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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 64,271

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Wrong

"Don't strike at the puppet, strike at the puppeteer." -- Malcolm X


I remember back in the Reagan era, when his Secretary of Interior James Watt, while testifying before Congress, explained his anti-environment positions by saying, " I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns ..." For those too young to remember, Watt was a toxic twit who advocated mining public lands. One afternoon, while talking politics with my father, I expressed how much I hated James Watt.

My father, an FDR/JFK Democrat, started laughing. He said that Watt was indeed a horrible person. But, he said in the tone that I recognized as his way of delivering an important message, always remember that Watt and his ilk are lightening rods. When Watts makes an offensive public statement, it is to distract attention from something that Reagan or Bush are doing that they don't want the media or public to focus on.

I learned another important lesson from the days of James Watt. One of my favorite journalists, Bill Moyers, incorrectly quoted Watt as saying, "After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back." Moyers had taken the quote from an article in some magazine from the time, but it wasn't true. Moyers apologized. This taught me that even someone I respected as much as Bill Moyers was capable of making an error.

I made an error last week, in an OP about Trump's claim he aced a cognitive test. Our friend Ms. Toad corrected me. Thus, due to my tendency to question the possibility of making a mistake -- much less a foolish one -- I re-contacted the two individuals I had spoken to for the information I posted. Both laughed at me, and said the same thing: I had only asked about Trump's most recent unscheduled "physical" at Walter Reed. So I wasn't really wrong, I pleaded? Yes, you were, in that you only focused on one incident, and ignored everything else. Tunnel vision is, by definition, an error in perception.

At other recent times, I've learned important things from other forum members. Let me give an example. Recently, I posted an essay asking forum members how they were attempting to increase the number of people who would vote for Joe Biden in November. Over the decades, my interest has been in getting young adults to recognize that, as a group, they can influence the outcome of any and every election.

This includes working with young people who are "leftists." I can identify with those who are rebels and reject the older generations' previous works and current values. I have no problem, for example, with young people who think that past generations have betrayed them by handing down a severely damaged environment. But how to get these young activists to recognize that it is important to vote for Joe Biden?

Our friend PETRUS made an important suggestion. Angela Davis is a legendary "leftist." In recent years, when I've spoken at colleges, I've been encouraged by the renewed interest in and respect for her. And, as PETRUS noted, she has said that we have to evaluate elections in their proper context, and that means we should vote for Joe Biden. PETRUS recommended that I communicate that.

Last week, a young man that I met at St. Lawrence college posted yet another rant on facebook about Biden being unacceptable to true "leftists." When this fellow's parents rejected him for his beliefs and lifestyle, I had welcomed him into my home. Though I haven't seen him in a few years, we remain in contact. So I responded to his FB post by talking about Angela Davis.

His first response was, "I like Angela Davis, but ...." We had a little back-and-forth. Meanwhile, the number of his friends that "liked" my comments was increasing. Eventually, he focused upon the failures of my generation, and noted his generation would not compromise. They were going to build a new society. That echo from the past brought a grin to mywrinkled, ugly mug.

I said to build a new society required starting by building a solid, strong foundation to build off of. My generation did important work in the 1960s and '70s to build the foundation, but too many of us were focused upon the rooms and roof. The foundation, I said, is at the grass roots level, the rooms are the state level and Congress, and the roof is the presidency. If you try to build rooms and a roof on a weak foundation, those walls will crack, and the roof will leak. I suggested that his generation complete the foundation we started, then start laying cinder blocks.

By this time, he agreed, and I thought, "Hey, this works! I've gotta thank PETRUS!" I was especially encouraged by the number of his friends who "liked" my comments.

Today, I saw that he has a new rant, about "old people" who try to use Angela Davis to convince "leftists" to vote for Joe Biden. But he isn't getting any support so far. I went back to the other post, and noticed something I find interesting. All of his friends who "liked" my comments were females. Not a single male. That got me remembering that, at colleges, it was primarily young women interested in Angela Davis. Indeed, my collection of books by and about her are now in my older daughter's library.

While I think the young man is wrong, I hope that the election results are not cause for him to recognize his error. If Trump some how "wins," we'll have more James Watt-types destroying the environment. And the Constitution, that provides protections for young people who rebel against society.

Peace,
H2O Man

Cognition, Orientation & MMSE

Donald Trump has recently bragged that he did surprisingly well on a cognitive test during his unscheduled November 2019 trip to Walter Reed Military Medical Center. As others have pointed out, if this were true, it would be a curious thing to boast about -- "medical professionals were shocked that I could pass a test!" But, of course, Trump never purposely tells the truth.

