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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 65,047

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Lucky Socks

“In a mad world, only the mad are sane.”
― Akira Kurosawa


I would like it if The Beatles got back together to do free "Biden-Harris" concerts across the county in the next two weeks. However, that is not possible. To think it might happen, and lead to a crushing defeat for Trump, requires magical thinking. As Q-Tip, the nonexistent, double-super-secret member of the Trump inner-circle coordinating efforts with states deep and shallow says, leave delusional thinking to the Trump cult.

We can look back at some of the lessons of our youth. I like the thought of Senator Robert F. Kennedy having John Lennon visit his home, and meet his family. I enjoyed hearing stories about it, back when RFK seemed old to me. He was listening to the voice of the younger generation. One of the people inspired by both JFK and RFK was Joe Biden.

In his "Ripple of Hope" speech in South Africs, Senator Kennedy spoke of the ultimate strength of a people united in removing an unfit "leader." That's Political Science 101 .....and we know that science is a method. Our method of removing the malignant growth unpopularly known as "Donald Trump" is by getting out in voting. And voting in large numbers in 2020 requires not only that you and I vote, but that we invest time, energy, and pleasure into getting the vote out.

In opposition to our efforts to assist our society in regaining its sanity, we have the Trump cult. It is led by an ass-clown who is currently self-destructing. His campaign has the contributions of a few who are afraid to tell him he is doing horribly, and more that view him in a religious sense. And those true believes -- the ones who reject things like science and facts -- are a superstitious lot. Their belief system is not entirely different that the kid in Little League who believes their "lucky socks" improves their bating average ..... though that kid's beliefs do not threaten anyone.

The Trump cult is superstitious enough to believe that Donald's second coming will be delivered by news "reports" on his opponent's e-mails. These people believe, with all of their might, that JFK Jr. is alive, working with Trump to destoy all evil-doers. This, I dare say, is delusional thinking in a group context. It is not significantly distinct from believing that Charlie was fixing a hole in the desert.

Is their belief system markedly different from that of the Manson family? Most would agree that some of their beliefs were influenced by the White Album. I'd point out the idiots in Michigan named their gang after the group in the 1984 flick "Red Dawn," and their planned trial of the governor was based upon the 2012 movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." While I'm unfamiliar with "Red Dawn," I feel safe in saying this militia gang got the wrong message from "The Dark Knight Rises."

We are all aware that people of this mentality are prone to pick up on what are frequently called Trump's "dog whistles." These are the types that would wear Trump brand "lucky socks" to help re-elect him, but refuse to wear a mask to help protect their community's health. Is it coincidence that this type is as attracted to Trump's every lie, as that fly was to the shit coming out of Mike Pence's head?

Yet there are more of us than them. As long as we engage in the method of getting out the vote, we'll win the election. Not easily, but handily. We know they are trying to cheat. We know Trump will say it was stolen from him. But that's okay -- not that they behave this way, but because we will beat them. We'll win on the 12th, be it a day or Amendment.

Do not get distracted. They aren't that clever. There's no time to waste engaging with zombie cult members. Can't talk to them about facts, much less the truth. Can't shame them. We need to keep our eyes on the prize for the next two weeks. I say that, recognizing that local people I know have had nails thrown in their driveways, mail boxes smashed, and/ or the lug nuts loosened on their automobiles. Be safe, be focused.

We've got this.
H2O Man

Boxing (10-17-2020)

Oct. 17: Las Vegas, Nevada -- Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez Jr., 12 rounds, for Lomachenko's WBO and WBA lightweight titles and Lopez's IBF lightweight title.


Most of the boxing community considers this to be 2020's "Fight of the Year," and, at least on paper, it will be exactly that. In a year where the Great Sport has been restricted by the virus, it is important that such a high-quality bout be broadcast on ESP/ ESPN+.

My children have gotten me into watching MMA on ESPN/ESPN+ frequently this year. There are intense athletes in the sport, and I have nothing but respect for them. Tough, tough men and women in an exciting sport that has solid cards being promoted weekly. Admittedly, I am no "expert" when it comes to this sport, but it both a blast to watch, and has helped those of us experiencing withdrawal from the lack of boxing.

Loma, 32 years old, stands 5'7", and has a 65.5 inch reach; Lopez is 23 years old, stands 5'8", and has a 68.5 inch reach. Loma is a southpaw, and Lopez orthodox. Loma won his first world title in his third professional fight; Lopez started collecting minor titles in his 11th fight, and won the IBF world title in his 15th bout as a pro.

