Sunday, January 10, 2021

Taking Stock During the Trump Transition

 

Core Values

Belief in Democratic Process

       Non-Violent Resolution of Issues
Majority Rule
Minority Rights

       The Trump supporters' positions strike me as anti-democratic in the following regards:

       Excessive support for gun "rights" => violence

       Do not support international agreements and cooperation

       Excessively tribal => poor protection of minority rights

       Republicans under Trump are not a threat because they are opposed by military intelligence corporate (MIC) leaders.

       There are serious problems with the democratic process in the U.S.

       CIA and other intelligence agencies

       military coups and intervention around the world

       involvement in domestic politics

       feeding untrue stories to media

       assassinating Kennedy

       harassing liberals

       working with government and large corporations to funnel money to support the empire and the status quo domestically

       Voting machines are subject to tampering.  Best practice seems to be paper ballots counted in public.  Unnecessarily complex systems are used.

       Green Party espouses policies consistent with my democratic values.

 

SUMMARY: The status quo is tolerable for most people due to enormous prosperity of our society.  However, democratic institutions have become corrupt and resistant to constructive change.  Pressures are building for a political earthquake.  Trump is a tremor in this regard.

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

       I do not trust mainstream media to report the truth.  Has become too partisan and reliant upon CIA and similar "intelligence" agents.

       Family, friends, and acquaintainces consider tribal affiliation more important than truth.

 

SUMMARY:  As partisan cold warfare has heated up, the Democrats smell victory and will try to consolidate their gains.  The leadership is somewhat unified under the false propaganda of empire.  Miscalculation, more losing war efforts, and domestic disarray are probably as a result.

 

The Events of January 6 at the Capitol

Was this attempted coup?  My friend comments:

 

Trump truly is trying to overthrow the workings of our government so as to remain in power. To me that’s a coup. The minions he loosed on the Capitol while the election approval process was underway were either a distraction or an effort to stay approval of the election results.

 

1.     Whatever his motives, Trump is clearly failing.

2.     There are grounds for concern about the democratic process which denied the Trump presidency for 4 years on false claims of Russian collusion.

3.     Glenn Greenwald provides needed context:

There is a huge difference between, on the one hand, thousands of people shooting their way into the Capitol after a long-planned, coordinated plot with the goal of seizing permanent power, and, on the other, an impulsive and grievance-driven crowd more or less waltzing into the Capitol as the result of strength in numbers and then leaving a few hours later. That the only person shot was a protester killed by an armed agent of the state by itself makes clear how irresponsible these terms are. There are more adjectives besides “fascist treason” and “harmless protest,” enormous space between those two poles. One need not be forced to choose between the two.

 

The capitol protest was a skirmish in a war that Trump is losing.  Anti-Trump forces (Democrats) correctly see this as a victory for their side and are thus making a big deal about it.

Democrats Control the Executive and Legislative Branches

Of greater significance, the Democrats remarkably won the 2 Senate seats in Georgia and now have an effective majority in the Senate because VP Harris will have the tiebreaking vote.

       This may be a manifestation of improved voting procedures in Georgia which has a long history of suppressing the black vote.  Republicans around the country have won elections by dubious means, with the result that their actual support has been smaller than their representation in Congress.

       Dems had a similar situation in 2008 when Obama one the presidency and Dems had a large majority in the Senate as well as the House.  That did not go well as the Tea Party emerged and was not effectively countered by the Dems.  The Dems are now energized and ready for whatever the Trump supporters throw at them. 

       It's likely that the Dems will be content to marginalize the Trumpers, and will not make any great progress otherwise in governing the nation.  They are overwhelming in favor of the status quo and have no significant platform other than defeating the Trumpers.

       I'm glad that the Trumpers have been soundly defeated.  However, they may come back with more effective leadership.  As I write this, Republican strategists are plotting ways to reclaim power.  These will most likely involve ploys to sabotage the Biden presidency by manufacturing outrage.  Will the media bite?

 

SUMMARY:  The partisan dynamic and domination of the mainstream media by the Democrats should fade, but this tendency will be fought by the Democrats who will seek to keep the outrage going.  Republican outrage leaders will be contained to the fringes for the short term.  There is a leadership vacuum in both parties that will attract imperial wannabees such as Buttigieg and Rubio.  Eventually, the earthquake will arrive in the form of some disaster such as nuclear war or economic depression.  Then will there be room for constructive change.  The arc of the moral universe bends towards justice because politics based upon injustice eventually collapse and the truth wins out. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Being Woke to the Praetorian Guard - With Update

I've just written an epistle or two which I want to save for possible future reference.  Here they are:

My Dear Beloved Friends,

Last night, several of you asked why and how I associate the CIA of 1963 with the CIA of today, with regard to meddling in domestic politics.  Separately, Glenn forwarded us an article four days ago which pondered the question of why Trump voters are still loyal.  And I'm forwarding here my response to an article forwarded by my sister-in-law about taking seriously the possibility of a Trump coup.  The short answers are as follows:

       The CIA is similar to the Praetorian Guard:   Power and ability to spy, using the most advanced tools with an enormous budget, to learn the truth and the secrets and to use any means necessary to "safeguard the realm" form institutions with continuity beyond a single generation.

       Most Trump voters distrust the mainstream media / cultural narrative, and thus support him as a kindred spirit.

       Trump does not have the support of the CIA / military industrial intelligence complex, and thus is unlikely to be successful with respect to a coup.

My longer epistle below provides more flesh to go with these bare bones and, of course, I'm happy to discuss.

Love and hugs,
Dan

---------- Forwarded message ---------

From: Dan Secrest <danielsecrest@gmail.com>

Date: Sat, Dec 12, 2020 at 11:52 AM
Subject: Re: The Atlantic: ‘This Must Be Your First’

Hi, ...

Thanks for sharing the article about the possibility of a coup in the United States, led by Donald Trump and his Republican supporters.  Belief in democracy is one of my core values -- and talking with friends and family about politics is basic to democracy.

My take is that most of the coups over my lifetime have been facilitated by the CIA, and the CIA is not on Trump's side. 

The 3 Turkish coups that the author cites were led by U.S. allied military officers trained to put down leftist dissent:

       The 1960 coup was led by a colonel who had been among the first 16 officers trained by the United States in 1948 to form a stay-behind counter-guerrilla force.  At the time of the coup, he explicitly stated his anticommunism and his faith and allegiance to NATO and CENTO, an organization whose goal was to contain the Soviet Union (USSR) by having a line of strong states along the USSR's southwestern frontier.

       The 1971 coup was a crackdown by the military on general disorder, including that of the Workers' Party of Turkey for carrying out communist propaganda and supporting Kurdish separatism. 

       The 1980 coup, which provides the central cautionary tale of the article you forwarded, was led by the commander of  an anti-communist "stay-behind" guerrilla force set up with the support of NATO.

Donald Trump does not have a military background and has not been able to control the CIA during his presidency.  A CIA whistleblower working in the White House developed the case that led to Trump's impeachment:

Eric Ciaramella, the CIA operative who worked on loan to the White House as a top Ukrainian analyst in the National Security Council, had previously served as an adviser on Ukraine to Vice President Biden.

And it is my strong belief that the Mueller investigation was based upon false reports of Russian collusion invented by U.S./U.K. intelligence assets.  Trump's America first policy was not in line with the consensus U.S. foreign policy and thus he was investigated using tactics that have been all too common throughout my lifetime.

I have recently come to the realization that JFK was assassinated by the CIA.  Here's a good book on the subject: JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.  I find the evidence overwhelming, and have written about it in some detail in a blog entitled This I Believe.

The CIA seems similar to the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire:

The Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of the Imperial Roman army whose members served as personal bodyguards and intelligence for Roman emperors…  the first emperor, Augustus, founded the Guard as his personal security detail. Although they continued to serve in this capacity for roughly three centuries, the Guard became notable for its intrigue and interference in Roman politics, to the point of overthrowing emperors and proclaiming their successors.

Power and ability to spy, using most advanced tools with an enormous budget, to learn the truth and the secrets and to use any means necessary to "safeguard the realm" form institutions with continuity beyond a single generation.

The CIA and its sister intelligence agencies have been leaking information to the mainstream media.  Thus, we went to war in Iraq in 2003, destroying large swathes of the Middle East.  Thus, Russia was used as a scapegoat for Trump's victory in 2016. 

I am a firm believer that the Republican party is responsible for the dire situation today.  They have been much closer to the military-industrial complex over the decades, and I can't blame the Democrats for wanting to enlist some of that power on their side.  But I do disagree with the specifics employed, including the scapegoating of Russia and leftists.  We need to be WOKE to the power behind the news as reported by The Atlantic, The New York Times, NBC, etc.

With love,
Dan

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Being Woke to the Praetorian Guard

 I've just written an epistle or two which I want to save for possible future reference.  Here they are:

Monday, November 30, 2020

This I Believe

Introduction

In recent years, and more frequently since I retired in spring 2018, I've pondered and written down some of the things I believe to be true that are not common knowledge. This is somewhat similar to, but more controversial than, the essays you will find from the National Public Radio show This I Believe.

My core belief system is based on the idea that biological and cultural evolution are shaped and directed by win-win interactions, as expressed in the book Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright.  This leads to my valuing Getting to Yes, a guide to interacting with others.   

This essay goes beyond these core beliefs and values to look at specific theories and facts -- 

  1. What do I know? (believe to be true, though I could be wrong)
  2. What don't I know?

I expect the list to change over time.

An overriding lesson I have learned is to look at controversial issues using my own common sense.  In case after case, the conventional wisdom defies common sense.  Once common sense is applied, then the pieces fit together reasonably.  Common sense consists of considering both sides of an issue, along with the motives involved.  With respect to the cases below, one side of the issue has won the day with regard to the mainstream media and the conventional wisdom.  Thus, I am questioning "the facts" and recent history as widely accepted across the U.S. global empire.

Common sense leads me to consider the reason why only one side of some issues is considered legitimate.  Most people do not have the time to dwell extensively on such matters.  It is convenient to accept a well established narrative and move on.  I have done that most of my life, but in retirement and with access to the Internet have had time and capability of looking at both sides of confusing episodes.  I learning that it is valuable to weigh circumstantial evidence in forming an accurate mental model of the world.  While there may be no proof for the things "I know" which are listed below, consideration of the likelihood (Bayesian probability) of certain matters based upon circumstantial evidence leads to a more robust mental model.

Government and Empire

The bottom line is that the U.S. empire is overextended, yet it is politically difficult to cut back.  For example, political support for Israel makes it difficult to cut back in the Middle East.  Support for the U.S. led empire by many Ukrainians, Afghans, east Asians, and Latin Americans makes it difficult to cut back in these areas.  Political control of the empire, though centered in Washington DC, is subject to immense pressure from many places around the world.  Intelligence agencies, which are above the law to a large degree and insulated from political pressures, have the job of protecting the empire.  Buttressing the empire around the world is proving difficult, especially when political direction is uncertain.  Thus, the task of buttressing the empire has evolved into solidifying the political direction.  Whether or not this is a good thing for people such as myself is secondary, in this essay, to ascertaining the truth of selected items of conventional wisdom.  Once we have a better handle on the facts, then we can better use the democratic process to find a constructive way forward.

Russiagate

The widely reported Russia-Trump conspiracy is perhaps the most significant event of my adult life in shaping my current worldview, as expressed in this essay.  My view is that this was a conspiracy theory unsupported by facts, yet widely believed by Democrats and widely reported as fact in the mainstream media.  Over the last 4 years, I've written extensively about why I feel this way and discussed this with Democratic friends, family, and strangers on the Internet.  I believe very strongly that the Democratic / intelligence community / mainstream narrative of Trump - Russia collusion has been disproven yet not acknowledged by Democrats.  Moreover, the narrative of Russian interference in the 2016 election seems similarly unfounded, yet to question said interference is considered grounds for censorship and almost treasonous.  

My certainty on this matter is such that I've lost faith in the government and mainstream media to accurately report the truth in many other matters. A lifetime of belief in American institutions has been thoroughly eroded. Matters that I previously saw as unknowable, such as the John Kennedy assassination, now seem to clearly fit a pattern that has lasted throughout my lifetime.

Ukrainegate / Impeachment

I know that the "whistleblower" was a CIA insider and firmly in the Biden camp.  This has not been reported by the mainstream media but is common knowledge elsewhere.  I know that Biden did an explicit quid pro quo as VP and lead Obama Administration official on Ukraine policy.  The video of this has been widely seen and discussed outside of the mainstream media, which has not denied its validity.  The mainstream media has made blanket assertions that Biden did nothing wrong, which may be true in the sense that his actions are in line with the preferences of "the empire" -- i.e. the intelligence agencies and careerists in the State Department.  

Similar to Russiagate, the impeachment on the basis of opposition to Trump by professionals in the intelligence community was set in motion right at the beginning of the Trump Administration. 

Syrian Chemical Weapons

I know that the U.S. and Britain have subverted international institutions such as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  They lied about Assad using chemical weapons in Syria, then covered up the whistleblowers who leaked the truth.

Skripal / Navalny

I know that the so called novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal is a fabrication of the U.S. and British intelligence services.  This is obvious nonsense, yet is accepted uncritically by the mainstream media.  The Navalny incident is in the same vein.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

In reading about this on Wikipedia, there seems to be overwhelming evidence that pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region accidentally shot down this passenger airplane. Apparently, Netherlands and Australia have concluded that Russian rebels are responsible. However, given the amount of Cold War lying I've witnesses in this time period, I don't trust Wikipedia or the mainstream press or U.S. allied governments in matters of this nature.  So I'll have to put this one in "don't know".  

Here is a documentary short film presenting the pro-Russian side: SUNDAY SCREENING: ‘MH17: Call for Justice’ (2019).  See also The Official and Implausible MH-17 Scenario.

Assassinations in USA

Here I am referring to the assassinations of JFK (1963), MLK (1968), and RFK (1968).  

JFK Assassination

I am now prepared to say that I know that U.S. intelligence agencies were involved in the JFK assassination.  This comes 57 years after the event, including my entire adult lifetime.  Previously I have considered the truth behind this assassination to be unknowable.  I am now prepared to declare US intelligence agency involvement as something that is knowable, even if the precise details are hidden.

It has always strained my credulity to believe that Oswald acted alone.  Yet, there have been numerous investigations and seemingly no concrete evidence to prove that he was part of a conspiracy.  I've had a Eureka moment, not through any one astounding revelation, but rather in the form of a straw that breaks the camel's back.  I recently read an account of the JFK assassination which claims that Oswald was a U.S. intelligence agent.  "Of course he was", I thought to myself.  I was only able to make sense of this after I had learned not to trust the mainstream media.
  • He was a U.S. marine.  How many communist Marines have you ever encountered or even heard of?  What are the chances that the Marine Corps would permit an openly avowed communist to serve in its ranks? While Oswald was serving in the Marine Corps, he became fluent in the Russian language. How is that possible?
  • We know the CIA and other U.S. intelligence services recruit agents, and that it is a difficult job with high risk.  Oswald seems like an obvious candidate:  
    "he was placed in juvenile detention at the age of seven for truancy, during which time he was assessed by a psychiatrist as "emotionally disturbed", due to a lack of a normal family life. After attending 22 schools in his youth, he quit repeatedly, and finally when he was 17, to join the Marines. Oswald was honorably released from active duty in the Marine Corps into the reserve and defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959. He lived in Minsk until June 1962... After leaving the Marine Corps, Oswald traveled to the Soviet Union, walked into the U.S. embassy, renounced his citizenship, and stated that he intended to give any secrets he learned while serving in the military to the Soviet Union. Later, when he stated his desire to return to the United States, with a wife with family connections to Soviet intelligence, Oswald was given the red-carpet treatment on his return... Later, when Oswald ended up in Dallas, his friends were right-wingers, not left-wingers. He even got job at a photographic facility that developed top-secret photographs for the U.S. government. How is that possible? Later, when he ended up in New Orleans, he got hired by a private company that was owned by a fierce anti-communist right-winger"
  • Oswald was murdered after he shot Kennedy by a sketchy figure with ties to organized crime.
  • The CIA was working with organized crime around that time in attempting to assassinate Fidel Castro.
  • The CIA at that era was engaging in political assassinations in countries around the world:
    "Following World War II, the United States became secretly engaged in a practice of international political assassinations and attempts on foreign leaders. For a considerable period of time, the U.S. Government officials vehemently denied any knowledge of this program since it would be against the United Nations Charter... In 1975, the U.S. Senate convened the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Res (D-Idaho). The Church Committee uncovered that CIA and other governmental agencies employed a so-called tactic of "plausible deniability" during decision-making related to assassinations. CIA subordinates were deliberately shielding the higher-ranking officials from any responsibility by withholding the full amount of information about planned assassinations."
  • "From the start, the Warren Commission proceedings were shrouded in “national-security” state secrecy, including a top-secret meeting of the commissioners to discuss information they had received that Oswald was an intelligence agent. When Warren was asked if the American people would be able to see all the evidence, Warren responded yes, but not in your lifetime.  Does that make any sense? If the assassination was, in fact, committed by some lone nut, then what would “national security” and state secrecy have to do with it? ... In April 2018, President Trump issued an order to the National Archives to continue keeping thousands of CIA records relating to the John Kennedy assassination secret from the American people."
  • "Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, and the JCS had the perfect excuse to shut down the investigation and pin the crime only on Oswald: If they instead retaliated, it would be all-out nuclear war... when Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade alleged from the start that Oswald was part of a communist conspiracy, Johnson told him to shut it down for fear that Wade might inadvertently start World War III."  
  • The conventional wisdom, which is obviously contradictory, is thus:
    • Oswald acted entirely alone (the finding of the Warren Commission)
    • Details must be kept secret because they would reveal Russian involvement, and thus risk nuclear war.
I don't know why people in the U.S. national-security business assassinated Kennedy.  I've just picked up an Audible book on this topic, which is very favorably and convincingly reviewed.  It appears that there was a consensus that he was soft on national security from a cold war perspective.

RFK and MLK Assassinations

I don't know if there were conspiracies regarding the assassinations in 1968 of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.  It seems possible given the probable culprits in the JFK assassination and the opposition of both RFK and MLK to the Vietnam War.  I would have to do the hard work of researching outside of the mainstream media, and revisiting widely accepted "facts" to come to a definitive conclusion.

The Future

Obviously, I don't know what will happen in the future, but I'm hoping it will be helpful to give some thought to the future in light of what I've learned.  

As with perhaps most governments in the history of the world, the U.S. government is ruled by force more than by democratically elected leaders.  At the national level, at least, the politicians are subservient to the "security" professionals.  The national mythology concerning civilian control may be losing sway, yielding chaos such as we have seen with the Trump presidency. 

The most likely way forward, in my opinion, is for more blatant rule by force.  The Democrats have already dropped the veil which previously disguised there reliance upon the security establishment for power.  The next logical step would be for a leader to step forward who recognizes this and declares it necessary for national stability.  As much as we dislike the Chinese and Russian models, we secretly realize that they are more successful.  

The next U.S. political strongman could come from either the Democratic or Republican parties.  Republican leaders have long given only weak lip service in support of democracy.  Democrats effectively went the same way in 2016, and the incoming Biden Administration has the support of the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex.  Such a solid front could enable a faction to take control of the country, and lead to the breakup of the Republicans.  The main destabilizing factor would then be internal to the Democratic party with competing vested interests such as between the military and business.

Culture

Media

As documented above in what I know about government and empire in the contemporary United States, the mainstream media is extremely unreliable when it comes to reporting facts in any way related to "national security", which includes politics on the national level.  The Internet, however, has made it much easier to uncover the truth.  Thus, there is already considerable pressure to censor the many independent outlets which report facts and opinions contrary to establishment narrative.

Other powerful nations such as China and Russia censor the press, including the Internet, and it is not clear if the U.S. can continue to be exceptional in this regard.  

In sum, I distrust the mainstream media and trust various alternative media journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Bret Weinstein, Heather Heying, Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and Robert Wright.

Economics

In the decade since I first learned about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), it's become more widely accepted as an accurate description of how national monetary systems work.  Conventional economics has been exposed as superstitious dogma similar to Medieval Age Christianity.  I know that MMT accurately describes the monetary economy.

I don't know what the best economic system is.  I lean toward socialism, as it has worked well, in combination with capitalism, in Nordic and other European countries.  These mixed economies tend to have the best track record.  But the pressures of human technological development on the environment seem unsustainable and lead me to believe that capitalism must be reined in more than is done today by the U.S. and its allies around the world.  A Chinese model, with greater governmental control over the capitalist process, may be necessary for sustainability.

Labels such as capitalist and socialist seem counterproductive.  Specific issues and specific industries need to be handled differently.  For example, I know health care works best with a more socialist approach.  And it's clear that capitalism has worked best in industries such as autos and cell phones.  On the other hand, the auto industry has created a lot of negative side effects and cell phones may not be far behind in this regard.

Science and Technology

Fossil Fuels, Global Warming, Green Energy

  • Global warming is a fact, which is what one would expect based upon the carbon cycle and the enormous amount of human activity and burning of hydrocarbons in the past 100-200 years.
  • We don't know if all oil and gas comes from fossil fuels.  There is a possibility being investigated by the Deep Carbon Observatory, that some of the oil and gas we use is abiotic -- i.e. not a by-product of photosynthesis in ages past.
  • Green energy is hugely important, but it is unrealistic to expect that we will be able to maintain our use of energy at current levels while phasing out fossil fuels.

Human Mind 

"the interaction between facts and theories is bidirectional. Your facts may eventually determine what theory you have. But your theory also determines what facts you see and notice. Nor do contradictory facts immediately change a theory. The process of theory change is complicated, fiercely resisted by hard-to-describe factors, and based on some sort of idea of global tension that can’t be directly reduced to any specific contradiction."

Covid Severity

  • Covid is more serious in old and medically at-rishk people than is the common flu.
  • Covid is much less dangerous than portrayed by Democrats and the mainstream media.
  • Covid vaccines are promising.  However, for those of us in the low risk population, the risks from the initial, poorly tested, vaccines may be higher than the risk from the Covid virus itself.
  • Covid severity and treatment have been highly politicized by both Republicans and Democrats, with the media joining the Democrats and much of the scientific community in distorting the science.

COVID, Lyme Disease Origins

  • COVID escaped from the Wuhan Lab.
  • Lyme disease escaped from the secret biological weapons program on Plum Island, an island in Long Island Sound near Lyme, Connecticut.

Black Holes, Higgs Boson, etc.

  • I don't know if black holes exist.  
  • The field of quantum physics is filled with incomprehensible and untestable mumbo jumbo.  I don't know which concepts may eventually be tested and prove useful.  

Quantum Computing

X-Ray Crystallography

I know that the science of physics has yielded remarkably practical technologies such as computers.  Similar in nature to quantum physics, molecular and atomic physics is often obtuse.  However, various concepts have proven testable and controllable.  One example is x-ray crystallography, used in detecting and describing DNA, as well as in mineralogy and metallurgy. 

Self-Driving Cars

I know that autonomous vehicles have been vastly overhyped and are unlikely to prove economically viable or socially efficient in the foreseeable future.  They are possible, like supersonic jets and maglev trains, but not cost effective.  Hyperloops fall into the same category.

The Future

Is science slowing down?  We seem to have plucked a lot of the low hanging technological fruit, and are chasing improbable dreams. Limitless, green energy, autonomous vehicles, and quantum computing are examples.  Moreover, we may need to intentionally slow technology down if we are to attain an acceptable level of civilizational stability and sustainability.

Summary

Things I Know

  1. Russiagate is a conspiracy theory unsupported by facts.
  2. The attempted impeachment of Trump over events in the Ukraine was a creation of the U.S. national security state to fight back against investigation of their own misdeeds in Russiagate.
  3. The U.S. led global empire supports biased international institutions such as the Organization for Prohibiting Chemical Weapons which has lied on behalf of U.S. interests, and against Russian interests, in Syria and in the U.K. with regard to the Skripal affair.
  4. JFK was assassinated by elements of the U.S. security apparatus.
  5. The mainstream media is not to be trusted on issues related to national "security", including national politics.
  6. Alternative media are more reliable sources of the truth, and are threatened by the security state.
  7. MMT provides an accurate model for contemporary monetary systems.
  8. Labels such as socialist and capitalist are used as epithets to distract from constructive thinking about economic issues.
  9. Global warming is real.
  10. Green energy is hugely important, but it is unrealistic to expect that we will be able to maintain our use of energy at current levels while phasing out fossil fuels.
  11. The human mind works by the formation of mental models.  These models are checked when sensory data is received.  When the data does not match the model, the issue may be escalated to a higher level for model revisions.  The conscious mind is the highest level.  Mental models do not change easily.
  12. Covid is a serious disease, but its severity has been exaggerated by the mainstream to stigmatize Trump Republicans.
  13. The covid virus escaped from the Wuhan Lab. 
  14. Lyme disease escaped from the secret biological weapons program on Plum Island, an island in Long Island Sound near Lyme, Connecticut. 
  15. Atomic physics has made possible enormous technological achievements such as computers and x-ray crystallography.
  16. Autonomous vehicles have been vastly overhyped and are unlikely to prove economically viable or socially efficient in the foreseeable future.  

Things I Don't Know

  1. Who shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine?
  2. Were there conspiracies related to the assassinations of RFK and MLK?
  3. Will the first covid vaccines be more likely to save or cost lives?
  4. Do black holes, with event horizons that nothing can escape, exist?
  5. The usefulness of quantum physics?  
  6. The possibility and practicality of a quantum computer?

Monday, October 05, 2020

Dear Diary

Die Gedanken Sind Frei

Die gedanken sind frei
My thoughts freely flower
Die gedanken sind frei
My thoughts give me power
No scholar can map them
No hunter can trap them
No man can deny
Die gedanken sind frei
I think as I please
And this gives me pleasure
My conscience decrees
This right I must treasure
My thoughts will not cater
To duke or dictator
No man can deny
Die gedanken sind frei
Tyrants can take me
And throw me in prison
My thoughts will burst forth
Like blossoms in season
Foundations may crumble
And structures may tumble
But free men shall cry
Die gedanken sind frei
As with many people these days, I fear that society is going mad.  My friends and family are horrified to learn what I truly think, and the only way to get along is to keep some thoughts to myself.  But what do I really think?  I've found that writing down my thoughts is helpful.  It forces me to organize them and thus gives me confidence in what I believe and why.

I'm conflicted as to who to vote for in the presidential election.  I've founded that suggesting I might vote for Trump is disruptive to my personal life, since family and friends then cut off all conversation with me, at least for a time until it's clear that I won't say anything more on the subject.  On the other hand, a vote is a statement to friends and family as much as it is a means of electing our national leadership.  Self-censorship is probably not good for the country, but probably is good for me personally.

So what is best for the country?  I'm convinced that the media is toxic and curing this illness is more important than getting rid of Trump.  After all, on many things Trump is right and the mainstream media is wrong:
  • Russia did not have a big influence in the 2016 election in favor of Trump.
  • The intelligence community was wrong in their 2017 "intelligence community assessment".
  • Adam Schiff was wrong in promoting the Steele Dossier and indicating that there is proof that Trump colluded with Russia.
  • Hydroxychloroquine is not dangerous.
  • Trump did not seriously suggest that people drink bleach to ward off covid-19.
  • The covid pandemic is overblown.  It is not anywhere near as deadly as portrayed by the conventional media.  The lockdown of society for the last 7 months has been overdone.
  • The Biden family behaved in a corrupt manner in Ukraine.
  • Trump's behavior with Russia (Mueller investigation, etc) and Ukraine (impeachment) has been misrepresented.  
  • The woke movement and continual shouting of "racism" in a crowded theater has resulted in much harm to the country and to minority communities in particular.
  • Identitarian politics are immoral and racist, and mostly stupid as in Robin De Angelo's book "White Fragility".
  • Putin is not the devil.  Trump is not Hitler.
  • The U.S. foreign policy (Republican and Democratic) is driven by lies and immoral double standards.  See Syria, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, Bolivia, Venezuela.
In spite of all this, I love my country and my friends and family.  Without these, I am nothing.  Politics aside, I love my relationships and do not want to harm them.

I want to acknowledge the legitimate issues underlying Trump Derangement Syndrome:
  • American society is deeply unfair and has been so since its racist founding.
  • Trump and the Republicans deny global warming and sensible measures to prevent our civilization from destroying the planet.
  • Trump and the Republicans have a long history of lying and cheating to maintain and enhance the unjust status quo.
  • Trump himself is a blustering narcissist who sets a bad model for the country.
How can so many intelligent people see only one side of the story?  We seem to be witnessing mass hysteria and self-delusional groupthink.  Perhaps this was what it was like in Nazi Germany?  Or Soviet Russia where the state media came to be disbelieved, yet to openly challenge the media was treasonous?  Maybe this was what America was like at the time of its founding, with the racist patriarchy unquestioned by the conventional wisdom?  Perhaps most countries are this way most of the time as the elite control the range of acceptable thought?

If I were to publish this and someone were to read it and ridicule me publicly for thinking out loud, would that be justified?  

Taking Stock During the Trump Transition

  Core Values Belief in Democratic Process ●        Non-Violent Resolution of Issues Majority Rule Minority Rights ●        The Trum...