Effective Learning Digest—October 2017

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So It Seems To Me

By Richard John Stapleton

Dire things could have happened in October. The stock market could have crashed. Trump could have started a nuclear war with North Korea. They did not happen, yet. What did happen was another hurricane almost destroying Puerto Rico. What could have happened was getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. That did not happen either. What could have also happened was Congress approving anther large tax cut for corporations and the elite rich, aka tax reform. So far that has not happened either. What has happened, apparently, is approval for a large increase for the military budget, and increased US military activity around Earth, including Africa. Unfortunately we had another mass murder in Las Vegas, the worst one yet in terms of people killed.

The stock market can still crash at any time, and a deficit increasing disaster for a federal budget can still be passed. On the other hand, there are no signs of major positive things happening, such as Congress creating a single payer health care system or increasing the taxes of corporations and the elite rich to help fund a massive infrastructure program to help the unemployed and underemployed that would decrease income and wealth inequality. There are no signs anything will be done anytime soon to deal with the general dysfunctionality of the US government caused by corporations legally being considered citizens with free speech like people and election rules that cause the government to be run for oligarchs rather than we the people.

In sum October it seems to me was a rather do-nothing month for the US as a whole economically and politically, mostly talk and little do, including endless chatter about whether Trump and the Democrats colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election. Much of the so-called news in mainstream media was gossip and chatter about Trump, Mueller, and Hillary, rather than reporting of real news. There was much talk about collusions, with no definition of what the term collusion in this context actually meant. Regardless of what it meant, there was much lying about who did it for what reasons, especially with the “Russians”, whoever they were.

Following are some posts happening in Internet media during October I considered relevant.

 

October 31, 2017

The Dumbing Down of Free Speech

I (Richard) have noticed the silencing of free speech lately dining with friends in homes, restaurants, and the country club. It seems to me I used to be able to express my views regarding economic and political issues after dinner over drinks with a group of female and male friends and their friends in interesting and stimulating conversations without having to worry about upsetting someone. In the last year or so I have noticed more and more non-verbal messages from supposed friends, apparently worried about my offending their friends, or themselves, to keep my mouth shut about economics and politics; and here lately I have been involved in two angry episodes at the table caused by such conversations. The net effect is that such conversations are being dumbed down it seems to me. More and more in order to get along you have to act like you are participating in a Sunday school class or in a summer camp talking only in obedient respectful adapted child transactions about irrelevant topics. If you withdraw from such groups and only converse with your own kind to avoid the dumbing-down and the frustration you will wind up only talking to your own kind of people about topics you and they consider relevant economically and politically, which will, if everybody does the same thing, insure further alienation and enmity among polarized groups with no chance of developing peaceful workable economic and political consensuses in society as a whole using all ego states and transactional patterns in honest dialectical discussions. More and more it seems to me freely talking about economic and political problems and issues among adults in ordinary society is becoming socially unacceptable. I wonder how much longer we will be able to do it on Facebook?

Unfortunately it may be since many of my friends and I are getting older, seventy and up, part of the above problem could be a function of aging. Is it the older people get the less relevant and adult their conversations become?

Regardless, the following well-worth-a-read article by Emily Ekins provides good research and statistical evidence shedding light regarding the issue of free speech.

SOURCE: “The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America: Attitudes about Free Speech, Campus Speech, Religious Liberty, and Tolerance of Political Expression,” by Emily Ekins, Survey Reports, CATO INSTITUTE, at https://www.cato.org/survey-reports/state-free-speech-tolerance-america.

 

October 31

Ever notice how white the skin around Trump’s eyes is. I have noticed it in several pictures. Apparently he has to shield his eyes when he has his skin tanned orange in some sort of tanning process, trying to look younger than his seventy years.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Approval Rating Drops to Lowest Level Yet in new NBC News/WSJ Poll,” MSN News at https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump%E2%80%99s-approval-rating-drops-to-lowest-level-yet-in-new-nbc-news-wsj-poll/ar-AAucIu0?li=BBnb7Kz.

 

October 31

Here is my platform for my own political party.

SOURCE: FreeFairProgressParty at http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html.

 

October 31

I just ran across this tonight, the Jimmy Dore Show, a truly progressive show that gets to the real truth in the news.

SOURCE: The Jimmy Dore Show at https://www.youtube.com/user/TYTComedy.

 

October 31

Join the revolution.

SOURCE: “We Live in Revolutionary Times,” by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg, at https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/10/31/we-live-in-revolutionary-times/.

 

October 31

A sad lament.

SOURCE: “Requiem for the Promised Land,” by Emanuel E. Garcia, MD, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22525.

 

October 31

Say it aint so Joe. Trump as witness, policeman, judge, and jury is executing more civilians using drones than Obama.

SOURCE: “Trump is Killing Record Numbers of Civilians,” by Marjorie Cohn, TRUTH-OUT.ORG at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42426-trump-is-killing-record-numbers-of-civilians.

