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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 69,763

Journal Archives

A Pastry Recipe

After watching the J6 Committee hearing last night, I spent some time on DU and FB reading some responses to what I thought was an outstanding presentation. The vast majority of what I read was positive. But a few people -- and I include some that I consider friends -- expressed disappointment.

It is important to keep in mind the context of these hearings. The Committee is making a historic record of the insurrection, not limited to the riot at the Capital on January 6. But they are also targeting two specific audiences, one large, and one rather small. Let's take a look at each of these.

Politics 101 teaches that there are three groups: those that support you, those that oppose you, and those who are undecided. The J6 Committee hearings are aimed primarily at that third group, rather than those who already know the truth, or those incapable of accepting it. Hence, we see witnesses like Pottinger, a military intelligence officer serving in the White House. His testimony is only intended to convince the undecided of the danger the Trump cult posed, not to make him a hero of the Democrats.

Likewise, Sarah Matthews was not there to win the hearts and minds of the Trump cult. There was a soon-deleted message from Rep. Elise Stefanik's office calling Matthews a tool of Democrats, and a liar. While I respect what Sarah Matthews testimony, and truly hope that she becomes fully human in the future, her message wasn't intended to speak to those who already knew, or refuse to accept.

Now to that little group. These are the individuals who I view as the pus around the infection. Let's consider the context in which they viewed last night's hearing. These people are already experiencing discomfort, not only from the J6 Committee, but also from the Department of Justice and a grand hury in Georgia.

These are the rough, tough creampuffs that surrounded Trump after Joe Biden kicked his ass in the 2020 election. Are not creampfuffs made of a rather pasty white dough? And these not filled with maga pus? Earlier in the afternoon, they had heard that the loudest-mouthed among them, who had threatened hell-fire for days while outside the federal court, had opted not to take the stand in his criminal trial. They knew that Bannon had pupped out after all of his sputtering about "going on the offense."

Prosecutors look for the weakest links among groups such as this. In this case, they know that even the lawyers involved have hired lawyers. And that in private, these lawyers have outlined the potential options and outcomes for their clients. That the first person to accept a deal gets the best results. They have also told their clients that Trump will gladly throw them under the bus to distract attention from himself.

This raises the question of who will be first to exclaim, " I was just a pastry!" I think the answer is found under a hat we saw on January 6, 2021. It was a hat worn by one of those who took to the platform along with Trump to stir the crowd into a frenzy. A hat that I think Bannon gave him on January 3, when Rudy and he were the guests on Steve's "The War Room." The hat that could not disguise the fact that John Eastman was a pasty pastry, imagining himself to be the Pillsury Doughboy's evil twin, Skippy, of a mutant dooms-bury cartoon. A legend in his own luchtime.

I openly admit that I do not have access to seismographs that measure the quivering of the sphincters within the small group. But I think that Benjamin Wittes summed up what is going on within the DOJ earlier this week. None of these ass-clowns thought they would get caught as the conspired with Trump in the days and weeks before January 6. But caught they are. And they were fully aware of this as they watched last night's hearing.

Thus, I think it was an outstanding presentation by the J6 Committee.

Grumpy Old Man

“You mean the low-life, ass-wipe, egg-sucker John Gustafson?” — Max Goldman

Two things, before I get started: one, I didn't sleep well last night, and two, there is a thunderstorm coming. Thus, I am tired and sore, with the synergy resulting in me being a grumpy old man. Hence, the above quote from the 1993 classic, which I say is a documentary.

I am also happy and encouraged. I joined others in phone-banking last night. The Democratic primary is August 23, and I think we will win. I had a number of very positive conversations with voters, and they all said that other people they know are voting for the candidate that I'm volunteering for. They all know the importance of winning the November elections.

One gentleman even thanked me for my call, then said, "I'll bet you are taking a lot of shit!" I said not really, since I'm only calling registered Democrats in the district, only wrong numbers provide rude responses. This led directly to a conversation about the impact of the Trump cult on society.

