AN INTERNATIONAL PRAYER FOR PEACE

By Courtenay Barnett

CONSTRUCT OR DESTROY.

Whatever one’s political preferences and/or ideological persuasions, there are some home truths – and when one focuses on a ‘rule based’ international order there are some possibilities and realities which must make any rational world citizen wishing for peace – worry and cringe.

CONSIDER:-

Do we construct or destroy: When fifty or so cruise missiles are launched into Syria killing civilians including children.

Do we construct or destroy: When smashing a country such as Libya with the objective of regime change?

Do we construct or destroy: When there is a tearing up of the book of rules for world governance?

Do we construct or destroy: When the US condemns the International Criminal Court ( while war criminals such as Kissinger, Bush Jr. and Blair walk free) – but perceived enemies of the US/West feel the full force of the law in war crimes tribunals? 

Do we construct or destroy: When we dismantle the INF Treaty and end the START Treaty in 2021?

Do we act on a predictable and rational basis so as not to destroy the entire planet by honoring the existing global rules of governance ( at least those established since post World War 11): or do we embrace John Bolton’s vision for America – and – by extension – the world when he says America will not cooperate in any way with the International Criminal Court?   

Maybe we all need to kneel at the Altar of Peace and pray that the neo-cons do not have their way as they obviously worship at the Altar of War and Eternal Conflict.

________________________________________

* 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. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

WHAT NOBODY MENTIONED IN THE MUELLER INTERVIEW

By Courtenay Barnett

If the facts below are correct then the entire Mueller investigation is/was an elaborate hoax.

Issues

There seemed to be one large question looming throughout the Mueller investigation:-

Did Russia interfere ( meddle) in the 2016 US elections?.

Brief facts

  1. Hillary Clinton sought to be elected as the first female president of the US.
  2. Clinton’s main rival, within the ranks of the Democratic Party, was Bernie Sanders.
  3. There was meddling with the computer(s) of the Democratic Party.
  4. At about the same time James Comey, as head of the FBI, stated that Clinton might be the subject of investigation.



    The foregoing is a significantly adumbrated list of the factual dynamics.



    Investigation.


  5. Since much centered around the DNC computer(s) then these questions spring to mind.
  6. Why not subject the computer(s) immediately to a technical investigation so as to determine the times of external interference and sources of any hacking or leaking – both of which can technically be done?
  7. Why not call on a man from the NSA ( a world renowned technical computer expert) to examine the computer(s) and give testimony in the Mueller investigation if truth seeking was the objective? The man’s name is Bill Binney and he was willing to give evidence as an insider with very detailed knowledge and capabilities in a technical way to get to the truth.
  8. Of all the people in the world who could speak directly to the truth there is the man at the centre of the whole event – namely the publisher in Chief of Wikileaks. He made it publicly known that he was willing to be interviewed by Mueller. Further he had stated that it was not the Russians who hacked the DNC computers. So, if a person is accused and he makes himself available to be interviewed then logically ( as any competent detective and/or police officer would do) why not then interview the primary suspect and then take the trail further to where it leads to seek the truth?



    Conclusion



    Having listened to the Congressional testimony of Mueller I noted so far that there are some 200 unanswered questions based on claim of privilege. So much for that. Yet the wider farce, which many seem unaware of is that there are two (2) things running in tandem:-
  9. The allegation of Russian interference; and
  10. The allegation against President Trump of obstruction of justice.



    However – here is the rub. Trump does have a point, for the first limb (the allegation of Russian interference) has to demonstrate some credibility in a detailed and evidentiary way. The whole investigation stems from point of focus number 1. For the misbehaviour of Trump in misadvising and misinforming and lying in true Trumpian style – becomes but a side show, for the real question as I have outlined above has yet to be truly investigated. Congress therefore, and Mueller, are both dancing around the mulberry bush, and no one seems to notice the avoidance occurring on the turf which really matters as regards the commencement of the whole investigation. Trump’s dalliance was and remains but a secondary and consequential sideline stemming from the first main and still yet unanswered issue, the alleged hacking of, meddling with, and leaking from DNC computers .



    Here – listen to Bill Binney as the former technical Director of the NSA – and ask again – why with simple common sense if not logic – then how in goodness name can a man so centrally placed not have been interviewed by Robert Mueller?



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9TyASfZV0c

________________________________________

* 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. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

THE EARTHIAN — 10

THE EARTHIAN is a digest of linked articles containing facts, events, analysis, perspectives, and comments concerned about existential states of affairs around Spaceship Earth.

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, July 12, 2019

Or So It Seems to Me Right Now

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher

Here I am one more time, with one more issue of THE EARTHIAN  — 10, one more time as our legendary football coach at GA SO Univ, Erk Russell, used to say about the next football game.

What sort of age is this anyway?

A writer-source posted below says we are now living in “The Age of Stupidity,” epitomized by the emergence of Donald Trump on the world stage, exemplified by his performance July 4, 2019 in Washington, DC at his military parade, replete with army tanks rolling down Washington streets with air force jets flying in formation and then dramatically fanning out overhead, and his speech, in which he revved up his congregation with his interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner, in which he said Americans were still behind the ramparts and their flag was still standing, as if still fighting the Revolutionary War, in which they took over the air and airports, heroes of mythic courage and virtue, as his pack of hungry hounds ate up every word he said, ecstatically howling and yelping as each new bone was thrown their way—which was fine so far as it goes for such a speech on such an occasion—except for the fact the Star Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812 and there were no airports to take over then, airplanes unfortunately having not been invented yet.

Maybe we should call our age The Age of Suspended Disbelief or the Age of Awakening or The Age of Anger or The Age of Reckoning or the Age of Letting It All Hang Out.

Possibly because of the emergence of the Internet and electronic media in general, human Earthians around Spaceship Earth in recent decades have been exposed to a greater variety of facts, data, propaganda, fake news, information, and honest and dishonest analysis than ever before in history, possibly causing widespread bewilderment and frustration. Humans are like field mice forced out of their burrows into the light of day that do not know what to make of what they see. They have learned that much of what they were taught was wrong and that things are often not what they seem.

Not only ideas and doctrines but events and practices contradict themselves at every turn.  Nothing seems to work anymore. The global economy is stagnant or prosperous, going to hell or getting better, depending on which version of truth you believe; nations are at peace or in constant war, depending on which version of truth you adhere to, with various dichotomies and bifurcations presenting themselves, such as the quality of human life on Earth declining or improving, a country getting greater or weaker or becoming more just or unjust or getting smarter or stupider, and so on. 

It seems to me right now a better trope for our time might be “The Age of Contradiction.”

A fundamental teaching of transactional analysis is that humans should learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives, so as to maximize their shot at being successful and satisfied with their lives, despite how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

Transactional analysis, or TA, teaches there are three naturally occurring life outcomes for humans:  winner, loser, and non-winner— caused by the sum total of inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to from the moment of birth, even including messages some say one is exposed to in one’s mother’s womb—and by the decisions offspring make about the outside messages that become permanent determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life that determine the three generic life outcomes, or life scripts.

In other words, it’s all a matter of luck in the naturally-occurring world of inevitable cause-effect chains causing human scripts and outcomes, all of which are to some extent different for individuals, a blind unfair process that produces in the aggregate predictable outcomes that recur in about the same proportions among the human population generation after generation.

A major purpose of TA is to add new artificial causes of causation to alter the path of the naturally-occurring cause-effect chain of an individual so as to increase her or his life satisfaction, helping the person to escape the “script” naturally imposed on him or her throughout life—if the individual decides her or his natural script is less-OK than it should be.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires a lot of hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires artificial script messages powerful enough to control the naturally-occurring deleterious or debilitating script messages.  TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, requiring perhaps the use of different ego states and transactional patterns, learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically as well as socially with others, psychological messages being ulterior and non-spoken, social messages being overt and spoken. 

Changing a loser script may also entail changing the way one structures his or her time, learning how to spend more time working than playing Games, or learning how to spend more time being intimate instead of pastiming, performing rituals, or playing Games, especially playing Games similar to those Trump plays with people, seeking but rarely achieving intimacy, most likely, possibly being the most Game-infested actor on the Spaceship Earth global stage in history.

Does the man have a loser script? A loser is someone who cannot achieve his or her goals. Trump seems to think he’s a winner whose political purpose is to rescue losers.

One can build a case it’s better not to try to change a loser script. Just let nature take it’s course. The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this:  Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA can in some cases increase serenity. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset as it is by global warming and climate change and by escalating hostilities and agitations among organizations and groups around Earth, especially between big organizations and groups, such as the US and Iran, with the US government trying to goad Iran into doing something rash that will give the US government an excuse to tear Iran to shreds with another war in the Middle East, a gruesome Game indeed. 

How could anyone be serene knowing his or her country is being lead by top leaders such as Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, and all members of Trump’s cabinet for that matter, government leaders ranking high on the list of unqualified government leaders through time?  Or how serene could anyone be knowing the judicial system is ruled by a dumbed-down prejudiced and biased supreme court such as the current SCOTUS?

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens on Earth, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help specific individuals, groups, and organizations become more ok, ok not only in terms of achieving personal goals but more ok transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually agreed to contracts.

No one could blame you if you believe in tuning out TA and blogs such as this one. Maybe the best strategy is to tune out the world, burrowing up in your burrow as much as possible, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. One can build a case this is the way to maximize your mental health. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

To maximize your chances of satisfaction it seems to me it’s best to try to solve problems and take action to bring about satisfactory conditions and outcomes. TA is a field of study that might help you do this on your life journey. 

Regardless of what sort of techniques and cognitive structure you use sooner or later you have to take action, and this entails defining the problem, delineating the alternatives, and making recommendations for changing things, choosing things, trying new things, trial and error, over and over, till something works. 

1—What is the problem?

2—What are the alternatives?

3—What do you recommend?

Unfortunately this Adult problem-solving process does not seem to work with nations. Who would be idealistic or grandiose enough to think he or she could define the problems of a nation, generate alternatives for solving them, make recommendations for change, and then start an action plan of things to do to cure the not-OKness? 

It seems nations never solve their problems. All they ever do is change the actors of roles required by the script, which may involve trivial script changes over time, say changing from a monarchy to a republic, or from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism to fascism, and maybe back again to capitalism; but so what, the dynamics remain the same. The top leaders wind up screwing and exploiting the members regardless of the economic or political system de jure, caused by the innate greed and corruption of top leaders incessantly fighting for more money and power, playing the ultimate Game, trying to be the top dog. 

Yet so far humans have kept on muddling through somehow despite their chronic problems doing about the same things over and over, despite the fact no single human or nation has been smart enough or wise enough or powerful enough to start and implement an action plan that results in real improvement and correction for everyone.

The problem now however if climate change and global warming are real in ways thousands believe they are we may be living in

The Age of No More Muddling Through

or

The Age of No More Bullshit.

Politicians promise to start and implement action plans for real improvement if you will just vote for them. Most of their promises are snake oil such as “socialism” or “cutting taxes” or “more military spending” or “Make America Great Again”—but It never happens or does any good, despite the billions of dollars spent on campaigns, and the new characters acting out the same roles after the elections; and the country keeps sliding downhill, as if the purpose of the whole charade was to give winners the pleasure of winning elections and acting out the roles they tried out for, giving them a taste of increased power and recognition as a top dog, with no real achievement for everyone.

We live in precarious times, but it will do little good to play AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game identified and labeled by transactional analysts, in which psychological Game players collect strokes by constantly complaining about the evils and troubles of the cold cruel world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists and politicians, however true that might be in reality.

Yet, it seems to me humans should discuss serious economic, political, environmental, social, and psychological problems in Adult Game-Free ways to develop consensual bottom-up policies and strategies, and the more groups around Earth the better, which increases the odds of developing workable and cooperative approaches for staving off the dire consequences of global warming and climate change. 

At the same time, it will do no good for Earthians to stick their heads in the sand to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game labeled GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic (fake) strokes (units of recognition) for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs.

Regardless of the causes of the Earthian plight, it seems to me individual humans should assume responsibility and take action for conserving energy as best they can in their daily lives to reduce greenhouse gases and the effects of climate change; but especially they should help select politicians who will vote for economic and political policies and strategies that will help correct environmental, economic, political, social, and psychological problems on a mass scale, before it’s too late.  

For at least two centuries humans have lived under the illusion that technology and labor-saving devices, new chemical applications in agriculture (fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides), and new scientific discoveries of all sorts would enable them to live happily ever after, while producing as many offspring as they wished, thereby increasing the world human population without limit, despite the admonitions of humans like Thomas Malthus, an English parson, who published in 1798 in an essay titled “An Essay on the Principle of Population” what became known as the Malthusian Concept, namely that human population grows geometrically while the human food supply grows arithmetically, and therefore most humans were doomed to suffer food shortages, poverty, subsistence living, and premature deaths.  Up until the last few years economists have generally taught that Malthus was wrong, arguing that technology, chemical agriculture, better seeds, and better irrigation would enable an ever-increasing human population to be adequately fed and housed. Unfortunately it now appears that Malthus was right after all. World hunger, poverty and misery are increasing, even in the United States; and, even worse, it appears that some forms of technology, however beneficial and enjoyable they have been in the short run, have led human Earthians down a dangerous path to possible extinction, namely electricity and the internal combustion engine used to power billions of cars, trucks, motorcycles, riding lawn mowers, tractors, airplanes, boats, ships, houses, refrigerators, central heating and cooling systems, factories, computers, and what have you around Earth, requiring the ignition and burning of many millions of barrels, cubic feet, and tons of fossil fuel (oil, gas, and coal) every day as an energy source, the burning of which is causing global warming and climate change by putting ever more tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. All forms of technology are not good things; and humans have to learn how to use good technology instead of bad technology, however horribly addicted to bad technology they may be; and the Earthian human population should be peacefully reduced through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births, thereby reducing the need to deplete resources necessary to sustain the Earthian human population in the short run, irrespective of long run consequences. Bringing that about will require many different kinds of changes not only in the behavior of human Earthians but especially in the behavior of large human institutions controlled and manipulated by deluded self-interested sociopaths. The situation is especially ominous when one considers that if humans were to give up all their addictions to bad technology cold turkey they would immediately cause an economic and political catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, possibly extinction. Humans are cornered or trapped in a Global Catch-22 or Gordian Knot—in a damned-if-they-do-and-damned-if-they-don’t situation—and there are no easy answers for getting loose.

Unfortunately, it seems to me right now that human Earthians over and over fight (and sometimes win) the same sorts of futile battles, while they inexorably lose the long war.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis go here. To create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning .

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds .

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”   for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone.   

TO RESPOND:

As usual this month’s THE EARTHIAN  links and cites as SOURCES recent articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I generally agree with these writers about what is most relevant about Spaceship Earth states of affairs, but each of them brought up facts, analyses, conclusions, ideas, or perspectives that were new to me when I read them during the last thirty days or so, thereby teaching me something, which is why I included them in this issue of THE EARTHIAN.  

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet, and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic, or irrelevant authoritarian make-believe certainty, to be memorized and obeyed by sheeple.

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum go to our RESPONSES  page and let us know about them.

Feel free to respond with comments about any of the SOURCES listed below using our RESPONSES page; but please refrain from making ad hominem attacks. Criticize any of the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles; but please refrain from slandering the characteristics of the authors to illogically try to prove their arguments and conclusions are wrong and yours are right.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for THE EARTHIAN, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN and would like to reciprocate go to our Effective Learning Publications  page and purchase one or more copies of my books. 

Best wishes, RJS

SOURCES:

June 26, 2019

Jonathan Walker Stapleton, my son, the author of this article, was born June 17, 1972 in Savannah, Georgia, reared in Statesboro, Georgia, graduating from Statesboro High School in 1990 as the Star Student of the 12th Congressional District of Georgia, graduating from Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1994. He now teaches physics and earth sciences at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont. He was selected to deliver the commencement address this year by the graduating seniors at Essex High School. This article is the text of his speech. A video is attached.

“A Graduates’ Brief Guide for Dealing with Inevitable Failures,” by Jonathan Walker Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-graduates-brief-guide-to-failure/?fbclid=IwAR0TBvPADYi3OkjdLRGQnFcoW3cm3ZooZayUEP9K8nIYf8g5RxdNob9J-Wg.

