Monday, February 27, 2017

Will The Revolution in US End Up Like Arab Spring?

This “Stonehenge” actually came from first capital of the US Republic. Will it end up as ancient history?

You may ask: which revolution in the US am I talking about? The revolution which Trump promised to bring to the US? Or the actress who said “The revolution starts here” in the big women’s protest the day after his inauguration? Or the one which Hayden referred to, as he discussed how the intelligence agencies might simply not follow Trump’s orders, or otherwise just take power away from the President? Or the one which IBM and Mike Rogers have talked about, taking power in turn from Hayden’s and Cheney’s network, like the recent Scientific American article about robots not obeying orders from ANY humans? Or like the Third Caliphate movement, working quietly in the dark with lots of money and lots of establishment Republicans, especially, more and more obedient to whips representing the sources of such dark money?

Actually, I have probed all five in more depth than you would expect, and all five worry me a lot – especially with all five taken together!!  This past week, I have become more and more worried about the possibility that all five forces, combined with other variables, could lead to a kind of implosion which could take all or most of this entire planet with us. Two major factors made me worried almost to the point of personal paralysis:

(1) A new mathematical analysis, which I won’t elaborate on here for many reasons. I should mention, however, that my previous blog post on games probably should have had a few extra words on the nature and importance of convexity effects in nonlinear dynamics games, illuminated by tools such as phase change and shock wave analysis and RLADP, considering interactions of cultural, economic and technological effects in the information/political system.

(2) Probing CPAC in more detail. That I will talk about, along with Quaker discussions, a joke and a book review which would be easier reading than the math anyway.

CPAC: Conservative Political Action Committee. Trump spoke there last week, but the day before Bannon and Priebus had their first public outing. I really wanted to hear that, because different views of Bannon have grown in power lately, and I wanted to see for myself. It was clear to me that any impeachment or resignation (legal resignation or like Obama playing golf) by Trump would probably result in a slippery slope much worse than anything people have seen from Trump himself – but if Trump might need Bannon, how dangerous exactly could Bannon be? Bannon himself has declared allegiance to the dark side of the force, but how serious is his connection to the kinds of phenomena portrayed in Star Wars or Babylon V, and what could it do to us if we don’t face up to it?

On that day, CNN kept saying “soon, soon.” Luda hinted: “You remember, they always say ‘soon, soon,’ as a way to keep you locked and waiting for hours, to raise ratings.” Yes, and sometimes they shift to something else anyway. So I simply went to this computer, googled on “CPAC” and turned on the live video feed. I actually heard two moderately brief talks just before the intermission BEFORE
Priebus and Bannon came on, one by Carol Lopez (who had been a candidate to be a kind of partner or deputy to Flynn) and one by a woman named Ohlhausen. I was amazed at how powerfully I resonated with the words those two women spoke – enough to raise my hopes that the US might face up to the immediate problems they cited, very real life or death problems, neglect of which... well, threatens our very lives. I later looked up Lopez’ web page, and the web page of a third person who spoke very briefly before the intermission... and then I was even more worried than before they spoke. It is one thing to have a good big issue or question, a totally different thing to know which way is up (let alone have a real solution) in addressing the problem. For example, Lopez’ discussion of the Moslem Brotherhood and fifth column effects totally ignores the dark money kinds of effects within the US. Those folks really seemed to believe that Hillary Clinton is the secret grand mufti of the universe of sharia. If Poor Trump is swamped with those kinds of delusions day-in and day-out... no wonder he seems to pucker his face more and more lately, worse than Fiorina did in that famous debate, and no wonder he does not see the way out for him (and for the rest of us).     (Another convexity issue?)

Bannon talked a lot about breaking the state... but did not seem to understand his role in creation of another state, even more controlling and taxing than the one we have from our Constitution, but without democracy and without the flows of information and power which block tendencies towards total implosion. Such an old illusion! So devoid of awareness of dynamical game effects... a lot like Condelezza Rice’s pathetic way of trying to get to democracy in Iraq. (Again, see my previous post on games.) Great goal, awful way of trying to get there... so awful that it goes in the opposite direction!!!

My immediate response here was to remember one of the very vivid, photographic memories of my diverse and stimulating life. Back in 2009, when I worked for Senator Specter, he sent me for a week or so to a special advanced course developed by the Library of Congress, to explain the nuts and bolts of actual procedures in Congress, to train Congressional staff. One day, when I was walking the short path from Capitol South Metro to our special backdoor entry to the classrooms, one of the folks walking next to me pointed at a nice little townhouse  on the way: “That little house is extremely famous, for two things. First, it is famous as the core center for Congressmen committed to Jesus and to family values. They met for prayer breakfasts there regularly, and provide real intellectual and spiritual leadership to that movement. It is also famous because every one of those Congressmen ended up
indicted (and convicted in most cases I think) for vivid sex scandals which made all the press, like the guy who extended his arm in a bathroom up into a stall which happened to be occupied by ...”

So that same kind of natural self-contradiction is affecting so many actors in DC... some psychopathic (they lie effectively to themselves) and some just plain old fashioned cynical and myopic. Like Harold Hill, the music man movie.. like what Bloomberg has been telling us. I don’t think Trump means to be as destructive as Harold Hill, but he is surrounded by a lot of those kind of people, some dangerous like cats and others more like ugly bugs... he can see that much himself, clearly.

