H2O ManH2O Man's Journal
Earlier this week, 1988 Olympic and IBF heavyweight champion was coming to a town not far from me. My son and I had planned to go meet with him, but our schedule was a bit delayed as it includes his wife and their ten month old son. When they picked me up, I said I hoped that Ray Mercer hadn't left. But my daughter-in-law said she had called, and Ray would be there.
It's not every day that one gets to sit down for a meal with one of the toughest heavyweight fighters of the 1990s. Now Ray, who only took up the sport at the age of 23 while in the military, did turn pro in 1989, and fought until 2008, but his best years were in the '90s. We had a blast talking about his career, and his opinion of other fighters. I'm thinking a couple of these might be of interest to members of this DU sports forum.
I found his fight against Tommy Morrison to be extremely impressive. Around that time in 1991, I became good friends with a new employee at the mental health clinic. Over the years, we became the best community crises response team in the region, many times being called outside of our county. Mt friend aso liked the great sport, and favored the 27 - 0 Morrison, while I favored the 17 - 0 Mercer.
This wasn't only because Ray had decisioned Tommy in the amateurs. It had more to do with each one's performances and quality of opposition. While Tommy had some big names on his record, they were both way past their primes and on losing streaks when he beat them. Ray had fought high quality opposition, including some not long after their primes, and in his previous bout, an undefeated (27 - 0) contender for the WBO heavyweight title/
I told Ray that each year, I post film of his devastating knockout of Morrison on my buddy's facebook page. He laughed and asked, "Really?" My son assured him that it is a tradition I enjoy. So Ray autographed a photo of him landing the most brutal punch on Tommy for my friend. He explained that he knew the type of steroid Tommy had been using, and that Tommy would be gassed by the 5th or 6th round. He also said that Morrison's punches were painful to take, especially the body shots.
My son asked him about his fight against former UFC heavyweight champion Tony Sylvia in 2009. At first, it was supposed to be a boxing match, but Tony could not get licensed to box a former heavyweight champion in his debut. There was some back and forth about if there would be a MMA fight. But nothing was settled on fight night. Ray was upset he wasn't getting a fight and thus paid, and he started drinking as he watched the undercard. By the time the bout was agreed upon, he told us he was very intoxicated. He won by a one-punch KO in 9 seconds.
Ray was impressed by my son's accomplishments in the amateurs, and asked why he hadn't turned pro? Despite my saying that his primary responsibilities were now to his wife and son -- who remained quiet at this point -- I was outnumbered. Ray had questions about my ring experience, and also my "record" as a trainer. He was curious why I passed on an offer a couple years ago to be a co-trainer for the national (amateur) team?
After I explained the three reasons I'm not interested in participating these days -- the damage it does to fighters, the terrible corruption, and because of my 10-month old grandson -- Ray pulled me aside. He said, "You are a good trainer. You build fighters, preparing them physically and mentally. Boxing needs people like you." He said that now he is thinking of moving up near us, and we talked about the lack of boxing gyms. I noted that my main focus these days is my grandson.
"Yeah, but look," Ray said. "Your grandson is wearing the boxing trunks here that your son said you bought for him. And we both know that little boy is going to be the world champion when he grows up!" We then shared a laugh as more people in the restaurant were coming to see my beautiful grandson than an ex-heavyweight champion.
" ..... I respect his frankness for the same reasons a ship's captain has the moral obligation to his passengers to avoid a ship-wreck, if he can, and a civilized person has the same moral obligation to not only themselves to be skeptical and demand proof of any and all statements that claim to be one of fact! Because in the final analysis all tyranny rests in frfraud and deceit, in convincing people to accept a false assumption on face-value, and any people or person who for one moment abandons or suspends that questioning spirit has, at that very moment, actually betrayed all of humanity. ...."
-- Rubin "Hurricane" Carter; letter to me; Tuesday, February 20, 1979.
I respect Attorney General Merrick Garland. Earlier on this very day, on an OP/thread by a community member I also respect who does not share my opinion, I said that, " I think (Garland) is doing a good job." Not perfect, but good. And I said that I consider some -- but not all -- of the negative things people were saying were worthy of consideration.
Indeed, the more I thought about it, the more certain I was to open this with a quote from one of Rubin's letters to me 44 years ago. I think that those who have a very different opinion than I might point out that A. G. Garland is, if Rubin was correct, a ship's captain. And they would be absolutely correct.