July 12   

Good questions indeed.

“Capitalism and a primitive, violent society,” by Dave Alpert, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27556.

July 12 

Ellen Brown again tells it like she sees it, about right, as I too see it.

“How to pay for it all:  An option the candidates missed,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27559.   

July 12 

John Whitehead again tells the truth as he sees it.

“The heart of darkness:  The sexual predators within America’s power elite,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27561.  

July 12

Another great article by Paul Street, one of the greatest writers alive.

“Skull of Death:  Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/12/skull-of-death-mass-media-inauthentic-opposition-and-eco-existential-reality-in-a-pre-fascist-age-of-appeasement-2/?fbclid=IwAR2-WniRRkLQO_PyU5rhL6IC56Em_FFwVjyNaAEvp1Nbc6v14QroyUPab5U.

July 12

Always about oil.

“Oil’s Enduring Sway in US Policy in the Middle East, by Michael T. Klare, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/oils-enduring-sway-in-us-policy-in-the-middle-east/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2wVmyF7EukpfDw8JBIloWY0XzNCzQtGdTZvkj39ZwotASG4pFOLEibmtk.

July 12

Say it aint so Joe.

“The Climate Crisis Has Made Breathing Smoke Normal in Pacific Northwest,” by Martha Baskin, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-climate-crisis-has-made-breathing-smoke-normal-in-pacific-northwest/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2IASWWJJ5rOSM7LWGiKb8aqEmKARPAwxuYW4GG-eoDFdL9XGXUnh0zFCM.

July 12

Serious indeed.

“Iran Tells US and UK to Leave Gulf Region immediately as Tensions Soar,” by Jake Johnson, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/iran-tells-us-and-uk-to-leave-gulf-region-immediately-as-tensions-soar/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0gWkoORq8H9MRepPJRtwVcGIBBk7z1RahGIAKH6HIYJLzbiwNkYf1idN0.

July 12

Yuk. Let us pray this climate change was caused by humans, since there is some chance we could turn it around.  If we did not cause it we are at the mercy of fate.

“Up to 25 inches Of Rain!—New Orleans Faces “Storm Of Biblical Proportions,” by Michael Synder, END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/up-to-25-inches-of-rain-new-orleans-is-about-to-be-absolutely-devastated-by-a-storm-of-biblical-proportions.

July 12

Quite a story.

“The mystery surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s private island,” by Jonathan Levin, SAN FRANCISCO GATE, https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-mystery-surrounding-Jeffrey-Epstein-s-private-14090511.php?utm_campaign=CMS+Sharing+Tools+%28Desktop%29&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&fbclid=IwAR2SQHueQs-x5nYkDevjSqyveGdr3KETHfYMmQghrC1Dr2sXgm5PBnXdGQ0.

July 10

Interesting the parallel downhill courses of UKania and USia, both declining economically, socially, psychologically, and politically, both soon to be ruled by buffoonish conservative over-weight male monied moral degenerates with weird blonde hair.

“London’s Burning: Brexit and Climate Change,” by Kenneth Surin, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/10/londons-burning-brexit-and-climate-change/?fbclid=IwAR38lpbUoWyw-KZHS7A1stJWFuU-JUHwrXrMie-vOuHfn9R9N_jDzBfIteA.

July 10

Yes, a must do.

“High-Impact Opportunities Exist to Restore Tropical Rainforests Around the World, by Robin Chazdon, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/high-value-opportunities-exist-to-restore-tropical-rainforests-around-the-world/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR27L5zQmz_s6fteLLCFDNW3SbzIAHQgPi1A-g4RDSz-ZEfOHFKuasvGBjY.

July 10

So it seems.

“Climate Crisis Disasters Now Occur Weekly, UN Warns,” by Jessica Corbett, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/un-warning-that-climate-crisis-disasters-now-occur-weekly-provokes-calls-to-act/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3CkQstKTPL7_CX9pAG3CyurexBI8huHGIS6BH6qAVNUxyaeRl3trpG43c.

July 10

If you try to bully others enough sooner or later some of them will find a way to get back at you.

“Weaponizing the Dollar,” by Patrick Lawrence, CONSORTIUM NEWS, https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/09/patrick-lawrence-weaponizing-the-dollar/?fbclid=IwAR3RVY58rztBNmEtMBNqFrbH-w2gw6F-c7mQmXVe4Pe5iP8_Sc5QcQdcQzc.

July 10

Never heard of it in the US before. Crazy.

“A Time of Unspeakable Things,” by Umair Haque, EUDAIMONIA, , https://eand.co/a-time-of-unspeakable-things-e221a4060bf4.

July 10

Say it aint to Joe.

“The quake to make Los Angeles a Radioactive dead zone…be afraid…be very afraid,” by Harvey Wasserman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27507.

July 9

Pathetic. Make up nonsense and supporters will still eat it up.

“The age of stupidity,” by Wayne Masden, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27509.

July 9

Hope it’s so.

“US Doctors Call for Universal Healthcare:  ‘Abolish the Insurance Companies’,” by Olga Oksman, OCCUPY.COM, https://www.occupy.com/article/us-doctors-call-universal-healthcare-abolish-insurance-companies#sthash.DpQqgcKM.dpbs.

July 8

Another must read article by Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive.

“The IMF and World Bank:  Partners in Backwardness,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/05/the-imf-and-world-bank-partners-in-backwardness/?fbclid=IwAR1WZUQc-7laCzZ0vEnkFLx4LG1t1YWm5iboSWFUxt3OePvVsayt2h3yJjY.

July 8

Another article by Michael Hudson, well worth a read.

“An Interview with Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2003/04/21/an-interview-with-michael-hudson-author-of-super-imperialism/?fbclid=IwAR0YLQ3WDP5IbW37DlDCWskMx-Z1cI1x7b0BAX0uia6Q9rkLSIdQOkH3Jn4.

June 30

Is it the US is just getting old, because of having old men past their primes as leaders?

“A Story: The Global ‘Old Man’,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-story-the-global-old-man/.

June 30

No more invading, bombing, and destroying nations that do not pose a military threat to the US!

“From Cyber War to Omnicide,” by Paul Atwood, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/28/from-cyber-war-to-omnicide/?fbclid=IwAR0Vg2A5JjRIlIHdaHKWAdYE29m7ECV9e4Yd54wL_4a6OnsMEQtvS6hAGzU.

June 30

Does capitalism inevitably cause trends that grind middle and lower classes down while enriching the rich?

“Unfair Food Pricing Is Killing Family Farms and Regenerative Farming,” by Elizabeth Henderson, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/unfair-food-pricing-is-killing-family-farms-and-regenerative-farming/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0-DSODwIuaWXg35m3l1aVq7VCc9_bD8gBea7qQCROL5XkfypJaidqgrwI.

June 26

Sounds spot on to me.

“The Real Reason Why The Fed Isn’t Cutting Interest Rates,” by Brandon Smith, ALT-MARKET.COM, http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3821-the-real-reason-why-the-fed-isnt-cutting-interest-rates.

June 29

An unexpected perspective.

“Dalai Lama:  Europe Will turn ‘Muslim Or African’ If Migrants Not Returned ‘To Their Own Land’,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-27/dalai-lama-europe-will-turn-muslim-or-african-if-migrants-not-returned-their-own?fbclid=IwAR3fBMJoFKkgYdiMqkG4NF_s60BuJ0BNwdBPAjozPCRdmeJoAL2wO3B0hrs.

June 29

Go Tulsi.

“Memo to Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi,” by Patrick J. Buchanan, BUCHANAN.ORG, https://buchanan.org/blog/memo-to-trump-trade-bolton-for-tulsi-137211.

June 28

Audacious all right. Maybe an idea that somebody should not have had. Facebook is already powerful and rich, but if they make this come true they will almost rule Spaceship Earth, which might not be such a bad idea per se given how badly Spaceship Earth is currently being run, but if this Libra idea comes true, like the Facebook idea did in the beginning, it will hasten the march of humanity toward a world government, because that is what will be required to regulate Facebook and Libra, and that would lead to who knows what, good and bad. Got to give them credit, Zuckerberg and his cronies do know how to think big.

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” for more context for this article at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaces…//

“Libra: Facebook/s audacious bid for global monetary control,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27429.

June 28

Shame.  Fie on the 5-4 SCOTUS biased decision.

“SCOTUS Hands GOP Gerrymandering Victory, Ensuring ‘Massive Election Rigging,” by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/video/scotus-hands-gop-gerrymandering-victory-ensuring-massive-election-rigging/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2jDCYntRREMK59nEaxqat2JRlgh6ZzjzevGj6CIQO_OGD4lNcybsKt1Xo.

June 28

Agree.  This is a serious threat to democracy.

“Demasking the Torture of Jullian Assange,” by Nils Melaer, MEDIUM.COM, https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768.

June 26

Another great article by Courtenay Barnett dealing with a very serious problem.

“Iran – War: One Small Step For Man; A Disastrous Leap for Humankind,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/iran-war-one-small-step-for-man-a-disastrous-leap-for-humankind/?fbclid=IwAR1pxJtWnDiQwLt7Fz0OWJjHM0xpGGGgujep_UFyolCz1TlYHKawZYaOO8o.

June 25

Straightforward writing by a straight shooter, Paul Craig Roberts.

“The Diminishing American Economy,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY, https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/06/25/the-diminishing-american-economy/.

June 25

So it seems.

“As we face Armageddon the Western world is leaderless,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27389.

June 24

Sad but true.

“Capitalist Workplaces Set Bosses Up to Be Authoritarian Tyrants,” by C.J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/capitalist-workplaces-set-bosses-up-to-be-authoritarian-tyrants/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1PYHDq8HULU6Tkf_OHy-9_oQgNoK0VcVcOlfIFq6AsB9qUYBv694Tb3i8.

June 24

A hell of a note.

“Rich Americans publish open letter asking to be taxed more,” by Andrew Buncombe, THE INDEPENDENT, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/open-letter-tax-rich-george-soros-chris-hughes-2020-democrats-elizabeth-warren-a8973111.html?fbclid=IwAR2b4VMYp1llSZNVK0N7mGPD99jMOHf3xMCct0h7bjSdKllcGCus2MlJ-oM.

June 24

So it seems to me.

“No, It’s Not Time to Break up Facebook,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/no-its-not-time-to-break-up-facebook/?fbclid=IwAR0-xj_rs8fKxlkgrnsZjIb2LQwmjj66IVO_Vhh1DJmiDQu9BZC5pbY_h2w.

June 23

Yes, it is time to break up Facebook, according to this writer.

“It’s Time to Break Up Facebook,” by Chris Hughes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, https://medium.com/new-york-times-opinion/its-time-to-break-up-facebook-8b6ae2cb3d9d.

June 22

Agree.

“Noam Chomsky: Israel’s Actions in Palestine are ‘Much Worse Than Apartheid’ in South Africa,” by Noam Chomsky, DEMOCRACY NOW, https://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/8/noam_chomsky_what_israel_is_doing?fbclid=IwAR18Rzd9asmLrk2OkOdnC1tBkMKFIRsuQ6hoQt55LqQbhG9FaRX_ab0HXmI.

June 22

Well said.

“No Dare Call It Austerity,” by Ajamu Baraka, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/21/no-dare-call-it-austerity/?fbclid=IwAR3xlDs8o5Ixwl7zY0oJa-4OEjYqvQM4UL8Wc_TVstaDJJ7nKKJxfgfZ9Es.

June 22

To prevent the most insane act in US history, yes, this is a no-brainer.

“Bernie Sanders Says Everything Must Be Done to Prevent US Attack on Iran,” by Jon Queally, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/bernie-sanders-says-everything-must-be-done-to-prevent-us-attack-on-iran/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3zteZtF7k51lNonxKent4HJWmpd8Eu1KnkBck8NnsFy0gzGHWKph0lSEw.

June 20

There are interesting perspectives in the well-written article posted below, “A Brief History of Whiteness.”

Here is my response to it.

Having been born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1940 and soon moved to Lubbock County in Northwest Texas where i was reared to age twenty-nine, with all four of my grandparents traced back to old Virginia before the so-called American Revolutionary War, with grandparents and great grandparents of respective times removed having lived since then in most states of the South, with generation after generation of my ancestors moving farther West to get ownership control of cheap land recently taken from Indians, I have experienced just about any attitude, racial included, you can imagine as a so-called “American”, better known as a US citizen, since there are twenty-two nations in North, Central, and South America.

I can tell you all USians are “colored” to some extent, as are all “Americans” of North, Central, and South America, except for perhaps some albinos.

I have been accused of being almost anything—because of my curly hair, “You must have a nigger in the woodpile somewhere,”—or because of my high cheek bones, “You must be part Indian, meskin, nigger, or ‘somethin”—starting at an early age and continuing into my years as a professor in a university, such slurs not all having been made by uneducated ignorant loser bigots, some having being made by educated bigoted loser professors.

About six years ago I decided to have my DNA tested by Ancestry.com. According to the results my genes are similar to the genes of humans now living in Ireland (about twenty percent); Scotland, England, and Wales (about fifty percent); France, Belgium, and Holland (about twenty percent); Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece (about five percent); Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland (about five percent); and Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia (about two percent).

How wonderful it was to been born in “America” to so-called “white” people in the South so as to be able to experience the joys of living among racist bigots, in the so-called “melting pot of the world.”

All white supremacists, even blue-eyed blond ones, in the US should have their DNA tested at Ancestry.com or a similar service. Quite a few of them have genes that are similar to the genes of people now living in sub-Suhara Africa.

On the other hand, all people labeled black or non-white should have their genes tested. More than quite a few of them have genes similar to those of people now living in the UK, Ireland, and Europe.

The bottom line: No one is inferior or superior with respect to anything because of race alone. Race as a category on official documents of all sorts should be abolished by law. Verbally insulting, demeaning, and attacking people because of the color of their skin or the curliness of their hair should be a misdemeanor punishable by law.

For more information regarding my ancestors see my article “A Snynopis of my Family Background.

SOURCE: “A Brief History of Whiteness,” by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi, MEDIUM.COM, https://zora.medium.com/a-brief-history-of-whiteness-547feda4c7c7.

June 22

Is it only me, but is there a strong resemblance between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump?

“’I am a passionate Zionist,’ declares Boris Johnson,” JEWISH NEWS, https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/boris-johnson-zionist/?fbclid=IwAR13vsxliGnvmnYyrPBa_1Iujv-_SewGXG9Ixy0uOzi9tT8SEqR36_JEDes.

June 22

If this is rampant all humans are in deep trouble.

“The Belief that Trump is a Messiah is Rampant and Dangerous,” by Bobby Azarian, PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201905/the-belief-trump-is-messiah-is-rampant-and-dangerous?fbclid=IwAR0kFk-W8b5Ndv6Sjm40F_W38zuls5IR9r7tRJ96t2xElOTZGXSO-vCWWlQ.

June 22

Go for it.

“The Green New Deal Is Exactly the Right Idea,” by Noam Chomsky, DEMOCRACY NOW, https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/27/noam_chomsky_the_green_new_deal?fbclid=IwAR0COo0sZIOGKixYNb4cBqQUd70zLqZH-PNGoS95I3fsw9KOlGLv50hDufM.

June 22

Could be.

“Falling profits drive U.S. war threats against Iran,” by Bill Dores, STRUGGLE LA LUCHA, https://www.struggle-la-lucha.org/2019/06/21/falling-profits-drive-u-s-war-threats-against-iran/?fbclid=IwAR0n4AbbfJeUGI45M0d_xRFQtSNRNR2naVHv3Gcfv0StbYbKEHyj6JbI77o.

June 22

Well written article.  ‘Somethin to think about.

“My Mom Buried My Inheritance in the Ground,” by Mary Kroth, MEDIUM.COM, https://gen.medium.com/my-mom-buried-my-inheritance-in-the-ground-3ceaefb87c2b.

June 20

David Stockman tells it like he sees it, most likely like it is.

“America Last – The Real Meaning Of Trump’s Deplorable Aggression Against Iran,” by David Stockman, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-20/stockman-america-last-real-meaning-trumps-deplorable-aggression-against-iran?fbclid=IwAR2mAJCa0CZHjIUEBVfmreXL86_ZICzlfZQyPnBaAc6eVyls6vag77tUm1Q.

June 19

Is China’s communism more entrepreneurial than the US’s capitalism?

