Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated

By Richard John Stapleton  

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

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

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

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

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

http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/31023-spaceship-earth-incorporated.html.

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.

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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—APRIL 2018

Or So It Seems To Me Today

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

During the past month the major concern has been wars and threats of wars and what President Trump might do about them. Unfortunately we are living in increasingly insecure and threatening times. Every day new reports of unrest, violence, and human suffering flash across our TV and computer screens.

Perhaps the biggest worry is the president himself. He says he is a smart stable genius. We were expected to believe from the beginning that he must be highly intelligent since he was so rich, and the implication was he was qualified to be president because of the experience he gained promoting business deals. Maybe so, but how could a fully rational intelligent person have the life history he has, including two failed marriages, several bankruptcies, a history of not paying his bills on time, and promiscuous sexual behavior with women of various sorts outside his marriages, which we have constantly heard about since he has been in office.

There is no evidence he has ever excelled in any sort of intellectual pursuits, good grades in school, serious academic study, or books or papers authored and published. You can tell by listening to him that he has a limited vocabulary and difficulties clearly and logically expressing facts, reasoning, and conclusions. He talks in short disjointed sentences mostly expressing predetermined dogmatic opinions, many of which are ad hominem slurs against critics and antagonists.  He sounds like a New York City mafia boss in an old gangster movie.

Is this the sort of person you want making life or death decisions affecting millions if not billions of people around Spaceship Earth?  Why couldn’t we have somebody like Captain Kirk on Star Trek for a leader?  For sure he’s not what I would want; but he’s what we’ve got, thanks to about half the voters who voted in the 2016 election. Since about fifty percent of eligible voters do not vote in US presidential elections, that means about twenty-five percent of the total eligible voters in the US elected Trump. You might say we are being ruled by a tyranny of a minority, thanks to fifty percent of US voters irresponsibly not voting. I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party in the last presidential election, a highly intelligent articulate woman with a MD degree and a good working knowledge of US and international politics.

Despite his many shortcomings Donald Trump promised when he was running for office he would get the US out of stupid wars (his words), increase spending on US infrastructure, and deal with foreign countries rationally. Instead, he has given the US military the largest budgetary spending increase in history, we are still fighting stupid wars, and little or no infrastructure has been constructed, with the possible exception of a few miles of work done on the wall between the US and Mexico he promised his voters.

A week or two ago Trump tweeted one day he was going to get us out of Syria, that he would be bringing the troops home, very soon, where they belong. A few days later he was tweeting he had decided to bomb Syria very soon because Assad had used chemical warfare against his own people, again. A few days later he was tweeting he had decided we might not bomb Syria very soon, implying we might not bomb them at all. A few days after that he went on television and told us the US had shot missiles into Syria, again, and may god bless America.

Nobody knows what’s going to happen now. It’s now been a few days since the missiles were fired and there have been scant reports of casualties or property damage. It appears they may have targeted places where few people would get killed, more or less faking a serious military attack. So far there have been no serious retaliations from the Russian government, and Trump is again tweeting we will be getting out of Syria soon, again, if the Syrians do not use chemical weapons against their own people, again.

All this happened despite the fact there is no proof showing the world that the Syrian government did in fact use chemical weapons against its own people, again. It may have been another false flag operation. There are several other ways chemical weapons could have been released other than by the Syrians, and as numerous reporters and analysts have pointed out Assad and the Syrian army would have had to be falling down stupid to use chemical weapons where they were found, in a part of the country in which the Syrian army had already defeated and routed the rebels.

Regardless, most likely we are going to have to put up with this sort of thing from now on, as long as Trump is in office, listening to him change his mind in tweets with no good leadership on anything. Some say Trump has been seriously threatened recently by the deep state and military people surrounding him in his administration are now telling him what to tweet and do.

It seems to me the only hope for indefinite human sustainability is to evolve better political, economic, and religious systems, and better ways for humans to relate to one another. While I have no fantasies about this happening anytime soon, it seems to me it might happen through time through synergistic learning, a phenomenon I have covered in my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” first published by MWC News (Media with Conscience) at http://mwcnews.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31023&catid=38&Itemid=125.  I first encountered synergistic learning, learning in whole systems not predicted by observing subsystems of the whole, in Buckminster Fuller’s book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

A major assumption of transactional analysis is that human feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are caused by stimuli people are exposed to as they live their lives and, therefore, it seems to me, if this is true, then people are not to blame or praise for what they feel, think, or do, and If this is true then all people are equally OK, not especially good or bad, but OK. In this light a poor homeless person considered mentally ill would be equal to someone like Donald Trump, having been caused by the same sort of causative forces.

As I point out in my TA books, it seems to me there are three basic types of OKness: existential, subjective, and objective. Existential OKness is what I just discussed, people being equally OK by virtue of coming into this world without asking for it, and being gradually shaped and formed by stimuli as they live. Subjective OKness is how a person subjectively perceives and judges her or his self, other individuals, groups to which one belongs, other groups one perceives as different, and the world in general. While these perceptions vary in terms of positive and negative social merit existentially they are equally OK because they were automatically caused to happen. Objective OKness is how OK one is in light of measurable criteria, for health, wealth, education, strength, intelligence, achievements, accomplishments, and the like. It seems to me global OKness would significantly increase if all people would take into account the relevance of all three types of OKness. While objective OKness would necessarily be most relevant in daily working lives, world peace and Earthian OKness would be increased if existential and subjective OKness were acknowledged by all people in all groups and organizations around Spaceship Earth.

In a nutshell, as I discussed and demonstrated using matrix algebra in my article, “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” it seems to me for long term survival the human species must evolve a computerized mathematical management system to produce and fairly distribute the necessities of life for a reduced human population aboard Spaceship Earth, which requires something like a one woman/one child rule for several generations to peacefully reduce the human population through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births.  There is no way humans can have infinite population growth on a planet with finite resources that are rendered useless or harmful in production and consumption processes.

Most mainstream media play a psychological Game of GREENHOUSE, participating 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, i.e. harming or destroying the whole system by maximizing subsystems, 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.

Following in the EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST are some outstanding articles and one audio interview recently published in various media around Spaceship Earth, primarily Internet media, shining light on relevant states of affairs.  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.”

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

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

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

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

 

April 11

As I pointed out in my “Br’er Trump Burrowed Up In His White House Briar Patch” article in the Intrepid Report at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23879, in some ways Donald Trump is a psychological Victim, and if Luongo’s article immediately below is correct Trump’s fate will not be a good one. The raid on his lawyer’s office may have been the coup de grace. As I pointed out in my Br’re Trump article I think Trump basically wanted to do the right thing for ordinary people when he ran for office, and here lately he has shown signs he still wants to do it, however confusing his ways might be; but assuming Luongo is right in this article he has now been neutralized by the shadow state. As Luongo shows with compelling logic in this article it appears somebody has been writing fake tweets for him in the last day or so, or at least changing words in those he does write.

Luongo believes Internet media making it possible for ordinary people to learn facts around Spaceship Earth in real time is making it possible for them to really understand what is going on, enabling them to reduce the power of military-industrial-intelligence complexes to start wars with fake news and lies, since ordinary people for the first time in history knowing what is going on can take corrective political action. If so this is a major breakthrough for humanity around Spaceship Earth.

SOURCE: “The Coup is Complete – Trump is Done,” by Tom Luongo, TOMLUONGO.COM, https://tomluongo.me/2018/04/11/the-coup-is-complete-trump-is-done/.

 

April 16, 2018

This US Marine in a great video minces no words telling us why we should not bomb Syria.

SOURCE: “When A US Marine Drops A Massive Truth Bomb,” by Ken O’Keefe, NEONNETTLE.COM, a video at https://www.facebook.com/neonnettle/videos/1180361458730023/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDM0OTY1MTE4NjoxNzQ3MTA3MjkxOTc3NTc2/ .

 

April 16

Could not agree more.

SOURCE: “The American Military System Dissected: How to explain the paradox of a superb military that never gets the job done?,” by Andrew J. Bacevich, TRUTHDIG.COM, at https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-american-military-system-dissected/ .

 

April 16

So it seems.

Here is one of Mad Dog Mattis’s more famous quotes in 2005: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2005/02/gene-f07.htmlFeb 7, 2005 – “You know, it’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up front with you, I like brawling.” The general, also known as “Mad Dog Mattis,” led the 1st Marine Division during the initial invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq, and returned to command marines during the occupation of Iraq, where …

Fun to shoot “some people”,  including women and children?

SOURCE: “Trump is Done, Mattis Won, Thank the Gods” by Tom Luongo, TOMLUONGO.ME, https://tomluongo.me/2018/04/14/trump-is-done-mattis-won-thank-the-gods/.

 

April 16

Say It Aint So Joe.

SOURCE: “Take The Red Pill – The History Of Syrian False Flags,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-15/take-red-pill-history-syrian-false-flags-exposed.

 

April 16

Was the Syrian bombing a criminal offense? We shall see.

SOURCE: “Syria: What Just Happened?,” by Eric Zuesse, STRATEGICCULTURE.ORG, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/15/what-just-happened.html.

 

April 15

Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “Market Farce,” by Frank Scott, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23920.

 

April 15

Mouthpiece Trump’s mouthpiece Nikki Haley in the UN is even more clueless than he is.

SOURCE: “Global Leaders Condemn Trump’s ‘Scorn for International Law’ as Haley Threatens More Possible Air Strikes,” by Julia Conley, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23920.

 

April 15

Robots are nothing to worry about.

SOURCE: “ROBOTS causing millions of job losses could lead to the rise of communism,” by Jerry Lawton, DAILYSTAR.CO.UK, https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/696123/robots-cause-job-losses-could-lead-communism-bank-of-england.

 

April 15

It’s beginning to look like the UK ruling class is as greedy and power hungry as the US deep state.

SOURCE: “The British Government’s Legal Justification for Bombing is Entirely False and Without Merit,” by Craig Murray, CRAIGMURRAY.ORG, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/the-british-governments-legal-justification-for-bombing-is-entirely-false-and-without-merit/.

 

April 14

Trump’s tweets do make interesting reading sometimes. Take a look at this selection.

SOURCE: “’These Freedom Fighters Fly Planes Into Our Buildings’—A List of the Times Trump Warned Against Attacking Syria,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-14/these-freedom-fighters-want-fly-planes-our-buildings-heres-list-all-times-trump.

 

April 14

Another good summary of world affairs by Jim Rickards.

SOURCE: “Russia’s Real Endgame,” by Jim Rickards ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-12/russias-real-endgame.

 

April 14

Another sane analysis.

SOURCE: “Taking the World to the Brink of Annihilation,” by Rick Sterling, ORIENTALREVIEW.ORG, https://orientalreview.org/2018/04/10/taking-the-world-to-the-brink-of-annihilation/.

 

April 12

David Stockman lays it out in this three part article series. Trump has been taken over by the deep state that is determined to have another war come hell or high water. I used to give the Pentagon and the CIA credit for knowing more about whether we should  go to war than most people. But no more.  Look at what has happened because of destroying Iraq.

Not only is Stockman a great writer, he has walked the walk of politics and economics, having served as a US budget director under Ronald Reagan and as a US Representative in Congress, before a career on Wall Street.

SOURCE: “The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 1: There Will Be War,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE,COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-12/deep-state-closes-donald-part-1.

 

April 13

Stockman in part 2 nails it. Trump has fully capitulated to the deep state, and thus he announced the US attack on Syria tonight, along with the UK and France. We are all victims now and we can only wait to see how many people will be killed and how much more property and treasure will be destroyed, probably including US citizens on US territory if WWIII gets triggered.

SOURCE: “The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 2: Mueller’s War,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/deep-state-closes-donald-part-2-muellers-war.

 

April 14

David Stockman, one of the best blogsters out there, tells it like is regarding Trump and his predicament, in Part 3.

SOURCE: “The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 3: The Capture is Complete,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-14/deep-state-closes-donald-part-3-capture-complete.

 

April 13

On the march toward a full blown police state in the US.  This is an excellent article by a constitutional lawyer.

SOURCE: “The slippery slope to a Constitution-free America,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23934.

 

April 13

Another audio economic update by Richard Wolff, must listening for anyone wanting to stay informed about relevant economic problems and issues.

SOURCE: “Economic Update: Distorting Economic Truths,” Audio presentation, by Richard Wolff, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/44155-economic-update-distorting-economic-truths.

 

April 12

Another article by Paul Street, a great writer.

SOURCE: “When is Hysteria Treason,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/12/when-is-hysteria-treason/.

 

April 13

Another blogster has been paying attention.

SOURCE: “Hot War and Cold Markets,” by Raul Ilargi Meijer, THEAUTOMATICEARTH.COM, https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2018/04/hot-war-and-cold-markets/.

