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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 69,739

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Decompensation of Trump

Today, I think it might be good to talk about "decompensation." In the field of mental health, it usually applies to when an individual with a major mental illness begins to experience symptoms of their disease. There are numerous factors that might be involved, often more than one. The two that come to mind are stress and failure to take medications are prescribed. The earlier these things are dealt with, the better for the individual.

Another group of people who have difficulty navigation stress are those with features of the four personality disorders known as "Cluster B." These include antisocial personality disorder, norderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. People diagnosed with one of these disorders may have features of one or more of the others. And under severe stress, these features become more pronounced.

Now let's consider a small, yet significant group. I am speaking of sociopaths. Now, you might use one of the terms psychopath, or malignant narcissist. As noted in my first interview with Dr. Bandy Lee, these are the same thing. I note that Dr. Mary Trump refers to her uncle as a sociopath, so we'll stick with that.

Now, just like the others we have reviewed, sociopaths also can become symptomatic when under pressure. It is an individual thing, as every human deals with anxiety, pressure, and stress in their own way. But as noted by both Dr. Lee and Dr. Trump, sociopaths under great pressure not only show an increase in the features of Cluster B behaviors, but can experience brief psychotic episodes.

Next, imagine that the sociopath is the head of the family or group. There is no one who can say, "Hey, you don't seem to be doing well. ...." His family can't. Think about how Trump objectified his favorite child when she was young. No, a father who pressures his daughter to get nose and boob jobs does not view her as a distinct human being. Trump should have been incarcerated for child abuse.

Those in the group aroun him cannot exercise any wholesome control over him. They can't even influence him at this point. No attorney in a case like this -- if there's ever been one -- would want their client to go on Hannity at this time. Trump can't help himself. Same thing with rallies. I note that those around him say Trump doesn't have the same spark to ignate a 2024 campaign. But he has to get on stage. He has no control over satisfying this urge.

Those surrounding Trump have to pretend that he is the guy who loves a good legal fight. That he is calm, cool, rational, and at his best in these circumstances. But we are witnessing something very different. Q-anon theme song? This connects with the increased frequency of his saying there will be blood in the streets if he is indicted. Q-anon is the delivery system for violence this time. Not a sign of a very stable genius. The Clinton e-mails? Declassification telepathy?

It's one thing for the drunk with confederate flags and Trump yard signs to think all this makes perfect sense, and is proof of Trump's genius and strength. But think about his lawyers, the ones that refused to tell the Special Master about Trump's declassifying documents. They said they wanted to save that reasoning for the defense if Donald is indicted. Okay, how about now that the Special Master telling me to provide any and all evidence that the FBI "planted" evidence while executing the warrant.

In the past, a number of those surrounding Trump have fled. Some of the lawyers he has had have faced legal consequences. Many of those around him have been thrown under the bus. Do not be surprised if one or more of the lawyers associated with the mar-a-lago case quit in the next 7 to 10 days.

Closing Arguments

I'm going to throw a few names out, and see if you can identify an individual with connections to each. Let's start with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Add Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagain. How about John Gotti? Any ideas?

Carmine Galante. Tony Salerno. Artistatle Onassis. George Steinbrenner. Several people likely know the answer. But to make it easier, let's add Senator Joseph McCarthy, Roger Stone, and finally, Donald Trump. And yes, the answer is Roy Cohn.

I mention Roy simply to show that a lawyer does not need to be a good person to be capable and effective at defending wealthy criminals. Perhaps Cohn being such a creep is why he was so good at what he did for a living.

During the time before Trump became president, Trump had capable and effective lawyers that helped him to operate in the manner he did. Like him or not, Michael Cohen provided good services that allowed Trump to do bad things. And there were others besides Cohn and Cohen that served Trump in that fashion.

As president, Trump sought to surround himself with those he considered "loyal." This, of course, included his desire for a loyal Attorney General and FBI director. It didn't work out well for Jeff Sessions or James Comey. When he learned that Robert Mueller had been appointed to investigate the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump infamously asked, "Where's my Roy Cohn?" In stepped Bill Barr.

In Trump's two impeachment trials, capable and effective lawyers were brought in to represent him. While there was zero chance of the Senate convicting him, it was determined that Donald needed quality legal representation. However, because Trump did not think they were crooked enough to be trusted, he did not listen to them in regards to January 6 or his stealing classified documents.

