H2O ManH2O Man's Journal
This weekend, Showtime will feature a double-header. In the main event, Wilder defends his heavyweight title against Ortiz. Many fans think it is an easy bout for Wilder. I don't. As good as he is, he makes mistakes per his balance. That is potentially dangerous against Ortiz.
On the undercard, friend Willie Monroe, Jr. has a very tough middleweight bout. I favor Willie, but respect his opponent.
A week later, Willie will be staying with our friend Eric. We're planning for him to watch my son and his team-mate train for the NYS Golden Gloves. The friend is in the semi-finals on March 18; I anticipate he will win, and then both will compete in the finals in April.
They spar 3 to 4 times a week at the local YMCA (our "home gym" doesn't have enough space). As a result, there is a growing number of teens and young adults asking me to train them -- some for competition, some for the workout and self-defense.
There are times I wish I were a fly on the wall in the White House. Today would not be one of them, because I think the stench of decay is attracting hundreds of real flies .the type that insert maggots into decomposing organic materials. I am willing to wager that when the autopsy of the Trump administration is completed, sections will remind readers of the 1961 novel by Leonard Kessler considered the greatest Greek tragedy of an era Mr. Pine's Mixed-Up Signs.
Who could have predicted that Rick Gates would grow a beard? J. Edgar Hoover. He hated beards. They reminded him of communism. No FBI agent was allowed to wear a beard, unless they were infiltrating suspected commie front groups. If only Trump had a man of Hoover's character to warn him that Gates was surely a potential pawn of Russia.
In the recent past, White House spokespersons Kelly Ann Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders swore that Gates and Manafort played but minor roles in the Trump campaign. Temporary hires, they were. Yet Gates was #2 right through the campaign, and played an important role in the transition. And Manafort was attempting to trade a White House position to a banker for a $16 million loan. It must have been a Russian temp-agency that sent them to Trump. Maybe its local office was in Manafort's space in Trump Towers.
In more recent weeks, Kelly Ann and Sarah were unhappily trying to avoid questions about two other administration members: Jared Kushner and Rob Porter. They lied when asked, of course, which they agreed to do for cash and career. But they got tired of being laughing stocks. Sarah wanted General Kelly to face the press which he was scheduled to do on Valentine's Day, until what someone in the White House called a reprieve and take the blame for Trump's decision to allow Porter to work closely with him, without being able to pass his background check.
No one in the White House grasps the connections between domestic violence and gun violence. Hence, while Kelly was willing to take the blame for Trump's decision publicly, in private he did not want to be forced to resign. He felt a responsibility to stay put and protect the abusers in the White House. He reminds me of a snapping turtle, though I am admittedly unaware of any other snapping turtle with moral rabies.
Kelly also reminds me of Perry, in the book/movie In Cold Blood. Perry was an angry man, who hooked up with Dick, a sociopath. Dick groomed Perry's violent streak. Kelly's bottled hostility is being released by Trump, in much the same manner. Which is curious, since the Constitution intended for civilian control of the military, but not in that sense. More, some of us hoped Kelly would actually protect the nation from Trump's insanity.
Like you, I was shocked to learn that Team Mueller was focused on Jared's finances. Shocked, I tell you! Here this divine profit was but inches away from achieving peace in the Middle East. Still, he will look good in orange. Might inspire a new clothing line for his wife. And I look forward to Sarah telling the media that Jared had little-to-nothing to do with the Trump campaign.
Attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan pleaded guilty earlier this week, though his lawyer made an effort to note this did not mean he was cooperating with Mr. Mueller. Considering that his father-in-law is a Russian mobster, it was necessary to announce that, although the lawyer did not say that Alex is definitely not considering making a deal. One suspects that Paul Manafort is hesitating to roll over, largely because he knows he will be safer in federal prison, than if he gets out soon. Still, steps are being taken to assure he does not enter the Russian embassy, seeking asylum.
But perhaps the most toxic mix-up came when Donald Trump said that had he been near the high school when the mass murder was taking place, even if unarmed, he'd have rushed in to assure a different outcome. This from a coward who doesn't dare cross Putin. A punk who doesn't dare to answer questions posed by Mr. Mueller, even with his legal team seated next to him. But in his fantasy, he is Clint Eastwood, growling, Go ahead, make my day.
Think about that. Even in the case of a tragic national event, in his warped mind, it's all about him. It always is, unless it involves the Trump-Russian scandal.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls.
For those souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you can not visit, even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you,
for life goes not backward
nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth .
Let your bending in the archer's hand
be for gladness.
-- Kahlil Gibran
America, where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know, we need you now?
We can't fight alone against this monster.
Steppenwolf; Monster; 1969.
The mass-murder at the Florida school last week showed the intensity of the sickness that threatens our society. The voices of the student survivors express not only a call to conscience, but a path to treatment and healing. They speak the Truth.