 

April 12

There will always be wars and rumors of wars – the Christian bible. This dogmatic statement still rings true, but let’s hope it gets proved wrong before too long. Excellent essay by one of the best bloggers out there.

SOURCE; “Warmonger’s Remorse,” by James Howard Kunstler, KUNSTLER.COM, http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/warmongers-remorse/#.WtF2tziWgsw.facebook.

 

April 13

This is not false or fake news just because the foreign minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, said it. It is beginning to seem that the UK and France are about as dependent on manufacturing war weapons and materials for export as the US. The US, UK, and France are now allies in Eastern Europe fighting for resources in the Ukraine and elsewhere against Russia. Germany and Italy dropped out of the war against Syria. It’s going to get lonely if Germany and Italy ally with Russia and China. One can build the case the US, UK, and France should also cooperate with Russia and China rather than try to undermine them. One can build the case all nations should cooperate with one another rather than try to undermine one another, but they probably won’t do it because it would put military-industrial-intelligence complexes out of business.

SOURCE: “Russia Has ‘Irrefutable Evidence’ UK Staged Syrain Chemical Attack,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/russia-has-irrefutable-evidence-uk-staged-syrian-chemical-attack.

 

April 12

Some great wisdom here.

SOURCE: “I’m Not Right, Left, Or Center – I’m A Free-Thinking Human…,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-12/im-not-right-left-or-center-im-free-thinking-human.

 

April 9

Here’s another excellent essay by Courtenay Barnett in which he chronicles recent events involving the US and the UK and their new leaders Trump and May showing how both countries have tried to slander and undermine Russia with fake news about chemical warfare in the UK and Syria.

This article contains an embedded video of US President Dwight David Eisenhower delivering his famous warning about the threat posed by the US military-industrial complex when he left office in 1961.

SOURCE: “A Sermon of Two Blunders,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-sermon-of-two-blunders/.

 

April 12

Good question and a good analysis by Patrick Cockburn, a world class investigative reporter.

SOURCE: “How Can We Know If a Chemical Weapons Attack Took Place in Syria,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/12/how-can-we-know-if-a-chemical-weapons-attack-took-place-in-syria/.

 

April 12

Why go to war in Syria? To destroy the Assad government? That might start a war with Russia? Are people nuts or what?

Pathetic warmongering. Complacent population. Seem to think war is fun. Last week Trump said we would be coming home from Syria very soon, where we belong. Now all of a sudden, after Bolton, his new military adviser, got in the White House everybody seems to think for some unknown reason war with Syria sounds like a great idea. Are people bored? Or what. Do they really think destroying another weak government would be a fun, moral, or profitable thing to do? It’s insane. No more war! Unless a nation should seriously threaten the US militarily. People, buildings, homes, and treasures get destroyed in wars. Why do it if you do not have to do it to protect yourself? Call it what it is, vandalism and theft. Several wrongs do not make a right. Just because the leaders of France and the UK want to destroy Syria, that does not mean the US should.

SOURCE: “Corporate Media Reprise Iraq in Beating War Drums for Trump Attack on Syria,” by Jake Johnson, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/44144-showing-they-learned-nothing-from-iraq-corporate-media-help-beat-war-drums-for-trump-attack-on-syria.

 

April 13

Here is the best map I have seen showing what is going on in Syria.

SOURCE: “A Map Of The Syrian War: Who Is Who (And Where),” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/map-syrian-war-who-who-and-where.

 

April 13

Here we go again as if watching fireworks on the fourth of July.

SOURCE: “Trump Orders Syrian Military Strikers, 3 Waves of Airstrikes Launched at Various Targets,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/watch-live-president-trump-expected-announce-military-strikes-syria-tonight.

 

April 13

The tragedy in Syria

Bombs, Bombs, and more Bombs

I knew when I wrote this article there was some chance Trump would bomb Syria, but I did not know how probable or imminent it was. I thought there was some chance Trump might refuse to go along with the deep state, but I was wrong. He is now a mouthpiece for the deep state. He is a victim, the deep state is the persecutor, and the immediate victims are the Syrians who will die in the bombing. If this sets off WWIII we the people of the US will be victims too.

SOURCE: “Br’re Trump Burrowed Up In His White House Briar Patch,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/brer-trump-burrowed-up-in-his-white-house-briar-patch/.

 

March 23

Here’s another great article by Courtenay Barnett, an historical overview explaining how the US developed some of its most significant foreign policies.  Be sure to watch this video along with the article at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSLF1gYhzek.

SOURCE: “Today’s sermon – hope for America,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/todays-sermon-hope-for-america/.

 

March 22

Lest we forget how far astray the US can be led, let this be read.

SOURCE: “The Phoenix Program, My Lai and the ‘Tiger Cages’,” by Douglas Valentine, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-phoenix-program-my-lai-and-the-tiger-cages/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

By Richard John Stapleton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus professor of organizational behavior and business policy and a certified transactional analyst, who writes on business and politics at www.effectivelearning.net. He is the author of Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A SERMON OF TWO BLUNDERS

by Courtenay Barnett

Hear ye…hear ye…hear ye. Today’s sermon is the “Sermon of two blunders” in this, the second quarter of the year 2018 anno domini.

Be warned – I am a full time lawyer and a part time preacher. The lawyering is done in the name of justice; the preaching is done in the name of the almighty truth. Both pursuits are likely to be lifelong: for ‘justice’ is an illusive ideal and ‘truth’ can be both illusive and some say even ‘illusory’. Nevertheless, let us reason towards a ‘truth’ based on assumptions of facts and logic. Should we abandon both facts and logic then we are indeed left in that illusory world of thoughts and ideas devoid of any anchored expression and ultimately – any meaning. So, if we are seeking truth and meaning then advance we must with our sermon for words shall be used, thoughts shall be expressed and truth shall be pursued.

Imagine, if you will, being in a movie theatre. The projector just started rolling – but – you don’t know yet what the film will be. It could be a film based on fact or fiction – truth or lies – illusion or reality. Watch and listen and we shall see.

The projector starts to launch its early images on to the screen. You see there Prime Minister Theresa May and next to her is President Donald Trump. There the film starts. We now know that the movie is entitled, “Two blunders”. With sound reason we might then safely assume that we have just seen the image of the two blunderers who shall star in the movie.

And it came to pass that the United Kingdom declared several Russian diplomats, persona non grata. Washington gave support with expulsion of sixty Russian diplomats.

The United States of America, for its part, decided to inflict trade tariffs against China.

There are the two blunders which we shall examine closely in our sermon.

The simple question – is – why? Why blame the Russians; why impose trade tariffs? Those are easy questions for the sermon, while the really difficult task is to combine the two blunders into the whole picture of looming disaster. So, good people, be attentive.

United Kingdom and the Skripal affair

Who is Sergei Skripal?

He is a Russian military intelligence officer, a colonel, who was also a double agent working for the United Kingdom’s intelligence services ( MI6).

He was discovered by his homeland as a double-agent and in 2006 he was sentenced to prison in Russia for 13 years for treason.

He was subsequently exchanged in a spy swap and set free from Russia and his prison term. The Russian authorities estimated that the UK had paid Skripal a total of $100,000 or about $20,000 annually for five years. This latter point will be reverted to.

On the 4th March, 2018 along with his daughter, Yulia, he was poisoned in Salisbury, England.

Thereafter the story becomes an international news item and the Government of the UK, PM May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, loudly proclaimed that the Skripals were poisoned by Russia and a complicit President Putin.

The plot thickened and lead to blunder number one. But, before we consider why so, let us visit the background on blunder number two then revert to both for careful consideration in attempting a holistic approach in this our almighty sermon.

United States of America and China trade tariffs.

Karl von Clausewitz made this expression famous, “war is a continuation of politics by other means.”

Quite seriously, when one observes the leadership of Donald Trump, one has to wonder whether when applying von Clausewitz’s maxim a reversal to “ politics is a continuation of war”, might not be more appropriate for Trump’s actions, for the sheer belligerence of his audacious outbursts. Makes one wonder whether Trump’s politics, as practised, is not a steady push for and continual pursuit of the next war. Fabrications are the indicatory signs that the perpetrators of the fabrications, the lies, untruths and reasons ( casus belli – if you like) are directed along a trajectory which the military-industrial complex approves of. Let us divert a little:-

The architect of the ‘Cold War’ , George Kennan, said this:-

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”

And he also said this:-

“The United States cannot reshape other countries in its own image and that, with a few exceptions, its efforts to police the world are neither in its interests nor within the scope of its resources. This whole tendency to see ourselves as the center of political enlightenment and as teachers to a great part of the rest of the world strikes me as unthought-through, vainglorious and undesirable.”

There you have prescient commentaries from a US perspective which accurately saw US/Soviet relations within the context of a policy of containment; versus the inherently inane pursuit of US foreign policy projection of global power and militaristic adventurism. So, from a serious thinker to Donald Trump as President.

While this is a serious matter of a trade-war, with implications for US/China relations and implications for the wider world economy, then to demonstrate and, of engendered necessity, mock President Trump’s conduct, the trade tariff’s commencement and implementation might be summed up as follows.

The headlines announce:-

“Trump threatens China with $100bn more in tariffs as response to Beijing’s ‘unfair retaliation’”

So, in Trumpland, the sequence of events might be summarised as…

Mr. A slaps Mr. B.

Mr. B returns a slap to Mr. A.

Mr. A then says, “unfair retaliation”.

Oh – so B should just have absorbed the slap like a good little boy; or – did A for a moment, before delivering the first slap, think that maybe, just maybe, B might slap back.

Sorry my friends, for being trite – but – even in my court work a little humour can creep in. This version just rushed into the room…slam..wham…bam….ouch!

End game equals being hit with counters by China and ultimately compelled talks at the governmental level to address the trade imbalance between China/US and probably finally a rational outcome despite all of Trump’s ‘fire and fury’.

The wider picture

In the case of Trump’s trade-war, he clearly has not thought through the implications of what he is doing. What he is doing is playing, in a dangerous, stupid and irrational manner, to an approving local political audience of supporters. Events, however, will overtake him and the negotiating table will be forced to the front because the fallout for both the US and China does not auger well for long-term economic and financial sustainability.

There is a sort of crude analogy to be made between the China trade-war and BREXIT. Both involve a biting off of the economic nose to please the political face, only to find out as events unfold that the choice really does produce a rather undesirable and ugly outcome. Anyway, it is done and the game has to be played out as the fait accompli invites damage control as a natural and ultimate necessary reaction.

So far as the UK government’s claims of Russia’s culpability is concerned the facts can be examined to find the truth:-

  1. Skripal’s professional history is as stated above.
  2. Russia is not the only state with the ability to produce the nerve agent which poisoned the Skripals ( i.e the colonel and his daughter).
  3. PM Theresa May at a very early stage pronounced Russian culpability, yet had no evidence then or now to prove any case against Russia.
  4. There is and always was a framework, under international law, that was applicable to the Skripal case, which the UK simply sidelined and ignored compliance with.
  5. Boris Johnson, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, likewise professes Russian guilt.
  6. Why did the British Government lie and state that dozens of people had been affected by the alleged nerve agent? There is a letter from the Salisbury Hospital’s consultant, Dr Stephen Davies, who wrote to The Times newspaper saying:-

“no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.”

  1. The British Government went further and embarked on an anti-Russia campaign by circulating a six-page document to 80 foreign embassies in Moscow which set out the UK’s “case” for blaming Russia.

 

  1. One hundred and ninety two states are members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the applicable law under the Chemical Weapons Convention 1993. Thus, the UK and Russia are included and the starting point should be the applicable protocols of this organistaion and the applicable law. So, why would the UK refuse to provide a sample to the OPCW?
  2. The UK, contrary to that aforestated piece of international law, and again in relation to the other applicable piece of international law, has isolated the Skripals – yet it stands that the Vienna Convention 1963, does actually apply, in terms:-

“(1) (a) A consular officer shall be entitled within the consular district to communicate with, interview and advise a national of the sending state and it may render him every assistance including, where necessary, arranging for aid and advice in legal matters.

(b) No restriction shall be placed by the receiving state upon the access of a national of the sending state to the consulate or upon communication by him with the consulate.

So, the Russian consular staff do have a right of lawful access to the Skripals, unless the Skiprals both have said they don’t at all want any contact with any diplomatic representative of their native country.

  1. The OPCW having been endorsed by both the UK and Russian sides, find that PM May has been trying to avoid the OPCW participation, and rushed to judgment while an OPCW investigation with blood samples to determine the nerve agents with any traces of any chemical warfare records and/or identifiers to link to a culpable party were still pending. The British blood sampling would, to my legal mind, have to be associated with a verifiable chain of custody, failing which, what May by reference to the OPCW standards and established legal principles of evidence, really has yet to comply and stand up to the standard of proof I have had to deal with for over 30 years of practice in courts of law ( comply – at least up to the time of my writing this ‘sermon’). So, pardon my less than judicious language – but what a “right royal cock-up on the part of both May and Johnson.” A serpentine concoction of lies, might be a more elegant way of putting it. What is emerging from the relevant facts, as same trickles out into the public domain, is a really botched UK political and legal job. .

