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H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
January 28, 2023


Title fight: Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde, 12 rounds, for Beterbiev's WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles.

This fight is being held in London, and can be viewed today (Jan 28) on ESPN+ at 3pm/est. The rest of the card includes some good fights, but the boxing community is focused on the main event. On paper, it is the type of fight that appeals to a wider group of sports fans, as it pits two very good boxer-punchers that will almost certainly end in a brutal knockout.

Now, let's take a look at both of these guys. If we again went by "on paper," both win almost all of their fights by knockout. Yet they are not just sluggers with limited boxing skills. Both men know how to set an opponent up to land hard punches. Both are patient, and wear the opponent down over a number of rounds. Both tend to set the pace in their fights.

Yarde, 31, is at 6 foot a half-inch taller. His record is 23 - 1, with 22 knockouts. He was stopped by light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019 in the tenth roundm and lost a split-decision to undefeated Lyndon Arthur. Two fights later, Yarde avenged that disputed loss by knocking Arthur out, thus winning two minor titles.

I think that Yarde will attempt to out-box Beterbiev, but it is his nature to try to inflict damage with combinations thrown with bursts of speed. It's interesting that Beterbiev fights a lot like Sergey Kovalev did. We see that Yarde learned from his first Arthur fight, raising the obvious question of what he learned in the Kovalev fight?

It's also fair to ask that, no matter how smart any current light heavyweight is, could it change the outcome of a fight against Beterbiev? The 38-year old champion's record is 18 - 0, with 18 knockouts. More, at 38, he appears to be in his prime. A growing number of members of the boxing community are comparing him to the great Rocky Marciano. The two are/were about the same size, and wear opponents down with their great physical strength. Both are the definition of relentless in the ring. Both overcame cuts that would normally end a fight, to score knockouts.

In my opinion, Beterbiev has better defensive skills than Rocky had. Both have shown they know how to set opponents with a variety of styles up for their most powerful punches. But the defensive skills that Beterbiev has shown result in his taking less punishment than Rocky. A huge factor will be how each responds to taking a punch that hurts them this afternoon.

Now, this fight could end in the first round. Or it could be similar to Foreman vs Lyle, one of the sport's greatest toe-to-toe fights. While it is possible that it goes to the decision, I don't think that is likely. If I were to speculate, I'd favor Beterbiev between rounds six to eight

January 27, 2023

On Green Grass

"This world and yonder world are incessantly giving birth: every cause is a mother, its effect the child.
"When the effect is born, it too becomes a cuse and gives birth to wonderous effects.
"These causes are generation on generation, but it needs a very well lighted eye to see the links in their chain."
-- Jalal-ad-din Rumi, Persian Sufi poet

I'm likely a few days late for getting in on the discussions of the "generation gap" on this forum. For I am old, and try to think about things before expressing myself. You know how old people are -- and how frustrating it can be when they communicate inslow motion. My kids likely get annoyed when I raise what I consider an important point on a debate that took place 72+ hours before.

So I often find myself lstening to the boys debate some point ot another in another room, while I sit in a rocking chair with my grandson fast asleep in my arms. That chair used to belong to my great-great-maternal grandparents. It probably could have been thrown away a couple of generations ago, when padded rocking chairs hit the scene, but instead it ended up in my parents' attic when I was young. When they died, it was given to my older sister, who didn't want it because it was old. Luckily, my youngest daughter saved it from being sold or thrown out.

I'm surrounded by framed pictures hanging on the walls of my ancestors. My great grandfather moved his family to the U.S. in 1879, when my grandfather was four or five. I also have tin-type pictures of extended family members in Ireland from before the move, many of which were in te family bible they brought over. By chance -- if one believes in chance -- my grandfather's last living cousin saw me on television decades ago, was reminded of another of his cousins named Patrick, and contacted me. When I visited him, he gave me the bible that his mother -- my g-g-g grandfather's sister -- had when she served as the family historian. He said if we hadn't met, they would probably have been thrown out when he died.