Three more names are important here. Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and John Eastman. Rather that seeking capable and effective lawyers, Trump was looking for both loyalty and crookedness. This did not work out well for him, judging by the number of current legal cases and investigations now confronting him. Indeed, he must wonder when one of those three assclowns will turn on him.

Now, consider his current legal representation. It is known that top legal firms have politely passed on representing him. There is only one with experience at the higher levels. The others are, at very best, in way over their heads. There is no Roy Cohn. Even that turd Bill Barr has turned openly on Trump, though only for the wrong reasons.
who represents you in the closing arguments of your career.

It makes a big difference who gives the closing arguments of your career.

Uncommon Ground

" We define family in many different ways, not just by blood but by people with whom we share a common ground and a common bond." -- Adrienne C. Moore

Sometimes, after watching the news, I try to watch some "true crime" shows, court hearings, and police interrogations to relax. I'm still thinking about politics as I watch them. One that I enjoy is Stephanie Harlowe's "Coffee and Crime." She discusses social issues in a way that her generation does, questioning why common sense steps towards a healthy society are not being taken?

Now, on a recent show, she discussed a case where a rape kit sat unexamined for about a year. Then she told of regions in this country where there are hundreds of these kits that just aren't tested, because of being short staffed and lack of lab resources. And I thought what a great opportunity it is for our party and candidates to say we want to fix that.

Let's put that on the table when it comes to funding the police. Really, compare our priorities versus the republicans'. More labs and more employees means improving the police forces ability to solve crime faster. It means more good jobs for people interested in science. Who could possibly oppose that?

The Trump cult is opposed to science. Things like DNA and its implications do not set right with christian nationalists. By no coincidence, the same group that wants to have state and federal laws that control a woman's right to control her own body. The type that would think it adequate id Trump claims he declassified documents in a dream.

I'm amazed by the science of DNA. I'll note that none of the three tests that my children and I have taken involved waiting a year to be done. If they can do it, I would think we as a society of families, by blood and otherwise, should expect police to be at least as good.

And I like hearing Mrs. Harlowe talking about how, if this country is going to heal, it has to come through families. That means families, of blood and/or bond. And no matter what the structure. That's something I hear from many people of Harlowe and Moore's generation. They understand the connections between economics, politics, and the changing definitions and structures of families.

Older forum members like myself are encouraged when we hear a tounger generation examining these things. For we did, too. In 1968 Gary Snyder's "Earth House Hold" focused on the same ideas of family structure, the economix structure, and social justice. I'm glad to hear this new generation applying to today's society.

Bend the Arc

" Bend the Arc is bringing the power of our community to this year’s crucial Senate races. First up: two phonebanks for Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock with the New Georgia Project!

Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock is a man of faith and action who has made his life’s work a response to systemic racism, including leading the congregation at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s church in Atlanta..

His opponent, Herschel Walker, is a former football player with no political experience. He’s been endorsed by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and Josh Hawley — all of whom have attacked marginalized and working-class communities and the very foundations of our democracy to gain power.

The choice is clear. Help elect the leaders we need now by phonebanking for Sen. Warnock:

Phonebank: Thursday, September 22 at 5:15pm ET / 2:15pm PT."


There are three reasons for my posting this. First, I think it is important for every member of the Democratic Party to have a linkage with at least one grass roots group that works for social-political justice. Second, I find Bend the Arc to be an extremely important example of such a grass roots organization. And third, I know it is essential that Senator Warnock wins the November election.

Thank you for you attention.
H2O Man

Mind Games

I was listening to Lennon and the Plastic U.F.Ono Band this morning while doing the daily housework. Although I have zero musical talent other than selecting a good CD to listen to, I attempt to sing along when there is no one around. This gets the dog's attention, and she knows this is the perfect time to engage me in a bout of tug of war. With all stuffing from her favorite previously stuffed animal, I play along until she is tired out.

Today is the day that Judge Cannon will hand down her decision. I know that there is less of a chance of her honoring the law, than of my being confused for the fifth Beatle. That's a shame, but it is the harsh, cold reality of life in America today. A judge who has been roundly ridiculed in the way she has veen isn't going to budge. Indeed, this weakness in character is noth why Trump appointed her, and his defense team appealed to her.