The reality

  1. In a case such as the Skripals’ poisoning, there is a duty on the part of the UK Government to give the OPCW a sample of the poison for examination. The UK, meanwhile dances outside the main ball room and shouts to the world that the Russians sent poison inside into the UK. So, what of OPCW findings being made, before proclaiming guilt of a President or country? We therefore have, in factual and sequential terms, a situation like that of the mad Queen in Alice in Wonderland; sentence before verdict: conviction without evidence.
  2. The Porton Down *experts have been unable to state exactly where the poison came from. So – how can or could PM May have accurately stated – Russia? Why did Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson lie that Porton Down stated categorically that it was Russia – when they never said any such thing?

 

  • Porton Down: it is a site of the UK’s Ministry of Defence’s Science and Technology Laboratory, near Salisbury, Witshire, England. It is the most significant military research facility in the UK.

 

  1. The UK, it seems, by pushing this warfare with Russia agenda, then obviously if pursued to its logical end, it could lead to extremely destructive forces being unleashed into the world. What do I think? This is all happening within a BREXIT disengagement period. Thus the Skripal allegations are focused on both politically and economically deflecting UK public opinion focus on the disaster for the UK which BREXIT actually is. So – Britain post- BREXIT might become a basket case, but just divert public and international attention instead to a fabricated accusation against Russia ( so far it is working with the assistance of a complicit mainstream media which comes no where even near to commenting on or, heaven forbid, even asking the kind of questions this sermon raises). The UK as a vassal state of the US,  is also assisting the US long-term agenda, of which President Eisenhower warned; so, the economic competitor EU has to be challenged/ distanced from/destroyed even – and because it is a main competitor of the UK’s ally, the US, then the US agenda and preservation of the petrodollar fits well into this scripting for the UK’s anti-Russia/Putin protestations *. Left to its own economic devices, Russia would simply develop and sell a lot more of its oil and gas via pipelines into Europe. A geographically and economically sound and sensible choice for Europe – but – not so if viewed from an American geopolitical perspective.

 

  • Recall that Saddam Hussein had pledged to sell Iraqi oil in the Euro, after UN sanctions ended, and end the petrodollar purchases. Analysing recent historical events, one finds that it is far cheaper for Russia to run a pipeline into Europe and sell its gas and oil at much more competitive prices than the US could ever match by shipping mainly fracked US oil across the Atlantic ( and in what currency would Russia do this via the then intended ‘Southstream’ project into, initially, Bulgaria?) Sanctions were then implemented as targeted by the US and directed against the Russian energy sector and thereby set out to cripple Russian economic aspirations to have more EU countries as primary buyers of affordable Russian gas and oil; and the EU replicates the US sanctions. Ha…quite helpful to set out to shut off the most logical European oil and gas supply from existing pipelines from Russia, or prevent intended expansion of oil and gas and/or agri-business with Russia. Geopolitics in play and so the vassal, UK state, has its role to play in this Skripal unfolding development – which logically one can link from one set of events to another and then discern the geopolitical and economic underlay.

 

Conclusion

The controversy over Russia links to trillions of dollars in potential warfare earnings ( the kind of observation that General/President Dwight D. Eisenhower had warned of):-

So, that is what probably is presently afoot, with the demonisation of the Russian President and the accusation being made about Russian state culpability which leads to potential largesse to benefit the bureaucratic warfare-state parasites and defence contractors. Same lot who want war and would simply suck further the lifeblood out of the American people while bringing the world closer to global disaster. The UK plays its political part, while the US continues to push its global agenda of “full spectrum dominance”. Global hegemony as a central US foreign policy objective in play.

For anyone seriously interested in how the world really works and not so much listening to the journalistic echoes and misrepresentations – then watch this ( link below) and then read what I had to say in 2006:-

 

The Crisis of Civilization – Full Length Documentary Movie HD

 

Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies

 

Truth be told, both May and Trump have been lying. Both when pressed on the facts, can be seen to be comic figures for the ludicrous nature of their public behaviour. As the movie advances to its conclusion, the initial comedy may ultimately turn out to be a tragedy. Beyond that – then, just think and act as an informed individual.

So endeth my sermon for today.

PEACE AND AMEN!

Footnote: Clients should not lie to their lawyers; politicians should not lie to their citizenry. In both instances the mendacity can lead to disastrous and tragic results. Let’s then ask some pertinent questions and find out for ourselves via the answers:-

Credibility of the US and UK

  1. Was it the US via then Secretary of State, Colin Powel, who made a calculated fallacious presentation to the UN Security Council to justify an attack on Iraq?
  2. Was it then Prime Minister Tony Blair who willingly endorsed the US position on advancing the attack on Iraq?
  3. Did there exist a document called the “Downing Street Memorandum” which confirmed that the UK had signed on and fully committed to a US attack on Iraq a year before the illegal invasion of Iraq was launched?
  4. Did the then head of the United Nations monitoring, verification and inspection commission as Chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, not indicate that no WMDs had been found; and did he, or did he not, actively seek to have a final extension of 6 weeks before any war was launched, first to ensure and assure that the reason being advanced by the main protractors for war did first fully and finally ascertain whether or not WMDs existed in Iraq – which offer the US and UK flatly rejected?

 

N.B. Hans Blix, being fully cognizant of the implications of a war being commenced against Iraq, quite rationally and reasonably, wanted the US and UK to see the angles concerning WMDs not intuitively, but in actual measured and verifiable terms. This analogy is here drawn, for the OPCW internationally and Porton Down, domestically, actually exist to provide that verifiability. The kind of verifiability ( any reasonable person would have expected the US and UK at the time to have obtained before attacking Iraq; or – for that matter PM Theresa May attacking and condemning Vladimir Putin and Russia). So, the common link if engaging in a complete process of verification before condemnation and then making pronouncements after the conclusion of such a process instead of before. In a logical way of proceeding – evidence first; condemnation after. What we really have in the Western MSM is condemnation first; evidence, if any, after.

 

  1. Did over a million human beings finally lose their lives after the US and UK proceeded along the trajectory, adumbrated and listed as 1 to 4 above, devoid of verification and evidence?
  2. Were the US and UK caught fabricating evidence of Syria using chemical weapons against the Syrian people?
  3. In light of 1 to 6 above and this ‘sermon’ – is it outlandish to conclude that the US and UK were complicit in advancing a war of aggression contrary to the provisions of international law, and more precisely, the provisions of the UN Charter, Article 1?
  4. What rational sense is there to be gleaned when a low level double-agent who was in Russian gaol was not then killed while in custody, is, at a time when Russia is to host the World Cup subsequently to be killed on British soil, when his ‘value of any significance’ to the UK was a paltry $20,000 per year? Does this attempted murder allegedly inflicted by the Russian state stand up to serious questioning, scrutiny and logic?

The logic of a trade-war

  1. Was it under then President Nixon and Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, that a rapprochement with China in the early 1970s was arrived at with concomitant economic and trade relations being established on a large scale which has inured to this day?
  2. Did US corporations not benefit for several decades from comparatively a more attractive production environment in China from:-
  3. Significantly lower labour costs;
  4. Virtual absence of environmental standards laws;
  5. Absence of constrictive labour laws as, from a US corporations perspective, exists in the US;
  6. Absence of pension benefits to workers;
  7. Much lower safety standards in the Chinese factory and work place;
  8. Consequentially – much more affordable end products on the shelves in the US at places such as Walmart?

       So – who, if anyone, forced the US to enter into such economic relations with China?

  1. Is China in the same economic condition in the 1970s as it is now in 2018 – and – if not, then can the US effectively flex unilateral political muscle now as it could have back then in the early 1970s?
  2. If China has leverage over US Treasury Bills and other financial US instruments then can any assumption of US political demands and dictatorship over China be considered and viewed as either logical or realistic in the existing symbiotic economic relationship between China and the US?

Conclusion: If you want to start becoming aware of dubious US and UK conduct and very sceptical about the recent moves made by Prime Minister May and President Trump then answer the questions and draw your own factual and/or inferential conclusions without me preaching.

_____________________________________________________

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

 

Today’s sermon – hope for America.

by Courtenay Barnett

There is no need for obscurantist speculations about world affairs. In very clear and historically precise terms one can see why and how America, as the world’s most powerful nation, has reached where it has at this time. With just Nixon, China and the military-industrial complex expenditures as reference points one can see in very clear economic terms what has transpired from the early 1970s until the present day.

In the early 1970s then President Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, made a rapprochement with China using cheap Chinese labour combined with the investment of American capital to ensure huge profits for American capital (cheap labour; no union challenges; no environment protection legislation to contend with; no pension obligations etc = huge profits – for a while for American corporations). China, during the same period purchased huge amounts of American debt and holds today significant amounts of Treasury Bills etc. ( i.e. China could tank the US economy if it made a call on all the outstanding debt; it won’t; no good biting off your financial nose to spite your economic face – it is a symbiotic relationship which exists of which the Chinese are well aware of as they now invest usable US dollars globally while the dollar still has some value).

Add A and B together and include now the size of the defence budget relative to the demands of the military-industrial complex and you will clearly see the challenge which America is presently facing. Conclusion: one simply cannot continue printing fiat money and expect an economy to thrive and survive.

So, how do you change the process of decline of the US economy? Simple. For all the pontification and pontificators circulating on the internet, they can put this in their intellectual pipes and take a good draw on those ideas and then in reverse order, apply the following process, for the benefit of the American people and by extension, the vast majority of humankind:-

C Substantially reduce the budget relative to the military-industrial complex’s demands on public expenditures. For, there is an opportunity cost to be paid for the directing of such a large proportion of the US budget to arms production, militarism and war.

B Design a transitional global financial plan which fully includes, for starters, the national interests of the so-called BRICS nations.

A Set out to recapitalise the US domestic economy on a basis which factors in the social needs of ordinary American people while simultaneously making job space to absorb the steadily declining military human spill over from the reduced military-industrial complex.

Simple.

Or, continue to believe the ‘fake news’ ( yes – really – a lot of what is circulating on the internet and in MSM, does not want people to look at the most obvious explanations staring everyone in the face). To look at the financial and economic elephant in the Congressional room is also to discern that there is a better way. Alas, Congress is bought and paid for. And, the US status quo (assisted by a complicit MSM) simply therefore never finger the true foundational and structural roots of the America’s economic problem – for then the people’s eyes will start to be opened. Thus – just blame the Mexicans; the immigrants; the Blacks; the Muslims; the whoevers – but never, never look at the economic and financial fundamentals to then try from that foundational understanding to then extrapolate into addressing the obvious pressing and real difficulties the American economy is facing.

But – who am I to say – that most of the MSM analysts argue around the core source of the problem but rarely, if ever, start from the core and reason therefrom outwards?

Obfuscate as much as possible, feed false information, fake news and confound any chance of ordinary people beginning their understanding of the underlying structural problems at the core of America’s economic problems – which affect them.

Yeah – the armchair revolutionary can say what he wants for he shall but recline in his armchair when all is said and little is done.

AMEN!

 

For years I have observed, read and written on world affairs. I had been accepted as a post-graduate student to read International Relations, but I changed my mind and focused solely on a career in the law. My intention at that time was to become a diplomat. However, despite abandoning that ambition and substituting it with an activist practice in the law, I have never lost my interest in world affairs – and would therefore describe myself as a self-educated student of world affairs.

So – read and/or listen to each piece – and – hopefully there will be a realistic and comprehensive, objective understanding of some of the major tenets which presently drive our world. Not a majority of global issues here broached, by any stretch of the imagination, but at least a lucid introduction to some of the immediate and major ones – oil – the avowed violation of the concept of sovereignty – US Presidential racism – and so on. I shall confine myself to the post World War 11 period – for that is what the past 30 plus years of my readings have mainly focused on. The list of 5 issues below, for me is a brief refresher course. For all to whom I forward this email – it is also an invitation to share ideas, disagree with me at will, make comments if so motivated to do – and – please do so and tell me where I got it wrong.