The campaign staff is all young, energetic, talented, and high-tech. We do something called "Zoom" meetings, and I was glad that last night, there were others of my ancient generations -- fossils of politics circa-1960s - '70s -- who find this technology as confusing as the brown acid at Woodstock. Fucking whippersnappers smiling at us when we ask the same stupid question for the tenth time. No safe spaces for elders these days.

Because I complained about the phone bill that I, on a small fixed income, have to pay, these staff people fixed it so I could call through the computer. I had asked my son to be here then, so he could navigate this frightening process. When he said, "Sure thing, Old Man. No problem," I wondered if he was purposely trying to insult me? There sure as hell was a problem! I was confronted by the prospect of technology!

Any how, that didn't work, because the guy I called could only hear half of what I was saying. While it's possible that was because, as he sounded my age, his hearing was as damaged as mine, that seems unlikely. Fucking technology. So I told the staff I'd gladly use my phone, but I wonder why we were starting at the dinner hour yet again? I noted that, from decades of experience, I can say that the lunch and dinner hour are the worst time to call. Others my age agreed. We know how angry we get when the phone rings while we are consuming food. And did I mention the price of fucking groceries?

No, I didn't get to. Before I could remember what I was saying -- I remembered who I was talking to, though, as I could see them -- one cut me off after a prolonged pause. She said, "The primary will be low turn-out, so even if we reach a few people, it's important." Sensing she was trying to quell the energized elders before there was a rebellion, I responded, "For the heck of it, let's compare the results from 5:30 to 6:45, to those of 6:45 to 7." Another old man said that made sense. Hoping this would happen, I searched for my abacus, but couldn't remember where I put it.

By this point, If anyone is still reading this, you most certainly agree that if any human being was justified in pissing and moaning, and even saying divisive things actually meant in a serious way, it would be me. I think I have more right to do so than those who, for reasons sincere or insincere, I've seen complaining about the Democratic Party, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General, and who might run for office in 2024. Please stop it, or I swear I'll write and post more essays like this.

I really like and respect the young adults on the campaign team. I'm doing the best I can, which leaves no time to crab about others. I know things they don't know, because of experience. They know things I don't know, because they are younger and smarter than me. We learn from one another, in preparation for not just the primary, but for November. Maybe our candidate will win next month, or maybe his opponent Jamie Cheney will.

Either way, we will all campaign for the winner of the primary to win in November. Jamie Cheney is a very good candidate, I'll be glad to work for her. I will probably feel a bit guilty about how, when people on the phone ask about her positions, I say that I just don't think the Cheney family understands average Americans, even though I like what Liz is doing.

Speaking of which -- take the time to enjoy the hearing tonight. And tomorrow, get working to make sure we kick the shit out of the republican party in November.

Matthew & Matthews

As the news that Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews will testify during Thursday's January 6 Committee hearing is being reported, we must keep in mind that we are not alone in keeping our eyes on the prize. Indeed, many others are aware of how this hearing can impact things ranging from the Department of Justice experiencing public pressure to prosecute Trump, to the 2022 elections. More, we know that Trump will be watching, and feeling increased anxiety.

Both Matthew and Matthews resigned from their positions in the Trump White House on the day of the insurrection. Pottiner had been the Deputy National Security Advisor, and Sarah Matthews the deputy press secretary. Both were in the White House during the 187 minutes that Thursday's hearing will focus on.

It is also being reported that Trump thinks announcing he is running in 2024 might provide him with some type of legal protection, including if he were to win. Many in his party do not want him to announce before the November elections, as it would be a ball & chain on candidates in November. But we know two things: Donald does not listen to those republicans who say "no" on anything, and that sociopaths under pressure act out in desperate ways. Will this hearing result in his announcing soon? Let us hope.