Of course, almost all Quakers I know are deeply worried too, some with a narrow perspective and some broader. Certainly I still went to Quaker meeting this past Sunday and the Sunday before, despite feeling a bit paralyzed and hopeless... because those kinds of connections to spirit and to other people are part of how we naturally get past destructive paralysis. (And yes, I could get technical about that past sentence... Lots of foundation behind it...)

I did not speak this time, even in afterthoughts, but if I had, I would have mentioned three sentences which have emerged in my mind as I meditate on the problem:

(1) Early on, Bill Clinton (not the most uninformed person on earth) summarized his real thinking: “What’s really wrong with Trump is that he just doesn’t know a lot of stuff.” Fixing an economy, for example, or restoring democracy, requires some understanding of details, and a deeper respect for the spirit of truth. Good intentions are not enough. Above all, he has been totally mixed up since his nomination about who his most serious real enemies are.

(2) Putin recently expressed his exasperation about the sheer confusion, contradiction and aimless fuzziness he now sees in Washington. “Above all, you people need to understand that we now live in a multipolar world.” We need to change our way of thinking accordingly.  He wasn’t referring to multiplayer game theory... but certainly solipsism and rumination about how to rule the world just don’t fit. Both Russia and the Middle East have problems of their own, all complex enough in their own right.

(3) And yes, that old line from Jesus: “Before removing the speck from your brother’s eye, first work on the beam in your own.” Should we not think more energetically about “fix America First?” As in, REALLY drain the swamp, trying to be as effective as Teddy Roosevelt was in that task, not just with empty gestures but in rooting out the cloying vines which are close to strangling us all. That’s why so many people voted for Trump who did not like some of the esthetics which he carried with him in other areas. He needs to get it straight which end is really up here, which direction is moving forward and which is just falling deeper into a swamp and drowning altogether.


Jokes? The archetypes are always with us. They are not the noosphere/Gaia or our Father in heaven, but they have their proper voice in context.

For example, when one earnest person after meeting started to talk about the larger issue of what gays might do in bathrooms, I responded: “Visualizing what Trump would say about gays behaving in bathrooms would be a great way to invoke Loki. I for one do not feel like performing such an invocation today, and I am thankful he doesn’t either.”

Another joke:

One day I felt deeply depressed from what I saw on CNN (even after filtering for points of view, as I always do). “I know it’s important that I do my duty for The Watch, but my capacity today is strained...” So I changed to France 24, just as depressing that day, and then RT, likewise.
“I know! I remember what people say about China news, how they always filter it to be feel good happy good news all the time, ignoring tough realities. TODAY I could use a dose of feel god news.”
So I changed the channel and heard: “Good news! Our military forces have achieved such great strength and energy and enthusiasm that they are now about to achieve a great victory in a new military engagement in the South China Sea, with nucs ready to go...” Off goes the TV. OK, let me send an email to Jesus, see what he has to say. “Good news, Paul!! Our city in heaven has very limited space, really, and we certainly won’t be taking on any of those sloppy destructive trouble-makers who misrepresent us or Mohammed or our Father... but we certainly have a place for you, and don’t worry if the evacuation has to be sooner than hoped for... Still, let's talk more about the math you need to know better for a place like this..." 

One other thing. At the first discussion at Quakers, one woman (with a background practicing psychiatry) mentioned how intended dialogues can go very much astray when people come into a meeting without a clear agenda. Another woman mentioned how she resolved one day simply to be kind to everyone, that that was her only agenda. “And it worked fine.” My translation: firm clear commitment to the spirit of love (and I remembered our friend Jesus) and to the spirit of truth can be enough... but without them both...

In truth, Trump does not have much time left to get out of a shrinking box. Maybe if he has a real dialogue with Mark Warner (and even Putin), he might escape in time. Speaking of Star Wars...
(which was incredibly close to Cheney in the details of Palpatine...)


Let me note that Hillary Clinton herself did not understand how serious the problems are with American democracy now, any more (or not much more) than Trump. Though I voted for her, I did not push any energy into it, even though I sensed the full energy in the other direction... because I could see the risk of her ending up like Rousseff of Brazil. It is not just a matter of dark money changing the votes of Republicans in Congress, though that has certainly been serious.
(Having worked for Specter and interacted with other Republican offices, I saw a lot of that in gory first-hand detail.) It is a matter of major subornation and degradation of many federal agencies,
perhaps starting with what is described in the last chapter of the extremely credible book "A G-Man's Journal." Cheney was quite open in the press about "streamlining" by getting rid of due process
and such. Teddy Roosevelt's innovations should not be reversed any more than certain banking regulations... rational reforms are one thing, but reinventing the Dark Ages is a different matter altogether. Obama's role in creating a dark side of the state was mainly to play golf, and letting folks like Lamar Smith and Shelby and more serious dark money (much originating in the Gulf) gleefully disassemble what had been a US lead in many areas... and yes, Smith was open about leading certain activities at the FBI. And then was the Sequel to Oliver North.,... No, not Obama's doing, except by neglect and failure to act when action was needed.

 Small PS: Related to this is the trilogy by Cixin Liu which starts with Three Body Problem, highly recommended by Obama, Zuckerberg and Luda. I posted reviews of all three volumes. Luda took a beautiful picture of the ... "Stonehenge of the Republic"... which I will post after she sends the file to me.  One of the many places we visit in our long walks, doctor's orders for an old man...

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