An Inspiring Educational Meeting in the Country Club near Statesboro, Georgia

By Richard John Stapleton

Debbye and I attended a meeting Saturday afternoon September 16 hosted for Dr. Sid Chapman by Bill Herring, president of the local Democratic Party, at the Forrest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Georgia. My wife Debbye is the star mathematics tutor in our Stapleton Learning Company small business in downtown Statesboro, located in the Parker Real Estate Building right across the street from the Emma Kelly Theater.

Dr. Chapman is campaigning for the Georgia State School Superintendent position. He spent about two hours telling about twenty of us in the meeting about his background, policy positions, and recent experiences, and answering questions we had in an open discussion. For more detail about Sid’s background click here.

He told us he had recently returned from a trip to Finland where he observed first hand the best public school system around Earth, easily verified by a Google search.

According to Dr. Chapman, Finland has the best school system around Earth because of the value Finns place on education as a society. In Finland teaching is a more prestigious profession than medicine. He said it’s harder to get certified as a teacher in Finland than it is to get certified as a medical doctor. Teachers are highly respected in their communities and they interact with local citizens and their children to decide locally what and how to teach. Schools are locally controlled and there is little or no teaching to the test or anything like the No Child Left Behind scheme, hatched by the disingenuous anti-intellectual Bush II administration in the US, which was inflicted on public schools throughout the US.

Sid is a high school dropout who got a GED and later a doctor’s degree who is now president of the Georgia Association of Educators, with some thirty thousand members, according to one of the attendees. He said he has taught in public schools almost all social studies subjects, including economics, which was my undergraduate major. He obviously has outstanding interpersonal and administrative skills as evidenced by his success as president of the GAE. He is also a part-time Methodist minister. I told him and the group my granddaddy was a Methodist preacher. I am now a friend of the Statesboro Unitarian Universal Fellowship. Several members of that fellowship were in attendance at the meeting.

Dr. Chapman advocates decreasing the use of high stakes testing, fully funding public education, equity for all students, not using public taxes to fund private schools, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics), Vocational and Technical Education, fostering creative and critical thinking and communication skills, improving incentives to recruit and retain quality teachers and educators, and protecting the current teacher retirement system.

Having no experience teaching in grade, junior, or high school, there is no way I could know for sure what it’s like to work day in and day out as a public school teacher or administrator. Regardless, based on what I learned last Saturday, I agree with Dr. Chapman’s policies and ideas on how to do public education, and I wish him success with his campaign. Having no knowledge about his competitors in the race, it seems to me he will be tough man to beat in the state school superintendent’s race and Georgia would be fortunate to have him as its school superintendent.

I learned how little I knew about Georgia public school education associations in the meeting. I had no knowledge of PAGE, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, which has about ninety thousand members in Georgia, about three times as many members as the GAE, the Georgia Association of Educators, the Georgia affiliate of the NEA, the National Educational Association, according to one of the attendees, who told me this after the meeting was over. I have little understanding of the differences in these two education organizations. I presume both of them exist to support grade, junior, and high school students and teachers, while having differences in philosophies and policies. As I scanned the PAGE homepage on the Internet, a link devoted to Teacher Evaluations jumped out at me, rubber-banding me back to some of my experiences as a teacher dealing with faculty evaluations.

I understand very well the intricacies and problems of daily life as a college teacher and administrator, having done it for forty years, as my RJS Academic Vita page on our Effective Learning Company website shows. I know very well what it’s like to be subjected to problems of faculty evaluations for merit raises, tenure, and promotion. I got so fed up with the faculty evaluation system used for decades in the business school at Georgia Southern that I cajoled the administrator of our department in the late 1990s to supply me with departmental student evaluation data for one semester for a statistical analysis, agreed to by all departmental faculty, for research purposes only. A colleague Gene Murkison and I used the data to produce, write, and publish an article, “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations: A Study of Correlations Between Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production, and Expected Grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, in 2001, that has now been cited as a reference in sixty-five refereed professional journals in several disciplines. To verify these citations click here to see the results of this Google search.

I presented in this article a new metric for teacher productivity I invented, which I think public schools could use, what I called a Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity (the CITP), that requires not only taking into consideration the opinions of students regarding how good they thought the teacher was as a teacher but how much the teacher motivated them to study, how much they thought they learned in the course, and what they thought about the grade they expected to receive in the course given how much they had studied for and learned in the course. I have no idea how much the CITP has been used in higher education around Earth since 2001 but I know it has been used and is still being read by serious educators and educational researchers writing refereed journal articles for raises, tenure, and promotions.

Good teachers are just like good producers in any line of work. They want to be recognized and rewarded commensurately to what they produce. In order to fairly reward teachers you have to have some means of estimating how much they have produced relative to their peers. What is it teachers are paid to produce? Learning. How do you measure learning? Is learning memorizing right answers for multiple choice and true false questions? How about learning how to think about what is relevant and right in a situation? How about learning how to be a better human being? How about asking students how much they have learned in the course relative to how much they normally learn in courses?

The CITP averages ranks for learning production, study production, instructor excellence scores, and expected grades. Expected grades are important because teachers in some cases can dumb down their test questions to raise their expected grades to raise their instructor excellence scores and their learning production scores, as we proved in our Optimizing Fairness paper. To make things fair you have to inversely weight expected grades in the rank averaging process to get the final CITP. It gets complicated but it can be done. Read the article to get the whole picture by clicking here.

I used this research to convince Georgia Southern in 2000 to add study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide. Things got a little better for me after that when faculty evaluation time rolled around every year. I normally ranked in the lower twenty-five percent of the faculty for teaching in our department when only instructor excellence was ranked. Using the CITP I ranked in the upper twenty-five percent. I was a productive teacher; not a popular teacher, and my grades weren’t inflated, and our research proved it. My assigned grades averaged about 2.4 per class on a 4-point scale, about the lowest in our department, according to Pick-A-Prof.com, a website maintained by some enterprising students at the University of Texas. I read an article the other day on the Internet stating that in most colleges today forty or so percent of students in most classes make A’s. It seems to me it’s possible that now and then teachers might have that many truly excellent students in a class, but not most of the time.

I have a case titled Games Educators Play posted on our Effective Learning Company website showing some of the problems and issues involved in producing and administering educational offerings in a university business school.

Since retiring at Georgia Southern in 2005 I have published two books, Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, and Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning through my independent publishing house Effective Learning Publications. Both of these books draw upon my training and experience using transactional analysis, a new psychiatric discipline invented by Eric Berne, MD and his protégés in the 1960s. Both books show my experience using what I called a Classroom De-Gamer™ to randomly select students in class to discuss assigned reading for the day, and present data showing the process caused students to study and learn more than they otherwise would have because of the Classroom De-Gamer reducing psychological Game-playing in the classroom. When students are selected by the De-Gamer to respond to classroom challenges all ego states in students feel and know they are not being picked on or rewarded as a Victim by a Persecutor or Rescuer teacher. Born to Learn shows how alternative teaching methods, classroom layouts, and testing methods affect the productivity and overall “OKness” of teachers and students.

I first published Born to Learn in 1979, titled at the time De-Gaming Teaching and Learning, which I reedited and retitled adding a new summary chapter in 2016. I received a good Kirkus Review for Born to Learn in 2016. The book will be included in a special edition of the Kirkus Magazine for book industry professionals in November 2017 in a section called “Twenty 2016 Indie Books Worth Reading.”

In the interests of full disclosure, I am not a Democrat. I am an Independent, as Bill Herring told the group Saturday. Regardless, I have voted for almost nothing but Democratic presidents throughout my life, mostly voting for Republicans for state and local offices in recent decades. I voted for Bob Dole, the only Republican presidential candidate I ever voted for, instead of Clinton in Clinton’s second election. I was too young to vote for Eisenhower. In my opinion John F. Kennedy was by far the most intellectually honest president of my lifetime, and look at what happened to him. The intellectual honesty of presidents has generally declined since Kennedy’s assassination, Jimmy Carter being an exception, a breath of fresh air after Nixon. I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party in the 2016 presidential election, not because I thought she had a chance of winning, but because I agreed with her policies, and I thought she was intellectually honest, playing relatively few psychological Games.

