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H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
March 31, 2023

Gag Trump

“The Judge ‘assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a ‘Case’ that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME. His name is Juan Manuel Marchan, was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors."
-- Donald Trump

There are two ways to know when Trump writes things, or posts what one of his employees wrote for him. First, the real Donald can't spell very well at all. Perhaps in time he will learn to spell Justice Merchan's name. I wouldn't bet on it.

The second way is when it is within a plattering of other posts that reek of panic. We all remember his behaviors leading up to January 6. Or recent rants about violence if he is indicted. One might be safe in anticipating he will attempt to have a large crowd outside of the DA's office and courthouse next Tuesday. For that is his cowardly nature to try to threat and intimidate -- in effect, saying if he is held responsible, others will inflict violent retribution.

Thus, it is my hope that DA Alvin Bragg and Justice Merchan agree on Tuesday that there should be a gag order on Trump. It's not that I am anti-Amendment 1. It is because I know that Trump would be incapable of following any such order.

Now, generally judges make an effort not to issue a gag order. Issues relating to them have been the stuff of numerous very important cases when they are appealed. But it is pretty well established when -- in criminal or civil cases -- a judge can correctly issue one. Let's look at this:

"A judge might implement a gag order for a multitude of reasons but primarily for the safety of others and the overall outcome of the trial. The judge’s goal, ideally, is to make sure that every party is treated fairly and is held to the same standards under the law. A gag order is used to prevent the scales of justice from being tipped in one direction or another

Immediately, one thinks of Roger Stone's most recent case, including his violations of the gag order. We remember that Roger was eventually pardoned by his friend, so that he could freely assist in organizing the attempted overthrow of the federal government. Again, another attempt to threaten and intimidate.

Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes famously noted that you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. That illustrates the idea of limitations on Amendment 1. What is too often overlooked is that it had to do with a fellow attempting to convince fellow citizens to oppose the draft. He was charged with espionage, in an interesting case.

It is more than evident that Trump is trying to light fires. If there is a gag order issued, he will definitely have a melt-down, ignore his lawyers' advice, and splatter more out of control posts. Then, he will have confirmation that he is in no sense in control of the court.

March 31, 2023

An End

I wouldn't say that we should ignore those saying that the indictment will strengthen Trump, for it will for about two months. Instead, we should be recognizing how this will strengthen our party as 2024 approaches. We should use it to our advantage every day.

Sure, he will get a bump. But Trump has a concrete ceiling in terms of appeal. Consider his last speech in the pre-indictment era: he was whiny to an extent that will continue, and cause his support to fall away like dead skin after the season's first sun burn. He may still become the republican candidate, despite the likelihood of another indictment dropping around Memorial Day.

There are a number of outstanding former federal prosecutors that we benefit from listening -- closely -- to. Over the years here, I've noted that I think Maya Wiley and Nick Akerman are the two I have the greatest respect for. Maya is brilliant and one of the strongest people I've encountered. Nick is a wise Elder, and was the first I'm aware of who started saying that the grand jury was almost certainly considering more crimes than people thought.

More, this evening Andrew Weissmann has made several very important points. Among these, he noted the DA recognized that he would be questioning numerous "hostile witnesses." Yet Alvin Bragg knew exactly make their hostility work to his adbantage. They helped convince the grand jury to indict Trump.

One of two final notes: keep in mind that prosecutors often communicate between themselves. This includes those on the state and federal level. District attornies and Attorneys General. They share things. This reality will become clearer to Donald Trump as summer approaches.