“The American Dream is alive and well—in China,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27325.

June 16

I had a grandfather who was a Methodist minister who did not believe an anthropomorphic god exists and did not believe the virgin birth story of Jesus who told me in his eighties he became a minister because that was all he ever wanted to do. I worked with and studied with many psychiatrists completing my post doctoral training as a certified transactional analyst at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, NC during 1975-1978 and I never met one that seriously used the DSM, Diagnositc and Statistical Manual. They made their diagnoses and therapeutic interventions using simple English to describe the not ok psychological feelings, thoughts, decisions, and behaviors they saw in their clients. Prescription drugs were rarely used. I did hear of some using lithium to treat manic depression. It seems to me some psychiatrists are medical doctors who like to prescribe prescription drugs, an easy way out, some of whom it seems to me probably had less psychological and therapeutic training than I had earning a CTA in transactional analysis to be used in management teaching in a university and consulting with organizations and groups, however much they might know about the limbic system, which involves hard wiring in the brain that is hard to change. For a full listing of my credentials and experience go to http://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.

“Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry,” by Bruce E. Levine, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/14/tom-paine-christianity-and-modern-psychiatry/?fbclid=IwAR1FSUC7C-qcobygrHyCnrS8-iesl6bhnhGOh8YV4JFkRZiVO3JS6xOvzsk.

June 14

A great speech by Chris Hedges.

“Fascism in the Age of Trump,” by Chris Hedges, UTUBE.COM, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/14/tom-paine-christianity-and-modern-psychiatry/?fbclid=IwAR1FSUC7C-qcobygrHyCnrS8-iesl6bhnhGOh8YV4JFkRZiVO3JS6xOvzsk.

June 14

Now here is a horse of a different color, a scholarly study by a former full professor of physics who says climate change and global warming, gender equality, and racial equity are forms of religion instilled in western societies by the elite class to distract middle class attention away from the real problem, namely an attempt by the US since Bretton Woods to harvest the rest of the world financially by maintaining the power of the paper US dollar in global trade, and middle class people who attack global warming and climate change, gender equality, and racial equity as bogus issues are the smart ones who realize these “religions” are being used by the elite class to hasten the demise of their middle class status. If this would not make you think it’s hopeless nothing would. Who or what could possibly solve this problem?

“From Dollar Hegemony to Global Warming:  Globalization, Glyphosate and Doctrines of Consent,”  by Colin Todhunter, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/13/from-dollar-hegemony-to-global-warming-globalization-glyphosate-and-doctrines-of-consent/?fbclid=IwAR0pe-ALcyGEWXOUda0VAbkZW7nMxoWwOPi846bbAzQhiEqykO0O0tV0XA8.

June 14

Most religions engender, aid, and abet discrimination against those who do not believe as they believe.

“The Suppressed Plight of Palestinian Christians,” by Raymond Ibrahim, GATESTONE INSTITUTE, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14358/palestinian-christians-persecution?fbclid=IwAR0zCX8R7NAsiixbLdBrR9zpLETEz4t_M9lBE6IHyo1E__W-kp0PtAukAKw#.XQPEm0jlPz4.facebook.

June 14

Interesting insightful article. If feminists are females trying to out-patriarch males then they are not feminists. On the other hand are women like those in this photo feminists? Is the real problem a desire for power, protection, and dominance by any means, even ironically sheep-like submission and conformity, in a dystopian, violent, unfair global world, such as Spaceship Earth, since time immemorial? And patriarchy is a handy defense mechanism and rationalization for all women, and men, who are forced to submit to primarily male sociopaths ready to do violence against others at the drop of a hat, who are in control of large hierarchical dogmatic fascist organizations, including all kinds of organizations, economic, political, military, religious, social, etc.?

“Why Do (So Many) American Women Still Support Patriarchy?,” by Umair Haque, EUDAIMONIA, https://eand.co/why-do-enough-american-women-still-support-patriarchy-53767f2d7a4.

Feel free to forward, share, repost, print, or otherwise copy this blog any way you see fit.       

RJS,  Editor & Publisher

 

A STORY: THE GLOBAL ‘OLD MAN’

By Courtenay Barnett

“For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

Once upon a time there was a young man; the young man was rich and powerful and over time started to grow old.

In his youth and in his most vibrant days he was rich, attractive to many and his name was well known around the world.

As with many a wealthy and attractive young man, the ladies flocked to him. He was seen to be like an alluring Adonis  to them. Back then he had vigour, vim, vitality and was a most able performer. But, as time went on there were changes in his body and so too in his life; and this made him unhappy. He refused to accept that as with others – one day his time will come and that his youthful days would be  well behind him. So he kept saying to himself, “I am going to make me great again.”

One night Casanova came to him in a dream and explained that it was only natural over time that certain things would rise quite vigorously and same would wane and even fall over time. Not as it used to be when one was young. But, the old man held fast to his youthful ways and with time it seemed that many of his former friends, whose advice he steadfastly chose to ignore, steadily began to lose respect for him.

It remained so for a prolonged period and both friends and foes became significantly upset with his vacuous and vapid ways and so sensibly sought distance from him. It was so bad that even at his advancing age, he bragged one day that all men should just, “Grab them by the p….y”. 

Although he continued to try and row his boat, it did appear he was largely succeeding in going round and round in circles and was not making intelligent decisions  in his latter years. 

The American way

The story, of course,  is a metaphor for events we are all currently witnessing, watching and awaiting a peaceful and promising outcome, if possible. We do desire positive and progressive outcomes  in the best interest of not just the ‘old man’ but for all of us.

What history teaches

The world moves and advances in epochs. Empires rise and empires fall. With each cycle – the ancient Egyptians – the Roman empire – the Persian empire – the Mayan and Aztec empires – the period of Columbus and the Conquistadors – the British empire – and post- British empire – the global empire of the United States of America with some 800 military bases around the world. The greatest wealth the world has ever seen held by a nation state as holder of the world’s reserve currency, the US dollar – but all before have risen and fallen and so too it is expected that the US shall have her day and others shall continue the cycle.

What Trump has not learned

There are certain specifics which the US and all of us might observe and learn from as the major issues prompting a global paradigm shift. For brevity’s sake it can accurately  be said that post World War 11 America became the ascendant global power. Even up to 1991 with the collapse of the then Soviet Union, a golden opportunity was afforded America. This becomes a little personal for me – for I visited Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1992 and saw there the tremendous hardships which the Russian people were suffering at the time. So, what did America do? At the end of the Cold War, America was the lone superpower; Russia was economically very weak; America was singularly strong. Instead of pursuit of peace and lasting global stability, America  expanded weapons production and extended bases into Eastern Europe; caused thousands of US lives to be lost in needless war and over a million in Iraq alone; attacked countries such as the richest on the African continent – Libya ( under Trump’s nemesis – Obama – the not so old man); kept spending some $6 trillion in on-going Middle East wars – and has launched the world, in effect,  into  Cold War II; whilst simultaneously mounting a seemingly impossible task of an ostensibly unrepayable national debt  in the trillions. Old man – really?

What Trump might still yet learn

I believe that there are four(4) central lessons President Trump might learn to steer the US in a more viable direction relative to his domestic concerns as well as those of all the other nations.

1.       Luddites

Abandon the Luddite approach. At and around the time of the Industrial Revolution in England textile workers found themselves displaced by textile machinery. The workers’ answer was to destroy the machinery. In a certain way, the Trump administration is reacting to the shifts in the world economy ( below is a short example) in a similar manner. As the Luddites destroyed the machinery to preserve jobs – so too now Trump through public and foreign policy dictates is making his responses to the challenges of industrialised production as it has shifted overseas; automation; and  computerisation ( as with his response to Huawei) and similarly his regret and/or lack of understanding relative to  new technologies not advancing solely or primarily  in the US. 

Example: In the early 1970s during the Nixon administration, corporate America and the then President made a pragmatic decision. It was recognised in both political and economic terms that China presented an opportunity. By way of rapprochement with China, American influence could extend directly into the Chinese economy.

As an advanced industrialised nation, the US found that parallel to such advancement were US labour laws,  labour Unions, environmental laws, workmen’s compensation, safety laws for manufacturing and such the like which all added cost to the process of production and manufacturing within the US. The solution was found to increase profits for corporations and lower the costs of goods for the consuming American public. This was done by out-sourcing to China and/or having supply chains with China. In a sense ( for a while at least) it was a win-win formula. China received benefits to assist the growth of the Chinese economy while American corporations’ profits increased and likewise there was the attractiveness of the market price for Chinese produced goods sold in America.

However, over time, as the Chinese economy grew there was an expanded Chinese middle class and in turn greater domestic demand for products which China itself could now produce.

So, President Trump, there is both a history and a rational explanation for the process which unfolded over some five decades. If that starting point is considered then the way forward would be more readily seen to be via negotiations within the WTO system.

The WTO to trade is  as  what the UN is to the global political system – a means of averting war  (be that a trade war in one instance – or – as with Iran, an actual threatened military conflagration). So, negotiation and diplomacy become far  more desireable and viable channels for global solutions than endless wars, threats of wars and “obliteration”.

Linked to this idea, is also the role and ever changing role which the US plays in the centre of the world’s financial system.

2.       Financial systems

Two ( 2) points might suffice. 

First, out of the Bretton Woods system came the IMF and World Bank with the US having a head of one institution ( IMF) and from Western Europe the head of the other ( World Bank). That has been the financial architectural structure since the last World War.

Second, America has the benefit of holding the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

President Trump ( and if not him then the major advisers of his in the US Government) are aware of a few facts:-

  1. It is Saudi Arabia which has significant oil supplies and at the time Henry Kissinger was Secretary of State and when the US went off the gold standard the replacement was the guarantee that the US would buy Saudi oil; in turn the military-industrial complex would sell American made military hardware to recycle US dollars in abundance. 
  2. The times have changed since the 1953 Iranian coup which was orchestrated by the CIA and Iran has become a significant power player in the Middle East.
  3. If any country elects or at all can wean itself off the US dollar ( e.g. US dollar reserves being reduced by both Russia and China in preference for gold) then over time the dollar weakens and a global power shift
  4. ( as is happening) takes place.

The options to President Trump might not seem immediately obvious so he appears to want to bully Iran into ensuring that they do not move to a dollar alternative option. Same problem again as under Saddam in Iraq; but, Iran is not Iraq – so some  form of negotiated solution has to be found – unless Trump’s decision is to kick off World War 111 and tank the global economy.

3.       Trade and isolationism



The first and second points above serve to explain how the US has arrived at the position it is presently in.



Sanctions on Iran, China, Russia, Japan and who next?

The difficulty is that endless trade sanctions lead nowhere and the parties then end up harming each other and by extension the world economy ( for it is already so economically  intertwined). While President Trump states that he is making trade fair – he is misleading in his pronouncement with China for the tariffs imposed impact the American consumers as well as producers, such as US farmers who pay the price and then have to be subsidised by the US government at the expense of the US tax-payers.

4.       US dollar as world reserve currency and global financial markets

All the foregoing points lead to the cross-roads where other nations in their national self-interest seek to avoid the constraints and stringencies imposed by the US  in the US national interest ( at least in the short-term) which then adversely affects the global economy.

Conclusion

I am not suggesting that the challenges of a shifting global economic and financial paradigm are at all easy. I am saying that the way President Trump is responding to the obvious challenges faced are not evidently rational, carefully thought out and thus over time simply shall not be viable on the trajectory he wishes to take ( dominate) the world economy.

__________________________________________________________________________________

* 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. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

IRAN – WAR: ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN; A DISASTROUS LEAP FOR HUMANKIND

by Courtenay Barnett

CONTEXT

Under domestic laws, when individuals have a dispute over a breach of a binding contract – they revert to court for dispute resolution and/or adjudication.

When nations under a Treaty and/or binding joint agreement, have disputes under international law it is expected that the parties negotiate differences – or resort to international arbitration – or revert to the UN for resolution.

The UN Charter under Article 2(4) reads and requires as follows:-

“Article 2(4) reads as follows: All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

In 2015 within the confines of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action  (JCPOA)  by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany a nuclear deal with Iran was signed. In 2018 the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA agreement.

HISTORY

The most telling single fact in the still unfolding international tensions between the US and Iran is this. Some fifty years ago, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Of all the Middle Eastern (ME) countries it is only Israel which  does not adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

And now with the shooting down of the US drone it is Iran now said to be the bad actor in the ME. But, we shall return to this point once historical context is given.

The history of ‘false flag’ operations conducted by the US and acts of aggression based on same could here be accurately and exhaustively documented. But, for purposes of brevity – let us be selective.

In 1846 on a false flag  the US pretext claimed that there was an attack by Mexican troops; in consequence of that Mexican/American war land ranging from New Mexico to California and beyond was seized and annexed to the US.

Similarly, the Spanish/American war was begun in 1898 in  Cuba, in Havana Harbour with the sinking of the USS Maine ( another false flag operation).

In 1962, a CIA operation directed against Cuba, known as “Operation Northwoods” was designed to have  terrorist acts committed against US citizens to be blamed on Cuba so as to justify invading Cuba.

Lest we forget – the “ Bay of Tonkin Incident” it was around 1964 that the US decided that it wanted to “come clean” and be openly and fully engaged in the Vietnam War. Yet another false flag operation.

In 2003 then Secretary of State Colin Powel, knowingly  and falsely claimed that “yellow cake uranium” was held by Iraq, so as to justify the invasion of Iraq.

So – does some measure of historical example exist as to why, not merely international lawyers, but our entire global citizenry, both have  valid reasons to be, at the very least, even just a wee bit skeptical about US claims being now made against Iran’s alleged unjustified attack on and downing of the US intelligence drone?

A BALANCED, SENSIBLE AND FAIR APPROACH TO THE ISSUE

Since there was direct UN Security Council involvement in the establishment of the JCPOA – and – since the UN is specifically established to be the main arbiter for resolution of international disputes between nation states – then would it not be logical, sensible, fair and reasonable to proceed as follows:-

Establishment and verification of facts

  1. By reference to existing data held both by Iran and the US – it is paramount that same be submitted to and be examined by reputable independent experts for purposes of determining the flight path and then the actual location of the US drone when it was downed by Iran ( i.e. was the drone over international waters – or – was the drone flying over Iranian sovereign territory?).
  2. Voice recorders and records of all relevant telecommunications exchanges between the US and Iran immediately prior to the downing of the drone also becomes of relevance.
  3. All other information thought to be of relevance to conducting a full  investigation with a view towards obtaining a comprehensive UN based report should also be submitted to the relevant agreed authority/authorities.

SABRE RATTLING

This is literally a ‘no-win’ looming military conflagration between the US and Iran. Calm heads, assisted by credible legal minds in international law and as well expert advice being given  and taken  under the Constitutional laws of both the US and Iran, as well as by all  military experts,  would prove to be providers of invaluable assistance.

Given the lay of the land in the ME, with Iran encircled by neighouring US military bases, this fact  is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing to the US for it shows that it has fire-power in close proximity to Iran; a curse because that very close proximity permits Iran immediate US targets which can readily be struck. Beyond that fact, there would assuredly be an asymmetrical war fought by Iran and Iran’s proxies outside of the geographical confines of Iran itself. Further, there is the question of the Straits of Hormuz and the necessary passage of some 40% of the world’s oil supplies being transported there through  and the implications for the world economy if that flow were to be blocked.

Even with overwhelming military might, if the US did attack Iran, that would be a mere beginning with  not any easy and/or conclusive end in sight. The integration of the world economy is advancing with or without America’s acceptance and/or approval. A US military attack would also have the unintended consequences for the US of advancing the drive by China and Russia to provide an alternative currency to that of the US dollar as current world reserve currency.

CONCLUSION

So – Uncle Sam ( and in fact – all  the people of America)  – President Trump – Mullahs – Ayatollah Khomeini   – the involved militaries at whatever levels from both countries  ( for it is primarily your lives on the line) – and all persons of sound mind; please – think once – think twice – think again – then revert to the UN for peaceful resolution.

PEACE!

________________________________________

* 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. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

A GRADUATES’ BRIEF GUIDE FOR DEALING WITH INEVITABLE FAILURES

By Jonathan Walker Stapleton

As a friend of mine likes to say, “No matter who you are or where you are in life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

I don’t know if you saw me craning my neck.  I think there are translators around here.  I was supposed to get a script in to them.  And I think that might be as far as I will be following it, so I apologize for confusion.  I’ll be getting back to it, but I’m going to go off the road here a few times.