1. The structure of the post World War II period based on American ascendance. First – one needs to be acquainted with the name “George Keenan”, who was the US architect of the “Cold War”. He can be googled, but I share with you some of his more prescient observations:-

“We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”― George F. Kennan

( i.e. he is speaking here of what imperialism actually is – and – I observe that this is not a mere aberration. To better understand what I am conveying – please watch the youtube video of General Wesley Clark below)

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”― George F. Kennan

2. One needs to understand that the basis for making sustainable argument is to back same with unassailable empirical evidence. Any properly trained scientist would have been taught this. The empirical evidence of US/NATO global aggression is there for all to see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E

3. On a smaller scale I forewarned of what Libya would become after the imperialists attacked that country.  In Pazambuka, the largest of all Africa online news publications, my article was published:-

https://www.pambazuka.org/human-security/natos-neo-colonial-war-whither-international-law

4. On a non-racist – and progressive note, the same publication accepted my submission on President Trump:-

https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/president-trump-and-past-and-present-cognitive-dissonance

5. And – as a catalyst for global conflict, I explained my views and observations on the Iraq invasion, in this piece. I was invited to give a public lecture, which I did, and it was the US State Department official in attendance who asked the most questions of me ( but – details of that for another time):-

Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies

HAPPY READING.
Courtenay

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.

The Phoenix Program, My Lai and the “Tiger Cages”

by douglas valentine

http://free.freespeech.org/americanstateterrorism/vietnamgenocide/MyLaiPhoenix.html

bookcover features a painting of the Phung Hoang, the Vietnamese phoenix bird, standing on a map of Vietnam.  It looks basically like a very colorful rooster.

The following excerpt from The Phoenix Program, by Douglas Valentine, is from Chapter 24: “Transgressions”. It deals with the My Lai massacre and the infamous “Tiger Cages.”

The chapter notes are given at the end of the text, together with a glossary from the book for terms relevant to this chapter. For the reader’s convenience, the more obscure terms are given as links to the glossary on this page, and you can return to the text by clicking on the [Back] link after each glossary term.

This excerpt is posted here with the kind permission of the author.

The My Lai Massacre

The My Lai massacre was first reported in March 1969, one full year after the event. In April 1969, because of congressional queries, the case was given to the Army inspector general, and in August Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland turned the case over to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). In November 1969 Seymour Hersh broke the story, telling how 504 Vietnamese civilians were massacred by members of a U.S. infantry company attached to a special battalion called Task Force Barker.

Ten days after Hersh broke the story, Westmoreland ordered General William Peers to conduct an official inquiry. Evan Parker contended to me that Peers got the job because he was not a West Point graduate.
2 However, Peers’s close ties to the CIA may also have been a factor. In World War II, Peers had commanded OSS Detachment 101, in which capacity he had been Evan Parker’s boss. In the early 1950s he had been the CIA’s chief of training and its station chief in Taiwan, and as SACSA in 1966 Peers had worked with the CIA in formulating pacification policy. Having had several commands in Vietnam, he was well aware of how the war was being conducted. But the most conclusive evidence linking Peers to the CIA is the report he submitted in March 1970, which was not made available to the public until 1974 and which carefully avoided implicating the CIA.

The perfunctory trials that followed the Peers inquiry amounted to slaps on the wrist for the defendants and fueled rumors of a cover-up. Of the thirty people named in the report, charges were brought against sixteen, four were tried, and one was convicted. William Calley’s sentence was quickly reduced, and in conservative quarters he was venerated as a hero and scapegoat. Likewise, the men in Calley’s platoon were excused as victims of VC terror and good soldiers acting under orders. Of nearly two thousand Americans surveyed by Time magazine, 65 percent denied being upset.

Yet, if most Americans were willing to accept the massacre as necessary to ensure their security, why the cover-up? Why was the massacre portrayed as an isolated incident?

On August 25, 1970, an article appeared in The New York Times hinting that the CIA, through Phoenix, was responsible for My Lai. The story line was advanced on October 14, when defense attorneys for David Mitchell — a sergeant accused and later cleared of machine-gunning scores of Vietnamese in a drainage ditch in My Lai — citing Phoenix as the CIA’s “systematic program of assassination,” named Evan Parker as the CIA officer who “signed documents, certain blacklists,” of Vietnamese to be assassinated in My Lai.3 When we spoke, Parker denied the charge.

A defense request to subpoena Parker was denied, as was a request to view the My Lai blacklist. Outside the courtroom CIA lawyer John Greaney insisted that the agency was “absolutely not” involved in My Lai. When asked if the CIA had ever operated in My Lai, Greaney replied, “I don’t know.”

But as has been established in this book, the CIA had one of its largest contingents in Quang Ngai Province. [See: Map of South Vietnam – pop-up window] Especially active were its Census Grievance cadre, directed by the Son Tinh District RD Cadre intelligence chief, Ho Ngoc Hui, whose VNQDD cadres were in My Lai on the day prior to the massacre. A Catholic from North Vietnam, Hui reportedly called the massacre “a small matter.”
4

To understand why the massacre occurred, it helps to know that in March 1968 cordon and search operations of the type Task Force Barker conducted in My Lai were how RD Cadre intelligence officers contacted their secret agents. The Peers report does not mention that, or that in March 1968 the forty-one RD teams operating in Quang Ngai were channeling information on VCI through Hui to the CIA’s paramilitary adviser, who shared it with the province Phoenix coordinator.

The Phoenix coordinator in Quang Ngai Province at the time of the My Lai massacre was Robert B. Ramsdell, a seventeen-year veteran of the Army CID who subsequently worked for ten years as a private investigator in Florida. Ramsdell was hired by the CIA in 1967. He was trained in the United States and sent to Vietnam on February 4, 1968, as the Special Branch adviser in Quang Ngai Province. Ramsdell, who appeared incognito before the Peers panel, told newsmen that he worked for the Agency for International Development.

In Cover-up Seymour Hersh tells how in February 1968 Ramsdell began “rounding up residents of Quang Ngai City whose names appeared on Phoenix blacklists.”5 Explained Ramsdell: “After Tet we knew who many of these people were, but we let them continue to function because we were controlling them. They led us to the VC security officer for the district. We wiped them out after Tet and then went ahead and picked up the small fish.”6 The people who were “wiped out,” Hersh explains, were “put to death” by the Phoenix Special Police.” 7

Ramsdell “simply eliminated everyone who was on those lists,” said Gerald Stout, an Army intelligence officer who fed Ramsdell names. “It was recrimination.” *8 Recrimination for Tet, at a minimum.

* In August 1966 the CIA’s paramilitary adviser in Quang Ngai, Reed Harrison, unwittingly sent USAID employee Dwight Owen into an ambush outside Tu Nghia. The guerillas who killed young Owen were from the Forty-eighth VC Battalion.

Unfortunately, according to Randolph Lane — the Quang Ngai Province MACV intelligence adviser — Ramsdell’s victims “were not Vietcong.”
9 This fact is corroborated by Jeffrey Stein, a corporal working undercover for the 525th MIG, running agent nets in Quang Nam and southern Thua Thien provinces. According to Stein, the VNQDD was a Vietnamese militarist party that had a “world fascist allegiance and wanted to overthrow the Vietnamese government from the right! The people they were naming as Communists were left-wing Buddhists, and that information was going to the Phoenix program. We were being used to assassinate their political rivals.” 10

Through the Son Tinh DIOCC, Phoenix Coordinator Ramsdell passed Census Grievance-generated intelligence to Task Force Barker, estimating “the 48th Battalion at a strength of 450 men.” The Peers report, however, said that 40 VC at most were in My Lai on the day prior to March 16 and that they had left before Task Force Barker arrived on the scene.
11

Ramsdell told the Peers panel, “Very frankly, anyone that was in that area was considered a VCS [Vietcong suspect], because they couldn’t survive in that area unless they were sympathizers.” 12

On the basis of Ramsdell’s information, Task Force Barker’s intelligence officer, Captain Kotouc, told Lieutenant Colonel Frank Barker that “only VC and active VC sympathizers were living [in My Lai and My Khe].” But, Kotouc said, because leaflets were to be dropped, “civilians would be out of the hamlets…by 0700 hours.” 13

Phoenix Coordinator Ramsdell then provided Kotouc with a blacklist of VCI suspects in My Lai, along with the ludicrous notion that all “sympathizers” would be gone from the hamlet by early morning, leaving 450 hard-core VC guerillas behind. Yet “the link between Ramsdell and the poor intelligence for the 16 March operation was never explored by the Peers Panel.” 14

As in any large-scale Phoenix operation, two of Task Force Barker’s companies cordoned off the hamlet while a third one — Calley’s — moved in, clearing the way for Kotouc and Special Branch officers who were “brought to the field to identify VC from among the detained inhabitants.” 15

As Hersh notes parenthetically, “Shortly after the My Lai 4 operation, the number of VCI on the Phoenix blacklist was sharply reduced.” 16

In an unsigned, undated memo on Phoenix supplied by Jack, the genesis of the blacklist is described as follows:

There had been a reluctance to exploit available sources of information in the hamlet, village and district. It was, therefore, suggested that effective Cordon and Search operations must rely on all locally available intelligence in order to deprive the Viet Cong of a sanctuary among the population. It was in this context that carefully prepared blacklists were made available. The blacklists were furnished to assist the Allied operational units in searching for specifically identified people and in screening captives or local personnel held for questioning. The information for the blacklists was prepared by the Police Special Branch* in conjunction with intelligence collected from the Province Interrogation Centers.

* In June 1988 Quang Ngai Special Branch chief Kieu participated in a Vatican ceremony which elevated Catholics killed in Vietnam to the status of martyrs.

Kotouc was charged by the Peers panel with concealing evidence and falsifying reports, with having “authorized the killing of at least one VC suspect by members of the National Police,” and with having “committed the offense of maiming by cutting off the finger of a VC suspect.” 17

The CIA, via Phoenix, not only perpetrated the My Lai massacre but also concealed the crime. The Peers panel noted that “a Census Grievance Cadreman of Son My Village submitted a written report to the Census Grievance chief, Quang Ngai, on 18 March 1968,” indicating that “a fierce battle with VC and local guerrillas” had resulted in 427 civilian and guerrilla deaths, 27 in My Lai and 400 in the nearby hamlets of Thuan Yen and Binh Dong!18 The appearance of this report coincided with the release by Robert Thompson of a “captured” document, which had been “mislaid” for nineteen months, indicating that the Cuc Nghien Cuu had assassinated 2,748 civilians in Hue during Tet.

The only person named as having received the Census Grievance report is Lieutenant Colonel William Guinn, who testified in May 1969 that he “could not recall who specifically had given it to him.” In December 1969 Guinn, when shown a copy of the Census Grievance report, “refused further to testify and accordingly, it was not possible to ascertain whether the 18 March Census Grievance report was in fact the one which he recalled having received.”19 With that the matter of the Census Grievance report was dropped.

The My Lai cover-up was assisted by the Son Thinh District adviser, Major David Gavin, who lost a report written on April 11 by Tran Ngoc Tan, the Son Tinh district chief. Tan’s report named the 504 people killed at My Lai, and Tan said that “he discussed [the report] with Gavin” but that “Gavin denies this.” Shortly thereafter Major Gavin became Lieutenant Colonel Gavin. 20

The Eleventh Brigade commander dismissed Tan’s charges as “baseless propaganda.”21 Barker’s afteraction report listed no civilian deaths. Civilian deaths in South Vietnam from 1965 until 1973 are estimated at 1.5 million; none is reported in U.S. military afteraction reports.

The Peers panel cited “evidence that at least at the Quang Ngai Province and Son Tinh District levels, and possibly at 2nd ARVN Division, the Senior U.S. military advisors aided in suppressing information concerning the massacre.” 22

Task Force Barker commander Lieutenant Colonel Barker was killed in a helicopter crash on June 13, 1968, while traveling back to My Lai as part of an investigation ordered by the Quang Ngai Province chief, Colonel Khien. Khien is described “as a big time crook” and a VNQDD politico who “had a family in Hue” and was afraid the VC “were going to make another Hue out of Quang Ngai.” Province Chief Khien and the deputy province senior advisor, Lieutenant Colonel Guinn, both “believed that the only way to win the war was to kill all Viet Cong and Viet Cong sympathizers.” 23

The last piece in the My Lai puzzle concerned Robert Haeberle and Jay Roberts, Army reporters assigned to Task Force Barker. After the massacre Roberts “prepared an article for the brigade newspapers which omitted all mention of war crimes he had observed and gave a false and misleading account of the Task Force Barker operation.” Roberts was charged by the Peers panel with having made no attempt to stop war crimes he witnessed and for failing to report the killings of noncombatants. Haeberle was cited by the panel for withholding photographic evidence of war crimes and for failing to report war crimes he had witnessed at My Lai.

As Jeff Stein said, “The first thing you learn in the Army is not competence, you learn corruption. And you learn ‘to get along, go along.’” 24

Unfortunately not everyone learns to get along. On September 3, 1988, Robert T’Souvas was apparently shot in the head by his girl friend, after an argument over a bottle of vodka. The two were homeless, living out of a van they had parked under a bridge in Pittsburgh. T’Souvas was a Vietnam veteran and a participant in the My Lai massacre.

