THE EARTHIAN ­       –         1

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,, June 15, 2018


Or So It Seems to Me Today

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher


I’ve decided to change the name of the Effective Learning Digest to The Earthian, to project a clearer message regarding purposes I intend to pursue publishing this Internet blog given the time on Earth I have left at age seventy-seven.

It seems to me the name Effective Learning Digest more or less implies you should learn new things just for the hell of it to maybe make yourself feel good or be a little more able to deal with problems and opportunities in your own daily life.

I have used the word Earthian for many years, since encountering it back in the 1970s in Buckminster Fuller’s great little book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, one of the most influential books I ever read. Apparently Fuller invented the word Earthian, and the appellation Spaceship Earth, implying Earth is something that has to be maintained by humans monitoring regular interdependent scientific processes in the infinity of airless time and space, by keeping trees and other plants emitting oxygen that humans breathe, humans that emit carbon dioxide that plants ingest, to make more oxygen in perpetual motion closed systems. Such production systems have to be kept in synchronous interdependent regularities, requiring not cutting down and burning up too many trees, and not putting too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere burning fossil fuels, otherwise serious trouble can happen, as most humans should know given what they have been exposed to in various media about global warming.

 What is an Earthian? The term applies mostly to humans aboard Spaceship Earth, aka planet Earth; but it includes more than humans: it includes all sentient species of fauna and flora aboard Spaceship Earth.

In other words, the purpose of The Earthian is to preserve all species aboard Spaceship Earth, not just right wing or left wing political humans living in the United States, or in any other country. The purpose is not to just cause humans to learn something just for the sake of learning it, something that might make their personal lives a little better, but to learn something that might make smoother sailing for Spaceship Earth.

The purpose is to learn something that might preserve life for all creatures large and small living aboard Spaceship Earth in any country or political entity.

I can’t keep from thinking there is a resemblance between President Trump in the White House and the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, especially since his performance discussing tariffs at the last G7 meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada June 8-9, the 44th such meeting, where he pissed off every good ally of the US with his rude crude boorish off-the-wall comments and threats. Seems about the only international friends he has left are Kim Jong Un, Netanyahu, and the new King of Saudi Arabia. There is no way to predict what he might say or do at any given moment.

Not long ago Trump blurted out in a cabinet meeting in his White House, “Where are my tariffs? Get me some tariffs,” like an impetuous king demanding some sort of favorite food or candy, and by golly his underlings got him some tariffs, apparently a lot of them, enough to set off a trade war. Another US president who liked tariffs was Herbert Hoover before the Great Depression started, who also raised interest rates. The US Federal Reserve is now raising interest rates. Let’s hope the Mad Hatter does not bring on another great depression with his impetuous demands. The Great Recession of 2008 we are now supposedly out of was bad enough.

According to mainstream media the US economy is now in fabulous shape, thanks to the Mad Hatter, with unemployment, counting only unemployed people looking for jobs, of only 3.8 percent and economic growth of about four percent, with about two percent inflation. Unfortunately counting all people of working age not in the work force, counting unemployed people who have given up on finding a job, no longer looking for a job, unemployment in the US is about twenty percent, and the four percent economic growth number counts a lot of jobs that do not pay a living wage and a lot of jobs that do not produce anything real, such as the reported profit increases of too big to fail banks, apartment rents, gambling profits, and what have you; and inflation may be as high as ten percent when you count price increases in drugs and medicine, education, food, and other things.

Hopefully the Mad Hatter and his buddy Mad Dog Mattis in the White House will not impulsively decide one day the way to get the US out of its depression and make it great again is to start World War III, since WWII worked for getting the US out of the Great Depression started in the Republican Hoover administration in 1929 with a trade war because during the Democratic Roosevelt administration in the 1940s WWII created lots of new real jobs in factories making tanks, airplanes, bombs and such in massive quantities, and because the US had relatively little debt at the time.

There is no telling what will happen if Trump starts WWIII with the US down its Alice in Wonderland financial rabbit hole, with over 21 trillion dollars in debt already piled up, most of it coming from real money, not funny money created out of thin air by simply punching digits in computers at the Federal Reserve and calling the resulting numbers money, which is used to “buy” US treasury bonds creating spending money for the US federal government to pay its worldwide standing army, navy, air force, and its military hardware manufacturers — and its obligation to the US Social Security Trust Fund for money it borrowed from the SS Trust Fund, over three trillion dollars, SS surpluses generated through decades caused by SS cash inflows paid by citizens making their FICA payments for their social insurance system exceeding outflows remitted to SS insurance beneficiaries. Unfortunately SS cash outflows to beneficiaries now exceed inflows from FICA contributions, but it will take a long time for the federal government to pay back with yearly payments what it owes US citizens who produced the SS surplus with FICA payments deducted from their paychecks, paying back what the SS Trust Fund loaned the federal government, which was thought necessary by politicians to balance the federal government’s total cash inflows (composed of real money tax receipts, borrowed real money, and borrowed funny money from the Fed) and cash outflows (mainly military cash needs and social security Trust Fund loan payments).

In the short run there is no danger the federal government cannot balance its budget: if worst comes to worse it can just keep on having the Fed punch more funny money digits into its computers and use the resulting numbers to buy more treasury bonds from the federal government, presto, producing money in treasury accounts for the US to pay for its standing worldwide military machine, and what have you, manna from heaven you might say. Unfortunately if the US keeps making funny money for too long, making too much of the stuff, eventually interest payments on the debt will become absurdly large and the debt itself will become absurdly large, so large that hyperinflation will ignite in the economy at large, causing financial hell on Earth.

What’s the chance the US would default on or repudiate its debt in WWIII? Pretty high I would say. What sort of chaos, anguish, and suffering would that cause for citizens with savings and pension plans? Would all intangible assets, including so-called money, become worthless? It’s happened before in collapsed countries.

And then there’s the suffering, tragedy, and chaos of the millions of people dislocated, killed and crippled—and the property and cultural treasures reduced to rubble—in countries in which soldiers invaded and on which bombs dropped, likely including people living in the US the next time around.

According to the US Congressional Budget Office the federal budget deficit was $600 billion during the first half of 2018. Forget about Trump’s tax cuts eliminating the deficit through trickle-down voodoo economics, like he said they would. Cutting the corporate tax rate from thirty percent to twenty percent will cause the rate of increase in the federal debt to increase, not go away, like he said it would. It will enrich the rich and make things tougher for everyone else.

This sort of risky and precarious financial behavior is not confined to the US and its Federal Reserve System. The central banks of China, Japan, the European Union, and England are essentially doing the same thing. Thus Spaceship Earth is awash in debt that will never be paid back, and central bankers, like Odysseus lost at sea, are attempting to sail a course between two siren-calling monsters:  the Charybdis of runaway inflation and the Scylla of extreme morbid deflation, attempting to give their populations hope and some additional prosperity by creating enough funny money to cause some economic growth without igniting hyperinflation, while at the same time not failing to create enough funny money to prevent extreme illiquidity, morbid deflation, maximum unemployment, and a maximum collapse of aggregate demand, causing the worst of depressions, under capitalism.

As I point out in “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” the long run solution in my opinion entails getting Earthians off the treadmill of pursuing constant economic growth that ruins the ecology of Spaceship Earth by reducing the human population through peaceful attrition, natural human deaths exceeding natural births, causing more prosperity and economic security for individuals by dividing a shrinking global economic pie by an Earthian human population that shrinks even more, thereby causing natural Spaceship Earth ecological processes to improve enough to eliminate the possible fatal consequences of global warming. It’s better to do it via natural peaceful attrition than World War III.

Economic, religious, military, and political affairs aboard Spaceship Earth seem to be worsening, especially now in Yemen, the most poignant hellhole on Earth at present; and here we are stuck with this Mad Hatter-like president only caring about himself and his right wing voters, most of whom having no idea what is really going on, wildly stirring the global political pot any way he can to get personal attention, while the US aids and abets the Saudi attack on the helpless Yemenis.

As usual in the Effective Learning Digest, now named The Earthian, this month’s issue links and cites recent articles written and published by clear deep thinking hard hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on current ecological, economic, and political affairs around Spaceship Earth. I included an article, not the clearest and deepest in this issue by any stretch, I recently wrote and published in the Effective Learning Report titled “De-Gaming And Saving Democracy,” in which I point out democracy is waning in the Western World and capitalism has failed to satisfy a majority of citizens. I proposed in the article a democratic way to rejuvenate democracy. The upshot of the article is that the fate of Spaceship Earth depends on people like you. We need your help. Read the article and set up a De-Gaming Democracy group in your community.

This The Earthian issue includes an interesting article by Effective Learning Report colleague Courtenay Barnett titled “Defaming the World’s Fastest Human,” and an article by a new ELR colleague Joyce Wilson titled “Something to do in the summertime.”



June 15, 2018

Here is my latest article in the Effective Learning Report.

SOURCE: “De-Gaming and Saving Democracy,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


June 14

Yemen: possibly the worst current tragedy aboard Spaceship Earth

SOURCE: “With Explicit US Backing, Saudi Attack on Yemen’s Humanitarian Lifeline Begins,” by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, TRUTHOUT.ORG,


June 14

As usual when a government in South America does not do what the US deep state wants send in the CIA and get rid of it. To heck with what their own people want.

SOURCE: “Media scoundrels urge coup d’etat in Venezuela,” by Stephen Landman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


June 13

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “Predatory Gambling in the USA,” by Russell Mokhiber, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


June 13

Here is another sermon by international lawyer Courtenay Barnett on problems meting out justice for Olympics athletes.

SOURCE: “Defaming the World’s Fastest Human,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


June 13

Enterprising ideas for educators by Joyce Wilson a new ELR colleague

SOURCE: “5 Ways Teachers Can Make Summer Side Gigs Last Through the School Year,” by Joyce Wilson, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


June 13

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

SOURCE: “Antarctica Is Melting Three Times as Fast as a Decade Ago: The continent’s rate of ice loss is speeding up, which is contributing even more to rising sea levels,” by Kendra Pierre-Louis, NYTIMES.COM,


June 13

Can you believe this?

SOURCE: “No Coke, no Pepsi: Bottlers leave Mexico city hit by crime,” by Mark Stevenson, YAHOO.COM,


June 13

And we thought democracy was in sad shape here in the US.

SOURCE: “113 Politicians Have Been Killed Ahead of Mexcio’s Election. There Are Still Two Weeks To Go,” by Karla Zabludovsky, BUZZFEED.COM,


June 13

We’ve got more complexes than I knew we had.

SOURCE: “’If only We’d Listened to Ike…’ – Inside The Deep State,” by Kevin Paul, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


June 13

Trump thinks he is more powerful than kings were after Magna Carta was signed in 1215.

SOURCE: “There is no ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card for the president,” by John W. Whitehad, INTREPID REPORT.COM,


June 12

Repug administrations have tried to ruin just about everything for we the people, and this is the next step. Do what you can to make sure the House of Reps goes along with the Senate and overrules the corrupt bums in the Trump admin on net neutrality.

SOURCE: “Net neutrality ends, battle to save it continues,” by Stephen Landman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


June 12

This is a very sad commentary on Spaceship Earth’s political and economic system. See my 2013 article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” at   for a better perspective.

SOURCE: “The War of Hunger That Afflicts the World’s Poor,” by Vijay Prashad, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


June 12

This article provides new insight into the root causes of political troubles. Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “American Rage,” by William Hawes, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


June 5

Here are some videos created by my longtime friend William John Cox. Wm says he is getting tired of writing books and articles and just wants to talk about what is on his mind in the morning. Well worth a listen.

SOURCE: “Somethings Can’t be Said in 280 Characters: William John Cox discusses our Rights of Liberty and Consent…” YOUTUBE.COM,


June 5

This article is about as pessimistic as it gets, but it’s worth a read.

SOURCE: “Very little or no hope,” by Missy Comley Beattie, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


June 5

Here’s another hard hitting truthful article by Paul Craig Roberts.

SOURCE: “Democracy is fighting to survive the rise of Western authoritarianism,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


June 4

Here’s another great article by Courtenay Barnett.

SOURCE: “Sermon – reflections on war.” By Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


June 3

Somewhat similar to what Israel is now doing to the Palestinians.

SOURCE: “How the Nez Perce were kicked off their land and never allowed to return, despite repeated promises,” by Meteor Blades, DAILYKOS.COM,


June 3

Here is another article explaining principles, procedures, problems, and opportunities posed by educators using a Classroom De-Gamer in teaching and learning situations.

SOURCE: “The Classroom De-Gamer,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


June 3

Here is another relevant article by ELR colleague Courtenay Barnett on his efforts to instantiate Free Child Caribbean ego state energy and culture into his Critical Parent London culture during the 1970s.

For more on what it is to instantiate ego states read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at…/…/0692584331.

We now desperately need to instantiate more Free Child ego state energy into US culture to combat creeping fascism and the bowling alone phenomenon.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, June 3, 2018.

SOURCE: “Sermon – My Civilizing Mission,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


June 1

Very sad it’s come to this.

Has the NFL also outlawed Tebow’s kind of kneeling on the field?

Kaepernick had a good cause but one unfortunately outlawed by the NFL because it hurt its bottom profit line.

Consequently Kaepernick has been persecuted, and he can no longer find a job playing pro football, despite his considerable competitive skills as a quarterback, having been blacklisted by owners of teams in the NFL.

What was the big deal in the first place about his kneeling instead of standing for the national anthem?

Kaepernick courageously refused to pretend to cathect his Adapted Child ego state in a ritual designed to force obedience to and reverence for the militaristic powers of the US.

For more on what an Adapted Child ego state is read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at…/…/0692584331.

SOURCE: “Colin Kaepernick vs. Tim Bebow: A Tale of two Christians on their knees,” by Michael Frost, WASHINGTONPOST.COM,


June 1

Well, here it is folks. The US govt admits it uses fake news to manipulate its own people. It’s no wonder mainstream media is saturated with fake news.

SOURCE: “The Council On Foreign Relations Says Domestic Propaganda is Necessary,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


June 1

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “Taxpayer-funded mercenaries serving both U.S. & foreign aristocracies,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


May 31

Here is an egregious example of the media letting us know in the last few days that over four thousand people died in Puerto Rico in the last hurricane there, September 20, 2017, not less than one hundred as we were told up until the last few days. How is it news like this can be suppressed this long? To quote that intellectual paragon Bush II, the stupidist president of US history, this was a heckuva job investigating and reporting (ie, ignoring and suppressing) by media reporters and publishers for eight months, no doubt as instructed by the current lying US federal administration.

SOURCE: “May You Live in Stupid, Corrupt and yet Fascinating Times,” by Michael Krieger, LIBERTYBLITZKRIEG.COM,


May 31

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “The can-do people of America have forfeited thinking to the Corporatocracy who have colonized them,” by Denis A. Conroy, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


May 31

Positive evolutions and gruesome machinations in the electric power industry.

SOURCE: “Trump has plenty of accomplices in his reckless energy policies,” by Harvey Wasserman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


May 30

Another great article by Ellen Brown who knows more about money and banking than almost anyone.

SOURCE: “Blackstone, BlackRock or a public bank?” by Ellen Brown, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


May 30

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “I Pledge Allegiance to the United States of Sociopathy,” by Elizabeth Keyes, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 30

Repugs have about ruined everything.

SOURCE: “Blue Cross Blue Shield exec blames Republican obstruction of Obamacare for rising premiums,” by Wagatwe Wanjuki, DAILYKOS.COM,


May 30

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “Making Sense of America’s Empire of Chaos,” by Tyler Durden, via, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


May 29

The following chart at least helps.

SOURCE: “US Foreign Policy Explained: David Sylvan and Stephen Majeski reveal the imperial logic behind US diplomatic and military interventions around the globe…” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


May 29

Not much of a surprise here.

SOURCE: “Pharma paid and Trump delivered,” by Martha Rosenberg, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


May 29

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a big mistake.

SOURCE: “Europe and the US: Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation,” by Gary Leupp, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 28

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “The Cost of War at the End of Empire: It’s a lethal machine to exstract profit,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT.ORG,


May 27

A fine kettle of fish. Here we have this beautiful military as Madelyn Albright called it, the most powerful military force in history to protect and expand the US empire, and yet it cannot win any wars. The Romans used to just crucify large numbers of people and leave them alive, their cries and moans audible for all to hear, nailed hanging on crosses on roads leading into towns to cow local populations into submission; but nothing the US military does now with all its airplanes and bombs cannot cow any enemy into submission. Somebody started the war on terror by knocking down the World Trade Towers supposedly with hijacked airplanes that cost about four hundred thousand dollars, but the US military after spending some five to seven trillion dollars cannot end it. Absurdity of absurdities.

SOURCE: “The United States is a Force for Chaos Across the Planet: The US’s endless war has resulted in endless failures,” by Mark Karlin, TRUTHOUT.ORG,


May 27

Capitalism run amok, proving it does not work for most people.

SOURCE: “When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers,” by Sarah Anderson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 27

A sad commentary on human nature and life, replete with tragedies, and joys, indiscriminately distributed among the lot, inevitably and accidentally caused, a tale of human lives prematurely ended en masse.

SOURCE: “You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People,” by Robert Fisk, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 27

Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows, because nobody knows what will cause what in international affairs; but here is a man who knows more than almost anyone else.

SOURCE: “Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump and the ‘Me First’ Doctrine,” by C.J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT.ORG,


May 27

Not the country I thought I was born in.

SOURCE: “With Haspel Sworn in as CIA Director, Let’s Stop Pretending That Her Atrocitie4s Run Counter to American Values,” by Maha Hilal, TRUTHOUT.ORG,


May 22

Wish it weren’t so, but it probably is, sad, inevitable, stupid. The human world has always been an unfair screwed-up place, and things are coming to a head. How long it will take for the collapse to happen is another matter. Nobody knows.

SOURCE: “The Coming Collapse,” by Chris Hedges, COMMONDREAMS.ORG,


May 21

You don’t say?

SOURCE: “Fake News No Problem: Internet Totally Dominates Advertising in the US. Only 2 Companies Divvy up nearly 60% of the Spoils,” by Wolf Richter, WOLFSTREET.COM,


May 21

Well said.  No, it’s about a lot more than guns, primarily males who fell through the cracks developmentally caused by not being able to learn how to relate to people in general caused by the social environments in which they accidentally or inevitably had to live as children.

SOURCE: “You Think It’s All About Guns?” by James Howard Kunstler, KUNSTLER.COM,


May 21

Another article on the changing of human consciousness.

SOURCE: “The Friendly Mask Of The Orwellian Oligarchy is Slipping Off,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM.COM,


May 21

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “An Extreme Climate Forces Extreme Measures as Worst-Case Predictions Are Realized,” by Dahr Jamail, TRUTHOUT.ORG,


May 21

Another sermon by Courtenay Barnett on a bad mistake.

SOURCE: “Sermon – East Jerusalem: A capital provocation,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


May 10

… and all those one tenth of one percent richest people earned all their money by doing honest hard work with their minds and hands, don’t you know, and there’s no reason for them to give you any of it, especially by paying higher tax rates than poor people … and now it’s time to go seepy-seep, and put your pretty little head on your pillow, and don’t you worry about a thing …

SOURCE: “The American Dream is Dead: The top 0.1% owns as many assets as the bottom 90%,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


Feel free to forward, share, print, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this issue of The Earthian any way you see fit.  RJS




























Br’er Trump Burrowed Up In His White House Briar Patch

By Richard John Stapleton

What connection does Donald Trump have with Br’er Rabbit in Joel Harris’s Uncle Remus folktale about a rabbit that tricked a fox into throwing him in a briar patch?