Listening to my grandfather's cousin and his wife, both in their early 90s, helped fill in the blanks about many of the extended family members that I only knew of by name. It also presented some humor. His wife asked if my brother and I were republicans? The husband said, "Of course not! Look at their hair!" It wasn't only that they held republicans in contempt ..... she wanted to show us a room where they grew enough pot to last them a year.

Anyhow, when my now teething grandson woke up, I carried him around the house, showing him pictures of his ancestors. I tell him that they lived teir lives the way that they did, so that he can live his life the way that he will. He was more interested in gnawing on a teething ring, but I am confident that he will understand when he gets older.

After my grandson and son leave, I get back to thinking about this generation gap. This is not a hard transition, since my son frequently tells me about some "new" concept in raising children, as if I wasn't aware of it. (How did human beings survive in the pre-podcast era?) As an old seanchai, I think back to the words of a preacher -- one who lived long before me, and apparently was talking to a younger generation: "The thing that has been, it is the thing that shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1 )

Now, as possibly the oldest person on the planet, I have plenty of experiences ranging from being a young activist listening to and learning from older, more experienced people, to being an old person telling young folks about my insights. Some of the time these days, a few young people appreciate what I have to say, other times not so much. I keep in mind something that Oren Lyons, the Onondaga Faithkeeper, told me more than 40 years ago -- if you talk to a group of 20 people, and one "gets it," you have done well.

If I were to mention one young person who really values my experience, it would be my older daughter. She's a heck of a lot smarter than me, but not as experienced. She calls me at least once a week, to ask my opinion on some social-political issue that she is working on. This, despite her knowing I'll ask what the options are. Then we discuss the potential good and bad with each option. And then I tell her to trust her own judgement.

About a week ago, she sent me pictures from the Massachusetts new Attorney General being sworn in -- the first black woman to hold the office. My daughter used to work for her. She thought it was nice that my daughter frequently spoke of talking with me about issues, so much so that she called my daughter "Scout." Hopefully, not only old DU members will recognize this from Harper Lee's novel.

I'll end by saying this: if my daughter can learn from a decrepit specimen as me -- and I continue to learn from her -- then surely we are all teachers and students. And we are at a point when we do not have the luxury of divisions based on age, etc. Finally, our music was far superior in the 1960s and early '70s.

H2O Man

January 18, 2023


“Stalking someone you had a past with is nothing but self-torture and people who love themselves don't hurt themselves.”
― Sarvesh Jain

"Stalking" is apparently an issue in the Idaho case. Cell phone records indicate that the killer had been in the neighborhood near the victims' house at least twelve times leading up to the murders, was nearby at the time of the crime, and returned again approximately five hours later. There were also previous reports that one of the victims thought she was being stalked. As a result, some experts from various fields have stated it is likely the murderer had encountered one or more of his victims in the past.

Since stalking is an all too common problem -- usually involving a man stalking a woman -- I thought I'd provide some information on the three primary types of stalking. These are distinct from a junior high student with a crush on a girl, lacking the confidence to approach her to attempt to strike up a conversation, and instead following from a distance. Yet, this might be considered a 4th type, at the lowest end of the risk scale.

The next type, which often results in police and/or mental health interventions, involves the guy who just cannot accept that "she" broke up with him. This can be in the context of dating, living together, or married couples. Generally, the guy thinks that if she will only listen to him beg for another chance, thinngs will work out just dandy.

Next, we find the type where the man seeks to intimidate the women. Like the last example, this fellow wants to be seen. But he is looking to scare the woman he is stalking. He fully intends for his action to be viewed as threatening. In general, we can identify the increasing dangers that each one poses. This in no sense means there are not violent junior high students, or guys who think, "If I can't have her, no one can." But intimifation stalkers are more prone to doing anything from violating orders of protection, popping car tires, or physical assaults.

