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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 50,818

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Ali hospitalized

The Champ is in a hospital with pneumonia.


Water Power

Yesterday, I posted the following OP, which at two sentences is likely the shortest I’ve ever contributed to DU:GD! Luckily, there were the two links to go with it:

NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo will ban fracking, due to the severe health risks associated with it. Below are links to two articles:



Today, I thought that I’d add a few thoughts on this important topic. Part of it will be things I’ve said before, but think are worth repeating. And other parts will be repeated simply because I’m so old, I often tell the same stories over and over, unaware and mildly confused.

In my younger years, I served as the top assistant to Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman. Paul sat on the Haudenosaunee’s Grand Council of Chiefs. His position among the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy was that of a “Wisdom-Keeper.” For many years, he was in charge of all of the burial protection and repatriation issues we faced.

In time, the Grand Council selected Paul to serve as the Gauyesa Toyentha. This translates roughly to “the messenger,” in the context that he was tasked with expanding his teachings on burial protection and repatriation, to include a specific environmental message: the power of clean water.

That might sound like a simple message. Or it might sound distinct from the issues of burial protection. Yet Paul had the ability to communicate the Truth of how these things are inter-connected. Indeed, the very things that threaten one, threaten the other.

As time went on, Paul would assign me more and more tasks. I assumed this was because he was old. But he told me that it was in preparation for my role after he was gone. Our relationship wasn’t anything like that of Don Juan and little Carlos; rather, it was built upon two things that Haudenosaunee culture values: the Power of the Good Mind, and Common Sense. (However, Paul did like Carlos Santana’s version of the song, “Black Magic Woman.”)

Regarding water, Paul suggested that I approach “teaching” people these “rules of life.” Most are very old, although at least one is newer. And that is important -- for we should all be learning more and new things. No group or individual knows everything. Here is what he said:
1- Clean water is the first Law of Life on the planet Earth.

2- When scientists look for evidence of life on distant worlds, the first thing that they look for is evidence that water may have existed there.

3- All of life on Earth originated in the great oceans. From there, it would emerge onto land.

4- All water on Earth contains life. And all life on land depends upon water.

5- The only water on Earth that no longer contains life is that which human beings have poisoned with toxic industrial wastes. These poisons cause sickness and death to all life within it; it likewise causes sickness and death to all the life on land that comes in contact with it.

6-The poisons poured into water by human beings goes downstream. This includes downstream to the next community, and downstream to the next generation.

There are two primary realms for delivering a message among others. Let’s look briefly at both:

1- The Power of the Good Mind: This includes both the individual and the group. Individuals think best when the waters of their mind are not polluted with anger, fear, or hatred, as well as when they are on a proper diet of food and drink. Groups are much the same. When a group of people can examine and discuss an issue, and come to agreement, it is a high form of the Power of the Good Mind.

2- The Power of Ideas: Great Truths are constant. However, cultures and societies change. Thus, it is essential to identify symbols that people grasp at a given time, to communicate those Great Truths.

My activities in the effort to protect the living environment from the poisons of fracking included both of these. Being human, of course, my efforts were at best imperfect. But I tried.

I spoke to groups all around New York State. Sometimes in people’s home, or churches, or government buildings, or libraries, or public parks. I worked with several grass roots organizations in a 13-county region. I wrote “letters-to-the-editor,” and spoke to radio and television reporters.

I also arranged a meeting between leaders of the pro-environment groups from across the state, and friend Robert Kennedy, Jr., who was serving on Governor Cuomo’s advisory panel.

In terms of symbols, I used the image of a sparkling clean glass of cold water, next to a glass of grimmy industrial sludge. A thirsty people can be trusted to chose the right glass. And I went on a “hunger strike,” to pressure state senator Tom Libous -- a puppet of the energy corporations, who accepted large donations from the Koch brothers -- to meet with leaders of the environmental community. Libous had refused to meet with us for over two years. I think that when high school students wrote to him about meeting with me -- and said they were going to picket in front of two of his offices -- he realized he needed to meet with me.

My role in the effort to ban fracking in our state was as part of a team. I don’t kid myself by thinking that my contribution was any more important than anyone else’s. I’m proud to have been part of a team fighting the Good Fight.

