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H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
January 18, 2024

The Tragedy of Errors

"Conquered, we conquer." -- Plautus


I am only mildly aware of the Roman playwright quoted above, because it is said that two of his plays inspired Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors." And I only thought of that as a result of watching the news, with its reports of infidelity, madness, and theft. I''d even add the demonic possession from Shakespeare's shortest play, though not in a "religious" sense. For there is no evil outside of human beings.

There are, as in that play, sets of twins, with masters and servants. If, for sake of this discussion, we can agree that the defendant is the devil -- the doer of evil -- we can get to the maga cult. It is easy to identify the most rabid among them: some in Congress, some in state offices, militias, Sov-Cits, Moors, and unhinged loners that neighbors will say was "a very quiet man who kept to himself."

We know to avoid these people in public. For we understand that in clusters, they are prone to January 6-type behaviors. A smaller cluster had plans to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, to "put her on trial." And even as individuals, they are prone to being aggressively obnoxious in public places, including grocery stores and parking lots.

There is another sub-species of republicans that we must recognize. You may encounter them at extended family gatherings, in the work place, or in your neighborhood. Because they don't wear maga hats or have 20+ maga yard signs on their lawn, they can often fly under the radar. Older forum members will remember Senator Eugene McCarhy's description of the republicans in the 1960s:

"They're somewhat like the lowest forms of plant and animal life. Even at their highest point of vitality there is not much life in them; on the other hand, they don't die."

Perhaps mold comes to mind. Unfortunately, these republicans did not follow the defendant's suggestion to inject bleach in the early phase of the covid epidemic. So there remains an issue of mold between now and November's election. How potentially dangerous is that mold? The answer is found in the exact ratio of how much the do at the grass roots level, compared to how much you do.

My cousin called me yesterday, after he had an encounter with mold. (Note: my cousin is a very clean old man, much like Paul McCartney's grandfather.) On an internet archaeological web site, he was conversing with a fellow he's know on the site for years. Out of no where, the guy said he supports the defendant. My cousin asked why, as a retired union worker, he would vote for the defendant? The guy said because his disabled daughter is losing her house.

My cousin said the guy has always seemed a decent man, and intelligent. That despite his best efforts, he was unable to get the fellow to tell him how he connects his daughter's loss of her house with President Biden? Or what he thought the defendant would do about it?

My cousin said he talked with the guy for almost an hour, and found it exhausting. He said that he figured it must be like some of my experiences working at the mental health clinic. That he had been careful not to insult the gentleman, and wondered if I might chat with the guy? Thus, although I am from a different state, I recommended potential legal services for his daughter. And added that President Biden advocates for programs that assist the poor and disabled.

It's a tragedy, really, that a seemingly intelligent human being would support the defendant. It was a small investment in energy on my part, in an attempt to assist this guy transition from being ruled by fear and anger to rational thought. It remains likely he will not connect, so I do not spend much time on his one vote.

It is a wiser investment for me to communicate with undecided voters, those who are independents. One voter at a time. I know that they are thirsty for positive change in our society. So I refer back to a lesson from Malcolm X and explain we have a choice between a clean glass of water, and a glass of filthy sludge. I remind those of my generation that McCarthy didn't get the nomination in 1968, in the year Nixon was elected.

A surprising number of young people, my children's peers, like Robert Kennedy, Jr. Some know that my family has been friends with Robert for 35+ years, others a bit surprised to hear that. I tell them that Robert and I are friends, but that I do not support his running for president. I'm not opposed, in theory, to primary challenges, but I would not have supported Robert if he had stuck to that. And I explain why.

But there is an important step between this, with both old hippies and young activists: I listen to them. Respectfully. I don't ever say, "No, you are wrong." I keep that door open. Then I bring out those two glasses of water.

