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H2O Man's Journal - Archives
Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Tue Dec 13th 2011, 10:22 PM
(Fox News) Randolph H. Hall, the attorney for Rep. Michelle Bachmann's presidential campaign, filed papers in federal court in South Carolina today, claiming the “spiritual endorsement” of the late Terry Schiavo. In a press conference carried live by Fox News, Mr. Hall stated that Schiavo, a nationally-recognized spokesperson for the Republican-Right-to-Life-Movement at the time of her murder in 2005, has sent “numerous messages” to him, indicating that she favors Rep. Bachmann's positions on pressing social issues.

Willard “Mitt” Romneys has since released a statement saying that co-sponsor Senator William Frist has determined, from watching films of Schiavo, that she actually intended to endorse the Romney campaign. Fox News has unconfirmed reports that the Romney camp is hastily preparing a “Friend of the Corpse” for filing with the federal court early tomorrow mourning.

Unconfirmed sources are speculating that Newt Gingrich will attempt to initiate an affair with Schiavo by the end of the week.
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Fri Nov 25th 2011, 07:25 PM


“How insignificant appear most of the facts which one in his walks encounters – insignificant until they are put through some mental or emotional process and their true nature appears. The gold of nature does not look like gold at first glance. It must be smelted and refined in the mind of the observer.”
John Burroughs; 1837-1921.

For many years, I was a single parent. Working full-time and raising two little boys was an adventure. Add to that my being the top assistant to Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman, who the Grand Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy had selected to take the lead in burial protection and repatriation issues, and I had to juggle a lot of duties. The boys used to travel across New York State with Paul and I, going to town, county, and state governmental meetings; hang out at various Chief's and Clan Mother's homes; sit and listen to the top archaeologists in the northeast; and see Paul and I speak at colleges and universities, and then being interviewed by countless journalists.

That's not to say that they didn't have a “childhood.” We fit in a lot of fun, and both boys did quite well at school. Every year, it seemed, one or more of their teachers would invite me in as a guest speaker, to talk to their classes about issues involving local Indian history, the archaeological record, as well as current events in Indian Country. I was always there for sporting events and the like. When they were in high school, I even had some bonus trips to the school, when they would get in relatively minor trouble for one thing or another.

Like a lot of parents – perhaps especially single parents – there were times when I wondered if I was doing an adequate job? While many of their friends and classmates came from “broken homes,” I knew that my boys were growing up in a different life-style than most, or all, of their pals. We had redefined “family” in a very real sense, in that they considered both Chief Waterman and their pediatrician (who also served on the NYS Museum's Iroquois Studies) as their grandfathers. In some of the then-common family court hearings (involving custody and $upport), my attorney had Paul, the pediatrician, nurses, my friends and co-social workers, and others testify about the strength of my relationship with the boys. The attorney told me that I was helping in the trend for fathers to get a fair shake in the context of family court. Still, I often wondered if I was doing a good job as a parent.

For the past five years, my now-adult sons have worked to produce a 360-page book, “Water Man: A Native People's History of the Northeast.” I have a copy of their book beside me as I write this essay. I must say that the book convinces me that things were okay. Those little guys were paying attention, and they smelted and refined those experiences we had along the path of their childhoods into an excellent product.

Their approach involves combining the traditional teachings of a Native American “Wisdom Keeper”; the scientific approach of their archaeologist-pediatrician; my interpretations, as a psychiatric social worker who is addicted to the teachings of Erich Fromm; and their own life experiences. Both “boys” have been active amateur archaeologists since they were pre-schoolers, and have had some of their finds displayed in a university's museum. They assisted in excavating a rock shelter/ cave that was going to be destroyed by the “progress” of concrete and blacktop – a project that I reported on at the largest archaeological conference in the northeastern United States.

After my book on the cultural contributions of the Irish immigrants in upstate New York in the second-half of the 19th century was published, a few of my friends tried to convince me to do a book on Indian issues. One wanted me to write a book on the archaeological record; another on my work with Chief Waterman; and still others on related or combined issues. I resisted the temptation, as I knew how much work that writing a decent book actually involves. {Note: at this point of writing this essay, I was called by my wonderful teenaged daughters. They were in a minor auto accident – not their fault – but are okay. I went to the scene, but am back now; if I seem distracted, and the ideas here don't “flow,” please excuse me.} At the feast following Paul's funeral, his oldest daughter said, “Pat, you know that someone needs to write a book about Dad.” Paul had always called me his son – something that those familiar with Iroquois culture will understand the implications of. My sons, of course, knew she meant me. But, as I am old and tired, I told them to write the book.

I made my numerous files of papers – newspaper articles from the corporate press; our Indian newspaper; film from television; court and other government documents; letters; etc. – available to them. My oldest son especially liked the series of interviews that I had done with Paul over the years, and decided to use a Q&A format for much of the book. They also used a number of the other documents, as well as the entire series of interviews with Chief Waterman, in their book.

After a foreword by me, and an introduction by them, the book starts with a paper I wrote about a presentation I did for the county Environmental Management Council, on the threats to our local environment; this was part of what resulted in the local republican county board of supervisors having me removed from my seat on the EMC. It then has three brief chapters on non-Indian topics of interest that kind of relate to life on Earth, including human evolution: my contribution to the three top paleo-botanists studying the first trees on our planet, from the Devonian era (I brought a five-mile stretch of fossils of the tree-ferns to their attention); their pediatrician's artifacts from Bed 1 at Olduvai Gorge, where he worked with Louis and Mary Leaky in the early 1960s; and my Neanderthal knife (I have always been fascinated in the brain structure of our human cousins).

Then on to the first inhabitants of North America. We review a number of theories on where they came from, and when. I have a small collection of artifacts from a paleo camp site that a representative of the NYS Museum recently came to photograph. Included is a fluted Clovis spear point that, in their 2012 museum publication (I have their “rough draft”) they call “the most spectacular” of the upstate-NY finds. Chief Waterman called these people “the ancient ones,” and I tell about how the oral traditions and scientific information overlap.

Then come the early, middle, and late phases of the archaic eras, who Paul called “the ancestors' ancestors.” Again, we combine oral traditions with the archaeological record and its interpretation by archaeologists. It was in the Late Archaic that the first prophet of the people of the northeast taught what are known as the “Original Instructions.” He was a young man, known as Sapling, and he lived around 2,000 bc. His instructions are similar in nature to those delivered around the globe, in different cultures, by the Awakened Ones.

Artifacts from the Early- and Middle Archaic periods are rather scarce, but the “boys” and I have found several sites, and their book includes nice photographs of the numerous projectile points and other related artifacts we have found over the years.

Next comes the transitional phase, leading to the three woodland phases, in which the cultural influences from distant regions begin to take root in upstate New York. These include the beginnings of the Ohio River Valley “mound” cultures, which while different from the later Meso-American empires, involve the impact of horticulture, larger population centers, and social stratification. Among the dynamics that I find fascinating, and discussed at length with Chief Waterman, is how this led people from the shaman's individual experience, to the more organized and larger-scaled “priesthood” as a distinct social class in the larger society. There are large sections of our conversations on this general topic in their book.

There are very different opinions in the archaeological/anthropology community regarding the formation of what early Europeans and Euro-Americans called “the League of the Iroquois.” For many decades, non-Iroquois assumed it was a response to European intervention in North American affairs, and dated back to about 1500 ad. Also, the ethnic Iroquois were considered “late-comers” to the upstate New York region. In recent years, a more dendrite model has become accepted, which is both closer to the Iroquois tradition, and reflects an in-sito interpretation of the archaeological record made possible by advances in modern technology.

There are still different views on figures such as the Peace Maker and Hiawatha – including as to whether they were historical figures, and if so, when they lived. The view expressed in this book is in general agreement with the current opinion that Hiawatha lived around 950 ad, but places the man who taught the Great Law at an earlier stage. I base my opinion on an interpretation that includes a different focus on extended family, clan, and tribe relationships than most of the professional archaeologists presently take. I believe that, in time, this dendrite model will become more widely accepted by the non-Indian community.

Then there is a chapter on the pre-contact Oneida, Onondaga, Susquehanna, Algonquin/ Lenni Lenape, and Huron cultures, followed by a good history of the colonial and Revolutionary War era. I have a sizable collection of artifacts from one of Mohawk leader Joseph Brant's camps, which he used during the “border wars” during the Revolutionary War. A chapter on the post-war era follows; then, several chapters having to do with “current events” in Indian Territory, including the work that Chief Waterman and I did.

There are hundreds of photographs, primarily of “local” artifacts; these include my collection, those of friends, and from one area college's museum. A local high school art teacher contributed some outstanding drawings, and author Joseph Bruchac let my boys use a couple of his wonderful poems.

Two years ago, my younger son wrote a paper on burial protection and repatriation issues, from his perspective. His teacher, who works at a local college and a university, told him it was the best paper that she has had any student ever hand in. In fact, she kept the original. I've had a couple of the faculty from the university my older son attended tell me that they think he should become a teacher. I think the quality of their book indicates that they are two intelligent, thoughtful young men. The “book tour” is being scheduled in our area. It'll be an opportunity for the three of us to travel about again, kind of like the old days.

If anyone here is interested in more information on their book, contact me here.

Peace,
H2O Man
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Tue Nov 22nd 2011, 04:50 PM
Tonight on CNN, from 8 to 10 pm, the republican candidates will be debating. I plan to watch it. Who else will be tuning in?
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Tue Nov 22nd 2011, 12:24 AM
(On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered the following commencement address at American University. On this anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, at a time when the OWS movement is bringing back a sense of community to this nation, I think this speech deserves closer examination.)



President Anderson, members of the faculty, board of trustees, distinguished guests, my old colleague, Senator Bob Byrd, who has earned his degree through many years of attending night law school, while I am earning mine in the next 30 minutes, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is with great pride that I participate in this ceremony of the American University, sponsored by the Methodist Church, founded by Bishop John Fletcher Hurst, and first opened by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. This is a young and growing university, but it has already fulfilled Bishop Hurst's enlightened hope for the study of history and public affairs in a city devoted to the making of history and to the conduct of the public's business. By sponsoring this institution of higher learning for all who wish to learn, whatever their color or their creed, the Methodists of this area and the Nation deserve the Nation's thanks, and I commend all those who are today graduating.

Professor Woodrow Wilson once said that every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time, and I am confident that the men and women who carry the honor of graduating from this institution will continue to give from their lives, from their talents, a high measure of public service and public support. "There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university," wrote John Masefield in his tribute to English universities -- and his words are equally true today. He did not refer to towers or to campuses. He admired the splendid beauty of a university, because it was, he said, "a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see."

I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age where great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age where a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles -- which can only destroy and never create -- is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary, rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

Some say that it is useless to speak of peace or world law or world disarmament, and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitudes, as individuals and as a Nation, for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward, by examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace, towards the Soviet Union, towards the course of the cold war and towards freedom and peace here at home.

First examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do it again. I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.

Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions -- on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace; no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process -- a way of solving problems.

With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors. So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.

And second, let us reexamine our attitude towards the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent, authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims, such as the allegation that American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war, that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union, and that the political aims -- and I quote -- "of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive war."

Truly, as it was written long ago: "The wicked flee when no man pursueth."

Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements, to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning, a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.

No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.

Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation's territory, including two thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland -- a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.

