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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 70,049

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American Garden




Not a rebel song, says Bono. But a powerful statement on the suffering that human beings inflict upon one another. May 14th, elderly shoppers at TOPS. An elder who ran a food pantry for those in need. Among the victims yesterday, grade school children.

"I can't believe this is happening," an old friend from Indian work says, and not for the first time. "We were told by the Elders it would be here," I say. "Yeah, but I didn't think it would be in my life-time," she says.

"Somehow this madness must cease," Martin Luther King, Jr., said on April 4, 1967. It wasn't a rebel speech. It wasn't a political speech, though it touched on politics. King was speaking as a human being who wanted to end gross violence.

I turn to King in times like this. I recall a line from his final speech, given on the eve of his death. He spoke about the threats against him, and the concerns about what "would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers." He was in the garden of Gethsemane.

I am willing to speculate that, were King alive today, he would disagree with republicans to hold that Amendment 2 must protect the rights of the mass murderers in Buffalo or the school. And that is really the question that confronts our society, over and over again, when one of our sick brothers decides to deal with his angers and frustrations by shooting as many people as he can.

Were King alive today, we know where he would stand. Yet the need of the day is not for a "leader," but for each and every one of us to bring forth their inner Martin.

I will leave you with this:


Marlon Brando's Ear-Piece




I do not tend to follow celebrity break-ups. In part, this is because I do not tend to follow celebrities at all. I recognized the name Johnny Depp, and my son assured me that I've seen two movies he was in. But he wasn't in the lead role in either. I had never heard of Amber Heard, so far as I know, until her break-up with Depp.

A step-nephew thinks I'm odd, because I haven't read fiction since high school, and am not interested in many movies. I read non-fiction and watch the news, documentaries, police interrogations, court cases, and congressional investigations. Thank goodness for Youtube. The young man said this ignores the values of "the classics" ..... and I say I only have so much time on earth, and can't possibly read or watch everything. Thus, I focus on what I like best.

One might trace this to my experiencing generational trauma when the Beatles broke up. But that isn't accurate. After the initial shock, I thought some really great music came about, including the above song from John's album "Imagine." As we all know, John and Paul engaged in some of the harsher behaviors associated with break-ups, in interviews, album covers (and the post card in the original "Imagine" LP(, and songs.

While this song had a powerful group of musicians backing John, it's interesting to note that one guy there on that day opted not to play. Ringo heard a version of this song, and said, "That's enough, John," and left. Later, John would note that when celebrities mess up, it is often on "the red carpet." And that is how I view the Depp vs Heard trial.

I am not viewing parts of the trial because I have any interest in the outcome. I don't find myself "taking sides" as I watch. I assume both have -- like most people -- a good and a bad side. I respect acting as an art, though one where actors often pretend to be fictional characters. Thus, I recognize the possibility that both might at least try to put their acting skills to good use on the witness stand.

What I find interesting is the lawyers on both sides, and how the judge responds to objections. I think that both sides have high quality legal representation. I thought that the cross-examination of Ms. Heard by Camille Vasquez was intense. Very impressive. But the most entertaining part thus far was the cross-examination of Dr. Spiegel by Wayne Dennison.

Is anyone else here watching the trial? Or am I a freak of sorts, watching this? In my defense, a friend recently told me he has started watching trials after visiting me, and has told other friends to do the same. More, he got me watching this one. If anyone else does watch, I'm curious of what your impressions of Spiegel was on cross?

As a social worker, I had to testify in court more times than I can remember. My uncle, a Senior Investigator in the NYS BCI, told me to never let a lawyer get under your skin, and make you angry. And never, ever try to debate an attorney, because in the context of a court room, you will lose every time.

Cawthorn's Mirth

"Just because a man is appointed to a position, or through the drudgery of years has followed the Peter Principle and risen to his level of imcompetence, does not mean he is immortal. There has never been a system yet that would not gladly sacrifice one of its own got a moment's peace, no matter how brief. If the system is to be changed, then those who would change it should pinpoint its weak spot, its blockage points, and place all the pressure on that one point until the blockage is cleared."
-- Vine Deloria, Jr.; We Talk, You Listen; Dell; 1970; page 66.


Vine Deloria, Jr. was a Standing Rock Sioux, had degrees in both law and theology. He was one of the leading spokespersons for Native Americans, and one of the very best authors of that era. I thought that, since I focused on 1972 a couple essays ago, I might write something influenced by Deloria.

