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Br’er Trump Burrowed Up In His White House Briar Patch

By Richard John Stapleton

What connection does Donald Trump have with Br’er Rabbit in Joel Harris’s Uncle Remus folktale about a rabbit that tricked a fox into throwing him in a briar patch?

Trump said he really didn’t want to be president. Running for president was just another Game he was playing to get structure, recognition, and stimulation, and to make more money. He thought the free publicity he would receive from complicit mainstream media running for president would more than pay for whatever he had to pay in his own money to run, causing the sales of his various “brands” to increase—selling and renting hotel rooms, rounds of golf, apartments, condos, office space, retail space, steaks, wine, beauty pageants, reality TV shows, college courses, books, casino gambling, and what have you.

Br’er Rabbit got caught in a tar pit and got so much tar stuck to him that he couldn’t run fast enough to escape a fox that caught him and wanted to eat him for supper. Knowing his situation was dire the rabbit pleaded with the fox to do whatever he wanted to do with him, “except please do not throw me in that briar patch over yonder.” After listening to several alternative punishments suggested by the rabbit other than throwing him in the briar patch the fox decided throwing the rabbit in the briar patch might be an interesting thing to do, so he threw the rabbit in the briar patch just to see what would happen. The rabbit licked the tar off him in the briar patch and escaped, making a fool of the fox. Adding insult to injury, Br’er Rabbit taunted the fox as he merrily ran away, letting him know he had been born and raised in a briar patch.

Not only did Trump say he didn’t want to win the presidency, he said he didn’t think he had a chance of winning; and reports are he and his wife were initially distraught when he did win, even shedding tears, crocodile tears perhaps. Unfortunately for Trump, assuming this story is true, he over-estimated his Republican opponents in the primaries; and after he won the Repub nomination, a smart rich hedge fund fox, Robert Mercer, decided he wanted to see what would happen if Trump won the general election, so he shelled out big money and helped craft a winning strategy for his campaign, thereby throwing Trump in the briar patch.

“Winning” the general election showed reverse psychology can work assuming Trump really did want to be president; or his original plan and scheme failed, if he truly did not want to be president of the US. Regardless, he is now burrowed up in a political briar patch in the White House, having been thrown in there by oligarchs and his voters. It remains to be seen whether Trump can escape his briar patch to merrily live happily ever after, as the rabbit presumably did in Uncle Remus’s folktale.

Although Trump appeared shocked and dismayed at first because of winning the general election, after giving his “victory” more thought, the story goes, he decided it must have been a good thing for him to win or it would not have happened, proving he really was special, so he decided to get on with the job in a manly forthright way, switching on the Drama Triangle from the Victim position to the Rescuer position.

Trump would have looked foolish indeed if, after winning the general election, he had said something like, “Look, guys, I was just kiddin’ about wantin’ to be president. I just ran for the fun of it. I was just foolin’ around. I’m not gonna do it. You gotta find somebody else.”

In any case, alas, it now appears Trump must have decided he likes being president for some reason, since he has hired a campaign manager for the 2020 election, implying he wants to “win” a second term.

Trump’s story about his election experience and Uncle Remus’s story about a rabbit thrown in a briar patch are not fully analogous, but there are some interesting parallels, one of the most salient being that neither the rabbit nor Trump could be believed about not wanting to be thrown in the briar patch.

Some Red State evangelical religious folks said after he won the election they thought Trump was chosen through some sort of divine intervention, and decided he would help them promote their religious brands. The current Catholic Pope who is fine with Trump recently blurted out to a reporter in a private conversation that hell does not exist, which the reporter reported in a mainstream medium, which was quickly denied by lawyers in the Vatican who know the Catholic religion needs hell to sell their brand of religion to sinners. What better promoter of sinning and possibly going to hell could evangelicals and Catholics find than Donald Trump as president to promote their brands?

President Jimmy Carter, by far the least sinful of US presidents of my lifetime, who was not very popular with a lot of religious folks in Red States when he left office after one term, recently appeared on a late night mainstream TV show hosted by Stephen Colbert where he said he was praying for Trump and he hoped he would do a good job.

It’s hard to know what doing a good job is as a US president. Most people probably consider doing a good job as a US president to be taking actions and working for and signing rules, legislation, and laws that will make them better off at someone else’s expense, which is not exactly Christian-like. On the other hand, US presidents are supposed to entertain people and make them feel good about themselves, which is why most US presidents have movie-star looks with good teeth and nice smiles, and can memorize humorous lines in speeches, or at least read lines from teleprompters with effective emotional body language. Probably the more sinful presidents are the more entertaining they are for most viewers. Who wants a boring president who is only concerned about justice, reality, fairness, productivity, paying bills on time, and that sort of thing? That would be worse than having a boring teacher in school.

