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.

THE EARTHIAN — 7

THE EARTHIAN  —  7

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, February 19, 2019

Or So it Seems to Me Right Now

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

It’s not as easy as you might think for someone like me to write this monthly column.  You might have noticed I tweaked the title some in this issue, changing today to right now.  I did this because I more and more write what I think right now, not what I thought I might write two weeks ago, or last week, or six hours ago.  This is happening because of changes in the way my brain works.  It no longer stores and retrieves words and thoughts as well as it used to.  It used to be I could write something in my head and retrieve it pretty much word for word whenever I wanted to, or thought about it.   Not so anymore.

Anymore I more or less just write what pops into my head as I write, sometimes recalling sentences and paragraphs I have previously written in my head or vague semblances of them, but sometimes not.  In a way, this makes writing more interesting, not knowing what will pop up in your working memory on your brain’s computer desktop from your subconscious memory files, to be typed into your real computer, visible on its screen right in front of your eyes.

I remember during the last month since the publication of The Earthian — 6   that most of my thoughts about what to write in this issue have not been upbeat and cheerful.  How could they be given the facts, events, and reading matter I expose myself to?

One can build a case it’s better not to expose yourself to such things if you want to be happy, that it’s better to be blissfully ignorant of what is really going on than to try to understand it.  So far I have not agreed with this argument.

But the problem of what to try to understand remains.  It’s not too difficult to understand what is going on in small systems, say relations between two people; but it’s more difficult by several orders of magnitude to understand what is going on within larger systems, say a government; and it’s almost impossible to understand what is going on among national governments around Spaceship Earth, largely because they often hide relevant things they do, especially unlawful things, as classified state secrets, as they try to dominate and take advantage of their enemies and competitors.

Unfortunately, it seems more and more I am primarily interested in understanding what is going on within and among governments, however difficult it is to achieve such a thing, however great the probability is reading about such things will result in unhappy thoughts being created in my brain, however well my brain still works relative to the way it used to. 

Your brain is just another biological organism, you know, that weakens as you age just like the muscles in your arms and legs if you live long enough.

My mother came down with a case of dementia or Alzheimer’s a few years before she died at ninety-two.  She and my grandmother on my father’s side were the only ones of my parents and grandparents to suffer such a fate, so far as I know.  One never knows I suppose what will happen in his or her particular case in old age.  According to an article published by the Alzheimer’s Association, ten percent of all people over the age of sixty-five will suffer from Alzheimer’s dementia, two-thirds of whom will be women, and one in three will die from the disease. My mother was one of them.

One can consult professionals on how to ward off or reduce the effects of senility, Alzheimers, and the like, adding one more regimen to those s/he already has accumulated warding off other biological threats such as diabetes and heart disease.  It seems to me right now that doing so may or may not be worth it for me. 

What good is life if you have to constantly worry about something that might kill you, wasting your remaining time and energy worrying about extending life rather than enjoying it right now?  As one of King Henry VIII’s wives put it shortly before he had her head lopped off in the Tower of London, “Fie on life.”

My blessed Grandmother, Darlie Brown Walker Coston, who always said, and apparently really believed, that “Everything always turns out for the best,” who was never sick a day in her life to my knowledge, who never went to a doctor for anything except to get a set of false teeth, told my mother shortly before she died at ninety-four: “If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” 

She really said that, a cliché she remembered word for word, just before she died.  At the rate I’m going, having survived seventy-eight years aboard Spaceship Earth, if I make it to ninety-four, like Moma did, sixteen more years, I’ll be happy if I can remember things half as well as she did then.

OK, so much for the merely personal, as Albert Einstein called it.  What is really going on around Spaceship Earth? 

For whatever it’s worth, here is what I “think” is going on. 

It’s depressing for a long-time patriotic US citizen like me to learn that the US government has not been especially ethical or productive conducting its national and international affairs since its inception, while also learning in the process that all other nations are also pretty much the same way, looking out only for number one, with the stronger mercilessly taking advantage of, sometimes murdering, the weaker, sometimes violating international laws and treaties with impunity to advance their own interests.

It seems to me throughout history leaders and owners of nations (kings, queens, emperors, the elite rich, presidents, priests, etc.) evolved that fostered the development of grandiose stories to be believed by followers to create group cohesion, thereby creating organizations with hierarchies of master-servant relationships, including large numbers of subordinates (prime ministers, lords, serfs, knaves, slaves, vice presidents, CEOs, employees, generals, sargeants, workers, etc.), who obeyed their beliefs, sayings, and commands, who fought wars and economically competed with other rulers and owners to acquire more power and wealth, not only for themselves but for their hereditary descendants, in the process forgetting about necessary moral and ethical principles, such as doing unto others as you would have others do unto you, and not doing things that if done by everyone would result in harm for everyone.

It seems once the human race got off on the wrong foot onto the wrong path in international unfairness thousands of years ago it stayed that way; and humans learned to live with unfairness, often considering unfairness and unethical behavior as natural and normal, even learning to enjoy it in some cases, doing unethical things to others before others did it to them, considering it smart, successful, winning, even heroic behavior, rationalizing unethical actions by asserting that anyone else would have done the same thing, and therefore it was OK, especially given the dire straits most humans always faced, always wanting and needing more wealth and power.

I descended from ancestors who immigrated into what is now the US from Europe, for various reasons, as I documented in “A Synopsis of my Family Background.” Most of them came to America to escape poverty and religious strife in Europe, but some came to increase their social status, power, and wealth. They started migrating to Virginia before the American Revolution in the 1700s, and according to Ancestry.com my gene pool is composed of genes similar to those of humans now living in Ireland (about twenty percent); Scotland, Wales, and England (about fifty percent); France, Holland, and Belgium (about twenty percent); Spain, Italy, and Greece (about five percent); Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland (about five percent); and Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Russia (about two percent).  

My ancestors in what is now the US were mainly farmers and ranchers generally producing families of six to ten offspring per family, but some were teachers, professors, preachers, generals, lawyers, doctors, and entrepreneurs. They were freedom lovers. I am not aware of any ancestors down the branches of my family tree that did the bidding of a boss in an authoritarian non-military organization to make a living.

There was never enough land where they were to support all their children and grandchildren when they grew up, so some offspring in most generations had to migrate to the western frontier of their recently conquered country to acquire enough cheap undeveloped land to make a living as independent Calvinist patriarchal landowners.  My ancestors on the North American continent created two main paths on their westward journey across what is now the US, winding up were I grew up, some migrating from Virginia to North Carolina to Tennessee to Texas, with most of the rest migrating from Virginia to South Carolina to Georgia to Alabama to Mississippi to Texas, generally staying in each state for a generation or so before someone in the family had to move farther west to pioneer new territory to act out their family scripts.

Yes, some of them owned slaves and some were Indian fighters, not something to be proud of.  Like humans in general since time immemorial they did what they had to do to survive in their environments, given the requirements of their family scripts. In my opinion not enough attention has been paid to the significance of family scripting as a determinant of human behavior. For more on this read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning. In most cases script messages are automatically introjected into the brain cells of humans before the age of eight and they largely determine what humans learn and do afterwards, significantly influencing the outcomes of not only human individuals, but nations, and Spaceship Earth.  

It seems to me right now that what is going on now is pretty much the same as what has been going on for a long time.  All species of flora and fauna are doing what they can to survive.  Some are successful; some are not.  I just asked Google how many species become extinct aboard Spaceship Earth every year?  And here’s an answer: “According to the UN Environment Programme, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago,” HuffPost, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/17/un-environment-programme-_n_684562.html

Do the math.  What is 175 species becoming extinct every day times 352 days per year?  That’s 61,600 species becoming extinct every year.  How long at that rate would it take for all Earthian species to become extinct?

It seems to me right now that homo sapiens are largely responsible for this state of affairs.  They became so successful that they developed mechanized production systems requiring the use of fossil fuels to generate sufficient energy to produce prodigious supplies of food, clothing, shelter, and medicine and other necessities of life so a burgeoning population of humans could stay alive for a normal lifespan of, according to one famous religious book, threescore and ten years, with many of us now living even longer than that, requiring more energy and production of goods and services per life than people who lived back when that religious book was written.

Many people think homo sapiens breeding as many children as possible and maximizing life spans is a good policy because it causes economic growth by creating customers and workers for the capitalist economic system, enabling the owners of capital to get richer and richer, with no work, as the poor who work get poorer.

It seems to me right now that a solution to the Earthian plight entails homo sapiens of all socio-economic classes willingly and peacefully significantly reducing their numbers aboard Spaceship Earth by holding birth rates below natural death rates for several generations.

Capitalism is often considered a “natural” economic system having always been used by humans to survive, by selfishly looking out for number one, number one being you, your family, your group, your country, your government, your religion, your nation, your race, your sex, your gender.  It seemed, say for four or five thousand years, that capitalism really might be the best system, maybe optimal, enabling humans to survive about as well as you might expect under the circumstances, leading up to today, enabling about 7.5 billion humans to stay alive for relatively long life spans in various degrees of comfort and satisfaction, irrespective of the hundreds of other less intelligent species that became extinct during that time, who could not compete with the burgeoning population of homo sapiens, caused by excessive fecundity.

But, now, alas, capitalism seems not only sub-optimal but inequitable:  It has enabled about one percent of Earth’s human population to gain ownership control of about half the wealth on Earth, enabling them to live lifestyles replete with almost unlimited options to enjoy luxurious goods and activities, including having almost unlimited options for travel, entailing the consumption of abnormally large quantities of energy, say more than one hundred times as much per year per person as the least fortunate; while billions of humans aboard Spaceship Earth are food insecure, malnourished, poorly clothed, poorly housed, poorly educated, and poorly socialized, with little or no opportunities for travel, living cheek by jowl in cramped quarters, or on the streets, while millions prematurely die every year of starvation, disease, and other causes stemming from wars, sanctions, and other tactics used by powerful nations to insure that Earth’s resources are accessible for large corporations, the elite rich, and a majority of humans living in rich countries.

One nation on Earth, the US, has accidentally become so powerful through time looking out for number one that it can now manipulate and control most other nations for its own selfish benefit, in the process invading, dropping bombs, and enforcing sanctions to cripple and undermine various nations competing for Earth’s scarce resources, especially oil. How much longer it can keep this up remains to be seen, especially considering the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to combat global warming.

And to top it all off it seems to me right now that burning fossil fuel necessary to power the Earthian production and transportation system necessary to partially satisfy the needs of 7.5 billion humans has caused global warming and climate change and might render homo sapiens itself extinct within fifty or so years, thereby sending homo sapiens off to a cosmic happy hunting ground to join the millions of other extinct Earthian species already there.

An existential question it seems to me is can the capitalist system be changed to thwart this outcome?

Human migration is now on the mental radars of most humans around Spaceship Earth, and much has been researched, written, taught, and published about human migration problems in academia.  One of the pioneers in the migration academic field is Kurt Lewin, who published Principles of Topological Psychology (New York:  McGraw-Hill, 1936).  Lewin pointed out human migration happens because of push and pull forces, or vectors, propelling and compelling people to move from one country to another.  Few would move from their country of origin if the place enabled them to get their natural human needs met, physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter, and social needs for safety, love, acceptance, belonging, and self-actualization. 

A relevant consideration is what causes push factors to become so powerful that they cause people to migrate? A simple answer is that support systems in a country were purposely collapsed by the wars, intrigues, and machinations of imperialistic nations to acquire cheap resources in the country.  Other causes include overly fecund natives producing more offspring than the natural resources of their countries can support, while other causes include the greed and callousness of upper class leaders who hog most of the resources for themselves. 

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 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. 

Trump in magisterial fascist dictator fashion has now recognized an illegal fascist coup leader in Venezuela as the leader of the country, thereby subverting democracy in Venezuela and undermining/hopefully deposing its democratically elected leader. If the upper class fascist pretender does take over Venezuela massive migrations of lower class indigenous and mixed race humans from Venezuela will happen, far exceeding what is now happening, to a large degree caused by sanctions the US has imposed on Venezuela to gain control of its oil supply and to keep the white upper class in power.

Who were the prime allowers of unauthorized immigrants into the US?  Clinton, and Bush II. According to an article by the Pew Research Center, unauthorized immigrants in the US increased from 3.5 million in 1990 to 12.2 million in 2006, the Clinton and Bush II years, and then declined to 10.7 million by 2016, during the Obama years. Most of the buildup was from Mexico with more Mexicans in recent years returning to Mexico than entering the US. Most of the migration pressure now is from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

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. 

If dire predictions about climate change come true, including developments such as the melting of the polar ice caps causing the salt water portion of Spaceship Earth’s surface to rise several feet, millions, if not a billion or so, humans, of all socio-economic classes, living in coastal plains, will be dislocated, creating mass migrations larger and more disastrous than any heretofore experienced or imagined on Earth.

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.

Humans need to get back to small farms and organic farming operated by independent entrepreneurs.


Some writers have reported that some billionaires are now building themselves underground bunkers that will enable them to survive a nuclear holocaust, with others reporting various humans, rich and poor, have fantasized about migrating to and colonizing other planets, much like the Europeans did in the Americas, which, it seems to me right now, is a foolish pipe dream, there being no escape for humans now living aboard Spaceship Earth.

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 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 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 a Game-free Adult way 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 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 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 free 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.   

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 to see what’s really going on while being inundated and bombarded with the incredible volume of noise (aka fake news) and facts of states of affairs now generated daily around Spaceship Earth.

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

SOURCES:

February 18, 2019

Seems right on the money.

SOURCE:  “Who does government serve?,”  by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26292.

February 18

Wish it weren’t so.

SOURCE:  “How America’s dictatorship works,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26301.

February 18

Never read an article quite like this one, by Jim Kavanagh. Gets to the nitty-gritty in Venezuela. Hope he’s wrong about the outcome: another civil war.

SOURCE:  “The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire,” by Jim Kavahah, THE POLEMICIST, http://www.thepolemicist.net/2019/02/the-siege-of-venezuela-and-travails-of.html.

February 18

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “The Crimes of Elliot Abrams,” by Christopher Fons, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/18/the-crimes-of-elliot-abrams/?fbclid=IwAR2D4ni5gpb4MKqWILRmnh_dcgbZSKIl2VyAA39JQRxOdD5AvMt6Dk6cVqg.

February 18

Another great article by Paul Street, right as rain.

SOURCE:  “31 Actual National Emergencies,” by Paul Street, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/18/thirty-one-actual-national-emergencies/?fbclid=IwAR1oRo7FK2lLc7S9pGunqSaLsgM8pQ5R9DTSVmr_9RLJJn2RkOQqKMn_Cy4.

February 18

It’s a shame this guy could write a good article and then totally miss the point at the end.

SOURCE:  “Presidents’ Day Can Kiss My Ass,” by William Rivers Pitt, TROUTH OUT, https://truthout.org/articles/presidents-day-can-kiss-my-ass/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1yjbIPZdqf209GXg_BH9RjmWfgMnDHsziEBIRT6vgVrpmA60qaVydeMyw.

February 18

No kidding.

