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H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
September 30, 2023


"Think for yourself, and act for others." -- Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman

Back in 1996, Chief Waterman and I worked to protect a burial ground from being mined by a construction company. In the late 1950s and early '60s, the NYS archaeologist and others had excavated the site, including "removing" a number of human burials. It was legal at the time to rob graves, so long as they were Native American's.

Paul had worked to protect and repatriate Indian burials as long as I can remember him. Much of the time, he did this alone, or with the assistance of Lee Lyons, Onondaga Faithkeeps Oren Lyon's younger brother. I had known Lee well before I got to know Paul. For at the longhouse, Paul was a quiet man, who only spoke now and then, and always in his native tongue.

By the late 1980s, I worked with Paul on the proposed Native American Graves Protect and Repatriation Act. An article that appeared in the March 1989 edition of National Geographic on the grave robbing on the Stack farm in Kentucky would help get it passed into law. "Relic hunters" had dug up literally hundreds of graves to find burial goods to sell to collectors.

When Paul and Tadodaho Leon Shenandoah went to Kentucky to reinter the remains, the governor asked why Iroquois would be in Kentucky on this case? They showed him the September 1987 National Geographic, and he put the two in charge. Paul told me of a pile of mandibles that was waist-high.

When it came to the 1996 case, I had the writings of two NYS archaeologists on the site. It dated back to 1190 ad (+/- 100), and it remains the most important documented of its type. These two participated in removing a number of burials, and their writings indicated where the rest of the burial ground was known to be. This was the area the construction company wanted to mine for gravel. Chief Waterman and I put a stop to that plan.

This summer, I went back to that town and spoke in the same building that Paul and I had in 1996. Besides this site, I had told of an Adena burial mound -- one of only two known in this region -- that was destroyed by a farmer in 1829. It had been located a hundred yards from this later burial ground. I had information on what was removed from a then current newspaper in Binghamton, NY. Along with caches of projectile points made of non-local materials, there were grave goods including a silver ring, a flute, and a large piece of mica cut in the shape of a human heart.

I spoke about the value of these sites as part of the human history of this area, along with delivering Paul's message on the value of clean water. Perhaps I made an impression when I spoke, because I got an interesting phone call yesterday evening. An elderly woman had gone through an old collection of local artifacts left with her, including a sction of things from the site Paul and I worked on. Among the boxes that had been unopened for decades, there was a skull from this site. She said that she knew I would be the person who would make sure it was taken care of and reburied properly. So today I will be contacting Onondaga.

September 27, 2023


" It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice. He sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance."
-- Senator Robert F. Kennedy; South Africa; June 6, 1966,

There are a number of interesting OP/threads on DU that I've read in the last 24 hours. These have included people's thoughts on things ranging from Cassidy Hutchinson to the summary judgment of Judge Arthur Engoron in the defendent's NYS case. As an old man who enjoys sitting at his pond, I recognize ripples when I see them.

Ms. Hutchinson is younger than my youngest daughter. The context of her life helped form her into what she self-describes as a Romney republican. Her talents got her a job and relatively rapid promotions in the defendent's administration. Her values made her recognize the horrors of the attempt to overturn the 2020 election with violence. Her courage eventually resulted in her telling the truth.

All of that made her, in most people's opinion, the most important witness in the J6 Committee's hearings. As an American, it is good that she -- and Liz Cheney -- stepped up to the plate. Both made ripples. But we should not drink the Ripple wine that could result in our mistaking either for heroes in our Democratic Party.

The summary judgment is another ripple. Though not the "end-all," it is good to read te judge noting the "fraudulent valuations" and "false and misleading square footage" by the defendent and his boys. More, the judge had said in court, "When I first heard those arguments, I thought that was a joke."

He had ruled on some of the defendent's lawyers positions before, and warned them not to continue to raise them. "As a lawyer, I have to make the arguments," one of the defendent's lawyers responded. "The rule on sanctions is if you've been warned, don't do it. You were warned," Engoron said. More ripples.