A good leader of a good organization according to organizational behavior educators such as I is a person that causes an organization to do what the sign on the door says, whether it says building houses, growing food, selling clothes, educating people, curing the sick, enforcing laws, creating good laws, or protecting people from miscreants and criminals. Organizations can either do the work they were supposed to do or play Games, that is engage in entropic activities that waste the potential productive energy of the organization for doing what the sign on the door says they’re supposed to do. The US government has been wasting an incredible amount of time, energy, and money playing Games since Trump got elected, probably more than most administrations, dealing with scandals, investigations, making paybacks to supporters, stupid wars (Trump’s words), and budgets.

According to sayings among members of the International Transactional Analysis Association back in the 1970’s there are five deadly organizational sins—money, power, righteousness, smarts, and sex.  This may sound a bit counter-intuitive since all these things but sex are required for an organization to succeed in external markets; but if any of the sins are applied in excess internally by participants they will sub-optimal organizational performance.  If all organizational participants care about is their personal money received from the organization, they will not focus as well as they might on the organization doing what the sign on the door says.  If all  participants care about is their personal power in the organization, the organization will be less successful than it otherwise would have been.  If all organizational participants are concerned about is proving how smart they are the organization will not be as successful as it would have been.  If all participants care about is proving how right their ideologies are the organization will not be as successful as it would have been.  And if all organizational participants care about is proving how sexually functional they are obviously the organization will be less successful than it would have been, in competition with other organizations.

To maximize organization performance good leaders cause internal participants to focus on doing what the sign on the organization’s door says it is supposed to do, rather than play their individual Games.

In this light, all organizations are somewhat sinful, but some are worse than others.  The US government is unquestionably a world leader in light of the five deadly organizational sins, which are often considered job requirements for participants, especially presidents and their close advisers.

There is no way a president of the US can please everyone. According to recent surveys, despite his past sins coming home to haunt him, e.g., Stormy Daniel, or perhaps because of them, Trump is now pleasing from thirty to fifty percent of the US electorate, possibly the most sinful segment of the population.

Unfortunately, sins, as most preachers, priests, and people commonly consider sinning—adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, and the like—are now job requirements for a president of the US, with the possible exception of adultery. Presidents have to lie by keeping state secrets secret; they have to murder by ordering drone strikes and bombings; they have to steal from other countries by erecting tariffs against them and sometimes bombing them to steal their resources. Loving his neighboring countries as he loves his own would be considered insane and traitorous in a US president.

Trump may have been better qualified for being president than most past presidents were, with one possible deficiency. I have yet to read an article in any supposed information medium alleging Trump had someone whacked or rubbed out by a mafia-style hit man to cover up his sins and crimes, which is not the case with Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. But, Trump is fully qualified to legally steal for the US as evidenced by his bankruptcies he has bragged about, enabling him to walk away with bundles of cash in his bank account, with creditors left holding an empty bag. He is also very good at legally stealing by avoiding taxes, and not paying his bills, which he said proves he’s smart, maybe even a stable genius. For sure he has not loved his neighbor as himself, being a firm believer in always putting himself first. Stuff like adultery is chump change to him. He has said most people are too moral to make any money.

Most people would readily agree a good US president should want to make the US money at the expense of other nations. This is almost guaranteed with Trump, since he can make money for his Trump Organization as he enriches the US.

I think Trump is probably one of the most experienced and skillful psychological Game players we have had as a US president. Psychological Games have various outcomes in which people win and lose, not merely money, but self-esteem, power, and high positions. Born with money, high self-esteem, and a high social position in his environment, Trump does not know what it is not to have these things. How much money he has actually made with his own intelligence after the fortune he inherited is adjusted for inflation is debatable, since he refuses to publish financial statements or tax returns; but, to his credit, he has not yet lost it all. Evidently his supporters think he is a real winner, financially, and presumably in other ways.

No doubt about it, Trump is a good NIGYSOB player, Now I’ve Got You, You SOB, a one-upmanship Game. He knows how to get in one-up positions relative to people around him, I’m OK—You’re Not (or less) OK, having had much experience playing the Game all his life. As he has demonstrated in the White House, all a person in his position has to do to win a NIGYSOB Game is fire anyone who will not at least pretend they think he is superior. People like Rex Tillerson, no matter how superior they may actually be as managers, almost never can call a boss like Trump a f*****g moron and get a way with it. Trump has by now fired several people close to him who were unwilling or unable to act as if he is superior. Robert Mueller and his congressional inquisition team may be Trump’s only remaining serious antagonist. Whether Trump NIGYSOBs Mueller before Mueller decides to indict him or not remains to be seen.

Psychological Game-players act out Rescuer, Persecutor, and Victim roles. Trump was elected as a Rescuer of his supporters and as a Persecutor of their scapegoat Victims, emigrants primarily, necessitating constructing a Great Wall between the US and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out, but also including of course Trump’s supporters’ heinous Persecutor internal antagonists and scapegoats—those abominable liberals—plus all foreign countries who would dare compete economically against the morally pristine always-right US, playing the most common political psychological Game of all, If It Weren’t for You, in which people assert everything about the US would be just hunky dory if only it weren’t for Demos or Repubs, or that idiot Trump in the White House, or Obama, or whoever, or Iran, or Russia, or North Korea, or China, or whatever.