SOURCE:  “The US Not Immune to a Fascist Takeover by a Demagogue,” by Ian Masters, TRUTH OUT, https://truthout.org/audio/the-us-not-immune-to-a-fascist-takeover-by-a-demagogue/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2qysdugH5AQTOySn-XTOSyXlsfjLMDEEoeAUlIXuzrD1XBcmJb9lojRCQ.

February 18.

Can you believe this?

SOURCE:  “Ivanka Trump leads the way at the Munich Security Conference,” by Luke Kenton, DAILY MAIL, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6712027/Ivanka-Trump-leads-way-Munich-Security-Conference.html?fbclid=IwAR1QsAA_PJm8ogq984n9QgB2pNcHe24jcVOAlf5iOVQQFkyI_edV7jKHIOE.

February 18

Utter bullshit.  If anything here is irreversible it’s a move to fascism, largely caused by Trump and the US.

SOURCE:  “Trump to say Venezuela’s move to democracy is ‘irreversible’,” by Zeke Miller, APNEWS.COM, https://apnews.com/ab8a21cafa354570ad78816eb8788646?fbclid=IwAR0BNMqQDHdTZ3p5Jt7ZKkQxlk70RbQ6xVVjUtiYdrUnmVNDWeK0uOOJG8U.

February 18

No doubt about it. The bought and paid for blind leading the blind, from Trump on down, is the most important problem.

SOURCE:  “Record High Name Government as Most Important Problem,” by Justin McCarthy, GALLUP.COM, https://news.gallup.com/poll/246800/record-high-name-government-important-problem.aspx?utm_source=facebookbutton&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=sharing&fbclid=IwAR3tP7i0FrVDZdLYEHRo9RNERyRpOFQp32LQ9Bo4CN0E6KWT46BCP8qLnhs.

February 18

Very sad.

SOURCE:  “The sixth mass extinction, explained,” by the staff, THEWEEK.COM, https://theweek.com/articles/823904/sixth-mass-extinction-explained?fbclid=IwAR0kVwpFaj0RcNgCloYUEM7REv2p9o2X2HViIh25R1BCdEdofBCweWIWt0I.

February 18

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “Hedge Fund CIO: ‘The Rich and Powerful Always Win’,” by Eric Peters, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-17/hedge-fund-cio-rich-and-powerful-always-win?fbclid=IwAR2j8vJLsyrtTVRd18z7gqrXhqCm6LlBHiiG4rSbl5_nlnw54L-7uEcoiKI.

February 19

Yuk.

SOURCE:  “$166 Billion in Student Debt is Now Officially Delinquent,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-17/166-billion-student-debt-now-officially-delinquent?fbclid=IwAR3C8dqwBHlNSpMarHtqferK_uwmVr689s9XiVWRLunA3r3aLZGqnkEmJV4.

February 17

Very sad. I interviewed at Youngstown State Univ in 1981 for a chair of entrepreneurship position in the business school. It looked like apocalypse now in downtown Youngstown. There were tall buildings vacant with plywood nailed over their windows. A faculty member in his office pointed out to me through his window the steelmills shut down in the Mahoning valley that he said used to be lit up at night like Christmas trees, but were dark at night now. The business school and university liked my credentials and we talked. I told them it seemed to me they were looking for some sort of superman in the form of an entrepreneurship professor that would fly around in his cape in the valley to make everything right. I knew I was not up to the job. As a former economic history instructor at Texas Tech I was aware of how things had evolved in Youngstown. There were rivers and canals to bring iron ore down from Minnesota and coal from Kentucky and West Virginia in the early days giving the region a competitive edge making iron and steel, prime ingredients for cars, tractors, and trucks powered by the newfangled internal combustion engines that evolved about 1900. But the competitive edge was largely gone by 1981. Youngstown State did not find a magical superman entrepreneurship chair person to turn the negative trend around. And for sure Trump can’t either, wearing a cape or not. What will turn it around? Nothing. Spaceship Earth has got to co-construct a new system to accommodate all Earthians, including humans living in the rust belt of the US.

For more information on how this co-construction might happen see my Effective Learning Publications page.

SOURCE:  “Trump’s Broken Promises to the Land of ‘American Carnage’,” by Sean T. Posey, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-broken-promises-to-the-land-of-american-carnage/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3XlsdLVfnJmUTecHD_YPVbyxwmgnWbdJ2C0Tvp5nd-wOfGHv1SWW2jnhc.

February 17

I remember this case well. a sad story. As a retired university professor I can tell you grading students is not an easy thing to do. In this case teachers were changing answers to fairly hard standardized test questions. But what happens if you do not use standardized tests? Teachers can dumb the questions down they use for grades to not only make their students look better but themselves, leading to a phenomenon known as grade inflation. Here is a research article I published in 2001, titled “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations: A Study of Correlations Between Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production, and Expected Grades ,” dealing with grade inflation, published in the Journal of Management Education, in which I presented a new metric for teacher evaluations I invented, a Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity, or CITP. “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations,” has since been cited in sixty-eight refereed journal articles in several disciplines concerned with grade inflation and teacher evaluation issues.

Read “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations,” at https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf.

SOURCE:  “The Untold Story Behind the Atlanta School Cheating Scandal,” by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/video/corporate-greed-and-criminalizing-teachers-in-atlanta-school-cheating-scandal/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0A5zKOHqp3n17RITP3Ob_j3SUxjS98UI5kl_KXUOybvmw6iSqzORfRQ_w.

February 17

Interesting article. Assumes free will, which is questionable. Unfortunately most of reality cannot be fitted to a Procrustean bed of facts capable of being decided by deductive logic. We are at the mercy of ideas that just pop into our conscious minds at various times caused by various causes. One can build a case that only trivial decisions can be solved by facts and deductive logic, that most important decisions such as the type of person to marry, what to do for a living, and who will be there when we die are sub-consciously decided by scripts, life plans gradually created in the brains of humans as they live. For more details about human scripts read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

Rather than reason to the correct alternative most people reason to the first available alternative that will enable them to act out their life scripts.

SOURCE:  “In Defense of Being Irratiional,” by Zat Rana, PERSONAL GROWTH, https://medium.com/personal-growth/in-defense-of-being-irrational-2e4f26143bc7?fbclid=IwAR3I-KvLYCOVVBk7qBLuVgPqO2aLveNxToSYo6QbGErdRRpecwDuopK7qEw.

February 16

Big mistake.  Stay out of Venezuela.  Let the Venezuelans decide for themselves.

SOURCE:  “First US Military Planes Land Near Venezuela Border With Aid in Defiance of Maduro,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-16/first-us-military-planes-land-near-venezuela-border-aid-defiance-maduro?fbclid=IwAR2F0sKtrShO54H9h8zsH2AjpVb8VNv0LUJMu44ek-2qLU6PyaRJ_fYN8GU.

February 16

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “The U.S. Military is Poisoning Germany,” by Pat Elder, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/the-u-s-military-is-poisoning-germany/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2Y0-2gQzRRkzRIj_qIOnxvgfFdZ1hrnSKNGRPtk-4UDCbgElQ7CNGl-D4.

February 16

Caint be so can it?  A travesty, thanks to loopholes in the tax code created by bought and paid for politicians.

SOURCE:  “Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018,”  by Kristin Myers, YAHOO FIANANCE, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-taxes-zero-180337770.html?bcmt=1&fbclid=IwAR0OhgUOteab0rrDyzy8W5YpvlOXIqXX0J7tjNzWh6g1-L8uS5mEw8UppZk.

February 16

Of course not.  Never has been.  Never will be.  The US is just playing Games there.

SOURCE:  “Assad Is Not The Enemy of the US:  Nuclear Threat is ‘main reason’ I’m running for president,” by Tulsi Gabbard, video, YAHOO.COM, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-taxes-zero-180337770.html?bcmt=1&fbclid=IwAR0OhgUOteab0rrDyzy8W5YpvlOXIqXX0J7tjNzWh6g1-L8uS5mEw8UppZk.

February 16

Yeah, right, rah rah rah, Maybe so, maybe no. I too “believe” in empiricism, that is knowing the facts of states of affairs as best you can before jumping to a conclusion, never allowing, if you can help it, simplistic beliefs, dogmas, doctrines, procedures, etc. to determine your decisions; but so what. Will empiricism, as much as you can make it happen (since almost no one has access to all the relevant facts in a relevant situation), make things turn out better than would otherwise have been the case? Maybe so, maybe no. Hume was right about one thing: human reasoning, at least up to now, is limited, especially when it comes to solving real world problems. Just look at the insane state of affairs now rampant in the US with Trump as its elected president.

SOURCE:  “David Hume:  Why You’re Probably Wrong About Everything You Know,” by Zat Rana, PERSONAL GROWTH, https://medium.com/personal-growth/david-hume-why-youre-probably-wrong-about-everything-you-know-62fb4caa2b21?fbclid=IwAR3XSELBesRIju-H2WK95l35KPMblGj7wWRwS9_ZKpAs38mkrm5vDDZGlAA.

February 16

Well researched and factual account of the war in Afghanistan and the overall military problem.

SOURCE:  “Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies,” by Matthew Hoh, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/15/time-for-peace-in-afghanistan-and-an-end-to-the-lies/?fbclid=IwAR0-d9Sjl_yJwGKOYB6r7g7SzTfDX8uJt1nrU0GGPrCpzlDeQMYWZc9pwkA.

February 16

No surprise here.

SOURCE:  “The Lobbying Swamp is Flourishing in Trump’s Washington,” by Derek Kravitz, ProPublica, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/the-lobbying-swamp-is-flourishing-in-trumps-washington/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3YdcZTBUtz83c1aVJtOVxlQjois0AUsza_Z8ana-XXZ8POaDIhulr94lQ.

February 15

If true how long will the Fed and other central banks keep it up? How long can they keep it up? Forever? If so does that mean the market will never crash again? Pundits such as this one wind up saying the next crash will be ugly, if and when it happens. What a world.  It’s almost like we’re all financially dependent on a random number generator in the head of the Fed chairman, Powell.

SOURCE:  “Get Used to the ‘Powell Put’,” by Nomi Prins, DAILYRECKONING.COM, https://dailyreckoning.com/get-used-to-the-powell-put/?fbclid=IwAR3byMPUMPzo79KEnM4vJB_4pmHJtsFl5am2nTQuKo4-oZyg3SAurspNqrA.

February 15

Yes, econ 101 is a good course. Everybody should take it. But would it soak in? Unfortunately most people are more interested in doing what they have to do in their personal environments to survive rather than learn the truth, no matter how crazy it is.

SOURCE:  “Actually, Econ 101 is Incredibly Important,” by Donald J. Boudreaux, AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH, https://www.aier.org/article/actually-econ-101-incredibly-important?fbclid=IwAR0XF09Q2gUgnIo23vyihOb1PFHlVoqHJ4NbU-sDfgkB5vgr0UH4k8oLzsM.

February 15

Mark Twain:  The smartest US citizen in history?

SOURCE:  “The Deep Hurt:  Lessons From American Coups,” BY Michael Welton, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/13/the-deep-hurt-lessons-from-american-coups/?fbclid=IwAR3KOgolP05_HErlitgkfAVQpAP1lUnAHOamFgQXjSmiUpaMm0MBLeLAGPQ.

February 14

If this is not a red flag I don’t know what would be one.

SOURCE:  “A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car paymentrs, a red flag for the economy,” by Heather Long, WASHINGTONPOST.COM, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/02/12/record-million-americans-are-months-behind-their-car-payments-red-flag-economy/?fbclid=IwAR0RpM7ZNBMCXMJNzTLFRWGz3GCw_NdVFa0CyVjIfSphPolO0QjcQ17dmFs&utm_term=.4295a5a2577b.

February 14

Not cheerful at all.

SOURCE:  “Recession Alert:  Treasury Receipts Turn Negative For the First Time Since The Trump Election,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/recession-alert-treasury-receipts-turn-negative-first-time-trump-election?fbclid=IwAR2i_Qd14eRqY6I01zg3EV7ttmOW9mPLE-EhvCVFQ99RWuxid0g4YR544vQ.

February 14

More to it than that.

SOURCE:  “The Venezuela myth keeping us from transforming our economy,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26215?fbclid=IwAR2XcZOXYfCvSg4-e212wxqeNBrjaLqkLrAs8S4iT9QkXehj0GgHO0Ef6Lk.

February 14

Yep, how to teach people to do good, that is the question.

SOURCE:  “Comparative Religion 101:  USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar—evil snakes in the Garden of Eden?,” by Jane Stillwater, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26222?fbclid=IwAR1hvqQhxAIi5Tf_WS0VAALUJTG4wuu1qehmWa9a3vEV2wIdoA5hgcU3DcE.

February 14

Think Trump’s trade war might have anything to do with this?

SOURCE:  “Why S&P Bulls Should Worry As The Baltic Dry Collapse Nears Worst on Record,”by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/why-sp-bulls-should-worry-baltic-dry-collapse-nears-worst-record?fbclid=IwAR1fFqMNiscY6V2m9ar40GiYcZ9SI9VjdrVsb90Ta7RbDNgISgNcb2w_0sM.

February 13

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “Debt Crisis in America: A Record Number of Americans are Behind on Car Payments,”  by Marc Slavo, SHTFPLAN.COM, http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/debt-crisis-in-america-a-record-number-of-americans-are-behind-on-car-payments_02132019?fbclid=IwAR1bk6XBpxL8ZGC6pBXie1HtKm1NIXaVjM8Ixn8nXVhpvcLPlntTXkupLoU.

February 13

Nice guys, we US persons, with mouthpieces like Bolton.

SOURCE:  “U.S. Warns The World Against Buying Veneuelan Oil,” by Tsvetana Paraskova, Oilprice.com, ZEROHEDGE,COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/us-warns-world-against-buying-venezuelan-oil?fbclid=IwAR0e8tJjNwgUfAeyYVK49g44t6hUTUc0D41w9cFVmNRFLhd2VwrNI6NjD3s.

February 13

The worst kind of psychological Game-playing: LET’S YOU AND THEM FIGHT using AI robots.

SOURCE:  “AI Arms Race Likely To Unleash ‘Crisis Worse Than 9/11’ Warns Ex-Government Agent,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/ai-arms-race-likely-unleash-crisis-worse-911-warns-ex-government-agent?fbclid=IwAR0a_ooY6_aPDgOm2M_VyRKU9UEHXGRy1_HOAry1of3eZ5_MU9R5fxw9wMU.

February 13

My oh my.

SOURCE:  “Mr. Sociopath Goes to Washington,”  by John Hunt, InternationalMan.com, ZEROHEDGE, COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/mr-sociopath-goes-washington?fbclid=IwAR3HsjhZENPVT_fDR9tUTxqHEvnVfTBbfUJJlhYOY0WXzOFTqcV7vOQNLEk.

February 13

Seems very likely now that you have deliberately antagonized them.  What better enemy could you find to justify your paycheck?

SOURCE:  “China Is The ‘Greatest Long-Term Strategic Threat’ To US, Top Pacific Commander Tells Congress,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/china-greatest-long-term-strategic-threat-us-top-pacific-commander-tells-congress?fbclid=IwAR3qr0370qifBCB8ZXcYrxKfYY8iKTo4dZB-i22VntEYArcNy60wFti0RuQ.

