Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fighting the Nukehead Nations





Friday, November 25, 2016

Web Components




Monica is way beyond me in her depth of knowledge regarding how we're now able to define custom HTML tags, meaning components, with their own encapsulated behaviors, state and styling.

I've done lots of GUI programming in my day and so "widgets" are not new to me, but how they're embedded in HTML + JavaScript desktop and mobile apps, using the Polymer library, is something I'm interested in learning more about.

In the new HTML, which structures the document per the Document Object Model (DOM), we have what's called a "Shadow-DOM" tightly coupled to specific HTML tags.  Defining web components involves stuffing little shadow DOM pockets with hidden functionality, though with the right developer tools you're free to crack in and read it.

If a website comes from a server it more than likely is talking to a server, that goes for phone apps as well. There's nothing open source about most websites other than the fact the tools to build them are open. Developers have made it easy to develop black boxes.  That was never going to go away.

However by training on a lot of the same tools, we learn to hop around among the boxes, contributing within each, bringing the lessons from one to another.

Monica is a fantastic teacher and speaker.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wanderers 2016.11.23

nodeschool2
:: working through JavaScript challenges 
using a Nodeschool Workshopper script ::


Naming this group Wanderers owes much to a saying of Mandelbrot's, the fractal guy (I met him, gave an opening talk before an elite audience at PSU, before he came on as the main event).

Here's that quote we use for a tagline:
"Science would be ruined if it were to withdraw entirely into narrowly
defined specialties. The rare scholars who are Wanderers-by-choice are
essential to the intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines."

(Benoit Mandelbrot)
I'd say we're also name that because our conversation follows a pattern I first noticed from the backseat for a car of the floor of a living room:  none to speak of.  Or rather, themes may develop and cycled round to, but a lot of what goes on around a dinner table, say, is "rambling".

I rambled in late, having overslept.  Several topics had already been broached, obviously.  While I was there the conversation turned to airport security dogs, species of rat used to sniff out land mines, bomb and drug sniffing.

What occurred to me later is how we'd ventured into a mainline theme around Thanksgiving in the US, a national holiday associated with traveling.  Chinese have those too.  The trains, not just the planes or the buses, feel the added weight and responsibility, given so many travelers.

I'm fine with the hypothesis that group dynamics exhibit replicable phenomena. Nick Consoletti did his doctoral dissertation on "Bohmian dialog" and had hoped to attend a class led by Dr. Bohm himself at Schumacher College in England.  Nick did his thesis work in Eugene, starting a Bohmian dialog group himself and making recordings (with permission of the participants).

Bohm's theory was conversational fields could be established that wandered within constraints and actually produced useful results when no individual nor even faction could for long control the flow.  Think of a focus group without a focus.  That's what Wanderers sometimes achieves.

What I also hadn't realized, at least consciously, as Barbara had brought the dog she cares for sometimes, to the Linus Pauling House (our venue).  Our conversation centered on responsibly employed non-humans who serve us loyally, without our non-human guest saying a word.

Much of the rest of the day was code school business, talking with one about an offer, advising another taking a JavaScript-only (mostly) tack.  One needs to say "mostly" as all these languages negotiate within an ecosystem of other languages.

Thanks to Nathaniel Bobbitt I was able to learn about Nodeschools and their Workshopper technology.  I'm plowing through some of those.  Note how they've been done in many human languages.  i18n is one of my themes.

CBS News tonight was very much about the nation's transportation arteries, especially around WDC, site of many a monument, including the one to Lincoln, the last story's focus.  I'm likely to join the throng, hoping for a lull on Black Friday, when a family branch has strategically staged their Thanksgiving dinner meetup.  I've already made some pies, and dented one of them.

I'm running the Node modules, downloading through NPM, on my Raspberry Pi 3 in the basement.  I used to visit the basement to use the R-Pi 3, but now I just VPN into it, and use the UI in a window from anywhere in the school (a home school hybrid, as allowed by law).

Installing javascripting: a Workshopper module
:: R-Pi from Mac Air over school LAN ::

Saturday, November 19, 2016

ISEPP Lectures Kickoff (2016-2017)


The formal name for this lecture series is the Linus Pauling Memorial Lectures, organized by Terry Bristol's ISEPP (I used to serve on his board, and before that my partner Dawn was his bookkeeper). Tonight was the first lecture this season.  He's had an historic lineup of MVP (most valuable player) speakers, tonight's speaker being no exception.

