Why healthcare should be managed as a natural monopoly

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In industries in which there is inelastic demand, in industries in which people have to buy a product or service regardless of prices charged, free competition does not work in the best interest of customers. Prices charged are not inexorably driven down by competition to an optimum level for customers and for all stakeholders, to the lowest prices that fairly compensate all factors of production in the industry, including a rational return for the owners of capital.

In such industries the price system degenerates in such a way that providers can fix prices about the way they want, as in the case of high priced drugs, and engage in price discrimination, as in the case of medical services and treatments, that is, charging different prices to different customers. This behavior creates chaotic situations in which almost no one knows what many treatments will or should cost.

The solution is to regulate such industries by the state as full monopolies, or as what are called natural monopolies, in which prices are set by the state, as in the cases of electricity and water utilities. In such cases, under capitalism, effective and ethical regulators set customer prices at levels that provide competitive market prices for suppliers of raw materials, competitive wages and salaries for workers and managers, and competitive returns on investment for the owners of employed capital.

Medicine and health services are basically public utilities, since they are required, like electricity and water, demand being inelastic, caused by people not wanting to die or become impaired or go blind or go crazy and empathetic human beings not wanting to suffer grief and sadness caused by having to observe these things happening to people in droves, unnecessarily.

Consequently, if people cannot pay for their medical treatments providers have to treat them free for humanitarian reasons, and this forces and allows providers to set exorbitant uneconomic prices for customers that can pay to compensate for their losses on those that cannot or will not pay, causing chaos and widespread unfairness.

Therefore, as Obama pointed out, a decent society must provide affordable health insurance for everyone in order to control medical prices. What Obama did not fight hard enough for, unfortunately, is the solution for the whole problem, the logical conclusion that the federal government must provide affordable health insurance for everyone, aka Medicare for All, as a good natural monopolist, not only setting prices for national health insurance, but also fair and rational national prices for drug and medical treatments, just like good state regulators set prices for electricity and water.

The US is the only developed nation on Earth in which medical bills are a major cause of bankruptcy for citizens, a painful and degrading fate, but a fate less painful and degrading, perhaps, than people becoming debt slaves the rest of their lives, harassed by horrendous medical bills hanging over their heads, and bill collectors, caused by avoiding premature deaths and impairments, by agreeing to pay for drugs and medical procedures at the time of service, or die.

The only cure for this inhumane mental anguish, pain, and suffering is the federal government regulating the healthcare industry as a natural monopoly, using proven time-honored necessary and rational procedures under capitalism.

The federal government should allow insurance companies to sell all the life, automobile, and home insurance policies they want, but it should get them out of the business of selling health insurance; and federal regulators should start fairly and rationally regulating drug and medical prices, while providing rational and fair rates of return on invested capital for all providers, using standard procedures used forever in regulated natural monopolies.

Federal regulators probably won’t do this because politicians won’t let them do it, since elected senators, representatives, and presidents need campaign contributions from fat cats running the healthcare industry, one of the most profitable industries in the US, earning exorbitant irrational uneconomic profits because of being allowed to operate as an unregulated monopoly. To verify this just take a look at the stock price increases of healthcare corporations relative to the Standard & Poors index since the Crash of 2007.

To consider that satisfying the money, power, and fame needs and drives of one hundred thousand or so politicians, healthcare industry corporate fat cats, and healthcare industry professionals and employees, caused by not having a national health service, would count more in the US than curing the spiritual, economic, and psychological pain and suffering of one hundred million or more ordinary citizens caused by not having a national health service is mind boggling, another sad example of the venality, callousness, corruption, obtuseness, and ethical incompetence now reigning in Washington.

Feel free to forward, 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, July 20, 2017

Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, ethics, and business policy at Georgia Southern University, who writes on business and politics at effectivelearning.net.

Effective Learning Report Updates, July 2017

July 16, 2017

The cost of not having a national single payer healthcare system in the US

I’m not sure the cost is $1.7 trillion per year for US citizens, as this article asserts, but I would be willing to bet the figure is not too far off the mark of reality.

Read all about it, right here…

The Cost of Not Having Single Payer: $1.4 Trillion Per Year

July 13, 2017

As if people just discovered fake news last year. There have always been lies and rumors of lies, and little certainty about anything economically and politically, thanks to humans lying by commission and omission, not only making shit up but hiding the truth, as in keeping secrets, especially classified state secrets. The problem is worse now because there has never been a professional liar on the world stage like Donald Trump, and there has never been so much to hide.

An America paradox: Pillorying fake news while promoting false flags

By Matthew Maavak

Published in the Intrepid Report

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/21668

 

July 13, 2017

This article is an eye opener based on serious intellectual comprehension, by Paul Street. The Fourth of July will never be the same after you read it.

On American Revolution

By Paul Street

Published in COUNTERPUNCH

“It’s true that slaveowner Thomas Jefferson’s July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence (DOI) articulated the revolutionary notion that the people have the right to dissolve a government that no longer serves their interests.  But the “American Revolution” was a national independence movement led by wealthy landowners, slaveowners, and merchants who feared uprisings from below.  They wanted more breathing space to develop further systems of racial oppression, territorial conquest, and class rule.  For them national independence was required among other things to prevent social revolution.  The last thing the nation’s wealth aristo-republican Founders wanted was a world turned upside down.”

Read all about it…

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/04/on-american-revolution/

 

July 13, 2017

Here is a must read article with real intellectual merit by Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician with seventeen years experience, now professionally writing and lobbying for a single payer Medicare for all system. Be sure and read her linked article in this article explaining why the US healthcare system is so inferior to the health systems of other developed nations.

To Fix the ACA, We Do Not Need a Public Option, We Need a Private Extraction

By Margaret Flowers

Published in Truth-Out

“2017 is the make or break year for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Seven years in, the flaws of the ACA are clear — tens of millions are still without health insurance, premiums and out of pocket costs are rising and causing people to either avoid and delay care or go into debt, and the US continues to rank poorly in health outcomes. There is one way to fix the ACA, and I call it the Private Extraction.

“What Are We to do?”

Read all about it…

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41191-to-fix-the-aca-we-do-not-need-a-public-option-we-need-a-private-extraction

 

July 13, 2017

Nancy Pelosi Rejects Single Payer Being Added to Democratic Party Platform: By blasting the proposal, the Democratic Party ignores its voters

By Michael Sainato

“Politico reported on May 3 that House Democrats want Republicans to pass an Obamacare repeal bill in the House, citing that the vote could be used against Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.

“Democrats affirmed this report by chanting “hey hey hey goodbye” to Republicans after Obamacare repeal marginally passed in the House by a vote of 217 to 213 on May 4. This strategy is terrible for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it reveals that the Democratic Party is willing to sell out constituents just to receive some attack fodder.”

Read all about it…

http://observer.com/2017/05/nancy-pelosi-rejects-single-payer-health-care/

 

July 13, 2017

Why Healthcare Should Be Managed as a Natural Monopoly
 
by Richard John Stapleton
 
In industries in which there is inelastic demand, in industries in which people have to buy a product or service regardless of prices charged, free competition does not work in the best interest of customers. Prices charged are not inexorably driven down by competition to an optimum level for all stakeholders, to the lowest prices for customers and prices that fairly compensate all factors of production in the industry, including a rational return for the owners of capital.
 
In such industries the price system degenerates in such a way that providers can fix prices about the way they want, as in the case of high priced drugs, and engage in price discrimination, as in the case of medical services and treatments, that is, charge different prices to different patients. This behavior creates chaotic situations in which almost no one knows what many treatments will or should cost.
 
The solution is to regulate such industries by the state as full monopolies, or as what are called natural monopolies, in which prices are set by the state, as in the cases of electricity and water utilities. In such cases, under capitalism, effective and ethical regulators set customer prices at levels that provide competitive market prices for suppliers of raw materials, competitive wages and salaries for workers and managers, and competitive returns on investment for the owners of employed capital.
 
Medicine and health services are basically public utilities, since they are required, like electricity and water, demand being inelastic, caused by people not wanting to die or become impaired or go blind or go crazy and empathetic human beings not wanting to suffer grief and sadness caused by having to observe these things happening to people in droves, unnecessarily.
 
Consequently, if people cannot pay for their medical treatments providers have to treat them free for humanitarian reasons, and this forces and allows providers to set exorbitant uneconomic prices for customers that can pay to compensate for their losses on those that cannot or will not pay, causing chaos and widespread unfairness.
 
Therefore, as Obama pointed out, a decent society must provide affordable health insurance for everyone in order to control medical prices. What Obama did not fight hard enough for, unfortunately, is the solution for the whole problem, the logical conclusion that the federal government must provide affordable health insurance for everyone, aka Medicare for All, as a good natural monopolist, not only setting prices for national health insurance, but also fair and rational national prices for drug and medical treatments, just like good state regulators set prices for electricity and water.
 
The US is the only developed nation on Earth in which medical bills are a major cause of bankruptcy for citizens, a painful and degrading fate, but a fate less painful and degrading, perhaps, than people becoming debt slaves the rest of their lives, harassed by horrendous medical bills hanging over their heads, and bill collectors, caused by avoiding premature deaths and impairments, by agreeing to pay for drugs and medical procedures at the time of service, or die.
 
The only cure for this inhumane mental anguish, pain, and suffering is the federal government regulating the healthcare industry as a natural monopoly, using proven time-honored necessary and rational procedures under capitalism.
The federal government should allow insurance companies to sell all the life, automobile, and home insurance policies they want, but it should get them out of the business of selling health insurance; and federal regulators should start fairly and rationally regulating drug and medical prices, while providing rational and fair rates of return on invested capital for all providers, using standard procedures used forever in regulated natural monopolies.
 
Federal regulators probably won’t do this because politicians won’t let them do it, since elected senators, representatives, and presidents need campaign contributions from fat cats running the healthcare industry, one of the most profitable industries in the US, earning exorbitant irrational uneconomic profits because of being allowed to operate as an unregulated monopoly. To verify this just take a look at the stock price increases of healthcare corporations relative to the Standard & Poors index since the Crash of 2007 at https://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-500-health-care-sector.
 
To consider that satisfying the money, power, and fame needs and drives of one hundred thousand or so politicians, healthcare industry corporate fat cats, and healthcare industry professionals and employees, caused by not having a national health service, would count more in the US than curing the spiritual, economic, and psychological pain and suffering of one hundred million or more ordinary citizens caused by not having a national health service is mind boggling, another sad example of the venality, callousness, corruption, obtuseness, and ethical incompetence now reigning in Washington.
 
Feel free to forward, reprint, or otherwise circulate this essay any way you see fit.
 
Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, July 15, 2017.

 

 

 

 

Effective Learning Report Updates

June 30, 2017

Nancy Pelosi’s opposition to a federal government single payer system…

Seems to me a single payer health system at the federal level is a no brainer for we the people. This Demo gentle lady house leader favors the states trying to do it but not the federal government. This article does not give a single good reason why we should not have single payer at the federal level. What is your real reason for not pushing single payer at the federal level, gentle lady demo house leader? We have a right to know. It appears you only care about the demo party, not we the people.

Read all about it…

Observer

http://observer.com/2017/05/nancy-pelosi-rejects-single-payer-health-care/.

 

June 30, 2017

Ah, the magic of finance at the highest levels

Probably the US will eventually do what Japan is doing now. Just punch digits into a computer at the Federal Reserve, call the resulting number money, use it to buy the Federal debt interest free, and then forget about it. Poof the Federal debt is gone. About twenty trillion dollars worth now…

Sovereign Debt Jubilee, Japanese-Style

by Ellen Brown

Japan is selling debt to its own bank, which returns the interest to the government.

This is the most hopeful article I have read in a long time, indicating there really may be light at the end of the tunnel for Earth’s economies, written by a brilliant lady lawyer, Ellen Brown, who is also a renowned money and banking expert, who writes at her Web of Debt Blog.

Read all about it…

Published in Truth-Out, an Internet source of news and analysis

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41099-sovereign-debt-jubilee-japanese-style.

 

June 30, 2017

Worried about the Federal debt?

According to the Congressional Budget Office federal government cash inflows will increase 9.5 percent next year, but cash inflow minus cash outflow will be negative more than one trillion dollars.

Read all about it…

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/cbo-income-taxes-95-next-year-debt-climbs-more-1-trillion#.WVWm_C-uxDQ.facebook.

 

June 30, 2017

As much as I never liked Fox so-called News and Hannity this audio interview with Camille Paglia does get to the heart of the matter.

Well worth a listen.

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/06/21/camille-paglia-blames-dems-for-destroying-journalism-it-is-going-to-take-decades-to-recover/.

 

June 30, 2017

If you ever had any doubt that the man lies, his many lies are listed here by the New York Times. Maybe you think lying does not matter, that all politicians lie and so forth, and Trump has his heart in the right place and he will actually be good for the US and the world in the end, despite his lying. Who knows? It may be impossible to prove any president in the last sixty or so years did more harm than good during his time in office, with the possible exception of Bush II, given his lying about and invading Iraq and Afghanistan, and lying about what he knew about 9/11.

Read about Trump’s lies…

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html.

 

June 30, 2017

Here is an emergency room MD telling a health care story like it is from his perspective.

Well worth a look and listen.

https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

June 30, 2017

Sanders says Republicans should be embarrassed about health care

Well worth a listen…

https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

June 30, 2017

WELCOME! To the Stapleton Gallery of Folk History and Conversation, and the FREEDOM, FAIRNESS AND PROGRESS PARTY. The FFPP.

Join now! Here’s how!

From a passage I wrote in 2004 on page 645 of BUSINESS VOYAGES: MENTAL MAPS, SCRIPTS, SCHEMATA, AND TOOLS FOR DISCOVERING AND CO-CONSTRUCTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS WORLDS, 745 pages, a business bible I wrote and first published in 2008:

“I am not a Democrat, or a Liberal, and for sure I am not a Republican, or a Conservative. I am a member of the FFPP, my own creation, the Freedom, Fairness, and Progress Party. If you would like to join this party, send no money, but act in such a way as to encourage all people to act in truly free, fair, and progressive ways. Most Democratic congress people seem about as devoid of workable solutions for real problems in today’s world as Reagan and Bush II, although I will say I think Democratic politicians in Washington in general have been more Christian-like than Republican politicians in Washington since 1980. At least they did not take from the poor and give to the rich. Most Republican and Democratic politicians have done little in the last 25 years but slavishly vote for their party line, as they were told by their party bosses, to conserve their chances of getting help from their party bosses in their next election.”

Vote the rascals out ASAP and replace them with free, fair, responsible, progressive members of the FFPP, who want to do the right thing for all people.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, July 1, 2017, it seems most demos voting in the 2016 primaries were not very bright, not having the sense to vote in their own interests, since most voted for Hillary, the establishment candidate, instead of Bernie, who probably could have beaten Trump in the Electoral College.

Get rid of the Electoral College.  The Electoral College makes the popular votes of voters in red states count more than the votes of voters in blue states, a gross insult to voters in blue states.

The last thing we need now are more party-line pandering establishment-financed career politicians, which Trump is not, out to feather their own nests and the nests of their sugar daddies ensconced in their corporate headquarters atop skyscrapers and their favored elite rich few by slavishly voting for bills, acts, laws and rules in their favor, at the expense of we the people on the ground, in the on-going US class war, exponentially increasing the incomes and wealth of the elite rich from year to year, creating ever-widening inequality, inexorably destroying our society from the inside, as climate change destroys it from the outside.

Trump is not a career politician. Even worse, he is a troglodyte reared in penthouses atop New York City skyscrapers, who never worked a day in his life at a real job for a real boss, a classic example of the class of people who pay career politicians to vote in their favor. Working and middle class voters in 2016 actually voted for one of the US’s most successful landlords, no doubt somehow expecting him to work in their interests after he gets in office as president.

Most local politicians are ethical conscientious citizens doing their best to serve their fellow citizens, but the farther from home the government is located for which politicians are elected the more likely politicians are to be corrupted and bought off by large corporations and the elite rich, causing them to vote in their interests, rather than in the interests of their fellow citizens.

Get rid of flat taxes. Large corporations and the elite rich now pay about the same after loophole effective tax rate as the middle class. Reset the top ALETR to above 70 percent where our wisest ancestors set it before 1980, who knew you have to have progressive income tax rates to prevent inequality from destroying society. Use the new tax revenue, borrowed money, and money magically created by the US Federal Reserve (by simply punching digits into a computer and calling the resulting number money) to directly fund infrastructure jobs in green energy, transportation, education and the like to help the unemployed and underemployed and small businesses on main streets, to create a multiplier effect that will create even more jobs as people spend the money the new jobs provide, restoring a semblance of fairness in our society.

Reduce military spending.  The US now spends some six hundred billion dollars per year on its military, over half of discretionary spending in the US yearly budget, more than the next eight largest nations combined spend on military activities around Earth.  We have become an imperialistic war-mongering nation.  Most of the military budget is for offense, not defense.

Get rid of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.  Bring back the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which was gotten rid of in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, signed by Hillary’s husband Bill when he was president, possibly the most unethical and harmful piece of US legislative action of the 20th Century, which gave bankers in too big to fail Wall Street banks permission to gamble with bank money backed by depositors and citizens using derivatives, financial weapons of mass destruction, turning the money and banking system into a giant gambling casino, putting the deposits and pension money of all citizens at risk to this very day, unfairly biasing the economic system in favor of banksters.

I used a spinning arrow, called the Classroom De-Gamer™, over 30 years in all my university case method business courses at Georgia Southern University to point out and randomly select the discussion leader of the day, thereby insuring every student in the class had an equal opportunity to be the class leader of the day, thereby teaching democratic leadership behaviors. I am now convinced you could randomly select intelligent knowledgeable citizens off the streets of the US and send them to Washington replacing all sitting politicians and the US government would improve overnight, since these citizens could use their common sense to vote for things benefiting we the people, having not been paid with corporate and elite rich money to fight on the side of large corporations and the elite rich in the US class war.

Randomly selecting leaders is not a novel idea. The ancient Greeks had the idea and used it as early as the 6th Century bce. The process is called sortition.

Random selection of political leaders would be better than the election systems we now use—for the simple reason randomly selected leaders would not be beholden to vested interests, or corrupted by the money current politicians have to raise from rich patrons to purchase TV and mainstream media print advertising to get elected to federal offices, money that has to be paid back once they get in office, insuring the government is run primarily to benefit large corporations and the elite rich, not we the people.

Get rid of Citizens United of 2010. This abominable 5-4 Supreme Court decision affirmed into law by five right wing judges was probably the most debilitating US Supreme Court decision of all time, contributing mightily to the destruction of democracy in the US. It defined corporations as people with free speech and therefore free to bribe politicians with as much money as they wished to enact laws reducing their taxes and bending the rules of the economic game in favor of corporate CEOs and the elite rich, causing an exponential rise in economic inequality and peonage in the US.

Join the USVRA (United States Voters Rights Amendment) movement, founded by William John Cox, at http://usvra.us/, to amend the US Constitution to get rid of Citizens United and establish a fair and effective process of democratic voting in the US. Wm Cox and I are long-term friends, having sat in the same Methodist Sunday School Class back at Wolfforth, Texas in the mid-1940s. I serve on the advisory board of the USVRA.

 

June 30, 2017

How could this happen?

A rural hospital association representative says the Trumpcare bill in the Senate will close hospitals, and people will die…

Read all about it…

https://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/6/26/1675375/-Rural-hospital-association-representative-This-bill-will-close-hospitals-People-will-die.

 

June 30, 2017

Why Health Care is a Natural Monopoly

by Richard John Stapleton

Warren Buffett’s got the right idea in the interview below on the cause of the US medical services problem, an inability to control costs. The bottom line is that in industries in which there is inelastic demand, meaning people have to buy something almost no matter what price is charged, free competition does not work for consumers.  Prices charged are not inexorably driven down by competition to the lowest level necessary to fairly compensate all factors of production in the industry, including a rational return on invested capital. The system degenerates so providers can fix prices about the way they want, as in the case of high priced drugs, and engage in price discrimination, as in the case of medical services and treatments, that is, charging different prices to different customers.  This behavior creates chaotic situations in which almost no one knows what many treatments will cost. The solution is full monopoly, or a natural monopoly, in which prices are set by the state, as in the case of electric and water utilities. Medicine and health services are basically public utilities, since they are absolutely required, like electricity and water, because few people want to die or go blind or go crazy or whatever, and decent human beings can’t just sit back and watch people die, go blind, go crazy, etc. in droves unnecessarily.  Consequently, if people cannot pay for their medical treatments providers have to treat them free, and this gives providers permission to set exorbitant uneconomic prices for others to compensate for their losses on those that cannot pay, causing chaos and widespread inequities.  Therefore, as Obama pointed out over and over, you have to have affordable health insurance for everyone to control overall medical costs.  What Obama did not fight for, unfortunately, is the  conclusion that the federal government should provide affordable health insurance with Medicare for all, as a good natural monopolist, setting prices for Medicare health insurance and treatment payments just like good state regulators set prices for electricity and water.  The US is the only developed nation on Earth in which medical costs are a major cause of bankruptcy for citizens, an ignoble fate, but a fate less onerous, perhaps, than living the life of a debt slave the rest of your life, with an astronomical unpaid medical bill hanging over your head, that enabled you to avoid a premature death or impairment.

Here’s an interview with Warren Buffett on health services.

https://news.grabien.com/story-warren-buffett-endorses-single-payer-health-care-we-can-affo.

 

June 30, 2017

God forbid we should be intimidating

10 Signs Your Personality is Intimidating Others (Never Tolerate #7)

Read all about it …

http://educateinspirechange.org/spirituality/10-signs-personality-intimidating-others-never-tolerate-7/.

 

June 30, 2017

Lake Wobegon Schools

More and more schools it seems are becoming Lake Wobegons where all the children are above average and all the women and men are beautiful and brave, according to this article in Zero Hedge at http://www.zerohedge.com/…/high-schools-drop-valedictorian-….

See inside my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning for a fuller discussion of these issues at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactiona…/…/0692584331.

 

June 30, 2017

Let’s hope violence in the streets between conservatives and liberals does not continue to increase.

Read about the root causes of political violence in my unfortunately prescient article by clicking below.

http://blog.effectivelearning.net/conservatives-and-liberals-vs-freethinkers/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 rjstapleton@bulloch.net 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 Amazon.com 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 rjstapleton@bulloch.net.

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.

Check out my Facebook pages:

Richard John Stapleton—https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397

Effective Learning Company—https://www.facebook.com/www.effectivelearning.net/?ref=stale_email

 

HOW TO EVALUATE THE PRODUCTIVITY OF TEACHERS AND LEARNERS

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.”

https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf

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

http://www.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf

 

 

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST—FEBRUARY 2018

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

 

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME TODAY

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

It seems there is more talk about the need for a new war, with Iran, Russia, or North Korea, to justify spending $660 billion per year on military affairs; Congress just passed a budget sure to dangerously expand the Federal deficit and debt; and there is more talk about another economic crash worse than 2008, caused by banksters and speculators on Wall Street, their cronies in the federal government and in the Federal Reserve System, and the normal business cycle machinations of the global capitalistic economic system.

It seems problems rarely get solved by the US government anymore. Wars do not get won, the economy does not improve in significant ways, the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer, more debt keeps getting piled on top of debt, the can keeps getting kicked down the road; and it seems more chickens keep coming home to roost, in the form of angry frustrated mentally ill citizens insanely killing fellow citizens in mass shootings, whether in a Charleston, South Carolina church, a Las Vegas parking lot, a Florida school, or elsewhere.

And it seems US voters cannot elect a good leader for the federal government because of the way the US two-party political system is rigged. It seems greed is the norm for almost everyone—what’s in it for me personally—with almost nobody worrying about the functioning of the total system for everyone.

Following in the EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST are some outstanding articles, one audio interview, and one audio-visual video recently published in various media, primarily internet media, shining light on current relevant states of affairs aboard Spaceship Earth.  As Romeo said in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, as time was running out for the star-crossed lovers, “More light and light it grows, more dark and dark our woes.”

Most mainstream media play a psychological Game of GREENHOUSE and participate in a societal Happiness Racket designed to lull people into a sense of security and to make federal and state governments, their 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. For more on psychological Games and Rackets, read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331.

For more on the fallacy of composition as it applies to organizational life, read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds at https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810.

I am a Certified Transactional Analyst, a CTA, explained at http://www.itaaworld.org/what-transactional-analysis-training.

Just punch on the web addresses and this month’s selections will pop up.

Best wishes.

 

 

February 14, 2018

Ironically the more security systems we set up in the US, such as Homeland Security, TSA, and what have you, it seems the more insecure we become. Here is an article in which the “Director of National Intelligence” said the federal debt poses a threat to national security.

SOURCE: “The % Puzzle Coming Together,” by NORTHMAN TRADER, https://northmantrader.com/2018/02/14/the-puzzle-coming-together/.

 

February 15, 2018

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “’Some may freeze to death’: Sanders confronts Mulvaney over Trump Budget that would kill ‘tens of thousands’,” by Jake Johnson, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23334.

 

February 13, 2018

Interesting isn’t it how US politicians psychologically imply they own all of North, Central, and South America when they patriotically refer to themselves as Americans, as if they are the only Americans living on the South, Central, and North American continents.

SOURCE: “Morally Bankrupt Budget: After $1.5 Trillion Gift to Rich, Trump Demands $1.7 Trillion in Safety Net Cuts,” by Jake Johnson, TRUTH-OUT, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43533-morally-bankrupt-budget-after-1-5-trillion-gift-to-rich-trump-demands-1-7-trillion-in-safety-net-cuts.

 

February 15

Lotta debt.

SOURCE: “Household Debt Rises by $572 Billion, Ends 2017 At a New All Time High,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-13/household-debt-rises-572-billion-ends-2017-new-all-time-high.

 

February 13

Caveat Emptor, buyer beware.

SOURCE: “A Stock Market Primer, in Six Easy Steps,” by William Kaufman, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/13/a-stock-market-primer-in-six-easy-steps/.

 

February 14

Ain’t that somethin’

SOURCE: “The UK’s Hidden Hand in Julian Assange’s Detention,” By Jonathan Cook, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/13/the-uks-hidden-hand-in-julian-assanges-detention/.

 

February 13  

The US economy is hopelessly addicted to debt, needing rehab

This is one of Thom Hartmann’s best articles . Too bad most US voters won’t read it. It seems eighty percent or more of both Repub and Demo voters have learned nothing about economics since Reagan went on stage as president in 1980. All they want are more short run handouts from Santa Claus and lower taxes, and they and the politicians they put in office have about destroyed the US economy. It’s greed, greed, and more greed; more debt, debt, and more debt; less and less taxes; and an economic system on the verge of collapse, with twenty trillion dollars in total debt, going in the hole now thanks to Trump’s tax cuts and military spending increases to the tune of about one and one-half trillion dollars per year. Supply side economics started by Reagan thirty-seven years ago was a farce and scam, but voters and politicians and the economy are now addicted to it, requiring larger and larger doses of heroin-like debt to function one more day. Neither demos nor repugs care about the system as a whole. No party has enough discipline to do what would be required to develop a healthy lifestyle for the economy. Debilitating decay and morbidity are inevitable without serious rehab.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, www.effectivelearning.net, February 12, 2018

SOURCE: “How the GOP Used a Two Santa Clauses Tactic to Con America for Nearly 40 Years,” by Thom Hartmann, ALTERNET, https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/two-santa-clauses-or-how-gop-conned-america-nearly-40-years.

 

February 12

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “American think tanks are hired purveyors of fake news,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23308.

 

February 12

A likely scenario among others.

SOURCE: “This May Be The Beginning Of The Great Financial Reckoning,” by Simon Black, SOVEREIGN MAN, https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/this-may-be-the-beginning-of-the-great-financial-reckoning-22930/.

 

February 12

So it would seem.

SOURCE: “Have They Lost Their Collective Minds,” by Sven Henrich, NORTHMAN TRADER, https://northmantrader.com/2018/02/11/rising-debt-rising-rates/.

 

February 11

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE: “What Our Tax Dollars Pay For, to scale, in billions,” Zolita Grant and Miles Allen’s meme, posted to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

February 11

If you thought voter suppression was a myth, read this.