 

October 30

Here’s an excellent article with some excellent analysis. It’s absurd to think we could shoot down all ICBMs that would be shot at us in a real nuclear war. Therefore it’s absurd to threaten North Korea or any other nation with nuclear war, or produce any more ICBMs and nuclear bombs. Negotiation is the only hope, as this article points out.

SOURCE: “Mutual assured destruction,” by Philip M. Giraldi, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22522.

 

October 30

I (Richard) interviewed at Youngstown State Univ in 1982 for an entrepreneurship chair position. The situation was not good. A business professor pointed out to me through a window in his office steel mills in the distance that had been shut down. He told me when he went to his office at night thirty years earlier the whole valley was ablaze with lights in the mills. It had become dark at night across the valley by the time of my visit. I told them they were looking for a professor like superman who would fly around the valley in his cape magically turning all that around. Instead of going to Youngstown State in Ohio I went to Europe for a year and taught with Troy State Univ on US Air Force Nato bases in Turkey, Greece, Holland, Germany, and Italy. I came back to the States after my year in Europe was up and stayed at Georgia Southern Univ where I started in 1970 for the rest of my career. No, the economic calamity in Youngstown and elsewhere in the US Rust Belt was not engineered by self-interested elites. It happened inevitably because of competitive evolutionary forces in global capitalist markets. The net result was worse for US workers than it had to be because of inappropriate responses by US government economic regulators. Self-interested corporate CEOs reacted to the situation to protect their interests and the interests of their stockholders. Unfortunately less was done to protect the interests of their workers.

Here’s an article about the aftermath in Youngstown today.

SOURCE: “Decline and fall: how American society unraveled,” by George Packer, THEGUARDIAN.COM, at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/19/decline-fall-american-society-unravelled?CMP=share_btn_fb.

 

October 30

Do we really want to know the truth about 9/11?

According to this meme/video/study the third building to fall at the WTC that was not hit by an airliner did not fall because of fires started by the explosions of the first two buildings at the WTC that were supposedly hit by airliners. I (Richard) have been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt by various and sundry evidence shared on the Internet that the US government’s story about what happened on 9/11 does not make sense.

SOURCE: “New Study Supports World Trade Centre 7 Fell by Controlled Demolition,” a meme/study/video added by Collective Evolution shared to my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397. For more information see http://bit.ly/2wiEXwP.

 

October 30

Trump impulsively said at first that Puerto Rico’s debt would have to be written off, but as usual he has crawfished away from the statement. How they can possibly pay off their government debt is beyond me. At any rate here is an article about who owns a big chunk of the debt.

SOURCE: “Who Owns Puerto Rico’s Debt, Exactly? We’ve Tracked Down 10 of the Biggest Vulture Firms: Financial firms are still fighting to get billions out of the bankrupt island as it tries to rebuild,” by Joel Cintron Arbasetti and Caria Minet, Alex V. Hernandez and Jessica Stites, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, In These Times, at https://www.alternet.org/economy/who-owns-puerto-ricos-debt-exactly-weve-tracked-down-10-biggest-vulture-firms.

 

October 29

Do we really want to know the truth about JFK? What would happen if we knew for sure covert operators in the CIA and the FBI shot JFK? Maybe we should be careful what we wish for?

SOURCE: “This and That Vol 3 – Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire,” by Cognitive Dissonance, ZEROHEDGE.COM at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-29/and-vol-3-%E2%80%93-where-there%E2%80%99s-smoke-there%E2%80%99s-fire.

 

October 29

Violence is a waste of time and energy

Rather than rationally deal with the root causes of their problems, many humans vilify, demonize, scapegoat, and tear the tissue of their real or imagined antagonists.

What Earth needs now is unlearning and new learning. Humans need to learn how to get their needs met without playing psychological Games and resorting to violence, as in wars and acts of so-called terrorism, which might be called desperation, insanity, grandiosity, suicide, homicide, vengeance, or other things.

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

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

Born to Learn contains ideas and techniques for producing peaceful change.

Posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397 October 29, 2017

SOURCE: Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, by Richard John Stapleton, a review by Kirkus Reviews at https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-john-stapleton/born-to-learn/.

 

October 29

Finland supposedly has the best school system on Earth. Look at what they are now doing below.

SOURCE: “Finland Will Become The First Country In The World To Get Rid of All School Subjects,” Staff Contributor, at ENLIGHTENED-CONSCIOUSNESS.COM, at http://www.enlightened-consciousness.com/finland-will-become-the-first-country-in-the-world-to-get-rid-of-all-school-subjects/.

 

October 29

Now here is another innovative educational approach.

SOURCE: “Mom Explains Why Her 7 ‘Feral’ Kids Have No Rules and Don’t Even Have To Attend School,” by Ileana Paules-Bronet, LITTLETHINGS.COM, at https://www.littlethings.com/rawnsley-feral-kids/?utm_medium=Facebook_Shared.

 

October 29

Here is the best pie chart I have seen showing how discretionary money is spent in the federal budget.