I blame it on my showering this morning.  If I hadn’t showered, I probably wouldn’t have had thoughts.  And thoughts led to other thoughts.  And then I got out of the shower, and I went and grabbed my speech, and I went back into the bathroom and I started writing more things down.  And the reason I went back to the bathroom is that I really composed this while I was weeding the garden, and I had some great ideas in the garden, but then when I went to the computer and I tried to put them down, I think the framework made it, but the message didn’t.  So I’ve been looking at this speech thinking ‘what does this all mean,’ and I remembered in the shower.

By the way, there are some things that Grace mentioned that you’re going to see here.  Actually, there are a lot of themes that Jamaal, and Grace, and Izzy, mentioned in their speeches.  So look out for superpowers and procrastination and Siri.  Oh, Siri – I’m thinking about the garden – I recommend that, if you want a lot of ideas, weed the garden.  Clean your room.  Clean your shop if you have one.  Stack wood.  Take a shower.
Just turn the water off and stand there, because it’s not good to waste
water.  But the thing that doesn’t give me ideas is this iphone.
In fact I think this is the number one killer of epiphanies.  It’s good
for writing your ideas down once you have them.

This speech… the translator’s speech has some bits about failure… What it’s really about – what I realized in the shower that it’s about, is trying hard, making mistakes, forgiving ourselves, moving on, and then repeating this process over and over.  It’s my attempt to give you a few more tools to take with you into life.  Hopefully there’s something in it that you can use.

Before I move on to the specific topics that I typed out – the topics that the translators have, I want to say that the greeting that I gave in the beginning, ‘no matter who you are, or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcome in this place,’  –that’s been bouncing around in my head since a staff meeting that we had discussing the issues around Pepe The Frog – and what we could do about them. 

In case you haven’t heard of Pepe, he’s a green cartoon frog, and a hate
symbol, and a lot of other things.  To me, over the last few days, what he
has been symbolizing is a complicated problem that we feel like we ought to have all of the answer to, but we don’t.  And when you have such a
problem, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a stand – and when I say ‘take a stand,’ I don’t mean acting necessarily, but deliberately deciding whether you’re going to act or not.  So we take a stand, and the fact that it’s a complicated problem means that we’re likely to fail.  But when we fail
with good intentions, we need to forgive ourselves, learn from the failure, and then try again.

I want to emphasize the part about feeling like we should have all of the answers, because I think that’s important for you.  I feel like I and other teachers have drilled into you over the last 12 years, or however long you’ve been a student, that you’re supposed to give us the right answer; that there is a right answer.  That all you need to do is follow directions, and you’ll get there.  I thought about saying that all changes today, but a lot of you are going on to college, and you’ll still be expected to give right answers.

But in real life you’re going to fail a lot.  That’s to be expected.  It’s even to be embraced or commended.  And that’s really my speech in a nutshell, so if I forget everything else, I could really stop there.  The rest is just supporting
details.

I first started thinking differently about failure when I heard an NPR radio essay.  It was written for [the series] This I Believe.  It was called Failure Is A
Good Thing,
and it was written by [columnist] Jon Carroll.  The essence of his message was that failure promotes growth.  He argued that if we play it safe, and we only do what we have already proven that we can do,
then we may be successful, but we don’t grow.  He said we should embrace
failure as a natural part of learning.

I had a chance to witness a humorous application of this when I was teaching at Burlington High, right after I heard the essay.  A teacher brought in a student.  The student had his head down, and he had two pieces of a meter stick, on in either hand.  And she said to him “tell Mr. Stapleton what you did.”  And he wouldn’t look at me.  And he said “I didn’t mean to break it.  I just wanted to see how far it would bend without breaking.”  And that was Carroll’s point.  There really was no other way to find out the full
potential of a meter stick.  There had to be a sacrifice.  I forgave
him, and I hope he forgave himself.

I do try to apply John Carroll’s premise to my teaching.  I try to provide just the right balance of challenge, failure, and success.  I don’t always do it well, but I try.  In contrast to what I try to orchestrate in the classroom, real
problems are not designed to maximize your personal growth.  They don’t
have simple solutions, necessarily.  They don’t have answer keys.
There’s no guarantee that their answers even exist in a literal sense.
I’m talking about problems like climate change, immigration reform, health care reform, school shootings, and, of course, Pepe the Frog.  These are really big problems, but even something as simple as what you’re going to choose as a college major has no clear answer quite often.

I don’t mean this as a warning.  I’m not scolding you or trying to be harsh.  What I’m trying to do is give you permission to cut yourselves some slack.  You don’t have to have the answers.

Class of 2019, I apologize if I’ve given you the impression that life’s problems are as straightforward as those on the Physics final.  They’re not.  Or if I’ve led you to expect real life problems to be as intrinsically motivating as making water rockets, whipping things with towels, shooting supersonic tampons – that’s a little bit of hyperbole, but the tampon went really fast — or hammering nails on the teacher’s head.  Again, they’re not.  And if I have mistakenly given you the idea that adults have all of the answers.  We don’t.  But we can still be helpful.  I looked up the definition of an adult when I was writing this, and the first definition was “a grown person,” which isn’t very helpful.  I kept going down the list, and I finally got to one that sounded good, but it turned out to be a verb.  So, apparently, I can adult.  I’m not sure if I’m adulting right now, but when I do adult, I am
behaving “in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially by
accomplishing mundane but necessary tasks.” 

So, that’s our superpower.  Going back to Grace’s speech, I didn’t procrastinate on this.  I did make the mistake of going out and weeding the garden, and showering, and that kind of thing.  And I wrote it and rewrote it.  But I’ve been working on this non-stop since I heard I was going to have to do it. So I guess I’m an adult.  I had doubts.

I talked earlier about Jon Carroll’s glorification of failure.  I’m not sure if he glorified it, but he recommended that we embrace it and seek it, as a way to grow.  But I want to be clear that I’m not suggesting that you intentionally take unhealthy risks.  I’m suggesting that you do things like singing in front of the class, running the first half of your 5k faster than you think you might be able to, sharing an unpopular opinion that you believe in, dancing like a fool in public, and giving graduation speeches.  I’m suggesting that you push yourself out of your comfort zone and thereby grow.

In general, however, you really should try to avoid failures.  You’re still going to have plenty of them.  You don’t need to seek them out. At some point you’re probably going to screw up so badly that you just want to crawl in bed and hide forever– or under the bed.  This may have happened to you already.  I’ve done it recently.

My tool for dealing with paralyzing failure is the serenity prayer (written by Reinhold Niebuhr –NEE-BURR). It’s the one that goes, “grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can’t change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  There are a lot of things you can’t change.  You can’t change the fact that you failed.  You can’t change the weather.  Your parents, the color of your skin, or the politics of the moment.  The only thing in life you have control over is how you act right now, in the present.  When I find myself paralyzed by failure, feeling so bad about things that I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to move on.  A trick that I use is really an application of this.  I step
outside myself, and I think of myself as a character in a story.  And the
story is my life, but I’m looking from the outside at that character.  And
the character has gotten into a pickle, and I ask myself, what do I want my
hero to do.  Sometimes it take a little time, but that helps guide my next
step.  The corollary to this is that, when you judge yourself, judge
yourself not by the hand you were dealt, but by how you played it.  [This
applies] even if you dealt it yourself.

Back to my greeting at the beginning – I’ll repeat it, in case it’s not ringing in your head – “No matter who you are, or where you are in life’s journey, you’re welcome in this place.”

So… the Serenity Prayer works for acute failures, and it also works for mild failures that sneak up you.  Some day you may decide that you’ve gotten yourself into the [wrong place on] your journey.  You don’t like where you are.  You could beat yourself up over it, or you could recognize that the past is something that you can’t change, and have the courage to make the right choice now.

So, finally, one last tool that I want to offer you is a tool for dealing with inevitable failures, or at least failures that seem inevitable.  And, to take a line from this poem that I’m about to read, [what to do] when there’s no hope in sight.

I first heard this poem, which is my tool, 21 years ago on a backpack trip with my wife and some good friends, in the Bob Marshal Wilderness of Montana.  As soon as we hit the trail, our friend Pat announced that he was going to recite a poem for us, but he wouldn’t recite it until we got to a sufficiently miserable location that was worthy of the poem.

So after about 40 miles, on the way up a very steep pass, we finally got to hear it.  It’s called The Quitter, by Robert Service.

When you’re lost in the Wild,
and you’re scared as a child,

And Death looks you bang in the eye,

And you’re sore as a boil,
it’s according to Hoyle

To cock your revolver and . . . die.

But the Code of a Man says:
“Fight all you can,”

And self-dissolution is barred.

In hunger and woe, oh, it’s
easy to blow . . .

It’s the hell-served-for-breakfast that’s hard.

“You’re sick of the
game!” Well, now that’s a shame.

You’re young and you’re brave and you’re bright.

“You’ve had a raw
deal!” I know — but don’t squeal,

Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.

It’s the plugging away that
will win you the day,

So don’t be a piker, old pard!

Just draw on your grit, it’s
so easy to quit.

It’s the keeping-your chin-up that’s hard.

There’s one more stanza, and this is going to be my final message to the class of 2019.  This is the part that resonates with me.  Because a lot of times things seem hopeless, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go on.

It’s easy to cry that you’re
beaten — and die;

It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;

But to fight and to fight
when hope’s out of sight —

Why that’s the best game of them all!

And though you come out of
each gruelling bout,

All broken and battered and scarred,

Just have one more try — it’s
dead easy to die,

It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

Class of 2019, thank you for asking me to be your speaker.  Thank you for inspiring me and motivating me every day.  And thank you to Mark Mendes for teaching me that greeting.

Editor’s Note:  Jonathan Walker Stapleton, my son, was born June 17, 1972 in Savannah, Georgia, reared in Statesboro, Georgia, graduating from Statesboro High School in 1990 as the Star Student of the 12th Congressional District of Georgia, graduating from Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1994.  He now teaches physics and earth sciences at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont.  He was selected to deliver the commencement address this year by the graduating seniors at Essex High School.

Here is a video showing Jonathan in action delivering his speech.

NO, IT’S NOT TIME TO BREAK UP FACEBOOK


by Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

From the perspective of individual users since Facebook is free how could you know if having more Facebook-like companies to choose among would be better, or even know what better is?

Looking back at the breakup of ATT in 1984, how much has telephone service improved? My wife and I used to spend about fifteen or so dollars per month on telephone service, which was basically good enough. Now we have our own cellphones but still have a landline phone. Counting Internet charges we now spend about two hundred fifty dollars per month on telephone service, about three thousand dollars per year, compared to about two hundred dollars per year before the breakup of ATT, and we were better off then than we are now in terms of basic telephone service, especially considering the robo call situation, causing us to be subjected to unregulated con artists invading our space numerous times daily interrupting our lives with random calls touting scams.

I cannot see how ordinary users would get better off by breaking up Facebook, especially considering they would probably have to pay for what they now get free. On the other hand breaking up Facebook would definitely make it easier for new tech startups to capture some of Facebook’s advertising business.

As this article, “It’s Time to Break Up Facebook,” points out Facebook is a natural monopoly. Zuckerberg and his buddies at Harvard accidentally hit upon a business model of vast potential playing around with their laptops in their dorm rooms, primarily thanks not to what they invented, but to what had evolved and been invented by others, including governments funded by taxpayers. They were very lucky to be the first to connect the dots and get a patent giving them monopoly power to use nothing more than computer code, that enabled them to develop one of the most profitable and powerful businesses in history, enabling humans all around Earth to communicate with one another at no charge about any subject, in writing, visually, and auditorially. How much better can it get than that?

The main agitation now, as was the case in 1984 with ATT, is that jealous, hungry, and powerless would be competitors would like to enjoy some of Facebook’s revenues.

Rather than break up Facebook as a natural monopoly it should be run like all natural monopolies should be run, natural monopolies such as electric power companies, through government regulation that makes sure they are run in such a way as to produce the greatest good for the greatest number. Unfortunately when any organization, government or private, gets too much power it can be used in harmful ways. Running Facebook by government regulation, however, would be far better for ordinary humans than breaking Facebook up and subjecting them to the machinations of smaller organizations that will exploit them several orders of magnitude more than Facebook has, assuming Facebook has exploited users by selling their personal data. If so then cure the exploitation through governmental regulation, not by breaking up Facebook.

It’s not Facebook’s fault they accidentally got monopoly control of one of the greatest golden egg-laying geese of all time.


Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, June 24, 2019

THE EARTHIAN — 9

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, May 26, 2019

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME RIGHT NOW

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher

Hosted by the new bigger and hopefully better Georgia Southern University, resulting from a merger of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and Armstrong State University in Savannah, recognizing donors to GA SO and Armstrong through the years, as members of the Lifetime Giving Society at Georgia Southern, my wife Debbye and I were invited to and attended a black tie gala event at the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah Saturday evening May 18.

Per the current Georgia Southern University website:

“Now in its second century of service, Georgia Southern has close to 27,000 students, more than 2,000 faculty and staff, 141 programs of study at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, and three vibrant campuses in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville.”

Approximately one hundred twenty donors to the two institutions came to the gala from various parts of Georgia and elsewhere. The program included greetings and speeches by Trip Addison, Vice President for University Advancement; Katharine Barrs, 1906 Scholar; Kyle Marrero, the first President of the new Georgia Southern; and Jill Forehand, Director of Donor Relations.

We were feted with an excellent dinner, wine, and drinks, with time for socializing on the roof of the hotel before and after dinner.

I especially enjoyed talking again with Nick Henry, one of the more effective presidents of Georgia Southern University during my tenure as a professor of business during 1970-2005. Nick ranks in a leadership class in my estimation with presidents Pope Duncan and Dale Lick as a mover, shaker, and builder of GA SO Univ.

There were six thousand students and no football team at Georgia Southern College when I came here from Texas Tech University in 1970, hired by Pope Duncan, an enthusiastic and inspiring leader and speaker, especially in his annual campus-wide faculty meetings, who called me into his office as president in 1972 about a memo I published in the business school as the acting head of the management department that wound up on his desk; and after I told him I knew damn well I was right and the others were wrong about how to teach business policy, he told me, “You may very well be right, but you have got to learn ‘It’s one thing to be technically correct and another matter to be politically correct’,” which I never forgot or learned, causing me to forget about being an administrator and take satisfaction in becoming one of the youngest full professors in GA SO Univ history at age thirty-six in 1976, approved by Pope Duncan, causing me to carry the mace as the senior professor of GA SO University at the spring graduation ceremony the year I retired as an emeritus professor, 2005, a senior professor being the professor during an academic year who got promoted to full professor further back in time than any other full professor at the university that year.  

Dale Lick and Erk Russell started football in 1983, causing a major spurt in enrollment, making it possible for GA SO College to achieve university status under the leadership of Nick Henry in 1990.

While I never stayed for long in a chain of command administrative position, I never gave up trying to improve the functioning of GA SO Univ and the effectiveness of teaching and learning in general. See my Games Educators Play page at the top of this page included in Debbye’s and my Effective Learning Company website, which we founded in 2006 after we retired at GA SO Univ.  Debbye is an emeritus assistant professor of mathematics at Georgia Southern. 

Our Games Educators Play webpage includes a discussion of and link to a Stapleton & Murkison article I published in the Journal of Management Education in 2001, titled “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations: A Study of Correlations Between Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production, and Effective Grades.”  

“Optimizing Fairness” is a refereed journal article containing data from student evaluations administered in the management department in 1996 and statistical analysis that is primarily concerned with the problem of how to fairly evaluate the productivity of university teachers, that has by now been cited as a reference in seventy refereed journal articles in several academic fields, from psychology to physics, including citations in the last few years, proving the article is still being read and used, easily verified by simply punching Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations into Google.

Research for Optimizing Fairness enabled me to convince GA SO Univ in 2000 to add study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the permanent (I hope) annual student evaluation form used campus-wide that provides data for faculty evaluations that generally eliminates unfair pernicious effects of inverse correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades. Excellent teachers are just like excellent producers in any field; they want to be recognized and rewarded commensurately to how much they produce, in the case of teachers, learning, not popularity. My CITP, Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity, fully explained in Optimizing Fairness, can make this happen.