We have witnessed examples of what Deloria wrote about within republican circles since Trump ran for president. To fully appreciate that, it is important to recognize that Trump did not create hatred, racism, and division in America. These negative triplets created the opportunity he had been looking for since Bush the Elder was running for the presidency in 1988, and Trump contacted him to say he was willing to serve as his vice president.

Under Bush the Elder's son, Bush the Idiot, this country began the great divide we endure today. With the election of President Obama brought racism in America out in the open in a way more obvious than the systematic racism that has never disappeared. It had just become a tad more sophisticated. This created Trump's opportunity.

The first conservative sacrificed on the alter of Trump was Megyn Kelly, then the star at Fox News. Republican men sat erect to watch her hour each weeknight. But Megyn asked Trump a serious question, enraging him. He began an attack, helped by Steve Bannon, then of Breitbart News. Kelly responded in part by arguing with Newt about Trump's sexism, before being reduced on Fox, soon to be "encouraged" to leave. It was as ugly as when Trump got republicans to sacrifice Bush the Refrigerator Head in the primaries.

In 2018, numerous republicans in Congress decided not to run for re-election, because Trump was attacking them viciously for being "weak" -- meaning they hadn't fully commited to the cult, and were to be sacrificed on that alter. Indeed, they were "weak," though not in the sense the now fully rabid Trump meant. They were too cowardly to use their campaign as a platform to expose Trump, even if it meant losing a primary challenge. They betrayed their oath of office.

The moral-ethical rabies of Trump spread throughout his cult following. Overt, aggressive racism became a badge of honor among the republican party. When rabies is first attacking its host, the creature will engage in behaviors such as chasing its tail in a hostile fashion, distinct from a playful puppy. Next comes the foaming mouth, a clear sign to avoid the rabid animal. But it doesn't end there. Not for Old Yeller, not for the republican party.

The next sacrifice was Madison Cawthorn. At first glance, he would seem the poster boy for the republican party, for he had the ability to tell outrageous lies that dripped faster from his oral cavity like foam dripping from a rabid dog's mouth. But today's republican party thought he was a hind leg caught in a trap, and thus chewed him off. Yes, they did! They chewed that boy right off.

And that is a perfect example of what Vine Deloria was talking about when he said we need to apply pressure ..... in this case, because the republicans are nominating the most rabid of beasts for elections in November, that pressure is best delivered with a club. Now, I grew up on a small farm, and worked on big farms as a youth. I know a thing or two about rabid animals. About clubbing them to death.

Finally, if you encounter some person talking about the usual pattern of mid-term elections, I strongly advise clubbing them, too. Club with with pro-choice and January 6. Beat them until the pattern of splatter makes a rorschach-like picture, so that others can interpret what it means to them.

Have a good day. Remember: walk softly, and carry that big Democratic Party club!

On Indicting Trump

"Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance." -- Virgil; Toman poet


Rubin used to tell me that, with patience, the smallest creature can climb the highest mountain. Yet, there were numerous times he expressed frustration at the slow pace of the justice system.

I remember watching the Senate's Watergate hearings. Then the television reports on what Nixon administration officials were indicted. Agnew's resigning in utter disgrace. Media reports on the very real possibility of Nixon not only being impeached and convicted, but possibly facing criminal charges for his criminal activities.

I was not frustrated when Ford pardoned Dick -- I was furious! And that feeling lasted until I realized that, had he been indicted, Nixon planned to have his defense team demand highly classified documents that the DOJ would never have released. Thus, there is very, very little chance an indictment -- however just -- would have led to conviction.

Next came the House Committee's investigation of the Iran-Contra scandal. Watching these explosive hearings, it was apparent that this web of criminal activity posed a greater threat to the Constitution than Watergate. Yet fewer people tuned in to watch the evidence unfold. Still, there would be a new record for administration officials indicted and convicted.

The downside came when the felony convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter were overturned on appeal. The pair had been given limited immunity before the House Committee, and the court ruled their testimony there may have influenced the decision of jurors. And yes, I was furious.

Many of us remember Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame scandal. While Scooter Libby was convicted of five felonies, he refused to turn on VP Cheney. Thus, Fitzgerald openly stated that Congress should investigate Cheney's role, which should have resulted in impeachment and conviction. But that didn't happen.

