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Thu May 27, 2021, 11:53 AM

Reflections vs Reflex

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death."
-- Leonardo da Vinci


I was thinking today -- as I often do -- about a discussion I had yesterday with a forum member that I have a lot of respect for. This concerned how to best respond to Marjorie Taylor Greene's aggressive onsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Our discussion was in the context of the Democratic Party's considering getting a court to get a restraining order in attempt to deal with Greene.

While out feeding the fish and birds near my pond in between thunder storms, I had one of the internal discussions common among old hermits near water. I'm fully aware that there are issues where there isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer, just differing opinions on how to reach a shared goal. More, even when there may be a correct answer, it frequently what I think is right.

I think that a court order is the way to go. My friend thinks hiring body guards is a better option. We agree that MTG presents a risk to AOC, and needs to face the consequences if her shit doesn't stop. Since I can't, I won't try to present my friend's case as s/he can. But is involves body guards protecting OAC during her duties as a member of the House of Representatives.

In her time away from her DC duties -- for example, when she appears in public for scheduled meetings -- I think that body guards are unfortunately necessary. These are strange times, and the Trump cult contains dangerous wingnuts. These include the brain-dead individuals who may be inspired by MTG's hatred of Alexandria.

Body guards could do little to nothing about MTG's unstable though berbal attacks on AOC in the congressional setting. But a restraining order, if violated, would involve legal consequences. It would add pressure for republican leaders to agree to firm consequences, too. For as the late Vine Deloria, Jr., noted in his classic "We Talk, You Listen," if you apply maximum pressure on a weak link in any organization, the others will gladly sacrifice that person.

It is true that, initially, republicans and their media parrots would mock AOC for getting a restraining order. It is equally true if she is surrounded by body guards. Indeed, it iwould be equally true if she found the cure for cancer. In my opinion, we should never allow what type of vile ugliness the republicans put on the table.

While I sit at my pond, I remember some of the things that I learned about the human experience from Chief Paul Waterman. Divisions in society always raise, for a time, the most extreme people to positions of "leadership" -- and they lead in the direction of the most extreme impulses, including mindless violence. Their words and actions are a reflection of their inner turmoil. It would be a mistake for us to mirror those reflections.

The solution is only and always found in adherence to the rule of law. That rule of law is found in the US Constitution, and in the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace. Adherence to the rule of law does not equate to being the willing victim of violence -- it does not exclude self-defense. To paraphrase Malcolm X, I think that if someone comes to your home to harm you and yours, you should send them to the ER, to jail, or to the cemetery.

In the public square, however, we want to reduce the need for body guards, and the number of angry, unstable, armed individuals. This is best accomplished by the rule of law. Despite the frequent failures of the legal system -- from police violence to stratified justice in the courts -- the actual rule of law offers the potential for a more just society.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Reflections vs Reflex (Original post)
H2O Man May 27 OP
Bernardo de La Paz May 27 #1
H2O Man May 27 #3
malaise May 27 #2
H2O Man May 27 #4
HUAJIAO May 27 #5
H2O Man May 27 #8
Roisin Ni Fiachra May 27 #6
H2O Man May 27 #10
Martin Eden May 27 #7
H2O Man May 27 #11
Hekate May 27 #9
H2O Man May 27 #12
lagomorph777 May 27 #13
H2O Man May 27 #14
Saoirse9 May 27 #15
H2O Man May 27 #16
MerryBlooms May 27 #17
H2O Man May 27 #18

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 11:59 AM

1. +1 for rule of law and building a society where there are fewer, not more, bodyguards


Few people can afford bodyguards. It's a lousy solution, but the problems necessitating them are systemic.

The Rule of Law is part of the solution. Bodyguards are an expensive bandage that does not address the cause.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #1)

Thu May 27, 2021, 12:07 PM

3. Thank you!

I do not think that body guards could prevent MTG from her hideous behaviors in the context of the House. In fact, if they tried to prevent her from engaging in yet another obnoxious rants aimed at AOC, they would risk being arrested themselves. More, it would most likely result in MTG hiring some proud boys for "protection."

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 12:04 PM

2. THIS

The solution is only and always found in adherence to the rule of law.

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Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Thu May 27, 2021, 12:08 PM

4. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 12:08 PM

5. "Their words and actions are a reflection of their inner turmoil."

This is, one might say, the money quote. Their own inner violence, total unconsciousness, sleep.

BTW, I live in the area of the Haudenosaunee and within striking distance of Ganondagan. Been their several times in the summer.

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Response to HUAJIAO (Reply #5)

Thu May 27, 2021, 03:58 PM

8. I think that Pete

still runs the historic site at Ganondagan. He's a good man. I generally run into old friends when I am with my son and nephew in Buffalo for the Golden Gloves. My boy is going to be in Belfast at the Bare Knuckle Hall of Fame, where the great John L. Sullivan trained (when not consuming quarts of Irish whiskey that my g-g-uncle produced). Without amateur boxing for over a year, I'm afraid they will offer him a contract for competing in the bare knuckle league.

Steve Wall authored a great book on the late Tadodaho, Leon Shennandoah, about becoming fully human. The majority of republicans today are totally unaware of human potential.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 01:52 PM

6. K&R

"These are strange times, and the Trump cult contains dangerous wingnuts. These include the brain-dead individuals who may be inspired by MTG's hatred of Alexandria."


Living in the red rural west, I see them every time I am out in public. They wear their palpable inner turmoil, rage, unhappiness, and instability, like a badge of of honor. Driven by Fox News, OAN, and hate radio, they present themselves like powder kegs ready to explode.