Trump said he really didn’t want to be president. Running for president was just another Game he was playing to get structure, recognition, and stimulation, and to make more money. He thought the free publicity he would receive from complicit mainstream media running for president would more than pay for whatever he had to pay in his own money to run, causing the sales of his various “brands” to increase—selling and renting hotel rooms, rounds of golf, apartments, condos, office space, retail space, steaks, wine, beauty pageants, reality TV shows, college courses, books, casino gambling, and what have you.

Br’er Rabbit got caught in a tar pit and got so much tar stuck to him that he couldn’t run fast enough to escape a fox that caught him and wanted to eat him for supper. Knowing his situation was dire the rabbit pleaded with the fox to do whatever he wanted to do with him, “except please do not throw me in that briar patch over yonder.” After listening to several alternative punishments suggested by the rabbit other than throwing him in the briar patch the fox decided throwing the rabbit in the briar patch might be an interesting thing to do, so he threw the rabbit in the briar patch just to see what would happen. The rabbit licked the tar off him in the briar patch and escaped, making a fool of the fox. Adding insult to injury, Br’er Rabbit taunted the fox as he merrily ran away, letting him know he had been born and raised in a briar patch.

Not only did Trump say he didn’t want to win the presidency, he said he didn’t think he had a chance of winning; and reports are he and his wife were initially distraught when he did win, even shedding tears, crocodile tears perhaps. Unfortunately for Trump, assuming this story is true, he over-estimated his Republican opponents in the primaries; and after he won the Repub nomination, a smart rich hedge fund fox, Robert Mercer, decided he wanted to see what would happen if Trump won the general election, so he shelled out big money and helped craft a winning strategy for his campaign, thereby throwing Trump in the briar patch.

“Winning” the general election showed reverse psychology can work assuming Trump really did want to be president; or his original plan and scheme failed, if he truly did not want to be president of the US. Regardless, he is now burrowed up in a political briar patch in the White House, having been thrown in there by oligarchs and his voters. It remains to be seen whether Trump can escape his briar patch to merrily live happily ever after, as the rabbit presumably did in Uncle Remus’s folktale.

Although Trump appeared shocked and dismayed at first because of winning the general election, after giving his “victory” more thought, the story goes, he decided it must have been a good thing for him to win or it would not have happened, proving he really was special, so he decided to get on with the job in a manly forthright way, switching on the Drama Triangle from the Victim position to the Rescuer position.

Trump would have looked foolish indeed if, after winning the general election, he had said something like, “Look, guys, I was just kiddin’ about wantin’ to be president. I just ran for the fun of it. I was just foolin’ around. I’m not gonna do it. You gotta find somebody else.”

In any case, alas, it now appears Trump must have decided he likes being president for some reason, since he has hired a campaign manager for the 2020 election, implying he wants to “win” a second term.

Trump’s story about his election experience and Uncle Remus’s story about a rabbit thrown in a briar patch are not fully analogous, but there are some interesting parallels, one of the most salient being that neither the rabbit nor Trump could be believed about not wanting to be thrown in the briar patch.

Some Red State evangelical religious folks said after he won the election they thought Trump was chosen through some sort of divine intervention, and decided he would help them promote their religious brands. The current Catholic Pope who is fine with Trump recently blurted out to a reporter in a private conversation that hell does not exist, which the reporter reported in a mainstream medium, which was quickly denied by lawyers in the Vatican who know the Catholic religion needs hell to sell their brand of religion to sinners. What better promoter of sinning and possibly going to hell could evangelicals and Catholics find than Donald Trump as president to promote their brands?

President Jimmy Carter, by far the least sinful of US presidents of my lifetime, who was not very popular with a lot of religious folks in Red States when he left office after one term, recently appeared on a late night mainstream TV show hosted by Stephen Colbert where he said he was praying for Trump and he hoped he would do a good job.

It’s hard to know what doing a good job is as a US president. Most people probably consider doing a good job as a US president to be taking actions and working for and signing rules, legislation, and laws that will make them better off at someone else’s expense, which is not exactly Christian-like. On the other hand, US presidents are supposed to entertain people and make them feel good about themselves, which is why most US presidents have movie-star looks with good teeth and nice smiles, and can memorize humorous lines in speeches, or at least read lines from teleprompters with effective emotional body language. Probably the more sinful presidents are the more entertaining they are for most viewers. Who wants a boring president who is only concerned about justice, reality, fairness, productivity, paying bills on time, and that sort of thing? That would be worse than having a boring teacher in school.

A good leader of a good organization according to organizational behavior educators such as I is a person that causes an organization to do what the sign on the door says, whether it says building houses, growing food, selling clothes, educating people, curing the sick, enforcing laws, creating good laws, or protecting people from miscreants and criminals. Organizations can either do the work they were supposed to do or play Games, that is engage in entropic activities that waste the potential productive energy of the organization for doing what the sign on the door says they’re supposed to do. The US government has been wasting an incredible amount of time, energy, and money playing Games since Trump got elected, probably more than most administrations, dealing with scandals, investigations, making paybacks to supporters, stupid wars (Trump’s words), and budgets.

According to sayings among members of the International Transactional Analysis Association back in the 1970’s there are five deadly organizational sins—money, power, righteousness, smarts, and sex.  This may sound a bit counter-intuitive since all these things but sex are required for an organization to succeed in external markets; but if any of the sins are applied in excess internally by participants they will sub-optimal organizational performance.  If all organizational participants care about is their personal money received from the organization, they will not focus as well as they might on the organization doing what the sign on the door says.  If all  participants care about is their personal power in the organization, the organization will be less successful than it otherwise would have been.  If all organizational participants are concerned about is proving how smart they are the organization will not be as successful as it would have been.  If all participants care about is proving how right their ideologies are the organization will not be as successful as it would have been.  And if all organizational participants care about is proving how sexually functional they are obviously the organization will be less successful than it would have been, in competition with other organizations.

To maximize organization performance good leaders cause internal participants to focus on doing what the sign on the organization’s door says it is supposed to do, rather than play their individual Games.

In this light, all organizations are somewhat sinful, but some are worse than others.  The US government is unquestionably a world leader in light of the five deadly organizational sins, which are often considered job requirements for participants, especially presidents and their close advisers.

There is no way a president of the US can please everyone. According to recent surveys, despite his past sins coming home to haunt him, e.g., Stormy Daniel, or perhaps because of them, Trump is now pleasing from thirty to fifty percent of the US electorate, possibly the most sinful segment of the population.

Unfortunately, sins, as most preachers, priests, and people commonly consider sinning—adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, and the like—are now job requirements for a president of the US, with the possible exception of adultery. Presidents have to lie by keeping state secrets secret; they have to murder by ordering drone strikes and bombings; they have to steal from other countries by erecting tariffs against them and sometimes bombing them to steal their resources. Loving his neighboring countries as he loves his own would be considered insane and traitorous in a US president.

Trump may have been better qualified for being president than most past presidents were, with one possible deficiency. I have yet to read an article in any supposed information medium alleging Trump had someone whacked or rubbed out by a mafia-style hit man to cover up his sins and crimes, which is not the case with Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. But, Trump is fully qualified to legally steal for the US as evidenced by his bankruptcies he has bragged about, enabling him to walk away with bundles of cash in his bank account, with creditors left holding an empty bag. He is also very good at legally stealing by avoiding taxes, and not paying his bills, which he said proves he’s smart, maybe even a stable genius. For sure he has not loved his neighbor as himself, being a firm believer in always putting himself first. Stuff like adultery is chump change to him. He has said most people are too moral to make any money.

Most people would readily agree a good US president should want to make the US money at the expense of other nations. This is almost guaranteed with Trump, since he can make money for his Trump Organization as he enriches the US.

I think Trump is probably one of the most experienced and skillful psychological Game players we have had as a US president. Psychological Games have various outcomes in which people win and lose, not merely money, but self-esteem, power, and high positions. Born with money, high self-esteem, and a high social position in his environment, Trump does not know what it is not to have these things. How much money he has actually made with his own intelligence after the fortune he inherited is adjusted for inflation is debatable, since he refuses to publish financial statements or tax returns; but, to his credit, he has not yet lost it all. Evidently his supporters think he is a real winner, financially, and presumably in other ways.

No doubt about it, Trump is a good NIGYSOB player, Now I’ve Got You, You SOB, a one-upmanship Game. He knows how to get in one-up positions relative to people around him, I’m OK—You’re Not (or less) OK, having had much experience playing the Game all his life. As he has demonstrated in the White House, all a person in his position has to do to win a NIGYSOB Game is fire anyone who will not at least pretend they think he is superior. People like Rex Tillerson, no matter how superior they may actually be as managers, almost never can call a boss like Trump a f*****g moron and get a way with it. Trump has by now fired several people close to him who were unwilling or unable to act as if he is superior. Robert Mueller and his congressional inquisition team may be Trump’s only remaining serious antagonist. Whether Trump NIGYSOBs Mueller before Mueller decides to indict him or not remains to be seen.

Psychological Game-players act out Rescuer, Persecutor, and Victim roles. Trump was elected as a Rescuer of his supporters and as a Persecutor of their scapegoat Victims, emigrants primarily, necessitating constructing a Great Wall between the US and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out, but also including of course Trump’s supporters’ heinous Persecutor internal antagonists and scapegoats—those abominable liberals—plus all foreign countries who would dare compete economically against the morally pristine always-right US, playing the most common political psychological Game of all, If It Weren’t for You, in which people assert everything about the US would be just hunky dory if only it weren’t for Demos or Repubs, or that idiot Trump in the White House, or Obama, or whoever, or Iran, or Russia, or North Korea, or China, or whatever.

Unfortunately the US has never been fully OK and has steadily become less OK for decades regardless of who was President or which party was in power, although I must say it does seem to me the Repubs during their terms caused the US to become less OK at a faster rate than the Demos.

To his credit or discredit, Trump has tried to get that wall constructed for his voters, however foolhardy it might be. He has also tried to please his voters in the Rust Belt by starting a trade war for them, however insane it might be for everyone else. He has also repaid his rich donors by signing a new tax cut bill and the largest military budget increase in history. Yesterday he decided to send the military down to the US southern border to keep Central Americans out of the US, who were marching through Mexico in caravans with intentions to enter the US, since he had not been able to get his wall built in time to stop them.

Where he is having the most trouble Making America Great Again is dealing with the US military. During his presidential campaign he promised to Rescue peace lovers, by getting the US out of stupid wars (Trump’s words), the worst sort of briar patch to be thrown into, by stopping fighting unnecessary wars against nations not posing a military threat to the security of the US, unlike what he said Crooked Hillary would do, as seemed likely to me. In the interests of full disclosure I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party.

After getting elected Trump promptly forgot about that promised reduction in military activity after getting confronted face to face by the deep state, the US military-industrial-intelligence protection racket, the largest Game-playing Persecutor and Rescuer on Earth, that needs wars to keep its cash flow flowing and meet its payroll, that not only starts wars but destroys nations because they posed an economic threat to the US. Shortly after the confrontation Trump began Tweeting messages from the Persecutor Game role to various possible external enemies, threatening to wipe them off the face of the Earth so to speak if they did not do what he said, since he was commander in chief of the most powerful fighting force on Earth and he would not put up with any s**t from any foreign country.

But here lately he seems to have changed his Tweeting tune about using the US military to enforce his will, switching from Persecutor to Rescuer on the Drama Triangle in a few cases. He has now apparently become a buddy of Kim Jung-un of North Korea, having planned a trip to go see him; he has maintained his friendship with Vladimir Putin of Russia; and, all of a sudden, a few days ago, he Tweeted that the US will be getting out of Syria very soon, ISIS or no ISIS.

Let’s You and Them Fight is a common psychological Game played by people who like to start fights for others to fight but who do not like to fight them up close and personal themselves, including most US presidents, politicians, and military planners and plotters. Such Games are played to alleviate boredom, and to gain money and power; and Trump is probably pretty good at it, having played Let’s You and Them Fight most of his life within his Trump Organization dealing with departmental conflicts, and externally doing battle with competing organizations to steal and protect business and market share.

Psychological Games vary in terms of hardness. First degree Games involve mainly insults, tricks, discounts, threats, and humiliations, such as those used by Br’er Rabbit; second degree Games involve shouting, yelling, threatening, and serious insults; third degree Games, sometimes called tissue-tearing Games, entail consequences such as going broke, or getting fired, divorced, sued, or being put in a jail, hospital or morgue. All psychological Games entail deceiving, belittling, or “discounting” the worth and right to exist of the opponent, or “mark”.

By various accounts first and second degree Games are omnipresent in the Trump White House. On the other hand, it’s possible Trump can’t abide third degree tissue-tearing Let’s You and Them Fight Games that entail killing masses of people and causing widespread wanton destruction of property and treasure in foreign countries. Let’s hope so. It seems he is attracted to and enjoys pretty people and buildings more than most people, especially big tall pretty ones with his name on them, so he might be less inclined to destroy buildings and people with bombs in foreign countries than most presidents.

Disagreeing with what President Jimmy Carter told Stephen Colbert, I don’t think praying for Trump will do any good, since most people Trump’s age are set in their ways. It seems to me we the people are currently at the mercy of his life script and the scripts of people he hires and doesn’t fire that he personally communicates with making decisions. On the bright side, it does seem to me there is some evidence his life script is not as anti-social as it appeared to be when he first came on stage as a possible new dear leader of the US.

The briar patch Trump is now burrowed up in is probably stickier and thornier than he ever dreamed it would be. I don’t know how he stands it, just knowing about the possible consequences of decisions and actions coming across his desk every day, especially knowing more than anyone else what the US deep state is doing to people all around Spaceship Earth.  The last time a US president seriously played Games with the deep state, John F. Kennedy, he got assassinated in a third degree NIGYSOB Game, involving covert operators in the deep state. Barack Obama said he didn’t want to wind up like John F. Kennedy. He cooperated with the deep state, and he merrily vacated the White House briar patch after eight years unscathed.

Who knows what sort of tar pit Trump fell into doing business before he got thrown into his White House briar patch. Most people would never think of Donald John Trump as a psychological Victim, but in some ways he is, like most of us. Most likely he won’t seriously try to reduce the cash inflows and power of the deep state, having already given them the biggest military spending increase in history, as his protection racket payment; but it seems to me there is some chance he might reduce military attacks as the so-called commander in chief of the military more than most presidents, letting the chips fall where they may, at least trying to do the right thing for most people in some ways—trying to do some of what he said he wanted to do when he was running for office—get the US out of stupid wars, create new infrastructure at home, and rationally interact with other countries around Spaceship Earth. He could even decide to become a martyr, at age seventy-plus, if necessary script messages were automatically absorbed into his life script before he was eight years old, that are now stored somewhere in his brain cells, that might get cathected.

What’s the probability this might happen? I have no idea, but it’s not very high. Regardless, we can always hope for the best.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus professor of organizational behavior and business policy and a certified transactional analyst, who writes on business and politics at He is the author of Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at

Please forward, share, publish, print, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this article any way you see fit.  Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,








Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated

By Richard John Stapleton  

I argued in my article “Moving Farther West to Escape Problems at Home is No Longer an Option,” published August 29, 2013 in the Intrepid Report, that capitalism and most religions are now almost obsolete; and, given the advent of modern computers, computer programmers, computer software and the Internet, it is now technologically feasible to construct a new economic system vastly more efficient, effective and fair than what now exists on Earth.

Reading Buckminster Fuller’s great little book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) back in the 1970s stimulated some of these ideas. He was the first person I read to suggest computers are the best hope for human survival on Earth, that humans should never do work that machines can do better, and that unemployment can be eliminated overnight by governments issuing mind grants to all citizens, paying them to think.

Progressives now argue something must be done about poorly regulated quasi-obsolete economic systems, religious systems, legal systems, and production and distribution systems that have resulted in the richest 20 percent of Earthians consuming about 76 percent of all goods and services produced every year on Earth, with the bottom 20 percent consuming about 1.5 percent of all goods and services, while a small free Earthian elite, about 26 million humans own and control about 40 percent of Earth’s wealth, living in luxury with almost unlimited options for travel and entertainment, living cheek by jowl among billions of humans mired in poverty, owning almost nothing, doing almost the equivalent of slave labor day in and day out all their lives, yet living in constant fear of being fired from their jobs for disloyalty or slackness, who are condemned to poverty by their wages, in most cases within miles of where they were accidentally born, where they grew up with little or no opportunity to learn relevant knowledge about how the world works, in many cases not even having an opportunity to learn how to read.

I am not advocating capitalism, communism, socialism, atheism, or any religious ism, or abolishing capitalism; but I think certain aspects of capitalism are humane and beneficial, such as the decentralization of production at the entrepreneurial and small business level and rewarding people for creating new ideas, products and services. On the other hand, I think the inevitable centralizing of wealth and power in large corporations and in the hands of the elite rich caused by capitalism is an incredible abomination causing many of Earth’s most threatening problems, including global warming. But I do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

This article was first published in MWC News (Media with Conscience), on September 9, 2013. Read the article in full at

How to use and perceive this blog page

By Richard John Stapleton

I have clicked options that coded this article to be what is called by the creators of this software package, WordPress, a “sticky” article, meaning it has been digitally coded to remain where it is geographically on this page for instructional purposes, at the top of the right column, day after day.

You can notice pages and articles in the column on the left of this page listed under the heading of EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, the official name of this blog, with a menu for the content of website pages for EFFECTIVE LEARNING COMPANY, with a subheading labeled RECENT POSTS for articles.  To access the content of any of the pages or any of the  articles in full just click on the name of the website page in the menu or the title of the article or the Read on option at the end of the blurb about the article under the Recent Posts subheading. If you do this, the page will pop up, or the article will pop up in the right column of this page on your computer screen in larger print, where this one is now, that is easy to read, and you will be given the opportunity to forward the article to social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, or email it to your friends.  To share articles positioned below this article on this page on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or email just click on the title of the article and the article will pop up where this one is now with linking options exposed.

Please do so.

You can notice below the Recent Posts area a section that stores or “archives” articles by the month or year in which they were written. If you click on this you can find articles that were published in various months of years that will pop up in easy reading form where this one is now with social media links.

Please read and forward them to your friends.

Happy reading.

This blog contains thoughts and opinions written as articles by me as they happen from time to time, and essays and articles written by other authors, published in various intrepid Internet journals, and elsewhere, primarily attempting to paint a generally accurate picture of the true state of affairs around Earth and what should be done to increase the satisfaction of human beings individually and in groups around Earth.  Opinions in this blog are not political in the sense they were created to further the aims, interests, beliefs, dogmas, and doctrines of a particular political party, or any other type of group or organization.  I am not a member of an established political party, but I am a member of a few organizations, including the International Transactional Analysis Association, the United States, and Spaceship Earth.

Want a free subscription to the Effective Learning Report?

New articles are added to the Effective Learning Report as the muse moves me to write something new.  Therefore there is no publishing of new editions at regular intervals, and no way to price a subscription.  Regardless, if you would like to receive a new free “edition” of the Effective Learning Report as the muse moves me to write something new, just send me your email address at and I will add you to the email list for the Effective Learning Report.  Please add the word Subscription in the subject line of the email.  Cheers!