Second: For those anxious for the DOJ to indict: Other than Pence, those Trump people ordered to testify to the grand jury do recognize that Jack Smith isn't playing games. He's not bluffing. They testify honestly, or risk indictment. That is what is happening there.
March 29, 2023

The Sky

"A rumor twice repeated in prison becomes accepted 'fact'."
--- Rubin "Hurricane" Carter; 1974

I found myself thinking of the above quote from one of the letters I got from Rubin almost fifty years ago while reading posts on the internet late last night and today. This was, in part, after reading a response from our good friend "regnaD kciN" on a thread, reading:
"A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth." - Goebbels

Another factor was watching a clip of Tucker Carlson purposely lying to his audience, saying that the Trans community has joined forces with antifa to declare a violent war against christians. To paraphrase Minister Malcolm X, their minds are in prison. For fear and hatred always incarcerates rational thought.

Regarding the Manhattan grand jury's upcoming break, we even find that reports from semi-usually-somewhat reliable sources contain errors. For but one example, let's consider a single line from Erica Orden's 3-29-2023 article on Politico:

"The grand jury largely didn’t hear evidence in the Trump case last week."
Although memories are short due to the pace of reported news, many here will likely remember that the grand jury absolutely did hear from Robert Costello last Monday, which evidently was last week -- regardless of daylight savings time or any other factor that may have caused Ms. Orden's confusion.

This break was scheduled when the grand jury first started. It is important to understand that this same grand jury is hearing at very least one other case, possibly more. And perhaps more important, DA Alvin Bragg has the ability to call the jury in on unscheduled days.

I have just come inside from walking our dog. Contrary to any reports or posts you may read that quote Chicken Little, the sky is not falling. That is just the way it seems a mar-a-lago right now.

March 28, 2023


"There have not even been 90 days this year and there have been 129 mass shootings. I’d also like to acknowledge that it feels super close to us because it literally was super close to us, but it’s everywhere in the country, it’s super close to somebody. And this that we’re feeling today, somebody else is going to feel it tomorrow, in a different part of the country. Where we’re the only country this happens to. That to me is so bizarre.”
-- Bobby Bones; Nashville radio host; March 27, 2023

"Why?" That's the question that human beings tend to ask when there is news of the latest school shooting, isn't it? For there really is no doubt about "How?" -- for mass shootings are always accomplished with one or more guns.

"When?" and "Where?" are always easily identified, and as the Nashville radio host noted, mass shootings take place daily in the location we know as the United States. Thus "What?" is rather easy to identify as well.

"Who?" Another feature common to school shooters is severe emotional disturbance. There may or may not be a serious and persistent mental illness. But school shooters are not stable, healthy, well-adjusted individuals. In the sub-group of mass shootings known as school shootings, the perpetrator is most frequently a teenaged white male. Within that group, the majority do not have a stable, on-going relationship with a father or father figure/ mentor.

These are categories based upon long-term statistics that place school shooters into categories. Due to the frequency of school shootings by emotionally disturbed white male teens, it could be easy to reach a point where their names and faces change, but it is the same story. Despite their being unique individuals, they fit into a category.

And that is why, upon initially learning of a school shooter who is not of the common species, there is so often an attempt to place the individual into another category. This tends to be a risky shortcut to an informed conclusion, for several reasons. First, initial news reports are often less than fully accurate. They can be rooted in impressions, rather than facts. And second, the vast majority of people have less than an exhaustive set of mental categories that allow them to appreciate the dynamics involved. For example, there are individuals that we passin society that consider Marjorie Taylor Greene to be an intelligent spokesperson for their ignorance.

Let's consider but one example. It has been reported that this shooter left a manifesto. By definition, a manifesto is something the author is intent upon being public. Perhaps the best example was the Unabomber's "Industrial Society and Its Future." He insisted on it being published. It is, of course, possible that this school shooter wrote a manifesto. It is also possible that it is more of a diary or journal. We may find out, or we may not.

At this point, there are a few things that are certain. It is sad that any human being is killed by a school shooter. It is a symptom of a sickness that is infecting our society. Law enforcement responded quickly and appropriately. And those with very few mental categories to understand this infection will attempt to use it to justify their hatred of "others," for that is once again a growing societal disease. It is our duty to not remain silent, thinking that this does not involve us, it wasn't in my community, I'm not an "other."

