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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 58,381

Journal Archives

Question for DU community members:

If you could ask Malcolm Nance any question (or questions) that you believe would be of interest and value to the DU community, what would it be?

Thank you to anyone who participates.

Floods




(Monday) On the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech, it seems a good time to try to take an objective analysis of the state of our nation. It's strange to consider the many contrasts to the era of King's powerfully hopeful oration – delivered during my childhood – and today's America. Yet, in a very real sense, this historic speech was the calm before the storm that the decade of the 1960s became.

Last Friday was a strange day. The massive storm was reaching the coast of Texas in a manner that deserved the nation's undivided attention. But the greatest force of domestic divisions – Donald Trump – abused the opportunity for a “news dump.” Thus, his hateful assault upon the transgender community, the firing of para-nazi Sebastian Gorka, and the pardoning of the criminally racist Joe Arpaio,were slipped into the news cycle.

In the 1960s, there was a cast of characters as toxic as today's: there was the Birmingham commissioner of public safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, sheriff Jim Clark, and George Wallace. But none were endorsed as “patriots” by the president. Trump's pardoning of Arpaio, and his endorsement of a book by sheriff David Clarke, illustrates how diseased our culture has become.

It is a waste of time to debate if Trump was attempting to cover the pardon with the hurricane coverage, or if he wanted to exploit ratings. Each is equally disgusting. Instead, we should concentrate on what is important, especially what can help us avoid the damage that Trump et al seek to inflict upon our society. And that's where the storm comes in …..

There were significant floods in the region I inhabit in 2006 and 2011. People died. Homes were severely damaged. The village I grew up in was particularly damaged. Although it received large grants after the initial flood in '06, relatively few people have been helped. Instead, the local political “leaders” have used it almost exclusively to help local businesses – including those that were not damaged by the floods – which they own.

Obviously, business is an important part of a community. But the citizens are equally important. More, there are four known toxic industrial waste dump sites within the village, and the floods spred their plumes. In the past few months, I've been able to access documents from the village, state, and industry, that show the increased health risks in neighborhoods that the village government has failed to assist. More, they have not shared this information – despite documents mandating that they do so – to the residents in those neighborhoods. One village official actually penned in a joke about the cancers found on one block. There are Bull Connors at every level.

What's happening in America goes way, way beyond Donald Trump. In fact, Trump could only “win” the 2016 election because of the level of dysfunction within the communities across the nation. His election was the flood that brought those toxins to the surface, and spread them throughout the land.

The salvation of those communities is found in its citizens. It's accessed by people putting their minor differences behind them, and working for the common good. It's found in looking out for those around you. It is strengthened by groups bringing accurate information of the risks associated with the flood to their neighbors.

One of the groups that I'm working closely with in the case I've described is the town's Democratic Committee. It is essential, obviously, to get good people elected to local office. In doing so, the goal is to advance the quality of representation of citizens in the community. I do not have time to focus on who someone voted for in the 1968 Democratic primary. It would be beyond selfish to question if I could “forgive” someone who voted differently than me in 1988. Indeed, that type of thinking is only a measure of the toxins poisoning the minds of those who find pleasure in thinking that way.

I've been in communication with the NYS Attorney General's office, concerning some of what appears to be illegal activities of a few town and village officials/ business owners. One day soon, I may even write up an OP for this forum on this very topic.

Keep on fighting the Good Fight!
H2O Man

Two Speeches

(1) Sermon on the Dung Heap

At first, I thought we were watching another Trump hostage flick. Then, before our very eyes, we saw it turn into an up-dated film of 1974 clip where Patty Hearst helped rob the Hibernia Bank in San Francisco. In this new version, the kidnap victim again turned into the Symbionese Liberation Army's public identity and mouthpiece, But strangely, Trump had been self- brainwashed into believing he was the bold leader – a disturbing example of buffoonery.

There are, of course, some important differences between Patty Hearst and Trump. Stockholm syndrome was more widely understood since the reporting on a case from the year before. Patty was a sympathetic figure. Trump, on the other hand, is holding the world hostage. And he is a despicable character.

We're going to “win” in Afghanistan? Right. It's a grand thing that Trump is “smarter than the generals,” as he assured his base during his campaign, because otherwise, we might question the potential risks of having the three generals in his administration influencing his decisions. And other than Stormin' Norman, none of our generals have won a war since WW2. Perhaps we should take a page from the LBJ administration's unused suggestions, declare victory in Afghanistan, and leave.