As I have in the past, I recommend that people contact the Department of Justice after the next hearing, to express their hopes that the DOJ will prosecute all of those involved in the insurrection, including Trump. Below is contact information:



“In a way, science might be described as paranoid thinking applied to Nature: we are looking for natural conspiracies, for connections among apparently disparate data. Our objective is to abstract patterns from Nature (right-hemisphere thinking), but many proposed patterns do not in fact correspond to the data. Thus all proposed patterns must be subjected to the sieve of critical analysis (left-hemisphere thinking).”
― Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Since I was a kid, growing up on a small family farm, I learned from old people ways to be pretty accurate about the seasonal weather forecast. Now that I'm an old man, the number of broken bones I've had help me know when a storm is coming. It's been a fairly dry summer here in the northeast, and the water table is low.
Although my numerous water were mighty low, yesterday I used the last in them to water my garden. I depend upon the food I grow, and am having good results thus far. I also knew that we'd be getting rain last night and today, and hopefully off and on over the next few days. It was a bit more of a chore yesterday, though, as I've had some reaction to the latest covid booster shot, distinct from the previous ones. But I trust science, and consider it a small price. Plus I know that water is essential for life.

I remember talking about water with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman over the years I served as his top assistant. Paul thought that science was documenting a lot of things that were part of his people's traditional knowledge, which was rooted in their experiences living here, on this land, for thousands of years. As such, he was very concerned about the damage being done to the air, land, and water.

All life on Earth came from water. When scientists look for evidence of life in distant worlds, the first thing they look for is if water has existed on them. Living beings are found in water, and those living outside of water tend to have contact with water to maintain life. The only waters that doesn't have life in it are those that human beings have polluted with toxins. And water with toxins poisons those living beings on land that come in contact with. Toxic waters causes sickness and death. The toxic poisons that human beings dump into the water float downstream. This includes going downstream in distance and time, to the next communities and generations.

Now, in the Good Book, it makes clear that the Earth does not belong to humans, that we are but sojourners. (Leviticus 25:23; Psalm 24) But I do not limit myself to religious or spiritual concepts. For example, I talk about the environment with my brother who lives in the northwest. He works at a university, and likes having lunch with the professors of environmental studies. My brother is an atheist who loves science.

His co-workers tell him that humanity is up against it. Things are already in motion that will destroy the ability to grow necessary amounts of food in parts of the world. They will not get enough rain, as things warm up. That isn't just in third world countries, mind you. They think the sothwest will continue to get hotter and drier, and the eastern coast and Gulf Coast will continue to have more frequent and serious floods. Thu, migrations will not be limited to those from Central America already being displaced by environmental changes.

I also think about one of Malcolm X's teachings: if you put aa glass of sparkling clean water next to a filthy glass of sludge, thirsty people will make the correct choice. I think that is true, but question if there are not people who lack the conscience required to stop destroying the environment so long as they can make a dime selling slufge to the public. That would include even a senator, for example, if he/she and/or his/her family made money off, say, coal. That might result in that senator knee-capping a good president's programs to address the environment. It might even make it very difficult to identify when that senator voted with the Democrats on a single issue that energy corporations and republicans oppose.

We are in strange times. But I enjoyed talking on the telephone this afternoon, with a young lady who is a volunteer with the congressional campaign I'm working on. The Democratic primary comes in late August. There are two Democrats: the one I volunteer with has good experience working with our elected representatives in DC, and who accepts zero corporate funding, the other is a now-former Wall Street executive, running on corporate funding. My candidate advocates for things like child health care coverage and other issues that will result in his republican opponent calling him a "socialist" in the general election season.

But he is not. I consider him to be a liberal, who is fairly moderate overall, and who understands science. We need change. Now, I wish he was a socialist, and am pretty darned sure those young adults volunteering with his campaign would agree. And I know for a fact they all have concerns that not enough is being done on environmental issues. Not their only concern, but one that helps get them active in Democratic Party politics. That will matter in November.

Sarah Matthews

“Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is."
-- Sarah Matthews; former White House deputy press secretary


Until I heard a news report that the person that Trump attempted to call recently was still working in the White House, I had thought it was likely Sarah Matthews. But she now works as the communications director for the House’s Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. If the person Trump called does indeed still work in the White House, it must be someone else.

Still, I am sure that Trump was unhappy to see Sarah in the news in the days after Cassidy Hutchinson testified. It's curious to me that Trump would know who else had agreed to testify to the J6 Committee if they had not been publicly identified. At the same time, I appreciate that in the current climate of threats, one might be hesitant to be identified in the media.