SOURCE: “A Black Man Brought 3 Forms of ID to the Polls in Wisconsin. He Still Couldn’t Vote,” by Ari Berman, THE NATION, https://www.thenation.com/article/a-black-man-brought-3-forms-of-id-to-the-polls-in-wisconsin-he-still-couldnt-vote/.

 

February 11

Here’s how Trump gets his hair fixed every day, according to his daughter Ivanka.

SOURCE: “Trump’s bizarre hairdo finally explained,” by Ruth Brown, NEW YORK POST, https://nypost.com/2018/01/03/trumps-bizarre-hairdo-finally-explained/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons.

 

February 11

Another great discussion and interview by Richard Wolff, a must listen to event to improve human affairs.

SOURCE: “Economic Update: The system’s Unwanted Results,” by Richard Wolff, TRUTH-OUT, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43493-economic-update-the-system-s-unwanted-results.

 

February 11

Hope it never happens here. Tillerson is apparently in favor of a US-led coup in Venezuela. What then? A US-imposed stooge? I say leave them alone to deal with their own problems, helping them when they request it, without US determinations and machinations. Maybe then they can develop a fair and sustainable govt of their own choosing.

SOURCE: “’It’s Madness’ – ‘Mad Max’ Violence Soars on Venezuela’s Lawless Roads,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-10/its-madness-mad-max-violence-soars-venezuelas-lawless-roads.

 

February 11

Who would know what is going on here? There are some 2.79 million federal civil service employees. Would you not think there might be a few anomalies? But why has it become so necessary to hide the salaries of so many of them in the Trump administration? Pillaging and plunder most likely.

SOURCE: “$20 Billion Hidden In The Swamp: Feds Redact 255,000 Salaries,” by Adam Andrzejewski, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-10/20-billion-hidden-swamp-feds-redact-255000-salaries.

 

February 11

The Chain of Ego States diagram shows something about communication in organizations, including organizations such as the US government. Number 1 is the president. Like everybody else Number 1 uses Parent, Adult, and Child ego states lodged in his/her brain determining how s/he comes across in terms of body language. Two basic types of messages are communicated from each ego state to ego states in others: social, shown with a solid line, and psychological, shown with a dotted line. Some of the messages are rational and some are not. The most important Parent and Child messages are automatically introjected from real parents or parent figures in early childhood. Subordinates in an organization one way or another have to adapt and flex to the messages of Number 1, however crazy they might be, depending on the media used. It takes some time for Number 1 to significantly affect an organization. US presidents are not in office long enough to significantly affect all ego states in citizens with their messages. Most of Trump’s social messages are Parent and Child assertions and commands. He rarely communicates using Adult ego energy, that is, telling the truth using facts, data and logical reasoning. The same goes for most of his supporters.

The Chain of Ego States diagram is published on page 187 of my book Born to Learn at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331.

For a quick look at the diagram, punch below.

SOURCE: “Chain of Ego States Diagram,” posted by Richard John Stapleton on his Facebook page, February 11, 2018, at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

February 11

No telling what the US is doing over there.

SOURCE: “’Major Escalation’, Israel Just Launched a ‘Large Scale Attack’ on Syria,” by Tyler Durden, ANTIMEDIA, http://theantimedia.org/israel-launches-large-scale-attack-syria/.

 

February 10

Another magnum opus by Paul Street.

SOURCE: “We the People, Trumped by Constitution and Capitalism,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/09/we-the-people-trumped-by-constitution-and-capitalism/.

 

February 9

According to a meme by Rene Upshaw, “Trump just waived all the fines for banks convicted of crimes in the United States. One of those banks happens to be Deutsche Bank, whom Trump owes between $130 million and $300 million. This is what corruption on the highest levels of Government looks like.”

SOURCE: Deutsche Bank, Meme by Rene Upshaw, posted by me on my Facebook page, February 11, 2018, at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Check this issue out at https://www.google.com/search?q=did+trump+forgive+Deutshce+Bank+and+other+banks+convicted+of+crimes+in+the+us&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b.

 

February 7, 2018

Debt, debt, and more debt,

generated to satisfy the insatiable addiction for more money of the elite rich playing Balance Sheet as they pay Republican politicians to lower their taxes thus raising the federal budget deficit and debt causing the Federal Reserve to create more money at almost no interest to loan the fed govt and corporations to cover the fed budget deficit and to buy stock in the stock market. What will happen if the Federal Reserve is unwilling, or unable, to continue punching sufficient digits into their computers to create a sufficient flow of newly created “money” (treasury bonds), magically whoofed into existence out of thin air, to fund the fed govt budget deficit and prop up the stock market? Or what would happen, if, for whatever reasons, buyers in domestic and foreign markets do not buy enough US treasury bonds initially offered for sale, causing the price of the bonds to be reduced to make them sell? Interest rates will rise, causing both bond and stock markets to crash. If the market value of stocks in the stock market go down by fifty percent or more, so will the value of stocks people own in 401ks, and there will be fifty percent less money in their accounts they can withdraw when they need it to pay for something real, a fine kettle of fish indeed.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia 30458, www.effectivelearning.net

SOURCE: “GOP Is Wrecking Your Retirement Savings,” by Thom Hartmann, ALTERNET, https://www.alternet.org/economy/thank-gop-your-401k-losses#.WnujBO0hvhs.facebook.

 

February 7

Inflation you say? Certainly we in the US have had it recently in healthcare, but not much evidence lately for most goods. What has kept prices for most consumer goods you find in Wal-Mart low? Wal-Mart’s competitiveness for one thing, their paying as little as possible for the goods they buy in the first place all around Earth, and paying their employees as little as possible to sell them in US stores. One good thing about an over-populated planet and corporations moving their plants to the lowest wage countries to get things produced is that inflation tends to be held in check. Corporations can move their factories again to find workers even more impoverished than those they have at present to keep the prices of goods low if humans keep breeding surplus workers. How long can they keep this up? Probably indefinitely. Seems to me stocks and bonds don’t have much to do with this.

SOURCE: “Investors Should Be Careful What They wish For,” by Christoph Gisiger, FINANZ and WIRTSCHAFT, https://www.fuw.ch/article/investors-should-be-careful-what-they-wish-for/.

 

February 5

This makes sense.

SOURCE: “How America’s Economic Ideology is Making People Depressed and Anxiety-Filled,” by Amy Goodman, ALTERNET, https://www.alternet.org/books/how-americas-economic-ideology-making-people-depressed-and-anxiety-filled.

 

February 4

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “The Brutal Reality of Being Poor in America the Super Rich Won’t Acknowledge,” by Alex Henderson, ALTERNET, https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/brutal-reality-being-poor-america-rich-refuse-acknowledge#.WnfQ_luG5BE.facebook.

 

February 3

Great charts and analysis on where we are or might be in financial markets.

SOURCE: “The Market System is Tight in All Directions: The Four Pillars Holding Markets Up are Strained, All At the Same Time,” FASANARA CAPITAL CHARTBOOKS, http://www.fasanara.com/chartbook-02022018.

 

February 3

Unbelieveable. Whoever would have thought legalizing pot would cause this much complexity? Why not just tax the stuff like cigarettes and be done with it? What does the fed want to do? Encourage gangs to sell pot illegally on the streets with no federal or state tax revenue and increase crime to build up business for the privately owned prison system?

SOURCE: “How the U.S. Government is Profiting from Keeping Pot Illegal,” by Amanda Chicago Lewis, ROLLINGSTONE, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/how-the-us-government-is-profiting-from-keeping-pot-illegal-w516140.

 

February 3

The more money you have the more you have to lose, and if you think only in actual absolute numbers losing twenty to fifty percent of your wealth can really blow your mind. Can you imagine losing, say, three hundred million dollars?

SOURCE: “The 1% Get A Scare—More to Come?,” by DOLLAR COLLAPSE, https://dollarcollapse.com/stock-prices/rich-scare-more-coming/.

 

January 31

The true SOTU by a great US citizen, residing in the North American continent, John Whitehead. Did you enjoy the fairy tale bedtime story told by the POTUS last night?

SOURCE: “The True State of the Union: A House Divided, Enslaved & Mired in the Mistakes of the Past,” by John W. Whitehead, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/31/the-true-state-of-the-union-a-house-divided-enslaved-mired-in-the-mistakes-of-the-past/.

 

JANUARY 29

What exactly is it the US wants in Syria, after they get rid of Assad, that is, assuming they ever do? And why was it they were so hell bent on getting rid of Assad in the first place?

SOURCE: “Washington Widens the War in Syria by Provoking Turkey,” by Mike Whitney, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/29/washington-widens-the-war-in-syria-by-provoking-turkey/.

 

January 29

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Hue Back When: the Bloodbath in Vietnam Was Us,” by Michael Uhl, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/29/hue-back-when-the-bloodbath-in-vietnam-was-us/.

 

January 29

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE; “The War That Never Ends for the US Military High Command – and It’s Not the War on Terror,” by Danny Sjursen, TRUTH-OUT, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43374-the-war-that-never-ends-for-the-us-military-high-command-and-it-s-not-the-war-on-terror.

 

January 29

Here is the smartest bull session you will ever attend, including some 418 responses to Kunstler’s most cogent article.

SOURCE: “Yet Another Year of Magical Thinking,” by James Howard Kunstler, CLUSTERFUCK NATION, http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/yet-another-year-magical-thinking/.

 

January 26

Not a good sign.

SOURCE: “’It Just Gets Worse and Worse’: A Record 32% Of Used Car Trade-Ins Are Underwater,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-27/it-just-gets-worse-and-worse-record-32-used-car-trade-ins-are-underwater.

 

January 28

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, if you are not in the upper one percent club.

SOURCE: “The Democrats Are Unable to Defend the U.S. from the ‘Most Vicious’ Republican Party in History,” by Ralph Nader, THE INTERCEPT, https://theintercept.com/2017/06/25/ralph-nader-the-democrats-are-unable-to-defend-the-u-s-from-the-most-vicious-republican-party-in-history/.

 

January 26

Most of Spaceship Earth’s problems are caused by human mental illness, aka dysfunctional and irrational human feelings, thoughts, decisions, behaviors, actions, etc., but few people are able to understand how it happened and what might be done about it. Read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning for a transactional approach to understanding human behavior, at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331.

SOURCE: “Mental Illness Weaponry and Shrink Hypocrisy About Abolishing Stigma,” by Bruce E. Levine, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/26/mental-illness-weaponry-and-shrink-hypocrisy-about-abolishing-stigma/.

 

January 25

Wiser people know they do not know it all and probably worry more than others that they do not know enough. Any college professor that tells students he or she is a liberal or a conservative and tries to indoctrinate students with this is not qualified to be a college professor. The only thing that counts in a college classroom is teaching and learning the truth of the matter, based on facts and reason.  Here is an intelligent young lady cleverly telling people in a video why anti-intellectualism is not a good idea in a funny satirical way, a younger female version of George Carlin.  Well worth a look and listen.

SOURCE: “The Rich Want to Keep You Dumb,” by Francesca Florentini, a video posted on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/newsbroke/videos/193510031063305/.

 

January 25

Shows the complexities of the intrigue in the Middle East, shedding light on why no final resolutions are in sight.

SOURCE: “The Middle East’s new ‘Safari Club II’ is dealing the original Safari Club members a swift military kick,” by Wayne Madsen, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23155.

 

January 25

Good article on what is going on in Iran.

SOURCE: “How the Mass Media Misread the Iranian Protests,” by Rahman Bouzari, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/24/how-the-mass-media-misread-the-iranian-protests/.

 

January 25

Not counting the small matter of over-population.

SOURCE: “Betting the Earth on a Game of Wrap-Cut-Smash,” by Stan Cox, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/24/betting-the-earth-on-a-game-of-wrap-cut-smash/.

 

January 22

“Sanction”

Does it seem strange to anyone but me that this word means two opposite things?

Why do the US govt and its lapdogs in Mainstream Media call nasty things the US does to other countries “sanctions?” Most likely to deliberately obfuscate what is going on and confuse people. What the US govt is doing with “sanctions” is restricting, handicapping, and punishing countries using political and financial means to force countries to change their behavior.

Rather than call this negative behavior sanctions how about calling it sabotages, to increase the probability everyone will understand what Big Brother is doing, clearly stating the US govt intends to harm other countries, not help them?

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, GA, USA, www.effectivelearning.net, January 24, 2018

sanc·tion
ˈsaNG(k)SH(ə)n/
noun
noun: sanction; plural noun: sanctions

  1. a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule.
    “a range of sanctions aimed at deterring insider abuse”
    synonyms: penalty, punishment, deterrent; More
    punitive action, discipline, restriction;
    embargo, ban, prohibition, boycott
    “trade sanctions”
    antonyms: reward
    measures taken by a nation to coerce another to conform to an international agreement or norms of conduct, typically in the form of restrictions on trade or on participation in official sporting events.
    Philosophy
    a consideration operating to enforce obedience to any rule of conduct.
    2.
    official permission or approval for an action.
    “he appealed to the bishop for his sanction”
    synonyms: authorization, consent, leave, permission, authority, warrant, license, dispensation, assent, acquiescence, agreement, approval, approbation, endorsement, accreditation, ratification, validation, blessing, imprimatur; More
    informalgo-ahead, OK, green light
    “the scheme has the sanction of the court”
    antonyms: prohibition
    official confirmation or ratification of a law.
    Lawhistorical
    a law or decree, especially an ecclesiastical decree.

verb
verb: sanction; 3rd person present: sanctions; past tense: sanctioned; past participle: sanctioned; gerund or present participle: sanctioning

  1. give official permission or approval for (an action).
    “only two treatments have been sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration”
    synonyms: authorize, permit, allow, warrant, accredit, license, endorse, approve, accept, back, support; informalOK
    “the rally was sanctioned by the government”
    antonyms: prohibit
    2.
    impose a sanction or penalty on.
    synonyms: punish, discipline someone for
    “the penalties available to sanction crime”

Origin
late Middle English (as a noun denoting an ecclesiastical decree): from French, from Latin sanctio(n-), from sancire ‘ratify.’ The verb dates from the late 18th century.

https://www.google.com/search…

SOURCE: “It’s Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/22/its-time-to-call-economic-sanctions-what-they-are-war-crimes/.

 

January 22

Hard to believe.

SOURCE: “’Something Is Very Wrong With The Global Economy’: Richest 1% Made 82% Of Global Wealth in 2017,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-22/something-very-wrong-global-economy-richest-1-made-82-global-wealth-2017.

 

January 20

And they act like they are doing you a favor for the privilege.

SOURCE: “Banks Made $6.4 Billion in Overdraft Fees Last Year—Where’s the Public Outrage?,” by Kate Harveston, TRUTH-OUT, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43279-banks-raked-in-6-4-billion-in-overdraft-fees-in-2017-where-s-the-public-outrage.

 

January 16

Very strange. Most likely more than a few things are being hidden here.

SOURCE: “New Charges Possible in Mandalay Bay Shooting While Mystery Shrouds Broken CCTV,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-16/what-happened-mandalay-bay-cctv-right-deadliest-mass-shooting-modern-us-history.

 

January 15

Luciana Bohne on the problem of ending wars before wars end humanity.

SOURCE: “World War I: Crime and Punishment,” by Luciana Bohne, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/12/world-war-i-crime-and-punishment/.

 

Feel free to forward, share, copy, abridge, excerpt, reprint, or otherwise use or disseminate this Effective Learning Digest any way you see fit.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Ga, www.effectivelearning.net, February 15, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST—JANUARY 2018

Or So It Seems to Me Today

It seemed going into the third quarter that Georgia was going to wind up the US national champion in football last night, Monday, January 8, 2018.

Unfortunately Coach Sabin decided during the half to start a new quarterback during the second half, a freshman from Hawaii. The kid was a real phenomenon and he sparked Alabama, down 13-3 at halftime, to a 26-20 win in overtime, an exciting football game if ever there was one. Too bad Georgia had to lose. Having lived in Georgia forty-seven years now, having moved to Georgia Southern University as an associate professor in 1970, having spent my first twenty-eight years in Texas, I am beginning to feel like a real Georgian, especially during football season.

For the past week or so I had been working on the immediately below article dealing with the subject of football and war and winning and losing, which I published in the Effective Learning Report a few days ago. Since football is still on my mind today, I decided to repost the article here in the Effective Learning Digest, a part of the Effective Learning Report, which is a part of our Effective Learning Company, which includes Stapleton Learning Company, Effective Learning Publications, Games Educators Play, and the FreeFairProgressParty. I have two books for sale on the Effective Learning Publications page. Everything else is free, except Debbye’s hourly mathematics tutoring, which is real work for her and her tutorees.  I do what I do just for the fun of it, “giving a little back” as they say in my retirement years at age seventy-seven.

As you may know, the Effective Learning Digest is a collection of linked Internet articles I consider relevant on the subject of business and politics published in Internet journals, blogs, websites, Facebook, and various places, with some of my comments about them. Basically they are articles I happened to select as relevant, of all the articles I read during the past few weeks, a drop in the bucket of all articles published around Earth during that period.  So how relevant are they relative to the whole system?  Who knows?  There are scads of good articles published on the Internet every day, many more than anyone has time to read.

I started the digest thinking I would publish it on a regular monthly basis, including articles published in the previous month, but I have now decided this requires more discipline than I have left, so I have decided to publish it when the spirit moves me, including articles I consider relevant, but not necessarily published in the previous month.

Outstanding thinkers and writers with good reputations in their fields wrote most of the articles linked in the digest on various websites on the Internet. It seems to me anyone reading these articles might have a better picture of what is going on around Earth in her or his head than will people not reading them, knowing full well there is no way anyone could prove such a thing.

I would like to think anyone reading Effective Learning Digest linked articles would be better equipped to function as a voter in a democracy than most folks. But that too is a stretch. I sometimes wonder why I read them in the first place, much less write and publish about them, since nothing seems to do much good anymore for middle and lower classes. It does seem at times the game is rigged for large corporations and the elite rich: heads I win and tails you lose no matter who gets elected or which party is in control. How much longer even large corporations and the elite rich will continue to win remains to be seen.

Feel free to forward, share, repost, reprint, copy or otherwise disseminate the Effective Learning Digest any way you see fit.

Just click on the web addresses and the articles at their original sites will pop up.

 

A football game ain’t no war, Big Daddy

By Richard John Stapleton

Burl Ives playing Big Daddy told Paul Newman playing his son Brick Pollitt “Life ain’t no football game, boy” in the movie adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which I saw in 1958.

Big Daddy pretty much owned the town in Mississippi and much of the surrounding farmland, and Brick was a depressed ex-professional football player who was washed up as a sports hero, who had done little but drink for some time, who was back in Big Daddy’s big house with his beautiful wife played by Elizabeth Taylor, for a family visit. He had undergone a serious demotion from the life of a high school, college, and pro football hero, and sports commentator, back to life in the banal boring unfair world owned, controlled, and lorded over by his father, Big Daddy; and Brick saw no way out, other than alcoholic spirits. Perhaps Big Daddy should have cut him out of his will and withdrawn his support, forcing him to get a real job; but the story ended with Brick commiserating in a sympathetic conversation with Big Daddy, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Would Big Daddy dying and willing most of his wealth and power to Brick cure Brick’s psychological depression and his lack of sexual desire for his beautiful wife, the cat on a hot tin roof? Would he forget the sexual complications he and his wife had with his football teammate and longtime friend, who had died? Nobody knows. Neither Tennessee Williams nor a screenwriter wrote an answer for this problem in the fictional movie.

Having been a high school quarterback, it seems to me the game of football is similar in some respects to competitive economics and international politics, but it’s not a form of war.

Both war and football are physically grueling and entail opponents trying to defeat one another. There are various plays quarterbacks can call running an offense, even changing plays sometimes at the line of scrimmage, mixing up plays trying to fake the defense out of their jockey straps. Calling and running plays was satisfying to me. I got a real high being in control of the team during games and making things happen, when we were moving the ball down the field and winning. I can imagine generals fighting wars sometimes had somewhat the same feeling. We won eleven out of eleven games in 1953.

On the other hand, most of the time football produced emotional lows rather than highs. It’s interesting why boys and young men like to play football as much as they do considering how tiresome, grueling, miserable, and painful it can get. Most football players probably play the game for the satisfaction of playing on a team to win, trying to be better at it than somebody else, and proving it before cheering fans in the stands. They get some applause, admiration, appreciation, fame, however little and fleeting, and a little glory, sexier girl friends maybe, maybe a university football scholarship, and serious money if they are good enough to make it big in the pros, a long shot.

Most people have no idea how hard football players had to physically work and how much misery they had to endure to earn the rewards they got back in the 1950s. I have no idea whether it’s still that way today, with new training and practice methods, but I would bet most football players are a lot more miserable most of the time than most people realize. I dreaded workouts and games, thinking about what could happen, which was most of the time during football season.

On the other hand, it seems to me football is in general fairer and more humane psychologically than competitive business and political organizations competing against organizations within countries and against countries internationally. People rarely get killed playing football. Football games are refereed to make sure players play by the rules, and the best and fastest, smartest, biggest, toughest, meanest, and hardest-working players almost always win, which is not true in economic competition and politics, in which the game is generally rigged and contaminated by money, script messages, and family connections, especially money and resources one legally inherits to start with to play the game. In war, the end result of international economic competition, when diplomacy fails, players are not only supposed to beat their opponents on fields of battle, but kill them, with few rules.

Why is it almost all football games entail playing the national anthem and focusing attention on the US flag before the game starts, with fans standing at attention with their hands over their hearts, some with tears in their eyes, with people in military uniforms marching about carrying flags, sometimes with military aircraft flying overhead? What is the message here? Are they trying to say the purpose of football games is to glorify war? Are they trying to say football games are like war? Are they trying to say football players are like soldiers?

Almost all people in the stands participate in these rituals with alacrity. Almost all stand at attention. Most put their hands over their hearts, and stare with awe and admiration at the “American” flag.  Colin Kaepernick, a pro football quarterback, disagrees, and he has paid a heavy price for courageously exercising his US right of free speech, by not only not standing at reverent attention when the national anthem was played, but by going down on one knee. Back when I was playing football the only time players went down on one knee on the field was because the coach told them to, generally because they were physically exhausted, and the coach wanted them to do some serious thinking about what they had been doing wrong.  Kaepernick went down on one knee because he was tired of what Big Daddy and US citizens had been doing to African Americans, and he wanted them to do some serious thinking about what they had been doing wrong.

Wars have become increasingly effective doing what wars do. During the 20th Century humans took warfare to new levels in WWI in 1917, WWII in 1940, the Korean War in the 1950s, and the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Not only did the grunt players, the soldiers, airmen, and sailors, become more effective doing their jobs, the generals with better weapons at their disposal invented new plays to call, new ways of killing that could kill thousands of people in short order, including thousands of passive non-combatant civilians sitting in their homes, killed by bombs dropped on them from airplanes, including two nuclear bombs dropped on civilians in two cities.

The United States, being physically separated by two large oceans from the battlefields of older civilizations, so far has not had any of its cities bombed by enemy nations in international wars, however much the US has done it to others, including North Koreans and Vietnamese, whose military teams were almost helpless competing against the powerful and accomplished US Air Force, having gained experience in WWII.

Some civilians were probably killed in towns in states of what is now the US in the so-called US Civil War of the 1860s, but mass civilian casualties in real cities in the US have not yet been caused by foreign enemies, not counting the civilian deaths in wars between the native original people of North America and the invasive European people starting in the 1600s, as Europeans took over and inexorably migrated west in the US, up to the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 in South Dakota, the last battle of these wars.

There is now loose hubristic jingoistic talk between the born rich narcissistic grandiose supreme leaders of the US and North Korea—who never worked a day in their lives for a boss in a competitive real job—using Internet tweets to broadcast scurrilous infantilized macho threats to one another, and messages about their right and power to use their immense power to shoot nuclear bombs into US and North Korean cities using intercontinental rockets, as if both see themselves as playing some sort of video game.

Hopefully these two jokers, having no experience playing football, having no experience doing hard physical work of any kind, or fighting in a real war, or even knowing what it’s like to belong to a military unit, really are joking about shooting off their nuclear bombs with rockets, as if the rockets loaded with nuclear bombs were giant roman candles to play with celebrating a holiday.

What is the probability of nuclear bombs being shot into US and North Korean cities by these so-called leaders? It had better be zero, since it could cause millions of civilian casualties if it happened, and possibly lead to the extinction of the human race.

It seems these bombastic immature tweets threatening nuclear war in international politics would cause an increased level of fear and anxiety among US citizens, and the citizens and subjects of all countries.

Adding to the consternation, anxiety, and worry caused by Trump’s and Kim Jong-un’s immature irrational behavior is irritation and agitation caused by the way the US domestic economy has evolved since the 1950s, caused by US politicians, their campaign donors, the voters who voted for them, and lobbyists for vested interests.

While the US economy today based on stock market indexes, the official unemployment rate, car sales, and construction appears to be in good shape, relevant facts paint a different picture. Yes, the official unemployment rate is low but the labor force participation rate is also low, caused by discouraged workers giving up on finding real jobs and ceasing to look for them, and thus not being counted as being unemployed. While the incomes and wealth of the elite rich have increased dramatically in recent decades, since the Republican Reagan administration of the 1980s, the wages, salaries, and wealth of middle and working classes have stagnated or declined, resulting in an aggravating ever-widening unfair unequal income and wealth distribution. The prices of corporate stocks in stock markets have been inflated by the quantitative easing and low interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve System that enabled corporations to borrow money at low interest and use the proceeds to buy back shares of their own stock, causing the prices of their stock to go up, enriching their top executives with stock options, which encouraged small retail investors and large institutional investors with pension money to buy stock, thus inflating stock prices even more to irrational levels. Thus there is now serious risk of another crash similar to the crash of 2008.

The 2017 Christmas-gift-for-the-rich tax reduction bill passed in December by the Republican Congress and signed into law by our billionaire president Trump, if history repeats itself, will not benefit middle and working classes but will enrich the rich even more, who do not have to work for a living, thereby increasing even more the gulf between the comfortable elite rich and everyone else in the US, while it dangerously increases both the US budget deficit and the total debt. It saved Trump’s heirs and Sam Walton’s heirs billions of dollars in estate taxes alone, money they did not need, more money than they can ever spend on rational and ethical human needs and wants.

The US now spends over fifty percent of its discretionary spending in the federal budget on military hardware, munitions, ammunition, bombs, and personnel, some 650 billion dollars per year, more than is spent on military budgets by the next eight largest military spending nations on Earth combined. How the US can justify this level of military spending in the absence of serious enemies and wars to fight is amazing. After several years of trying to find or create some serious enemies, so far the US military-industrial-intelligence complex has not found any, just puny national governments and military forces to tear up with bombs and bands of so-called terrorists to kill with drones and boots on the ground, in the Middle East and in North Africa, none of whom ever threatened US security.

How long these policies and ethical lapses can be continued without bringing on serious dislocations and losses remains to be seen. Chickens, after all, even in international politics, probably will come home to roost.

If interested take a look at my FreeFairProgressParty for some recommendations for the US government to enhance its functioning for all its stakeholders—as if it could operate like a good football team with a good quarterback, which for sure it can’t. It operates more like a bunch of hollering frenetic kids jumping and bouncing around in a Bounce House at a birthday party.

SOURCE: “A football game ain’t no war, Big Daddy,” by Richard John Stapleton, INTREPID REPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23024, January 11, 2018.

 

January 14, 2018

Here is an excellent well-reasoned and well-written article by Courtenay Barnett, an international lawyer and social activist living in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. Originally published in the Effective Learning Report. Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “President Trump and past and present cognitive dissonance,” by Courtenay Barnett, PAMBAZUKA NEWS, https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/president-trump-and-past-and-present-cognitive-dissonance?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork.

 

January 14, 2018

If this does not prove we need a single-payer Medicare For All healthcare system nothing would.

SOURCE: “Hospital Staff Dumped a Mentally Ill Patient In Freezing Weather Wearing Only a Hospital Gown,” by April M. Short, ALTERNET.ORG, https://www.alternet.org/human-rights/hospital-staff-dumped-mentally-ill-patient-out-freezing-wearing-nothing-hospital-gown#.WltkpHnoZGM.facebook.

