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. Plus we are now subjected to the abomination of unregulated con artists invading our space numerous times daily interrupting our activities with robo calls touting scams. 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 economically then than we are now in terms of basic telephone service, especially considering the robo call fiasco.

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.

_______________________________________________________________

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.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

* 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.

JULIAN ASSANGE – REVISITED

By COURTENAY BARNETT

There is at core here a moral issue – going  well beyond the questions of the  legalities involved.

At the juncture of three and a half years of being a ‘political asylum’ refugee in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, a United Nations panel decided that Julian Assange had been subjected to  “arbitrary detention” by the Governments of Sweden and the UK. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) adopted Opinion No. 54/2015, on 4 December 2015. Next, Assange’s lawyers called for Sweden’s extradition request forthwith to  be abandoned. The extradition request was withdrawn by Sweden.

If the West ( and on this issue – I narrow to the US and UK) are defenders of human rights, I then focus on these three (3) questions:-

  1. Is it that ‘freedom of expression’ ( speech) is one of the significant cornerstones of Western democracy?
  2. Is it a fact, that all decent human sentiment in the world, was outraged at the idea that a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, working for the ‘Washington Post’ could have literally been ‘chopped up’ in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey?
  3. If it is an outrage to have a journalist ‘chopped up’ for reason of his dissident voice against corrupt and dishonest government actions of Saudi Arabia; why then is it not an equivalent outrage for the ‘locking up’ of a journalist, (Editor in Chief of Wikileaks, Julian Assange), for his comparable exposure of misconduct, murder and corruption of Western Governments? (Again, I focus on the chief defenders in the world of the human right of freedom of expression – the UK and US).



    I believe that  I am correct in saying that the American Declaration of Independence declares and acknowledges a right to revolt against tyranny.



    If the laws were all to have been upheld during the slave days of the British Empire in the Caribbean, then no Maroons ( i.e. the slaves who revolted and left the plantations  for freedom in the mountains ) would have existed; had they simply obeyed the law, they would have submitted to oppression – wouldn’t they?



    What about an interesting  comparison of the ‘whistleblowing’ former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray? Murray had complained and repeatedly reported to his government that the leader of Uzbekistan, Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov,   was torturing dissidents and literally putting some in ‘hot water’ ( i.e. slow boiling them to death in a cauldron). Murray complained that there was  widespread kidnapping, torture, rape by the police, murder and extensive financial corruption and added to that – religious persecution and further to that – censorship and other human rights abuses ( but only to mention, but a few, only just a few, human rights violations of which the UK Government via its Ambassador had been made  fully aware of).  The UK Government told Murray to shut up. He continued to complain and protest and then he exposed the truth to the world. The UK dismissed him from his Ambassadorial post and inflicted some nineteen (19) charges against him. He won all, but one (1). He had to have broken Britain’s Official Secrets Act, to have spoken truth to power and all other eighteen (18) were dismissed.  Had he been a good little boy and shut up about substantial human rights wrongdoing in Uzbekistan then the world’s eyes would not have been opened up; consciences would not been moved; right would not have had its voice heard over wrong.



    So, we get to the legal issues concerning Julian Assange, and mainly:-



    1. State Secrecy; and 



    2. Bail Act ( under UK law).



    State Secrecy versus legitimate criticism: Much wrongdoing by agents of the state would never come to light if journalists did not unlawfully leak confidential ‘classified information’.



    Does the press, Editors and investigative journalists across the world, not report on Governmental corruption and wrongdoing everyday? Do those journalists get prosecuted? Chopped up as did Khashoggi or locked up as Assange – yes?



    What a legal farce when the U.K. Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in favor of recognising Sweden’s arrest warrant concerning allegations of rape made against Assange. To facilitate Sweden’s ordinal extradition request, Their Lordships made an interpretation of the term “Judicial authority” by reference to the 2003 European Extradition Act. But, the law too is that extradition orders are not granted for politically motivated reasons. The Swedish legal system could have moved to interview Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy, but they let their statute of limitations run out. At the time, albeit not a Swedish lawyer, I read the evidence and then mockingly wrote a piece entitled: “Captain Cocksman in blonde land” – see; commentary of mine below:-



    https://svagerpolitik.se/0001422/wanted-julian-assange/



    The ruse is revealed and Sweden ( based on available evidence; want thereof, to be more accurate ) withdraws the extradition request. But, now that the original consideration related to the Swedish authorities investigation of allegations of  rape  is not active, then is it still that Assange in the UK remains a “Wanted man”? The plot thickens.



    Bail Act: Clare Montgomery is the  name of the UK  lawyer, who prosecutes on Assange’s case, had  before been paid by the UK Government to defend against the extradition of then Chilean leader, General Pinochet. It gets worse – for the costs of each proceeding was/has been paid for from the UK public purse; the British tax-payers. Add to this the costs of laying siege to the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It does not stop there with the Assange case, for again the UK public purse had to bear the costs, paid to the Swedish Government, related to the Swedish prosecution’s costs. Corruption – or – corruption in the extreme?



    Just read what the Guardian newspaper in England reported:-



    “The former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was immune from prosecution outside his homeland because the crimes and human rights abuses he is alleged to have committed fell under the category of “acts of government”, the House of Lords heard… Clare Montgomery QC told the panel of seven law lords that as a head of state he was entitled to “absolute immunity”, even if the charges at the centre of the allegations included torture. “States and the organs of state, including heads of state and former heads of state, are entitled to absolute immunity from criminal proceedings in the national courts of other countries,” she said.” ( i.e. the same lawyer the UK Government found suitable to defend a man who was complicit in murder, rape and torture and have him released: now is again found to make a case against a man who has not murdered, not raped not tortured – but has spoken the truth for the world to read through his news organisation – WikiLeaks.)



    But, more to the point, is it true, or is it untrue, that the press in the UK and US also publishes  classified materials; are the Editors and/or investigative journalists then hounded and/or prosecuted in the same manner that Assange has been?



    From 2012 Assange, with a grant of political asylum by Ecuador, has been living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.



    Fast forward to the specific UK  Bail Act violation.



    Assange was busy obtaining political asylum at the time and could not be in the Ecuadorian Embassy while at the same time surrender to UK authorities; and so thereby not be breaching his bail. “Failure to surrender” in those circumstances, on the bail aspect, is a minor offence. At least the UK Government and the police knew  his place of  permanent residence, which he has not vacated for quite a few years now. The law in England, if I know it at this time, I think for such violation is a prison term of three months and/or a level 5 fine ( is that about approximately £5000?). But wait – didn’t Assange spend 10 days in Wandsworth Prison in 2010 and 550 days at the home of a supporter while on bail, which could be deducted from any custodial sentence?  I suspect that 30 x 3 = 90 days as the maximum sentence. Or, do Courts in the UK no longer consider the real and evident and obvious and just and practical considerations of the case? Or, does the UK justice system now want to take it another way and contend that there is “contempt of court”?



    Cf. Craig Murray did what he did; but, could not so have done without breaching the Official Secrets Act. Was he morally right – or – merely  legally wrong?



    The US might presently have sealed indictments and might be awaiting for the appropriate time to request Assange’s extradition to the US from the UK. Ms. Montgomery, no doubt knows that the Bail Act violation, might merely be a stepping stone for arresting Mr. Assange and then facilitating the UK being ‘President Trump’s poodle’ in an extradition application. 



    Up and down the UK in courts and across the British Commonwealth in courts each day, and in the US too, persons fail to show up for their hearing date. Magistrates or Judges will weigh the circumstances and many such Magistrates or Judges re-list in the criminal justice system for another hearing date – or – depending on the circumstances,  issue a Bench Warrant. The operative factor is “ the circumstances” explaining the absence:-



    In the Pinochet case there was the equivalent of the man is seriously ill Mi Lord ( or – in the US – Your Honour ( Honor)  )and needs to be released on humanitarian grounds – or tomorrow he will be undergoing surgery – was the kind of approach taken with General Pinochet; or

    The man is seriously under pressure and the US wants him for telling the world the truth by way of factually exposing the nature of large-scale political wrongdoing ( e.g. diplomatic cable on the Chagos Islands etc.) – See: http://blog.effectivelearning.net/sermon-call-of-the-wild-and-the-rule-of-law/







    So, here we are:-



    The CIA director, Mike Pompeo, simply does not like the truth coming out and being exposed globally – so WikiLeaks is termed by him, “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”



    As best I understand the situation; if the US proceeds with an application to the UK  for extradition, then it would be the UK Extradition Act of 2003 which would be the applicable law. The traditional approach under international law is one of there  being decisions to be made by the judicial authorities alone and no political considerations are to be involved.



    This all comes down to the real question:-



    “Which countries have falsely claimed superior human rights and moral authority on the world stage?” 



    Pinochet had been released for return to Chile by the UK, for reasons of illness; what of Julian Assange’s condition ( both mental and physical after almost seven (7) years of confinement)? Pinochet was a known mass murderer and torturer; what charge to date has emerged publicly that Assange ever is alleged to have committed a serious criminal act? Surely, Sweden dropped their allegations.



    It seems to me, a lawyer, that the following can safely be concluded  of the UK’s justice system:-



    Pinochet: the charges of murder, rape, genocide and other significant abuses under both domestic and international law, go unpunished.



    Julian Assange: Presently charged for? 



    Page 5 of the UK Select Home Affairs  Committee has this to say on the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003:- 



    “Concern about the operation of the current extradition arrangements between the USA and the UK should not be allowed to obscure the fundamental point that it is firmly in our national interest to have effective, fair and balanced extradition arrangements with the United States and our other international partners. Criminals must not be allowed to evade British justice by fleeing the country; nor should the UK become a safe haven for those who have committed crimes in other territories.” 



    I seriously suspect that if one simply substituted the words ‘Saudi Arabia’ everywhere there is reference to ‘UK’ – then as in the recent case of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi – the UK must likewise designate Julian Assange a criminal journalist for purposes of extradition to the US. It shall be truly of jurisprudential importance under extradition law, within the context of international law, to read what the UK authorities next do and how any decision is reasoned by the judicial authorities. 



    What next?



    Yeah – lock him up indefinitely ( like Chelsea Manning) for telling the truth –  indeed – not one word ever published by Wikileaks has been contented to be a falsehood.





    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    * 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 — 8

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, March 29, 2019

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME RIGHT NOW

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

Our truth supply system may be the biggest problem we have. How do you know if you know something?  How do you know if something is relevant?  How do you know what’s the probability of something existing, doing something, causing something, on a scale of zero to one (0 – 1), zero probability being there is no chance something is true; one probability being something is certainly true; .5 probability being there is a fifty-fifty chance; all other points between zero and one being all the chances, odds, probabilities, etc. something is true.

Precise arithmetic and deductive logic are almost useless making most major decisions about economic, social, and political states of affairs.  Excellent knowers dealing with economic, social, psychological, and political states of affairs know more precisely what the probabilities of things are than poor knowers; and excellent knowers know more somethings exist or don’t exist than poor knowers; but they know very little for sure.

Good probability estimating ability, that is guessing about the truth of something, is more valuable than ability to precisely add, subtract, multiply, and divide when making decisions about economic and political affairs, except when billing and paying for things, and figuring income taxes, when not being able to do math exactly can get you in trouble.

Those who can assign the best probabilities to things, that is guess and make the best estimates about things being real and relevant, and what they cause, generally win biggest in economic affairs, which explains how inexact seeming nincompoops like Donald Trump may have much more money than most people.  If you inherit enough money and if you hire smart people to help you look out for it you might wind up a billionaire even if you never learned your multiplication tables.  I’ll bet Trump has done almost no arithmetic for himself throughout his life, with the probability of that proposition being true being at least .8 in my estimation.

Excellent knowers are better than poor knowers at figuring out what is fake and what is real, a skill useful when running for president of the US.  Did Trump win in 2016 because he knew more than all his opponents in the presidential race?  Or did it happen by accident? 

Ludwig Wittgenstein, considered by some to have been the best philosopher, or knower about knowing, of all time, in one of his propositions, in his magnum opus, Prototractatus, said, “Everything that happens happens by accident.”