The last type is what took place in Idaho. It is known as predatory stalking. While it may involve someone who thought, for example, his prey insulted him somewhere that she may not be aware of, it is frequently a complete stranger. The only connection exists exclusively between the stalker's ears. By no coincidence, this type has a close relationship with cases or rape and/or murder. The BTK killer comes to mind.

Predatory stalkers are best understood as very much like other animals that stalk prey. One could view them as similar to both felidae and lizards. Indeed, it appears that in these men, their "lizard brain" is calling many of their behaviors. More, they tend to increase their staking behaviors over time.

Thus, some experts expect that the Idaho murderer's defense team will argue that his DNA could have been found as a result of his attending a party there. I'd say perhaps in their opening or closing statements, but it seems unlikely they will find anyone who would testify to that. Including him.

Although it is extremely unlikely we will ever know, one thing that the evidence seems to point to is that he had snuck into the house previously, when everyone was sleeping. The timing of his cell phone pings show he was in the neighborhood late at night on several occasions. Just as the Manson family engaged in "creepy crawling," for example, late night break-ins are not uncommon before this time of murder.

January 16, 2023

Post-Mortem Blues

"That's why our socieal response to mass shootings has been to wage war on the monsters. We've tried locking the monsters out. We've turned our schools into secure fortresses with metal detectors, bulletproof windows, and impenetrable doors. We've installed high-tech security systems in our workplaces, even stationed police outside our concerts and casinos to spot the monsters before they get in. .....

"It has failed because monsters are not them. They are us -- boys and men we know. Our children. Our students. Our colleagues. Our community. They're walking in and out of the same secure doors we are, past the same armed guards every day, like the rest of us. They're standing next to us as we rehearse for the next shooting. They're reading and watching the same media stories we are. They are not outsiders. They are insiders."
-- The Violence Project, Jillian Peterson & James Densley, Abrams Press, 2021, pages 2-3

This may sound like utter speculation on my part, and I admit that it is something that I can not prove. But I think it is more than a hunch. Over the majority of the decades I have been alive, if a six-year old brought a gun to school and shot his teacher, society would have recognized it as alarmingly abnormal. Yet in 2023, while some of the media covered the story, and numerous citizens were horrified, attention to it faded fast.

I think one measure of how important it is can be found in the silence of republicans. Even they don't feel safe in saying this is no time to examine issues with guns. They aren't calling it mental illness. And the NRA isn't spouting Amendment 2 nonsense.

I was glad to see forum member ShazzieB's OP on the issue:

From ShazzieB's important post here today:

Now, one reason for the lack of media attention to this story is because of the kid's age. The police, prosecutors, and school cannot give out many details, and that is a good thing. But that should not close the doors to discussing the larger problem. Plus, the value of ShazzieB's article, that raises questions based upon what facts are known. It is essential to democracy that citizens ask questions, including those that are uncomfortable.

There are a number of internet shows that focus on "true crime." Some are pretty good, others are really bad, and everything in between can be found. I'll focus on why I find some of them worth watching. Guests include lawyers with experience in prosecuting and defending accused criminals, police and prosecutors, criminologists, mental health experts, and a range of intelligent, informed "average citizens."

In a real sense, the internet serves in the manner that the public square did in communities long ago. They offer educational opportunities that do not require tuition or loans, though not the type that go on a resume for any job other than being a good citizen. And we need citizens to understand that there are "at risk" kids in every town and city in America.

On one of the shows I watched on the Idaho murders, a forensic psychologist noted that to really understand what happened there, people should read the book I quoted at the top. I've posted things about the book here, as it is by two brilliant experts on how to stop school shootings. The gentleman on that show noted that the Idaho murders were different from school shootings only in that the killer used a knife.

The below article suggests that he struggled with some issues that are not uncommon among those of adolescent age. His posts are a bit theatrical, another thing common among that age group. And they also detail the general thoughts of the majority of mass, spree, and serial murderers in their school years.

It was when Senator Robert F. Kennedy ran for president that I first became familiar with this Albert Camus quote: "Perhaps we cannot this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you believers don't help us, who in the world can help us do this?" For me, Kennedy's attempt to confront this quote through a dedicated personal effort is the exact definition of what the Democratic Party is, at its very best.