I also recognize that, while yesterday marked an important victory, it is only one round in a long fight. The opposition sure as heck isn’t going to quit. And so the struggle continues.

H2O Man

No Fracking in NYS !!!

NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo will ban fracking, due to the severe health risks associated with it. Below are links to two articles:



Let Justice Flow ......

This morning, John Yoo appeared on CNN to attempt to deny and justify torture. Yoo is, of course, the primary author of the “legal opinion” that allowed the Cheney-Bush administration to torture individuals they deemed “enemies.” I have found that either watching Yoo on television, or reading his writings, extremely troubling for years.He is an easily-identified enemy of that which I consider Good in our nation.

Yet today, there was a spark of hope -- the hope that this treacherous being will be held responsible for his crimes. Despite the current policy of the Obama administration, there is a possibility -- though small -- that the tide could be turning. It was almost enjoyable to see this smug, self-righteous shithead looking very uncomfortable.

As is well-documented, Yoo was one of Dick Cheney’s lap dogs, who -- when the military and intelligence community was given a green light to torture “suspects,” and they requested legal authority to do what they knew was highly illegal -- took pride in writing an opinion he believed would secure his place in history. For years, Yoo had attacked President Bill Clinton for claiming authority (according to Yoo) that went well beyond that provided for in the US Constitution. From the warmth and comfort of Cheney’s lap, however, Yoo would claim that the Bush administration did not need to be concerned with the Constitution, federal law, international law, or international treaties.

Many here will remember the 2005 debate, between Yoo and Notre Dame law professor Douglas Cassel. In the debate, the following exchange took place:

DC: “If the President deems that he has to torture someone, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?”

JY: “No treaty.”

DC: “Also no law by Congress -- that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo?”

JY: “I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.”

Yoo and fellow Cheney lap-dod David Addington would testify before Congress on the topic of torture in June, 2008. That meeting became ugly at times, as Yoo and Addington flaunted their knowledge that there was no plan to ever hold them responsible for their crimes. The Cheney-Bush era was a dark time in this land -- hell, on this planet -- and those here on this forum will remember the disappointment that the pair were assured, before the ‘08 election, that they were golden.

This morning, Yoo seemed a tad bit less cocky. When asked directly about some of the information documented in the Senate report, he claimed that this was a questionable source -- that the committee that investigated was dominated by Democrats, and that thus, any claims made were not “proven.” When confronted with the fact that the information was documented by CI records (and not simply democratic guesses), Yoo went from babbling about a lackof witness testimony to saying that “if any of those things happened,” it went beyond the law of the land.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

This afternoon/evening, I was at a high school girls basketball tournament. I sat with a couple, both doctors, as their daughter was engaged in the finals of the junior varsity contest -- they won! -- and we were discussing politics. The husband is my oldest brother’s age, and was active in the anti-war efforts of the 1960s and early ‘70s.

His younger sister was in the “Weather Underground.” Some of their social group went to prison for some of the crazy shit they did back then. Two of my uncles, who were legendary detectives, had busted them back in the day, and so she was always hostile to me, simply because of my last name. So I was surprised to learn that, when this guy moved back east after living in California for decades, she had spoken highly of me in terms of socio-political activism.

This fellow was not only outraged by the Senate’s releasing part of their investigation on torture, but also feeling that our nation has become so corrupt that it cannot be set on the right path. He expressed his frustration that, despite so many technologies (such as the internet), people are less organized today than they were 40 years ago. It would be accurate to say that he voiced the combined hopelessness and helplessness that defines so many Good People’s outlook today.

I, of course, disagreed with him. Respectfully. I understand and appreciate exactly why so many people think and feel what he thinks and feels.

And so it began: this gentleman began asking me questions, to see if I was familiar with a wide range of issues and theories that have influenced him. I think he was surprised that I am very familiar with literally every bit of the esoteric radical thought that influenced his generation. So much so, that he invited me and my daughter to his home after the games. He had a couple of friends coming over, and he said they would “find (me) fascinating.“ I explained that, while I’d love to continue the conversation, there were several boxing cards on television, and that I had guests coming over. (He laughed and said he hadn’t associated me with my family’s addiction to what he considers a brutal sport.)