SOURCE: “Look closely at this chart of federal spending: Somewhere within the tiny orange sliver at the bottom is the food stamp program that Republicans blame for our budget deficit,” a meme shared to my Facebook page October 29, 2017 at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397. Originally posted on the Internet by The Other 98%, October 24, 2015, at https://www.facebook.com/TheOther98/?hc_ref=ARSfCr9ZRgsPwGxpop0uOi0Ltk8f7eyrgt-_Rn-2cFywsrAWVxXoaC70YZD68TazN8I&fref=nf&pnref=story.

 

October 29

Here’s a pie chart showing the US spends as much on its military activities as the next eight largest military spending nations spend combined.

SOURCE: Facebook meme by Robert Reich on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 27

Here’s a tale told by a highly-intelligent Earthian who lived on the moon for several years after he got back down to Earth.

SOURCE: “1968, Intelligent Life and the Lunar Landing,” by Courtenay Barnett, Effective Learning Report, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/1968-intelligent-life-and-the-lunar-landing/.

 

October 27

And here’s another tale about a secret conference in outer space attended for two weeks by Earthians interested in observing and learning about business on Earth.

SOURCE: “Business Skylab Conference,” by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Report, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/business-skylab-conference/.

 

October 26

Here’s something about what the US military is up to in Africa.

SOURCE: “What’s going on in Niger?,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22496.

 

October 26

Here’s how Trump really won.

SOURCE: “Pew finds increasing percentage of Americans disagree with religion: US political implications,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22498.

 

October 26

A hard-hitting writer John Steppling tells it like is. How ruling class control has increasingly debilitated US Culture.

SOURCE: “The Simulacra Democracy,” by John Steppling, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/26/the-simulacra-democracy/.

 

October 26

As suspected the FBI and CIA did not come clean and release all the files, and probably never will.

SOURCE: “Here’s where you can download the JFK files released by the National Archives,” by Charles Scudder, Staff Writer, DallasNews.com, at https://www.dallasnews.com/jfk/jfk/2017/10/26/can-download-jfk-files-released-national-archives.

 

October 25

The implications of robots and AI seem clear to me: more and more robots and AI algorithms will be written, programmed, produced, and used, which will eventually eliminate the need for humans to do drudge work for corporate bosses, bosses who do no real work as most people think of work. In order for humans to have incomes, they will have to own corporate stock themselves and everyone will have to function like corporate bosses do now, who read reports and sit around BSing and interacting with their colleagues, creating ideas and making decisions.

To see how this can be accomplished, read my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” easily found at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/2016/12/.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, www.effectivelearning.net, October 25, 2017

SOURCE: “Robots aren’t taking our jobs, corporations are: They’re creating a robot economy with inexpensive machines that don’t demand wages or health care,” by Jim Hightower, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22475.

 

October 25

If only it were as easy to do as the author implies.

SOURCE: “How to end crony capitalism,” by Robert Reich, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22478.

 

October 25

Once again Paul Craig Roberts tells it like he sees it.

SOURCE: “The American Left: RIP,” by Paul Craig Roberts, PaulCraigRoberts.org, at https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/10/23/american-left-rip/.

 

October 25

Not funny at all.

SOURCE: “As Trump ‘hysterics’ continue, US moves to put nuclear B-52s on 24-hour alert,” by Jake Johnson, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22483.

 

October 25

Surely it’s not this bad, is it?

SOURCE: “Sex, scholars and the syphilitic superpower,” by Matthew Maavak, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22487.

 

October 25

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE: “CIA in Afghanistan: Operation Phoenix Redux?”, by Matthew Hoh, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/24/cia-in-afghanistan-operation-phoenix-redux/.

 

October 25

Say it aint so Joe

SOURCE: “The FBI’s Forgotten Criminal History,” by James Bovard, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/24/the-fbis-forgotten-criminal-history/.

 

October 24

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “The American War,” by Nancy Kurshan, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/24/the-american-war/.

 

August 18, 2015

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Jimmy Carter’s Blood-Drenched Legacy,” by Matt Peppe, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/18/jimmy-carters-blood-drenched-legacy/.

 

October 24

Shame! Shame!

Pence just broke a tie in the senate that will repeal a rule that will make it difficult for consumers to receive fair treatment from banks when disputes arise.

SOURCE: “Pence breaks tie as Senate votes to repeal banking rule,” The Associated Press, USA Today, at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/24/senate-repeal-rule-consumers-bank-credit-card-companies/797510001/.

 

October 24

Amazing. Hooray for Senator Flake. Great speech, great decision. If only all sitting senators and representatives, and Trump would do the same thing.

SOURCE: Watch Jeff Flake’s Full Senate Floor Speech Announcing His Retirement, NBCNEWS.COM, at https://www.nbcnews.com/video/watch-jeff-flake-s-full-senate-floor-speech-announcing-his-retirement-1080469059837.

 

October 24

More wise words from Noam Chomsky.

SOURCE: “Chomsky: Trump is a Distraction, Used by the Deep State to ‘Systematically Destroy America,” by Jay Syrmopoulos, the Free Thought Project, Waking Times, at http://wakingtimesmedia.com/chomsky-trump-distraction-used-deep-state-systematically-destroy-america/.