Come to think of it, intellectual honesty seems to have declined in most places through the years in the US.

Here is a new synopsis of my educational history, written by me today at age seventy-six, inspired by the meeting on education last Saturday at the country club.

A great-grandfather of mine many times removed, the Reverend Doctor James Maury, a French Huguenot, taught four American presidents, Washington (a distant relative down the branches of my family tree), Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, in a boarding school in Virginia. A distant cousin, Matthew Fontaine Maury, was a West Point graduate, a commodore in the Civil War, fighting for the South, who published a book still in print, Physical Geography of the Seas. He was a founder of Virginia Tech, retiring as a professor of physics at Virginia Military Academy. Another distant cousin Dabney Herndon Maury, also a West Point graduate, a general in the Civil War fighting for the South, published a book titled, Recollections of a Southerner in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars. My great great grandfather Thomas Sanford Gathright, a Confederate draft dodger who opposed the South’s seceding from the Union, was the first president of Texas A & M University, recommended for his post by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. My father’s uncle, Richard Gathright Maury, was a prominent lawyer in his time, the youngest district attorney in Harris County history, the county in which Houston just got flooded, who once served papers in person on a golf course in New York to John D. Rockefeller, indicting him and his Standard Oil Trust for violating Texas anti-trust laws, whose gravesite in Center, Texas, replete with a statue, is now a designated historical site recognized by the Texas Historical Society. As near as I can tell Richard Gathright Maury never went to school at all. Based on genealogical records produced for me by Frank Parker, a real estate developer and investor and a hobby genealogist, here in Statesboro, he was home schooled on a plantation in Mississippi and read law with a law firm to pass the bar exam. His father, my great grandfather, Matthew Henry Maury, attended the University of Mississippi two years and was later killed by an African on a plantation in Mississippi, probably a freed slave, or the son of one. My grandfather, Elbert Harry Coston, a Methodist minister, the son of Isom Alexander Coston, who was blind, according to my grandmother, Darlie Brown Walker Coston, whose father David Montgomery Walker was a cotton farmer and a wagon manufacturer, “never did a day’s work in his life. All he ever did was sit up on the front porch with his brothers and read.” She said most of the work on the Coston farm near Palestine, Texas was done by Africans, freed slaves apparently, managed by her mother-in-law, Mattie Elizabeth Allen Coston, born on a ranch in Texas in 1845, the year Texas stopped pretending to be a nation and joined the Union as a mere state.  My mother told me in her last days in Willow Pond here in Statesboro that her grandfather Isom would swat each of his five boys on the rear one time with a razor strop when they came in for supper, telling them he didn’t know what they had done wrong that day but he knew they had been up to somethin’.  She also said somebody had to read the whole newspaper to him every day.  My Coston grandfather took a few courses at East Texas State College before he became an ordained minister, becoming a minister according to my hard-working father so he wouldn’t ever have to work at all. I lived with Moma and Snazzy for two years while I was working on my doctorate. My aunt Ted, Edna Mae Coston Thompson, at one point had Snazzy examined by a psychiatrist, apparently thinking he was going insane. The psychiatrist said quite to the contrary he had the highest IQ of any man his age he had ever examined. This confirmed my judgment. Snazzy always seemed to understand anything. He had a personal library he had collected through the years containing a thousand or more books. My mother Ida Belle Coston Stapleton took a few business courses at a Draughn’s Business College somewhere after she got out of high school. She told me shortly before she died here in Statesboro, at age 92, that she never made less than an A in school. My father Richard Gathright Maury Stapleton took some courses in agronomy at Texas Tech before he dropped out to become a successful entrepreneur, having never taken a single business course or read a single business book, or a book of any kind after I was born, to my knowledge, except maybe an arcane treatise or two on Free Masonry, to become a third degree Scottish Rite Mason, as I understand it. He saw to it I became a DeMolay in high school but I never had any interest in that sort of thing. All he ever read was the local newspaper, farm magazines, and the US News & World Report. He put me to work in his enterprises when I was eight years old. I made mostly C’s in grade, junior, and high school, but did better in college. I was according to the Lubbock Avalanche Journal probably the youngest and smallest Class A high school starting quarterback in the US in 1953, at age thirteen, weighing 110 pounds, standing five feet three inches tall. I played basketball on an athletic scholarship at Hardin-Simmons University two years before transferring to Texas Tech College (now university). I had a 3.0 in economics in undergraduate school but did better in the doctoral program, graduating with a 3.67 grade point average in a program that included all business disciplines in which A’s were not easy to come by. One of my classmates who became the dean of a business school graduated with a 3.0. Despite scoring 840 on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), at a time when 1000 was about average, Texas Tech accepted me provisionally into their doctoral program and gave me a part-time instructorship in economics that paid $3000 per academic year, enough for me to pay my way through the doctoral program and write my dissertation in three years. The Office of Manpower Evaluation and Research of the US Department of Labor awarded me a $6500 grant to write my dissertation, An Analysis of Rural Manpower Migration Patterns in the South Plains Region of Texas. Frank Parker traced all four of my grandparents back to Virginia before the American Revolutionary War, in which several ancestors fought. Their descendants, most of whom were cotton farmers, spread out from Virginia migrating into South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi before winding up in the cotton country of Northwest Texas where I grew up. I was working at a full time job in a Litton Industries electronics plant as a production control expediter and dispatcher and publishing my weekly newspaper the Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette when I took the GRE, having stayed up most of the night before the exam putting out the paper. I fell asleep several times taking the exam, not thinking it was important, just something I had to do to get into graduate school, filling in the remaining blanks for the various timed sections without reading the questions. I saw the exam proctor, the head of the psychology department at Texas Tech at the time, staring at me in amazement one time when I woke up from one of these naps. Considering the GRE computerized grading system took off more points for questions answered wrong than for those left blank, I was lucky to have scored as high as 840. I was hired at the associate professor rank, skipping the assistant rank, at the University of Southwestern Louisiana after finishing my doctorate in business administration, management science major, economics minor, at Texas Tech, becoming a full professor at age thirty-six at Georgia Southern College (now university), where I was the senior professor of the business school for about fifteen years, carrying the mace as the senior professor of the university for the spring graduation ceremony the year I retired in 2005. I was the highest paid professor in the business school and maybe the second-highest-paid faculty member at Georgia Southern, behind Jim Oliver, maybe third after Fielding Russell, when I started at age thirty, hired by President Pope Duncan in 1970. My son, Jonathan Walker Stapleton, was the Star Student for our Congressional District in Georgia in 1990, scoring 1520 on the SAT back in the days when 1600 was the maximum score. He maxed the math part of the GRE when he finished his undergraduate degree at Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1994, almost maxing the verbal part. He now invents and makes things in his home workshop and teaches physics and Earth sciences in a high school near Burlington, Vermont.  Hunting and fishing and organic gardening in his spare time, in a beautiful environment, he is a smart son indeed. He is the inventor and designer of Reptangles™, a plastic educational toy comprising twenty-four parts that snap together and pull apart to assemble into more than one hundred mathematically identifiable geometric shapes and symmetrical configurations, manufactured in China, licensed to, marketed, and distributed around Earth by the Fat Brain Toy Company, which was demonstrated on ABC’s Good Morning America.  Jonathan is married to Renee Doney Stapleton, MD, PhD, who teaches, researches, and practices pulmonary medicine at the University of Vermont. They have three children, Walker, Emmerson, and Orion, each of whom is learning well in and out of school. One of the major conclusions of  Born to Learn is that everything that happens happens by accident, as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein pointed out in his book of propositions, Prototractatus, and therefore no one is to blame or praise for what happens.