His daughter, in the 9th grade, looks up to my daughter, a senior. She asked her parents if she could stay to watch my girl play? They said that, with company expected, they couldn’t; more, she wouldn’t have transportation. (She’s a “transfer” student from another town in another county.) So I said that she could get a ride with my daughter and I. Some day soon, we’d continue our conversation …..

The last topic we had discussed was the Nation of Islam, and specifically Minister Malcolm X. That got me thinking about one of the messages that remained consistent throughout Malcolm’s career -- which, although being short, covered a lot of territory associated with individual human evolution.

Someone’s been lying to you and I. In fact, a whole lotta people have been lying to us. Most of them are actually parroting a lie they believe, but it’s still a lie. And a few of them have been purposely lying to us.

That first group is afraid of the truth. They are scared of their best potential. Now that’s important for us to fully understand : most people are afraid of their best potential as human beings (which includes as “citizens”).

That very few also fear the truth. They hate the truth. And they fear that if you learn the truth -- if you and I learn the Truth -- it will bring forth our better potential. And maybe even our best potential as citizens.

As I view things in the context of “systems,” I’d say that our society is not unlike a large high school classroom. A shithead like Yoo, Cheney, and/or Bush are simply the kids we couldn’t stand, and wanted nothing to do with. They were convinced they were “superior,” simply because of their family’s economic status. They acted as if our lives were insignificant, and of no value. And they expected us to accept their view, and submit to their rule.

By no coincidence, these are that minority -- say, the 1% -- who continue to lie to you and I. They want us to believe that there is nothing that we can do alter the course they have determined for everyone else. The path that creates comfort for their ilk, and causes suffering for us. I’m guessing that you can remember the one-percenters from your high school. I surely remember those from my grade.

Two cousins, from the “family” that runs one of the biggest energy corporations in the northeast. I had spoken on DU last week about one’s “secret meeting” with Senator Clinton in Sidney. When I began speaking out against hydro racking a few years back, they had the audacity to try to hire me as their corporation’s “environmental consultant.”

No, that wasn’t going to happen. I will not submit to the John Yoo-types. I will not be bought by anyone. And I will not be silenced. In fact, I’m going to continue to speak out, and encourage others to re-evaluate the current system. I agree 100% with the doctor I sat near: things are actually far worse today, than they were in 1968. Our nation is being severely damaged, and I’m not talking about foreign enemies. No, it’s those kids we couldn’t stand in high school.

Let’s get back to organizing our classmates. Let’s get working on having the shitheads facing some consequences for their vile behavior. Let’s regain our Power.

Thank you for reading this.
H2O Man

Fire John Brennan

John Brennan’s press conference was extremely offensive. Rather than at least pretending that he felt bad about instituting torture, he instead allowed his self-righteousness to come through in an aggressive manner. This is a man who knows no shame, and who should definitely be incarcerated.

Watching Brennan’s performance, I was reminded of when, as part of my last job, I was part of our mental health clinic’s forensic team, and did pre-sentencing evaluations for the county court. This included making recommendations, based not only for the offense(s) in question, but also on the person’s ability to take responsibility for their actions.

Brennan refused to identify what was done in an accurate way -- torture -- and instead attempted to sanitize it by using “EIT” repeatedly. Rather than take responsibility for his role in this disgusting chapter in American history, he sought to divert the public’s focus by blaming others; more offensively, he attempted to identify himself with the honorable men and women who have sacrificed life and limb to protect our nation.

There is not, as far as I know, any organic defect that prevents Brennan from understanding the distinction between “right” and “wrong.” He displays no outward signs of an abnormality that prevented him from grasping the impact of torture upon another human being. Rather, it is obvious that he knew exactly what this program of torture was all about. In fact, he appeared to resent the fact that he could not claim that torturing people produced valuable intelligence.

It was apparent that John Brennan is convinced that the democrats in the Senate have betrayed him. He is convinced that the legally and ethically flawed “green light” that some in the Bush administration provided for torture excuses him from all responsibility. Even the tone of his voice suggested that he views himself as the true victim of the torture program.

A rational person might ask how a specimen such as John Brennan reached so high a position of power in our system of government? While no one could argue that he lacks in intelligence, his utter lack of a conscience should have disqualified him from consideration of such a position in any healthy society. Indeed, only in a malignant system could John Brennan be viewed as an asset.