The purpose of the Effective Learning Report is not to cover current events.  The purpose is simply to provide insight into how the world works and what might be done to improve things.

I have supported and voted for particular political candidates in the US because I thought the person was the best available person for the job, not because he or she was a member of a political party.  I supported and voted for Barack Obama but I did not support or vote for Hillary Clinton.  I supported Bernie Sanders until Sanders dropped out of the 2016 race. I wound up supporting and voting for Jill Stein of the Green Party in the US 2016 presidential race.

Opinions written and published in this blog are the opinions of me alone, and do not reflect the opinions of clients or visitors at Effective Learning Company, especially my wife’s mathematics tutorees.  While I let my wife know my opinions from time to time face-to-face, I make no effort to coerce or cajole her into adopting them, having long since learned such efforts are futile.  I rarely discuss my opinions in this blog face-to-face with anyone at Effective Learning Company.  As a professor teaching business policy, ethics, and entrepreneurship in a business school, political opinions were sometimes discussed in my classes as issues and students made recommendations, as I did, but no recommendations were ever taught as truth to be memorized for any sort of test.

My attitude, believing it’s educational for people to hear, and read, alternative opinions, is “if the shoe fits wear it.”  If not, believe whatever you want to believe.

This issue was covered more comprehensively in my book Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.  See “Inside the Book” Business Voyages by Richard John Stapleton free at to see the table of contents and some of the writing.

Unfortunately in today’s Internet Facebook world many members of political parties regard people expressing opinions contrary to their party and personal propaganda, dogma, doctrine, lies, and opinions to be what they call “trolls”.  A troll is someone who infiltrates the psychological, intellectual, or physical boundaries of a group or organization, such as a group of Democrats or Republicans, with the mission of changing the minds of members to further the aims and purposes of a competing group or organization.

While I am not a troll, I consider contrary honest opinions people are randomly exposed to to be good for them, and for all people and groups aboard Spaceship Earth, since it causes everyone to learn something.  We need more dialogical dialectic discussions, preferably face-to-face, however challenging, that might cause all of us to learn something.

Otherwise, we are all living in a war zone with no hope of lasting peace.

The trick is to learn how to do this in a civilized manner.  Read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning for more detail on how to communicate and learn in groups with dialogical dialectical discussion.  For more information about the book click on the Effective Learning Publications option at the top of this blog page in the left column.

Comments, criticisms, and recommendations from readers are welcome.  Please write your comments, criticisms, or recommendations in the block below articles on this page, or email me at

In order to write comments, etc. on this page, you have to make sure you have popped the article up at the top of the right column of this page by clicking on the article title or a Read on option to energize the linking options.  If you came to the page from Facebook or some other link the linking options are automatically visible and ready to go.  While this page is relatively user friendly it forces people using it to become programmed robots to some degree in some ways, as does all computer technology used for any purpose.

There are, alas, always tradeoffs, and no free lunches, in any entrepreneurial venture.  In order to read free articles from this page, you have to conform to a computer algorithm, paying a price by giving up some autonomy and human dignity.  In some ways we increase our freedom and satisfaction by using computers; but in other ways we lose freedom and satisfaction by using computers.  As in all ventures we come out ahead only if we gain more than we lose.  I sometimes wonder if humanity is actually getting better off because of developing and using computer technology, especially when talking with a robot on the telephone trying to get something straightened out, such as a problem with a medical bill or an insurance payment.

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Richard John Stapleton—

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Check out our article, “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations:  A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and effective grades,” by Stapleton & Murkison, published in 2001 in the Journal of Management Education, by the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, using Sage Publications.  This article presents a new metric I invented, the CITP, the Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity, which has now been cited in sixty-one refereed professional journal articles in several disciplines, from physics to psychology.

Here is a pdf copy of the article “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations: A Study of Correlations Between Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production and Expected Grades.”

Published in 2001 by the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society in the Journal of Management Education, this article by Stapleton & Murkison has now been cited in 61 refereed professional journal articles, providing insights into how to evaluate teaching and learning in schools, colleges, and universities, showing how difficult it is to fairly evaluate teaching and learning and why relative expected grades questions should always be included on student evaluation forms to provide a modicum of fairness.

To verify the 61 citations just punch Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations into Google and read the sources.

Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations gets to the heart of intractable problems of the teaching profession, the most serious of which is probably teacher evaluations. How can you or a teacher know how well a teacher is doing his/her job? What sort of criteria can you use for making this judgment? Certainly the purpose of teaching is to cause learning to occur in students, but how do you measure this? What kind of learning? How much learning? How much learning relative to what? What percentage of a prescribed content or syllabus a teacher causes students to memorize? Or how much learning a teacher produces in students relative to how much peer teachers produce? In other words are you attempting to measure absolute learning or relative learning?

Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations presents a unique Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity (CITP), one of the most sophisticated metrics of teaching productivity yet developed in the teacher evaluation literature.

Check it out at



The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.

by Richard John Stapleton

I argued in my article “Moving Farther West to Escape Problems at Home is No Longer an Option,” published August 29, 2013 in the Intrepid Report, that capitalism and most religions are now almost obsolete; and, given the advent of modern computers, computer programmers, computer software and the Internet, it is now technologically feasible to construct a new economic system vastly more efficient, effective and fair than what now exists on Earth.

Reading Buckminster Fuller’s book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) back in the 1970s stimulated some of these ideas. He was the first person I read to suggest computers are the best hope for human survival on Earth, that humans should never do work that machines can do better, and that unemployment can be eliminated overnight by governments issuing mind grants to all citizens, paying them to think.

Progressives now argue something must be done about poorly regulated quasi-obsolete economic systems, religious systems, legal systems, and production and distribution systems that have resulted in the richest 20 percent of Earthians consuming about 76 percent of all goods and services produced every year on Earth, with the bottom 20 percent consuming about 1.5 percent of all goods and services, while a small free Earthian elite, about 26 million humans own and control about 40 percent of Earth’s wealth, living in luxury with almost unlimited options for travel and entertainment, living cheek by jowl among billions of humans mired in poverty, owning almost nothing, doing almost the equivalent of slave labor day in and day out all their lives, yet living in constant fear of being fired from their jobs for disloyalty or slackness, who are condemned to poverty by their wages, in most cases within miles of where they were accidentally born, where they grew up with little or no opportunity to learn relevant knowledge about how the world works, in many cases not even having an opportunity to learn how to read.

I am not advocating abolishing capitalism, communism, socialism, theism, atheism, or any religious ism; since I think certain aspects of capitalism and most religions are humane and beneficial in certain ways, such as, in the case of capitalism, the decentralization of production at the entrepreneurial and small business level and people being rewarded for creating new ideas, products and services. On the other hand, I think the inevitable centralizing of wealth and power in large corporations and in the hands of the elite rich caused by capitalism is an incredible abomination, causing many of Earth’s most threatening problems, including global warming. But I do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Here’s an idea I developed using a management science technique to eventually solve the Earthian inequality problem, a major cause of today’s North African and Middle Eastern civil war tragedies. To my knowledge, I am the first Earthian to dream of this, first published in 2008 in my book Business Voyages, a business bible for people who would like to do the right thing for all Earthians.

An Earthian is any sentient individual member of any species of fauna and flora aboard Spaceship Earth, including humans.

Buckminster Fuller first informed me in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth that he believed computers would eventually save humanity; but I, to my knowledge, am the first Earthian to show in some detail how it could be done with computers, computer programming and the management science technique linear programming.  Buckminster Fuller invented the appellation Spaceship Earth and the word Earthian.

Here is my schema for how Buckminster Fuller’s general idea might be brought to fruition to save Spaceship Earth from self-destructing, from my book Business Voyages, first published in 2008, from a passage embarking on page 617:

“It still seems to me Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) that I first read in 1973 had some of the most creative and cogent ideas I have read for getting humanity out of its ongoing mess. One of Fuller’s ideas was that people should not do work that machines can do better. Another of his ideas was that people should be paid to think with mind grants to maintain full employment. Bringing this about in World 1 would require a lot of change, possibly entailing decreasing the human population aboard Spaceship Earth through lower birth rates over time, but it seems to me Fuller’s ideas about the nature of work, full employment, and prosperity for all could be implemented, perhaps within the next 1000 years. According to Fuller (1969), we need more great pirates, modern-day equivalents of world traders of the past who regulated affairs around the globe because of what they learned sailing their trading ships from one world to another.

“I do not think any of the economic ideas I have heard from Republican or Democratic political candidates in the US in the last year (2003-2004) will do anything to solve problems such as overpopulation in poor countries and jobs being outsourced to poor countries. Seemingly politicians of all stripes will not or cannot face up to the fact that wages are low in poor countries because there are billions of poor people in such countries willing to work hard for a pittance compared to wages and salaries in rich countries, and so long as such conditions exist workers in rich countries will experience inexorable downward pressure on their wages and salaries because of the iron laws of economic competition and supply and demand, which can only be temporarily suppressed in the short run by politicians bending the rules of the game for their favored few through measures such as tariffs, subsidies, currency manipulation, deficit spending, tax reductions, interest rate reductions, and money-printing.

“The long-term solution is for all people aboard Spaceship Earth to get rich, free, and friendly, but to reach that happy state of affairs much patience and sacrifice will be required of billions of poverty-stricken people around the globe—social heroes and martyrs who peacefully live their lives knowing they inherited a relatively mean, short, brutish and unfair fate (Hobbes, 1651).

“Although some biological constructivists think humanity is involved in a meaningless drift in the infinity of time and space, it’s possible most people aboard Spaceship Earth could achieve satisfying lives devoid of economic insecurity and threat of terrorism and military attack within one hundred years. It seems to me this is possible with current rates of progress using free enterprise market systems and democratic political processes, coupled with the ongoing evolutionary bottom-up discovery and application of scientific knowledge (Stapleton & Stapleton, 1998), assuming humans do not blow themselves up with weapons of mass destruction or render themselves extinct with environmental pollution in the meantime. On the other hand, it’s possible that new economic, social, and political alternatives can be tried that might accelerate the current rate of progress; assuming human beings are intelligent enough and creative enough to co-construct them.

“Being a good entrepreneur, or any other kind of good human being, is not easy these days. Despite the gathering storm clouds clearly visible ahead and the wind, heat, and choppy water we are now experiencing caused by religious fanaticism, terrorism, overpopulation, energy depletion, and global warming, the entrepreneur remains the captain of his or her ship.

“It is not easy to remain positive and work hard every day running a tight ship dealing with the problems and details of one’s particular daily existence while one is constantly reminded by news media that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. While the world may be going to hell in a hand basket at some time, it is not going to self- destruct today, this year, or this decade. Despite the problems of World 1, there remain myriad opportunities—right now—for entrepreneurs all over Earth to invent, produce, and sell new products, services, and processes, and get rich, as many are doing.

“The problem is that if everyone should ignore global warming, overpopulation, religious fanaticism, energy depletion, and terrorism, focusing solely on her or his personal life problems, goals, and ambitions, problems of global warming, overpopulation, religious fanaticism, energy depletion, and terrorism are sure to worsen; and if negative trends caused by these problems continue indefinitely, the “world” could come to an end as prophesied by religious fanatics. To help insure this does not happen, the time may come when all conscientious and intelligent human beings, including self-interested entrepreneurs in the process of getting rich, must contribute a significant portion of their time and money to solving the world’s problems if “the world” is to continue to exist.

“Solving problems caused by global warming, religious fanaticism, overpopulation, energy depletion, and terrorism may become the moral equivalent of fighting in world wars, as President Jimmy Carter of the US pointed out regarding the energy crisis of the 1970’s, requiring courageous efforts of mythic proportions and the sacrifices of millions of heroes.

“It seems to me a mathematical formulation exists that one day may develop for Earthians power in economics loosely analogous to the power of E=mc2 in physics. This formulation is Max or Min CjXj, subject to, AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi, which is a general form of the linear programming model, which has been around for many years in management science, operations research, and linear algebra courses. It seems to me Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi symbolizes knowledge that gives the human species about as much potential power to perpetuate itself as E=mc2 symbolizes knowledge that gives the human species the power to exterminate itself.

“The upshot of this linear programming discussion is that if computers and computer programs become powerful enough, they might eventually store data in matrices for food, clothing, shelter, energy, transportation, and medicine requirements for every single human living on Planet Earth. These requirements could be summed to develop the total requirement for food, clothing, shelter, energy, etc. for Earth as a whole, per week, month, year, or whatever. An Xj matrix stored in a magnum computer system might contain all the various products required by humans, a Bi matrix in the linear programming formulation might contain all the types of resources available to produce the required goods, which will constrain production below some limit, an Aij matrix in the LP model might contain the amount of various resources required to produce one unit of each necessity of life, or Xj, and a Cj matrix in the linear programming formulation might contain the relative utility of each alternative good, or Xj.

“The Magnum Computer System could then scientifically compute the optimum number of units of alternative products to produce for humans then alive on Earth, once data have been read into the requisite data bases, by someone clicking an icon energizing a “Do loop” of the magnum program to do the processing of the Magnum Production Schedule. Once the goods are produced the Magnum Computer System could then scientifically distribute them among all humans living on Earth using another quantitative management science technique known as the transportation model to minimize transportation costs from raw materials to finished products to consumers. Such a process would insure the world’s resources necessary to sustain human life were used in an optimum manner and were consumed in a generally fair manner.

“Computers can not only store and manipulate data in two dimensional matrices in rows and columns on one plane; they can store and manipulate data in three dimensional matrices that not only go east-west in rows and north-south in columns on one plane, but up and down on different planes. Instead of only having an M x N matrix, you can have an M x N x O matrix, and tell a computer to store data in the cell located at the intersection of the Mth row, the Nth column, and the Oth plane, much like you would park an automobile in a particular space of a multi-story garage. And you can have many more dimensions if you like. You can put M x N x O matrices in larger labeled matrices, and put those labeled matrices in even larger matrices, and so on. Xt,k,c,q,n,p,g, stored in a computer, could be a variable representing the gth good required by the pth person, in the nth city, of the qth state, of the cth country, of the kth continent, in the year, entailing accessing data in 7 interrelated matrices, or dimensions. Subscripts attached to variables such as X in this example tell the computer how to track down specific values through the maze of interrelated matrices. Numbers for the subscripts can theoretically increment from 1 to any finite number (the number of cells in the matrix) and entail that many passes through nested do-loops (7 in this example) in the overall computer algorithm (sequence of iterative mathematical steps) to develop aggregate totals. The process is similar to storing data in labeled files on your personal computer, putting those labeled files in labeled folders, and then putting those labeled folders into other labeled folders, etc., and using subscripts to keep track of what value you put in what variable in what file of what folder.

“Writing a computer program to manage a global economy would require many thousands of man-hours of flowcharting and programming time and a magnum computer system. Such requirements for such a project might approximate the man-hour and technical knowledge and skill requirements of the Manhattan project that produced the first atom bomb, or the US space program that put the first man on the moon. Writing such a program would require flowcharting and programming skill many orders of magnitude greater than mine. I have not written a line of computer code since earning my doctorate in 1969, and I learned only one computer language, Fortran IV.

“Using linear programming to schedule world production and distribution of the necessities of life is at present little more than business science fiction, however mathematically feasible this is or shall become as computers and computer software become more powerful and sophisticated. On the other hand, such a system may evolve through time through synergistic learning as more and more humans comprehend what is going on. For more on synergistic learning and comprehension refer back to Buckminster Fuller’s definitions of synergy and comprehension in Chapter 1 of Business Voyages, “Where to Go.”

“It’s possible a computerized global economic system shall evolve for the production and distribution of the necessities of life—food, clothing, shelter, and medicine—with the national identities, cultures, political systems, economic systems, religions, and so forth of the some 200 nations now on Earth remaining intact. Free enterprise could exist for everything but the production and distribution of the necessities of life. I have no idea what are the probabilities of any of these things happening, but it seems to me they are possible, which, it seems to me, is hopeful for all mankind.

“Today in reality the market system, composed of billions of isolated customers voting for the producing of various goods by buying things, is used to decide what to produce and how to distribute the produced items. The market system works pretty well for billions of people on Earth, but poorly for a billion or so, those who go to bed hungry at night. Politicians and bureaucrats spasmodically intervene at various times and places based on impulses, fears, power needs, sympathy, and other motivations to provide charitable aid for fellow humans clearly in need of help, regardless of where the people needing help might have been unlucky enough to have been born on Earth, and regardless of global market determinations, in a loose system of governments and charitable organizations including the United Nations that has enabled the human species as a whole to muddle through.”

“Management scientists using something like linear programming to schedule, produce, and distribute the necessities of life for all humanity as outlined above would prove those in control of the Magnum Computer System truly cared about every single human alive on Earth, creating a World 1 in which every man, woman, and child alive on Earth would know for a fact she or he was truly appreciated and protected by a rational fair global system during her or his infinitesimally short existence on Earth. The implementation of such a system might finally untie the Gordian knot that has kept much of mankind threatened and terrorized by fear, ignorance, poverty, hunger, disease, misery and violence since time immemorial.”

According to the philosopher Karl Popper, quoted in Business Voyages, “World 1 includes hydrogen and helium, the heavier elements, liquids and crystals, and living organisms; World 2 includes consciousness of self and of death, and sentience or animal consciousness; and World 3 includes works of art and science and technology, human language, and theories of self and of death.”

To read inside Business Voyages and read a review and maybe buy yourself a copy go to

It seems Earthians must make major changes or live with the probabilities of an environmental catastrophe. Better birth control measures are needed to reduce overpopulation, a major cause of global warming; and changes must be made in economic strategies and belief systems that inevitably cause Earth’s resources to wind up in the hands of fewer and fewer humans while most of Earth’s population becomes poorer and poorer, while the environment is polluted more and more, having possibly already passed a tipping point.

Here’s a an idea for dealing with the over-population problem, which would peacefully shrink Earth’s human population from generation to generation until a sustainable population level is reached, by Earthian women deciding to have no more than one child each, of either sex, assuming they had the power to do so.

A solution for the Earthian plight, if there is one, probably entails humans inventing a bottom-up religion and a spiritual god, similar to the god and religion advocated by Michael Adzema and Native American Elders. Adzema defines a spiritual god as the highest moral, ethical and spiritual state individual humans are capable of achieving, becoming an Atman, using pure subjectivity. Native American elders conceive of god as the Great Spirit that exists in all nature, spiritually present in Earth itself, in its waters, mountains, and animals. These gods are not commanding gods ruling from above, but rather exist in the minds of humans who feel their presence here on Earth.

Native Americans worshipped their ancestors, sensing, feeling and reliving the ego states, beliefs and behaviors that had been interjected into their neuronal networks from earliest childhood, probably from even the perinatal process, from first-hand exposure to mothers in their wombs and their parents and grandparents who showed and used them after birth, which were passed like a baton between runners in a track race every generation since time immemorial, causing the last generation produced to feel, think and do in the here and now much as their ancestors had, which like all human processes on Earth produced both good and bad effects from one perspective or another depending on circumstances.

Both the old God of the Book and the new US surveillance and drone technological god of computers and the Internet rely on threats, fear and intimidation to cause humans to do the right thing in the opinion of the gods, using top-down quasi-legal systems with built-in punishments for wrongdoers. The old God also promised a fantastical reward in a heaven throughout eternity as his major incentive for sinners who signed up for his program and who met his expectations and requirements when alive on Earth.