February 13

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “Watch Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Lose His Cool During Tense Exchange With Rep. lIhan Omar, by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/watch-venezuela-envoy-elliott-abrams-lose-his-cool-during-tense-exchange-rep-ilhan?fbclid=IwAR01Q_GaDFfXvClj3_eIkFLPKI2gAGnEMBdeMEu7v7px81eir7RoJULjRF0.

February 13

A must watch and listen to video featuring a twelve year old Swedish girl lecturing the UN on the problems of global warming and the environment and what to do about it.  The video has already had over seven million views.  An amazingly effective speech telling it like it is.

SOURCE:  “Calls Out World Leaders,” Greta Thunberg, FACEBOOK.COM, https://www.facebook.com/moveon/videos/373044046797017/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDM0OTY1MTE4NjoyMTczNTM3NTg5MzM0NTQy/

February 13

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “Rethinking the US Military Industrial Complex,” by Tim Kirby, STRATEGIC-CULTURE.ORG., https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/11/rethinking-us-military-industrial-complex.html?fbclid=IwAR0PkSrYRgG5FhFplhQwzHO9lhJy8e0r6TS0atiF5VXXG2hKkmRlSZYO9nU.

February 13

Warmongers in ivory towers playing LET’S YOU AND THEM FIGHT.

SOURCE:  “Warmongers In Their Ivory Towers,”  by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/11/rethinking-us-military-industrial-complex.html?fbclid=IwAR0PkSrYRgG5FhFplhQwzHO9lhJy8e0r6TS0atiF5VXXG2hKkmRlSZYO9nU.

February 12

Here is the way the Washington “swamp” works now.  No end of deals for Trump to do.

SOURCE:  “How Trump’s Swamp Works Now,” by Andy Kroll, ROLLINGSTONE.COM, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/elliott-broidy-donald-trump-swamp-793159/?fbclid=IwAR2siCHTX8BcDL7bRtK7aY2X6lm3DZ_Xl50o7HqnU49hxzaKgAr_UFAULCM.

February 11

More light and light it grows, more dark and dark our woes…Shakespeare…and the more innocence we lose as writers like this tell the whole story. What can be done about it now? That is the question.

SOURCE:  “Murder Inc.:  U.S. foreign policy,” by Frank Scott, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26204?fbclid=IwAR07ArRzxVhp9AW6a2l0gxfoJLTRoUJc6NTsN2ra1RBZGzscs6G2qSdmWZw.

February 11

Great article by Ellen Brown, the most sensible money and banking expert I am aware of. Her basic idea is very simple: We need a national bank owned by the people that can issue its own money to foster the interests of the people as a sovereign nation. Since 1912 or so the US has been in the clutches of the Federal Reserve System, owned by private banks, that issues money that has to be paid back. A national bank could issue money for the government that would not have to be paid back. Brown and Michael Hudson, maybe the world’s best economist, both assert MMT, Modern Monetary Theory, will not result in Venezuela like inflation since the US can issue its own money, even using the Federal Reserve. Better to do it with a national bank owned by the people, but the Federal Reserve is better than what Germany or Venezuela had and have. As Brown points out about what causes hyperinflation, whether in Weimar Germany before WWII or Venezuela now is problems with the exchange rate, a country having to convert its money into the money of foreigners to pay off foreign debts, import food, or buy or service whatever foreign goods or obligations they have to have. That won’t happen to the US because foreigners have to accept dollars, at least for now, because the US dollar is the global currency most countries have to use to pay their bills internationally, being the only fiat faith-based currency most humans trust.

SOURCE:  “The Venezuela myth keeping us from transforming our economy, by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

February 11

Bad news indeed.

SOURCE:  “Two-Thirds of Personal Bankruptcies Are Caused by Illness and Medical Bills,” by Julia Conley, Common Dreams, TROUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/two-thirds-of-personal-bankruptcies-are-caused-by-illness-and-medical-bills/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2gB-JNAtiS8YQGLgEMK-eH_0I5wVeOp5x59gEC4YGxdnCwxbQ1Up9vFoc.

February 11

Another great article by Courtenay Barnett, Effective Learning Report correspondent.

SOURCE:  “A Sermon: Governor Nofrtham – Victor – Vanquished and the Rest of US,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVELEARNINGREPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-sermon-governor-northam-victor-vanquished-and-the-rest-of-us/?fbclid=IwAR2cL3N3gRShUHilTpzvegG6RwbiwuaBX9nYLA9Qx9uH6w1oOkdiWO5lEX0.

February 10

Here are a few definitions of terms used to obfuscate what the US is doing in the Middle East.

SOURCE:  “A Guide to Decoding the Doublespeak on Syria – 21st Century Wire,” by Peter Ford, 21CENTURYWIRE.COM, https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/02/06/a-guide-to-decoding-the-doublespeak-on-syria/?fbclid=IwAR3Wtmk9-6-hcZi9TXntmWkvgtfHPwK-cgKfaB8A4Qxm_ol9ji4dvLnBt40.

February 10

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE:  “Climate change seen as top threat, but U.S. power a growing worry – poll,”  by Reuters, http://news.trust.org/item/20190210225154-k96v7/?fbclid=IwAR0vndywchCvHhoqb-51ygdQJefLHZLv0T7HTHVGnenvlNBXVeKGLuv1L3s.

February 10

Agree.

SOURCE:  “The Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom (and Does IQ Matter?), by Zat Rana, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-difference-between-knowledge-and-wisdom-and-does-iq-matter-7e0a48308067?fbclid=IwAR3XRmEaIGVe3CApzq4FWSx3vl1FLlNGTagu4NWgaHItJxcYF1dhgH8kjWg.

February 9

Does South America have a worse racial problem than North America?

SOURCE:  “In Venezuela, White Supremacy Is a Key Driver of the Coup,” by Greg Palast, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/in-venezuela-white-supremacy-is-a-key-driver-of-the-coup/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2po34LVxCNv8CmIQjBz2iFt1F5CjUafpxXvG6fw6c3q4F6idZEgxEEMS0/

February 7

So much for Trump’s tariffs.

SOURCE:  “’They’re Running Out Of Options’ – Farm Bankruptcies Surge To 10-Year High As Trade War Bites,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.ORG, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-06/theyre-running-out-options-farm-bankruptcies-surge-10-year-high-trade-war-bites?fbclid=IwAR1tyWRcn18ZBJ_OBFx8uSKHSLwIPkGLjbErt1d6nJiLO0Uu8fOT-cbJXrU.

February 7

I agree with this: “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

SOURCE:  “The State of the Union:  These Are Dangerous Times, and the Government Is To Blame,” by John W. Whitehead, THE RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE, https://rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_state_of_the_union_these_are_dangerous_times_and_the_government_is_to_blame?fbclid=IwAR0ZmbulWD3vUwUPtsBI7nD38Y-pBimj1nqt0gH3zzcOFvRV5GoLJEn2-ic.

February 7

Agree.

SOURCE:  “Gabbard Reveals the Bankruptcy of American Left,” by Tom Juongo, STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/05/gabbard-reveals-bankruptcy-of-american-left.html?fbclid=IwAR2e08UTgBRicCPtgOQ6ZizEA6z2CVjVfv4FODCFtW-pH7pgAGdCboAS3nk.

February 7

Sounds right on to me.

SOURCE:  “The REAL Reason The U.S. Wants Regime Change in Venezuela,” staff, STORMCLOUDSGATHERING.COM, http://stormcloudsgathering.com/geopolitics/venezuela/?fbclid=IwAR2qKpf4Z0ayHuQclQ-Wsru1HFNrLSBhpxvWZiFmi2l7OgKxaCaE_5xQhkI.

February 6

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “People who care about democracy don’t plot coups abroad,” by Peter Certo, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26092.

February 6

Not so, Daddy Trump told us so last night at beddy bye time.

SOURCE:  “America’s new gig economy:  Where one job is never enough,” by Jane Stillwater, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/26133.

February 6

Yet according to a leading poll fifty eight percent of voters now approve of what he has done.

SOURCE:  “Donald Trump’s 20 biggest follies,” INTREPID REPORT, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

February 6

Best article I have read on why Medicare For All or a single payer system would be better by far for most US citizens than what we have now. Unfortunately those who would not become better off because of it make a lot of money in the healthcare industry, including health insurance companies, drug companies, and hospital companies, enough money to buy the votes of politicians to make sure we the people never get it.

SOURCE:  “The Right-Wing Attack on Medicare-for-All,” by Dave Lindorff, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/06/the-right-wing-attack-on-medicare-for-all/?fbclid=IwAR230NTDyyjoFe-p_WQSK8u8ecHyCKZ6PSHJNYE-2oJiX6Dj6IcD1Gy6ZYQ.

February 5

Here’s another insightful and relevant article by Courtenay Barnett, Effective Learning Correspondent.

SOURCE: “The Mad Dogs of Nuclear Armaments – US and Russia,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-mad-dogs-of-nuclear-armaments-us-and-russia/.

February 3

Hard to believe he would have psychological permission to do this. End the drug war now. Put these creeps out of business. Legalize, control, and tax all drugs like booze and cigarettes. Al Capone was an altar boy compared to these monsters.

SOURCE:  “Unsealed Documents:  El Chapo Accused of Drugging, Raping Young Girls,” by Noah Hurowitz, ROLLINGSTONE, https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/el-chapo-rape-girls-allegation-789183/?fbclid=IwAR0RccWpOK1gv2uFvQCBuXKX252OwII7s6UwWdB_j8mdV65FcwB6heTa4q4.

February 2

Replace Maduro with Guaido to get rid of socialism in Venezuela? Better think again. Socialism might help keep Venezuelans in Venezuela rather than joining the flock from Central America already heading for the US looking for jobs. How many Cuban immigrants have you heard about lately?

SOURCE:  “DownWithTryany!: Haven’t Enough to Keep You Awake at Night?  Try The Doomsday Clock for a Truthful State of the Union,” by Skip Kaltenheuser, DOWNWITHTRYANY.BLOGSPOT.COM, https://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2019/01/havent-enough-to-keep-you-awake-at.html?fbclid=IwAR2hcdpzW1LEXzNb04gs8eePSZM8iF94YnsL5oUTBbXJpXst0DpuQ42s2SY.

February 2

Could not agree more. Here’s what we need, Game-free economic and political discussion groups: Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour at Stapleton Learning Company. Open for business the third Saturday of the month, 10-11 a.m.

Learn how to feel better about economics and politics through Game-Free discussion by learning how not to play psychological Games such as BALANCE SHEET, AIN’T IT AWFUL, GREENHOUSE, MINE’S BETTER, NIGYSOB, KICK ME, POOR ME, IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, LET’S YOU AND THEM FIGHT, DO ME SOMETHING, I’M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU, and GEE, YOU’RE WONDERFUL PROFESSOR.

For more information go here:

http://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.ht…

http://www.effectivelearning.net/de-gaming-and-saving-democ…

SOURCE:  “Rescuing the National Conversation,” by Dana E. Abizaid, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/29/rescuing-the-national-conversation/?fbclid=IwAR3tYULR2l2sjjXCM_0B9iQh20iV9xgykKtty-0Hy1EQv6pQkYtFoLHIwoY.

February 2

Interesting perspective.

SOURCE:  “The Ruling Class and an Undeclared Civil War,” by Steve McCann, AMERICAN THINKER, https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/01/the_ruling_class_and_an_undeclared_civil_war.html?fbclid=IwAR1_Qyb6MWhEMvWqOkGbH7Ypzx-OJmCF_5nMlLdTPoYDzmzjqIrDEDrrjPk#.XFZNCJcNQUI.facebook.

February 2

So sad.

SOURCE:  “Your Complete Guide To The NYTimes’ Support of US-Backed Coups in Latin America,” by Adam H. Johnson, TRUTHDIG, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/your-complete-guide-to-the-n-y-times-support-of-u-s-backed-coups-in-latin-america/.

February 2

This is one thing I agree with Trump about. I never did understand why the US foreign policy establishment thinks the US needs to undermine, sanction, or destroy other countries, be they capitalist, socialist, religious dictatorships, fascist, or whatever, to control their oil supplies to favor the US. These countries are so poor they would have to sell their oil on the world market, and if capitalism is as good as oligarchs say it is, poor countries selling their oil on the world market would naturally drive through free competition the world price of oil down to a rational and fair price. Is it the US foreign policy establishment really does not care about a rational and fair price; is it they want to militarily force an abnormally low unfair price for US oil companies?

SOURCE:  “The Great Middle East Head-Fake,” by Matt Taibbi, ROLLINGSTONE, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/syria-afghanistan-vote-788308/?fbclid=IwAR1zud4YZ9dAcLv0EwuAsBvKXvvqk6y9X4rMdhrAczcD-0o1gT6l_uPbP28.

February 2    

Ominous perceptions and thoughts from Michael Hudson, considered by some the world’s best economist.

SOURCE:  “Trump’s Brillian Strategy to Dismember U.S. Dollar Hegemony,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTER PUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/01/trumps-brilliant-strategy-to-dismember-u-s-dollar-hegemony/?fbclid=IwAR3hHCOlPBIuZ6dIB1lxAbfQU4M1yEsWVS9z_cirnoeO3n4Y_VyA4ZV3Y_8.

February 2

Probably so.

SOURCE:  “The Polar Vortex Is Climate Disruption in Action,” by Dahr Jamail, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-polar-vortex-is-climate-disruption-in-action/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR02v4PfPCOYdOVX8u44LfL9aOVHtvAQjKWBhvQ70U19Jn-UgsViWVmqVDI.

February 2

Seems a mite strange alright.  Surely the US govt is not running a Ponzi scheme managing its financial affairs.

SOURCE:  “Nobody’s Buying US Treasuries Except ‘Other Investors’ & Mutual Funds?,” by Chris Hamilton, ECONIMICA, https://econimica.blogspot.com/2019/02/treasury-bulletinnobody-buys-us.html.

February 1

Is there nothing governments can do to stop this? These invasive robots and call center talking heads are seriously reducing human peace and tranquility. In addition to being disingenuous and insulting they are causing agitations, frustrations, disruptions, and productivity losses in millions of cases per day.  We need a national call center disconnection agency to deal with this.  I get called on average about eight times per day by these mechanical creeps.

SOURCE:  “Robots Call Americans An Average Eight Times A Month,” Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-31/robots-call-americans-average-eight-times-month?fbclid=IwAR1yIQ8j9JBkUkgUMxf6PqvpOgkBgecdLsUk93LUZM3TXhU4Kl5G2MTVQyU.

February 1

Unbelievable.  What Washington won’t do to create enemies.

SOURCE:  “Trump suspends arms treaty to focus on China, Russia threats,” by Deb Riechmann, Robert Burns, and Matthew Lee, APNews, https://apnews.com/13bee012befd4f989ab9ae108d1ca729?fbclid=IwAR18KkghecV04P6H8kJA_MW11ez2xXSOxTsJcY19BKeDgdcciE3ev74mZRk.