March 25, 2023

On Character

"They sentenced me to 20 years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin"
-- Leonard Cohen

Two days ago, I watched my grandson while my son got his hair cut. As my universe slept in his car seat, I read from an old Erich Fromm book. From the time my son got back in his vehicle, while the three of us were grocery shopping, right through when he dropped me off at home, we were discussing what Fromm wrote about. And we are still "talking" about it today, by internet.

Fromm noted that during the process that led to Hitler rising to power, most Germans opposed the nazi party. He and some associates conducted a study to determine if Germany would be able to defeat nazism. They found that 15% of the population had a democratic character structure, 10% had an authoritarian character structure, and 75% had a mixture of the two. He noted that, "character, as Heraclitus said and Freud demonstrated, is that fate of man. That character structure decides what kind of idea a man will choose and also decides the force of the idea he has chosen."

This applies to his study in that both the 15% and the 10% of Germans had "convictions," while the other 75% had "opinions." Now, keeping in mind that words may translate different somewhat differently -- not only between languages, but over close to a century -- Fromm noted that those with convictions act upon them, while those with opinions are limited to expressing them.

Unlike Germany, we were able to stop Trump from riding the wave of authoritarianism in 2020. Enough individuals acted upon their convictions and enough people expressed their opinions at the voting booth, that democracy won. In 2022, despite losing control of the House, we won more contests than anticipated. But we still are dealing with the damage that Trump did, and that he and his ilk are intent upon inflicting today.

Democracy, as Rubin used to say, requires constant struggle. It is an on-going, ever-ending process, rather than a final destination. This brings us to today, right now at this moment in time, at this point in the process. So let's think about character, opinons, convictions, and the process in which these unfold. We can start with Donald Trump.

Here is a man of toxic character, with no real opinions or values beyond his own momentary self-interest. He is currently under the extreme pressure that goes with being up against not only a couple of district attornies on the state level, but the Department of Justice in the big arena. While those around him are trying to convince the public that Trump is eager for this fight, they know that is a lie. For a man who has the character to withstand great pressure never threatens "death and destruction" upon the audience if he is forced into a contest, be it in court or, say, the boxing ring.

The day I was with my son and grandson was the anniversary of Muhammad Ali's last fight before exhiled from the ring for his refusal to be drafted. After the fight ended,Ali proposed that he fight the two top contenders in the division -- Oscar Bonavena and Joe Frazier -- on the same night, with a half-hour's rest between fights. Translated into the political arena, that would be equal to Trump saying he wanted to fight charges in Georgia and DC at the same ime.

Ali was under great pressure. Elijah Muhammad said it was okay to enter the army, as he would have a comfortable position, and could still fight and make a big income. But Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated for him to have the courage of his convictions. Ali's fight against Uncle Sam, which ended in a USSC decision in his favor, was bigger than sports. Ali won because of his character. Though it was, of course, a long and difficult process, Ali won.

I can sum up Donald Trump's character is a single word: "sociopath." Older forum members might recall the series of three interviews with Dr. Bandy Lee which I shared here, regarding Trump's sociopathy and the type of people who are in his cult. I will focus here on one specific attribute -- sociopaths enjoy excitement, but tend to experience melt-downs under extreme pressure. One might say that they go Wacco.

We all want to see Trump indicted, tried, and convicted. Many hope this will result in his incarceration. I think it is far more likely to lead to "house arrest." I keep in mind that even then, the struggle isn't over. That isn't the final destination. It's part of the on-going process, and certainly a huge step towards healing the damage the MAGA cult has done to this country.

March 23, 2023

Ham Sandwich

" (Charles Manson), as far as the cover age was concerned, appeared to be rather a glamorous figure, a glamorous figure to the young people whom he had brought into his operations. (Here is a man who) was guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason.”
President Richard Nixon; August 3, 1970.

Older community members will remember Nixon's infamous speech in Denver about the need for greater public respect for the legal system. He pointed a finger of blame at the media, for giving attention to those who showed disrespect for the court system.