January 12, 2024

Dead Rats

"Dead cats, dead rats
Can't you see what they were at, all right
Dead cat in a top hat, wow
Sucking on a young man's blood
Wishing he could come, yeah
Sucking on the soldier's brain
Wishing it would be the same
Dead cat, dead rat
Did you see what they were at?
Fat cat in a top hat
Thinks he's an aristocrat
Thinks he can kill and slaughter
Thinks he can shoot my daughter
Yeah right! Oh yeah!
Oh right! Yeah!
Dead cats, dead rats
Think you're an aristocrat
Crap, that's crap!"
-- Jim Morrison


Many years ago, my father told my oldest brother and I that he had seen a rat in the basement. The three of us went downstairs to try to remove it. When we had it trapped in a corner, the rat attacked my father, who said, "Ki-yi-yi!" and kicked it into the air. My brother hit it mid-air with a shovel, as in our family, you had to both box and play baseball. For Dad's father played against the NY Yankees, and Grandpa's brother was a professional boxer.

My brother's favorite group was The Doors. He died three years ago today, after a long and brutal struggle with the brain injuries he sustained in a long career of amateur and professional boxing. For much of his life, he had not been a registered voter. That was until 2016, when he registered to vote for Ms. Clinton, and against the rat that he recognized as a threat to our country. Up until his dying day, he despised that rat. Even with head injuries, he had a great sense of humor, and made sick jokes about the defendant that would make most people feel a tinge of guilt for laughing at.

But I'm not here to talk about my brother. I want to focus on the nature of a trapped rat. So I'd appreciate it if you don't ask me about my training him for his last fight, where he upset an undefeated fellow who ended up a contender in two divisions. This is DU:GD, after all, not the sports forum. Instead, let's talk about this:
https://apnews.com/article/trump-fraud-lawsuit-new-york-closing-arguments-b36abe2fd695d0172e71f8ef9c5ee7f3

Earlier in the week, I found it strange that the defendant's legal representatives would ask the judge if the defendant could deliver a closing argument. Only a guilty-as-sin rat would ask to speak without the risk of cross-examination before being sentenced. The rat thinks he's an aristocrat, and it seemed unlikely the judge would allow that crap.

Surprise, surprise. The judge's instructions yesterday involved a restriction on testifying or campaigning. I note that he did not mention emotional meltdowns. Thus, the defendant delivered a five-minute inner dialogue that provided a window into the stress and rage the rat experienced when trapped. This was something that no lawyer would ever want their client to do.

Now, as Dr. Bandy Lee recently pointed out, the defend-rat's brain functions much the same today as it did in 2015. The two differences are the result of the aging process and great stress. Thus, when he talks about things such as the airports of the Civil War, it is not dementia. It's ignorance, the same as in 2016. When he has a melt-down in court, that's stress brewing in an aging brain.

Think of the rat's brain as a vat of toxic liquid. It has percolated for decades. The loss in 2020 turned up the heat, and the liquid began to boil. The criminal and civic cases he faces have turned the heat up further, and his only "defense" is to spew the essence of his concentrated toxins.

Now think of his audience of loyal followers. It includes the cowardly republican rats in DC, and the collection of brain dead, including the "religious wrong," those who mistake their gun for their penis, and sov-cit militias. As both the rat's trials and the November approach, and the rat spews his poison, expect them to act out. So be awake and aware when in public.

And enjoy watching Jack Smith swing the shovel.

January 9, 2024

Metaversity

“But there was no question in Jung’s mind that psychology had replaced theology. Indeed, he believed that twentieth-century man had devised a psychology precisely because theology no longer provided any explanation of the world or any comfort for the soul. Jung”
― Vine Deloria Jr., C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions


I pretended to start to shovel the snow from my driveway. Within a minute, my sons came out and said, "Get inside you old fool!" Thus, sitting inside and watching them the wondows, my mind reverted back to some thoughts I had last night, while reading DU.

It was one OP/thread in particular, where there was a clear difference of opinion between members of two sides. Because I like and respect a number of people from both sides, it made interesting reading. I thought there were a number of valid points raised by each. My issue was the hostility some had with others' opinions, for that prevents a good conversation from progressing to higher ground.

At the same time, I recognized that maybe I owned the problem. I tend to prefer serious and respectful conversations, where the good people here do not insult others or their opinions. This is not to say that I have not at times obnoxious and snarky, as well as wrong numerous times during the now 20+ years I have participated here.

This reminded me of Deloria's last of 22 books, quoted above. As with Jung, I have respect for Deloria's insights on the human condition. How different people interpret the world around them in very different ways, with most thinking their perceptions are right. And that there is a right and wrong in virtually everything.