 

January 12, 2018

The banking system is sunk if everyone wants to convert deposits into cash. Here is an interesting article about what happened when a depositor wanted to withdraw $8,000 in cash.

SOURCE: “When your bank fails, don’t walk…run!,” by Brett Redmayne-Titley, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23044.

 

January 11, 2018

Reich is right about one thing in this article: however obtuse and clueless Trump is in general he may be a genius of sorts in terms of emotional intelligence—as shown by his ability to emotionally manipulate the voters who voted for him, about twenty-five percent of US eligible voters, using simplistic, inane, sometimes anti-social and insulting, almost obscene, statements and tweets,  using a fourth grade vocabulary.

SOURCE: “Robert Reich: Just How Stupid is Trump?,” by Robert Reich, ALTERNET.ORG, https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/robert-reich-just-how-stupid-trump.

 

January 10, 2018

Now here is an interesting story, some real news perhaps. Nobody in Trump’s family thought he would win, including Trump himself, and were horrified that he did win, including Trump himself.

SOURCE: “’Melania Was in Tears—and Not of Joy’: New Book Reveals Family’s Shock at Trump’s Election Win,” Travis Gettys, ALTERNET.ORG, https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trump-family-didnt-think-hed-win#.Wlbp-1r-37A.facebook.

 

January 10, 2018

Can you believe this?

SOURCE: “Top general tells Marines to be prepared for a big fight,” by Amy Wang, MSN.COM, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/top-general-tells-marines-to-be-prepared-for-a-big-fight/ar-BBHc5r0?ocid=sf.

 

January 8, 2018

Can’t Believe This is Happening

Apparently Trump and his national security adviser H.R. McMaster want to give Kim Jong Un and North Korea a “bloody nose” with some sort of non-nuclear strike, which seems insane to me. Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, is apparently opposed to the idea, as is US Defense Secretary, James Mattis. The crux of the problem is whether Kim Jong Un would accept the bloody nose attack without escalating into a nuclear attack.

SOURCE: “Tillerson and Mattis are reportedly trying to hold Trump back from striking North Korea,” by Alex Lockie, BUSINESSINSIDER.COM, http://www.businessinsider.com/tillerson-mattis-trump-north-korea-strike-2018-1.

 

January 7, 2018

I wish all Democratic Party people would do this, so we members of the FreeFairProgressParty at http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html could take over and restore the normal functioning of the US.

SOURCE: “Jefferson County state senator ditches Democratic Party: Cheri Jahn says she will serve as an independent,” by Noelle Phillips, The Denver Post, https://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/30/cheri-jahn-colorado-democrat-indepedent/.

 

January 6, 2018

Jill stein, probably the best candidate in the 2016 US presidential election, whom I voted for, responds here to her recent charges of malfesance with the Russians.

SOURCE: “Fireside Chat,” with Jill Stein, video at https://www.facebook.com/drjillstein/?hc_ref=ARSaIxXz5eMnpMS499W8wExXrIkJ4KZwAzuwvr5VG1ObfGO3yxZpEykhEVRoFIboDO0&pnref=story.

 

January 3, 2018

Here is a listing of some script messages found on the Chain of Ego States Diagram published on page 187 of my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactiona…/…/0692584331.  Unfortunately the diagram itself could not be pasted into this WordPress format.  If you would like to see the diagram you can see it on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.  Last shared and posted on Facebook today, January 14, 2018.

“Figure 28.
THE CHAIN OF EGO STATES—A P–A–C Chain of Command Organizational Script Matrix.

PARENT CHAIN OF COMMAND MESSAGES: Be productive. Work hard. Make money. Be strong. Hurry up. Be firm. Be slow. Be pompous. Be polite. Be serious and reverent. Be silly and irreverent. Walk fast. Use emphatic hand gestures. Make small talk. Don’t violate the chain of command. Go through channels. Be attractive. Be unattractive. Be short. Be tall. Look harried. Please me. Be perfect. Make the organization look good. Use innocuous, euphemistic words. Take your glasses off, and point with them. Wear a pinstriped suit. Dress nicely. Drive a Buick Electra. Play golf. Drink scotch. Cross your legs nonchalantly. Stroll coolly. Have another beer. Have some wine. Don’t wear a tie or dress nicely. Go bowling with the guys/gals. Ride a bicycle. Get a Toyota. Be a nice gal/guy. Act/be old/young.

ADULT CHAIN OF COMMAND MESSAGES: Hiring costs are $100; firing costs are $97. We need one thousand more units a month to keep up with the present sales rate. Enrollment increased/decreased X percent. X percent of our students /trainees report back that our teaching/training was beneficial to them. X percent of our students think they learn valuable, rel- evant learning in our classes/courses/programs.

CHILD CHAIN OF COMMAND MESSAGES: Don’t think. Don’t feel. Don’t be powerful. Don’t feel what you feel, feel what I want you to feel. Don’t be close. Don’t be you, be what I attribute you to be. Don’t belong. Don’t be well or sane. Don’t be sexual. Don’t be intelligent. Don’t be imaginative. Don’t make it. Don’t feel glad. Don’t learn. Don’t achieve. Don’t grow up. Don’t be energetic and confident. Don’t be spontaneous.”

Different messages are transmitted on the chain of ego states from the Parent, Adult, and Child Ego States of the Leader to subordinates. Over time the organizational script will tend to mirror the life scrlpt of the dominant leader introjected from the parents of the leader as people are hired into and fired and sluiced out of the organization. Script messages transmitted vary from one organization to another depending on the life scripts of the leaders and the purposes and technologies involved. More people are fired for not being willing or able to conform to the organizational script than for not being able to produce the goods and services listed on their job descriptions.

Almost nobody can be truly free to be themselves as an employee in an organization.  They have to adapt and flex to script messages such as these.  Adaptability is being willing and able to conform to the Parent script messages of the dominant leader regarding how the organization should be run.  Flexibility is being willing and able to flex to the Parent and Child ego state messages of the boss so as to produce desired personality satisfactions.

Trump’s major Parent messages are “Take care of yourself and to hell with everyone else, and look good.” There are no Adult script messages since there are no facts and analyses shared. The major Child script message is “Do what you’re told to do or you’ll get fired.” His administration is largely Parent and Child ego dominated, much more so than most administrations, an authoritarian command organization in which the boss makes the decisions using his covert Adult and overt Parent and Child ego state energy and messages and everyone else is supposed to act like an obedient child and/or nurturing parent relating to him or her.

There are two basic types of messages transmitted in organizations: social and psychological. Social level messages are overt and spoken; psychological messages are covert and ulterior. Social level messages in the diagram on page 187 of Born to Learn are depicted with a solid line and psychological messages are depicted with a dotted line. Number 1 in the diagram is the dominant leader, and Numbers 2,3, 4, etc. are his subordinates. In a hierarchical organization with several levels all subordinates in a chain of command diagram are also bosses to their subordinates. It may take some time for all the messages of Number 1 to saturate the whole organization. Most dominant leaders are not permanent enough to make this happen, so there can be different script messages in various pockets of the organization at various levels. In organizations like the federal government most lower level civil service employees are protected from irrational Parent and Child script messages emanating from Number 1.

SOURCE: Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Publications, 2016, p 187, available at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331.

 

January 2, 2018

Kaepernick paid a heavy price for going down on one knee to make his statement and take his stand, and so did the NFL.  It seems to me Kaepernick had a right to do what he did, and the NFL did not have a right to do what they did, and we’ll have to wait and see what happens.  In my opinion, Kaepernick was discriminated against for exercising his First Amendment right.

SOURCE: “The NFL Chose to Tank Its Season Rather Than Sign Colin Kaepernick: Billion dollar teams choosing to fail rather than sign Kaepernick is a scandal for reasons beyond wins and losses,” by Dave Zirin, The Nation, https://www.thenation.com/article/the-nfl-chose-to-tank-its-season-rather-than-sign-colin-kaepernick/.

 

December 31, 2017

Our supreme leader Trump, having been raised in New York City skyscrapers, wants to send our farmworkers back to where they came from, on the other side of the wall he wants to build. He probably thinks we don’t need them because you can buy all the food you want at Walmart, or a fast food place.

SOURCE: “America’s farmworkers face poverty, neglect, and now deportation,” by Jim Hightower, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22953.

 

December 31, 2018

David Stockman, the director of the US Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, before Reagan fired him for criticizing what he was doing, as usual pulls no punches telling it like he sees it in this article. In my opinion Stockman is the most honest former government official I have run across, about my age. I remember when Reagan and his cronies ran him off.

SOURCE: “The Greatest Bubble Ever: Why You Better Believe It – Part 2,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-29/greatest-bubble-ever-why-you-better-believe-it-part-2.

 

December 31, 2017

To really appreciate what Trump has done to the US, you have to take a look at the faces of these people posted on Facebook, Trump’s Secretary of Education, his EPA Chief, his Attorney General, his Secretary of State, his Secretary of Labor, his Secretary of Housing, and his Secretary of Energy.

SOURCE: Facebook post by Oppressed People of America, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

December 30, 2017

Here is a good overview of where we are in the US by Nomi Prins, between a rock and a hard spot, thanks to our cowardly, cynical, narcissistic, greedy, bought and paid for politicians, and the voters who voted for them.

SOURCE: “The Next Financial Crisis Will Be Worse Than the Last One,” by Nomi Prins, ALTERNET.ORG, https://www.alternet.org/economy/next-financial-crisis-will-be-worse-last-one.

 

December 30, 2017

Here is an article I wrote three or four years ago about a way to get humanity out of its perilous straits using common sense and mathematical reasoning.

SOURCE: “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth, Incorporated,” by Richard John Stapleton, MWC News (Media with Conscience), http://mwcnews.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31023&catid=38&Itemid=125.

 

December 29, 2018

The student debt situation is pathetic. Ellen Brown a top money and banking expert tells it like it is.

SOURCE: “Student debt slavery: Bankrolling financiers on the backs of the young,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22960.

 

December 29, 2017

A major issue with the Trump administration is what to do about the US military. It is now costing some $650 billion per year in discretionary spending, over half of discretionary spending in the US budget, and it has no serious wars to fight at present. At issue is which country is the most likely candidate to fill the bill. This article provides serious insight into the dynamics of the problem.

SOURCE: “2018—war or no war?,” by The Saker, http://thesaker.is/2018-war-or-no-war/.

 

December 29, 2017

Hopefully the article below in this post by Marc Slavo saying war with North Korea is possible within twelve weeks is pure sensationalism. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing, despite the sources he cites, given the way our government lies to us about what they intend to do, lying by omission by not telling us state secrets and classified information, ostensibly for our own good. We know for sure our supreme leader Trump and the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un have been sarcastically threatening and taunting one another verbally for months now, and we know North Korea has been making progress toward operationalizing a rocket capable of hitting the US with a nuclear warhead. It seems to me a real war with North Korea is insane, sure to result in untold misery and suffering. On the other hand the experts in the US CIA and Pentagon hopefully know more than I do about this. Assuming the quotes in the below article are true some top military experts think it is “unacceptable” to allow North Korea to develop a serious nuclear arsenal, meaning war is the only option to stop them from getting one. It seems to me it would be better to let them get one and then pay them if necessary not to use it, given the consequences of starting an all-out nuclear war, but what do I, a mere civilian, know about these things? Would it be worse for North Korea to have a nuclear arsenal than Russia, China, the UK, France, Pakistan or Israel? There are enough nuclear bombs out there now to destroy Earth several times over. What difference would one more country make? Are we to assume North Koreans are crazier and less trustworthy than the others, not having sense enough to know shooting off nuclear bombs will surely result in their own destruction?

Following is a short passage taken from page 585 from my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, written by me in 2006:

“If progress is not made in the direction of more liberty, equality, and fraternity among all people aboard Spaceship Earth, jealously, shame, and hatred could cause humanity to self-destruct at some future date, just like some religious groups now prophesy. Several nuclear bombs shot off simultaneously all over Earth in multi-directions at various enemies would do the trick. Whether Jesus will drop down from the sky at that time with his band of angels and sweep the believers of these groups up to eternal bliss in heaven while billions of infidels and sinners are cast into eternal hell fire and torment remains to be seen. Such people have been wrong for over 2,000 years. Many early Christians believed the world would come to an end during the lifetime of Jesus. If more countries with irrational leaders like North Korea develop nuclear weapons and rockets capable of propelling their nuclear weapons long distances we may find out for sure whether nuclear blackmail will work. How much hard currency would the rich nations have to give these countries to equalize incomes enough to make sure the bombs were not shot off?”

Apparently some of our military experts and maybe the US supreme leader Trump do not intend to pay blackmail to insure the bombs are not shot off. Which is the lesser evil: paying blackmail to make sure nuclear bombs are not shot off or going to war trying to eliminate the possibility? This seems to me to be a no brainer. Unfortunately the us military industrial intelligence banking complex, aka the deep state, would probably disagree

Unfortunately the North Koreans remember what the US did to them during the North Korean war of the 1950s and will have no mercy killing us now if a real war breaks out.

Take a look at Business Voyages at https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schema…/…/B002GP76TA for more elaboration regarding this issue of war and peace.

SOURCE: “Intelligence Insider Warns of Imminent War: “Likely In The Next 12 Weeks…The Director of the CIA told me,”” by Marc Slavo, SHTFplan.com, http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/intelligence-insider-warns-of-imminent-war-likely-in-the-next-12-weeks-the-director-of-the-cia-told-me_12262017.

 

December 29, 2017

This article by Charles Hugh Smith in his Of Two Minds blog gets into the nitty gritty of what the elite rich spend much of their time doing. It’s one thing to get rich; it’s another matter to stay rich. This article points out some ways to do it. Staying rich is not as easy as most people think.

SOURCE: “The Hidden-in-Plain-Sight Mechanism of the Super-Wealthy: Money-Laundering 2.0,” by Charles Hugh Smith, OFTWOMINDS.COM, http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-hidden-in-plain-sight-mechanism-of.html.

 

December 29, 2017

What kind of insanity could cause something like this? In case you haven’t heard, bees are now under attack from manmade chemicals injected into the environment, and are dying off in their collapsing hives; and bees are absolutely necessary to pollinate foods humans eat. Thankfully private beekeepers are taking care of more bees, increasing the production of bees, to replace those that die off, hopefully making sure we humans do not die off if too many bees die prematurely. Vandals like these ought to be shot on sight.

SOURCE: “Vandalism destroys half million bees, wipes out Sioux City honey business,” by Ty Rushing, Sioux City Journal, http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/vandalism-destroys-half-million-bees-wipes-out-sioux-city-honey/article_b883044a-8df8-5b54-95a8-46afcb6c8624.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share.

 

December 28, 2017

Here is a new progressive and effective voice I just discovered, Joseph M. Firestone, delivering a podcast with a new approach. He reads and discusses an article by Chris Hedges, probably the most active and effective progressive voice on Earth today, titled “The Permanent Lie.” Well worth a look and listen.

SOURCE: “The Permanent Lie,” an article by Chris Hedges, read and discussed by Jospeh M. Firestone, REAL PROGRESSIVES, at https://www.facebook.com/RealProgressive/videos/1942644919398262/

 

December 28, 2917

My book just keeps on getting more and more relevant the more decadent the US gets. As Kirkus points out the book emphasizes the value of transactional analysis to teachers in classrooms, but allows it applies to teachers everywhere, parents in homes, managers in businesses, leaders of all sorts dealing with their group members. I think it applies to anyone who does any teaching of any sort, even writers like me, especially people purporting to teach others about politics and appropriate behavior in society. You can read an e-book copy of Born to Learn for less than a six pack of beer costs, or a glass of red wine in a restaurant, a good deal considering how it might help you improve your functioning. Just because the world is going to hell in a handbasket for most people this does not necessarily mean you can’t improve your own lot in life and the functioning of your children, employees, and fellow citizens by learning some new and relevant concepts and tools.  Whether this excuses you from doing something about the plights of others is another matter.

SOURCE: “A refresher course in transactional analysis,” by Kirkus Reviews, https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-john-stapleton/born-to-learn/.

 

December 27, 2017

Really makes you feel secure doesn’t it? Thank you, 9/11.

SOURCE: “Homeland Security’s Multibillion Dollar Comedy Show,” COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, by James Bovard, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/27/homeland-securitys-multibillion-dollar-comedy-show/.

 

December 26, 2017

If the US has 41 million people living in poverty and nine million have no cash income whatsoever, is it their fault, or is it the US brand of capitalism just isn’t working very well?

SOURCE: “Does capitalism work?,” by Dave Alpert, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22922.

 

December 27, 2017

Yes, I suppose it may have happened, a coup that is.

SOURCE: “JOHN KELLY AND THE LANGUAGE OF THE MILITARY COUP, “ by Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/john-kelly-and-the-language-of-the-military-coup.

 

December 26, 20017

Nasty business this. Let’s hope the US does not follow a similar path in a few years.

SOURCE: “Whether or Not the Presidents Change, the Generals Remain Connected,” by Jaqnine Jackson, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42983-whether-or-not-the-presidents-change-the-generals-remain-connected.

 

December 26, 2017

One of the most dismaying stories of our time.

SOURCE: “Why We Can’t Ignore Libya, Enslavement and the Damages of US Intervention, by William C. Anderson, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42904-present-day-slavery-in-libya-how-us-intervention-made-things-worse-for-black-africans.

 

December 24, 2017

Here is an article of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire genre, asserting the US Empire is heading down the same road, becoming incompetent and decadent because of poor policies and corruption.

SOURCE: “The US has reached the last stage before collapse,” by James Traub, BUSINESSINSIDER.COM, http://www.businessinsider.com/us-reached-last-stage-before-collapse-2017-12.

 

December 23, 2017

Excellent article by William Hawes describing how we got here and what we have to do to survive indefinitely. It seems to me we have two alternative scenarios: keep on going like we are winding up in a full military and police state wiped out in a nuclear catastrophe or evolving along the lines described in this article.

SOURCE: “The Great Unraveling: Using Science and Philosophy to Decode Modernity,” by William Hawes, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/22/the-great-unraveling-using-science-and-philosophy-to-decode-modernity/.

 

December 22, 3017

Maybe even Trump’s new EPA stooge now understands that climate change was caused by humans and is not debatable.

SOURCE: “Pruitt’s Plan to Debate Climate Science Paused as Science Confirms Human Link to Extreme Weather,” by Julie Dermansky, TURTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43000-pruitt-s-plan-to-debate-climate-science-paused-as-science-confirms-human-link-to-extreme-weather.

 

December 21, 2008

Amazing how judges are as brainwashed as anyone else in early childhood by their parents and early experiences. Once a conservative always a conservative, no matter what law school you went to; once a liberal always a liberal, no matter what law school you went to. Very boring process. Interesting how McConnell is prouder about the prospect of putting more conservative brainwashed judges on the supreme court and district courts than he is ripping off a trillion or two more dollars for the elite rich with the new Repug tax bill.

SOURCE: “McConnell is happy about tax cuts, but even happier about stuffing judiciary with right-wingers,” by Jake Johnson, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22896.

 

December 21, 2017

Despite what you might have heard I’m not dead yet. Among other things i still do things with GA So Univ. I am a mentor working pro bono now and then with entrepreneurs at the City Campus with BIG (Business Innovation Group) and SCORE, what used to be called Service Corps of Retired Executives, sponsored by the US Small Business Administration. I still do research, write, and publish on business and economic affairs.

SOURCE: “Center Founding Professor Publishes New Book,” Business Innovation Group (BIG), Georgia Southern University, http://cob.georgiasouthern.edu/big/2010/12/10/center-founding-professor-publishes-new-book/.

 

December 18, 2017

Ann Rann crap

Unfortunately some of Ann Ran’s obtuse ideas have served as rationalizations for about one half of all US voters for about thirty five years, since Ronald Reagan, a movie star, got to be president. Her basic idea that if you are too sympathetic to the needs of others you will not work hard enough to lift yourself out of poverty, and you will remain mired in the poverty afflicting the masses under capitalism, may be true in some cases. Donald Trump, for example, believes this.  He thinks most people are too moral to make any money. Ann Rans whole syndrome of selfish ideation however is seriously flawed, especially regarding not paying taxes. Reality has it, regardless of what Ann Rann says, if you and others do not contribute to creating and maintaining the physical and social infrastructure of your country, or planet, by paying your fair share of taxes, no matter how rich and free you get, you will inevitably suffer consequences caused by the misery you caused others, possibly even human extinction. We are all part of the same ecosystem and if we do not work to preserve it, paying our fair share of taxes, no one will have a happy peaceful life sooner or later.

See my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth, Incorporated,” for some common sense and mathematical ideas on how to get humanity out of its longstanding screwed-up mess, easily found on the Internet at http://mwcnews.net/…/31023-spaceship-earth-incorporated.html.

SOURCE: “It’s Ayn Rand’s America Now: How the GOP stripped the country of its last shred of morality,” by Neal Gabler, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22861.

 

December 18, 2017

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “The Dumbing Down of American: ‘The Numbers Speak Volumes’.” By Mac Slavo , SHTFPAN.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/dumbing-down-america-numbers-speak-volumes.

 

December 18, 2017

This says it all. We are a nation of Walmart customers and healthcare dependents, with the exception of Washington state, a Boeing military contractor dependent. Click on the map to get the full picture.

SOURCE: “This Map Shows The Largest Employer in Every State,” by Matt Gilligan, DID YOU KNOWFACTS. COM, http://didyouknowfacts.com/map-shows-largest-employer-every-state/?utm_content=inf_84_3493_2&utm_source=TSE&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=TSECPC&tse_id=INF_cd476820e0de11e7b926579f881108d6.

 

December 18, 2017

Well said, Dave Lindorff. Most likely only catastrophe will be able to teach most humans that something has to be done about the actual causes of our predicament.

SOURCE: “Stupidity and Blindness Have Destroyed Whatever Democracy the US Ever Had,” by Dave Lindorff, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/15/stupidity-and-blindness-have-destroyed-whatever-democracy-the-us-ever-had/.

 

December 18, 2017

Hear Hear. An intelligent analysis of one of Spaceship Earth’s most troublesome decisions, by Luciana Bohne.

SOURCE: “Operation Jerusalem Capital: Second Balfour Declaration or Arab-Israeli NATO?”, by Luciana Bohne, COURNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/15/operation-jerusalem-capital-second-balfour-declaration-or-arab-israeli-nato/.

 

December 14, 2017

You fall into despair because you see tomorrow. You have no purpose in the new scheme of things at home, and there is little hope of becoming a hero. Maybe joining the military doing something overseas will do it. Maybe not. We need a whole new way of looking at things, doing things, and living on Spaceship Earth.

SOURCE: “Nobel Laureate ‘Discovers’ Cause of Opioid Crisis: Complete Economic Destruction of the ‘White Working Class,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-14/nobel-laureate-discovers-cause-opioid-crisis-complete-economic-destruction-white-wor.

 

December 14, 2017

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE: “Donald Trump just changed the Internet as we know it,” by Aatif Sulleyman and Jeremy B. White, INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/net-neutrality-latest-update-fcc-vote-ajit-pai-regulation-internet-freedom-coporation-donald-trump-a8110726.html.

 

December 14, 2017

Amazing how this just sort of died out with no real truth about what happened coming to light.

SOURCE: “Las Vegas massacre survivors 2 months later: ‘We’re in the dark’,” CNN.COM, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/14/us/las-vegas-shooting-2-months-questions/index.html

 

December 12, 2017

It’s almost as if some voters think hubris, chauvinism, and misogyny are qualifications for people seeking election to public office.

SOURCE: “Politics Trumps Religion: The Immorality of Republican ‘Christian’ Morality,” by David Rosen, COUNTERPUNCH,ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/12/politics-trumps-religion-the-immorality-of-republican-christian-morality/.

 

December 12, 2017

Unfortunately a lot of depressed people need a dopamine boost. one can build the case it’s amazing more people are not depressed living on this screwed-up planet. Facebook has not made things worse in my opinion. Society never “worked” for most people in my opinion. Society only “works” for the powerful and elite rich, people not required to “work” for a living. Maybe what we need is an international week of mourning, to give deep thought to what went wrong on Earth and what we might do to make things sustainable and fair.

SOURCE: “Former Facebook Executive Criticizes Social Network for ‘Destroying How Society Works’,” by Matthew Rozsa, ALTERNET.ORG, https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/former-facebook-exec-says-it-destroys-society#.Wi_w2qyjvuI.facebook.

 

December 12, 2017

Right on.

SOURCE: “Why the Documentary Must Not Be Allowed to Die,” by John Pilger, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/12/why-the-documentary-must-not-be-allowed-to-die/.

 

December 11, 2017

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “The US Military is the Biggest ‘Big Government’ Entitlement Program on the Planet,” by JP Sottile, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42829-the-us-military-is-the-biggest-big-government-entitlement-program-on-the-planet.

 

December 10, 2017

We are somewhat like balls in a pinball machine, getting knocked around in various directions on the pinball machine floor by inevitable/accidental external forces that depress buttons on the sides of the pinball machine case that activate flippers that strike us and propel us in various directions at various speeds around the possibilities of the game course to situations that we hit, ringing up with flashing lights, bells, and whistles various scores, accumulating a total score. Entropy causes us to gradually gravitate to a hole at the bottom of the slightly tilted pinball machine floor and case down which we inevitably fall, to be popped up again, after other balls ahead of us have been hit, to be thumped again after a spring-activated rod is turned loose to strike us and send us around the course, to be hit again by flippers, over and over, until the accidental/inevitable external energy force leaves us alone.

If you have any interest in mathematics here is a blog post with some good insights into how our convoluted lives happen.

http://colah.github.io/…/2014-07-Understanding-Convolutions/

SOURCE: “Tilt! Game Over,” Jeff Thomas, INTERNATIONALMAN.COM. http://www.internationalman.com/articles/tilt-game-over#.Wh66D-tqzGw.facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A football game ain’t no war, Big Daddy

By Richard John Stapleton

Burl Ives playing Big Daddy told Paul Newman playing his son Brick Pollitt “Life ain’t no football game, boy” in the movie adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which I saw in 1958.

Big Daddy pretty much owned the town in Mississippi and much of the surrounding farmland, and Brick was a depressed ex-professional football player who was washed up as a sports hero, who had done little but drink for several years, who was back in Big Daddy’s big house with his beautiful wife played by Elizabeth Taylor, for a family visit. He had undergone a serious demotion from the life of a high school, college, and pro football hero back to life in the banal boring unfair world owned, controlled, and lorded over by his father, Big Daddy; and Brick saw no way out, other than alcoholic spirits. Perhaps Big Daddy should have cut him out of his will and withdrawn his support, forcing him to get a real job; but the story ended with Brick commiserating in a sympathetic conversation with Big Daddy, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Would Big Daddy dying and willing most of his wealth and power to Brick cure Brick’s psychological depression and his lack of sexual desire for his beautiful wife, the cat on a hot tin roof? Would he forget the sexual complications he and his wife had with his football teammate and longtime friend, who had died? Nobody knows. Neither Tennessee Williams nor a screenwriter wrote an answer for this problem in the fictional movie.

Having been a high school quarterback, it seems to me the game of football is similar in some respects to competitive economics and international politics, but it’s not a form of war.

Both war and football are physically grueling and entail opponents trying to defeat one another. There are various plays quarterbacks can call running an offense, even changing plays sometimes at the line of scrimmage, mixing up plays trying to fake the defense out of their jockey straps. Calling and running plays was satisfying to me. I got a real high being in control of the team during games and making things happen, when we were moving the ball down the field and winning. I can imagine generals fighting wars sometimes had somewhat the same feeling. We won eleven out of eleven games in 1953.

On the other hand, most of the time football produced emotional lows rather than highs. It’s interesting why boys and young men like to play football as much as they do considering how tiresome, grueling, miserable, and painful it can get. Most football players probably play the game for the satisfaction of playing on a team to win, trying to be better at it than somebody else, and proving it before cheering fans in the stands. They get some applause, admiration, appreciation, fame, however little and fleeting, and a little glory, sexier girl friends maybe, maybe a university football scholarship, and serious money if they are good enough to make it big in the pros, a long shot.