When only instructor excellence was measured and ranked on the student evaluation form, as was the case at GA SO up to 2000, I generally ranked in the bottom twenty percent of the department as a teacher. Based on a ranking of CITP scores —an average score derived from an equal weighting of Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production, and Expected Grades—I ranked in the upper ten percent of the department.  

Here is what Judith D. Fischer an associate professor in the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville writing in an article in Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute titled “The Use and Effects of Student Ratings in Legal Writing Courses: A Plea for Holistic Evaluation in Teaching,” had to say about “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.”

“A recent study by Stapleton and Murkison (2001) dramatically showed the limits of the term “valid” as applied in student ratings. Their study showed a positive correlation between student ratings and student-reported learning. But theirs was perhaps the only study to break down and report data by professor. Broken down that way, the data revealed that some instructors confounded the general trend: of the twenty-nine instructors studied, four who produced learning in the top half received ratings in the bottom half, while four who produced learning in the bottom half received ratings in the top half. Had personnel decisions been made on the basis of these data, with a cutoff at the median, four of the more effective professors would have been punished or dismissed, while four of the less effective ones would have been rewarded. This study highlights an important point about statistical data: an overall correlation between two variables does not mean that one variable is always correlated with the other in particular instances.

“Stapleton and Murkison did not attempt to explain why eight professors confounded the general pattern. But studies have demonstrated that a number of factors other than teaching effectiveness influence ratings (Fischer, 2004, pp. 123-124).”

Once again, to read the full “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” article, just scroll to the top of this page, open the Games Educators Play page, and click on an Optimizing Fairness link highlighted in red. That will take you to a full PDF copy including all data, charts, and analysis, prepared by Sage Publications, the publisher of the Journal of Management Education.

I spent most of my time at the gala talking with former students and colleagues, discussing what they had been up to and learning about their outstanding achievements.

This was the second GA SO Univ meeting I have attended that included people associated with the old GA SO and Armstrong State, and it seems to me things went well. Hopefully the merger will pan out in a synergistic way and both former institutions shall become more efficient, effective, and satisfying for all concerned combined than would have been the case had the merger not happened, and more academically excellent as well.

Some of the former GA SO Univ business students and colleagues at the gala are on the email list for my Effective Learning Report and were curious about how the Ogeechee Economic Forum is going.

I told them attendance had not been anything to write home about, no participants a couple of meetings, with three participants being the most of any month; but overall I considered it worthwhile.

Having a good serious Game-Free Adult democratic discussion about economics, politics, and the environment in general with just one person for one hour once a month makes the forum worthwhile for me, helping me understand better what is going on. Better than sitting at home reading articles on the Internet.

Hopefully participation in the forum will pick up, including people from all political persuasions and walks of life.

The major objective of the forum is to develop consensual policies and strategies for contemporary global problems and issues. It seems to me similar Game-Free Adult fully democratic forums should be set up everywhere all around Spaceship Earth to deal with the current precarious Earthian situation. Some scientists predict humans only have about ten more years of business as usual before global warming and climate change start to seriously take their toll.

It’s hard to believe human extinction could happen during the lifetimes of living humans. Current predictions of this nature are eerily similar to what end-timers have been saying for a long time, since the time when Jesus was alive. I sincerely hope they’re wrong again this time, but it seems to me factual data and evidence imply they could be right.

Like it or not, one positive aspect of global warming and climate change is that they have rendered war obsolete. Nations no longer need wars fought against other nations to create common enemies to create political cohesion and war making employment. All nations now have the same common enemy, the most threatening of Earthian history: Global Warming and Climate Change.

Instead of fighting other nations to satisfy the needs of their deep states all nations should bond together to fight global warming and climate change.

Read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning       for details on how to set up Game-Free Adult democratic discussion groups for developing consensual policies and strategies.  

A former GA SO Univ business student at the Savannah gala, who did not take any courses from me, now a hospital administrator, told me he had thought about driving in for one of the Ogeechee Economic Forum meetings, from one hundred or so miles away. I told him to come on anytime, that I would be there if I announced the meeting to my email list, which he is on, during the week before the meeting. He asked me if I thought health care is a right or a privilege. I told him I thought it was a right.

Speaking of healthcare, as unlikely as it might seem, a former general studies student at GA SO Univ, who took the business school capstone business policy course under me, the course I added to the business school required core curriculum for all business majors in 1973, the beginning of the end of my administrative career, in which I used a Game-Free Adult democratic learning process, is now my cardiologist in Statesboro. He insisted during my first visit in his office a couple of years ago that I call him by his first name when I visit him from now on twice a year.

The May Ogeechee Economic Forum in Statesboro was cancelled since the forum meets the third Saturday of the month, barring my being out of town, sick, or something. The gala caused me to be out of town May 18, since it fell on a third Saturday of a month.

For more details regarding the Ogeechee Economic Forum, again, just scroll to the top of this page and click on the Ogeechee Economic Forum tab.

Several former students have told me they enjoy my writings in The Earthian and the Effective Learning Report and have encouraged me to keep it up. I intend to for a while, but I am not sure for how long, not for health reasons, considering my health is relatively good for a seventy-eight-year-old. Basically I am in good shape, according to my required semi-annual Medicare checkups. On the other hand, I have had five people, including a former student and a former colleague, tell me to take their names off my list for political reasons, which I did. 

Here’s a copy of a letter I recently emailed to a fellow Internet writer discussing these issues:

“I just checked the GoDaddy counter for my wife’s and my website and according to their count we had thirty-two visits yesterday. Sometimes there is a lag of a day or so before I notice any change in the normal visits per day brought about by new articles in my blog. The counter counts hits for the website as a whole, including the Effective Learning Report, which is one page of the Effective Learning Company website. We average about fifty visits per day, the highest daily total I have seen being 136 visits, aggregating about 20,000 visits per year. I think most of the visits or hits are for the Effective Learning Report.

“Your email from your professor about legal morality, a good piece of writing in my estimation, dedicating a lecture in your name, a high compliment to you, caused me to think deeper about the morality and wisdom of what I am doing with my blog, causing me to decide I should let you know as a moral person that I may stop publishing the blog at any time.

“I started the blog more or less just for the fun of it hoping it would produce some book sales and it might do some good in the world. If it has I can’t tell it, at least with book sales. I average selling about two books a month via Amazon.com, mostly Kindle ebooks, most sales from outside the US, about eight dollars a month in royalties. My wife generates more revenue in four hours of mathematics tutoring than I do all year in book sales.

“The blog is not a business, more or less a hobby, an ego trip. I do not sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit or accept donations, or solicit article submissions. 

“Basically I have said about what I wanted to say in the blog, and there is no way at my age I can make the blog into a seriously influential source of news or analysis or a profit-making business. If I continue I do not foresee a meaningful increase in readers or impact and cannot imagine making any changes in the blog or its processes that would significantly make much difference. The older I get the worse my writing will get due to memory problems and poor judgment. As the saying goes, ‘There is no fool like an old fool.’  

“So why keep it up? Why not quit now while I’m ahead? The only rational response is just for the personal satisfaction.  

“So far I have not received any serious criticisms or threats because of what I have written and/or published in the blog. Five people have told me to remove their names from my email list, which I did, from a list of 179 at present. Most people on the list probably do not open the email web addresses for the blog and website events, and, like most people, just do not give a rip about anything but the needs and entertainment of themselves, their families, and their immediate circle of friends. Thinking, learning, and worrying about all species of fauna and flora aboard Spaceship Earth is above their pay grade.

“I have worried to some extent from the git-go of my blog about the possibility that sooner or later I would write and/or publish something that would seriously threaten or piss off someone in the deep state or the elite rich or a hate group that would cause serious problems and losses. I have read bloggers are generally safe from the deep state and the elite rich and hate groups if almost nobody reads their blogs; but it seems to me there is always some risk no matter how unsuccessful they are attracting eyeballs on the Internet that something they write and/or publish will strike a nerve in someone and cause serious trouble, requiring cash for a legal defense or medical bills or a funeral.

“I read a writer on the Internet last week living in Australia who said that while she felt successful with her blog and her writing thanks to selling subscriptions and advertising and soliciting donations via PayPal and Patreon her main satisfaction was helping save the world. That helping save the world bit appeals to me too, but, still, is publishing the blog worth it?  

“It’s getting about time for me to write, edit, and publish another issue of The Earthian, the ninth one. I’ll probably do it, at least one more time.

“But maybe not.

“Don Quixote may hang up his spurs, armor, and lance after the eighth and last issue of The Earthian, and put his horse Rocinante out to pasture.”

Here is how the writer responded to my above letter:

“As a follow up to our exchanges I honestly believe that you have no need to fear for anything published and I can explain why.

“Albeit, my biographical note indicates the threats made against me there were specific cases and situations why those occurred. At one stage I was directly litigating against a British monopoly telecommunications company and threating their illegal charges. I did succeed to break the monopoly and have the unlawful charges removed and lawful charges introduced. The other scenario related to my defence of 140 Chinese workers. So, you can see the specifics there.

“In our situation, like most bloggers around the world opinions are being expressed not unlike what many bloggers do elsewhere ( just check the internet and you will see views from ultra left to right posted each day).

“The deep state is concerned with attacking those who are effectively influential and substantially impacting their misdeeds. Such an example is Julian Assange. He has done unprecedented things in exposing the state’s wrongdoings. Seth Rich, the DNC leaker is another example.  Thus, he was  targeted. Likewise, Chelsea Manning is another such example. Nothing you or I do or say is remotely of concern to the powers that be.

“Trouble not thyself. There is nothing to fear.”

So, here I am one more time, with one more issue of THE EARTHIAN  — 9, one more time as our legendary football coach at GA SO Univ, Erk Russell, used to say about the next football game.

We live in precarious times, but it will do little good to play AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game identified and labeled by transactional analysts in which psychological Game players collect strokes by constantly complaining about the evils and troubles of the cold cruel world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists and politicians, however true that might be in many cases in reality.

Yet, it seems to me humans regardless of this should discuss relevant economic, political, environmental, social, and psychological problems in Adult Game-Free ways to develop consensual bottom-up policies and strategies, and the more groups around Spaceship Earth the better, which increases the odds of developing workable and cooperative approaches for staving off the dire consequences of global warming and climate change. 

It will do no good for Earthians to stick their heads in the sand to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game labeled GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic (fake) strokes (units of recognition) for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs.

Regardless of the myriad causes of the Earthian plight, it seems to me individual humans should assume responsibility and take action for conserving energy as best they can in their daily lives to reduce greenhouse gases and the effects of climate change; but especially they should help select politicians who will vote for economic and political policies and strategies that will help correct environmental, economic, political, social, and psychological problems on a mass scale, before it’s too late.  

For at least two centuries humans have lived under the illusion that technology and labor-saving devices, new chemical applications in agriculture (fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides), and new scientific discoveries of all sorts would enable them to live happily ever after, while producing as many offspring as they wished, thereby increasing the world human population without limit, despite the admonitions of humans like Thomas Malthus, an English parson, who published in 1798 in an essay titled “An Essay on the Principle of Population” what became known as the Malthusian Concept, namely that human population grows geometrically while the human food supply grows arithmetically, and therefore most humans were doomed to suffer food shortages, poverty, subsistence living, and premature deaths.  Up until the last few years economists have generally taught that Malthus was wrong, arguing that technology, chemical agriculture, better seeds, and better irrigation would enable an ever-increasing human population to be adequately fed and housed. Unfortunately it now appears that Malthus was right after all. World hunger, poverty and misery are increasing, even in the United States; and, even worse, it appears that some forms of technology, far from helping humans, has led them down a path to possible extinction, including electricity and the internal combustion engine used to power billions of cars, trucks, motorcycles, riding lawn mowers, tractors, airplanes, boats, ships, houses, refrigerators, central heating and cooling systems, factories, computers, and what have you around Earth, requiring the burning and ignition of many millions of barrels, cubic feet, and tons of fossil fuel (oil, gas, and coal) every day as an energy source, the burning of which is causing global warming and climate change by putting ever more tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. All forms of technology are not good things; and humans have to learn how to use good technology instead of bad technology, however horribly addicted to bad technology they may be; and the Earthian human population should be peacefully reduced through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births, thereby reducing the need to deplete resources necessary to sustain the Earthian human population in the short run, cognizant of long run consequences. Bringing that about will require many different kinds of changes not only in the behavior of human individuals but especially in the behavior of large human institutions controlled and manipulated by deluded power-mad self-interested sociopaths. The situation is especially ominous when one considers that if humans were to give up all their addictions to bad technology cold turkey they would immediately cause an economic and political catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, possibly extinction. Humans are cornered or trapped in a Global Catch-22 or Gordian Knot—in a damned-if-they-do-and-damned-if-they-don’t situation—and there are no easy answers for getting loose.

Here is a website developed and maintained by Guy McPherson who gave me the idea for the Catch-22 analogy above.  McPherson has a similar idea based on pure science positing that if humans were to somehow eliminate all greenhouse gases tomorrow that would guarantee a quick extinction, since some carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is necessary to shield Earth from the sun’s rays, despite the fact the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now is too high, trapping heat. In other words he says Earth needs some carbon dioxide in its atmosphere for cooling, and that removing all of it would cause Earth to heat up immediately to a level that would in short order destroy the human food chain. So the solution would be to remove just enough carbon dioxide to keep Earth’s temperature at a Goldilocks level.

McPherson is an emeritus professor of earth sciences at the University of Arizona who has written several books about global warming and climate change. His big idea is that we probably really are in the endtimes, and the only thing that remains is love.

He retired from university teaching and research early and lived off the grid for ten or so years in a mud hut in New Mexico with his wife, hoping to serve as a role model for others, which he now says was a big mistake. Not only did he not attract any followers and accomplished nothing that might alleviate global warming, he gave up over a million dollars in salary he would have earned had he remained a professor. He now makes a living writing and publishing books and giving talks. This guy is one of a kind, pun intended, a qualified ethical competent scientist who presents radical arguments and conclusions about global warming and climate change, which are not recommended for young children or tender minded adults.

My longtime friend William John Cox from Wolfforth, Texas in the 1950s, a former attorney, now a social activist and writer, introduced me to Guy McPherson by forwarding me some of his videos, telling me they were too depressing for widespread circulation but they contained information we needed to know for planning the rest of our lives.

Unfortunately, it seems human Earthians continue to fight irrelevant futile battles for short run gains while losing the relevant war for long run sustainable satisfying living.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.

Read my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,” for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone.   

TO RESPOND:

As usual this month’s THE EARTHIAN  links and cites as SOURCES recent articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I generally agree with these writers about what is most relevant about Spaceship Earth states of affairs, but each of them brought up facts, analyses, conclusions, ideas, or perspectives that were new to me when I read them during the last thirty days or so, thereby teaching me something, which is why I included them in this issue of THE EARTHIAN.  

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet, and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not irrelevant authoritarian make-believe certainty, to be memorized and obeyed by sheeple.

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum go to our RESPONSES page by scrolling to the top of this page and click on it.

Feel free to respond with comments about any of the SOURCES listed below using our RESPONSES page; but please refrain from making ad hominem attacks. Criticize any of the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles; but please refrain from slandering the characteristics of the authors to illogically try to prove their arguments and conclusions are wrong and yours are right.

After all is said and done, in economic, political, social, and psychological states of affairs it seems to me one can build a case that “right” answers do not exist; and peaceful consensual answers developed among differentiated individuals, groups, and organizations are as good as they get. Since all individuals, groups, and organizations are caused to be what they are by the same kinds of infinitely-regressive, accidental, inevitable, inexorable, ineluctable, unbroken cause-effect chains, they are equally legitimate with an equal right to exist, and none should be blamed or praised for being what they are, however much their feelings, thoughts, decisions, and behaviors should change, to create fairness and satisfaction for all.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for THE EARTHIAN, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN and would like to reciprocate scroll to our Effective Learning Publications page at the top of this page and purchase one or more copies of my books. 

Best wishes, RJS

SOURCES:

May 24, 2019

What a can of worms.

