If Trump drowns in the Swamp, will all earth drown with him?
I really wish people would see how all the rest of us are in the midst of a crisis, every bit as scary as what Trump himself is now facing – and not something which will instantly become better when and if he is impeached, or put into house arrest or a straitjacket. One week before that election many were saying “At least it will all be over, and life will return to normal.” Not quite. And even less normal if Trump retires to Florida or to Sochi or wherever, which for all I know could be tomorrow.
The move to get rid of Trump has become ever more emotional and intense. For example, I was surprised when a very calm stalwart friend, a lot like Kasich in spirit, passed on the address of a video
which might go viral:
I can certainly understand how certain folks on the authoritarian right are cheering and carefully cultivating this movement, as they now stand to take over more completely and get rid of all but the lightest symbols of democracy, but it really puzzles me why folks on the left (and many folks on CNN) are letting themselves be conned into enthusiasm here. Of course they do not like Trump, but why be irrational about it, and above all – what do they think will happen AFTER he is gone?
I am also baffled by the sheer fuzziness and blinders of so many people hiding in “the bubble.” There is one guy on CNN, Van Jones, who has been doing a nice job of reaching out to SOME people... but he has systematically missed a large and crucial part of the US, and of the earth in general.
For example: why is it that so many people assume that authorized legal wiretaps are the only forms of surveillance in wide use today, and that Trump is not simply in a state of shock from having seen a transcript of his private conversations in circulation? Yet why is it that even his own people cannot imagine an alternative beyond GHCQ? Didn’t Tillerson learn something from his discussions with the wikileaks people?
Long ago, Cheney announced a plan which could basically be called Ollie North on steroids. Outsource the core functions of intelligence and IT. Bypass all the “silly outmoded inhibitors” of the legal system and human rights, by putting things OUTSIDE the federal government, and “let the private sector take over.” Of course, there are well-meaning pro-human agents active in private sector IT as well, but it doesn’t require a GHCQ to explain what Trump is frantically trying to explain. Ironically, both Trump himself and the folks on CNN need to get off the blinders, and understand that they may actually be missing a huge amount of objective reality by laughing too soon when Bannon talks about a “silent coup.” It is sad and ironic, however, that Bannon himself declares he is proud that he worked with Cheney... but even so, a lot of the folks who have listened to Bannon did so after direct experiences with the silent coup, a very real problem (related to money in politics, but much bigger than what Hillary Clinton has allowed herself to imagine) becoming all the more visible in more and more government agencies.
By now, Trump is beginning to realize that “draining the swamp” (removing the most severe level of corruption in politics, like what Teddy Roosevelt did but requiring a lot more now)... is a whole lot harder than simply declaring a fig leaf of a new conflicts rule. He is starting to drown in the swamp, and anyone could see on his face how boxed in he begins to realize he is. Though I voted for Hilary, I did so with only half a hear, because I expected that by this time in her Presidency she would already be murdered by the swamp, unable to thrash and struggle as much as Trump does, but will even Trump survive? Does he realize how much he would need to engage a deeper level of collaboration with more trustworthy allies, capable of mounting more effective investigations and of maintaining confidentiality as flanks are guarded?
And should we call on bigger allies, like Jesus himself and his real people (not folks like Cruz), to try to save the day?
I was starting to think about that.... but then Trump gave a speech in Detroit, threatening to quickly get rid of the new mpg standards. It is a reminder of what can happen when wild kids start yanking out the circuit boards in the house. (And yes, I wish China would be more realistic about the chance of nuclear preemption, something which becomes MORE likely when a guy like Trump encounters certain kinds of protest. If only he could make a deal with Russia or China to just take that place over themselves, to eliminate the threat of what a guy much crazier and less predictable than Trump might do!)