Reading the thread, I was wondering why no one mentioned the amygdala? Would that not have resulted in someone mentioning psychologist Daniel Goleman's book, "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.," (1995) The amygdala is the part of the brain that causes the fight, flight, or freeze response in human beings. It goes way back, and in the natural world helped make sure our species survived.

Now, in what the prophet Bob Marley called the "concrete jungle," one can debate if that response system serves as functional a purpose as it did when we were on the savanna. Now add first television, and then the internet. The sub-species of humanity know as teenagers, for example, do not have full development of the part of the brain found in their foreheads, which has the potential to keep the species going.

More, we all grow up in different circumstances. We develop different talents. Young people today invest a great deal of time on the internet andor playing various games due to technologies that were not around when I was growing up. Some young people appear to be addicted to their electronic devices. So again, we are looking at brain chemistry.

If, for sake of discussion, we take the example of a girl less than 16 (as in the OP/thread noted), who is on the "metaverse." I had to ask my boys what that is. Now, there are significant differences between, say, a girl at 12 and 15. But let's say she is inhabiting the metaverse, and to avoid meanigless arguing, let's say in her mind's eye, she is attacked by a bear.

The attack is unexpected. Thus, the girl's amygdala will release the same chemicals as if it were a real bear. She will experience the fight, flight, or freeze response. There is no bear, making it distinct from those events where a real bear attacks someone. But the girld's brain will produce the same chemical reaction as it initially would if the bear was real. And it will not process it the same afterwards as an adult's brain would.

Even within the adult population, brains respond differently to "danger." Those with previous successful experience with threatening situations tend to process them by way of the prefrontal cortex. For example, I was outstanding when it came to crises in the mental health clinic and in community crisis response. I was on the phone talking with an attorney one afternoon, when a co-worker told me someone with a knife was in the building, saying he was going to kill the director of community services. Bring a knife, and I'll hold you down for the five minutes it takes law enforcement to get there. (I remember calling the lawyer back, and his asking, "You did what?&quot

I only had one fellow call the clinic to tell me he planned to shoot me when I walked to my vehicle that evening. Gracious! He kept saying, "I'm crazy!" This resulted in my bringing forth my inner- Liam Neeson and explaining that not only was I crazy, too, but that I had a very particular set of skills. (Note: I'm alive, and he is in state prison for trying to carbomb his wife and children.)

Having a gun -- especially pointed at me -- and "flee" kicked in. I wasn't that stupid. This may come as a surprise to many in the DU community. There are still marks on a wall in the county office building from when two freaks with a shotgun were holding workers hostage. Let law enforcement deal with that.

As I've noted, adult brains operate differently, depending upon a wide variety of things. So there are differences of opinion within something as large as the Democratic Party. We are not a flock of sheep like the republican party. We see how easily moral rabies has spread among the mono-party.

It's said that our diversity is our strength. But that isn't so, when we do not recognize and respect that others in the party gold very different views. We need to be aware that when the danger of darkness is the greatest -- and watching an hour of the news suggests we are there now -- individuals seek out their own kind. We need to move beyond the amygdala, and use our frontal cortex so that we do not become divided.

I'm tempted to go into a discuss of group rights, that Vine Deloria spoke of in his second-to-the-last book, "We Talk, You Listen." As he notes, group rights are mentioned in the Constitution, though it requires a very close reading of the great document. But this essay, in response to a message an old friend sent this morning, is too long already. If anyone has read this far, it is equal to climbing to the top of Mt. Everest.

December 24, 2023

Holiday Blues




I'd like to wish a happy holiday season to all who enjoy this time of year. For others, it can be a lonely, depressing time. I tend to be half-way in between, and always look forward to it being over. Since there is zero chance that I will be unwrapping Sarah McLachlan under my Christmas tree -- I don't have one -- I will concentrate on other things.