Maybe in their second, off-the-record meeting, Putin encouraged Trump to stay in Afghanistan. He no doubt remembers the US backing the Afghan rebels when the Soviet Union was there. Unlike Trump, Putin has some knowledge of history. Hence, Russia is quietly backing the Taliban.

His cultural sensitivity was displayed by saying he shall not attempt to nation-build in Afghanistan. Instead, his plan is simply to kill those who resent the never-ending US occupation of their land. He did not address what increased role that mercenary forces may play.

Few things could show a greater grasp of history than Trump's plan to coordinate his solution for Afghanistan than his desire to coordinate with India and Pakistan. Genius! I mean, what could possibly go wrong there?


(2) Phoenix Rising From the Ashes

The second speech in two days proved that Trump is no more interested in nation-building in the United States, than in Afghanistan. From the heights of the dung heap, Trump traveled west to the plains of Shinar, leading his flock to the unpromising land. His vision of America is surely that of the ancient prophet, Charles the Manson. He shall unite the White Tribes of Europe and dictate the economy for a thousand Euros.

Sitting behind him to his right was a gentleman sporting a “Trump & republicans are not racist” T-shirt, delivering this sacred message from Gods2.com. No greater reference for peace on earth, good will to men, than a representative of this cult. Surely, Trump's kingdom is not of this world, but one of inferno.

Even without looking behind himself, Trump seemed aware the clown was on the verge of stealing the show. Hence, after several sentences of scripted platitudes, he ventured deep into the gutter, and wallowed in the filth that defines his presidency. The media is the menace. McCain is a sinner, sheriff Joe Arpaio a saint.

All previous presidents have been human: a combination of strengths and weaknesses, each attempting, in some way, to move this nation forward. But nay, not Trump. Watching the president speak, I remembered, years ago, a Clan Mother telling me that the time was coming when what appear to be humans – in a form that contained no “soul” – would render devastation upon the earth.

Fried Chicken, the KKK, and Dick Gregory

“Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said, 'We don't serve colored people here.'

“I said, 'That's all right, I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.'

“About that time these three cousins come in, you know the ones I mean, Ku, Klux, and Klan, and they say, “Boy we're givin' you fair warnin' ...Anything you do to that chicken, we're gonna do to you.' About that time, the waitress brought me my chicken. 'Remember, boy, anything you do to that chicken, we're gonna do to you.' So I put down my knife and fork, and I picked up that chicken, and I kissed it.”
Dick Gregory


The passing of Dick Gregory brought back memories from long ago. One in particular is somewhat unpleasant. I'd like to blame Abbie Hoffman, but our school library never carried his books. Anyhow, as there were two copies of Dick's biography – the one the above quote is found on page 144 – I stole one of the copies. Although I've donated other books to the school in the decades since, I still felt bad when I walked over to a bookshelf in my library, and grabbed Dick's book. But I suppose if I hadn't stolen it half a century ago, I couldn't have quoted from what remains one of my favorite pages in it.

Now that we've gotten past that, I'd like to recommend that everyone read pages 200-204, which contain one of my favorite presentations anyone gave in the 1960s, about the need for people to engage in peaceful public protests.

Dick was a supporter of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, long before it was a popular “cause.” And DU historians know about a specific conversation he had with Malcolm X – one Malcolm later said would have resulted in him punching anyone else in the mouth, had they said the things Dick did.

We've lost one of the Elders. But the wisdom he shared with us lives on.

Peace,
H2O Man

A Time for Action

“Sir,I have great respect and admiration for one who has the nerve to tie his own hands and then walk out and let a brute brutalize him. I have to respect him, because he's doing something that I don't understand. What he's doing is beyond my power to even comprehend. It would be like putting handcuffs on me and putting me in the ring and telling me to fight Cassius Clay, or Sonny Liston, nonviolently. I don't think I could do it, and whoever could do it, you know – power to you.”
Malcolm X; Advice to a Nonviolent Heckler; January 7, 1965.


In his note to Wolf Blitzer, former CIA director John Brennan stated, “By his words and his actions, Mr. Trump is putting our national security and our collective futures at grave risk.” Five Joint Chiefs of Staff have put out individual statements, saying that anti-Semitism, racism, and other types of hatred are unacceptable. And informed sources have reported that the three Generals in Trump's cabinet – Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly – have agreed that if one resigns, the other two will follow suit.