Today, should total war ever break out again -- no matter how -- our two countries will be the primary target. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the cold war, which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries, including this Nation's closest allies, our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to combat ignorance, poverty, and disease. We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle, with suspicion on one side breeding suspicion on the other, and new weapons begetting counter-weapons. In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours. And even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations, and only those treaty obligations, which are in their own interest.

So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.

Third, let us reexamine our attitude towards the cold war, remembering we're not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points. We are not here distributing blame or pointing the finger of judgment. We must deal with the world as it is, and not as it might have been had the history of the last 18 years been different. We must, therefore, persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us. We must conduct our affairs in such a way that it becomes in the Communists' interest to agree on a genuine peace. And above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy -- or of a collective death-wish for the world.

To secure these ends, America's weapons are nonprovocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter, and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self-restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility. For we can seek a relaxation of tensions without relaxing our guard. And, for our part, we do not need to use threats to prove we are resolute. We do not need to jam foreign broadcasts out of fear our faith will be eroded. We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people, but we are willing and able to engage in peaceful competition with any people on earth.

Meanwhile, we seek to strengthen the United Nations, to help solve its financial problems, to make it a more effective instrument for peace, to develop it into a genuine world security system -- a system capable of resolving disputes on the basis of law, of insuring the security of the large and the small, and of creating conditions under which arms can finally be abolished. At the same time we seek to keep peace inside the non-Communist world, where many nations, all of them our friends, are divided over issues which weaken Western unity, which invite Communist intervention, or which threaten to erupt into war. Our efforts in West New Guinea, in the Congo, in the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, have been persistent and patient despite criticism from both sides. We have also tried to set an example for others, by seeking to adjust small but significant differences with our own closest neighbors in Mexico and Canada.

Speaking of other nations, I wish to make one point clear. We are bound to many nations by alliances. Those alliances exist because our concern and theirs substantially overlap. Our commitment to defend Western Europe and West Berlin, for example, stands undiminished because of the identity of our vital interests. The United States will make no deal with the Soviet Union at the expense of other nations and other peoples, not merely because they are our partners, but also because their interests and ours converge. Our interests converge, however, not only in defending the frontiers of freedom, but in pursuing the paths of peace. It is our hope, and the purpose of allied policy, to convince the Soviet Union that she, too, should let each nation choose its own future, so long as that choice does not interfere with the choices of others. The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today. For there can be no doubt that if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.

This will require a new effort to achieve world law, a new context for world discussions. It will require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves. And increased understanding will require increased contact and communication. One step in this direction is the proposed arrangement for a direct line between Moscow and Washington, to avoid on each side the dangerous delays, misunderstandings, and misreadings of others' actions which might occur at a time of crisis.

We have also been talking in Geneva about our first-step measures of arm controls designed to limit the intensity of the arms race and reduce the risk of accidental war. Our primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament, designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. The pursuit of disarmament has been an effort of this Government since the 1920's. It has been urgently sought by the past three administrations. And however dim the prospects are today, we intend to continue this effort -- to continue it in order that all countries, including our own, can better grasp what the problems and possibilities of disarmament are.

The only major area of these negotiations where the end is in sight, yet where a fresh start is badly needed, is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests. The conclusion of such a treaty, so near and yet so far, would check the spiraling arms race in one of its most dangerous areas. It would place the nuclear powers in a position to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man faces in 1963, the further spread of nuclear arms. It would increase our security; it would decrease the prospects of war. Surely this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit, yielding neither to the temptation to give up the whole effort nor the temptation to give up our insistence on vital and responsible safeguards.

I'm taking this opportunity, therefore, to announce two important decisions in this regard. First, Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking towards early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty. Our hope must be tempered -- Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history; but with our hopes go the hopes of all mankind. Second, to make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on this matter, I now declare that the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not -- We will not be the first to resume. Such a declaration is no substitute for a formal binding treaty, but I hope it will help us achieve one. Nor would such a treaty be a substitute for disarmament, but I hope it will help us achieve it.

Finally, my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude towards peace and freedom here at home. The quality and spirit of our own society must justify and support our efforts abroad. We must show it in the dedication of our own lives -- as many of you who are graduating today will have an opportunity to do, by serving without pay in the Peace Corps abroad or in the proposed National Service Corps here at home. But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete. It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government -- local, State, and National -- to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within our authority. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all levels, wherever the authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate. And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of others and respect the law of the land.

All this -- All this is not unrelated to world peace. "When a man's way please the Lord," the Scriptures tell us, "He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights: the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation; the right to breathe air as nature provided it; the right of future generations to a healthy existence?

While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both. No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion. But it can, if it is sufficiently effective in its enforcement, and it is sufficiently in the interests of its signers, offer far more security and far fewer risks than an unabated, uncontrolled, unpredictable arms race.

The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough -- more than enough -- of war and hate and oppression.

We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we must labor on--not towards a strategy of annihilation but towards a strategy of peace.
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Sun Nov 20th 2011, 12:50 PM


(1)“A champion is someone who gets up when he can't.” – Jack Dempsey; world heavyweight champion, 1919-1926.

Over the years that I've been a participant on this forum, I've frequently said that all of real life imitates the sport of boxing. While it's a bit tongue-in-cheek, it also sums up a significant portion of my life's experiences …. and the way, for better or for worse, that I view life in the most serious sense. Hence, for this essay, one of a series on the topics of OWS and voting, I'm going to start with boxing, in hopes that it may help to illustrate the second two sections of this contribution to DU:GD.

I grew up in a poor, violent setting. That was the reality of my household, my neighborhood, my school, and most parts of my everyday life. My family was poor enough that when I had a condition that resulted in the loss of most of my teeth at once, early in school, medical care was out of the question. What is a dirty kid -- wearing worn-out and out-of-style hand-me-down clothes, without the ability to speak in a manner that others could understand – to do? I learned to fight!

Boxing was the only multi-generational family heirloom I valued. I did not have a chip on my shoulder: I had a boulder. Anger, frustration, hostility, and a deep sense of social inferiority were the friends that I spent my time with. Although I was of at least average intelligence, I was not a child or youngster that many school teachers were likely to invest much time with. But I could surely fight.

By the time I was 13, one of the top boxing magazines in the world had carried an article on me; one of the best European sports journalists was convinced that I would become a world champion boxer. I still hold two of the ten fastest knockouts in NYS amateur boxing history. In my 329 bouts, I had only lost nine times ….. and if any fool who beat me ever gave me a rematch, I savaged them.

My friend and mentor, the Hurricane, had taught me the art of knocking an opponent through the ropes, and clear out of the ring. I still have old scrapbooks, with newspaper articles about my upcoming professional career, to be guided by the explosive-punching, ex-middleweight contender. But a funny thing happened along the path that I believed would lead to that world title. The Hurricane told me that I had learned all that I needed to from boxing, and that it was time to hang up the gloves, and to sit down in a college classroom. For the measure of a healthy society was not in the number of top athletes or millionaires or rock stars it produces, he said; it is found in that society that feeds its hungry children, that provides health care to its sick and elderly, and which shows true compassion to those in need. More, a true “champion” is the person who works for social justice, without requiring any recognition whatsoever.

I'm an old man now, and can't even remember how many amateur titles I won off the top of my head. I tend to think fondly of those days, a sure sign that I am far removed from them. I still enjoy watching some boxing, and talking with fighters. And I still hate losing.




(2)“As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it.” – Budd Schulberg

In the many decades since my last boxing match, I have found substitutes for that competition. My favorite is growing roses. But I have other gardens to tend to, which include the struggle for social justice. These activities have involved both electoral/ representative democracy, and direct/ participatory democracy: working on voter education, registration, and participation; lobbying elected representatives; running for office; taking part in legal cases on the local, state, and national level; writing letters to editors, guest editorials, and being co-editor of a Native American newspaper; having articles published in magazines; publishing books; organizing and attending rallies and marches; and public speaking.

Public speaking is my least favorite activity. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also becoming one of my very favorite things to do. Being of limited intellectual ability, and with less than zero social graces, I've found myself approaching opportunities to speak in public similar to the way I approached boxing matches so many years ago. It is hard to explain: to box, one must be well-prepared, which always involves an internal journey; but it also requires that one master the task of going outside of one's self in the hours before competition. And so it is – at least for me – with public speaking.

Last week, I noted in an OP here that my cousin was scheduled to speak at a rally in Binghamton, NY, on Thursday. However, a meeting with attorneys and state officials raised the likelihood that he could not be there on time; hence, I was asked to “fill in.” While I would very much have preferred to have him speak – as certainly would be the organizers and the crowd – I agreed to speak. My preparation
was made more difficult than usual ….. and I'm not saying this to feel sorry for myself ….. because of my physical disabilities. My legs had recently decided not to work, and I had fallen, very hard, right onto my face in our driveway. My very bruised body was aching since, and the numerous cuts from my face hitting the crushed-stone are still not fully healed. After a couple of what have become never-ending doctors' appointments, my wife insisted that I resist the temptation to attend a couple of planned meetings, including the rally in Binghamton.

That combination of stubborness and stupidity that defines my lack of judgement won out, however. While Binghamton is a long drive on a good day, and I'm not familiar with the streets there, I knew exactly where I was going – having hitch-hiked to a theater there in April of 1975, and fought on a professional boxing card a couple blocks away in May, '75. Obviously, I got “lost,” and instead of getting to my destination an hour early, I arrived right on time.

Although on the surface, everything appeared wonderful, I soon found that there was some of the minor tensions between the various groups that were involved in organizing this rather large rally. One group in particular was attempting to “run the show.” That's not necessarily a bad thing thing, of course, because there needs to be structure. The biggest problem seemed to be that one young lady from the group “in charge” was unhappy because “Occupy Binghamton” was there, and reportedly had a slightly different agenda for the public meeting with the NYS DEC that would follow the rally.

To make a long story short, although the person from her group that was in charge of scheduling the speakers had put me on the list, she took it upon herself to “cross me off” that list. When members of three of the other participating groups were unable to get a meaningful response from her on why she had done so, they approached the man in charge. He then came over to me, said that he definitely did want me to speak, and assured me that he had placed me back on the list. I would close the show, he said, adding that he had specifically instructed the young lady to call me up to the stage, and to introduce me as the last speaker. He added that he had wanted to introduce me, but that he had to get inside of the theater where the DEC was setting up.

The woman decided otherwise. I was there, ready to speak, and she opted not to introduce me, instead saying the program was over, and cutting the mike, hurried off stage.

People from the other groups there were saying things like, “Wow! I can't believe that (she) did that,” and other similar things. I watched her for a few moments, as she hurried from news camera to news camera, to make sure that her face would be on the news. And I decided to go have a chat with her. Away from the cameras and other people, I told her that it wasn't just that she was rude to me as an individual – she responded with, “I don't even know you or who you represent” – but that her attitude was causing her to act in a manner that risked dividing the various groups. I asked that when she got home, she look in a mirror and think about what caused her to behave this way, and to give serious consideration to identifying ways that she could place group unity before her individual need for attention and a sense of power.




(3)“I didn't push Cory. I wanted him to decide if he wanted to get into boxing, and he did. Can't blame it on me.” – Leon Spinks, former world heavyweight champion, on his son's boxing career.

My oldest son ran for office this fall. Although we live in a part of upstate New York where there are far more republicans and tea party members, than Democrats, he believed that he could buck the odds, and win a seat on the local Town Board. There were other individuals – most of whom are Democrats – who ran for office in other communities throughout republican upstate New York.