For it is not only the troubled kid in school who suffers. It is every student who witnesses a school shooting. It is the families, friends, and communities where these horrors take place. And it is the patrolmen, for example, that first entered the Idaho house and found four dead students.

In recent decades, we have witnessed Democrats focusing on gun control as the major factor that we must address. Republicans attempt to distract, by noting the need to address mental illness, despite the fact that they are unwilling to invest the funds that would require. Attend your local school board meeting, when an increase in taxes is proposed, in order to hire more social workers. It will be republicans who oppose spending more money on "those kids." They don't understand it is also to prevent their classmates from becoming victims.

Internet searches document that most school shooters have a fascination with previous schoool shooters. The Idaho murderer had a similar fascination with previous mass and serial murderers. Obviously, access to guns is a key issue. Mental health issues are key, as well. Yet the majority of these murderers do not have the major mental illnesses we associate with "insanity" in the context of the legal system. Yet they all have entrenched mental health issues, that often have multi-generational roots.

In the first half of 1968, I thought that Robert Kennedy would save us from the social pathologies threatening this country. I didn't grasp the real meaning of Kennedy or Camus's message. It is up to us. I'll end with a quote with variations attributed to both Malcolm X and J. Edgar Hoover: "The cure for crime is found in the high chair, not the electric chair."

January 14, 2023

Nuance and Snakes

"Television is apparently the enemy of nuance. But nuance is essential for a thoughtful discussion." -- Barney Frank

Rep. Frank was one of my favorite politicians while serving in the House from 1981 to 2013. I cannot say for sure, of course, but I suspect that today he would include the internet as among the enemies of nuance. I shall keep this in mind as I offer my opinion on the classified documents that were not returned by then Vice President Biden.

There are three groups worthy of consideration: Democrats, republicans, and independents. On this forum, I have read a variety of opinions ranging from it is not a big deal, to it was sloppy and may create an irritation if not issue, to it might be the result of underhanded agents loyal to Trump. I find this encouraging, perhaps in part because I disagree with many of the opinions expressed on the issue. And another enemy of nuance is the groupthink often associated with efforts for solidarity.

I like and support President Biden. Along with Kennedy and Obama, he is one of the most influential presidents of my lifetime. No president or vice president is perfect, and every one of them will make errors. More, as the sign on Truman's desk read, "The Buck Stops Here." Even some of the mistakes made by aides become entrenched in a president's reputation -- as Nixon learned.

In my opinion -- of no more value than the next person's -- it was sloppy and will likely be a problem, not in the DOJ criminal investigation, but in the social-political atmosphere as we approach 2024. The "no big deal" mindset strikes me as unrealistic. Any time classified documents are removed, knowingly or unknowingly, it is as issue. Hopefully, no Democrat thinks that what happened in this case is okay. And to think many republicans will understand nuance would be an error.

It may be tempting to think that since the most awful of maga candidates lost in the 2022 elections, the republican party is on the road to recovery. It's not. Those who lost were primarily those running on the Trump platform that the 2020 election was stolen. But those intent upon "investigating" Hunter Biden's laptop, Anthony Fauci, the Attorney General and the President gained enough seats to control the House. And they will seek to exploit this issue.

This is true, even if a criminal investigation into the mishandling of classified documents concludes that there was no criminal intent, hence no prosecutions. The glaring example of the damage that even that can do is, of course, the 2016 presidential election. Many people blame James Comey for Trump's victory, and there is merit to this. In July, Comey told a press conference that although Secretary Clinton and her top aides had been "extremely careless," there would be no legal charges.

Then, on October 28, Comey notified members of Congress that the case was being re-opened. Within minutes, republicans shared this information with the media. No sane person could argue that Comey's move influenced the outcome of the election. However, having evidence that classified documents were found on the laptop of Huma Abedin's husband Anthony Weiner, showed they were not only found on the Clinton's private server. (I note that it was the NYC FBI agents that suddenly found these. For years on this forum, I have noted that there is a cluster of politically ultra-conservative agents there.)