One can build the case what humans need now is a non-commanding bottom-up belief system that supports the decisions of all Earthians capable of producing learning that will cause them to do the right thing for themselves and others, causing them to do what is necessary for all to survive and experience a modicum of satisfaction during their infinitesimally short lives, simply because the right thing is the right thing for all species on Earth, with no thought of earning a fantastical eternal reward in some sort of heaven.

The old God fostered economic and legal systems that encouraged the selfish acquisition of land and goods; the new bottom-up god would peacefully encourage the sharing of resources so as to enhance the welfare and survival of all Earthians, not merely the richest, most powerful, most manipulative, most callous, most hypocritical, most deceitful and most obedient.

From a practical standpoint, a program similar to the one above would probably entail the internationalization of most large corporations and industries so as to produce and distribute the necessities of life in a fair way. This would entail an overhaul of the way people work and live and their human relationships.  In this New World all humans would be born free and empowered; and, like those born truly rich today, they would not have to worry about ever having to work for a living as long as they live.

Under this new regime, everyone born on Earth would inherit at birth the same number of stock shares in Spaceship Earth, Inc., which would pay sufficient dividends to provide a decent life year after year until death.

Some onerous repetitive maintenance jobs in house cleaning, health care, farming, construction, manufacturing, and the like probably can never be fully automated; and some humans will have to do these jobs; but many humans could be motivated to do those jobs by allowing the market system to take care of this much as it does now, if there was no risk of workers doing this work losing their Spaceship Earth, Inc. dividend checks.

On the other hand there are countless service jobs that cannot be automated, and the market system could also take care of this as it does now for the above reasons.

Anyone lucky enough to inherit strong fast muscles, height, weight and good coordination and a will to win with a willingness to train and work hard could still make extra money playing professional sports. The same goes for people lucky enough to inherit artistic and entertainment talents of all sorts.  I guess it might be fair for some of these athletes and entertainers to get filthy rich as they do now, retaining their Spaceship Earth, Inc. dividend checks, but the main thing would be to make sure every Earthian born had a guaranteed good life with Spaceship Earth dividend checks.

This, surely, would finally get rid of the need for large expensive military forces and wars to keep people employed and kill people off.

Most Earthians satisfied with their dividend checks from Spaceship Earth, Inc. could spend their time reading, writing and solving math problems, visiting with one another, communicating on the Internet, doing scientific experiments, mowing their own grass, perhaps growing some of their own eggs, milk and vegetables, cooking their own food, attending plays and art shows, and traveling now and then on trains and airplanes to see firsthand new, beautiful and inspiring sights around Earth.

For ramifications see Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, a business bible for people who would like to do the right thing for all Earthians.


Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of business policy, ethics and entrepreneurship who writes on business and politics at  He is the Editor & Publisher of the Effective Learning Report, and The Earthian.

Please feel free to forward, share, print, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this article any way you see fit.


De-Gaming And Saving Democracy


By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

A decision was made in June of 2018 to encourage the formation of De-Gaming Democracy groups around Spaceship Earth to facilitate relevant face-to-face discussions about economic and political affairs. Earthians spending more and more time staring at computer and cell phone screens looking at faces, hearing voices, and reading fake news, gossip, and even truthful news has not resulted in economic and political progress. Something new needs to be tried. As Albert Einstein pointed out, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is insane.

The Classroom De-Gamer™ is a three-quarter-inch-thick circular board twelve inches in diameter with concentric circles of numbers affixed to accommodate teaching and learning groups of various sizes. I have published articles describing the purpose and use of the device in Research in Education (1978), the Transactional Analysis Journal (1979), and The Organizational Behavior Teaching Review (1990).

The Classroom De-Gamer™ De-games psychological Games in face-to-face learning processes by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims, essential roles for psychological Games, from the discussion. No teacher or learner in a De-gamed process can psychologically feel or think s/he is being persecuted, rescued, or victimized if randomly selected by the Classroom De-Gamer™ to answer questions in the whole group. All group participants have an Adult contract to socially participate in the process using their Adult ego states. The Drama Triangle, a prerequisite for psychological Games, around which Rescuers, Persecutors, and Victims switch roles as they transact with one another, is disallowed in the process.

The De-Gaming process engenders liberty, equality, and fraternity among participants. It engenders response-ability that helps people get their needs met. It causes people not to discount the emotional and intellectual worth and abilities of themselves and others. The process is democratic, not authoritarian.

The De-Gaming teaching and learning process will work regardless of whether you understand transactional analysis concepts such as Parent, Adult, and Child ego states, transactions, scripts, rackets, discounts, the Drama Triangle, OKness, and I’m OK – You’re OK life positions. For more information and understanding of what they are, if interested, read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at

For more information showing how I applied this De-Gaming process over five years in a US manufacturing corporation doing business internationally involving some three hundred employees from all departments and levels of a plant read my e-book Recommendations for Waking Up From the American Nightmare at

The major objective after the Classroom De-Gamer™ has been spun is answering all three Adult Questions below as best you can if the spinner lands on you:

What is the problem or opportunity?

What are the alternatives?

What do you recommend?

Most likely some participants will disagree with your answers after you lay them out and the group will then discuss alternative answers, hopefully developing a consensus by the end of the discussion about what is right. If not, that’s OK. Being left hanging at the end of a session may motivate you to think of better answers later, maybe in your dreams. Better answers may be brought up in later sessions. Deciding what is the most important problem you know about is the most difficult decision you will have to make if the spinner lands on you. That’s what leaders do; decide what problem to focus on. Most of the time the spinner will only be spun one time per session, at the very beginning. In most sessions most of the time of the session will be spent discussing answers laid out by the De-Gamer-selected person, the most powerful person in the group that day, the randomly selected leader selected by fate at the beginning of the session, the start of a new day. On the other hand, some days the De-Gamer might be spun more than once, if a discussion runs out of steam, in which case the last person pointed out will spin the De-Gamer again to select another leader and set of answers for a different problem or opportunity.

True democracy entails individual humans having an opportunity to influence and vote for actions and people that reflect their factual experiences, thoughts, decisions, and recommendations regarding how families, schools, businesses, social and civic groups, and political organizations should be run. It seems to me all people should have a fundamental right to think about and discuss problems and opportunities facing the organizations that shape and control their lives.

Spaceship Earth, among many other things, is a giant classroom in which humans learn how to deal with current reality wherever they live.

All humans around Spaceship Earth, Earthians, learn something every day in various ways, working, playing, and merely existing, from others, from various media, from schools and churches, and from being exposed to facts of experience doing life tasks. The problem is most humans do not learn as well as they might qualitatively and as much as they might quantitatively because of getting set in their ways and because of political and social forces that cause them not to learn, forces that cause them not to think about certain problems and opportunities, not to feel what they feel, and not to say and do what they think is right.

Discussing the three reality questions in De-gamed groups will give isolated individuals feedback from others in the group regarding what they feel, think, do, and want, and will teach and enable them to learn alternative ways of feeling, thinking, doing, and wanting.

De-gamed discussion groups importantly are dialectical, meaning people will argue with facts and reasoning about different answers, which tends to develop workable consensual synthetic answers over time, thereby reducing the pernicious effects of dogmatic and doctrinaire polarizations.

Humans are enslaved around Earth in various ways to obsolete scripts, dogmas, and doctrines by familial, religious, business, political, and military forces, having been taught by authoritarian teachers that tell their subjects what to feel, think, and do. They primarily teach their subjects to obey and memorize, not to think and learn.

Conformity is the order of the day in human history, humans feeling, thinking, and doing the same things the same way day after day generation after generation.

A way out of this box is for everyone to become a teacher and a learner in a bottom-up democratic process starting with the basics of reality confronting any child, woman, and man around Spaceship Earth, dealing with three fundamental survival questions:

What is the problem or opportunity?

What are the alternatives?

What do you recommend?

And the process starts with you. You have to get people from various walks of life and ages in your community together for face-to-face democratic discussions, and explain the rules:

1 – A leader will be randomly selected to start all discussions by spinning the De-Gamer

2 – All randomly selected leaders will answer the three basic Adult survival questions if pointed out by the spinner

3 – No one may interrupt anyone in the discussions

4 – Holding up your hand to force someone to force everyone to remain silent so you can talk is outlawed

5 – You may say whatever you want after the randomly selected person finishes presenting his or her answers, but you have to assert yourself and start talking before anyone else does

6 – And so it goes throughout the time of the discussion

7 – How long good discussions should last is up to you but they will generally last an hour or so

8 – Verbal and physical attacks are outlawed

9 – All members of the group must listen to what the person currently talking wants to say regardless of whether they agree. After the person currently talking stops talking you can then rebut or say what you want if you can start talking before anyone else does. Otherwise you have to wait until the person beating you to the punch stops talking before you can try to talk again

10 – Communicating with individuals sitting to your left or right, or anywhere in the circle, is outlawed, except when you are responding to an individual about something s/he has said to the whole group or in response to you about something you said to the whole group

11 – Smirking and negative body language messages of all sorts are outlawed

12 – There can be no private conversations during a discussion session

13 – All cell phones and electronic devices must be fully disabled during a discussion session

14 – If you are not willing to abide by the laws and rules of the process then you cannot be a member of the De-Gamed democratic community discussion group.

You may need other rules for your groups, depending on unique circumstances, but the above rules cover the basics. You get the idea. Everyone should have a chance to be the leader of the day. This is not a novel idea. The Greeks had this idea for how to do democracy as early as the Sixth Century BCE. True enough only free Greeks were eligible for random selection for discussions but at least leaders were freely and democratically chosen from a relatively large pool. The process is known as sortition.  Everyone is a free Greek in the De-Gaming democratic process. There are no slaves. All participants, including you, learn by doing, by saying what they truly feel, think, and recommend and by getting feedback from members of the group that generates new Game-free discussion and learning for all participants.

How often should you get your group together for discussions? Ideally several times a week for several years, but any frequency will be better than none, once a week, once a month, once a year, whatever.

In the interests of full disclosure I used the De-Gaming discussion process teaching with the case method thirty-six years in business schools primarily using paper cases written by casewriters at Harvard and Stanford, and the University of Alabama, while using the process using current facts as the case consulting with various groups, such as the above mentioned manufacturing plant.  I have described the process in various media, and I have reprinted and included articles, cases, and chapters dealing with complications and conflicts using such a process may entail, caused by agitated threatened teachers and learners in the environment not approving of the De-Gaming discussion process, especially the teacher and learners sitting in circles, also providing data and evidence the democratic De-Gaming discussion process works, in my books Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds and Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, both published by Effective Learning Publications, available at:

You can find four articles I published in 1978, 1979, 1990, and 1998 on De-Gaming democracy processes in the Transactional Analysis Journal, a refereed professional journal at

I also described the De-Gaming process in two out-of-print books of readings and cases I researched, wrote and used in my small business and entrepreneurship courses, published by University Press of America, Managing Creatively: Action Learning in Action (1976) and The Entrepreneur: Concepts and Cases on Creativity in Business (1985) – and in one out-of-print trade book published by Effective Learning Publications, De-Gaming Teaching and Learning: How to Motivate Learners and Invite OKness (1979).

For more information and some of my current thoughts on how I used the De-Gamer in my classrooms read my article, “The Classroom De-Gamer,” published June 6, 2018 in the Effective Learning Report at This article discusses in more detail some of the procedures, problems, opportunities, and advantages of using a Classroom De-Gamer teaching and learning.

It seems to me the best strategy for homo sapiens getting out of their on-going mess, now trending towards global fascism or anarchy, and chaos, is for all humans to become good citizens aboard Spaceship Earth, considering themselves the rightful owners of the planet, and assume responsibility for making political and business decisions necessary to successfully manage planetary affairs in a bottom-up process in the interests of all inhabitants. It seems to me principles of management I espoused in “Academic Entrepreneurship: Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis to Simulate Competitive Business Markets,” reprinted in full in Business Voyages, apply to citizens and owners of Spaceship Earth as well as they do to business students, small business owners, and employees of large fascist organizations. This article was originally published in the Organizational Behavior Teaching Review (now Journal of Management Education), Vol. XIV, Issue IV, 1989-90.

For more on how to manage Spaceship Earth according to me, read my recent Internet article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” first published in 2013 by MWC News (Media With Conscience) at

Awareness has been growing among independent Internet writers and publishers for several years that democracy in the Western World is in decline. Governments have become increasingly dysfunctional meeting the needs of citizens. The ideals of the French and US revolutions – liberty, equality, and fraternity – incrementally achieved to some degree in the West from about 1800 to about 1980 – are now waning. Since the Reagan administration in the US and the Thatcher administration in the UK in the 1980s the aristocrats have gotten richer and the peasants, serfs, and slaves have gotten poorer, while the bourgeoisie has shrunk. Inequality of incomes, wealth, and quality of life among citizens has skyrocketed in the last few years, while liberty and fraternity have plummeted. Overpopulation, environmental pollution, and global warming increasingly threaten the sustainability of human life itself. It is now obvious that unfettered capitalism does not work for most Earthians. Quasi-communist countries and quasi-dictatorships such as China and Russia are now in some ways as democratic and capitalistic as the US and the UK.

If trends continue … there is a good probability Earthians regardless of what kind of economic and political system they now live under will wind up through time being governed by an authoritarian totalitarian global military police system that rules all countries now geographically delineated aboard Spaceship Earth using a magnum computerized central control system, programmed at the top by a technocratic elite, with robots doing most of the physical work around Earth, with most humans doing what they are told living on handouts in reservations—or after a military nuclear catastrophe what’s left of the human species will atomize into superstitious tribal groups with no control system, with individuals living short hard brutish lives in poisoned inhospitable environments.

There is also some probability a system will evolve that enables humans in groups to democratically decide how to govern and manage their affairs around Spaceship Earth producing consensual approaches that produce peace and prosperity instead of war, and equality of opportunity and respect instead of hatred, while retaining the advantages of life-enhancing scientific and technological discoveries and innovations.

Capitalism in the West and communism in Russia failed because they allowed and encouraged weak-minded greedy unethical individuals at the top of centralized hierarchical organizations to acquire and monopolize more and more power and money through time causing widespread hatred, corruption, and dysfunction in the whole system.

Decentralized ground-up De-Gamed democracy has never been tried around Spaceship Earth. It’s time to give it a shot. Bring out the Classroom De-Gamers and let’s see what real people can come up with.

You don’t need a manufactured circular piece of wood with numbers and a spinner attached to De-Game your face-to-face community democratic discussion groups. Anything that will spin on a firm level surface will work, such as a bottle. The best size for discussion groups in my opinion is from ten to thirty people, but they can be larger. Some case method classes in business schools contain as many as one hundred students.

De-Gamed fact-based teaching and learning processes should not be limited to teaching elite students in elite schools that will use what they learn to manipulate economic and political systems to only benefit themselves after they graduate when they reach the top level of large fascist organizations: De-Gamed fact-based discussion groups can cause effective learning to occur in anyone aboard Spaceship Earth in any community, village, town, or city in any sort of clearing or physical structure.

Have your participants sit in a circle and put your spinner in the middle of the group, spin the spinner, and give it a go, answering the three survival questions and discussing the answers, answering the questions yourself if the spinner lands on you:

What is the problem or opportunity?

What are the alternatives?

What do you recommend?

For once give anyone a chance to feel, think, and say what s/he wants face-to-face in a response-able Game-free democratic group of people.

Feel free to forward, share, print, reprint, publish or otherwise disseminate this article any way you see fit, on the Internet or elsewhere.

Richard John Stapleton, Founder & Owner, Effective Learning Company, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,












Defaming the World’s Fastest Human

Sermon – an interest in Nesta Carter findings; passion; and pain.

By Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved, I am perplexed and perturbed by the recent International Olympics Committee (IOC) ruling concerning Nesta Carter ( member of the 2008 4 x 100 Jamaican relay team at the Beijing Olympics).

My sermon deals briefly with the  background to and the outcome of the findings; and then I shed a few tears, wiped from my computer screen, before I dispatched this lament.

Nesta Carter happens to have been one of Usain Bolt’s  team mates in the 4 x 100 meters relay race   in which the team won a gold medal ( one of several thereafter) and set a world record ( one of many) and Bolt in the process launched himself further into the stratosphere of athletics international stardom.

Simply stated, the governing body for international athletics accused Carter of cheating by way of having taken a performance enhancing drug in 2008. Subsequently, after an appeal, Carter lost his case and in consequence lost  the gold medal which he and his team mates won. Since Carter   is compelled, along with Bolt and the other members of the team, to return the medal to the IOC,   there is a reduction in Bolt’s overall gold medal haul. ‘Collateral damage’ for Bolt; embarrassment for Jamaica. Carter  lost his final appeal to the  International Olympic Committee Disciplinary Panel – and- procedurally that is as far as he can go.

However, viewed through a lawyer’s eyes and based on fundamental principles of natural justice, there are a few problems arising, which can honestly  be placed and posed as questions:-

A.      Why does it take fully eight(8) years before the allegation about drug cheating is raised against Nesta Carter, regarding the Beijing Olympic games?

B.      Why is it that prior drug tests effected at the time in 2008 when Carter competed in Beijing gave him and all his team mates a clean slate and  did not produce any evidence of drug cheating, but must now be reversed?

C.      Was the stimulant methylhexaneamine, said to be found  appearing in a retest in 2016,  expressly on the ‘ban list’ of substances that athletes were prohibited from  using  in 2008?

Issues A and B relate mainly  to factual content; issue C goes more  to substantive and procedural matters.

So far as issue C is concerned an accused  person is entitled  to have a fair hearing and in matters of serious allegation, such as under the criminal law or where an infraction will have a serious deleterious impact on a person’s reputation and/or life generally, then the rule against retrospectivity applies. In the world of the Olympics and Olympic athletes the rule, as an element of the Rule of Law, would translate in the individual athlete’s mind to mean a reasonable expectation that, in any competition  their actions therein must be considered by a future Tribunal or Court only by reference to the Rules or Laws  applicable at the time of the competition. One cannot be held guilty of an ‘offence’ which at the material time of the factual event in question, was then not an offence. It is an apparent violation of this Rule, in a somewhat peculiar set of circumstances, which seems to have adversely impacted Mr. Carter.

When issues of banned substances arise then, in the absence of absolute strict liability ( i.e. purely factual culpability as distinct from intentional wrongdoing – as a consideration distinct from the ‘retrospectivity rule’) the following seems to be precursory matters that should be taken into consideration for fair adjudication and fair consideration as regards any alleged infraction:-

i)                    The substance should be specifically named and be clearly stated on an established accessible standard list which comprises the official list of banned substances.

ii)                   The scientific tests applied should be rule based, consistent and  credible so as to exclude any unintended appearance of the substance in a person’s system, such as being an innocent by product after digestion.

iii)                 Every alleged finding  should be weighed in consideration whether or not the source of any alleged ingestion from a banned substance was from a source wherein the manufacturer had or had not actually  listed the ingredient on the container from which the substance was obtained (i.e. fairly weighing the mental, intentional aspect of the alleged infraction).

I cannot, in my legal mind, find any logical and/or acceptable reason for the IOC applying a ban  retrospectively on a substance back to 2008 then penalising an athlete for taking same. Yet, put that one aside for a moment and consider the actual IOC reasoning at points 9 to 11 of its official Decision:-

“ 9. This choice was made in view of the fact that during the transfer of the samples from the Beijing laboratory to the Lausanne Laboratory, the A-Samples were not individually resealed nor transported in sealed containers. 