Loma's record is 14 - 1, with 10 KO victories; Lopez is 15-0, with 12 KO victories. Loma's lone loss was in his second fight, against Orlando Salido, by split-decision. The bout was for a minor title, which Salido did not win due to coming in significantly overweight.

Lopez is the naturally bigger man, and will no doubt move up from the lightweight division as he matures. Loma started at featherweight, and eventually moved up to lightweight.

Many in the boxing community consider Loma the best pound-for-pound fighter today. He is unique in being an aggressive counter-puncher, similar to the great Manny Pacquiao in his younger days. Like Pac-Man, Loma has great footwork, allowing him to attack -- and retreat -- at angles. While not blessed with Manny's natural punching power, Loma's ability to connect with punches his opponent does not see coming, and his effective body-punching, generally result in knockout victories.

Lopez is an aggressive fighter, with serious hand speed that allows him to deliver very hard punches. There is no question that he can hurt anyone he hits, and that he has one-punch knockout power.

In what looks to be a close match-up on paper, I tend to consider "punch stats." Both men have landed a bit over 35% of the punches they throw per round, though Loma throws more -- an average of 60+ per round, to Lopez's 47+ per round. Of course, this doesn't factor in the reduction of time per round if there is either a knockdown or knockout. But it does suggest that it will be an exciting fight.

Loma throws more jabs per round, and slightly more power shots and body punches. They have about equal percentages landed in power shots, but Loma has a significantly higher average of landing his jab. It's worth noting that the jab is generally recognized as being important to land in order to deliver all other punches.

Some critics have noted that Lopez struggled two fights ago, though he pulled out the victory. I tend to agree with Teddy Atlas, who recently said that experience will make Lopez better. I keep in mind that Ali struggled with Doug Jones, then was decked by Henry Cooper, in his two fights before upsetting Sonny Liston.

Likewise, some point out that Loma appears to have lost a half-step in his last two bouts. He had a long, very successful amateur career before turning pro, and so he has far more laps around the track than his pro record indicates.

This should be an outstqanding fight. It could end quickly -- really at any time -- or it could go the full twelve rounds. I'm hoping for a clear, clean outcome, without any cuts from butts, fouls, or questionable scoring. Enjoy the fight!

Bad Apple Trees

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” -- Isaac Asimov


It's not like we didn't know. Hell, I'm old enough to remember the bombing of the Birmingham church in 1963, that killed Addie Mae Collins, Cynthis Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carol Denise McNair, and wounded more than twenty other people. Martin Luther King, Jr., called it "one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity." And I remember that there were no criminal charges pressed against those who bombed the church until one of the four thugs was finally convicted in 1977, despite the FBI's knowing their identies from 1965 on.

The gaggle of turds that were planning to "overthrow" the government of the state of Michigan are of the same basic make-up as the klansmen who bombed that church, or one of the many other bombings from that era. The sheriff that shared a stage with one of the terrorists now claims the group were merely doing what many others wanted to do -- arrest the governor. In the past, that claim would have been a successful defense strategy for the defendants' legal defense. But not today.

An associate told me that the pictures of the terrorists made them look like in-bred clowns, not equal to the accomplishments of their grandiose intentions. While I agree on the first part -- for they indeed look like a branch that split off from human evolution a million years ago, resulting in what is known as the Louie Gohmert missing but unmissed link -- they are extremely dangerous. The information that they were accessing explosives confirms that which I spoke of in my August 28 essay here, "The Troubles."

It's bad enough when white trash has access to guns. It's far worse when they gain explosives. And it is at the worst point when they have associates, such as a sheriff, on their team. Again, we have witnessed the synergy of these things in the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights Movement era, and in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Hateful, dull-witted people can do an extreme amount of damage. They can cause suffering and death within a community.

As I understand it, there is a possibility of more arrests being made on this case alone. Yet this case is in no sense "alone," as it is part of a much larger problem. The fact that this was taking place in a state with a Democratic governor -- and a woman, at that -- gives hint to what we can rationally expect when Joe Biden and Kamal Harris kick Trump and Pence's pale white asses out of Washington, DC.

This weekend, while on facebook, I've noted that a growing number of the rednecks I went to school with are recognizing that Joe Biden is going to win the election. They are unhappy with this reality. As that recognition sinks down into the lower depths of the Trump cult, it will go beyond despair. They will seek to strike out at the civil society.