I am glad that on Christmas day, there will be a live podcast, "Surviving the Survivor," will be on. Nothing says "holiday cheer" quite like a true crime show. It's hosted by Joel Waldman, an Emmy Award winning journalist, and his mother mother Karmela, a Holocaust survivor. I enjoy the show, which features outstanding guests, on youtube.
https://survivingthesurvivor.com/

The show will focus on the criminal cases resulting from the 2014 murder of law professor Dan Markel. Last week, a journalist on the show said the first half of the time since was "CSI Tallahassee, the second half a Shakespearean tragedy. It appears there was political pressure preventing police and prosecutors from charging members of the Adelson family, perhaps connected to the father's close friendship with a powerful judge.

The parents are vocal supporters of the ex-president who lives in their state. Daughte Wendi is currently uncharged, but is represented by the top attorney currently representing the ex-president known as "the defendant." Their recently convicted son had hired the defendant's jury consultant for his trial. Yet it took the jury a mere 3.5 hours to convict Charlie.

During Charlie's trial, tapes were played that the jury knew implicated him. Most trial watchers think they implicate his mother Donna, as well. Yet in the first week of Charlie's post-conviction incarceration, he and Donna spoke on the telephone for about 35 hours. And, as everyone knows, jail calls are recorded.

Among other things, Donna tells her son that she and her husband were considering taking their own lives. They discussed going to Vietnam, because it doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US. She also mentions China or Korea as potential options. But the FBI nailed her as she was almost able to board a jet. She was placed in the same jail her son was in, though he is now at a reception center for state prison.

A week ago, I posted an essay on my late friend Rubin's experience in prison. It is hard for even a strong man. There is a powerful scene in the movie "The Hurricane" that shows him having a breakdown when he is first incarcerated and in solitary. The phone tapes show Charles Adelson beginning a process. Although none of the poscasts will identify this, it is best understood in the context of Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief. Hence, for those seven days of phone calls, Charlie repeats, "I don't believe it," in some variation over 100 times each day. For the life he once knew is dead.

Jails and prisons are unpleasant places. Charlie tells of feces, urine, and blood on the floor, walls, and ceiling of his cell after being convicted. His mother's lawyer included Donna taking great offense to a member of the jail staff saying that although she was used to the privileges of being an older, rich, white woman, those do not translate to inside the jail. Even though I do not approve of hiring hit men to kill your daughter or sister's ex-husband, and find both Charlie and Donna obnoxious, I can feel bad for even guilty people facing life sentences.

I hope none of my ex-in-laws, especially those who fancy themselves out laws, read this. But doing steroids and cocaine will impare your thinking. Dealing in them -- Charlie is taped selling steroids to a guy in his gym -- doesn't make you a tough guy. Riding the baloney pony with a gal who also sleeps with a thug does not qualify you as a thug. Think Judith Exner. Trying to hire a hit man to kill someone is a bad idea that is curiously in the news more frequently in recent years.

There are only five types of people you will encounter. The first type says no. The second type will go to the police, and you'll hire an undercover cop. The third type reportedly got $50,000 from Charlie and disappeared. The next type is the type that gets caught and leads to you arrest. The real ones that get away will kill the person who hired them after collecting payment for killing the other person. They just aren't nice people.

So, if you aren't hanging out with family and/or friends tomorrow, there is the option of watching and discussing "true crime." And realizing that you are lucky that you weren't born an Adelson.
December 16, 2023

Rumors

"In prison, a rumor twice repeated becomes accepted fact."
-- Rubin "Hurricane" Carter; 1973 letter to H2O Man


I was going through some older files today, and happened upon some things from the early years of my friendship with Rubin. At the time, he was in Rahway state prison in New Jersey. Rubin had been transfered from the harsher prison in Trenton earlier, and we were able to communicate quite freely at first.

There were, of course, very different currents in the larger society. There was the Nixon administration's efforts to get "tough on crime" -- at least some types of criminal activities. Nixon announced his "war on drugs" in the summer of 1971, and it led to a rapid increase in the numbers of people being incarcerated. In 1994, a former top Nixon administration official spoke about this:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and Black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” -- John Ehrlichman
https://eji.org/news/nixon-war-on-drugs-designed-to-criminalize-black-people/

In those years, and to a surprising extent even after J. Edgar Hoover died in May of '72, a number in the FBI were concerned about the influence of black prisoners' influence on the white youth (think Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson), and the possibility of black revolutionaries organizing in the low-income neighborhoods in American cities.