I will call and write to the White House, and express my belief that President Obama should fir Brennan today.

Voices in the Wilderness

“For those who want America to one day be the great nation it once was, it can hardly do this if it doesn’t take the first step of bringing those responsible for the war in Iraq to justice.”
-- Vincent Bugliosi; The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder; Vanguard Press; 2008; page 13.

Between logging on to DU:GD numerous times throughout the night, I re-read Bugliosi’s book on prosecuting Bush et al for murder. The outrage I saw here regarding torture was mirrored in that powerful book. The same passion for justice is found in each. Perhaps the only surprising thing is that Bugliosi frequently uses even stronger language than the average D.U.er to describe his utter contempt for George W. Bush.

This morning, after again reading through DU:GD, and the numerous OP/threads regarding the Cheney-Bush administration and torture, I was struck by the number of posts that took a defeated position -- “yes, the torture policy and its execution were criminal, but there will be no legal consequences.” I understand that thinking -- yes, I do -- and cannot argue that it is irrational or not logical. Yet, I believe that we must fight to hold Bush, Cheney, etc accountable, not because we may or may not win, but because they are war criminals who are responsible for committing horrible crimes against humanity.

Vincent Bugliosi, like every good prosecutor, knows that it is not possible to arrest, try, and convict certain criminals for the “top” crime (or crimes) they have committed. We saw this with Scooter Libby. But it is possible to bring charges relating to that “top” crime, and get a conviction. So let’s put on our DU prosecutorial hats for a few minutes, and ponder our options.

We know that President Obama and his administration are not going to pursue any criminal charges against Cheney and Bush. Although the Senate report proves beyond a reasonable doubt they committed war crimes, and Bugliosi’s book proves beyond any doubt that they committed murder, the administration doesn’t want to risk having the republicans in DC obstructing President Obama in his final two years. We certainly don’t want that, now, do we?

However, as Bugliosi documents in his book, any District Attorney in the United States can file charges of murder against Bush et al. As long as some man or woman from the DA’s region was killed in Iraq, they can file those charges. And one of the damned shames about that war is that this country has forgotten those who died in Iraq -- including our soldiers, and thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians.

It would seem less likely that, DU on its own, has the juice to convince a DA (even one with a strong conscience) to pursue this. Yet we do have options. Earlier in the year, for example, Bill Maher attempted to use his HBO show “Real Time” to “flip” a congressional district. While this effort was not successful in terms of flipping the district, it was an important exercise of political muscle. It would be foolish to abandon that option, simply because it was 100% successful. Indeed, the only thing that is 100% for sure is that if we don’t try, we definitely won’t accomplish anything. And that is exactly what the real enemies of democracy are hoping for, and counting on: that we will not even try.

Now, I’m not saying that Bill Maher is the perfect vehicle for trying to find a DA with conscience. Nor am I suggesting that he is not. Rather, I’m using his recent effort as a model that we could use. If the DU community were to put our minds together, and engage in a letter-writing campaign to someone like Maher, we might get a response. Maybe he’d have Mr. Bugliosi on as a guest to discuss the Senate report, and the possible prosecution of Cheney and Bush, etc.

The most important question at this time is: What do you think?

I’m just one person, and I think it’s definitely worth making an attempt. Being an American citizen should mean something. We have rights and responsibilities. And I think we are responsible for saying that these crimes were not committed in our names, and that we aren’t okay with overlooking them. That the criminals must be held responsible, and have consequences for crimes such as torture and murder.

I also know that when the DU community lobbies individuals in the legal system, it gets noticed.

Thank you for your consideration.
H2O Man

Prosecute Cheney & Bush

The following is from an interview that I did with Chief Paul Waterman, of the Onondaga Nation, shortly after 9/11:

Q: President Bush has referred to the “evil doers.” What do you think about this?

CPW: Well, he’s the same way. Those people in Afghanistan are poor and miserable. They suffer when bombs kill their parents, and they hurt when bullets kill their children. So, even if Bush believes what he is doing is right, he has to commit evil acts to achieve his goal.

But he can’t stop. The other guy won’t. And when they kill bin Laden, someone else will take his place.