Now, none of these ripples alone will bring down the defendent, nor result in his going broke. But it is okay to think of John D. Rockefeller giving out dimes , after an anti-trust case, to try to look like a nice old man focusing on charity. Will the defendent start handing out dimes at his rallies? Perhaps try to copy Abbie Hoffman by throwing pennies to the NYS Stock Exchange? Would that qualify as counter-ripples?

Likewise, as the ripples begin to accumulate into waves, and the defendent's freak show gathers steam, people should feel free to ask questions about these and other topics. The only stupid question, as Malcolm X noted, is the one that remains unasked. At its best, DU is a place where we are all students and all teachers.

September 26, 2023


“We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts.”
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last night, I enjoyed reading an OP/thread here about the generation gap and the environmental crisis. There was some tension expressed, and a few harsh comments. Even a few comments that verged on insults. I made a few comments, but found myself hoping that some of my friends here would see what I found to be opportunities to educate and find common ground.

Perhaps that was, in part, because I like and respect everyone who participated on the thread. I recognize that in a large community, there will be people I respect but don't like. Not that I dislike them. More, over two decades here, there have been a few people I haven't liked or respected. And I know that there have been those who feel the same about me, as there should be.

Now, at its best, the Democratic Party should cast a wide net. At its worst, it is damaged by harsh divisions. Those familiar with the party's history since 1968 know that when we were united, we won. Divided, we only lose. Over those years, there have been sub-groups in the party that risk the fractures that insure defeat. Things including age, race, sex, and economic class are each a status that tends to create differences in thinking between us, both in the party and on this forum. But differences always offer as much positive potential as negative. Depends how they are approached.

Those four factors can and do result in differences in the manner that individuals experience and understand life.This includes our having individual values that others in the party or here share to the same degree, or not so much. Yet we have enough common values -- even if we think very different things are "the way" -- that we need to remind ourselves frequently that alone, we are indivual fingers that our enemy can break ..... but together, we make a powerful fist.

Now, let's consider a type of tactic discussed last night: direct action. There are numerous types. I consider people who register voters, volunteer at campaign HQ, go door-to-door, etc, to be activists. Those who gather for public marches, attend demonstrations, or participate in protests are activists. And those who have done all of the above are definitely needed today.

Now, the best purpose of direct action is, exactly as King noted, to pursuade. Let's consider something from last night's post & discussion -- the Pettus Bridge march, which was actually three distinct marches, lasting from March 7 through 25m 1965. A group of brave people faced serious injury and arrest, but they were dedicated. We can't all reach that level, but we can add our little bit. (In one march, I was threatened with arrest, and had a guy come up behind me and break a board on my head. Luckily, I was obeying the law, and avoided the injury a board to the body might have caused. Barely felt the head shot.)

Another form of public action was taken by Abbie Hoffman & friends when they donated to the ethically bankrupt people on Wall Street. (See below.) I liked Abbie, He was hilarious when we were straight or when we got high. He engaged in street theater to inspire others to become activists. He took beatings and was incarcerated. He even appeared on stage with Senator Daniel Moynihan for an environmental award when he was underground.

So the idea is to pursuade. To get people to think differently. To convince them that you are making a serious point, even if there is laughter and merriment for all involved. I think that the most important type is in the methods of King and Gandhi. Over many decades, I have attempted to follow that lead. I also respect two brothers I got to know in the 1980s, Daniel and Phillip Berrigan. True dedication. I have a copy of a letter Daniel wrote to young activists when he was living on the underground. (I've had friends on a number of undergrounds! Ha!)

The idea behind pursuading others is to encrease unity. There will be people who hate what you do, just like there are others who agree with you. The idea is to convince those undecided people in the middle. You can appeal to their conscience, convince them with logic, ir help them see your point with humor. But you can't reach them by offending them.

One last thing. Decades ago, two friends and I were meeting with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman and Faithkeeper Oren Lyons. We were at Oren's cabin, and talked shop while my little children played. I remember Oren saying that Paul and he were elders now, and that it was our turn for action. They could tell us their experiences and what they learned. But they couldn't tell us "the answer," for if they knew it, the problems would have been solved.