On the other side, there were significant numbers of people across the country concerned about the war in Vietnam, civil rights, women's rights,poverty, the environment, and Native American rights. From these groups, there were many who began to see the connections between these. And interested in penal reforms.

Rubin explained that inside the prison, the increase in the young inmate population brought about over-crowding. There was an influx of veterans who had witnessed the worst in humanity in Vietnam, who opted for drugs other than the sedatives prescribed by the prison doctors. And there was racism sparking at tiny fuses leading to potential large powder kegs.

Those of my generation remember the September 9 - 13, 1971 riot at the prison in Attica. In the weeks before Attica, there was a stand-off between the Onondaga Nation and the NYS DOT. The NYS Police had gathered, fully armed in riot gear. Chief Billy Lazore, who was familiar with the inside of Attica, was leading the Onondaga protest. My cousin was sitting with John & Yoko when Governor Rockeferr's order the police hurry to Attica came through.
https://www.nytimes.com/1971/08/22/archives/indians-protest-upstate-highway-enlarging-of-route-81-held-to-be.html

There is a great book about this, "Blood in the Water," by Heather Ann Thompson. Despite the book's providing important information on how to avoid prison riots, NYS has banned it from jails and prisons. We know that those who ban books always have the public's beast interests at heart, so I won't quote from friend Heather's book, but instead suggest you read it. And I'll quote from Howard Zinn's most famous book on the conditions in the Attica prison leading up to the riot:

"Prisoners spent 14 to 16 hours a day in their cells, their mail was read, their reading material restricted, their visits from families conducted through a mesh screen, their medical care disgraceful, their parole system inequitable, racism everywhere."

Official statistics showed that 54% of the inmates were black, 37% white, and 9% Hispanic. I asked Chief Lazore about this, and he said the Iroquois inmates at Attica had long understood that they were recognized as zero percent of society.

Two months later in Rahway, inmates were allowed to gather to watch a movie. Rubin told me that he avoided movies, though just the names "Superfly" and "Shadt" clued him in on what role the weaker men would attempt to don for the following weeks. Being in the Thanksgiving season, a number of inmates had consumed quanties of home-made wine before gathering in the theater.

One inmate, Clay Thomas -- who had been a good light heavyweight boxer before being incarerated -- began to encourage inmates to riot. (Note: Clay was in a blackout, and had no memory of this the following day.) A couple inmates sought out Rubin, and asked him to come to the theater and try to calm Clay down. Rubin went and tried, but it was too late. So he got guards and other inmates opposed to rioting, and locked themselves in a safe wing.

The riot was put down, and the administration clamped down on prisoners' rights, which did not ease the tensions. However, because Rubin's protecting guards' lives, we were able to communicate more openly than other inmates were allowed to. But by 1974, he would tell me that tensions were rising, primarily among younger inmates based on racial identies. I remember him saying these young inmates did not understand how hard the older inmates had worked to end the poison of racism.

A well known fact is that teenaged boys know the exact answer to everything, especially things they know nothing about. Being an expert in all, I reminded Rubin that he had attempted to stop Clay's riot, and was credited in saving lives. So get started stopping it now, before it happens. A few days later, Rubin wrote to my brother, and told him that my letter had inspired him.

Rubin went from a hermit, to talking to the most dangerous leaders of the most violent gangs, telling them that there was a better way. He was running to be the president of the prison's inmate council. At the time, the council was as weak as any junior high school student council. When Rubin won the election, the administration opted to recognize the loser as president. But within two weeks, they admitted Rubin had won.

After renaming it the Rahway People's Council, Rubin got to work. I have copies of the letters and other documents from that time, when university professors and elected NJ officials ventured to Rahway to discuss prison reform with Rubin. Perhaps my favorite visitor was Muhammad Ali, who announced he would face Rubin in an exhibition match to highlight his case.

Perhaps like the book "Blood in the Water," prison officials determined this was not a good thing. One day, Rubin had inmates turn in weapons to the administration, surely a move too far. They said it was evidence of him planning violence. Late in the night, 25 guards in riot gear came to remove Rubin from his cell, and place him in the Vroom Psychiatric Wing at Trenton.