We all remember Robert Mueller's investigation.Because of Bill Barr and DOJ policy, Mueller concluded he could not charge Trump with obstruction of justice. But his report and later comments made clear he thought Congress should investigate, impeach, and convict Trump. Though I found this frustrating, I hoped Trump would be impeached for obstructing justice, a very serious charge. He was not, of course, but as the two impeachments indicated, there was no way the Senate republicans would convict.

I've said all of that, to say this: I am frustrated that Merrick Garland and the DOJ have not indicted Trump. At the same time, I understand why there is a wait until the January 6 House Committee completes its investigation. There are really good former federal prosecutors who make strong cases for both indicting Trump now, or waiting for the Committee to finish. Most importantly, none of these former prosecutors says that there isn't a very good criminal case to be made against Trump. And when the Committee begins the next round of public hearings -- we did see four law enforcement officers testify last year -- the pressure on the DOJ to indict Trump will become even more intense.

1972

My son and I got into Buffalo in the mid-afternoon on Saturday. The four hour ride for his fight in the finals of the NYS Golden Gloves was pleasant. We enjoyed the weather, and talked the entire time about psychology and sociology. That mood changed as soon as we entered the hotel's lobby, and saw the news reports about the horror that had taken place a short time and distance from where we stood.

I was reminded of the same ill feelings I had watching the 1972 Olympics. Although the vicious attack was not aimed directly at the Golden Gloves, a similar reaction permeated the neighborhood, the city, and soon the country. And that is saying something in a country that has suffered from such a high number of mass shootings in every week of 2022.

Now, this essay isn't intended to be about boxing, but rather to use the great sport as a vehicle to make a point. For centuries, in times of social stress, variations of "replacement theory" have taken root. Every tyrant knows that to exploit the fear and anxiety, they need only blame a small group, to confuse the majority into blaming that smaller group for all of their problems. This includes normalizing the hatred of their target, which gives license to the most disturbed among them aiming violence against their "enemy."

Human shit-stains like the one in Buffalo do not tend to watch Fox News. Rather, they inhabit the darkest corners of the internet. But there are connections between a Tucker Carlson and that guy: older men like Steve Bannon that understand that young men often follow the orders of their gym coach/ drill instructor without question. When Fox News -- the voice of the republican party -- repeats lies about "replacement theory" over and over again, it becomes normalized in times of social stress. I remember my late uncle, a WW2 hero, telling me that the Trump cult was what he fought against in Europe.

Now back to 1972. When my brothers and I traveled to cities across New York State to box, the locker rooms were not pleasant places. Different races occupied different sections of the rooms, and there was open hostility between the groups that came as quite a surprise to three hay seeds from a rural, upstate farm. But that has changed for the better. These days, there is a brotherhood among the young men preparing to compete in the ring. Even the old trainers who fought in circa-1972 all get along!

There was the traditional "ten count" to honor the victims at the beginning of Sunday's finals. Plenty of those involved in or at the fights knew one or more of the victims. We were not far from where the savage attack had taken place. Normally, the audience at boxing matches -- especially where alcohol is sold -- are noted for good behavior. So I was glad when the crowd was silent in honoring the dead and wounded.

However, it is important that people not be silent about the horror. To let what is unacceptable to be normalized. We need to counter the efforts of the Tucker Carlsons to normalize racism, and crush the Steve Bannons that inspire the unhinged, And I know that is easy to say. I know. Watching the news reports on the horror after my son dropped me off in the early hours on Monday was extremely upsetting. The more I saw, the more disturbing it was. It brought up old feelings.

I contacted a Clan Mother that I know from the days when I worked with Chief Waterman. Within a couple minutes, I was snarling about if I were as tough as I was in 1972, I'd teach people like the racist gang that attacked my nephew in 1998 -- they didn't like the media attention a brown-skinned high school scholar/ athlete was getting -- a lesson. "Then you'd be in jail, and that wouldn't do us any good," she responded. "Think back to the lessons of the past, and apply them today, for a better future."

Teach Your Children Well

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
― Sigmund Freud


Recently, I identified our opposition as a fist, combining individual fingers such as rigid christians, militia-types, etc. Today, I'd like to talk about the palm of their hands. Obviously, an unhealthy, repressed sense of sexuality creates conflicted, angry adults.It would be too easy to laugh and make rude and crude jokes. But is not sexuality the core of all "cultural" issues the republicans declare war on?

