That was the single best political debate that I've seen. And I say that as a person who recognizes that presidential "debates" have become something less than true debates. TV, which has increased the visibility of these contests since 1960, has also created an atmosphere where the appearance of style often trumps substance.
President Obama was impressive. Willard Romney made an impression, but it surely wasn't a good one. Perhaps the most accurate measure of this was the look on Michelle Obama's face as she approached her husband after the debate, and that of Ann Romney.
I think that this debate was just what we needed to give us the burst of energy necessary to work every day right up to the polls close on Election Day.
Posted by H2O Man | Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:28 AM (32 replies)
3-8-1971: Joe Frazier decisions Muhammad Ali, 15 rounds..
1-26-1974: Muhammad Ali decisions Joe Frazier, 12 rounds.
10-1-1975: Muhammad Ali TKOs Joe Frazier, 14 rounds.
I understand why some folks do not like to compare politics to boxing. And I fully appreciate that presidential elections lack the socio-political significance of the Ali versus Frazier trilogy. Still, I think that by examining their three classic bouts, we can get an idea of what to expect in tonight’s Obama vs. Romney debate #2.
In what was called “The Fight of the Century,” two undefeated heavyweight met at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1971. The older and better educated folks on this forum will recall that this fight was viewed in a larger cultural context. Ali, who had taken a brave stance against Uncle Sam’s war in Vietnam, represented both “Black Power” and the counterculture. Frazier, through no fault of his own, was identified as the establishment’s champion. (He definitely wasn’t!) Frazier won by decision in a fight that caused more controversy than the first Obama-Romney debate.
Ali would win a convincing decision in the second fight. I was sitting at ringside at MSG that night. Muhammad used his greater size, speed, and skill to outbox Smokin’ Joe. Then, in their “rubber match,” the two stood toe-to-toe, in what most experts consider to be the greatest heavyweight title fight in boxing history. After 14 back-and-forth rounds, Joe’s corner man Eddie Futch told the referee to stop the fight. He would later say that he was convinced that Joe would have risked death had he attempted to fight that last round.
I believe that tonight’s debate will be won by President Obama. He will, like Ali in the second fight, use his greater intellect, political skills, and personality to pick an outclassed Romney apart. Then, in next week’s third debate, President Obama will go toe-to-toe with Romney, and deliver a whipping that kills Willard’s political career.
Like the Ali vs. Frazier trilogy, historians will focus on the 1st and 3rd debates in future coverage of the Obama vs. Romney contest. While the second one might lack some of the excitement, it will demonstrate the difference in the contestants’ level of skills. I’m looking forward to a group of friends coming over to watch it tonight. And after they leave, I’ll enjoy getting on DU, to discuss the event.
Enjoy tonight’s debate!
Posted by H2O Man | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 02:27 PM (12 replies)
One of the things that I found most outrageous about Paul Ryan in the vice presidential debate was his saying that “unelected” people should not be deciding issues such as abortion. Instead, he said, it should be left up to “the people” of a given state. The idiocy of his position is a given: the issue of abortion should be made by the individual woman. She should be respected as having the right to consult with her family and her doctor, but in the final analysis, that decision is her’s, and her’s alone.
Yet Ryan’s position is both dangerous and offensive for other reasons. It is, in fact, part of a larger agenda of the right-wing republican party. It involves both our federal government being rooted in the Constitution, and also public education. Let’s take a moment to look at each of these factors.
Although the republican party gives lip service to the Constitution -- much as they do the flag and the military -- they front for the oligarchy that runs this nation from behind a curtain. And that oligarchy is neither 100% domestic, nor does it want the concepts expressed in our Constitution to be revived. Just the opposite: the sad truth is that the corporatists are anti-American. And examples such as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Willard Romney, and Paul Ryan provide ample evidence of exactly that.