I think it is an error to think the farce from picking a Speaker suggests there is a level of bitter in-fighting among republicans that renders them impotent for the next two years. I do agree that they will engage in zero meaningful efforts to promote the social good. For they are all rattlesnakes. There are different regional species in our country -- the timber, the prarie, and the dimondback -- and one might quarrel with another. But they are all republican rattlesnakes, and they will sink their fangs into this.

Speaking figuratively, if there is a rattlesnake out on my lawn, threatening to bite people, I'm going to get my ax and cut its head off. If there are some republican milk snakes out there, I'm not interested in taking the time to evaluate. Off with their heads. "Thoughts and prayers." Same thing here. If republicans try to compare this case with the Trump case, I think it is better to say that both were sloppy. Both are wrong. I'll avoid trying to say "no big deal" in the Biden case. But to then point out nuance -- which one was simply a sloppy error versus which one involved a deliberate attempt to cover up stolen documents. One is a big deal, and one is a big crime. Just my opinion.

January 8, 2023

Second Servings

My nephew contacted me to share a story he knew that I would enjoy. One of his daughters plays hockey on a "mixed" team, consisting of the best boys and girls in the region. They compete against other teams from around the northeast, that are mainly made up of boys. She is the Assistant Captain of her team.

A boy on the other team trie to pull her head down with his stick, which of course is a foul. But he wasn't being called on it. Finding herself on her knees, with his stick on her neck, she punched him -- hard -- in the balls. He did not foul her again. To say I am mighty proud would be an understatement. Indeed, I believe there is a lesson here for dealing with republicans.

I was able to spend the afternoon with my sons and grandson. My boys have been engaged in an on-going argument about economic theories that -- because it is way, way over my head -- I consider meaningless. Thus, my undivided attention was focused upon entertaining Cassius. At just over four months old, I am unable to translate his end of conversations, but we both get a good laugh from what each of us says.

After a few hours, the little guy fell asleep. The boys were still debating economics, so I spoke up, suggesting we discuss the Idaho murder case. Both of them suggested that there is something wrong with me, as I find "true crime, police interrogations, forensic psychology, and trials fascinating. In self-righteous indignation, I pointed out I have far more things wrong with me than that!

Trying to keep the conversation going, I pointed out that one forensic psychologist had stated that people needed to read "The Violence Project, " by Jillian Peterson and James Densley. This is the most recent book I've purchased, and it focuses on stopping mass shootings in schools. The psychologist noted that this was a variation of the same dynamics. But my sons began reciting Lennon's poem "Our Dad," and instead insisted we watch a comedian they thought I'd like.

I'n never heard of Shane Gillis before, but one thing in particular he spoke about was interesting. He noted that in the 2016 republican primaries, there were numerous experienced politicians that could speak about policies and theory. And there was Donald Trump, who at first had very little support. Instead of policy and theory, Trump relied upon the only thing he had -- fifth grade level insults. Soon, he became the republican nominee, then president.

Even though he lost the popular vote in both 2016 and 2020, he showed that the majority of republicans favot fifth grade insults to policy and theory -- something he never discussed in any of the debates he was in. Today, we see proof that this still defines the republican party. Thus, I advocate that we take a lesson from my great niece: sometimes you have to punch the opposition in the balls.

We are reaching the end of a warm period in the northeast. Last night, I took the dog out for a long walk around the lawn and field. Though she doesn't speak English, I told the dog how Chief Waterman used to call this "Caucasian Summer." Unlike my grandson, she didn't laugh, being a dog and all. As we walked, I thought about how much fun I have showing Cassius the numerous pictures of his ancestors that hang on the walls of my house. I tell him how Rubin used to remind me that every day of life on Earth is a living miracle, that we each get a turn on this living planet in the eternal Now.