 

October 24

And then run as an Independent for president in 2020?

SOURCE: “Bernie betrays Democrats, announces reelection run as an independent,” by Matthew Rozsa, SALON.COM, at https://www.salon.com/2017/10/24/sanders-betrays-democrats-announces-reelection-run-as-an-independent/#.We_1kf0q2Hp.facebook.

 

October 24

This post shows how vicious, mean, and crazy polarized identity politics can get.

SOURCE: “Bitch, get out!!,” by Missy Comley Beattie, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22454.

 

October 24

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Western silence as 20,000 neo-Nazis march in Ukraine,” by Thomas C. Mountain, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22462.

 

October 24

Yes, his words do just make you feel so great, nice, and safe.

SOURCE: “Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth,” by William Blum, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22473.

 

October 23

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Raqqa bombing was ‘barbaric’ – Russia,” by Catherine Hardy, EURONEWS.COM, at http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/22/raqqa-bombing-was-barbaric—russia.

 

October 22

Assuming Trump is not lying about releasing the JFK papers Thursday, October 26, maybe we will finally know for sure what happened. I (Richard) have been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt for several years that a conspiracy was involved. It seems to me this documentary proves beyond a reasonable doubt there was more than one bullet and a conspiracy did it.

SOURCE: “We know now who killed JFK,” Mark Wassberg, editor, YOUTUBE.COM, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFliddXBRi8&utm_content=bufferd26d3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

 

October 22

Speaks for itself.

SOURCE: “Fifty-One GOP Senators Just Voted to Cut $1.5 Trillion From Medicare and Medicaid to Give Super-Rich and Corporations a Tax Cut,” by Jon Queally, Common Dreams Report, in TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42323-51-gop-senators-just-voted-to-cut-1-5-trillion-from-medicare-and-medicaid-to-give-super-rich-and-corporations-a-tax-cut.

 

October 22

Excellent sad but true article. What can be done about it?

SOURCE: “Humanity is Being Split into Two Groups: The Privileged and the Billions Who Face Plunder, Trauma and Suffering,” by Vijay Prashad, ALTERNET.ORG, at https://www.alternet.org/division-humanity-war-and-famine#.WezNLUZbC1Y.facebook.

 

October 22

Strong words by one of Earth’s most respected economists, and former finance minister of Greece.

SOURCE: “Capitalism is ending because it has made itself obsolete,” by Yannis Varoufakis, INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/yannis-varoufakis-capitalism-ending-obsolete-former-greek-finance-minister-artificial-intelligence-a8006826.html.

 

October 20

How economics works, by Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive.

SOURCE: “Socialism, Land and Banking: 2017 compared to 1917,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/20/socialism-land-and-banking-2017-compared-to-1917/.

 

October 20

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Scientists just said we’re on the verge of ‘ecological Armageddon’,” by Tom Embury-Dennis, INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/flying-insects-numbers-drop-ecological-armageddon-75-per-cent-plummet-a8008406.html.

 

October 20

Sad and scary stuff here, no matter which evil you voted for. According to this article impeaching Trump for doing what Nixon did may result in the greatest evil of all, a breakdown of the rule of law and the destruction of the US economy, creating chaos and suffering worse than anything US citizens have ever experienced. US citizens and their so-called representatives in Washington are playing a very dangerous Game of chicken. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t: If trump did commit treason by law he should be impeached; on the other hand, if he is impeached, however lawfully, there is danger his supporters will ignore the rule of law and destroy society. Which would be the lesser evil in this case, not impeaching trump and ignoring the rule of law, or impeaching him and causing his supporters to ignore the rule of law and destroy society?

SOURCE: “If Trump is Impeached, it Might Be the End of America,” by Isaac Simpson, MEDIUM.COM, at https://medium.com/@IsaacSimpson/if-trump-is-impeached-it-might-be-the-end-of-america-b7a2243399b7.

 

October 19

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Napalm Sticks to Kids,” by Mike Hastie, COUNERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/18/napalm-sticks-to-kids/

 

October 18

Interesting discussion about mental health, making good grades, making it in corporations, winning under capitalism, and other considerations.

SOURCE: “Mental Health and Neoliberalism: An Interview with William Davies,” by Jon Bailes, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/18/mental-health-and-neoliberalism-an-interview-with-william-davies/

 

October 18

Here’s Richard Wolff again with one of his best economic updates, dealing with one of the most troubling questions of our time: What causes people like Paddock in Las Vegas to do their seemingly incomprehensible deeds?

SOURCE: “Economic Update: Economics, Psychology and Mass Murder,” by Richard Wolff, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42175-economic-update-economics-psychology-and-mass-murders.

 

October 18

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “3 Horrendous U.S. Mass Shootings Far Worse than Vegas,” by Rachel Blevins, the Free Thought Project, ALTERNET.ORG, at https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/3-horrendous-us-mass-shootings-far-worse-vegas#.WdjamCm7jBY.facebook.