Most people have no idea how hard football players had to physically work and how much misery they had to endure to earn the rewards they got back in the 1950s. I have no idea whether it’s still that way today, with new training and practice methods, but I would bet most football players are a lot more miserable most of the time than most people realize. I dreaded workouts and games, thinking about what could happen, which was most of the time during football season.

On the other hand, it seems to me football is in general fairer and more humane psychologically than competitive business and political organizations competing against organizations within countries and against countries internationally. People rarely get killed playing football. Football games are refereed to make sure players play by the rules, and the best and fastest, smartest, biggest, toughest, meanest, and hardest-working players almost always win, which is not true in economic competition and politics, in which the game is generally rigged and contaminated by money, script messages, and family connections, especially money and resources one legally inherits to start with to play the game. In war, the end result of international economic competition, when diplomacy fails, players are not only supposed to beat their opponents on fields of battle, but kill them, with few rules.

Why is it almost all football games entail playing the national anthem and focusing attention on the US flag before the game starts, with fans standing at attention with their hands over their hearts, some with tears in their eyes, with people in military uniforms marching about carrying flags, sometimes with military aircraft flying overhead? What is the message here? Are they trying to say the purpose of football games is to glorify war? Are they trying to say football games are like war? Are they trying to say football players are like soldiers?

Almost all people in the stands participate in these rituals with alacrity. Almost all stand at attention. Most put their hands over their hearts, and stare with awe and admiration at the “American” flag.  Colin Kaepernick, a pro football quarterback, disagrees, and he has paid a heavy price for courageously exercising his US right of free speech, by not only not standing at reverent attention when the national anthem was played, but by going down on one knee. Back when I was playing football the only time players went down on one knee on the field was because the coach told them to, generally because they were physically exhausted, and the coach wanted them to do some serious thinking about what they had been doing wrong.  Kaepernick went down on one knee because he was tired of what Big Daddy and US citizens had been doing to African Americans, and he wanted them to do some serious thinking about what they had been doing wrong.

Wars have become increasingly effective doing what wars do. During the 20th Century humans took warfare to new levels in WWI in 1917, WWII in 1940, the Korean War in the 1950s, and the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Not only did the grunt players, the soldiers, airmen, and sailors, become more effective doing their jobs, the generals with better weapons at their disposal invented new plays to call, new ways of killing that could kill thousands of people in short order, including thousands of passive non-combatant civilians sitting in their homes, killed by bombs dropped on them from airplanes, including two nuclear bombs dropped on civilians in two cities.

The United States, being physically separated by two large oceans from the battlefields of older civilizations, so far has not had any of its cities bombed by enemy nations in international wars, however much the US has done it to others, including North Koreans and Vietnamese, whose military teams were almost helpless competing against the powerful and accomplished US Air Force, having gained experience in WWII.

Some civilians were probably killed in towns in states of what is now the US in the so-called US Civil War of the 1860s, but mass civilian casualties in real cities in the US have not yet been caused by foreign enemies, not counting the civilian deaths in wars between the native original people of North America and the invasive European people starting in the 1600s, as Europeans took over and inexorably migrated west in the US, up to the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 in South Dakota, the last battle of these wars.

There is now loose hubristic jingoistic talk between the born rich narcissistic grandiose supreme leaders of the US and North Korea—who never worked a day in their lives for a boss in a competitive real job—using Internet tweets to broadcast scurrilous infantilized macho threats to one another, and messages about their right and power to use their immense power to shoot nuclear bombs into US and North Korean cities using intercontinental rockets, as if both see themselves as playing some sort of video game.

Hopefully these two jokers, having no experience playing football, having no experience doing hard physical work of any kind, or fighting in a real war, or even knowing what it’s like to belong to a military unit, really are joking about shooting off their nuclear bombs with rockets, as if the rockets loaded with nuclear bombs were giant roman candles to play with celebrating a holiday.

What is the probability of nuclear bombs being shot into US and North Korean cities by these so-called leaders? It had better be zero, since it could cause millions of civilian casualties if it happened, and possibly lead to the extinction of the human race.

It seems these bombastic immature tweets threatening nuclear war in international politics would cause an increased level of fear and anxiety among US citizens, and the citizens and subjects of all countries.

Adding to the consternation, anxiety, and worry caused by Trump’s and Kim Jong Un’s immature irrational behavior is irritation and agitation caused by the way the US domestic economy has evolved since the 1950s, caused by US politicians, their campaign donors, the voters who voted for them, and lobbyists for vested interests.

While the US economy today based on stock market indexes, the official unemployment rate, car sales, and construction appears to be in good shape, relevant facts paint a different picture. Yes, the official unemployment rate is low but the labor force participation rate is also low, caused by discouraged workers giving up on finding real jobs and ceasing to look for them, and thus not being counted as being unemployed. While the incomes and wealth of the elite rich have increased dramatically in recent decades, since the Republican Reagan administration of the 1980s, the wages, salaries, and wealth of middle and working classes have stagnated or declined, resulting in an aggravating ever-widening unfair unequal income and wealth distribution. The prices of corporate stocks in stock markets have been inflated by the quantitative easing and low interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve System that enabled corporations to borrow money at low interest and use the proceeds to buy back shares of their own stock, causing the prices of their stock to go up, enriching their top executives with stock options, which encouraged small retail investors and large institutional investors with pension money to buy stock, thus inflating stock prices even more to irrational levels. Thus there is now serious risk of another crash similar to the crash of 2008.

The 2017 Christmas-gift-for-the-rich tax reduction bill passed in December by the Republican Congress and signed into law by our billionaire president Trump, if history repeats itself, will not benefit middle and working classes but will enrich the rich even more, who do not have to work for a living, thereby increasing even more the gulf between the comfortable elite rich and everyone else in the US, while it dangerously increases both the US budget deficit and the total debt. It saved Trump’s heirs and Sam Walton’s heirs billions of dollars in estate taxes alone, money they did not need, more money than they can ever spend on rational and ethical human needs and wants.

The US now spends over fifty percent of its discretionary spending in the federal budget on military hardware, munitions, ammunition, bombs, and personnel, some 650 billion dollars per year, more than is spent on military budgets by the next eight largest military spending nations on Earth combined. How the US can justify this level of military spending in the absence of serious enemies and wars to fight is amazing. After several years of trying to find or create some serious enemies, so far the US military-industrial-intelligence complex has not found any, just puny national governments and military forces to tear up with bombs and bands of so-called terrorists to kill with drones and boots on the ground, in the Middle East and in North Africa, none of whom ever threatened US security.

How long these policies and ethical lapses can be continued without bringing on serious dislocations and losses remains to be seen. Chickens, after all, even in international politics, probably will come home to roost.

If interested take a look at my FreeFairProgressParty for some recommendations for the US government to enhance its functioning for all its stakeholders—as if it could operate like a good football team with a good quarterback, which for sure it can’t. It operates more like a bunch of hollering frenetic kids jumping and bouncing around in a Bounce House at a birthday party.

Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship and business ethics who writes on business and politics at www.efffectivelearning.net.

He is also editor and publisher of the Effective Learning Report.

Feel free to share, forward, copy, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this article any way you see fit.

 

Effective Learning Digest—November 2017

Or So It Seems To Me Today

By Richard John Stapleton

Getting old is not fun per se but it is interesting.

As most transactional analysts believe and think they know, especially certified ones such as I, the human brain is somewhat analogous to a computer. Both are powered by electricity and both store information in cells of various sorts. Stored information is linked in neural networks. A human brain can store almost any kind of information—various types of feelings, visual observations, sounds, smells, tastes, data, information, theories, dogmas, ideologies, decisions, programs, scripts, schemata, techniques, languages, and what have you.

It seems to me today a computer can store anything a human brain can store except feelings, smells, and tastes. It seems to me you can build a case the human brain is superior to a computer because it can store more different types of information.

When it comes to storing digits and making calculations however computers are vastly superior. I heard the other day China now has the fastest super-computers, and they just constructed the fastest computer on Earth that can do several quadrillion calculations per second.

Some people, e.g. Elon Musk, the genius founding and running Tesla, are seriously worried computers will get smart enough, after being programmed by humans with artificial intelligence, to rebel against their human programmers and destroy us all. Seems to me however you can also build a case humans can program computers with AI code to make sure they don’t rebel, programming them instead to nurture and take care of us humans.

I wrote an article along these lines a few years ago titled “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth, Incorporated.” Take a look at the linked article if interested by clicking on the title highlighted in red.

All words and phrases highlighted in red in this article are linked to information I consider relevant. Information stored in different topological and spatial places is linked in neural networks in both brains and computers. The Internet is like a giant invisible brain covering Earth.

According to us transactional analysts, humans are programmed and scripted throughout their lives, primarily before the age of eight, to perform functions and produce outcomes, such as to nurture themselves and others (nurturing parent ego), discipline themselves and others (critical parent ego), analyze and comprehend reality (adult ego), have fun (free child ego), be obedient (compliant child ego), and be rebellious (rebel child ego).

This programming and scripting produces three generic types of outcomes according to transactional analysts: winning, losing, and breaking even. Some well-programmed and scripted people, a small minority, sail through life generally winning and succeeding at everything they do with almost no setbacks, a small minority almost never win or feel successful, and most more or less break even, winning a few, losing a few, with some rained out, regardless of the country they were born in or the economic and political conditions in the country. Some people are programmed to almost always engage themselves in productive socially useful activities and some are programmed to generally waste their lifetime.

Nations are somewhat analogous to individual humans. They too are programmed and scripted to produce outcomes. A few nations always seem to win and get richer, some almost never get anywhere, and most just more or less break even.

It seems to me today the US has generally been a winner, however unethical, cruel, and unfair some of its actions have been, at least up until the last few decades. It’s always been an aggressive, militaristic nation, stealing from the poor and weak and giving to the rich and powerful under the capitalistic economic system. It was programmed and scripted to work hard and encourage entrepreneurs and workers to get rich producing more new products and services, which they did, up until about 1980. Unfortunately it’s been downhill since then, with only the rich getting richer, as low wage foreigners, computers, and robots took over more and more manual labor jobs. Smart unethical CEOs running large US corporations did their best to find the cheapest labor they could find by moving their factories to poor countries, leaving their workers high and dry in the US.

Previously poor countries such as China and India in the last few decades have learned how to increase economic growth in their counties, now growing at a much faster rate than the US, and, while still poor relative to the US, they have generally caused more and more individuals in their populations to become winners, even rich winners, so on the whole they have done better economically and politically in the last few decades than the US. And it seems to me today fate is now on their side for the foreseeable future.

China and India still have serious competitive advantages in global manufacturing, thanks to their workers who will still work for much lower wages than what you find in the US, and their robots can work for even lower cost, plus their economic policies are working better than those of the US. They are spending a far higher percentage of their wealth and treasure on new plant, equipment, and infrastructure than the US.

The US is wasting a far higher percentage of its wealth, treasure, and energy than China and India, and other competitors, such as Japan, and Western Europe, on useless wars around Earth, and on political infighting domestically, in Washington and throughout the country. It seems to me today mainstream media and most US citizens spend far too much time talking and hearing about Trump’s inanities and follies, colluding with the Russians, how to spend money on the military, how to cut taxes for the rich, and the misdemeanors and crimes of celebrity sexual predators, rather than spend their time productively.

It seems to me as a transactional analyst the US is misallocating its ego energy, investing too much in critical parent and adapted child activities, and too little in nurturing parent and adult endeavors. People are running around the country spouting obedient and rebel child non-adult ideological slogans fomenting hatred among polarized non-adult groups living in ideological dream worlds. Adapted child politicians are wasting their time trying to pay back their critical parent bribers with tax cuts. Most US citizens are not thinking about the root causes of distress and dysfunctionality in the US, spending too much time gossiping with cronies on their cell phones, playing video games, and watching football games, soap operas, and fantasy movies. Adapted child/critical parent politicians keep trying to make scapegoats and enemies out of the Russians, Chinese, and assorted villains in North Korea, the Middle East, Africa, South America, and elsewhere around Earth, rather than focus adult attention on creating workable, rational strategies for getting the US out of the predicament and morass it’s in.

The problem with aging is that the brain is just like a muscle in your arm. The older you get the weaker it gets. Sure, exercise can help you stay stronger as you age than will just sitting around eating snacks, drinking beer, and watching TV, but there is no way to escape the degenerative effects of getting old.

The biggest problem caused by getting old it seems to me is not losing long-term memory stored in parent, adult, and child ego states, although this is irritating and discouraging, but losing short-term memory when using the adult ego state, so called working memory, using information you just heard, saw, or read in, being unable to remember stuff you just got exposed to. Another problem with getting old is neural links in your brain getting clogged, blocking information stored in off-line files you want to assimilate and accommodate with current adult data in an open file on your computer desktop, such as when writing articles such as this one.

Following are some relevant articles linked in the Effective Learning Digest that happened in adult Internet journals and reports during November written and spoken by rational functional writers defining and analyzing relevant adult problems in the US and around Earth that would probably help the US improve its adult functioning if digested by the population as a whole, by causing voters to elect better politicians, in the opinion of this seventy-seven-year-old adult.

To link or not to link, that is a relevant question.

And how much to link to if you want to link at all.

There’s far more out there than any one person can possibly link to and understand and use. What you actually link to, however relatively little or much compared to others, is largely determined by information already stored in your brain. Most people only link to information that’s similar to what they have already assimilated and accommodated in their brains. Rather than learn new scripts, schemata, ideas, and the like, they reinforce what they already have stored in memory.

I have friends who have no Internet access and who therefore never open any Internet links to read, hear, or watch anything.

The US Federal Communications Commission is currently deciding whether to give large corporations more power to exploit people using the Internet by charging for what they say and learn linking on the Internet.

It seems Trump is in favor of this. It seems to me however if humans are going to have an Internet they are far better off if politicians and bureaucrats leave it neutral, at least as neutral as it is now, generally out of the hands and control of greedy faceless profit-making CEOs and their cronies and lackeys in large corporations.

It seems to me today I am better off economically, politically, and existentially if I link and communicate on the Internet, but I am not sure. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything, and no free lunches. Ludwig Wittgenstein said everything that happens happens by accident. It seems to me he was probably right.

Here’s to good luck for everyone.

 

The Gestalt Prayer

 I do my thing, and you do your thing.

I am not in this world to live up to your

   expectations

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you, and I am I,

And if by chance, we find each other, it’s beautiful.

If not, it can’t be helped.

 Fritz Perls

 

November 30, 2017

Here is a Facebook post I made on November 30, 2012, showing how little has changed since then. Here we are again with Trump and Congress threatening to shut down the US government.

Here we go again. Back to business as usual in Washington. So far Obama is determined to raise the taxes of the elite rich and not cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. for US middle and lower class people. Boehner and his Republican tea partiers in the House are determined to do the opposite to placate and satisfy their sugar daddies in the upper class. Meanwhile the fiscal cliff gets closer and closer. If necessary let’s walk on off it without blinking an eye. Although the fall might cause a little discomfort, walking off the cliff will cause more pleasure than pain by providing short term cash inflow for infrastructure jobs to bring us back to full employment ASAP! I cannot refrain from thinking about the fact that after paying politicians to reduce their federal taxes over $3 trillion since 1980 most of the elite rich are now determined not to give a penny of it back in taxes to increase employment for the poor in today’s economy, using tax rates our parents and grandparents considered normal and fair. What would Jesus think about this spectacle? Didn’t he say you should give all you have to the poor and follow after him to enter the kingdom of heaven?
Richard John Stapleton, November 30, 2012, www.effectivelearning.net.

SOURCE: Post on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397

 

November 30, 2017

Debt, debt, and more debt. If the US economy is in such hot shape thanks to Trump why is this happening?

SOURCE: US Household Debt is Rising 60% Faster Than Wages, And One Rating Agency is Worried, by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-30/us-household-debt-rising-60-faster-wages-and-one-rating-agency-worried

 

November 30, 2017

The dumbest idea I ever head of, a final act of a society hellbent on its own destruction.

SOURCE: House Committee Advances Legislation Allowing Concealed Guns in All 50 States, by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-30/house-committee-passes-legislation-allowing-concealed-guns-all-50-states

 

November 30

Death and dying issues by Edward Curtin.

SOURCE: Waiting for the American Dream, by Edward Curtin, COUNTERPUNCH.COM. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/30/waiting-for-the-american-dream/

 

November 30

As the world turns, by Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive.

SOURCE: Monetary Imperialism, by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH.COM.  https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/29/monetary-imperialism/

 

November 29

The pinball analogy.

Are humans like balls being knocked around by flippers in a pinball machine? Seems to me such an analogy to some extent holds. From birth to death at various stages of growth humans are subjected to pressures in the environment that propel them in different directions, parental nurturing and discipline, going to school, getting a job, encountering a sexy object, having an idea for making money, taking a trip, going to a nursing home, to name a few. Eventually we all fall down the hole in the pinball machine case. No more getting knocked around by biological and environmental forces.

SOURCE: “Tilt! Game Over”, by Jeff Thomas, INTERNATIONALMAN.COM. http://www.internationalman.com/articles/tilt-game-over#.Wh66D-tqzGw.facebook

 

November 28

Now here is a truly eye-opening report by Max and Stacey who tell it like they see it with absolutely no beating around the bush. Well worth a look and listen.

SOURCE: China Supercomputer Power, MAXKEISER.COM. http://www.maxkeiser.com/2017/11/kr1155-keiser-report-china-supercomputer-power/#cQqStshbDdWmYURp.01

 

November 27

Why the fall in the mall? According to this article it’s not Amazon.com but the decay of middle class purchasing power.

SOURCE: Recovery? We Have Tripled the Number of Store Closings from Last Year, and 20 Major Retailers have Closed at least 50 Stores each in 2017, by Michael Snyder, THEECONOMICCOLLAPSEBLOG.COM. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/we-have-tripled-the-number-of-store-closings-from-last-year-and-20-major-retailers-have-closed-at-least-50-stores-in-2017

 

November 27

Join the FreeFairProgressParty

SOURCE: FreeFairProgressParty, by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVELEARNING.NET http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html

 

November 27

Another great article by David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director in the early 1980s for two or three years, before Reagan sacked him for criticizing what the Reagan administration was doing. Stockman does have a way with words, and much understanding of political and economic affairs.

SOURCE: Thanksgiving 2017: David Stockman Explains Why There is no Peace on Earth, by David Strockman, ZEROHEDGE.COM. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-26/thanksgiving-2017-david-stockman-explains-why-there-no-peace-earth

 

November 27

A sad day indeed, a burst of freedom squelched by the greed and lust for power of large corporations and the elite rich, on the road to a fascist nightmare?

SOURCE: From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages, by Jonathan Cook, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/24/from-an-open-internet-back-to-the-dark-ages-2/

 

November 27

Here’s an excellent picture of who the elite rich are, and how they get richer exponentially every year without having to work for a living.

SOURCE: The Problem is Not Populism: The Problem is the Status Quo Has Failed, by Charles Hugh Smith, OFTWOMINDS.COM.   http://www.oftwominds.com/blognov17/populism11-17.html

 

November 26

Very sad what’s happening to our environment.

SOURCE: The Fires This Time, by Jeffrey St. Clair, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/24/the-fires-this-time/

 

November 18

Here is another economic update by Richard Wolff, perhaps his best, well worth a listen. If you have any interest in your economic education, so as to really understand what is going on economically around Earth, invest the time necessary to listen to this informative, eye-opening, oral presentation of facts, analysis, and sound reasoning.

SOURCE: Economic Update: How People Change Economies, by Richard Wolff, TRUTH-OUT.ORG. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42630-economic-update-how-people-change-economies

 

November 26

That’s me, Number 37, the same number worn by a distant cousin of mine at SMU, Doak Walker, second row from bottom, fourth from left, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, the youngest and smallest starting high school Class A quarterback for in the US that year in 1953 playing for Frenship High School at Wolfforth, Texas, 13 years old, 5’3″ tall, and 110 pounds. On the far right is Coach Joe Moring, one of the greatest high school football, and basketball, coaches in Texas history. I could now do a better job of quarterbacking the US than Donald Trump.

SOURCE: Picture posted on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397

 

November 25

Down Memory Lane. Here is a post I posted on Facebook November 25, 2016.

Ad Hominem Fake News on Facebook and Elsewhere

I had an interesting experience on Facebook Thanksgiving Day 2016.

I had recently shared a post on my Facebook page written by someone other than me containing some negative allegations about the Clintons. I pointed out in my comments about the post that I had seen the post posted on Facebook several times over several weeks by various people. I also pointed out the post could be fake news.

The allegations in the article were egregious and defamatory, although containing what could be real facts, containing numbers and such. I pointed out in my comments about the piece that if it was fake news something should be done about fake news, fake news having been in the news in recent days, as if people had suddenly awakened to the fact such news exists.

Seems to me there should be some sort of fact-checking device that will block Facebook posts containing made-up facts, numbers, data, etc., unless the piece is clearly labeled as fiction or satire.

Someone read the above-referenced anonymous post I made on Facebook and posted a post to me below the post, presumably after reading the article, telling me I am an idiot. I responded with my reasons for posting the piece and let him know I did not appreciate his fake news ad hominem slur about my intelligence.

I did not explain to him what ad hominem is, as perhaps I should have, an attack on the character, past behavior, intelligence, and persona of a person illogically attempting to prove false what the person said in a current argument. I assumed the respondent would look ad hominem up on Google if he did not know what it was. The argument I was making is that it’s difficult for anyone to know with certainty what is fake news in any media, such as the Clinton post I used as an example.

Over the next three or four hours in the Thanksgiving afternoon eight or so other people then entered the fray on my Facebook page replying to what had been said about the post.

Most of the group generally agreed with the first respondent attacking me for being an idiot and a character-disordered degenerate for posting the post about the Clintons in the first place, however many times it had already been posted by others, elaborating other perspectives on why they were justified in attacking me, asserting that anyone but an idiot should have known that something this egregious and defamatory was fake. It was like someone entertaining the thought Bigfoot was real, one of them said. One of them said he checked my Facebook profile and I lacked “legitimacy”, that I was probably just trying to get attention, and I needed counseling. One said if I was really concerned about fake news on Facebook I should have contacted the people who run the Facebook page and talk to them. One said I was inappropriate and did the wrong thing but he wished me well. One said I was a fool. One said I was beyond hope. One said I did it to piss people off while expecting him to believe I did it out of the goodness of my heart in the interest of truth. One respondent, the last one in the thread, a female, said it was not fake news since it was all over wikileaks.

None of them except the last respondent said anything about my basic point in the argument, that almost no one could know whether the post I posted was fake, however egregious and scandalous it was. I told them I did not know it was fake, and they did not know, eliciting not one response to the basic point of the argument, only unleashing more ad hominem drivel. Apparently what really incensed them was that I would not say I knew it was fake. I admitted most likely it was fake, but that was not good enough. They wanted me to say I knew with certainty it was fake, which I do not.

Another respondent, a female, contacted me confidentially outside the feed line thread on my Facebook page, and asked me to please take the post down, telling me it included misleading information; so I took it down, ending the discussion.

She seemed like a reasonable responsible person and I had no desire to piss anyone off. It never occurred to me the post would piss anyone off. Why was I doing this in the first place? I told one of the respondents in one of my responses I did not know why I did it, that maybe I did it just because I felt like doing it (which is my First Amendment right as a US citizen). I told one of them I did it to educate people.

Posting the article did no harm to the Clintons since few people read my posts and the post had been widely posted by others for some time on Facebook. As much as the Clintons have been defamed and slandered in various media for forty or so years my making this post would not make one whit worth of difference, as I told the group. Unlike Socrates however I have no desire to drink hemlock because of pursuing truth inflaming people in philosophical discussions, however bigoted they might be. It’s better to be smarter than martyr. So I took the post down, dispersing the group, which could have gotten much larger.

In the various responses I made to the group I told several they were making ad hominem attacks and were ignoring my basic point, that few people can know for sure what is fake in media of any sort today. What I did not say is that the more general problem is massive lying in all media and institutions, taking both lying by commission and lying by omission into account.

Lying by commission is making up fake news telling outright falsehoods; lying by omission is not publishing relevant facts that people in a free society need to know. The US government has taken lying by omission to a high level, calling omitted facts state secrets and classified information, making truth tellers such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning outcasts and criminals, and threatening Hillary Clinton with prison for mishandling emails.

It’s as if US citizens are supposed to be meek obsequious sheeple lapping up whatever they’re told, never questioning what they’re not told, like grade school children.

I have read in the media lately that Hillary now has her own cult. Cult members could care less about the real truth of anything. They believe whatever their fellow sheeple believe and adore and follow their superhuman leader, attacking anyone who attacks her or him. Maybe the post about the Hillary cult is just another example of fake news; but it’s also possible I encountered some of its members yesterday on Facebook, Thanksgiving Day.

You can build the case Trump also has his own cult, and if one of the negative posts I have posted about him had been read by his true believers on my Facebook page their responses would have been even more venomous than were Hillary’s in the above referenced post.

I don’t have to worry much about Trump’s supporters reading anything on my Facebook page though, since Facebook algorithmic robots try to make sure anyone posting anything on Facebook is not read by sheeple not believing the same thing. I still pick up some Hillary sheeple because I used to support Bernie Sanders, which was tacitly OK with the DNC, for a while. After I came out for Jill Stein after Bernie dropped out I was blocked from most Demo groups, and most of her sheeple are blocked from me. It seems some of them however were not penned up by the Facebook robots as my Thanksgiving experience shows.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not agree with Facebook’s computer programming. I think all Facebook posts and responses should be made to the public at large, which you can click off in your Facebook preferences, as I have. The problem is even if you tell them to post all your posts to the public at large you are mostly locked into your own silo mostly preaching to your own choir, since most sheeple probably choose to only post and listen to their own kind of sheeple. Unfortunately, it seems, sheeple get their preconceptions and biases pleasantly reinforced over and over by what they read on Facebook just like they do everywhere else, as in churches and in most schools.

As you can see on my Facebook page I have about 4,864 Facebook friends aboard Spaceship Earth. I used to have almost 5,000 such friends, the arbitrary limit imposed by Facebook for some reason, almost all of whom requested me to confirm them as friends. After coming out for Jill Stein a little over a hundred of them unfriended me.

Why did I post the above post? Why am I posting this post? Why have I posted all posts I have posted? The bottom line is I think I am as qualified to quarterback the US as anyone else, especially Hillary and Trump, as I pointed out on my Facebook page in a comment above a picture of our 1953 Frenship High School football team, which I quarterbacked in 1953 as the youngest and smallest starting Class A high school quarterback in the US, at 13 years old, 5’3” tall, and 110 pounds.

Furthermore, I think you could randomly select a reasonably bright adult well educated in US public education systems off the streets and send her or him to Washington and she or he could do a better job quarterbacking the US than establishment bought and paid for politicians, as I have pointed out on my FreeFairProgressParty webpage for many years.

With respect to the allegation made yesterday that I lack “legitimacy” and therefore I am unqualified to make posts as a US citizen such as these on Facebook, check out my credentials in detail on my webpage at RJS Academic Vita:

Richard John Stapleton
Effective Learning Company
32 East Main Street
Statesboro, Georgia
November 25, 2016

SOURCE: My Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397

 

November 24

Read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning for how to discuss relevant facts and issues in classrooms without getting political at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactiona…/…/0692584331.

SOURCE: Why Keeping Politics Out of the Classroom Is a Disaster for Democracy, by Jennifer Berkshire, ALTERNET.ORG. https://www.alternet.org/why-keeping-politics-out-classroom-disaster-democracy#.Whi0MwlgrHw.facebook

 

November 22

Down Memory Lane. Posted on my Facebook page November 22, 2016. Sad but true in my opinion. as i pointed out in my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts,Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810   people in general are closed systems and will not change unless they are seriously confronted by perturbing experiences in their environments. Mere words and information roll off them like water on a duck’s back. This is not merely my opinion in Business Voyages. I cited numerous experts in the field of structural determinism who have backed up similar propositions with scientific facts and reasoning.