One of my closest friends, a Lakota man who lives in one of the most red-neck towns in existence, also ran. Perhaps the “high-point” of his campaign took place while he was going door-to-door, and an unstable human being answered his door with a shot gun. This fellow ordered my friend off of his property, and actually walked behind him – with the gun pointed at my friend's back – to his automobile. (The local police determined that this violated no law.)

The high-point in my son's campaign was perhaps the speech he made at the town's “Meet the Candidates” forum. He stood out from the other six candidates not only because he was a Democrat, and there three republicans and three tea partiers beside of him, but because he gave an outstanding speech.

Unlike me, he is entirely comfortable with public speaking. He had outlined his speech in the afternoon hours before the forum. After the forum ended, I said that I thought that there was a very real chance – based upon the crowd's reactions – that he could get enough of the republican and tea party votes to win …. something no Democrat has done in many a decade here. But both the head of the local Democratic Party and my younger son (the best campaign manager in our region) said no, that few non-democrats would be able to identify with my son. They said the republicans an tea partiers from our town were engaged in an angry feud, and that my son's presentation was in a tongue foreign to both groups.

My son and my friend both lost on Election Day. The republican candidates won every contest in our town, and in my friend's, as well. I think that the fact that Democratic candidates did win some upsets in other high-profile contests in a seven county region that we followed made these two question themselves. They both hated losing.




(4)“Boxing is not the sport that I thought it was, due to all the politics.” – Gerry Cooney

I'm not confident that the three previous sections appear as related, to the potential reader, as they are in my own mind. In trying to find a “conclusion,” I'm reminded of many years ago, when telling me that it was time to walk away from boxing, the Hurricane said, “You do have three souls, you know.” So, too, does the struggle for social justice. As Erik H. Erikson pointed out, we tend to encounter the same “problems” at each level as we go. It can be no other way.

We face internal conflicts, which are often the most difficult on any path. There are also petty conflicts within those groups we are part of in the struggle for social justice ….. and by no coincidence, they frequently are the result of individuals – both others and ourselves – having not achieved those victories over ourselves at that first level. And even when our groups begin to function properly, we will always face resistance from those on the outside …. be it the extreme example of the shot gun carrier, or the building conflict between republicans an tea-partiers.

When we examine the examples from the past or the present, large and small, these very dynamics are always present. So long as people are focused on their own career, be it in boxing or politics, there will be fights. As long as individuals and groups believe that outcomes are dependent upon their holding the reins of power, there will be conflicts that create and expand divisions between other individuals and groups. And even when as individuals and groups, we are functioning near our peek potential, there will still be tensions and defeats. Again, it can be no other way – because that would require that the very dynamics which create the “problems” be “different” – which would mean that there was not the injustice we struggle with, to begin with.

I hope that what I've said here makes sense to those forum members who are actively engaged in The Good Fight. I hope that it has worth your while to read this wordy contribution to the on-going discussion & debate on the Democratic Underground. For while the examples that I have discussed are of no particular importance, in and of themselves, I think they might relate to some of the dynamics we all tend to encounter in that struggle for social justice which requires our best efforts. Thank you for reading this.

Peace,
H2O Man
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Fri Nov 18th 2011, 02:04 PM
“We must seek out the spiritual people because only that is going to help us survive. We have a great force – a great brotherhood. This brotherhood involves all living things. And that, of course, includes us all. We are talking about the natural world, the natural force, all the trees, everything that grows, the water. That is part of our force.

“But when you gather spiritual force in one place, you also gather the negative force. We begin to perceive the enemy now, the power and presence of the negative force.

“There is a great battle coming.”
Chief Oren Lyons, Onondaga National




There are many opinions about the OWS movement. For example, I heard Ron Christie say that he understands people's anger, but the demonstrators should really be in Washington, DC, marching in opposition to President Obama. Other talking heads have recommended that OWS needs to identify leaders, and select spokespersons. On this forum, I've read suggestions that the movement participants be registered to vote, as well as claims that the ONLY way to change things is to participate in the election process. And still others, even within the past 48 hours, have asked what OWS wants?

The republican view is obvious. Twits like Christie fantasize about being part of a rebel movement. Representative Peter King – a man who openly supported the IRA – calls the people of OWS mentally ill, drug-addicted, violent criminals. He expresses a particular outrage that they camp out. His sterile mind is so removed by the natural world that he is repulsed by “dirt.” But perhaps the most honest republican assessment of OWS came this morning on CNN, when two young men stated that the current level of income inequality is part of the American dream, and made clear that their thirst for the comforts of wealth had drowned any social conscience they may once have had.

Those who question “what OWS wants” fall into two general groups. The first is those who believe asking this question over and over is a worthy tactic to derail a meaningful discussion. The second are those who, like the kid who sat next to you in second grade, who raised his hand and told the teacher, “I don't get it.” Income inequality is an abstraction that some do not fully grasp as easily as the rest of their class. And while we should be patient with them, we certainly cannot afford to hold the rest of our class back until they fully grasp rather simple math.

Thus we come to what is really the most important of the questions: is OWS a movement that needs to identify leaders, register all members to vote, and support one of the two major political parties? Obviously, I can only offer my personal opinion, knowing that intelliegent and sincere people can and will disagree with parts of it – or even the majority of what I think. And that's the way it should be.

I think that OWS and voter education, registration, and participation are distinct, but overlapping forms of democracy in action. They are two distinct circles, which have areas of “common ground.” (Or, as Rep. King might say, “common dirt.”) I can understand both those who see them as entirely separate, and those who think OWS must morph into a voting machine. Both raise some valid and valuable points.

Some people here nay have noticed that I frequently point to history for illustrations. I'm about to here. But at the same time, I try to make clear that it is important, even essential, that we not be stuck in the past. For while history provides us with many inspirational teachers and valuable lessons, those teachers lived in different times. And while the problems they confronted might have been similar to what we face today, those circumstances were different and will not repeat exactly. So we benefit most from learning the principles – such as telling the truth, having compassion, and seeking social justice – for great principles are constant in any circumstance.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some history that may shed some light on today's situation. I'm thinking of the Civil Rights movement in America. One of the best available histories of the movement is Taylor Branch's trilogy “America in the King Years” (Parting the Waters, 1954-63; Pillor of Fire, 1963-65; and At Canaan's Edge, 1965-68). Branch documents how the movement began as a grass roots, participatory democratic action. Few people today remember the hard work and sacrifice that so many people invested in the movement.

The movement's beginning is more closely associated with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite his reluctance, King was to become identified as the movement's “leader.” The truth about that has been “cleaned-up” by movement supporters, while the opposition has been invested in soiling the reputation of King, as an individual, ever since he came to national attention.

King is famous for leading demonstrations that aimed at equal rights. Among the most important of these was the right to vote, for King and the rest of the movement knew that social justice was impossible if every person did not have the right to vote. In the Deep South, there were many areas, for example, where blacks outnumbered whites; their being denied the right to vote made the democratic process a sham.

Yet, even with the “Civil Rights Act of 1964,” and the 1965 “Voting Rights Act,” King recognized that registering and voting alone did not equal social justice. There were two other issues that King knew had to be confronted: poverty and the war in Vietnam. He knew that even if people were able to vote in every election, so long as the machinery of America was producing poverty and violence, there could be no social justice.

When Martin began delivering this message in 1967, there were many different reactions. Some felt that he was betraying President Johnson. Others advised him to stick to Civil Rights. Many who embraced his new positions wantedhim to run as an anti-war candidate in 1968. Similar to Malcolm X when he was asked to consider running for Congress, Martin believed he could do more good by staying out of elections.

It's important here to remember that there were a range of “anti-war” candidates. We tend to think of Eugene McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy as being the only two who ran on an anti-war platform. But there was another candidate – the republican nominee, Richard Nixon, who promised to end the US war in Vietnam. It is particularly important for two reasons: first, the republicans claim that the Democrats “started” that war; and second, a proper perspective shows that it was the Machine that demanded that war – much as it does today in other nations, regardless of who is President.

The April 20, 1954 edition of the Chicago Daily News ran an interesting, though largely forgotten editorial. The vice president of the United States, one Richard Nixon, had a press conference the day before, in which he noted that the French were getting thrashed in Vietnam. Nixon said that the US government was preparing to enter the war against North Vietnam, and would do so regardless of the effort was supported by its allies.

Neither the Democrats nor republicans “started” the US war in Vietnam. It was the Machine, the corporate interests, that demanded access to the natural resources of that region. Uncle Sam footed the bill for France for many years, and eventually sacrificed American youth in that ugly venture. It didn't make a bit of difference if LBJ or Richard Nixon was in the White House. McCarthy couldn't have gotten elected. (And the only two politicians who could have changed the course of American history in Vietnam, JFK and RFK, did not get the chance.)

King understood the Machine. He recognized its nature. And so, quite the opposite of running for office as the “leader” of the Civil Rights, anti-war, and anti-poverty coalition, he opted to try to organize the Poor People's Campaign. It wasn't a march across a bridge. It wasn't a sit-in. He planned to occupy Washington, DC. His dream was to have thousands of poor people – from every background – come together as equals, and to occupy DC. He wasn't targeting Democrats or republicans. Nor was he backing either party. He was focused on challenging the Machine. He was demanding social justice.

Now, I definitely support participating in elections. For many years, I've engaged in voter education, registration, and participation. But I also am 100% for movements such as OWS. I believe in fighting for social justice – nonviolently, of course – and view the ballot box and OWS as the left- and the right hand. In the struggle we are in, I think it would be foolish to tie one hand behind our backs. We need them both.

If people here find this essay worth reading, and worthy of discussion, I will follow up with one on the inevitable inner conflicts that happen when individuals and various groups attempt to work together to reach a common goal. Until then,

Peace,
H2O Man
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Tue Nov 15th 2011, 09:56 PM



This is an important time to discuss what is known as an “agent provocateur” – which is a French term for “inciting agent.” It is a tool used by police and/or intelligence agencies, as a way of disrupting and discrediting a social movement. Although an “agent provocateur” can, in theory, be used in a positive manner to help to disrupt the activities of a group such as the Ku Klux Klan, in the recent decades in America, the concept is more closely associated with the oppressive actions known as “COINTELPRO.”

“COINTELPRO” was the FBI's frequently illegal “counter-intelligence program” that targeted, among others, the Civil Rights movement, the American Indian Movement (AIM), and the anti-war/student organizations in the Vietnam era. Lead by Director J. Edgar Hoover, the program sought to surveil, infiltrate, disrupt, and discredit those organizations that were deemed “threats” to the war machine. The program had a number of tactics for accomplishing these goals, with the “agent provocateur” being one that could coordinate the others.

During this general period, the Nixon administration proposed what was known as the Huston Plan. As I've shown previously, the Huston Plan was actually parent to Dick Cheney's “Patriot Act.” The idea was to have local, state, and federal police agencies – in cooperation with military intelligence – participate in the surveillance, infiltration, discrediting, and often violent disruption of targeted groups, which were frequently doing little more than exercising their Amendment 1 rights.

Among the best-known documents from that era was Director Hoover's March 4, 1968 memorandum, outlining a strategy “for maximum effectiveness of the Counterintelligence Program, and to prevent wasted effort, (in which) long-range goals are being set … (to) prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups ….(and) prevent the rise of a 'messiah' who could unifuy, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a 'messiah'....”