Like everyone on this forum, I was horrified by the information released in the US Senate’s investigation of torture. While I doubt that any of us were surprised that the torture was worse than what was previously known, I am stunned by attempts to justify what happened.

I find the attempts to justify torture, the claims that it was a “patriotic” response to terrorism, even more offensive than the attempts to keep the public from learning the truth about the policies of the Cheney-Bush administration. Attempts to keep this information secret are cowardly, unpatriotic, and shameful. Yet, in a real sense, they are admissions that the torture was evil.

It’s no coincidence that the two individuals who are most intent upon not merely justifying the torture, but defining it as patriotic, are none other than Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. Their smug self-righteousness is no different than that of the most sinister, psychopathic mass murderers, in attempting to justify their acts by blaming others.

This nation had problems before Cheney and Bush were selected by the US Supreme Court in 2000. In his autobiography, Malcolm X quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who noted that the United States was created from, and built upon, the violent abuse of Indians and Africans. Of course, other minority groups have had trials and ill treatment. But those two examples are important in helping us understand not only what went wrong in the distant past, but can be applied to help Americans to understand many of the problems that we continue to face today.

It’s not a coincidence, for example, that a nation that invests in torture of enemies abroad, would also begin to rapidly militarize its domestic police forces. I remember when I was a teenager, hearing basketball legend Bill Russell say, “Use care in selecting those who you hate, for they are the very people you risk coming most closely to resemble.” Listening to former president talk about torture, I could almost believe that he really thought it was right.

“Almost believe,” though, because of something that my other mentor told me.I’ve been fortunate to have both Chief Waterman and Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter for teachers. And Rube had, in his capacity as an opponent of capital punishment, met with then-governor George W. Bush, of Texas. He told me that he found Bush to be a repulsive human being, who delighted in having the “power” to send people to the electric chair. Rubin described Bush as becoming “giddy” when discussing the horrors of the chair. He asked me, “Do you know what that ‘W’ in his name really stands for? It’s for ‘death.’ His name is George Death Bush.”

(Another family friend, who was central in attempts to improve services for troubled youth in NYS, had been hired to assist Texas in a similar way. Her programs were very effective, in both costs and outcome. She enjoyed working with the governor of Texas, until Bush took office. She also describes him as a cruel, hateful human being.)

In order to change behavior -- be it an individual teenager or a country -- there is obviously a need for information. The public has to be informed. Thus, even though we have only been given access to a review of the Senate investigation of torture, it’s a significant start. But it is only a start. Again, to change behavior, there have to be consequences. This includes rewarding good behavior, and punishing bad behavior.

More, in order for the general public to maintain faith in the system, it is essential that the top dogs do not get a free pass, and avoid all responsibility for their misdeeds. And it is rather clear that the top dogs in the Cheney-Bush administration have been given that free pass thus far. Their list of misdeeds includes torture, the war in Iraq, the Plame scandal, and many others. In this case, the failure to prosecute is consent.

In his 2008 book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” Vincent Bugliosi presented a strong case for prosecuting Bush et al. That book still holds up extremely well. When we add the war crimes of torture, it is evident that the top tier of that administration has to have legal consequences for their crimes. Anything less makes a mockery of our justice system.

Boxing: Dec 11 - 13

Thursday, December 11, on ESPN:
Austin Trout vs. Luis Grajeda, junior middleweight; 10 rounds.

Friday, December 12, on Showtime:
Erislany Lara vs. Ishe Smith, for Lara’s WBA junior middleweight title; 12 rounds.

Saturday, December 13, on Showtime:
Devon Alexander vs. Amir Khan, at welterweight, 12 rounds,

And on HBO:
Timothy Bradley vs. Diego Chavez, at welterweight, 12 rounds.

This week offers the boxing community a number of high-quality fights. I’ve only listed the “main events” on each of these four televised bouts, although the under cards will also feature quality competition, as well. More, the best fights are all in two of the best weight classes; the fact that the sport’s two most dominant fighters -- Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao -- are active in these weights and nearing retirement, makes all of these bouts significant.

(Note: Keith Thurman defends his welterweight “title” on the Alexander vs. Khan undercard, against Leonard Bundu. Most experts recognize Thurman as one of the most talented young contenders today. He could definitely compete with any of the guys in the main events. In fact, I would tend to favor him over Pac Man if they were to meet in 2015. And I think he could cause Mayweather serious problems by 2016.)