“How Many Times Must Assange Be Proven Right Before People Start Listening?” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/how-many-times-must-assange-be-proven-right-before-people-start-listening-61229805a3d8?fbclid=IwAR2Jcgh-bh4vBoRrC90T-Ql1H_nh01u4Doac7t0rjsOmneP7SgOt39Ri0Yw.

May 24

Maybe they’re both crazy, and both should resign. Too bad we don’t have a parliamentary form of democracy like the Brits do. Look at what happend to May today. It’s easy to get rid of an incompetent British top executive leader. Not so in the US. A president is more like a king for four years than a prime minister. You’ve got to impeach him in the House and convict him in the Senate, a very lengthy drawn out affair that probably won’t work in the end. Pelosi is right about that.  

“Trump, Pelosi trade insults as their feud heats up,” by Laurie Kellman and Zeke Miller, ASSOCIATED PRESS, https://apnews.com/ce08485cee37470db8983b8bd06c40a0?fbclid=IwAR1753Yr4UPSsiomqfE_muVn1OC7gWbv23Dty5VnXssmFMPT1nCZCVdBdm8.

May 24    

This shows why the British form of parliamentary democracy is better than our kind of so-called democracy in the US: they can easily get rid of their prime minister, their top executive leader. Wish we could do that in the US. Thanks to our constitution our president is more like a king than a prime minister, at least for four years. You can’t get rid of a US president at the drop of a hat, quick and easy like the Brits can get rid of a prime minister. Also they can get a new prime minister infinitely quicker and easier, with much less money wasted, than we can get a new president. Their system of selecting top executive leaders is much more efficient and effective than the US system of selecting presidents. Trump would not have survived six weeks as a prime minister. Anyone but me for switching to a parliamentary democracy?

“THE END OF MAY:  Theresa May RESIGNS and finally admits defeat after Brexit shambles insisting ‘I’ve done my best’,” by Hugo Gye and Natssha Clark, THE SUN, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9144415/theresa-may-resigns-brexit-tory-leadership-election/,

May 24       

Sounds like real reality.

“Democracy vs. The Putin-Nazis,” by C.J. Hopkins, THE UNZ REVIEW, http://www.unz.com/chopkins/democracy-vs-the-putin-nazis/?fbclid=IwAR26edk7OFJALTRmAWQUyAutrpK8cIGQzZPr7-Z23sFTV_cyXukGPT4QJ-o.

May 24  

Hopefully not going from bad to worst.

“Mississippi Floodway May Be Opened, Unleashing 17 Million Liters Of Water Per Second,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-23/close-trigger-levels-mississippi-floodway-may-be-opened-unleashing-17-million?fbclid=IwAR2-HQD7FO4H9PNqW4U0TsEMc8z6uIJNz8Faj06gDObQ6TPVsjOwX-c9FS8.

May 23 

But people would rather focus on Russian meddling in the last presidential election; the truth telling of Snowden, Manning, and Assange; and abortions, thereby sticking their heads in the sand. 

“Money, media and the climate crisis: Immediate action is needed to save the furture,” by John Scales Avery, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27092

May 23

Smart article about a taboo subject problematic for most people most of their lives one way or another.

“The disparity behind anti-abortion laws:  Laws restricting reproductive freedom come out of a culture that doesn’t see women’s sexuality as equal to men’s,” by Jill Richardson, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27095.

May 24

World class hypocrisy. Ok if we do it; not Ok if anybody else does it.

“Living in a Nation of Political Narcissists,” by Tom Engelhardt, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/23/living-in-a-nation-of-political-narcissists/?fbclid=IwAR3oPmbPKNBrDRfgIX3VPOtWsWqDCUvqzy1dMjLo0H2vVWQx3uHLgfbFcCE.

May 24

Right on

“What and Who Gave Us Trump,” by Ralph Nader, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/23/what-and-who-gave-us-trump/?fbclid=IwAR1jUcuMIyR9LOKLkHvpP0Q6YAUqrSToiHnvh5Bb_xTq5dMN6ImpR_iTPwQ.

May 25

Sounds about right to me.

“The Belligerence of Empire,” by Kenn Orphan, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/23/111852/?fbclid=IwAR0JZ0L-GuCf7CrLUdHWMQSgiJXPZfXkadGhm_254iCnDNRfcb2Up-bELkk.

May 23

About the only good news I have seen lately.

“Warren and Sanders Refuse to Cozy Up to Wall Street Donors,” by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/warren-and-sanders-refuse-to-cozy-up-to-wall-street-donors/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR15b-5lIZp3qeZrJOOU4cwJ659QQLAN67xWebUawJkBeL_SKsVh_UshBM4.

May 23

Sounds like a Third World Country.

“Trump’s War on the Constitution Has Reached a Breaking Point,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-war-on-the-constitution-has-reached-a-breaking-point/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3OkrEJPFVYq08xhxncU0786lDLx5X6mnY5eces8GXC9LHogTTf_P4QYN8.

May 23

Scary

“Abortion Bans and the Beast the GOP Would Feed Us To,”  Kelly Hayes, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/abortion-bans-and-the-beast-the-gop-would-feed-us-to/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3LE0wlmrZ9WXib51UaTkeNqHOA958Kco4UE8TnG2c3g1l1Jrpav-6G0hc .

May 23

Saving democracy is not easy anywhere.

“Deadly Protests Erupt in Indonesia as US-Trained Generals Wage War on Democracy,” by Allan Nairn, Democracy Now, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/video/deadly-protests-erupt-in-indonesia-as-us-trained-generals-wage-war-on-democracy/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3Co9UhZlE3Tb3mNDz0JmVY90YHBL5S_DNdsY8YWs0hMW9MpufRfdpsUbg.

May 23

The Assange case indicates that bullies rule the US deep state.  

“Julian Assange hit with 18 federal charges in new indictment,” by Stefan Becket, CBS NEWS, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/julian-assange-indicted-on-18-federal-charges-related-to-wikileaks-release-of-chelsea-manning-docs-today-2019-05-23/?fbclid=IwAR0LFuUjMAzRlob5Lh5UkNu32r38Lrv6DDWmfzn0M_VrcD0qR25BX7fjglk.

May 23

Interesting but questionable. What was especially interesting to me were the off the chart racial statements of George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill shown in quotes in the article.

“The Origins of the Deep State in North America, Part III,” by The Duran, https://theduran.com/the-origins-of-the-deep-state-in-north-america-part-iii/.

May 23

Right on. Go direct democracy and Buckminster Fuller.

“Direct Democarcy Is the Future of Human Governance – Part 1,”  by Michael Krieger, LIBERTY BLITZKREIG, https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2019/05/21/direct-democracy-is-the-future-of-human-governance-part-1/?fbclid=IwAR02gUCQAwZjp_XGvAPFaP4sq3_Vs5NBAa0StlL2krsuPywSoLByNNgyQI

May 23

We almost never had tornados here in Southeast Georgia and the infrequent ones were weak, but they are getting stronger. The climate here has changed. This one in Missouri looks like a monster.

“’It Felt Like An Earthquake’:  Violent Tornados Tear Through Missouri, Leaving 3 Dead,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-23/it-felt-earthquake-violent-tornados-tear-through-missouri-leaving-3-dead?fbclid=IwAR3nA91GHFh9bzvXeJZC49cGUDwDmPXxb_ZNKo42wiAwgWmcHOj9AHG2Q_A.

May 22

What happened to Trump’s booming economy?

“US PMIs Crash As Business Confidence Collapses to 7 Year Lows,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-23/us-pmis-crash-business-confidence-collapses-7-year-lows?fbclid=IwAR0aapdyDf60fF7sSzo7WeONWd1m0ufEywb_b7cGt01Ld_DwPew0yqNPd1Y.

May 22

Scary alright

“Distance yourself from US Iran policies or be responsible for the next catastrophe in the Middle East,” by Jan Oberg, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27084.

May 22

Pathetic

“The retrograde South,” by Wayne Madsen, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27087.

May 22

Could not agree more.

“A US War on Iran Would be Evil, Stupid, and Self-Degrading,” by Thomas Knapp, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/22/a-us-war-on-iran-would-be-evil-stupid-and-self-damaging/?fbclid=IwAR1Tu4PAKJolU2OG2NjUz6Ael9roZD_ghEi2oLie-mxUsBQM_mEHkd4_isA.

May 22

Socialism at its worst. No market. No competition. No transparency. No accountability.

“Vicious Cycle:  The Pentagon Creates Tech Giants and Then Buys their Services,” T. J. Coles, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/22/vicious-cycle-the-pentagon-creates-tech-giants-and-then-buys-their-services/?fbclid=IwAR1Un_PDM_wAX9nBZuuM2yZ3MgZJwsbSvzsCVHrWhTzucV2AhTusJHwoNXs.

May 20

Faculty ideologies my ass. Any faculty member worth her or his salt in any field does not believe in ideologies, only facts, data, and reasoning. If students are moving more into physical science and math and engineering it’s job related, maybe fully justified given the need to make a living in a world descending into a fascist military authoritarian dystopia where everything is black or white, provably true with math, or pure drivel dressed up as dogma and doctrine to be memorized or else. Only deductive reasoning will be valued; analogical reasoning based on probability will be irrelevant when the AIs take over.

“Why Students Are Fleeing the Humanities,” by Phillip W. Magness, AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH, https://www.aier.org/article/why-students-are-fleeing-humanities?fbclid=IwAR3A1fGhehoQuok8P7HaMShatLGno9Jh1GE15RIZN_mU3xkkaTDwvTiJnuk.

May 20

Another truth telling article by the best writer alive, Paul Street.

“It’s Even More Terrible Than You Thought,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/17/its-even-more-terrible-than-you-thought/?fbclid=IwAR1yQfwAoBcTAqPFwPWf6-ZfeuCVyefMlFSKz80OUgazJRYynFLyYMUm01g.

May 20

Tulane wants all their graduates to become workaholics like Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computer Company. How special.

“Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Message to 2019 Graduates: ‘My Generation Has Failed You’,” by Tim Cook, OBSERVER, https://observer.com/2019/05/apple-ceo-tim-cook-tulane-2019-commencement-speech-climate-change/?fbclid=IwAR0mvk9paFeHI3L1VC0GbjBtWJ8Yrdpi7yXJveOuGKKtSsVENelx3CKuxKM.

May 20

A worst case scenario.

“The Pompeo-Bolton tag team from hell,” by Renee Parsons, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27061.

May 20

Not fake news

“The Violent History of the Venezuelan Opposition,” by Valerie Reynoso, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/20/the-violent-history-of-the-venezuelan-opposition/?fbclid=IwAR1hT6G3BEfFbz5dv3BWakYlzgs3t9QTcsqEzaapDB7dIMIV21sUrVACStY.

May 20

Say it aint so Joe in this dystopian world.

“From the Middle East to Northern Ireland, Western States are All Too Happy to Avoid Culpability for War Crimes,” by Robert Fisk, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/20/from-the-middle-east-to-northern-ireland-western-states-are-all-too-happy-to-avoid-culpability-for-war-crimes/?fbclid=IwAR0BcMT6LvEbnZu1mQw9XnLhJDflpGCGSO__cj4VfHjYkGmwZlUauEWgBcU.

May 20

Here are some sanctions the US has used to sabotage and destroy Venezuela.

“Vast gasoline lines form in oil-rich Venezuela,” by Scott Smith and Sheyla Urdaneta, AP, https://apnews.com/5d179369e9e04ab693886bab1e47dab6?fbclid=IwAR0ulWfnX1fi1dAh3AKVUQlDJOqn6xIFRepj4NWtIb0AOWFAaeO1AufflH0.

May 20

Dangerous and provocative rhetoric. Let’s hope Trump does not run his big mouth one time too many one of these days

“Trump warns Iran not to threaten US or it will face ‘end’,” AP NEWS, by Nasser Karimi and John Gambrell, APNEWS, https://apnews.com/e46d3bdff2bd48d9a6a87a6752e6be6f?fbclid=IwAR2RXYztQheMMY-8oDoRWkfE_f7T4H38z8MmPt6-ENoMbWWdpVMezI94Hnc.

May 19

Say it aint so Joe

“Drivers beware:  The deadly perils of traffic stops in the American police state,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27044.

May 17

Only here in Georgia is it growing.

“As reactors shut in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, nuke war rages in Ohio and New York,” by Harvey Wasserman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27016.

May 17

Could not agree more.

“The tariff issue,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27019.

May 17

Why not?

“The Green Party’s Big Chance: Endorse, and Defer to, Bernie Sanders,” by Keaton Weiss, DUEDISSIDENCE.COM, https://duedissidence.com/2019/05/08/the-green-partys-big-chance-endorse-and-defer-to-bernie-sanders/?fbclid=IwAR1dHDeORyrbqg8pxKNYQFeqQc_fdDY6iRq_yGuVSoyWCyjQIk-ym02xAUU

May 16

Just a distraction to keep the sheeple of the US entertained. Best summary of the current US plight I have read recently

“Russia-gate’s Monstrous Offspring,”  by Daniel Lazare, CONSORTIUM NEWS, https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/14/russiagates-monstrous-offspring/?fbclid=IwAR3EPG-25t1-KfZ1kqbWjSaRJ5hj1iRdZWrpVEnx9rQ67cdgh31zoaKBY7Y.

May 16

Not for the squeamish.

“Truth Bomb on Abortion and the ‘Sanctity of Life’,” by George Carlin, video, https://www.facebook.com/ResonantMuse/videos/2766871893386010/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDM0OTY1MTE4NjoyMzEyODQyMTE1NDA0MDg4/.

May 16

Nice guys, we USians

“Freedom Rider: U.S. wages war against the world,” by Margaret Kimberley, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27031.

May 14

“CO2 Levels Hit 415 Parts Per Million for First Time in Over 3 Million Years,” by Jan Queally, Common Dreams, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/co2-levels-hit-415-parts-per-million-for-first-time-in-over-3-million-years/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0cOQhZIuVf-M9mNx0ET1aH5zhQY5HXqCUoFBENPfx0OyE7-Sj2JrJkF0Y.

Yuk

MAY 14

Hope he’s right.

“Noam Chomsky explains how Bernie Sanders’ movement can beat Trump in 2020,” by Rachael Revesz, video intermiew, THE INDEPENDENT, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-noam-chomsky-supporters-labour-movement-racism-unions-wages-a7459126.html?fbclid=IwAR1PX1SA7WnQoH26tTzj2ibOX5kmACfzdPrTIGeDJ1wTnQ1aXjDIKIX6668.

May 14

Want to hear Iran’s side of the story?

“US and Israel fabricating lies to provoke war with Iran: Ex-CIA officer,” MSN.COM, https://www.msn.com/en-xl/middleeast/middleeast-top-stories/us-and-israel-fabricating-lies-to-provoke-war-with-iran-ex-cia-officer/ar-AABe6zT?li=BBJGzsi&ocid=mailsignout&fbclid=IwAR1r5-ZXobESiXxPNw8Bx7PZtmu1DIcTHSl2itdnbMI1SMF-Oc6qhjbDeJU.

May 13

Sounds right to me.

“D is for a Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy,” by John W. Whitehead, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/13/d-is-for-a-dictatorship-disguised-as-a-democracy/?fbclid=IwAR3E6xXDV0ClwKuQsVQB8WXJWmKEUtsb6oo29RzkGwC2uuwgz_OiuEUp85Q.

May 13

Another race to the bottom.

“After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown,” by Laura Bliss, CityLab, POCKET WORTHY, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/13/d-is-for-a-dictatorship-disguised-as-a-democracy/?fbclid=IwAR3E6xXDV0ClwKuQsVQB8WXJWmKEUtsb6oo29RzkGwC2uuwgz_OiuEUp85Q.

May 12

I just published in the Effective Learning Report another empirically-based article by Courtenay Barnett on US international economic, political, and military policies. As this article shows at the root of the matter most US foreign policies are driven by a desire to plunder an inordinately large share of Earthian resources, primarily oil. According to Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador to Usbekistan, now a whistle blower, social activist, and journalist, the same goes for the UK. Murray is now a significant player internationally, as a Google search will show, not quite in a league yet with Snowden, Manning, and Assange, but he’s getting there.

“The Basis for President Trump’s ‘Rational’ Global Political and Economic Policies,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-basis-for-president-trumps-rational-global-political-and-economic-policies/.  