More, the quote still holds true for me in the context of citizens needing to question exactly why things have taken the path that they have. There are valid questions that need answers. And this demands an understanding of the Department of Justice, which means understanding that the DOJ isn't going to respond to your questions. Thus, the ball is in our court, and that requires a level of study that goes deeper than media reports, however alarming they may be.
The A.G. oversees a bureaucracy that employs more than 115,000 employees in more than 40 departments. Certainly, the attempt to overthrow the government -- and that is exactly what January 6 et al was -- should have been an immediate concern. Though bureaucracies in Washington, DC, are infrequently noted for rapid responses, this had to be an exception. And it is clear that the FBI (37,000+ employees) did begin to investigate J6 participants. And the DOJ tried and convicted many of those thugs.
I read a few comments expressing the belief that a pyramid strategy was a gross error, that the defendent should have been an immediate person of interest. I agree with the defendent being of interest, but recognize that there were reasons why that apparently did not happen officially. I'll skip examining the political issues, which while real, should not handcuff the DOJ/ FBI. Let's consider a few others.
Let's start with Peter Strzok. Had he been actively employed by the DOJ, I dare say he would have made a convincing case that the defendent's behaviors and words leading up to J6 needed close examination. But he was let go in an attempt to punish him for saying mean things about the defendent during the 2016 election. But keep in mind that the defendent had not been a person of interest in the FBI's investigation of Russian influence in the campaign until he fired James Comey.
People point out the defendent's very public speech on J6. I would suggest listening to the full speech, for the defendent did utter the word "peacefully" at one point, as an insurance card. Thus, any charge requires more evidence, which translates to connecting the defendent's direct interactions with those at the level just below him. Now, I try to keep an open mind, recognizing that some here may actually know more about the proper way to investigate a former president than do seasoned DOJ investigators. But I doubt it like hell.
Bureaucracies, by nature, identify the best methods for doing tasks, including investigating organized crime and political corruption. This includes using the pyramid approach on crimes such as Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Plame scandal, etc. One could correctly hold that the DOJ should have interviewed Cassidy Hutchinson, for example, before the J6 Committee did. For it was her testimony that put the spotlight on Mark Meadows.
Yet one must remember that before her change in legal representation, her initial J6 testimony was not the same as we later witnessed. Ms. Hutchinson's testimony provided the crumbling of the pyramid above her. Mark Meadows has since recognized that he needed to come clean. He certainly was not likely to do so had Cassidy not.
Within the DOJ, exactly like within every bureaucracy, there will be a range of opinions on how to handle an unusual case. That tends to include both a good and bad potential. Until the results of Mr. Smith's J6 investigation becomes known to the public, all we can do is hurry up and wait.
" For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to investigate, a time to indict; a time to try, and a time to convict." -- H2O Man
As anticipated, in the days following the defendent being indicted by Jack Smith, his poll numbers took a jump among registered republicans. Considering the amount of time between today and the 2024 election, this is not a matter to be surprised by. It is no more astonishing that the sun rising in the east.
Now, good people wonder how both other republican candidates for the presidency and other more traditional party "leaders" will respond to the indictments? Since 2016, we have witnessed profiles in cowardice, where the very few people who dared question the defendent are quickly shunned. There remains a maga malignancy within the party that prevents the majority of non-cult members from openly telling the truth.
Chris Christie volunteered to serve as the republican attack dog, who is attempting to batter the ex-president he once praised. He is rolling the dice on being picked for the vice presidential candidate of the non-defendent nominee, in the long tradition of the republican party. Older community members understand how this is intended to work. This allows other candidates to begin to take a more neutral stance on the document case, rather than fully lying about this being President Biden going after the defendent. Small steps, of course, but even the charismatic Mike Pence almost dares to say what he really thinks.
This brings us to what happened on the weekend news shows. The toxic toad that served as the defendent's personal Attorney Generally continued his road show. Necroconservative John Bolton expressed his disgust with the defendent's stealing plans for a potential attack on Iran, the wettest of John's wet dreams. And the defendent's former secretary of defense Mark Esper said he poses a risk to national security.
The person that poses the greatest stumbling block to the defendent being convicted is, of course, is Aileen Cannon. While I do not want to stoke fears of what she might do to protect the defendent, there are advantages to being realistic. Is she paying attention to what the republican "establishment" -- including those who served the defendent -- are saying about the case? If so, does she view their words as meaningful, or as a betrayal od her hero?
There's a book that I don't think anyone here needs to read, but is still important, titled, "Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation." One might find that much in her background, including her previous outrageous rulings in the initial documents court hearings, suggests that she subscribes to heresy that the defendent is the divine messenger of the lord.