Austin Trout was the undefeated WBA junior middleweight champion, going into what was then his biggest fight: Miguel Cotto, at Madison Square Garden. Cotto, who ranks among the all-time greats, had never lost a fight at the Garden, and was coming off a competitive loss to Floyd Mayweather. But Trout would handle Cotto convincingly, and win a lop-sided decision on that night in December of 2012.

In 2013, Trout would lose two fights in a row: first, to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, then to Lara, both by decision. He was also floored in each of those fights. He took the next eight months off, before coming back to decision a journeyman -- fringe contender. ESPN televised that bout, in which Trout was floored twice in the third round.

When my son and I have talked with Austin Trout, he comes across as a highly intelligent and polite gentleman. On Thursday, he faces a hard-punching opponent, with inferior ring skills. It will be interesting to see if the southpaw Trout is able to outpoint Grajeda, and remain upright and strong for ten full rounds. (I suspect that Trout may need to move up in weight in 2015).

The Lara vs. Smith bout is the only one that threatens to be boring to all but boxing purists. Lara is very talented in the Cuban style of “hit and don’t get hit” boxing. Smith is capable, but not compelling, in the ring. I expect Lara to win by decision in a fight that causes few to call for a re-match.

Alexander and Khan are both very talented ex-champions, with the ability to compete against any fighter their size. Both are fast with their hands and on their feet, and are talented boxer- punchers. While Alexander has shown the stronger chin, both have panicked when under real pressure in the past. On paper, it is a very close fight; while I’d prefer to see Devon win, Amir seems a bit more likely to pull out the victory.

By far the most interesting fight of the week will be Bradley vs. Chavez. In fact, this could easily turn out to be the most intense fight of 2014, and is sure to please any sports fan who enjoys watching toe-to-toe slugfests. Bradley, the former junior welterweight and welterweight titlist, is coming off his first professional loss; after winning a disputed decision over Manny Pacquiao in June of 2012, he lost to Pac Man last April.

But it was his two fights in between the Pacquiao bouts that probably shed more light on what we can expect from Tim on Saturday. He easily out-boxed Juan Manuel Marquez in October of 2013, in a slow-paced battle between two counter-punchers. But seven months before that, he had won a very close decision over tough Ruslan Provodnikov. In that fight, the referee blew the call on at least one early knockdown that would have reversed the decision. Bradley was decked in the 12th round, and barely made it to the final bell. (It was later revealed that Tim suffered a serious concussion in the fight, which impacted his speech for several months.) It was clearly the 2013 Fight of the Year.

Chavez is a good aggressive boxer, who has extreme punching-power. He only has two loses on his record: a 10-round knockout lose to Keith Thurman in the summer of 2013, in his first bout on the big stage; and a DQ loss to Brandon Rios last June. Chavez was actually thrashing Rios, and the referee, Vic Drakulich, made the worst call of his career by disqualifying Chavez -- for undisclosed reasons -- in the 9th round. (Although I generally like Vic, I am convinced that he disqualified Chavez because he knew the promoter wanted Rios to “win” by any means necessary. The kindest thing that I can say was that Vic’s call was criminal.)

Although Bradley is physically very strong, he lacks even average punching power. Hence, he may out-box Chavez for three rounds, but the fight will definitely become more intense by the middle rounds. More, both fighters are fully capable of fouling their opponents: Bradley has long used his head to butt like a billy goat; and Chavez, while wrestling on the inside, throws purposely low blows. So this one surely will not resemble a pillow fight.

Many in the boxing community -- myself included -- question the wisdom of Bradley picking Chavez for his next fight. Sure, he can and should win on Saturday. But a victory over Chavez does little to promote his career. If he were able to make it a boxing clinic, it won’t make Tim a “must see” challenger for a title shot. If, on the other hand, Bradley fights to win fans -- exactly why he opted to slug with Provodnikov -- he risks far more than a loss. Chavez has concussive power, and the sad reality is that Bradley has already suffered an unacceptable amount of damage to his brain. That’s the worst part of the Great Sport -- far worse than losing a bad decision, or having a Don King steal your earnings.

Enjoy the fights!