The old boy must be becoming even further unhinged as he learns of more people willing to testify -- and I don't mean Steve Bannon. Who do you think it was that Trump called?


Creatures from Under a Rock

“I fear that if he loses the presidential election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.” Michael Cohen; closing statement to Congress.


What type of lawyer would chose to be associated with Donald Trump? This discussion with friends yesterday was prompted by one noting that Rudy Giuliani's looking remarkably like Simon Bar Sinister. I noted that his sidekick Sidney Powell looks and acts like Simon's sidekick, Cad. (This is not related to my having been the underdog in a couple of my boxing matches.)

What rock did Powell come out from under, my friend asked. She has had a curious career, I said. She was appointed to serve as an assistant federal attorney fresh out of law school. Some in the legal field assumed she got this position by being a talented lawyer, though others came to suspect it was a result of assuming other positions. Bitter that she wasn't appointed to the federal bench, Powell went on to take the position of a defense attorney for some of the Enron scum.

In that position, Powell's vile attacks were directed towards Andrew Weissmann. Then she wrote her non-best seller, "License to Lie," a title that sounds a tad prophetic now. Like Rudy, she has faced consequences for her role in attempting to overthrow our government. Like Rudy and Michael Cohen, that includes the suspension of her license to practice law.

Cohen had represented Trump's business dealings with organized crime before Donald became president. This included coordinating efforts with Rudy, who had close ties in New York City with organized crime. But unlike Rudy or Sidney, Cohen would attempt to redeem himself, and warned about the potential for an insurrection when Biden crushed Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

John Eastman's history includes clerking for Clarence Thomas. He ran for Congress in California in 1990, getting less than 40% of the vote, then went on to lose the republican primary for the California Attorney General, getting less that 35% of the vote. Eastman has been a rabid opponent of same-sex marriage, in his position with the Federalist Society.

John's willingness to spread any lie came to the surface in his Newsweek op-ed of August 12, 2020, when he claimed that Kamala Harris was not an American citizen, and thus disqualified for being vice president. He is gutter slime.

Two lawyers that I think are institutionalists associated with Trump are Pat Cipollone and Ty Cobb. I view Pat as an egghead with an impressive yolk of knowledge, thus making Cobb the walrus. I do note that in the past two weeks, Cobb has said that he thinks Trump commited crimes associated with the insurrection, and should be prosecuted. Though I do not agree with their work to defend Trump during his presidency, I do respect both as capable lawyers. But they knew he was a criminal, and in "protecting the office of the presidency," failed the nation by not speaking out honestly.

That leaves the one I consider a bit of a wild card, Eric Herschmann. In much of his legal career, he represented the energy corporation Souther Union Company, and Citibank. When he became one of Trump's legal team during the first impeachment trial, I was reminded of James Baker, the energy corporation lawyer closely associated with the Bush family. Back in this form's early years, we used to discuss how individuals associated with politically powerful corporations at times stepped out from behind the curtain, sometimes to provide a degree of stability to a damaged administration, such as George W. Bush's. Energy corporations, including international ones, desire a stable US government, no matter how incompetent it is on a variety of domestic issues.

Might this in part explain what Sidney Powell, in her only true statement in decades, said that Herschmann held Trump in contempt? Certainly, the clips that the J6 Committee has aired show utter contempt for thr Rudy-Sidney-Eastman types -- including Jeffrey Clark, the anti-environmental attorney who had argued that the EPA could not set limits on enegy corporations' carbon emissions. While he played a role of slime in the attack on Hunter Biden, and deserves zero respect for remaining silent at the time, at least he refused to join the effort to overthrow our government.

From "Hurricane" Carter .....

I came across this from 49 years ago this morning, and thought some of the DU sports folks might find it interesting.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter; letter to me; September 27, 1973.