There is a scene based loosely upon this in the movie "The Hurricane." Older forum members may be reminded of Princeton professor Gresham Sykes' 1958 study of the Trenton prison, "The Society of Captives." In it, he wrote "Centers of opposition in the inmate population -- in the form of men recognized as leaders among the inmate population -- can be neutralized through the use of solitary confinement or exhile to other state institutions. Just as the Deep South served as a dumping ground for particularly troublesome slaves before the Civil War, so too can the mentsl hospital serve as a dumping ground for the maximum security prison."

Rubin served 92 days in Vroom before a federal judge ruled that he was wrongly placed there for attempting to improve conditions by peaceful means at Rahway. However, he was placed in the more restrictive Trenton prison. Several years later, Carter was given an award of $30 per day he was wrongly held in Vroom. That money went to hire one of the state's investigators, who had recognized the case against Rubin and John Artis wasseverely flawed, and that the pair were not the gunmen they were convicted of being.

A couple years after Rubin died, one of the two gunmen made a deathbed confession, identifying himself and a friend as the murderers. I have records that show these two had both failed polygraphs the day of the early morning murders, and one was held in jail for several weeks. Also, that both Rubin and John had passed polygraphs that same day. Yet there are some who still insist that my friend Rubin was a cold-blooded murderer. I say this as a reminder that, as Malcolm X said, a lot of people's minds are in prisons.

December 14, 2023

Mr. Smith

"We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone." -- Jack Smith

I remember when Mr. Smith was appointed to his current position. A number of the DU community members asked "who?" and "why?" The few of us who were already familiar with him attempted to assure others that this was a great choice, exactly the person our country needed in that position.

Smith's filing with the U.S. Supreme Court per the defendent is evidence of that. I do understand why some community members do not trust the majority of the justices. We remember them selecting the loser of the 2000 election to serve as president. We are all aware of the christian zealots on the court, who overturned Roe. No matter how corrupt and disgusting you may think some of them to be, be aware that I think they are far worse than you do.

Malaise and I would often discuss the federal courts during the defendent's presidency. Especially in late 2020, when the defendent was attempting to get various courts to go along with the Big Lie. Our favorite phrase was "the institutions will hold." And they did.

As noted on The Last Word, the defendent's legal team wants to stretch pre-trial events out as long as possible. They definitely hope the case isn't heard until after next November. Yet their filings speak of the pain and suffering the case is causing the defendent, which suggests they want it to end. How can they oppose Mr. Smith's request that the USSC hear this part of the case immediately?

This is historic. There is zero chance the high court will rule in favor of the defendent. The claim, for example, that because he was impeached, it is double jeopardy does not reach the intellectual level of a seventh grade debate. The defendent's plan to delay, delay, delay did not anticipate Jack Smith.

This move by Mr. Smith should be noted in future history books as being among the most important factors in convicting the defendent, and preventing him from "winning" the 2024 presidential election. An example of the institutions holding. Yet there is another institution that will play an essential role here, and that is comprised of the voting public. We have a job to do, that includes but is not limited to voting. We need to put forth our best efforts to win elections for Democratic Party candidates at all levels.

December 7, 2023

The Debate

"People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend."
-- Jim Morrison


To paraphrase Jim Morrison, I watched tonight's republican debate, and death smiled. I didn't have to watch it, of course, but along with friends, I did. There were seven phone calls during the debate -- two by me, five from friends who dared laugh in the face of the death of the republican party.

The mere sight of Ron DeSantis brings memories of when my father saw Richard Nixon on the television screen. He would say that if you watched the expressions on his ugly face, especially when he wasn't talking, you'd see he was a rat lacking the moral capacity to tell the truth. It was in the Nixon era that Robert Armstrong brought Mickey Rat into being.

If any of you younger people do not know of Mickey Rat, I fear our educational system, parents, and grandparents are failing you. Thus, I shall link to Mickey Rat below. If I could ask a favor -- even beg, if need be -- since you are smarter and more capable with modern technology, please produce a Mickey Rat/ Ron DeSantis work of art, and share it.

https://www.toonopedia.com/mickyrat.htm

I don't think that Nikki Haley either won or lost ground tonight. She had one good response, where she declined to respond to another candidate's rant against her, one of a series of his ill behavior. But that was at best the chocolate on the outside of those hollow Easter bunnies we got as kids.