Within the hour, the White House issued a "clarification." For, as every half-wit knows, there is a separation of powers outlined in a document known as the Constitution. Members of each branch should not speak out publicly about the operations of another branch that do not pertain to them. Even Richard Nixon -- or at least Ron Ziegler -- understood this.

It is wrong for republican members of Congress, or governors of states, to be speaking out about the case of Donald Trump in New York City. Even if one slips in the dickhead about not knowing about paying off a porn star, it's not okay. But this is an on-going legal case.

The republicans of today lack any of the very few redeeming qualities that Nixon had. They remind me more of Manson's followers. A few years back, I posted an essay that compared Trump's personality features to Manson's, despite recognizing that many would think that was going a bit too far. Being patient by nature, I knew that time would prove me correct.

This brings me to what my sister called "Arrestmas" yesterday while we discussed events in New York City. We are all eager to have the indictments unwrapped. But we must be patient. I remember fifty years ago, Rubin Carter telling me that with patience, the smallest creature can climb the highest mountain. I remember him saying, that same year, that what goes round comes round, unless one was talking about Richard Nixon's head. But that's not the Nixon reference that is needed to bring this around.

Nick Akerman is sometimes on MSNBC. I always recommend listening very closely to Mr. Akerman, who helped investigate Watergate. Recently, he noted that while most experts have a pretty good idea of some of the charges the grand jury may bring, there is a possibilty that there could be surprises. He then mentioned information found in the Mueller Report could come into play. I find that fascinating.

Between now and when indictments drop, rather than be anxious -- or, worse yet, filled with doubt -- I suggest doing such mental exercises as considering what Mr. Akerman said. Another option is making rude jokes about Trump. While my children insist that I'm not funny, and should avoid attempting to tell a joke, I'll share a question that has been on my mind since last night:

What do you call a ham sandwich that lies to its lawyers?

March 20, 2023

A Late Night Conversation

"Robert Costello has some impressive experience," I said. "I'm surprised he wants to testify in front of the grand jury. It wouldn't be good to get caught lying to the."

"He doesn't want to. In a future Oliver Stone movie, his character will be assigned to do this, like Jack Ruby being assigned to end Oswald's legal problems. What can he say that's of any value? That Michael was a creep when he worked for Trump? Cohen has already told everyone that!" my friend said.

"But wasn't Costello's association with Cohen mainly after the FBI arrested him? Didn'y Cohen want a pardon? Will he say that Cohen begged for one, and he approached the White House to advocate for him to get one? And Cohen was pissed when he thought that Trump had betrayed him by not giving one?" I asked.

"Cohen doesn't deny that. Costello did go to the White House. Trump was all for it, until his lawyers told him that if he did, Cohen could be forced to testify honestly to Congress or law enforcement. At first, Trump said Michael could be trusted to lie for him. But even Rudy told him not to grant a pardon. Trump knew that Giuliani was close to Costello, and that convinced him to toss Cohen under the bus," he said.

"Other than character assassination, what can Costello possibly have to offer the grand jury?" I asked.

" His goal is to say that Trump didn't know that he was re-paying Michael for his deal with Daniels. Keep in mind that when reporters asked him about it on Air Force One, he said they needed to talk to Cohen, that he handled such things. Later, Sarah Sanders claimed that Trump didn't know at the time what he was paying Cohen for. But when the FBI raid turned up the tape of Trump and Cohen's conversation about paying off the Playboy model, this changed. Trump then said he was paying Cohen for a 'private contract' between Cohen and Daniels for something 'something that never happened.' Costello has to say that Michael told him he dealt with Daniels on his own, without Trump knowing. The McDougal tape makes that a very hard sell."

March 16, 2023

St. Patrick's Eve

I want to talk with you about Family Radio and the big beat. It comes out of the primordial swamps .... okay, that Doors' song just ended, but I really do want to start with Family Radio and one of the predictions made by its leader, Harold Egbery Camping. He made more than one, of course, but let's think back the last time he was in the national news.

