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Mon May 17, 2021, 04:14 PM

Zombies




I found the news of twelve mass shootings in America last weekend difficult to watch, so I tuned out the news for a few days. Instead, I focused my attention on the garden during the day, and a series of Robert Sapolski's lectures at night. If you've never listened to Sapolski, you should do yourself a favor, and find him on youtube.

Last night, I turned on the news, and watched reports about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene. I couldn't have a higher opinion of Alexandria, or a lower opinion of Greene. But then it hit me: Greene had harassed David Hogg in the same manner that she did Alexandria. And Hogg, of course, was among those who had endured a school shooting, and has worked to prevent other youngsters from suffering the same fate.

Greene is a "rising star" within the republican party, as a direct result of her being a toxic, ill-mannered, shallow-thinking, loud mouth. There is, of course, stiff competition for being the most unhinged republican in DC. There is the spastic sphincter Matt Gaetz, though it seems possible he will not survive past June. There is Louie Gohmert, reported to be the stone baby removed from actor Pat Buttram's character, Mr. Haney. Gohmert is as dangerous as he is foolish -- the nerve of him to recently praise Dr. King, then compare the violent criminals from January 6 to King's non-violent followers.

Several people have asked me for my opinion of how seemingly intelligent people would be as invested in the Trump cult as many of their family and (former) friends are? My opinion is of no more or less than any other person's, but my answer is rooted in what is remembered as "Nayirah's testimony." As part of a larger perception management operation, in 1990, a 15-year old girl, known at the time only as "Nayirah," told a news conference about invading Iraqi soldiers tossing babies out of incubators. This staged lie got Bush the Elder the support he needed to invade Iraq.

A decade later, George W. Bush used a similar perception management program that usedmushroom clouds and yellow cake to scare enough of the American people to believe there was justification for the US to invade Iraq. And there are still people who are utterly convinced that Iraq played a role in 9/11. Consider, if you will, the political nature of those who still believe: is it coincidence that they are exclusively republicans?

Think back to when VP Cheney would send a lie to Judith Miller, who would publish the lie on the front page of the New York Times the next day, without attributing the claim to its source. Since "the next day" was always, by design a Sunday, Cheney & Co. would appear on the talk shows, and bring up the Millier story. Many people believed Miller then, some still do.

So we see that "perception management" is generally geared towards two strong emotions -- outrage and fear. Rubin used to tell me that in prison, a rumor twice repeated has become accepted fact. We are there as a nation, when the majority of the republican party are loyal members of the Trump cult. And lies are repeated hundreds of times on Fox and related "fake media."

The word "hate" is used on Fox five times more often per day than its closest rivals. I do not have the statistics on the word "fear." Fox has outrage for its tongue. Fox plants the seeds of deceit in fertile ground. These are people who are in no way limited to fearing they might "lose" their country in the future. They aren't worried about white Europeans flooding their towns and cities. They will insist they aren't prejudice, but they just aren't comfortable with non-white people immigrating from Central America.

In fact, they are more comfortable watching the Barbies and Kens on Fox, than the more diverse hosts on MSNBC or CNN, though they are most likely unaware that this is a factor in their choice of news sources. Because Fox parrots the lies of republicans, it reinforces it in those who are at risk for non-rational thinking and foolish beliefs. And this generates the level of outrage and fear we currently witness behaving in outrageous and fearful manners.

It is often said that there are is no free lunch. I think it is more accurate to say the right-wing republicans, acting like they are out to lunch, have very little free will when it comes to conscious thought.