I am reminded of Malcolm X's historic speech, "The Ballot or the Bullet," from April, 1963. In this instance, we will win by way of the ballot, and the brain-dead thugs will likely respond with the bullet. Yet Malcolm also taught that in the jungle, there are not only hunters, but those who hunt the hunters. In the past week, we saw that Michigan's state police and the FBI hunting the hunters. This is a good thing.

At the same time, with this dip-shit sheriff, we do recognize that "bad policing" isn't simply a case of a few bad apples. Since you can tell a tree by its fruit, it is clear that we must remove the poison trees from the orchard of society. And that specfically means the friends, associates of, and members the terrorist white nationalist groups that have become employed in law enforcement. Just as this is something that could never happen under a Trump administration, with its white nationalist members (including Trump), it can and must start happening in 2021.

Be awake, Be alert. Stay safe. And vote.
H2O Man

A Fly in his Anointment



I bet Trump will consider the fly on Pence's head a sign of weakness.

"A Twist of Lennon"

"I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think that’s what I sussed when I was sixteen and twelve, way down the line, but I expressed it differently all through my life. It’s the same thing I’m expressing all the time. But now I can put it into that sentence that I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government etc and the Russian, Chinese, what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they are doing. I think they’re all insane. But I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it."
- John Lennon, June 8 , 1968


In the above quote, John Lennon expressed the essence of a book that had been published thirteen years earlier, Erich Fromm's "The Sane Society." There can be a loneliness in being "sane" in an "insane" system, be it a family, a workplace, a community, or a country. Fromm defines the "insanity" of a system by its levels of things beyond "mental illness," including various types of violence (including all types of domestic violence, community violence, and state-sponsored violence), substance abuse and addiction, poverty, racism, sexism, serious illness and/or death, etc.

In the field of social work, it is recognized that if one family member suffers from one of these issues, that family experiences dysfunction as a system. This includes if a parent -- let's say a single parent of either sex -- loses their job, the family will experience serious pressures. This does not mean those features resulting from the pressures will always be there .....if that parent, for example, gets another job within a relatively short time, the family system will regain its balance.

In the case of a family that has one sick parental unit -- let's say a violent, unpredictable, unhinged father, just for the heck of it -- there are few options for healing so long as Old Dad remains a toxin within the household. Healing within the family requires either the old man making major changes in behaviors (possible, but not common), being removed from the home -- including being incarcerated, or, as some of the other family members may hope, dies.

Malcolm X focused his ministry on bringing healing to the victims of a sick social system, one that contained all of the factors that Fromm identified. One of his teaching methods involved symbolically placing a sparkling, clean glass of water next to a glass of filthy sludge, and trusting that a thirsty people will make the correct choice on what they want to drink.

Tonight, in the vice presidential debate, we will see our sparkling, clean glass of water named Kamala Harris, next to the filthy sludge known as Mike Pence. We know that the sickest among us will favor drinking from Pence's toxic glass. The white nationalists, the superstitious religious right, and their ilk. But the majority of Americans, desperate for healing, will see that Senator Harris is the best choice.

Enjoy the debate! I hope to participate in some fun conversations here tonight!
H2O Man

P.S.: I borrowed the title of Cynthis Lennon's 1978 book for this essay. Thank you, Cynthia!

Question #9

This was America.

This is America on Trump:



Any questions?

Chickadee Wings




I walk out into my garden, shaking off the mental dust from last week's wild ride. The New York Times report on Trump's taxes. The Melania tapes, marking the real war on Christmas. The debate. The spread of the virus within the White House and Trump campaign. Surely 2020 is the strangest year of my long life.

As I approach the garden, with three kittens tumbling about my feet, chasing my untied shoelaces, I see numerous small birds flying back and forth from the sunflowers. They are intent upon harvesting the seeds from the flowers that are in post-bloom positions. My goal is to collect some more seeds from other plants for next year's garden. I'll get some from the variety of sunflowers at a later date.

Most of the little birds are uncomfortable at first with my being near them. The only ones that pay me no attention are the chickadees, one of my favorite creatures. I pause and remember my daughter's fascination with chickadees from the time she was wee-little. Spending a afternoon with her and a 90+ year old neighbor, talking on his patio about the ways of the chickadee. Teaching her to sit quietly next to our pond, with sunflower seeds on her shoulders, to get a close-up experience with these wonderful birds.