But Malcolm had been murdered in Harlem in 1965. Officially, the police and courts ruled that he was the victim of a plot by the Nation of Islam. However, it is known that one of NOI leader Elijah Muhammad's top aides was an FBI agent. More, during the weeks before his murder, and indeed upon the very day, Malcolm's inner circle had been infiltrated by Gene A. Roberts. (Photos of the scene show Roberts bending over Malcolm's lifeless body on the stage of the Teresa Hotel.)

In January of 1969, Black Panther John Higgins was murdered at UCLA; Gene Roberts would serve as a member of the Black Panther Honor Guard at Higgins' funeral. Later that year, at the “Panther 21” trial, Roberts was a prosecution witness; it was then revealed he was a long-time member of the New York City Police's Special Services – a department which had ties to local, state, and national police forces, as well as to military intelligence.

Roberts was forced to admit, while being cross-examined by defense attorneys, that had supplied guns to the Black Panthers, and that he had advocated numerous illegal and violent actions. For sake of this discussion, Gene A. Roberts will serve to illustrate the tactics used by agent provacateurs in general.

Not all agent provocateurs are police officers (or military persons). Many are criminals who are working for the police, in order to earn favor – especially to avoid legal consequences for crimes they have been caught for commiting. In times past, these individuals were called “narcs,” “rats,” etc. It is important to note that a large percentage of criminals adhere to what is known as the “criminal code of conduct.” Their actions are “anti-social,” but they tend to frown upon two sub-species of criminals: the sex-offenders, and the “rats.” The “rats” do not have any loyalty to any other living being, hence, they are not only willing to “squeel” on others, but they have no problems with causing violence. This lack of conscience is, of course, a sure trait of sociopaths.

In todays complex society, with all of its tensions, there are variants of “agent provocateurs” that include those unintelligent right-wing folks who try to infiltrate an internet site such as this; pretend to be very left-wing; and then seek to disrupt and/or discredit the forum. Such fungus are not to be taken seriously. (There was one here many years ago, who pretended to be an attorney who had been a victim of the FBI program, but who could not even spell “COINTELPRO.” Gracious!)

Michael Moore's classic film “Fahrenheit 9/11” included information about a sheriff's deputy who infiltrated an anti-war group on the west coast. There was a clip showing one of the group's meeting, in which the most radical action they engaged in was sharing cookies that one member had baked. (Lucky for them, it wasn't brownies.) Without question, the local, state, and national police agencies are keeping track of those today who oppose the corporate criminals/war machine.

In the past, I have posted information here documenting how the US government organized the predecessor to the CIA, by recruiting intelligence agents employed by the oil industry in this country. It should come as no suprise that, in an era with Erik Prince, that there are many forms of “private” intelligence services. Some are contract agencies such as Blackwater, while others are within larger corporations, including our friends, the energy incs. Last week, I posted a link to an article documenting how gas corporations are using “PSYOP” (psychological operations) and “PSYWAR” (psychological warfare) in communities where there is significant opposition to hydro-fracking. The gas industry leader quoted in the article referred to environmentally-aware citizens as “insurgents.”

I can say with less than zero chance of error that agent provocateurs have attempted to infiltrate the OWS movement. This is not to say that every individual act of law-breaking was the work of Maxwell Smart or CHAOS. There are people who are frustrated and angry, who may have acted out. But that is the point: with the current coordinated efforts to “evict” OWS communities from public parks, etc, (and these evictions are being coordinated by a much higher level than the mayors who order them to be carried out, though I am in no sense excusing these mayors), the agent provocateurs are being tasked with attempting to incite frustrated and angry citizens to behave in a manner that they would not otherwise.

Like many other “elders” on this forum, I've had lots of experience with agent provocateurs. Some with the anti-war movement; some on Native American issues; some in environmental advocacy groups. I have no problem in admitting that as a young man, a couple of them fooled me. Keep this in mind: a smart person learns from others' mistakes; most of us have to learn from our own; and fools just don't learn much at all. So, be alert. Be awake. Be aware. That tough-talking fellow who advocates lawlessness and violence is not a friend of OWS. He isn't your friend, either.

Peace,
H2O Man
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Mon Nov 14th 2011, 12:56 PM
In the past two months, the OWS (Occupy Wall Street) movement has spread across the United States. It has a rather simple general theme: that 1% of the population is denying the other 99% social justice. Although OWS was largely ignored by the corporate media for several weeks, some violent attacks by members of police forces brought it to the public's attention. Since then, almost everyone has an opinion – is the timing correct? What exactly do they want? Should there be identified leaders? Should an effort be made to register the participants as voters?

In my last essay, I noted that when some of the leaders from the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy met with some of our Founding Fathers, one of the most important concepts that they stressed was that leadership depends upon the consent of “the people.” Hence, while ideas such as the balance between the 13 colonies/states and the federal government – which reflects the same balance as between the six individual nations and the confederacy – was essential, there is more. On that federal level, with its balance of powers involving the three branches, every leader needed to be fully aware that they were in their position specifically to represent the people.

Indeed, when we look at that part of the US Constitution known as the Bill of Rights, it focuses on individual rights. And the first among these is Amendment 1, which recognizes that every individual in the United States has the right to religious freedom (and freedom from religion; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; and the right to assemble to express grievances to the government for redress.

The fact that this important part of the US Constitution provides for peaceful assemblies such as OWS deserves our closest attention. There are a number of closely-related issues that we need to consider, including but not limited to the idea that those engaging in violence are in effect attempting to deny others their Constitutional rights (and I include some police, all agents of disruption, and even those members of the 99% who misbehave for various reasons). But before considering this, I will suggest that there are a couple related factors worthy of our attention.

Why are rallies and marches important? Is it simply to voice grievances to, and with, the government? If so, does the media attention a rally or march get determine its value? My answer is, “No!” We live in an unnatural, plastic environment, in which the 1% has saturated the culture with an “every man for himself” ideology. That 1% has skillfully used and abused the government and the corporate media to inject massive quanties of the poisons of hatred and fear into our social environment. These rallies and marches allow you and I the opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals, in a setting that allows us the opportunity to listen, to learn, and to trust.

Now, that doesn't mean that we totally let our guard down. There are both agents of dissent, and some who are seeking “power” as defined by our sick society. Yet they are the minority in what is the beginnings of real community.

There are still temptations to think of people as belonging to “groups.” For example, there are registered voters, and unregistered potential voters. There are socialists, Greens, independents, and Democrats. There are progressive, liberal, moderate, and conservative Democrats. There are even some republicans and tea party members, who are becoming aware of the fact that they have much more in common with OWS than the 1% they have sought to identify with. There are young and old; well-educated and formally uneducated; middle class, poor, and poorer; employed, underemployed, and unemployed. And on and on.

As human beings, we are prone to thinking that we are “right,” and to view those who think differently, and who act differently than we do, as either “wrong,” or not so far along the path as we are. And sometimes this is the case. But other times, it is instead a matter of a valid difference of opinion, based upon the perspective that our individual life experiences have taught us. The opportunity to be part of a real community, based upon good will and human values – rather than hate and fear and mistrust – is an experience that our current corporate government denies citizens.

The experience of marches and rallies such as OWS provides people the chance to gain respect for others, and equally important, to have others come to respect us. Again, this is the opposite of the current corporate government environment, where contempt for others – including those in this country and around the earth – is a key to “success”; where violence is used to solve problems; where one can only loathe both associates and competitors, knowing their being is as hollow as your own.

The benefits are real, and the potential is there. This does not mean that it will be easy. Far from it. We see the tendency for division and hostility even here, on this internet discussion site, daily. Still, on those ocassions when we join together to work towards a common goal that benefits the common good, we have witnessed the strength that comes with unity (though not uniformity).

Do movements have value unless the media and “important” people support them? Yes. The anti-war movement that opposed the Vietnam war was important before Senators Eugene McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy sought its support in the 1968 democratic presidential primaries. It was this pair's joining the movement to stop the war that raised their significance as political leaders, not the other way around.

Do rallies and marches do any good, in and of themselves? Yes. I would submit that one of the greatest values of the “Pentagon Papers” were in documenting how closely various forces in Washington, DC, were watching the anti-war protests. (See: Vol. IV, pages 197, 217, 479, 492, and 564 for examples.) Both elected and unelected officials were aware that these public protests were turning the general population against the war, thus limiting the increases in troop levels the generals were demanding.

Should marches and rallies be tied to voter registration efforts? Again, yes, there should be a connection. Obviously, this was one of the goals of the Civil Rights movement. But it should never be mistaken for the only purpose, or even generally the primary purpose. Not should marches and rallies be viewed in restrictive terms as promoting either of the two major parties –- though certainly when specific individuals actually are working for the same goals (as opposed to the much more common lip service they “lend” for contributions and votes), then one hand can wash the other.

This is, of course, just my limited understanding of these issues. I'm hoping that other forum members – including those with different experiences and/or differing views – will take the time to post their thoughts here. Thanks.

Peace,
H2O Man
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Sun Nov 13th 2011, 12:18 PM

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/11/11/gas-com... /



FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The battle over gas drilling is now being compared to elements of an actual battlefield. Energy industry officials were caught on tape at a conference in Houston using military terms to describe their opposition. One company says it uses ex-military psychological operations experts in its community plans.
The comments came as companies were meeting to talk about strategies for overcoming concern over practices like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. ….. “Download the US Army/Marine Corp counter insurgency manual. Because we are dealing with an insurgency,” he said. Matt Carmichael went on to recommend attendees read Rumsfeld’s Rules, from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
In another session, referring to those comments about the military, Range Resources Matt Pitzarella said, “We have several former psy-ops (psychic-operations) folks that work for us at Range, because they’re very comfortable dealing with localized issues and local governments. Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances.”

Some energy and business experts who spoke to CBS11 said there is no conspiracy by energy companies in using military psy-ops experts. Experiences in a war zone, they said, can go a long way to dealing with emotional issues here at home. The Army’s website classifies psy-ops and public relations as different specialties. It describes psy-ops as influencing reasoning and, ultimately, the behavior of governments, groups and individuals ….... (more at link)
***** ****** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

It should come as no surprise to the informed members of the Democratic Underground that the Cheneyites in the “energy” industry view environmentally-conscious citizens as “an insurgency.” I have spoken before about a time when Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons spoke to an audience in Binghamton, NY. He told the people there that it was only a matter of time until they experienced the same treatment that the Native Peoples had for centuries. And so it is.

There was a time when the Founding Fathers – many of whom met with the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy – were consider “an insurgency” by King George & Company. Those founding Fathers who were most influenced by the Six Nations (“Haudenosaunee”) viewed the concept of “government” very different than did the English combination of “royalty” and business interests. Indeed, each of the “founding documents” – Franklin's Albany Pan of Union, the Declaration of Independfence, the Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution – clearly illustrate this.

The Constitution includes the three-branched federal government, with the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. These three branches are equal, though not exact, in powers that balance one another. Yet these branches grow from the actual Tree of Liberty, which is rooted in the concept that all men and women are created equal, and have unalienable rights, which are self-evident. This is the same tree that the Iroquois Constitution recognizes, and that they taught Franklin, Madison, Jefferson, and Washington about.

King George the Cheneyite wanted to chop this tree down. He viewed the Patriots as an insurgency. In the 1800s and 1900s, the US government frequently viewed Native Americans as an insurgency to be destroyed, in the name of “progress.” The corporations that own our federal government used to be content to exploit the natural resources of Indian Territory and other foreign lands. But due to a combination of factors, today these same industries are targeting the gas resources across the nation.