 

October 18

What they call “tax reform” in Washington is just another way to enrich the rich even more. Have a gander at how much the elite will save in estate taxes. Here’s what Trump and his cronies would save in estate taxes: Trump, 4 billion; the waltons, 50 billion; the kochs, 38 billion; the adelsons, 12 billion; Wilbur ross, 996 million; betsy devos, 596 million; linda mcmahon, 516 million; steven mnuchin, 190 million; rex tillerson, 136 million; elaine chao, 15 million; ben carson, 5 million; tom price 4.4 million

SOURCE: “Trump’s Plan to Repeal the Estate Tax: A Massive Break for His Cabinet & Billionaires,” a Facebook Meme by Maryscott O’Connor at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 18

Say it aint so Joe. One of the most devastating hard-hitting economic and political articles I have read. Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “The End of Empire,” by Chris Hedges, TRUTHDIG.COM, at https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-end-of-empire/.

 

October 18

This article raises a very relevant point. Why do we need a central bank owned by banks?

SOURCE: “How the Elite Dominate The World – Part 2: 99.9% of The World Live In a Country With a Central Bank,” by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse blog, ZEROHEDGE.COM, at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-17/how-elite-dominate-world-%E2%80%93-part-2-999-world-live-country-central-bank.

 

October 18

One of the best students I ever had was a graduate student from Iran. She taught me that most Iranians are good people.

SOURCE: “The Real Destabilizer in the Middle East is Not Iran But Trump,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/17/the-real-destabilizer-in-the-middle-east-in-not-iran-but-trump/.

 

October 17

How rich bad guys wearing white hats have worked against the interests of middle and working class ranchers, taking over more and more land and water rights to make their ranches and herds bigger and bigger, and maybe run the whole territory.

SOURCE: “Out of Control: A Brief History of Neoliberal Deregulation in the USA,” by T.J. Coles, Clairview Books, Book Excerpt, published in TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42278-out-of-control-a-brief-history-of-neoliberal-deregulation-in-the-usa.

 

October 17

Repealing the estate tax is one of the most absurd and egregious anti-social ideas floated in recent decades.

SOURCE: Video created by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, includes various speakers explaining what the estate tax is and why it should not be abolished for the elite rich. Posted to my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 16

And on and on it goes. Those bought and paid for Repubs never give up trying to pay back their paymasters.

SOURCE: “’Robin Hood in Reverse’: Sanders Blasts GOP Budget Ahead of Key Senate Vote,” by Jake Johnston, Common Dreams, Report, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42271-robin-hood-in-reverse-sanders-blasts-gop-budget-ahead-of-key-senate-vote.

 

October 15

Possibly the biggest rip-off in the US today.

SOURCE: “Pharmaceuticals Can be a License to Print Money,” by Pete Dolack, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/13/pharmaceuticals-can-be-a-license-to-print-money/.

 

October 15

A great article by a great financial expert, Ellen Brown. This should be required for all US citizens so they can understand how the money and banking system really works. Written in plain English anyone can understand. Ideas in the article can be applied to bankrupt US cities as well as Puerto Rico. In truth almost anything can be bailed out by the US govt and the Federal Reserve System. All they have to do is punch digits into computers and call the resulting numbers money and use it to buy non-performing loans and bonds, such as those in Puerto Rico. Why should only irresponsible banksters in too-big-to-fail banks get bailed out? Trump blurted out during his visit the Puerto Rican bonds would have to be written off. As usual he did not know what he was talking about, or he was just spouting off as usual trying to please his irresponsible poorly informed obtuse voters using the mundane vernacular they prefer.

SOURCE: “How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders,” by Ellen Brown, TRUTH-OUT.ORG, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42254-how-to-wipe-out-puerto-rico-s-debt-without-hurting-bondholders.

 

October 14

A lot of smart money people are saying we are due another stock market crash.

SOURCE: “Personal Recollections From The Crash of 1987: There Was No ‘Smart Money’ That Day,” by Dana Lyons, LYONSSHAREPRO.COM, at https://lyonssharepro.com/2017/10/personal-recollections-of-the-crash-of-1987/.

 

October 14

The US Federal Reserve System is largely responsible for the so-called recovery since the Crash of 2008. They caused the large banks to recover and the stock market to rise to about where it was in 2008 by giving the US govt new money created from thin air to loan the failed too-big-to-fail banks in New York City, General Motors, AIG, and others and by purchasing non-performing loans and debts of the banks to be held on the balance sheet by the Federal Reserve System, known as quantitative easing, and by lowering interest rates to near zero, which enabled corporations to borrow money to buy back their own stock, causing the stock market to rise, while central banks also bought some stock in the stock market, causing it to reach its bubble overvalued heights today. All of this is known as financialization, making an economy look good by issuing and purchasing debt, rather than causing more goods and services to be produced. This last so-called recovery has been a real recovery for the elite rich, who had their bond and stock wealth protected and increased, but it did little good for the average middle and working class citizen, who is no better off now than he or she was ten or more years ago.

SOURCE: “The Endgame of Financialization: Stealth Nationalization,” by Charles Hugh Smith, OF TWO MINDS.COM, at http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-endgame-of-financialization-stealth.html.