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

Richard John Stapleton, Editor and Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA

 

 

 

President Trump and past and present cognitive dissonance (with Postscript)

by Courtenay Barnett

Personal recollections

As a student in London, I occasionally marched and protested against that which I thought was unjust or simply wrong. Racism in general and Apartheid in particular in South Africa provided cause to venture into the streets of London. On one occasion in the East End of London, there was a National Front (NF) march (the equivalent in the 1970s of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the US today). The NF was permitted to march along the street. The anti-racist protesters stood behind barriers and there was the usual chanting and howling of slogans and counter-slogans for or against the cause. That occasion comes back to mind because a police officer on the street-side of the barrier, with obvious bitterness and contempt, without any disturbance or civil disobedience on my part, just looked me straight in the face and yelled “Black Bastard”. Guess he found himself on the right side of the fence on that occasion. Standing in Trafalgar Square or opposite South Africa House was itself a just and righteous cause being advocated for, I thought then, and think so all the more now.

With a background such as mine, it then comes as no great surprise that I have more than a casual interest in the recent events of neo-Nazi, KKK and White supremacist marches in Charlottesville, Virginia, as shown at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1Uao75uM2k.

To hear “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil” chanted these several years later after the Allied forces defeated the Nazis in World War II, brings a different sort of recollection to mind, such as images of Auschwitz and “sieg heil” chants before and after Crystal night ( Kristallnacht).

And

A neo-Nazi driving into a group of anti-racist protesters brings back the recollection of the racist police officer in London shouting as he did; but, the conduct of the Nazi attacker in Virginia was at a lethally different level compared to the mild racist outburst I had experienced.  See  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jGgYM2_Zdk

Historical context

Long before the Allied forces joined to defeat fascism, there had been struggles for equality in America. Most notably there was the American Civil War. The Northern states did not thrive on nor did they need chattel slavery as a means of enriching themselves. The South did. Robert E. Lee was the leader of a Southern insurrection to separate from the broader America to preserve the chattel slavery system. So, the statue symbolises that ‘culture’, those attitudes and values and the racism which slavery was* ( see: Postscript).

The forces that defeated Adolph Hitler and his Nazi cohorts had prevented additional egregious wrongs from being inflicted as horrors unto other human beings visited upon humanity by the Third Reich. The Jews in particular paid a heavy price. Hitler was literally trying to exterminate all of European Jews. The newsreels and the barbarous deeds are there for those serious enough, relative to that history, to take an interest, and might then understand what the implications and logical outgrowth of these modern day Nazi ideas imply: see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43ZtfL3xqSU.

The response of President Trump to Nazi supporters

When you listen to all this:-

 

 

Watch Live: Trump Delivers Infrastructure Statement in NYC | NBC News

www.youtube.com.

President Trump delivers a statement from Trump Tower after signing an executive order on the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure. You can be left in no uncertain terms that Donald Trump is:  An apologist for racists; and

1.When one argues that some ‘very fine people’ were at the rallies led by the neo-Nazis and the KKK then the question has to be asked:-

Was it by mere coincidence that these ‘very fine people’ simply arrived and were in the company of neo-Nazis and the KKK without themselves either being neo-Nazis and KKK members or at the very least sympathisers of same?

  1. The illogicality of supporting these racist groups arises in this way for Donald Trump:-

When your former wife is a Jew(ess) and your son-in-law is a Jew then there are some serious contradictions arising here with your apologetic embrace of these groups – isn’t there? If one were to trace being a Jew on the matrilineal or the patrilineal lineage Trump faces a logical conundrum for resolution. The neo-Nazis and the KKK are avowed haters of Jews. Therefore, without knowing them as people, there would be automatic hatred and potentially violence directed at Trump’s former wife and his son-in-law for no other reason than that of those persons’ ethnicity/religious identity. Further, Trump’s family, be that former wife, son-in-law, son, and by blood extension his grandchildren are all the subjects of derision and hatred from the groups Trump finds himself shamelessly defending. Thus, he purports to be embracing the ‘very fine people’ who simply turned up in the company of neo-Nazis and KKK and White Nationalists – but are not themselves to be deemed the disseminators or sympathisers of hatred directed to certain ‘lesser breeds’. Really now?

Attempts at rationalization

 The purpose of comparisons is to equate. Such equation can be used as a means of illustrating or amplifying a point which a person is seeking to make. I am being generous here, because I want to lead into Donald Trump’s rationalisations on the basis of both the historical references and the contemporary implications of support for White supremacist ideas.

Trump has expressed his concern that the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee may logically lead to the rejection of persons such as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, on the basis that they were slave owners and thus their memory might, by comparison with Lee, be deemed unworthy of national recognition. Trump’s point is, by parity of reasoning, that there is something worthy in Lee’s main conduct and contributions. Therefore, like George Washington or Jefferson, both flawed men, there is a real and imminent danger of damaging the national heritage of America (see: postscript).

It seems to me that there is a marked contrast between founding a nation built on high ideals and an innovative and promising form of governance, versus the raw defence in a war for the prolonging of chattel slavery. But, President Trump might not appreciate nor concede the false equivalence that he constructed and posited to bolster his argument in support of the neo-Nazis, the KKK and the White supremacists.

Historical memory, itself, should call for more than a cautionary pause when shouts of “sieg heil” being accompanied by “hail Trump” and an embrace from the former leader of the KKK, David Duke, become the root and substance of – acceptance by the supremacists – versus – an unequivocal rejection from the President. While President Trump has opted for an acceptance of those shouts, he is being distanced by all the heads of the military and leaders in industry. A sad indictment against an even sadder, pathetic and pitiful President who finds it impossible to distance and condemn the equation of himself to Adolph Hitler – so – heil Trump: see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVrb4CvOLmk.

Cognitive dissonance

How does a man whose close and immediate family are designated by neo-Nazis as filth and the dregs of humanity – then fail to condemn, without equivocation or excuses, such racism?

Trump is either ignorant of history, or is so enarmoured by the idea of White supremacy, that he fails to comprehend that the ideas enacted under Adolph Hitler being regurgitated in the US in 2017 by persons who see him as President of the United States of America and being equivalently praiseworthy as Adolph Hitler is an affront and not a compliment. So –again – then, “Heil Trump!”

Putting the history on the European continent to the side for a moment, then considering the experiences in America of Native Americans and the involuntarily imported population placed to labour on plantations, within a more narrow and specifically American historical context, is an actual march from domination, enslavement, ostracism, and slowly, inexorably – an advancement to full citizenship (however reluctantly so conferred). That version of American history which states that the indigenous populations before the Mayflower and the slaves and the Mexicans and in fact all the non-Whites do have quite distinct histories that fit within the patchwork that ultimately makes the fabric of American society is an honest point of historical view. It is a historical point of view which acknowledges and accommodates and embraces a more expansive appreciation (understanding if you like) of the menagerie which ultimately became America. But, President Trump seems wholly unable to either appreciate or understand that in a diverse society the humanity of all, and not just the humanity of a privileged few, will need to be accepted if that society is to function and flourish. It is this point which the Generals in unison stated to America when they had collectively confirmed a rejection of racism. This, if President Trump cared to notice, mirrored the same somber realisation by the top CEOs that this was the time to split from that which was bereft, coming from Trump, and ultimately was deemed bad for business in America or the wider world. The Generals and the CEOs got that point. They understood that Trump had descended into absurdity in his defending the Nazis – or – even the neo-Nazis, if any fine distinction is to be drawn. For that was what Trump was doing and sensible leaders had no desire to descend to or be associated with the ridiculous place Trump had positioned himself at. They understood incongruity well before rebuffs and rejections descended upon the institutions or businesses that they were leaders of.

Stated as succinctly as one can – Trump’s conduct, expressions and positions on race-relations are all dissonant. Cognitively dissonant.

Conclusion

In being an apologist for Nazism, President Trump, like the KKK members, is displaying a fundamental historical misunderstanding about the genealogy of America.