Michael Shermer has made a name for himself around Skeptic.com and as a columnist for Scientific American. Other Wanderers besides me have had him on radar more than I, especially Glenn and Christine (and of course Terry).  Dr. DiNucci was there as well, and the BuxtonsJoe Arnold.  I learned a great deal about the "Eclipse Economy" that's sweeping a sometimes reluctant-to-care central Oregon.  August 21.

The lecture was perfect for the occasion, relaunching the lecture series, and right after a contentious US presidential election.  His message is similar to Steven Pinker's:  objectively, many global trends are positive, in terms of less slavery, torture, outright war, more animal rights, more rational problem solving.  The lecture hall was comfortably full, with many in the balcony pews.

Saying yesteryear's kings and queens had low living standards compared to those of us with air conditioning, central heating, refrigerators, was like a direct quote from Bucky (music to my ears in other words).  "Accentuating the positive" remains a high calling, whereas evolution seems to predispose us to focus on the negative.

Given my recent immersion in Jungianism as filtered through Russian mysticism, in the form of the four volumes I purchased by Maurice Nicoll, I was quite open to hearing about how negative emotions tend to drive the action.  We're at the mercy of "monkey mind".  That's how science and rational design patterns help us grow and mature as a species: we overcome mere reflex-conditioning.

He's not worried about overpopulation.  The only terrorists he's really worried about are the ones who want to be dead, and think taking us all to kingdom come would be a best course of action.  He sees more hope for those wanting to make course corrections as democracies are on the rise and he has charts and statistics to argue that's a good thing.

Shermer was brave and bold with his content, mocking the ethics of ages past.  "What were they thinking?" is his implied caption to many a grim scene, from Medieval torture chambers to more recent lynchings.  Mom reminded me later, when I briefed her on the lecture, that Eleanor Roosevelt was dead set against lynchings but FDR was mindful of wanting to keep the southern Democrats in his camp, a balancing act.

Michael is not shy about reminding us that when it comes to committing atrocities, no one holds a candle to certain Christians. Lets remember the Hitler Holocaust for what it was, a culmination of long-running trends.  But then he shows that acts of genocide in general are going down.  Lets not pretend ISIS invented beheading.

Speaking of beheading, in keeping with his French Enlightenment spin, he advertised the guillotine as maybe the most humane of the capital punishment devices. At least it's fast and efficient. Certainly "old sparky" is not withstanding the test of time.  He thinks our ugliest practices are on the wane.  That's what his new book is about, The Moral Arc.

At the dinner afterward, to which I was cordially invited, Glenn and I had a whole table to ourselves.  I wandered around snapping pictures, discarding most of them (not the best light), and enjoying the catered repast, certainly world class.   The downstairs area of the First Congregationalist Church is perfect, as is the upstairs meeting space.

"How is this not a religion?" would have been the pithier version of my question, but meant inclusively, as Shermer was certainly seeing the great religions as masterful in their ability to adapt.  He expects most of them will survive the Darwinian process, and as I often put it, the best religions are yet to come. Dr. DiNucci had just attended a church that meets weekly for singing and sermons, but with no talk of the supernatural encouraged.

During dinner, a butter aficionado visited our table wondering if he could take some of the butter balls.  He returned for the rest of them later, saying his objective blood test data showed he could neutralize bad effects of carbs with plenty of butter.  He enjoyed fatty breakfasts based on similar reasoning.  We agreed this might be a personal quirk of his own biology.  We're not all created equal when it comes to the details of our metabolism.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Downloaded (movie review)

DSCF1323

Historians will appreciate this quality anthropology.  Two cultures clash:  hackers with Hollywood, with the Feds hauled in to mediate through their Congressional and Court system.  The executive branch was also involved, leading to FBI warnings next to all these copyrights.

As Bucky Fuller points out, making money means keeping supplies of something scarce. Sometimes the floodgates burst, as happened in the case of Napster.  The paywall broke down.

The hackers were young and assumed adults in charge would have an optimized response to their disruptive technology.  A positive synergy would be discovered in short order.  On the contrary, the generation aging out was defenseless and had no choice but to go on the offensive, to save its way of life.

Fast forward to 2016 and the infinite copiability of digital assets is akin to the power of DNA to reproduce.  Any reproductively active adults are capable or creating new billion dollar humans (applying a government published statistic).  Imagine having to buy your factory-made children and all the hoops they'd want to put you through.