Because these corporations can reap the largest profits by a process known as “hydro-fracking,” which poses an extraordinarily high risk to the environment – including human inhabitants – those individuals, families, and communities who are attempting to protect their properties are the new insurgents. As their opposition to hydro-fracking grows more organized and powerful, the energy corporations are intent upon using para-military tactics to discredit, disrupt, and destroy them.

There is, of course, ample evidence that the “elite” view the growing OWS movement in the same manner. Hence, OWS will be subjected to an increasing amount of these tactics, which will try to discredit, disrupt, and destroy OWS.

During the upcoming days and weeks, I am hoping that forum members here will take interest in an effort to focus attention on this topic, much as we did back in 2004-2005 on the Plame Threads. We have some outstanding resources here – the people who are part of that Tree. Some of us old-timers can offer the lessons from our experiences in the 1960s and '70s, when both the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements were subjected to such anti-insurgency tactics. More, we have the talents and insights of a younger generation, which views today's situation with new eyes.

Thank you for reading this, and for hopefully participating.

Peace,
H2O Man
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Sat Nov 12th 2011, 09:01 AM


Several family members & friends are on their way over, for a sweat lodge ceremony. Today's ceremony is one for healing. The primary focus is on a couple of families dealing with serious illness, and with the death of a family member. However, there will also be “rounds” for another type of healing, that I would like to take a minute to talk about.

At a time when OWS and related social-cultural movements are beginning to reach a higher level, we begin to experience both the positive and negative potentials of “groups.” Even in something like the regional anti-hydro-fracking movement in upstate New York, we are seeing small clashes between some of the grass-roots movements. This is, of course, to be expected.

There are two basic causes: internal differences, and external attempts to disrupt the movement. Our greatest task is to reach that common ground within the local/area groups, and to coordinate efforts with those groups in other areas, as well as the established national organizations. Sounds easy, but it's not always the path taken. And again, it is not only because of the external forces, or the agents of disruption that they seek to inject into our groups.

This coming Thursday, there will be state-wide rallies to voice concerns about protecting our environment from the “energy corporations” that hope to exploit our natural resources. One of the guest speakers may be Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons. Because Oren and Joe (Onondaga's attorney) may be stuck in one of those endless meetings with NYS officials, I am “on call” to fill-in for Oren.

Today, during ceremony, I will be looking to identify how to communicate a healing message to the various groups at this rally. For alone, we are like individual fingers that our enemy can easily twist and break. Together, we form a powerful fist that is fully capable of protecting our rights.

I'd like to post some of my thoughts here, after ceremony and in the next few days. I would very much appreciate your responses.

Thank you.

Your friend,
Pat

(PS: My sons' book has arrived. One goes out in the mail on Monday morning to Friend Will Pitt, for review. If anyone else is interested, e-mail me here on DU. It's a 360-page Native People's history of the northeast.)
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Wed Nov 09th 2011, 09:56 PM


The death of former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier is a loss for more than the boxing community and the world of sports, for “Smokin' Joe” represented a significant part of what was solid and dependable in American culture during an era of turmoil and social unrest. While far too many professional athletes are elevated to the status of “role model” merely because of their athletic gifts, Joe Frazier was exactly the type of person that every community needs for its youth to look up to.

In the past 24 hours, I've watched numerous television reports on the life of Joe Frazier; read both newspaper and internet articles; and have spoken to a number of family members and friends, about their memories of this great champion. The passage of time since Frazier's ascent in the heavyweight division has, not surprisingly, created some gaps in the accuracy of some sports fan's memories. For example, I read about Ernie Terrell winning the WBA tournament, and heard a televison journalist's “memory” of Joe breaking Ali's jaw in the fifteenth round of “The Fight of the Century.” Thus, I think it might be both interesting and worthwhile to take a look back at Joe's historic career development.

My understanding of the intensity of this man might best be illustrated by a story about Joe Frazier in a locker room at the Utica College Sports Complex, in Utica, N.Y., on October 2, 1976. Joe had become the manager of heavyweight contender Duane Bobick, then 36-0, after the former Olympian's 26th fight. My brother was scheduled to fight on the undercard of Bobick's main event bout against tough Chuck Wepner. My brother-in-law, who was an amateur heavyweight, and who looked a lot like the young Joe Frazier, used to help me train my brother.

Now, this was less than four months after Joe's second bout with George Foreman. He was retired, but not so much so that he was that good-natured guy that people knew outside of boxing. (He did have one last fight, five years later.) The second that he walked into our section of the dressing room, his eyes locked on my brother-in-law. For a long moment, Joe Frazier was as silent as he was motionless; through narrow eyes, taking a measure of the young heavyweight standing in front of him. This I can say, without any risk of error: Joe Frazier was as intense as any man ever associated with the great sport of boxing.

The only word that comes close to capturing the atmosphere for that moment is “intimidating.” Not that anyone worried that there would be any problem in that locker room. But the very essence of Joe Frazier, definitely one of the most powerful of men to lace up the gloves, was – in the context of fight-night – primal. After Bobick stopped Wepner in six rounds, that same intense man, who's stare had raised the hairs on you neck, transformed into into the good-natured gentleman that was such a big part of the man.

Joe Frazier, born in South Carolina, is the very definition of a “Philadelphia fighter.” In 1962, '63, and '64, he would win the Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves Heavyweight title. A giant heavyweight named Buster Mathis beat Joe in the Olympic trials in 1964, but pulled out as the result of breaking his hand while fighting Joe. Thus Frazier represented the United States at the Tokyo Olympics, winning the gold. It was only then that the public learned that Frazier had competed in those four bouts with a broken thumb.

Frazier's professional career was sponsored by Cloverlay, a corporation created by Philadelpia businessmen who paid $250 per share. Joe was trained by Yank Durham, who was assisted by Willie Reddish. Durham, an amateur boxer before WW2, became one of the top trainers at North Philly's legendary 23rd PAL gym. Reddish, who like Frazier was born in South Carolina before coming to Philadelphia and winning the Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves, had been a heavyweight contender. He fought world champions Jersey Joe Walcott and John Henry Lewis, and also served as a sparring partner for the great Joe Louis. Reddish had previously trained heavyweight champion Charles “Sonny” Liston.

Boxing was, in many ways, a very different sport when Joe Frazier turned professional in 1965, than it is today. The heavyweight division, in particular, held the nation's interest, and the heavyweight champion was the most influential athlete on the planet. As an Olympic champion, Joe Frazier's career would be covered not only by the two top boxing magazines – The Ring and Boxing Illustrated – but by numerous other sports magazines, and virtually every good newspaper's sports section. Thus, when Joe Frazier won each of his four fights in 1965 by early knockouts, sports fans were paying close attention.

In 1966, Joe fought nine bouts, winning eight by knockout. While many were in Philadephia, Joe would also compete in high-profile bouts in the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, and at Madison Square Garden in New York City. These included fights against some of the top-ten contenders of that period, including Dick Wipperman (TKO 5); Billy Daniels, who was decked in rounds 2, 3, 4, and 6, before failing to come out for the seventh round; tough Oscar Bonavena, who dropped Joe twice in the second round, in a fight Joe won by a 10-round majority decision; and veteran Eddie Machen, who Joe stopped in ten.

1967 would prove to be a turning-point in boxing history; events both inside and outside of the ring would be impacted by the political atmosphere in America. Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali would defend his title twice, before being stripped of his title by boxing commissions, because of his refusal to be drafted into the US Army.

The young contender Smokin' Joe Frazier would start the year with impressive knockouts over Doug Jones and Jefferson Davis. Joe then decisioned tough veteran George “Scrape Iron” Johnson, one of Liston's top sparring partners (who later fought Liston, George Foreman, and Ron Lyle). This set the stage for Joe to fight George Chuvalo, who had won his last twelve fights by knockout.

It may be difficult for younger readers to appreciate what this fight represented. Chuvalo is the greatest fighter to come out of Canada. More, this guy set the bar very high for the Canadian tradition of “tough” fighters. Although George had been defeated by fighters including Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali, he had never been off his feet in the ring, much less knocked out. (A doctor who conducted a thorough examination of Chuvalo reported that his skull was literally 3/4ths an inch thicker than normal, which accounted for his legendary ability to take a punch. More important, George was a highly intelligent man, who knew how to use his skills to his full advantage – including breaking any rule he found inconvenient!)

The Frazier vs Chuvalo bout, held at Madison Square Garden, was televised live on network TV. For the first three rounds, this pair of powerful contenders stood toe-to-toe. But Joe would open cuts over George's eye, and began to inflict a severe beating on him before referee Johnny Colan stopped the bout late in the 4th round. The boxing community knew then that Joe Frazier was a uniquely talented fighter …. a heavyweight version of the great Henry Armstrong.

The WBA tournament – to find a new champion -- was about to begin. Frazier was offered a spot in it. However, Durham and Reddish had other plans for Joe. Although Frazier was definitely among the top in the division, they wanted him to get a few more fights in, before meeting two of the other top contenders who might be in the tournament. Durham had concerns about big Ernie Terrell, the 6' 6” contender with an 82” reach. Terrell, who had been awarded the WBA “title” for decisioning Eddie Machen in 1965, had defended that paper title twice, before being decisioned by Ali in February of 1967. And Reddish wanted Joe to have more experience before possibly meeting former champion Sonny Liston, who had won four knockouts on his comeback.

The Ali camp had considered a defense against Joe, until Muhammad lost his license. The Madison Square Garden match-makers had twice attempted to put Joe in against his former amateur rival, undefeated prospect Buster Mathis; the first offer was for $4,000, the second for $20,000, which was not enough for either fighter. Instead, Joe would knock out contender Tony Doyle in October, and journeyman Marion Connor in December.

At the time, many boxing fans were more interested in the WBA tournament, which featured eight top contenders. But Durham and Reddish knew exactly what they were doing. Doyle, for example, was 6' 4” tall, and that fight helped prepare Joe for a potential bout against Terrell. Connor was actually a light heavyweight, and although it appeared he posed no risk to Frazier, he was a fast, slick fighter. The WBA tournament was eventually won by Jimmy Ellis, the fast, slick former Ali sparring partner, who had moved up from the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.

By early 1968, the promoters at the new Madison Square Garden were looking to promote a “super card,” featuring the “rubber match” between middleweight champion Emile Griffith and Nino Benvenuti, and headlined by a heavyweight “title” fight. After former champion Floyd Patterson turned down offers to fight either Frazier or Mathis, they secured a fight between the two undefeated contenders.

Buster Mathis has been reduced to a footnote in boxing history. That's a shame, because the 6' 3”, 243-pound fighter was actually a gifted fighter. Buster had both speed of hand and foot, and actually had power – he decked and stopped Chuck Wepner in his sixth pro fight, for example. But Mathis was not always disciplined in training, and thus frustrated both Cus D'Amato and Joe Louis, when they each attempted to harness his full talents.

Mathis would outbox Frazier in the early rounds of their March 4, 1968 bout. But Frazier's pressure began to take a toll in the middle rounds. Joe eventually flattend Buster in the 11th round, winning the heavyweight title of five states (IL, MA, ME, NY, & PA).

In June, Joe defended this title against the explosive-punching Mexican contender Manuel Ramos. Although Joe was stunned by a Ramos bomb in the first round, he would inflict a savage beating on his opponent and stop him in the second. Six months later, Frazier decisioned Oscar Bonavena in a 15-round fight.