Back out to my garden. An old friend of over half a century asked why I hadn't posted here lately, so blame this essay on Beth, a free spirit.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Zombies (Original post)
H2O Man May 17 OP
pwb May 17 #1
H2O Man May 17 #4
NewHendoLib May 17 #2
H2O Man May 17 #5
NewHendoLib May 17 #7
H2O Man May 18 #14
LineReply .
Champp May 17 #3
H2O Man May 17 #6
malaise May 17 #8
H2O Man May 18 #15
malaise May 18 #21
H2O Man May 18 #22
Saoirse9 May 17 #9
H2O Man May 18 #16
Saoirse9 May 18 #23
H2O Man May 18 #24
Saoirse9 May 18 #25
MustLoveBeagles May 17 #10
H2O Man May 18 #17
Elessar Zappa May 17 #11
H2O Man May 18 #18
Roisin Ni Fiachra May 18 #12
H2O Man May 18 #19
dalton99a May 18 #13
H2O Man May 18 #20

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 17, 2021, 04:24 PM

1. Good one Man.

The word Fox and the word News just don't belong together. IMO.

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Response to pwb (Reply #1)

Mon May 17, 2021, 08:21 PM

4. Thank you!

Indeed, those two words do not belong together. They are opposites.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 17, 2021, 05:23 PM

2. from one gardener to another...superb OP.

Got 60 tomato plants in. on to peppers and eggplants. Flowers blooming everywhere. Ah, spring!

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Response to NewHendoLib (Reply #2)

Mon May 17, 2021, 08:31 PM

5. I love the spring season.

I have some tomato plants to get in tomorrow. But not 60, which is very impressive!

My younger son brought me some sweetgrass seeds today. He said he has some western sage coming.

When I'm out in the garden, I remember different things that my father told me his father's family did in Ireland. And my maternal grandfather had huge, river-flat gardens that I helped with. My boys focus on modern ways, so tegether we make a good team.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #5)

Mon May 17, 2021, 08:41 PM

7. Ah, sweetgrass. One of my favorite book, I read to my wife, last year was Braiding Sweetgrass.

Really profound.

I've had quite a few months - I agreed to do a collaborative on line course with Joe Lamp'l - lots of filming, all video - we had a series of 90 min webinars to publicize it. I've never done anything like that and probably won't again - but what a learning experience - and we have half it it to film yet.

COVID created so many gardeners I feel it is really important to be there to guide them - turn COVID gardeners to forever gardeners!

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Response to NewHendoLib (Reply #7)

Tue May 18, 2021, 11:05 AM

14. Yes, the virus did

get a lot more people to garden. In my area, for example, literally all of the stores ran out of peas for planting by mid-May. I tend to save seeds, but was surprised that the stores in every local town had run out of peas. But that was a good thing.

I'm also increasing my leeks this year. Decades ago, there was a place up on the mountain behind me where there were lots of them. A few people would harvest some of them, and leave plenty for others. It wasn't on my property, but my neighbor is cool with my having full access to the 12 acres he only uses for fire wood and hunting. Unfortunately, a land-owner on the other side of the mountain ignored property lines, and -- without saying a word to either of us -- bulldozed areas of my neighbor's and my properties. Ah, "progress!"

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 17, 2021, 05:29 PM

3. .

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Response to Champp (Reply #3)

Mon May 17, 2021, 08:31 PM

6. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 17, 2021, 08:51 PM

8. Great read my brother

Hope you had a great birthday with your family

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Response to malaise (Reply #8)

Tue May 18, 2021, 11:18 AM

15. Thank you!

Three of my children were here (and two of their Significant Others), along with an old friend. And as two of my kids have young dogs, we had wild entertainment as they played for hours on end.

We are getting some very nice weathere here, too. It's a busy time as far as lawn & gardening go, but at my age, I know that it will all get done eventually.

Yesterday, my son's puppy was barking up a storm, and at first, we couldn't figure out why. Then I saw that my male Guinea hen was savagely attacking his own reflection on my son's car. Also, the dog saw the new itty-bitty kittens for the first time -- she loves cats, but finds the tiny kittens intimidating. Ha!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Tue May 18, 2021, 12:02 PM

21. Clearly you had a great time

Hope you have video of the Guinea hen attacking himself.

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Response to malaise (Reply #21)

Tue May 18, 2021, 12:19 PM

22. If only I had

a camera! My kids urge me to get a cell phone, but that ain't happening. Maybe today my son can film it, as all of my kids have those things. I'm not "high-tech" ...... my friend came to cut fire wood the other day, and so I got out my grandfather's two-man cross-cut saw. But he has a chain saw. Kids these days!