In mentioning Thomas Jefferson to support a line of political reasoning for sustenance of a status quo of discriminatory privilege, Trump has not taken time to think and question the social forces which serve to retard or advance people within the American nation. He could have started instead with knowing and acknowledging a very human fact of Jefferson having a long-standing intimate relationship with and children by, his Black Mistress, Sally Hemmings. It is telling that after DNA analysis served to confirm the paternity of Hemmings’ children then in January 2000, the conclusion was accepted by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, that such historical reality might not invite alternative Presidential positionings than with Nazism. Donald Trump, if only he read a bit, might arrive finally at a point of understanding as to the demographics of America and the historical realities which led to that demographic reality.

President Trump, if he cared to, might read the book entitled, ‘Slaves in the family’ by Edward Ball. It tells the true story of a White American born in Savannah, Georgia, tracing his lineage. He commences with Elias Ball, who in 1698 migrated from England and became a very large plantation owner, acquiring some twenty plantations. Elias, like Jefferson, had offspring with slaves. Over three hundred years slaves and slave masters lived side by side in America. The Ball slave descendants along a blood-line was what Elias’ descendant was documenting. A history previously ignored but very much a part of American historical reality. The figure the book arrived at of ‘Black Ball descendants’ ( so to speak) was in the region of 75,000 to 100,000 in 1998 at the time of the book’s first publication. The interactions between the Cherokee nation and Europeans tells of similar genealogical inheritances. Quite frankly, such stories within America run all the way up from Key West in the South to Alaska in the North. That realisation, that reality, that America which does exist is the one President Trump might be better focused on governing with justice and inclusion, than either apologizing for or embracing ( implicitly or expressly) the Aryan myth within Nazism.

President Trump’s style of governance and his incessant ill-advised tweeting has projected him into national and international consciousness as the ‘divider in chief’ rather than the unifier that the American Presidential office invites him to be.

President Trump, I honestly believe, has not read, he has not researched, he has not attempted to understand. He does not understand at all the miscegenations within America; he does not understand the diversity of America; he does not understand a multiplicity of different social policy and foreign policy issues which at the core of his role in office as President he is required to. He does not care about detail and in being so disposed he avoids fundamental facts, which if he were cognizant of, might not lead him to the incongruous positions he places himself in. Racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance and bigotry are the hallmarks of Trumpism, for that is the base he has chosen to pander to. Will such an approach help to heal and unite a diverse nation? Well – being a handmaiden ( master if you prefer) of division, alienation of great parts of American society and distancing from the world which Trump gives cause for resentments – then leads where? To a place in Trump’s mind which is well on the way to making America ‘great again’ with his special brand of leadership. A leadership which is increasingly dissonant and disconnected. When Trump’s expressions, his mind’s delivery of his oftentimes unedited thoughts are examined then therein one finds the cognitive deficit accompanied by consequential dissonance.

 

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.

 

Postscript: The national heritage of America is Native-American, Euro-American, African-American, Mexican-American and that of many other Americans who have a history and heritage within the United States of America. With that in mind, quite seriously, I propose a rejection of Nazism and an embrace of the higher ideals which the American nation, at its best, represents. The formula is simple.

Robert E. Lee represents an embrace of the ‘culture’ of slavery, discrimination and domination.

Frederick Douglass as an outstanding orator and abolitionist represents the ‘culture’ of human dignity in the face of adversity, the embrace of freedom, the struggle for justice, in marked contrast to what Robert E. Lee stood for.

Thus, since Robert E. Lee’s statue is down and the high ideals upon which America should stand have yet fully to be replaced, then, a suggested understanding as to the depth of economic, cultural and historical contributions to the American nation which the African-Americans over several generations have made, might now begin in earnest to be acknowledged. So, America thus can leave Robert E. Lee’s page of the American history book, without forgetting what was written on it, and turn to a new and auspicious day in American history. That day will be ushered in when the statue of Frederick Douglass replaces the one of Robert E. Lee, removed but not forgotten. History thus shall not be forgotten, but symbols can replace to march on to a more hopeful and propitious day in America.

Racist Games in a Venomous Culture

by Richard John Stapleton

Some US white supremacists according to Facebook posts are finding out with DNA tests they have some African genes, and some African Americans are finding out with DNA tests they have European genes. I think this is a good thing, showing how people from around Earth are genetically related. Maybe everyone ought to take a DNA test to combat racism and morbid narcissism.

One morning in 1959 in the athletic dorm at Hardin-Simmons University, a Baptist university of 1,900 students, at Abilene, Texas, without a single black student at the time, a blue-eyed straight-haired blonde football player on a full scholarship looked askance at me, a brown-eyed wavy-haired basketball player on a full scholarship, in his mirror, as we happened to be shaving next to one another in the dorm shower room, standing with several other athletes who were also shaving, or brushing teeth, combing hair, and so on, facing a wall equipped with ten or so mirrors and lavatories; and for no apparent reason, he said, “You must be part Indian, meskin, nigger, or somethin.”

It stung, but what could I do? Try to knock his teeth out with a sucker punch?

There was some truth in what he said. I did look different from most white people, and for sure there was a major difference in our reflections in the mirrors we were looking into.

A lady friend in Italy in 1983 told me I did not “look” American, that I looked European.

I have been subjected in the US to five other racist Games similar to the football player’s in various contexts played by white males and two similar Games played by white females, three of the Games having been started by colleagues at Georgia Southern University during 1970-2005. I ignored the psychological message in these Games that I was inferior and not entitled to the dignity and respect I had, not escalating the Games with retaliatory social level transactions, acting as if I did not understand the psychological level message, knowing there was no way I could win given the social settings in which the Games happened.

Why do people play psychological Games?  They do it trying to get their human needs met for structure, recognition, and stimulus.  Discounting someone in a Game makes some people feel better about their physical appearance and their emotional, mental, and behavioral abilities and achievements.  Psychological Games force Victims to recognize and pay attention to the initiating social level Persecuting Game players who see themselves psychologically as Victims, who find the action Games generate stimulating.  Psychological Games alleviate boredom, tedium, insecurity, and feelings of inferiority.

While most people play Games to some degree, losers start most of them.  This goes for US citizens getting violent now in tissue-tearing street demonstrations, and US presidents starting tissue-tearing wars against weak governments and their subjects in the Middle East in the last sixteen or so years.

I took an ancestry.com DNA test about three years ago and found out ninety-eight percent of my genes are similar to those of Europeans and two percent are similar to those of Western Asians in the Caucasus.

Racist Games in the US, the so-called melting pot of Earth, since the first so-called white man set foot on North American soil, have demeaned, devalued, insulted, exploited, harmed, and scarred—emotionally, mentally, socially, and physically—people of various red, brown, black, and yellow skin tones more frequently and in harder degrees than they have so-called white people of various skin tones; but no human on the North American continent has fully escaped their poison and virulence one way or the other in this venomous culture.

The United States could be the most Game-infested nation on Earth, having escalated its Game-playing after the election of Donald Trump as president, an expert Game-player, and a high-functioning narcissistic, who refuses to socially recognize and condemn the grievous harm racial Games cause individuals and groups.  He seems to think US citizens have a constitutional right to play racial psychological Games.

It’s inhumane to demean, devalue, discount, insult, or physically harm people because of the genes they accidentally or inevitably inherited.

It’s insane to hate people because of the genes they accidentally or inevitably inherited.

For more on psychological Games, read my book, Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human at Learning.

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

To see what I “looked” like in 2005 click on my name below.

Richard John Stapleton

Effective Learning Report Updates—August 2017

August 21, 2017

Did you watch and hear the speech Trump read from a teleprompter on TV tonight to captive soldiers in his physical audience at a military base and to many millions of people like you and me in our houses, after the eclipse got obliterated with clouds a few hours earlier?