In researching this over the last 48 hours, I think that I have learned what actually happened on that November day. What is it that Trump has recently twisted and distorted into a really great cognitive test, the with the biggest score ever? Is there actually some connection between Trump's embarrassing fabrication and reality? Perhaps the tiniest of grains of truth?

Trump was upset when he entered Walter Reed, and became more agitated while inside. In such instances, doctors do what is known as a mini-mental status exam. (Some readers are no doubt thinking, "Yes, of course. A Folstein MMSE." This test measures if the person is oriented, able to pay attention, and involves mental and motor skills. The results help the doctors to determine if there may be a phyical or mental issue involved. In a sense, could be called a cognitive test to make the person more at ease if they are agitated.

An MMSE is conducted in a quiet, well-lit room. The doctor asks a series of questions, with three primary focuses: person (what is your name?), time (what is today's date?), and place (where are we?). The full test includes two pages of questions, although in the crisis evaluations with a psychiatrist that I used to sit in on, it was usually an abbreviated version.

When Trump was able to answer the questions he was asked, the doctor did say, "Remarkable! You aced it!" Thus, Trump's hostility melted away, and he was convinced he had done extraordinarily well. In the diseased regions of his mind, this MMSE has morphed into an extensive cognitive test that documented that he is a very stable genius.

If I were to try to place this in context -- and this is merely my opinion -- it fits snuggly into my previously saying on this forum that a sociopath under pressure can experience episodes of psychosis. Trump's more extreme episodes of aggitated hostility and victimhood are something that I asked Dr. Bandy Lee about in my February 2020 interview for DU. The old boy is deteriorating before our very eyes.

Peace,
H2O Man

Crook




Today's United States Supreme Court decisions may not seem perfect, but they are very good. The best measure of exactly how very good these rulings are can be found in Trump's brat-attack response:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/07/09/supreme-court-rule-trump-twitter-collins-sot-nr-vpx.cnn

The members of the brain-dead cult will , of course, view this in the context their profit Donald the Trump defines it. It's political, don't you know! But deep within the organic decay of Trump's brain, he recognizes that the two Justices he has appointed are not total lap dogs.

Trump's constant mental state is paranoia, which always leads to his claiming victimhood in his whiney outbursts. He fears what is coming, and will be unable to keep it from seeping into the general election contest. Democratic Party commercials. Lincoln Project commercials. Joe Biden in debates. Nightmares that are as haunting as any of LBJ's.

It with gurgle to the surface in Trump's stream of consciousness rambling when he speaks with reporters, the covidiots at his rallies, and his tweets. This is a good thing. Not perfect, but legally sound, and that is Trump's deepest fear.

Peace,
H2O Man

Intervention




The 4th of July means different things to different people. Here is rural upstate New York, for many it means putting up the flag, cooking out, and getting drunk by mid-afternoon. Thus, by early evening, I could hear my closest neighbors in a heated argument while sitting on their deck, with an American and a Trump flag flying. Nothing says "Patriotism!" more than that.

My 90-year old aunt says our area has the same inbred, brain dead culture as the Deep South. My 92- year old uncle reminds our extended family's younger generation that he and his friends joined the military to fight World War 2 in a battle against the same forces that now infect our country. Fight it now, especially by voting in November, he says, before it becomes even more entrenched.

As I watched my son cooking our meal on the fire pit next to our garden, I kept thinking about my uncle's message. My focus was primarily on what I can do between now and election day. Being of simple mind, I always start with Politics 101 for elections: there are three groups -- those who always support you, those who always oppose you, and the undecided. Usually, you work to firm up the first group, ignore the second, and appeal to the third.

But things are anything and everything but normal.

If a family member is out of control due to substance abuse, the family does an intervention. If a person is posing a threat to themselves or others due to mantal illness, there is a community intervention. The Trump cult poses such an out-of-control threat today that we need a national intervention in November.

This includes in every single contest in November, from local to state to national. We need to maintain -- and hopefully expand -- control of the House of Representatives. We are in a position where we can take control of the Senate. And, most importantly, we can crush Donald Trump in humiliating fashion. While I cannot speak for him, I am confident that is exactly what my uncle is talking about.

How do we invest our energies this summer? In my opinion, it is essential that we get as many people as possible to take the steps necessary to use mail-in ballots. It is obvious that this is the dynamic that the Trump cult fears the most.

The other thing I'm focused on is getting those people who have been protesting in the streets of American cities and towns to be registered and prepared to vote for Joe Biden. Many, perhaps most, are already inclined to do so. But I encounter a significant number of young adults who are to the left of the Democratic Party.