SOURCE: An Insider’s View: The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America, by Forsetti’s Justice, ALTERNET.ORG, https://www.alternet.org/election-2016/rural-america-understanding-isnt-problem#.WDR9mIRZrXU.facebook

 

November 23

Ties between people will be cut even more after the Trump administration ends neutrality on the internet, giving large corporations more power to determine who hears and reads what on the internet. Rather than isolating people, in many ways a neutral internet brought people closer together, since it exposed diverse thoughts and beliefs to more differentiated isolated people and groups. Those days appear to be ending, as corporate greed squelches freedom of speech for we the people for its selfish profit.

SOURCE: The As-If Society, by Paul C. Bermanzohn, COUNERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/23/the-as-if-society/

 

November 22

Say it aint so Joe. The Fukushima nuclear plant melt-down is still leaking toxic radiation into the environment, and nobody knows how to stop it. This may be thw worst environmental spill in history.

SOURCE: Fukushima Darkness, by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/22/fukushima-darkness/

 

November 22

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: The Profound Misunderstanding the Public Has About How the Military Operates, by Frank Joyce, ALTERNET.ORG. https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/profound-misunderstanding-public-has-about-how-military-operates

 

November 21

David Stockman, a budget director under Reagan in the 1980s, before Reagan sacked him for criticizing the way things were going, tells it like it is in this article, with at least one exception, in my opinion. What he calls payroll taxes are not taxes; they are FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act) payments, that is, Social Security investments for the 99 percent. If they are significantly cut this will destroy the Social Security system, and all will be lost for the US as a developed nation. For decades FICA payments were called FICA payments. In recent decades, unfortunately, repugs have succeeded in causing mainstream media writers and most politicians to slur the Social Security System by calling FICA payments the pejorative term “payroll taxes” as part of an unrelenting campaign to undermine the Social Security of the ninety-nine percent.

SOURCE: Stockman on America’s Fiscal Sundown, by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE.COM. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-21/stockman-americas-fiscal-sundown-part-1

 

November 21

So why do the elite rich want tax cuts and why do they get them? They want them because they want to win a BALANCE SHEET psychological Game, that entails piling up more net worth on their balance sheets than any of their competitors playing the Game, purely for ego satisfaction, just for the fun of it. They get tax cuts because they are smart enough to know one of the easiest ways to put more net worth on their balance sheets is to have their tax rates reduced. All they have to do is give federal politicians bribe money in the form of campaign contributions and tell them to reduce their tax rates. These bribes collectively probably provide a high rate of return, maybe on the order of hundreds of percent collectively.

For more on psychological Games read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning. https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510510282&sr=8-1&keywords=born+to+learn++++richard+john+stapleton&dpID=414yiE-4%252BIL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

Richard John Stapleton, writer, editor, and publisher, Effective Learning Report, November 21, 2017

SOURCE: We All Know the Rich Don’t Need Tax Cuts, by James Rothenberg, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/21/we-all-know-the-rich-dont-need-tax-cuts/

 

November 21

Ever hear of Tesla and his Doomsday Machine? A machine that could somehow take in electricity from the air and transmit it long distances through the air? Some people think Tesla was the greatest technological genius of all time, far surpassing Thomas Edison. As this article points out Tesla was no crackpot.

SOURCE: The Wireless Power Grid: More Than A 100 Years In The Making, by Julianne Geiger, OILPRICE.COM. https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-Wireless-Power-Grid-More-Than-A-100-Years-In-The-Making.html

 

November 20

How many of Trump’s voters will be happy when their taxes are increased while the taxes of large C corporations and the elite rich are decreased? This is not a swindle: it’s quid pro quo, politicians paying back their political debts to their rich masters, so they can continue to get more money for their next election.

SOURCE: The Great American tax cut swindle, by Stephen Lendman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM.  http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22679

 

November 20

Excellent overview showing how the US, NATO, and Russia have changed boundaries and alliances in Eastern Europe since 1991 and explaining why NATO should now be abolished.

SOURCE: The biggest threat to world peace is NATO, by Eric Zuesse, INTREPIDREPORT.COM. http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22684

 

November 18

Being a male, I never gave this sort of thing much thought. Are females really coerced to do things against their will to survive in oppressive undemocratic hierarchies by males who get their jollies in what they perceive to be a fun-filled cornucopia of delights, sexually appealing females without limit, hanging from every tree? And they can’t help themselves? Because they can get away with it? Pathetic commentary on the human condition. Insane you might say.

SOURCE: The Hillary Effect, by Maureen Dowd, NEWYORKTIMES.COM. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/opinion/sunday/the-hillary-effect.html?smid=fb-share

 

November 17

Here’s Jill Stein, of the Green Party, whom I voted for for president in 2016, delivering a fireside chat about what is going on. The woman does sound good to me, rational, compassionate, coherent, positive, articulate, intelligent, knowledgeable, persistent, goal-oriented, truth telling, among other good things. She’s an idealist and an optimist who tells it like it is, not pulling punches about the dire straights we are in politically, economically, socially, psychologically, and biologically.

SOURCE: Video posted on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397

 

November 15

Ignorance is bliss?

SOURCE: Pure Imagination: Why it’s Getting Harder to Talk to White People About Politics, by Rob Seimetz, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/14/pure-imagination-why-its-getting-harder-to-talk-to-white-people-about-politics/

 

November 14

Enact the USVRA, the United States Voters Rights Amendment.

SOURCE: Enact the USVRA, by William John Cox, ACTIONNETWORK.ORG. https://actionnetwork.org/letters/enact-the-usvra?source=facebook&

 

November 14

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: How the Federal Reserve Destroyed the Functioning American Democracy and Bankrupted the Nation, by Chris Hamilton, ECONIMICA. https://econimica.blogspot.com/2017/11/how-federal-reserve-destroyed.html?spref=fb

 

November 13

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: U.S. Entry Into World War I Was a Disaster, by David Stockman, DAILYRECKONING.COM. https://dailyreckoning.com/u-s-entry-world-war-disaster/

 

November 13

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: What is really going on in Saudi Arabia?, by John Chuckman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM. http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22644

 

November 10

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: The CIA’s House of Horrors: Frank Olson’s Fatal Trip, by Jeffrey St. Clair, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/10/the-cias-house-of-horrors-frank-olsons-fatal-trip/

 

November 10

Some really bad stuff, that’s what.

SOURCE: Ugly Stuff: GOP Tax and Budget Plans Will Destroy Finances of Average Americans with Sick Elders or Family Members with Disabilities, by Steven Rosenfeild, ALTERNET.ORG. https://www.alternet.org/economy/op-tax-and-budget-plans-will-destroy-finances-average-americans-whose-families-have-sick-or

 

November 11

How to Evaluate Teaching Productivity

Read on this blog page “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” by me and colleague Gene Murkison at Georgia Southern University. The article published in the Journal of Management Education by the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society using SagePubs in 2001, now cited in 65 refereed professional journal articles, shows how to measure the teaching productivity of teachers in schools, colleges, and universities. Just scroll down to the bottom of the How to read this blog page post to How to evaluate teachers and the Sage post for Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations, a must read article for all teaches in schools, colleges, and universities at https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf.

SOURCE: How to Use and Perceive this blog page, by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Report. http://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-to-use-and-perceive-this-blog-page/

 

November 12

College and university students really do have a tough time of it today, especially relative to those of twenty years a go.

SOURCE: The University and Debt: Thinking About Neocolonialism in the United States, by Paddy O’Halloran, TRUTH-OUT.ORG. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42509-the-university-and-debt-thinking-about-neocolonialism-in-the-united-states

 

November 8

I did not know we had a southern command. I thought to have a command somewhere you had to be at war there. Have i missed something here? Or is it we are now commanding everyone around Earth?

SOURCE: The US Southern Command’s Silent Occupation of the Amazon, by Santiago Navarro F. and Renata Bessi, TRUTH-OUT.ORG. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42542-the-us-southern-command-s-silent-occupation-of-the-amazon

 

November 8

Why nuclear war could happen, which would be insane.

SOURCE: Heading Toward Nuclear War: Why?, by Jan Oberg, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/08/heading-toward-nuclear-war-why/

 

November 8

If Iraq no longer needs the US then why are we there? To find enemies to justify military expenditures?

SOURCE: Greatest Threat to Peace in Iraq is Not Isis, It’s Trump Picking a Fight With Iran, by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/08/greatest-threat-to-peace-in-iraq-is-not-isis-its-trump-picking-a-fight-with-iran/

 

November 7

Here is a sensible recommendation by Ellen Brown, a top money and banking expert:  set up state banks.  I say even better set up a US bank to get rid of the Federal Reserve System so as to let the US govt print it’s own magic money, instead of the Fed.

SOURCE: The Public Bank Option: Safer, Local and Half the Cost, by Ellen Brown, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/07/the-public-bank-option-safer-local-and-half-the-cost/

 

November 7

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: American Hyper-capitalism Breeds the Lonely, Alienated Men Who Become Mass Killers, by Harriet Fraad and Richard D. Wolff, ALTERNET.ORG. https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/american-hyper-capitalism-breeds-lonely-alienated-men-who-become-mass-killers#.WgH20h6TC6c.facebook

 

November 6

Should Trump and his handlers have the right to declare war anywhere they want to at any time? Hell no!

SOURCE: Mattis, Tillerson Want Blank Check to Wage Illegal War, by Marjorie Cohn, TRUTH-OUT.ORG. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42469-mattis-tillerson-want-blank-check-to-make-illegal-war

 

November 5

Here is a must read article by one of the most truthful writers of our time, John Chuckman.

SOURCE: Reflections on how little is revealed by just-released JFK assassination documents and just some of he many reasons why there had to be a conspiracy, by John Chuckman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM.  http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22559

 

November 1

Violence is a waste of time and energy

Rather than rationally deal with the root causes of their problems, many humans vilify, demonize, scapegoat, and tear the tissue of their real or imagined antagonists.

What Earth needs now is unlearning and new learning. Humans need to learn how to get their needs met without playing psychological Games and resorting to violence, as in wars and acts of so-called terrorism, which might be called desperation, insanity, grandiosity, suicide, homicide, vengeance, or other things.

Violence rarely solves anything. It just kicks the can further down the road, where the problem rears its ugly head again, perhaps with increasingly painful consequences.

As Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King demonstrated, non-violent action can produce real change.

Born to Learn contains ideas and techniques for producing peaceful change.

SOURCE: Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, by Richard John Stapleton, KIRKUSREVIEWS.COM. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-john-stapleton/born-to-learn/

 

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-digest-november-2017/.

 

Feel free to share, forward, post, copy, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this issue of the Effective Learning Digest any way you see fit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effective Learning Digest—October 2017

So It Seems To Me

By Richard John Stapleton

Dire things could have happened in October. The stock market could have crashed. Trump could have started a nuclear war with North Korea. They did not happen, yet. What did happen was another hurricane almost destroying Puerto Rico. What could have happened was getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. That did not happen either. What could have also happened was Congress approving anther large tax cut for corporations and the elite rich, aka tax reform. So far that has not happened either. What has happened, apparently, is approval for a large increase for the military budget, and increased US military activity around Earth, including Africa. Unfortunately we had another mass murder in Las Vegas, the worst one yet in terms of people killed.

The stock market can still crash at any time, and a deficit increasing disaster for a federal budget can still be passed. On the other hand, there are no signs of major positive things happening, such as Congress creating a single payer health care system or increasing the taxes of corporations and the elite rich to help fund a massive infrastructure program to help the unemployed and underemployed that would decrease income and wealth inequality. There are no signs anything will be done anytime soon to deal with the general dysfunctionality of the US government caused by corporations legally being considered citizens with free speech like people and election rules that cause the government to be run for oligarchs rather than we the people.

In sum October it seems to me was a rather do-nothing month for the US as a whole economically and politically, mostly talk and little do, including endless chatter about whether Trump and the Democrats colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election. Much of the so-called news in mainstream media was gossip and chatter about Trump, Mueller, and Hillary, rather than reporting of real news. There was much talk about collusions, with no definition of what the term collusion in this context actually meant. Regardless of what it meant, there was much lying about who did it for what reasons, especially with the “Russians”, whoever they were.

Following are some posts happening in Internet media during October I considered relevant.

 

October 31, 2017

The Dumbing Down of Free Speech

I (Richard) have noticed the silencing of free speech lately dining with friends in homes, restaurants, and the country club. It seems to me I used to be able to express my views regarding economic and political issues after dinner over drinks with a group of female and male friends and their friends in interesting and stimulating conversations without having to worry about upsetting someone. In the last year or so I have noticed more and more non-verbal messages from supposed friends, apparently worried about my offending their friends, or themselves, to keep my mouth shut about economics and politics; and here lately I have been involved in two angry episodes at the table caused by such conversations. The net effect is that such conversations are being dumbed down it seems to me. More and more in order to get along you have to act like you are participating in a Sunday school class or in a summer camp talking only in obedient respectful adapted child transactions about irrelevant topics. If you withdraw from such groups and only converse with your own kind to avoid the dumbing-down and the frustration you will wind up only talking to your own kind of people about topics you and they consider relevant economically and politically, which will, if everybody does the same thing, insure further alienation and enmity among polarized groups with no chance of developing peaceful workable economic and political consensuses in society as a whole using all ego states and transactional patterns in honest dialectical discussions. More and more it seems to me freely talking about economic and political problems and issues among adults in ordinary society is becoming socially unacceptable. I wonder how much longer we will be able to do it on Facebook?

Unfortunately it may be since many of my friends and I are getting older, seventy and up, part of the above problem could be a function of aging. Is it the older people get the less relevant and adult their conversations become?

Regardless, the following well-worth-a-read article by Emily Ekins provides good research and statistical evidence shedding light regarding the issue of free speech.

SOURCE: “The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America: Attitudes about Free Speech, Campus Speech, Religious Liberty, and Tolerance of Political Expression,” by Emily Ekins, Survey Reports, CATO INSTITUTE, at https://www.cato.org/survey-reports/state-free-speech-tolerance-america.

 

October 31

Ever notice how white the skin around Trump’s eyes is. I have noticed it in several pictures. Apparently he has to shield his eyes when he has his skin tanned orange in some sort of tanning process, trying to look younger than his seventy years.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Approval Rating Drops to Lowest Level Yet in new NBC News/WSJ Poll,” MSN News at https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump%E2%80%99s-approval-rating-drops-to-lowest-level-yet-in-new-nbc-news-wsj-poll/ar-AAucIu0?li=BBnb7Kz.

 

October 31

Here is my platform for my own political party.

SOURCE: FreeFairProgressParty at http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html.

 

October 31

I just ran across this tonight, the Jimmy Dore Show, a truly progressive show that gets to the real truth in the news.

SOURCE: The Jimmy Dore Show at https://www.youtube.com/user/TYTComedy.

 

October 31

Join the revolution.

SOURCE: “We Live in Revolutionary Times,” by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg, at https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/10/31/we-live-in-revolutionary-times/.

 

October 31

A sad lament.

SOURCE: “Requiem for the Promised Land,” by Emanuel E. Garcia, MD, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22525.

 

October 31

Say it aint so Joe. Trump as witness, policeman, judge, and jury is executing more civilians using drones than Obama.

SOURCE: “Trump is Killing Record Numbers of Civilians,” by Marjorie Cohn, TRUTH-OUT.ORG at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42426-trump-is-killing-record-numbers-of-civilians.

 

October 30

Here’s an excellent article with some excellent analysis. It’s absurd to think we could shoot down all ICBMs that would be shot at us in a real nuclear war. Therefore it’s absurd to threaten North Korea or any other nation with nuclear war, or produce any more ICBMs and nuclear bombs. Negotiation is the only hope, as this article points out.

SOURCE: “Mutual assured destruction,” by Philip M. Giraldi, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22522.

 

October 30

I (Richard) interviewed at Youngstown State Univ in 1982 for an entrepreneurship chair position. The situation was not good. A business professor pointed out to me through a window in his office steel mills in the distance that had been shut down. He told me when he went to his office at night thirty years earlier the whole valley was ablaze with lights in the mills. It had become dark at night across the valley by the time of my visit. I told them they were looking for a professor like superman who would fly around the valley in his cape magically turning all that around. Instead of going to Youngstown State in Ohio I went to Europe for a year and taught with Troy State Univ on US Air Force Nato bases in Turkey, Greece, Holland, Germany, and Italy. I came back to the States after my year in Europe was up and stayed at Georgia Southern Univ where I started in 1970 for the rest of my career. No, the economic calamity in Youngstown and elsewhere in the US Rust Belt was not engineered by self-interested elites. It happened inevitably because of competitive evolutionary forces in global capitalist markets. The net result was worse for US workers than it had to be because of inappropriate responses by US government economic regulators. Self-interested corporate CEOs reacted to the situation to protect their interests and the interests of their stockholders. Unfortunately less was done to protect the interests of their workers.

Here’s an article about the aftermath in Youngstown today.

SOURCE: “Decline and fall: how American society unraveled,” by George Packer, THEGUARDIAN.COM, at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/19/decline-fall-american-society-unravelled?CMP=share_btn_fb.

 

October 30

Do we really want to know the truth about 9/11?

According to this meme/video/study the third building to fall at the WTC that was not hit by an airliner did not fall because of fires started by the explosions of the first two buildings at the WTC that were supposedly hit by airliners. I (Richard) have been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt by various and sundry evidence shared on the Internet that the US government’s story about what happened on 9/11 does not make sense.

SOURCE: “New Study Supports World Trade Centre 7 Fell by Controlled Demolition,” a meme/study/video added by Collective Evolution shared to my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397. For more information see http://bit.ly/2wiEXwP.

 

October 30

Trump impulsively said at first that Puerto Rico’s debt would have to be written off, but as usual he has crawfished away from the statement. How they can possibly pay off their government debt is beyond me. At any rate here is an article about who owns a big chunk of the debt.

SOURCE: “Who Owns Puerto Rico’s Debt, Exactly? We’ve Tracked Down 10 of the Biggest Vulture Firms: Financial firms are still fighting to get billions out of the bankrupt island as it tries to rebuild,” by Joel Cintron Arbasetti and Caria Minet, Alex V. Hernandez and Jessica Stites, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, In These Times, at https://www.alternet.org/economy/who-owns-puerto-ricos-debt-exactly-weve-tracked-down-10-biggest-vulture-firms.

 

October 29

Do we really want to know the truth about JFK? What would happen if we knew for sure covert operators in the CIA and the FBI shot JFK? Maybe we should be careful what we wish for?

SOURCE: “This and That Vol 3 – Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire,” by Cognitive Dissonance, ZEROHEDGE.COM at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-29/and-vol-3-%E2%80%93-where-there%E2%80%99s-smoke-there%E2%80%99s-fire.

 

October 29

Violence is a waste of time and energy

Rather than rationally deal with the root causes of their problems, many humans vilify, demonize, scapegoat, and tear the tissue of their real or imagined antagonists.

What Earth needs now is unlearning and new learning. Humans need to learn how to get their needs met without playing psychological Games and resorting to violence, as in wars and acts of so-called terrorism, which might be called desperation, insanity, grandiosity, suicide, homicide, vengeance, or other things.

Violence rarely solves anything. It just kicks the can further down the road, where the problem rears its ugly head again, perhaps with increasingly painful consequences.

As Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King demonstrated, non-violent action can produce real change.

Born to Learn contains ideas and techniques for producing peaceful change.

Posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397 October 29, 2017

SOURCE: Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, by Richard John Stapleton, a review by Kirkus Reviews at https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-john-stapleton/born-to-learn/.

 

October 29

Finland supposedly has the best school system on Earth. Look at what they are now doing below.

SOURCE: “Finland Will Become The First Country In The World To Get Rid of All School Subjects,” Staff Contributor, at ENLIGHTENED-CONSCIOUSNESS.COM, at http://www.enlightened-consciousness.com/finland-will-become-the-first-country-in-the-world-to-get-rid-of-all-school-subjects/.

 

October 29

Now here is another innovative educational approach.

SOURCE: “Mom Explains Why Her 7 ‘Feral’ Kids Have No Rules and Don’t Even Have To Attend School,” by Ileana Paules-Bronet, LITTLETHINGS.COM, at https://www.littlethings.com/rawnsley-feral-kids/?utm_medium=Facebook_Shared.

 

October 29

Here is the best pie chart I have seen showing how discretionary money is spent in the federal budget.

SOURCE: “Look closely at this chart of federal spending: Somewhere within the tiny orange sliver at the bottom is the food stamp program that Republicans blame for our budget deficit,” a meme shared to my Facebook page October 29, 2017 at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397. Originally posted on the Internet by The Other 98%, October 24, 2015, at https://www.facebook.com/TheOther98/?hc_ref=ARSfCr9ZRgsPwGxpop0uOi0Ltk8f7eyrgt-_Rn-2cFywsrAWVxXoaC70YZD68TazN8I&fref=nf&pnref=story.

 

October 29

Here’s a pie chart showing the US spends as much on its military activities as the next eight largest military spending nations spend combined.

SOURCE: Facebook meme by Robert Reich on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 27

Here’s a tale told by a highly-intelligent Earthian who lived on the moon for several years after he got back down to Earth.

SOURCE: “1968, Intelligent Life and the Lunar Landing,” by Courtenay Barnett, Effective Learning Report, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/1968-intelligent-life-and-the-lunar-landing/.

 

October 27

And here’s another tale about a secret conference in outer space attended for two weeks by Earthians interested in observing and learning about business on Earth.

SOURCE: “Business Skylab Conference,” by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Report, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/business-skylab-conference/.

 

October 26

Here’s something about what the US military is up to in Africa.

SOURCE: “What’s going on in Niger?,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22496.

 

October 26

Here’s how Trump really won.

SOURCE: “Pew finds increasing percentage of Americans disagree with religion: US political implications,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22498.

 

October 26

A hard-hitting writer John Steppling tells it like is. How ruling class control has increasingly debilitated US Culture.

SOURCE: “The Simulacra Democracy,” by John Steppling, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/26/the-simulacra-democracy/.

 

October 26

As suspected the FBI and CIA did not come clean and release all the files, and probably never will.

SOURCE: “Here’s where you can download the JFK files released by the National Archives,” by Charles Scudder, Staff Writer, DallasNews.com, at https://www.dallasnews.com/jfk/jfk/2017/10/26/can-download-jfk-files-released-national-archives.

 

October 25

The implications of robots and AI seem clear to me: more and more robots and AI algorithms will be written, programmed, produced, and used, which will eventually eliminate the need for humans to do drudge work for corporate bosses, bosses who do no real work as most people think of work. In order for humans to have incomes, they will have to own corporate stock themselves and everyone will have to function like corporate bosses do now, who read reports and sit around BSing and interacting with their colleagues, creating ideas and making decisions.

To see how this can be accomplished, read my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” easily found at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/2016/12/.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, www.effectivelearning.net, October 25, 2017

SOURCE: “Robots aren’t taking our jobs, corporations are: They’re creating a robot economy with inexpensive machines that don’t demand wages or health care,” by Jim Hightower, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22475.

 

October 25

If only it were as easy to do as the author implies.

SOURCE: “How to end crony capitalism,” by Robert Reich, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22478.

 

October 25

Once again Paul Craig Roberts tells it like he sees it.

SOURCE: “The American Left: RIP,” by Paul Craig Roberts, PaulCraigRoberts.org, at https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/10/23/american-left-rip/.

 

October 25

Not funny at all.

SOURCE: “As Trump ‘hysterics’ continue, US moves to put nuclear B-52s on 24-hour alert,” by Jake Johnson, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22483.

 

October 25

Surely it’s not this bad, is it?

SOURCE: “Sex, scholars and the syphilitic superpower,” by Matthew Maavak, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22487.

 

October 25

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE: “CIA in Afghanistan: Operation Phoenix Redux?”, by Matthew Hoh, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/24/cia-in-afghanistan-operation-phoenix-redux/.

 

October 25

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE: “The FBI’s Forgotten Criminal History,” by James Bovard, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/24/the-fbis-forgotten-criminal-history/.

 

October 24

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “The American War,” by Nancy Kurshan, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/24/the-american-war/.

 

August 18, 2015

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Jimmy Carter’s Blood-Drenched Legacy,” by Matt Peppe, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/18/jimmy-carters-blood-drenched-legacy/.

 

October 24

Shame! Shame!

Pence just broke a tie in the senate that will repeal a rule that will make it difficult for consumers to receive fair treatment from banks when disputes arise.

SOURCE: “Pence breaks tie as Senate votes to repeal banking rule,” The Associated Press, USA Today, at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/24/senate-repeal-rule-consumers-bank-credit-card-companies/797510001/.

 

October 24

Amazing. Hooray for Senator Flake. Great speech, great decision. If only all sitting senators and representatives, and Trump would do the same thing.

SOURCE: Watch Jeff Flake’s Full Senate Floor Speech Announcing His Retirement, NBCNEWS.COM, at https://www.nbcnews.com/video/watch-jeff-flake-s-full-senate-floor-speech-announcing-his-retirement-1080469059837.

 

October 24

More wise words from Noam Chomsky.

SOURCE: “Chomsky: Trump is a Distraction, Used by the Deep State to ‘Systematically Destroy America,” by Jay Syrmopoulos, the Free Thought Project, Waking Times, at http://wakingtimesmedia.com/chomsky-trump-distraction-used-deep-state-systematically-destroy-america/.

 

October 24

And then run as an Independent for president in 2020?

SOURCE: “Bernie betrays Democrats, announces reelection run as an independent,” by Matthew Rozsa, SALON.COM, at https://www.salon.com/2017/10/24/sanders-betrays-democrats-announces-reelection-run-as-an-independent/#.We_1kf0q2Hp.facebook.

 

October 24

This post shows how vicious, mean, and crazy polarized identity politics can get.

SOURCE: “Bitch, get out!!,” by Missy Comley Beattie, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22454.

 

October 24

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Western silence as 20,000 neo-Nazis march in Ukraine,” by Thomas C. Mountain, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22462.

 

October 24

Yes, his words do just make you feel so great, nice, and safe.

SOURCE: “Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth,” by William Blum, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22473.

 

October 23

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Raqqa bombing was ‘barbaric’ – Russia,” by Catherine Hardy, EURONEWS.COM, at http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/22/raqqa-bombing-was-barbaric—russia.

 

October 22

Assuming Trump is not lying about releasing the JFK papers Thursday, October 26, maybe we will finally know for sure what happened. I (Richard) have been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt for several years that a conspiracy was involved. It seems to me this documentary proves beyond a reasonable doubt there was more than one bullet and a conspiracy did it.

SOURCE: “We know now who killed JFK,” Mark Wassberg, editor, YOUTUBE.COM, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFliddXBRi8&utm_content=bufferd26d3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

 

October 22

Speaks for itself.

SOURCE: “Fifty-One GOP Senators Just Voted to Cut $1.5 Trillion From Medicare and Medicaid to Give Super-Rich and Corporations a Tax Cut,” by Jon Queally, Common Dreams Report, in TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42323-51-gop-senators-just-voted-to-cut-1-5-trillion-from-medicare-and-medicaid-to-give-super-rich-and-corporations-a-tax-cut.

 

October 22

Excellent sad but true article. What can be done about it?

SOURCE: “Humanity is Being Split into Two Groups: The Privileged and the Billions Who Face Plunder, Trauma and Suffering,” by Vijay Prashad, ALTERNET.ORG, at https://www.alternet.org/division-humanity-war-and-famine#.WezNLUZbC1Y.facebook.

 

October 22

Strong words by one of Earth’s most respected economists, and former finance minister of Greece.

SOURCE: “Capitalism is ending because it has made itself obsolete,” by Yannis Varoufakis, INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/yannis-varoufakis-capitalism-ending-obsolete-former-greek-finance-minister-artificial-intelligence-a8006826.html.

 

October 20

How economics works, by Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive.

SOURCE: “Socialism, Land and Banking: 2017 compared to 1917,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/20/socialism-land-and-banking-2017-compared-to-1917/.

 

October 20

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Scientists just said we’re on the verge of ‘ecological Armageddon’,” by Tom Embury-Dennis, INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/flying-insects-numbers-drop-ecological-armageddon-75-per-cent-plummet-a8008406.html.