Those circuit boards are there for a reason. Woolsey says “Mattis gets it, and Trump will listen to Mattis,” but even Woolsey has failed to appreciate key real-world technical/economic realities, without which economic survival of this planet as a whole simply does not compute. (See www.werbos.com/oil.htm for a peer-reviewed IEEE discussion of how to improve the circuit boards enough to give us SOME hope of survival – but even more is needed. As Lowell Wood might inform him, if he were head of OSTP.) That sure enervated me, as seriously as I was enervated by seeing how poor Hillary might have suffered if she had been elected.
After that... between the devil and the deep blue sea, where is there any path of hope?
I did enjoy a video conversation last week with folks involved in the business side of IT management.
It seems there is a kind of valley of death between practical genesis of a new technology
and its arrival as a mass product. (There is another earlier valley of death, but this one is also important.) A speaker noted how morale and support seem to be less then that at the genesis or product stage, because about half the world drifts into dissillusionment and about half into delusional thinking,
neither of which solves real problems and results in real products in the end. (Though we discussed examples and fine points as well.) Progress at this stage depends really critically on the small group of people in the middle, resisting both delusional thinking and jaded disillusioned pessimism, remaining sane and pragmatic and doing what really needs to be done. It seems that the whole earth is in that kind of condition right now; Trump is certainly not the only person engaged in quite a bit of delusional thinking right now; if he is removed, we may all learn how sneakier, more paranoid people engaged in delusional thinking are actually far more dangerous. Given a revolution and revulsion as real people suffer... well, it is true that folks on the left are also capable of delusional thinking and various types of bad stuff.
So – the challenge is sanity. Can we find enough sanity, and mobilize it enough, to restore democracy
(there HAS been a silent coup, really... enough that Comey still seems to feel disillusioned enough to have no choice but to follow their regrettable pressures until/unless circumstances change), and even enough intelligence to avoid the problems coming in objective reality, such as the very real problems with climate change in the oceans which do not follow the whims of Oprah, or Fox or even of Al Gore?
If we all die, who won?
It was great to have a serious discussion of sanity with these IT guys, who were clear enough to catch me in a fuzzy error in discussing that subject. In fact, there are multiple levels of sanity, more than I usually discuss, even in my paper published in Russia and posted at www.werbos.com/Mind-in_Time.pdf).
In discussing the delusional folks and the dissillusioned folks... I immediately thought first of folks in the field of space policy.
The space people rightly complain a lot about phobic, pessimistic and jaded cynical folks in Washington, who do indeed give up too soon, just as they totally gave up on the possibility of an airplane before the Wright brothers, and even gave up on the possibility of airplanes becoming relevant during the early years when they didn’t make money. They have lots and lots of quotes from famous powerful respected people declaring what is impossible, all of which look ever so silly in retrospect. (Hey folks, you look equally silly and nuts when we look back from the future!) But many of them are equally aberrated in an optimistic way, letting loose with euphoria about “Jesus saves,” “Elon Musk saves” or even “SLS Mars program saves” – all without appreciating the need for very, very intense and serious (yet constructive and honest) technical vetting. No way to get to space without a lot of very hard very real work, especially work on the mind itself to get it right. (No coincidence that JFK was a student of Teilhard de Chardin, and was arguably the only president who really strengthened the US in space! And Barbara Hubbard and myself quietly helping a little years later... as I may someday recount, the backstories of NASP and Fresh Look study.)
In truth, even scientology (or scientology purified as proposed by Miscavage, the dissillusioned but wiser father of the current head of that organization) could understand these kinds of disillusionment and delusion. They basically learned it from Freud – and they hate Freud for the same reason that some people using backpropagation hate me. They don’t like older, more complicated and more general original stories. Karl Pribram has an excellent, unique short book explaining the deep concepts of Freud, including the full neural network version of Freud’s theory of traumatic experiences, how they aberrate many human decisions. In essence, all mammal brains learn to respond DIRECTLY to bad experiences; if a criminal wearing a blue shirt hurts you as a child, that memory, buried in your “id” (little cells in the cerebral cortex and limbic system) will cause you to run away from people wearing blue shirts later in life... even if those are police men trying to protect you from the criminal threatening you now!! (This is similar to how Trump and Bannon salivate irrationally like Pavlov’s dog at the mere thought of Hilary Clinton.). Freudian psychiatrists help people express their natural ability to RELIVE such memories, and see them again in the fresh light of adult understanding which explains what happened... and discharges the aberration. But I must give credit to scientology for noticing that the EXACT SAME kind of aberration can occur in the opposite direction... explaining how some people slaivate in a different way, equally irrational and equally interfering with rationality, when seeing Elon Musk or even (for some people) Donald Trump himself. (Though in truth, they are more likely to transfer the salivation to Ivanka. Forgive me for speaking truth to power, but this is very real.)