January 31

Let it be known.

SOURCE:  “’Make the Economy Scream’,:  Secret Documents Show Nixon, Kissinger Role Backing 1973 Chile Coup,” staff, DEMOCRACY NOW, https://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/10/40_years_after_chiles_9_11?fbclid=IwAR1PFrk3ez0EbIJM7RDkxkfhHopDsz4Pm2l1IfN352bnDeVy6CZHEJChHyg.

January 1

So sad.

SOURCE:  “Hondurans Protest US-Backed Government as Thousands Flee,” by Sandra Cuffe, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/hondurans-protest-us-backed-government-as-thousands-flee/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3PTVsxqmSiUoSJ2Y_Z9smBtRATefGQiYpQF5lQtIfQsKG9LT0yVCzDgUE.

January 31

Let it be known.

SOURCE:  “Mitch McConnell, Enemy of the Vote,” by Jamil Smith, RollingStone, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/mitch-mcconnell-enemy-of-the-vote-787596/?fbclid=IwAR0YTeehKHNcknvoBOxO97L0mk3Vp_33XKFBQW7JzdH53mFyelO8LauQd-M.

January 29

The problem is somewhat analogous to the enclosure movements in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England in the 17th – 19th centuries in which callous landowning aristocrats forced people from their dwellings and small plots of ground on what had been for centuries land in common by simply telling them to get out, backed up and enforced by the laws and police power of the state, so they could raise sheep and do more profitable agricultural things on “their” land, which had been given to their ancestors in the past by conquering kings, fueling massive migrations to the New World, to mainly what became the US and Canada in North America; except today in Central America people that were habituated to tending land in small plots have been forced off the land so a callous elite class legally owning corporate shares of stock could take over their economy using global business procedures and modern technologies, and there is no more cheap undeveloped land for them to take from North Americans in the US should they be able to migrate there. In most cases, should these Central Americans get in the US, they will take over low status, low paid, arduous, onerous jobs that most US citizens do not want to do and will live in high density residential areas. They were dislodged from their agricultural ancestral sinecures by capitalistic global trends and practices set loose aboard Spaceship Earth starting around 1970, practices such as oligarchs sending high wage jobs in rich countries to poor countries, where they became low wage jobs, setting in motion a lowering of real wages and quality of life for most people in most countries, while enriching the rich in most countries, at least in monetary terms. Given the threats and risks of global warming and climate change and financial manipulations it seems the quality of life for all classes has declined since 1970.

SOURCE:  “The Second Implosion of Central America,” by William I. Robinson, NACLA, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-second-implosion-of-central-america/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2UViRpR3OpTcduGtuS9vMKKhCW71gz-ds4Q5xG2miGJpljpy7msjAFFmk.

January 29

Who said. I sure as hell want the idea. We were doing pretty well in the US before Reagan and company lowered the top tax rate from seventy percent or so to thirty percent or so in 1980. Sure, we had some stagflation, but that was nothing compared to what we have now, inequality to the max, with the rich getting richer every year, and the poor getting poorer, with increasing social unrest. That’s when all hell broke loose, in 1980. The corporations started sending manufacturing jobs to low wage countries (pure greed), the federal debt tripled, Bush II in 2001 following Reagan’s precedent cut taxes for the elite rich even more (political payoffs), and here we are now with nouveau corporate riche like like Schultz trying to take control of the whole country. You’ve now got to be a billionaire to even think about becoming president, unless you’re a Repug or Demo apparatchik, or a socialist promising free money and pie in the sky for the hopeless; but would socialism be worse than what we have now? Fascism. Probably not. h

SOURCE:  “Howard Schultz:  America doesn’t want ideas like Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% marginal tax targeting the rich,” by Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/29/howard-schultz-america-does-not-want-ocasio-cortezs-70percent-wealth-tax.html?fbclid=IwAR2u_mpMfQ_nqTvf7ttgROdcS7sEE0GhwsLCglUEfuzbwZ-pXVbV2bfZI5Y.

January 29

So it seems.  Best essay I have read in  a few days.

SOURCE:  “The Age of the Imbecile – Eudaimonia and Co,” by umair haque, EUDAIMONIA, https://eand.co/the-age-of-the-imbecile-c52ee205d94c?fbclid=IwAR3rPX-xFZ1ZDEjRT6xAwYfOaV-PKfeVoZFoUN7MVmDYl4hUN4WJuU5zaY0.

Janaury 28

Very sad.

SOURCE:  “Trump Investigations Reveal Wider Criminality Among US’s Business Elite,” by Ofer Raban, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-investigations-reveal-wider-criminality-among-uss-business-elite/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1w52InA-jGrvmRUHr0UmlQouSBgEaQSfUc9v0S4AJEHr8_G-qUV3AhmWQ.

January 28

Excellent interview shedding new light on Trump and his ways.

SOURCE:  “Joseph McCarthy’s Aide Mentored Trump and Roger Stone,” by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/video/joseph-mccarthys-ex-aide-mentored-trump-and-roger-stone/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1t-a4MBdgM5YA5v6kzaVWQVueVWf1IoUmoepYz3oWuIEqqu2zI7DJaUJA.

January 28

We need to get back to small organic farms.

SOURCE:  “Big Food Blamed for Ills Far Beyond Flab in Sweeping Report,” by Corine Gretler and Naomi Kresge, BLOOMBERG, https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/big-food-gets-blamed-for-ills-far-beyond-flab-in-sweeping-report?fbclid=IwAR0RFCk1O_udfUvml8wbMncWZJOjxLtn6kMjtV3o-bfP8x_0nCvNpA2wEuM#gs.50KiNuWy.

January 28

“Echoing what Jerome Powell first realized in March 2013, Wouter Sturkenboom, Northern Trust Asset Management’s Amsterdam-based chief investment strategist for Europe and Asia said that the Fed is ‘at the mercy of the markets’ and ‘that’s why we have re-instigated a risk position’ across stocks in the U.S. and emerging markets at the expense of investment-grade bonds. Naturally, the firm which oversees $1.1 trillion in total assets, sees clear sailing for the rally for now.” Taken from the below article.

SOURCE:  “$1.1 Trillion Fund is Buying Everything With Fed at ‘Market’s Mercy’,” Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-27/11-trillion-fund-buying-everything-fed-markets-mercy?fbclid=IwAR2IoAPpKZUtBgNeYX2dgPksW6aSowrdyclHi8vjbpsEbuWZdoouWJqfzWY.

January 27

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “Bees Face Yet Another Lethal Threat in Dicamba, a Drift-Prone Pesticide,” by Lisa Gross, The Center for Investigative Reporting, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/bees-face-yet-another-lethal-threat-in-dicamba-a-drift-prone-pesticide/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3bTphFs4kZl0mZ-L8bwiSF0aQZnk0Z9Dut8sUVD6KrUT3XiIJJh0q6gOE.

January 27

Say it is so Joe.

SOURCE:  “Our Counterfeit Social Security Crisis,” by Gerald E. Scorse, Dissident Voice, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/our-counterfeit-social-security-crisis/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0t61LN_uT08dICeY0uesBlieyTlkMivCdlcogX4SSdCRdj5gEePe0iEcE.

January 27

Generally agree with the Europe idea, but ugh what will happen?

SOURCE:  “Europe ‘coming apart before out eyes’, say 30 top intellectualsl,” staff, THE GUARDIAN, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/25/europe-coming-apart-before-our-eyes-say-30-top-intellectuals?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR0W-_–a3AnoDKVoBPPh6E0ddyzNq54Bp8pqMB9NlHSMSMtQrczG_Ki2Pc.

Janaury 26

YUK

SOURCE:  “’Leaving Neverland’:  Sundance’s Michael Jackson Doc Leaves Audience Shellshocked,” by David Fear, RollingStone, https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-features/leaving-neverland-michael-jackson-doc-sundance-784801/?fbclid=IwAR2mJQ2HVHqYd67mC1T8SFFVUWrzgNmf5W_U_daxwoSbfNySb2oL07_KcYE.

January 26

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “End Times, Dead Ahead,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/25/end-times-dead-ahead/?fbclid=IwAR303lC4YhjAK-hcYlBWwOscIexMn_Bvx7Xf9cABlmTIalAF_RV6z1CIhGk.

January 25

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “How the Organization of American States Became an Agent of Regime Change,” by Laura Carlsen, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/25/how-the-organization-of-american-states-became-an-agent-of-regime-change/?fbclid=IwAR1sKJhHWv1F3Envk5b9aHo5b3mCLXe2LemYndntEwBe7Z8Sze4EerXYv3Q.

January 25

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “The Yellow Vests, the Crisis of the Welfare State and Socialism,” by Michele Brand, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/25/the-yellow-vests-the-crisis-of-the-welfare-state-and-socialism/?fbclid=IwAR0f5ySMTrF6n9Mow6dphpcI55TwvLFFWGuDV0iSkJEDHC6FlB0KpqJb3ZA.

January 25

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE:  “Michele Alexander is Right about Israel-Palestine,” by Marjorie Cohn, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/michelle-alexander-is-right-about-mlk-and-israel-palestine/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2o-k-esBzlPvDpqiXgu1e1mdjS5j_FMKs-D77PgB0cKz_OyqjLc8nn9zM.

January 25

End the war on drugs now.  Put these monsters out of business.

SOURCE:  “El Chapo Trial:  Witness Describes Alleged Kingpin’s Torture, Murder of Rivals,” by Noah Hurowitz, RollingStone, https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/el-chapo-trial-isaias-valdez-rio-torture-murder-rival-784485/?fbclid=IwAR2tkqPZPjQ0QtMRnRzloTshZvh1x01a0LL-eJCPfLDC9iEghTaKORkleYY.

January 24

Here is the crux of the article:
“What Might Have Been?
“And now that I’ve left you with a completely bad taste in your mouth, let me bring up another small forgotten memory, one that might qualify — in an alternate universe of memories at least — as utopian, rather than dystopian. I’m thinking about “the peace dividend.” You don’t remember it? Well, that’s not surprising. But after the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991 (something official Washington hadn’t faintly expected and initially greeted in a kind of stunned silence), it briefly seemed as if the great-power struggles that had preoccupied history since perhaps the fifteenth century were finally over. The US was the lone superpower left on planet Earth. Enemies were beyond scarce. A judgment of some sort had been rendered and, for a brief moment, even in Washington, people began talking about that most miraculous of things: a peace dividend.
“The staggering sums that had gone into the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state in the Cold War years were visibly no longer necessary. So it was time to bring it all — billions and billions of dollars that had long been invested in the militarization of our American world — home. There was, after all, nothing left to build up military power against and so that money could now be put into what wouldn’t for another decade be called “the homeland.”
“In fact, though modest cuts were made in US forces and military spending in those years, they would prove to be anything but a dividend and would soon enough simply evaporate in the face of the military-industrial complex and, of course, that “axis of evil.”
“In the years that followed, the very idea of a peace dividend, even the phrase itself, would simply vanish. Still, just for a moment, in a country whose infrastructure is now crumbling, whose teachers are underpaid, whose health care system is under siege, it was possible to dream about a world in which the bleeding wounds of the planet might begin to be staunched. Imagine that and think about what the future might have been.”

Excerpted from the bottom of the following article.

SOURCE:  “Afghanistan Set the Stage for the US’s Implosion,” by Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/afghanistan-set-the-stage-for-the-uss-implosion/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR33yt2LZrnW1-9MN2uD7Fq7jDsQkSakBaqAuPM-bPqSUcCBEmf4NWkPeNc.

January 24

Population aboard spaceship earth will continue to grow putting more stress on the ecosystem causing more global warming if these sorts of restrictions on population control become law around Spaceship Earth.

Why should anti-birth control and abortion people care how many births other people prevent?

Is it they think eliminating birth control pills and abortions will get them brownie points with their father god for a better seat in heaven who has an insatiable need for more children to live with him in his heaven above even if humans having children without limit on earth will ultimately cause them to live in misery down here on Earth, maybe causing them to become extinct?

SOURCE:  “New Court Rulings Keep the Birth Control Mandate in Place,” Robin Marty, Case2, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/new-court-rulings-keep-the-birth-control-mandate-in-place/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1NZhF5OXIb6NsnS80CcfZdw2pJDhvAXsOfmwq0lItQ3AUTW7T-jaFuLjM.

January 18

Evolutionary Capitalism

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, www.effectivelearning.net, January 24, 2019

Yes, the Earthian debt increase since 1971 mainly benefited large corporations and the elite rich; but we the people can take some satisfaction that even large corporations and the financial elite did not get as much better off as most people think. What good is larger numbers in their bank and investment accounts if they can’t buy anything they need with them, having no real needs to satisfy, having already bought everything they need, especially considering that when a true global financial collapse occurs half or more of the numbers in their accounts may vanish? Numbers in computerized bank accounts and financial accounts called money do no social good if they cannot be converted into something real before they vanish in depressions, and real things such as houses and land require property taxes to be paid, however much their values too have vanished. About the only satisfaction to be gained from seeing financial numbers in financial accounts get larger year after year (called “making money”) after you get really rich is to win a psychological Game transactional analysts call BALANCE SHEET, wherein winners (like Warrren Buffett, who said money has absolutely no utility for him) simply accrue larger numbers in their financial accounts than losers year after year (as if playing bridge, Warren Buffet’s favorite pastime), and find this satisfying. Regardless, in general large corporations and the elite rich would rather see their numbers called money get larger in their bank and investment accounts doing them no real good than to transfer a significant percentage to the poor who could get a lot of good from increasing numbers in their bank accounts, by using them to buy needed goods and services right now, before a significant percentage of the numbers in the bank and investment accounts of the elite rich vanish in the next global financial collapse.

Unfortunately humans having very real unsatisfied needs, especially those now living on less than 5.5 dollars per day, were also not made much better off by the debt that grew at faster rates after the US Nixon administration eliminated the gold standard for global banks in 1971, rates of debt increase that increased even more after the US Bush II administration during 2001-2008 popularized the notion that digital government deficits and debt recorded in computers don’t matter. Note that this debt increase was caused primarily by supposedly conservative Republican politicians in the US (it’s a farce to say they are real financial conservatives, considering they have been much more profligate than Democrats since 1980), and the current Republican US president (another farce) is hastening the rate of debt increase even more. The budget deficit in the US in fiscal year 2019 will exceed one trillion dollars and will be financed by selling US treasury notes and bills to domestic and foreign citizens, government agencies, and central banks, especially the US Federal Reserve System, which can purchase its treasury bills with funny money it creates by simply punching more digits into its computers and calling the resulting numbers money, of which there is no theoretical limit. Central banks around Spaceship Earth have also learned how to do this, which explains how Global Debt can now be as high as the equivalent of 244 trillion US dollars.

It’s unclear when capitalism started, possibly as soon as humans aboard Spaceship Earth learned enough to trade among themselves using some sort of money, sea shells, special rocks, wampum, maybe gold nuggets; but whenever that was by then humans had learned to selfishly look out for their own interests and those of humans closest to them as individuals. When hoarding of food and other goods started was a major milestone in capitalistic evolution; when ownership of land and buildings started was another; when cultivating crops and manufacturing started were others.