 

October 14

For some reason I decided to come clean about the education I accidentally received by virtue of having been inevitably born in my family.

SOURCE: “A Synopsis of my Educational Background,” by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Report, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-synopsis-of-my-educational-background/.

 

October 13

Here are some ways Republican politicians have significantly damaged the US economy and political system. There are many ways Democratic politicians in Washington have too, but two wrongs do not make a right.

SOURCE: “How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich,” by Tim Dickinson, ROLLINGSTONE.COM, at http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-the-gop-became-the-party-of-the-rich-20111109.

 

October 12

Boy, do we ever need another Jimmy Carter in office now.

SOURCE: “Putin, Jimmy Carter, Trump and Mattis on North Korea,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM, at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22367.

 

October 12

Speaks for itself.

SOURCE: “The Scale of Pentagon Waste Boggles the Mind, But Congress Keeps Giving them More,” by Harry Blain, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/12/the-scale-of-pentagon-waste-boggles-the-mind-but-congress-keeps-giving-them-more/.

 

October 12

This same thing happened to one of my friends in a doctoral program back in the 1960s. The fellow who challenged my friend to an IQ test apparently thinking this would prove who was right on a particular argument dropped out of the doctoral program and was never heard from again. Your IQ score on an IQ test has little or nothing to do with how much you really know about what is really going on regarding a particular problem, and what should be done about it.

SOURCE: “Trump Challenges Tillerson to IQ Test After Secretary of State Calls Him a ‘Moron’”, by Travis Gettys/Raw Story, ALTERNET.ORG, at https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trump-challenges-tillerson-iq-test-after-secretary-state-calls-him-moron#.Wd0PGn0_iFo.facebook.

 

October 6

Say it aint so Joe. Bad politicians and the loss of public trust. A great elucidation by Chris Martenson

SOURCE: “Betrayal!: The pervasive & defining crime of our age” by Chris Martenson, PEAKPROSPERITY.COM, at https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/113319/betrayal.

 

October 8

Join the FreeFairProgressParty at no cost.

SOURCE: “FreeFairProgressParty,” by Richard John Stapleton, Effective Learning Company, at http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html.

 

October 8

Say it aint so Joe, if you can read this. One thing is for sure about Trump: He is an absolute disaster for the environment.

SOURCE: “Trump: Anomaly in Continuity,” by Andrew Levine, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/06/trump-anomaly-in-continuity/.

 

October 7

Man made hell on Earth. A synopsis of the evolution of current human affairs.

SOURCE: “Psych Ward,” by John Davis, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/06/psych-ward/.

 

October 7

Anybody but me getting tired of hearing about Trump’s or Hillary’s “collusions” with the “Russians” during the 2016 presidential election in mainstream yak-yakking media. Hell, they don’t even know what collusion means in this context or even what they are lying about.

SOURCE: “Behind the Matador’s Cape,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/06/behind-the-matadors-cape/.

 

October 7

Here’s an excellent picture showing how the National Rifle Association controls the gun laws.

SOURCE: Facebook meme, showing congressmen lined up at the NRA Pay Window getting bags of loot handed out by the president of the NRA on a floor splattered with blood avoiding signs that say Caution: Wet Floor, as their NRA paymaster tells one of them to “Watch your step as you leave, Congressman—we’d hate to see someone get hurt!” at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 6

Just for the Fun of It

The biggest lie was calling FICA, Federal Insurance Contributions Act, payments “payroll taxes” in the first place. For years they were called FICA deductions on payroll stubs, being honest about the matter. They were never “taxes”; they were and are “investments” for the social security of all US citizens. Seriously cut them and for sure you will destroy the Social Security System. The day Social Security goes down the tube is the day the US becomes a third world country. Some of the rich will win their psychological Balance Sheet Games by destroying the security of all US citizens and the quality of life of the country as a whole by mindlessly trying to reduce their taxes to get more money to win a Balance Sheet psychological Game with their friends and associates, piling up more and more money without limit, already having several times more money than they can ever spend on real needs, trying to satisfy their insatiable ego hungers. Why do you think people like Trump keeping trying to make more and more money? It’s just for the fun of it, or to stave off boredom and depression, or to prove you’re a big man, or that you are “superior”. For sure you are not doing it for anyone but yourself.

SOURCE: “Middle-Class Trojan Horse: Trump’s tax plan will destroy your Social Security benefits,” by proudlib, THEPROUDLIBERAL.ORG at http://theproudliberal.org/middle-class-trojan-horse-trumps-tax-plan-will-destroy-your-social-security-benefits/.

 

October 6

Here’s another outstanding Facebook picture pointing out a profound truth.

SOURCE: Facebook meme at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397, posted by Jodi Neumark, showing a photograph of H.L. Mencken, and a prediction he made in the Baltimore Evening Sun on July 26, 1920:

Subject: A prediction, 97 years ago

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.”

 

October 6

Japan has almost no shooting deaths per year because of forbidding their citizens to own guns.