T’Souvas’s attorney, George Davis, traveled to Da Nang in 1970 to investigate the massacre and while there was assigned as an aide a Vietnamese colonel who said that the massacre was a Phoenix operation and that the purpose of Phoenix was “to terrorize the civilian population into submission.”

Davis told me: “When I told the people in the War Department what I knew and that I would attempt to obtain all records on the program in order to defend my client, they agreed to drop the charges.” 25

Indeed, the My Lai massacre was a result of Phoenix, the “jerry-built” counterterror program that provided an outlet for the repressed fears and anger of the psyched-up men of Task Force Barker. Under the aegis of neutralizing the infrastructure, old men, women, and children became the enemy. Phoenix made it as easy to shoot a Vietnamese child as it was to shoot a sparrow in a tree. The ammunition was faulty intelligence provided by secret agents harboring grudges — in violation of the agreement that Census Grievance intelligence would not be provided to the police. The trigger was the blacklist.

As Ed Murphy said, “Phoenix was far worse than the things attributed to it.” Indeed, the range of transgressions generated by Phoenix was all-encompassing but was most evident in its post-apprehension aspect. According to Jeff Stein, the CIA “would direct the PRU teams to go out and take care of a particular target…either capture or assassination, or kidnapping. Kidnapping was a common thing that they liked to do. They really liked the whole John Wayne bit — to go in and capture someone at night. … They’d put him in one of these garbage collection type bins — and the helicopter would pick up the bin and fly him off to a regional interrogation center.

“I think it’s common knowledge what goes on at the interrogation center,” Stein writes. “It was common knowledge that when someone was picked up their lives were about at an end because the Americans most likely felt that, if they were to turn someone like that back into the countryside it would just be like multiplying NLF followers.”
26

Bart Osborn (whose agent net Stein inherited) is more specific. “I never knew in the course of all those operations any detainee to live through his interrogation,” Osborn testified before Congress in 1971. “They all died. There was never any reasonable establishment of the fact that any one of those individuals was, in fact, cooperating with the VC, but they all died and the majority were wither tortured to death or things like thrown out of helicopters.” 27


The “Tiger Cages”

One of John Hart’s original ICEX charges was to develop a means of containing within the GVN’s judicial system the explosion of civilian detainees. But as Nelson Brickham explained, no one wanted to get the name of the Jailer of Vietnam, and no agency ever accepted responsibility. So another outcome of Phoenix was a prison system filled to overflowing.

It was not until April of 1970, when ten Vietnamese students put themselves on display in a room in the Saigon College of Agriculture, that treatment of political prisoners gained the attention of the press. The students had been tried and convicted by a military field court. Some were in shock and being fed intravenously. Some had had bamboo splinters shoved under their fingernails. One was deaf from having had soapy water poured in his ears and his ears pounded. The women students had been raped as well as tortured. The culprits, claims Don Luce in his book Hostages of War, were Saigon’s First District police, who used false documents and signatures to prove guilt, and used torture and drugs to extract confessions.

The case of the students prompted two congressmen to investigate conditions at Con Son Prison in July 1970. Initially, Rod Landreth advised station chief Shackley not to allow the congressmen to visit, but Shackley saw denial as a tacit admission of CIA responsibility. So Landreth passed the buck to Buzz Johnson at the Central Pacification and Development Council. Thinking there was nothing to hide, Johnson got the green from light General Khiem. He then arranged for Congressmen Augustus Hawkins and William Anderson and their aide Tom Harkins to fly to Con Son accompanied by Public Safety Adviser Frank Walton. Acting as interpreter for the delegation was Don Luce, a former director of the International Volunteer Service who had been living in Vietnam since 1959. Prison reform advocate Luce had gained the trust of many Vietnamese nationalists, one of whom told him where the notorious tiger cages (tiny cells reserved for hard-core VCI under supervision of Nguyen Minh Chau, “the Reformer”) were located at Con Son Prison.

Upon arriving at Con Son, Luce and his entourage were greeted by the prison warden, Colonel Nguyen Van Ve. Harkins presented Ve with a list of six prisoners the congressmen wished to visit in Camp Four. While inside this section of the prison, Luce located the door to the tiger cages hidden behind a woodpile at the edge of a vegetable garden. Ve and Walton protested this departure from the guided tour, their exclamations prompting a guard inside the tiger cage section to open the door, revealing its contents. The congressmen entered and saw stone compartments five feet wide, nine feet long, and six feet high. Access to the tiger cages was gained by climbing steps to a catwalk, then looking down between iron grates. From three to five men were shackled to the floor in each cage. All were beaten, some mutilated. Their legs were withered, and they scuttled like crabs across the floor, begging for food, water, and mercy. Some cried. Others told of having lime buckets, which sat ready above each cage, emptied upon them.

Ve denied everything. The lime was for whitewashing the walls, he explained, and the prisoners were evil people who deserved punishment because they would not salute the flag. Despite the fact that Congress funded the GVN’s Directorate of Corrections, Walton accused the congressmen of interfering in Vietnamese affairs. Congressman Hawkins expressed the hope that American POWs were being better treated in Hanoi.

The extent of the tiger cage flap was a brief article in The New York Times that was repudiated by U.S. authorities. In Saigon the secret police cornered Luce’s landlady and the U.S. Embassy accused Luce of being a Vietcong agent. Rod Landreth approached Buzz Johnson with the idea of circulating evidence of Luce’s alleged homosexuality, but Johnson nixed the idea. When Luce began writing articles for Tin Sang, all issues were promptly confiscated and his press card was revoked. Finally, Luce was expelled from Vietnam in May 1971, after his apartment had been ransacked by secret policemen searching for his records. Fortunately Luce had mailed his notes and documents to the United States, and he later compiled them in Hostages of War.

Michael Drosnin, in the May 30, 1975 issue of New Times, quotes Phoenix legal adviser Robert Gould as saying, “I don’t know for sure, but I guess Colby was covering up for Con Son too. Nothing really was changed after all that publicity… the inmates who were taken out of the Tiger Cages were simply transferred to something called ’cow cages,’ which were even worse. Those were barbed wire cells in another part of the camp. The inmates were shackled inside them for months and left paralyzed. I saw loads of spidery little guys — they couldn’t stand and they couldn’t walk, but had to move around on little wooden pallets.”28 According to Gould, “It was a well known smirking secret in certain official circles that with all the publicity about the Tiger Cages, no one ever found out about the cow cages.” 29

Added Gould: “The responsibility for all this is on the Americans who pushed the program. We finally made some paper reforms, but it didn’t make any difference. The Province Security Committees did whatever the hell they wanted and the pressure our ‘neutralization’ quotas put on them meant they had to sentence so many people a month regardless. And God, if you ever saw those prisons.”
30

In Hostages of War Don Luce refers to the GVN as a “Prison Regime” and calls Phoenix a “microcosm” of the omnipotent and perverse U.S. influence on Vietnamese society. He blames the program for the deterioration of values that permitted torture, political repression, and assassination. “While few Americans are directly involved in the program,” Luce writes, “Phoenix was created, organized, and funded by the CIA. The district and provincial interrogation centers were constructed with American funds, and provided with American advisers. Quotas were set by Americans. The national system of identifying suspects was devised by Americans and underwritten by the U.S. Informers are paid with US funds. American tax dollars have covered the expansion of the police and paramilitary units who arrest suspects.” 31

Thus, Luce writes, “the U.S. must share responsibility for the nature of the Saigon government itself. It is a government of limited scope whose very essence is dictated by American policy, not Vietnamese reality.”32 But the CIA absolved itself of responsibility, saying that abuses occurred in the absence of U.S. advisers and that oversight was impossible. However, if the CIA had accepted responsibility, it would have nullified the plausible denial it had so carefully cultivated. Like Phoenix, the prison system was intentionally “jerry-built,” enabling sadists to fall through the gaping holes in the safety net.

Writes Luce: “Abuses of justice are not accidental but an integral part of the Phoenix Program.” For example, “The widespread use of torture during interrogation can be explained by the admissibility of confession as evidence in court…and by the fact that local officials are under pressure from Saigon to sentence a specific number of high level VCI officials each month.” He adds that “Phoenix was named after the all seeing mythical bird which selectively snatches its prey — but the techniques of this operation are anything but selective. For many Vietnamese, the Phung Hoang program is a constant menace to their lives.”
33


Notes

1. McCollum interview.
2. Parker interview.
3. “Calley Defense Asks Disclosure of Top-Secret Data on Song My,” The New York Times, August 25, 1970
4. Wall interview.
5. Seymour Hersh, Cover-Up (New York: Random House, 1972) p. 87.
6. Hersh, p. 88.
7. Hersh, p. 88.
8. Hersh, p. 88.
9. Hersh, p. 88.
10. Myra MacPherson, Long Time Passing (New York: Signet, 1984), p. 625.
11. Joseph Goldstein, The My Lai Massacre and Its Cover-up (New York: The Free Press, 1976), p. 256.
12. Hersh, p. 93.
13. Hersh, p. 93.
14. Hersh, p. 95.
15. Goldstein, p. 145.
16. Hersh, p. 95.
17. Goldstein, p. 339
18. Goldstein, p. 270
19. Goldstein, p. 277
20. Goldstein, p. 278
21. Goldstein, p. 288
22. Goldstein, p. 313
23. Hersh, pp. 188-189.
24. MacPherson, p. 625.
25. Interview with George Davis.
26. Jeffrey Stein and Michael T. Klare, “From the Ashes: Phoenix,” Commonweal, April 20, 1975, p. 159.
27. “U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam,” p. 53.
28. Michael Drosnin, “Phoenix: The CIA’s Biggest Assassination Program” (New York Times, August 22, 1975), p. 24.
29. Drosnin, p. 24.
30. Drosnin, p. 23.
31. Don Luce, Hostages of War (Indochina Resource Center, 1973) p. 26.
32. Luce, p. 27.
33. Luce, P. 24.



Glossary

Agroville — (Khu Tru Mat): garrison community into which rural Vietnamese were forcefully relocated in order to isolate them from the Viet Cong.

ARVN — Army of the Republic of Vietnam

Census Grievance (CG) — CIA covert action program designed to obtain information on the VCI through static agents in villages, or mobile agents in armed propaganda teams. [Back]

CIO — Central Intelligence Organization: formed in 1961 to coordinate South Vietnamese foreign and domestic intelligence operations.

DIOCC — District Intelligence and Operations Coordination Center: office of the Phoenix adviser in each of South Vietnam’s 250 districts. [Back]

Free Fire Zone — Area in South Vietnam where U.S. military personnel had the authority to kill anyone they targeted.

GVN — Government of Vietnam [Back]

ICEX — Intelligence coordination and exploitation: original name of the Phoenix program, formed in June 1967. [Back]

Kuomintang (KMT) — Official ruling party of the Republic of China (Taiwan), formed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1911.

MACV — Military Assistance Command, Vietnam: arrived in Saigon in February 1962 as a unified command under the Commander in Chief, Pacific, managing the U.S. military effort in South Vietnam. [Back]

NIC — National Interrogation Center: CIA facility built in 1964 inside CIO headquarters in the naval shipyard in Saigon.

NLF — National Liberation Front: formed in 1960 by the various insurgent groups in South Vietnam. [Back]

NVA — North Vietnamese Army

Phung Hoang — The mythological Vietnamese bird of conjugal love that appears in times of peace, pictured holding a flute and representing virtue, grace, and harmony. Also the name given to the South Vietnamese version of Phoenix. [Back]

Province Security Committee (PSC) — nonjudicial body charged with the disposition of captured VCI. [Back]

PRU — Provincial Reconnaissance Units: mercenary forces under the control of the CIA in South Vietnam. [Back]

RD — Revolutionary Development: CIA program to build support for the GVN in provinces of South Vietnam. [Back]

RDC — Revolutionary Development cadre: South Vietnamese trained by the CIA at Vung Tau to persuade the citizens of South Vietnam so support the central government.

RDC/O — Revolutionary Development Cadre, Operations: CIA officer in charge of paramilitary operations in a province.

RDC/P — Revolutionary Development Cadre, Plans: CIA officer in charge of liaison with the Special Branch in a province.

SACSA — Special assistant (to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities: office within the Joints Chiefs with responsibility for Phoenix policy. [Back]

USIS — United States Information Service: branch of the U.S. government responsible for conducting psychological operations overseas.

VC — Viet Cong: Vietnamese Communist

VCI — Viet Cong Infrastructure: all Communist party members and NLF officers, plus Vietcong and NVA saboteurs and terrorists. [Back]

VNQDD — Vietnam Quoc Dan Dang: Vietnamese branch of the Kuomintang. [Back]

“Until we go through it ourselves, until our people cower in the shelters of New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere while the buildings collapse overhead and burst into flames, and dead bodies hurtle about and, when it is over for the day or the night, emerge in the rubble to find some of their dear ones mangled, their homes gone, their hospitals, churches, schools demolished — only after that gruesome experience will we realize what we are inflicting on the people of Indochina…”

— William Shirer
author
1973


Related articles


Bob Kerrey, CIA War Crimes, And The Need For A War Crimes Trial
by Douglas Valentine
http://www.counterpunch.com/valentine.html

“By now everybody knows that former Senator Bob Kerrey led a seven-member team of Navy SEALS into Thanh Phong village in February 1969, and murdered in cold blood more than a dozen women and children.