Do you know why he did it?  I don’t.  My wife watching TV in her room asked me what I thought of Trump’s speech, and when I turned on my TV set he was already into his text reading from his teleprompter in front of those soldiers.  How do they do that?   Does that teleprompter screen, that we cannot see, hang down from the ceiling somehow so he can read it?  It looked like he had the words someone else wrote memorized.

Who knows what he was really trying to say?  It seems Afghanistan has suddenly become more of a problem, as has Pakistan, and maybe nuclear-armed India for not helping more to contain nuclear-armed Pakistan.  Maybe the major point of the talk was to let us know he is getting tougher as a commander in chief.  While our military are heroes for their efforts in Afghanistan, after fifteen years, they still have not won the war, which may have been the fault of previous US commanders in chief who did not have the sense to let them win by killing the Taliban and ISIS, instead of pretending to build nations, as Trump said he decided to do.

At any rate, after telling us to to get elected he was going to stop wasting money on losing deals fighting wars, he blithely said he has now decided things are different now that he is sitting in the Oval Office and he needs to get tougher and therefore he is turning the military loose to do whatever it takes to win the war in Afghanistan, as if Afghanistan is the only place on Earth the US military is stationed.  What about the other one hundred or more countries in which the US has military personnel stationed?

He also made comments to the effect the efforts of our military heroes abroad should not be undone by unruly civilians inside the US fighting among themselves on college campuses over trivial matters such as their ideological right and left wing beliefs, as if giving a talk on prime time TV about setting the military loose to do whatever it took to win in Afghanistan would cure the problem of unlawful warriors fighting one another inside the US.

I’m sure there was more to it than this, but these are my main thoughts about it at this time, about an hour after I saw and listened to it on TV.

I don’t know about you, but this did not make me feel better about what is going on.  If Trump’s intent was to soothe the fears and insecurities of people at home and abroad about the state of affairs of the US he failed based based on my reaction.

 

August 16, 2017

This is a time of abnormally high anxiety for most people around Earth caused by continuing agitations between humans believing in and advocating right wing and left wing ideologies, dogmas, doctrines, policies, and behaviors, especially now in the US, brought to a head in recent days by President Donald Trump of the US refusing to seriously criticize right wing demonstrators at the University of Virginia who chanted neo-Nazi and white supremacy slogans in a clash with left wing demonstrators brought about by the tearing down of statues erected to glorify and commemorate Southern heroes and leaders during the US Civil War.

Unfortunately this increasing agitation between the left and right of the political spectrum is not confined to the United States. Similar agitations exist in European countries, exacerbated in recent years by growing awareness of growing income inequalities brought about by pernicious processes at work in the global economy. Rather than deal with the root causes of this problem, systemic problems of the capitalistic economic system, numerous groups are promoting racism, ideologies, nationalism, and what has been called identity politics. Rather than deal with root causes of economic inequalities billions of humans have got it in their heads that hating and fighting humans identified as members of other groups, such as conservatives, liberals, socialists, communists, capitalists, imperialists, globalists, whites, blacks, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and immigrants, will magically solve their problems—which is a symptom of madness.

See “Americans are Rapidly Descending into Madness,” by Michael Krieger, posted August 16, 2017 in his blog, Liberty Blitzkreig, for more perspective, at

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/08/16/americans-are-rapidly-descending-into-madness/.

 

August 16, 2017

For more on the root causes of Earthian economic problems, read “Putting an End to the Rent Economy,” by Michael Hudson, according to many readers the greatest economist alive, author of Killing the Host and Junk Economics, in an interview conducted by Vlado Plaga, published in the German magazine FAIRECONOMY September 2016, posted August 16, 2017 in COUNTERPUNCH, at

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/16/putting-an-end-to-the-rent-economy/.

 

August 16, 2017

Here is a comprehensive analysis of one of the most troubling new developments of our times, ideologically-caused physical violence, by Henry Giroux, a world class writer and thinker, “Trump’s Neo-Nazis and the Rise of Illiberal Democracy,” posted in Truth-out, at

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41617-neo-nazis-in-charlottesville-and-the-rise-of-illiberal-democracy.

 

August 16, 2017

Oswald said he was a patsy, and most likely he was not lying. This is a detailed and factual article with new information about what really happened to JFK. Unfortunately it does not prove who did it, but it comes close.

See “New Files Confirm the JFK Investigation Was Controlled by the CIA—Not ‘Botched’ as Some Pretended,” by Jefferson Morley, posted in AlterNet August 11, 2017, at

http://www.alternet.org/media/new-files-confirm-jfk-investigation-wasnt-botched-it-was-controlled-top-cia-officials#.WZUNUGsfY08.facebook.

 

August 15, 2017

Here is a video presentation about the opioid crisis in the US, a symptom of systemic problems with the capitalist economic system, showing in graphic terms what it’s like in one of the hardest hit areas, Baltimore, in the US, posted in ZeroHedge, by Tyler Durden, at

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-15/inside-opioid-crisis-youre-not-allowed-see.

 

August 15, 2017

This article “Conspiracy or Chaos” by Jim Quinn, originally posted in the Burning Platform blog, also posted August 14 by Tyler Durden in his ZeroHedge blog where I read it, makes cogent points about the nature of conspiracy theories, one of the most unspecific of all terms, and a widely-used buzzphrase.

What is a conspiracy? Like beauty it depends on the eye of the beholder. In my view it means to conspire against someone or something. Many people label almost any explanation that is not to their liking, especially something that puts them in a bad light, as a conspiracy theory.

Most conspiracies are not theories. Real ones are actions taken with malice aforethought. Conspiracies are ubiquitous. Millions of businesses conspire against their competitors every day. All national governments conspire against other nations. Jealous teenagers conspire against other teenagers for popularity. Preachers and religions conspire against others for followers, money, churches, mosques, and temples.

Did someone conspire against JFK? You bet. Is global warming a conspiracy? No.

Jim Quinn seems to think conspiracy theories in some cases are defense mechanisms. People like conspiracy theories because they make them feel better and more secure. It’s comforting to think bad things happened because someone conspired to make it happen, something that might be corrected. Many people would like to believe the world is in such sorry shape now because the rich have conspired against the poor, or unbelievers have conspired against believers and their god, and so on.

Quinn thinks it’s scarier for people to think nobody deliberately conspired against them to make their bad things happen than to think it just happened, like shit happening, as the saying goes. If nobody conspired to make bad things happen then they happened by accident and no one is to blame or praise, including gods.

Read all about it in Quinn’s article, “Conspiracy or Chaos,” at

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-14/conspiracy-or-chaos.

 

August 14, 2017

This article points out with facts and data a sobering reality about the global Earthian economic system: GDP (Gross Domestic Product) still floats on oil, and global gross production is sinking. In recent years with lower oil prices, the GDPs of oil producing countries have sunk more than others, and emerging undeveloped country GDPs have risen more than most. Ergo, GDPs of different countries are largely determined by the price of oil in a win-lose relationship. The higher the price of oil the higher the GDPs of the oil producers and the lower the GDPs of poor non-oil producers; and conversely the lower the price of oil the more producers suffer while the poor get a little better off.

Here is an excellent presentation and analysis explaining the process by Gail Tverberg, posted August 14, 2017, in Our Finite World blog, “World GDP in current US dollars seems to have peaked; this is a problem.”

https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/08/14/world-gdp-in-current-us-dollars-seems-to-have-peaked-this-is-a-problem/.

I first read the article in Tyler Durden’s blog, ZeroHedge.

 

August 14, 2017

Here is a relevant article about the stock market by David Stockman, first published in his Contra Corner blog, “After 100 Months of Buying the Dips—Peak Crazy,” also posted in the Daily Reckoning blog at https://dailyreckoning.com/100-months-buying-dips-peak-crazy/, where I read it.

