HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Pleas Please Me

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:09 PM

Pleas Please Me

“The ends justify the means.”
Ovid's Heroides; 10 bc



The above quote is generally attributed to Machiavelli's “The Prince,” though the phrase is not found there. It has, however, been found in the actions of empires and mob families. And we witness that mindset in America today, in both the republican party and especially in the Trump administration.

Other historical figures have held that the means are ends. Perhaps most famously was Mahatma Gandhi. In our nation's past, the most outstanding example would be Martin Luther King. More recently, in the context of social-political conflicts, Michelle Obama noted that “when they go low, we go high.”

I believe that they were right. Sometimes, it's difficult for me to keep that Truth in mind, for two reasons. First, I'm imperfect, and second, the social-political reality is frequently frustrating. On a few recent nights, I've walked outside and looked up at the stars, and thought that while “no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should,” things seem pretty screwed up here on earth.

It's easy for me to identify republicans in general, and specimens like Roy Moore and Donald Trump as toxic. That's not only okay, it's accurate. Nothing wrong with that thinking. Much of what they do is beyond disgusting. And so it can, at times, be a struggle to not feel hatred for them.

I have been a registered member of the Democratic Party my entire adult life. Still, there have been individual democrats – on the local, state, and federal levels – that I didn't have much respect for. The overall numbers are relatively small, of course, but they have always existed. And when I've felt that they have betrayed democratic principles, it is easy to feel contempt for them.

Today, I read through a number of OP/threads from DU community members on the case of Senator Al Franken. There are, of course, a wide range of opinions. I feel no need to express my own, as it is of no more value than anyone's here. But I will say that in the larger context of what our nation is confronted with today, as individuals at the grass roots level, we should remember Ms. Obama's words: “When they go low, we go high.”

In my opinion, the most important issue facing the country is the Trump-Russian scandal. It is an ugly example of mobsters who believe that the ends justify the means. And that means they would do anything to access the power to enrich themselves, to the detriment of the nation. They are indeed the lowest of the low ever to inhabit the executive branch.

At the same time, we are seeing Mr. Mueller's team investigating the Trump mob. And while we all would prefer that this unfolded at a more rapid rate, the fact is that it actually has been going faster than previous investigations of executive crimes. Two indictments have been made public. Two guilty pleas, as well. More, the case is picking up steam, and by the end of February, forum members will be pleased.

Hence, as I stood outside tonight, looking up at the stars, I knew that much of the responsibility for how the effort to revive and heal our constitutional democracy is firmly on the shoulders of the grass roots. In a sense, that's no different than with the social issues regarding sexual harassment: it's a social dysfunction that is not going to be “cured” by politicians in Washington, DC. No, the legislative branch has long been infected by this disease. Far too long to deal with it on their own. It can best be dealt with by the grass roots, by socially conscious people who engage in the political system, especially at election time.

And this means that we all can benefit from asking ourselves if we really believe that the means are not distinct from the ends. If Michelle Obama's advice is something that we hold on to when things are tough. If we do, then we don't continue to serve up the rancid bacon of “refusing to forgive” and work with democrats who supported a different candidate in one of the previous presidential primaries. No, that type of nonsense is only found at the lowest potentials for the Democratic Party. And we need to go much higher.

We have urgent issues to be focusing on right now. And we have a lot of important elections coming up in 2018. I'm hoping to do my best. That includes attending a local committee breakfast on Saturday. It involves organizing for dealing with current issues. And it is all connected with preparing for 2018, which is almost here.

Peace,
H2O Man

36 replies, 2642 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Pleas Please Me (Original post)
H2O Man Dec 2017 OP
spanone Dec 2017 #1
H2O Man Dec 2017 #4
spanone Dec 2017 #6
H2O Man Dec 2017 #12
sprinkleeninow Dec 2017 #18
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2017 #2
H2O Man Dec 2017 #5
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2017 #7
H2O Man Dec 2017 #13
coeur_de_lion Dec 2017 #3
H2O Man Dec 2017 #8
shanti Dec 2017 #27
H2O Man Dec 2017 #35
coeur_de_lion Dec 2017 #36
panader0 Dec 2017 #9
H2O Man Dec 2017 #14
Mme. Defarge Dec 2017 #10
H2O Man Dec 2017 #15
Mme. Defarge Dec 2017 #17
H2O Man Dec 2017 #24
babylonsister Dec 2017 #11
H2O Man Dec 2017 #16
sprinkleeninow Dec 2017 #19
H2O Man Dec 2017 #21
Solly Mack Dec 2017 #20
H2O Man Dec 2017 #22
Solly Mack Dec 2017 #28
Maeve Dec 2017 #23
H2O Man Dec 2017 #29
bullwinkle428 Dec 2017 #25
H2O Man Dec 2017 #31
Me. Dec 2017 #26
H2O Man Dec 2017 #32
Me. Dec 2017 #34
malaise Dec 2017 #30
H2O Man Dec 2017 #33

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:14 PM

1. K&R...Thank You

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to spanone (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:31 PM