It seems to me what he was saying here is that nobody knows what all the causes of things are, which does not mean there are no probabilities or chains of causation:  it just means there are so many causes and probabilities of events in economic and political affairs that no one can keep track of or predict all of them with certainty, so you might as well say everything that happens happens by accident.

On the other hand, if everything that happens is caused by something, regardless of whether anyone knows what all the causes are, and all caused things includes all human feelings, thoughts, decisions, and behaviors, then free will does not exist, and everything that happens is not only accidental but inevitable.

Another of Wittgenstein’s famous propositions was, “The case is all there is,” which means humans can only know about cases they construct for themselves.  According to Wittgenstein, good knowers have better “pictures” in their minds than poor knowers about what is really going on in states of affairs.

What is the probability global warming and climate change will seriously disrupt human economic and political affairs within twenty years?  Fifty years?  Etc.  Nobody knows for sure, but some people know much more about the probabilities of various states happening than others, based on the pictures they carry around in their heads regarding what is really going on.

If you should happen to be interested in learning more about philosophical problems in economic and political affairs, and would like more detail about the relevance of Wittgenstein and other philosophers, such as Emmanuel Kant, David Hume, Bertrand Russell, Karl Popper, A.L. Goldman, Kurt Baier, and John Rawls, in states of affairs, read my book, Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.

I still think the Internet is disseminating more truth to ordinary humans than was heretofore disseminated to ordinary humans during pre-Internet days, helping them develop better pictures in their minds about what is really going on; but there is a lot of chaff (fake crap) among the wheat (truth) disseminated on the Internet, way more chaff than wheat in my opinion; but it seems to me it would be a serious mistake to abolish the Internet or create a new class of gatekeepers, aka editors, to accept or reject what ordinary humans want to say on the Internet.  It’s better to know what ordinary humans think about economic and political affairs than not know it, however distorted it might be, in my opinion.  It’s true they said what they said, however distorted or irrelevant what they said might be.  Only by putting all forms of truth on the table is there any hope, it seems to me, of modifying false and harmful pictures in the minds of humans so as to create consensual pictures that will cause states of affairs to happen that will lead to a sustainable Spaceship Earth. 

One can build a case things are getting crazier on the Internet, including Facebook.  Presumed adults are posting more and more off the wall things on it, it seems to me, crazy stuff any grade school student should know is absurd nonsense.  Most posts depicting Trump and his voters make them look dumb as doorknobs, which surely is not the case.  Trump and his voters are just having naughty fun, exercising their legal right to display the power of their Rebel Child ego states, telling Be Perfect-driven Adapted Child/Critical Parent prudes with more education and money than they have to go screw themselves, with raised middle fingers. 

Our cellphone system is now contaminated with robot scam calls having zero respect for truth, automatically and promiscuously dialed to lists containing millions of telephone numbers.  These electronic vandals and jackals use pre-recorded happy, chirpy, up-beat robot Child/Rescuer voices, preying on would-be suckers/Victims who are promiscuously dialed without conscience as many as eight or ten times per day each in their homes and businesses, rampantly and wantonly disturbing the lives of humans, reducing their enjoyment of life and inflicting frustration and time and money losses, as they reduce the productivity that might have occurred had they not made their calls. 

There is apparently at present no way to stop this menace.  The human operators of these automatic telephone systems inject absolute nonsense and frustration into the lives of fellow humans and they get away with it Scot free, since apparently there are no governmental agencies that can or will control their unethical anti-social behavior.  Is it impossible to establish this sort of regulation?  If not why is it governments do not get on with the job?   

The Mueller investigation is nauseating.  After two or so years what do we really know?  Almost nothing.  And what did the report cost taxpayers?  Two million dollars?  Mueller produced a three hundred page report and turned it over to Barr, the current attorney general, Trump’s latest attempt to install another paper-pushing lackey who will do what he wants him to do in the Attorney General’s office.  So far Barr seems to be doing his job well in Trump’s eyes, not exactly saying the report exonerated Trump, and not saying it did not either, merely saying it proves there was no collusion with the Russians, which a lot of us already knew.  Barr says he will release the report to the public later.

Trust me, he seems to say.  What a crock. 

The Muller investigators supposedly had access to classified documents they read during the course of their proceedings.  As I understand it Trump at any time could have declared those documents to be unclassified to exonerate himself.  Why didn’t he do that if he was innocent?  Seems to me his not doing this proved he was guilty of something in the report he wanted to hide.  I have said all along based on what I had seen in Mainstream Media and on the Internet that Trump did not collude with officials of the Russian government to hack Hillary’s servers to get dirt to help Trump get elected.  Did he collude with some Russian citizens?  You bet.  He did this selling condos and apartments in New York City to Russian oligarchs, helping them launder dirty money, and trying to get another Trump Tower built in Moscow, the biggest ego trip of his entire ethically challenged venal (and possibly criminal) career. 

So here we are now with the Mueller report supposedly finished and we still know little or nothing as a matter of fact about what they studied and discussed.  The problem now is whether one human being, Barr, will allow the report to be released, and how much stuff in it will be redacted.  Boy, talk about a doublespeak Orwellian word.  Redact.  Sounds like they intend to do precise technical surgery on the report, when in plain English they are just deleting or cutting crap out of the report, stuff they want to keep secret to protect the guilty, even if the report is supposedly “released” to the public.  It’s pathetic.  Like living in an insane asylum.

How to correct such a truth problem is super problematic.  It’s not just a matter of corruption and dishonesty in government but problems with news media suppressing real news for political reasons attempting to curry favor with ordinary people and the deep state to maximize their readership, views, subscriptions, and advertising revenues.   

It seems posts on the Internet keep getting more off the wall but censuring the Internet is not the answer in my opinion.  I recommend that the Internet remain as free as possible with everyone having a chance to speak their minds with posts no matter how poorly informed or corrupt they might be.  While purposely lying is categorically wrong as a moral and ethical principle, it’s better to let liars lie on the Internet than censure them because of the freedom it would destroy, reducing the total amount of truth available for people to see and hear.  On the other hand, it’s far better to be honestly wrong than to be dishonestly wrong.   

For sure there are some excellent Internet journals and writers that rarely if ever flinch telling the real truth as they see it, Counterpunch, Truth-out, Intrepid Report, RollingStone, ZeroHedge, Noam Chomsky, Paul Street, John Chuckman, Patrick Cockburn, Wayne Madsen, Chris Hedges, Douglas Valentine, Paul Craig Roberts, Matt Taibbi, Henry Giroux, Tyler Durden, Ellen Brown, William John Cox, Courtenay Barnett, to name a few.

Yet it seems to me the Earthian truth system is generally corrupt, and always has been, with everyone mainly saying what will enhance and preserve their vested interests, whether individuals or institutions, whether corporations, governments, militaries, religions, schools, or universities.  Of course there are many standards for not lying built into various levels of these institutions, but the main thing for them is to tell the public things that will maximize their own security, budgets, or profits, preserving their status quo gravy trains as best they can.

The US military is one of the biggest gravy trains out there.  How can you cut military expenses during peacetime?  There appears to be no way.  The biggest problem the US military-industrial-corporate-intelligence establishment has right now is finding or creating and defining enemies sufficiently plausible and threatening to give them justification for their receiving almost one trillion cash dollars of taxpayer money and Federal Reserve funny money per year from the US federal government. 

One easy and inexpensive military thing to do I recommend is getting back in as many nuclear non-proliferation treaties as possible and not manufacturing any more nuclear weapons.  The same goes for nuclear power plants in my opinion.

Unfortunately, human migration problems around Spaceship Earth have increased in recent decades because of the US’s overt military destruction of regimes and governments in the Middle East and North Africa and its covert clandestine destabilizing and destruction of Latin American regimes and governments, often replacing socialist governments with right-wing dictators and fascist regimes who terrorize their own people, causing them to flee, causing them to flood European countries and the US, or at least try to.  Whether Trump’s wall or anything else can keep them out of the US remains to be seen.

So far Trump seems to be having little or no real success in this regard. About one hundred thousand illegal immigrants entered the US in the last month.  If this continues, annualized this will be over one million in one year, way up from what happened under Obama.  Thousands are still coming through the porous US southern border every day, as if to spite Trump, as if caused by Trump’s Rebel Child ego state fantasies, rhetoric, and tweets about walls and other inhumane cures for the immigration problem, their way of using their own Rebel Child ego states to tell Trump to go screw himself, with raised middle fingers.

In recent days, again using his impetuous Rebel/Free Child ego states, Trump told the Mexican government if they did not stop the immigrants from reaching the US border he would just “shut down” the entire border.   

Using contrived Critical Parent ego state imagery, Trump sometimes creates poses for cameras as if mimicking Mussolini, clenching his jaw, jutting his chin up and out, squinting his eyes as if looking at something in the distance, as if he were a wise and benevolent visionary.  Apparently he covets the respect fascist and communist dictators for life such as Hitler and Kim Jong Un were and are shown by their subordinated enslaved populations. 

Trump has recently recognized an illegal unelected white fascist coup leader in Venezuela as a lawful leader of the country, thereby subverting and undermining democracy in Venezuela. If the upper class fascist pretender does take over, massive migrations of lower class indigenous and mixed race people from Venezuela will ensue, far exceeding what is happening now, many of them most likely winding up in the US, to a large extent caused by Trump’s bombastic Free Child rhetoric and the almost mute ulterior sanctions US bureaucratic paper-pushers in the State Department, CIA, and elsewhere have imposed on Venezuela, to gain control of its oil supply and to keep its white upper class in power.

Who were the prime allowers of unauthorized immigrants into the US?  Clinton, and Bush II. According to the Pew Research Center unauthorized immigrants into the US increased from 3.5 million in 1990 to 8.6 million in 2000, the Clinton years, and from 8.6 to 12.2 million during 2001 to 2007, the Bush II years, and then declined to 10.7 million in 2016, the Obama years. There are now ten to eleven million unauthorized immigrants living in the US. 

At the same time, conditions have become so agitated and uncertain in some so-called developed not-yet-collapsed countries that some fairly well off humans born there would like to migrate to other countries to escape local conditions in their countries which they perceive to be more onerous and oppressive than those in other countries, to escape high taxes and social unrest (in some cases caused by having to live cheek by jowl with recent immigrants who will not assimilate), feeling and thinking the grass might be greener in several places on the other side of the fence in other rich developed countries. 

In coming decades if dire predictions about climate change come true, such as the polar icecaps melting and raising the saltwater level around Earth several feet, many millions of people, of all socio-economic classes, maybe over a billion, living on coastal plains will be dislocated, creating migrations larger than heretofore experienced or imagined on Earth.  Nobody knows where all these people will go.

The US has recently experienced one of the worst environmental disasters in recent history with the flooding of the Midwest caused by a winter cyclone that flooded three or four states, inundating farms and killing millions of farm animals, destroying millions of bushels of stored grain, which will cause farmers not to plant new crops on time this year, which is likely to cause serious shortages of food and higher food prices in the US.  If this is not climate change caused by global warming what is?  I had never heard of a winter cyclone such as this happening on a landmass such as the US Midwest.

Most likely the winter cyclone flooding will cause new human out-migration from the region.

To solve the Earthian environmental problem a case can be made that the status levels of agricultural lifestyles should be higher than those of bankers sitting in offices atop skyscrapers in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Hong Kong, Moscow, Brasilia, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, or Ottawa, or generals sitting in the US Pentagon and in equivalent command posts in other countries, or top leaders sitting in the US White House and in equivalent houses in other countries.

Some writers have mentioned that some oligarchs are now building themselves underground bunkers that will enable them to survive a nuclear holocaust.  Some people have fantasized about migrating to and colonizing other planets before what they call “the event” happens, analogous to what Europeans did in the Americas, which, it seems to me, is a ridiculous pipedream.

I included and quoted original research data I acquired by questionnaires as well as published academic secondary research and literature in my study of migration in my doctoral dissertation.  The management science idea I explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” for ultimately solving the Earthian migration problem, published in 2015, happened to me in 1969 when I was writing my dissertation, and is affixed to the dissertation in an appendix.

You can download a free copy of my dissertation, titled “An Analysis of Rural Manpower Migration Patterns in the South Plains Region of Texas” from Texas Tech University.