But the milestone that really got the capitalistic process going probably occurred around 1850 with the development of the steam engine, that enabled humans to move matter around and do work by boiling water to produce steam power, that entailed burning wood and coal, that soon led by 1900 or so to the widespread burning of oil to power internal (or infernal) combustion engines; and away capitalism went, to humans driving cars, trucks, and tractors; to generating and transmitting electricity and flying airplanes; to where we are today, dealing with global warming and climate change, that threatens human survival.

Experts now say if significant reductions in the production of carbon dioxide and methane released into the Earthian atmosphere as a byproduct of burning fossil fuels are not made within ten years irreparable harm will be done to all Earthian species, including homo sapiens.

It’s possible capitalism will evolve new technologies, structures, institutions, policies, practices, procedures, customs, and laws necessary to enable the human species to continue indefinitely aboard Spaceship Earth; but maybe not.

SOURCE:  “Global Debt Surpasses 244 Trillion Dollars As ‘Nearly Half The World Lives on Less Than $5.50 A Day’,” by Michael Snyder, THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/global-debt-surpasses-244-trillion-dollars-as-nearly-half-the-world-lives-on-less-than-5-50-a-day?fbclid=IwAR1JU1OYntBITJmEOrkV-uJMRAO1ICmBvVjajCefR-wUMwqMVwcbCV57uRc.


TO RESPOND: 

Just for the fun of it, play like you are a virtual Spaceship Earth, Inc. stockholder, owning one imaginary share of virtual stock, which I hereby figuratively grant you, along with all humans around Spaceship Earth, giving you equal theoretical power to make decisions about how to manage Spaceship Earth, Inc.  Tell other stockholders what you think the problems and opportunities are, what the alternatives are, and what you think should be done to make for smoother sailing for everyone aboard.

Also feel free to write what you think pro or con about anything I or any of the authors cited above have written in this issue of The Earthian.

Say whatever you want to say in response to the facts, analysis, conclusions, perspectives, etc. offered by the writers, pro or con, but please no ad hominem attacks, i.e., don’t try to prove you are right in your argument by illogically slandering or demeaning the personal characteristics, beliefs, behaviors, or integrity of the person you are arguing against.

Don’t worry about being “right”. Just come out with what you think is the truth of the matter. Nobody knows the full truth about economic and political affairs, and everybody knows something of value for a Game-free discussion of environmental, economic, and political problems and opportunities.

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 some value from THE EARTHIAN and would like to reciprocate go to our Effective Learning Publications page, the Internet, or any brick and mortar bookstore and purchase one or more of my books. 

Feel free to forward, share, print, reprint, copy or otherwise disseminate this issue of The Earthian any way you see fit. 

Best wishes, RJS

A SERMON: GOVERNOR NORTHAM – VICTOR – VANQUISHED AND THE REST OF US

By Courtenay Barnett

Good day my beloved and welcome once more to the altar of the almighty truth.

Ah! – please, please – no standing ovation – no cheering. Not at this hallowed site. This is not a football game nor is it the American Congress. Please be seated – thank you.

The recent news cycle in America has featured  the ‘Blackface’ issue concerning the Governor of the state of Virginia. As this sermon unfolds – and it shall be a long one today – the totality of Virginia’s immediate problems in its political leadership reads more like a soap opera than does it seem to reflect actual events occurring. A good place to start is at the beginning.

So, what is ‘Blackface’?

The idea behind Blackface, in relation to its comedic intent, is that persons of African descent, are such that they represent the epitome of stupidity, laxness, shiftlessness and insobriety.  African-Americans were  elevated to comedic prominence by a White man named Thomas Dartmouth Rice (1808-1860). He would place black shoe polish on his face to ascend to the high degrees that his stage character would be at his best. His most famous and popular character, where he, Dartmouth, portrayed the ‘Blackface’ character both in the US and in England, was a stereotype stage figure named “Jim Crow”. A buffoon, a dunce, an ignoramus – and all those wonderful things that all Blacks are and would want their children to grow up to be. Dartmouth, to the amusement of fully entertained White audiences, expressed and explained the true nature of the African -American. “Explained”, for many a Caucasian at the time would not have met nor interacted with a person of colour of direct African descent post-emancipation of slavery – and so they were both informed and entertained by this stage figure’s  “explanation”. The term “Jim Crow” became synonymous with the segregation of African-Americans. That is the background.

Now, we fast forward to the Governor of the State of Virginia in 2019 A.D. to  one Ralph Northam, a White man who found  comfort  and pride in his blackfacing. He, in his college days thought that blackfacing with two prominent figures posted in his college yearbook as a ‘Blackface’ character standing next to a hooded member of the Ku Klux Klan ( that all White humanitarian group) was – oh – so funny and was suitable as a picture for his college yearbook. He was found out and then he first profusely apologised. The next day he denied that it was him. He, at a press conference, even thought that having said that he also blackfaced  for Michael Jackson was willing  do his own little performance with Jackson’s famous ‘Moon walk dance’ moves. His wife thought better of it and reigned him in before he could get ‘on stage’ so to speak.

Are we serious here?

Based on the facts – Governor Northam could never have been. But – I am sure that I am speaking from the altar of the Almighty truth – so I definitely am quite unequivocal in my outright condemnation of Northam and people of his ilk and what they then, as now, represent. I even have gone as far as condemning President Trump for comparable sentiments ( see: below – the article ‘President Trump and past and present cognitive dissonance’). So, if in the largest all Africa  online publication, I have so spoken, why then should I not be equally serious when I am speaking of Northam?

But, let me be fair, backtrack to the Caribbean, to Jamaica where I was born, then forward to England where I studied, and cross over to the US for just some  quick personal examples of deeply engrained ‘racial attitudes’ then conclude today’s  sermon.

My view is that in the Caribbean, when the Europeans were in colonial control there was institutionalised racism. Post-independence, I would say that there still is ‘shadism’. What do I mean?

Slave society in the Caribbean, in economic terms, on the global stage practised  the world’s first form of industrialised production. It mass produced mainly sugar cane and cotton by way of utilising in the millions ( both in monetary and in human terms) the physical machinery accompanied by the ‘human  manchinery’ of slaves, Africans. And so in the English form of colonial plantation society the slaves, in point of law were actually designated as ‘res’ – things – not people – but – property to be bought and sold with no consideration for separation from loved ones, family, nor having any rights to develop and maintain normal human bonds. For, in point of English law, as the famous ( infamous?) case of the Zong, the jettisoned slaves were treated by His Lordship, the then Chief Justice of England, Lord Mansfield,  as property as one might an animal- and  – as  he so said:-

“… case of slaves was the same as if horses had been thrown overboard,”

In fact, based on Lord Mansfield’s designation – some 132 “horses” – not human beings, were thrown overboard.

That is where White European sentiments and historically shaped attitudes are coming from.

More specifically, in the Caribbean/Jamaica, post-independence,  the plantation society populations had had their  attitudes towards ‘race’ historically shaped for them. Whites at the top – owners, overseers and any European riff-raff or vagabonds who happened upon the soil of the West Indies ( you were automatically White and privileged). Next, the offspring of the raped slave women – the Browns  (Mulattos)  the next step down. Last – the broad base of the  majority – the Blacks at the bottom of Caribbean societies. A truly colour coded society of socio-economic demarcations. That is what happened and relating thereto is how Caribbean attitudes on ‘race’ came into being – thus my turn of phrase ‘shadism’ versus overt ‘racism’.

So to my mind, when, as in the current US case, the good Governor is so misunderstood in his conduct, it is to be much ado about nothing, for nothing should so offend the “Negroes” as like animals they are (or should be) devoid of feelings. What about my feelings? Well let me share five racial experiences. Four from England and one from the US.

At age sixteen, my father sent me to England to obtain my matriculation subjects, under the English educational system – then called “Advanced level subjects” – or “A levels” for short. I needed two to enter the Inns of Court and then could proceed to my English Bar examination to become a Barrister  (what the Americans call a trial lawyer).

Approaching examination time the college student counsellor, Mr. Gill, a man from the north of England, who had lived and worked in then Apartheid South Africa, did his counselling with me  and it went like this, his blond hair and his blue eyes and his pipe being puffed:-

“So laddy, what are you going to do after exams?”

“ I want to be a lawyer, but I think that I want to go to university first”

“Which one do you have in mind?”

“ London University Sir”

“Oh,  its very hard to get  into London; maybe you should try …” and he proceeded to rattle off  a list of ‘no-name’ second to third tier universities.

I listened but did not respond.

At the time I only needed two good passes and London would consider my application. To make sure of my place I sat and obtained four A levels. My thoughts ( never uttered) were thereafter  – well fuck you Mr. Gill.

And on to my attendance at a concert in the ‘West End’ ( i.e. London’s equivalent of Broadway) with my then Jamaican girlfriend. I took her to see the African-American soul singer, Lou Rawls.

As these shows go there will be minor pre main show performances.

The curtain was pulled back and there was a man sitting at a piano with a gorilla mask on. He started to play the keys and then began singing the famous Ray Charles song, ‘Take these chains from my heart’ while pulling from his pocket a long chain with a big red heart at the end.

Laugh – it was supposed to be funny, the ‘monkey man’ singing  that  famous song.

A voice in an America accent blurted out from two rows behind us, “That is disgusting; if this were the States, this could never happen”.

I looked over my shoulder and saw a blond girl who said it sitting next to her blond female friend discussing how outraged and disgusted they were.

Well sweeties,  it was the 1970s when I attended London University; the 1980s when Governor Northam went to his college; and it is the year 2019 and he still wanted to do a ‘Blackface’ Michael Jackson for his audience – the people of the US and more particularly the State of Virginia.

So, post- graduate London University and  now Law School, still during the days when Apartheid South Africa existed.

Adrienne, was her name, a fellow post-grad student who said to me while we discussed the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of  Apartheid South Africa:-

“ Courtenay, you do not understand, the Africans are stupid”.

“Well Adrienne, I am of African descent so I guess I am stupid?”

“I don’t mean you, I mean the Africans in South Africa.”

So, if we reflect on this for a moment – with the then White racist regime spending on average some eight times as much on the education of  every White child versus the state expenditure on any Black child – duh – huh?

In effect South Africa constituted an explicit form of ‘racial capitalism’ and Adrienne’s whiteness made her a primary beneficiary. She simply did not comprehend that fact and as with attitudes towards ‘race’ across the ‘white world’ many people still do  not comprehend the historical sources of contemporary socio-economic disparities. There has been a colonial process wherein conquest after invasion, led to expropriation of both resources and identity in the Caribbean and similarly elsewhere on the planet.

Law School revelations and learnings did not end there. Now we get to the Dean’s husband, Mr. Jack Phillips, a lecturer in Trust Law and the student advisor. Kathryn Cronyn, an Australian, a bit older than the rest of us, who was in her late twenties and had completed her doctorate came over to  a cafeteria table where I was sitting with fellow students and said:-

“ Do you know what Jack Phillips just said to me; Kate why do you worry about them so much and they have only just come down from the trees?”

Well – this ‘monkey’ decided that he would not share any more of the peanuts he had to  get from each of us to be  a lecturer in the law school; some were on scholarship, others on partial state grant, others paid for by their parents. However received it was our attendance and our ‘peanuts’ that kept him in a job.

So, we called an urgent student meeting which seemed to be a mini-UN. A vote was called and by a majority of one – the vote ended as 18 to 19 and the 19 decision vote ( mine included) ousted him from the Law School and “ta..ta..Jack Phillips and no more peanuts either”.

I am big, I am grown, I am a lawyer, I am earning and I am earning well. So well from an offshore insurance owner who my law firm represented and I had earned some substantial legal fees – not – mere ‘monkey money’ and my US client convinced me to bank and invest in the US in the bank he used in  Coral Gables, Miami. I took his advice and he set up some paperwork and my money was wired into account.

The Bank Manager had never met me, but obviously saw some substantial money and a message came to me that when next in Miami, I should come in and meet him. So said, so done,  and it was a morning meeting and I was on time. He was in a back room; there was an opaque glass divider for the  cubicle where the secretary sat, and in the front were chairs for visitors/attendees to the Manager’s office. There I sat on time all alone and well dressed in a  business suit when his secretary looked out and saw me:-

“Mr. Barnett is not here yet Sir.”

About fifteen minutes later with two White males now present she looks out and this time comes out. She goes to the nearest White male:-

“Are you Mr. Barnett?”

Then to the next.

“Are you Mr. Barnett?”

She retreats and her voice is heard, “Mr. Barnett is still not here yet Sir.”

About five minutes later she comes out and – having watched and played the game of assumptions long enough – I simply stood and said, “I am Mr. Barnett”. Says a lot.

Too much money; wrong colour.

I conclude from my years as a youngster until now, with such that I have experienced and/or learned from my tutors, my lecturers and Professors and life itself in its entirety, that a largely victor’s history has been false fed.

The current world does not go as far back as Egypt and beyond, if one listened only to that ‘white narrative’. It starts with Greece and Rome and it advances without any Caribbean labour, as in Haiti having had at the time of its slave revolution contributed and constituted  fully 40% of the wealth of France. The industrial revolution in England bears no reference in terms of capital accumulation to the slave labour and its produce exported to  Britain to build universities, cathedrals, factories, libraries, schools etc. while the slaves languished in poverty. Oh no! It was Lord Mansfield who set the Black, James Somerset, free. But, only him, Somerset alone, a case specific decision, so that his  fellow slaves in the West Indies could continue to labour on to generate more riches for Britain. And so all the accomplishments, the capital accumulation of which Dr. Eric Williams so brilliantly analysed in his tome, ‘Capitalism and slavery’,  is to be historically  disjoined as irrelevant ‘fake news’ ( in modern Trumpian terminology) and never be acknowledged as  the actual monetary umbilical chord linking  the development of Western European societies to the slave plantations of the Caribbean. So upset were the British with Dr. Williams revelation, that not one publisher could be found ( not one in Britain from extreme conservative to liberal and even radical left publishers) would embrace at that time,  the truth and let it be told and widely known. Dr. Williams had to take the product of his Oxford University doctoral thesis to the US to get it published and he taught there as a Professor for about a decade until he returned to the Caribbean to become the  first Prime Minister of independent Trinidad and Tobago.

In our contemporary world the White men, descended from Europe, have been the victors and continue to write and expound victor’s histories and accounts. It is only they who can craft any accurate account of history and thus to them our understanding is beholden. Someone thus wrote this:-

“Using the modern-day weapons of capitalism and war-time technology they have dismissed diasporic Blacks, Indigenous New Worlders, women and the monoliths of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Entire dynasties were eradicated. The number of genders was winnowed down to about one and a half.”