 

October 20

Sad and scary stuff here, no matter which evil you voted for. According to this article impeaching Trump for doing what Nixon did may result in the greatest evil of all, a breakdown of the rule of law and the destruction of the US economy, creating chaos and suffering worse than anything US citizens have ever experienced. US citizens and their so-called representatives in Washington are playing a very dangerous Game of chicken. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t: If trump did commit treason by law he should be impeached; on the other hand, if he is impeached, however lawfully, there is danger his supporters will ignore the rule of law and destroy society. Which would be the lesser evil in this case, not impeaching trump and ignoring the rule of law, or impeaching him and causing his supporters to ignore the rule of law and destroy society?

SOURCE: “If Trump is Impeached, it Might Be the End of America,” by Isaac Simpson, MEDIUM.COM, at https://medium.com/@IsaacSimpson/if-trump-is-impeached-it-might-be-the-end-of-america-b7a2243399b7.

 

October 19

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Napalm Sticks to Kids,” by Mike Hastie, COUNERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/18/napalm-sticks-to-kids/

 

October 18

Interesting discussion about mental health, making good grades, making it in corporations, winning under capitalism, and other considerations.

SOURCE: “Mental Health and Neoliberalism: An Interview with William Davies,” by Jon Bailes, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/18/mental-health-and-neoliberalism-an-interview-with-william-davies/

 

October 18

Here’s Richard Wolff again with one of his best economic updates, dealing with one of the most troubling questions of our time: What causes people like Paddock in Las Vegas to do their seemingly incomprehensible deeds?

SOURCE: “Economic Update: Economics, Psychology and Mass Murder,” by Richard Wolff, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42175-economic-update-economics-psychology-and-mass-murders.

 

October 18

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “3 Horrendous U.S. Mass Shootings Far Worse than Vegas,” by Rachel Blevins, the Free Thought Project, ALTERNET.ORG, at https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/3-horrendous-us-mass-shootings-far-worse-vegas#.WdjamCm7jBY.facebook.

 

October 18

What they call “tax reform” in Washington is just another way to enrich the rich even more. Have a gander at how much the elite will save in estate taxes. Here’s what Trump and his cronies would save in estate taxes: Trump, 4 billion; the waltons, 50 billion; the kochs, 38 billion; the adelsons, 12 billion; Wilbur ross, 996 million; betsy devos, 596 million; linda mcmahon, 516 million; steven mnuchin, 190 million; rex tillerson, 136 million; elaine chao, 15 million; ben carson, 5 million; tom price 4.4 million

SOURCE: “Trump’s Plan to Repeal the Estate Tax: A Massive Break for His Cabinet & Billionaires,” a Facebook Meme by Maryscott O’Connor at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 18

Say it aint so Joe. One of the most devastating hard-hitting economic and political articles I have read. Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “The End of Empire,” by Chris Hedges, TRUTHDIG.COM, at https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-end-of-empire/.

 

October 18

This article raises a very relevant point. Why do we need a central bank owned by banks?

SOURCE: “How the Elite Dominate The World – Part 2: 99.9% of The World Live In a Country With a Central Bank,” by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse blog, ZEROHEDGE.COM, at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-17/how-elite-dominate-world-%E2%80%93-part-2-999-world-live-country-central-bank.

 

October 18

One of the best students I ever had was a graduate student from Iran. She taught me that most Iranians are good people.

SOURCE: “The Real Destabilizer in the Middle East is Not Iran But Trump,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/17/the-real-destabilizer-in-the-middle-east-in-not-iran-but-trump/.

 

October 17

How rich bad guys wearing white hats have worked against the interests of middle and working class ranchers, taking over more and more land and water rights to make their ranches and herds bigger and bigger, and maybe run the whole territory.

SOURCE: “Out of Control: A Brief History of Neoliberal Deregulation in the USA,” by T.J. Coles, Clairview Books, Book Excerpt, published in TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42278-out-of-control-a-brief-history-of-neoliberal-deregulation-in-the-usa.

 

October 17

Repealing the estate tax is one of the most absurd and egregious anti-social ideas floated in recent decades.

SOURCE: Video created by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, includes various speakers explaining what the estate tax is and why it should not be abolished for the elite rich. Posted to my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 16

And on and on it goes. Those bought and paid for Repubs never give up trying to pay back their paymasters.

SOURCE: “’Robin Hood in Reverse’: Sanders Blasts GOP Budget Ahead of Key Senate Vote,” by Jake Johnston, Common Dreams, Report, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42271-robin-hood-in-reverse-sanders-blasts-gop-budget-ahead-of-key-senate-vote.

 

October 15

Possibly the biggest rip-off in the US today.

SOURCE: “Pharmaceuticals Can be a License to Print Money,” by Pete Dolack, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/13/pharmaceuticals-can-be-a-license-to-print-money/.

 

October 15

A great article by a great financial expert, Ellen Brown. This should be required for all US citizens so they can understand how the money and banking system really works. Written in plain English anyone can understand. Ideas in the article can be applied to bankrupt US cities as well as Puerto Rico. In truth almost anything can be bailed out by the US govt and the Federal Reserve System. All they have to do is punch digits into computers and call the resulting numbers money and use it to buy non-performing loans and bonds, such as those in Puerto Rico. Why should only irresponsible banksters in too-big-to-fail banks get bailed out? Trump blurted out during his visit the Puerto Rican bonds would have to be written off. As usual he did not know what he was talking about, or he was just spouting off as usual trying to please his irresponsible poorly informed obtuse voters using the mundane vernacular they prefer.

SOURCE: “How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders,” by Ellen Brown, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42254-how-to-wipe-out-puerto-rico-s-debt-without-hurting-bondholders.

 

October 14

A lot of smart money people are saying we are due another stock market crash.

SOURCE: “Personal Recollections From The Crash of 1987: There Was No ‘Smart Money’ That Day,” by Dana Lyons, LYONSSHAREPRO.COM, at https://lyonssharepro.com/2017/10/personal-recollections-of-the-crash-of-1987/.

 

October 14

The US Federal Reserve System is largely responsible for the so-called recovery since the Crash of 2008. They caused the large banks to recover and the stock market to rise to about where it was in 2008 by giving the US govt new money created from thin air to loan the failed too-big-to-fail banks in New York City, General Motors, AIG, and others and by purchasing non-performing loans and debts of the banks to be held on the balance sheet by the Federal Reserve System, known as quantitative easing, and by lowering interest rates to near zero, which enabled corporations to borrow money to buy back their own stock, causing the stock market to rise, while central banks also bought some stock in the stock market, causing it to reach its bubble overvalued heights today. All of this is known as financialization, making an economy look good by issuing and purchasing debt, rather than causing more goods and services to be produced. This last so-called recovery has been a real recovery for the elite rich, who had their bond and stock wealth protected and increased, but it did little good for the average middle and working class citizen, who is no better off now than he or she was ten or more years ago.

SOURCE: “The Endgame of Financialization: Stealth Nationalization,” by Charles Hugh Smith, OF TWO MINDS.COM, at http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-endgame-of-financialization-stealth.html.

 

October 14

For some reason I decided to come clean about the education I accidentally received by virtue of having been inevitably born in my family.

SOURCE: “A Synopsis of my Educational Background,” by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Report, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-synopsis-of-my-educational-background/.

 

October 13

Here are some ways Republican politicians have significantly damaged the US economy and political system. There are many ways Democratic politicians in Washington have too, but two wrongs do not make a right.

SOURCE: “How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich,” by Tim Dickinson, ROLLINGSTONE.COM, at http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-the-gop-became-the-party-of-the-rich-20111109.

 

October 12

Boy, do we ever need another Jimmy Carter in office now.

SOURCE: “Putin, Jimmy Carter, Trump and Mattis on North Korea,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22367.

 

October 12

Speaks for itself.

SOURCE: “The Scale of Pentagon Waste Boggles the Mind, But Congress Keeps Giving them More,” by Harry Blain, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/12/the-scale-of-pentagon-waste-boggles-the-mind-but-congress-keeps-giving-them-more/.

 

October 12

This same thing happened to one of my friends in a doctoral program back in the 1960s. The fellow who challenged my friend to an IQ test apparently thinking this would prove who was right on a particular argument dropped out of the doctoral program and was never heard from again. Your IQ score on an IQ test has little or nothing to do with how much you really know about what is really going on regarding a particular problem, and what should be done about it.

SOURCE: “Trump Challenges Tillerson to IQ Test After Secretary of State Calls Him a ‘Moron’”, by Travis Gettys/Raw Story, ALTERNET.ORG, at https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trump-challenges-tillerson-iq-test-after-secretary-state-calls-him-moron#.Wd0PGn0_iFo.facebook.

 

October 6

Say it aint so Joe. Bad politicians and the loss of public trust. A great elucidation by Chris Martenson

SOURCE: “Betrayal!: The pervasive & defining crime of our age” by Chris Martenson, PEAKPROSPERITY.COM, at https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/113319/betrayal.

 

October 8

Join the FreeFairProgressParty at no cost.

SOURCE: “FreeFairProgressParty,” by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Company, at http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html.

 

October 8

Say it aint so Joe, if you can read this. One thing is for sure about Trump: He is an absolute disaster for the environment.

SOURCE: “Trump: Anomaly in Continuity,” by Andrew Levine, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/06/trump-anomaly-in-continuity/.

 

October 7

Man made hell on Earth. A synopsis of the evolution of current human affairs.

SOURCE: “Psych Ward,” by John Davis, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/06/psych-ward/.

 

October 7

Anybody but me getting tired of hearing about Trump’s or Hillary’s “collusions” with the “Russians” during the 2016 presidential election in mainstream yak-yakking media. Hell, they don’t even know what collusion means in this context or even what they are lying about.

SOURCE: “Behind the Matador’s Cape,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/06/behind-the-matadors-cape/.

 

October 7

Here’s an excellent picture showing how the National Rifle Association controls the gun laws.

SOURCE: Facebook meme, showing congressmen lined up at the NRA Pay Window getting bags of loot handed out by the president of the NRA on a floor splattered with blood avoiding signs that say Caution: Wet Floor, as their NRA paymaster tells one of them to “Watch your step as you leave, Congressman—we’d hate to see someone get hurt!” at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 6

Just for the Fun of It

The biggest lie was calling FICA, Federal Insurance Contributions Act, payments “payroll taxes” in the first place. For years they were called FICA deductions on payroll stubs, being honest about the matter. They were never “taxes”; they were and are “investments” for the social security of all US citizens. Seriously cut them and for sure you will destroy the Social Security System. The day Social Security goes down the tube is the day the US becomes a third world country. Some of the rich will win their psychological Balance Sheet Games by destroying the security of all US citizens and the quality of life of the country as a whole by mindlessly trying to reduce their taxes to get more money to win a Balance Sheet psychological Game with their friends and associates, piling up more and more money without limit, already having several times more money than they can ever spend on real needs, trying to satisfy their insatiable ego hungers. Why do you think people like Trump keeping trying to make more and more money? It’s just for the fun of it, or to stave off boredom and depression, or to prove you’re a big man, or that you are “superior”. For sure you are not doing it for anyone but yourself.

SOURCE: “Middle-Class Trojan Horse: Trump’s tax plan will destroy your Social Security benefits,” by proudlib, THEPROUDLIBERAL.ORG at http://theproudliberal.org/middle-class-trojan-horse-trumps-tax-plan-will-destroy-your-social-security-benefits/.

 

October 6

Here’s another outstanding Facebook picture pointing out a profound truth.

SOURCE: Facebook meme at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397, posted by Jodi Neumark, showing a photograph of H.L. Mencken, and a prediction he made in the Baltimore Evening Sun on July 26, 1920:

Subject: A prediction, 97 years ago

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.”

 

October 6

Japan has almost no shooting deaths per year because of forbidding their citizens to own guns.

SOURCE: “How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths,” by May Fisher, THEATLANTIC.COM, at https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/.

 

October 6

Our great leader in his wisdom says he will decertify the Iran nuclear agreement, countermanding all of his National Security experts. Surely he is not this dumb. Or is it like Bush II his god is now telling him to do things.

SOURCE: “Trump Just Overruled His National Security Advisers, Takes U.S. On Dangerous New Path,” by news.groupspeak, NEWS.GROUPSPEAK.COM, at http://news.groopspeak.com/trump-just-overruled-his-national-security-advisers-takes-u-s-on-dangerous-new-path/.

 

October 6

Here’s to Bernie Sanders, the only senator not taking money from big pharmaceutical corporations, and the only senator willing to sponsor a bill for a single payer, Medicare-for-all-type national health insurance system.

SOURCE: “Why healthcare should be managed as a natural monopoly,” by Richard John Stapleton, BLOG.EFFECTIVELEARNING.NET, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-healthcare-should-be-managed-as-a-natural-monopoly-2/.

 

October 6

Most US senators, Democratic and Republican, have been bought off by insurance industry contributions.

SOURCE: Facebook meme created and posted by Cindy Barnes McDougal at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is Cindy’s comment attached to her chart of bribe amounts received by various senators:

“So I really want you to look at these “contributions”, aka bribes, for a moment. First, these are the bribes these Senators have accepted just from the health insurance industry. Doesn’t include big pharma, medical supply and other relative groups. Take a look. Secondly, these totals do not include the bribes some, most or all received this week! My friend and Bernie Bridge warrior in Chicago, Veronica Wolski, made a good point this morning when she called Senator Durbin’s office. She told him that her little family could live nicely on some of these totals. I’ll go a step further and say that some could help one of you with college tuition. Maybe pay for that new car you need. Or the wedding for your daughter. Or a down payment on your first new home. Or that business you always wanted. Get mad. You should get mad. When these politicians take bribe money as a payoff to keep healthcare the way it is, then they have put a price tag on your health! You should get mad. Mad enough to fight for your right to universal single payer healthcare. Any American who likes paying high premiums and high deductibles WHILE your state representative accepts this kind of money is nuts. Stop settling. Stop be grateful for the crumbs from the table. Stop believing this is the way it should be. Get mad! Get damn mad and fight back! Call your Senators and tell them Medicare For All! Give them notice: The days of them making a buck off your healthcare are over! P.S. To my Florida friends – look at the amount of bribes Senator Nelson has accepted. How does that make you feel about him?? I could live quite nicely on his bribe money.”

 

October 6

Here is Cicero speaking from his grave.

SOURCE: A Facebook meme created and posted by Detong Choyin at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

A Two Thousand Year Old Warning about Trump:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. For the traitor appears not a traitor—He speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.”

Cicero, Roman Statesman, 42 BC

 

October 6

Here is how much money some of the fat cats in the Senate received feeding at the Big Pharma and insurance industry troughs.

Orrin Hatch, $471.560; Mitch McConnell, 433,400; Rob Portman, 382,100; Patrick Toomey, 354,616; Lamar Alexander, 228,100; John Cornyn, 180,000; Cory Gardner 151,850; John Barrasso, 149,750; Mike Enzi, 146,600; John Thune, 123,400; Mike Lee, 66,759; Ted Cruz, 58,895; Tom Cotton, 28,941.

SOURCE: Facebook meme created and posted by Milan Pokorny at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is Milan’s comment:

“Remember the 13 alt-right senators who tried to take away America’s healthcare behind closed doors? This is how much money they accepted from insurance companies and Big Pharma. If you want them all voted out of office, comment yes and share!”

 

October 6

If only we could get the forty six percent non-voters to vote for a truly ok progressive candidate. Here is the turnout rate in the 2016 presidential election, showing how a progressive party running someone like Bernie Sanders could win in 2020:

46.9% DIDN’T VOTE; 25.6% VOTED FOR CLINTON; 25.5% VOTED FOR TRUMP; 1.7% VOTED FOR JOHNSON

SOURCE: Facebook meme created and posted by Join the Coffee Party Movement at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is the comment by Join the Coffee Party Movement:

“And this is why we can’t have nice things.”

 

October 6

Here’s how our ceo-in-chief deals with money. Spend it like there is no tomorrow. And cut taxes. “Business” might boom a bit in the short run because of this stimulus, but the US house of cards will become more and more flimsy, as corporations and the elite rich plunder anything they can get their hands on. Instead of a $19 trillion federal debt, we will soon have a $38 trillion federal debt, if we last that long as a country. Why is it the elite rich want another tax cut? They have many times more money now than they can ever spend. The answer: they are playing a psychological Game. The name of the Game is Balance Sheet. The objective is to pile up more net worth than anyone else, to become the richest man or woman in the world. The payoff of the Game is a feeling of superiority and being one-up.  This Game is a cognate of the TA Game NIGYSOB, Now I’ve Got You, You SOB.

Warren Buffet has said that money has absolutely no utility for him. He keeps piling it up just for the fun of it, and to satisfy his ego needs, as he does playing the game of bridge, which he plays after he goes home at night to his modest Omaha, Nebraska house after a hard day’s work playing Balance Sheet at his office, while drinking his favorite drink, CocaCola, fetched by his second wife as he plays bridge on the Internet.  Quite likely he is a high-functioning obsessive-compulsive personality type on the autistic spectrum, as are most people in some ways.

Most people are obsessed with and compelled to act out over and over the routines, scripts, activities, pastimes, social games, and psychological Games of their unique lives, depending on how they were programmed genetically and socially throughout their existence, from the womb on.  The life process produces all sorts of outcomes for individuals.  Some become filthy rich like Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, and thousands of others.  On the other hand, millions more become poor as church mice.  Nobody ever said human life was fair.

SOURCE: “Trump and the Great Betrayal – Daily Reckoning”, by Bill Bonner, DAILYRECKONING.COM, at https://dailyreckoning.com/trump-great-debt-betrayal/.

 

October 6

Another telling article by John Whitehead.

SOURCE: “Mass shootings: The military-entertainment complex’s culture of violence turns deadly,“ by John Whitehead, INTREPIDREPORT.COM at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22311.

 

October 5

Another well reasoned and written article by Ellen Brown.

SOURCE: “How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation,” by Ellen Brown, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/05/how-to-fund-a-universal-basic-income-without-increasing-taxes-or-inflation/.

 

October 4

An eloquent speech by Oliver Stone at the 2017 Writer’s Guild Awards celebration.

SOURCE: A video created and posted by Truth Inside of You at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Includes a picture of Oliver Stone at a lectern with this comment: “The Most Honest 3 Minutes in TV History, that you can be critical of your government and your society. This is the most HONEST words you’ll ever watch. Listen to what Mr. Oliver Stone has to say.” Click to watch at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 3

Great essay by Ishmael Reed.

SOURCE: “Black Athletes and the Mother Thing,” by Ishmael Reed, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/03/black-athletes-and-the-mother-thing/.

 

October 3

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Death in a Dead Land,” by Richard Eskow, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/03/death-in-a-dead-land//.

 

October 3

Great essay by Jason Hirthler exposing what lies behind Kaepernick’s brave action.

SOURCE: “Kaepernick, Patriotism, and the Perversion of Protest,” by Jason Hirthler COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/03/kaepernick-patriotism-and-the-perversion-of-protest/.

 

October 3

Yes, just what we need, a new “people’s party.” Here’s what is going on in the world, by Noam Chomsky, Earth’s best informed human.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Quest to Enrich the Richest: An Interview with Noam Chomsky,” by David Barsamian, TomDispatch|Interview, TRUTH-OUT.ORG at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42136-trump-s-quest-to-enrich-the-masters-of-mankind-an-interview-with-noam-chomsky.

 

October 3

Hooray for humans around Earth; boo to UN delegates voting against humans, including our disingenuous new photogenic UN ambassador appointed by Trump.

SOURCE: “US joins Saudi Arabia and Iraq in voting against UN resolution condemning the death penalty for gay sex,” by Tom Embury-Dennis, INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-gay-sex-death-penalty-un-same-sex-relations-human-rights-council-saudi-arabia-iraq-nikki-haley-a7980981.html.

 

October 3

A very sad story.

SOURCE: “Great Hunger,” by Kathy Kelly, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/02/great-hunger/.

 

October 2

If you listen to this video you will hear this fellow ask the question why should the top four hundred richest taxpayers, who have enough cash to fill shoeboxes reaching to the sky, receive a tax cut? The answer: they shouldn’t. Why will they get one anyway? It’s simple: because the elite rich will give politicians a significant percentage of their loot if they vote them a tax cut. They know how to be generous with their friends to get even richer. They are not penny-wise and pound foolish or they would not have gotten filthy rich in the first place.

SOURCE: “The real meaning of tax reform: The super rich vs. everyone else,” a new video created and posted by MSNBC, at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is their introductory comment about the video: “Tax expert David Cay Johnston demonstrates how the Republican plan for so-called “tax reform” would exacerbate inequality.” View the video at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 2

If President Carter is right, Trump and our government are insane to treat North Korea as they do and put humanity at increased risk of a nuclear war.

SOURCE: “ ‘I Know What North Korea Wants’ – President Carter Warns ‘US Oligarchy Refuses To do It’,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-13/i-know-what-north-korea-wants-president-carter-warns-us-oligarchy-refuses-do-it.

 

Feel free to share, post, forward, copy, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this post any way you see fit. If you would like a free subscription to the Effective Learning Digest email me at rjstapleton@bulloch.net and I will put you on the emailing list. I do this just for the fun of it and to give something back to society in my retirement years at age seventy-seven, living with more pleasure than I deserve in my remaining days on Earth on the proceeds of a generous defined benefit pension and Social Security, not yet incapacitated by dementia or Alzheimer’s, or any other disease.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Digest, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, www.effectivelearning.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1968, Intelligent Life and the Lunar Landing

by Courtenay Barnett

It was 1968.

I had been sent to a Catholic High School and had a number of Jesuits from the Boston area of the US as teachers. One striking contrast between the older and the younger ones, as a general rule, was that the older Jesuits saw the sun shining on most everything that US foreign policy represented, inclusive of the Vietnam war being embraced as a necessity to stop the spread of Communism. The younger Jesuits were far less sanguine and told/taught us totally different lessons about the US use of napalm and agent orange and educated us on the horrors of war. That was the time that was.

About then I heard of a planned space trip destined for the moon. So surreptitiously in 1969 I journeyed to the Kennedy Space Centre and slipped on to Apollo 11 (unbeknown to anyone but some select family members and some close friends). I promised myself to remain in contact and fortuitously was able to access a duplicate communications system on board, obviously placed as a back-up in the eventuality of a failure of the main devices.

When we landed Neil hopped off first and Buzz followed while I stealthily exited via a hatch. At first I thought of returning with the flight, but with the communication device and the opportunity to explore the Moon I decided to remain with the firm knowledge that what man had accomplished mankind would repeat and I could eventually on a Russian or Chinese or even some other American flight return to Earth at a later date.

As the years wore on I kept asking if warfare had ended on Earth and each time the same negative response came in reply. “Why do you keep asking?” my brother eventually inquired.

“Well, ever since man landed on the moon it seemed obvious to me that not only the astronauts’ minds, but those of every other sentient being on planet Earth would have come then to the stark realisation that we are actually all ‘earthlings’ and homo sapiens living on one planet. So, with that knowledge, I assumed that the lunar landing would have jolted all the inhabitants of the green and blue planet into immediately accepting that it made far more sense to bond together as one, and weigh the prospects of invading Martians or any other alien species likely to threaten us earthlings, than expend energies fighting each other.”

Sadly, all the news I received from 1968 until anno domini 2017 has been about repeated belligerence and armed conflicts between nations and groups on Earth. We, as a species, despite the lunar landing simply never learnt anything by way of aspirations for tranquility and actualising the liberating feeling of freedom from war. Finally, after all these years, I have had to accept that not in my lifetime will there be a realisation of quietude in the human condition on Earth. Having enjoyed these several years here on the Moon, I am now planning my return to planet earth to face the unpleasant discords which constitute earthly existence.

Now that I am safely back on terra firma, on the planet of my birth, there has been opportunity to reassess the human condition. This I do, so my fellow humans inform me, with the most advanced intellect possessed among all the vertebrates and invertebrates. Yet, in reflecting on this assertion, I note that other species kill for food to eat; we kill for sport, assertion of manhood and various other reasons amounting to the infliction of gratuitous violence on our fellow beings. The numbers who do this is reflected amongst many humans and is accompanied by the technological capabilities to deliver death and destruction ranging from hand held guns all the way up to nuclear bombs which can assure annihilation of us as a species. Incredible, when you think of it, that we are so smart that we actually have developed weapons that can assure the ending of our existence as a species. So sophisticated we are that the world’s most advanced nation, the United States of America, has a special Amendment in its Constitution making it a lawful right to bear arms. Therefore, as of legal right the weapons used for the various types of killing just mentioned has been elevated to a position of jurisprudential significance that assures that when a decision is made to launch an attack of mass murder it remains a legal right to obtain the necessary weaponry so to attack. Of course, we are also cultivated significantly above other mammals, vertebrates and lesser animals that after the event we have the cognitive superiority to call the attack a crime. We then uphold the attacker’s  (if he is still alive)  right to another Constitutional safeguard of a trial before his peers. Then, if convicted, the death sentence or multiple life sentences might be the legal penalty. We, of course, are logical in all our doings. A single life sentence is insufficient, for when one is completed there still remain 49 others as a justified measure for the severity of the crime of gunning down 50 faultless human beings who just happened to get in the way of the bullets that the shooter, exercising his Constitutional right, had decided to discharge. Now, the weapons of mass destruction takes our intellectual superiority to totally astounding heights in full confirmation that unlike horses or donkeys ours is par excellence – the crème de la crème above all other known cognitive capacities. We have reached a stage where, again, America can destroy human existence many times over. Thus, rationally, if the level has been reached (which it long since has) of having in hand the weapons capability to destroy human life in its totality one time over, then the added ten or twenty fold that all nuclear weapons combined can now accomplish seems then equally as logical as the multiple life sentences imposed on the mass shooter, as increasing numbers of nuclear weapons keep being produced. The only difference is that nations now possess the capacity with WMDs that a single mass shooter could only dream of having desired to destroy not just some, but all of humankind.  Indeed, far exceeding a paltry 50 after so many rounds fired. Believe it or not, I have just described what we actually are doing as a species which calls ourselves intelligent with intelligence on a higher plane than all other species inhabiting planet Earth.

Truth be told, since we landed on the moon we seem to think that there are other planets that we can live on so we search for something which sustains life as we know it here on Earth. Not surprisingly so, for as we head towards self-inflicted annihilation as a species, those of us having the material wherewithal already have an exit ticket to Mars and are already booked knowing what is pending.

Towards that destructive end we have the excuse to ravage this planet, keep cutting down trees, expand our population, poison the rivers and the seas and destroy the ozone layer. Practise blowing up each other doesn’t really matter much any more; besides, it keeps the rich in power and the wealth where others can’t get to it.

The dream of establishing a colony somewhere ‘Out There’ where people like you or I aren’t allowed on it is the great dream of a new paradise pending and is the professed long term goal.

This all sounds a bit bleak; but since 1968 predicting the place we are in now would have been called bleak too.

And all accomplished with the use and application of a superior intellect. Don’t forget that. Just think about it.

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, has been subjected to death threats, and has argued public interest and human rights cases.

Business Skylab Conference

By Richard John Stapleton

(Editor’s Note: This fictional business case invented and written by me was first published in Managing Creatively: Action Learning in Action by University Press of America in 1976; it was reprinted in The Entrepreneur: Concepts and Cases on Creativity in Business by University Press of America in 1985; and it was reprinted again in Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds by Effective Learning Publications in 2008 and 2012.

(This case was prepared as a basis for group discussion, not to serve as an example of right or wrong business behavior. 

(Feel free to forward, share, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this post any way you see fit.)

A secret conference was held in the secret Earth Sciences Skylab in 1974 for the purpose of studying business phenomena on Earth. The Carter Foundation for Higher Education funded the conference as a follow-up to the 1958 Gosden and Harper reports on the quality of business education.

The 1958 Gosden and Harper research was funded by the Carter Foundation to assess the quality of education provided by Schools of Business in United States colleges and universities. The 1958 reports criticized business schools for being too descriptive in nature, for not emphasizing scientific research methodologies, and for generally fostering a low level of academic achievement. The reports accused the business schools of merely reporting what business was doing and not developing new innovations for improving business.