It will do little good to play AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game identified and labeled by transactional analysts to stroke humans for being stoic Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems manipulated and exploited by rapacious sociopathic Persecutor oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackey politicians for selfish gain, however true that might be in reality. 

On the other hand, 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 strokes for making nonsensical positive comments about themselves and their environments.

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; but especially they should help select politicians who will create economic and political policies and actions to help correct environmental and social problems on a mass scale.  

In the last seven months I have tried to set up a De-Gaming Democracy group as explained in my article, “De-Gaming and Saving Democracy,”      here in Statesboro where I live, hoping to engage citizens of various persuasions, whether they be red, blue, green, or any other color, in discussions of relevant economic and political problems and opportunities to develop consensual realistic approaches to the environmental problems we face, in what I call the Ogeechee Economic Forum meeting the third Saturday of each month, with little success.  It appears most people are not interested in, or are afraid of, transacting in a Game-free Adult way in public dealing with economic and political problems and opportunities.  Hopefully interest in this forum will pick up this year, 2019.  It seems to me humans all around Spaceship Earth should get busy right now in Game-free groups developing consensual answers to problems threatening their existence

For the first time in March we had enough participants in the Ogeechee Economic Forum to use a Classroom De-Gamer™ to randomly select the leader of the day to start the discussion by presenting a relevant problem or opportunity, alternatives, and a recommendation.  Game-free discussions are those in which the psychological Game roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim have been banished or suppressed in a group in such a way as to cause the cathecting of Adult, Free Child, and Nurturing Parent ego states in participants, thereby producing liberty, equality, and fraternity in the group.  

As soon as the De-Gamer arrow stopped spinning in the March forum we got down to business discussing the US federal debt as a percentage of GDP, Gross Domestic Product, the total estimated value of goods and services produced in a country in one year, counting as production not only real goods such as the necessities of life, food, clothing, and shelter, but also rentier service revenues generated by banks and others.  A relevant consensual perspective developed that while the US federal debt is indeed horrendous, a little over one hundred percent of GDP, the worst such ratio among major countries in the Western World, it’s not as bad as Japan’s, at about two hundred percent of their GDP; and therefore if Japan can continue to function with such a debt to GDP ratio, maybe the US can too, giving us more time, maybe ten years, before an economic collapse occurs, assuming significant changes are not made in the way the US economic system works, however corrupt and dysfunctional it may be at present.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis to create better democratic processes and to learn more about the profound effects created by human ego states 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 free 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 Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic and political system that is viable and satisfying for everyone.   

SOURCES:

April 1, 2019

A good April Fool’s joke.

“The State of NASA’s Budget as Pence Seeks New Moon Landing,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-31/state-nasas-budget-pence-seeks-new-moon-landing?fbclid=IwAR0kKxm0yUcgQjxbjVShLJwwHfyfHT59sDbUDGd-JQGEl3CmvLA5smSkTzw.

April 1

Sounds about right to me.

“Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, On Leaving the U.S. Army” by Danny Sjursen, TOMDISPATCH, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176545/tomgram%3A_danny_sjursen%2C_on_leaving_the_u.s._army/

April 1

The stuff never went away after the tsunami in 2011, you know that.

“Radioactive Fukishima Particles Found in Alaska’s Bering Strait,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-01/radioactive-fukushima-particles-found-alaskas-bering-strait?fbclid=IwAR1w55dYxm_FzatOGM5CRgCHKHassx6kOycHhygqeE9zvZSwZAiW6MEcLak.

April 1

Oh really.

“Morgan Stanley Sees 70% Chance of Downturn ‘As Early as Next Month’,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-01/morgan-stanley-sees-70-chance-downturn-early-next-month?fbclid=IwAR1UWvkyfm2p_qexFZURXd1ATrqTbaeT5C2cFfc7TrD_Ulw6GuvJ_0FtcJA.

April 1

For sure, say this aint so joe.

“Biblical Anxieties” by Howard Kunstler, JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER, http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/biblical-anxieties/.

April 1

Yep, whom do you believe?

“Leaked Mueller Report Proves Barr Lied; Collusion Theorists Vindicated,” Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM.COM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/leaked-mueller-report-proves-barr-lied-collusion-theorists-vindicated-2a9f52fda492?fbclid=IwAR3yutcQEG2IoPQZOwcLk6Jx0oTWuQO40HEjthmIA2Vt2JJQKPEFXJIWP9c.

April 1

Never heard of anything like this before.

“Midwest Apocalypse: Satellite Data Show ‘At Least 1 Million Acres of US Farmland’ Devastated by Floods,” Michael Snyder, THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/midwest-apocalypse-according-to-satellite-data-at-least-1-million-acres-of-u-s-farmland-have-been-devastated-by-floods.

March 30

So it seems.

“The Democrats Are Self-Destructing,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY, https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/03/28/the-democrats-are-self-destructing/.

March 30

FYI

“8 Cases That Prove The FBI & CIA Were Out of Control Long Before Russiagate,” by Jon Miltimore and Carey Wedler, FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION, https://fee.org/articles/8-historic-cases-that-show-the-fbi-and-cia-were-out-of-control-long-before-russiagate/.

March 30

Say it aint so joe.

“Boston Dynamics’ New Warehouse Robot Threatens Millions Of Jobs,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-29/boston-dynamics-new-warehouse-robot-threatens-millions-jobs?fbclid=IwAR2bP1jIF8smvlDx2E8OIF7FQuk6p-nnGOzZ8H7cspVy4Gcv4JphtgIjieY.

March 29

Could not agree more. The real job of teaching and research is getting to the real truth of the matter irrespective of sex, race, gender, age, ideology, religion, and national citizenship, figuring out which teachers and professors have produced the most truth and learning, and which students have learned the most truth, and grading and rewarding equivalently. Read my articles “Games Educators Play,” “Teacher Evaluations,” and “De-Gaming and Saving Democracy” posted at the top of this page.

“More University Corruption,” by Walter E. Williams, TOWNHALL, https://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2019/03/27/more-university-corruption-n2543687.   

March 29

Let’s hope this is not right.

“The Two Americas Have Grown Much Fiercer,” by Peggy Noonan, WALL STREET JOURNAL OPINION, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-two-americas-have-grown-much-fiercer-11553816463?fbclid=IwAR1SbAuuO-L2MPcZBmxkVmsv5C2_3TpRzixbSwdYz8qSSvEQYOjAjDAcTXI.

March 29

Pathetic.

“Border Patrol begins releasing migrant families on the streets of Yuma,” by Rafael Carranza, Arizona Republic, ACENTRAL.COM, https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2019/03/28/border-patrol-begins-releasing-migrants-yuma/3301641002/?fbclid=IwAR0gheOEzrcaRF3ImfzlMERsXlBUT8RR-CADTim-nK0B3e0wtElFoSxS2QI.

March 28

A great website.

“Climate change is a security threat.  We must act now,” by Sheikh Hasina, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, https://www.weforum.org/?fbclid=IwAR2lFW9TuyWWv1O1o8O-JkLn_UkMA3jwUSn77A4-scGxCLCdhQFuOwC9v0E.

March 28

So it seems.

“Republicans Are Working to Undermine Direct Democracy,” by Miranda Yaver, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/s/story/republicans-are-working-to-undermine-direct-democracy-adc3b3227063?fbclid=IwAR26_quqCZxWqDdtid-nhHQ9yWhYHIsZWeewwMgbtzRe5XNHpvDdyTt1JYA.

March 28

Right on brother.

What a crock of you know what. How could anyone remember or know who were the good guys and bad guys in this assortment of facts, allegations, and reported so-called findings? Comey is one of the more interesting characters. He was not against Hillary he said, but why did he bring up the matter of her email server? Before he left the scene. Now here he is giving speeches about the whole thing. Talking about whether obstruction of justice is a crime, and such, saying he only wanted to know what the true facts were. About who or what? Trump or Hillary? After millions of dollars spent on this report what do we know of relevance that we did not already know? Not much. As I have pointed out for some time on the Internet and elsewhere based on evidence available in mainstream media and on the Interent Trump did not commit conspiracy with Russian government officials to get elected. Big deal. But he conspired with Russian capitalist oligarchs to make more personal money for himself and his family. Selling apartments and condos and laundering money in NYC. Trying to build another Trump tower in Moscow. but there was no credible evidence in MSM or on the Internet I saw indicating he tried to bribe Russian officals to help get him elected. But Wikileaks got its hands on damaging information about Hillary from somewhere that hurt her election chances. If the info did not come from Russian officials and hackers conspired by Trump then from whom or where did it come? Alleged conspirators on the Internet have said the info came from Seth Rich, a DNC employee who allegedly downloaded to Wikileaks information damaging to Hillary’s election chances he downloaded from DNC servers, using a memory stick, who was shot and killed walking home alone at night in his Washington neighborhood, whose killer or killers have never been found. What if anything does the Mueller report have to say about that?

“Taibbi: Forget the Memo — Can We Worry About the Banks,” by Matt Taibbi, ROLLINGSTONE, https://medium.com/rollingstone/taibbi-forget-the-memo-can-we-worry-about-the-banks-172e65c3dbc2?fbclid=IwAR1LGfec8TuKolqkGoRqoN6r6ozqFbA49VTtm_0Fc_OdigxAkE_oPq4OtY8.

March 28

As a former professor of management I can tell you there is a lot of truth in this article.

“Corporate Bullshit,” by Thomas Klikauer, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/26/corporate-bullshit/?fbclid=IwAR3tOpg9lxEZOvSxfc6SKa-xtdU7PewuT4NRgrxglIyPsv5V3uDxeedvigE.

March 26

Here is an excellent article by Courtenay Barnett, a distinguished practising international lawyer and social activist, also an Effective Learning Report correspondent living in the Turks and Caicos Islands near Jamaica, in the Caribbean, educating humans on how the rule of law works and does not work internationally.

“The Golan Heights – Venezuela – And The Rule of Law,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-golan-heights-venezuela-and-the-rule-of-law/?fbclid=IwAR1H3ZXFVPyCSMZko4ulEsSDxZ5jm9iSmYheM4bhvvVkhbESgd_cGTnXxY0

March 26

Apparently this article is correct.  Good news if it is.

“Truth v. fiction in Venezuela,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26665.

March 26

Agree.  Well said.  This article is a good economic history lesson since 1980.

“The Poisonous History of Neo-Classical Economics,” by James C. Kennedy, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/26/the-poisonous-history-of-neo-classical-economics/?fbclid=IwAR2bpLyT5HXMDsKsURarGOk6twfy06q4iV50MhpUu-64wvce-RV4_5_FuxQ.

March 26

A must read for anyone wanting to learn about the history of teaching in the US.

“New Challenges Bring New Militancy to Teacher Strikes,” by Barbara G. Ellis, TRUTH OUT, https://truthout.org/articles/new-challenges-bring-new-militancy-to-teacher-strikes/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0A1927ptC0NK0nuCId-xpvZJAHD0L1Mm9tGwTHatv5E4CKXIAHB3OyJlE.

March 24

Here is the latest update of my latest article.

“Learning to Look Out for Everyone, Not Just Number 1,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/learning-to-look-out-for-everyone-not-just-number-1/?fbclid=IwAR1C9zW9j-CrQb6bZLFca0tn8ttpWlQ6Ef6N0vooqn3aMsI-0nSFXaI2-lQ.

March 24

Here is the elite trying to cut off the best hope for us commoners.

“Goodbye to the Internet:  Interference by governments is already here,” by Philip M. Giraldi, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26655.

March 24

“Monetary policy takes center stage:  MMT, QE or public banks,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26658.

March 24

“Getting into” a good school is one thing; paying for it is another.

“College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education,” by Julian Vigo, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/22/college-scams-and-the-ills-of-capitalist-driven-education/?fbclid=IwAR0D8WjO51kajhOFumsX8MNKthD4WsLlUnmvtLxYyHGG_7xD_A6YnBOpygI.

March 23

Basically agree with this.

“How American Economics Failed,” by Umair Haque, MEDIUM, https://eand.co/how-american-economics-failed-a762dadb61ad?fbclid=IwAR1bGiqQg7vO9I_qCBaxzZ5kPW_Kx0ofqjla9KIu5ycDaOH_PD4VLtokci8.