What horrible events cause some to be uncomfortable with sex as a means to pleasure, rather than shame? How devoid of meaning is a life focused on an obsession with other people's sex lives? And, in a tip of the hat to Sigmund, is there really much difference between the sad sap who imagines his gun is a reflection of his penis, and the incel who grabs a gun to inflict suffering on happy people?

Okay, okay ...... Freudian theory has some weak spots, things that are better understood today. Freud, like every good teacher, hoped for students to go beyond him. Being old, I may not be up to date, but I liked A. S. Neill's views, expressed in his 1960 classic , "Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing." (The title was later changed to "Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood." He thought that if sexuality was viewed as religious/spiritual, so should things like gardening and making a meal. Works for me.

The introduction of Neill's book is by Erich Fromm, my favorite in psychology and sociology. In his series of books, Fromm covers the distinctions between well-adjusted human beings, and a group of people we know today as "republicans." Frustrated individuals who have buried their emotions and drives, only to have them come back to the surface in the ugliest of ways. And that damages them -- sometimes even in their political careers -- as well as their families, communities, states and this nation.

We are witnessing this dynamic today, with their projecting their inner obsessions with child sex upon normal, healthy people. That is telling. Unless one is employed in law enforcement or child protective services, it is an odd topic to be thinking about for hours every day. It is the definition of projecting their inner demons outward. One cannot but connect this with their guilt-ridden religious superstitions.

One can't help but notice that they want to impose their superstitions in all social realms: in the legal system, over science, and in the public schools. They want to outlaw the teaching of an accurate history of our country. A significant portion of the relations between the good white christians and black and red people involves the unhealthy perversions of those white men. And that wasn't limited to targeting adult women -- one need only to take a look at the horros of the schools for Indian children being uncovered in North America today. You can attempt to bury the Truth, but it will rise to the surface, too.

Sex education in schools is a Good Thing. But it scares our republican siblings. There are a number of reasons why. Most often, they say sex education should be taught at home or in the church. No parent who takes a responsible approach to teaching their children about sex need worry about it being taught in school. It's biology, it's science. And not all kids have parents taking that responsibility. Not all parents want the emotional ball & chain associated with religious misinterpretations of sexuality. We favor that wall of separation between church and state ..... and between church and bedrooms.

Anxiety, guilt, and fear combine to energize the rage that the republicans channel into society. Consider how scary life has become for them. Their creation myths are challenged by yje mere thought of their children being taught the science of DNA and evolution. The idea of keeping guns out of the hands of the unhinged causes a very Freudian castration anxiety. A highly intelligent, well-educated and experienced black woman is on the Supreme Court. A brown-skinned person walked through their neighborhood. The list of thoughts and behaviors they want to legislate appears endless.

But we are going to put an end to it. These are simply the older versions of the kids we didn't like in school. Maybe from grade school, and definitely from high school on. They are emotionally damaged, ethically scarred victims of a social illness that we must contain and keep from causing more entrenched damage. Come November, we will crush them at the polls, with the promise that we'll teach their children well, so their parents' hell, can slowly ..... wait! Change of lyrics: so their parents hell will quickly fade away.

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
― Sigmund Freud

Scrambled Eggs

I note that a group of crows is called either a "congress" or a "murder," neither of which sounds like a compliment. They are an interesting bird, though not particularly popular around bird feeders. When they land under mine, the Rhode Island red rooster charges across the lawn in a rapid waddle that reminds me of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and apparently the crows view him much the same. Yet, when a hawk circles my herd of birds, the crows will chase the hawk away. Life is filled with complicated mysteries to ponder on a sunny day while gardening.

As I pull a never-ending number of weeds around my hedge roses, I watch all of the roosters are a bit more aggressive in their approaches to the hen population. This at times includes the Guinea hens, which creates some fighting with the Guinea cock. I shall not say these birds resemble humans, for anthropomorphism is frowned upon. But a lot of humans do, in fact, resemble these birds.

Is not a church full of closed minded, anti-science gather in a hen house of worship called a "flock?" Do not conservative republican males have sick views on sexuality, that includes "legal" dominance over women's bodies? At what point might they demand the chicken eggs be declared fully chicken. But they are not ..... they are eggs, maybe fertilized, maybe not. Just eggs.