Walter Mosley

I prefer to be the pleasant dissident who speaks of, writes of, experiences his own personal history and understands with open eyes the place, the history, the destiny of my people – then extrapolate therefrom, as did the White men before me, to an epistemological place I designate accurately and truthfully as my own. For, if I did not so do, I would become an apologist for people such as Mr. Gill or Jack Phillips or Adrienne or even for Governor Northam. That is my choice, my place to stand with human dignity intact, my point of departure from the White man’s history. I am aware of race discrimination but can think well beyond that about climate change, nuclear arms, manufactured wars  (e.g. war in Iraq or subterfuge in Venezuela for their oil) and many other global issues. For as the famous  biologist Edward O. Wilson so eloquently stated:-

“Humanity today is like a walking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.”

And, all said and done, my place on the planet  does have room for not just me, for the Asians, the Africans, the White man, and all other life forms, but I  do not see as the White man sees ‘others’ – for ‘they’ too  are my people; it is as  if at my mental best I am one with ‘them’, yet psychologically not one  of ‘them’,  viewed through my telescope looking back at history and thinking from the past and envisioning a more promising future.

Governor Northam and your associates and people of that ilk  – do take advice from a good lawyer and may you one day be redeemed – but only after demitting office and then rejecting racist fantasies. The real world of the UK, the US and the entire planet needs to move on to a better place.

And so endeth my sermon for today.

AMEN!

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

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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.

THE MAD-DOGS OF NUCLEAR ARMAMENTS – US AND RUSSIA

By COURTENAY BARNETT

Dearly beloved, we are gathered today at the altar of the almighty truth to consider a very serious matter. It is the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the potential annihilation of our species. More particularly, the focus is on the conduct of the United States of America and Russia.

Context and a quick grasp of the motivating factors for production of these weapons can be gleaned by listening to President Eisenhower’s warning from the 1960s and then considering the stark clarity of the words of George Kennan ( he was the US architect of the ‘Cold War’).

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

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

― George F. Kennan

Interesting to note that the foregoing does not comprise, my thoughts or ideas or opinions – but rather the  reality as expressed by highly placed US leaders.

The idea and objective of International Law is to provide a framework and set of international rules for nations and persons to conduct  international relations by  abiding by same ( The rule of International Law). The UN Charter and Treaties are just two demonstrable examples of International Law’ s intention as to how it is intended to  work. It is not a perfect system, but without it ( or something close to it in place) – then what is the option for intended  civilized and peaceful dispute resolution – brute force – or – war?

Thus, post World War 11, not only the United Nations, but a series of Laws and Treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions, set out to establish the legal  new architecture for the world. In the specific context of nuclear weapons the following can be noted:-

The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty or ABMT) was signed in 1972 between the US and the then Soviet Union. The terms of the Treaty permitted each side to be limited to two ABM complexes – and – each complex was further limited to 100 anti-ballistic missiles.

In 2002 the US already had  destabilised the nuclear balance when they decided to get out of the ABM Treaty. In 2002, and when you look at a map,  the United States was putting missile defense bases all around Eurasia, creating a feeling of encirclement in Russia and China.

The US  ideology was to put sovereignty above international law, and they wanted to have a totally  free hand to keep their supremacy in the world as long as possible, and these Treaties were constraining them.

The  Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (  INF Treaty) collapsed; it had been established between the then Soviet Union and the US at a time when Gorbochov and Reagan were leaders of their respective countries. The broad objective, as with the 1972 Treaty, was arms-control.  The INF Treaty sought to eliminate all land-based ballistic and cruise missiles and the  launchers for such missiles.

Citing Russian non-compliance as  the reason for withdrawal, on the 20th  October 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing.

It is not hard to discern the pattern of attempted rationalisation,  by way of blaming deviation and/or violations to justify withdrawal. Yet, withdrawal defeats the long-term objective of an intended symmetrical containment under International Treaties.

It is also not hard to discern from the withdrawals, that  one nation  is seeking superiority and dominance; by placing emphasis on its “exceptionalism” in preference for  assertive sovereignty over co-operative submission to International Law.

The waste of global resources and corresponding stupidity should also  be noted. That approach places us ( all human beings on planet earth) at risk.

What logical, rational – or – in any way sensible route is it for a nation to squander so much resources on building these nuclear weapons; when – it is known by both sides that direct use, the US against Russia or vice versa is guaranteed Mutually Assured Destruction ( MAD)?

On the 2nd February, 2019 President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was also suspending the INF Treaty.

AMEN – AND INDEED IF THERE WAS EVER SUCH A WAR, THEN MANY OF US READIND THIS – WOULD BE SAYING OUR FINAL – AMEN!

PEACE!

So, endeth my sermon for today.

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

 

WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?

By Courtenay Barnett

Dearly beloved, we are gathered once more at the place of the holy truth, to preach yet again about truth, rights and justice. The sermon today asks the question:-

What are friends for?

Many in the congregation may think that this is a simple inquiry regarding likes and dislikes – loyalty or disloyalty. To some extent that is correct, but the actual dynamics of friendships or lack of friendships or waning friendships or abuse of friendships is what we shall weigh and consider from the pulpit today.

May I use a personal example to get to the topic of concern – Venezuela/Jamaica relations are very much on my mind. The personal example shall lead to the broader and more important issue of political friendships on a global scale.

During my time at London University there were some eight Caribbean fellow students. We ranged from Black British of Caribbean parentage to latter day migrants’ children to British born to persons such as myself who had been shipped off to get an education. We bonded in that we realised that we were the so-called ‘minority’ and not necessarily with overt disapproval of our presence we were nevertheless colourfully noticeable, be this by dint of our complexion or the lively personalities of some of us. Not to say that the Anglo-Saxons had disavowed our right to be there, for we accepted them as friends to the extent that such friendships were invited and/or welcomed. So, within this demographic sub-group of said Caribbean students there was a person, like myself, who had sights ultimately set on a career in the business and professional world. The majority of the others went on to earn doctorate degrees, become a professor or lecturer in a university or in one way or another remained directly affixed to academia. Note that I have chosen not to call this person’s name. Some, like myself and this “friend” ended up back in the Caribbean – while others remained in Britain.

Thus, a young lawyer and a migrant from Jamaica to the Turks and Caicos Islands ( where I built my career), I would frequently visit Jamaica and spend time with my beloved ( now deceased) mother. On a Sunday my habit was to drive and visit friends and have discourse, meet their families and wish them the best for their futures. The kind of things friends normally do with true friends. Upon returning to my Mom’s home she asked this particular Sunday, “ So Courtenay, who did you visit today?” I was not in a pleasant mood for reason of something I had experienced and I shared it with her.

I drove to this “friend’s” home up to the security gate and sought entry to visit “X”. The security guard rang up and I replied, “Tell him Courtenay, he will know who.”

Word came back, “He is in the bathroom.”

I replied, “Tell him I will wait.”

Another message came back, “He says he won’t be out for another twenty minutes”.

Well, kiss mi neck back and another part of mi anatomy thereafter. Mi kiss mi teeth, tun mi vehicle and proceeded to visit true friends.

My mother understood fully my feelings, for she had visited me in London at my flat, helped cook food for my party guests, met friends ( including this “friend”) and remembered all, and did inquire at times how “X” or “Y”, as the individual may be, was getting on in life. She was like that; she meant people well and had genuine concern for human welfare. Her reply came to me in a memorable one liner, “Courtenay di higher monkey climb, di more ‘im backside expose”, and we proceeded to discuss more pleasant things and persons. I have not exchanged words with “X” since then, chalked him up as shallow and opportunistic, and have elected to walk through life on the other side of the road with true friends instead.

Dearly beloved, we must reflect in this fleeting passage of time we call “life” and ask ourselves, “ what are friends for?” For, it is sagaciously said, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” If I were in need when I sought to visit “X”, be assured, he was confirming – I am fine and rich and mighty; do not come knocking; I am fine; I don’t care how you are; I have neither time nor care nor concern for your piddling friendship for there are more important persons in life for me to engage. Yes – I heard and understood your message loud and clear.

Let us therefore reflect and now turn our minds to the really big question regarding Venezuela and Jamaica’s friendship with our said Latin American neighbour. I shall do so, not with any sense of grievance and/or resentment as I felt about my assumed personal friendship – but – by reference to standards of international law and global political values.

Venezuela

The post World War 11 era has seen several Latin American coups and dictatorships installed – and many of them were either supported by, approved of, or directly engineered by the United States of America.

Following the 1953 CIA led coup in Iran, the next one was in Guatemala to assist the preservation of the Dulles brothers’ interest in that country to the advantage of Chiquita bananas and to the manifest disadvantage of the Guatemalan people in this notable example which gave its literal name to the now well known phrase – ‘banana republic’.

The facts do reveal that be it the military in Argentina or in Brazil or in Chile under Pinochet, the patterns have only changed to the extent that elections take place and the question for the US is not one of real concern for preservation of democracy ( recall the US support for the short lived coup against Chavez and the overnight reversal when the OAS renounced the action of the military) – but for support of the supplicants who can support US foreign policy. This brief background serves well to address the current Venezuelan crisis with facts and direct questions:

A.       Did a paper ballot validate the electronic votes in Venezuela?

B.       Why when Macron in France was voted in with the same turnout at 48% as was Maduro voted in with is there an assumption that there is not a broad ( even as so declined) base of support for the elected government?

C.      Why evidentially and in point of law are the Venezuelan elections fraudulent?

If there were European Union election observers, it would be interesting to read their assessment and analysis and conclusions about the Venezuelan elections.  But, those are issues of the internal affairs of Venezuela, which interestingly, while I can discern same as being vital and important in getting to the truth regarding the ultimate question of legitimacy of an elected government ( leaving aside for the moment the paramount legal issue of ‘sovereignty’) – there is no such valid questioning and provisions of analysis which directly provide verifiable answers in the mainstream Western media.

My long-term observation is that the US has consistently embraced regimes across the world  doomed to failure while  threatening  reformist and/or revolutionary governments which make the promise of betterment for their people more difficult to achieve in practical terms. Likewise,  Britain and the other European powers reflect this same pattern of opposition, be that in Rhodesia or then Apartheid South Africa.

In the 1980s when Reagan was the US President, he had this to say about then President Mobutu of then Zaire and his ‘Kleptocracy’ – now  Congo:-

Reagan, astonishingly, described the dictator Mobutu: “A voice of good sense and good will.”

Not in the least surprising for Mobutu Sese Seko, as a leader acceptable to both Belgium and Western multinational interests, was installed as President and dictator in 1965, when the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba proved objectionable. It was the Belgians and the CIA that had worked jointly and murdered Patrice Lumumba, a man who at the independence ceremony openly critcised the Belgians for their exploitation of the Congo. In 1956 the Congo had its first university graduate. Between 1908 and 1960, when the Congo became politically independent, there were a mere 17 university graduates from the already decimated Congolese population of some 13.5 million. Belgium was offended by the truth as spoken by Lumumba – and the CIA quite helpfully installed a compliant and plundering leader to continue the looting of the Congo (likely the world’s richest territory with its oil, uranium, minerals, gold and diamonds). That is the truth; that is the established historical pattern. Belgium subsequently acknowledged its wrongdoing and apologised to Lumumba’s children.

I was a student in the 1970s in London when I noted that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was working actively to prolog Apartheid’s racism in South Africa, which she found desirable and acceptable. Not surprisingly, it was no other than her husband, Denis Thatcher, who had substantial investments in Apartheid South Africa at the time.

All the above to give context. And now back to Latin America and Venezuela.

China now happens to be the world’s most dynamic economy. President Trump finds himself continuing to embrace failed and losing strategies. He is embracing Bolsonoro’s Brazil while confronting China, in a manner reminiscent of the ‘opium wars’ when the European powers unilaterally dictated to the minions and lesser breeds across the world.

What are Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro and President Trump trying to achieve? They both want  to reverse nearly a century of state directed economic growth.  They both believe that privatization of the entire – or –  most as possible of the public sector, including the strategic finance, banking, minerals, infrastructure, transport, energy and manufacturing sectors  – or – so  much of it as politically they can in their respective countries force to take effect – is the path to greatness. In Brazil, priority is now given to the sellout to foreign multi-national corporations. Interestingly, previous authoritarian civilian and military regimes both had protected nationalized Brazilian firms as part of tripartite alliances which included foreign, state and domestic private enterprises.  I use this example to contrast what had happened under Chavez in Venezuela, for he had significantly reversed foreign ownership and consequentially also reduced the net capital outflows from Venezuela while simultaneously raising living standards – which – now, admittedly for reasons both domestic and international are under serious threat of reductions, if not ultimate reversals. That is the truth; those are the realities being faced by the Latin American and more particularly, for purposes of this sermon, the Venezuelan people.

Venezuela and Jamaica

One does not need to be a student of international law to accept and recognise that Venezuela is a sovereign nation.

Jamaica, for its part, as a small state should be able to exercise its sovereignty in its best interest to command respect, trust towards finding avenues of constructive and beneficial of co-operation in and with the international community.

Have we done so in response to Venezuela?

  • At a time when oil prices were souring on the global market, and when small oil dependent Caribbean nations, such as Jamaica, saw their entire economic future facing dire consequences once required to purchase oil at those prices – what happened? Under the Pertocaribe deal, it was Venezuela which came to the rescue of the Jamaican economy, and on generous terms of payment for extended periods of payment made oil affordable for the Jamaican consumer. What Jamaica received was in excess of US$3.2 billion in deferred debt.
  • Venezuela paid Jamaica an equity cheque of US$63 million.
  • It was Venezuela via the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica ( Petrojam) in 2006 agreed with Jamaica to a 49/51% ownership between Venezuela and Jamaica where the long-term objective was towards having the facility move from hydro-skimming to catalytic cracking technology – all to the advantage of Jamaica. Application of that technology would make the petroleum product more aligned to the energy-consumption patterns of Jamaica.
  • Venezuela bought back Jamaica’s debt at 50 cents on the dollar where some US$3billion is accepted as satisfied for a mere US$1.5 billion.

Venezuela, way beyond the few facts stated above, has been a friend to Jamaica for a very long time.

So, what does our foreign minister do to this friend?

What does the Jamaican government do to this friend?

Recall the loving relationship between Presidents Mobuto and Reagan and note that genuine concern which Prime Minister Thatcher had for democracy in South Africa. Care? Concern? For those people?

First I ask, whether Jamaica’s Foreign Minister asked the questions I did above. Then if she did, did she bring her findings to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Jamaican people before rushing to judgment on the recent Venezuelan elections? At the very least, if a friend is flawed or coming up short, then as a true friend, would one not engage, discuss and then make an informed decision? International law recognises the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of all nation states, one to the other around the globe. If, for a small nation state, there were findings that a big power did interfere in the internal affairs of a middle range or small state’s domestic affairs, should not enlightened self-interest give pause for concern and questioning? Well, our foreign minister voted not to recognise the elected government of Venezuela.

Moreover, there are moves afoot to effect a hostile take over ( buy out – more like “sell-out”) of the Venezuelan held shares in Petrocaribe.

Are all these moves by the Jamaican Government, principled, enlightened, right, justice, fair, loyal – or demonstrating any of the attributes of true friendship?