I am in awe of their goodness.
I like to think about cycles. There are cycles in nature, such as the four seasons we experience here in the northeast. There are social and political cycles, too. There's even news cycles. And, generally speaking, one cycle leads to another.
It wasn't actually that long ago that the resignation of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe dominated for a news cycle. A number of people questioned if this would lead to an even more damaging cycle within the administration. In a very real sense, it has .though not the one that good people worried about.
For several days now, in an extended news cycle by current standards, the coverage has focused on the knee-capping of Rob Porter, and the purposeful though pathetic lies coming from the White House. In Trump's mind, this is an example of the deep state attacking his presidency. And, to be fair, he is not totally wrong: pressure the FBI deputy director to retire, and somehow or another, information on Porter's criminal history gets released to the media.
In fact, the operation to nail Porter involves some in the FBI. It was well run, and well coordinated .General Kelly was again exposed for purposeful lying. And it connects with today's hearing, with the top six in the intelligence community. The FBI actually did inform the White House that their background check was complete, and Porter should be denied clearance.
What isn't being reported yet, so far as I know, is that then, Kelly and the White House counsel had to have informed Trump. He then had the option of either getting rid of Porter, or granting him clearance required to do that job.
Instead, Trump opted to do neither. Instead, he choose to allow Porter continue in his role. If not for the information being leaked, Porter would still be there .with a promotion, no less.
Also, each of the six intelligence officials exposed the fact that Russia poses a problem for the 2018 elections, and Trump hasn't done a damned thing about it.
A two-week cycle comes full-circle.
"Can you give me sanctuary
I must find a place to hide
A place for me to hide
Can you find me soft asylum
I can't make it anymore
The Man is at the door .
Mr. Moho Risin'
The Trump meltdown is underway. You know that, of course. I had anticipated that he'd approach this point of losing self-control later in the month of February. It's pleasant to see things unfolding faster than expected.
There are several reasons that Trump is behaving like a trapped animal (the most obvious being that he is). For sake of discussion, we can personalize two of the most important: Representative Adam Schiff and Robert Mueller. It's funny how that works, considering that Trump likes to personalize problems, and depersonalize people.
Trump has been warned by his lawyers that attacking the Department of Justice and FBI is not a good tactic. It's better, they have said, not to publicly attack anyone, but if you have to attack anyone, make it a Democrat. His political advisers recommended that he attack the process of the investigation that now threatens his presidency but attack what took place before Mr. Mueller was appointed.
The president's cohorts worked with Rep. Nunes in an attempt to discredit the DOJ/FBI's FISA warrant application for Carter Page. Recent events suggest they recently became aware that Page may have been a double-agent, which is of considerable concern in terms of Trump being questioned by Mr. Mueller. However, the Nunes memo turned out to be as impotent as his March, 2017 emergency press conference.
Democrats in the committee are looking to have their memo in response to the Nunes nonsense. Rep. Schiff has become a powerful and important voice on these matters. Hence, Trump's recent attempt totally unsuccessful to target Rep. Schiff were doomed to failure. It's said that this frustrates, and he does not do frustration well. I anticipate this dynamic will provide more entertainment as the weeks go by.
Trump fears confrontations with two men Putin and Mr. Mueller. There is no expectations for Trump to engage in conflict with Putin on the horizon. However, events are on course for a conflict with Mr. Mueller in regard to the interview that Trump has long said he'd gladly participate in. It's not like he's worried about lying to the press and public. But he fears being exposed as the punk he is ..and so he knows, should he attempt to opt out on the advice of his lawyers, he'll be seen as a coward.
Worse yet, his lawyers haven't the ability to protect Trump if he gets a certified invitation for him, alone to talk to Mr. Mueller in front of the grand jury. Trump could, of course, exercise his fifth amendment rights. Trump would have to be fully convinced that wouldn't leak to the media. Despite Team Mueller and the grand jury's having not leaked thus far, Trump is far too paranoid to think this wouldn't leak immediately. (Indeed, it might, considering Trump's legal team's history.)
So, will Donald roll the dice, and attempt to go toe-to-toe with Mr. Mueller? His lawyers and friends are almost all telling him not to, because they like everyone else know that would end badly for him. The cowardly Trump doesn't process information well under mild stress; the current events have created the most significant pressure of his presidency. So what's a Donald to do?
The shut down tantrum at the beginning of the week served as a preview of what will surely follow. This wasn't simply a president angered by Democrats in the House and Senate. Watch his eyes while he's spouting the vile. Then, consider the underlying message: if Trump would favor shutting the government down if he didn't get his way, what is he capable of if the Mueller investigation threatens to remove him from office?