 10. At that time, resealing of A-Samples (or transport in sealed containers) was not a requirement pursuant to the then applicable ISL (2008). 

 11. However, it was felt that the option to rely on the B-Sample constituted an additional precaution securing the strength and reliability of the analytical process.”


brt iii – 005 1 international olympic committee ioc disciplinary commission decision regarding nesta carter born on 11 october 1985, jamaica, athlete, athletics

So now there is a double-breach against the rule against evidential integrity and against the rule prohibiting  retrospectivity. First, in 2008  there was no procedural requirement of strict evidential integrity of preservation of samples, concerning the nature of transportation of substances due for testing; secondly, there was no ban on the substance said to have been found in Carter’s system. Thus, with that existing factual situation – then – how in jurisprudential terms – is Carter legitimately found to have committed a violation of any then existing IOC rules? The mind boggles.

Finally, the IOC convicted Carter on this basis, as best I can discern:-

“ 90….

In prior lists, including the WADA Prohibited List 2008, applicable in this case, methylhexaneamine fell within the scope of the general prohibition of stimulants having a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect as the listed stimulants. Under the then applicable system, stimulants which were not expressly listed, were presumed to be Non-Specified Prohibited Substances.

 91. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) has confirmed that the presence or use of substances falling within the scope of generic definitions of the Prohibited List, can be used as a basis of establishing anti-doping rules violations.”

N.B. “stimulants which were not expressly listed, were presumed to be Non-Specified Prohibited Substances.”

So, it is  “not specifically listed” and “non-specified”  but it is still being interpreted as being specifically prohibited? I, at this stage of my life, do not knowingly drink alcohol ( that is a fact and decision of mine). However, I do drink coffee. So, for argument’s sake, I have a drink from a bottle labelled “Coffee Aphrodisiac Black”. I  read the label and did  not find any indication or statement that it had alcohol in it and  then drank the contents. After love-making I am tested and it is found that I have a trace of alcohol in my system. Thus, I am found guilty and banned henceforth from….? Trite? Parallel? But – logical?

 Yet, I am a preacher of sermons and a mere humble lawyer ( when not so preaching). Thus, probably an exalted logician and/or person with immaculate scientific training might proffer the explanation and answer to the question that my legal mind has been, so far, unable to fathom.

My concern is that Jamaica’s and the world’s  first athlete to have delivered the triple- triple in the 100 – 200 and 4 x 100 meter races in three consecutive Olympics is to have his perfect record compromised and reduced when he has never been found guilty of any drug violation during the course of his some 15 years of an unblemished  international career; but,  his team mate, under the circumstances here described, is adversely to impact Usain Bolt’s record(s).

At this juncture I am heading to the Privy Council on the first of four matters intended to be heard on appeal. This process shall be making great demands on my time, so I am compelled to have a hiatus from my usual sermons. Interestingly,  in the first matter, a murder appeal, I am advancing in argument the Joggee and Ruddock decision* regarding joint enterprise, where after 30 years the Privy Council and Supreme Court reversed their prior decision(s) and said that it had previously gotten the law wrong and were applying the wrong test. I am inclined to inform the IOC in the Carter case, likewise. At a later stage I shall report for resumed duties.

·         R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8

In closing and with a heavy heart I cannot, at all, on this occasion say Hallelujah – so:-


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.     

Something to do in the summertime

By Joyce Wilson

5 Ways Teachers Can Make Summer Side Gigs Last Through the School Year

When you’re a teacher, having whole summers off can be a welcome break. But for many teachers, summer is the perfect chance to supplement their income with side gigs and temporary jobs. But what if you could make a little extra money while you’re teaching as well? If you’re interested, there are plenty of side gigs that will fit in perfectly with the school year. Here are a few ways you can make side gigs work for you without interfering with your normal teacher-related duties.

Tutor Children and Adults

If you absolutely love teaching, why not make a little extra money helping others? You can focus your attention on providing one-on-one lessons for students struggling with traditional subjects like math and science. Some students, and adults, may even benefit from getting a better grasp on English, if it’s the second language in their homes. You can even teach online on your own schedule! Know another language? Try teaching children and adults how to speak it. Conversational language lessons can build skills faster, and you’ll get paid just for talking.

Get Paid to Pet Dogs and Cats

Watching dogs and cats is a great way to make a little extra money. More and more pet owners are turning to in-home pet care to keep their pets safe while they’re away on summer vacations. You can open up your own home or stay in theirs. Don’t have the time to pet sit during the school year? Weekends and holidays are prime pet sitting times, so consider caring for pets then. Advertise your services online or spread the word through family and neighbors.

Put Those Writing Skills to Work

For most teachers, grammar comes naturally, but that isn’t the case for others. Many working professionals struggle when it comes to putting together a cover letter and resume and will pay top dollar to have someone do it for them. So put those writing skills to work and help people land their dream jobs in the process. Not into professional writing? There are lots of ways to make extra income through your words. You can help put together grant proposals or make a little extra cash proofreading textbooks. An added bonus to freelance writing? With a good laptop and internet connection, you can get your work done pretty much anywhere.

Get Extra Income Out of Your Car

Ridesharing has become pretty popular, and it’s a great way to make extra income without overworking your schedule. You can work for companies like Lyft or Uber, and summers are pretty busy with parties and events, making it the perfect time to start your new side gig. When the school year starts, you can choose to work after class or only offer rides on the weekends and special occasions. In fact, you can make more money working on holidays or during busy events. So fill up your tank, crank some tunes, and bring in some extra cash while helping people get around town.

Set Yourself Up for Success

 Working over the summer can be a great way to earn extra income, especially if your side gig fits in with your school schedule later. Just make sure you’re not burning yourself out. Schedule hours that don’t leave you exhausted. If you don’t have a functional home office set up already, create a little space where you can focus on your side gig. Get a comfy chair and a calendar to keep your schedule on track. Whether you’re working your side gig over the summer or during the school year, always make time for self-care. Get plenty of exercise, eat healthy foods, and make sure you can still get enough sleep at night.

If you want to make some extra money this summer, then a side gig may be a perfect opportunity for you. Whether you want to buy more supplies, grow your savings, or take that dream vacation, side gigs can provide the financial tools to help you reach your goals. So get out there and try one out today to see if it’s right for you!

Joyce Wilson,,


Sermon – reflections on war.

by Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved the topic of war is on my mind.

War has been in people ( psychologically); on people ( bombs); and – all around people for centuries. Why?

At the altar of the almighty truth there is a challenge here. This sermon does not lend itself to any one eternal and/or everlasting truth in answer – but rather  – the nature of the question goes more to a series of interpretations as to – why war?

What category of war is being contemplated and considered here? War in the sense of tribes – nationalities – nations in conflict with each other. I rely on the Oxford English Dictionary definition of war and  accordingly, “war” is defined as, “A state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country.”

There is a work on war more than a few centuries old written by Sun Tzu, entitled ‘The art of war’. It is Chinese and the thoughts are profound. Although having been written over a thousand years ago, it is still relied upon not only in military matters for strategy but has impacted other spheres of human activity. Consider:-

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

I start here because I realise that the approach of a rationalist academic analysis would potentially launch into a multiplicity of explanations such as considerations of  conflict in the context of  control of vital global resources : which I single out for special comment – but leave the others merely as being illustrative of the vast nature of the question- such as holding on to power and maintaining the status quo ( Apartheid South Africa); tribal differences ( Rwanda); political jostling for control over state power ( the Vietnam war); nationalism ( Nazi Germany in World War 11); jostling for regional power (Iraq under Saddam Hussein during the 8 year war with Iran);  expansion of territory ( Israel); balance of power conflagrations ( the Balkans); religion ( the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s fought between Croatian Christians and Muslim Bosnians) –  and on and on and on.

Compress, simplify and explain. How so?

Since Sun Tzu dealt with the inevitability of conflict as a state of being and Machiavelli, in his famous work ‘ The Prince’ wrote of  self -serving, brutal, realistic and amoral conduct at its ‘best’, I use that duality.    It was no less a person than former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger who made it appear that ‘The Prince’ was his ‘Bible’ for diplomacy, scheming, conniving and duplicity( see: footnote 1). Here, I am compressing as between Eastern versus Western thought processes based on dualistic modes of thought in the latter instance. The West sees and focuses primarily on the outer while the East starts with the inner, in the sense of conquest over one’s self as a first step to reach the victory in the external broader worldly sense. And so the attempt at a compressed  explanation as to – why conflict – flows from these three, identified initial steps.

Compression at the extreme would take us – stones – spears – bow and arrow – cross bow – explosives – advancing stages of bombs – guns – canons – missiles – atomic – nuclear – and any other sorts of weaponry the human mind dreams up.

Simplification thus – the cave man, like the ape, has a physical fight over the woman he wants. The tribe has a fight with the neighbouring tribe. The nation seeks control over territory – and so on.

Explanation accompanied by compression and simplification might be this. Let’s use only two motivational factors and parameters for warfare. Our human historical experiences and our psychological motivators. History encompasses the geopolitics of war. Our inherent human motivational triggers such as need, greed, conceptual constructs such as ‘Empire’ and fulfillment of religious fate explains a lot, but there is more. So, as much as we explain, there remains something outside the box. So be it – we have already put quite a lot in the box in a very short time – so let us then transfer from the conceptual, confined and contained box to the world out there.

For purposes of illustration,  the sermon confines itself to the post World War 11 era and contiguous decolonisation period from 1945 onwards. The Iraq war of 2003 will serve later as an illustrative talking point.

The war to end all wars ( and another one nevertheless). Some good however, after World War 11, in that there is the establishment of the United Nations and a number of Geneva Conventions setting  out at an international level attempts to  ‘civilize warfare’. I am born after these events and so walk a path along my birth line.

In the 1960s I attended St. Georges College, a Jesuit institution in Jamaica. The teachers were a mix of priests from Boston and some Jamaican lay teachers. At the time of the Vietnam War we had two sets of priests who made comment on the war. The older ones in the main could see no wrong with America’s war in Vietnam. Their logic ran that America was seeking to do good and was fighting the ungodly communists who  wanted fully to take over Vietnam. The younger Jesuits, without any exceptions as far as I recall, were vocally and staunchly against the war. They taught us that napalm was being used and agent orange also; while the older Jesuits told us stories of how evil the Communists were because they told little children to ask God for ice cream and after none came then they were instructed to ask Uncle Ho for ice cream and they were rewarded. One group saw a war of liberation; while the other saw a war of profiteering and oppression. Not much has changed over the years as I amble towards the Iraq war many years later.

In the years between the 1972 end of the Vietnam War and the onset of the 2003 Iraq war, I did a lot of growing up while advancing into adulthood towards a better understanding  of  just how the world really works  (see again: my commentary at footnote 1).

There is in every war a plethora of lies told; hypocrisy; tremendous economic cost; and – of course – killing, maiming and lasting psychological trauma. Yet, over and over again states set off to war. In 1959, an academic, Kenneth Waltz,  published an analysis entitled, ‘Man, the State, and War’. Stated succinctly, he said that, “wars occur because there is nothing to prevent them”. A truism. He has much more to say and it is accurate to say that every advanced student studying international relations in the Western world would have to contend with Waltz’s ideas. To compress his thoughts, he is saying that the international system lacks any central sovereign authority and so competition becomes endemic. A nice way of saying that if a state is powerful enough it will use its power for reason of lack of effective constraints on use of said power. Again, the Iraq war becomes my reference point in deference to Waltz and out of an acknowledgement of realism.

In purely theoretical terms, states, based on the application of rational thought, should never go to war. The human cost is too great and in the end no one really is the victor. The doubting Thomases will shout that if there had not been a war against Adolph Hitler, then the world would have been a sorry place faced with  post-war  Nazi victory. If a pre-war negotiated truce is not possible ( and here we invoke Mr. Chamberlain’s name) then of course, self-preservation; self-defence; and the ‘just war’ doctrine all dictate that war is inevitable in response to an aggressor and Article 51 of the UN Charter so condones:-

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

But, before returning to contemplation of   the madness which war is, let us use a little rationality.

Leonardo da Vince had worked in Venice designing munitions. It is recorded that he shelved some of his designs, having weighed the implications that if man devised a flying machine then the destruction from dropping munitions from such heights would be devastating for humans.  Maybe footnote 2 reflects this ( see below).He was correct, but time overtook him, as did rationalist compassion and the lunacy has extended to even greater heights. Some questions might be posed:-

  1. If two nuclear armed powers can each blow the world up one time over, and they  then proceed to acquire more ‘un-useable nuclear arms’ to be able to blow the world up five or ten times over – then what is the advantage of such additional weapons considering that the use of  the first set  would be MAD  and lead to( Mutually Assured Destruction)?
  2. If a nuclear power demonstrates that it can and will destroy other countries which do not have the capacity for retaliatory nuclear strikes – then – what incentive does any country have to engage in a denuclearisation agreement?

Note: The obvious and immediate cases in point are – Iraq – Libya – North Korea vis- a- vis – the United States of America.

  1. Is there more sense in increasing the production of:-
  2. i) Internationally banned and/or prohibited chemicals and biological capacity for warfare; and
  3. ii) WMDs generally; and

iii) Nuclear weaponry in particular; and

  1. iv) Shouldn’t there be a global treaty prohibiting climate manipulation as an instrument of warfare;

and, via treaty and agreements de-escalating each of the above and safely and sensibly redeploying resources on the welfare of a nation’s people? The US can be noted, as a case in point, in Afghanistan and Iraq, for in just those two wars the US has lost  over 7,000  lives, expended over US$ 6 trillion and not yet, counting or including the maimed, psychologically damaged and over 1 million Iraqi lives lost. All of this is just numbers, one can say. Just numbers. Yet, behind each number is a human face, a person, a family – an actual person and many people stacked high in those numbers. Is this rational; does this make sense; is this desirable – and – even if desirable for some – is it over time sustainable?

Having posed the questions – I doubt that I am likely to obtain any rational justifications. Explanations as to why wars break out – yes – as regards consciously doing the following:-

  1. Spanish American war commenced with a staged explosion in Havana Harbour.
  2. The Vietnam War commenced with a falsehood. It was  announced the day before that in the Bay of Tongkin, the USS Maddox was attacked by the North Vietnamese. The only problem was that President Johnson announced the incident that day before it actually  happened, having failed to take into account the international date line for the right  time to announce the “attack”.
  3. The 2003 Iraq war based on the allegation  and falsehood that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in violation of UN resolutions.

The 2003 Iraq war. This resonates with me in memory, in terms of international law ( violations thereof) and in straightforward human and humanitarian terms. Let’s consider.

Just before the Iraq war I made a bet with an ex US Navy man I knew. I told him that there would be no invasion of Iraq and bet him US$100 with 4 to 1 odds. I lost; he won.

My thinking was based on strictly legal analysis and not on the realpolitik motivating the illegal invasion of Iraq. I had studiously followed the work of the UN Chief Weapons Inspector, an international lawyer named Hans Blix. He was not willing to tell lies and he informed accurately what his team had found and been convinced by, which did not tally with what President George Bush Jr. wanted to hear. Blix went as far as offering a final, further six weeks to do additional  investigations then make an ultimate report, with a view not to rush to war. Bush rejected the offer and – as they say – the rest is history ( see: footnote 3).

I observed in the United Kingdom at the time that two prominent persons lost their lives  with reference to  the Iraq invasion. Robin Cook was the British Foreign Secretary who resigned in March 2003 in protest over the invasion of Iraq:-

“The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading partner—not NATO, not the European Union and, now, not the Security Council”

Professor Waltz was correct in his analysis; it is about power; not legality. They can do it – so – just do it.

Dr. David Kelly was a distinguished scientist on biological warfare, in the service of the British Government.

Cook died allegedly from a heart attack suffered in August, 2005. There was never any serious investigation into the nature and cause of his death. Cook seems to have been divulging confidential information going back to the Iraq invasion, contrary to the prohibition placed on him by the Official Secrets Act. Kelly died supposedly from suicide. He  had spoken to a BBC journalist named Andrew Gilligan. Gilligan made reference to details provided by Kelly and to the UK Government’s dossier on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Parliament summoned Kelly to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee while investigating Gilligan’s report and  Kelly, two days later, was found dead.

So, there you have it. He who tells the truth may pay with his life.

My moral position is one of forever seeking a road to peace as the first recourse. If all else fails then self-defence becomes inevitable for logical reasons of self-preservation. I do  not relish conflict; do not glorify militarism, yet seek to understand – why war?  Sun Tzu is particularly helpful to me in comprehending on a philosophical level – the reasons why. He sees conflict as inevitable and war thus as a necessary evil. He also notes philosophically ways to avoid “war” in the extreme: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”  – and – he penetrates the inner self in response to the outer confrontation with warfare – for as he says – “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

At this juncture I have very little left to say.

My sermon, on this occasion, was compelled to abandon its normal mission of truth seeking. My absolutist approach, if one can call it that. “War” by its pervasiveness and existence as a global reality has directed me along a path of an appreciation of relativist reality. Noting the reality that war was here before me – has persisted all my life – and – shall be here after I close my eyes for the final time.

To the extent that I have pursued the truths behind the Iraq war, my piece was said back in 2006 when I published ‘Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies’. Having revisited it, there is nothing I wish to change and continue to  note reality as it is ( see footnote 6).

Having come to those conclusions, my farewell adopts a realistic tone:-

War – Oh hell! – AMEN!


  2. The American Muslim (TAM)

    Alfred Nobel and the Real Prize – Peace “I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankin

  4. Leonardo da Vinci’s Aerial Screw Invention

    Nearly four hundred years before the invention of the helicopter, Leonardo da Vinci invented a flying machine that used a revolving platform to gain flight.

  5. ‘Disarming Iraq’ by Hans Blix ( published 2004).


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.     

The Classroom De-Gamer

By Richard John Stapleton

Here is a way to make students more responsible in class and citizens more responsible for elections, by teaching leadership and democratic skills, through learning by doing, by giving everyone a chance to study facts, think, make decisions, and be leader. What follows is a revised reprint of Chapter Eight of my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, as shown at



The Classroom De-Gamer is a “roulette” device I developed that enables teachers to get feedback from students regarding homework assignments without giving written tests every day and without setting up the Drama Triangle by calling on students to answer specific questions using a nonrandom selection process.

The Classroom De-Gamer is constructed of a three-quarter-inch-thick circular board that is twelve inches in diameter, with numbers affixed to allow for varying class sizes. I have published articles describing the device in Research in Education (1978), the Transactional Analysis Journal (1979), and The Organizational Behavior Teaching Review (1990).

To use the De-Gamer, I like to have students position their desks in an Orbit Layout. I place the De-Gamer in the center of the room.

I spin the arrow the first time myself. This is only time I will spin the arrow, barring absences of students.

All students have a contract to read before class whatever has been assigned for the day.  Most days in my classes the assigned reading is a business case laden with facts and numbers. If the De-Gamer catches a student unprepared s/he loses a whole letter grade from the final course grade.

I spin the arrow the first time myself. This is only time I will spin the arrow, barring absences of students.

The student the arrow lands on has the responsibility of talking about the assigned material. If specific questions are asked of De-Gamer-selected students, the questions are announced to the class as a whole before the spinning takes place.