SOURCE: “How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths,” by May Fisher, THEATLANTIC.COM, at https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/.

 

October 6

Our great leader in his wisdom says he will decertify the Iran nuclear agreement, countermanding all of his National Security experts. Surely he is not this dumb. Or is it like Bush II his god is now telling him to do things.

SOURCE: “Trump Just Overruled His National Security Advisers, Takes U.S. On Dangerous New Path,” by news.groupspeak, NEWS.GROUPSPEAK.COM, at http://news.groopspeak.com/trump-just-overruled-his-national-security-advisers-takes-u-s-on-dangerous-new-path/.

 

October 6

Here’s to Bernie Sanders, the only senator not taking money from big pharmaceutical corporations, and the only senator willing to sponsor a bill for a single payer, Medicare-for-all-type national health insurance system.

SOURCE: “Why healthcare should be managed as a natural monopoly,” by Richard John Stapleton, BLOG.EFFECTIVELEARNING.NET, at http://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-healthcare-should-be-managed-as-a-natural-monopoly-2/.

 

October 6

Most US senators, Democratic and Republican, have been bought off by insurance industry contributions.

SOURCE: Facebook meme created and posted by Cindy Barnes McDougal at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is Cindy’s comment attached to her chart of bribe amounts received by various senators:

“So I really want you to look at these “contributions”, aka bribes, for a moment. First, these are the bribes these Senators have accepted just from the health insurance industry. Doesn’t include big pharma, medical supply and other relative groups. Take a look. Secondly, these totals do not include the bribes some, most or all received this week! My friend and Bernie Bridge warrior in Chicago, Veronica Wolski, made a good point this morning when she called Senator Durbin’s office. She told him that her little family could live nicely on some of these totals. I’ll go a step further and say that some could help one of you with college tuition. Maybe pay for that new car you need. Or the wedding for your daughter. Or a down payment on your first new home. Or that business you always wanted. Get mad. You should get mad. When these politicians take bribe money as a payoff to keep healthcare the way it is, then they have put a price tag on your health! You should get mad. Mad enough to fight for your right to universal single payer healthcare. Any American who likes paying high premiums and high deductibles WHILE your state representative accepts this kind of money is nuts. Stop settling. Stop be grateful for the crumbs from the table. Stop believing this is the way it should be. Get mad! Get damn mad and fight back! Call your Senators and tell them Medicare For All! Give them notice: The days of them making a buck off your healthcare are over! P.S. To my Florida friends – look at the amount of bribes Senator Nelson has accepted. How does that make you feel about him?? I could live quite nicely on his bribe money.”

 

October 6

Here is Cicero speaking from his grave.

SOURCE: A Facebook meme created and posted by Detong Choyin at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

A Two Thousand Year Old Warning about Trump:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. For the traitor appears not a traitor—He speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.”

Cicero, Roman Statesman, 42 BC

 

October 6

Here is how much money some of the fat cats in the Senate received feeding at the Big Pharma and insurance industry troughs.

Orrin Hatch, $471.560; Mitch McConnell, 433,400; Rob Portman, 382,100; Patrick Toomey, 354,616; Lamar Alexander, 228,100; John Cornyn, 180,000; Cory Gardner 151,850; John Barrasso, 149,750; Mike Enzi, 146,600; John Thune, 123,400; Mike Lee, 66,759; Ted Cruz, 58,895; Tom Cotton, 28,941.

SOURCE: Facebook meme created and posted by Milan Pokorny at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is Milan’s comment:

“Remember the 13 alt-right senators who tried to take away America’s healthcare behind closed doors? This is how much money they accepted from insurance companies and Big Pharma. If you want them all voted out of office, comment yes and share!”

 

October 6

If only we could get the forty six percent non-voters to vote for a truly ok progressive candidate. Here is the turnout rate in the 2016 presidential election, showing how a progressive party running someone like Bernie Sanders could win in 2020:

46.9% DIDN’T VOTE; 25.6% VOTED FOR CLINTON; 25.5% VOTED FOR TRUMP; 1.7% VOTED FOR JOHNSON

SOURCE: Facebook meme created and posted by Join the Coffee Party Movement at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is the comment by Join the Coffee Party Movement:

“And this is why we can’t have nice things.”

 

October 6

Here’s how our ceo-in-chief deals with money. Spend it like there is no tomorrow. And cut taxes. “Business” might boom a bit in the short run because of this stimulus, but the US house of cards will become more and more flimsy, as corporations and the elite rich plunder anything they can get their hands on. Instead of a $19 trillion federal debt, we will soon have a $38 trillion federal debt, if we last that long as a country. Why is it the elite rich want another tax cut? They have many times more money now than they can ever spend. The answer: they are playing a psychological Game. The name of the Game is Balance Sheet. The objective is to pile up more net worth than anyone else, to become the richest man or woman in the world. The payoff of the Game is a feeling of superiority and being one-up.  This Game is a cognate of the TA Game NIGYSOB, Now I’ve Got You, You SOB.