On the other hand, she may be open to listening to her clerks, as well as the growing voices of republicans who are beginning to admit that the defendent broke the law. Time will tell.
Last night, I was remembering the night that Richard Nixon resigned. My brother and I were mighty happy. My father found it depressing. This, despite being a life-long Democrat, a first-generation American from a large extended family of Democrats. It wasn't that he liked Nixon in any way -- he often repeated the line, "You wouldn't buy a used car from that man." Rather, it was that Nixon had so corrupted the Office of the President, to a degree that he thought no president ever would.
Being of a different generation, I've come to accept that a number of post-Nixon republican presidents in a manner that had one gentleman on the news bring up Senator Moynihan's quote about "defining deviancy down" regarding the defendent. On one hand, I can understand how my father felt ..... it is depressing to consider that a deviant like Trump ever was president. But I the other hand, I welcome the cleansing, difficult as it may be.
I keep in mind that, when anticipating the unknown, human beings often go to the worst case scenario. This holds true not only in medical appointments, but in politics and legal cases. Last night, but for one example, I remembered I had to get up early today for a 1 pm medical appointment. "What if she tells me I'm going to die soon ?" I thought. Yet I only had to stop in to have them copy my new insurance card.
There will be bumps in the road ahead, as the defendent faces prosecution. These likely come from three sources: the defendent's calling for violence, the judge currently assigned to hear the case, and the half-wits and shit stains that worship the defendent in what they are convinced is a holy war. Yet, I consider Jack Smith and his team to be our insurance card. I am certain that, despite the bumps in the road, we will reach our destination. More, the defendent will reach his, and it is not as pleasant as where we will be.
Keep in mind a few things. The indictment likely touched on betwen 20 and 25% of the evidence that Mr.Smith's team has. And this does not include the possibility that the fellow being charged with him may come to understand that the defendent will try to lay the blame on him, as well as others who have been turned. Mr. Smith recognized that there was a possibility that Cannon would be picked to hear the case, and are fully prepared for this. She will cause bumps in the road, but not a road block.
Also, there is not only the possibility of other charges in other states, but there is still the investigation of January 6 being conducted.
"Positive thoughts and prayer have been the best means available, since the beginning of time, to transform darkness to light." -- Cat Stevens
I'm thinking the republican party has come to a crossroads: one direction offers the opportunity to nominate the defendent as their 2024 presidential candidate, and losing elections up and down the ballot, the other to nominate someone else, insuring that Democrats win contests up and down the ballot. Let us pray they have the wisdom to chose correctly.
It will be a difficult decision for the republicans to make. Yesterday's federal indictments of the defendent will surely create a small, mushroom-shaped lump rise in his popularity among the republican base. Yet this will disappear as quickly as the defendent's premature ejaculation while spankking Stormy Daniels.
The republican leaders know that if they do not follow the passions of the maga cult, the party will be split. Yet if they do, the party will be split. If, on the other hand, they opt to get behind, say, Chris Christie in the buffet of other republican candidates, their candidates stand little to no chance of being seated at the winners' table.
These are my thoughts this morning. I've been trying to identify a proper prayer for them, but all I can come up with is that I hope the freeze-dried ghost of Pat Robertson appears to republicans in their dreams, and says that "God" had nothing to do with their current situation, that it is a crisis of their own making.
I can understand why some of the Good People on this forum are impatient for the defendent to be indicted by the DOJ. I get it. The numerous crimes of the defendent seem rather obvious and easy to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt in a court of law. This includes those involving January 6 and the stolen documents.
Some people point out -- correctly -- how quickly the DOJ indicted and convicted a significant number of the people involved in the January 6 insurrection. That's a valid point. However, we should also keep in mind that some of the lads from the Oaf Keepers have only recently been convicted of the much more serious crime of sedition. Hence, we can say with confidence that charges for more serious crimes tend to take longer than those that involve lesser charges more easily proven.
Now, it would seem rather obvious that not only did the defendent steal classified documents, but also obstructed efforts to retrieve them. That would simple enough, would it not? Heck, Attorney General Garland could have had those charges brought by now. What is the hold up, one might ask?
From recent media reports -- which may or may not be accurate -- it appears that one of the reasons that Garland appointed Jack Smith to head what on the surface appears to be a simple case was so that Smith could investigate why the defendent took specific documents. And what he did with them -- including who he may have shown or shared them with. Just as sedition is a more complicated charge than trespass, it may very well be that Mr. Smith has identified the defendent as the target of much more serious crimes than what appears obvious at first glance.