“ I meant to tell you that whether or not you are a puncher or a boxer, you had better get into the habit of tucking your chin into your chest. Because from what I could see: it was hanging wide open, my boy, and that ain’t good. Squat. Get down low. Put your entire weight behind each punch. When you jab -- shift your weight to your left foot -- your right foot is only there to balance you. Whenever you begin your attack, your weight should always be on your front foot. But when you retreat -- always do so in a crouch, with your weight shifted to both of your feet for smoother movements. Never back straight up! Always side-to-side -- always looking for that opening to start your attack again. Remember: the best defense is a helluva offense, and catching your opponent coming into your strength, always results in that man being hurt. Be relaxed -- always think relaxed, and you’ll never get tired. Stick that jab -- stick that jab-- stick that jab -- stick that jab ….. Until it becomes part of your every move ….. Stick that jab -- stick that jab And you’ll find that you’re doing it and don’t even know it. That’s what instincts are all about. Can you dig it? Even as you read this letter, the rhythm should show you what I’m talking about -- stick that jab -- stick that jab -- stick that jab!”

Pumped for Today's Hearing!

"When mores are sufficient, laws are unnecessary. When mores are insufficient, laws are unenforceable." -- Emile Durkheim

I should be resting now, as I did not get enough sleep last night. The thought of today's J6 Committee meeting was dancing in my head. So I read some works by Durkheim, to relax. I found myself thinking about his belief that the society that has shared values tends to function, while those without shared values experience dysfunction. I think I wrote about this concept a year or more ago, noting the America of my youth watched Walter Cronkite. And believed him.

Today, of course, there is no one trusted news source. More, within the vast array of options for mews sources, there are many that are one-sided, including those that "bend" the truth, as well as those that outright lie. Others are silent on important social dynamics -- bringing Lennon's saying that "a conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words. I broke that late night silence by switching from reading Durkheim to watching the news on television.

As I was watching, and muttering, "Put them in prison" over my breathe, I knew I needed to get to sleep, for I had to get up early in the morning, to greet a man who was coming to do a half-hour's work. Yet I could not get to sleep as I paced back and forth, agreeing with myself that they need to be incarcerated. But then it hit me -- the job this poor fellow would be doing was, in a very real sense, what we need nation-wide, today!

For gentle readers inhabiting the suburbs and cities, one of the less pleasant tasks of rural life is taking care of your septic system. Even the best functioning of these requires being pumped every so often. When I had nine people living here, it was more frequent than now that I live pretty much alone. Now, when I moved into this very old house, I found the septic system was made of hickory, from long ago. I had a more modern system put in, of course.

The fellow came bright and early, noting he wanted to beat the thunder storm heading our way. I think that Gandhi was right when he said that there is dignity in all work, in response to those complaining about digging our the latrines in this community. Heck, as a young man, I found work in putting in septic systems. Plus I enjoy talking with everyone, so when the guy finished, I could see he wanted to engage in conversation.

He started talking about his dislike of the dreaded younger generation. His youngest daughter, a son, his brother, and his mother all like Bernie Sanders, though one might speculate that 50% of those listed are not among the younger generation. I said that I thought it would be best if we all understood and respected the Constitution. He agreed.

He said his son is pro-legalization of pot. He noted the law had never stopped anyone from smoking it. I said, "Right. Only those who got arrested and sent to jail." He said he is conservative, but doesn't agree witheverything republicans do. He said that he was pro-choice, and told of when, as a married man with two children, he got another woman pregnant. He accompanied her to Planned Parenthood, and spoke highly of them. Within two years, he and this other woman got married and had two planned children. You can't make this up, and I say that not in making any judgement, but rather as an example of real life.

I said that I thought January 6 was wrong, and that those involved need to be incarcerated. It was then that our conversation went off the rails. He said the media has film the J6 Committee is refusing to show, of democrats dropping off bus-loads of Antifa behind the Capital while Trump was speaking a mile away. "I haven't seen that," I said. "But every last one of them involved in the planning and the riot need to go to jail, don't you think?" He agreed.

Now, back to today's hearing. I think that these hearings have indicated that our social septic system needs to be pumped in November. There are far too many republican maga-types adding their shit to think we can afford to put this off. Then we need to put this Supreme Court in check, because we have too many "originalists" on there insisting that we require a hickory sewer. No, I live in the same house, and things like running water and electricity were not available when that old hickory system was put in. Heck, the old piping from the well to the barn was made of leather back in the day. Same concepts, just as those expressed in the Constitution. Just we live in a different world today.