Any one of these things would be highly unusual, by itself. Any two would seem to be sending a message. All three is a unique example of a coordinated message, both to the administration and congress, and to the American people.

When Trump was transitioning from candidate to president, it was reported that he asked the military leaders what good nuclear weapons were, if we never used them? This stands alone as the most extraordinarily ignorant question any president-to-be has ever asked. It has not slipped the minds of the JCS when Trump threatened nuclear war with North Korea.

It has also been reported that Trump is “unhappy” with the Generals' proposed plans for the US military in Afghanistan. This includes Trump's complaining that the US isn't allowed total access to Afghanistan's natural resources. What hasn't gotten enough media attention is that a small group in the White House has proposed allowing Erik Prince's mercenary forces to totally replace US troops there – on a “for profit” basis.

Keep in mind Prince's “secret meeting” with a Russian leader close to Putin, to set up communications between the Trump administration and Moscow. See below link:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/blackwater-founder-held-secret-seychelles-meeting-to-establish-trump-putin-back-channel/2017/04/03/95908a08-1648-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.25f98c020bdb


Now, all of this could be coincidence – so long as we accept Malcolm Nance's rule that coincidence takes a heck of a lot of planning.

Retired FBI agent Michael German has been a guest on CNN since last weekend. He served as an undercover investigator who infiltrated the alt-right movement. He has stated that Trump is definitely sending dog whistles in the alt-right's direction. (He also questioned why a militarized police force was unleashed upon the Occupy Movement, and a more passive one was tasked with dealing with the armed alt-right in Charlottesville?)

Consider all of this within the context of the recently released National Security Council memo, produced in May, titled “POTUS & Political Warfare. It claimed that the “Deep State,” aided by Marxists, were attempting a coup. Now, let's take that two steps forward: first, it claims the Mueller Investigation is an unfair attack on Trump; second, it was part of a larger, coordinated effort by Trump supporters to call the alt-right to take to the streets. See:
http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-memo-that-blew-up-the-national-security-council-2017-8


I will not link any of that nonsense here on DU. However, I note that Malcolm Nance recently spoke about it on the Stephanie Miller show. Mr. Nance stated that the intelligence community has been monitoring discussions on the “dark web.” People can access the same general information by googling pin head Roger Stone's recent guest appearances on some of the alt-right web programs, available on the “dull-wit web.”

More, when a shit head like David Duke tells Trump to look in the mirror, and remember white people elected him, we can dismiss it out of hand, because Trump got a larger percentage of both the black and Latino vote than either McCain or Romney …...or we can recognize that more than one half of white women, and almost two-thirds of white men, did vote for Trump. Now, that's crazy. He shouldn't have gotten more than 5% of the vote.

Thus, it is no coincidence that Trump exhibits a compulsive attraction to the other white nuclear power, Russia. Perhaps his worshiping of Putin influences his thoughts on the advantages of being cozy with Erik Prince and other neo-nazi/KKK types?

All of this brings us back to the quote from Malcolm. It is a sad fact that some of our community – including some people with good minds – are still bellyaching about who supported who last November. One person said that a group she dislikes aren't going to be “let off the hook.” We're all on the same hook, so long as Trump is in office. If you can't deal with that at this late date, you are handcuffing yourself. You are handcuffing your mind. And you are handcuffing your own ability to defend against the evil that is Donald Trump.

Wouldn't it be better if the DU community came together – now – and harnessed the strength that we have? If we engaged in on-going internet lobbying of elected officials and journalsts.

Peace,
H2O Man

Ode to Our Viola

“There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they're worth dying for. And if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Syracuse University; July 1965


In February of 2015, the long-lost tape of King's speech at SU was found. It is an important historical artifact, that reflects Dr. King's thinking shortly after the Selma campaign. King spoke about, among other things, the importance of education in the civil rights movement. The violence in Selma, which resulted in several deaths and hundreds of injuries among the victims of racism, would serve to educate white Americans about the realities of the black experience.

King mentioned Viola Liuzzo, who had been murdered by the combined forces known variously as the KKK, the White Citizens Council, or the local police who wore blue uniforms by day, and white sheets after dark. It took the films of the assault on the bridge, and the deaths of Liuzzo and James Reeb shocked the nation. The February 18 murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson by Alabama State Trooper corporal James Fowler, inside a cafe, got far less coverage; Jackson's crime was having attended a peaceful demonstration with his mother.