“What hardly anyone knows, and what no one in the press is talking about (although many of them know), is that Kerrey was on a CIA mission, and its specific purpose was to kill those women and children. It was illegal, premeditated mass murder and it was a war crime.

“And it’s time to hold the CIA responsible. It’s time for a war crimes tribunal to examine the CIA’s illegal activities during and since the Vietnam War.”

Bob Kerry:
the Life and Times of a Throat-Slitter

by Richard Gibson
http://www.counterpunch.org/gibson.html

“Further outside the imperial gaze, even today, is the heroism of the Vietnamese, not only those who Kerrey and many other US officers caught up in the genocidal invasion sought to exterminate, but those who defeated the empire, politically, militarily, and morally, causing imperial troops to run away in their helicopters, pushing their allies off the struts as they ran.”

The Spook Who Went to Washington:
New U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons’ cold-blooded past

by Doug Valentine
http://www.newmassmedia.com/nac.phtml?code=new&db=nac_fea&ref=14651

“As a CIA officer, Rob Simmons traveled 12,000 miles to terrorize Vietnamese men and women in their own backyards. He did so unflinchingly, without the remorse one might expect from a self-professed devout Episcopalian.

“Behind the pious façade, however, lurks a cold-blooded political warrior who was sworn in last month to represent eastern Connecticut in Congress.

“‘I’m just a poor farm girl,’ Simmons said to me in a 1988 interview. He spoke shrilly, mocking a woman he had in a CIA-sponsored interrogation center where, by many accounts, torture was part of the routine. Frustrated because he couldn’t prove she was a member of the Viet Cong’s underground political infrastructure, he released her ’and watched her for three months, then put her name in the paper. That suppressed her. It suppressed the organization, too.’

“What Simmons is describing is psychological warfare: the application of terror to subdue people politically.”

Related pages


Book review:
The Phoenix Program


The Mylai Massacre, 1968


American Genocide of the Vietnamese people


American Genocide of the Laotian people


American Genocide of the Cambodian People


American Patriots and the Napalm Attack on the People of Trang Bang


Neighborhood Bully: American Militarism
interview with Ramsey Clark


Maps:

Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Genocide

South Vietnam during the American Occupation and Genocide

About the Author


Douglas Valentine

Douglas Valentine is an author, researcher, investigator, consultant, critic, and poet.

He was born in Pleasantville, New York in 1949, and currently lives with his wife, Alice, in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Notre Dame College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and began his career as a professional writer in 1981. His philosophy of life is derived from extensive study in classical myth and nature, and is applied through his writing to contemporary political, social, and national security issues.

Mr. Valentine’s published works to date include The Hotel Tacloban, a highly praised account of life and death in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, and The Phoenix Program, which Professor Alfred J. McCoy describes as “the definitive account” of the CIA’s most secret and deadly covert operation of the Vietnam War.

Both The Hotel Tacloban and The Phoenix Program are available through iUniverse.com, the on-demand Internet book publisher, as Authors Guild imprint backinprint books.

Mr. Valentine’s most recent book, TDY, also is available through iUniverse.com. Reviews of The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, and TDY can be found at http://www.douglasvalentine.com/books.html

Mr. Valentine is currently completing work on his fourth book, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1968.

Apart from his writing career, Mr. Valentine has lectured and appeared on radio talk shows. He has testified as an expert witness, including at a national security-related libel trial in Geneva, Switzerland in 1992. He has served as a documentary film consultant, and in that capacity was hired by the British Broadcasting Corporation and traveled to Vietnam in 1991.

Mr. Valentine also has worked extensively as a private investigator. In 1994 he uncovered the material evidence that gave actor Woody Harrelson’s father, Charles Harrelson, the opportunity to receive a new trial in 1998. Since 1999 Mr. Valentine has worked for the family of Dr. Martin Luther King, and in November 1999 he testified at the King versus Jowers trial in Memphis, Tennessee. An article he wrote about the national security aspects of the King case is accessible through his Articles page.

Related books


The My Lai Massacre and Its Cover-up
by Joseph Goldstein
published by: The Free Press, 1976


Cover-Up
by Seymour Hersh
published by: Random House, 1972


Hostages of War
by Don Luce
published by: Indochina Resource Center, 1973


Long Time Passing
by Myra MacPherson
published by: Signet, 1984


Then the Americans Came
by Martha Hess
published by: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1996


Deadly Deceits:
My 25 years in the CIA
by Ralph W. McGehee


On Killing:
The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
by Dave Grossman
published by: Little, Brown

Examines the consequences of the U.S. Army’s conditioning of American soldiers to overcome the instinctive loathing of murdering fellow human beings. Shows how it has increased post-combat stress disorder and how contemporary society — especially the American media — replicates the U.S. Army’s conditioning techniques, resulting in increased violence in American society.

Viet Cong: A Photographic Portrait
by Edward J. Emering
published by: Schiffer

Unique compilation of photographs taken by the Viet Cong themselves. Details Viet Cong guerrillas, main force Viet Cong, political gatherings, weapons, awards, artistic troupes, and jungle life. Fully illustrated, some in color.

Ho Chi Minh
by William J. Duiker
published by: Hyperion

The flag of Vietnam - a yellow, five-pointed star in a red field

Takes full advantage of recently declassified archives to create a riveting portrait of the immensely important and elusive figure. Impeccable research chronicles Ho’s life from his childhood as the son of a poor yet brilliant scholar, through his career as the first president of his country, during which he demonstrated phenomenal political abilities.

Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War
by William M. Hammond
published by: UPKs

Uses classified documents as well as extensive interviews to examine the bitter animosity that developed between the U.S. government and the news media during the genocidal Vietnam war. Tells how they first shared a common vision, but as the war dragged on, the truth fell victim to the U.S. government’s “management” of the press.

Nowadays, of course, the mainstream press wouldn’t dream of reporting the latest American military atrocities. The U.S. Corporate Mafia Government has gotten much better over the years at “managing” the press and all the mass-media.


The four books immediately above are available from:
Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller
Falls Village, CT  06031-5000

Online book:

Vietnam: the Croatia of Asia
http://www.reformation.org/holoc23.html

This is Chapter 23 of the online book The Vatican’s Holocaust by Avro Manhattan. Details the little-known relationship between the Vatican, the U.S. and the fanatic Catholic regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.

The events surrounding this relationship led directly to America’s escalation of its war against the Vietnamese people.

Diem was another puppet-dictator installed by the U.S. government. But this particular puppet was also backed by the Vatican.

Serious problems began when his, and his wife’s, religious fanaticism got out of control. In the name of “God” he murdered and terrorized his own people — with the blessings of the Vatican and the U.S. government, of course. He was finally assassinated in 1963, but it was too late, the damage had been done. Diem’s bloody tyranny over his own, mostly Buddhist, country helped to radicalize large numbers of Vietnamese people. It opened the eyes of those with eyes to see, to the truly demonic nature of the United States Corporate Mafia Government and military.

Bloody Hell:
The Price Soldiers Pay
by Daniel Hallock


The Fire This Time:
U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf
by Ramsey Clark


Desert Slaughter:
The Imperialist War Against Iraq
by the Workers League


Killing Hope:
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII
by William Blum


Rogue State:
A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
by William Blum


What Uncle Sam Really Wants
by Noam Chomsky


The Beast Reawakens
by Martin A. Lee


Blackshirts and Reds:
Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism
by Michael Parenti


Against Empire
by Michael Parenti


The Sword and the Dollar:
Imperialism, Revolution and the Arms Race
by Michael Parenti


Western State Terrorism
Alexander George, editor; essays by Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, Gerry O’Sullivan and others


Terrorizing the Neighborhood:
American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era

by Noam Chomsky
Pressure Drop Press, 1991


Pirates and Emperors, Old and New:
International Terrorism in the Real World
by Noam Chomsky


The Culture of Terrorism
by Noam Chomsky


Apocalypse 1945:
The Destruction of Dresden
by David Irving


A People’s History of the United States:
1492 — Present
by Howard Zinn


War At Home:
Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It
by Brian Glick


Inventing Reality:
The Politics of News Media
by Michael Parenti


War, Lies & Videotape:
How media monopoly stifles truth
edited by Lenora Foerstel; multiple authors

Related sites


Vietnamese-American.org
http://vietnamese-american.org/

“Mission Statement: To preserve the Vietnamese culture and empower the Vietnamese people.”

This site has a wealth of valuable, truthful information about the Vietnam Genocide and its devastating effect on the people and land of Vietnam. An example: in the “Vietnam War” section there are excerpts from Then the Americans Came, by Martha Hess, which contains personal testimonies from surviving Vietnamese victims of massive bombing and torture at the hands of Americans.

Writings by Peace Activist S. Brian Willson
http://www.brianwillson.com/

Brian Willson is a courageous Vietnam vet who was wounded in combat — but not during the Vietnam Genocide. He was fighting a war of conscience. In 1987 a military train at a U.S. Navy munitions base intentionally ran over him and severed his legs as he and two other veterans sat on the tracks to block it. The train was carrying weapons to be used in America’s ongoing holocaust of innocent civilian people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

His autobiography is heartfelt, utterly unself-pitying and very instructive, particularly his experiences from Vietnam onward. Brian Willson’s writing is extremely valuable, being from a deeply intelligent and genuinely moral man who has witnessed firsthand the horrors of American state terrorism around the world.

From the site:

“THIS SITE CONTAINS essays describing the incredible historic pattern of U.S. arrogance, ethnocentrism, violence and lawlessness in domestic and global affairs, and the severe danger this pattern poses for the future health of Homo sapiens and Mother Earth. Other essays discuss revolutionary, nonviolent alternative approaches based on the principle of radical relational mutuality. This is a term increasingly used by physicists, mathematicians and cosmologists to describe the nature of the omnicentric*, ever-unfolding universe. Every being, every aspect of life energy in the cosmos, is intrinsically interconnected with and affects every other being and aspect of life energy at every moment.”

*everything is at the center of the cosmos at every moment

Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist — VVAW-AI
http://www.oz.net/~vvawai/

“Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist is part of a network of anti-imperialist veterans who are proud of our resistance to U.S. aggression around the world. In the 1970s, to be a Vietnam veteran was to be against the war. That proud legacy must be carried forward through the 1990s and into the next millennium. As veterans, we have been to the edge and seen the viciousness of Amerikkka unmasked. We have no doubt that the bastards who sent us to war will use their nuclear arsenal, along with unspeakably cruel conventional weapons, to maintain their empire — and after the Gulf War, do you?”

Vietnam Veterans Against the War — VVAW
http://www.vvaw.org/

VVAW was founded in 1967 by vets who realized that what we were doing in Vietnam was a monstrous evil. Through courageous political activism and grassroots organizing the VVAW helped to awaken the heavily brainwashed American people to the horrible reality of America’s greatest campaign of racist genocide in the 20th century.

Veterans For Peace
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

“We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace.

“To this end we will work, with others:

  • Toward increasing public awareness of the costs of war;
  • To restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations;

  • To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons; and

  • To abolish war as an instrument of international policy.

“We urge all veterans who share this vision to join us.”

WAR is HELL
http://www.warishell.com/warishell/index.htm

This is the website for book Bloody Hell: The Price Soldiers Pay, which provides “a platform for veterans to speak for themselves. Page after page of searing testimony to the brutal, bloody, unmerciful, dehumanising, haunting, destructive, grim black void of war. The pain. The lies. The reality. The aftermath.”

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EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST—MARCH 2018

Or So It Seems To Me Today

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

Say what you will about Donald J. Trump—narcissist, exhibitionist, sociopath, impulsive, fourth grade vocabulary, liar, untrustworthy, stable genius, P.T. Barnum huckster, whatever—he knows how to stay on center stage as a showman in the real life reality show presented by mainstream media. He’s a master Game-player, adeptly switching Game roles back and forth from Rescuer, to Persecutor, to Victim in various sequences on the Drama Triangle, depending on which Game he happens to be playing at the time.

On the other hand, maintaining I’m OK—You’re OK relationships is not his forte. He has now gotten rid of most of his original White House advisors and cronies, having just fired Rex Tillerson, the United States Secretary of State, and the former CEO of Exxon, having spared so far his current wife and children, who still adorn his office in the White House like art objects.