Unfortunately the US has never been fully OK and has steadily become less OK for decades regardless of who was President or which party was in power, although I must say it does seem to me the Repubs during their terms caused the US to become less OK at a faster rate than the Demos.

To his credit or discredit, Trump has tried to get that wall constructed for his voters, however foolhardy it might be. He has also tried to please his voters in the Rust Belt by starting a trade war for them, however insane it might be for everyone else. He has also repaid his rich donors by signing a new tax cut bill and the largest military budget increase in history. Yesterday he decided to send the military down to the US southern border to keep Central Americans out of the US, who were marching through Mexico in caravans with intentions to enter the US, since he had not been able to get his wall built in time to stop them.

Where he is having the most trouble Making America Great Again is dealing with the US military. During his presidential campaign he promised to Rescue peace lovers, by getting the US out of stupid wars (Trump’s words), the worst sort of briar patch to be thrown into, by stopping fighting unnecessary wars against nations not posing a military threat to the security of the US, unlike what he said Crooked Hillary would do, as seemed likely to me. In the interests of full disclosure I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party.

After getting elected Trump promptly forgot about that promised reduction in military activity after getting confronted face to face by the deep state, the US military-industrial-intelligence protection racket, the largest Game-playing Persecutor and Rescuer on Earth, that needs wars to keep its cash flow flowing and meet its payroll, that not only starts wars but destroys nations because they posed an economic threat to the US. Shortly after the confrontation Trump began Tweeting messages from the Persecutor Game role to various possible external enemies, threatening to wipe them off the face of the Earth so to speak if they did not do what he said, since he was commander in chief of the most powerful fighting force on Earth and he would not put up with any s**t from any foreign country.

But here lately he seems to have changed his Tweeting tune about using the US military to enforce his will, switching from Persecutor to Rescuer on the Drama Triangle in a few cases. He has now apparently become a buddy of Kim Jung-un of North Korea, having planned a trip to go see him; he has maintained his friendship with Vladimir Putin of Russia; and, all of a sudden, a few days ago, he Tweeted that the US will be getting out of Syria very soon, ISIS or no ISIS.

Let’s You and Them Fight is a common psychological Game played by people who like to start fights for others to fight but who do not like to fight them up close and personal themselves, including most US presidents, politicians, and military planners and plotters. Such Games are played to alleviate boredom, and to gain money and power; and Trump is probably pretty good at it, having played Let’s You and Them Fight most of his life within his Trump Organization dealing with departmental conflicts, and externally doing battle with competing organizations to steal and protect business and market share.

Psychological Games vary in terms of hardness. First degree Games involve mainly insults, tricks, discounts, threats, and humiliations, such as those used by Br’er Rabbit; second degree Games involve shouting, yelling, threatening, and serious insults; third degree Games, sometimes called tissue-tearing Games, entail consequences such as going broke, or getting fired, divorced, sued, or being put in a jail, hospital or morgue. All psychological Games entail deceiving, belittling, or “discounting” the worth and right to exist of the opponent, or “mark”.

By various accounts first and second degree Games are omnipresent in the Trump White House. On the other hand, it’s possible Trump can’t abide third degree tissue-tearing Let’s You and Them Fight Games that entail killing masses of people and causing widespread wanton destruction of property and treasure in foreign countries. Let’s hope so. It seems he is attracted to and enjoys pretty people and buildings more than most people, especially big tall pretty ones with his name on them, so he might be less inclined to destroy buildings and people with bombs in foreign countries than most presidents.

Disagreeing with what President Jimmy Carter told Stephen Colbert, I don’t think praying for Trump will do any good, since most people Trump’s age are set in their ways. It seems to me we the people are currently at the mercy of his life script and the scripts of people he hires and doesn’t fire that he personally communicates with making decisions. On the bright side, it does seem to me there is some evidence his life script is not as anti-social as it appeared to be when he first came on stage as a possible new dear leader of the US.

The briar patch Trump is now burrowed up in is probably stickier and thornier than he ever dreamed it would be. I don’t know how he stands it, just knowing about the possible consequences of decisions and actions coming across his desk every day, especially knowing more than anyone else what the US deep state is doing to people all around Spaceship Earth.  The last time a US president seriously played Games with the deep state, John F. Kennedy, he got assassinated in a third degree NIGYSOB Game, involving covert operators in the deep state. Barack Obama said he didn’t want to wind up like John F. Kennedy. He cooperated with the deep state, and he merrily vacated the White House briar patch after eight years unscathed.