I remember David Stockman from when he was Ronald Reagan’s budget director in 1980. I admired his honesty and straightforwardness then and still do. He was one of the early advocates of Reagan’s “supply-side” economics, based on the notion that cutting taxes for the rich will produce more revenue for the government, and create economic growth on Main Street, caused by the tax cuts producing more investment that results in more profit to be taxed, more than offsetting the revenue-reducing effect of the tax rate reductions, based on the so-called Laffer curve.

As the Reagan repubs got into the process of administering their policies, Stockman realized the federal budget would not balance if the government simultaneously increased military expenses by astronomical percentages, despite the tax cuts. Stockman forthrightly pointed this out to Reagan, and he got fired for it; and the Reagan administration turned out to be the most un-conservative profligate administration fiscally in US history, adding twice as much debt to the total US debt as all other presidential administrations cumulated in US history, tripling the total debt from $1 trillion to $3 trillon in eight years, 1981-1988.

Stockman, a former US Congressman, went on to Wall Street where he spent the rest of his career. He now spends his time writing books and articles and publishing his ContraCorner blog about financial matters. In his book The Great Deformation, Stockman asserts central banking systems have deformed stock markets and other financial markets globally through misguided policies after the crash of 2008, by creating trillions of dollars worth of keystroke digital money with no backing used to buy toxic non-performing debt to save banks and banksters, and governments, making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

In the article recommended here Stockman asserts the US economy is in worse shape now than it was before the 2008 crash, primarily caused by the quantitative easing and low interest rate policies of the US Federal Reserve board that have artificially inflated and deformed financial markets. He says most of recent price increases in US stock markets have been caused by dip-buying (buying stocks when their daily market prices decline) executed by algorithmic robots owned and operated by hedge funds, but it won’t work much longer. He thinks the US stock market is in a major bubble that will pop soon.

https://dailyreckoning.com/100-months-buying-dips-peak-crazy/.

 

August 14, 2017

Violence is a waste of time and energy

Rather than rationally deal with the root causes of their problems, humans often discount, devalue, vilify, and tear the tissue of scapegoat enemies. This has been going on since time immemorial as humans played psychological Games that escalated in hardness from minor fool-making jokes and kidding to insults to tissue-tearing violence to genocidal wars, trying to get their human needs for structure, recognition, and stimulus met.

Rather than play Games to get their basic needs for structure, recognition, and stimulus met, in ascending order of stroke intensity, humans can withdraw from others or interact and engage with others in pastimes, rituals, activities (especially work activities), or intimacy.

What Earth needs now is human unlearning and new learning. Humans need to learn how to get their needs met without playing Games and resorting to violence, as in wars and acts of terrorism such as occurred last week on the campus at the University of Virginia.

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

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

Here’s a book on how not to waste time playing Games.

Posted on Facebook, by me.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-john-stapleton/born-to-learn/.

 

August 10, 2017

What does the US power structure get out of this deal, what Trump calls a deal, a deal that requires threatening North Korea, China, and Russia, and fighting terrorists and destroying weak nations in the Middle East? It gets enemies necessary to justify US military expenses, which are about half of all discretionary spending in the US federal budget, about six hundred billion dollars per year, more than the total military spending of the next seven highest military spending nations on Earth combined, causing US politicians to cut corners with healthcare for US civilians.

“Watch: Former US Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Defends North Korea and Russia Instead of America,” by David Badash, posted in the New Civil Rights Movement blog, July 31, 2017.

http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/watch_former_us_presidential_candidate_jill_stein_defends_north_korea_russia_and_china_instead_of_america.

 

August 10, 2017

Here is an egregious breach of the US Constitution by US congress people to get personal campaign money from the Israel lobby.

“These are the tyrants in government who co-sponsored a bill to make it a crime to boycott or criticize Israel. This is tyranny,” posted by Patricia Dowling, August 8, 2017, on Facebook.

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

 

July 22, 2017

How to Manage Spaceship Earth

By Richard John Stapleton

The other day I happened to click on a link on the Intrepid Report and lo and behold up popped the articles I had published in the Intrepid Report since 2012, thirty-two in all. It was interesting just to read the titles, some of which I had forgotten. I thought you might be interested in taking a look at this.

I have been accused of being a liberal since getting into this writing business after retiring from business teaching at Georgia Southern in 2005. Looking through the titles of my Intrepid Report articles I can see why someone might think that. But I still don’t think I am a liberal, or a conservative. I am just expressing my humble opinion about how to manage problems and issues.

I appreciate very much Bev Conover, the editor of the Intrepid Report, including me in her selection of writers, which includes some well known names, such as Bill Moyers, Ralph Nader, Robert Reich, Douglas Valentine, Paul Craig Roberts, William John Cox, and others.

Regardless, here it is, a free book of essays written by an unknown upstart writer, namely me, titled by me today How to Manage Spaceship Earth.

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/author/richard-john-stapleton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s you and them fight

Posted in the Intrepid Report on

Donald Trump may be the most accomplished Game-playing president in US history.

In real games there are clear rules; all plays and moves are transparent, not only to referees but alert engaged spectators who watch the action as the games progress. Football and basketball games reach a climax with clear-cut winners and losers, and there is little or no doubt about who were the best and worst players in the game.

Psychological Games are different. In such Games, players beat up on themselves and others, demean themselves and others, and discount and devalue themselves and others while pretending to be righteous Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims who are picked on or neglected, or who Rescue others who are Victims being Persecuted by others, or who make others Victims, god himself perhaps, by sinning, in situations wherein there are no referees to call fouls, and no way for real victims to keep score or get even.

Psychological Games are a form of entropy, energy in a system unavailable for work; and they always cause some degree of harm or loss, ranging from minor insults or discounts to fistfights and shootings to divorces and firings to prison sentences and to major wars, and in the absolute worst case scenario, according to some religions, being abandoned and tormented in everlasting darkness and hell after death by the ultimate Persecutor because of violating his commandments.

Football and basketball games are honest and overt; psychological Games are dishonest and covert.

Trump’s most common psychological Game is “Let’s you and them fight,” based on a divide and conquer schema designed to increase his power by causing others to fight. He is a master at setting one group of people against another, conservatives vs. liberals, citizens vs. immigrants, evangelicals vs. transgenders, Americans vs. North Koreans, Americans vs. terrorists, and, now, one personnel clique against another in the White House, as reported in an Intrepid Report article, White House staff paralyzed by fear.

Next thing we know Trump will be trying to set up a Let’s You and Them Fight Game with the Russians or Chinese.

Trump’s tweets are like someone pouring gasoline on glowing embers, inflaming millions of people using less than 140 characters.

Getting out of bed a few days ago and tweeting he was banning transgenders in the military is one of his most successful Let’s You and Them Fight Games started recently, sure to create serious fear and agitation among targeted groups and their supporters. He said he did it to cut costs in the military, but that was just a Game transaction, a fake Adult social level message. He really did it to prove what a Big Man he is, an older equivalent of a Big Man on Campus, in his case a Big Man on Planet, transmitted in a Child psychological covert message. He is very skillful playing this Game, having had a lifetime of practice and schooling at home on how to manipulate people to do his bidding, growing up a rich kid, wheeling and dealing as a rich tycoon who never worked at a real job in his life, and acting as a TV reality show star.

I wonder if Trump ever played in a real game, say as a starter on a high school or college football or basketball team?

He did win by hook or crook one of the biggest psychological Games on Earth, completely infested with Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims, a US presidential race, about as real and fair as professional wrestling, but so what?

See in my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning for more on psychological Games.

Or my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is a certified transactional analyst and emeritus professor of organizational behavior and business policy who writes on business and politics at effectivelearning.net .

Why healthcare should be managed as a natural monopoly

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, July 20, 2017

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

Effective Learning Report Updates, July 2017

July 16, 2017

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

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

Read all about it, right here…

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

July 13, 2017

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

An America paradox: Pillorying fake news while promoting false flags

By Matthew Maavak

Published in the Intrepid Report

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

 

July 13, 2017

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

On American Revolution

By Paul Street

Published in COUNTERPUNCH

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

Read all about it…

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

 

July 13, 2017

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

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

By Margaret Flowers

Published in Truth-Out

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

“What Are We to do?”