March 23

Maybe there’s hope for all of us.

“5 Common Mistakes Smart People Make,” by Darius Foroux, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/darius-foroux/are-you-making-these-common-mistakes-that-smart-people-make-116d059cd5a1?fbclid=IwAR3W1ZMq9DFVZu97PnRLxw5XWAm3qHhmxDF_SDRqn0nr7DrofCTWHmfExcc.

March 22

“Post truth” or “pre truth” it does seem we are now in a space of “no truth” where Trump and his ilk can create truth out of thin air, as if creating money at the Federal Reserve, by simply saying something is true.

“The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era,” by Henry Giroux, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/22/the-ghost-of-fascism-in-the-post-truth-era/?fbclid=IwAR0vzeSStrt2s0nq6I8Oc9q_WMTkmkoMxcdQxRKPvSZVmHhYRCkMMx4Ya3U.

March 21

Sounds very bad.

“Catastrophic Flooding In The Midwest Could Last ‘For Months’, And That Is Going To Mean A Dramatic Drop in U.S. Food Production,” by Michael Snyder, END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/catastrophic-flooding-in-the-midwest-could-last-for-months-and-that-is-going-to-mean-a-dramatic-drop-in-u-s-food-production?fbclid=IwAR15tiJm4SsmgnEqEl9T3qx0Ll8xPOBFe288LkefP7IpREXz7BkqJr3LkLE.

March 21

Alarming.

“The Expanding Global Footprint of U.S. Special Operations,” by Brian Kaiman, Daniel Deiss, and Edwin Watson, SOUTH FRONT, https://southfront.org/expanding-global-footprint-of-us-special-operations/?fbclid=IwAR3FooA1pmSZQKAGhL2DsV0Qh_aNrErcZeguP6SFm1OFyzmm4aT-NiVIj-4.

March 21

Basically agree with this guy and here I am seventy-eight.

“Why I Hope to Die at 75,” by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, THE ATLANTIC, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/10/why-i-hope-to-die-at-75/379329/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&fbclid=IwAR3xH-viZKwd0UoU–qL_3z3Qecn9RCisQEZN7QrS0X0g42bEVLWlV9TLko.

March 21

Say it aint so joe.

“Trump’s CIA now unbound and back to its traditional hijinks,” by Wayne Madsen, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26632.

March 21

Not a good idea.

“Social media companies ‘struggle’ to help censors keep us in the dark,” by Thomas L. Knapp, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26646.

March 21

Sounds about right to me.

“America’s Senior Generals Find No Exits From Endless War,” by William Astore, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/21/americas-senior-generals-find-no-exits-from-endless-war/?fbclid=IwAR1MlRW8Jl8EbQU5nwK7QHdNBoZNPcQmUv_od0qMrn1gLUZssIgeYKHK_pQ.

March 21

Oh really.

“The Wall Street Bailouts, Bernie and the Washington Post,” by Dean Baker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/21/the-wall-street-bailouts-bernie-and-the-washington-post/?fbclid=IwAR2YFZEDhb2gsbi4R5PNw8Q7ynDq9C2Pyn4DbnuZlOKmPtGMOv18_I6yeW4.

March 21

Yikes.  Is this the real reality of “Hamilton”?

“Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ and the Willing Suspension of Reality-Based Moral Consciousness,” by Elizabeth Keyes, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/21/broadways-hamilton-and-the-willing-suspension-of-reality-based-moral-consciousness/?fbclid=IwAR3uM-nnkJ6Wgv4GGdh7DnEtTPkK6TUbtwWeXM3ohPp6_rXv1RKzhmWVhPo.

March 21

If you want to read some government gobbledegook read this.

“America’s Venezuela Strategy:  Coup by Sheer Narrative Control,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/americas-venezuela-strategy-coup-by-sheer-narrative-control-fc8ee1f01e23?fbclid=IwAR0Z23w8jAfLYmg0-65Gj-HVyf0PjYLkJtDDG-4pOxZxTKNSDKpEraAbRao.

March 21

Unfortunately relevant.

“Censorship Tightens As Governments Lose Control – Gold, Goats, ‘n Guns,” by Tom Luongo, GOLD, GOATS, ‘N GUNS, https://tomluongo.me/2019/03/20/censorship-government-control-christchurch/?fbclid=IwAR1tUjqVcEreEW9SDZXbstIDkokqj3wcS1ymOJfezh-MAtaW5nqMAYWo2Tg.

March 20

How significant is this?

“’Fed Returns To The Punchbowl’:  The Biggest Surprises in Today’s Fed Decision,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-20/fed-returns-punchbowl-biggest-surprises-todays-fed-decision?fbclid=IwAR3EBIt_XuQJiIYmhkV0TP0RKyjjhg-WQmrjRv1FMeEgv2vECiYnYRGztrs.

March 20

Been hearing more and more about this.

“How to Blow $700 Billion,” by Matt Taibbi, ROLLINGSTONE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-20/fed-returns-punchbowl-biggest-surprises-todays-fed-decision?fbclid=IwAR3EBIt_XuQJiIYmhkV0TP0RKyjjhg-WQmrjRv1FMeEgv2vECiYnYRGztrs.

March 20

Releasing large numbers of migrants?  What does this mean?  If you can make sense out of this power to you.

“Border Patrol says detention centers are full – and starts releasing migrants,” by Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Molly O’Toole, THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-20/fed-returns-punchbowl-biggest-surprises-todays-fed-decision?fbclid=IwAR3EBIt_XuQJiIYmhkV0TP0RKyjjhg-WQmrjRv1FMeEgv2vECiYnYRGztrs.

March 20

Yuk

“Weather Patterns Go Crazy:  Nebraska Flooding Has Broken 17 Records and Farmers Are Being Absolutely Devastated,” by Michael Snyder, THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/weather-patterns-go-crazy-nebraska-flooding-has-broken-17-records-and-farmers-are-being-absolutely-devastated?fbclid=IwAR1kFW57b1pypi_wLDJPF_zezViLXMNy61ZPUw9Vfi4sR8uo4SyFJqn–P8.

March 20

More truth telling.

“Empire of Absurdity:  Recycled Neocons, Recycled Enemies,” by Major Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.), ANTIWAR.COM, https://original.antiwar.com/danny_sjursen/2019/03/18/empire-of-absurdity-recycled-neocons-recycled-enemies/?fbclid=IwAR1GLdpSDPB4G3OXL38tjH4baK0Q12jaqol-IKpZzTSGZjYtdXKJHjQ1-x8.

March 20

Remember “The Troubles” in Ireland?  Here they go again.

“The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit,”  by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/19/the-brutal-legacy-of-bloody-sunday-is-a-powerful-warning-to-those-hoping-to-save-brexit/?fbclid=IwAR21WLz1Vx3XEBv_bY7ozDhN4p7JTVQ4spZ6gQkta8YhvGgUUL46RlySWII.

March 19

Scary stuff here. More tell it like it is no nonsense pull no punches straight writing by possibly the bravest writer alive, Paul Street.

“Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/19/socialism-curiously-trumps-fascism-in-u-s-political-threat-reporting/?fbclid=IwAR0b4_Iz-s0y2HJrU2hGaJDKL3MEpO9q9QmWgENLfF9FhawqOQXSWYUIlTk.

March 18

Sad indeed.

“Mr MAGA and the end of Western Civilization,” by The Saker, THE SAKER OF THE VINEYARD, http://thesaker.is/mr-maga-and-the-end-of-western-civilization/?fbclid=IwAR3a1yve1WJzr6ZcuhoukjDzl3Z6WL2N7saq-nIfWuSC3gtxZAnkZPf9Ayo.

March 18

Say it aint so joe

“How Fukushima nukes kill our climate, our planet, ourselves,” by Harvey Wasserman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26587.

March 18

Say it aint so joe.

“The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit,” by Matt Taibbi, ROLLINGSTONE, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/pentagon-budget-mystery-807276/?fbclid=IwAR1VmrTgXJvjlI82x29RqIhSS2t7REFWi1XTqfCLzYZBYe-mZfrGKeQjI5A.

March 17

Republicans pictured in this article are having naughty fun operating out of their Rebel Child ego states telling Adapted Child/Critical Parent prudes who have more education and money than they have to go screw themselves, with their raised middle fingers.

“Republicans Have Nothing To Offer Except Hate and Fear,” HOUSE OF PUBLIC DISCOURSE, https://houseofpublicdiscourse.blogspot.com/2019/03/republicans-have-nothing-to-offer.html?spref=fb&fbclid=IwAR210tVuEXw4OTFzY9amwV_IwZ5vVJoR2TNLJXRwyyQm7wF110jkCvjZI98.

March 17

In case you haven’t heard, the UK is going down the tube pretty much in lockstep with the US.

“Theresa May’s plan to scrap free school lunches will hit 900,000 poor families,” by Greg Wilford, THE INDEPENDENT, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/theresa-may-conservatives-free-school-lunches-cuts-poverty-a7747066.html?fbclid=IwAR1jgLLM3rasxYtEYvNEjIBFYDJgcnqZi2AFHyPttr6awOcTaBHspB9TvoE.

March 17

It amazes me how Trump can get anything he says or imagines published word for word to be heard and read by millions. Power talks. I worked thirty five years as an academic attempting to publish ideas and conclusions supported by facts, evidence, and reasoning in contextual research journals, with average success, ideas and conclusions rarely heard of by anyone save a few journal editors and reviewers who read what i wrote. But this “stable genius” can get any nitwit thing he wants published word for word to be read by millions just by blurting it out anywhere. Talk about absurdity and injustice. For whatever it’s worth unemployment is not at a 44 year low. At least twenty percent of all US citizens who would like to have a decent job are not in the work force. They are not working. Here it is one more time folks, for those of you on whom it has not yet soaked in: The US govt only counts as unemployed citizens who are actively looking for a job, not counting those who have given up on finding one, and it includes as employed millions with only one or two jobs who cannot make a living with their so-called jobs, often called “gig” jobs.

“Trump:  Seeing ‘Unemployment at 44 Year Low’ On Drudge Report Made Me ‘Very proud’,” by Tim Hains, REAL CLEAR POLITICS, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/06/15/trump_seeing_unemployment_at_44_year_low_on_drudge_report_made_me_very_proud.html?fbclid=IwAR1-lh0G_5UL5mHS4y1a7SnPTtwgwEkXfNsAxBCBq3MIneh2uRuWnyVof6s.

March 17

Tough choice alright, thanks to our stable genius “tariff man” in the White House.

“Tariffs force tough choices in Louisiana as farmers leave soybeans in fields to rot,” by Jodi Gralnick, CNBC, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/06/15/trump_seeing_unemployment_at_44_year_low_on_drudge_report_made_me_very_proud.html?fbclid=IwAR1-lh0G_5UL5mHS4y1a7SnPTtwgwEkXfNsAxBCBq3MIneh2uRuWnyVof6s.

March 17

Intelligent well written article, asserting the increase in white supremacy terrorism is a function of dire consequences of capitalism and now global warming with the white terrorists attempting to scapegoat racial and cultural groups.

“Christchurch, the White Victim Complex and Savage Capitalism,” by Nathaniel St. Clair, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/15/christchurch-the-white-victim-complex-and-savage-capitalism/?fbclid=IwAR1GVTIJoTi9DcLYv0ZQ3SWWc6FyhZQUif5BGerewLjfLUSRVRRPN3mlfqo.

March 17

Agree.

“We Need a New Declaration of Rights for Black Americans,” by Taru Taylor, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/we-need-a-new-declaration-of-rights-for-black-americans/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0U4evtY_Ua5e-v1hBthFYGdMCyQix7Ny6tAgfmtkC0bTK88_qo88VOvh0.

March 17

Very sad.

“Facing Wrongful Detention and Threats, Afro-Colombian Women Call for Justice,” by J. M. Kirby, TROUGHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/facing-wrongful-detention-and-threats-afro-colombian-women-call-for-justice/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR24OFtGErCyn8gtLLxT-HGEbbIu4HaeLsbI0ghg1-OE12hXYzyYxBs0pro.