Today, I am old. My children are all adults. And activists. I am glad that they are all more intelligent and capable than me. Otherwise I'd have failed as their father. I can tell them about my experiences, and what I've learned. Just that I tried to do my best, and I'm confident they will do better as human beings.

September 22, 2023


Sept. 23: London (ESPN+) 5 pm/est
Title fight: Zhilei Zhang vs. Joe Joyce, 12 rounds, for Zhang's WBO heavyweight interim title

Joe Joyce was known for his extreme punching power, his ability to take punches, and his endurance. He had wonnumerous European amateur titles, then silver in the 2016 Olympics. As a professional, he won a few minor titles, knocked out tough competition, and was in line for a world title fight. He took a "stay busy" fight against Zhang in April.

Zhang had lost his last fight by decision to an undefeated contender, after tiring out and getting hurt in the second half of his first 12 round bout. He had not competed with the same quality of opponents as Joyce had until that point. But he had a surprise for Joyce -- exploitig Joe's ability to take punches.

At 6' 6" Zhang was an inch taller than Joyce, and his 80' reach was a mere half-inch less. Add to that, he is a southpaw, and Joyce had little experience against left-handed opponents. Thus, because Joyce had near zero upper body movement, Zhang was able to land his jab at will. And once you can land the jab, everything else follows.

The fight was stopped in the 6th round, because Joyce's eye was completely closed. He threw more punches, but landed less, because he had trouble seeing his opponent. For the first time that I am aware of, he appeared to be getting hurt as Zhang began to land most of his hardest punches.

To be fair, Joyce was ahead on one judge'sscorecard. And his punches were hurting Zhang. He believed he could have pulled the win out if allowed to continue. So it is no surprise he wanted the immediate re-match after his upset loss. He has also offered a number of excuses for the loss -- I note that winners never need excuses -- he took Zhang too lightly, came in too light, was unprepared for a southpaw, etc.

Both men weighed in heavier for tomorrow's fight than for the first one. At 287 lbs, Zhang is nine pounds heavier; at 281 lbs, Joyce is 25 pounds heavier. Joyce has also brought in the great Cuban trainer Ismael Salas. It strikes me as unlikely that even Salas could instill upper body movement in Joyce, especially considering the additional weight. Fighters with a "that didn't hurt" attitude almost always resort to their old tactics once they get hit. (There may have been exceptions, but I'm not aware of any. But I've only been in the sport 60+ years.)

Instead, I will assume Salas worked on parrying the jab, a catch-and-counter approach. I'm unsure if Joyce can maintain a bladed stance at distance, but that would be important. It isn't good to be squared-up until you are inside. Also, Joyce should work the body early in the fight, making it more difficult for Zhang to carry that 287 pounds. Bring the fight into the deep waters of round seven on.

For Zhang, if he can land the jab and avoid being countered, it is likely Joyce will revert to what made him vulnerable in the first fight. A solid jab -- and a 287 lb pound fighter will have a solid jab -- will damage the same eye that was swollen shut in the first fight. Damage around the eyes, be it swelling or cuts, does not tend to heal well in fice months. Especially when one is 38 years old.

Enjoy the fight!

September 21, 2023

A Clockwork Orange

" The Government cannot be concerned any longer with outmoded penelogical theories. Cram criminals together and see what happens, You get concentrated criminality, crime in the midst of punishment.”
― Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Crime is a measure that helps define a society. When we think of the era from 1850 to 1920 for example, there were the bank robbers such as Jesse James, John Dillinger, and Butch Cassidy. They are remembered more fondly today than the politicians of the Gilded Age, who used their offices to rob the public between 1877 and 1900.

Of course, some things could be called "coincidence" if one believed such a thing exists. Sydney Powell was convicted in Ohio yesterday for butchering her mother. Sidney Powell is facing a conviction in Georgia for attempting to butcher the Constitution.