Who knows what sort of tar pit Trump fell into doing business before he got thrown into his White House briar patch. Most people would never think of Donald John Trump as a psychological Victim, but in some ways he is, like most of us. Most likely he won’t seriously try to reduce the cash inflows and power of the deep state, having already given them the biggest military spending increase in history, as his protection racket payment; but it seems to me there is some chance he might reduce military attacks as the so-called commander in chief of the military more than most presidents, letting the chips fall where they may, at least trying to do the right thing for most people in some ways—trying to do some of what he said he wanted to do when he was running for office—get the US out of stupid wars, create new infrastructure at home, and rationally interact with other countries around Spaceship Earth. He could even decide to become a martyr, at age seventy-plus, if necessary script messages were automatically absorbed into his life script before he was eight years old, that are now stored somewhere in his brain cells, that might get cathected.

What’s the probability this might happen? I have no idea, but it’s not very high. Regardless, we can always hope for the best.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus professor of organizational behavior and business policy and a certified transactional analyst, who writes on business and politics at www.effectivelearning.net. He is the author of Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331.

Please forward, share, publish, print, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this article any way you see fit.  Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, www.effectivelearning.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUTH, LIES AND REALITY

By COURTENAY BARNETT

“T’was a strange time when, Men were boys – and – boys were women; The professed strong were weak, And the weak were increasingly hopelessly weak.”

Charles Dodgson was a mathematician, an author and a writer of nonsense verses. He wrote a world famous book. His nom de plume was Lewis Carroll. He was the author of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. 

I surmise that if he were asked to pen a few words in some sort of verse about the most striking features of the twenty-first century, if he were alive, he would do far better than I ever could and would produce something both amusing and profound – to be read and discerned on different levels of understanding. 

Strange time indeed. For what we are told is not reality. It is some sort of distorted presentation of the world, as if we were, like Alice, ambulating through a make-believe world of pretensions in wonderland bolstered by fantastic fiction. A few broad brush examples from our world might suffice.

America

America? I start there. Why?

America, in the first quarter of the twenty-first century, is the world’s wealthiest and militarily most powerful country in the world. Additionally, America controls and pulls the strings of the global financial system. Thus, all of us on planet Earth, whether directly or indirectly, are impacted in our daily lives by the decision-making  processes made by the United States of America which holds and controls the world’s reserve currency. 

T’was a strange time...

How so?

Well two Presidents spring to mind as being  manly, so they proclaimed – strong, decisive and patriotically all American.

The first is George Bush Jr. Manly?

It seems to me strikingly paradoxical that a man who draft dodged finds himself professing his full support to fabricate reasons for a  war he simply was too cowardly to face in his time when he could have gone to battle. The result? Over one million Iraqis dead for reason of lies told and an unnecessary war based on that falsehood? But who will ever answer or be brought to justice for Bush’s illegal war?

So now we have Donald Trump. Sorry, we have the Great President Donald Trump who has vowed to make America great again. Later on we will examine some of his great expectations and the reality he faces. 

There – rather here, we have another draft dodger, who adores the military which  he had  wimped away from ever enlisting in –  and perish the thought of actually fighting like a man. But, give him his due, he seems not to want to start any new wars ( at least so he says) and he wants to be isolationist and bring the troops home ( so he says).

Well, for one clear example of the conundrum who is Donald Trump – one must ask a question. So the Iranian, General Solemani, is assassinated and the Iranians retaliate against US bases in Iraq. And Trump – well – he wants peace – but it  seems a rather odd way to seek it by unilaterally withdrawing from the US/Iranian nuclear deal then killing one of Iran’s top Generals. So  with such aggression – what does Trump really want? I suspect he likes ( loves?) power and would sooner remain transactional until his first term ends. He is not in the least transformative as his rhetoric on the economy, foreign policy,  unilateralism and his self-centered impulsive conduct might otherwise convince us of.

Like Humpty Dumpty, Donald Trump is a master at giving  special meaning to his words and deeds, for as was said by Humpty:-“When I use a word“, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

And one would actually have to go “Through the looking glass” before at all coming any where close to understanding what Donald Trump actually means when he speaks; and quickly so too before he does yet another volte face. Such is the world – dominated by the US – within which we live.

The strong being weak

One could write both an economic and political treatise on how the US under Donald Trump is acting in the world. A few examples will suffice.

Economy

A simple question. The economic history of the modern world reminds of what factors led to the Great Depression. In two thousand the US experienced the dot com crash. In two thousand and eight there was the stock market crash. In the latter instance it must by now be obvious that by relying on fiat imaginaries marketed for sale – then at some stage the fake derivatives and zero mortgage bubble  had to collapse.

But, as the famous song asks, “When will they ever learn.” So to the question – is it possible to keep buoying up a consumer based economy by printing US dollars in the trillions while simultaneously increasing the national debt in the trillions? Simple question – simple answer – the model is unworkable and shall collapse.