Vivek Ramaswamy was the topic of one of the calls during the debate, and one after it finished, by an old friend who is a good, life-long Democrat. On the first call, early in the debate, he said he was on his third beer. Normally, he stops at two. During the second call, I would speculate he had consumed several more. He said, "You want proof that (the defendent) killed the republican party? How the fuck did that swamp gas get on the stage this year?"

Chris Christie has debating skills from his time as a federal prosecutor. It's not that I like him, or can imagine myself agreeing with him on much beyond the day's weather. But he understands debate. But he found himself on stage with three opponents with little (Haley) to no (DeSantis, Ramaswamy) debating skills. In the pre-defendent days, there would have been no question that he beats the other three. But not today.

December 6, 2023

"True Crime"

"I feel like Dan Markel is haunting me from the grave."
-- Donna Adelson


Peacock is paying the ex-wife of accused serial killer Rex Heuermann during his upcoming trial. He has been charged with some of the murders associated with Gilgo Beach on Long Island. She is reportedly making $1 million for cooperating in the making of a documentary. I think Peacock's investment suggests that there is a growing interest in "true crime."

Yet among the "true crime" community -- including hosts and guests on numerous podcasts -- many question Peacock's deal, because it apparently leaves out the families of the victims. Many of these podcasts provide valuable information to the public that remind me of the "hedge schools" of Ireland. Some of them feature defense attornies, former federal prosecutors, retired state and federal investigators, and/or psychiatrists and psychologists. I've also watched others by a variety of other concerned citizens, including a couple of very good ones by housewives. Most all question the Peacock deal.

If we consider just this Gilgo Beach case, viewers learn about a wide range of the realities of the justice system, and issues in sociology and mental health. The victims were young women engaged in the sex trade. The rise in violence against sex workers -- including serial killers targeting them -- is among the topics that some top forensic professionals address. In my opinion, rates of violence against those who are most vulnerable is an accurate measure of social illness. I recognize that others may see the issue differently, as there are numerous examples of the legal system failing women in the sex industry in the past. However, the internet and cell phones have added to the mix.

A number of sources also carry trials live. Both "Court TV" and "Law & Crime" cover the most high profile trials, in states where cameras are allowed. There seems to be a growing desire that federal courts broadcast criminal trials. I'm confident that everyone here would love for the defendent's two federal cases to be broadcast live. They are both criminal trials, no different than any other cases prosecuting crooks.

Some carry the conveyor belt arraignments of low-income people -- frequently for drug offenses -- in various states. There has also been the drug-related murder trial of attorney Alex Murdaugh in South Carolina, that highlighted the connections between politics and finances. It is good for the general public to see that economics play an important role in the legal system, though even the wealthy class at times are prosecuted and convicted.

There are two Florida cases involving murder for hire when child custody issues go out of control that include multiple trials. Both involve wealthy white people paying non-white criminals to execute the father of the children. Trials from the more recent murder are scheduled to start in the spring of 2024, when Shanna Gardener and her estranged husband Mario Fernandez face charges of having her ex-hudband murdered.

Jared Bridegan had just dropped his and Gardener's two children off, when he stopped to remove a tire blocking the street. He was shot multiple times by Henry Tenon, a career criminal. Bridegan's two year old daughter was left alone in her car seat for approximately a half-hour before someone came upon the scene. Tenon, who rented his nearby home from Fernandez, would soon deposit three checks from Fernandez into his account. He was arrested, of course, made a plea deal, and will testify against Gardener and Fernandez.

The second case involves the 2014 murder of law professoe Dan Markel. This is a case that should interest members of this forum, as Markel was the type of person we want on the federal bench, and eventually on the Supreme Court. He had dropped his young sons off at their school, went to a gym, and returned to his home. Two hit men killed him in his car in his driveway.

The killers, the mother of one of their's children, and her former boy friend -- the brother of Markel's ex-wife -- have been found guilty of the murder in televised cases. The brother, Charlie Adelson, was convicted in November. Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman has tried these cases, and is extrememely impressive to watch.