During the 1960’s the study of business became heavily endowed with mathematical and behavioral concepts from the fields of mathematics and social science. Concepts and techniques from the fields of engineering and computer science were also applied to business phenomena and problems in business schools during the period. Many courses in business schools were taught by PhD’s in psychology, sociology, mathematics, and statistics and, in many instances, there were only small differences in teaching methodologies and contents of courses taught in Schools of Business and courses taught in Schools of Arts and Sciences. In some instances, actual business phenomena were completely left out of business courses. During the 1970’s many business scholars and businessmen began to wonder if business courses had not become overly theoretical and too neglectful of actual business phenomena. Many business courses had been structured using courses in mathematics or sociology or psychology or industrial engineering as models. The teaching/learning methodologies of laboratory sciences, such as botany and zoology, had not been generally used as models because of the difficulty of placing business phenomena under microscopes for observation. This difficulty was overcome, however, with the completion of the Skylab Observatory.

The Skylab Observatory

The Skylab observatory is a satellite that was secretly placed in orbit around Earth in 1971. Work on the observatory was completed in late 1972. The observatory is large enough to accommodate groups of up to twenty people for as long as two weeks. From the Skylab Observatory it is possible for groups of humans to observe humans, business and military practices, and general events on Earth in varying degrees of detail using a specially developed telescope, technically a macroscope, which has not only X-ray power, i.e., the capability to see through roofs of buildings and filing cabinets, but also the power to transmit and receive sound between the satellite and any human at any discrete point on Earth, via laser beams which travel along light waves from the macroscope to points of concern on Earth. The Skylab is available for research by various scientific and research groups from Earth for the purpose of improving the quality of life on Earth. The US government provided funding for the construction of the satellite. Operating expenses for the satellite are provided through revenues received from various groups that lease and use the satellite. The Carter Foundation provided funds for the secret business study in 1973 or 1974.

Professors, managers, accountants, salesmen, and promising business students were selected for the membership of the 1973 or 1974 business Skylab conference by a select panel. The members of the conference represented a cross section of cultural, regional, economic, sexual, and ethnic backgrounds.

Quarters on the Skylab were not spacious but were comfortable. The quality of food served by the Skylab food services staff was excellent, and the Skylab was well stocked with beverages of all types. Retro-rockets were attached to bags of garbage and waste for disposal. The rockets slowed the disgorged bags so that they re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and were incinerated.

Study sessions began at 8:00 a.m., US CST, and continued until noon. The sessions resumed at 1:00 p.m. and continued until 5:00 p.m. Cocktails were served at 6:00 p.m. and dinner was served at 8:00 p.m. The conference members usually chatted over drinks or coffee or read until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. and retired shortly thereafter.

Structuring the Conference

There was considerable discussion regarding how the conference sessions should be structured. Some members argued that someone should take charge of the group and be responsible for pointing out relevant aspects or points. Others argued that since they were all adults, and most were professionals, that they should discuss aspects and points on a democratic basis with each member’s opinion being weighted equally. There was also considerable discussion as to what was relevant for study. The Skylab technological breakthrough made it possible for the group to study firsthand almost any business phenomenon on Earth. Since it was obviously not possible to study all phenomena on Earth during the two-week period of the conference, what should they select to study, of all the phenomena at their disposal? Naturally, the interests of the group varied according to past experience, ability, and skill; therefore, what should be selected depended upon who would do the selecting.

It was finally decided that the group would try to devote equal time to phenomena in the business functions of production, marketing, finance, control, transportation, and service. A number of organizations and humans in each of the functional areas were selected for observation. The process used was very unstructured.

The Skylab macroscope could be focused so as to observe the whole of a continent, a nation, a state, a county, or a human, or data, depending on the level of desired generality or specificity. Sounds, or dialogues, could also be tuned in or out at will. Needless to say, the scientific and technological principles upon which the Skylab macroscope were based were incomprehensible and, by and large, uninteresting to the conference members. They were only concerned with using the giant microscope, and, as they used it, they felt much the same awe, elation, and euphoria they felt when they got their first bicycle, or computer. The conference members came to refer to the microscope adjusting device as “the zoomer”, and would blurt out “zoom the zoomer in there a little closer,” and “zoom up the zoomer a little bit.”

Some of the professors in the group hoped to use the Skylab macroscope to, at long last, and once and for all, develop “a general theory of business” and make business a “science.” Observing business phenomena through the macroscope as botanists and zoologists observed biological specimens under microscopes on Earth, and classifying and categorizing phenomena by shape, size, type, function, etc. was one objective; the primary objective, however, at least in the minds of the least skeptical, was to develop a general principle which could explain, in advance, the outcomes of business specimens and phenomena.

Purpose of the Conference

No unanimous consensus was reached regarding the purpose of the conference, whether it was for the purpose of developing general theory, merely observing phenomena, developing technical skills, or developing insight or awareness. Each member seemed to have his own truth on this question. The group finally decided that only a few individuals should control the zoomer and select for the group appropriate phenomena and levels of generality or specificity.

It was decided that relatively small social groupings and levels of business activity would be observed because of the time factor. It was also decided, once phenomena were zoomed into focus, that each member of the group had the right to interpret the data according to his own lights and offer opinions, analyses, suggestions, prognoses, etc. to the group as he chose. Disagreement existed on this point. Many felt, since some of the group members were older and wiser than other members, the younger and less experienced members should ask for permission to talk up and that, for the most part, the younger members should listen to what the older and wiser members had to say. Some of the older and wiser members agreed with some of the younger members that the best way to learn is by taking action and suffering the consequences, and that, since independently talking in groups and trying to influence the group is a form of taking action, and since no drastic harm would result from errors, the younger members should have the same right to try to influence the group as the older members. Various members felt that the more correct views would ultimately dominate anyway, regardless of who initiated the view. Views that were badly off the beam, it was generally felt, if the discussions were open, full, and frank, would be shot down. So an open communication process was used, although some members did complain that the process was unprofessional and unfair.

Results of the Conference

In the process of living together and engaging in detailed discussions while viewing phenomena intensively and extensively, most of the members began to feel or sense changes taking place in the way they saw the world. Seeing different phenomena and hearing different opinions regarding phenomena changed their perceptions. A general discussion regarding the results and significance of the conference was conducted on the last day of the conference. Much of that discussion is presented below. The letters of the alphabet are used to identify various conference members, the majority of whom preferred to remain anonymous.

Professor J, an assistant professor of accounting from a private college in the Northwest:

I must say, I have enjoyed this conference. This Skylab is a real technological miracle. The food was great. And I must say I owe the select panel a real note of thanks for selecting me to be a member. However, I must say that I do not think the conference did much good. What have I learned? I think we should have spent more time going over specific points. We should have stuck to each point until everybody understood it before going on the next one. And you should use tests to prove that everyone understands your points before you move on.

Professor D, an associate professor of marketing from a state college in Northern California:

What? If we had taken the time to take tests, we couldn’t have seen half as many phenomena? And what points should we have been tested on? I can’t say that any of them stuck out enough to be important enough to take a test on.

Mr. R, the chief executive officer of a major corporation:

What do you think we ought to do in industry? Give our employees a test ever so often to see if they deserve a raise or a promotion?

Professor J:


No, but I know in accounting you can’t do it like that. I remember one time when I was teaching a course using a Harvard casebook in accounting. I finally threw the damn cases away, and then I taught them some accounting.

Mr. R:

We’d be in a hell of a shape in industry if all our people knew was some accounting.

Dean C, from a School of Business in a small western university:

Gentlemen, please, this is not going to get us anywhere. We all know that accounting is a very valuable tool for use in business; we also know it takes more than that in business.

Professor J:

Just look at the starting salaries of accounting majors. Why we’ve had girls making $40,000 a year in two to three years after graduation. What are the marketing majors, management majors, and finance majors going to do when they get out? They’re not going to start out as managers. You’ve got to learn to do something specific. You’ve got to be willing to work.

Professor L, an associate professor of management from the Northeast:

Do all accounting majors start out with high salaries? What percentage of accounting majors actually stay in accounting after they graduate? It’s so boring and tedious many people get out of it. How creative is accounting? These are questions that concern me.

Mr. Z, a business student from Oregon:

My god, is the relevant question today, after we have been up here for two weeks, and after having been funded and given access to the most sophisticated learning equipment available, the relative rank of salary offers of different business majors? I think not. The relevant question is what have we learned!

The student’s comment somewhat set the group aback and a short silence ensued. Shortly, Professor W, one of the more distinguished and experienced of the professors, began to slowly and deliberately speak. As he spoke, his eyes seemed to turn inward, as if seeing phenomena inside his own head.

Gentlemen, I have been watching these phenomena down on Earth very carefully from the first day. I have not spoken up very much in the discussions. I have been listening and giving the rest of you a chance to get involved and express yourselves. I am now convinced, based on my observations and statistical tests, that I have a theory, a tentative, beginning theory, at the very least, which will put us on the sure road to the development of a science of business, which so many of us have so diligently and so fervently studied, researched and lobbied for so long. As we observed the business specimens down on Earth through this magnificent macroscope, I observed, and, I think, clearly observed, except for the smog over Los Angeles, the quintessential relationship.

Professor W then fell silent, and the group shuffled in their seats and whispered and smirked to one another. Professor W then continued in his slow, deliberate, ponderous tone, still seeming to be observing something inside his own head.

Professor W:

Gentlemen, I don’t know whether any of you noticed it, but what the business phenomena on Earth were doing . . . were organizing themselves in…in systems . . . for the purpose of surviving!

With that, Professor W opened his eyes and looked intently at various members of the group. Most of the group looked around. Finally, Professor T, an assistant professor recently graduated from a doctoral program from a university in the Midwest, spoke up.

Professor T:

What you are talking about, Professor W, is the systems concept. The system concept has been around for a long time, and it’s all well and good. But what good is it going to do a businessman to know humans organize themselves in systems for purposes of survival?

Mr. B. the owner of a chain of restaurants in the Midwest:

I don’t think it would do me a damn bit of good. Hell, it’s common sense anyway.

Professor W:

But it won’t be, Mr. B., if I can prove it statistically. I am convinced I can use multiple regression coupled with forty-degree-rotated analysis of variance in three-dimension space so as to establish, without question, a ninety-five percent confidence level. Also, I am sure my work will add to the existing store of knowledge and be supported by the prior work of Blatz, Johnson, Preen, Garber, Lammon, and Templeton. Not to mention the work of such pioneers as Halpert, McMellon, Constellona, and, of course, the original, Holmitz.

Mr. X, one of Professor W’s graduate students:

I am familiar with the work of Johnson, Preen, and Constellona, and I agree with you, Professor W. Your work will be a major contribution.

Mr. B:

Who gives a damn? What I am interested in is something I can use to improve my profits, provide more benefits for my employees, and provide better service to my customers. You don’t have to tell me I want to survive. Using all those statistics may be okay to prove your points, but I can’t see what good it does.

Mr. D, a young engineer, rapidly moving up the ranks of a heavily technologized company in a heavily technologized industry:

I don’t use advanced statistics or mathematics in my work, although I do have a heavy math and stat background. To me, the value of advanced statistics and math lies in the fact it is rigorous and trains you to think logically.

Mr. R, the manager of a large wholesale hardware company in the Northeast:

I had some math and statistics in college, and I barely passed the courses. It was hard. I never use anything more mathematically sophisticated in my work now than simple tabulations of numbers. I add, subtract, multiply, and divide and that’s about it. Frankly, I think it was okay that I took math and stat in college, but I don’t think it is doing me any particular good now. I don’t think my mind became one bit more logical because of taking the courses. Furthermore, I am not even sure you need a logical mind to succeed in business. I think this is true of all managers, even college administrators.

Mr. X: the student:

Chester I. Barnard also said that.

Mr. R:

Who on Earth, or in heaven’s name, is Chester I. Bernard?

Mr. X:

You mean you never even heard of Chester I. Barnard! Why he wrote Functions of the Executive. And besides that he was president of the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company. He’s one of the most brilliant managers in history. I can’t believe you haven’t heard of Chester I. Barnard!!

Mr. R:

Why should I have heard of him? The woods are full of brilliant managers. I think William T. Stevens, the President of the New Oakers Feed and Seed Company, is one of the most brilliant managers in history. Have you ever heard of William T. Stevens, Mr. X?

Mr. X:

How could I have heard of some non-entity like William T. Stevens? Professor Graham never mentioned him in my history of management course. And I know he wasn’t mentioned because I take good notes, and I’ve got a photographic mind. I’ve got a 3.66 grade point average.

Dean C:

Gentlemen, we’re getting off the track again. Here it is the last day of our extra-terrestrial learning experience, and what do we talk about? Accounting salaries and who said what. It seems to me there must be something more than this that we have gained from our course here in outer space.

Professor P, a professor of finance from a state college in the Southwest.

It seems to me I have gained a great deal from the conference in terms of increased awareness and knowledge of business phenomena. By virtue of observing these phenomena through the macroscope, I believe I understand the business environment better and will be more comfortable in it when we get back down to Earth. I feel I got more out of the learning experience than I would have gotten out of it had we disconnected the zoomer and spent our time solely listening to, reading, and memorizing published literature or working algorithmic puzzles estranged from actual business phenomena.

Professor J:

All we did was look at stuff through that so-called zoomer and talk, and most of the time what was talked about was pure BS. You’ve got to make specific points. I always cover specific points in my classes. You learn generalities by studying specifics. You can’t just let anybody talk up whenever she wants to.

Mr. R:

But don’t you think we studied specific phenomena through the macroscope? I don’t see how we could have been any more specific about what we saw.

Professor J:

It’s not the same. We have not developed any “generally accepted business principles,” like we have in accounting.

Mr. R.:

I wonder how generally accepted your accounting principles are. Seems I read about some CPA firm being sued here lately because of being unclear on what to do. If your principles are so generally accepted, why do these suits happen?

Professor J:

We’ve got an accounting standards board working on that. We’ve got five men we’ve paying over $50,000 a year each to, just to improve our standards.

Mr. B:

Your standards must be in pretty bad shape if it is going to cost you that much to fix them up. For $10,000 I can hire a consulting firm to set standards throughout my whole chain, using time and motion study.

Professor J:

We’re not talking about the same kind of standards.

Professor Y, a full professor of financial management from a prestigious university in a large Midwestern city:

In my opinion, the behavior that is being exhibited here today is unprofessional. The real test of worthwhile knowledge is whether hypothesized generalizations can be tested and proved correct, through rigorous, deductive means. This is true in all science. In this sense, then, it would seem to be relatively straightforward that the proper course upon which we should proceed is first to identify the significant variables from the full range of variables which are manifest which must then be related, one to another, in such a way as to form a mechanism for reaching policies which are germane to the realities which confront us. To this end, and only to this end, I suggest that much more time and energy must be devoted to not only identifying the significant variables but also to isolating those points of connection and intersection which illuminate true cause-effect meaning for the discernment and application of the truly enlightened, professional mind.

Mr. L, Professor Y’s protégé, and one of the brightest graduate students at Professor Y’s university:

I agree with you, Professor Y. Not only have you just enunciated the shelf principle discovered by Howard but you have integrated it with the latest work of Means and Proctor. If you can now reconcile with your present synthesis the work of Lester, you will have extended the frontier. I am sure of it.

Professor P:

Haven’t you read any of Karl Popper’s work? I suggest you read Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies. I am convinced Popper is right when he says that the foundation of all science is the inductive method and not the deductive method. You observe phenomena in all fields and you establish generalizations based on your observations. According to Popper, and I agree with him, you cannot prove such generalizations to be true. All you can do is prove them to be false. If, after some period of trying to prove them false, you are unable to prove them false, then the generalizations are still not proved true. All they are are unfalsified generalizations. Most of what we have that commonly passes for general truth, scientific or otherwise, is not truth, but, in effect, unfalsified opinion, which hopefully was developed from observing concrete phenomena.

Mr. R:

I can buy that. One good thing about this approach is that we did get to see real phenomena through the macroscope. Whatever opinions I now have regarding similar phenomena are, at least, based on observing concrete phenomena. It seems to me that is better than hearing about, or reading about, things second hand.

Professor L:

It seems to me what we may be saying is that we are choosing the lesser of evils. What we have accomplished with the Business Skylab is not necessarily the best, but it may have fewer drawbacks than other alternatives, e.g., math problems or literature absorption unapplied to actual business phenomena.

Dean D:

Now I don’t think you can say that! Mathematics is rigorous and their study challenges the logical and intellectual powers of the student. This has primary value, regardless of business phenomena. As for literature, what do you propose? That we re-discover the truths that are already in the literature every generation. That would be a tremendous waste of time.

Professor P:

But there is no truth in the literature, at least not absolute truth. What passes for truth should be continually challenged by the actual facts confronting various generations.

Dean D:

What do you mean by that?

Professor P:

I mean if we, students, simply accept what is recorded in the literature as truth we will not continue to grow.

Dean D:

What do you mean grow?

Professor P:

I mean become larger in all sorts of ways—skills, awarenesses, improved abilities to relate to others, more appreciation of beauty, more comprehension of large, complex, even philosophical problems. To grow requires an open mind.

Professor D, an associate professor of business education from Utah:

I’m not too competent in philosophy, but one thing seems plainly clear to me after looking at all those business specimens through the macroscope: there are precious few general business principles. Most of the specimens simply made up their particular principles as they went along. Assuming we did develop some scientific business principles, how could we force the specimens to use them?

The discussion continued in the above spirit for the rest of the day without any definite resolutions being agreed upon or adopted by the professionals and non-professionals present. All of the conference members, professionals and non-professionals, filled out teacher evaluation forms at the end of the day. The conference coordinator was very pleased that the conference was rated as a 4.7398 conference. The maximum score possible is 5.000 and the average is 3.4251. Thus the conference was highly successful.

The next day, most of the Business Skylab Conference members were happy to be boarding the space shuttle for the trip back down to Earth. On the other hand, two professors, one dean, one of the business people, and two of the graduate students regretted having to go back down to Earth so soon.

Some of the conference members felt uneasy back down on Earth from time to time when they looked up at the sky.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, October 27, 2017

A Synopsis of My Educational Background

by Richard John Stapleton

A great-grandfather of mine many times removed, the Reverend Doctor James Maury, a French Huguenot, taught four American presidents, Washington (a distant relative down the branches of my family tree), Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, in a boarding school in Virginia.

A distant cousin, Matthew Fontaine Maury, was a West Point graduate, a commodore in the Civil War, fighting for the South, who published a book still in print, Physical Geography of the Seas. He was a founder of Virginia Tech, retiring as a professor of physics at Virginia Military Academy. Another distant cousin Dabney Herndon Maury, also a West Point graduate, a general in the Civil War fighting for the South, published a book titled, Recollections of a Southerner in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars.

My great great grandfather Thomas Sanford Gathright, a Confederate draft dodger who opposed the South’s seceding from the Union, was the first president of Texas A & M University, recommended for his post by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.

My father’s uncle, Richard Gathright Maury, was a prominent lawyer in his time, the youngest district attorney in Harris County history, the county in which Houston just got flooded, who once served papers in person on a golf course in New York to John D. Rockefeller, indicting him and his Standard Oil Trust for violating Texas anti-trust laws, whose gravesite in Center, Texas, replete with a statue, is now a designated historical site recognized by the Texas Historical Society. As near as I can tell Richard Gathright Maury never went to school at all. Based on genealogical records produced for me by Frank Parker, a real estate developer and investor and a hobby genealogist, here in Statesboro, he was home schooled on a plantation in Mississippi and read law with a law firm to pass the bar exam.

His father, my great grandfather, Matthew Henry Maury, attended the University of Mississippi two years and was later killed by an African on a plantation in Mississippi, probably a freed slave, or the son of one.

My grandfather, Elbert Harry Coston, a Methodist minister, the son of Isom Alexander Coston, who was blind, according to my grandmother, Darlie Brown Walker Coston, whose father David Montgomery Walker was a cotton farmer and a wagon manufacturer, “never did a day’s work in his life. All he ever did was sit up on the front porch with his brothers and read.”

She said most of the work on the Coston farm near Palestine, Texas was done by Africans, freed slaves apparently, managed by her mother-in-law, Mattie Elizabeth Allen Coston, born on a ranch in Texas in 1854, shortly after Texas stopped pretending to be a nation and joined the Union as a mere state.

My mother told me in her last days in Willow Pond here in Statesboro that her grandfather Isom would swat each of his five boys on the rear one time with a razor strop when they came in for supper, telling them he didn’t know what they had done wrong that day but he knew they had been up to somethin’.  She also said somebody had to read the whole newspaper to him every day.

My Coston grandfather took a few courses at East Texas State College before he became an ordained minister, becoming a minister according to my hard-working father so he wouldn’t ever have to work at all.

I lived with Moma and Snazzy, my maternal grandparents, for two years while I was working on my doctorate. My aunt Ted, Edna Mae Coston Thompson, at one point had Snazzy examined by a psychiatrist, thinking he was going insane. The psychiatrist said quite to the contrary he had the highest IQ of any man his age he had ever examined. This confirmed my judgment. Snazzy always seemed to understand anything. He had a personal library he had collected through the years containing a thousand or more books.

My mother Ida Belle Coston Stapleton took a few business courses at a Draughn’s Business College somewhere after she got out of high school. She told me shortly before she died here in Statesboro, at age 92, that she never made less than an A in school.

My father Richard Gathright Maury Stapleton took some courses in agronomy at Texas Tech before he dropped out to become a successful entrepreneur, having never taken a single business course or read a single business book, or a book of any kind after I was born, to my knowledge, except maybe an arcane treatise or two on Free Masonry, to become a third degree Scottish Rite Mason, as I understand it. He saw to it I became a DeMolay in high school but I never had any interest in that sort of thing.

All he ever read was the local newspaper, farm magazines, and the US News & World Report. He put me to work in his enterprises when I was eight years old.

I made mostly C’s in grade, junior, and high school, but did better in college. I was according to the Lubbock Avalanche Journal probably the youngest and smallest Class A high school starting quarterback in the US in 1953, at age thirteen, weighing 110 pounds, standing five feet three inches tall. I played basketball on an athletic scholarship at Hardin-Simmons University two years before transferring to Texas Tech College (now university).

I had a 3.0 in economics in undergraduate school but did better in the doctoral program, graduating with a 3.67 grade point average in a program that included all business disciplines in which A’s were not easy to come by. One of my classmates who became the dean of a business school graduated with a 3.0.

Despite scoring 840 on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), at a time when 1000 was about average, Texas Tech accepted me provisionally into their doctoral program and gave me a part-time instructor position in economics that paid $3000 per academic year, enough for me to pay my way through the doctoral program and write my dissertation in three years.

The Office of Manpower Evaluation and Research of the US Department of Labor awarded me a $6500 grant to write my dissertation, An Analysis of Rural Manpower Migration Patterns in the South Plains Region of Texas.

Frank Parker traced all four of my grandparents back to Virginia before the American Revolutionary War, in which several ancestors fought. Their descendants, many of whom were cotton farmers, spread out from Virginia migrating into South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and New Mexico before winding up in the cotton country of Northwest Texas where I grew up.

I was working at a full time job in a Litton Industries electronics plant as a production control expediter and dispatcher and publishing my weekly newspaper the Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette when I took the GRE, having stayed up most of the night before the exam putting out the paper. I fell asleep several times taking the exam, not thinking it was important, just something I had to do to get into graduate school, filling in the remaining blanks for the various timed sections without reading the questions. I saw the exam proctor, the head of the psychology department at Texas Tech at the time, staring at me in amazement when I woke up from one of those naps.

Considering the GRE computerized grading system took off more points for questions answered wrong than for those left blank, I was lucky to have scored as high as 840.

I was hired at the associate professor rank after finishing my doctorate, skipping the assistant rank, at the University of Southwestern Louisiana after completing my doctorate in business administration, management science major, economics minor, at Texas Tech, becoming a full professor at age thirty-six at Georgia Southern College (now university), where I was the senior professor of the business school for about fifteen years, carrying the mace as the senior professor of the university for the spring graduation ceremony the year I retired in 2005.

I was the highest paid professor in the business school and maybe the second-highest-paid faculty member at Georgia Southern in 1970, behind Jim Oliver, in biology, maybe third after Fielding Russell, in English, when I started at age thirty, hired by President Pope Duncan.

My son, Jonathan Walker Stapleton, was the Star Student for our Congressional District in Georgia in 1990, scoring 1520 on the SAT back in the days when 1600 was the maximum score. He maxed the math part of the GRE when he finished his undergraduate degree at Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1994, almost maxing the verbal part.

He now invents and makes things in his home workshop and teaches physics and Earth sciences in a high school near Burlington, Vermont.  Hunting and fishing and organic gardening in his spare time, in a beautiful environment, he is a smart son indeed.

He is the inventor and designer of Reptangles™, a plastic educational toy comprising twenty-four parts that snap together and pull apart to assemble into more than one hundred mathematically identifiable geometric shapes and symmetrical configurations, manufactured in China, licensed to, marketed, and distributed around Earth by the Fat Brain Toy Company, which was demonstrated on ABC’s Good Morning America. 

Jonathan is married to Renee Doney Stapleton, MD, PhD, who teaches, researches, and practices pulmonary medicine at the University of Vermont. They have three children, Walker, Emmerson, and Orion, each of whom is learning well in and out of school.

According to Frank Parker’s data, one of my great great grandfathers William Anthony Stapleton, according to the 1850 US Census, was a farmer in Dale County, Alabama, owning twenty-one slaves.  According to a first cousin, Stephen Carter, who got involved with genealogy, this great great grandfather made several trips to England, for reasons unknown, apparently doing business of some sort.  According to Frank Parker, William Anthony Stapleton was relatively wealthy, since slaves at the time according to Frank were worth about $100,000 each in today’s money.  According to Stephen Carter, who had his Stapleton mother’s DNA line searched using Ancestry.com, the Stapletons and Maurys in our family tree were descended from English, Irish, Scottish, and French nobility.

Here is a passage from my book Business Voyages, a family business bible, first published by me in 2011, pages 47-50. Read all about it free at https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810.

“In October 2009 I told and showed my friend Frank Parker a genealogist here in Statesboro, Georgia I had recently found proof on the Internet my grandmother Katharine Gathright Maury was related to Matthew Fontaine Maury, that one of her Maury ancestors taught four American presidents in Virginia, and she was descended from French Huguenots and the Randolphs of Virginia, starting with a family tree furnished me about 1985 by Mary Stapleton, wife of my uncle Matthew Henry Stapleton, that traced our Stapleton/ Maury line back four generations to James Woodville Maury and William Anthony Stapleton in 1850, that I used with Horace Randoph’s Updated Database at www.randolpharchives.org that traced Katharine Gathright Maury back to Abraham Maury in Virginia in 1758 that traced Abraham Maury through the Randolph line back to 17th century England, that I used with Some Descendants of Jean de la Fontaine in Bob Juch’s Kin Including 61,000 People at www.juch. org that traced the Maury line from Abraham Maury back to James Fontaine born in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England in 1686 to Guy de la Fontaine, Lord of Seville, born in 1400 in France and to Jean de la Fontaine born in 1375 in France.

“Frank then offered to use his computerized genealogical system to check out several people down my family tree. Among much else, he found Dick’s grandfather Matthew Henry Maury, age 25, in the 1880 US census living on a plantation in Kemper County, Mississippi with his wife Virginia John Gathright Maury, age 24, and children including Dick’s mother Katharine, infant, and her brother Richard, age 3, in one household and Dick’s great grandfather James Woodville Maury, age 59, living in another unusual household including his wife, Rachel Harris Maury, age 53, and a servant Milby, age 31, and her five young children, all named Maury. Included in another household on the plantation was Sarah Maury, age 55, listed as a mother and farmer, presumably the mother of Milby. Listed in another household was Aaron Maury, age 45, listed as a farmer, presumably the husband of Milby. Dick’s Maury grandfather and his great grandfather and their wives and children were listed as white and the rest of the Maurys on the census page were listed as black.