To my mind the question is not whether or not it will – it is merely a question of when.

Politics

Add to the US economic problem as stated above – the fact of America’s professed love for and global promotion of “democracy” around the world.

Hard and complex question. When the US has the Congress bought and paid for by the lobbyists, the military-industrial complex, the defence contractors, the pharmaceutical companies and the disproportionate influence of Israel upon US domestic politics – can one seriously term the US a representative and fully functioning democracy, of the people, by the people and for the people?

A serious question posed to a contradictory two-party system.

The Democrats do not question foreign interventions and willingly embrace the military-industrial complex – just like the Republicans. In the 2020 State of the Union speech there was ostensibly and quite dramatically noticeable friction between Pelosi and Trump when he refused to shake her hand and she tore up his speech for the US and the world to see. However, when it came on to America’s appointed Venezuelan President in the personage of Juan Guido, both parties gave a standing ovation. So, I guess that while the US taps phone lines, accesses internet communications, manipulates other countries’ domestic politics, and much worse, all the way to extra-judicial killings and torture in such a place as Guantanamo etc. etc. etc, it really is a case of – do as we say – not as we do. 

Conclusion 

But, just like Alice, one has to question:-“When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!”  Indeed, when I read about global events and listen to the official statements emanating from the US – I do seriously and honestly ponder  whether or not the US President is not within a fairy tale and right smack in the middle of it when:-

  1. Changing the party in power does not and never has fundamentally changed policies; especially US foreign policy. It is a bit of a fairy tale to think that by the US electorate voting for Tweedle Dum over Tweedle Dee that fundamental change is on the horizon.
  2. How does a country not cut spending or raise taxes while running a multi-trillion dollar deficit and hope in any realistic way, outside of living in a fairy tale world, not realise that the economic system in such a scenario is destined to crash far more significantly than in 2000 or 2008? AND –  when future recipients of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security are going to need somewhere in the order of US$88 trillion to keep the programmes adequately funded – how is this to be accomplished and what viable economic model does the Trump Presidency propose?
  3.  When preemptive wars and ‘regime change’ ( e.g. the devastation inflicted on Iraq; the destruction of Libya; and the lost war in Syria) become the order of the day – then – does not international law go out the window and the rule of the jungle for the mightiest not replace the rule of law?
  4. When the US Constitution is shelved and Executive authority takes precedence and there is no Congressional accountability and/or effective oversight – then what democracy?
  5. When domestic inflation is impacting the purchasing power of the US dollar and billionaires are given tax breaks and are also seeking, such as the Democrat multi- billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, to be the next US President after billionaire Trump – where are the people’s representatives?
  6.  When President Trump gives orders to deploy mini-nukes – is this not an invitation to Russia and China to do the same and then start all over again another arms race?

Call the foregoing – the harsh half-dozen truths to be grappled with here and now – if not in the immediate future. 

As Trump himself professed, ” Our country is being run by incompetent people” – and indeed since Lewis Carroll penned ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – no truer words have been so ironically spoken.

Indeed, a financialised economy is not a viable economy – for one cannot put something on nothing and expect it to be sustained – it will collapse. 

That is the truth – the reality-  and this is all – no fairy tale, for we all are in the middle of it.

POSTSCRIPT: Courtenay had shared his article with his girlfriend, who happens to be an American. She had asked him about solutions for the problems he had outlined in his article. We share below, his answer to his girlfriend ( and to us):- 

America is overspending and increasing the deficit to totally unsustainable levels. That is the central problem – so that needs to be addressed:

If It is the leadership which governs and directs policy; so change the leadership and by extension change the policy of printing more and more money which increases the deficit; yet how?

A. The attempt by the US to ensure global hegemony for herself, is at the heart of the matter. Some 800 military bases around the world is unnecessary in this era of nuclear weapons. All the bases in the world cannot repel the impact of nuclear weapons. Bring troops home and close bases which will improve the deficit position.

B. Return to the START treaty of 1972 and related agreements for non-proliferation and that will deescalate the mounting expansion afoot. Also, beside protecting the peace – such a move will permit budget expenditures to be redeployed in far more productive ways for the benefit of the American people.

C. Seriously face the reality of the declining US dollar and devise a strategy for its viability going forward which may mean:-

i) Restructuring the IMF for a move to a basket of currencies so that China and Russia become greater participants in a world where roles are shared and so too the strengthening of the world’s reserve currency; failing which it will continue to decline and then ultimately be replaced.

 ii) Avoid more trade wars – return to the WTO – and seek negotiated agreements for countries’ mutual benefit; a win-win formula versus a choice of the Trump doctrine of win-lose.

iii) Address not the illusion of a strong US economy, but the facts of:

– the permanent loss of manufacturing jobs in some areas.