The student initially pointed out spins the arrow next, and so it goes throughout the course. The last person pointed out spins the De-Gamer next.

If the room must be set up in the sometimes-unavoidable row-and-column layout, each student is assigned a number corresponding to numbers on the De-Gamer, and whoever’s number the arrow lands on has the responsibility of saying what’s what.

Advantages of the De-Gamer

The primary advantage of the De-Gamer is that it enables a teacher to get concrete feedback regarding material learned as part of the Adult learning contract without setting up the Drama Triangle.

In a classroom in which the De-Gamer is used properly, all ego states in students can see and feel that the teacher is not manipulating who gets called on for ulterior reasons. All ego states in students can see and feel that they are not being Persecuted or Rescued by a teacher playing a Game when they are called on to respond to classroom requirements and challenges.

Perhaps the major advantage of a De-Gamer is that it cathects Adult ego states, especially if group members are instructed to answer the following Adult Questions if randomly selected:

What is/are the problem/s? What are the alternatives? What do you recommend?

While no one should be taught to use the Adult ego state all the time, teaching business students to use the Adult ego state is especially appropriate, since, in the long run, being able to see current reality for what it is and assess and predict probabilities of recommended actions happening relatively accurately is a major determinant of satisfaction in competitive business environments.

Another advantage of the De-Gamer is that it brings about a more efficient utilization of class time. Less time is spent rehashing what the students know by emphasizing already-learned points.

Another advantage is that the De-Gamer focuses the attention of the class upon the Adult learning contract. Since less energy is now being spent playing Games, more energy is available for learning what is actually supposed to be learned.

I find that the De-Gamer also reduces the amount of time I spend on rituals and pastimes.

Disadvantages of the Classroom De-Gamer

The De-Gamer is at first threatening to many students. Ironically, while actual Persecuting or Rescuing has been banished from the classroom, some students psychologically view the probabilistic selection process facilitated by the De- Gamer as Persecuting or Rescuing. Some students are apparently so used to partiality of some sort (i.e. Games) being shown by teachers when they are called on in class that they are threatened when singled out by the obviously impartial De-Gamer.

I have participated with students as a student when the De-Gamer was used. When the De-Gamer landed on me, even though I was the teacher and should have known the material, I had an uneasy feeling. I felt as though some metaphysical force had caused the arrow to land on me.

Students tell me they feel some fear when the De-Gamer is spinning at the start of the class. When asked “what do you feel when the De-Gamer is being spun?” the almost-unanimous answer was “anxiety.” Some of the students thought the anxiety (or “adrenalin,” as one of them put it) helped them learn.

I teach college students. The reactions of high school, junior high, or grade school students (or learners anywhere, in homes, businesses, organizations, etc.) may be different to some degree. I doubt the difference is extensive. Based on my experience, I believe the De-Gamer will work at any level.

Due to the adrenalin factor, perhaps the De-Gamer should be used less frequently at lower educational levels. There are a number of creative approaches that innovative teachers can use in conjunction with the De-Gamer at all educational levels to alleviate anxiety.

Evidence the De-Gamer Works

I have acquired data indicating the effectiveness of the Classroom De-Gamer. At the end of the winter quarter 1978 and spring quarter 1978, I passed out the following questionnaire to my students.

  1. I think the De-Gamer caused me to prepare more for this course than I would have had the De-Gamer not been used.
Yes_____ No____
  2. I think the De-Gamer caused me to learn more than would have been the case had the De-Gamer not been used.
Yes____ No_____
  3. I believe the De-Gamer made the learning process in this class more fair and just than would have been the case had the De-Gamer not been used.
Yes_____ No______
  4. I believe the De-Gamer reduced psychological Game playing in this class.

Yes____ No_____

I taught Small Business Management and Production Management I in winter 1978 and Business Policy and Production Management II in spring 1978. There were 24 students in Small Business Management, 26 in Production Management I, 35 in Business Policy, and 19 in Production Management II.

Taking the 111 students as a group, regarding question 1, 94 percent said the De-Gamer caused them to prepare more for class than they would have had the De-Gamer not been used. Regarding question 2, 80 percent said the De-Gamer caused them to learn more than they would have had the De-Gamer not been used. Regarding question 3, 82 percent said they believed the De-Gamer caused the learning process to be more fair and just than would have been the case had the De-Gamer not been used. On question 4, 72 percent said they thought the De-Gamer reduced psychological Game playing.

Analysis of the Findings

The questionnaires were anonymous and were placed in an envelope when I was not in the room. The students merely checked the appropriate blanks. There is no Adult reason that the students should not have been straight and Game-free in their transactions in filling out the questionnaire. There is some chance that bias entered into their responses, but it is minimal.

I think the findings from the above samples are valid and reliable. I believe the findings indicate that the De-Gamer does cause students to prepare more for homework assignments and learn more. I believe the findings indicate that the De-Gamer reduces Game playing in class and creates a more fair and just situation.

I think I can make two additional valid and reliable generalizations from an analysis of the findings by course. One is that the De-Gamer works better in “hard” courses than in “soft” courses. The other is that the smaller the class, the greater the De-Gamer’s effects.

Small-business-management and business-policy courses are “softer” than Production courses. By hard and soft, I do not mean easier or less valuable. I see a soft course as one in which there is little that can be proved with hard data, where most of the generalizations or concepts are of the synthetic, inductive-opinion type. A hard course, on the other hand, is one in which many of the ideas, generalizations, and so on can be demonstrated by deductive logic and mathematics, based on the analysis of concrete facts and data.

Small business and business policy courses are, to a large extent, concerned with setting goals and objectives for businesses and determining basic purposes. This activity, a significant part of the business process, necessarily involves primarily intuitive abilities. It is easier for students to just make something up to say in class without reading the case beforehand in these courses than in the more mathematical courses. This is not to say that “just making something up” (i.e., creating something) is not a valuable part of a learning process, and some people are definitely better at doing it than others.

This opens a Pandora’s box of suboptimal OKness in schools. Much Game playing goes on regarding whose and which courses are hard, easy, interesting, boring, useful, and worthless. Some teachers deliberately attempt to make inherently soft courses into hard ones so they won’t be considered easy Santa Clauses. There are hundreds of combinations of hard, soft, easy, hard-to-learn, useful, interesting, and worthless courses. Just because a course is hard, this doesn’t mean it is valuable, and just because a course is easy, this does not mean it is not valuable. I am sure a course in Egyptian hieroglyphics would be hard, but it would be next to worthless for most students.

The De-Gamer and Other Matters in My Human Relations Course

The smaller the course, the higher the probability the arrow will land on a particular student on a given day, and, therefore, there is more pressure on students to do their homework in small classes than in large ones.

The main reason the De-Gamer works is that students know their fellow students know they had an Adult contract to read and study the assigned material and they will lose points and face if caught unprepared. Even the most negative Parent and Child ego states in the room feel there is a positive reason to read and discuss homework under these conditions.

I have evidence the De- Gamer works based on true-false/multiple-choice tests.

During summer quarter 1978, using a standard textbook, I taught a human-relations course for junior-year business majors. There were about forty students in the course. The author placed some short cases in the course textbook to embellish his text material, which consisted primarily of research findings. The cases were too short to facilitate any real analytical work, so we used essentially a Learning-the-Textbook Method.

As it turns out, practically nothing is always true regarding human behavior in the field of business. Most textbook authors in the field present the disjointed findings of behavior researchers from various areas that are qualified almost into nothingness. The author of the summer human relations course textbook, like all textbook writers, also wrote an instructor’s manual telling teachers how to teach using his book. The instructor’s manual, like all good instructor’s manuals, also contained hundreds of true-false/multiple-choice/fill-in-the-blank/matching test questions, complete with answers for the teacher showing on which page of the textbook the answer was found. Since human behavior research studies have not found any answers that apply in all cases, the “answers” to the test questions in the instructor’s manual were of the order that so-and-so found that such and such was almost an answer and that so-and-so said such and such, regardless of whether what he or she said was true or relevant. Various numbers were found in the book from place to place, and lots of declarative sentences were used, which could be turned into test questions.

Since the students and I decided to use the Learning-the-Textbook Method in this course, with true-false and multiple-choice test questions prepared by the author for tests, the students would have to learn what was in the book. It took me some doing to get them to agree to honor this learning contract, especially after the first test.

Most students in the course did poorly on the first test. They got 40 or 50 percent of the textbook author’s questions wrong. Correcting the test in class, I had my instructor’s manual and the textbook page numbers for answers in front of me so that I could look up the answers when students complained that they got points taken off that shouldn’t have been taken off. Many points were taken off that shouldn’t have been, because our management department’s secretary left an answer off my answer key sheet. Consequently when I marked the Xs in the circles on the students’ answer sheets, most of the Xs were for questions the students really got right. To say the least, this set loose a hornet’s nest of Parent indignation and Child anguish in the students. Needless to say, I took all the tests back and corrected the error.

Some students were already disgusted with me in class, and the above incident added more fuel to the fire. I had said very little in class up to that point. I had come in every day and set the De-Gamer up in the center of the room. I used the Orbit Layout. I had made a few comments from time to time. On one or two days, I didn’t say a single word. A student would spin the arrow of the Classroom De-Gamer at the beginning of the period, and the selected student would start a discussion of the assigned material; if I thought the students understood what was talked about in the chapter, I said nothing.

The first test was taken about three weeks into the quarter. By this time, many of the students were beginning to criticize the course in class. They didn’t like the book. The author wasn’t clear, they said. The test questions weren’t fair. They wanted to use some other book or learning method. I replied, “We’ve got an Adult learning contract to do it this way. It may not be any good or fair, but we all agreed to it, so let’s keep it up.”

Any student who disagreed with the learning contract could have dropped the course and gotten another teacher using other methods after the first day of class. We had alternative teachers and methods for the course. At the same time, any student taking severe umbrage to the course could drop it with no prejudice up until midquarter. I told them I thought they were doing pretty well, given the handicaps and unfairness they were exposed to in this course.

They did better on the second test. Two or three students made A’s on this test. They had learned how to answer 90 percent or more of the textbook author’s questions right, according to the answer key taken from the instructor’s manual.

During this interlude, after several invitations for me to lecture by various members of the class, I took a vote on whether I should lecture to them, and the almost-unanimous wish was that I would lecture. I then began to do some lecturing, which consisted of drawing some transactional analysis models on the chalkboard and adding my opinions on human behavior to those the textbook author gave.

I used true-false, multiple-choice questions taken from the instructor’s manual for the third test. My TA and personal-opinion lectures on human behavior were freebies, I said. I told them I hoped they found my lectures interesting and useful. I was amazed at how well the students did on the third test. There were four or five A’s and no grades lower than C. I gave them several positive strokes for their achievement.

I told them that some of them did better on the test than I probably could or would have, and here I was an expert on human behavior. I became a little concerned when I found out how much time some of the A students spent cramming for the test—something like eight hours. It was obvious that many of the students were doing their best to memorize the book for the test.

In the meantime, I had assigned the students the task of writing some cases of their own, taken from their work experience or current field research, which they distributed to each class member. They then discussed these cases using the De-Gamer in the normal manner, i.e., spinning the De-Gamer to start the discussion of each case. After five or so weeks into the ten-week course, they began to discuss their cases along with the textbook.

At the first of the quarter, the students were covering a chapter a day in the book and had to have more material to fill out the quarter. They could discuss one of the textbook chapters in the Adult mode using the De-Gaming process in about fifteen minutes. The textbook, a normal-sized textbook of about five hundred pages, had only about twenty chapters, and we had fifty class sessions of fifty minutes each for the course. The remaining class time was devoted to their written cases and my occasional lectures. Rarely were they turned out early.

Final grades were determined 50 percent by scores on the true-false/ multiple-choice tests and 50 percent by class participation. I always place a heavy weight on class participation—normally 80 percent of the final grade. Most (95 percent or so) of my courses entail the Case Method and no memorization for tests. I normally use case write-ups for tests. Students know—once you tell them what Games are—that playing Games will hurt their class participation grades. This procedure alone precludes a lot of Games.

I use peer ratings on a scale of 0-4 (4 being equivalent to an A) to give students feedback regarding how the class as a whole saw each student. I think it is important that students know what students think about their performance. This teaches students how others perceive them in communication episodes similar to those of the class. This gives students potent Adult feedback that they can use to make decisions about how to communicate.

I have all students write down on a form a 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each class member, corresponding to whether they think the student deserves an F, a D, a C, a B, or an A for class participation. I sum these numbers for each student and write them on the inside of a folded slip of paper with the student’s name on the outside and pass them out in class.  Students dividing their scores by the number of evaluators provides them a class grade point average, which is usually valid, in my opinion. Some students are irresponsible, poor evaluators, but most are not. In my courses, it is obvious to the Adults of most students what grades most students deserve for class participation.

I consider it my responsibility to ultimately determine the class-participation grade. I use various criteria. The most important criteria are how well informed the student is; how accurate are his or her observations, analyses, and recommendations are; and what sort of an impact has the student had on the class. Was the student a leader of the class? Did the student motivate the class to learn or have fun or play Games? Was the motivation positive or negative? Did the student listen well? Or did he or she habitually discount the class by sleeping, yawning, slouching down in his or her desk or chair, or whispering covertly to other students?

I tell students at the beginning of the quarter they will be evaluated on the basis of their total participation in class, which includes not only what and how much they say but how well they motivate others by how well they listen. It comes as a surprise to most people that they can learn listening skills, but once they see what these skills are, they are not difficult to learn. A certain amount of effort is required to maintain an effective body posture and control ego states in such a way as to be congruent with what is going on. Since students are supposed to do some work in classes, it is not unreasonable to teach them to control their verbal and nonverbal transactions in order to contribute to the class.

Grading the active listening skills of students causes helping behavior to exist in the classroom among students, which increases learning. Students are graded not only on the basis of what they selfishly learn for themselves to further their own success in life—they are also graded on the basis of how they help their fellow class members learn and grow and be successful, which is, after all, the best way to get successful and make it big in life anyway. This is what successful leaders and managers do in the business world.

Students, trainees, and employees have to be taught (sometimes with much repetition) that being smart and selfishly learning or memorizing material to further one’s own ends is not necessarily excellent. I had some students in the above human relations course who had A averages on the tests but C averages for class participation, and they thus received B’s in the course. There were some students who made C’s on the tests but who had A’s for class participation, who also received B’s.

Students in the human relations course proved that students could memorize material for tests quite well when the Classroom De-Gamer is used and when the teacher does no emphasizing of the material in the text.

One of the most interesting things I learned in that course had to do with how students normally study for tests. The consensus of the class was that in most courses, they did not have to read the book word for word. They felt that most teachers who use the Lecture Method tell students, in one way or another, what will be on the tests. They do this by what they emphasize and spend extra time on and through the body language they use when lecturing about certain things. Thus, students don’t have to pay much attention to the book. They mainly memorize their notes from the teacher’s lectures, which, according to the students in the above class, did not require as much time or work as my classroom structure configuration.

All too often, students’ attitude is “just tell me what’s going to be on the test.”

Another interesting thing about this human relations class is that it was generally too Critical Parent and Adapted Child. There was not enough Natural Child and Nurturing Parent energy in the room. About midway through the course, it became apparent that most of the students had decided to do a good job of memorizing the material for the tests from Critical Parent and Adapted Child, but the class was boring and stiff.

One day, I told them I thought they were a dull group, which they were, relative to most of my classes. From quarter to quarter, semester-to-semester, or year-to-year, most classes will be populated with generally the same percentages of all ego states, but it will sometimes happen that some classes are overdeveloped or underdeveloped in various ego states, depending on the type of early conditioning the students in the class had. In this human relations class, it appeared that 80 percent or so of the students must have been reared in families almost devoid of Natural Child fun and Nurturing Parent helping behavior. It seemed the only thing they cared about in class was their grade. There was little laughter or fun, and almost no one asked for or received any help or support.

A no-stroke economy had been set up, as they had apparently decided that the only thing that counted was memorizing the material for the tests. Another problem in this class was that the natural leaders were these Critical Parent/Adapted Child types. If there had been three or four leaders in the class who were better endowed with Nurturing Parent/Natural Child, the culture of the class would have been less dull.

When I told them they were dull, several of the Critical Parents were concerned. What Critical Parent wants their Adapted Child to be dull? I explained they needed to use more Natural Child and Nurturing Parent during class.

I also explained what Natural Child—Natural Child transactions were, and after I finished this, one shocked, indignant student from Critical Parent blurted out, “What do you want us to do, just sit here and bullshit”

I explained that I didn’t think it would be a good idea for them to spend all their time bullshooting but that it would be a good idea to spend some time bullshooting.

“Not in the classroom!” the Critical Parent snapped back.

“Why not in the classroom?” I replied. I explained that in business school, we were training people to be business managers and salespeople and that out in the real world, if you don’t know how to bullshoot, you won’t get very far. I explained that bullshooting is a valuable skill for managers and salespeople.

Although some of the Critical Parents never bought this idea, most of the Adults got the point. The class began to spend more time in Natural Child pastiming. They started out spending maybe five minutes a day at it; by the end of the course, they spent fifteen or twenty minutes a day at it some days.

Telling the class they were a dull group caused them to be less dull. Near the end of the course, one student said from Adapted Child to my Critical Parent, “Dr. Stapleton, do you still think we’re a dull group?”

“Not as dull as you were,” I replied from my Adult to the student’s Adult.

Some of the students, including the student who asked if I still thought they were a dull group, were pleased that I thought they had made some progress in becoming less dull.

The problem is that if you are trying to be not dull from Adapted Child to get your Critical Parent off your back, because a teacher thinks you are dull (when your Critical Parent wanted you to be dull in the first place), you are still operating from Adapted Child and are not spontaneously and joyfully saying and doing things from Natural Child. Therefore, a certain amount of dullness is still involved. While this class had become more lively than they were, they were still duller than most of my classes.

This lesson about being dull turned out to be very interesting to the students. It seemed to intensify their efforts to memorize the book. Apparently, they decided if they couldn’t be not dull in their communicating in class, then they would at least be good scholars.

An exceptionally intense contest had somehow been set up among the students to see who could score highest on the tests, regardless of how unfair they thought the tests were. It seemed to me that even the least interested students in the class were drawn into this contest. It seems to me this indicates students will work to gain achievement strokes when they are denied Game strokes.

All in all, it was an interesting learning experience. I learned something from the course, and I think the students got something valuable from it. It wound up a generally OK class. Some of the students thought various students in the class and I were not OK, but most of us came out of the course in a winner position, i.e., I’m OK—you’re OK. Some of the students told me they thought the course was one of the best they had had. One student had a 4.0 grade point average going into the course, having made a point to let me know about it during the course. She made a low A on the tests, but had a high C or low B in class participation, and, therefore, she got a B in the course. I haven’t seen her since the course. I had some concerns about how she would react when she received the B and what effect this would have on her OKness, but my job is to enforce the Adult learning contract. I do not have a contract to see to it that 4.0 students keep a perfect average.

What Kind of Teacher Am I?

I don’t show up well on numerical-average faculty evaluations filled out by undergraduates. I am highly appreciated by some students and highly criticized by others.

I appeal to tough-minded students with good Adult ego states. Students who like to play Games don’t like me. I am a competent teacher in the eyes of my colleagues, as evidenced by my promotion to full professor at age thirty-five. I develop good relationships with some students. Each year, I sent twenty or so graduates out into the world who essentially majored in me. These are students who have taken courses with me for most or all of their free electives, from four to six courses, because they like the Classroom De-Gamer and the case method.