Even in my own extended family, I recently had a young adult say, "Oh, that's right. You used to consider yourself a leftist." I fought the temptation to say, "Kid, you have no idea. In your wildest dreams, you couldn't be associated with the people and things that I was at your age." I kept in mind that it is the duty of younger generations to question their elders, even when they are being obnoxious with their ignorance.

Instead, I focus on the threat the Trump cult poses to the Constitution. When young people talk about the sins of the Founding Fathers, I make it clear that I recognize they were imperfect men, with an imperfect understanding of a just society. Yet that Constitution is what has allowed us to progress -- slowly over the generations -- towards a more perfect society. Yes, we are confronted with very serious internal threats today. There is gross inequity. But the Constitution provides the roadmap towards justice. And a vote for anyone but Joe Biden -- or a failure to vote -- is a betrayal of the Constitution.

I'm curious what others think are the most important things we need to focus on this summer? Thank you.

Peace,
H2O Man

A Daze in the Life

"It's getting better all the time." -- Paul McCartney
"Can't get much worse." -- John Lennon

Isn't this such a strange and dangerous time? Strange for all of us, and more dangerous for some than others. I know what many people of my generation think about 2020, but I wonder about the impact it has on the life-experiences of younger generations. I can say that the actions and responses of many young adults has me hopeful.

At the same time, there are things that catch me by surprise. Nothing Trump does, for I know he is a diseased bag of hot air that blows no good. In psychological terms, he is a sociopath. In theological terms, he is "evil" in the literal sense that he creates mental stumbling blocks that prevent him from being a conscious human being. He inhabits the lowest pool.

I have a friend -- a casual friend -- that I've known since The Beatles released the album with the song quoted above. He is a red neck. I get along good with a lot of the red necks from my childhood, though I do not have close friendships with them. This friend has always lived on farms, and I remember he always missed school on the first day of deer-hunting season.

He believes that the members of Congress from both parties want to take his guns. So he is a Trump supporter. Yet, yesterday he shared a facebook post from my wall, honoring black soldiers. The post has a 1913 photograph of the 10th regiment of the US Cavalry camping in our home town ( the 10th was all black). That got me thinking: in the 50+ years I've known him, I've never heard him say anything racist. Of course, that doesn't mean that he is free from some of the baggage that my generation still has.

I've asked him if he thinks he could have been friends with Trump if we attended the same school? Hung out afternoons, and visit each other's homes on weekends? He knows better. He likes Trump, because he hates Washington, sees that Trump does, and that DC hates Trump. Even the republicans in the House and Senate hate him -- they just fear him.

On the other hand, another friend -- a very close friend of over 30 years -- has always been aggressively anti-racist. I've seen it many, many times. But he has a paranoid fear of Black Lives Matter. His fear is rooted in reports that one of the founders said she is trained in Marxism.

For half of the time that I've known him, he has been a liberal Democrat. But as he has aged, he's become more conservative. Thus, his primary source of information is Fox News. And lately, most of what he posts on FB is a direct result of the Tucker Carlson show an hour earlier.

His liberal daughter and progressive son-in-law try to discourage this. My son says that they are the internet version of "All in the Family." Our old co-workers find his rants troubling, and ask if we need to do an intervention. When he stopped in here a week ago, my son conducted that intervention, focusing on the difference between monuments and memorials. My friend isn't in favor of monuments to the Confederacy, but is worried about "Marxists." (Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!)

Thus, when he posted a meme about the BLM leaders being "trained Marxists," I felt it would be tedious to explain they are schooled in the arts of community organizing and confrontational tactics advocated by Saul Alinsky. I'm old enough to remember the divide between Alinsky and the "New Left." And we all remember when the republicans attacked candidate Obama for using Alinsky's community organizing strategies -- but not confrontation tactics -- as a young man in Chicago.

Instead, I posted a "heart," as did his daughter a few minutes later. This led to a rant about Marxists. So I wrote, "Ah, now you are attacking Groucho!" He hasn't spoke to me since.

Strange days, indeed!

One Thing Leads to Another



The West Point staggering ramp exit led to a long, incoherent ramble in Tulsa, which led to the defeated body language on the walk across the White House lawn. This led me to think about a few recent conversation with some friends and associates about Trump's mental state and physical health. I can easily sum up his mental state: Trump is, by every definition, a sociopath, and he is currently in a bitter, angry mood.