In the past year, I had a lot of trees fall, so besides meeting our needs, he'll cut up some for a local guy who is low-income, and benefits from the free wood my neighbor and I have given him. This year, I'm only planting 17 new trees, but we've put in close to 350 since I moved here. So long after I'm gone, there will be a substantially larger number of trees than when I moved here.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 17, 2021, 08:54 PM

9. One of my favorite songs!

You know we have it about as bad as the Irish ☘️ did during The Troubles they’re singing about. We have no idea when the crazies will come shoot up any public place we’re in. There’s no rhyme or reason for any of the shootings.

And there is bad news every day about the war we’re in. I don’t feel like most people qualify the United States as a war zone but I do.

I try as hard as I can to think positive. We’ve certainly made wonderful progress. Biden’s doing a great job and we put him there.

But the reality is that we’re in a full scale war with the GOP and there aren’t many Liz Cheneys among them.

One step at a time we have to wipe them out.

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Response to Saoirse9 (Reply #9)

Tue May 18, 2021, 11:36 AM

16. I love that song!

As you know, Dolores O'Riordan came from a village a stone's throw from where my grandfather was born. Her tragic death took place around the time that the old brain injury was healing, so I had forgotten she had died until Corey reminded me. She was so good!

Our country is being torn apart, with President Biden working in the right direction, and the Trump cult going in the opposite direction. We are at the point that you and I have discussed for years, with a third of the population holding one viewpoint, a third holding the opposite viewpoint, and a third being detached from commitment. That, of course, was the ratio at the time of the Revolutionary War.

I'm glad that you mentioned Liz Cheney. As others have noted, her position is based upon her access to "national security" information. She is aware of the threat that the cult poses to democracy. To quote Robert Zimmerman, you don't need to be a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing. One need only to have an understanding of how violence gains force within a society. And violence is as American as apple pie.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #16)

Tue May 18, 2021, 12:43 PM

23. Don't think I knew that Dolores

Lived close to where your Grandad was born. Not sure.

Will Liz Cheney lose her access to intelligence briefings? Or is she getting them in another capacity that has nothing to do with her leadership role?

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Response to Saoirse9 (Reply #23)

Tue May 18, 2021, 01:04 PM

24. Liz has information

from both intelligence briefings and other sources. She is aware of the dangers. We are near where the para-militaries in Northern Ireland were assisted by police and military in their attacks upon the Irish Catholic community.

The next time you & I go on a family outing to the Old Sod, I'll have to show you where Grandpa lived.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #24)

Tue May 18, 2021, 05:31 PM

25. Cool I will look forward to that.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 17, 2021, 09:21 PM

10. K&R

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Response to MustLoveBeagles (Reply #10)

Tue May 18, 2021, 11:36 AM

17. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 17, 2021, 09:27 PM

11. Good post!

Sometimes I despair for the future but then I remember that Generation Z and the Millennials are the most liberal group of young people since the FDR era. That makes me feel a little better.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #11)

Tue May 18, 2021, 11:45 AM

18. Thank you!

I agree about these younger generations. I remember John Lennon saying that the 1960s were a premonition of what was to come. While I was a YIPPIE!, rather than Hippie, I think there is a good range of us who can coordinate with these young people today. In the past year, for example, I've been in contact with a young lady who went to school with my daughters, and is now a regional leader in Black Lives Matter. Among other things, we review the tactics of Dr. King, as well as the grass roots' leaders of my era. It's funny -- when she was a kid in school, I thought she was a shy and quiet as a church mouse. My daughters laughed when I said that, and told me I'd never seen her when some jackass pushed her too far. And these days, she can really preach the Truth at rallies!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 18, 2021, 09:24 AM

12. K&R

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Response to Roisin Ni Fiachra (Reply #12)

Tue May 18, 2021, 11:45 AM

19. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 18, 2021, 09:55 AM

13. Kick

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #13)

Tue May 18, 2021, 11:46 AM

20. Thank you!

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