– the need for reduced military expenditure and increased investments in domestic infrastructure, R & D, retraining for the jobs market, and overall implement a sort of comprehensive modern-day FDR-type ‘New Deal’.

iv) Comprehend at the highest economic levels, amongst the industrialised nations the US has a highly regressive taxation system; big corporations have to be made to pay a fair and reasonable rate of taxation into the public US coffers. Fundamental services, a quality education for all, retraining and retooling cannot otherwise be funded except by printing more money which will lose value over time for that the currency cannot be backed only by thin air ( no gold backing and reduced global market shares while widening the deficit  – a recipe for disaster).

But who am I to speak – a foolish dreamer?

________________________________________

* 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 FORUM — 15

THE EARTHIAN FORUM, Number Fifteen, Effective Learning Publications, https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, February 15, 2020

THE EARTHIAN FORUM is a digest of articles containing facts, perspectives, theories, models, analyses, and recommendations concerned about existential states of affairs affecting all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth. Recent relevant articles written and published by writers in Internet posts on ecological, economic, social, psychological, political, religious, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth are linked below as sources.

RECENT RELEVANT READING source articles are posted and updated immediately following the introductory comment by the editor.

“ASK LESS WHAT YOUR NATION CAN DO FOR YOU—ASK MORE WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR SPACESHIP EARTH”

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME RIGHT NOW

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

I have decided humans are polarized intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be best described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered near the middle of the continuum.

Democratic idealists are not necessarily members of the Democratic Party in the US; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican Party.

A democratic idealist in my view is someone who visualizes new states of affairs that might make an unsatisfying situation more efficient, effective, just, and satisfying through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation with others.

Authoritarian nihilists in my view are dissatisfied with states of affairs as they are but who do not visualize changing them by creating new states of affairs through democratic processes such as consultation, collaboration, and cooperation, believing instead that strong leaders in positions of authority should simply make existing systems and processes work better for them by out-competing or destroying others.

Most so-called liberals and progressives would be included in the democratic idealist category and most so-called conservatives would be included in the authoritarian nihilist category.

An extreme democratic idealist would care less than most about the here and now and would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future; extreme authoritarian nihilists would be primarily focused on the here and now, caring less than most about achieving better imaginary states of being in the future.

Abraham Lincoln once remarked there are two kinds of people who never amount to much in life: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who cannot do anything but what they are told. People who can only create imaginary air castles often have a hard time making a go of things in life; and people with no goals and imagination are pretty much stuck where they are, if they’re lucky. Probably most successful people lie somewhere in between the two extremes of idealism and nihilism.  

Extreme democratic idealists are worry warts; extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip about anything in the future.

I agree with most transactional analysts that Earthian humans are scripted to be what they are (whether idealist, nihilist, or whatever) emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally in early childhood by injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring.

According to Robert Goulding, MD and Mary Goulding, MSW, quoted in my book Business Voyages, page 160, there are about fourteen injunctions widely transmitted in family scripting:

Don’t Be

Don’t Be You (the sex you are)

Don’t Be A Child

Don’t Grow

Don’t Make It

Don’t

Don’t Be Important

Don’t Be Close

Don’t Belong


Don’t Be Well (or sane)

Don’t 
Think About X (forbidden subject)


Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think

Don’t Feel

Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc.

Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel (Goulding & Goulding, 1976).

These injunctions are transmitted primarily psychologically, meaning they are not overtly spoken. Rarely would a parent socially tell a child what one of the above injunctions requires. They are transmitted non-verbally largely outside of conscious awareness primarily by the ego states parents display in response to what a child naturally feels, thinks, and does. On the other hand, children are scripted by the ego states they observe parents using when parents feel, think, and do things in response to various stimuli. Children psychologically “introject” in living color the ego states of parents, including the accents, mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, and behaviors of parents as if by osmosis, as parents and children deal with life events. To introject is to take in or absorb the personality and behavioral characteristics of another. Children more or less replicate their parents, and the replications become hard-wired in their brains for life in most cases.

For good or ill, the scripting process may determine not only the personality and behavioral characteristics of a child but also his/her life position and role in life. 

That includes determining whether a child becomes a democratic idealist or an authoritarian nihilist.

And the scripting process also determines which political parties win in any culture.

Ergo, the fate of Spaceship Earth depends on changing the scripting of Earthian humans, which entails a process of change that includes not only changing economic and political systems, but also psychological and social systems.

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfactory lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans:  winner, loser, and non-winner— caused by inherited physical characteristics and “messages” —script and otherwise—one is exposed to throughout life—and by the early decisions offspring make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to that cause the “messages” and the “decisions” to happen. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

A purpose of TA is to help individuals and groups insert new causes into natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes in the populace.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or harmartic script messages recorded in his/her sub-conscious mind. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting to make such changes, perhaps requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, military, and religious troubles then everything would be wonderful for everyone. Not so, many people would not be happy and successful living in paradise because of script messages indelibly recorded in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live happily and successfully humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser script may entail changing the ego states one uses and the way one structures her or his time—learning how to spend more or less time in different ways, spending more or less time withdrawing in their heads, pastiming (shooting the bull) with others, performing rituals, working in activities, playing psychological Games, or engaging in intimacy.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this:  Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is probably inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among competing and warring organizations and groups (including nations) around Earth.