I find myself thinking of Viola Liuzzo, when I learn about Heather Heyer. It is sad that it takes such a tragedy to really catch the public's attention. Too few realized that the alt-right poses a serious danger to civilized society, that they aren't just the harmless 3rd and 4th generation spawn of European boat people that this nation allowed to immigrate to its southern shores.

There will be attempts to soil Ms. Heyer's reputation, just as there were attempts to soil Liuzzo's. Whenever anyone attempts to blame a victim, rather than the perpetrator of a violent crime, you know that their mind is sick.



“In March 1965, Dr. King asked me, along with many others, to accompany him to Selma, Alabama. I refused to join those brave people. If the 'Hurricane' was attacked by dogs, batons, mounted police, or hoses, he would have to fight back and kill someone or, even more likely, be killed.”
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter; Eye of the Hurricane; 2011; page 83


I used to talk with Rubin about Selma. He was friends with both Dr. King and Malcolm X. We discussed Malcolm's telegram to George Lincoln Rockwell, the head of the US nazi party, in which Malcolm made clear that if Rockwell's forces brought any harm to Dr. King or his followers, Malcolm would bring forces to Selma to fight fire with fire.

In 1998, a group of 17 racist white men in upstate New York had viciously assaulted my nephew, a black high school scholar-athlete, in a dark field serving as a parking lot for the General Clinton Canoe Regatta. Their cowardly surprise attack was witnessed by a lady who was inside her car, who described it as similar to a pack of wolves. They left my nephew – with his hands still inside his pockets – unconscious on the ground, assuming that he was dead. He lived, though he suffered permanent physical injuries.

Thus, I understand the urge to retaliate. To fight fire with fire. Yes, I do. As Rubin said, that was my first nature. Yet, I had to make it my second nature ….to respond to this ugly crime in a higher nature, to harness my better potential, so that the violence did not continue to gain a force of its own, beyond our control.

Instead of going to the thugs' community for “revenge,” I focused upon two things: trying to get justice through the legal system, and using the media to educate the public about the insidious nature of racism. The court hearings went from June to October, and crowds from over 50 miles came, every week, to insist that justice be served. My friend Robert Kennedy, Jr., issued a statement calling for the maximum legal prosecution for this hate crime. Newspaper, radio, and television reporters provided significant coverage of the case.

At first, my nephew's friends questioned the wisdom of this approach. They knew that this would be handled very differently than if a group of black men had assaulted a white teen. I had a couple of men offer to take care of business if I but said the word, and I knew they were serious. But such violence could only lead to more violence.


I've said all of that, to say this: I understand why young people felt the need to fight fire with fire at the Ku Klux Klown – nazi demonstration. I absolutely appreciate the human right to engage in self-defense when attacked. And I admit that, were I young, I would have loved to have been there, and non-violence would have been the last thing I'd have considered.

But I'm not a young man. Haven't been one for many decades now. And so I recognize that, when passions flow, young people might not consider my voice worth listening to. And that's fair. But I hope they will consider what Martin Luther King said, and to look at the lessons of Selma. Evaluate that important historical series of events. Honor Heather Heyer.

"War is a Failure"

I'd like to share an interview that my daughter Chloe did for The Weave, a St. Lawrence University journal that she contributes to. I'm posting a link to it for three reasons: first, it is a good example of the necessary connection between the older and younger generations; second, she conducted the interview while attending a Hiroshima Memorial event (where an unhappy passer-by called the local fire department to lodge a complaint, despite the group's having a valid permit); and third, because I am extremely proud of my daughter.

Since she was wee-little, I recognized that she was what is known in Ireland as a Changeling. While she was enrolled in grade school, I remember our discussions as we sat out on the lawn. Her mother made her and her sister attend the local church, and Chloe didn't want to hurt her mother's feelings, but felt the adults there didn't grasp what the prophet Jesus attempted to teach. At nine, she stood up during the sermon, and said, “Now, if we really believe Jesus, we need to make things like food and clothing free for poor people.” (It was one of the rare times I attended, and I remember the Elders telling me I had a special daughter after mass.)

In middle school, we attended an “Impeach Bush & Cheney” teach-in at Binghamton University featuring Elizabeth de la Vega and John Nichols. Here, too, Chloe got up to speak, and Elizabeth told the audience they had just heard from their future Senator. Both she and John gave Chloe autographed copies of their books.