But – as I said to the IT people, this is all just one level of sanity. ANY mammal brain has the same pattern. Can you imagine what happened for the interesting minority of dinosaurs truly out of control like the guy in North Korea? It is real. And in truth, I see chipmunks in my back yard who are not only friendly but just as delusional and euphoric as the most extreme space people. Of course, the more extreme jihadis are also euphoric-aberrated, and drugs supplied from rich Saudis are part of that wing
of the Third Caliphate movement... supplied by people less myopic but equally aberrated, even as they know how silently and carefully to run folks like Lamar Smith and Ted Cruz and the folks Comey is intimidated by at FBI. (Again, I cite the last chapter of the very serious book “A G Man’s Journal”
for the early inception of the silent coup.)
In my paper, Mind in Time, I talk about two further levels of sanity, both uniquely human (on this planet), which are also necessary to deal with problems as what we face. And also necessary to real scientific and technical creativity. (Sorry. Lamar! Your new efforts may win new singing contests,
but not real products. The BO Xilai sort of songs, funded by your new corpsmen, the new young brown guards, are not compatible with mid-term economic stability let alone growth.)
In fact... Trump is thrashing hard, but the circuits he is pulling out are already a mess... it really is a case of the devil or the deep blue sea (worldwide)... so where is there hope?
An old colleague of mine said... it is like Asimov’s foundation trilogy, where we should put efforts into more realistic goals, like laying the groundwork for the next world civilization. (It was fascinating for me when I saw how some folks in Byzantium tried much the same, with interesting threads emanating from those efforts!). (I also recommended reading Orson Scott Card’s horrible but informative trilogy, Empire, which accurately reflects how some delusional people behind our own silent coup misunderstand what Trajan did to the poor people in the Eastern Roman Empire.) But I do not feel as optimistic as he does. If this world civilization goes, there is every reason to expect that the whole species goes with it, due to very concrete things.... so... well, sanity and truth and the struggle for more of them... at least those can be of value in a later existence... so long as we do not create a planet which is not only dead but a cost to other planets (like Terminator hazards to navigation in space).
“When you are up to your knees in alligators, it is hard to remember you came there to drain the swamp” – popular adage reflecting our best practical knowledge today about higher function of dorsolateral and orbitofrontal cortex, key vectors of human brain evolution;
“You are only worried because you don’t know all the facts. If you knew them all, you would be terrified out of your mind” – from Congressman Trent Franks, describing the challenging of adapting to his new role on the committee which thinks it has all the scariest, most secret information...
By the way... regarding what hope may yet exist for the American Republic (hope that Gaia and our Father in Heaven know something I do not)... I also think of what Kasich said yesterday: the way out would certainly require more cooperation across the aisle. Some creativity and moral highground that way. Duh. Also, it would require supreme court justice(s) committed to the Constitution, with the "new" interpretation that the words "people" and "citizen" refer specifically and only to human beings; when dark money likes someone too much, that worries me... just a worry... but there I do not know all the facts. It also matters where the money comes from, and how it flows, and that plays a core role in the systems analysis. With mpg standards, Barry McNutt of DOE proposed years ago that they should be mpg per passenger, at least, rather than naked mpg, to reduce the kind of bias Trump talked about in Detroit... but one would have to have a functioning brain to do such a thing; adding a denominator to that regulation would be so much simpler than the many, many things in our existing tax code!
Best of luck...