Some musicians were overjoyed to see that, along with pornography, the new telecommunications technology was quickly harnessed to channel them.  People wanted their music, more than anything.  Facebook would come later.  Other musicians understood their incomes were in the hands of an unprepared music industry and joined in the battle to shut Napster down.

I'd just hosted an after-Wanderers party, pumpkin pie served, and had at least one after-party viewer crashing on the couch.  I may have misunderstood that I was seeing a lot of the same people over time, mistaking the older versions of X and Y, for new talking heads.

However, that mistake is in keeping with the moral of the tale, which is never mind how fast the technology is changing, humans are able to reprogram themselves at a relatively finite rate.  More than one generation is needed to implement the adaptations.  The pioneers get to hit the proverbial "brick wall" or whatever it is that cannot abide change.

The whole topic of file sharing is too big to handle except in the abstract, in principle, whereas in reality we have special cases, such as hackers versus Hollywood.  The makers of this documentary understand they're exploring some deeper issues with even wider ramifications than an overhaul of the Hollywood music industry.

I go back to Hillsboro Police Department, here in the Silicon Forest (this Hillsboro is a township west of Beaverton).  Chamber of Commerce types were prodding public schools into yoking police into coming into classrooms and scaring the kids about the anti-capitalist practice of "pirating" (you could go to jail, and bring disgrace to your family).

The police were not dummies though and understood a new Free and Open Source culture was inspiring hopeful hackers to share their talents freely, using GNU / GPL and other innovative legal licenses.  Instead of just scaring the kids and criminalizing their natural tendencies, why not show them a better way?  HPD actually started its own Linux Lab as an after school opportunity, myself one of the instructors.

Rage Against the Machine

Monday, November 14, 2016

More Lessons from the Cold War

seymour hersch: "vietnam junkie" and journalist-historian

US presidents tend to gauge their own power in terms of their ability to force "regime change" in other parts of the world.

The overthrow of Mosaddegh in the Eisenhower years and the re-installation of the puppet Shah of Iran gave Allen Dulles and cronies a sense of what's possible. Guatemala then too, with Chile to come later, under Nixon.

Cuba was a more intractable "problem" as we see in hindsight, and now also Syria.

The White House has already been used as a platform to insist "Assad must go" with little thought about the day after.

President Obama admits his most serious mistake might have been not thinking about "the day after" in Libya, where a similar "must go" posture was struck.

A major symptom of a government imagining itself to be a "superpower" (i.e. having superpowers) is this insistence on having both the right and the wherewithal to overturn ("topple") other governments.

Keeping the people in line and in favor of "regime change" likewise requires endless bombardment with propaganda.  Minions need to be perpetually persuaded they're following the right leaders.

"Assad uses barrel bombs"; so did the Pentagon, in great quantities, during Vietnam, they're less expensive.

"Assad gassed his own people"; the evidence suggests that famous sarin attack in Ghouta was engineered by Assad's enemies.

Yes the "civil war" in Syria is ugly.  So was the civil war in the US.  Adding cruise missiles and stealth bombers to the equation has so far not helped any.

Any except the weapons testers that is, who are having a field day with their criminal undeclared war on civilian guinea pigs, the pattern since WW1, and outlawed by the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

"Saddam Hussein has a nuclear weapons program"; the allegations are designed to create fear in the general population and therefore support for more military action.

Or is popular support even a requirement anymore?

Opposition to the war against Iraq was huge, yet the WDC government went ahead anyway, bringing narratives about "democracy" to the brink of bankruptcy.  Are we back to monarchy then, or is it oligarchy?  Welcome to the Banana Republic of North America (BRNA).

Does there ever come a point when a population develops antibodies to all this fear and manipulation by those suffering from a "superpower" military-industrial complex?

Do we have any kind of antidote for this Fourth Reich mental illness?

Stay tuned.

As a footnote to the above interview:  my understanding is General Krulack's office in the Pentagon had arranged for Diem's transport to Europe but Diem was not yet ready to admit defeat and balked (sources: L. Fletcher Prouty, admittedly controversial; corroborating sources: intended arrest; CIA memo). The Kennedy brothers hoped he'd get out alive, understanding their position was high risk.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cold War Stories

Talks about the "U2 Incident"

Long time readers of my blogs will maybe have seen how I bring up the "U2 incident" from time to time. This is another one of those times.