As with my long lost once assumed “friend” – I raise these questions, for as a student I was proud of Jamaica’s stand against Apartheid, from the colonial days when then NW. Manley ( small as Jamaica is) took a stance of non-importation of South African produce through to the respectful relationship under both political parties in respect for and response to Nelson Mandela and the ANC. If Usain Bolt earned his respect on the international stage by virtue of sterling and consistent performances on the international track; then Jamaica did too earn its respect for sterling performances in joining with the global forces standing up for justice  – as distinct from being supportive of – oppression.

Jamaica finds herself having to service debt, while education, health care and provision of other vital social necessities go wanting. Thus, did the Venezuelan government’s direct assistance in reducing the debt burden while assisting in securing energy security not serve well Jamaica’s long term economic and social developmental prospects?

Tell me – for I am truly concerned – my friend was not a friend. Does Jamaica show herself acting comparatively much the same as my “friend”?

Is that what friends are for?

And so endeth my sermon for today.

AMEN!

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

 

THE EARTHIAN — 6

 

 

THE EARTHIAN    —     6

 

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, Spaceship Earth, January 8, 2019

Or So It Seems to Me Today

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher

Weltanschauung:   Doom, gloom, increasing competition and agitation, untrustworthy governments and economic systems, uncertainty, unease.

Zeitgeist:    To migrate or not to migrate and to get or not to get more aggressive to improve one’s own lot in life at the expense of others.

Doomsday Clock:   About the same as last month.

There remains fulsome talk and writing around Spaceship Earth about the consequences of global warming and climate change, the consensus among experts being that if significant reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane do not occur in the next ten years there is going to be hell to pay by humans alive after that. There seems to be increasing awareness and conviction among ordinary humans that something has gone wrong with local weather patterns.

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 passive 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 or 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 more importantly they should select politicians who will create economic and political policies and actions to correct environmental and social problems on a mass scale.

In the past four months I have endeavored to set up a De-Gaming Democracy group here in Statesboro, hoping to engage citizens of various persuasions in discussions of relevant economic and political problems and opportunities, in what I call the Ogeechee Economic Forum meeting the third Saturday of each month.  It appears most people have little interest in, or are insecure about, transacting in Game-free Adult ways in public dealing with economic and political problems and opportunities. Hopefully interest in this forum will pick up during the new year, 2019.

For more information regarding the nature, purposes, and uses of Transactional Analysis click here.

For information on how to create Game-free democratic learning processes see inside 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.

Human migration is now on the mental radars of most humans around Spaceship Earth. Migration problems in the US have caused a shutdown of the US government. The elected president of the US is now holding the government hostage by refusing to sign a new federal budget if Congress does not appropriate him funds to build a wall across the southern border of the US to keep humans from Latin America from migrating into the US.

Much has been researched, written, taught, and published about human migration problems in academia. One of the pioneers in the migration academic field is Kurt Lewin, who wrote Principles of Topological Psychology (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936). Lewin pointed out human migration happens because of push and pull forces, or vectors, propelling and compelling people to move from one country to another. Few would move from their country of origin if the place enabled them to get their natural human needs met, physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter, and social needs for safety, love, acceptance, belonging, and self-actualization.

It seems to me almost all emigrants emigrate because their countries of origin fail to enable their subjects or citizens to get their legitimate human needs met, and that includes Europeans emigrating to the US.

Unfortunately, as I pointed out in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.,” moving farther west to escape problems at home is no longer an option for most humans.

I wrote about some of my ancestors who immigrated into what is now the US in “A Synopsis of my Family Background.”  My ancestral gene pool started migrating to Virginia before the US Revolution in the 1700s, and according to Ancestry.com it’s composed of genes similar to those of humans now living in Ireland (about twenty percent); Scotland, Wales, and England (about fifty percent); France, Holland, and Belgium (about twenty percent); Spain, Italy, and Greece (about five percent); Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland (about five percent); and Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia (about two percent).

My ancestors in what is now the US were mainly farmers and ranchers generally producing families of six to ten offspring per family. Thus there was never enough land where they were to support all their children and grandchildren when they grew up, so some offspring in most generations had to migrate to the western frontier of their recently conquered and expanding country to acquire enough cheap undeveloped land to make a living as independent Calvinist patriarchal landowners. My ancestors on this continent created two main paths on their westward journey across what is now the US, some migrating from Virginia to North Carolina to Tennessee to Texas, with most of the rest migrating from Virginia to South Carolina to Georgia to Alabama to Mississippi to Texas, generally staying in each state for a generation or so before someone in the family had to move farther west to pioneer new territory to act out the family script.  I cover in more detail the causes and consequences of family scripts in Born to Learn.  Yes, some of my ancestors owned slaves and some were Indian fighters, not something to be proud of.

I was born November 3, 1940 at Corpus Christi, Texas where my father worked as a carpenter at a Naval Base at the outset of World War II. My parents soon moved back to Northwest Texas near Lubbock to be near their relatives who were cotton farmers. My father, Richard Gathright Maury Stapleton, soon acquired a cotton farm himself, which he sold after about two years, later starting a lumber yard and hardware store selling lumber and hardware to cotton farmers surrounding the town of Wolfforth, where I grew up and lived to age twenty-four. He and my mother, Ida Belle Coston Stapleton, a preacher’s daughter, had two children, my brother, James Clay Stapleton, three years younger than I, and me.

My father volunteered for the Seabees after he sold his farm and worked in Okinawa during World War II on construction projects. He returned to Wolfforth after the war and became a businessman.

His father, Sidney Clay Stapleton, had migrated as far west as New Mexico, owning a ten thousand acre ranch near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, “The Old Bear Ranch,” with a Spear-X brand, which he sold during the Great Depression. He then moved himself, his wife, his two daughters, and his four sons back east to Oklahoma, where he moved to be near a brother who owned a Chevrolet dealership in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma.

My Stapleton grandfather was born on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, where he taught school for a while, from whence he migrated to Jasper, Texas, where he managed a sawmill, where my father, the next to youngest of six children, was born.  My grandfather and his family later migrated to New Mexico where he bought a ranch with some Mississippi plantation money he and his wife inherited, where they lived and ran their ranch for ten or so years.  His wife Catharine Gathright Maury Stapleton served as a midwife in those years, sometimes being gone from home weeks at a time helping birth babies.

My father graduated from high school at Carnegie, Oklahoma at age twenty, having had to drop out of school at fifteen to help support his family because of the depression.   The Great Depression declassed his father from patriarchal landowner status to itinerant carpenter status, managing his crew of four sons building barns, houses, corrals, loading chutes, and what-have-you in the wide-open spaces of Oklahoma and Northwest Texas. I remember him saying, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” My father said he changed schools five times before he finally graduated from high school.

Those days are over, not only in the US but also around Spaceship Earth. There is no cheap undeveloped agricultural land left for migrants to take over and develop. Humans migrating now are generally so desperate that they will do jobs that most natives won’t do, hard, poorly paid, low status work. They are pushed out of their countries of origin because of collapsed economic, political, and social systems, being generally willing to migrate anywhere that is better than where they are.

A relevant consideration is what caused the economic, political, and social systems of their countries of origin to collapse? A simple answer is that their support systems were purposely collapsed by the wars, intrigues, sanctions, and machinations of imperialistic nations to acquire cheap resources in their countries, primarily oil. Other causes include natives producing more children than the natural resources of their countries can support. Other causes include the greed and callousness of top leaders of their countries who hog most of the resources for themselves.

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 destabilization of Latin American regimes and governments, sometimes 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.

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 by 2016, during the Obama years. According to the Center for Migration Studies 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.

Some people now claim the US has become a third world country because of poverty, inequality, debt, and dysfunction and corruption in all branches of the US government, largely caused by corporate private money being used to bribe lawmakers, presidents, and bureaucrats to pass and create rules and laws to advance the interests of corporate oligarchs and the elite rich rather than we the people.

I studied migration problems writing my doctoral dissertation, “An Analysis of Rural Manpower Migration Patterns in the South Plains Region of Texas,” at Texas Tech University, which was supported by a $6500 grant from the Office of Manpower Policy, Evaluation, and Research of the US Department of Labor in 1969. Young people at the time were migrating out of the South Plains of Texas for the same reasons their parents and grandparents had migrated in: It had become hard for children born in farm families to make a living growing cotton when they grew up where they grew up. Most Northwest Texas rural high school graduates around where I grew up were migrating to Dallas and Ft. Worth for the same reasons humans today all around Spaceship Earth are migrating from rural areas to urban areas, primarily because that’s where the money is. I used t-tests to determine whether rural out-migrants from Northwest Texas got better off than those that hung around.

Moving from rural to urban areas won’t work if everybody does it. All around Spaceship Earth Earthians need humans to stay where they are to farm small organic farms. 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, 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.

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. 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 as an appendix.

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

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 agreed 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 THE EARTHIAN.

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points to see what’s really going on while being inundated with the incredible volume of noise, facts, and information generated daily around Spaceship Earth and disseminated by various media.

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 please go to my RESPONSES page and let me know about them.

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 this newsletter and would like to reciprocate go to the Effective Learning Publications page and purchase one or more books.

SOURCES:

January 8, 2019

About time.

SOURCE: “9/11: Finally the truth comes out?,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25869.

January 8

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “Universal Basic Income is easier than it looks,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25854.

January 8

Sounds good to me.

SOURCE: “There is quick way to end Trump’s government shutdown,” by Bev Conover, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25859.

January 8

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “Freedom Rider: Elizabeth Warren and the trap for black voters,” by Margaret Kimberley, INTREPEIDREPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25865.

January 8

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “How The Federal reserve Quitely Bankrupted The US Pension System,” by Stephanie Pomboy, Macro Mavens, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-07/how-federal-reserve-quietly-bankrupted-us-pension-system?fbclid=IwAR16aTmeBx2-H_JNqw6UPxcwWedGVaF8R0Q8n4KpLR_aX_UuBNbgM9XFSlE.

January 8

So the US is not getting out of Syria?

SOURCE: “Reasons To Believe in Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Are Vanishing,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM.COM@CAITYJOHNSTONE, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/reasons-to-believe-in-trumps-syria-withdrawal-are-vanishing-280b0a90b1bb.

January 8

Is this the new Zeitgeist?

SOURCE: “Orbanonomics (Or The Return of National Economics),” by Guillaume Durocher, UNZ.COM, http://www.unz.com/gdurocher/orbanomics-or-the-return-of-national-economics/.

January 8

Is this a game changer?

SOURCE: “Hypersonic Weapons Pose ‘Significant Challenge to World Peace,’: Expert,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-06/hypersonic-missiles-pose-significant-challenge-world-peace-says-expert?fbclid=IwAR2qzzwCv1jlgFA2kjhDXNCts_BJv0H8fGptp-rHXa7genUJ4OZQkieURrg.

January 8

Migration gone awry.

SOURCE: “Gun Ownership Surges In Europe Amid Wave of Terror Attacks, Migrant Crime,” by Tyler Durden , ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-07/gun-ownership-surges-europe-amid-wave-terror-attacks-migrant-crime?fbclid=IwAR0sowEWPfltdODbqLmh2htKWFjlDsSmpBhMxjp4fpQ6WmmbKGO5ePl-25A.

January 8

Immigration it seems is not working so well in France.

SOURCE: “France in Free Fall,” by Guy Milliere, GATESTONEINSTITUTE.ORG, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13500/france-in-free-fall.

January 8

Having lived in Turkey three months in 1982 teaching in a management science program with Troy State University at Incirlik Air Base near Adana I learned something about Turkish culture and the Kurdish issue. This was a touchy problem then and little has changed in the meantime. Trump wants to get out of Syria. The US deep state including the military does not. What will give?

SOURCE: “Lira Slides After Erdogan Refuses To Meet Bolton For Blocking,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-08/lira-slides-after-erdogan-refuses-meet-bolton-blocking-syria-withdrawal?fbclid=IwAR3bebKgiE1punbr2KCfFGIiCI3MII4SSuF0E3gfM_lBoeGh_sUA702ODWg.

January 5

What percentage of Democrat politicians in Washington have been bought off?

SOURCE: “Biggest Threat to Single – Payer? Democrat Support for a Public Option,” by Michael Corcoran, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/biggest-threat-to-single-payer-democrat-support-for-a-public-option/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR07CAF4d6x6cRI7GLynjLNLttKyjqiQX9ftOwEKskDk6NO52R3S-0an7XU.

January 5

FYI

SOURCE: “Watching the World Burn: Truthout Readers Share Their Climate Stories,” by Dahr Jarmail, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/watching-the-world-burn-truthout-readers-share-their-climate-stories/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR06sIDqjxTPA8TKXl7RpHKno9Drj_q7TW1csxc6BRIW3R9nzhDoGVp6-M4.

January 5

So be it.

SOURCE: “House Democrats Release Sweeping Legislation to Drain the Swamp,” by Jake Johnson, TROUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/house-democrats-release-sweeping-legislation-to-drain-the-swamp/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0FmHSFu1LouX4wR6SaE4GOqoXTeGaXxlA1JHwxJczaD4ufA1uCWXxpK_8.

January 5

An interesting perspective.

SOURCE: “World is safe from global conflict in 2019,” by M. K. Bhadrakumar, INDIANPUNCHLINE.COM, https://indianpunchline.com/world-is-safe-from-global-conflict-in-2019/?fbclid=IwAR3C-ad64C8iGzlk86VX8wq3p4YWby8tq5jjPZPVQ5gxHWC8ybNaI3tybtw

January 4

Nothing more insane than this.

SOURCE: “Trump ready to shut government ‘for years’,” Video and text, BBCNEWS.COM, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46763940?fbclid=IwAR2tmvO7cEXslXZ35DswX6D2p7R77k9litsG3KQ69YdEDa_XeJnIh-4USlE.

January 4

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “Top Trump officials are about to get a $10K raise while federal employees work without pay during the shutdown,” by Emma Ockerman, NEWS.VICE.COM, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46763940?fbclid=IwAR2tmvO7cEXslXZ35DswX6D2p7R77k9litsG3KQ69YdEDa_XeJnIh-4USlE.

January 4

So very sad.

SOURCE: “Rich Democrats Don’t Care About Income Inequality Any More than Rich Republicans,” by Ethan Wolff-Mann, BBC.COM, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46763940?fbclid=IwAR2tmvO7cEXslXZ35DswX6D2p7R77k9litsG3KQ69YdEDa_XeJnIh-4USlE.

January 4

Shows the dynamics of arguing.

SOURCE: “A transactional analysis of truth,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVELEARNING.NET, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-truth/?fbclid=IwAR0NF3RVJkkdduPBGkFWimuavwElOoca56at08-jUQj43EeysJ6a9uN9dvI.

January 4

Another useful article on how to educate your children by Joyce Wilson.

SOURCE: “6 Fun Projects to Introduce Your Learning Disabled Child to the Arts,” by Joyce Wilson, EFFECTIVELEARNING.NET, http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-truth/?fbclid=IwAR0NF3RVJkkdduPBGkFWimuavwElOoca56at08-jUQj43EeysJ6a9uN9dvI.

January 3

A hard hitting article pulling no punches backward or forward.