In a recent conversation, a person I know well and trust in terms of accuracy and I focused on Trump's recent behaviors. I stated that I think it fits firmly in what is to be expected of a sociopath. My friend said that this is obviously part of it, but that there is increasing concern among those in the administration, and republicans in both houses of Congress, about Trump's physical health.

I had seen a few people had suggested the ramp walk indicated Parkinson's disease, which I did not agree with. My friend said that he agreed it wasn't indicated at this time. Instead, he said that the republicans in DC were concerned that Trump has been displaying -- and not merely in one awkward attempt to walk down a ramp -- symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy, a type of dementia that involves the gradual deterioration of the same parts of the brain that sociopathy is rooted.

There had been a thing on facebook about this after that ramp walk. I told my friend that I assumed it was wishful thinking upon anti-Trump people's part. He said three things that I found important: first, that it was people within the administration that were whispering about PSP months before the ramp walk, that I should speak to some medical experts, and that if indeed it is PSP, things will be far worse between now and January.

In the past, I would have immediately contacted a cousin who was the head of neurology at Temple, but he is no longer living. Luckily, as a result of long-term damage from boxing, and shorter-term issues from a serious brain injury, I know other medical professionals who patiently answer my questions. Thus, I focused on the two that are most responsive to my calls. Both of them, I should add, are generally non-political, a factor that prevented me from being able to keep their focus off of my issues when I was in their care.

Both said that one could never diagnose PSP without seeing a patient in person. The ramp walk alone could be related to several other factors. Both said that no one would look at Trump and say he appears to be in good health. In fact, his reportedly poor diet would be of interest to a physician, including if one were concerned about other symptoms of PSP that Trump has displayed at various times. But, at this point, PSP would be one of several "rule outs" a doctor would have in mind.

I asked one of the two if it was likely that his behaviors were simply those of an aging , over-weight sociopath under severe stress? She said that while mental health issues are not her area of study, it is one of several possibilities. She noted that from what she has seen since he entered the 2016 republican primary, his range of moods appears to be limited to paranoid, furious, and pleasure when bullying a target of his fears and anger.

She added one thing that sticks with me. The combination of sociopathy and PSP would create a synergy that would be especially dangerous to this country if Trump thought he was going to lose the November election. PSP can progress rapidly once a cluster of symptoms appear. One thing leads to another.

Please Help!

On Saturday, June 6, there was a Black Lives Matter rally in Delihi, N.Y. Delhi is the seat of Delaware County, and the only town in the state's largest county to have a college. The rally was attended by over 200 people, and was orderly and peaceful.

However, during the rally, a men wearing a MAGA hat and carrying an offensive sign approached the rally. He was accompanied by a young girl, who appeared to be a grade school student. Almost immediately, this man was aggressively confronting the smallest black teenager he could find.

A group of older women got between the man and the teenager. They attempted to reason with him, which only resulted in his becoming enraged. He actually threatened to punch one old lady. This was clearly upsetting to his daughter (or granddaughter), and other children attending the rally.

Luckily for this fellow, a Delhi police officer intervened and removed him from the rally. When two newspaper reporters asked him his name, he refused to answer. However, some people at the rally recognized him. His name is Chris Cormier, who teaches introductory psychology at SUNY-Delhi.

There is a grass roots' effort to get the college's administration to evaluate Mr. Cormier's actions. This is not about free speech, bu rather about the synergy of hate speech and physical threats. The state's colleges and universities should not employ such a man.

Below is a petition from change.org asking the college to take action:
https://www.change.org/p/suny-delhi-professor-cormier-is-punished-for-his-unjust-behavior?recruiter=1113947083&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition&recruited_by_id=74026130-aa75-11ea-89a7-711bf497498c

SUNY-Delhi's president is George Spielman, who can be reached at 607-746-4090, or by e-mail at president@delhi.edu .Please consider signing the petition, and contacting the college's president.

Change

&fbclid=IwAR3L8HGVnZQ7mewrTlNClZfu1TQar2nYJ6d6yJxINLoW8UyTApfgi6uJit8

Later today I will be posting an essay that asks for your help. On Saturday, there was a Black Lives Matter rally in Delhi, NY (Delaware County). My younger son and his lady were there, and enjoying the presentations by Good People. Suddenly, there was a confrontation. A freak donning a MAGA hat, carrying an insulting sign, began confronting people aggressively, and threatened to punch an elderly woman.

He was accompanied by a youngster who apparently was either his granddaughter or daughter. What a terrible experience for a child who appeared to be of grade school age. It might have become an even worse experience for the freak, if the police had not come and removed him.