I can only speak for myself, of course. And even then, I often disagree with myself. But I am convinced that not only is this a time to be patient, but it is actually one that we should be enjoying. Keep in mind that a good prosecutor likes to turn up the heat on a target, confident that the target becomes increasingly likely to make errors under pressure. That heat has reached the boiling point, and the defendent -- who many retired prosecutors say is his own worst enemy -- has begun to melt. His attack on Mark Meadows indicates he cannot control himself. And he is confronted now with an even more dangerous opponent than himself.
I woke up early yesterday morning. As I consumed my daily cup of coffee, I flipped through stuff on the internet, and noted a friend had posted a picture of a red ball in the sky. As the sky appeared semi-dark, I figured that it must have been the moon. "That's odd," I thought.
After finishing the coffee, I went out to feed the animals. A pre-dawn rain had not provided enough water for the garden, so I figured I'd need to carry several buckets of water out to start my work in the garden. As I was walking out to the pond to feed the fish, through a small field and a swamp with an amazing display of colorful wild flowers. the caffeine kicked in. I began looking around the valley to locate the source of the smoke I smelled. But there was nothing. "This is really odd," I thought.
By the time I made it back to the house, the sky had turned to a yellowish-gray. I filled a couple buckets from the rain barrels, and headed out to the garden. My eyes and nose began running, and I noticed the smell of smoke becoming much stronger. But looking around, I could not see any sign that a neighbor had a wood stove going in june, or if a house was on fire.
I was reminded, in a strange way, of when about 38 years ago, I happened upon a house on fire. I stopped, went to the door, and found a woman screaming that her four-year old had set the house on fire, and that she couldn't find him. I suggested she take her daughter next door and call the fire department, while I searched for him. By the time I located him hiding under an upstairs bed, and carried him outside, the fire department was arriving. I believe I must have appeared a bit like the cover of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung," as a fireman asked if I was the boy's father. "No," I said. "Just passing by this way."
Breathing had become less pleasant, and the simple tasks I had done tired me out. I thought that perhaps I was on the scene of some dystopian movie, where humanity was crossing the tipping point of environmental destruction that would soon result in the total extinction of our species. Instead of taking meaningful actions, human beings had run upstairs in the burning house and attempted to hide under a bed.
Luckily, at this very moment, my son drove up with my grandson. When he got out of his car, he gave me the same look as that fireman had long ago. "Get inside, Old Man," he said. I asked him if he knew where the fire was? He told me this was the result of the wild fires burning out of control in Canada, and that this was smoke from the eight million-plus acres already destroyed. There were air quality alerts saying to stay inside. Thank goodnes, I thought, that this is totally unrelated to humans destroying the environment.
For people of my generation, "long, hot summer" is a phrase with specific meaning from 1967. The news, especially regarding the federal grand jury looking into the stolen documents meeting again, suggests that the phrase may take on new meaning for the defendent's cult. Let's take a look at why, shall we?
In doing so, I think that it provides a firm answer to those who are saying, "We've been burned before." No, you have not. It is not unusual for any of us to have elevated expectations based upon our beliefs of what is "right" and what is "wrong." I did when Patrick Fitzgerald was investigating the Plame scandal. But reality snuck in.
I remember telling my late uncle that, while I am opposed to people allowing the decaying flesh of a swine to enter the sacred temple of their body, I thought Patrick would cook Dick Cheney in a national pig roast. He said I needed to understand that a federal prosecutor will not seek an indictment on any case with less than a 95% chance of conviction. That as long as Scooter Libby kept his mouth shut, Cheney would skate.
I said if Patrick brought very seriious charges, and Scooter faced decades of incarceration, it would loosen his lips. He said that I needed to remember the "Capone rule" ..... that a good prosecutor goes with the charges most likely to secure a conviction that will not be overturned on appeal. Plus, he said, Libby knows that he will almost certainly be pardoned, or he wouldn't be so cocky.
In the weeks between the grand jury's meetings, Jack Smith's team has most likely composed the final draft of indictments on the case of the stolen classified documents. Assuming that media reports are correct regarding how much evidence his team has, there is a very good chance that they will present the grand jury with those indictments that they are convinced has the 95-plus percent chance of convictions that stand up against appeal. It does take time to present indictments to the grand jury, of course.
We know that the defendent's legal team made a pathetic appeal to the Attorney General for a meeting to discuss their plea for him to stop Jack Smith from going after the defendent. This suggests that they have recently heard from the prosecutor about the defendent's status. And that suggests that the defndent is in for a long, hot summer.
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