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



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/.



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


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

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.
    a consideration operating to enforce obedience to any rule of conduct.
    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.
    a law or decree, especially an ecclesiastical decree.

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
    impose a sanction or penalty on.
    synonyms: punish, discipline someone for
    “the penalties available to sanction crime”

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.


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