SOURCE: “2019 FROM A FOURTH TURNING PERSPECTIVE, Administrator, THEBURNINGPLATFORM.COM, https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/12/31/2019-from-a-fourth-turning-perspective/?fbclid=IwAR1t_WivgHMeBhQytKzbj0I1CtSQmKzzLywT8keHUWJA3G6ujnmQEbRqwUo.

January 2

Here is where the money is.

SOURCE: “Visualizing The Extreme Concentration of Global Wealth,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-01/visualizing-extreme-concentration-global-wealth?fbclid=IwAR0Nq63PeXvHAx1naCZEH863OcKlbB1jg9WgyvDer4fgr0b_jZTyca2OVAI.

January 2

How many secrets are there to be hacked about the World Trade Center blow up in September of 2001?  Thousands?

SOURCE: “’Pay The F*ck Up’: Hackers Threaten To Dump Secret 9/11 Attack Files If Bitcoin Ransom Not Met,” by Tyler Durden , ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-01/pay-fck-hackers-threaten-dump-secret-911-attack-files-if-bitcoin-ransom-not-met?fbclid=IwAR2OP4RnBnuSLsRWDI1P8IBglXrDnKM8zjzT9Ab87XDizWRGp6T8U_cCIt8.

January 2

Telling and chilling. Seems as though the Euro has not been so hot. Maybe there’s more to it than paper money. Maybe such things such as number of mouths to be fed and resources to produce things to satisfy those mouths have something to do with it.

SOURCE: “The Delusional Leaders of the Eurozone,” by Phil Dobbie, PATREON.COM, https://www.patreon.com/posts/delusional-of-23670929.

January 2

Not good signs.

SOURCE: “New Year’s Hangover Hammers Markets – Stocks Slammed, Bonds Bid,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-02/us-futures-tumble-ahead-eu-open-new-years-hangover-hits?fbclid=IwAR2Y5W5hWZLUmmlXOwz3GbqMNdsPq7slJPLL8qbq8oU76eeLSTCI7ygcE9k.

January 2

Agree

SOURCE: “How the War Party Lost the Middle East,” by Kurt Schlichter, TOWNHALL.COM, https://townhall.com/columnists/patbuchanan/2019/01/01/how-the-war-party-lost-the-middle-east-n2538314?fbclid=IwAR2t9swxdoKf73V9hNj35WWsUs83tnMYEtrEtuTmeBLYZVe_VDgfKQqj8Pc.

January 2

A ship of fools, sub-optimization to make a loose cannon president look good in the short run, and to hell with the long run. He actually said he won’t be around for the long run.

SOURCE: “The American Dream is Being Held Hostage,” by Virginia Fidler, GOLDTELEGRAPH.COM, http://www.goldtelegraph.com/the-american-dream-is-being-held-hostage/.

January 2

A stable genius in action.

SOURCE: “Trump Trashes Mattis, Says “I Think I Could Have Been A Good General,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-02/trump-trashes-mattis-says-i-think-i-could-have-been-good-general?fbclid=IwAR3LSRb4miTiqAXyENlBvkMJkISaGeMTpZEkhfoMaCmMID2RrNyxCrdaxqI.

January 2

Yuk, money talks.

SOURCE: “The New Congress and the Rolling Catastrophe of the US Body Politic,” by Roger Harris, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/02/the-new-congress-and-the-rolling-catastrophe-of-the-us-body-politic/?fbclid=IwAR0oUY1eBtcvwPpGXCGBbiBQMvVPj7flWjXniD23rZjjMDK4xiIZcuZiyUg.

January 2

Go Warren

SOURCE: “Elizabeth Warren Announces 2020 Presidential Run,” by Jessica Corbett, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/elizabeth-warren-announces-2020-presidential-run/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3eUaoYIdMvzA1_-afHJr-LN83WrwNtDHoPim8mOM9627ooqO2h3Y8uhrA.

January 2

Bad joke

SOURCE: “Pentagon Rings in New Year With Joke About Dropping Massive Bombs on People,” by Jon Queally, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/pentagon-rings-in-new-year-with-joke-about-dropping-massive-bombs-on-people/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3gQvLkJ4x7EUox_vcFlDUfpxFfOo9MqJ_ikOI_NUp4-N7NJlU9-ijiftg.

December 27, 2018

Here’s Ralph Nader’s take on single payer.

SOURCE: “Ralph Nader on Single Payer, Climate Devastation,” Video, by CP Editor, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/21/ralph-nader-on-single-payer-climate-devastation/?fbclid=IwAR3GZK-zZ1tQbEjC_4j_eaQ3pBV4ovUeUKmspKrOuquQRmTqusyeL5CEhCs.

December 27

Good for them.

SOURCE: “Japan Suffered Biggest Natural Population Decline On Record In 2018,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-26/japan-suffered-biggest-natural-population-decline-record-2018?fbclid=IwAR0PpUSmJ9nCUgHSd6nCdt5VtGDc54dQ9dPAtOfVIAusRzLmRNqXTH54tMU.

December 27

Could not agree more about the F-35, apparently one of the most egregious US waste of money Pentagon lunacies of all time.

SOURCE: “War Games in Vermont: Danger of Crashes and Permanent Hearing Loss,” by James Marc Leas, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/war-games-in-vermont-danger-of-crashes-and-permanent-hearing-loss/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR24EZ9z-t0Bg9Hmrfpwk69VD9nuIvUOpfX-dgEqxA8U733Dofe2GJ3CXfo.

December 26

Say it ain’t so Joe

SOURCE: “We Know How Trump’s War Game Ends,” by Matt Taibbi, ROLLINGSTONE.COM, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-syria-withdrawal-772177/?fbclid=IwAR0P6lxPDkC5yQJr-yCs22hwMS8jHTOEalZxSuwHNqt5IohtmfiXQW-704w.

December 26

This is a long winded but plausible explanation of how capitalist economies work. I agree everything operates according to cause-effect chains, but whether it’s possible for mere mortals to track, much less predict, their progressions in economic states of affairs is another matter.

SOURCE: “Ray Dalio Puts ‘Recent Market Moves in Perspective’,” by Ray Dalio, ZEROHEDGE.COM, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-26/ray-dalio-puts-recent-market-moves-perspective?fbclid=IwAR2X3gUZCif7kdR8as_eEH7gqPE48_VGPw2eT4m-r1M6pURsvVRdHP-GGGU.

December 26

Food for thought.

SOURCE: “Reading Into Albert Einstein’s God Letter,” by Louis Menand, NEWYORKER.COM, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/reading-into-albert-einsteins-god-letter?fbclid=IwAR1dThw-P6gcYwjFLUgnaSjpStdtLd_o0toViRgdSdTE8B9wkffesVUJ11E.

December 24

Is that so?

SOURCE: “What the US Can Afford vs. What the US Can’t Afford,” Video, Revere Politics,https://www.facebook.com/ReverePolitics/videos/262594257767209/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDM0OTY1MTE4NjoyMDk5NDE2NjE2NzQ2NjQw/.

December 22

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “Is The US Preparing For A War Between LatAm States?”, by Thierry Meyssan, VOLTAIRENET.ORG, http://www.voltairenet.org/article204400.html.

December 22

Sounds plausible to me.

SOURCE: “America’s Technology & Sanctions War Will Bifurcate The Global Economy,” by Alastair Crooke, STRATEGICCULTURE.ORG, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/12/18/america-technology-sanctions-war-will-end-by-bifurcating-global-economy.html.

December 21

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “The Bombings Will Continue: US Military Role in Syria Won’t End,” Interview with Nermeen Shaikh, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/video/the-bombings-will-continue-the-us-military-role-in-syria-isnt-over/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1KpWn4J572FAS1-Sq0U11gGLGVudsFoZBJ9DcwCBoUho53Ig_MdXEqUpo.

December 20

Copple’s overview of how the US got where it is today and where we need to go is one of the best analyses of what the problems and opportunities are and what should be done that I have read in some time. A must read for any concerned conscientious citizen.

SOURCE: “Radical egalitarianism can save the planet, the world, and our souls, by Roger Copple, INTREPEDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25715.

December 8

William John Cox and I started our lives on Earth living in or near Wolfforth, Texas, in Northwest Texas in the 1940s, ten miles southwest of Lubbock in the Texas Panhandle. We were both descended from cotton farmers living in the Deep South going back to the American Revolution and spent our early lives living on and around cotton farms in the same vicinity. Wm had a tougher time of it than I did, becoming orphaned when he was ten years old. He moved away in high school and we never saw one another again in person, having renewed our friendship on the Internet about ten years ago. He became an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department who wrote the police manual for the LAPD, a distinguished lawyer who defended a Jewish holocaust survivor in a case he won that was made into the movie, Never Again, and a prolific author, writing several books on government, politics, science, mathematics, and philosophy. He now serves as a public interest attorney, having once run for president of the US.  He recently formulated a new strategy to improve the US government, his Declaration of Non-Candidacy:

“I, William John Cox, do hereby declare that I will not be a candidate for President of the United States in the 2020 election; however, should a majority of American voters write in my name, Wm Cox, on their ballot, sufficient to carry the Electoral College, I would be honored to administer the executive affairs of the nation, to the best of my abilities, for at least one term, under two conditions.

“That, between now and the election, the Women of America select from among themselves, a Vice President to preside over the legislative portfolio in Congress and in the States, an Assistant President to preside over the domestic portfolio, and an Assistant President to preside over the international portfolio.

“That, the Women immediately commence organization of a shadow government to publish policy papers and to identify highly qualified leaders, so as to be prepared to take control of the government on January 20, 2021, and to competently manage the government thereafter. My limited role would be to coordinate administrative policy, necessarily retaining the defense, justice, and intelligence portfolios to ensure justice and to sustain peace.

“I have already written and published on a wide variety of relevant subjects, all of which is freely available, and there is probably little I could add, in addition, at this time, that would make a difference. So, for now it is up to the Women of America, who are increasingly alarmed about the colossal corruption that is destroying our government, to take charge of our future.​

“There are six hundred and eighty-eight days until the election—time enough to make a difference.”

For more on this prolific non-candidate go here.

I have read several of Wm’s books and have found them original, fact-based, insightful, well thought out, and well written. He is also a self-taught mathematician and physicist and this book, Mind, has been commended by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator.

If you want to respond with comments or a review of this book, go to our RESPONSES page and say what you want to say.  Just click on the link below to read a complimentary copy of the book.  Here is a YouTube link to a reading and video scroll of Mind by the author.

SOURCE: Mind & Its Languages of Reason, by William John Cox, https://williamjohncox.com/mind.pdf

 

TO RESPOND:

Just for the fun of it, play like you are a virtual Spaceship Earth, Inc. stockholder, owning one imaginary share of virtual stock, which I hereby figuratively grant you, along with all humans around Earth, giving you equal theoretical power to contribute to decisions about how to manage Spaceship Earth, Inc. Tell other stockholders what you think the problems and opportunities are, what the alternatives are, and what you think should be done to make for smoother sailing for everyone.

Also feel free to write what you think pro or con about anything I or any of the authors cited above have written in this issue of The Earthian.

Say whatever you want to say in response to the facts, analysis, conclusions, perspectives, etc. offered by the writers, pro or con, but please no ad hominem attacks, i.e., don’t try to prove you are right in your argument by illogically slandering or demeaning the personal characteristics, beliefs, behaviors, or integrity of the person you are arguing against.

To write what you think about anything relative to the management of Spaceship Earth, Inc. go to the Effective Learning Company RESPONSES page and just come out with it.  Don’t worry about being “right.”  No one knows it all and everyone knows something worth something to someone.  Just say what you truly feel and think about an issue you consider relevant.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you have gained value from this newsletter and want to reciprocate go to our Effective Learning Publications page  , Amazon.com, or any brick and mortar bookstore and purchase one or more of my books.

Feel free to forward, share, print, reprint, copy or otherwise disseminate this issue of The Earthian any way you see fit.

Best wishes, RJS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Fun Projects to Introduce Your Learning Disabled Child to the Arts

By Joyce Wilson

 

Learning doesn’t come in one set format. As Friendship Circle points out, “some children learn most effectively through the arts.” The arts make academic subjects more accessible to children with learning disabilities, promote the development of social skills and self-esteem, and reduce stress and anxiety so children with special needs are able to focus. The result is a higher academic achievement and stronger social skills for differently-abled kids.

Arts education needn’t be limited to childhood tinkering. A childhood foundation in the arts can lead to a fulfilling career in adulthood. Just look at the many successful artists, musicians, and actors with learning disabilities — Daniel Radcliffe, Chuck Close, Woody Harrelson, and Justin Timberlake are among the famous names who struggled with learning disabilities in school.

Unfortunately, as schools increasingly focus on academic instruction, kids have fewer and fewer opportunities to engage in the arts at school. As a result, it’s up to parents to provide their children with ample access to arts education.

Ideas for Arts Education at Home

Preschool and Elementary School

Arts and crafts are an excellent way for parents to introduce children to the arts at home. From an early age, kids can take simple materials and transform them into imaginative creations. Arts and crafts stimulate a child’s creativity and problem-solving skills, and they’re a fun way for families to spend quality time together. Angie’s List suggests a bunch of crafts that are perfect for kids ranging from toddlers to middle schoolers. These are some of the standouts:

  • Make paper bag puppets: Animal puppets made out of paper bags are simple, but they delight preschoolers who not only get to design the puppets but also invent stories to share with their attentive audience — whether that’s you or a gallery of stuffed animals!
  • Create clay-dough animals: Clay dough is ridiculously easy to make at home and provides endless entertainment. Instruct kids to mold animals to hone their fine motor skills or ask them to use their imagination to invent a new kind of creature!
  • Design DIY bedroom decorations: Crafts with a purpose appeal to kids in the later elementary school years. Arm your child with supplies to make their own bedroom decorations, like blinged-out picture frames, faux flowers, beaded curtains, and more.

Middle and High School

As tots mature into adolescents and teens, they’re ready for higher-level arts instruction. The following ideas are perfect for older students:

  • Recreate famous paintings: Challenge your teen to recreate famous pieces of art like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Magritte’s “The Son of Man,” or Picasso’s “Three Musicians.” Instead of using paint, have kids recreate the works with a different medium entirely. Your kids will get an art history lesson and an exercise in creative problem-solving!
  • Write a screenplay: Tweens and teens might not be impressed by puppet shows, but they still love a good story. Gather a group of kids to write a screenplay and put on a performance for a live audience. From writing the script to building the set, this activity is full of interesting creative and educational challenges.
  • Build DIY musical instruments: From homemade banjos to xylophones made of driftwood, the sky’s the limit when it comes to DIY musical instruments. A2Z Homeschool has links and resources to get kids started on their musical journey.

Also, don’t limit yourself to activities at home! Community theaters, arts-based summer camps, and arts and crafts lessons at the public library are all wonderful ways for differently-abled children to get involved in the arts.

No matter their ability, engagement in the arts is incredibly rewarding for children. However, for kids with learning disabilities who struggle in traditional academia — both in performance and confidence — the arts are an invaluable resource. When kids have a place they can learn, do, and grow without limitations, both ability and confidence soar.

Contact Joyce Wilson at joyce@teacherspark.org, Teacherspark.org.