May 11

According to my friend Ruth McKinnon this website is not the best, sometimes trafficking in conspiracy theories. If this is one it’s an interesting one, and it does have a basis in historical fact. It shows how much of Earth’s geography white English-speakers took over.

“The Origins of the Deep State in North America Part II,” by Matthew Ehret, THE DURAN, https://theduran.com/the-origins-of-the-deep-state-in-north-america-part-ii/.

May 11

Here is an illuminating video with a great suggestion: that it’s better to be dis-illusioned than to be illusioned. A father, a medical doctor, psychologist, and author, talks with his son, a social activist, interviewer, and video producer, about Donald Trump and what caused people to vote for him. The father says Trump was traumatized as a child by a demeaning father.

“This Talk Between Aaron & Gabor Mate is the Best Political Video I’ve Ever Seen, by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/this-talk-between-aaron-gabor-mat%C3%A9-is-the-best-political-video-ive-ever-seen-c8caf4dd7a46?fbclid=IwAR3R7ib7ZHrDSn1En6Df0CDp7bz-r_IJvX_lMjsDoclx27bIkYXOmfxQ3Gw

May 10

The following video includes an interview with Craig Murray, a Scottish former ambassador of the UK in Usbekistan who became a whistle blower exposing human rights violations by the Usbekistan government and UK war crimes in Iraq, giving his view of the Julian Assange fiasco.

Here is what I recently emailed a friend who decided some of the same things as Craig Murray:

“It never occurred to me there would be indelible information left on the DNC computers that could be retrieved if Seth Rich used a memory stick to download the damaging to DNC information allegedly hacked by the Russians. You are the first source I have known to bring up the possibility. It did not occur to me that the DNC computers were not fully investigated. If they were not why not? If not does this not imply the whole Mueller thing is a sham, and the deep state assumes sheeple will lap up anything they deign to tell them, and the Assange cart before the horse trial has been predetermined as best they can, and they assume none of us Independents would dare seriously challenge them for fear of retaliation no matter what they do? As demo senator Chuck Schumer said, “These people (the CIA) have six ways to Sunday to get back at you.” I also did not know if the CIA finds out something with a wiretap it cannot be used in court. I scan-read every page of the redacted Mueller report and saw nothing about a technical investigation of the DNC computers that included details as minute as memory stick usage, as I recall, which is not much. It seems to me the Mueller Report will have an outcome similar to the Warren Commission report on JFK, becoming another conspiracy theory for non-believers and another whitewash for sheeple, covering up DNC corruption in this case. As for Assange I pity him.”

.“Dark Moment for Press Freedom: World Reacts to Assange Arrest,” A U Tube video making public a serious interview with Craig Murray, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DroYJW6Q70.    

The first time I checked out the Craig Murray video above there was an interview of Chelsea Manning in a video immediate following Murray at the same site, but which did not appear the second time I checked the site. Apparently they are presenting a variety of videos on this subject after Murray. After the second time I checked the Murray video a Fox So-called News roundtable discussion of right wing male talking heads and blonde pretty-legged females in short dresses ensued. So I went to Google and tried to find the Chelsea Manning interview that had followed Murray. I could not find it. It was a long video interview via a skype interview of Chelsea Manning emanating from a well attended opera house in Australia, showing Earthians what Manning is really like. The video is well worth a look and listen if you can find it. Chelsea Manning is an intelligent conscientious human being, not a nutcase as most USians probably think. The interviewer gets into a discussion of the causes that caused her to become what she is that shows where she is and wants to go, and why she did what she did. US mainstream media have done an excellent job of suppressing knowledge in the US of what Manning is really like, at least in my case. The missing video was the first presentation I had seen that showed what Chelsea Manning is really like. You can find numerous interviews of Chelsea Manning with a Google search, but nothing I wager as effective as the missing video. On the other hand, this U tube site is very eclectic, apparently frequently changing whatever appears behind Murray. Be sure and check out whatever video they rotate in after Craig Murray. Most of them are quite illuminating. Even the Fox so-called News video was interesting in the sense it showed the disparity in what USians are be shown and told and what Earthians outside the US are being shown and told. Hang in there a few moments after the Craig Murray video ends for another possibly illuminating video that will appear on the site. Maybe the Chelsea Manning video will recycle back in again.

Following is a newspaper article about the Chelsea Manning video mentioned above at https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/a-convicted-terrorist-and-a-convicted-spy-walk-into-the-opera-house-and-get-a-standing-ovation-20180902-p501ak.html.

May 9

Here’s Paul Craig Roberts again with another incisive analysis on the problem of robots and artificial intelligence.

Are you ready for a worse dystopia than ‘1984’?”, by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26968.

May 10

Debbye just picked up another one-month supply of a glaucoma eye drop prescription for me at the pharmacy that for twenty-four years had a copay of ten dollars that went up this week to one hundred dollars. Thus I now have to pay $1200 per year to keep from going blind in one eye, caused by glaucoma caused by getting hit with a bungee cord in the eye in 1995. Have these drug and insurance companies no shame? And Trump says he won’t fix healthcare until Congress stops investigating him.

“To Be Sick and Not Rich is the Nightmare of Medical Care in the US,” by Beverly Gologorsky, TomDispatch, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/to-be-sick-and-not-rich-is-the-nightmare-of-medical-care-in-the-us/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3klPlA02n9gDrMh79xO4b84ugLR5bbtop9_UmogRgXP_MCNEIXe4MKgWY.

May 8

Instead of undermining such countries with sanctions USians should be doing what they can to help improve these countries so their inhabitants will have no reason to migrate.

“Over 1% Of Guatemala, Honduras Have Crossed US Border In Last Eight Months: DHS,”  by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-08/over-1-guatemala-honduras-have-crossed-us-border-last-eight-months-dhs?fbclid=IwAR0J2A2SRgtm9Xy21u9DIANuNT1zP3bPX9U97eFvhl4cbHHqsiJ87zkBqDU.

May 8

Good economic perspective on how the English-speaking world evolved.

“Peterloo,” by Peter Linebaugh, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/08/peterloo/?fbclid=IwAR2tbvpdSNuN7CTqa8Uoh8RGCl3S0VJPG4MIbLz8EPLznvIowm46efHgpGQ.

May 8

Socialism or no socialism, democrats do not support Medicare for all for one reason: campaign financing.

Thereby trading off alleviating the suffering of millions of ordinary people to enrich the selfish hides of a paltry few hundred politicians.

“Interning for a Centrist Democrat Pushed Me to Democratic Socialsim,” by Jack Delaney, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/interning-for-a-centrist-democrat-pushed-me-to-democratic-socialism/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2nho4I9tjvUW-WGjlk0aQXSto6s77m5GfeXlXgBi835h2MOX213-E5DNo.

May 8

‘Somethin to think about.

“Paul Craig Roberts: America Needs A Debt Jubilee,” by Paul Craig Roberts, PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY, https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/05/06/america-needs-a-debt-jubilee/.

May 8

Maybe he should run as an Independent as he maybe should have in 2016.

“The People’s President,” Bernie Sanders, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155828521762820&set=a.10150330850782820&type=3&theater.

May 7

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to think about this US presidential election crap again.

“Step Right Up to the Quadrennial Extravaganza,” by Paul Street, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155828521762820&set=a.10150330850782820&type=3&theater.

May 7 

Good question.

“Climate Crisis Forces Us to Ask:  To What Do We Devote Ourselves?”, by Dahr Jamail, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/climate-crisis-forces-us-to-ask-to-what-do-we-devote-ourselves/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2ybr-kEvL1MHf5k5AIpue_ZbuRn5zru5S13bEuVtXlLRJYQGXDdxGL9Kw.

May 7

Sad and sickening.

“The US is Spending $1.25 Trillion Annually on War,” by William D. Hartung & Mandy Smithberger, TomDispatch, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-us-is-spending-1-25-trillion-annually-on-war/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2al2qTCWkAxoBPNvRoKIM3dmjML28TMWRP1cx-gGjoAzSbzJ2qDA8mf0A/.

May 7

‘Somethin to think about. What they need is a Classroom De-Gamer™ to set out in the middle of that circle shown in the article to randomly select the next discussion leader to tell the group what is the problem, what are the alternatives, and what she or he recommends? To then be discussed by the group. Like I do in my Ogeechee Economic Forum and did in almost all my classes throughout my teaching career. See my posts on De-Gaming teaching and learning on my webpage at www.effectivelearning.net for evidence the De-Gaming process works.

“Fascism Is on the March. We Need Radical Education to Fight Back,” Henry A. Giroux, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/fascism-is-on-the-march-we-need-radical-education-to-fight-back/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3DBL095TxtyfGRjUBaoONWBf1CB6CXuKMNSC5KBd3HdHKwKOVG34NMCLw.

May 6

Go for it.

“The next state-owned bank—California or Washington?,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT,  http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26930.

May 5

What is a fascist?

“The Coming of American Fascism, 1920-1940”, by Chris Wright, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/03/the-coming-of-american-fascism-1920-1940/?fbclid=IwAR2YyQQGLjPlLmh9-IcMt9fcEe1ii2Ryzc_Uvp3Va2n_BXl9P8Tmptf8pSQ.

May 5

Flooding? Why now if it never happened in forty-five years?

“A Growing Number of US Flood Survivors Seek Answers,” by Laurie Mazur, Ensia, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/a-growing-number-of-us-flood-survivors-seek-answers/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR21T4XUtnhVQq6h0Fgbag-QFH5LS0gfpsQLqc8ft5nL8XJTQtbl3YLOZ6A.

May 5

Say it ain’t so Joe

“Landmark UN Report to Show We Are in a Human-Induced Extinction Crisis,” by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/landmark-un-report-to-show-we-are-in-a-human-induced-extinction-crisis/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1tbn3Rb8JU8OGeDJK_64ZI5U2KVhEMPN193UP1h0MYECoV16dGY-vF17s.

May 5

Orwell was ‘somethin else.

“How To Become A Great Writer: George Orwell,” by Harry J. Stead, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-become-a-great-writer-george-orwell-3da05bff94d5?fbclid=IwAR0lovi9owbkXhYisBMizASYic2BzQ5TFcNIfA5kY8irRkGTQeQNz6i539U.

May 5

Oh really

“The Origins Of The Deep State In North America, Part 1,” THE DURAN, https://theduran.com/the-origins-of-the-deep-state-in-north-america/.

May 5

Say it ain’t so Joe.

“Almost Half Of College Students Are Going Hungry: Survey,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-04/almost-half-college-students-are-going-hungry-survey?fbclid=IwAR14RzmxBTckyfeNxgPFw7Dfcwg2AdYNpbT1azZkQ-GeNlIGG6viluBxtJE.

May 5

Made worse by tariff man Trump.

“Boom Times For Auction Houses As American Farmers Go Bankrupt,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-01/boon-times-auction-houses-american-farmers-go-bankrupt?fbclid=IwAR0bmc9Jo4xvbtdfuiikU4uZwla8T1MhxGQVKj583SxzA1CWaM6jtQ_AFq0.

May 5

We’re all predators, is that it?

“What American Collapse Teaches Us About Human Nature,” by Umair Haque, MEDIUM, https://eand.co/what-american-collapse-teaches-us-about-human-nature-943b32ef3842?fbclid=IwAR1webqqAj4iqniCwEL0X4QbkDDD0GzPJwbXqYtHdp_UKeOS8hjZbbt-s4A.

May 3

Sage advice by the smartest banking expert out there, Ellen Brown.

“Bank on the People Instead of Wall Street Parasites,” by Ellen Brown, Democracy Collaborative, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/bank-on-the-people-instead-of-wall-street-parasites/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3Zkvt30kpmS17ztCjqRnuna5NL9nTAXfH7JbVa-FqBQkKLYvdSg9ieFPk.

May 3

Surprise

“US Military Stops Releasing Information On Afghanistan War,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-02/us-military-stops-releasing-information-afghanistan-war?fbclid=IwAR25Zj9Ps–rTqyhORtqGKCw8tWW3rxlquapbpHLTwgNU7QVd7UgGhUgiyo.

Feel free to forward, share, repost, print, or otherwise copy this blog any way you see fit.       

RJS,  Writer, Editor & Publisher

THE BASIS FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ‘RATIONAL’ GLOBAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC POLICIES

By COURTENAY BARNETT

A friend recently made this observation and he got me thinking. So I replied in a fulsome manner to put the jig-saw pieces together to see if there was an actual rational and/or understandable picture to be seen. He said to me:-

“My issue with all this is even when you look at their thesis and find it wanting, they still get what they want, namely more spending on arms and no cordial meetings between Trump and Putin because ‘Russia interfered in our elections’.”

As I understand it the military-complex/Pentagon at some time in the past would be subject to audits of military budget/expenditures, but somehow the law was changed and for reasons of ‘national security’ there was no longer proper accounting and/or any Congressional oversights permitted. I can’t recall any General ever having been called on in a thorough process to give a detailed account of what ‘x’ or ‘y’ billion went to. Last time was the $600 ashtrays, as I recall it ( since if they didn’t use all the budgetary allocation then the next cycle would see reduced allocation). Maybe it was about then that legislatively they said f… that and changed the law. So, you end up with endless military expenditure – but the US is digging its own economic grave. Let me explain.

‘Money’ is but a representative functioning utility. Meaning that it has to be backed by something tangible – gold – precious metal – goods – actual services of value provided to hold its real value. In the absence of that – like Mugabe in Zimbabwe – the country ultimately realises that not just the printing press can be relied on to make a country rich, viable and “great again”. America is doing what I call ‘a Mugabe’. It is actually engaged in ‘voodoo economics’ Why so?

Since post World War 11 the US inherited from the Pound Sterling the world’s reserve currency and then it found itself through the global trade and monetary system actually able to export its inflation – and for decades has been doing that. However, what my economics professors, who were not inclined to the then guru of ‘monetarism’, Professor Milton Friedman of the University Chicago, taught me is that the underlying economic principles remained constant and still operated even if deferred. What am I implying?

Fast forward to the Obama administration and the 2008 crisis in the US. What happened? The so-called quantitative easing ( printing money in endless quantities) ‘Mugabe approach’ as endorsed by Wall Street kicked in – in a massive and unprecedented manner. The crooks on Wall Street who committed financial crimes to enrich themselves and bring the American economy to its knees had bought and paid for Obama to do their financial bidding in their interest. He facilitated Wall Street by returning newly printed money to the very folks who caused the crisis ( look for examples at derivatives or phony unsecured mortgages for processes doomed to financial failure from the onset of implementation). Again, one does not have to have studied economics ( I did) to understand in a logical manner what happens when transactions unbacked by tangibles are relied upon as backing for business transactions. So, money from the US tangibly backed by tax payers’ productivity is extracted and given to the financial ‘banksters’. That is what happened in the 2008 financial crisis. What next?

Well there has been the Quantitative Easing 1 and 11 and more. However, there are limits and the printing cannot continue to infinity. The US thinks, because of its world reserve currency, it can continue. Not so; why so?

As this monetary printing process continues it exponentially balloons the deficit. That debt at some stage has to be paid or it shall impact the real economy in ways which are economically devastating for the American people. The day of reckoning has been forestalled by the 1972 petro-dollar recycling agreement with Saudi Arabia and China’s buying of US Treasury Bonds, that cushions US military overspending. This relates to and reflects on the international politics in operation. So, Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist, is chopped up at the order of the Saudi leader and there is not a pip from the US about this – simply not economically/ financially expedient so to complain on any human rights and/or decent basis. China is slapped with tariffs on all of Chinese produced goods imported into the US (in effect the US consumers are  forced, yet again, to absorb the cost for the imprudent management of the macro-economic situation of the US economy). To put things more starkly, the real political  fall- out is the ongoing prospect of war being unleashed into the world for reasons of US economic panic and again imprudent decisions being made by the Trump Administration. Can we now examine the ‘ logic’ in economic play under Trump?

Lessons in logic 101

Iran: There was a deal in place,  ‘The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action –JCPOA’  to curtail and restrain Iran from producing nuclear weapons that was internationally agreed and verified under UN scrutiny occurring for the Obama Administration via the P5+1 (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China—plus Germany) and the European Union) – an impressive grouping of international powers if one ever saw one. What does the Trump administration subsequently do? There is a unilateral walk out from the deal and simultaneously Iran is blamed – despite the fact that Iran is monitored by UN inspections which confirm that Iran is in compliance and just like the Iraq WMDs inspired war  – the US proclaims – oh no! – while the drums of war beat. Is Iran oil rich? Credible under international law? Makes sense? Logical?