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does indicate on its website (https://www.itaaworld.org/) that it can help individuals, groups, and organizations become more ok, ok not only in terms of achieving goals but more ok transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, serenity, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually-agreed-to social contracts.

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

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures Earthian humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, trial and error, over and over, till something works, attempting to manage their lives and their personal affairs and social, psychological, economic, political, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth. 

1—What is the problem?

2—What are the alternatives?

3—What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play AIN’T IT AWFUL more now than in the past, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for complaining and talking about the evils and troubles of world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems and policies manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic Persecutor oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists and politicians, however true that might be in reality, often inviting Rescuers to play another psychological Game known as LET’S YOU AND HIM, HER, OR THEM FIGHT.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans 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 called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Trump is playing IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU with Iran and Venezuela right now, and one can build a case he spends almost all his time playing psychological Games with political adversaries, supporters, and others.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU entails aggrieved humans psychologically believing that opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused by circumstances and script messages to do what they did just like the aggrieved aggressive people were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems such as poor educational systems, poor family scripts, poor religions, and poor economic policies and systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis to create better time structuring patterns and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331 

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds  at https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810 .

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/   for some management science ideas on how Earthian humans might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth.  This entails Earthian humans never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/  

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

For details regarding my transactional analysis and management science qualifications see my RJS Academic Vita at https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.   

RECENT RELEVANT READING:

As usual this month’s THE EARTHIAN FORUM  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.  

Some Game-playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer is psychologically Persecuting, Rescuing, or Victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, and politically. Unfortunately one can build a case that all politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games, mostly wasting their time pastiming (bullshitting), engaging in rituals (shuffling paper, filling out unnecessary forms, attending useless meetings, and the like), and playing psychological Games. Almost everything done in so-called foreign policy is a psychological Game, and everyone knows very little real work ever gets done in Congress anymore.

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet, and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and relatively true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong than dishonestly wrong. In other words, it’s worse to tell someone something you know is false than it is to tell someone something that is false that you really thought was true.

It seems to me most lying is lying by omission, people not telling people things they know are true that others need to know. Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful than lying by commission is debatable, and it’s getting harder for most people to know what’s true and what’s not. Politicians, political parties, the US government, and mainstream media do more lying by omission than they do by commission. On the other hand, Trump is a world-class liar by commission and omission. Obama mainly lied by omission.

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 at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html. please go to our RESPONSES page and let us know about them at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html .

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

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for THE EARTHIAN FORUM, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN FORUM and would like to reciprocate please go to the Effective Learning Publications page on the masthead above and purchase one or more books.

Best wishes, RJS

SOURCES:

February 15, 2020

If this is real it seems to me it will have economic consequences around Spaceship Earth, could bring on a global recession and shortages of various products.

“China is Disintegrating: Steel Demand, Property Sales, Traffic All Approaching Zero,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/china-disintegrating-steel-demand-property-sales-traffic-all-approaching-zero?fbclid=IwAR0qI9-hnSqAJCn-MzB1EnBqT1ScQKMcK975O6oAGS6xGCTJlMsNdm_tBrQ.  

February 14

More bad news

“’It’s Coming: CDC Director Warns Coronavirus to Become Widespread Throughout United States, ‘Probably Beyond 2020,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/health/its-coming-cdc-director-warns-coronavirus-become-widespread-throughout-united-states?fbclid=IwAR2TAjZhSIW_fWeoYNFt8Liitx3Fcsa5azZXuFikXjPpDJS4day7I4La7e4.

February 13

Here’s an update on the coronavirus

“Coronavirus live updates: China’s Hubel reports 14,840 new cases, 242 additional deaths,” by Weizhen Tan, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/13/coronavirus-latest-updates-china-hubei.html?__source=sharebar|facebook&par=sharebar&fbclid=IwAR3bTvJRjFRXMrpgdLAHCZkxIbblqFr3u63PY9V1jQxbaQP5ylrLrPOUIRQ.

February 12

Here’s a new publishing adventure featuring Rout Logger in a fictional serial novel, the second episode, which links with the first one, if you want to start at the beginning.