March 16

Unbelievable racism like this still exists.

“In Venezeula, White Supremacy Is a Key Driver of the Coup,” by Greg Palast, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/in-venezuela-white-supremacy-is-a-key-driver-of-the-coup/.

March 16

Say it aint so joe

“The Rapid Decline of the Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change” by John Vidal, HUFFPOST US, https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/nature-destruction-climate-change-world-biodiversity_n_5c49e78ce4b06ba6d3bb2d44?ncid=other_facebook_eucluwzme5k&utm_campaign=share_facebook&fbclid=IwAR2b4LCMv4pyRKRQ4NLh8XaRclRCqHqOe3tqOb-umSp0XWd-WuxRSGD7i4A

March 15

Yuk

“Rethink Activism in the Face of Catastrophic Biological Collapse,” by Dahr Jarmail and Barbara Cecil, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/climate-collapse-is-on-the-horizon-we-must-act-anyway/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0uvW1xfXPfd1iOwK_2X44HTFOTpWlW8yTAOy0IcvHcJ3hEAYm1WZB6mVA.

March 14

Told you so.

“Tariff Man Has Become Deficit Man,” by Paul Krugman, THE NEW YORK TIMES, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/opinion/trump-deficit.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&fbclid=IwAR15q_2Y8ME9_WGDGxUyFMBsP4uxqEQKnUdFRChygFkehog9K-aBo8bFiFIh

March 14

So it seems.

“The Global Economy is a Time Bomb Waiting to Explode,” by Marshall Auerback, TRUTHDIG, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-global-economy-is-a-time-bomb-waiting-to-explode/.

March 12

So it seems.

“Trump:  The warlord of economic savagery,” by Wayne Madsen, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26507.

March 12

So it seems.

“Pressitutes turn blind eye to US report on Venezuela,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26512?fbclid=IwAR3OqzZ5dgE1y6x7kSWVEyaMFIu1QITD3cNJOcJsvdoOrwTj3DixDf6DVqs.

March 12

One of the worst.

“The conflict of our time:  U.S. imperialism vs the rule of law,” by Nicholas J S Davies, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26516?fbclid=IwAR0QLPv3_yohasgkrBdRy7XXZBYayPVc5GUA3Xv9GPFjf-3qaf1cOktO-LQ.

March 12

Why should Iran have to be an enemy of the US, undermined, and goaded into a fight, if not to create a credible enemy for the US deep state to justify its cost to US taxpayers?

“In May 2018, President Trump’s unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement, followed by an imposition of draconian sanctions that not only prohibit U.S. companies from doing business in Iran, but threaten all foreign companies and international banks that trade with Iran. The sanctions also severely limit Iran’s ability to sell its major sou…”

“How US Sanctions are Hurting Iran:  A Firsthand Report,” by Medea Benjamin, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/12/how-us-sanctions-are-hurting-iran-a-firsthand-report/?fbclid=IwAR1x8TUww-W4YOVy5RzjMm0l_yFN7YA3JG4dHN7mzbriTRFC6t90J2puLl4.

March 12

A relevant fact.

“We’re Living in the Warmest Decade Since Record-Keeping Began,” by Dahr Jamail, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/were-living-in-the-warmest-decade-since-record-keeping-began/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0fstfMn9ZOuTshD8ASDtcJy_LvSBKJb7VchiMGX0VxBTfwHouzGkj0gOY.

March 9

Interesting perspective.

“It’s not Capitalism We Have to Save—It’s Everything Else,”  by Umair Haque, MEDIUM, https://eand.co/its-not-capitalism-we-have-to-save-it-s-everything-else-7bd2b76a2b94?fbclid=IwAR1ubbOmnZw3SiwYFdfImD6XEfNeagMl3P238MS4r19109LS0-Mj4x1AxWA.

March 9

It’s possible all the global warming evidence produced to date does not prove with one hundred percent certainty that global warming has been caused by the human species burning fossil fuel.

But it seems to me anyone should know using common sense that global warming is not a hoax and scam concocted by government scientists to get recognition and funding to control human minds, as this article asserts.

Anyone who can read should have read by now numerous articles written by reputable ethical people, scientists and non-scientists, asserting there is serious evidence of human caused global warming, based on honest reasoning about observable facts and evidence, such as the melting of the polar ice caps, temperature recordings of the last decade, and measurements of increases of carbon dioxide in Spaceship Earth’s atmosphere, evidence not mentioned in this article, since it includes no facts and evidence.

I agree it’s possible that dire predictions about global warming facts and evidence might be wrong. I sincerely hope they are, since, if they are not, it’s possible the human species may become extinct in less than fifty years, joining in a cosmic happy hunting ground the millions of other Earthian species that became extinct.

But it’s insane to say ethical scientists and others wrote and published what they wrote about global warming trying to create a hoax and a scam to control the minds of humans.

The opinions of this article include assertions by Patrick Moore, supposedly a co-founder and former president of Greenpeace, the noted environmental protection organization, taken from a SiriusXM Breitbart News Tonight interview he had with Breitbart so-called news’s talking heads Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak. According to reader comments about the ZeroHedge Internet article, attached below the article, Moore is now a paid lobbyist for corporations having short run vested interests that will be harmed by humans taking governmental action to reduce global warming.

Hopefully there is some probability the most dire predicted consequences of global warming will not come true, even if humans take no governmental action to reduce carbon emissions, however foolish such a bet would be given the probabilities of possible consequences.

But it seems to me that to assert with certainty that global warming is a hoax and scam requires serious greed, venality, and lying, or stupidity.

Having never heard of Breitbart News before, it seems to me this interview is a shameless example of fake news propaganda attempting to control minds. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Hopefully my comment here will not generate more listeners for Moore or Breitbart to control.

“Global Warming A ‘Hoax And Scam’ Pushed by Greedy Government Scientists:  Greenpeace Co-Founder,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-08/global-warming-hoax-and-scam-pushed-greedy-government-scientists-greenpeace-co?fbclid=IwAR1rf9oMbW4LeK-PBocfur5-guLCXQu0hMCoSSLW_8Y9LIZu5ity59_zCXs.

March 9

Not an insignificant problem.

“The Propaganda Multiplier:  How Western Media Report On Geopolitics,”OFF GUARDIAN, https://off-guardian.org/2019/03/08/the-propaganda-multiplier/.

March 8

A long and truthful article by John Chuckman, one of the best and bravest writers alive.

“Reflections on Putin as a leader and on the world situation in which he works,” INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26499?fbclid=IwAR1W7pRTfV79TAxW2cIOTsQVPzZ_wp2X_wowkZm8BfcHDz9FdDUri5p_ZhQ.

March 8

Well said.

“The Blindness of Empire,” by Kenn Orphan, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/08/the-blindness-of-empire/?fbclid=IwAR06WOvTRFj1aNNj4aGtxb_tuhsv9pZvfSmYaXZBBBWnWwHtWppS5jfdPe8.

March 8

Another relevant article by a relevant writer, Paul Street.

“As the World Burns:  Hurtling Towards an Unlivable Planet,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/08/as-the-world-burns-hurtling-towards-an-unlivable-planet/?fbclid=IwAR16MmNEpyslqeQGeTn2oaYRVJwBslX06l1R2PGGC01MpTmLwgTcAk1tEso.

March 7.

A chilling article, but a must watch and listen to one.

“Abby Martin makes and urgent plees to help prevent war on Venezuels,” video by Abby Martin, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26491?fbclid=IwAR0fPBV8FBJWs9t_J_zOcbOw5WOsekEfKKRh1wuCYnxgpmK0XQBuW7o3t7I.

March 7

A good history of Spaceship Earth since 1600 or so.

“Big Capital, the Working Class, and US Imperialism:  A Brief Look at Recent History,” by Chuck Churchill, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/07/big-capital-the-working-class-and-us-imperialism-a-brief-look-at-recent-history/?fbclid=IwAR2gwPXe3vaqpri1TXcRF41zC2HehEHYVIlMJdwZPw_c3LLMubvv1duBGkQ.

March 7

Go Pramila Jayapal.

“New Medicare for All Bill Will Dramatically Revanp Health Care,” by Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzales, and Pramila Jayapal, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/video/new-medicare-for-all-bill-will-dramatically-revamp-health-care/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2eifOJGStYs56I6JOiqORGMz4VrpveKxtGn6kY141wWPvDXJVOCcq4SmE.

March 7

Sounds good to me for the short run for Europe, but the long run should entail a similar system all around Spaceship Earth. Written by a great leader and economist, Yanis Varoufakis, the prime minister of Greece during the recent showdown with the EU and Germany.

“Let’s Change Europe From the Ground Up,” by Yanis Varoufakis, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/06/lets-change-europe-from-the-ground-up/?fbclid=IwAR0ZjOQbZmkQWbhkglcxpL8HrhALny8Glt3WDFSgZviIV9LhDk9XpEQqCkI.

March 7

Excellent article with good definitions of Zionism and antisemitism, clearly pointing out that to be anti-Zionist is not necessarily to be antisemitic.

“The UK Labour Party’s ‘Antisemitism Crisis’ and the Likud Supporters in Its Leadership,” by Kenneth Surin, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/06/the-uk-labour-partys-antisemitism-crisis-and-the-likud-supporters-in-its-leadership/?fbclid=IwAR24QGat11m8JK-YPb6qyEWZdj9q2tjYGPeMtwQuy8aeRLRWrecOiT_YlRk.

March 6

Best explanation of what is going on in Haiti I have seen.

“Why Has Haiti Risen Up Once Again?” by Ashley Smith, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/why-has-haiti-risen-up-once-again/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3rqZCZnp3qev6-1HuH5kJNZnzFzHWQcRhI_5ydBBJQsw3AwnaJMDRDxTw.

March 4

Here’s another excellent article by Courtenay Barnett on how international law works or does not work.

“Sermon:  Call of the Wild – And The Rule of Law,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/sermon-call-of-the-wild-and-the-rule-of-law/?fbclid=IwAR0ZNW3iFnbaLxyKvVkBK84pDLrY6lPXeVR2fOYUuOGlQQVgvZExl3fOnF4.

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 countries in various fearless Internet journals around Spaceship Earth on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military affairs.  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 to comprehend cases, while being inundated with new noise and facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, posted on the Internet, to see what’s really going on.

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 my RESPONSES  page and let us know about them.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions 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

THE GOLAN HEIGHTS – VENEZUELA – AND THE RULE OF LAW

By Courtenay Barnett

I wish to provoke serious thought.

Yes – because without thought there is little understanding; with little understanding there is confusion; with confusion there is then easily manipulated conflict; with conflict there is more arms selling and then those who own weapons have a deadly habit of using the manufactured weapons. With more wars and global instability – there is an ever increasing advance with closer proximity to nuclear war.

Thus said, so what then do the Golan Heights and Venezuela have to do broadly with the Caribbean – and then narrowly with Jamaica?

I shall – or – at the very least – try to ( with some attempt at logical thought) – explain.

Background 

I am, by professional training, a lawyer, whose specialist legal subject ( of choice) was international law.

I am, by choice, a person who practises law in the domestic courts ( i.e. I am not in the UN or arguing cases in the Hague) but deal with legal disputes at the national level in my formal professional capacity.

The foregoing thus said, does not mean that I have relinquished all interest in that which I specialised in, nor does it mean, at all, that my mind is not attuned nor enhanced by the exchanges and interchanges with persons who have an interest in global issues of moment – much greater than themselves.

The Golan Heights: What is  the main legal issue all about?

Well, we must start with the Rule of International law.

Why do we find that from the date of the establishment of Israel as a state –  there has been pivotal conflict in the Middle East?

Why do we find that for all the attempts to challenge – or – even question Israel within the UN General Assembly or in the Security Council – the US has relentlessly vetoed all such questions and/or resolutions?

Was it not – President Barack Obama – who for the first time had the US abstain from vetoing on a certain resolution and thus of some 70 or so prior Israel resolutions blocked by the US – the US for once said – “Israel – maybe this time  you are wrong?”

Why is it that the US ( under the Trump administration)  is the only country, in all the nation states of the world, which accepts that the Golan Heights is entitled to be occupied via war and then acquired as expanded Israel territory? So, what is the position under international law regarding the Golan Heights?