"Hard Choices"

I called my friend while she was working at the library, and asked her if she could pick out something new for me to read. When I stopped by, she had selected two options: the first was a book about Antonin Scalia, the other was Hillary Clinton’s newest book. My friend knows that I do read books either by or about scoundrels such as Richard Nixon, and that my children think it’s a giggle to listen to me argue with various books, so she thought I might favor the Scalia book. But, actually, I prefer the Clinton book at this time.

I live in rural, upstate New York, not that far from where Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan lived. Everyone knew that if you had business with him, be sure to conduct it before noon. For Moynihan suffered from the Irish flu, and during afternoons and evenings, he was frequently dealing with the symptoms. He was a curious man -- he had served presidents in the 1960s and ‘70s, before becoming a US Senator. But for a flaw, he would have been considered presidential material.

Of course, he authored a controversial study on black families, and became identified with the neoconservative movement. He also proved quite capable of not only working for a republican president, but -- more importantly -- working with him, because their agenda was the same. Thus, it wasn’t bipartisanship; it was shared values. Although a young Pat Moynihan had identified his value system as being “democratic,” by middle age he recognized that at the top level, party identification was largely a game to be played.

I have had the chance to meet Ms. Clinton. I saw her in Oneonta, after she announced that she was running for Moynihan’s seat in the Senate. A few years later, I met her in Sidney, after a private meeting she had with a couple town officials and the head of a regional energy executive. The press, from national to local, covered the first event; no press at all had been invited to the second.

There was never any serious question about if I would support Ms. Clinton’s efforts to become a US Senator. I had long found her to be a far more likable human being than her husband. In 2000, I assumed that with Al Gore being elected president, that having Clinton represent my state in the Senate would be a huge plus, in terms of creating a national health care policy. And, other than one vote -- the one that granted Dick Cheney and his sidekick the authority to illegally and immorally invade Iraq -- I believed she had adequately represented our state in DC. Still, I’ve always wondered exactly what she and the energy executive discussed in Sidney, in that meeting that both declined to comment upon.

In the early 2008 Democratic Primary season, I tried to keep an open mind. By late 2007, it had become evident that the Democratic Party had a number of qualified candidates, while the republican party had virtually none. In many ways, I favored Senator Joe Biden, who I believe is an honorable man, despite the fact that he is a career politician. However, two other candidates offered the possibility of having either a women or a brown-skinned man elected to the highest office in the land.

To be certain, neither genitals nor pigment define an individual’s ethical standards. Maggie Thatcher and Clarence Thomas come to mind as examples of individuals who stand in direct opposition to what I consider necessary for holding positions of responsibility. And John McCain, in a desperate hour, would select Sarah Palin as his choice for VP, in a move that would make Bush the Elder’s choice of Danny Quayle appear statesman-like in contrast.

In the years since President Obama took office, the public would learn more about Hillary Clinton. This has been primarily because, rather than stay in the Senate, she agreed to serve as the Secretary of State. It is that experience that this book, “Hard Choices,” is about. If her years as First Lady and Senator provided a view of her positions on domestic issues, the years as Secretary of State provide insight on her beliefs on foreign policy.

Obviously, any book such as this will contain a lot of fluff -- things like the pride the author takes in the red, white, and blue, etc. And, when the author is considering running for office in the future (as opposed to definite retirement), it’s likely to influence how the book is written. Still, such books have value, and this one does make for a fun and valuable read.

Hillary Clinton is a unique character in American politics. She offers her supporters far more than simply being female. In terms of substance -- intelligence and experience -- she is obviously a thousand times more qualified to be considered for president than Sarah Palin. Yet, at this point in time, I am hoping that the Democratic Party puts forth a variety of candidates in the upcoming 2016 primary season.

What I think would be interesting here would be if people would answer three questions:

Do you want Hillary Clinton to be the 2016 candidate for president?
What do you believe is her greatest strength?

No matter if you support or oppose Hillary Clinton for president, it is important to recognize that all politicians have both strengths and weaknesses. I’m hoping for a meaningful discussion; in other words, avoiding the “so you’d prefer Mitt Romney?” or “she’s a corporate tool!” shallows. (Note: expansions on these, such as the ability to pick Supreme Court nominees and/or specific corporate ties could add to the discussion.)

H2O Man

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