David Talbot cites L. Fletcher Prouty, or "Man X" — played by Donald Sutherland in Oliver Stone's JFK — as especially knowledgeable about the U2 incident.

However David sticks with the conventional narrative, that missiles hit this supersonic spy plane at high altitude, whereas Prouty himself calls that story line into question.

Prouty sounds a lot like a prototypical "9-11 truther" in calling the basic physics into question, wondering aloud in several passages, how Gary Powers could have survived.  Did he eject before the missiles hit?  Why did he have all that incriminating ID on him?  Might he have simply landed the plane instead?

The operation certainly cost Allen Dulles some respect and judging from Prouty, that may have been a principal aim. Not everyone was suffering from blind hatred for Communist Russia, certainly not Lee Harvey Oswald, who'd also worked in the U2 program in Japan. A smart Marine, he was curious about what life might be like in the USSR.

Allen had only partial or limited control over operations but had promised the moon, having seen regime change in Iran as proof of his superpowers.

The former OSS was never altogether sold on the idea of dominoes in Vietnam either, witness Daniel Ellsberg of RAND, a strong patriot who simply didn't buy the old guard's fading worldview.  Ditto Ralph McGeehee.

Trying to bully or intimidate these people, already skilled, doesn't always produce the intended results.

Eisenhower was under a lot of pressure after WWII to use the "nuclear advantage" for something meaningful.  The Devil's Chessboard chronicles how irresponsibly John Foster Dulles, as Secretary of State, blundered about on the world stage, confusing Tunisia with Indonesia while threatening everyone with nukes.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Armistice Day 2016


The theory or model put forward by the Armistice Day speakers today is pretty well spelled out in Addicted to War, a tome mom likes to distribute, used in some schools.

Outward war is obsolete given our present day technology, however many industrialists depend on heavy war spending to stay in business and adjudge the victims of war expendable collateral.

Madeline Albright is one of the champions of the "expendable collateral" view, having famously expressed her opinion that the mounting death toll in Mesopotamia had been "worth it" in terms of her own bottom line.  Whether infant mortality rates were really as high as she was told is a separate question.

Weapons systems need to be tested, and sometimes there's just no good substitute for real human subjects. Panama provided tests for the Apache helicopter.  Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan have become a playground for those who murder by bomb, drone and cruise missile.

One of our speakers invoked Einstein, known for his anti-nationalism.  Albert was asked to be Israel's first president however he wisely saw this as a trap in terms of his own personal integrity, even if his vanity was given a boost by the invite.  Besides, what would a theoretical physicist know about governing a country?

At the end of WWI, people were sick of war and agreed to end them. The Kellog-Briand Pact, ratified by the US, became the law of the land, as well as a basis for the Nuremberg Trials and the UN itself.  Quoting from Wikipedia:
As a practical matter, the Kellogg–Briand Pact did not live up to its aim of ending war, and in this sense it made no immediate contribution to international peace and proved to be ineffective in the years to come. Moreover, the pact erased the legal distinction between war and peace because the signatories, having renounced the use of war, began to wage wars without declaring them...
True enough, but why blame the treaty?

The signatories, in refusing to declare wars while continuing to engage in them, merely exhibited their lack of moral fiber.  It's not the fault of the treaty that its signatories are so inept and lacking in integrity.

The Power of Nightmares was a fine documentary in charting how wars could be kindled based on tensions between cultures. Politicians, as well as journalists, have learned that getting wars going may be a part of their job description, if they want continuing support from the munitions makers.

Whether a war is illegal or not is secondary to its ability to serve certain economic interests.

Smedley Butler, a decorated US soldier who defended FDR against the Business Plot, expressed his disgust with what I call Cowardly Capitalism in his short essay War is a Racket, oft quoted by the denizens of OPDX.

DSCF1261

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Wanderers 2016.11.9

DSCF1029

We're convened at the Linus Pauling house. I came in late and found the discussion was about municipal restrooms, public infrastructure, its state in our city.  That was something we looked at during OPDX as well, an ongoing issue.

Glenn bravely agreed to do a presentation, the morning after election night.  I expect we would have rehashed the electoral results had we not preprogrammed the discussion.  Glenn had a bag of books he's been reading and did a "reading rainbow" kind of thing.  The focus was public policy.

We're also talking about drugs and drug pushing.  The legals don't call their hype or advertising "pushing," a term used to differentiate themselves from the black or grey market competition, which they marginalize through criminalization.