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Response to Roisin Ni Fiachra (Reply #6)

Thu May 27, 2021, 04:04 PM

10. That is exactly right!

We see those same types here in rural, upstate New York. A couple months ago, a fellow got angry and was yelling at me in the parking lot outside a grocery store. He insisted that he had planned to park exactly where I parked, and that I should somehow have known this. There were more than a dozen empty spaces right there, but he wanted mine. I will admit that it was initially tempting to engage with him, but I decided not to. I just stood and listened to him yell until he had gotten it out of his system. I think it is safe to say that republican tempers will flare like this throughout the summer.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 02:07 PM

7. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a stochastic terrorist

She will confront and harass Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to gain attention and boost her own standing in the Q-GOP, but the real threat of actual physical harm will come from the crazies itching to use their 2A joysticks against an "evil villain" like AOC.

I'm fully aware that there are issues where there isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer, just differing opinions on how to reach a shared goal.

As I see it our goals are safety for AOC and others who are threatened, and finding a cure to the pandemic of poisonous political ideology which threatens the life of our representative democracy.

Of course, the question and debate centers on how we can best achieve these shared goals.

Divisions in society always raise, for a time, the most extreme people to positions of "leadership" -- and they lead in the direction of the most extreme impulses, including mindless violence. Their words and actions are a reflection of their inner turmoil. It would be a mistake for us to mirror those reflections.

Don't add fuel to the fires upon which these extreme people and their followers feed. Instead, take away their oxygen. Ultimately they will discredit themselves, as long as we don't validate them with our own actions. Their greatest fear is irrelevance, loss of followers, and being ignored.

In the public square, however, we want to reduce the need for body guards, and the number of angry, unstable, armed individuals. This is best accomplished by the rule of law. Despite the frequent failures of the legal system -- from police violence to stratified justice in the courts -- the actual rule of law offers the potential for a more just society.


If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez truly needs professional security measures due to her prominence as a member of the United States Congress and vilification by extremists, that service should be provided by our government as a function of protecting the institutions of our representative democracy under the rule of law. Among the lessons to be learned from the events of 6 January 2021 is the need for improved security against domestic terrorists.

In this scenario Democrats stand firm with our Constitution and the rule of law, while stochastic terrorists like Marjorie Taylor Greene -- who are becoming the face of today's Republican Party along with the twice impeached and soon to be indicted would-be emperor -- stand nakedly exposed outside it.

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #7)

Thu May 27, 2021, 04:39 PM

11. Their hatred of AOC

is an accurate measure of their pathology. It is the synergy of their hate for women, non-whites, and especially non-white women who are much more intelligent than them. The irony is that AOC is a strong advocate for a better life than them. As Beatle George sang in "Within You, Without You," "if they only knew." But hatred blinds people, and handcuffs logical thought.

Not adding fuel to the fire is an essential strategy. It in no way restricts our ability to bring about the creative tension that Dr. King spoke of. Rather, it means that we pick when and where we make that "good trouble." And if AOC were to get the restraining order, I am confident that MTG would violate it. Doing so might get her more donations from those with moral rabies. That's fine -- let her accumulate donations that would otherwise go to other republicans.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 04:04 PM

9. KnR

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Response to Hekate (Reply #9)

Thu May 27, 2021, 04:39 PM

12. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 04:41 PM

13. Both, please.

Proactive protection, and consequences for any attempted violations.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #13)

Thu May 27, 2021, 06:12 PM

14. That may end up

being the best answer. It annoys me how many threats AOC gets. And what bothers me more is knowing there are those who remain silent, but have evil intent. Sore fucking lunatic losers.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 08:09 PM

15. Democrats, including AOC are moving way too slow

when it comes to dealing with the worst of the criminally insane wing of the GOP. Why not do both? Get a bodyguard and a restraining order?

She should have done one or both the very first time MTG bullied her.

Not taking action is normalizing what MTG does.

I want to loan AOC some of my spine for a couple days. I would've had her locked up ages ago.

I think of AOC as a very intelligent strong woman. But she's young and maybe she never had to deal with a bully before. I have. Nobody as ever bullied me more than once.

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Response to Saoirse9 (Reply #15)

Thu May 27, 2021, 09:37 PM

16. Interesting.

I surely so love AOC's responding to MTG's madness by noting that she used to throw people like her out of the bar. And I agree with you that it is high time to deal with MTG's shit.

Recently, while watching a news report on MTG, I said that it is a sad day in America when males would find her attractive. My sons reminded me of Sarah Paline, carrier of the virus that has mutated and infected most of the republican party.

Since you brought up the Beatles' "White Album" back in 2009, let me say that the lyrics of George's classic "Piggies" come to mind: ".... what they need is a damn good whacking." But a legal whacking, in my opinion, is the best of options. If she gets arrested for violating a restraining order, we can count on MTG to fight it, claiming Amendment 1 and Congressional policies. We need the entertainment for Stephen Colbert and others to provide us.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 10:48 PM

17. r&k A restraining order against greene should have been taken when

she and her staff first attacked our members. Instead, one of our Democratic members moved her office. That move gave greene more power. I see there is not the usual outpouring of recs and kicks for your OP, that's because it's in support of OAC. Very sad to see every post supporting her gets this same response, or worse. Thanks for sharing.

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Response to MerryBlooms (Reply #17)

Thu May 27, 2021, 11:08 PM

18. I agree 100%.

I know that a segment of the community here doesn't like AOC. Some others like her part of the time. And still others really like and appreciate her.

One of my sons falls into that second group -- though not on DU. The other three kids like and appreciate her. Two are a little older than AOC, and two a little younger. And so that is one of the things I really like: young adults such as AOC fighting the Good Fight. Though AOC is a tad more conservative than me, I have great respect for her.

(Plenty of my OPs sink without any response, and I hope the lack of attention this has had is a direct result of my obnoxious and boring nature, rather than AOC!)

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