Anyhow, I'm pumped for today's hearing, and hope that you are, too! I love the DU discussions that take place during and after them. We are witnessing history, and must participate in it between now and November.

H2O Man

Clobbering the Cult

Most people are aware that, during the republican debates in the 2016 republican primaries, handlers gave Donald Trump an easy line to remember: "Build a wall." This line became popular among stupid people, especially those who find brown-skinned people scary. Yet that was not the only wall Trump intended to build.

The two impeachments documented that Trump was intent upon building a wall between himself and the rule of law. The Mueller Report documented another significant part of Trump's effort to build this wall, something he should have been impeached for -- and prosecuted. And now, the January 6 Committee is exposing yet another most dangerous section of that wall.

This brings two things to mind. First, Tuesday's hearing is going to put some mighty big cracks in that wall. It will be, at the very least, as explosive as the last one. Now, that blast shook loose some of dirt that allows the Committee to remove quite a few of the bricks Trump used for stone, and the slime he used for mortar, to borrow from Genisis 11-4. And towers of Babel have come crumbling down time and again over the last few thousand years.

The second thing is that, in a fight, one should never try to imitate the style of another fighter, as Trump has done with Putin's techniques. When I used to box, guys tried to copy Ali. More recently, they try Mayweather's style. But as the only good Hurricane reminded me half a century ago, he who knows "why" always masters he who knows "how."

What is amazing is that Trump learned so little about how government works in the years he was in the White House. His gross ignorance led him to believe he could do anything -- and make others do his bidding -- by howling orders at the weak men and women around him. For that is what he has done all of his adult life.

What he did learn from those two impeachments and the Mueller Report was that he could get away with crimes without serious consequence. For that has been his experience all of his life. But this time appears to be different. The J6 Committee has taken down enough blocks where the Department of Justice is looking inside the insurrection, beyond prosecuting the brain-dead maga insurgents who invaded the Capital.

Now, if you have read Ralph Abernathy's 1989 autobiography, aptly titled, "And the Walls Came Tumbling Down," you will remember his lessons for those at the grass roots. We might not to be able to knock the wall's blocks off, but we can do severe damage to it's shallow foundation. There is nothing more important now than working for the candidates of the Democratic Party, at all levels.

We have three hammers to clobber them with. The insurrection/ January 6 Committee is one, women's health care/abortion is another, and guns/mass shootings is yet another. If you already haven't, be in touch with your local party leadership, and do some volunteer work with a campaign near you. You don't have to commit unlimited time. Every phone banking effort, every neighborhood canvassing, helps weaken Trump's crumbling wall.

Our goal isn't to convince the Trump base. It's to beat them by winning elections. And we have all the tools needed to do exactly that. And if the DOJ does its job, Trump and friends will be surrounded by an other type of brick wall.


I have been a fan of the Beatles since they first appeared on Ed Sullivan's shoe many years ago. I collected a massive amount of their albums, as well as their post-Beatles works, even before CDs became popular. Collected numerous books and magazines, as well. Tons of stuff.

"The Beatles," aka the White Album, is indeed up there among my very favorites. When it came out, John's contributions inspired me, when tasked in English class to read my favorite poem, to read one John had wrote at age 17. That afternoon, evening, and night, many of my classmates' parents called both the school and my parents to complain.

In college, my friends and I listened to the White Album frequently. Sometimes, we were intoxicated. I liked beer. I drank beer as a form of weight-lifting with my friends.Of course, we did not limit ourselves to beer. But we would certainly refused to have anyone who went by the nickname "Squi" join us.

Today, I read that poor Brett Kavanaugh had his dinner experience upset by people protesting his being on -- and decisions on -- the U.S. Supreme Court. His reaction is as squeamish as were the parents who called my parents. Was not Lennon not only a poet, but an English poet? Does not Amendment 1's identifying citizen's right to protest the government still count?

To answer these questions, I turned to The Beatles. I think that George's lyrics describe Brett and his wife while out to dinner:

"Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon"

Had I been there, I'd have politely asked the protesters to join me in singing that song.
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