Venezuela: There is an election with 16 political parties participating. Prior to the election the incumbent President, Nicholas Maduro, did offer to have international observers present and the man who refused was one Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez who boycotted  the election and then post-election proclaims himself President. The US rejects ‘logically’ the elected President and tells the Venezuelan people that they cannot accept the elected President and that the only President is their ( the US) appointed President. No doubt with financial inducements added the US persuades some 50 nations to echo and agree with this call. So, does that still not leave over two-thirds of the world’s nations and UN member states in disapproval of the US choice of appointed President? Oh – speaking also of meddling and interference in a sovereign nation’s political processes and internal affairs – duh – huh?   Is Venezuela  oil rich? Credible under international law? Makes sense? Logical?

Russia: And so, finally to my friend’s observation. There is a link between the Hillary Clinton allegation of DNC hack; the death of Seth Rich a young DNC employee; computer leak versus alleged Russian computer hacking ( i.e. there is a distinction between a computer leak and a computer hack as someone of the stature of the former technical head in the NSA could examine, verify and credibly explain). So,  NSA technical computer expert – Bill Binney; Julian Assange; the Muller investigation and report; and logical reasons why Robert Mueller failed to interview the best available insider witness to events – namely Binney – and likewise – the best outsider witness to the alleged Russian hacking – namely Julian Assange ( both of whom were readily available and willing to explain from the inside and from the outside – what they actually knew and could actually verify of the said Russian allegation). After all, it was Assange through his WikiLeaks organization who actually was the recipient of the US classified information. So, why didn’t Mueller interview him? Again, Mueller declined to interview those two very relevant witnesses and ‘logically’ came to his own conclusions. 

Conclusion 

Simply put – when one looks at the overall situation the US economy finds itself in – with advantages for reason of its world reserve currency status; its voluntarily created military-industrial complex over-reach; and consequential over-expenditure and further consequential ballooned national debt; one then begins to understand  the logic of President Trump’s ‘rational irrationality’ manifest in the inherent features of the economic policy responses to a US ( and by extension – global) unfolding crisis.

* 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. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

ASSANGE – A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT

By COURTENAY BARNETT

The arrest of Julian Assange is of special interest to me for three distinct reasons:-

  1. Along with my legal colleague, Lloyd Rodney ( activist like his famous cousin, Dr. Walter Rodney),  I was arrested under British jurisdiction for publicly petitioning against incompetence and corruption within the judicial system. ( See: Footnote i)  ).
  2. When my daughter was approaching her senior year in high school, the school had a practice of inviting parents to address the seniors to explain what the parent’s  job, profession, vocation or career entailed and to give a talk on any subject of choice. My choice was the history of the First Amendment under the US Constitution and its origins dating back to the Glorious Revolution and the Bill of Rights 1688.
  3. As defence Attorney and a human rights activist I am acutely aware of the importance of legal protection for the right to speak via the media, both print and electronic, to bring public attention to matters of administrative, governmental and other official wrongdoings.

So, I have followed Mr. Assange’s WikiLeaks endeavours and his challenges, pending trial and tribulations for years.

Before I turn to the meat of the matter in this article, namely, what I term the Phase 111 stage of Assange’s ordeal – his arrest in London, I would have found it ironic, if not amusing, to note the somersaults of President Trump in his reactions to the WikiLeaks publications. But he is, the one and only, President Donald Trump ( if I have not come to understand him so well – I would otherwise be taking his every utterance – totally seriously). First, when candidate Trump, he simply adored WikiLeaks. It is noteworthy that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration thought it unwise to prosecute Assange, for reason of likely First Amendment infringements ( more anon on that legal aspect). Next, under the Trump administration there is an indictment and in London, the arrest of Julian Assange, on Thursday, the 11th  day of April, 2019:  Trump: “I know nothing about WikiLeaks”. Now, for clarity’s sake, it helps to outline the phases that Assange might, or probably most likely shall pass through in the main:-

Phase 1 – Accusations of rape against him by two Swedish women ( maybe to be revived).

Phase 11 – His departure from Sweden to London and his long political asylum from 2012 in the Ecuadorian Embassy ended as of the 11th day of April, 2019

Phase 111 – His arrest and arraignment within the British justice system.

Phase 1V – Extradition proceedings to a final decision under British justice.

Phase V   – An anticipated pre-determined extradition to the United States of America; and

Phase VI  – A further anticipated overloading of the existing US indictment and a long prison sentence.

N.B. see: conclusion for specific explanation of this Phase V1 legal aspect.

It is Phase 111 that our attention is here directed to.

Phase 111

The arrest and the arraignment can be viewed under two discrete headings:-

Arrest: Already considered in relation to the breach of the UK Bail Act ( see:

http://blog.effectivelearning.net/julian-assange-revisited/ ).

Arraignment: This is where in relation to the US indictment the charge is put to Mr. Assange in the dock, for his to plea “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. Then, the proceedings shall grind on, there having been a “Not Guilty” plea.

The indictment and the Judge, Michael Snow, hearing the plea, are worthy of special comment.

District Judge Michael Snow: Assange had said nothing during his brief hearing of 15 minute and then the “Not guilty” plea and then the impartial Judge says – “His assertion that he has not had a fair hearing is laughable. And his behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests.”

N.B. Need I say more as regards impartiality?

The indictment: It can be read in its entirety here (https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1153481/download).

The US Government has laid one count in the indictment amounting to a charge for computer hacking to obtain classified information.

The indictment states that Chelsea Manning ( assumed then Bradley Manning) worked along with Assange ( ‘conspired’ to convey the true criminal allegation of the US Government against Assange) to hack into US government computers.

So, contrary to US law, Assange is facing one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

The co-conspirator, Manning, was sentenced in the US and imprisoned, but had his/her prison sentence commuted by President Obama. Presently, Manning is back in prison, for reason of refusing to testify about and/or against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

Do I believe that if extradited the US Government will add more charges? Answer provided in the Conclusion below.

Discussion

Above is stated the facts anticipated to unfold within the existing legal framework and/or frameworks of justice systems, at Phase 111,  if Assange is to be extradited to face US justice.

Now, my concerns which I wish to share.

Compromise and/or intimidation of freedom of expression/speech and of the press: This specifies my greatest fear and concern, not just for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, but for newspapers, writers, journalists, editors, activists, authors, online and hard copy publishers all the way across the board and right down to street corner activists across the world. The Assange case has the quite serious and real potential of sending a resoundingly bad message across the world – depending on what the UK Court’s decision ultimately is. “Bad message” admittedly from my perspective and mind-set; “good message” if state wrongdoing is deemed more important to be protected, such as war crimes ( see: this video    

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0 ) over truth telling to citizens. 

Paragraph 9 of the indictment is stating that it was Manning who hacked into the computer. The charge to be proved is related to these considerations:-

  1. What evidence is there of direct assistance by Assange ( i.e. beyond mere encouragement and/or stated intent – the actus rea of Assange)?
  2. Is it that a ‘long-reach’ US statute, where Assange did nothing directly in the US ( i.e. within and directly under its jurisdiction) – but, as alleged, by an extension from Manning  – is that how a cohate crime is to be established?
  3. So Manning through Assange, accessed the Linux operating system, which cracked the password and Manning accessed and Assange published. Is that the publication/journalistic crime?

Question: How were the ‘Pentagon Papers’ obtained ( legally or illegally) to be published as a public service to expose the governmental wrongdoings under the Nixon administration?

Question: Is what is termed ‘national-defense’ in the US more or less important than ensuring that the Government itself is not in breach of the law? For, if there was no breach of the law governing us all under the ‘Rule of Law’, then there would be no embarrassment and/or need to be overly concerned – correct? To be fair, maybe spies names are discovered by such exposure, but that is not the actual gravamen of the Assange case as alleged – is it? It is fundamentally that US war-crimes and torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees, were fully exposed for the world to see. That seems to be Assange’s greatest ‘crime’ for which he, with the full force of the US government against him – shall pay for – correct?

Paragraph 16 of the indictment reads:-

PURPOSE AND OBJECT OF THE CONSPIRACY

“16. The primary purpose of the conspiracy was to facilitate Manning’s acquisition and transmission of classified information related to the national defense of the United States so that WikiLeaks could publicly disseminate the information on its website.”

Cf. For the sake of historical record, do recall, “The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, were first released on the front page of the New York Times in 1971. These papers were released by Daniel Ellsberg, an American activist and former U.S. military analyst.”

I am old enough to recall the foregoing events. I can safely say that the publication of the Pentagon Papers had a monumental impact on the views of the American people based upon the words of their Government, which  had lied to them. Further, having especial regard for the fact that, from President Truman all the way to Nixon, administration after administration had lied to the American people about the depth of the US involvement in the Vietnam War; so national shock waves rebounded.

The New York Times had started publication of the papers and then the Nixon administration obtained an injunction. The Court however ruled ultimately in the case of New York Times. Co. v. United States that the Times was free to publish.

By comparison – is Assange really doing much more than that  ( by reference to the US case of the Pentagon Papers – simply – exposing and stating the truth in a  similar way –  albeit – electronically and via  more effectively updated form)?

Legal question

At paragraph 25 of the indictment, it is confirmed that Assange said to Manning about the cracking of the code, “no luck so far”.

I don’t get it; did Assange assist Manning in a conclusive and choate manner to hack into the US Government’s computer ( based on how the indictment is framed)?

Or, is this a charge for an ‘inchoate crime’?

So, I ask the questions above because since the single charge relates to Assange trying to assist and ending up unsuccessful in his effort – is this analogous  to ‘attempted murder’ ( e.g. he, Assange,  ‘attempted computer intrusion’)?

Conclusion

The legal turf upon which the Assange case will be fought in England, is the area separating the solicitation of matters of journalistic interest – versus – commission of a crime by way of obtaining ‘official secrets’ ( as termed under British law)/ ‘national security’ classified information under US law.

In the US, if Assange is extradited, the legal contest shall be framed as First Amendment rights – versus -privacy.

In response to the obtaining of secret government information, the courts in England and the US have generally lent on the side of ‘public interest’ and the public’s right to know over strict privacy.

In this case the US Government is trying to delineate between maintaining and ostensibly upholding the journalistic right to investigate and know and make public – versus – not being seen to be curtailing and/or infringing upon that First Amendment right; hence the indictment’s embrace of ‘conspiracy’ to again prise and delineate to say that Assange overstepped the legal line by encouraging Manning. A thin line indeed – yet to be determined under the law of Britain, which if there is a finding for extradition will unavoidably impinge upon the traditional areas of press freedom, inclusive of, but not limited to, the areas of sourcing, identity protection and  secrecy of investigative communications.

So far as the evidence goes, there is an FBI’s Officer’s supporting affidavit:-  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5911143-Julian-Assange-Affidavit-December-2017.html

From that evidence it appears that the US Government does not actually know whether or not Assange was successful in cracking the code , where the Officer states:-

“Investigators have not recovered a response by Manning to Assange’s question, and there is no other evidence as to what Assange did, if anything, with respect to the password,” FBI agent Megan Brown said.

So, without more concrete evidence, the case at present appears, in technical legal terms, to be one of reliance upon Assange’s offer to assist Manning as the constituent part of  the ‘conspiracy’  to get to illegality under the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. So the wheel turns back to the Manning trial in the US for reliance on the same evidence that initially  convicted Manning.

On the question of additional charges being laid by the US, this can be noted.  Additional charges may be added before Assange’s extradition is sought. Once extradition is effected, under treaty and by reference to the ‘rule of specialty’ then the U.S. cannot change the charge at a later date. So, if the US is to abide by the rules, then upon extradition, Assange could only be tried for the charge for which he is extradited.

The Labour shadow Foreign Secretary, M.P. Diane Abbott, had this to say on the matter, “Julian Assange is not being pursued to protect U.S. national security; he’s being pursued because he has exposed wrongdoing by U.S. administrations and their military forces.”

The Assange case is already of global importance, not least because, there already has been a favourable legal ruling by the:-

 ‘INTER­AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION SUBMITTED BY THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR’

Concerning “the institution of asylum in its different forms and to the legality of its recognition as a human right of every individual in accordance with the principle of equality and non­discrimination.”

Which, at the very least makes the legal opinion persuasive and informative to other international courts such as the European Court of Human Rights, of which the domestic court in England would have to be cognizant.

Put in reverse, if a US journalist  – or, even, US based journalist ( Khashoggi immediately comes  to mind) – were to report on the wrongdoings and illegalities within a foreign country, is it to be argued before a US court, upon an application from the foreign country that for so doing, the US journalist must be extradited to the offending foreign country? Stated at its simplest, this is the kind of ‘Alice in legal wonderland’ world that the Trump Administration’s extradition application for Assange is taking the US and the world into.

The British Court may choose to act as a vassal state subservient to the interests of US foreign policy. Whatever is the perceived choice of the British Judges ( based on the example of District Judge, Michael Snow, to date) there nevertheless remains  a real chance for credibility, rationality, integrity and most of all honesty, decency and independence to prevail and shine in a case such as this. There is, to my legal mind, but one core question to be answered:-

“ Is it a crime to expose crimes already committed?”

That is the question.

The British Court shall in due time inform of precisely what is the extraditable offence and how so in point of existing law and under established journalistic practice.

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Footnote  i) :  It should be noted, by reference to the issues at hand, that the UK has dropped eleven places from 29/180 in 2013 to 40/180 in 2018 in ‘Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index’; it is now ranked  in between Trinidad and Tobago and Burkina Faso.

The racist roots of UK colonial legal provisions were directed against myself and Attorney Lloyd Rodney to arrest us for having lawfully published a public Petition about the justice system’s injustices; so we were both charged for ‘scandalising’ the court;  an archaic and obsolete legal provision of which it was said in 1899:-

“ Committals for contempt of Court by scandalising the Court itself have become obsolete in this country. Courts are contented to leave to public opinion attacks or comments derogatory or scandalous to them.”

Case: McLeod v. St. Aubyn [1899] Appeal Cases page 549 at page 561. Per. Lord Morris.

Question: So, why was I arrested; and- why was Rodney imprisoned?

Answer: And here comes the express administrative racism in answer, that was directed against the contemptnor in 1899 as it was a century later used against Rodney and myself:

“ But, it must be considered that in small colonies, consisting principally of coloured populations, the enforcement in proper cases of committal for contempt of Court for attacks on the Court may be absolutely necessary to preserve in such a community the dignity of and respect for the Court.” Per. Lord Morris.

Question: So Rodney is imprisoned for speaking truthfully; Assange finds himself speaking truthfully – and so – by parity of reasoning, in his ( Assange’s community of investigative journalists) – it becomes “absolutely necessary to preserve in such a community the dignity of and respect for the Court.” ( i.e. substitute there for the word “Court” the word “Country” – and place before the word “community” – “global community” – and the same sentiments and words thus expressed – echo through the ages  – and do they not become – colonialism and Empire on the march? :-

“ … absolutely necessary to preserve in such a global community the dignity of and respect for the Country.”

Conclusion: If the UK Courts continue to act as a supplicant to US  foreign policy – the pride and vanity of both nations ( shamelessly  of the UK Court(s) if that were to be the result) shall presage really bad times for both countries and the world.

(The above referenced events in a UN affiliated report were published in an article entitled “Gadflys in the Turks and Caicos Islands – Lawyers Harassed,” by Laurie Wiseberg, published in the Human Rights Tribune, Vol 5, Nos. 1-2, April 1998.  Unfortunately the Human Rights Tribune has been discontinued for lack of funding, not leaving behind a web address; however, the author will furnish as documentation a PDF photocopy of the article (IMG_20190417_0001.pdf) via email upon request at his email address at  barnett46@hotmail.com. )

Footnote ii) : In consequence of the events reported internationally about the imprisonment of Attorney Lloyd Rodney, I sued on his behalf in two distinct actions, one for the shackling to his hospital bed, at a time after Amnesty International had directed that the British Government release him unconditionally; then I sued for the unlawful arrest. The first case was won and to avoid the further embarrassment, Her Majesty’s Government did ensure that Rodney received in full over US$200,000 compensation.

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* 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. He lives and works in the Caribbean.