There would be no need -- none whatsoever -- for the United States to have a federal court system, including the Supreme Court, if it was not necessary to balance the two other branches in terms of interpreting the Constitution. No intelligent person could claim that the USSC has been perfect in doing this vital task. This is true from this nation’s earliest decades, to more recent times. The two most obvious recent examples would be found in the USSC deciding important issues on purely political reasoning: the 2000 presidential election that placed the loser in the White House, and the decision to allow unlimited financial “contributions” to influence future elections.
But it more than these recent, high-profile cases. It has been in determining who is recognized as fully human, and thus having constitutional rights and protections. This has included all people who are not white men -- and plenty of white men, by the way. It has included everyone who doesn’t happen to share the ruling class’s religious belief system -- which, by no coincidence, places them in a category as “less human,” “less necessary,” and “less worthy.”
More, properly understood, the USSC should serve as the protector of individual and group rights in conflicts with corporate interests. Indeed, that is already at the very top of the mountain of issues that will define what it means to be fully what it means to be fully human in our society. Should, for example, a “religious corporation” that calls itself a church be able to decide who an adult American can or cannot marry? Or should an “energy” corporation decide that a community’s environmental integrity should be sacrificed on their alter of greed? The list goes on and on.
The truth is that the make-up of the United States of America is a-changing. Now, obviously all white men aren’t part of the oligarchy. Nor are all of the oligarchy’s members white men. But they do have similar features to one another, and they share common interests. They want to have the power to control society -- and that includes in the USA and the rest of this planet Earth. And to safely hold control over the changing population of America, they must destroy knowledge of what the Constitution has been, what it currently is, and what it can and should be.
Two of the most important ways to accomplish this are: to destroy public education, and to keep the masses in a state that involves equal parts of anxiety, ignorance, and distracted. In the proper sense, public education is one of the corner-stones of the very foundation of a Constitutional democracy. It prepares individuals, no matter what their particular talents or calling may be, to become valuable, contributing adult members of the greater society. Indeed, a sixth grade student should have the ability to identify three reasons why Paul Ryan’s call for “people” rather than the federal courts to decide constitutional issues is flawed. And a high school senior should have the ability to see the real reasons that the necroconservative branch of the republican party is determined to start a war with Iran -- a war in which they may well be called upon to kill or be killed.
Thus, the oligarchy finds it easier to deal with a pack of merry fools than with a single intelligent human being. Scare the public with “the threat of mushroom clouds” and “yellow cake.” Fill the prison-industrial complex with people caught consuming the “illegal” drugs -- because, as Abbie Hoffman noted, it’s only safe to abuse the drugs that your doctor prescribes. Forget who is actually flooding our communities with drugs -- or blame them darned college students. Keep people so distracted that they don’t realize that they’ve been hypnotized ….and that the very technology that handcuffs their conscious mind could be transformed into the tools to help them obtain their full humanity.
I could go on and on. But my editor tells me that I lose people when I carry on and on. So I will sign off for now, with hopes that I have conveyed my thoughts in a proper manner.
Fight the Good Fight!
Posted by H2O Man | Sun Oct 14, 2012, 04:11 PM (33 replies)
Biden begins pressing
And Ryan is forced to retreat
But if Ryan backs up an inch farther
He’ll be in a backstage seat
Joe Biden speaks for the left
Paul Ryan squirms for the right
Just look at the Vice President
Carry the fight
Ryan keeps lying
Insuring his doom
It’s just a matter of time
Until Smokin’ Joe lowers the boom
Biden stand up for the truth
Republicans begin to rage
They can hear Willard yelling
“Get that loser Ryan off the stage!”
Paul Ryan starts crying
The moderator wears a frown
The debate can’t be serious
With Ryan exposed as a clown
The Fox News crew panics
Hannity scurries to go on the air
“Biden cheated!” he shrieks
“Telling the truth just ain’t fair!”
Friday’s polls show the impact
Of this one-sided fight
The majority of voters
Reject the Romney-Ryan blight.
Posted by H2O Man | Thu Oct 11, 2012, 02:47 PM (6 replies)