I do not want this flock of superstitious seagulls to determine limitations upon my daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins, neighbors, or females I have never met. It can be hard to get it across to them, though, as they want the same limitations for all females ...... except the rich, who will find safe, affordable abortions upon demand. So the struggle is clearly cut out for us. It follows the same pattern we followed in 2018 and 2020.

Let's consider the nature of the beast we must confront. I have spoken about the need for the good people to join together, like the fingers on a fist, to protect our rights. Our opposition is also a fist. One finger is the superstitious christians, another the white nationalist militias, and a variety of the people that you didn't like in school, and dislike today. That's their fist.

We know their three most glaring weak points: history, science, and the rule of law. We must beat them over the head with history, science and law. They run candidates for school boards, local, state,and national office in an attempt to prevent the truth from being taught about the history of Native Americans' experience, and of Africans held in slavery. Many believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago, and demand that this fiction be taught in schools. Some participated in illegal behaviors such as the insurrection, to try to use the force of criminal behaviors to get their own way.

I read a post yesterday, where a Good Person said that they are tired. Been fighting the Good Fight for fifty years. A number of people identified with that. Including me. I'm tired, I have aches and pains, and too many bills to pay. I struggle with doubts, and the temptation to withdraw into the space of my house and property and ignore the horrors going on around me. Yes, I do. But I also recognize that this is the exact time to be an active participant in that Good Fight, that it is most important to do so now.

Let's scramble their eggs.

Mad Men & Witches




I will speculate that no member of the DU community has been searching the site to find my opinion on the Supreme Court and abortion. More, none of those who "lurk" from time to time are interested. But I am hopeful that one or two of you will be interested in another opinion .....

Watching the Lawrence O'Donnell report (above), I was reminded of conversations I had with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman that touched on this topic. Among the Six Nations of the Iroquois, there are some who identify as Christian, some who follow the Code of Handsome Lake ( who combined traditional beliefs with some Quaker influence), and the traditional Longhouse people.

Paul was Longhouse.This means he went by the teachings of Sapling, the Peace Maker, and the real "Hiawatha." He respected that Handsome Lake (1735 -- 1815) had a powerful vision in 1798, that told of the environmental crisis that we are experiencing today. He was a revival prophet, and his grave is at the Onondaga's Longhouse. Paul's differences with Handsome Lake are instead from his life in the early 1800s, when he became powerful.

Besides his visions of the future of the soil, water, and air, Handsome Lake taught his followers to avoid using alcohol, cards, and money. He was also opposed to abortion and fiddles. The Iroquois women knew of a plant that when consumed resulted in abortion. When Longhouse women continued to use the plant, Handsome Lake thought it was a challenge to his authority. Paul explained that Handsome Lake called these women "witches." Shocking, I know.

Paul said that Handsome Lake had allowed "power" to confuse his mind. He began advocating violence against "witches." Paul said that, because the post-Revolutionary War era was one of decline for the Iroquois, which may have been why Handsome Lake advocated for more births. But he said that's like Christians believed that beating off was a sin, dating back to when the tribes of Israel's numbers needed increasing..

So it's really not a surprise when a dick-dripping like Samuel Alito's draft relies upon the teachings of Edward Coke:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/05/the-most-extreme-lines-from-justice-samuel-alitos-leaked-opinion-on-roe.html

And it is no surprise that Coke was against abortion and witches that didn't believe he was the moral authority. Like Paul said of Handsome Lake, he mistook his thoughts for those of the Creator. In the Original Instructions/ Ten Commandments, this is spiritual theft. It results in individuals going from speaking of the Creator, to mistakenly thinking they speak for the Creator. Paul said they have snakes coming out of their heads. Such rigid minds often babble about others going to hell. They are too confused to know they are in hell, a state of unconsciousness.

Thus, they fear people who do not share their religious beliefs, especially women that refuse to go by their code of superstitions. They are convinced that they are in a "holy war" that pits people of their faith with Black Lives Matter, antifa, and witches. They are haunted by the very idea of orgasms not intended for procreation. I remember Paul saying that Europeans had abandoned the art of oral sex -- "probably because they didn't bathe often" -- until they came into contact with his grandfathers. Is this not the chapter that Dante edited out of his Inferno, due to the cruely and horror? No wonder Europeans had chips on their shoulders. No wonder why white women frequently preferred Iroquois society.

I'm reminded of Ecclesiastes 1 : 9 -- "The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun." We have been confronted by such aggressive ignorance before ..... and we have kicked their asses. It's time to do so again.