Harold and his followers' case is, hopefully, one that can help us to understand cult members' thinking and behavior. They were not a violent group, and posed no threat to the public beyond being somewhat annoying. They viewed most Christian churches as apostates, so one might hold that they weren't entirely wrong. But Harold was preoccupied with figuring out "the end of times," and he reckoned it would be on May 21, 2011.

Harold and his true believing followers believed it was their duty to warn everyone. So they did. As the "end of times" came nearer, they invested their energies into trying to warn and save people. They weren't asking for donations, as they believed money would be of no value in the very near future. They were sincere, so much so that things like jobs or school could be overlooked. Makes sense, if one believes as they believed.

The idea of "the end of times" has a long history apocalyptic cult ideology and activity in the United States. It always involves the concept of the group as God's favorite people, given the advantage of special insight. But unlike, say, the Branch Davidians in 1993, the Family Radio cult wasn't collecting weapons to survive the storm. Nor were they like Jim Jones' Peoples Temple, killing themselves to get to heaven.

No, these were decent people. They were like family, friends, and/or co-workers you knew before Trump ran for president. The sad thing was that they believed domething you did not, and in time you'd almost wish they were trying to get you to be an Amway cog. At least you could have known where to get toilet paper as covid approached. But they were far, far less offensive than the Trump cult.

Like myself, you might have questioned what was happening in their brains? What organic malfunction explains the belief that the world was ending on May 21, 2011? Was there an overlap, say, with those who insist that Trump beat Biden in the 2020 election? And there is. It is found in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

The PFC is associated with many of the things that make modern humans "human." Thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are headquarted there, and connected with the other, older sections of the brain. When a person is exposed to something they believe -- regardless of if it is true -- specific parts of the PFC are stimulated. Likewise, when exposed to something that they do not believe, other parts of the PFC are stimulated. Thus, when exposed to "Trump won in 2020" and "Biden won in 2020," our brains respond in the exact opposite way that a Trump cultist's does.

Now, so long as we can agree that "the end of times" did not happen on May 21, 2011 -- with the possible exception of for relatively few, and definitely not on a global scale -- we can examine what went on in the brains of the true believers. The answer, in short, was cognitive dissonance. This concept has been discussed so frequently on this forum, that I need not provide a definition.

What is important here, as we approach the likely criminal indictment of an ex-president, is how those who still believe Trump won in 2020 will react. A heck of a lot depends upon the actions of those who know the truth, but opt to exploit the cult. Like with the Family Radio, some have already recognize that they were lied to. But the PFCs of many are still stimulated by the lies. And predicting their reactions requires an updated understanding of "social disorganization theory." Since this essay is long enough already -- if not too long, or even far too long -- I will get to that in the near future.

Be awake. Be aware.
H2O Man

March 8, 2023

Regarding Clowns

"Men without dignity are like clowns without an audience, pathetic and lost."
- Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

Although republicans, ranging from those in DC to Tucker Carlson, have an audience, they do not have dignity. Hence, I apply a quote from my late friend. It applies equally to republican men and women.

When I was young, "campaign seasons" did not seem so long as they do these days. Yet, by studying those Democrats who won tough election contests, we find that they began the ground work early. And as surely as winter turns to spring, we should begin laying the foundation for next year's election.

There will be new events in the time between now and November, 2024. It cannot be otherwise. But we have all the materials we need to begin building a strong foundation. In my opinion, one of the most important things we can, should, and must do is to help to register new voters.

At this point, I fully expect President Biden to run and to be re-elected next year. While in general, I'm not opposed to primary contests, in this instance, I am annoyed that a couple non-politicians appear to be preparing to. On the positive side, I doubt either could get 2% of the vote. In Senate and House races, there may be primaries, and I'm fine with that ..... so long as everyone recognizes the absolute necessity of supporting our candidates in the general election.

H2O Man

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