Warren Buffet has said that money has absolutely no utility for him. He keeps piling it up just for the fun of it, and to satisfy his ego needs, as he does playing the game of bridge, which he plays after he goes home at night to his modest Omaha, Nebraska house after a hard day’s work playing Balance Sheet at his office, while drinking his favorite drink, CocaCola, fetched by his second wife as he plays bridge on the Internet.  Quite likely he is a high-functioning obsessive-compulsive personality type on the autistic spectrum, as are most people in some ways.

Most people are obsessed with and compelled to act out over and over the routines, scripts, activities, pastimes, social games, and psychological Games of their unique lives, depending on how they were programmed genetically and socially throughout their existence, from the womb on.  The life process produces all sorts of outcomes for individuals.  Some become filthy rich like Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, and thousands of others.  On the other hand, millions more become poor as church mice.  Nobody ever said human life was fair.

SOURCE: “Trump and the Great Betrayal – Daily Reckoning”, by Bill Bonner, DAILYRECKONING.COM, at https://dailyreckoning.com/trump-great-debt-betrayal/.

 

October 6

Another telling article by John Whitehead.

SOURCE: “Mass shootings: The military-entertainment complex’s culture of violence turns deadly,“ by John Whitehead, INTREPIDREPORT.COM at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/22311.

 

October 5

Another well reasoned and written article by Ellen Brown.

SOURCE: “How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation,” by Ellen Brown, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/05/how-to-fund-a-universal-basic-income-without-increasing-taxes-or-inflation/.

 

October 4

An eloquent speech by Oliver Stone at the 2017 Writer’s Guild Awards celebration.

SOURCE: A video created and posted by Truth Inside of You at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Includes a picture of Oliver Stone at a lectern with this comment: “The Most Honest 3 Minutes in TV History, that you can be critical of your government and your society. This is the most HONEST words you’ll ever watch. Listen to what Mr. Oliver Stone has to say.” Click to watch at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 3

Great essay by Ishmael Reed.

SOURCE: “Black Athletes and the Mother Thing,” by Ishmael Reed, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/03/black-athletes-and-the-mother-thing/.

 

October 3

Say it aint so Joe.

SOURCE: “Death in a Dead Land,” by Richard Eskow, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/03/death-in-a-dead-land//.

 

October 3

Great essay by Jason Hirthler exposing what lies behind Kaepernick’s brave action.

SOURCE: “Kaepernick, Patriotism, and the Perversion of Protest,” by Jason Hirthler COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/03/kaepernick-patriotism-and-the-perversion-of-protest/.

 

October 3

Yes, just what we need, a new “people’s party.” Here’s what is going on in the world, by Noam Chomsky, Earth’s best informed human.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Quest to Enrich the Richest: An Interview with Noam Chomsky,” by David Barsamian, TomDispatch|Interview, TRUTH-OUT.ORG at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42136-trump-s-quest-to-enrich-the-masters-of-mankind-an-interview-with-noam-chomsky.

 

October 3

Hooray for humans around Earth; boo to UN delegates voting against humans, including our disingenuous new photogenic UN ambassador appointed by Trump.

SOURCE: “US joins Saudi Arabia and Iraq in voting against UN resolution condemning the death penalty for gay sex,” by Tom Embury-Dennis, INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-gay-sex-death-penalty-un-same-sex-relations-human-rights-council-saudi-arabia-iraq-nikki-haley-a7980981.html.

 

October 3

A very sad story.

SOURCE: “Great Hunger,” by Kathy Kelly, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/02/great-hunger/.

 

October 2

If you listen to this video you will hear this fellow ask the question why should the top four hundred richest taxpayers, who have enough cash to fill shoeboxes reaching to the sky, receive a tax cut? The answer: they shouldn’t. Why will they get one anyway? It’s simple: because the elite rich will give politicians a significant percentage of their loot if they vote them a tax cut. They know how to be generous with their friends to get even richer. They are not penny-wise and pound foolish or they would not have gotten filthy rich in the first place.

SOURCE: “The real meaning of tax reform: The super rich vs. everyone else,” a new video created and posted by MSNBC, at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

Here is their introductory comment about the video: “Tax expert David Cay Johnston demonstrates how the Republican plan for so-called “tax reform” would exacerbate inequality.” View the video at https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

 

October 2

If President Carter is right, Trump and our government are insane to treat North Korea as they do and put humanity at increased risk of a nuclear war.

SOURCE: “ ‘I Know What North Korea Wants’ – President Carter Warns ‘US Oligarchy Refuses To do It’,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM, at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-13/i-know-what-north-korea-wants-president-carter-warns-us-oligarchy-refuses-do-it.

 

Feel free to share, post, forward, copy, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this post any way you see fit. If you would like a free subscription to the Effective Learning Digest email me at rjstapleton@bulloch.net and I will put you on the emailing list. I do this just for the fun of it and to give something back to society in my retirement years at age seventy-seven, living with more pleasure than I deserve in my remaining days on Earth on the proceeds of a generous defined benefit pension and Social Security, not yet incapacitated by dementia or Alzheimer’s, or any other disease.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Digest, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, www.effectivelearning.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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