1969 would mark the beginning of Frazier fighting twice a year. In April, he defended against Dave Zyglewicz. Dave was a relatively small heavyweight, at 5' 10” and about 190 pounds. He was a physically strong man, who worked in the construction industry between boxing matches. Although he had a 28-1 record going into this fight, most of his victories were over C-grade Texas opposition. Not only had Dave not faced a current top-ten opponent in building his record, but he had lost to Sam Wyatt (6-7-1) a year earlier. Since that loss, Dave had four victories over opponents with a combined record of 53-58-7. Frazier devastated the game but severely overmatched Zyglewitcz in one round.

(Years later, Dave served as the referee for one of my amateur bouts in Cooperstown, N.Y. During the pre-fight instructions, he said, “Okay, boys. You might have heard of me. I lost a home-town decision to Joe Frazier years ago!” A few years later, on another professional card, my brother-in-law and I worked my brother's corner when he upset Dave and Bob Miller's undefeated prospect. Dave was always a wonderful character outside of the ring. Miller, of course, is one of the top cut-men in the business. He still promotes fights near Albany, including those of his son Shannon. Bob is often seen on Showtimes fights held in Canada, working the corners of some of the best fighters in the world.)

Two months later, Joe met tough Jerry Quarry in what would be The Ring's “Fight of the Year.” After upsetting Floyd Patterson and Thad Spencer in the first two rounds of the WBA tournament, Jerry had lost a disappointing decision to Jimmy Ellis. Quarry then beat three unranked fighters who combined for a 7-22-3 record; stopped young contender Aaron Eastling in 5; then scored an impressive win over Buster Mathis.

By every measure, Jerry Quarry was at his prime when he entered the ring at Madison Square Garden that June night. And at many other times, that Jerry Quarry would have beaten the previous era's champions, and left the ring with the title. But he had the “hard luck” of running into the Smokin' Joe Frazier that was just beginning to peak. Steve Springer & Blake Chavez's book “Hard Luck: The Triumph and Tragedy of 'Irish' Jerry Quarry” (Lyons Press; 2011) provides the very best description of this classic battle. Although referee Arthur Mercante would be forced to stop the fight after the seventh round, due to cuts, Jerry had made a fight of it.

Joe Frazier proved himself to be far superior to anyone in the heavyweight division that night. This was the fight that, years later, George Foreman would speak of, when he told how after the bell rang to end a particularly tough round, Joe turned and with a huge grin, would pound his gloves against his own head. This was a warrior who loved the opportunity to match his strength and skills against those of the toughest opponent he could find.

Frazier would fight twice in 1970. In February, he met WBA champion Jimmy Ellis. Ali had announced his retirement before these two fought, making the fight fully recognized as being for the heavyweight championship of the world. Ellis had won twelve straight bouts, since leaving the middleweight division in 1964. More, he had devoped surprising punching power at the higher weight; five of those victories were first-round knockouts. He had even decked Oscar Bonavena twice.

On paper, this appeared to be an even fight. However, in the ring at Madison Square Garden, Smokin' Joe Frazier had reached his prime. Ellis was able to box well in the first two rounds, but Joe's bobbing-and-weaving kept Jimmy from landing any meaningful punches. Also, Frazier's intense body-punching was taking a toll on Ellis. The defending WBA champion could not escape the vicious left hook, which would put him down hard twice, before Angelo Dundee mercifully stopped the fight.

In November, Joe would defend his title against Bob Foster, the great light heavyweight champion. Foster had won the title from Dick Tiger in May of 1968, and had won eleven in a row after that. Although his only defeats had come in previous attempts to move up in weight, Foster had cleaned out the light heavyweight division. Frazier had likewise eliminated all the contenders in the heavyweight division – with the exception of Muhammad Ali, who had made his return to the ring the previous month.

This was a time when light heavyweight champions still challenged for the big title. Both Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano, for example, had defended the title in such bouts. Bob Foster, however, was no match for a prime Joe Frazier, and was knocked out in two brutal rounds.

That led directly to the March 8, 1971 “Fight of the Century,” between an undefeated Joe Frazier, and an undefeated Muhammad Ali. And, as everyone knows, Joe Frazier won that fight by decision. He hurt Ali seriously in the 11th round, and knocked him down in the 15th round with his left hook.

So much has been said and written about the three Frazier vs Ali fights, and the sometimes acrimonious relationship between these two great champions, that I've tried to focus more on other parts of Joe's career. Yet, it is a topic that cannot and should not be ignored. Each of these men were exactly one-half of the greatest trilogy in boxing's history. More, “Frazier versus Ali” was perhaps the single greatest rivalry in all of sports (including the Yankees versus the Red Sox).

I sat at ringside at the Madison Square Garden for their second fight. It was an experience that I'll never forget. And their “Thrilla in Manila” was perhaps the most brutal, hardest-fought title fight in heavyweight history. But there was only one “Fight of the Century,” with two undefeated, all-time great heavyweight champions squaring off. And after 15 rounds, it was Joe Frazier's hand that was raised in victory.

Last year, my son and daughter and I had the opportunity to have breakfast with Marvis Frazier, near Oneonta, N.Y. We conducted an interview with Marvis for Unlimited Fight News. I showed Marvis a copy of an old photograph that I had of him, at the age of seven, arm-wrestling with his father. Although Marvis is an absolute gentleman these days, it was easy to see that same “Frazier intensity,” which made him an amateur champion and a top contender in the professional ranks. More than that, though, we saw a Good Man who both loved and respected his Dad. Marvis had known Joe as the great heavyweight champion he was – definitely among that small, elite group of the best ever.

More importantly, Marvis knew his father as the outstanding man he was. And, by no coincidence, that is such a big part of what my family and friends who grew up in my generation have been talking about in the past day. Not just the Smokin' Joe Frazier, who dominated a talented heavyweight division, and who won the Fight of the Century. But that Joe Frazier who carried himself and conducted his life in such a dignified way that he served as a role model for millions of people. The loss we feel with the news of his death is a measure of just how much that man meant to us.
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Posted by H2O Man in Sports
Wed Nov 09th 2011, 07:02 PM



The death of former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier is a loss for more than the boxing community and the world of sports, for “Smokin' Joe” represented a significant part of what was solid and dependable in American culture during an era of turmoil and social unrest. While far too many professional athletes are elevated to the status of “role model” merely because of their athletic gifts, Joe Frazier was exactly the type of person that every community needs for its youth to look up to.

In the past 24 hours, I've watched numerous television reports on the life of Joe Frazier; read both newspaper and internet articles; and have spoken to a number of family members and friends, about their memories of this great champion. The passage of time since Frazier's ascent in the heavyweight division has, not surprisingly, created some gaps in the accuracy of some sports fan's memories. For example, I read about Ernie Terrell winning the WBA tournament, and heard a televison journalist's “memory” of Joe breaking Ali's jaw in the fifteenth round of “The Fight of the Century.” Thus, I think it might be both interesting and worthwhile to take a look back at Joe's historic career development.

My understanding of the intensity of this man might best be illustrated by a story about Joe Frazier in a locker room at the Utica College Sports Complex, in Utica, N.Y., on October 2, 1976. Joe had become the manager of heavyweight contender Duane Bobick, then 36-0, after the former Olympian's 26th fight. My brother was scheduled to fight on the undercard of Bobick's main event bout against tough Chuck Wepner. My brother-in-law, who was an amateur heavyweight, and who looked a lot like the young Joe Frazier, used to help me train my brother.

Now, this was less than four months after Joe's second bout with George Foreman. He was retired, but not so much so that he was that good-natured guy that people knew outside of boxing. (He did have one last fight, five years later.) The second that he walked into our section of the dressing room, his eyes locked on my brother-in-law. For a long moment, Joe Frazier was as silent as he was motionless; through narrow eyes, taking a measure of the young heavyweight standing in front of him. This I can say, without any risk of error: Joe Frazier was as intense as any man ever associated with the great sport of boxing.

The only word that comes close to capturing the atmosphere for that moment is “intimidating.” Not that anyone worried that there would be any problem in that locker room. But the very essence of Joe Frazier, definitely one of the most powerful of men to lace up the gloves, was – in the context of fight-night – primal. After Bobick stopped Wepner in six rounds, that same intense man, who's stare had raised the hairs on you neck, transformed into into the good-natured gentleman that was such a big part of the man.

Joe Frazier, born in South Carolina, is the very definition of a “Philadelphia fighter.” In 1962, '63, and '64, he would win the Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves Heavyweight title. A giant heavyweight named Buster Mathis beat Joe in the Olympic trials in 1964, but pulled out as the result of breaking his hand while fighting Joe. Thus Frazier represented the United States at the Tokyo Olympics, winning the gold. It was only then that the public learned that Frazier had competed in those four bouts with a broken thumb.

Frazier's professional career was sponsored by Cloverlay, a corporation created by Philadelpia businessmen who paid $250 per share. Joe was trained by Yank Durham, who was assisted by Willie Reddish. Durham, an amateur boxer before WW2, became one of the top trainers at North Philly's legendary 23rd PAL gym. Reddish, who like Frazier was born in South Carolina before coming to Philadelphia and winning the Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves, had been a heavyweight contender. He fought world champions Jersey Joe Walcott and John Henry Lewis, and also served as a sparring partner for the great Joe Louis. Reddish had previously trained heavyweight champion Charles “Sonny” Liston.

Boxing was, in many ways, a very different sport when Joe Frazier turned professional in 1965, than it is today. The heavyweight division, in particular, held the nation's interest, and the heavyweight champion was the most influential athlete on the planet. As an Olympic champion, Joe Frazier's career would be covered not only by the two top boxing magazines – The Ring and Boxing Illustrated – but by numerous other sports magazines, and virtually every good newspaper's sports section. Thus, when Joe Frazier won each of his four fights in 1965 by early knockouts, sports fans were paying close attention.

In 1966, Joe fought nine bouts, winning eight by knockout. While many were in Philadephia, Joe would also compete in high-profile bouts in the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, and at Madison Square Garden in New York City. These included fights against some of the top-ten contenders of that period, including Dick Wipperman (TKO 5); Billy Daniels, who was decked in rounds 2, 3, 4, and 6, before failing to come out for the seventh round; tough Oscar Bonavena, who dropped Joe twice in the second round, in a fight Joe won by a 10-round majority decision; and veteran Eddie Machen, who Joe stopped in ten.

1967 would prove to be a turning-point in boxing history; events both inside and outside of the ring would be impacted by the political atmosphere in America. Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali would defend his title twice, before being stripped of his title by boxing commissions, because of his refusal to be drafted into the US Army.

The young contender Smokin' Joe Frazier would start the year with impressive knockouts over Doug Jones and Jefferson Davis. Joe then decisioned tough veteran George “Scrape Iron” Johnson, one of Liston's top sparring partners (who later fought Liston, George Foreman, and Ron Lyle). This set the stage for Joe to fight George Chuvalo, who had won his last twelve fights by knockout.

It may be difficult for younger readers to appreciate what this fight represented. Chuvalo is the greatest fighter to come out of Canada. More, this guy set the bar very high for the Canadian tradition of “tough” fighters. Although George had been defeated by fighters including Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali, he had never been off his feet in the ring, much less knocked out. (A doctor who conducted a thorough examination of Chuvalo reported that his skull was literally 3/4ths an inch thicker than normal, which accounted for his legendary ability to take a punch. More important, George was a highly intelligent man, who knew how to use his skills to his full advantage – including breaking any rule he found inconvenient!)