4. Thanks!

What do you think of the mess that Donald Junior is in? If I get the time, I'm hoping to post an OP on that tomorrow.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:37 PM

6. I think junior is doing an exceptional job. I would recommend he stay the course...😎

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to spanone (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:50 AM

12. Absolutely!

It's clear that Junior is way, way smarter than Mr. Mueller.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to spanone (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 01:54 AM

18. (stay the course) 😂😆🤣

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:19 PM

2. You have perfect pitch, my friend. Thanks for this - I needed it tonight.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:36 PM

5. Thank you.

I keep going outside for little breaks tonight. And it's not just because my dog Sam thinks he deserves a treat every time we enter the house. I was just out there, thinking about two fascinating theories on cycles in American social-political issues. Especially the one with the 87-years between crises. I started an outline in my mind for an essay on what is to come between now and 2030. And, of course, the best long-term strategy for dealing with it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:38 PM

7. I've been listening to a lot of music. And taking long walks.

Today, my wife and I attended the funeral of a friend who passed away suddenly this week. Our dog is old and ailing and coming to the end of her life.

Taking breaks is essential - being reminded of how complex our lives are - as the politics swirl around us, the need to take breaks from it give us perspective...ideas - and hopefully, some energy to move ahead.

as an amateur astronomer, I take great comfort in the stars. It is good to be made to feel tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of things!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:57 AM

13. Right.

I am sorry about the loss of your friend. And it's hard to watch our dog(s) grow old. They are wonderful beings.

I've long been fascinated by the night sky. I've had a couple telescopes, have a few text books, and have enjoyed resources at the regional universities. And I was thinking of Potter's Box while writing the OP, and the issues of people's opinions of the universe, and its connection with their social-political philosophies. But my essays are too long to begin with, and so I will soon write a follow-up that connects with those topics.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:25 PM

3. Thank you

Your essay really comforted me. And reminded me to go outside sometimes and look at the stars.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:38 PM

8. Thanks!

I'm glad that you enjoyed it. And I always recommend watching old films of The Beatles, especially John and George. Plus, listening to their music. I'm convinced that they were on to some things we need these days.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 01:44 PM

27. The Beatles

ha! When I first saw your post, I thought it said, Please Please Me, and thought you were going to make a referral to them (and in a way, you did). There are a few documentaries on Netflix that have caught my attention recently too. Nostalgia, I guess...

Thanks for your always reasonable and thought-provoking posts, H2O Man. I always seek them out. It's difficult to find calm in this crazy world.

Peace to you and yours as well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to shanti (Reply #27)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 04:10 PM

35. Thanks.

I thought my choice of the title made reference to The Beatles/ Please Please Me on three different levels. Of course, that probably is only inside my head!

I often think about many years ago, when a Clan Mother suggested to me that when the world is spinning rapidly out of control, it is important to step aside to regain that inner calm. I haven't mastered that ability, by any means. But I keep on trying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 9, 2017, 10:30 PM

36. I just watched

The movie Ron Howard did about the Beatles' touring years. Loved it. And you're right they were onto something.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:43 PM

9. "In my opinion, the most important issue facing the country

is the trump-Russia scandal."
I agree.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to panader0 (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:59 AM

14. Thanks!

It's getting more and more interesting daily. There will be an increase in the rate of "leaks" to journalists -- though not from Team Mueller -- for the next eight weeks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:53 PM

10. With respect, there seems to be confusion,

even controversy, within the Democratic Party over the meaning of “going high”.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mme. Defarge (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 01:07 AM

15. Yes, there is.

No question about that. But if we start, for example, with the basic concepts we associate with FDR's programs -- with those basic values, as applied within the changing circumstances over the decades -- then we should be capable of identifying the best ways to enact that social contract. There will, of course, be differences of opinion on how exactly. As noted in an above response, we might consider using the model of Potter's Box to better understand some of those differences. More, we might focus on how previous attempts failed to fully institutionalize the goals FDR set. In doing so, we reach a better place to identify the difference between the potential high- and low potentials within the party. And that might not be perfect, but it beats the alternative.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 01:29 AM

17. Thank you for your reply.

Over the last couple of days I have felt pretty despondent, finding little reason for hope. But if you say we’ll be pleased, that’s something.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mme. Defarge (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:27 PM

24. Right.

The past few days have been awful. No question about it. No matter how one thinks about Senator Franken or Representative Conyers, there has been damage done to the Democratic Party. And, at the same time, shitheads like Trump and Moore add insult to injury. Add the tax plan, and no rational person could help but feel dismayed.

Yet, it will be our collective response to the current outrages that will define our future. It's a sad feature in this nation's history that it's only when enough people recognize that it's actually as bad as you and I know it is now, today, before society reaches that tipping point where meaningful, positive change can take root. And we are there, in the context of being able to impact the 2018 elections. But that will merely be the starting line for the effort to make serious institutionalized changes. It will be difficult, no doubt, but not nearly as difficult as if we fail to harness our energies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 11:54 PM

11. I love you. This is good so thank you, again. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 01:08 AM

16. Thank you!

You are very kind. And that is a good thing!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 02:03 AM

19. How nice I caught your OP after a not nice week of mine.

Toss in Al's decision for added distress.