Although I still maintain respect for our justice system, I am fully aware of its faults, from law enforcement up to the Supreme Court. I've worked on enough cases to know that injustice exists. In his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Dr. King wrote that "justice delayed is justice denied." I understand that. I do. And I appreciate that while "politics" shouldn't be a factor in the case of the stolen documents, it absolutely is.

Checking my e-mails, I found one from a person working on the Josh Riley campaign. He is someone I've spoken to on the phone a couple of times, and who has expressed interest in how I have organized local campaigns in the past. Being of simple mind, I thought the simplest way to communicate my ideas would be to send him the link to an internet "handbook for grass roots organizing" I had wrote a decade before a decade ago.

This was from when "fracking" was an issue, and I had organized a meeting of grass roots leaders from across the state. Such meetings always seem to include some confusion, and if not properly run, can involve nonsense of various types. I prefer keeping things simple and structured. Anyhow, my assistant put my "handbook" on a free internet site. But when I found it yesterday now demands money.

So I wrote back to the fellow who had e-mailed me, and focused on how a proper structure identifies what particular talents and abilities each volunteer has to offer, and coordinates them from the grass roots up. It's not original, of course, but rather, the result of combining what I learned in political science classes in college, and from my own study of campaigns over the decades.

Later in the day, I watched reports on Judge Cannon's ruling. As anticipated, it is dreadful. It is actually worse in ways from her original ruling, in that she came right out and said she is giving Trump special treatment, because of his status as ex-president. That alone should be added to the motion for a partial stay that the DOJ has certainly been preparing to file. That should be granted shortly after the motion has been filed.

In the evening, I had a phone call from a staff member working on Governor Kathy Hockul's and another House candidate's campaigns, to discuss grass roots organizing strategy. He noted that while we don't know one another, we have a connection -- at his last job, he worked with Lewis Steel, the lawyer for Rubin Carter's co-defendant John Artis. And we had a good discussion on how important it is to win elections in November.

The Fight

“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.”
― Eugene Victor Debs

I listen closely every time I hear Rep. Jamie Raskin speak. There are a number of Democrats in the House of Representatives who I really like, but none that I respect more than Raskin. I admire his intellect and especially his ability to communicate with the public.

Raskin pointed out that fascist, authoritarian movements are not defeated by liberals alone. I immediately began thinking about that, in the context of the very real threats to our country that the Trump cult poses. I was reminded of my own experience in 2010.

The supervisor of my hometown had made the news for his attacks on a tiny Sufi settlement in the township. The Sufi's lived on parts of what had been John & Yoko's Dream Street farms. The supervisor and two board members -- one his stepson, the other a business partner -- were best described as "mutant tea-partiers," as they had been kicked out of the region's chapter for being too extreme. When Keith Olbermann named the supervisor as "the worst person on earth," the conflict reached the international media.

I'll post a link to one news story below, then quote one sentence from it that you might notice has a familiar ring to it:

" 'I could kill Mother Teresa and this dog would still love me,' he says, before driving away." -- Sidney Town Supervisor Bob McCarthy

The leaders of the town and county Democrat Party contacted me, and requested that I help them combat the local fascists. Although I resided in a different county, I was happy to help. My focus was on uniting good people to oppose the supervisor and two board members. That was accomplished by electing a Democratic majority on the town board, for the first time in its history.

I knew that couldn't happen by appealing to just registered Democrats. For the majority of voters in the town are republicans, followed by independents. Democrats were a distant third in numbers. No, it required uniting people from both the left and right of the Democratic Party against the mutants. It took a heck of a lot of work, mind you, but we did it.

As Rep. Rasking noted, he looks forward to the day when he can again debate republicans on a variety of issues that they disagree on. But, at this time, he has to focus on getting more to oppose the fascist threat. I can relate to that. I was okay with some of the republicans from my hometown, but they aren't people I ever have socialized with. I'm likewise no fan of Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger. But I respect their service on the J6 Committee. It is mighty important in confronting the maga monster.