One of these students came by to see me four days before graduation. Since he was about to graduate, he decided to tell me how he saw the lay of the land at Georgia Southern. He was convinced I had the right approach to teaching. He wanted to know why more teachers don’t use the case method. “That De-Gamer really works. In a lot of the courses you take, you don’t learn anything,” he said.

He had flunked some sort of exit exam and was in jeopardy of not gradu- ating. He had retaken the exam but didn’t know whether he had passed it the second time. I think this exam had to do with the constitution. At any rate, he thought it was ridiculous that he even had to take the exam. He was down on the test administrator and generally all college administrators. “Here I am, the customer,” he said, “and they act like they’re doing you a favor to let you out of here.”

He was switching back and forth from Victim to Persecutor and was inviting me to Rescue him and join in the Persecution his Parent wanted to inflict on some administrators. This was a good student—with a 2.8 or so gradepoint—and I personally liked him. He was a well-motivated, generally positive, go-getter type. I had observed him in class for five or six courses, and he generally stayed in an OK position, was well prepared, and had good things to say when he talked about the material. I decided to play some first-degree “ain’t it awful” and “let’s you and him fight” (Berne 1964) with him.

I pointed out he could go talk to the college president about the poor administrative performance he had seen, and that regarding the exit exam he had retaken, it might be a good idea to go talk to the “punk” administrator who would grade the thing and see if he passed it the second time.

“I just might do that,” he said. “Just walk right in the president’s office and talk to him like an Adult. You don’t have to come on Child to these administrators, even the president, do you?”

“Not if you’ve graduated,” I said.

“Yeah, well, I think I’ll just go talk to the president.”

I told him I thought that students had an Adult right to evaluate teachers and administrators, that no one was exempt from evaluation, that it goes on all the time everywhere.

“It sure is nice to have some teachers you can talk to,” he said. “There aren’t many teachers around here you can talk to.”

This led him into wondering why I wasn’t more popular with students. “You know,” he said, “these freshmen and sophomores ask me, ‘What’s Stapleton like? Is he hard?’ I tell them, ‘No, he’s not hard, but it’s like having a test every day.’”

This student and I talked for thirty or so minutes in my office. We played some first-degree Games, did some pastiming and some Adult problem solving, exchanged positive strokes, and achieved a higher degree of intimacy than normally exists between students and teachers. We ended our encounter in an I’m OK—You’re OK position.

The student was coming from a position of I’m OK—You’re OK, but some of the administrators and other teachers are not OK. From an Adult standpoint, he was correct and accurately perceptive regarding some of the not OKness he had seen, but his Parent and Child had set up some Games around it. Before he talked to me, he had been more interested in enjoying the drama of the situation than taking some Adult action steps to correct the problem.

Despite his playing some Games, this was still a good student. I told him that I thought he was a good student and that I thought he would do well in his career. He told me about the job he already had lined up in first-level management at a good salary. Everything was rosy except the problem of getting out of the place. Most likely this student will wind up more successful than most graduates. He will make it and be successful and powerful.

Many of my graduates report back that they have made it and are powerful and successful. Rightly or wrongly, they say my teaching helped them. I enjoy teaching and generally find it satisfying. I enjoy engaging in Adult-Adult discussions with students in a relatively Game-free atmosphere. This happens frequently in my classes. What is most satisfying about teaching to me is watching students figure things out and decide to become more capable.


Games vary in degrees of seriousness. As pointed out in a previous chapter, there are first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree Games. First-degree Games are relatively innocuous, and third-degree Games are dangerous. I have encountered only one student whom I consider a potential third-degree Game player. In class, this student glared and glowered and absolutely refused to positively participate throughout the whole course. I gave him the D in the course he earned, giving him credit for his written work and the fact he was there in body. He then unleashed his full arsenal of Games, playing them not only with me but with my department head, the dean, and anyone else he thought could or would help Persecute me. He stopped me in the hall one day and escalated to the second degree. The white-hot anger showing in his face indicated he could have gone on to the third degree. The student did poorly not only in my course but also in several others. He flunked out of school and faded off into the sunset. I haven’t seen the student for several years, but I have some scare whenever I think of him. I hope has he found a niche where he can be productive and has not been a menace to people around him.

Encountering one potential third-degree Game player is not bad. This indicates that the majority of college students are reasonably well-off in an OKness, Game-playing sense. I estimate that 80–90 percent of all college students play first-degree Games in classrooms and offices with teachers. Most students “brownnose” to a certain extent. This reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of learning activities, but it does not result in serious harm. I estimate that 30–40 percent of all college students play some second-degree Games outside of the classroom with friends, family members, and so on, but this still will not put anyone in a hospital. I think college teachers and organizational trainers encounter fewer second and third degree Games among students and trainees than elementary, junior high, or high school teachers. Most of the heavy Game players drop out of the learning process before college and cannot function in most organizations that reward participants on the basis of outward, positive contributions and merit. On the other hand, based on my experience with public school learning situations, third-degree Games are rare in these situations. In general, teachers and trainers don’t need to worry about third-degree Game players in ordinary learning situations. What teachers and trainers need to primarily do about Games is reduce first-degree Games so more learning can take place.




Sermon – My Civilising Mission


That for his long stay;

Abroad and away in a distant land.

               Turned a helpful hand;

With non-barbaric plan: night long.

              Tame as of the shrew; headlong

He sprung to civilize the Britons ‘till farewell song.


By Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved, we are again at the altar of the Almighty Truth. Gathered for delivery and receipt of words of enlightening and everlasting truth.

Our topic today is the mission of civilization which saw me trying to redeem the British from lives of drudgery and stoic resolution.

The beginning is normally the correct place to start, but here already steadily advancing towards the peroration and already at the third paragraph might do just as well – so let us begin.

In the beginning I lived in Jamaica. When I was sixteen, I was shipped off to England to further my education. Projecting that I would be doing a first degree and post-grad studies, I was the fortunate recipient of a flat ( ‘apartment’ as the Americans term it). My father sagaciously and with considerable financial foresight, bought a place in a well appointed part of London – south east London in Upper Norwood where I lived during the course of my studies.

Now, the shift from the Caribbean to England was initially a culture shock. ‘They’ were not me and I was not them. Despite the differences I quickly learned the ways and largely adjusted to patterns of behaviour and alternate ways of living and doing that were quite different to me than the way we did things back home. However, I vowed to remain civilized and refused to  convert to certain barbaric and insularly withdrawn ways accompanied by antiquated and dowdy existential practices.

Barbaric is a strong word, but at its worst, it was actually a form of villainous  sadistic  introspection accompanied by withdrawal into one’s own personality. Simply put, the majority of people were not gregarious and  not  instinctively and/or habitually warmly open. They were not unduly hostile, but the personality was one of cautious rectitude accompanied by  politeness. At its best, politeness was present to a fault. Of course I am reflecting loosely and collectively, but the general at times can nevertheless sum up the specific. Watching the cricket crowd at Lords and observing the English is quite a different tell on cultural disposition, be it at Lords or the Oval, of being within the West Indian stands, versus watching the game with the stiff and stoic upper lip. In those days much of that was needed by the English  in great quantity for it was then that under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd the West Indies was on a fifteen to eighteen year winning streak. But back to the point and the mission.  The best summary of English cultural traits is written by a Hungarian  travel author, George Mikes, in ‘ How to be an alien’,  being the most successful of all his many humourous books. Mikes wrote, “the English have no soul; they have the understatement instead.” To sum up what I was getting at earlier, they are a reserved lot of people, and so the West Indian cricket ground cavorting is simply not British. The English will sit quietly, intelligently, and in a deliberately studied fashion watch the game while  the spirited West Indians can do what the bloody hell they want to; they simply are not British. There I stared the problem in its face and I was  determined to fix it.  But how so?

When I moved into my flat, it took me far too long to get to know my neighbours. There we were coming in and out – seeing the same faces week in and week out and it took so bloody long to get to know people. Not that they were impolite ( far from it) – much too polite and withdrawn. Time for a change.

I like parties. Nothing like a few drinks, friends, music and dancing to raise the spirits. Good start. My first party in true West Indian style got going around 11p.m. and went all the way through into the morning.  Those who drove were heading home somewhere between 5 or 6 in the morning and the buses for others would start running around 6 a.m. ( no all night services back then in the 1970s). So, a neighbour rings the bell and comes in and marches to the record player and takes the record off and complains to me that he has to go to work early next morning. I turn the music down a bit, the food is served around 2:00 a.m. and we party all night and morning long. Not the best start, but a start nevertheless. How can I civilize them? How can I introduce levity, laughter, humour of an effervescent type and not studied, wry or intellectually clever humour with subtle undertones and the ol’  double entendre ? How can I make them all in all less dull and dreary people? That was my challenge – that was my mission, hard as it may seem, I was determined to give it my best.

New party and new strategy and this time I invite everyone in earshot of my flat. They all get in the groove and love it, curry goat, chicken, rice and peas  and more and music like they had not heard before. Ah, I am making progress.  And so it continued over the years with eager inquiries coming as to when would be the next one. They were finally letting their hair down and  were realising that there is more to life than work and home and vice versa each day.

I was not the first from the Caribbean who had this concern,  for there was the well established Notting Hill Carnival addressing the problem on a mass scale each year. It had become, during my years in London, the largest carnival in all of Europe. All a part of the civilizing mission born of care and concern for responding to  the hungry needs of the backward  British psyche.

Face it, being reserved, very reserved, can be and is astoundingly boring and ultimately of no good for one’s psychological well-being. It takes forever and a day to get to know one’s neighbours and making good acquaintances and developing friendships are both in the general English milieu – laborious tasks instead of joyous endeavours which are supposed to feed the heart and enliven the spirit. Face it, life is not long enough along the English trajectory to have a happy life with such great distances between meeting a person to thereafter  walking the very  long road to friendship . How does one get them to open up spontaneously and  – well – to put it bluntly – simply learn habitually to live as happy human beings?  All a part of the hard task taken on.

So, there was this particularly good party. College friends, flat mate’s friends and acquaintances, the wholly bloody adjoining neighborhood of inhabitants of flats and a truly cosmopolitan bunch of people with music blaring in merriment. Then there is my friend Trevor’s Uncle Bert. Trevor was also from Jamaica and in England studying and he lived with his uncle, not far down the road from me in Croydon. Uncle Bert accompanies Trevor and jumps right into it. Did he now. Ol’ Bert ends up dancing ( if dancing it can be so termed) with this Mayfair Playboy Bunny in a secluded corner for about 5 or 6 songs. She happened to be the live in girlfriend of my immediate neighbour who had been to my parties before; before he and she met Bert that is. Well, Bert seemed to be making the breast of it – sorry – best of it, and she seemed to be enjoying every moment, but then, there was this boyfriend who  was not amused. For some strange reason, once the music took a little break and Bert too, the boyfriend, it appears, made a hasty dash for his girlfriend followed by an equally hasty retreat home, next door. If Bert ever came to another party, I cannot recall that the neighbor ever did – or – if he did it was a quick hi and goodbye. I wonder why? Ah well, despite the interlocutor meeting such as with ol’ Bert,  the mission overall  proceeded over the years, quite well.

Over time, my parties became a staple. The English ( at least those who could attend my entertainment college) learned in rapid order how to be open, warm, friendly and even indulgent at times ( someone said “Uncle Bert”?).

Yet as the years wore on, I noticed that there seemed to be an overarching depression within Britain. I was perturbed for I had been doing my best to assist the people uplift in spirits from their psychological plight. So, I investigated. It turned out that during my years abroad, this coincided with the West Indies consistently, for an extended period, beating England in their national game, cricket. This led to great depression. What could I do? The mission, not only in my flat, but in places such as Dalston, Brixton, and up north in Birmingham and Manchester and across the country the mission had effective and active volunteers engaging the English, with considerable success over a number of years. We could not permit West Indian cricket success to defeat the mission. Churchill’s words came to mind, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;…”

The  West Indies cricket team did all that and not even in beach cricket could England then defeat us. But, the victories were having a deleterious effect on the national psyche which was in turn adversely affecting the civilizing mission. There simply had to be an answer and a reversal before the several years of “blood, toil, tears and sweat” were expended all for nought. Blood in Brixton rioting against racist mistreatment; toil in factories rebuilding Britain after World War 11; tears at how West Indians were so badly mistreated; and my sweat in a hot flat throwing parties in diligent service to and support of the noble cause of civilization.

The solution came as a flash of inspiration. The West Indies, for the greater good of Britain, would simply have to stop winning in playing the national game of cricket. After all, they did invent the game; we merely showed them how to play it masterfully.  So said, so done. Once more, Winston Churchill came to the rescue of his people, for as he said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We were successful in the extreme; English failures in cricket, with us being humane people of conscience, care and concern, simply could not permit  this to be fatal for the English psyche; and so in volunteering and discretely desisting from winning, we reinstilled in the English the courage to continue playing the game of cricket. It was a joyous period to see what we had done once the smiles started to shine once more on English faces at Lords, the Oval and elsewhere.

I can reflect now after more than four decades having finally departed London to resume residence in the Caribbean. Just goes to show that it takes all types to make a world convivial and pleasant;  and, cultural  conversion is not always a bad thing. I learned how to be serious about my studies and advanced myself to a worthy profession and in exchange I gave some to the best years of my life to naturalising the British into being human. I don’t take  full credit,  nor for that matter, claim any exclusivity on applying the mission’s methodology. Last time I checked the mission was still in progress and others seemed to have also made great headway; for here is but one recent example as proof:-

Fair cop ol’ Blighty?  And a jolly good time was had by many in the best spirit of the civilizing mission.

One love and no Amen for this sermon.



Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.     


Sermon – East Jerusalem: A capital provocation

by Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved, we are gathered here today to hear words of truth, as straight as an arrow, spoken from the Altar of The Almighty Truth.

This truth is directed against the twin-headed dragon of lies and deception US Foreign Policy is aimed at.

Thus, such policy in relation to the wisdom – or – lack thereof in siting the US Embassy in East Jerusalem is the bane of our discourse.

No better way than to have informed proponents directly state their positions and then consider where next we go.

Nikki Haley – present ( US Ambassador Haley – permanent representative to the UN)

Noura Erakat – present (Palestinian- American human rights attorney and assistant professor at George Mason University)

So there we have two competing points of view. One sees absolutely no fault, no error, not even an iota of miscalculation in US Foreign Policy in placing the US Embassy in East Jerusalem: it is all the fault of the Palestinians and Hamas.

Another perspective takes account of the history, the political context, the reality of being corralled in Gaza indefinitely with no right of return for the refugees, which the Palestinians actually are under international law.

These competing thoughts and positions take me back almost 40 years to a time at University. It was one of those bulletin board announcement moments. A Palestinian Professor and a Jewish Professor agreed to have a round-table discussion on the question of Palestine/Israel and students and staff alike were duly informed of the venue for discussion.

There were about 15 people in attendance and I was one of them. It was not merely the erudition of the two scholars which impressed me – but – as a good lesson in debating skills – their civility.

After the papers were delivered and discussions took place, questions followed and conclusions were drawn. Although many years now have passed since that discussion, I still recall it as being as relevant now as it was then.

From one viewpoint, there was the pressing need for a homeland for the Palestinian people in relation to the settler- colony – Israel; from the other side, there was an expressed need to continue with a home for Jewish émigrés to the state of Israel. There at its simplest was where the divide between these two erudite scholars existed. So, within this context of dual land claims, now let us exercise our minds with the aid of historical facts.

A. The historical context

B. The twentieth century twin catalysts of the demise of the Ottoman Empire – and the Nazi onslaught on the Jewish people leading to a UN response in establishing the state of Israel; and

C. The catastrophic situation facing the Palestinian people post- US Embassy location in East Jerusalem and immediate implications arising therefrom.

First, A: The historical context

Jews had lived in the land called Palestine for about a thousand years, side by side with the Arabs, as mainly pastoral people – Jews and Arabs lived peacefully- so – what changed?

Second, B (i): The end of World War 1

This saw the end of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of The League of Nations [Belgium, Britain, France, Greece, Italy, and Japan] that divided territories that had been formerly under Ottoman rule. Entities were created called “mandates”. Under the mandate system territories would be administered by such powers as Britain and France with accountability to the League and the mandate would remain until the territories were determined by the League to be at a level of readiness for independence.

Syria and Lebanon were awarded to France. Iraq went to Britain along with the entity termed Palestine, so defined in modern history at San Remo, and at the time included the lands on both sides of the Jordan River and the present-day countries of Israel and Jordan. Boundary changes were made over time. July 1922 witnessed the League of Nations ratifying the mandate arrangements and changing the map which had been established in 1920. A picture is worth a thousand words – so – for broad historical reference do see the map below. A picture saves my use of a thousand words, which this troublesome international problem indubitably invites use of:

Second, B (ii): The end of World War 1 and inter-war years

Witness the Nazi onslaught on European Jewry.

The conscience of the world is struck by the Holocaust.

Then C (i), The immediate pre and post World War 11 periods

Establishment of the state of Israel

Zionists find a basis to advance a convincing case to establish a national homeland for the Jewish people. Only problem is that with Palestinians living in Palestine there is mass expulsion to accommodate the new Jewish settlers and therein commences the lasting problem to this day with some 700,000 Palestinians initially being left stateless as refugees. The consequential conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is an outgrowth of this historical reality.

Then C (ii), The immediate pre and post World War 11 periods

The contemporary conflict

The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, adopted as UN Resolution 181 (11) is an important reference point relative to the ongoing conflict. There was to be an Arab section; a Jewish section; and Jerusalem would reflect that reality with there being designated areas for both peoples and an international zone for all ( having regard for the importance of the city of Jerusalem for major world religions). That in essence was the plan.

Fast forward to 2018 with President Trump placing the US Embassy in East Jerusalem and question what this does. Note that the vast majority of nations treated Tel Aviv as the proper location for placement of their Embassies in Israel. Why? Because they noted and acknowledged the reality which the UN from the 1947 Plan had tried fairly to address. Now, the prospect, any prospect for a two state solution has had hopes dashed by the US making unilateral and lopsided embraces of Israel; for East Jerusalem was designated to be the Palestinian capital. So, full circle we go back to the perspectives of US Ambassador Nikki Haley and the Palestinian scholar Noura Erakat. Haley sees absolutely only Palestinian fault: Ekarat places fault at the doors she sees it necessary to be placed.

And geographical facts versus expressed differences of opinion on the Palestine/Israel conflict is again subject to the saving of many words by way of simply viewing maps:-


There has been talk of a two state versus one state solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict. I do not see any realistic chance of a two state solution for a number of reasons:-

1. The expulsion of Palestinians to make space for Jewish arrivees in Israel and the confinement in Gaza and permanent exile of Palestinian refugees do not demographically permit establishment of a Palestinian state for reasons stated below as 2, 3 ,4, 5 and 6. How can the Palestinian population’s demographics and geographical locations proffer any hope for a two state solution?

2. Israel, aided and abetted by the US, permits encroachment, capturing and expansions by Jews into Palestinian lands beyond the 1967 borders. Those settlements are intended to be permanent. So, given the US Foreign Policy stance ( as was the case when President Reagan supported and cossetted the White regime in South Africa along with his friend UK Prime Minister Margret Thatcher) – so yet again the US finds itself on the wrong side of history – doesn’t it?