You are a sage with your words of wisdom and encouragement. 😍

I appreciate this before hitting the sack.

A pleasant and restful night to you my brother in
humanity.

~sprink

💓󾓦💪🗽

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:02 PM

21. Thank you.

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter used to tell me that all roads to wisdom must first pass through valleys of doubt. (The first time he told me that was in 1974.) We are experiencing a hard time now, no question about that. And there need to be changes, in order for the nation to get back on track. But if we invest our combined energies correctly, those changes will take place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 02:30 AM

20. That was a good read.

I saw your reply about the Potter Box & individual social-political philosophies - I'm looking forward to that essay.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:13 PM

22. Thank you.

I'm pleased that you -- and hopefully others -- are familiar with Potter's Box ......in large part because my interpretation isn't "first hand" .....I didn't have an opportunity to learn directly from him. But I am a student of Daniel Sheehan, who was a student of Potter. And Sheehan taught about the box along with those cycles. So if I err in my presenting some of those ideas, I'll appreciate if you correct me.

There are various psychological and sociological models that I find helpful in understanding the world of politics. In my opinion, the DU community could benefit from considering them. There are plenty of insightful people here, and we might have beneficial discussions that help each of us to become more effective at the grass roots level.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 02:13 PM

28. Dang, Waterman. I'm just looking forward to the enjoyment of reading what you write.

And that to myself. Not expanding the range of microcosmic dithers. I have a hard enough time deciding on dinner.

It always seemed to me that people had their own versions of Potter's box even if they don't know the name - as they imposed its quadrants with their own labels. But even that tells us a lot about people and gives us direction.

Still, I'm left with what to have for dinner tonight.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:18 PM

23. My own image is that of a resistance army

(Possibly because I'm re-reading the 5th Harry Potter, and am a fan of Tolkein as well, but I digress)

An effective army does not quit when a soldier falls, nor even when a general is lost, but focuses on the goal and ultimate victory. There will be sacrifices along the way, that is a given. And we don't win by becoming what we fight--we hold to our standards or we lose the war no matter how many battles we win.
You are right, the Mueller investigation is going quickly by historic standards. Hold onto the hope. The damage that is being done by the mis-administration will be difficult to repair, but no one worth listening to ever said life is easy. It's always harder to build than to destroy, but that's the challenge we must face.
It will be worth it in the end.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 03:44 PM

29. Very good!

I like that. It provides an important perspective. And while I intend no comment on the charges against Senator Franken, I think that his speech yesterday suggested that he believes he is "taking one for the team."

I'm also reminded of Jesse Jackson's call, when he was in the presidential primaries years ago, to "keep hope alive." Like every human being, Jesse was imperfect. But he served as an important voice during some difficult days for democrats, and he accomplished a lot of good.

Thank you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:29 PM

25. K&R. "End of February", eh? Sounds almost like you've got access to

some inside information!

This is the kind of post that keeps me coming back to DU year after year as a donating member...thank you for expressing so eloquently some of the thoughts that have been running through my head over the last 24 hours.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bullwinkle428 (Reply #25)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 03:51 PM

31. Thank you!

Mr. Mueller runs a tight ship, so to speak. His team is tighter-lipped than, say, Patrick's was during the Plame investigation grand jury. But I suspect that some of the people near the congressional committee investigations (which have some contact with Team Mueller) will continue to provide interesting information in upcoming weeks. That might be in part a response to the moderate republicans' reaction to the rabid republicans' effort to end those investigations. I think the moderate republicans are becoming increasingly aware of the nature of the Trump-Russian mob, and are afraid of confronting it. Whimper-pups.. Mr. Mueller's team isn't intimidated.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:44 PM

26. I Agree

And yet there are some today wishing she never said those words. As for forgiveness, I can to those who support the party and put aside criticism of it. It is a tricky time, I'm shocked to the core that the country has been overrun by monsters and villains and right now we seem helpless to stop the constant harm, that which is being done every day.

On a different note: I miss him too

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Me. (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 03:59 PM

32. Yes.

So much of the damage is being done "below the surface," and much of the public is not aware of its extent. But Trump & Co are like a severe virus that is spreading throughout the executive branch, while also infecting the other two branches. It is a mutant form of class warfare, in which the Trump-Russian mob is preparing for an anticipated global crisis. (I'll expand upon that soon.)

It's a strange time. There are a lot of risks. Yet there are an equal number of opportunities, ones that may not continue to be available to us in the future, if we continue on the current path.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 04:07 PM

34. Virus/Virulent Is The Exact Word

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 03:46 PM

30. Great post WaterMan

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 04:04 PM

33. Thanks!

I had been "quiet" for a few days, trying to make sense of the madness engulfing DC. But because by my very nature, I have a big mouth, remaining quiet for very long is virtually impossible!

My daughters returned from Ireland last week. They had, among many other things, looked for rural cottages for me to retire to. They think I've done my part in the struggle for social justice, and should live out my remaining time in peace and quiet. But this mouth makes "quiet" a rather unrealistic goal. (grin)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread