Sunday, January 28, 2018


Bombing of the Murtah Building which had day care on the first floor.

The law of unintended consequences is Exhibit A for the premise that no one knows everything.  Something will ALWAYS happen that the perp didn’t expect, couldn’t see, hadn’t a clue about, didn’t know there was anything out there to know.

I just watched the Netflix streaming “Oklahoma City”.  I wonder how it will affect people beyond just making money.  Will right wingers feel vindication and shed a tear for a gangly bullied kid called “Noodles” whom the army taught to kill?  Or will people who love babies want to kill MacVeigh all over again?  Or will some kid out there now, being bullied with a nickname based on his appearance, vow to follow up on the directions for making a bomb?

My selfish tiny reaction is a memory of the next week after the explosion when I was working on the first floor of the Portlandia Building and a Ryder U-Haul truck parked just outside the plate-glass windows ten feet from my desk for a couple of hours.  I talked to my boss, who said I was fantasizing.  I guess I was.

What MacVeigh got out of the bombing, even after getting the death sentence, was that it meant he was more powerful than anyone, the government or anyone else.  He simply shut out the knowledge of the dead babies.  Or how it would make people hate his cause even more.

For too long I’ve been following the nation’s current CSI project of getting a grip on the President.  There are currently 270 sealed indictments— probably more of them to come.  People are speculating how many of them contain evidence that is keeping Republican legislators from enforcing the laws that protect the government from collusion, corruption, profiteering, and treason.

One consequence has been my growing awareness of valuing the “meta” level of thought.  Not “higher” or “lower” but the embedded assumptions that trigger unexpected consequences.  Like the “pill” removing the restraint that was the fear of unwanted pregnancy.  And then the later development of DNA that could identify both unintended fathers and intended rapists.  

Awareness of the growing detail and grip of DNA analysis has not really increased enough for people to realize that it can NOT tell a person which “tribe” they belong to because all the tribes are flexible and inclusive with no sharp edges, but they CAN tell whose child you are.  Or aren’t.  Recently there was a case of three beautiful female triplets who took the same DNA test and got conflicting — or at least contrasting— results from what was presumed to be identical DNA. I suspect that if every white supremacist who wanted to join these far right groups had to take a DNA test, he would discover he had a variously colored past.  In fact, those who make the loudest noises about their purity possibly doth protest too much.  I mean, did Hitler look Aryan to you?

The unintended consequence of Trump’s presidency has been exactly the kind of close scrutiny that he cannot withstand.  His limited grasp of what it is to be a president — which is different from a tyrant — did not include the revealing of his criminal schemes, quite apart from the mistaken instructions from Uncle Putin.  He did not know that there would be an attendant at his bedroom door, that his bedding would be stripped by a maid, that he could no longer throw his dirty clothes on the floor because someone’s job was to properly handle them.  Ears everywhere, eyes sideways, comb-over analyzed, no escape.  Melania much harder to bully and impossible to strike.  Every MacDonald’s cheeseburger recorded somewhere.  (Even THEY might be poisoned.)

Then there’s the case of the Repubs protecting their oligarchiness, their entitlement, which they believe is the source of their money which is their proof of entitlement.  A little circular as arguments go, but whatever works.  What is unexpected is that this triggers just the right time to reconsider the whole question of what money really is.  The invention of cybermoney, the breaching of national monetary systems, the laundering of money by trying to convert it to some permanent value like real estate— all this has made us wonder whether in our efforts to escape from George III’s taxation injustice, we’ve overlooked something.  

Like, for instance, money is only bookkeeping.  Even clever Manafort was in that handwritten black ledger, unsafely locked up.  (Probably no Native Americans will draw horseback warriors in it anytime soon.  I’ve been intrigued by Blackfeet ledger art because some of it is recent enough for me to recognize the people’s names because I knew them.)

“This paper provides a theory of money, whose value depends on the functioning of the intermediary sector, and a unified framework for analyzing the interaction between price and financial stability.”  I don’t understand this stuff yet, but the claim is that it means a government CANNOT run of out of money and that cutting Social Security and Medicare has nothing at all to do with taxation amounts, but only will the willingness of the budgeteers to allocate the amounts.  It’s simply a value statement and not a cap or limitation.  

This was not the realization that the Repubs wanted us to have.  In fact, they themselves can’t figure this out.  (There is no intelligence or dementia test required to be a legislator — not even charisma, which is lucky for some of these funny-looking people.)  It’s a money allocation value statement when someone is elected.

Trump hasn’t grasped that he is not the captain of the Spaceship Enterprise who orders “Make it so.”  But neither have the elected leaders realized that neither can THEY order the citizens to obey.  This planet may be a spaceship, but we are not just crew, since we are in a democracy.  if we were crew we could be ordered to stop releasing methane, to stop shooting elephants, to stop having children we don’t want.

And children are the most unintended consequence of all, not just the intention of having them, but also the intentions of how they should be.  China is just now realizing the unintended consequence of aborting all those little girls — which is now a lot of restless single men.  But what in the US is going to be the consequence of throwing teenaged boys out of broken families?  Especially when they find each other and decide to make a different world — not with bombs, but with visions.

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