Filling in a missing part of a life story 1
This document is the slated to be part of a novel titled: Truth and Love (What is Truth? The search for Love) send for a copy doc file WhatIsTruth.doc Butler
What is Truth?
Before going to college at seventeen I had a summer job at JM Dain, the Minneapolis brokerage. My mother did family investments there as my dad was too busy in internal medicine keeping up with his readings of current medical literature. For all but one month of a family travelling vacation every year his intensity was so great that we jokingly called him “the absent father.” Wheelock Whitney was the leading broker at JMD and handled her occasional investments by phone. Whitney offered her a job for her son as a preparation for work in the real world before going to college. What it proved to be was an experience in “What is Truth?” Capital T. For a brokerage, “What is Truth?” turns out to be reconciling buys and sells at the end of the trading day. There were two of us. Each took half the daily transactions. In principle each could be asked to check the other’s work but this rarely if ever happened. At 3 PM the market closed as we got the day’s orders, buys and sells. We had to sort them separately on a sorting board, alphabetically by stock, once for buys, once for sells. Then we had to add the totals for each stock. The totals had to match for each. That was truth. If the match was off we had to redo the totals of each for the stock. At the end we had to repeat the buy and sell totals for each stock. If totals at the end of the day didn’t match we had to do each other's totals, and stay after work to find the error. The real trick in finding an error was that if there was an error in column x then the first place to look for an error was in row x because the x,x cell was for a particular stock. If it wasn't there then there had to be at least two errors that offset one another, something I don't think I ever found to be the case because it was so unlikely.
In my opinion, the brokerages still have this system in place, although computers do the double row-column reconciliation. This works because the numbers of shares are typically integer and prices are decimals to the penny. This does not always work for banks because decimals must be rounded. A computer thief can steal fractions of a penny and theft is not detected in the daily balances because they are rounded and nobody sees or investigates the discrepancies.
A very different ideal/idea of truth is given by DeChaney. He stated as the basis of post-9-11 military-political policy that in matters of nuclear risk, even a 1% or miniscule chance of a holocaust merited the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s country or any other that was on our enemy list (especially those whose oil resources will pay for the military expenses and return revenues to his country, although this justification was probably given primarily in officially secret meetings with the heads of oil companies).
My own experience with DeCheney’s Wyoming football team two years later was to be beaten up because I had asked an American Indian girl to dance one evening at a bar on the Colorado border in Jelm, Wyoming. Later, after being dragged outside and kicked repeated in the face and body for about 15 minutes by a dozen members of the team, I figured out that she was “their” girl. I have no idea whether DeCheney was one of those who put me in the hospital with stitches for facial lacerations but it was clear to me then and is clear now that DeCheney comes from a culture where the "law" is that of vengeance: an eye for an eye, although in this case while my eye was physically damaged I had only been “eyeing” and then dancing with "their" girl. Their retribution was over the top, with no warnings and no discussions just beatings until my friends Mike and Dorcy came outside the look for me (and took me to the hospital for stitches on the mouth and over the eye).
DeChaney and others in the combined military-industrial corporate world operate largely on the opposite principle of JMDain and the brokerages of the 1950s: any action is justified if it covers up (even totally and irrefutably) convergent information (‘truth’) about planetary environmental or health risks that are in conflict with c-m-i-c profits and interests. For DeChaney, bringing hundreds of trusted employees of EXXON (and perhaps other oil companies) into the U.S. government and executive offices to re-edit scientific documents about global climate change is a well-documented example.
What is the “truth” here about DeCheney? He comes from a culture that believes in retribution before the principles of justice under the law established centuries ago, he applied principles of retribution rather than those of justice to international policy, he knowingly violated the Geneva Convention of international law, his White House lawyers were ordered to justify breaking those legal principles and others, he was part of a policy of distorting the truth about the absence of Iraqi nuclear arms and violating the law about exposing Valerie Plame as a CIA agent, and he has no regrets a decade later about his illegal actions. If you add it all up from multiple perspectives his actions are rather consistently outside the law when he believes that he is right and others are wrong.
DeChaney's principle of lying when you have to in order to be sure to save something you love is easily the probable cause of the greatest world recession since 1929 matched by an incredulous boom in cheating, lying, distrust and conflict in many or most countries in the world, the end of the USA's engagement in international law, and for many people and politicians abroad, the end of international trust in the USA as a model of democracy and the violent distrust between the two parties.
In the spring and summer of my job as JM Dain, I had a bout with ‘truth’ in my life that reflected the double reconciliation principle. From the age of 15-17 I had a girl friend who kept breaking up with me and then somewhat hysterically wanting to reunite the next week. All kinds of reasons were given for why we should get together again after a breakup, and on a less-than-regular basis, we could no longer go on seeing each other according to her. Then that same JMD summer, a classmate and good friend of my best friend Bill, Eugenia Holtzman, reported to him, and him to me, and it was verified when I talked to her that Eugenia not only knew my girlfriend but knew her other boyfriend who unbeknownst to me came into town on occasional weekends. Finally I had an explanation for Lorelei’s behavior and I confronted her with this. Sitting in my dad’s car for hours on end, she denied everything. Hysterics and implausible stories came forward. It became rather obvious that new lies were being told, made up perhaps on the spot. She wanted to get married, asap, and there was no other boyfriend. I told her I never wanted to see her again and discussed all this with my father. We seemed to converge on pathological lying, involuntary perhaps, but clearly beyond her control. I went to college that fall. When I returned for the holidays, Lorelei called. She was “deeply in love” with me and would be true to me if we married, and wanted to do so asap. I said no, repeated what I had said that summer. Got off the phone and never met again with her. I learned two weeks later from Eugenia that she had just married a dentist. It fell into place that she was looking for status and income, which made partial sense given that her father was a postman in a small town.
In 1991, 32 years later, while living with Lilyan and Scott in Bonn, Germany, I received a long-distance call from Lorelei, asking if I wanted to get together with her again. She was no longer married. I'm pretty sure she did love me (or love-hate) all along but no matter if she couldn't bring herself to tell the truth when confronted with double reconciliation.