Two Questions

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer to anyone's opinion. It's just about what people think now, while recognizing that Good People can change their opinions over time. This is based upon something my younger son said to me today. I appreciate any responses.

(1) Should President Biden attempt to expand the number of Justices on the Supreme Court?

(2) If President Biden does try, will the effort be successful?

After the Gold Rush

"There was a band playin' in my head
And I felt like getting high
I was thinkin' about what a friend had said
I was hopin' it was a lie
Thinkin' about what a friend had said
I was hopin' it was a lie" -- Neil Young


Sunday morning started like many mornings do. My cousin called to complain about the price of a push-lawn mower he bought to tend to his mother's lawn. A cup of coffee later, the dog and I ventured out to feed the cats, chickens, new chicks, Guinea fowl, wild birds, and the fish in our pond.

The dog is fine with the large Koi -- well over two feet -- swimming around her legs as she wades in the water. But when a school of small sun fish come to investigate, she jumps out and runs back to the house. It takes me longer, of course, to make my way back. It is becoming the warmest day of the year, and so I will work in the medium garden, where I grow herbs and spices for cooking and canning.

While re-setting some of the stones, I find some flint artifacts I had placed there to decorate 27 years ago. I question why I put a number of good quality, whole projectile points there, before remembering a former inhabitant complained I had too many artifacts and books in the house. The dog gets excited as my younger son drives up the driveway.

He and I went out to walk two small fields, where he found four projectiles, and I found two. While the ones I found were complete, two of his were not. However, they were both Kirk serrated points, a very old (9000 to 6000 years before present) type that I have only found one of, back in 1987. We talk about how amazing it is to hold something that old, a part of the human history of this land.

Being old and feeble, I'm ready for a nap when he drops me off. I had just got comfortable with the dog getting comfortable laying her head on just the right spot on my legs, when the phone rang. It was my older daughter, calling from Boston. She said that she had to run something by me, to get my opinion.

She had just come from a rally to celebrate the growing strength of unions. There was a good sized crowd, consisting primarily of people in their late teens and early twenties. There were also city and state politicians attending -- all Democrats -- who she said appeared to go unnoticed by the crowd. Now, my daughter knows them, as she has worked for one, and has worked with several others. She's currently volunteering with a couple of their campaigns.

She enjoyed listening to the speeches while interacting with the politicians and their staff members ..... until one union leader on stage -- who she knows and likes -- said, "It's time that we recognize that the Democratic Party has ignored us. We need to look in another direction." That upset my daughter, who is on the left wing of our party. What did I think?

My daughter knows that I am at the very left of the Democratic Party, and that over my decades of life, I have broken bread with figures from Angela Davis to Abbie Hoffman to Mark Rudd. And that, among many other social-political activities, I've invested a heck of a lot of energy in campaigning for Democratic Party candidates at all levels. Indeed, since she was a little girl, she and her younger sister often joined me in campaigning door-to-door.

I reminded her that, in my opinion, it is not just a matter of what you think about issues, it is a matter of what you -- and those you work with and support -- can actually accomplish. Now, that includes a recognition of what forces you are up against. That I doubt any party member has been 100% satisfied with every Democrat in office in the county, and that even the very best ones have flaws and imperfections. There is an old Irish saying, I reminded her, that a saint is but a dead sinner who's life has been edited and revised.

Yet to accomplish things -- including both advances, as well as defending against the opposition to progress -- the Democratic Party is the best option available to us. That "looking elsewhere" is not a rational option at this time. I noted the states seeking to deny women their right to health care, specifically abortion. And how the Democratic Party provides the only option to the madness of the conservative christians who want their religious beliefs imposed upon others.

"What can I do?" she asked. I told her that what I do is to try to serve as a bridge between the Democratic Party and the Left. The Iroquois word is "ahskwa," meaning in this context the human bridge that unites people of like mind on important issues. She laughed and said, Now don't die any time soon, Old Man. I need you around to remind me to trust my own instincts." I told her I plan to live to 125, and we ended our conversation.

The next phone call I got was from an old friend, who is a Hubert Humphrey Democrat. A Walter Mondale supporter. So you know he is delighted that Joe Biden is president. "Have you seen the news?" he asked. I hadn't. He told me to turn on the news right now, to see the horrible news about a leak regarding the Supreme Court.

I was hoping it was a lie.
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