Chloe continued as a scholar/athlete in high school, and was her class's valedictorian, then went on to St. Lawrence. All through the years, she continued to be a dedicated social-political activist. Though she now lives outside Boston, this past summer she helped plan a fund- and awareness-raiser for the people of Standing Rock here in upstate New York. I was among the speakers, and was mighty proud when Chloe performed “Imagine” on acoustic guitar.

One of her political science professors told me that she was surprised that Chloe had the most experience with activism of any student she has taught, because Chloe is so soft-spoken and gentle. I said those qualities are among her greatest strengths. I think that comes through in this interview with a Vietnam veteran, who became a peace activist.

I hope people enjoy it.

H2O Man

http://www.weavenews.org/stories/2017/8/6/war-is-a-failure-a-conversation-with-john-casserly

Green Eggs & Spam


The republican party's committee raising funds for the 2018 congressional races is already more than $2 million behind where they anticipated being on August 1. Sean Hannity is attacking Shepard Smith at Fox, for not supporting Trump; Smith responded that the “facts do not support (Sean's) narrative.” The recent exchange of insults between Trump and McConnell has House republicans concerned that there will be a suppressed republican voter turn-out in 2018. On CNN, republican guests engage in heated arguments with one another about Trump's utter lack of qualifications to serve as president.

The intelligence community tracked internet attempts to stir hatred of Malcolm Nance and Joy Reid to actors in St. Petersburg, Russia, who pretend to be California residents. They are encouraging the brain-dead alt-right to take “actions” to “protect their freedoms.” It is a clear call for the most unstable to become violent.

And here, on DU:GD, we still have groups that chose to feast upon the rancid bacon and decaying green ham that infected the Democratic Party in 2016. What's wrong with this picture?

We need not look to Dr. Stockmann to find out what force benefits from the scurvy this injects into healthy approaches to winning in 2018 and 2020. Nor is there any benefit from arguing if Clinton or Sanders' supporters represent the “real” Democratic Party. A good Democrat might value the opinions of either Thom Hartman, Rachel Maddow, or of both. Likewise, they might prefer the original “Ma and Pa Kettle” movies, or they might hope that Rachel McAdams stars in a re-make of the classics.

Mr. Nance is preparing to publish a book on the coordinated attempt to destroy liberal democracy in western Europe and the United States. If one believes that Nance is an informed, reliable source – and combines that with an understanding of what they have seen in western Europe and this country in the past couple of years – it raises a couple of interesting questions:

What is the best investment of your time and energy in terms of protecting (and advancing) our constitutional democracy? And how far are you willing to go?

The Constitution of the United States provides the best blueprint for our democracy. Amendment 1 lays out the exact tactics we should all be engaged in.

The Weight of Our Generation

“The traditions of all dead generations weigh like a nightmare on the minds of the living.”
Karl Marx


Yesterday I recognized that Trump was occupying too much room in my thinking. I thought I could get benefit from a Thoreau period at the pond. Easier said than done! On my walk, I encountered my son, who was busy with a new ax, chopping up an enormous tree that recently fell. Chopping wood is, of course, a valuable task for a boxer to engage in to increase punching-power in the boxing ring. I made my usual attempt at humor, noting that I could charge young boxers for the opportunity to train here.

Then he asked me – very seriously – what I thought about Trump's threatening North Korea?

Later in the evening, when my daughter arrived home, she said that she had been listening to the news on her drive. She, too, was concerned about Trump's idiotic threats.

I am old enough to have lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis – although like most Americans, I was unaware of just how close we came to war. Thank goodness JFK was president, for surely the two before and most after him would not have resolved it peacefully.

I also either got under my desk, or went into school's hallway, during “civil defense drills.” I was too young to understand that in 1953, the Saturday Evening Post did a feature story on our little community, noting it was “the town we can't do without.” A defense industry that had been opened after WW1 was credited for its essential role in WW2. It also made the village a top-eight target in WW2, and certainly remained a target when I attended school.

Trump would be in his glory if he thought he could create the same level of fear from that bygone era. It's important that we not allow that. Not to say that Americans should be any less concerned with Trump than is the human family around the globe. He is a dangerous fellow: he wants to take health care away from millions of others, simply because he resents President Obama for delivering it.

Recently, when General Kelly became Trump's chief of staff, people hoped Kelly could bring some stability to the White House. Time has indicated that Trump remains spiraling out of control. I think it is as if a social worker was tasked with working with a dysfunctional (fucked-up) family daily. As long as Old Dad continues to be abusive – especially at night, when the social worker wasn't around – and tried to bully and abuse family and neighbors, as well as the entire community, that family is going to remain sick. Dad will continue to remain the source of problems in their neighborhood and community.