The Frazier vs Chuvalo bout, held at Madison Square Garden, was televised live on network TV. For the first three rounds, this pair of powerful contenders stood toe-to-toe. But Joe would open cuts over George's eye, and began to inflict a severe beating on him before referee Johnny Colan stopped the bout late in the 4th round. The boxing community knew then that Joe Frazier was a uniquely talented fighter …. a heavyweight version of the great Henry Armstrong.

The WBA tournament – to find a new champion -- was about to begin. Frazier was offered a spot in it. However, Durham and Reddish had other plans for Joe. Although Frazier was definitely among the top in the division, they wanted him to get a few more fights in, before meeting two of the other top contenders who might be in the tournament. Durham had concerns about big Ernie Terrell, the 6' 6” contender with an 82” reach. Terrell, who had been awarded the WBA “title” for decisioning Eddie Machen in 1965, had defended that paper title twice, before being decisioned by Ali in February of 1967. And Reddish wanted Joe to have more experience before possibly meeting former champion Sonny Liston, who had won four knockouts on his comeback.

The Ali camp had considered a defense against Joe, until Muhammad lost his license. The Madison Square Garden match-makers had twice attempted to put Joe in against his former amateur rival, undefeated prospect Buster Mathis; the first offer was for $4,000, the second for $20,000, which was not enough for either fighter. Instead, Joe would knock out contender Tony Doyle in October, and journeyman Marion Connor in December.

At the time, many boxing fans were more interested in the WBA tournament, which featured eight top contenders. But Durham and Reddish knew exactly what they were doing. Doyle, for example, was 6' 4” tall, and that fight helped prepare Joe for a potential bout against Terrell. Connor was actually a light heavyweight, and although it appeared he posed no risk to Frazier, he was a fast, slick fighter. The WBA tournament was eventually won by Jimmy Ellis, the fast, slick former Ali sparring partner, who had moved up from the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.

By early 1968, the promoters at the new Madison Square Garden were looking to promote a “super card,” featuring the “rubber match” between middleweight champion Emile Griffith and Nino Benvenuti, and headlined by a heavyweight “title” fight. After former champion Floyd Patterson turned down offers to fight either Frazier or Mathis, they secured a fight between the two undefeated contenders.

Buster Mathis has been reduced to a footnote in boxing history. That's a shame, because the 6' 3”, 243-pound fighter was actually a gifted fighter. Buster had both speed of hand and foot, and actually had power – he decked and stopped Chuck Wepner in his sixth pro fight, for example. But Mathis was not always disciplined in training, and thus frustrated both Cus D'Amato and Joe Louis, when they each attempted to harness his full talents.

Mathis would outbox Frazier in the early rounds of their March 4, 1968 bout. But Frazier's pressure began to take a toll in the middle rounds. Joe eventually flattend Buster in the 11th round, winning the heavyweight title of five states (IL, MA, ME, NY, & PA).

In June, Joe defended this title against the explosive-punching Mexican contender Manuel Ramos. Although Joe was stunned by a Ramos bomb in the first round, he would inflict a savage beating on his opponent and stop him in the second. Six months later, Frazier decisioned Oscar Bonavena in a 15-round fight.

1969 would mark the beginning of Frazier fighting twice a year. In April, he defended against Dave Zyglewicz. Dave was a relatively small heavyweight, at 5' 10” and about 190 pounds. He was a physically strong man, who worked in the construction industry between boxing matches. Although he had a 28-1 record going into this fight, most of his victories were over C-grade Texas opposition. Not only had Dave not faced a current top-ten opponent in building his record, but he had lost to Sam Wyatt (6-7-1) a year earlier. Since that loss, Dave had four victories over opponents with a combined record of 53-58-7. Frazier devastated the game but severely overmatched Zyglewitcz in one round.

(Years later, Dave served as the referee for one of my amateur bouts in Cooperstown, N.Y. During the pre-fight instructions, he said, “Okay, boys. You might have heard of me. I lost a home-town decision to Joe Frazier years ago!” A few years later, on another professional card, my brother-in-law and I worked my brother's corner when he upset Dave and Bob Miller's undefeated prospect. Dave was always a wonderful character outside of the ring. Miller, of course, is one of the top cut-men in the business. He still promotes fights near Albany, including those of his son Shannon. Bob is often seen on Showtimes fights held in Canada, working the corners of some of the best fighters in the world.)

Two months later, Joe met tough Jerry Quarry in what would be The Ring's “Fight of the Year.” After upsetting Floyd Patterson and Thad Spencer in the first two rounds of the WBA tournament, Jerry had lost a disappointing decision to Jimmy Ellis. Quarry then beat three unranked fighters who combined for a 7-22-3 record; stopped young contender Aaron Eastling in 5; then scored an impressive win over Buster Mathis.

By every measure, Jerry Quarry was at his prime when he entered the ring at Madison Square Garden that June night. And at many other times, that Jerry Quarry would have beaten the previous era's champions, and left the ring with the title. But he had the “hard luck” of running into the Smokin' Joe Frazier that was just beginning to peak. Steve Springer & Blake Chavez's book “Hard Luck: The Triumph and Tragedy of 'Irish' Jerry Quarry” (Lyons Press; 2011) provides the very best description of this classic battle. Although referee Arthur Mercante would be forced to stop the fight after the seventh round, due to cuts, Jerry had made a fight of it.

Joe Frazier proved himself to be far superior to anyone in the heavyweight division that night. This was the fight that, years later, George Foreman would speak of, when he told how after the bell rang to end a particularly tough round, Joe turned and with a huge grin, would pound his gloves against his own head. This was a warrior who loved the opportunity to match his strength and skills against those of the toughest opponent he could find.

Frazier would fight twice in 1970. In February, he met WBA champion Jimmy Ellis. Ali had announced his retirement before these two fought, making the fight fully recognized as being for the heavyweight championship of the world. Ellis had won twelve straight bouts, since leaving the middleweight division in 1964. More, he had devoped surprising punching power at the higher weight; five of those victories were first-round knockouts. He had even decked Oscar Bonavena twice.

On paper, this appeared to be an even fight. However, in the ring at Madison Square Garden, Smokin' Joe Frazier had reached his prime. Ellis was able to box well in the first two rounds, but Joe's bobbing-and-weaving kept Jimmy from landing any meaningful punches. Also, Frazier's intense body-punching was taking a toll on Ellis. The defending WBA champion could not escape the vicious left hook, which would put him down hard twice, before Angelo Dundee mercifully stopped the fight.

In November, Joe would defend his title against Bob Foster, the great light heavyweight champion. Foster had won the title from Dick Tiger in May of 1968, and had won eleven in a row after that. Although his only defeats had come in previous attempts to move up in weight, Foster had cleaned out the light heavyweight division. Frazier had likewise eliminated all the contenders in the heavyweight division – with the exception of Muhammad Ali, who had made his return to the ring the previous month.

This was a time when light heavyweight champions still challenged for the big title. Both Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano, for example, had defended the title in such bouts. Bob Foster, however, was no match for a prime Joe Frazier, and was knocked out in two brutal rounds.

That led directly to the March 8, 1971 “Fight of the Century,” between an undefeated Joe Frazier, and an undefeated Muhammad Ali. And, as everyone knows, Joe Frazier won that fight by decision. He hurt Ali seriously in the 11th round, and knocked him down in the 15th round with his left hook.

So much has been said and written about the three Frazier vs Ali fights, and the sometimes acrimonious relationship between these two great champions, that I've tried to focus more on other parts of Joe's career. Yet, it is a topic that cannot and should not be ignored. Each of these men were exactly one-half of the greatest trilogy in boxing's history. More, “Frazier versus Ali” was perhaps the single greatest rivalry in all of sports (including the Yankees versus the Red Sox).

I sat at ringside at the Madison Square Garden for their second fight. It was an experience that I'll never forget. And their “Thrilla in Manila” was perhaps the most brutal, hardest-fought title fight in heavyweight history. But there was only one “Fight of the Century,” with two undefeated, all-time great heavyweight champions squaring off. And after 15 rounds, it was Joe Frazier's hand that was raised in victory.

Last year, my son and daughter and I had the opportunity to have breakfast with Marvis Frazier, near Oneonta, N.Y. We conducted an interview with Marvis for Unlimited Fight News. I showed Marvis a copy of an old photograph that I had of him, at the age of seven, arm-wrestling with his father. Although Marvis is an absolute gentleman these days, it was easy to see that same “Frazier intensity,” which made him an amateur champion and a top contender in the professional ranks. More than that, though, we saw a Good Man who both loved and respected his Dad. Marvis had known Joe as the great heavyweight champion he was – definitely among that small, elite group of the best ever.

More importantly, Marvis knew his father as the outstanding man he was. And, by no coincidence, that is such a big part of what my family and friends who grew up in my generation have been talking about in the past day. Not just the Smokin' Joe Frazier, who dominated a talented heavyweight division, and who won the Fight of the Century. But that Joe Frazier who carried himself and conducted his life in such a dignified way that he served as a role model for millions of people. The loss we feel with the news of his death is a measure of just how much that man meant to us.
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Posted by H2O Man in General Discussion
Sat Nov 05th 2011, 02:53 PM
Our community's first “Meet the Candidates” forum was held at the Town Hall last night. It was set up by four high school students. I was impressed by the number of citizens who showed up to hear seven candidates who are running for three seats on the Town Board My oldest son, who has sometimes participated on this web site, was the lone Democratic candidate.

The offices include that of Town Supervisor, and two Town Councilmen seats. The current Supervisor is a liberal republican; he is being challenged by the head of the local tea party. The two councilmen running for re-election are conservative republicans, one of whom is active in the tea party. A tea party woman, and a republican woman who opposes hydro-fracking, are also running for council seats. And my son is running for a council seat.

We live in what could most accurately be called a “red neck” area of rural, upstate New York. The fact that most elections are between republivcans and tea-partiers gives a hint of the extent of difficulty that the local Democratic Party faces. For the past quarter-century, republicans have held 93% of all city, town, and county offices. Only two Democrats have run for a town office here since 1972: one was a nice older fellow, who was literally a consistant voice in the wilderness; the other ran once in 2006, and has since become a tea party member.

Since moving into this county twenty years ago, from another upstate county where Democrats are a small minority, I've been active in the county and town Democratic headquarters. My wife and our four kids have been active, too. And not just during election season, as important as that certainly is. But doing the “off season” work – organizing; voter education and registration; reaching out to independents, Greens, and socialists; and attempting to find areas of “common ground” with segments within the republican base.

It is impossible to get elected in this area without some republican votes. This was a reality I recognized this spring, when I campaigned – and won – a seat on the local school board. Another factor that I think important is that my two sons and I are comfortable in working together, as a sub-group within the local Democratic headquarters. The others on the town and county level jokingly call us “the local Kennedy family.” At 27, my older son is the most talented public speaker in our region; his brother, 24, is our hard-nosed, behind-the-scenes strategist. We work together on outlines of the speeches and letters-to-the-editors we do, and I usually polish off the final drafts.

As a teenager, my older son worked at the local “quick-mart,” the modern combination of the old, corner gas station and the Ma-n-Pops grocery store. He has always had an easy-going, friendly personality – something that neither his brother or I in public settings. So most of the town's voters know him as a nice, intelligent young man.