A week after Charlie was convicted, his mother was taken into custody while she and her husband were attempting a one-way trip to Vietnam, a country lacking an extradition treaty with the US. This attempt to flee may have been related to the evidence Cappleman put forth in Charlie's trial, from opening statement to her closing. That evidence alone ties Donna to the murder plot in a direct way that should result in her conviction.

Perhaps the wild card in the case is Markel's ex-wife, attorney Wendi Adelson. She has testified in previous trials, most recently her brother's. To say that there is extreme tension between Wendi and Georgia is the definition of understatement. I can appreciate the large number of people who think that she will be next to be arrested. The hostility between Markel and Wendi involved child custody, finances, and employment. Some of the Adelson family engaged in an expensive search to find someone to kill Markel, and there are some things that suggest that Wendi may have been aware of this.

On the day of Markel's services, investigators interviewed a lawyer who was friend with both Dan and Wendi. The tape of this interview was only released years later. The woman said that she had hoped the Adelsons were not involved, but their behavior at Dan's services -- especially the father, Harvey's -- convinced her they were. She outlined her thoughts on how it could have happened, with amazing accuracy. Yet justice was delayed for many years -- some have speculated that Harvey's close friendship with a top Florida judge and other powerful individuals is the reason for the delay. Thus, "true crime" teaches that the legal system may be different for the wealthy than it is for everyone else.

December 1, 2023

On Holiday Depression




The holiday season is rough for many of us. For that very reason, I have an obnoxious-repulsive disorder thar demands I write this. After all, my generation is facing extinction soon, and this may be our last Christmas ..... so please give generously. You don't want us to haunt you next year.

Two tragic events took place this week, and we all are suffering. First, after decades of heated debate, scientists have finally proven that there are no signs of life coming from the rotting corpse of Henry Kissinger. Obviously, since they do not believe in science, the republicans will insist it is a lie. But we have known he's been dead for decades, despite the gas released due to his decay.

Okay, let's take a second to gather in a prayer circle to focus our thoughts and prayers for Henry the Dead. Done? Okay. Now let's explore the reasons why I added the clip of Jeremy above. Indeed, this is from around the time the "Paul is dead" rumor struck, and it is closely connected. Stick with me.

The Beatles have kept this a secret, but I think that it's the right time to inform the public. During a break in the filming of the movie "Yellow Submarine," Jeremey found himself alone in a room where Yoko was warming up for a scream session for the unreleased LP "Three Virgins." An embryo was later found and immediately froozen, and remained there unidentified, for decades showing no more signs of life that Henry the Dead.

At this point, I'll take a second, knowing you are sitting back in your chair, saying, "Holy shit! It's all coming together to make perfect sense!" Let us continue, for the Truth willl set you free.

Now, in late 1987, Anthony Fauci had a lucid dream that mad scientists were creating a virus that would turn American republicans into angry sheep by destroying their ethical compasses. He thought this a premonition, thus he took what he thought a froozen sheep embryo from deep freeze, and headed directly to Bowling Green, and transplanted it into the archic and gangrene womb of Kellyanne Conway, an advocate of fertilized eggs who had no understanding of people different than herself's needs.

On July 22, 1988, the egg hatched. Despite Dr. Fauci's sincerest hopes that he could produce a vaccine to protect republicans, it did not work -- not that they trust vaccines or science in general anyways. Instead, the combination of Jeremy, Yoko's screams, and Kelltanne;s gangrene resulted in the toxic biproduct known to science as George Anthony Devolder Santos.The Mad Republican Disease (MRD) spread across the land, and George was elected to Congress. And today, we mourn the passing of his political career.

As sad as we may be at this time, there is still hope. Keep hope alive as we approach Christmas, for these things often come threes.
November 28, 2023

Warning!

You will hear, if you haven't already, that some of his campaign supporters are saying that the defendent has lost 20+ pound of lard while on the campaign trail. They attribute this to diet and exercise. They know this isn't true -- though he has lost weight, the source is the stress of being prosecuted by Jack Smith and black women who are way smarter than him. He has been shitting his pants, so to speak, because he now understands they are also smarter than his legal team.

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