Read all about it…

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

 

July 13, 2017

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

By Michael Sainato

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

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

Read all about it…

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

 

July 13, 2017

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

 

 

 

 

Effective Learning Report Updates

June 30, 2017

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

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

Read all about it…

Observer

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

 

June 30, 2017

Ah, the magic of finance at the highest levels

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

Sovereign Debt Jubilee, Japanese-Style

by Ellen Brown

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

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

Read all about it…

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

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

 

June 30, 2017

Worried about the Federal debt?

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

Read all about it…

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

 

June 30, 2017

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

Well worth a listen.

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

 

June 30, 2017

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

Read about Trump’s lies…

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

 

June 30, 2017

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

Well worth a look and listen.

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

 

June 30, 2017

Sanders says Republicans should be embarrassed about health care

Well worth a listen…

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

 

June 30, 2017

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

Join now! Here’s how!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

June 30, 2017

How could this happen?

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

Read all about it…

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

 

June 30, 2017

Why Health Care is a Natural Monopoly

by Richard John Stapleton

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

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

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

 

June 30, 2017

God forbid we should be intimidating

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

Read all about it …

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

 

June 30, 2017

Lake Wobegon Schools

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

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

 

June 30, 2017

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservatives and Liberals vs. Freethinkers

By Richard John Stapleton

 I have read several posts lately written by people on the Internet averring we are heading for another civil war in the United States, this one between conservatives and liberals. It appears violence or the threat of violence between these groups is escalating in the US. The recent clash between conservative and liberal students on the campus at Berkeley, in which students came to blows using their fists, is a case in point.

The Civil War in the US was not really a civil war, as Paul Craig Roberts pointed out recently in an Internet article at http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/01/23/are-americans-racists/.

A civil war is between two or more groups that want to take over through military violence the same government and impose their beliefs and policies on everyone in the country. The so-called Civil War in the US in the 1860s would have been more accurately called the Secessionary War, or, as some people, primarily Southerners, wanted to call it, the War Between the States. This war was between a sub-group of the US known as the CSA that wanted to form its own government in its seceded territory to preserve slavery and what would have been left of the original group known as the USA.

No one with an Internet connection or a mainstream media newspaper subscription could have missed posts and stories in recent months in the US about “fake” news permeating the US. Calling the US Civil War a civil war has been a form of fake news that’s been in US history books since that war, whatever you want to call it, ended in 1865. Those in power can cause news and history books to be written the way they want, and if it suits their purposes to call a secessionary war a civil war, then so be it.

It’s no secret that published definitions of events are often misconstrued for public relations purposes, to save face or promote the vested interests of one kind of group or another, whether families, religions, schools, governments, corporations, military units, political parties, countries, or cultures. Reality is often defined rather than described, usually euphemistically to make the people involved seem more like rescuers rather than persecutors or victims, more like heroes rather than villains, and more like saints rather than sinners.

After the violence of wars, takeovers, and revolutions finally ceases, the winners and bosses with power in their hands say, “It’s my way or the highway,” so that’s the way it is. Most vanquished people salute and say “Yes, Sir,” or they get shot, fired, court-martialed, sluiced out, or run off, maybe starved to death, or maybe get sent to hell, so they and their families, if they have families, acquiesce. Most people go along to get along, peacefully some say.

Why so many humans around Spaceship Earth want to breed so many children and expose them to this disingenuous brutal process—rife with and feeding on inequality, insecurity, fear, misery, hunger, injustice, disease, humiliation, and poverty—currently seriously afflicting about one-fourth of the human population around Spaceship Earth, almost two billion people, including about twenty million people literally starving to death—is pathetic.

Most conservatives and liberals are authoritarians. They believe or pretend to believe, take pride in, and adhere to certain definitions, doctrines, dogmas, beliefs, and logic systems about how to run their worlds and are willing to fight for them, as Internet posts on Facebook show.

Posts written by ordinary people on Facebook often contain fake news, propaganda, fantasies, conspiracy theories, wishes, desires, grievances, pleas for help, irrelevancies, and insane ideas and beliefs, but these posts also show what people from various walks of life around Earth think, wish, believe, want, and need, however crude, irrelevant, or untruthful their posts might be.

Much of the content revealed in artless dysphemistic Facebook posts about the feelings, thoughts, wants, needs, and behaviors of people is something you won’t find in mainstream media because professional gatekeepers block it so as to hopefully make their MSM “presentations” more civil, pleasant, artful, and profitable. Facebook is therefore educating the public regarding a form of truth that was largely unpublished in the past. Whether this new kind of published “knowledge” will improve states of affairs in the long run remains to be seen.

During the run-up to the primaries and the US presidential election of 2016 I made numerous Facebook posts about why I thought none of the Republican candidates should be president of the US. I was an active supporter of Bernie Sanders, considering him a freethinker fit to be president, which, as it turned out, he wasn’t, after he caved in to Democratic Party pressure becoming or pretending to become a loyal Democrat supporting Hillary, possibly to save himself from a mysterious fatal ending similar to the deaths of others in Hillary’s political circles with dubious loyalty, as written about in Facebook posts.

I confirmed scores of Democrats who wanted to be my Facebook friend because of what I wrote in Facebook posts in support of Bernie Sanders, almost reaching Facebook’s friend limit of five thousand.

I did not think Hillary should be president so I supported and voted for Jill Stein, of the Green Party, considering her suitable to be president of the US. I may have been wrong about Jill Stein but if I was I was honestly wrong based on the facts of the case at the time. I did not vote for her merely because of her or my political party dogmas and beliefs.

My supporting Jill Stein in Internet posts after Sanders’s capitulation before the November election did not sit well with my Democrat fair-weather friends on Facebook. Some of them “unfriended” me, and some of them blocked my posts from their pages and groups. Some called me a “troll”, an insult to an academic like me who generally tells what he thinks is the truth, shedding light for sake of light, and all that. I was surprised and dismayed to learn that some of these erstwhile Facebook Democrat friends got mad because I would not support Hillary after Sanders capitulated, attacking my character in some cases. Apparently they thought I should cathect my Adapted Child ego state, pretend to be a loyal Democrat, not do what I thought was right using my Adult ego state, and vote for the lesser evil like they told me to, Hillary in their opinion.

I will define these capitalized terms a few paragraphs later.

In retrospect in overall perspective it seems to me the Adult thing to do in most elections is vote for the person you think is the best choice and let the chips fall where they may. It seems to me party line voting increases the evils of polarization and vested interests, not resulting in creating the greater good for the greater number most of the time.

I taught thirty-five years as the only case method teacher in a business school, so I have long experience resisting groupthink pressures for conformity. I was able to survive as a freethinker largely because of getting tenure and promotion to full professor at age thirty-six.

Read a free copy of 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-ebook/dp/B002GP76TA, and especially read reprints in it of my articles “The Classroom De-Gamer” and “Academic Entrepreneurship: Using the Case Method to Simulate Competitive Business Markets” and “Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach,” published in the Transactional Analysis Journal and the Journal of Management Education. Read also my case, “Games Educators Play” and my summary article, “Evidence the Case Method Works,” presenting longitudinal research data indicating my case method students made more money in the real world after they got out of college than students taking courses in the same subjects not requiring the case method. All of these former students had been working in the so-called real world of business at least five years, and some of them had been out there fifteen years.

The case method is the only teaching method I know of that rewards freethinking skills. It requires students to think about business as a whole taking everything into account. The grading has to be subjective, since real cases do not have provably true right answers, only relatively good answers that work.

In my courses the final grade was eighty percent based on class participation, primarily determined by the quantity and quality of ideas a student sold in the class market. The assigned class grade point average in my courses the year I retired 2005 was about 2.5, according to Pick-A-Prof at https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/2961563/?pathWildcard=2961563, a website showing the grades of professors at colleges and universities started and maintained at the time by some enterprising students at the University of Texas.