It's a slow season here in rural upstate New York. Things are only at a high speed when I am inside my house, watching the news on television, or hanging out on the internet. I resist the temptation to check to see the latest news when I bring next year's seeds inside, and instead ask the puppy if she wants to feed the fish with me. It's a fun part of our daily routine.

On our walk to the pond, she is busy sniffing where the deer and wild turkey venture onto the edge of our lawn to dine under one of the apple trees. Five neighborhood crows announce that we are on our way, as they gather to wait for the cats to finish eating their meal. Out of seemingly nowhere, a kitten attacks the puppy's wagging tail.

By the time we reach the pond, all three kittens are with us, chasing the leaves falling from the trees. The puppy howls as hound dogs do, when she sees the fish gather to enjoy their daily meal. Eventually, she wades into the pond to attack a cattail that she attempts to uproot -- without success -- each day.

Soon, I'm back in the house. Today, I will talk with my daughter about the politics of the city she now lives in. She recently started working in a position in the city's government, and I love hearing her updates. I'll also be talking to two of her friends from back when she was a student in the local school district. These young ladies are leaders in the region's Black Lives Matter movement, and we enjoy discussing the progress they are making.

We will also discuss, of course, the upcoming presidential election. It's sort of like being outdoors and indoors here are the same time: on one hand, things are moving slowly, while on the other, everything is moving rapidly. As long as we keep working at a steady pace, 2021's garden will be beautiful.

Peace,
H2O Man

Two Levels of Stupid (A True Story)

There are different levels of stupid. I know that you know this. But I have been exposed to two of these today. While I do not need to vent, I shall. So here goes.

Today on the television coverage of Trump having the virus, there have been film clips of his family and friends at the debate, without masks. The Trump campaign had agreed that his supporters would wear masks, yet they refused to even after being asked. Words including pompous, arrogant, and imperious come to mind. In behaving in such a stupid manner, they put everyone else around them at risk.

Now, for the second type, a casual friend from high school posed a question on facebook: Did someone poison Trump? I responded that, at very best, there was zero chance that happened. Probably a lot less than zero, actually. I noted that the virus was spread because he and those around him have not followed the recommendations that medical experts strongly recommend.

One lady told me that I was wrong -- her evidence was that her family follows the medical experts' advice, and have remained healthy. Another fellow told me that I was weong, because Trump usually wears a mask. The words pathetic, ignorant, and wrong come to mind.

The first example is of people who are convinced that they are superior not only to other human beings, but incapable of catching a virus that kills the peasant class. The second type is people who are incapable of rational thought when considering a subject that they feel emotional about. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand emotions -- I've actually experienced one years ago. But this is a time when rational thinking is required.

Thank you for reading my rant.
H2O Man

A Song for Today

Hoard of the Flies

One of the best teaching methods throughout human history has been the fable, also known as the parable. In these, great teachers from Aesop to Jesus to Malcolm X delivered messages about human nature by way of stories featuring the natural world. After watching last night's presidential debate, I tried to think of something to compare Trump to, but was at a loss. For there is no similar predator to be found outside of the human race.

In past debates, including in the 2016 republican primaries and general election, Trump was obnoxious. He butted in, lied, and insulted opponents frequently. Yet, in last night's debate, he brought it to a compulsie -- and repulsive -- new level, not allowing Joe Biden to answer a single question without rude interruption. This was evidence of the synergy of Trump's frustration with how his re-election campaign is going, his concern for his future, and his fear of Joe Biden.

No one outside the packs of scavengers know as the Proud Boys, the Ku Klux Klan, and Nazis could take pride in Trump's performance. This was their dream of what America should become. They are like flies on fresh shit.

Checking social and anti-social media this morning, I noted that even a number of Trump apologists are unhappy with Trump's display of weakness. Safe to say that he did not win any new supporters last night. One of the funniest things I saw this morning was a response to a facebook post by a friend who said Trump ruined the debate by saying, "Why do you always have to be so negative?" Even Trump supporters can't call his performance positive.

While watching the debate, I found myself thinking of my first interview with Dr. Bandy Lee, regarding how a sociopath named Trump reacts to pressure. I thought that Joe Biden did a great job. There were several barbs he could have used to get further under Trump's skin, but there is no need to shoot all twelve of one's bullets when six accomplishes the job. I took four phone calls from friends, aghast at Trump's extended melt-down.

This morning, I find myself wondering what the rest of the world thinks about this.

Keep on fighting the Good Fight!
H2O
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