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Tue Jul 30, 2019, 11:49 AM

Rage Against the Trump Machine

“Why come to us? We're the toughest nut to crack. You think we turn our Elders over to anyone who walks in the door? We guard them like pure spring water.”
Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation


The above quote is from the 1990 book “Wisdomkeepers,” by Harvey Arden and Steve Wall. I was thinking about this when I watched Robert Mueller's congressional testimony. And I've thought about it even more since, especially when hearing or reading some of the nonsense about how “poorly” he performed.

For those not familiar with Oren, I recommend watching the video of his 1991 conversation with Bill Moyers on PBS. And for those who know of him, it's a great video to watch again, in these troubled times. Here is a link:

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Oren is the Faithkeeper of the Onondaga's Turtle Clan, serving with the late Wisdomkeep, Chief Paul Waterman. Some of my favorite memories are of sitting in Oren's log cabin back when my boys were wee-little, and as the adults were having seious conversation, Oren keeping the boys busy with treats and games. Fast forward to recently, and Oren and my younger son posing for pictures at a boxing match, and realizing how fast time goes by.

A vivid memory is of Oren speaking to a non-Indian audience around 1980, and warning them that what had been done to the Native People was very likely to happen to them, in their lifetimes. I think about that, also, when I think of Mr. Mueller's testimony about the Trump crimes. And, to go a step further, I think specifically of Mr. Mueller's fear that Trump's behaviors and the national response might represent the new normal.

Let me provide some brief context. When I first had the opportunity to know Oren, I was working in human services. At that time, my job focus was on “domestic violence” – including child abuse and neglect, violence against spouses, and violence against elderly family members, primarily parents. As I have always viewed society in terms of “systems,” I had great respect for Oren and Paul's teachings on the strengths of the traditional extended family. And I understood how the economic system, from agricultural to industrial to high-tech, had fractured the extended family units into what became a “new normal.”

Now, fast forward to what was then the future, and is now the current economic-social reality. We recognize that Trump's rise to power was rooted in fracturing our society. Their were obviously already fault lines in our culture, that he put extreme pressure upon. And, as a result, further fault lines have been created. Let's consider one example, that within the republican party. As disgusting as the republicans' behavior is, it is important to examine it.

In the 2016 republican primaries, all of the other candidates started off feeling confident that Trump was a sick joke of a candidate, one they could poke fun of or insult. As his campaign grew in strength, some pointed out his being unstable and even dangerous. Yet today, these same individuals are either lap dogs, or they have retired from politics.

A fraction of the republican party has broken off, including some who now either host or appear on cable news shows. But the majority of those who splintered off are silent. There's what Rubin used to call a “deafening silence” from them. And that is the direct result of their fear of having the republican crowd turn on them, should they speak up, and viciously tear them to shreds. It is pathetic that they are so cowardly. Those in Congress go so far as to spinelessly ignore the Constitution. Indeed, they attack those who confront them with their oath of office.

Fortunately, those running for the Democratic Party's nomination are all speaking up. To be clear, my intention is not to comment on the primaries. Rather, I'm focused on that which unites us: kicking Trump out of office by any means necessary. I'm strongly pro-impeachment. But if Trump isn't booted out that way, I will focus on supporting whoever is our party's candidate. I refuse to accept that Trump in any manner represents the “new normal.”

Rage against the Trump machine.
H2O Man

17 replies, 3236 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rage Against the Trump Machine (Original post)
H2O Man Jul 2019 OP
Me. Jul 2019 #1
H2O Man Jul 2019 #2
dalton99a Jul 2019 #3
H2O Man Jul 2019 #4
H2O Man Jul 2019 #7
coeur_de_lion Jul 2019 #8
H2O Man Jul 2019 #9
coeur_de_lion Jul 2019 #13
ms liberty Jul 2019 #5
H2O Man Jul 2019 #6
coeur_de_lion Jul 2019 #10
H2O Man Jul 2019 #11
coeur_de_lion Jul 2019 #14
ChubbyStar Jul 2019 #12
H2O Man Jul 2019 #15
ChubbyStar Jul 2019 #16
malthaussen Jul 2019 #17

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:02 PM

1. KR

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Response to Me. (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:04 PM

2. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:09 PM

3. We must do everything that is necessary.

If it's not illegal, do it.


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Response to dalton99a (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:13 PM

4. Right.

Non-violence is key.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:57 PM

7. PS .....

I agree that in theory everything should be legal. And in practice that everything must be non-violent. But I recognize that there are people now thinking that, with children in cages, it may be time to engage in a Gandhi-King style protest, where those who are willing to share those children's burden.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 05:19 PM

8. I'm one of those people

who think the time to protest is here.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 05:29 PM

9. I'm meeting with

a very good friend from Vermont soon to discuss plans.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 06:55 PM

13. I know you'll keep me posted.

If I can't get off work I will sponsor a youngun to go. But I definitely want to do all I can.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:32 PM

5. K&R. n/t

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Response to ms liberty (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 12:55 PM

6. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 05:37 PM

10. "There is going to be a deterioration

a falling away of life as we know it."

Can definitely see that happening.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 06:02 PM

11. Yes.

Oren is such a wise human being. Back in the late 1980s, there were Democrats asking if he would consider serving as Secretary of State when we took back the White House. Unfortunately, a Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy) Chief cannot serve in a foreign government. Too bad, as Oren was the most sought after speaker on Earth at the time.

Have I ever told you about where I first knew Oren from? Oren was quite an athlete in his younger days. He was on the lacrosse team with future football great Jim Brown at Syracuse University. Like Paul Waterman, he also loved boxing. In the mid-1970s, he and the legendary Carmen Basilio trained heavyweight Greg Sorrentino. My brother-in-law fought Greg twice, and Oren and I were in the opposing corners. I see Greg at the Golden Gloves these days, and love talking with him about when we were young.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 07:08 PM

14. I have heard you mention Chief Waterman

But not Oren Lyons. He must be a wonderful man to know.

I have listened to the whole video and found it calming after a stressful day.

I love the way he speaks.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 06:52 PM

12. Wow I just watched that video for the first time

Very powerful, the ending very much so, "as long as there is want to sing, want to dance, want to speak and want to listen, we have those four." Thank you Waterman.

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Response to ChubbyStar (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 07:16 PM

15. There are a number

of his speeches and conversations with him on youtube. They are all outstanding.

Hanging out with Oren makes one view things in a different -- and better -- way.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 07:18 PM

16. I haven't felt this relaxed in weeks

Inspired and soothed. I will be spending more time with Oren!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Jul 31, 2019, 12:29 PM

17. Well,even if Mr Trump does represent a "new normal..."

... who's to say we can't invent an even newer one? Throwing out the garbage is a necessary first step, of course, but we can't stop there, and breathe freely believing everything's all right now. (Which of course you know) I worry that too many of the formerly-complacent are yearning for the days when they didn't have to worry about things, to the point that if they do fix the most obvious fracture, they'll ignore the rest and hope they go away. But Mr Trump was made possible because of a systems breakdown (by your leave), he did not create the breakdown. Removing him will not solve the underlying problems, but those are all so complex and difficult to address, and don't nearly affect Joe Sixpack as much as the obvious present meltdown.

-- Mal

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