Speaking of which, Proposition 64 passed in California.  Law enforcement doesn't see criminalization i.e. locking people up, as having anything to do with public health, because of course punishment for crimes is unrelated to providing remedies for social ills.

The military is a big user of drugs as well, with government approval and encouragement, also as a source of funds for "black ops" (unaccounted for, off the books). Warlords & Ganglands is a hot seller game in supermarkets this Christmas.  No wait, I made that up.

Glenn's commentary is somewhat along the lines of Michael Moore's Where To Invade Next? in that he's circling relatively more enlightened approaches in other countries that it might pay to adopt, Finland's in particular.

Direct A-to-B action, which always looks so rational and right, turns to unobtainium rather often, doesn't it? "Precession" is not big in most vocabularies (not even in my spellchecker -- now it is), along with "deliberately non-straight lines" -- two Buckyisms we pick up reading Synergetics (not a popularization of anything, so not really that popular).

The psychological commentaries by Maurice Nicoll seem pretty clear on a "second force" which is not equal and opposite (as then nothing would happen) but almost, with a resultant payoff or outcome. The payoff may not be what one expected though -- alluding to last night's election.  Nature tends to be surprising, the future unpredictable.

Nicoll's system is psychological though, not counter-posed to Newton's laws.  Synergetics actually paints action - reaction - resultant vectors into its low level event physics, somewhat a break with the past, and therefore more of an uphill project.  Anyway, something to think about.

I was thinking of heading to Th'underground today.  Measure 97 went down to defeat, despite our best efforts, but I haven't given up on #CodeCastle, a project relating to teacher training.  However Wednesdays feature a special schedule with shortened hours as I recall, given the space doubles as a food distribution site. Th'underground is a coffee shop in the #CodeCastle basement.

kirby_comics
:: political cartoon ::

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

A Next Project

Background Context

A next medium project I need to take up, but I'm not sure in what medium (so many media to choose from) will be directed towards Philosophy Space (also known as "Philosophy World").

Ludwig Wittgenstein's Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics (RFM) are annoying to many practicing mathematicians, because the tenor of his remarks do not reflect how they tend look at "foundations". Ludwig seems to turn them to slurry in some cases, undermining their eternal validity.

Similar annoyance is expressed towards another rank outsider businessman industrialist of the 20th Century, the guy who helped bring us the DEW line (see Cold War relics).  He purported to have a novel way of modeling multiplication in higher dimensions (like > 0).  What does that even mean?

Those who've familiarized themselves with LW's writings (sorry, I'm fine with initials, no hagiography need apply), come to see he's got some good points, worth sharing.  These days I'm coming to learn how much he mined the William James corpus for good examples of a philosopher really doing some thinking.

Likewise, the "Bucky stuff" is not just fluff, as the tetrahedron is indeed a topological simplex, so trying it on for size as a volume unit is hardly a radical idea in the rear view mirror.  What's radical is a vista wherein so few have thought to try said experiment, but then who's had the time or the inclination?  Now we've got it, and can kick it around.

Piling on these two annoyances, Wittgenstein's remarks and Fuller's fork in geometry, come the makers of "caltrop math" (non-violent despite associations twixt caltrops and acts of war).  The XYZ coordinate system has a new buddy, not saying I know the gender (of either really).  The IVM made by Bucky easily accommodates said "quadray coordinates" (pioneered after Synergetics was published).

Stay tuned as to medium.  In just getting this outline out there, I'm hoping to spark some more interest in the background materials.  Check Wikipedia and like that.

Think of it this way:  what would it be like to inject Quadray coordinates into Wittgenstein's remarks? The Bucky stuff is certainly like a Renaissance Neoplatonism.  These are science fiction moves, contrary to historical fact, designed to kindle new fires in some imaginations.  Not everyone is into philosophy obviously.  A positive outcome I would expect is a growing familiarity with some innovative ideas with practical applications.

Transcendentalist Readings

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Bagdad Meetup

I enjoyed a productive meetup with Nathaniel Bobbit at The Bagdad last night.  He's widely read, and in more than one language, having studied Heidegger in Spanish, Husserl too maybe.  He'd been married to a Spanish non-English speaker at one point.  He's looking at tackling Russian these days, an admirable challenge for a man in his early sixties (we're close to the same age, as I'm in my late fifties).