And that as John sange, you've got to serve yourself. Ain't nobody gonna do it for you.
January 5, 2023

Dark Paroxysm

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." —Oscar Wilde

I've been talking quite a bit with my west coast brother lately, about the University of Idaho murders. He used to live outside of Los Angeles, and enjoyed city life for decades. But when his older daughter was ready for college, he was glad she picked that university. He said a big part of it for him was it seemed like a nice, safe community.

Law enforcement has, in my opinion, done a good job in this case. Keep in mind that crime scene analysis is the first step in the making of a profile of the killer. For example, he made an effort to commit the "perfect crime," including leaving no clues. Yet that is a clue, in and of itself.

Like most people who followed this investigation, my brother and I considered a number of possible scenarios. None included a PhD student of criminology looking to commit the perfect crime. But there were a few ideas that were not that far off. Not all were original -- early on, a DUer said "incel," and I really wish I could remember who to give credit.

I mentioned that to my brother, and expanded on it to include other men who, while not incels, have a diseased hatred of women. An obvious subgroup would be those who resent educated women. This type exists. Yet, as it turned out, it appears that the DUer who said "incel" was on target. There is no evidence he ever even went on a date, but there is evidence that women he attempted to talk to at a bar found him "creepy."

On one of the shows covering the crime, I saw a retired FBI agent saying the police were wrong to say the house could be the target. She said it had to be one of the four victims. I told my brother that she must not be familiar with 10050 Cielo Drive. Yet, if the house was selected as the target, it would not mean the killer was 100% unfamiliar with who the occupants of the household were.

There is reason to believe one of the young ladies thought she had a stalker. My impression was that this issue was not being addressed publicly by police, though there could be something to it. At the same time, it is not difficult to do surveillance without being noticed. Private investigators do so every day. (It tends to be easier to remain unnoticed surveilling an individual or an automobile, than a house.)

On one program, a cop noted that "if you want to get away with murder, kill someone you don't know." Yet in this case, it appears likely the scum thought he was picking a "soft target," a household of women. That is distinct from randomly picking a house, which could have numerous men inside. Again, a crime scene is the foundation that a personality profile.

"The killer awoke before dawn
He put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall...."
-- Jim Morrison

Through the 11th grade, he was an intelligent, overweight, and socially awkward kid who was sometimes picked on. The summer before his senior year, he got into shape. During the school year, he began to bully his friends. He also attempted to learn to box, which likely was the source of his broken nose. A bully does not do well in amateur boxing.

His studies in criminology had two focuses: learning about the passions of mass- and serial murderers, and proving himself to be the smartest person in the room. A former classmate from DeSales University said he often talked over the professor, a nationally respected expert on crime. Although she is not commenting, there is reason to believe he studied the subject of her important book, the BTK killer.It's worth noting that scum proved hard to catch, because he was an outlier among serial killers.

Seven months ago, the killer posted a survey on Reddit, asking criminals to describe their “thoughts, emotions and actions from the beginning to end of the crime commission process.” With 20/20 hindsight, I think it is clear that the killer not only was taking an unhealthy interest in murderers, but was fantasizing about becoming the most intelligent mass murderer, able to escape detection as a respected criminologist.

The killer identified his favorite quote as coming from Aristotle: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Yet the Buddha and Gandhi said that "what you think, you become."

Although I've only heard it twice today in the media, a non-media source told me days ago that investigators have evidence that the killer was surveilling the house nights for around two weeks before the murders. Even if he was not familiar with the residents, this creates a pattern. Neighbors notice cars that show up at night. Cameras catch the car. And cell phone pings can be found.

In college, I took some law enforcement classes. I remember the sheriff that taught the courses saying that a smart criminal might think if eight ways to cover their tracks, and a really intelligent criminal might think of sixteen. But that police have fifty ways to catch them, and the FBI has a hundred. I'm sure technology has increased the ability of law enforcement to catch criminals in the decades since then. DNA is a huge one, capable of pulling mask off.

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