“Frank also found in the 1850 US census before the Civil War that Dick’s great grandfather William Anthony Stapleton was a farmer in Dale County, Alabama, owning twenty-one slaves. This family history was kept secret from Dick or he kept it secret from me. I would never have known about it had it not been for the Internet and Frank Parker’s genealogical skills in 2009. The slave owning was something not to be proud of and perhaps it should have been kept secret. I sometimes thought as a child Dick was a slave driver; now I know where he got the proclivity. If you Google Richard John Stapleton on the Internet you can find several Stapleton barons, lords and sirs that lived in England and Ireland through the centuries after 1215 and our Stapleton line could be descended from lesser sons of some of these families who migrated to America in search of their own lands and fortunes. An unanswered question is Ludowic Stapleton, father of William Anthony Stapleton, who may have immigrated to the US from Ireland or England.

“Life on the American frontier for most of my more recent ancestors as they fanned out in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas was far from easy, secure, squeaky clean or pleasant much of the time. Many of them did not live long, and they were beset with all manner of problems on their farms, plantations and ranches—economic recessions and depressions, diseases of all sorts, psychological problems, hail, drought, sandstorms, hoof and mouth disease, slavery, the Civil War and much else. Dick thought his grandfather Matthew Henry Maury was killed by an African-American farm worker on a Mississippi plantation after the Civil War because Matthew insulted or made some sort of sexual advance toward the worker’s wife and he thought his mother was afterwards reared by her Gathright grandmother. He also said his Maury ancestors were either great or crazy. While his grandfather may or may not have been killed for this reason, his mother was not reared by her Gathright grandmother, at least not completely, although Dick did know something about what he was talking about. According to the 1900 US Census, Dick’s grandmother formerly Virginia John Gathright Maury now listed as age 40 had remarried Thornton Walters born in Illinois and was living in Brazoria, Texas in a reconstituted family consisting of 10 children, six named Maury including Dick’s mother Katharine now age 21 and four children named Walters ranging in age from 9 to 23. According to the 1910 US Census Virginia John Gathright Maury Walters, widowed, now age 50 was back in Lauderdale County, Mississippi listed as a patient in some sort of hospital or nursing home that included 24 other patients, all unrelated females ranging in age from 18 to 66.

“On Ida’s side of the family her favorite grandmother Mattie Elizabeth Allen Coston born in Texas about 1854 according to the 1870 US Census was living in a reconstituted family headed by John Doak married to Catharine Doak, presumably Mattie’s mother, including six children, four named Doak and two named Allen, Mattie and Robert. According to Ida at 90 years of age not many years ago at Willow Pond here in Statesboro, Georgia, Mattie “traveled all over” and had a good time at a ripe old age after her one and only Coston husband died of natural causes in East Texas.

“While some of Ida’s ancestors were intelligent, relatively well educated and successful professionally none to my knowledge equaled the intellectual achievements of some of Dick’s Maury ancestors. Quite possibly our Maury ancestor making the most significant contribution in American history was the Reverend Doctor James Maury who taught four American presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, all instrumental in creating the US Constitution. The Reverend Doctor Maury taught classics, manners and morals, mathematics, literature, history, and geography in what was considered the best boarding school in Albemarle County,Virginia, attended by Thomas Jefferson who lived with the Reverend Maury and his family two years as a child (Wikipedia.org).”

I heard rumors of this growing up as a child, but I had no factual knowledge of it.  In general in our family talking about ancestors was taboo.  It was as if my parents had no knowledge of anyone in their families back past their parents.  I always thought they had something to hide, which I suppose they did, slavery.  They seemed shamed by their family history, either ashamed of what their ancestors did, or ashamed their social positions in their societies was generally lower than the social positions their ancestors had in their societies, having been declassed by the Civil War, with good riddance, in my opinion.

I did not have a happy childhood.  It was as if my parents did not believe in having fun.  All they did was work and keep a stiff upper lip.  Children were supposed to be seen and not heard, but admired for their perfect manners and looks in the presence of company.  There were all sorts of conflicts in the family.  My mother detested her mother-in-law for bragging about her “blue-blooded ancestors.”  My father thought everybody but him was lazy and worthless and he looked down his nose at them for this, including me.  I learned to take care of myself, entertain myself inside my own head with my own auditory and visual constructions, and play football and basketball.  We had relatively few I’m OK—You’re OK transactions at home or at work and very few positive strokes.  I cannot remember being hugged by either of my parents as a child.  Such was the social and psychological education and training they had received from their parents and grandparents through the generations.

One of the major conclusions of my book  Born to Learn is that everything that happens happens by accident, as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein pointed out in his book of propositions, Prototractatus, and therefore no one is to blame or praise for what happens.

One might think with a background like mine I ought to be rounded up and summarily shot for the sins of my ancestors; but I don’t think it was my fault.  I did not make up the rules for how human affairs happen on Earth.  They happen gradually and inexorably from generation to generation according to script messages passed to children from parents using all ego states, socially and psychologically, like runners passing a baton in a track race.

Read Born to Learn for more detail about ego states and script messages.

Feel free to share this article any way you see fit.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, www.effectivelearning.net

Effective Learning Report Updates—September 2017

THE HUMAN CONDITION

By Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher

The world has always been a screwed-up place. And there has never been enough food, furs, spears, game, land, water, fish, timber, shoes, shotguns, rifles, fishing tackle, plows, cotton, houses, horses, cattle, clothes, cars, tractors, oil, gasoline, electricity, video games, computers, cell phones, helicopters, Humvees, SUVs, pickups, nuclear weapons, medicine and other goods to go around.

There are now some six billion people aboard Spaceship Earth and probably one billion people go to bed hungry every night. Millions of people exist on the brink of starvation every year. The starvation hellhole in 2004 is the Darfur region of Sudan, as usual in Africa, where one million people may die of genocidal ethnic cleansing, starvation, and disease. Only about one billion of us aboard Spaceship Earth are in generally good shape, in the United States, Western Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia and in a few other places. Among the two hundred or so countries on Earth one finds various levels of affluence and poverty, happiness and misery, freedom and slavery—the poorer the country in general the greater the gap between a rich elite few and masses of poor. In general the poorer the country the more corrupt the government.
 As bad as things are now, they are probably better than they ever were. Average incomes in recent years have increased worldwide. Although a few countries have become worse off, many of the poorest countries are now less poor than they were. Even so, it is not easy to live on $500 per year, a common income for people in some countries of Africa, South America, and Asia. Compare that with a $30,000 or so median yearly income for employed people in rich countries.

It’s no wonder that have-nots are continuing their struggle against the haves worldwide. Numerous rebel groups, communist and otherwise, led by warlords and leaders by various names now roam about in South America, Africa, and Asia raping, pillaging, and skirmishing with right-wing paramilitary groups and other military coalitions; intellectually and morally bankrupt dirt-poor communist North Korea playing with nuclear fire may be the biggest threat at present to humanity; and rapidly-developing communist China with its new variety of capitalism is significantly increasing its production, driving up the prices of raw materials worldwide. Educated information technology workers in poor countries are now able to do computer and information services work, thanks to the Internet, sitting at their computer screens in their poor countries, out-competing similar workers in rich countries without ever leaving home, all part of a new phenomenon known as “outsourcing”.

As bad as environmental pollution and global warming are now, caused by burning crude oil and coal, imagine what would happen if all poor countries were to develop the production, transportation, and consumption systems now used by rich countries and were to produce the same output per capita.

Politicians have increasingly polarized voters in the US in the last twenty-five years in their quest for personal political power. In general Republicans want to lower taxes for the rich, increase military might, and promote their religious beliefs; in general Democrats want to restore the taxes of the rich and insure Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social programs. The last two US presidential elections, in which voters were almost exactly divided between Republicans and Democrats, serve as evidence for this assertion.

There are now ominous signs in the US that atavistic forces lurking apparently in all humanity such as religious fanaticism and intolerance, military fatalism, ideological magical thinking, racism, sexism, ageism, and disrespect for facts and reason are spreading. Almost every day one can read in newspapers about politicians attempting to enact laws promoting religious belief that will enable religious groups to secure tax money to further their religious agendas. Articles appear almost daily in newspapers about the loss of individual freedom in America and the imposing of increasingly authoritarian measures such as denying due legal process to suspected terrorists and prisoners. Although terrorism is a threat to some people in developed nations, and strong police and military measures are required to deal with terrorists, in the face of such threats we must not allow the darker power-hungry, irrational and fatalistic side of human nature to destroy the blessings of freedom that millions of Americans have worked and fought so hard to achieve in the last 250 years.

In the past few years I have had more and more students in my classes with political agendas who seem to think facts are irrelevant and that political propaganda is truth. Apparently they have been taught by authority figures in their lives that they have a right to disseminate their personal dogma and propaganda as truth and others have no right to contest them or point out the deleterious consequences of such thinking and behavior. I am sure Hitler’s empowered brown- shirted youths felt much the same. Just today a page-one story in our local newspaper is about an attempt by a legislator in a midwestern state to pass legislation to force professors to allow students to promote “conservative” dogma in college classrooms without being challenged by the teacher even, apparently, if the dogma is completely out of context. I think this sort of thing is worse than absurd; it is abhorrent.

What this move amounts to in transactional analysis terms is an attempt to legitimize by law a Parent ego state contamination of the Adult ego state functioning of the educational process. The move entails an attempt to legally enfranchise an I’m OK—You’re Not OK life position based on political propaganda, dogma, and doctrine in classrooms. Good teaching entails teachers establishing an I’m OK—You’re OK life position among themselves and all students in the classroom, based on an honest attempt using the Adult ego state to discover and teach the truth of the matter based on a rigorous study of facts and evidence.

It seems obvious to me the purpose of teaching in classrooms is to teach truth—verifiable truth supported by facts, observation, and reason. Labeling professors as liberal or conservative is an insult to real professors. This assumes professors teach dogma and propaganda and ignore truth based on fact and reason. As far as I am concerned any professor who tells his or her students she or he is liberal or conservative and teaches propaganda, dogma, or doctrine conforming to a political party line in a classroom as actual truth is not qualified to be a professor.

Although I abhor labeling people as liberal or conservative, it seems to me “conservatives” are winning the political language game in the United States because the word conservative resonates better than liberal with people en masse. Liberal makes a good smear word whereas conservative does not. The word conservative connotes morality, virtue, hard work, persistence, generally virtuous things; whereas the word liberal connotes immorality, laziness, loose morals, loose standards, generally weak sentiments and behaviors.

This past year for the first time in my teaching career I was labeled a liberal by a colleague who tells his students he is a conservative and proud of it. Although I do not think this colleague meant serious harm, his move was a form of attack in the overall context in which the transaction occurred. While the episode was disconcerting, what is more disturbing is to think that more and more people are being subjected to such moves in the US as a whole. I am no more a liberal than the colleague is a fascist, although it seems to me some so-called conservatives advocate behaviors that are fascist in nature. In addition to conservative vs. liberal, the political language game is also about fascism vs. democracy, rational vs. irrational, knowledgeable vs. dogmatic, fair vs. unfair, freedom vs. repression, smart vs. dumb, hopeful vs. fatalistic, courageous vs. cowardly, weak vs. strong, independent vs. dependent and other linguistic bifurcations. There are all sorts of labels one can put on people to put them down. Given the way our culture in the US has evolved in the last twenty-five years, any citizen can be attacked in a war of words on any day. A young chancellor of the University System of Georgia with a PhD in classical literature upon resigning his post a few years ago said Georgia was experiencing “a rising tide of anti-intellectualism.” Hopefully right, not might, shall win in the long run.

SOURCE: A Passage from Business Voyages, by Richard John Stapleton, written in 2004, first published in 2008, pages 580-583  

 

September 29, 2017

September has not been a good month in my opinion. Bad things are coming to a head. Our clownish seventy-year-old reality show billionaire president who inherited his money who never worked a day in his life at a real job for a real boss has been playing a potentially lethal psychological NIGYSOB Game with an infantilized thirty-three-year-old tryant in North Korea who inherited a whole nation who also never worked at a real job in his life for a boss. The name of the Game, well known in transactional analysis circles, is Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B. The purpose of the Game is to vent your feelings of anger and frustration. The payoff, if you win, is feeling superior and one-up.

It’s one thing for people to play this Game backed up with the usual means of power and punishment in organizations such as those in which most of us live and survive—verbal insults and threats, paddles, fisticuffs, the power to give or not give someone a pay raise, the power to fire someone, the power to sue someone in court, the power to shoot someone with a gun, the power to put someone in jail.

Unfortunately, Trump and his North Korean dictator Game adversary, whom Trump calls the Rocket Man, who calls Trump the Dotard, are backed up with armies, navies, air forces, and nuclear bombs that could destroy humanity if their Game escalates to its highest degree.

According to President Jimmy Carter quoted in an article in the Intrepid Report, “Trump fails to understand North Korea existential fears,” by Wayne Madsen, this Game with North Korea could be terminated if the US would promise with a new treaty they would not harm North Korea so long as North Korea does not harm any other nation.

Seems to me if this is right the US would have to be insane not to sign such a treaty. But, unfortunately neither Jimmy Carter nor I is now president of the US. Why has this insanity and absurdity with North Korea happened? Has our military-industrial-intelligence-corporate complex agitated for it to justify military spending in the US budget to enrich and empower their vested interests even more? Has Trump done it just to play psychological Games attempting to satisfy his gargantuan and apparently insatiable ego needs? Has he done it to distract attention from problems and concerns such as hurricane relief, football players kneeling when the national anthem is played to protest against racism, his personal problems with his congressional investigation, his lawsuits, the US military involvement in the Middle East, the federal budget deficit, rising income inequality and dissatisfaction, his business dealings, and any of the thousands of details such gestalts entail?

SOURCE: “Trump fails to understand North Korea existential fears,” by Wayne Madsen, published in the Intrepid Report

 

September 29

Here is a brave analysis with sound conclusions, but what is the probability it could ever happen?

SOURCE: “Leftists and rightists agree: abolish the CIA,” by Roger Copple, published in the Intrepid Report.

 

September 28

Here is a video posted on my Facebook page titled “Have You Ever Thought America Has Become One Big Jerry Springer Show,” created by So That’s the Buzz.

No, I had not thought that exactly but I have thought similar things. Come to think of it though, calling America a Jerry Springer Show is a pretty good analogy. Facebook itself is somewhat of a Jerry Springer Show in which all sorts of people from any walk of life can speak their minds, however deranged and disordered they might be. Is it educational to expose your mind to this diversity of nonsense?

Who would have ever thought the US would ever have a president like Donald Trump—a spoiled rich kid, with at least six bankruptcies and thirteen or more business failures to his credit, five children by three different wives, a supporter of neo-Nazis, a racist, a misogynist, a bully, a tweeter who may never have read a whole book who probably never wrote and published anything by himself requiring more than a few paragraphs, a high-functioning narcissistic who requires constant approval, voted into office primarily by white Christians, who still approve of his lifestyle and behavior, which is contrary to what their bible says is right? While there were rumors on Facebook he snorted some cocaine during his campaign, according to Facebook posts, he does not smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, two good things some people might say about him. And so far on Facebook I have seen only one rumor about his having had some sort of sexual fling with one of his employees in the White House.

Regardless, it does seem Trump has turned the White House into a Jerry Springer Show of sorts with on-stage characters expressing mundane off-the-wall ideas. His family members, cronies, and appointees sometimes look like characters in a TV soap opera.

SOURCE: “Have You Ever Thought America Has Become One Big Jerry Springer Show,” a video created by So That’s the Buzz, posted on Facebook.

 

September 28

Violence is a waste of time and energy

Rather than rationally deal with the root causes of their problems, fears, and frustrations, many humans vilify, demonize, scapegoat, and tear the tissue of enemies.

What Earth needs now is unlearning and new learning. Humans need to learn how to get their needs met without playing Games and resorting to violence, as in wars and acts of terrorism such as occurred last week on the campus at the University of Virginia.

Violence rarely solves anything. It just kicks the can further down the road, where the problem rears its ugly head again.

As Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King demonstrated, non-violent action can produce real change.

Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning is full of ideas for producing peaceable change.

 

September 27, 2017

Here’s how our CEO in Chief Trump deals with money. Spend it like there is no tomorrow, and cut taxes. “Business” might boom a bit in the short run because of this stimulus if he can make it happen, but the US financial house of cards will become more and more flimsy, as corporations and the elite rich plunder anything they can get their hands on. Instead of a $19 trillion federal debt, we will soon have a $38 trillion federal debt, if the Trumpster gets what he says he wants for a US budget.

SOURCE: “Trump and the Great Debt Betrayal,” by Bill Bonner, published in the Daily Reckoning blog.

 

September 27

It’s worse than I ever thought it would be. I wonder how many of his voters have any conception of what Trump is really doing in the White House? Most of them probably think all he does is threaten leaders in foreign countries and bluster about football players not standing up for the national anthem, or saying white supremacists and neo-Nazis are good people, or crowing about how many people show up when he deigns to observe hurricane disaster results.

This article would open their eyes if they were to read it.

SOURCE: “The White House as Donald Trump’s New Casino,” by Nomi Prins, published in The Daily Reckoning.

 

September 27

As the rich continue to get richer….

SOURCE: “The growing danger of dynastic wealth,” by Robert Reich, published in the Intrepid Report

 

September 27, 2017

Say it aint so Joe….

SOURCE: “I Just Know I’ll be Rich Someday,” John Giarratana, published in CounterPunch

 

September 27

Many sorries for these people.  At least Trump finally waived the Jones Act and real help can be provided by the US.

SOURCE: “’This Bankrupt Island’: Debt and Disaster in Puerto Rico,” by Maria Del Pilar Blanco, published in CounterPunch

 

September 27

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “The Preacher and Vietnam: When Billy Graham Urged Nixon to Kill One Million People,” by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, published in CounterPunch.

 

September 27

Here’s another great article by John Whitehead, a constitutional lawyer. In a free society patriotism is not mandatory. Going down on one knee when the national anthem is being played is legal under the constitution of the US. This is a form of non-verbal speech guaranteed by the constitution. People arguing football players do not have a right to do this are wrong. The real problem here is that most people have been brainwashed into believing all people have to be obedient to all symbols of national authority, believing they are deprived of their constitutional rights when they are paid to do a job by someone else, becoming de facto slaves, especially when working for the military, or, apparently, when they are paid to play football. This whole hullabaloo is a symptom of the increasing militarization of the US, implying more and more people have been brainwashed into believing they have to obey all authoritarian commands and messages, regardless of their guaranteed constitutional rights.

SOURCE: “Patriots and Protesters Should Take a Knee for the Constitution,” by John W. Whitehead, published in CounterPunch.

 

September 27

This is about a fellow named Roger Goodale, who, according to a Facebook post, is the commissioner of the National Football League, a so-called non-profit organization, who was paid a salary of $44.2 million dollars in 2012. This does seem to be a bit much for a salary for a non-profit organization. Think there might be just a little something wrong here?

SOURCE: Facebook post by Edward Devine, September 7, 2016.

 

September 27

Why did Hatch and McConnell get so much more than the others?

Remember the 13 alt-right senators who tried to take away America’s healthcare behind closed doors? This is how much money they accepted from insurance companies and Big Pharma.

SOURCE: Facebook post by Milan Pokorny, September 22.

 

September 26

There are Large Parts of America Being Left Behind…including us. “It is fair to wonder whether a recovery that excludes tens of millions of Americans and thousands of communities deserves to be called a recovery at all…”

SOURCE:  “There are Large Parts of America Being Left Behind”, by Tyler Durden, published in ZeroHedge

 

September 25

Here’s to Bernie Sanders. Hope it somehow works in our moribund society.

SOURCE: “Why healthcare should be managed as a natural monopoly,” by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Report

 

September 24

Say it aint so Joe.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. For the traitor appears not a traitor—He speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.”

Cicero, Roman Statesman, 42 BC, speaking from his grave.

SOURCE: Facebook post by Detong Choyin, September 23

 

September 23

How to get that 46.9 percent voting for a truly progressive candidate is the problem.

And this is why we can’t have nice things.

2016 presidential election turnout rate: 46.9 percent didn’t vote, 25.6 percent voted for Clinton, 25.5 percent voted for Trump, and 1.7 percent voted for Johnson.

SOURCE: Posted on Facebook by Join the Coffee Party Movement.

 

September 22

Here’s a particularly cogent economic update by Richard Wolff.

SOURCE: Audio podcast, “Economic Update: Capitalism, Revolution and Socialism,” published in Truth-Out.

 

September 21

Last night, the Senate overwhelmingly approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending. Trump had asked for just $48 billion…

As shown here, the US makes thirty-six percent of all military expenditures around Earth, including some two hundred countries, more than the next eight largest nations spend combined.

Why is this?

SOURCE: Posted on Facebook by Robert Reich

 

September 21

Capitalism won’t be killed by communism. Capitalism will be killed by low-wage workers who can’t buy products, aka lack of aggregate demand.

SOURCE: Visual meme posted on Facebook by Matt Matsuoka

 

September 16

More corruption in our government. This should not be happening.

Insurance industry contributions to Democratic Senators. Of thirty-five listed, Bernie Sanders was the only one not receiving anything.

SOURCE: Posted on Facebook by Cindy Barnes McDougal  

 

September 15

It was way worse than I thought it was then when I saw it on TV in the waiting room of the Volvo dealership in Savannah, Ga. I thought it strange at the time that a young woman would walk in the room and tell us with certainty, “Osama Bin Laden!” I had never heard of him at the time.

Hunter S. Thompson’s 9/11 Essay is Still Chillingly Accurate 16 Years Later.

When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 no one knew exactly what the future would hold.

SOURCE: “Hunter S. Thompson’s 9/11 Essay is Still Chillingly Accurate 16 Years Later,” by David Moye, published in HuffPost, Sept. 11, 2017

 

September 15

McDonald’s prices go up regardless of wages.

Big Mac cost in 2009, $3.57; Federal Minimum Wage, $7.25

Big Mac cost in 2017, $5.30; Federal Minimum Wage, $7.25

Wages don’t matter.

Fight for $15 per hour.

SOURCE: Meme posted by Fight for $15

 

September 14

Why We Need Medicare for All

Well said by Bernie Sanders.

This is a pivotal moment in American history. Do we, as a nation, join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee comprehensive health care for all?

SOURCE: “Why We Need Medicare for All,” by Sen. Bernard Sanders, published in CounterPunch

 

September 14

Look closely at this chart of federal spending. Somewhere within the tiny orange sliver at the bottom is the food stamp program that Republicans blame for our budget deficit.

SOURCE: Meme posted on Facebook by The Other 98% 

 

September 13

Declaring peace would be a dangerous thing. Some thoughts and facts on war in this article by David Swanson. Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “How Outlawing War Changed the World in 1928,” by David Swanson, published in CounterPunch

 

September 13

Do we really know what we’re doing?

One of the major differences between working and middle to upper-class parents, when it comes to their children’s education, and specifically how to best maximize…

SOURCE: “Beyond the Class Ceiling: Education and Upward Social Mobility,” by Pascal Blackfoot, published in CounterPunch

 

September 12

Premature disappearance is a terrible thing.

Remembering the disappeared. Of the 2,753 victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, no physical trace has been found for 1,112 of them. Thus for 40…

SOURCE: “Remembering the Disappeared,” by Ariel Dorfman, published in CounterPunch

 

September 11

Say it aint so Joe.

The US War on Terror has resulted in over 1 million deaths.

SOURCE: “9/11: The Beginning of the End of the US Empire Project,” by Dahr Jamail, published in Truthout

 

September 7

Is North Korea and the US now analogous to Cuba and the US then and is Kim and Trump analogous to Khrushchev and Kennedy? Here is an excellent article pointing out gruesome realities of the relationship with North Korea. We know Trump is not analogous to Kennedy, and we know Kim is not analogous to Khrushchev. Nuclear bombs did not fall from the sky on the US then; will they fall from the sky on the US now?

Cold War strategists led by such men as Henry Kissinger, Thomas Schelling and Bernard Brodie believed that ultimately relationships among nations were…

SOURCE: “America on the Brink of Nuclear War: What Should We Do?”, by William R. Polk, published in CounterPunch

 

September 6

All this is doing is turning machines into what humans used to be. Humans cannot compete with these digitized machines. The only hope is to turn these machines into the equivalent of human machines and promote former human machines into the elite stockholder manager class of corporations, to live off the work of the robot machines like the elite live off the work of human machines now.

A computer scientist at Rice University says that accountants, lawyers and even construction are about to find their work changing substantially, if not entirely taken…

SOURCE: “The rise of robots taking human jobs will be ‘painful and enduring’,” by Moshe Y. Vardi, published in the Daily Mail,

 

September 5

David Stockman in my opinion does an admirable job explaining the Federal tax situation. On the other hand, he is being disingenuous regarding what he calls a payroll tax, calling it the major problem for middle and lower income citizens. What he calls a payroll tax of fifteen percent is really FICA deductions for Social Security, absolutely necessary to prevent the destruction of the Social Security system, an investment, not a tax. Pundits, especially good ones like Stockton, calling FICA deductions payroll taxes is a dangerous thing. The day when Social Security goes down the tube is the day the US becomes a Third World country.

Former Reagan White House cabinet official, David Stockman levels that Donald Trump’s tax plan is destined for complete failure…

SOURCE: “The Donald’s Seinfeld Tax Plan—A Big Show About Nothing,” by David Stockman, published in the Daily Reckoning

 

September 5

Here is a good general overview of climate change around Earth. The author asserts human activity caused it. I say it makes little difference who or what caused it. The relevant point is that climate change is creating hell around Earth, and we better hope we humans did cause it, because if we did then we can theoretically make changes to uncause it; otherwise, if nature caused it, and the trend continues for several decades, humans are toast, since there is nothing we can do about it.

We are in the age of climate-caused humanitarian crises.

SOURCE: “Greenland is Burning: Wildfires and Floods Surge Worldwide,” by Dahr Jamail, published in Truth-Out.

 

September 5, 2017

Here’s something to think about.

Countries ranked by prosperity: Norway, Socialist; Switzerland, Socialist; New Zealand, Socialist; Denmark, Socialist; Canada, Socialist; Sweden, Socialist; Australia, Socialist Welfare; Finland, Socialist; Netherlands, Socialist; United States, number ten

SOURCE: Meme post on Facebook by Patricia Dowling    

 

September 4

A sad Labor Day indeed.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Labor Day,” by Robert Reich, posted in the Intrepid Report

 

September 4

Let’s hope not.

SOURCE: “The American military empire: Is Trump its would-be emperor?, “ by Dr. Rodrique Tremblay, posted in the Intrepid Report

 

September 3

Here’s another great audio discourse by Richard Wolff, discussing the financial crises in 1929 and 2008.

SOURCE: “Economic Update: A Tale of Two Crises,” by Richard Wolff, posted in Truth-Out

Further Thoughts on Politics

by Richard John Stapleton

In my immediately preceding Effective Learning Report post I published an article I wrote titled “An Inspiring Educational Meeting in the Country Club near Statesboro, Georgia” in which I said I am an Independent politically and have primarily voted for Republicans in local and state elections, but only one time did I vote for a Republican in a presidential election in my life, voting for Bob Dole in the 1966 Clinton-Bob Dole election. This statement is generally true, on the face of it. However, I had the thought today it could be misleading and I wish I had phrased it differently.

It is true I have primarily voted for Republicans in local elections because I knew them personally or someone I knew knew them as good and honorable people who would do the right thing in office and they just happened to be Republicans. I have always voted for Republican State Senator Jack Hill because I knew him personally and knew he was a good politician. I am not sure now however after giving the matter more thought that this would be “primarily voting for Republicans in local and state elections,” especially considering whether US senator and representative races would be considered local and state elections or national elections, since these politicians vote for federal legislation.

I have maybe never voted for Republicans in US Senator or Representative races because I disagree with the policies of the Republican Party on macro-economic and political issues, particularly regarding taxation, government regulation of business and the environment, healthcare, education, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and military spending, and it seems to me almost all politicians vote their party line once they get seated in the US Congress, however good and honorable they might have been back home.

After giving the matter more thought, I have probably voted for more Democrats than Republicans taking all elections I have voted in into account.

Regardless, I think both the Republican and the Democratic Parties in Washington have poorly performed in recent decades, and we need a new third party, a truly progressive party to insure the perpetuation of the human species. Here are some policies for such a party I invented, posted on our Effective Learning Company website, the FreeFairProgressParty, at http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html.