Imagine if Dad was the social worker's boss, and it's obvious that Dad simply wants to use him to intimidate others.

Now, imagine that some local police and the prosecutor were investigating Old Dad for criminal activities. As citizens in the neighborhood, we should be doing our best to send Old Dad to jail. We should recognize that as our civic duty, and our duty to the (world) community. And that is especially true if the old shithead starts raising his voice, and threatening anyone and everyone, and insisting that the police and prosecutor stop bugging him. It's good to be aware of how potentially dangerous he absolutely is – thus, the need to restrain him on his way to his cell.

What's taking place between Trump and his clone in North Korea isn't good, obviously. And it's not only Trump that is the problem. I'm reminded of the threats of Iraqi's WMDs – the mushroom clouds and other nonsense – from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice. There's too much of an effort being made by the media and others in the military-industrial complex to make it look like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Obviously, I'd much prefer that jackass in North Korea not pursue nuclear weapon capabilities. Just like I wish the jackass Trump had no say in the potential use of such weapons.

My son, keeping a very straight face, said, “Sorry, Old Man. But Trump will bring about the end of the world in September. Nothing we can do about it.” Dark humor sometimes helps.

My Choice


Being a male may prevent me from being an expert on “women's issues.” However, I have learned a few things from teachers, especially those who are patient. Two that I have in mind are my daughters. They are both in their twenties now, and are both social-political activists, with a particular interest in women's issues. Both are university-educated, and share information with me.

Now, when well done, parenting is a unique educational experience, with both boys and girls. I learned a lot from all four of my children, since they were itty-bitty. And I did my best to encourage their being curious, self-confident, and happy. Of course, I was not perfect, no one ever is. But we made their childhoods an adventure. Those are times I can look back on with real happiness.

Raising teenagers is – at least in my opinion, though others likely agree – distinct from raising pre-teens. There comes at time, somewhere around 16, when boys experience with identity formation resulted in my sons concluding that I was not the smartest, strongest, absolute coolest man who ever walked the earth. On one hand, I missed the earlier times; on the other, I encouraged them (except when they challenged me to box).

My daughters' mother had more difficulty with them as teens, and abandoned them. That was tough, because no matter how good I might be as a parent, teenage girls tend to do better with a stable mother figure. But I did my best, and am pleased that both continued to think of me as both human and someone who has added to society. At her university, the youngest even published an essay that referred to me as her hero. That surely made me happy.

I so wish that my father knew my daughters. But he died, and their other three grandparents have never been part of their lives. Thus, I've been lucky to have extended family that has filled various roles. My aunt and uncle served as “grandparents” to two little girls without grandparents. Another aunt, 88, and uncle, 89, are also wonderful with all my kids. Plus my siblings, my nieces and nephews, and my cousins, etc.

Not a single female relative they know accepted being treated as unequal to males – either in family life, or the larger society. That doesn't mean they didn't face discrimination. So few things have pleased me more than to sit back and listen to my 88 year old aunt tell the family history of strong women. In a book I published years ago, about the Irish immigrant experience in the northeast, I documented how much of the anti-Irish dynamics were due to the equal role of women in traditional Irish society.

My children all share my passion for the environment. In my opinion, it is impossible to fully appreciate nature, if you don't appreciate that male and female are absolutely equal, though not exact. This is part of understanding human nature. It allows us to appreciate the potential benefits and problems of both patriarchal and matriarchal societies. It prevents the perverse attitudes that sex is dirty, and that we should be restrictive in assigning gender roles. It provides opportunity to understand the history of human migration patterns, including environmental and human factors.

All of my kids got to know my mentors, Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The boys grew up thinking Paul was their grandfather. All of them knew Rubin as a wise uncle. I say this, because our current society encourages the breakdown of family systems – despite the pious crap about “family values” – and there is a much-needed option of redefining what family means.

As the saying goes, human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights. That shouldn't be debated any more than Black Lives Matter. Or that the Standing Rock Sioux have the right to say no to a pipeline. Or that human beings are not, by definition, “illegal.” We need to translate these truths into our social and political reality.

This is why I have stated on several DU:GD threads that I'm opposed to trying to expand the party by way of welcoming anti-choice politicians.

H2O Man
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