I was surprised during the afternoon, when he said he was a little nervous. We knew that the tea partiers and republicans were going to be going at each others' throats at the forum, and that included the candidates, as well as their supporters. My son relaxed by re-reading the 1964 national bestseller, “The Kennedy Wit.” Older forum members remember that JFK was gifted in dealing with tense confrontations with gentle humor.

His presentation was outstanding. Obviously, I am subjective; however, both the republican and tea party candidates, and their supporters, were very supportive of him. This was in stark contrast to the hostility expressed throughout the rest of the forum. Three of the other candidates for council positions expressed an interest with serving with him on the Town Board.

Elections are still a few days away. Despite the impressive show last night, we are fully aware that it will be very difficult for him to win the seat. We will need a significant cross-over vote, in order for a Democrat to be elected.

However, of the seven area Democratic campaigns that we are currently working on (in three counties), he may have the best chance.
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Posted by H2O Man in Sports
Fri Nov 04th 2011, 09:25 AM


“Haha ….you are prophetic!” – e-mail from last night.

This weekend, I was talking with a couple of area high school athletic coaches about the sport of boxing. As always, the subject of a potential Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight came up. I said that the sports world would soon find out that arrangements were underway to hold this Super Fight on May 5, 2012, in Las Vegas.

One of the coaches, who I do not know well, said that he believed that Pacquiao would be fighting Timothy Bradley in May. I was impressed, because with his recent signing with a new promoter, the Bradley camp has made public comments about such a fight. However, I said, Mayweather was preparing to call Pacquiao out, again. And I am confident that Manny will challenge for Floyd's title for two reasons: first, he wants to chisel his place in boxing history with a win over Mayweather; and second, each fighter will literally make over $100 million in this fight.

Thirty-six hours ago, the media – particularly ESPN – began reporting that Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s camp had announced plans to hold this fight on May 5 at the MGM in Vegas. Hence, the e-mail quoted above, in its entirety, from one of the coaches I had spoken to over the weekend. The public reaction to the announcement has been mixed.

The Pacquiao camp responded angrily, saying that Mayweather has a habit of trying to distract attention from Pac-Man's fights. This is, of course, correct. Floyd has done these things before. And Manny does have the November 12 bout against Juan Manuel Marquez coming up. The two had a pair of very close fights, and should have fought a third time to settle matters years ago. As former champion Greg Haugen noted in our interview last week, Pacquiao waited until after Mayweather inflicted serious damage on Marquez, before agreeing to meet the aging, smaller foe a third time. Few in the boxing community believe that Marquez poses any threat to Pacquiao at this late date.

Several sports journalists have questioned what they view as Mayweather's attempts to dictate all the terms of a potential fight. That's partly accurate: Mayweather definitely believes he is in a position to do so. An ESPN commentator said that Manny is at least as big of a draw as Floyd. That is not accurate; Floyd's PPV sales are substantially larger. This creates the leverage.

The other controversy has been Mayweather's insisting on Olympic-style testing to detect illegal drugs use. I am including a link to what the boxing community views as the single most important statement on this issue. It is from an ESPN Friday Night Fights discussion; Teddy Atlas details the two e-mails from Team Pacquiao to Team Mayweather (at about 9 minutes into the clip).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OdXkQ1B4wY

Will this Super Fight happen? I believe that it will. There have been more negotiations between the two fighter's camps than is presently being reported.

If it does happen, it will certainly be the most anticipated boxing match since Muhammad Ali versus Smokin' Joe Frazier's first fight. Who do you think will win?
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Posted by H2O Man in Sports
Wed Nov 02nd 2011, 09:10 AM
November 5, 2012
At Cancun, Mexico (HBO): Alfredo Angulo vs. James Kirkland, 12 rounds, junior middleweights.


At Quebec City, Canada (Showtime): Lucian Bute vs. Glen Johnson, 12 rounds, for Bute's IBF super middleweight title.
********** **********

There are two good fights scheduled for Saturday night. Each of the two are interesting in and of themselves, and both will lead to even bigger bouts for the winners. An interesting factor is that one is almost certain to end in an early and devastating knockout, while the other could easily go to the scorecards. Let's take a look at each fight.

The HBO fight will be explosive. Kirkland's record is 29-1, with 26 knockout wins. Angulo is 20-1, with 17 knockouts. When guys with 87% and 81% knockout ratios meet, it is unlikely that they will put on a dull fight. In this case, it goes beyond their offensive skills.

Kirkland, 27, stands 5' 9” tall, and has a 70” reach. The “Mandingo Warrior” hails from Texas. In his early carrer, he demonstated extreme punching power, and mowed through the inferior level of opposition from that region of the country. Besides his exciting style, Kirkland gained the attraction of the boxing community, because of his close relationship to trainer Ann Wolfe.

Wolfe was a top female boxer, who held several titles. She was considered the most powerful puncher among the female ranks. Her stunning one-round knockout of former NCAA star Vonda Ward (which resulted in Ward's being hospitalized with serious neck injuries) remains the highlight of women's boxing.

Wolfe's training methods are a mixture of “old school” and creative intensity. Although they might not translate well on a large scale, she was successful in molding James Kirkland into a destructive force. In March of 2009, he fought talented contender Joel Julio, and stopped him in six rounds. Kirkland appeared to be within a year of challenging for the world's title, when he was caught with a handgun, and incarcerated.

After about two years, a number of people – including Oscar de la Hoya – went to bat for Kirkland, and secured his release. Kirkland then went to the west coast, to be trained by one of the sport's legends, Kenny Adams. On March 5, 2011, Kirkland restarted his career, against a relatively weak opponent, who he took out in the first round. Two weeks later, he stopped another victim in the second round. Adams was having him fight frequently, looking to get him to regain his boxing conditioning in the ring.

On April 9, Kirkland was matched in a televised fight against Nobuhiro Ishkida, from Japan. Ishkida, at 6' tall, had only 9 knockout wins in 30 fights. However, when Kirkland attacked him in the first round, Ishkida connected with a crisp counter-punch, decking Kirkland. When James got up, he continued trying to attack, and was dropped twice more, and lost by TKO.

After this surprising loss, Kirkland returned to Texas to be trained by Wolfe. In June, he won a first-round knockout; and in July, a second-round TKO. For a variety of reasons, Kirkland does better with Ann Wolfe than with Kenny Adams, despite the fact that Adams is among the most respected trainers in the sport. (Note: My cousin's cousin, who frequently watches televised fights at my house, is friends with Wolfe, and holds her in the highest regards. I am admittedly not familiar with her, other than having seen her KO Ward, and seeing a few news reports on her training methods. My oldest brother and I had the opportunity to know Adams, though casually, years ago, and have great respect for him.)

Alfredo Angulo, 29, stands 5' 10”, and has a 69” reach. “Perro,” from Mexico, has had more experience against a higher level of competition than has Kirkland. In February of 2008, he was matched with another good prospect, Ricardo Cortes (22-1-1). Angulo flattened Cortes in the first round.

A year later, in a good test, Angulo fought tough veteran Cosme Rivera, and stopped him in five rounds. Three months later, he fought former champion Kermit Cintron. Angulo unwisely opted to enter the ring even though he was sick. Cintron, on the other hand, came in fully prepared; although Kermit has not been consistant in recent years, he is still able to compete at the top level when he is motivated. On this night, he decisioned Alfredo.

Angulo has come back and won five in a row since then. Among those victories are knockouts over Joel Julio and Joachim Akine. However, Angulo had visa problems that resulted in his not being able to fight in the US for an extended period, and he, like Kirkland, had a period of extended inactivity. There are rumors that Angulo also had disagreements with his management that resulted in his not staying busy in the ring.

When “old-timers” talk about the quality of slugfests from the 1930s and '40s, this is the time of fight they are referencing. Both men have explosive power, and are capable of ending any fight with a single punch. More, both are aggressive fighters, with solid delivery skills. Kirkland has an advantage in hand-speed. They are both exciting, offensive fighters. However, neither Kirkland nor Angulo has above average defensive skills, for the level of competition they are at.

Angula has said that his corner has told him to avoid his opponent's shots, but that in the heat of combat, he doesn't notice being hit. Thus far, he has demonstrated the ability to take a solid punch. Kirkland appears to be able to come in under punches, though he has been tagged – and stunned – in at least one earlier bout. In his lone defeat, he seemed unable to tie-up, or move in any direction except straight forward. The outcome may depend upon who connects first. Angula might be favored in this fight, but not by much.

The Showtime bout is for Bute's IBF super middleweight title. Although he was born in Romania, Bute now lives in Quebec, and will enjoy a serious “hometown advantage” in the Montreal bout.

Bute, 31, is 5' 1.5” tall, and has a 72” reach. His record is 29-0, with 24 knockouts. Glen Johnson is 42; he has been fighting professional since 1993. He stands 5' 11”, and has a 75” reach. His record is 51-15-2; he has 35 knockout victories, against one TKO loss (against Bernard Hopkins in 1997).

Bute came close to defeat in his October, 2008 defense against tough Librado Andrade. Though he had a substantial lead during the first nine rounds, Andrade began landing hard shots in the final few rounds. Towards the final 30 seconds of round 12, Bute was having great difficulty staying on his feet. Andrade decked him with about 12 seconds remaining, and the referee refused to begin the count, claiming Andrade was not fully in the neutral corner. The referee's actions saved Bute from being counted out.

Since then, Bute has scored six straight knockouts, including in an impressive return bout with Andrade. He also took out Edison Miranda with a body shot, in April of '09. Most recently, he stopped an overmatched Brian Magee in ten; and kayoed John Paul Mendy in four rounds.

Johnson is known as the “Road Warrior,” because he has traveled the globe to fight anyone and everyone in their hometown. This is, in part, why he has as many decision loses as he does.

In recent years, Johnson has competed in the light heavyweight ranks. He has beaten top fighters, including Montell Griffin and Antonio Tarver. He also knocked out Roy Jones, Jr., in nine rounds. He held the IBF light heavyweight title for a time.

In November of 2011, he dropped down to super middleweight, as a substitute in Showtime's “Super Six” tournament. He stopped Allan Green in 8 rounds. He then lost to Carl Froch in the semi-finals.

Johnson is certainly near the end of his career. He has lost four of his last eight fights, including two to Chad Dawson. Like many aging boxers, he has difficulty putting two top efforts in a row. However, if he maintains that cycle, he should be up for this bout.

Bute is much faster, both in hands and feet. For much of his career, he outboxed opponents; wore them down; and either finished them late, or was content to win by decision. In recent fights, he still shows the extreme confidence in his skill-level to keep his hands low, inviting shots to counter. But his counter-punches have included extremely impressive body shots. And the result has been devastating knockout victories.

Glen is a pressure fighter. He sets a pace that only the very top boxers can maintain. He has good punching power, although he depends upon wearing an opponent down.

The most likely outcome is Bute by decision. Other than the first Andrade fight, there is no evidence of his tiring in fights. He is always relaxed, and he is currently at the peak of his prime. To win, Glen will have to concentrate on landing a significant number of body shots in the first seven or eight rounds. And not simply landing them from outside: he needs to be close enough that he can use all the strength in his legs, to be lifting those punches up under Bute's ribs. (It's mighty hard to defend yourself – much less mount an offense – when you are having the wind knocked out of you!)

Both of these should be very good fights. Enjoy watching them.










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