We talked about whether Bucky Fuller could be categorized as a "transcendentalist" or not.  The common wisdom is that school of thought was tied off a long time ago, to be succeeded by "pragmatism".  He clued me about The Metaphysical Club, a Pulitzer Prize winning book on the latter, by Louis Menand which I can get for my Kindle for under $10.

Actually, it's hard to get Fuller squeezed into any camp of philosopher, despite his mind-brain distinction and frequent used of "metaphysical" within his corpus, I think largely because he patented and built artifacts. Philosophers don't putter about with cars or domes, right?

Nat hadn't known about Fuller's meetup with Ezra Pound towards the end of the latter's long life, when he'd mostly given up making public appearances and was living in Italy.  Ezra first met Fuller in Spoleto and then attended his talks near Venice.  Some of these details appear in The Pound Era by Hugh Kenner, and in Humans in Universe by Anwar Dil.

Mr. Bobbit also clued me about the work of Patrick Hanks in corpus pattern analysis, wherein one uses computers to tease out how words are actually being used (usage patterns).  I recall a talk on Python's being used for that.  The "semantic web" was a different, though I'd argue related project.

I hadn't known of Edgar Allen Poe's invective against the transcendentalists of his day and understand how that'd lead to raised eyebrows around his Eureka: A Prose Poem — was he being satirical?  I'm guessing it was more a case of feeling he could do a better job.

E.J. Applewhite saw it as in the same ballpark as Fuller's Synergetics in two volumes (Macmillan) which had also threatened to become a prose poem if not properly shepherded.  Applewhite also compiled the four volume Synergetics Dictionary, a kind of corpus pattern analysis vis-à-vis the Fuller namespace.

Speaking of Python, I met someone at the Quaker meetinghouse who uses the teaching of science to teach English as a Second Language (ESL), and I asked her if computer programming were ever used in that way.  Object oriented thinking requires a kind of generic precision, a kind of grammar, based around the new punctuation of "dot notation".  We have these noun.verb() and noun.adjective forms, where nouns will have types, even ancestries.

ESL students tend to like the level playing field aspect, of all learning something new together.  The namespace keeps the English from wandering off into a tangle.  We have our attributes, properties, behavior, inner state.  We even have a 'self' in Python.  Of course other languages besides English could piggy-back on computer science, as a way to introduce themselves coherently.

I clued Nat about the Bubbles, Globes and Foam volumes, relatively new in English (translated from German).  Fuller is in the proper names index.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Identity Politics


How one deploys an identity makes a difference.  In identifying as Quaker, I go back to when Philadelphian Friends were somewhat upbeat about a utopia to come.

In the heady 1790s, some of the avatars of industrialization actually thought they could see light at the end of the tunnel, a way out of some Dickensian hell based in class warfare or whatever.

A company town really could be idyllic, not some battle ground twixt management and emergent unions.  Or maybe it's not a "company town" just a town where companies and its universities share a lot of values and resources.  They wouldn't be munitions makers.

Fast forward, and the Quakers' AFSC, like President Hoover (a Quaker), was resisting the allied blockade against Germany, pursued by Britain in 1915-1919.

Likewise, the Quakers resisted the economic sanctions against Iraq imposed by US State Department secretaries Madeline Albright and Condoleezza Rice.

The Nixon-Kissinger policies versus the Vietnamese were likewise cast as morally bankrupt and illegitimate.  Those of us in the liberal wing at least, welcomed Jane Fonda's visit to Hanoi.

But then US intelligencia has long decried Manifest Destiny syndrome and its craven craving for imperial powers.  Such craving is both the weak spot and the blind spot in the American psyche, as many historians will aver.

Any modeling of the USG on ancient Rome's imperial chapters, has never sat well with many who'd supported the American Revolution in principle, George Washington included.

A core goal of the latter was to get free of monarchs and their imperial designs.

Of course calling US policies "imperialist" always sounded kinda corny, the way those Commies talked.  That's until we got to reading the more serious histories and journalism and understood better how the shoe fit.

Anyway, I don't find it surprising that I think a lot like Mark Twain and William James when it comes to the Philippine-American war.  I lived in the Philippines long enough myself to do some thinking on this relationship.

These days I look at Puerto Rico, the lawsuit by the Marshall Islands against the nuclear powers (which the World Court decided not to hear), and the Ban Treaty, working its way through the UN General Assembly, and think this sort of non-violent defiance against nuke heads is very sane.