As it turns out, this guy teaches psychology at SUNY-Delhi. I will be posting more information, including the phone number and e-mail address for the college's administration. They need to evaluate their employee's actions. I believe in free speech, but not hate speech that threatens the public's well-being.

Thank you for reading this. I appreciate any interest and support.
H2O Man

Braking News

(H2O News) 6-5-2020: The H2O News Network has just received the transcript of a top secret meeting between President Trump and Attorney Generally William Barr, in response to a Freedom from Trump's Information court filing.

Trump was furious after hearing reports on twitter that Tiffany Trump had participated in a recent Black Lives Matter rally. His mood became increasingly foul since White House staff reminded him that Tiffany is his daughter. Trump demands that White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany issue an immediate press release stated that he had never masterbated while thinking of Tiffany, as he only fantasizes about having sex with Ivanka.

The transcript of his conversation with A.G. Barr included Trump's anger that Tiffany told H2O News that she was disgusted by his uncoordinated attempt to hold up the bible at a photo opportunity. "It's fucking obscene," Tiffany said, "that he would hold up a book he's never read. He should start with the part of the gospels where a non-white man over-turned the tables of the money-changers in the temple."

On the transcript, Trump repeatedly asks Barr if this non-white man was Barack Obama? Each time Barr said no, Trump insisted that it was. According to McEnany, Trump ordered Barr to begin an investigation of the bible, with a goal of "prosecuting that black man to the fullest extent possible."

At this point, as Barr seeks to assure Trump that he's "on it," Donald calls for Stephan Miller to be ushered into the Oval Office. Trump says that Mike Pence is harming his chances for re-election, and asks Miller what steps he has taken to explore the possibility of dropping Pence from the 2020 ticket?

Miller says that he held a meeting with Sean Hannity and Alex Jones, to come up with a list of the strongest possible replacements. Miller begins reading the list: "James Holmes, Jared Lee Loughner, Eric Harris, John Wayne Gacy ...."

Trump immediately interrupts, "I always liked that Gacy guy's movies. Very patriotic." With that, the meeting ends.

Fire & Rain

I'm happy to be able to say that I am alive. Some slight discomfort, short of actual pain, in my face and sides. For when one reaches my advanced age, prolonged laughter has consequences. This has been on-going for a few days of my existence in a very republican section of upstate New York.

There was a "Black Lives Matter" rally in a public park in the largest town in the county. For days, on a facebook gossip group that too often channels the inner demons of Sean Hannity, rumors competed to reach the staus of "most delusional." George Soros was busing very dangerous black people to burn the town. Soros was encouraging Antifa to come by caravan to do unpeakable evils. Both men and women, perhaps intoxicated on liquor, chattered about the security that their gun collects provided them.

The rally, by the way, was both called for and organized by students attending the town's high school. They are all good young people who in most other times are known to make the community proud. The danger to the community was posed not by these students or there rally, but by the adults who seem incapable of listening to and understanding their message.

There are a number of good people who participate on the facebook group's page, but they are a tiny minority. I admire their calm determination to communicate sanely and rationally with the conspiracy theorists. But that can prove difficult in the face of imaginary non-white people who -- despite not existing anywhere but between the theorists' ears -- crowding reality out of the hearts and minds of the other side.

One man did post something about American Indians. He clearly did not want his land, located some thirty miles away from the rally, stolen from him. He also wanted to make it clear that he isn't a racist: he loves the Indians from the cowboy & western flicks he grew up on, and only hates black people. I know, dear reader, that like myself, you are thinking that the word "Noble" surely applies.

When family and friends ask me if things can possibly get worse, I assure them that they indeed will get worse within the next 24 hours. Frequently, one need not wait that long. Below that noble ode to open-mindedness referenced above was a response from one of his even more ignorant -- and fucking stupid -- buddies. "Fuck them! Indians kept declaring war on our country. They lost."

That stunned me. My mind was temporarily as foggy as if Sonny Liston had jabbed me. Is it humanly possible to be this dumb in 2020? I suppose about 25% of the voting public is. But wait! Could this be comic genius, making an uncomfortable yet hilarious joke at the racists' expense, like an Abbie Hoffman or a David Chappelle? If so, I was almost jealous.

Yet a quick check of this fool's FB status revealed that he was as stupid a human being as he appeared. I do not have the time, energy, or inclination to try to reason with him. Instead, I will sit out on my lawn, and enjoy the fact that there is absolutely no smoke rising on the horizen, darkening the sky above the town that didn't burn.

It must be a scary world the Trumpites inhabit.
H2O Man
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