According to various reports, Trump seethes with anger when he sees Persecutors on TV criticizing him or his ideas. This sets him off on walks up and down halls in the White House with jaws and fists clenched to wear the anger off. It’s a wonder he hasn’t had a heart attack yet given the pressure and stress he has caused himself. Maybe for some reason he likes controversy, pressure, and stress and feeds on it.

As happened to Bill Clinton before him in the White House soap opera, Trump’s past affairs, liaisons, and business transactions with female sexual partners are now giving him trouble, including an unusually threatening one, Stormy Daniel, playing a Persecutor role, whom he paid $130,000 to keep quiet, via his personal Rescuer lawyer, who has not kept quiet. Some people are wondering how much more humiliation poor Melania can take.

Trump’s past business relationships with Russian oligarchs have been a thorn in his side during his time in the White House, especially now as Mueller continues to pile up more and more evidence and information in his inquisition, playing a classic Game of COURTROOM in which a Persecutor attempts to force Victims, including Trump in this Game, into a very not-OK position.

Surprisingly, Trump’s Game of IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU played with Kim Jung-Un of North Korea has taken a dramatic change. All of a sudden both Donald and Kim have switched from the Persecutor role to the Rescuer role, having decided to sit down and talk as buddies. It remains to be seen what Drama Triangle role switches will result from this talk, assuming these two impulsive grown-up Adapted Children do not change their minds about meeting before the meeting happens.

One of the the best Game-players on the Earthian stage, Vladimir Putin, recently switched from Rescuer and Victim to Persecutor by telling Trump, the US Pentagon, and all Earthians aboard Spaceship Earth that Russia has produced some new weapons that will be impossible for the US to defend against. Assuming he’s right, Putin is winning not only a psychological Game of NIGYSOB, Now I’ve Got You, You SOB, but a global chess game involving serious Adult strategic opponents.

According to transactional analysts all people start out in life in an I’m OK—You’re OK life position, which is a fundamental attitude that they and others are OK in all ways. Unfortunately there are three other life positions that may be later adopted: I’m OK—You’re Not OK, You’re OK—I’m Not Ok, and You’re Not OK—I’m Not OK.

Shortly after birth people begin to learn, absorb, introject, and take in the life positions of people around them, parents and others. They soon learn attitudes and beliefs that tell them what their world is like. The process is unfair, bestowing advantages on some and handicaps on others. This comes about through natural evolution, an infinitely regressive and progressive unbroken cause-effect chain, sometimes called the accident of birth. One cannot help learning what one learns by virtue of being exposed to people and events they are born among. Once life positions are learned they are difficult to unlearn. The older a person gets in general the more she or he becomes locked-in with others having the same life positions. Group dynamics determine what beliefs, dogmas, doctrines, and the like people must believe to be accepted by groups and organizations, including beliefs in big groups and organizations such as religions and nations.

Staying I’m OK—You’re OK has never been easy, almost impossible for most people. The I’m OK—You’re Not OK life position is required in some organizations, such as military organizations and business corporations. The United States has generally been I’m OK—You’re Not OK among nations since its inception.   Almost all immigrants to what is now the US were Not OK when they arrived on the shores of North America, and they had little choice but to do battle with the less OK inhabitants they found there to survive.

Europeans and others came to the US because they were in NOT OK positions in their original countries, caused by extreme poverty and religious persecution, caused by over-fecundity, breeding too many children for the country to support, and the agitations, persecutions, and deprivations caused by anti-social political and religious dogmas, doctrines, behaviors and hierarchies.

President Trump of the US operates from an I’m OK—You’re Not OK position with to respect to almost everyone most of the time. His overall life position is I’m OK, My supporters are OK, They (the other group) are Not OK, the World is Not OK, and we are going to make the world pay. Most of his supporters have adopted a similar position, creating a dangerous situation.

No one is fully OK, but some people are more OK with respect to themselves, the other, their group, other groups, and the world than others, existing somewhere between highest OKness and lowest OKness.

No one can be fully OK unless everyone is OK in the orbit they are fixed in, which is presently impossible aboard Spaceship Earth. For more clarification see Martin Groder, MD’s People Map on page 63 of my book Born to Learn and page 149 of Business Voyages. Marty was a founder of transactional analysis and one of my TA mentors. According to Groder, some high-energy pathological entrepreneurs are addicted to risk, which they require to stave off depression, caused by psychological abandonment in early childhood. No amount of money or power is ever enough to compensate for parental inadequacies of early childhood. Higher and higher doses of risk are required for temporary relief.

According to some anthropologists, Michael Adzema for one, humans thousands of years ago lived in a relative Garden of Eden. They lived in a benevolent environment with an optimum climate. They could gather enough food to sustain themselves working about three hours per day. OKness generally prevailed within groups and between groups. Through time things changed. Populations grew, food supply became more of a problem, competition, skirmishes, and wars emerged among groups. Groups got larger and larger and more organized, hierarchies arose within groups, and among groups. Hereditary status and wealth systems were co-constructed. Nation states and religions with powerful leaders and codified dogmas, doctrines, laws, customs, and behaviors were constructed that preserved hereditary hierarchies from generation to generation. Relative and absolute slavery evolved.

During the Middle Ages the institution of feudalism put large tracts of land under the dominion, ownership, and control of hereditary aristocrats, forcing masses of lower classes known as serfs to become legally subordinate to designated aristocrats on particular estates, creating widespread unfairness and Not OKness, which gradually evolved into colonialism and capitalism, new systems in which inherited money and property known as capital became more important than inherited landed estates.

By the 16th Century European nations developed sufficient power and resources to conquer, enslave, and control humans in less developed parts of Spaceship Earth, primarily enslaving people originating in Africa, resulting in the creation of new nations, some, such as the United States, hypocritically based on the notion that all men (and women, and children) were created equal.

One can build the case human life aboard Spaceship Earth has become less OK through time, with the advent of global warming and nuclear weapons, causing the human species to wind up more insecure than ever before, with their incomes, wealth, status, security, and satisfactions being less equally distributed among populations and socio-economic classes.

African slavery was generally abolished in North, Central, and South American nations in the 19th Century, but colonialism and capitalism remain entrenched in much of the world. Under capitalism, especially in large corporations, a form of slavery still exists. The masters are called owners and chief executives and the slaves and serfs are called employees. Almost no one in a large corporation except the top dog is fully OK; everyone else is less OK than his or her boss; and while all are free to quit and leave, all must obey and do the bidding of his or her boss, if they stay; and most can be fired at will for disobedience.

It seems to me the only hope for indefinite human sustainability is to evolve better economic systems, religions, and ways for humans to relate to one another. While I have no fantasies about this happening anytime soon, it seems to me it might happen through time through synergistic learning, a phenomenon I have covered in my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” first published by MWC News (Media with Conscience) at http://mwcnews.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31023&catid=38&Itemid=125.  I first encountered synergistic learning, learning in whole systems not predicted by observing subsystems of the whole, in Buckminster Fuller’s book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

A major assumption of transactional analysis is that human feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are caused by stimuli people are exposed to as the live their lives and, therefore, it seems to me, if this is true, then they are not to blame or praise for what they feel, think, or do, and If this is true then all people are equally OK, not especially good or bad, but OK. In this light a poor homeless person considered mentally ill would be equal to someone like Donald Trump, having been caused by the same sort of causative forces.

As I point out in my TA books, it seems to me there are three basic types of OKness: existential, subjective, and objective. Existential OKness is what I just discussed, people being equally OK by virtue of coming into this world without asking for it, and being gradually shaped and formed by stimuli as they live. Subjective OKness is how a person subjectively perceives and judges her or his self, other individuals, groups to which one belongs, other groups one perceives as different, and the world in general. While these perceptions vary in terms of positive and negative social merit existentially they are equally OK because they were automatically caused to happen. Objective OKness is how OK one is in light of measurable criteria, for health, wealth, education, strength, intelligence, achievements, accomplishments, and the like. It seems to me global OKness would significantly increase if all people would take into account the relevance of all three types of OKness. While objective OKness would necessarily be most relevant in daily working lives, world peace and Earthian OKness would be increased if existential and subjective OKness were acknowledged by all people in all groups and organizations around Spaceship Earth.

In a nutshell, as I discussed and demonstrated using matrix algebra in my article, “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” it seems to me for long term survival the human species must evolve a computerized mathematical management system to produce and fairly distribute the necessities of life for a reduced human population aboard Spaceship Earth, which requires something like a one woman/one child rule for several generations to peacefully reduce the human population through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births.  There is no way humans can have infinite population growth on a planet with finite resources that are rendered useless or harmful in production and consumption processes.

Most mainstream media play a psychological Game of GREENHOUSE, participating 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, i.e. harming or destroying the whole system by maximizing subsystems, 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.

Following in the EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST are some outstanding articles and one audio interview recently published in various media, primarily internet media, shining light on 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.”

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

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

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

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, www.effectivelearning.net, February 15, 2018

 

March 14, 2018

Paul Craig Roberts tells it like he sees it.

SOURCE: “World War 3 is approaching,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23607.

 

March 14

Who knows what the true story here is.

SOURCE: “Tillerson out and Pompeo in: ‘From Exxon’s CEO to the Koch Brothers’ most loyal lapdog,” by Julie Conley, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23614.

 

March 14

George Soros says what Trump really wants is a mafia dictatorship like Putin has.

SOURCE: “Trump’s ‘enforcers’ reminiscent of mob actions,” by Wayne Madsen, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23618.

 

March 14

Holy shit here

SOURCE: “Syria’s War of Ethnic Clensing,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/14/syrias-war-of-ethnic-cleansing/.

 

March 14

I wonder if we will ever know the true story here.

SOURCE: “Trump Replaces Rex Tillerson With CIA Director Mike Pompeo at State; Torturer Named New Head of CIA,” by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43824-trump-replaces-rex-tillerson-with-cia-director-mike-pompeo-at-state-torturer-named-new-head-of-cia.

 

March 13

Yep, they just do not care.

SOURCE: “Perspective: I’m a Depression historian. The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929,” by Robert S. McElvaine, WASHINGTONPOST.COM, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/30/im-a-depression-historian-the-gop-tax-bill-is-straight-out-of-1929/?utm_term=.033a22c3d180.

 

March 12

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE: “Blocking Peace in Korea by Lying about the Past,” Joseph Essertier, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/12/blocking-peace-in-korea-by-lying-about-the-past/.

 

March 12

If this is true the human species has a new lease on life aboard Spaceship Earth, if it can make it to 2040.

SOURCE: “The New Atomic Age: Nuclear Fusion and Beyond,” by Gary Norman, OILPRICE.COM, https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/The-New-Atomic-Age-Nuclear-Fusion-And-Beyond.html.

 

March 11, 2018

This clever short satirical article written by an international lawyer and social activist shows the absurdity of Trump’s idea to arm teachers. While this article is enlightening the most educational part is the two posts at the end of the article. The first is a long article by the author providing an incisive and comprehensive overview of US foreign policy since the days of Bush II. The second post is a humorous and enlightening video showing what some Dutch people think about some of Trump’s current foreign policy ideas.

SOURCE: “An Open Letter to President Trump,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/an-open-letter-to-president-trump/.

 

March 11

One can build the case the US is not “agreement capable” because the US military industrial intelligence banking complex needs wars to put what passes for money these days in their pockets.

SOURCE: “Peace In Our Time? Only if America is ‘Agreement Capable’,” by Tom Luongo, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-09/peace-our-time-only-if-america-agreement-capable.

 

March 11

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Hope springs eternal. When will the good times end? As a cotton farmer said across the counter in our lumber yard at Wolfforth, Texas back in the 1950s, when I was a kid working there, in answer to the question someone had raised about when it would ever rain again, he said, “I don’t know but I know one thing for sure, we’re gettin’ closer to a rain ever day.” The same goes for another market crash today.

SOURCE: “The Everything Bubble Is Just Waiting For The Pin,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-10/stockman-everything-bubble-just-waiting-pin.

 

March 9

Don’t get much worse than that.

SOURCE: “How To Blow $12.2 Billion In No Time Flat,” by MN Gordon, ECONOMICPRISM.COM, https://economicprism.com/.

 

March 11

Ugh!

SOURCE: “Pollution, Invasive Aliens, & Mass Extinction: 20,000 Scientists ‘Warn Humanity’ The End is Nigh,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-10/pollution-invasive-aliens-mass-extinction-20000-scientists-warn-humanity-end-nigh.

 

March 11

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “The Implications of Russia’s New Weapon Systems,” by Andre Martyanov, UNZ.COM, http://www.unz.com/article/the-implications-of-russias-new-weapons/.

 

March 11

He has a point.

SOURCE: “Assange Lashes Out: ‘Hypocritical Motherf*ckers…Remember How I Exposed Your Secret Deal With The Saudis’.” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-10/hypocritical-motherfckers-assange-blasts-uk-government-remember-how-i-exposed-your.