3. There is a deliberate policy by Israel of making contiguous land space non-existent for the establishment of a state, which logically and of necessity would need contiguous land space if at all it is to be – or can ever be established.  Apartheid walls separate and crisscross Palestinian territories. What is termed the ‘West Bank’ ( see Map #4 entitled “Now”) creates the new reality for Palestinians’ divided land which makes a two-state solution impossible. Hasn’t Israel willfully done this and concomitantly corralled the Palestinian people in open air prisons?

4. Within Israel there is Apartheid discrimination against Arabs and so the twin evils of prejudice and denial of the sovereignty of the Palestinian people makes this two state solution an impossibility. Did the state of Israel not discriminate against the darker skinned Ethiopian Jews; ostracize African migrants; reserve exclusivity based on ‘race’, religion and skin colour ( lack thereof) to the select ones ( chosen people) who are the only ones who have any real voice in the Knesset, despite having a 25% non-Jewish population as citizens in Israel? Doesn’t the state of Israel do all of this? With absolutely no principled and/or moral leadership coming from the US to address and ultimately resolve the Palestinian/Israel conflict – does President Trump’s unilateral move of the US Embassy present any hope to the Palestinian people in their fight for freedom, justice and a homeland?

5. How can the embrace by the Trump Administration of the mantra that Jerusalem is the “united” city and the eternal capital of Israel permit any religious acknowledgement for legitimate Arab interests or politically permit the claim of Palestinian rights being addressed?

5a. In April 2017 Russia was the first country in the world to have recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Implicitly then, if not expressly stated by Russia, East Jerusalem would be the Palestinian capital. What then for the US position in not embracing West Jerusalem for the geographical space as Jewish capital, as declared by Russia, but instead effecting a provocation regarding the Jewish “united” city of Jerusalem? Doesn’t the Russian recognition of only the Western part of Jerusalem, say to the world that it denied Israel’s claims to the eastern part, including the Old City, which then leads to the conflict exaccerbations created by the Trump administration under now officially declared US policy – doesn’t the US decision do just that – present an already intractable problem with an irreconcilable decision?

Note: the majority position in the international community, does not go as far as Russia did in its decision, but rather is consistent in holding the position that the status of the entire city of Jerusalem has to be determined in peace negotiations.

6. Since Jerusalem is advanced by Netanyahu and Trump as being the “united” city ( i.e. for Jews) and a solution for the Israel/Palestine conflict is contingent on a solution to the question of Jerusalem, then it would seem Netanyahu’s and Trump’s decisions would naturally lead to escalation, more conflict, and likely war.

The 1967 Middle East war resulted in Israel capturing land from Jordan and annexing it, which is not a right arising under international law and which move has not been recognized by the international community. Now that the captured land is declared as Israel’s “united” city and President Trump has taken sides 100% with Israel, there is simply no hope for a two state solution, given, at the very least, the religious and political significance of Jerusalem, and more particularly, East Jerusalem, as was intended for the Palestinian capital.

Come 1999 and the publication of The New York Times article by Professor Edward Said, the only solution, as I see it ( as was the case with the White South African problem), is a one state solution with all religions and ethnic groups being guaranteed legal rights of equality. Anything short of this only spells conflict, confrontation and war until that day arrives. Ultimately, the South African experience proves that while Nelson Mandela, as a lawyer, could have won his case in court by arguing, it isn’t arguments that won his battles for self-determination and sovereignty. It was not the rightness of the ANC’s case that defeated Apartheid. The Africans had to fight with weapons because Apartheid South Africa, fully aided and abetted by the West ( inclusive of Israel which assisted the White regime in acquiring nuclear weapons), was armed to the teeth, supported by these nations replete with double-standards. Power respected violence and force in South Africa. Israel is fully prepared to be unrelentingly and unrepentantly brutal. President Trump, as did President Reagan in cosseting Apartheid, has even gone further and not covertly – overtly picking a side. The Palestinians in these circumstances have exhausted their peaceful options and appear to have no choice but to confront politically and most likely militarily in varying ways. They seem not to have been given any further option. Whether the Palestinians are prepared to take alternate steps to those advanced in the past is a central question for them to answer – what must we do to achieve justice? They now may not see any other solution near, far or maybe somewhere over the horizon but that of increased conflict. I am swayed by the sagacity of Professor Said’s analysis, so present it here in its entirety:-

Interestingly, Netanyahu is referenced by Professor Said ( deceased) in his article and so again in 2018 we find Netanyahu as Israel’s Prime Minister proceeding along a path which guarantees further Palestinian suffering while employing brute force oppression to maintain the status quo – but – nothing lasts forever. Apartheid South Africa could not and did not and neither shall the current status quo in Israel, even with all the assistance of the ‘great again’ President Donald Trump. History teaches that lesson.

Once circumstances dictate that a challenge has to be placed to obtain justice, the issue for the Palestinian people then seems not to be if they fight – but rather how they fight. What other choice now exists in all the circumstances now that the last hope that the intended preservation of East Jerusalem as a place for the capital of Palestine has been dashed? What choice? What other options?

An Arab commentator made this observation:-

“None of the usual media suspects has taken it upon themselves to explain how it is that the term “clash” can possibly apply to a situation in which Palestinian men, women, children, and old people – all of them trapped on a sliver of land with no escape – are attacked by an Israeli military with a monopoly on violence and a penchant for utilising the Gaza Strip as its own personal shooting range.”


For one set of people – a celebration of ‘independence day’ ( 14th May); for the other, the dejection ( ejection as a people and rejection as refugees) of the ‘Nabka Day’ ( 15th May).

Just about all Western journalists seem either unable or afraid to ask the logical question: Why must Israel, as the only such nation on earth, exist as an ethnicractic state and be preserved as such a construct ( see below the footnote referenced book by Shlomo Sands), while Palestinians, upon a false premise of a ‘two state solution’, are to be left living in open air concentration camps?
In 2015 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this, “I am asked if we will forever live by the sword – yes.”

The die has been cast as PM Netanyahu has proclaimed. However, the Palestinians can choose. The choices are actually quite stark for it is either that of subservience in perpetuity or fighting over rights and ‘sovereign state freedom’. The circumstances on the ground as unequivocally confirmed by President Trump’s decision has erased any choice of two states and now leaves but one state as ‘the final solution’. There now seems to be no middle ground between that single state solution and the alternative of permanently stateless Palestinians living on Israel’s borders. Axiomatically, the prevailing circumstances dictate that justice is a potentially belligerent precursor for peace.
Justice – Peace – then: AMEN!


Those interested in having a deeper understanding of the issues might care to read a book by a Jewish scholar, who wrote a best seller in Israel and then wrote a sequel:-

Shlomo Sand – “The invention of the land of Israel”
For a review – visit –

Just how far reaching is Trump’s decision to site the US Embassy in East Jerusalem?


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.     

Please share, forward, or otherwise disseminate this article as widely as possible.  Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, May 21, 2018


The Truth will make you free, if you can use it to solve problems



By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

WE taxpayers paid income taxes again for one more year by April 15. Apparently the federal government had a good take, with the budget deficit being lower than usual for the month, albeit with the expected yearly deficit for 2018 left unchanged at about $1.5 trillion, to be added on to the $21 trillion or so of federal debt cumulated through time, a gradual accumulation for 180 years that was explosively kicked into high gear by the Reagan administration in 1981, that tripled the total federal debt in eight years, a record for debt tripling that will probably stand forever, while writing the script and setting the stage for wastrel warmongering profligate presidents ever since, especially Bush II in 2001.

Wars and rumors of wars, and fears and hopes of wars, depending on how your bread is buttered, is the order of the day, reminiscent of the days in 2003 before Bush II invaded Iraq, starting the slaughter or ruining of over one million people in the Middle East and North Africa up to now; and the US is once again in the elected presidential hands of another mentally disordered immoral rich kid maniac, with enough power of office to start something even more disastrous than Bush II’s so-called war on terror, in reality a war of terror.

Mother’s Day is today. People call their mothers and tell them Happy Mother’s Day, and mail them cards, or hand them cards in person with a kiss on the cheek, and a spoken “I love you”. No doubt about it, mothers are important things to have. My wife and I talked about our deceased mothers today, remembering them in various particulars. Debbye thinks she had a great mother. I think mine was a good enough mother.

A preacher’s daughter, my mother, Ida Belle Coston Stapleton, was a very good cook, taught good morals and decision-making to my brother and me, and provided a stable, safe, clean, and orderly home. As the bookkeeper and manager of family businesses she was well respected by customers and employees. Community leaders regularly consulted her informally in her office about local problems and opportunities. My father said she had a memory like an elephant, and she never forgot anything. She told me she never made less than an A in school. A psychiatrist told me she probably was a very brilliant woman.

What is a great mother? Read “Reflections on Mother’s Day” by M. G. Piety about a great natural mother, cited below in the Effective Learning Digest. It seems to me great mothers are born, not made. The lottery that determines the quality of mothering for children and the socio-economic quality of life for children around Spaceship Earth is grossly unfair, and humans should do something about it.

Writers in at least four of the articles cited in the ELD this month allude to or discuss the importance of religion in economic, political and social affairs. One of them, Courtenay Barnett, a colleague living in the Turks and Caicos Islands, writes as if he were a preacher preaching at what he calls the altar of the almighty Truth. Another one, Michael Hudson, perhaps the greatest living economist, implies we need another reformation of the Christian religion, especially in the West. An economic historian, Hudson says Jesus was a Jewish rabbi whose teachings were taken out of context by western culture to serve economic and political ends. He thinks eastern Orthodox Christian churches did a better job of preserving and propagating Jesus’s most important teachings, such as the need for periodic debt jubilees, or the forgiveness of debts. One can build the case some of the teachings in the western Christian Bible written by the Romans were crafted to make it easier to control poor people and to make it easier for the rich to get richer, rather than to encourage and engender equality, love and acceptance among all people around Earth. According to Hudson, Jesus’s original teachings encouraged equality, meekness, humility, forgiveness, love, and sharing among people around Earth, qualities sorely lacking today in the US and in its vassal states such as the UK, France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

I come from a long line of Calvinist preachers and teachers. One of my great grandparents, The Reverend Doctor James Maury, a French Huguenot, taught four US presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, in a boarding school in Virginia, documented in “A Synopsis of my Educational Background,” at

As usual, following in the EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST are some outstanding articles published in Internet media during the last month or so written by outstanding writers, and two audio-visual videos, shining light on current relevant states of affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I stuck in this month the Chain of Ego States diagram I invented and published in 1978 showing how organizational life is affected by parents and ego states.

While it’s often true in the short run that ignorance is bliss it’s probably not true in the long run in most cases, and how much ignorance is bliss depends on who you are and what your circumstances are. Some people, especially some children, are just better off not knowing certain things. On the other hand, purposely keeping people ignorant so as to manipulate and exploit them more and better is Not OK in most cases.

I have spent most of my adult life trying to learn and teach something. To see a chronological record of these efforts click here

Western mainstream media in order to sell subscriptions and advertising have to discount in various degrees the severity of some economic, political, religious, social, and environmental threats playing a psychological Game of GREENHOUSE and participate in a societal Happiness Racket designed to produce feelings of security, dignity, and pride in readers. In some cases they have to make federal and state politicians, their political parties, their rich donors, their locust lobbyists, and their voters look good, or at least make it seem they are doing a better job of governing than they are to sell advertising. For more on psychological Games and Rackets, read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at

In any case it’s not easy to make a living owning, managing, and writing for mainstream newspapers, as serious layoffs in the industry recently mentioned in various media attest, and as I learned firsthand owning, writing, editing, and publishing a weekly newspaper for two years in my home town at age twenty-two, the Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette at Wolfforth, Texas.

For more on the fallacy of composition as it applies to organizational life, i.e., reducing, damaging, or destroying whole systems by trying to maximize the interests of sub-systems, read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds at

I am a Certified Transactional Analyst, a CTA, explained at

Please copy, abridge, reprint, share, forward, or otherwise disseminate this Effective Learning Digest any way you see fit.

Just punch on the web addresses and this month’s selection of articles and videos and my Chain of Ego States diagram will pop up.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,


May 13, 2014

An unusual poignant Mother’s Day story

SOURCE: “Reflections on Mother’s Day,” by M. G. Piety, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 13

… and all those one tenth of one percent richest people earned all their money by doing honest hard work with their minds and hands, don't you know, and there's no reason for them to give you any of it, especially by paying higher tax rates than poor people ... and now it's time to go seepy-seep, so put your pretty head on your pillow, and don't you worry about a thing.

SOURCE: “The American Dream is Dead,” by Georges Abi-Heila, MEDIUM.COM,


May 13

My chain of ego states diagram, first published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal, a refereed professional journal, shows the three chains of command in any authoritarian organization, family, church, school, business, corporation, religion, military, or government, using a unique configuration of three stacked circles, the Parent chain of command, the Adult chain of Command, and the Child command. Take a look at the diagram on my Facebook page. It’s scary to think that Donald Trump is Number 1 in the US Chain of Ego States diagram. According to the transactional analysis theory of the diagram, Trump’s parents, although deceased, are now the most powerful parents of the US.

SOURCE: Chain of Ego States Diagram, by Richard John Stapleton, Facebook post,


May 12

Well said, John Davis

SOURCE: “Modernity’s Long Twilight,” by John Davis, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 12

Surely Trump is not this bad, even if Fox News does say so. This article is an excellent work of satire not for the tender minded or squeamish.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Penis: Is It Presidential?”,   by Douglas Valentine,


May 10

Sad but probably true

SOURCE: “David Stockman Warns: Forget ‘America’, “It’s Deep State First”,” ZEROHEDGE.COM,


May 10

A sermon by Courtenay Barnett on international affairs

SOURCE: “Syria’s Plight With the US,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


May 10

Must reading for anyone wanting to know what is now going on in Syria, Israel, and Iran.

SOURCE: “Making Sense of the No-Deal Iran Decision, “ by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


May 9

Go for it. Sanders is the most likely candidate I see on the horizon to defeat Trump in 2020, despite his age. During the 2016 presidential running season there was talk at one time that Jill Stein would offer Bernie the presidential nomination of the Green Party with her as his vice president running mate. That still sounds like a good idea to me. If they could get some disillusioned repubs and demos to join up with a sizeable percent of the fifty percent chronically disillusioned nonvoters (who might be enticed to vote for them in 2020) it seems to me they might have a shot at winning, if they could get on all state ballots and successfully navigate the morass and hazards of the antediluvian US electoral college.

SOURCE: “Bernie Sanders reportedly considering 2020 presidential campaign, summoned top advisers over the weekend,” by Chris Sommerfeldt, DAILYNEWS.COM,


May 9

Sad but probably true

SOURCE: “Two-Faced Trump: Peace in Korea, World War in the Middle East, by John Feffer, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,



A positive event all right, but unfortunately most workers do not have this kind of natural power because of the nature of the organizations they have to work for.

SOURCE: “Teachers’ Class Struggle Defiance Inspires Millions,” by Jeff Mackler, COUINTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 9

Say it ain’t so joe

SOURCE: “Extremists R Us,” by Tom Englehardt, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 9

Another sad bad mistake

SOURCE: “The U.S. Just Declared War on Iran,” by Jan Oberg, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG.


May 8

Unfortunately many wrongs do not make a right

SOURCE: “Against Holocaust Denial,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 4

All because of nine eleven? Given the way it was caused? Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “How many millions have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars?,” by Nicholas J S Davies, INTREPIDREPORT.COM


May 3

Here is another article on the subject of global learning similar to another article cited in the April ELD. The upshot is that these authors think the Internet despite the drivel and fake news it makes available is indeed causing normal people around Spaceship Earth to know more about what is really going on in global economics and politics than previously was the case, and therefore there’s hope this consciousness change might cause a major change in the way human affairs happen and are managed, primarily because it will be harder for politicians and deep state manipulators to mislead enlightened individuals with propaganda and fake news. Let’s hope so.

SOURCE: “The Emerging ‘Global Brain’,” by Michael Krieger, LIBERTYBLITZKRIEG.COM,


May 2

There has been more and more talk lately on the Internet about guaranteed minimal incomes for everyone in various countries around Earth. I can’t believe this could come about anytime soon, considering the overpopulation problem, but it seems to me this is the only rational solution for the long run, if there is a long run. For more detail read my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth, Incorporated,” easily found with an Internet search. The overpopulation problem can peacefully be solved over several generations through attrition, natural deaths exceeding births, by Earthian women gaining full control of their bodies and making sure they produce no more than one child each, of either sex.

SOURCE: “46% Favor Government Guaranteed Jobs for All – Rasmussen Reports”, RASMUSSENREPORTS.COM,


May 1    

American labor in action

SOURCE: “Organizing Workers Strikes Against War and Repression,” by Jack Heyman, COUNERPUNCH.ORG,


May 1  

Another great explanation by Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive

SOURCE: “Bronze Age Redux: On Debt, Clean Slates and What the Ancients Have to Teach U,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 1  

Say it ain’t so Joe

SOURCE: “Almost 2/3 Of Americans Have Given Up On Political Parties Citing Corruption in Government,” by Mac Slavo, SHTFPLAN.COM,


April 30

This video presentation purports to explain how Albert Einstein was wrong about matter being unable to travel faster than the speed of light. The presenter provides reasoning supposedly proving his assertion that matter can travel faster than the speed of light. If he’s right intelligent beings could theoretically travel to planets in various solar systems hundreds of light years away from their origins. It seems to me most likely this notion is scientifically incorrect (you need more physics knowledge than I have to know), but the video is interesting and well done, especially if you enjoy scientific speculations. The presenter, who has considerable experience in the aerospace industry, divulges information about shocking new US aerospace developments that most people are probably unaware of that are probably real.

SOURCE: “Proof Faster than Light Black Budget Antigravity Technology is Real,” a YouTube Video with more than 1,559,588 views, at


April 30

This well conceived, reasoned, and written article by Jill Stein, of the Green Party, whom I voted for as President of the US in 2016, is well worth a read by any responsible citizen.

SOURCE: “Breaking My Silence on RussiaGate,” by Jill Stein, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


April 30

Want to understand the history of Israel today? Here is a good place to start.

SOURCE: “The Real Victor,” by Uri Avnery, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


April 30  

This great video on US warmongering emphasizes a dramatic statement about putting Iran "on notice" that is one of the most absurd utterances the current Donald Duck US administration has made. Notice how many bases the US has surrounding Iran in the video. The Iranians would have had to be idiots not to have known for a long time the US military is a serious threat to them. It’s amazing how many brave intelligent talented comedians there are out there in Internet media who really know their stuff about what the US deep state is doing around Spaceship Earth.

SOURCE: “The REAL Reason the U.S. Wants War with Iran,” by Lee Camp, Redacted Tonight, Standing Rock News,


April 30

Another cogent sermon by Courtenay Barnett

SOURCE: “Racism, Rationalizations and Resentments,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


April 29

Anti-intellectualism in action

SOURCE: “America’s Most Popular Politician Is Nikki Haley…Let That Sink In,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 29

Insanity in action

SOURCE: “Yemen War Great For US Jobs: Watch CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Proclaim Civilian Deaths Are Worth It,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 27

… and you have to vote for him or her because s/he is the lesser evil

SOURCE: “Secret Recording Reveals Democratic Party Boss Ordering Progressive Candidate to Quit Race,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,