I have always been comfortable with "the left." I recognize that some have issues that are expressed in ways I disagree with. "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't going to make with anyone, anyhow," as John sang. I dislike the media at times reinforcing the maga's stance that they represent the Democratic Party. This is particularly annoying, since there are many rational spokesperson for the left, who are never interviewed by the mainstream media.

Rep. Raskin's message is essential, in my opinion, for us not only to win elections in November. It is equally important in slaying the threat from the authoritarian, fascist right-wing threat to our country. Others may disagree, of course. But I think that Raskin is correct.

Bad Boy Steve

Steve Bannon, you've been a bad, bad boy, and now you've got to pay your dues. You are facing trial in state court for a crime that you accepted a pardon for -- admitting guilt, according to the US Supreme Court -- when charged in federal court. Bad, bad, bad. Now you are facing time in a shithole of a state prison.

Thoughts & prayers,
H2O Man

On Locus & Lotus

Today, I'd like to speak about the concept of "locus of control." I think it is kind of important, in the context of OPs/threads that I've read over the past 24 + hours, since Judge Cannon released her foul ruling. I anticipate that some (maybe many) will disagree with me, which is fine. However, if you do, please consider replying, so that there may be a meaningful conversation.

"Locus of control" is a concept that applies to individuals and groups. Thus, it spans the fields of psychology and sociology. It can be internal, external, or anywhere in between. A person with an internal locus of control thinks they are able to exert a positive control over many -- but definitely not all -- of the circumstances in their lives.

To illustrate with an example, the great heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali had an internal locus of control. This went beyond thinking he could defeat any and all opponents he faced in the ring. When Uncle Sam drafted him, Ali knew he could not control what the government did. But he could, and did, have complete control on how he responded. He was prepared to stay true to his beliefs while acting on them, come what may.

An external locus of control is found in those who identify as victims of circumstance. They tend to be those who were lied to since they were itty-bitty children. They were not raised to be condident of reaching their potential. They did not get adequate encouragement from parents or teachers in school. They identify as being powerless, helpless, and hopeless.

Most of us fall somewhere in between. We are good at some things, not so good at others. Lots of things we can influence, if not control, including having an idiot for a supervisor at work. Other things, such as the price of groceries, that we might have some control, if only in what we buy.

Groups can influence circumstances, too. Good examples are found in the 2018 and 2020 elections. Now, that didn't give us control over who Trump placed on the federal courts. But it did provide us with the ability to take advantage of having Democrats control what the other two branches of the federal government might do to respond to the current federal judiciary.

Now let's consider a common reaction to "bad news" in individuals and groups. I have the ability to go immediately to "worst case scenario" when confronted with routine medical tests at the doctor's office. I torture myself with thoughts of the pain and suffering that the worst case scenario surely means. Days later, when her office calls to say everything came back good, I always ask, "What aren't you telling me? Is it too horrible for words?" They try to reassure me, despite my request for an prescription for strong placebos.

Some things are too horrible for words. Trump's election in November od 2016 was the very definition of "worst case scenario." Everything he did made it worse than that. That includes the horrible people he placed in the federal courts. It includes the hordes of people who believed him when he said, "I alone can fix it." They have as external locus of control that they believe someone else will "save" them.

I'll take that further. We know his hordes are dangerous. But even that is evidence of an external locus of control. They don't dare go out into public without a gun. Yes, it is a phallic symbol. But it is also Dumbo's feather. People who are confident they can handle themselves don't need Dumbo's feather.

Now, there is anything you or I can do about the loose Cannon on the federal bench. But there are things we can do. If you believe that President Biden is correct about this being a battle for the nation's soul, then work on electing Democrats. If you are mad as hell about Cannon trying to protect Trump, then work like hell to elect Democrats. Do not doubt your ability to make a valuable contribution.

All Along the Watchtower

" No reason to get excited
The thief, he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But, uh, but you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin' falsely now
The hour's getting late, " -- Bob Dylan; All Along the Watchtower

I don't think anyone is surprised by Judge Cannon's ruling per a special master. She had proven herself to be a Trump advocate when she said she was likely to appoint one, before even hearing the DOJ's response to Trump's original filing. In that sense, it was similar to knowing that the current Supreme Court would be eager to overturn Roe. However, in the current case, the potential for long-term harm to the public is not even close to the same.