 

 

March 10

Good question.

SOURCE: “How Effective are International Human Rights Treaties”? by Joan Roelops, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/09/how-effective-are-international-human-rights-treaties/.

 

March 10

Bein a real progressive aint gonna make you poplar.

SOURCE: “The Democratic party is now publicly attacking progressive candidates,” by Lawrence Douglas, THEGUARDIAN.COM, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/26/democratic-party-laura-moser-texas?CMP=share_btn_fb.

 

March 10

I remember rumors Nixon might do something like this before he resigned, but someone said the US military was too loyal to the US constitution and the US people to go along. Trump is the first president to my knowledge to come right out and say imposing a military dictatorship with him as lifetime “president”, er dictator, might be a good idea. Shows how far we’ve sunk.

SOURCE: “Trump and a Lifetime Presidency,” by Robert Fantina, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/09/trump-and-a-lifetime-presidency/.

 

March 10

Unfortunately they can do it anytime they want. No way we the people would have enough power to resist our own military, as big, sophisticated, and powerful as it is today.

SOURCE: “Dictator for life: The rise of the American imperial president,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPEDIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/23575.

 

March 10

Another great podcast by Richard Wolff and Harriet Fraud dealing with economic and psychological issues. This episode is especially relevant for understanding the consequences of the steel and aluminum tariffs recently imposed by the Trump admin and the causes and consequences of the breakdown of family structures in the US. Well worth a listen.

SOURCE: “Economic Update: Winds of Economic Change,” by Richard D. Wolff, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43784-economic-update-winds-of-economic-change.

 

March 9

My father who was in the Seabees helped build landing strips on Okinawa during WWII when I was four years old. I used to listen to the radio hearing about US “Flying Tigers” shooting down Japanese airplanes and wondering when he would get back home. Can’t believe we’re still there.

SOURCE: “As US Military Flies Overhead, Okinawa Residents Live Under a Cloud of Fear,” by Jon Letman, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43779-as-us-military-flies-overhead-okinawa-residents-live-under-a-cloud-of-fear.

 

March 9

For now they’ve decided they’re buddies.

SOURCE: “A Step Toward Peace? South Korea Announces Trump Will Meet With North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un,” by Amy Goodman, Video Interview, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43794-a-step-toward-peace-south-korea-announces-trump-will-meet-with-north-korea-s-kim-jong-un.

 

March 9

Raising tariffs. Politicians trying to make it seem they are useful, pitting one group of voters against another in a zero sum game, creating entertainment content for mass media, distracting their populations from the root causes of problems, likely causing a recession or depression, for sure a major hot button. Better to do nothing than to do this. Better for people to be bored than hungry.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Travesty of Protectionism,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/09/trumps-travesty-of-protectionism/.

 

March 8

Is this more limited government?

What about Homeland Security, TSA, and private security forces? Is this more limited government? What about a university hiring a private security company to check womens’ bags outside the gym when they present their season ticket for a basketball game, even a clear plastic bag? What about a young female ticket taker making an older woman show her driver’s license because she said something mildly flippant and critical about her clear plastic bag having to be physically searched? What about four young males walking in behind the ticket taker to stand shoulder to shoulder facing the older woman and me with their arms crossed over their chests as they stared at us like robots with no affect because the older woman had the audacity to complain about having to show her identification when nobody else had to? Is this more limited government? What about an officious young male supervisor, not wearing a security force t shirt, having watched the shake-down operation through windows from inside the gym, telling you they are doing you a favor, after you finally walk in the gym, telling you they are protecting you, telling you we are living in dangerous times, as you tell him this is insane and walk away, since to my knowledge there has never been any violence at a sporting event at this university, wondering if I would then be handcuffed and taken to jail, for saying I thought the whole episode was insane and/or disrespecting this young man/officer? Is this more limited government? No, this is not more limited government. It’s living in a police state. Other members of the security force, all wearing a strange yellowish t shirt that seemed to almost glow in the dark, were stationed at attention around the gym watching people in all sections of the gym, some doing nothing but looking up at people in the stands. I thought this experience and exposure had spoiled the evening, but it was a good game and we won, a close one. I had forgotten about the security attack by the time it was over. This same security force has been employed by this university for several years but it seems their increasing numbers, their demeanors, and their operations have become increasingly chilling. At this last game outside the gym taking tickets they were abusive. Most of the security employees/officers seem to go out of their way to be polite and friendly when they check your tickets and such, but that ticket-taking operation outside the gym last week was not OK. Like most people, they are doing their jobs, most likely the best job they could find. Unfortunately more and more people seem to work in security jobs, including the US military, despite the beliefs, propaganda, and heritage of the Heritage Foundation, discussed in Ralph Nader’s excellent article below.

SOURCE: “Heritage’s Corporate Lobby Inside Trump’s Government is Not the People’s Heritage,” by Ralph Nader, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/08/heritages-corporate-lobby-inside-trumps-government-is-not-the-peoples-heritage/.

 

March 8

Individual freedom works only if you live in isolation. If you live with others you have to get along, which means you are not completely free to do what you want. All people should be free to pursue fairness, which requires arguing with and discussing things with others. In order for fairness to exist there must be commensurate power among arguers, discussants, participants, etc. If you are a teacher and you want fairness it does no good for you to personally argue with your state school system about what your salary should be. In order to have fairness you have to join something like a union with enough power to argue with your powerful state school system. The labor union laws of the US have been generally fair, but people keep trying to make them unfair, by lobbying governments and courts to change the game in their favor, as this article points out. The US Supreme Court often does not produce fairness, or does not know or care what fairness is. Witness the 5-4 Citizens United Case of 2010 in which five right wing supreme court judges decided it was fair for corporations to spend as much money as their elite rich directors wanted to bribe politicians for laws in their favor, which has now about destroyed freedom and fairness in the US.

SOURCE: “Janus, the Meaning of Freedom, and Striking West Virginia Teachers and Staff,” by Ann Robertson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/08/janus-the-meaning-of-freedom-and-striking-west-virginia-teachers-and-staff/.

 

March 8

Fake news you say? If only all US citizens had real knowledge of historical facts around Spaceship Earth they would not be so easily conned and manipulated by propaganda.

SOURCE: “Wall Street Sells Subprime History,” by Aidan O’Brien, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/08/wall-street-sells-subprime-history/.

 

March 8

Must reading for all citizens. Insane beyond belief. Way to drain the swamp Trump.

“Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group argued that, overall, if the federal government were to manage the weapons labs, it would bring greater transparency and reform than contracting management to universities or corporations. But a bigger question, he said, is whether the labs should exist at all. He said the weapons labs have consistently fended off attempts to bring more oversight and accountability to their operations.

“The resistance of the laboratories to reform is so deep-seated, and their power so great, that it becomes realistic to question whether they can ever be reformed enough to play a positive role in society,” Mello said. “And we have concluded that the labs have no unique role in disarmament, nonproliferation, verification, cleanup, intelligence, or in any other mission that cannot be performed more objectively, cheaper, and better by other institutions.””

SOURCE: “The University of Nuclear Bombs,” by Will Parrish, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/08/the-university-of-nuclear-bombs/.

 

March 7

Dumbest of all

SOURCE: “Trump speaks at fourth-grade level, lowest of last 15 US presidents, new analysis finds,” by Nina Burleigh, NEWSWEEK.COM, http://www.newsweek.com/trump-fire-and-fury-smart-genius-obama-774169.

 

March 7

Maybe you don’t have to make a profit anymore? Look at Amazon.

SOURCE: “What Economic Recovery? Half of US Companies Are Losing Money,” by Baruch Lev, KNOWLEDGELEADERS.COM, http://blog.knowledgeleaderscapital.com/?p=13969.

 

March 7

Easy way to make a living. How many millions will he be paid for this service?

SOURCE: “Massive Tax Cuts for Wealthy Friends and Corporate Raiders Complete, Cohn Calls It Quits,” by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Report, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43764-massive-tax-cuts-for-wealthy-friends-and-corporate-raiders-complete-cohn-calls-it-quits.

 

March 7

They knew they weren’t qualified, but unfortunately their voters disagreed.

SOURCE: “Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Win—and Neither Did his Campaign,” by Michael Wolff, NYMAG.COM, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html.

 

March 7

If you want to see who the greediest, smartest, and luckiest are just take a look at this. Some inherited their money. Some had a good idea or two and went for it, and the capitalistic system and new computer technology did the rest.

SOURCE: “The World’s Billionaires 2018,” Louisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan, editors, FORBES.COM, https://www.forbes.com/billionaires/#7a78aa89251c.

 

March 7

Let’s hope not.

SOURCE: “Trade Wars Set To Go Nuclear: US Considering Broad Curbs On Chinese Imports,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM., https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-06/trade-wars-set-go-nuclear-us-considering-broad-curbs-chinese-imports.

 

March 7

How many human robots have already been replaced by electro-mechanical robots?

SOURCE: “How ‘Flippy The Robot Fry Cook’ Will Save America,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-06/how-flippy-robot-fry-cook-will-save-america.

 

March 5, 2018

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, says his country has developed some new weapons indefensible by the US, capable of rendering US naval aircraft carriers and destroyers obsolete.

SOURCE: “The Implications of Russia’s New Weapon Systems,” by Andre Martyanov, The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection, http://www.unz.com/article/the-implications-of-russias-new-weapons/.

 

MARCH 5

The elite rich of course.

SOURCE: “More Korean War is ‘Worth It’ To Whom,” by Thomas Knapp, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/05/more-korean-war-is-worth-it-to-whom/.

 

March 5

Can’t keep on spending over six hundred and sixty billion dollars per year on the US military if there are no major wars to fight. Kunstler has a good take on the psychological Game of IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU the US is now playing with Russia.

SOURCE: “Light It Up,” by James Howard Kunstler, http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/light-it-up-2/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to President Trump

By Courtenay Barnett

25th February, 2018

President of the United States of America
Donald Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20500,
USA

Dear President Trump,

Re: Need for an Executive Order:-

It is with great sadness that I express my condolences on the recent shooting tragedy in the state of Florida.

I had many years ago addressed an audience in the US on the legal history of the First Amendment. It is not improbable that at some later stage, maybe when my days in court and my defence in public interest cases wane as I age, I might visit the topic of the Second Amendment. But, I am not qualified so to do, which fact I shall address in a moment.

Court room appearances and addresses to a public audience are by now, after over 30 years in the law, just about second nature for me. We may there have something in common, for, if you recall, you said in a public debate in 2016:-

During a Republican debate in February 2016, Trump said, “I’m the only one on this stage that said, ‘Do not go into Iraq, do not attack Iraq.’ Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong.”

Anyway, I not only opposed the war, but researched the point in depth and was invited to give a public lecture on the issue. A representative from the State Department attended and he was the one who directed the majority of questions at me, which I responded to. My opinions as expressed have been quoted by Professors and cited in publications, so there is good reason, why, I think that in later life I might simply continue to share my thoughts in pubic and even visit the US again to speak – but, I am not qualified. I shall therefore need your help. Let me explain.

I now understand that following the tragedy in Florida you shall be requiring teachers to be armed and even be proficient in the use AR-15 assault rifles. I believe that as a public speaker, I could also be termed a teacher, and so I need to be trained and qualified in the use of the assault rifle. I am presently not so trained and therefore unqualified. Can you  therefore assist and by way of Executive Order make a special dispensation so that I may speak without my full qualifications and a weapon in hand?

I shall remain eternally grateful for such dispensation.

Finally, while I realise that you are a “genius” as you have proclaimed yourself to be; I am not. So take lightly and even discardingly what I am about to say. At the time when the Second Amendment came into being, there were survival issues at hand for the then fledgling nation and also natural challenges from the likes of cougars, bears, rattle snakes and the wretched Indians who threatened ‘White privilege’ by trying to claim back the land which white people had conquered as rightfully theirs. Those were the early days when America was setting out to be great and when men were real men carrying arms as authorised under the Second Amendment. Not to say that I have seen any cougars, bears, rattle snakes or marauding Indians recently in New York or any other major city in the US for that matter. But, we must nevertheless be vigilant lest the Native Americans decide to rise again. So, with your assistance, I shall obtain my qualification to teach in the US – weapon in hand.

President Trump – I assure you – by reference to the Second Amendment and with arms in hand – we shall make America great again.

Thank you in anticipation of a timely issue of the necessary Executive Order.

Sincerely,

Courtenay Barnett

P.S. Should you be interested in my views on the Iraq war – great minds thinking alike – then visit here:-

https://www.globalresearch.ca/oil-conflict-and-the-future-of-global-energy-supplies/1781

As regards a testament to your greatness – watch this:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-xxis7hDOE

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.

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST—FEBRUARY 2018

The Truth will make you free, if you can 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, Georgia, USA, 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.