I assigned the lowest grades of professors teaching the courses I taught in our business school. I used nothing but the case method, being a freethinker. Other teachers teaching the same subjects used other methods, primarily the lecture method, being authoritarians.

I randomly selected a student in my classes to start the case discussion every day as soon as I came in the room. If he or she was caught unprepared having not read the facts of the case, having not disclosed the unpreparedness to me before class, s/he lost a full letter grade from the course final grade. The discussions were essentially democratic. For more detail about rules necessary to manage such a process see my “Academic Entrepreneurship” article in the Journal of Management Education mentioned above.

I have no idea what grades I would assign based on the quantity and quality of ideas offered for sale on Facebook. How would you go about determining what is average for all Facebook participants/writers/posters to get a referent point to gauge relative grades for individuals? Some Facebook posters are relatively excellent spouting off, dreaming up, and writing posts and some are relatively poor. Some deserve A’s and some deserve B’s, C’s, D’s and F’s, but how would you determine grades for specific posters? And who is you? Anybody knows nobody is going to assign grades for Facebook participants.

An Adapted Child ego state, mentioned above, is a structural and functional part of the human psyche first identified, described, and modeled by Eric Berne, MD, the founder of the International Transactional Analysis Association, through which I became a certified transactional analyst in 1978.

Read Business Voyages and my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331 to learn more about the human psyche according to transactional analysts. See my RJS Academic Vita webpage on our website for Effective Learning Company at http://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html for a fuller listing of my education and training experiences in this regard.

There are actually six ego states comprising the human psyche according to transactional analysis observations, research, identifications, and modeling: the Nurturing Parent, the Critical Parent, the Adult, the Free Child, the Adapted Child, and the Rebel Child, any one of which is appropriate when cathected and instantiated in various social and psychological transactions, situations, and cases.

To cathect is to turn on or energize an ego state; to instantiate is to bring into play or apply an ego state in a transaction.

What is an authoritarian and what is a freethinker in TA terms?

An authoritarian, hereinafter referred to in this article as an Auth (my acronym invented for this article) in my TA view is someone who lives his or her life making decisions primarily based on rules, doctrines, dogmas, algorithms, procedures, logic and the like primarily using the Critical Parent, Adult, and Adapted Child ego states.

A freethinker, a Frth (also my invention), is a person who primarily lives her or his life using the Nurturing Parent, Adult, and Free Child ego states, making decisions based on what seems ethical, logical, and reasonable for all stakeholders in the short and long run, based on the relevant facts of the case.

How does one become an Auth or a Frth?

Mostly it happens because of whom one is born to. If your parents were Auths most likely you will become one too, and the same is true for Frths. There are always exceptions, but this is the general rule or pattern, because children automatically and psychologically introject into their psyches the ego states, transactional patterns, games, time structuring patterns, scripts, and schemata of their parents in early childhood. Certain ego states and transactions are good for being Auths and others are good for being Frths.

To introject is to automatically and psychologically take in or incorporate ego states and visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and olfactory content in a psyche from others based on actual sightings, hearings, and exposure. Early introjected ego states and transactions are like videos stored in human memories that can be cathected and instantiated in transactions and situations throughout life.

Authoritarian roles primarily require rules, dogmas, doctrines, procedures, logic systems, and algorithms, using what is referred to as working memory in the brain, requiring downloading programs and data onto the desktop of Adult ego states, the computer desktop of the psyche, as it were, and then figuring out what is right based on logic, procedures, precedent, algorithms, and the like, producing answers considered absolutely true or false, after sizing and defining problems and opportunities to fit a Procrustean bed.

Freethinking roles primarily require using whole brain memory to integrate diverse ideas, concepts, images, and facts to create relatively true pictures of states of affairs, producing conclusions that are true as a matter of probability, producing policies and strategies that are relatively true or false, some better and worse than others when implemented in states of affairs, taking everything into account.

Auths are fundamentally mechanics; Frths are fundamentally poets. Imagination is an asset for Frths, a liability for Auths.

A good many of the posts on Facebook are coming from Rebel Child ego states (maybe 5 percent), but, just guessing, more are coming from Critical Parent (say 30 percent) and Adapted Child ego states (say 20 percent). Some of the posts are coming from Adult (maybe 20 percent), Nurturing Parent (maybe 5 percent), and Free Child ego states (maybe 20 percent).  Just guessing again, I would say about seventy percent of Facebook posters are Auths and about thirty percent are Frths.

True believer Republicans and Democrats in the US are Auths, attacking one another’s core beliefs, dogmas, doctrines, policies, and logic, and both Repubs and Demos are now attacking Frths for being disloyal. Auths generally believe in conformity and warfare to save their own kind and to hell with everyone else. Frths are generally more creative, individualistic, empathetic, accepting, and peace loving.

Let us pray our polarized un-civil verbal and political war in the US fought for decades between Repubs and Demos does not morph into a physical war escalating from the Berkeley fisticuffs skirmish between radical indoctrinated students on the right and left into radical indoctrinated authoritarian unscholarly semi-literate citizen fanatics on the right and left shooting one another on the streets of the US with semi-automatic pistols and rifles, and machine guns, as some extremists on the right and left have fantasized and written about in Internet posts I have read.

There won’t be a Mason-Dixon line in this war, if it happens. This will be a real civil war in the US, and it might happen in any state, Red or Blue.

Unfortunately, one can build a case un-civil verbal and political wars between Auths on the right and left and between Auths and Frths have been going on around Earth for several centuries, probably since at least about 1700. And a case can be made the causes of these un-civil wars generation after generation have been biologically and psychologically embedded in human psyches starting in mothers’ wombs before births, and during life experiences, especially during life experiences happening before humans are eight years old.

It seems to me humans need to figure out ways for all humans to cathect and instantiate more Nurturing Parent, Adult, and Free Child ego state energy and transactions living their lives so as to help co-construct new, productive, and peaceful processes and systems that will result in life satisfaction and long run existence for all creatures large and small living on land and in water around Spaceship Earth, before it’s too late.

Feel free to forward, share, email, print, publish, or otherwise disseminate this article, in whole or in part, any way you see fit.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democratic Discussions: Stories about Fact, Fiction, Good, and Evil: Part Five

 

Following is a podcast by Richard Wolff showing how to make small businesses and countries fairer and more productive using a democratic case discussion process.

This discussion process is similar to what I used thirty-five years in my business school case method courses at Georgia Southern University.  For more of my thoughts on democratic discussions, read a free copy of my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, by clicking here https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing-ebook/dp/B002GP76TA.

Richard Wolff has been an economics professor all of his adult life. He has degrees from Harvard and Yale and has taught at several leading universities. He now teaches at The New School in New York City and is an active and prolific public speaker and writer throughout the US and abroad. In this podcast Richard interviews another Richard from New Zealand, a young man, who has developed a computer software system he calls Loomio that facilitates democratic discussion processes on the Internet.

Hear Richard Wolff talking with Richard Bartlett about a participatory democracy process that produced significant change in the government of Taiwan by clicking the Truth-out post below.  As Richard Wolff points out in the conversation this development in Taiwan is a positive political innovation and accomplishment of historic significance, which has not been reported in US mainstream media.

Participatory democracy is something we desperately need in the US as a whole and in businesses. This podcast contains some of the best ideas I have heard for changing course so as to avoid the economic, political, and military disasters that loom ahead. Give it a listen by clicking the Truth-out post below.

Feel free to forward, share, email, print, publish, or otherwise disseminate this article, in whole or in part, any way you see fit.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor and Publisher, Effective Learning Report, www.blog.effectivelearning.net, April 22, 2017

Economic Update: Enabling Worker Co-ops

by Richard Wolff

As posted in Truth-out

Friday, April 21, 2017

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40301-economic-update-enabling-worker-co-ops