The most significant OP I've read on DU:GD today is from our friend FelineOverlord:
One can like or dislike Maggie Haberman -- or have no opinion of her at all -- and still see the importance of her comment. Likewise, one can forgive Hyle Cheney for that last name, and recognize the value of making the ruling available.

If a judge in a trial said, "Bring the guilty bastard in, and I'll give him a fair trial," most everyone would recognize that judge was not objective. Likewise, when a judge states publicly that they are likely to rule in favor of one side, before even hearing from the other side, we know that they are not objective.

Her comments on the harm that indicting Trump might cause -- found on pages 9 and 10 -- further document her inability to be objective. Add to that her comments on the public interest, where she clearly shows that she thinks the Trump cult is by definition the public, and it appears there are issues the DOJ could appeal her decision on.

I trust the DOJ to make the best decision on how to respond to this naked attempto to delay justice. No special master is going to decide that Trump had the right to take and keep the classified documents. It already seemed likely that the DOJ wasn't going to indict Trump until after the November elections. But this is a speed bump on the road to justice, and not a spike strip. We need to keep our eyes on the prize.

Mr. Robinson

" Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they've always made me glad." -- Malcolm X

Holding Cassius, I was focused on being a grandfather for the first time. But something that Eugene Robinson said, on the television I was only dimply aware of, struck me as intense. He said that President Biden's speech was a wartime address to the nation. Here's to you, Mr. Robinson, sane people appreciate you more than you could know.

A brand new link in the DNA chain going back hundreds of thousands of years deserves a better world than the one this old man is handing down. But I'm not wringing my hands in distress. There's a lot of fight left in this old bag of bones, ready to contribute to the larger fight taking place across the nation to battle the fascist threat to democracy.

Back home, I took a phone call from one of the heads of the campaign for Congress that I am working on. I like to find out if people are hoping their efforts will secure a job in DC , or if they are intent upon serving as a grass roots organizer. Perhaps a combination of both.

I was encouraged talking with this young man. I can easily tell who is interested in hearing what an old activist has to say, or if they believe they know everything necessary after sitting in a college/university classroom. For the best campaigns are neither restricted to top-down or bottom-up, but combine the two.

The best campaigns do not include clinging to old grudges. An obvious example would be that in 2016, the majority of white women voted for Trump over Clinton. And a significant percentage of black women -- the strongest base of the Democratic Party -- did not vote. But it would take the synergy of ignorance and pettiness to create the error in thinking that we do not have to appeal to black and white women to win in November.

In this region of rural upstate New York, the numbers of reistered voters goes in the following sequence: republicans, independents, then Democrats. Thus, everyone who has retained the math skills they mastered in the first grade can recognize that a Democrat has to appeal to independents to have a chance for victory. Those chances increase if the candidate can also appeal to some republicans.

At very best, it would be foolish to the point of self-defeating for us to engage in imaginary purity tests as November approaches. If you and I were preparing to go door-to-door, imagine if I said the most important factor for me is knowing if they supported Robert Kennedy or Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 Democratic primary. Why, you would know that I should focus on stuffing envelopes at campaign headquarters, not talking to potential voters. For you would know that my brain was stuck hip-deep in a bitter past.

Now, that's not to say that stuffing envelopes isn't just as important as going door-to-door. I imagine that, over the decades, I've stuffed about as many envelopes as I have knocked on doors. What it does mean is that we all have talents -- things we are good at -- as well as things we aren't as good at. Conversing on someone's porch, for example, is distinct from addressing a crowd. We all have something to offer.

We need people to reach out to teachers' and labor unions. To college senates and other campos groups. And on and on. Everyone's efforts are of value, and needed.

What I do best is convince voters who are to the left of the Democratic Party to vote for our candidates. That doesn't include all Democratic Party candidates equally, of course. I can break bread with those who wouldn't give most campaigners the time of day. And it wouldn't matter if I was wearing shorts and a Malcolm X t-shirt, or a suit. They know I'm not there to lie to them, and that they don't only hear from me come election season.

We are indeed at war, no matter if we want to be, or wish things were different. We now have the opportunity to make things different. If we all contribute to the effort, we will find that democracy is the antidote to the rise of fascism.
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