Let me attempt to answer – only the last question.

The answer can be made by reference to Security Council resolution number 497 which was passed in December 1981. It directly addressed the issue of  Syria’s Golan. In effect, the seizure by Israel in June 1967 was illegal. In part this was said:-

“(T)he Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”

“Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, should rescind forthwith its decision;”

‘Determines that all the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War…apply to the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since June 1967.”

International Law does not accept that territory acquired during a war by the victor then becomes the victor’s territory. If that were so, one may recall  that Germany under the Nazis was defeated by allied forces. There was a divided Germany between East Germany ( supplicant to the then Soviet Union) – and – West Germany ( supplicant to the US). Then, at the time of the US Presidency of Ronald Reagan and Gorbochov in the then still existing Soviet Union, there was a monumental shift and Germany was reunited. At no time was Germany – not Germany – for  historical and geographical border lines took it back to a reunited nation and neither did Russia ( within the Soviet context) – nor – the US claim defeated German territory to be their own; the US –  did not plant its flag there – nor did Russia proclaim Germany to be a part of Russia. The point to be made is that the overarching international law did not permit nor did it endorse the invalidation of territorial sovereignty of either of the two  Germany(s).

The international community has a well based understanding of such principles in operation. Why so?

Well, if it were otherwise – then as in days of old, the colonialists and imperialists would simply continue to superimpose and conquer. The contemporary world – at least in legal theory – seeks not to have a continuation of the ‘conquistador’ past.

Well, let me momentarily divert. 

Crimea: Was this conquest or a territorial  reclamation?

The background indicates that the Crimea had been Russian. During the Soviet Union era; Stalin ( it is said in a drunken stupor) gave it to Ukraine. *

  • N.B. Truth be told, the history is a bit harsher than that for there were Tartars in Crimea. Crimea had been a  part of Russia from 1783. Subsequently, the Soviet policy of population transfer within the then Soviet Union did  itself mirror harsh dictatorial rule. In 1940, the Crimean Socialist Soviet Republic existed. In 1954 Crimea was voluntarily transferred by the Soviet Union to Ukraine ( then – Ukrainian Republic). In 2014 there was a referendum held in Crimea and the result was that Crimea rejoined Russia. 

What does international law have to say on the subject?

Does the UN Charter permit and/ or not recognise a right to self-determination?

If it is so, then:-

  1. Why can Scotland have a right to a referendum to decide whether the Scots will or will not (if they  want to) remain with Britain – or – revert to being again an independent Scotland; yet
  2. The people residing in Crimea are  not so equally entitled to do?

Back to the Golan Heights annexation issue. UN Resolution 497 is clear:-

“(T)he Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”

To sum it up – President Trump is one man standing – almost totally alone – seeking politically to prop up his ally, Netanyahu, in Israel – who is accused of serious criminal wrongdoing ( as anyone can discern). Trump himself ( but for his Presidential position) is ironically in a ‘birds of a feather’ situation as his now indicted friend – Netanyahu.

There is no legal basis to profess and/or proclaim the Golan Heights is an acquired territory to be  part of Israel as the spoils of war – but who cares?

MIGHT IS RIGHT!

Venezuela: I start with personal commentary.

At the hotel where I eat each morning, I saw from my usual corner, the new face of a young man. That was about a year ago.

He was a Black man and we struck up a conversation.

Turns out he was a consultant and expert in computer technology. He was not more than in his mid- thirties, at my best guess. I questioned him on what he was doing in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

His answer came. He was from a poor Venezuelan family and would not, but for the policies of Hugo Chavez, have been able to attend university and he would not have been able to do advanced computer studies in France for the same reason.

So,  I asked him about his thoughts on Chavez and Maduro.

He informed me that he appreciated his education as afforded. He went on to say that he did not see either President as corrupt – but – he thought that the people around both of them were extremely corrupt.

So, we continued.

He said that he had a young family to support and was therefore selling his professional services around the world – to Digicel in the TCI – as he was then doing – for he needed to survive.

Very human story there.

Thus, just a few ‘fact checks’ out there:-

  1. “US and European governments have been working on freezing Venezuelan assets in recent months, including CITGO, the US-based subsidiary of state oil firm PDVSA, as well as US $1.2 billion worth of gold held in the Bank of England. According to Washington, these assets are being held to finance a “future government” led by self-declared “Interim President” Juan Guiado and to avoid alleged corruption on the part of the current government. US Vice President Mike Pence recently urged other countries to apply similar measures against Venezuelan assets.”
  2. “The asset freezes have come alongside sanctions, with an oil embargo imposed in late January and sanctions against the mining sector announced earlier this week.”
  3. “The tactic here is therefore to inflict as much hardship and misery on Venezuelans — from systematic power cuts — and then tell them “the price” for relief is to topple President Maduro. That is in spite of Maduro having been elected last year by a huge majority in free and fair elections.”
  4. “Don’t you think it is a bit much for Washington to steal $21 billion of Venezuela’s money, impose sanctions in an effort to destabilize the country and to drive the Venezuelan government to its knees, blame Venezuelan socialism (essentially nationalization of the oil company) for bringing “starvation to the people,” and offer a measly $21 million in “humanitarian aid.”

I checked the top 37 nations on the UN’s list of the Food and Agriculture Organisation ( FAO) of countries in most urgent food need and I did not find Venezuela listed. Food is coming in from the UN and from the Red Cross, but Venezuela is not on the crisis list; but, indeed there is an economic crisis.

(“The 37 countries currently in need of external food assistance are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland”, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.”)

All to say this. 

It is about 50 states in the world which have sided with President Trump on his ‘regime change’ posture over Venezuela. So, more than  two-thirds of  member states of the United Nations do not see Guiado as a legitimate President – or – “interim- President” – so termed) – but President Trump ‘democratically’ tells the world what tune to march to into Venezuela.

Let me ask this:-

  1. In the early  1980s Mr. Edward Seaga was the elected Prime Minister of Jamaica.
  2. Jamaica had Mr. Michael Manley as the leader of the Opposition.
  3. P.M. Seaga and Mr. Manley had agreed that it would be right not to have a General Election before the existing voters’ list was cleaned as there was evident electoral fraud permissible under the old voters’ list.
  4. In Grenada the then Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, was murdered and this politically impacted the English speaking Caribbean in particular, working to the advantage of then P.M. who seized the moment and called a new election on the old voters’ list.
  5. Mr. Manley boycotted the election called by Mr. Seaga.
  6. Mr. Seaga won all the seats in the Jamaican Parliament.

Since Mr. Manley, had not contested the election; had any world power backed him – then proclaimed him “the interim- Prime Minister of Jamaica” – the Jamaican people would have immediately seen this as quite ludicrous. How can you be offered political cake to eat; refuse to eat; then say regardless of the facts and the election, the  power still remains mine? From my recollection – and by reference to the Jamaican analogy as I recalled events – that is the equivalent of what Mr. Juan Guiado is seeking to do in Venezuela. There having been some 16 parties which ran in the last Venezuelan election ( with an offer made for international observers to be present) – Mr. Guiado refused to participate – then with the assistance of the US – proclaims himself the lawful President.

How does such a ludicrous situation arise? 

I shall share my opinion.

If one, as an economist, would ask the question:-

Prior to the Hugo Chavez Presidency, by reference to the indicia of poverty, nutrition, education, health, housing, employment and  income distribution, what were the facts then compared to the crisis situation now in Venezuela? A more honest overall picture might emerge.

Well, the oil was nationalised – and now the self-appointed ‘President Guiado’, wants to return his country to privitisation of the country’s oil and the ‘good old days’ when:-

More than 70 percent of the Venezuelan population did not meet minimum calorie and protein requirements, while  approximately 45 percent were suffering from extreme undernourishment. 

More than half of Venezuelan children suffered from some degree of malnutrition.

Infant mortality was exceedingly high.

23 percent of the Venezuelan population was illiterate. The rate of functional illiteracy was of the order of 42%.

One child in four was totally marginalized from the educational system (not even registered in the first grade of primary school).

More than half the children of school age never entered high school. 

A majority of the population had little or no access to health care services. 

Half the urban population had no access to an adequate system of running water within their home.

Unemployment was rampant. 

More than 30 percent of the total workforce was unemployed or underemployed, while 67 percent of those employed in non-agricultural activities received a salary which did not enable them to meet basic human needs (food, health, housing, clothing, etc.).

Three-quarters of the labor force were receiving revenues below the minimum subsistence wage.”

In plain English, the National Security Advisor, John Bolton, said this to Fox News:-

“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,”

And, Mr. Bolton, you should also note that Venezuela is but one of merely seven countries in the world to have reserves of coltan, which is the valuable black mineral that combines niobite and tantalite and is used in cell phones and computer chips. The Venezuelan Minister of Mining gave an estimated value of US$100 billion of Venezuela’s supplies.

Brings back to mind, the 1970s in Jamaica when Jamaica used a Bauxite levy to stop giving away its valuable asset at ‘colonial prices’. To my mind,  the issue was not the legal justifiability of the  levy, but the manner in which the acquired wealth  was spent; not spent wisely ( i.e. viewed through the eyes of an economist).

So, the US in Venezuela – must continue to apply SMDs –  ‘Sanctions of Mass Destruction’ to effect ‘regime change’ to achieve the clearly expressed  objective, as Mr. Bolton told Fox News.

It is this kind of hypocritical lunacy being foisted off on the peoples of the world ( some who refuse to think independently, question or assess on any basis that may bear reference to the long established principles of law and governance and indeed – international law). 

Venezuela bailed out the Jamaican economy at a critical point.

Some – the vast majority of  CARICOM (i.e. the pre-eminent grouping of Caribbean nations )-  have taken a principled stance on this Venezuelan issue.

Jamaica’s PM Holness sees ( along with 3 other Caribbean leaders ) short-term gain to be had, so sides with President Trump’s ‘regime change’ policies.

Yet – I ask one final question:-

What change to be effected in Venezuela: change like the lied into Iraq invasion and the bombed out Libya- to what long-term benefit for the majority of the people of Iraq, Libya or now – Venezuela whose generous oil gifts via Petro Caribe gave the Jamaican economy urgently needed  breathing space?

Those reading my observations simply answer with honesty in your minds first; then your hearts; then express yourselves as you will or may on my commentary on the applicable rules of international law.

Conclusion

Again, it seems to me, as points of international law, as referenced above, that there are two global routes to go. Mine as outlined above….or?

I seem near the end of this, my article, compelled to pause; for it appears that I have been trumped by a great legal scholar of international law who strongly rebuts and questions me.

President Trump  thinks, in the interest of international peace and justice,  that it far better unilaterally to effect interventions, invasions, and ‘regime change’. His actions, indeed, rebound  much louder in the world than do my words.

Intervention ( i.e. which government invited US troops into Syria? A further point of reference under international law); invasion ( i.e. Iraq); ‘regime change’ ( i.e. Venezuela). To be fair to President Trump, it is not all his actions, for there were US foreign policy actions effected before his Presidency; the real point being that there is an identifiable and traceable linkage and continuity in US foreign policy reflecting consistent violations of the Rule of International law.

The world might heed my few simple words; or – it can embrace the legal learning of a Presidential luminary.

The choice is yours!

___________________________________________________________________________________

* 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.

Learning to Look Out for Everyone, Not Just Number 1

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

Here is my Chain of Ego States diagram, first published in an article titled “The Chain of Ego States” in the Transactional Analysis Journal, vol. 8, no. 3 (Stapleton, 1978).

According to Eric Berne, MD, the euhemerous of transactional analysis,          success equals adaptability plus flexibility.  What humans have to adapt and flex to are human group imagos and personalities in chains of ego states. 

According to Silvia Baba Neal, a certified transactional analyst in the UK, Berne defined a group imago as, “Any mental picture, conscious, pre-conscious or unconscious of what a group is or should be like.”

This definition covers a lot of ground.  What is a mental picture, whether conscious, pre-conscious, or unconscious?  What is a group for that matter?  A mental picture of a group would  depend on how a person visualizes things in his or her brain which would be a function of several variables, genetic brain architecture and neurological hardwiring, and also subjective messages exposed to in life plus any decisions made about the messages.  Would the picture include colors or would it be purely black and white?  Would it be accompanied with audio recordings as in some sort of documentary?