Now, one of these was an individual commiting crime, the other involved a group of criminals. The gang known to me as the White House Hoodlums, circa 2020-'21, provides an example of a group of people who were prone to committing crimes and were thus drawn to a nucleus of evil as protons and neutrons are in an atom.

It comes as no surprise that Cassidy Hutchinson describes being groped by Rudy Giuliani on January 6. For secual violence and warfare have long been connected. Thus a president who was convicted of a sexual assault in civil court was certain to attract people like Rudy, as well as that creep John Eastman, who apparently became erect watching Rudy's groping Cassidy. A true clockwork orange.

A similar but obviously more extreme of this type of thing is currently being pushed by the defense team in the Delphi murder case:
Over the past few days, I've been in communication with a lawyer who does one of the very best "true crime" pod casts, and an expert in the field of the white nationalists pagan cult of Odinism. While there seems to be little doubt that the pud they arrested is guilty as sin, there might have been at least one more person involved. It could have been the land-owner who lied to police about his where abouts that afternoon. It could have been the creep cat fishing, pretending to be a young model, planning to meet one of the victims that day. It would be odd if the pud didn't know the girls would be there.

Note to true crime folks: Note the time the defense claims the pud left the area. Then check the time the other group of girls identified the pud approaching to cross the old bridge.

The expert on the Odin cult -- which he called an abscess on the ancient belief system -- attracts what we might politely call "the prison population." This includes inmates and some guards. Some do engage in fantasy rituals, a well as in violence. However, being racists, they are not prone to butchering two young white girls to send a message. More, the branches placed on the girls do not make for any Odin calling card.

The only thing that might have -- and it is a mighty big "might" -- was the pattern of blood found on a tree. Some investigators reportedly thought this was a possibility. However, all investigators knew it was a sexually motivated crime. The two can certainly overlap.

Another distinct possibility is that the pud had watche season one of True Detective, and thought he could send investigators in the wrong direction. Either way, the expert said that this strain of white nationalists poses a serious threat to society. He noted that it is, by definition, the same strain of evil that infected nazi Germany.

September 18, 2023

Weather Forecast

"When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather: for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring.' -- Matthew 16:2

We knew this was coming. Some, hoping for the immediate, quoted Morrison: "We want the world and we want it now!" Others, perhaps the older community members, advocated patience. We knew that if one got on the Lincoln Highway in New York City and headed west, it was merely a matter of time until one reached San Francisco.

The question was not "if," but "when?" When will a prosecutor ask a judge to tell the defendent to shut his mouth? To quit stirring the pot, attempting to derail the justice system by inserting lies to bring about violence?

When the defendent left an orange skid mark on the social fabric by announcing his third run for the presidency, we knew it was for only two reasons: to pardon himself, and to punish those who he identifies as "enemies." There was no mystery there. It doesn't rank as an epiphany.

His entire "campaign" has been one of rage and self-pity. He targets the legal system and everyone who has been part of the effort to hold him responsible for his numerous crimes. His legal team admits as much by claiming this is a Amendment 1 issue and that Mr. Smith is attempting to silence his presidential campaign.

The growing tensions signal a red sky for media magpies to begin to search a steaming cow pie for glittering objects. Kristen Welker pecks away gently at the bloated orange turd, hoping for a sound byte equivalent to Cosell's "Down goes Frazier!" But that would require serious questioning, and magpies are not noted for being serious.

Jack Smith is serious. The criminal charges against the defendent are serious. The judge considering putting a tailored gag order on the defendent is also a serious person. And the defendent poses a serious threat against everything good this country stands for.

Malaise pointed out that the defendent broke on the issue of abortion today. You and I know that this was something others prepared him to say, as he has no actual opinion or beliefs on this. He merely seeks to capitalize on it. If he thought he could benefit from making abortions mandatory for pregnant non-white women, he'd do it in a second. Full term.

When off script -- which is most of the time, especially when asked a serious question -- his deformed inner- Roy Cohn breaks through. And that is exactly what we will see if the judge attemps to put the tailored gag over his foul mouth. He will attempt to strike back harder. And then the fun begins.

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