Let's see .what else has been reported recently, that might be connected? Perhaps Trump's increasing desire to have a military parade? One question: who do you think that Trump fantasizes will honor? Clearly, this is a highly disturbed i8ndividual who has convinced himself that, if the legislative and judicial branches attempt to remove him, he can just say no, as commander-in-chief.
Both Nixon and Reagan had officials who willingly served as lightening rods to distract attention from them when there was a threat that the shit was about to hit the fan. (Cheney had George W., who unwittingly did so.) Thus, when General Kelly was reported to have said some offensive things, one could be forgiven for mistaken this has volunteer lightning rodding. But it's far, far worse than that.
In his book on The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, Erich Fromm addressed how a malignant narcissist will influence certain military leaders and others. Much of the book focused on Hitler, making use of the historic record to illustrate this concept. Simply put, a malignant narcissist appeals to other people's very worst side. He provides the fertilizer necessary for others' bad sides to grow and flower ..so that his madness can flourish
That Kelly would express support for Rob Porter is not surprising. I've yet to see any forum member posting, Gosh! I didn't see that coming! It's not a shock to learn that a racist pig is also a sexist pig. It's not just Porter who is mired in that look what you made me do! mindset. Kelly clearly believes that whatever happened, the women deserved it. He'd defend the grab them by the pussy bit if it surfaced while he was serving Trump.
This is the ilk of human beings currently in charge of the executive branch. Because they inhabit a shared psychosis, all the insanity seems normal to them. If there were ever a normal person in the Trump circle, they would rapidly feel isolated, and questioning their own sanity. They could not last. This is one of the important factors in normalizing Trump's behavior.
Another factor for spreading the insane atmosphere can be found in attempts to either dictate to the media what their coverage will be. The obvious example is Fox News. Imagine, if you will, the distorted mental processing required to identify Fox News as reality-based. Any journalists who do report accurately are attacked, discredited, and ignored.
The positive aspects are that just as some ordinary people fulfill their worst potential while in the orbit of a malignant narcissist, others can and do step up to a higher level. Contrast the difference between the general corporate media's initial support of the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq, with today's coverage of Trump. Numerous journalists are delivering news that is powerful and true.
Likewise, a growing number of Democrats in the House and Senate are stepping up. This includes those who are advocating for the investigation of the Trump-Russian scandal. It includes a number of Democrats who are able to convince some important republican leaders to let the White House know that Trump must not fire Mr. Mueller. And it includes a few who are working behind the scenes to abort any plans Trump may have for a preemptive strike against North Korea, to try to create an emergency state in the US.
Trump will be getting a parade soon, though not the type he fantasizes about.
Donald Trump incorrectly believes that the pathetic Nunes memo a document that White House aides and others wrote for Nunes, who has not read the underlying material removes the monkey from his back. Rather, it simply suggests that the monkey wears a fisherman's hat, similar to the sailor's cap he wore while serving in the US Navy. As retired Office of Naval Intelligence officer Malcolm Nance noted after the memo's release, there is reason to suspect that Page is a double agent .which puts the Trump team's efforts to discredit the evidence gathered from the FISA warrants as the poison fruit from a poison tree.
It may be that Page isn't actually a double agent, turned by American intelligence agencies in 2014, after Russian intelligence attempted to employ him. I'd put it at about one-in-three that he's not, and simply is as strange as he seems. Certainly, not all former ONI people are good people, with Steve Bannon serving as a prime example. But, even if Page isn't a double agent, he is no more likely to put his neck on the line to protect Trump, than is Bannon.
Neither Trump nor Nunes have the intellectual capacity to grasp what is in play in terms of the effort to promote the memo. Yet Trump is convinced that it somehow clears him in the Mueller investigation. It could be that he is equally likely to claim that today's Super Bowl clears him. But it is likely that someone perhaps John Kelly who played a role in this curious play has convinced him that it aids his legal team. Whoever it was, they were clearly wrong.
The Nunes memo was, at very best, a re-make of Nunes' classic failure in March of 2017. It is obvious that there is no lie he won't tell, or any humiliation he will not suffer, in order to protect Trump. One might question why this is? I would suggest it is related to his role in the Trump transition, as well as his family business which involves significant Russian investment. If any republican congressman is implicated by the Mueller investigation, it will be Nunes.
For a few months now, I've mentioned that Page appears to have some characteristics of a double agent. Last week, a day after I commented on this in an essay here, Malcolm Nance said the same thing. I, of course, was speculating. Malcolm Nance is definitely the expert on this topic, and the best source we have. I'm also confident that Michael Isikoff and David Corn will be releasing some explosive information soon, possibly this week. I'd recommend listening to those three closely.
Were I to guess, I'd think that Trump's belief that everybody around him has something to hide, and thus can't testify to his wrong-doings, will take a hit. The Carter Page issues, quite interestingly, lean more to the topic of conspiracies between the Trump campaign and Russia, rather than with the obstruction. That would seem important.
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