Regardless, it seems to me it is fair to say that all people have fantasies, ideas, and pictures in their brains of what groups are, what they are like, and what they should be like, based on previous experience.  Berne published a book titled Structure and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups in which he discussed not only groups but organizations, that is, groups of groups.

So much for group imagos that have to be adapted to if you want to succeed.  What about personalities that have to be flexed to? 

They are the personalities of the people in the groups and organizations you have to work with.  What is a personality?  Well, it’s the way people come across to you and others.  How many adjectives can you think of to describe someone’s personality?  Cheerful?  Gloomy?  Stingy?  Generous? Loving?  Warm? Cold? Withdrawn? Engaging? Rejecting? Accepting? Conscientious? Selfish?  Introverted? Extroverted? Trustworthy? Untrustworthy?

Most likely if you really thought about it you could come up with a hundred or more adjectives to describe the personalities of individual humans. 

Eric Berne was a great believer in using Occam’s Razor when writing, getting to the heart of the matter in the most efficient way, using the fewest words that will get your ideas across, so he comprised all adjectives one might use to describe a human personality into three general concepts:  Parent, Adult, and Child ego states.  In other words, does someone have a Parent, Adult, or Child personality or persona?  Or, in a particular moment is someone coming across as parent-like, child-like, or adult-like?

In transactional analysis (TA) terms flexing to someone’s personality entails trying to satisfy the person by coming across as parent-like, adult-like, or child-like to get along with the person in a congruent harmonious way.

To get along you have to go along, not only adapting to the group imagos of fellow humans but flexing to their personalities, in groups and organizations.  Transactional analysis gives you concepts and techniques for discerning where you and others are coming from so as to consciously decide how to maximize your chances of success in organizational situations.

What is success?  It’s a matter of achieving your goals and objectives.  If you want to feel, think, or do something and you do it you’re successful.  Unfortunately what you want to feel, think, or do may not be what someone else wants you to feel, think, or do, which entails frustration, compromise, not being true to yourself, if you want to remain a member in good standing with the individual, group, or organization. The problem is particularly touchy if someone else happens to be your parent in a family or your boss in an authoritarian organization, such as a religion, corporation, military unit, or government. In such cases you have to fake it and pretend you agree if you do not, if you want to get along and go along.

The first group humans become a member of in most cases is a family, composed of a mother and a father, such as Number 1 in the Chain of Ego States diagram above, with various and sundry other kinds of groups and organizations to be encountered later in life with which one becomes a member, friends, churches, schools, universities, clubs, gangs, fraternities, businesses, corporations, military units, governments, a planet.

Ego states are states of being including thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, feelings, gestures, body language, and other signals determining how humans come across with others in communication episodes, whether parent-like, adult-like, or child-like.  Humans switch ego states depending on who they are communicating with and what sort of circumstances they are in, whether they are working, socializing, teaching, training, sitting in a classroom or church, or having fun with friends, hopefully using the ego state most appropriate in the situation.  Humans transmit messages from ego states in themselves to ego states in others in various combinations, Parent-Parent, Child-Child, Child-Adult, Adult-Parent, or whatever combination.  The diagram above applies to situations in which there is some sort of authoritarian organization involved, such as parents dealing with children, or bosses dealing with subordinates in various organizations.  Child-Child ego state script messages are known as injunctions, since they forbid feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of various sorts.

Script messages are transmitted socially and psychologically, social messages being represented in the Chain of Ego States diagram by solid lines and psychological messages being represented by dotted lines.  Social messages are verbalized overt auditory messages; psychological messages are covert non-spoken ulterior messages transmitted by body language, emotional states, and after the fact positive or negative stroking as people react to situations and feel and do certain things.

Scripts in families are created automatically when parents transmit various messages to their children from various ego states socially and psychologically, in and out of awareness.  Scripts are life plans generally decided before the age of eight by offspring based on script messages transmitted to them by their parents.  Since parents by and large transmit the same script messages that were transmitted to them before they were eight years old script messages in families can remain intact for many generations.  According to transactional analysts script decisions made before the age of eight have lasting effects, determining three general life outcomes:  winner, loser, and non-winner.  These decisions can be redecided and updated later in life but it’s not easy for most people.

Psychological Child-Child ego state script injunctions are what cause the most trouble for humans in their lives, causing them to inappropriately adapt and flex in various circumstances .  Script injunctions are often currently inappropriate and ineffective because ancestors had to adapt and flex to harsh inhospitable environments that no longer exist. While their script feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and messages may have been life saving for themselves in their time they may be detrimental and frustrating for their descendants in the here and now. The problem is most people do not have psychological permission to not obey their Injunctions, which means they cannot adapt and flex appropriately in some organizational situations even if they want to based on their own Adult decision making.

Opposing, or opposite, script messages transmitted by parents can put a child in a Not-OK bind throughout childhood and adolescence, assuming a divorce has not already occurred, causing considerable trouble within a family, since the child cannot please both parents, which can put both parents in Not-OK positions vis-a-vis each other if the child makes a decision about which parent is right, creating Not-OKness in the family system as a whole.  

What many humans need is psychological permission to violate and ignore their own psychological outdated obsolete family Child ego state script message Injunctions, not only to increase their own OKness, but the OKness of all living members of the family system. Violating your script injunctions is easier said than done once they become hardwired into your feeling, thinking, and behavioral system, i.e., your life script. Psychotherapy provided by potent psychotherapists is sometimes necessary for individuals to give them psychological permission to disobey one or more injunctions in order to be successful.

I became a certified transactional analyst, a CTA, after passing written and oral comprehensive exams administered by the International Transactional Analysis Association in 1978, after undergoing three years of intensive once a month training, all day Saturday and half of Sunday, at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, working with scores of TA psychotherapists, teachers, and trainers, mainly from around the US, and I still haven’t gotten rid of some injunctions I would like to, which is not uncommon. Eric Berne himself had a Don’t be Close injunction that he never got rid of, despite having a very high IQ, or maybe because of it, dying single after three marriages at age sixty. Living in your head most of your time at home writing best selling books as Berne did is not the best way to maximize your chances of a successful marriage, however rich you get from millions of copies of books sold, as he did. Sometimes you just have to live with your injunctions. Despite them you be successful in some ways if you can find people, groups, and organizations that have scripts compatible with yours.

I have covered ego states and scripts in my books Business Voyages  and  Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learninglisting common Parent ego state script messages and Child ego state injunctions.  All parents do not transmit the same script messages creating considerable variety among family scripts and outcomes.  Certain life scripts conveniently fit certain roles, jobs, professions, careers, and what have you more than others, providing fresh compatible recruits for open slots generation after generation, assuming the economy does not dramatically change.  Unfortunately in recent years in the US the offshoring of high wage blue collar jobs to foreign low wage countries and the use of more and more automation has rendered many family scripts obsolete. 

Here are some chain of ego states organizational script messages I observed working in organizations and groups as a professor and consultant taken from a passage on pages 187-188 from Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, first published in 1978:

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

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

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

Some of the above script messages are easy to adapt and flex to and some are not. Most firings in organizations come about, not because of technical Adult incompetence, but because subordinates are unwilling or unable to adapt and flex to ego states and script messages flowing on the organization’s chain of command using their Adapted Child ego states, caused by messages rightly or wrongly put there over time mostly unconsciously by the organization’s leaders to gain the group imago and personality satisfactions they thought best and craved, however just and fair they were.

Witness the hirings and firings of immediate subordinates of the current Number 1 leader of the US government, Donald John Trump. One has to wonder about the script messages his parents transmitted to him. It seems to me most people could not successfully adapt and flex to them, and it seems to me most of the people who voted for him did so out of a Rebel Child ego state, caring less about the real truth of anything.

It seems to me Donald Trump operates out of a Free Child ego state about ninety percent of the time, coming from a life position of I’m OK, My voters are OK, but everyone else is Less OK or Not OK, and I am going to make the world pay, living in a fantasy world in which he feels and thinks anything he imagines or says is possible, as if he had been scripted before age eight in a family with almost no Parent or Adult script messages. It seems to me this is possible for someone with aloof wealthy parents growing up in New York City parented primarily by nannies who are afraid of losing their relatively well paying jobs, who assiduously cater to the whims of their charges, doing everything they can to please them.

It’s not that easy for most humans to take care of Number 1 in life much less look out for everyone; but given global warming and economic and political problems around Spaceship Earth one can build a case humans should at least give the idea of looking out for everyone some thought.  The capitalist economic system based on the premise that always looking out for Number 1 is always the best ethical policy no longer works for most people. 

Are there now more unsuccessful people than successful people aboard Spaceship Earth?  Based on incomes and wealth alone so it would seem.  If so, what should be done?  One idea is to get as many humans as possible from all OK positions involved in bottom-up Game-free discussion groups to think about and discuss what humans might do to increase the success of everyone and to increase the survival chances of the human species threatened by global warming and nuclear war.

To cope with problems and threats such as global warming, nuclear weapons, poverty, and income inequality, it seems to me a sensible doable strategy would be for humans to get together to discuss script messages using their Adult, Nurturing Parent, Free Child, and Rebel Child ego states to develop consensual ideas to be used by all humans aboard Spaceship Earth to adapt and flex with political parties and nations. A serious problem around Earth is separating relevant focal points from irrelevant noise in order to comprehend what is really going on, best accomplished in Game-free script-free group discussions.

It will do little good to play AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game identified and labeled by transactional analysts to stroke humans for being innocent helpless Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems manipulated and exploited by rapacious sociopathic Persecutor oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackey politicians for selfish gain, however true that might be in reality. 

On the other hand, 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 strokes for making nonsensical positive comments about the environment and their lives.

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; but especially they should select politicians who will create economic and political policies and actions to correct environmental and social problems on a mass scale.  

An existential question right now is whether humans can learn how to look after everyone, not merely number one, to prevent the extinction of the human species.

In the last six months I have tried to set up a De-Gaming Democracy group as explained in my article, “De-Gaming and Saving Democracy,” here in Statesboro, Georgia, USA, where I live, hoping to engage citizens of various persuasions, whether red, blue, green, or any other color, in discussions of relevant economic and political problems and opportunities to develop consensual realistic approaches to the environmental problems we face, in what I call the Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour meeting the third Saturday of each month, with little success.  So far four participants have shown up.  It appears most people are not interested in, or are afraid of, transacting in Game-free script-free Adult ways in public dealing with environmental, economic, and political problems and opportunities.  Hopefully interest in this forum will pick up.  It seems to me right now that humans all around Spaceship Earth should get busy in Game-free script-free groups right now developing consensual answers for problems threatening their existence as a species.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis to create Game-free script-free groups and better 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 Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.

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

One can build a case that humans are not only born to learn but born to live in groups and organizations, the first group exposed to being a family, with additional groups and organizations being joined throughout lives, with the major requirement for newborn humans being to successfully adapt and flex to their family script messages and ego states as they exist, primarily using their Adapted Child ego states; but it seems to me the time has now come for grown-up humans to change existing planetary script messages and ego states used to manage the most comprehensive organization on earth, the United Nations, using their Adult, Nurturing Parent, Free Child, and Rebel Child ego states, to cause all nations united with each other to create an organization similar to what I have visualized in my planetary group imago, what I have called Spaceship Earth, Inc.

Please forward, share, copy, print, or reprint this article any way you see fit. We welcome your comments, but please no ad hominem attacks. Just go to our RESPONSES page at the top of this page and let us know what you think. Don’t worry about being “right”. Just come out with it. Nobody knows what the right answers are for problems such as these in this article. Most likely there are no “right” answers for these problems, and the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers, right or wrong, that enable them to muddle through as they have been since time immemorial for more centuries. Unfortunately those answers cannot be the same ones humans have been using to manage Earthian states of affairs in recent centuries, especially in the last six decades, since it now appears that those answers could cause the extinction of the human species in the not too distant future.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report and The Earthian.   

SERMON: CALL OF THE WILD – AND THE RULE OF LAW

By Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved we are gathered once more at the altar of the Almighty truth. The sermon for today reflects on a few aspects of world affairs.

In the official global narrative it is said that the United Kingdom and the United States of America are bastions of freedom, rights, justice and democracy. These two countries are also projected and portrayed as respecters and upholders of the rule of international law. Really?

In the immediate post World War 11 period the United Nations was established as a global institution for the peaceful resolution of international disputes and issues affecting the nation states of the world.

Within that UN system exists the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In 2003, contrary to Article 2 of the UN Charter, the then US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, lied to the UN Security Council that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction ( WMDs) in Iraq; upon that fictitious basis the US accompanied by the UK illegally attacked Iraq, causing the deaths of over one million Iraqis.

In 2011 Libya was the most prosperous state on the continent of Africa. By measures of overall  prosperity no African country was close. The measures of GNP per capita, levels of infant mortality and standard indicia for objectively measuring a country’s socio-economic status and global ranking confirmed that observation. Additionally, Libya did not owe at the time of the attack on the Libyan state any external international debt. The US and the UK illegally bombed and succeeded in destroying  Libya to reduce the country to the status of a poverty stricken ‘failed state’ burgeoning terrorists.

In 1973, there was a democratically elected government in Chile and the US enabled the overthrow of its elected leader, Salvador Allende.

 In 2019, the US, as it had sought to do in Syria, is trying to supplant the Venezuelan government and implant a ‘regime change’ supplicant willing to do the bidding for the US in Venezuela.

That is the world in which we live, and as wars, interventions, and intelligence services events unfold around the world, this all happens within the midst of a global arms bazaar.

Just recently, as of 25th February, 2019, I read a Judgment/’Opinion’ ( i.e. there is a technical legal difference between one and the other – and the UK government shall contend that it is an ‘Opinion’ that was delivered by the ICJ and as such is not binding ) : “LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE SEPARATION OF THE CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO FROM MAURITIUS IN 1965” the Opinion  is entitled. The ICJ ruled by a majority of 13 to 1 ( of the total 15 judges sitting in the permanent ICJ for a 9 year term) that having regard to international law, the process of decolonization of Mauritius was not lawfully completed when that country acceded to independence in 1968, following the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius. In consequence the UK has no colonial authority over the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean. The one dissenting Judge on the main point  was US Judge Donoghue.

In a more technical legal sense the issues went deeper as to whether the Court would be effectively deciding on a bilateral dispute between states over territorial sovereignty. Judges Tomka and Donoghue were in agreement on that point contrary to the majority decision. The main legal question framed by Mauritius was however one of ‘decolonization’ as follows:-

     “Was the process of decolonization of Mauritius lawfully completed when Mauritius was granted independence in 1968, following the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius and having regard to international law, including obligations reflected in General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, 2066 (XX) of 16 December 1965, 2232 (XXI) of 20 December 1966 and 2357 (XXII) of 19 December 1967?”; A bit of history is necessary to comprehend the depth of injustice inflicted upon the Chagossian people by way of the combined efforts of the US and UK.

In the 1960s, at a time when some 1,500 people were  living as families inhabiting the Islands, with homes, villages, schools, cemeteries and communities in situ, the US noted that the largest island within the group of the Chagos Islands, Diego Garcia, was of military strategic importance for the US. Britain controlled the islands as a colonial territory, and the US made a deal with the UK. At a discounted price and in exchange for a Polaris nuclear submarine the UK agreed to permit the islands to be militarily used by the US. The US made one stipulation; that the islands would be depopulated.

The UK rounded up all the islanders, depopulated the islands, then dumped them first in the Seychelles Islands, and there imprisoned them, and then further removed them all and abandoned them in Mauritius.

The Chagos islanders first made efforts in the domestic courts in England, seeking justice.

The UK High Court in 2000, ruled that the depopulating of the islands was illegal. By route of the Royal Prerogative, then Prime Minister Tony Blair, bypassed both Parliament and the Court’s Judgment to ensure that the islanders could not return to their homeland. Blair was effecting superimposition of political contrivance and convenience over established law.

In 2008 the matter returned to court on appeal by the UK government and the English court at the highest level, the Supreme Court, demonstrated what Professor J.A.G. Griffiths of the London School of Economics had termed, ‘the politics of the judiciary’ and ruled in favour of the UK government. Yet the legal issue did not end there.

Domestic law is subsumed under International Law, and it is expected that the rulings of domestic courts should be congruent with legal standards existing under International Law. So, the matter ended in the ICJ at the Hague and the Chagossian people had their further day in court and won, being found legally entitled to return to their homeland.

The UK had fought strenuously to restrain and jurisdictionally restrict the ICJ from proceeding to exercise any jurisdiction and thus not give its legal opinion. Here is how the ICJ ruled on that aspect of the case:-

“88. The Court therefore concludes that the opinion has been requested on the matter of decolonization which is of particular concern to the United Nations. The issues raised by the request are located in the broader frame of reference of decolonization, including the General Assembly’s role therein, from which those issues are inseparable (Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 26, para. 38; Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004 (I), p. 159, para. 50).

89. Moreover, the Court observes that there may be differences of views on legal questions in advisory proceedings (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 24, para. 34). However, the fact that the Court may have to pronounce on legal issues on which divergent views have been expressed by Mauritius and the United Kingdom does not mean that, by replying to the request, the Court is dealing with a bilateral dispute.

90. In these circumstances, the Court does not consider that to give the opinion requested would have the effect of circumventing the principle of consent by a State to the judicial settlement of its dispute with another State. The Court therefore cannot, in the exercise of its discretion, decline to give the opinion on that ground.

91. In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that there are no compelling reasons for it to decline to give the opinion requested by the General Assembly.”

Even US Judge Donoghue voted with the unanimous majority on this aspect of the case concerning jurisdiction. Yes, she did dissent on the main point of the case. It is therefore expected that the government of the UK will honour the decision; ‘expected’. The nature of such an international decision is that it is treated as advisory.  Some legal scholars have argued that the Court needs always instead to examine critically why the request had been made and what the effect of giving an opinion will be. It seems that the ICJ in this decision headed in that general direction. For, the member states of the UN are expected to act in accordance with findings of that authority as a duty imposed by the UN itself. At paragraph 182 of the ICJ’s ruling stated:-

“182. In response to Question (b) of the General Assembly, relating to the consequences under international law that arise from the continued administration by the United Kingdom of the Chagos Archipelago, the Court concludes that the United Kingdom has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible, and that all Member States must co-operate with the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Mauritius.” My emphasis “ …  that all Member States must co-operate with the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Mauritius.”

Also, learned Judges of the ICJ, might I respectfully add that standards of ‘good governance’ in countries such as the UK and US would suggest the need for such compliance.

One might even go further, myself a mere  student of international law, observing, quite factually, that the language deployed in international law, references ‘civilized nations’; indeed – invading, bombing, kidnapping, and capturing territories would appear more  the conduct of criminals who consistently  ignore well established law than the lawful  conduct of ‘civilized nations’.

It can further be noted that WikiLeaks published a US Embassy diplomatic cable from 2009. It stated, “Establishing a marine reserve might indeed, as the FCO’s [Colin] Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands’ former inhabitants or descendants from resettling.”

The people of the Chagos Islands had remained as a possession of Britain and those  people therefore were a  British responsibility throughout their entire ordeal. However, the ICJ judgment/opinion  also found that at the time of the expulsions to Mauritius, Mauritius had been unlawfully coerced to give to Britain, its territory of the Chagos Islands. As the court said:-

“…this detachment was not based on the free and genuine expression of the will of the people concerned.” ( ICJ)

Seems that legally, there is more than a little returning to be done.

Some of us in the congregation of humanity understand the good sense of standing with this Altar’s message of the importance of remaining within the flock of the rule of international law; others outside ( who I still invite in to this beloved ‘civilized’ congregation of all humanity) embrace ‘Empire’, ‘exceptionalism’ and ‘exclusivity’ – while we the faithful, the humane, the peace loving – reject those options.

One more easily might summarise the entire case from a simple and balanced perspective of a human being invoking the meme: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How would the entire population of Wiltshire feel if they were kidnapped and placed in a strange land? A ‘little bit mistreated’ I suspect.  Should it therefore be construed as permissible, humane or somehow legal for Britain to be permitted to kidnap and depopulate for the sake of its profiteering in the Chagos Islands? Thus, with legal reason, the ICJ Judges in the majority concluded at paragraph 178 of the Opinion:-

“Accordingly, the United Kingdom is under an obligation to bring an end to its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible, thereby enabling Mauritius to complete the decolonization of its territory in a manner consistent with the right of peoples to self-determination.”

To my mind, the British Government’s conduct in the Chagos Islands was, quite literally, criminal. Calculatedly criminal conduct as is evident. The UK did not just ignore economic justice; social justice; racial justice; but conjoined those injustices with violations of the right to family life and the right to self-determination and more. It simply acted as a law unto itself, having abused state power and not even post-judgment in 2019 is accepting and/or understanding that by reading between the lines of the decision, the ICJ is indicating all those violations. Respecters of ‘The Rule of Law’?

Having carefully read the ‘Opinion’ I can only conclude that the Court and the Judges sitting there did the best that they could do to obtain and deliver justice. For, in the final analysis, it cannot be expected that more be delivered in this case, such as it was structured; the Judges could only have merely done what they clearly stated as that which honest government should otherwise never have done. The Judges themselves cannot be asked further to do the jobs of politicians, who ultimately are left to honour and implement the Court’s decision.

Not much more do I have to say today.

PEACE AND JUSTICE.

So endeth my sermon.

AMEN! 

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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.

SERMON: LESSONS FROM MY MOTHER – FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP

By Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved we are gathered once more at the altar of the Almighty truth.

Today’s sermon is entitled ‘Lessons from my mother’. It concerns the building of character and the importance of personality development as each of us mature and advance through life. The list is not intended to be exhaustive but hopefully is instructive. These were the lessons I learned from my mother ( long since deceased but still lovingly recalled):-

  1. One should tell the truth and not lie.
  2. There should be room for compassion, in one’s thoughts and deeds.
  3. There should be understanding on several levels. One such is for an understanding of our human differences as to our different human features; the tolerance of different cultures and religions. In short we should not be ‘racists’.
  4. By extension of cultural and religious tolerance we should not be xenophobic.
  5. We should show humanitarian decency and not mock others less fortunate than ourselves in life and show understanding about poverty, need and uninvited suffering which either our fellow human beings are born into or which at some uninvited point in life befalls them.
  6. In our professional work and/or business life we should be honest.
  7. Our language should be modest, tempered and balanced and restrained to give consideration to and for the person(s) we are addressing and the situation(s) in which we speak.
  8. In our success, if we are so fortunate, we should be humble and modest, and should not be braggadocios.
  9. In our failures we should be willing to accept our shortfalls and/or failings giving rise to same and be instructed by our mistakes. We should always accept personal responsibility when it is our action to be blamed and not seek to transfer blame to the blameless other(s).
  10. One should have a sense of humour and be able to laugh at one’s self when stupid mistakes are made.

These are ten injunctions to help guide one through life by application of  sound, sensible thoughts and proper and appropriate actions. Those who are Christian know of the Ten Commandments. But, these are ten injunctions learnt from my mother via her words as well as her conduct and consequential examples taught to me throughout her life, which are intended both for the ‘churched’ and the ‘unchurched’ alike; in other words, I believe that my mother’s lessons can usefully be applied by  all  of humanity.

And, then I thought, whether there is one human being dead or alive who represents the epitome and opposite of my mother’s lessons.

I reflected from my early childhood through to school and higher education and business and professional life. So far no such person.

Then, I thought about friends and associates in Africa, Asia, South America  and Europe. No such person.

Then I reflected on Canada and there was still no such person who came to mind.

I went as far as historical figures and contemporary leaders and I began getting a bit closer.

Finally, I reflected on the United States of America and there I found the perfect match. The thought then sprang to mind, that if I could ask but one question, it would be this:-

“ Please Mrs. Trump, when you  were raising your son, Donald, could you kindly  share with us – what lessons did you actually teach him?”

So endeth my sermon for today.

AMEN!

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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.