“The Group: To Save Spaceship Earth—Episode 2,” featuring Rout Logger, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-2/?fbclid=IwAR1v0oTQx-rWkSY7lxB5mbi4Endmmw_BQbKWB-RpV8Gt_g4HT23QyYHWm7U

February 12

Here’s a well researched and written article that I hope isn’t true about US theories about what really caused the JFK, MLK, RFK and other abominations of US history. Who wants to think the CIA and other agents of the US government have done what they are alleged to have done in this regard? Whether it’s true is one of the biggest questions of US history. Unfortunately so far no one has been able to prove it’s true or not true. If lone nut Oswald did the JFK killing by himself he was one of the most powerful individuals in human history, since he changed the course of USian history. The quality of life of the US has been going downhill ever since JFK was killed in 1963. If it is true the CIA and others did it it would be nice if it were proved true so USians could get on with a serious grieving process dealing with the psychological loss they would suffer caused by knowing how amoral their government has been so as to bring about a more moral government.

“The USA’s Doll House: A Vast Tapestry of Lies and Illusions,” by Edward Curtin, OFF-GUARDIAN, https://off-guardian.org/2020/02/09/the-usas-doll-house-a-vast-tapestry-of-lies-and-illusions/?fbclid=IwAR3DD-_HrX3WUohWbAq–xDqwgt-Ccuci0VsnPW3_y_Hi3W1AwyyzaUrpcU.

February 10

Could not agree more

“2020 is Going To Get Much Crazier. Prioritize Your Mental Health,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/2020-is-going-to-get-much-crazier-prioritize-your-mental-health-7334d7ca38a0.

February 10

Great article. Maybe the best I have read regarding the possibilities of life on other planets and what it might be like, and what might happen to life there, including rational considerations of what might happen to life aboard Spaceship Earth. Several excellent science-based articles are referenced and linked in this article discussing global warming and climate change from a cosmic perspective. Must reading for intelligent Earthian humans.

“Alien Nations: Why Life on Other Planets Will Resemble Ours,” by Steve LeVine, ONE ZERO MEDIUM, https://onezero.medium.com/alien-nations-why-life-on-other-planets-will-resemble-ours-15fb4ede6fe7.

February 10

Perish the thought, but author Haque may be right here. Afraid he is.

“What Soviet Collapse Has to Say about American Collapse,” by Omar Haque, EUDOMONIA, https://eand.co/is-bernie-americas-gorbachev-9a5340e9bf16.

February 9

Say it aint so Joe

“NATO and the impeachment Trial,” by Gary Leupp, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04/nato-and-the-impeachment-trial/?fbclid=IwAR07zCd964JyK5I2iLEXrk6wWb6pWGqHdOnQcCpWduCq3XZiid_RtipjpFg.

February 9

Here it is folks, the real truth about the Dems and the Repugs, by Paul Street, the greatest writer alive.

“The Game is Rigged,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/07/the-game-is-rigged/?fbclid=IwAR3B_58rlDKRy9GXk0DA-7UDGYbCZSinNM6zjOhWLet7yUEw3Y1sI0vyT2I.

February 7

So it may be. James Kunstler tells it like he constructs it.

“Slapstick Suicide,” by James Kunstler, KUNSTLER.COM, https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/slapstick-suicide/?fbclid=IwAR1xfWVY79KiCcQKWFO8HSZPQmNbKRtPBBFJHRYYguvsIpvXjm-ZHPx25E4#.Xj4SVlpJxxs.facebook.

February 7

As I have said many times, it’s corruption, and this lady, Caitlin Johnstone really nails it with hard data from Iowa. the DNC elite just don’t give a rip about improving things for the majority of we the people. They only care about preserving their own positions and perks within the DNC establishment..

“I keep seeing the word “incompetence” thrown around. “Gosh these Democratic Party leaders are so incompetent!”, they say. “How can anyone be so bad at their job?”

“Well, they are not bad at their job. They are very, very good at their job. It’s just that their job isn’t what most people assume it is.

“Their job is not to win elections and garner public support, their job is to ensure the perpetuation of the status quo which rewards them so handsomely for their malignant behavior. Toward this end they are not incompetent at all. They know exactly what they’re doing, and they’re doing it well.” Caitlin Johnstone

“The Myth Of Incompetence: DNC Scandals Are A Feature, Not A Bug,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-myth-of-incompetence-dnc-scandals-are-a-feature-not-a-bug-4f264352d4f7.

February 6

Not easy to understand

“Here it is: One Bank Finally Explains How The Fed’s Balance Sheet Expansion Pushes Stocks Higher,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/here-it-one-bank-finally-explains-how-feds-balance-sheet-expansion-pushes-stocks-higher?fbclid=IwAR3fRbuWNgaxKnDgjZbCJ163cJ1gbzcB0nr7qTl_0YaNLQWc0M7STJeLU2o.

February 6

I wonder if anyone has actually counted the number of lies Trump told in his speech. Here’s Robert Reich’s reaction to some of his biggest lies about the economy. May I mention his Space Force as another lie he brought up in his speech. Unfortunately it’s not a lie about something existing, since he has created such a thing, the dumbest, most wasteful, most dangerous thing he has done yet. Yet it’s a lie the Space Force is a good and worthwhile thing. It’s not only dangerous and wasteful, It’s stupid and juvenile, another paranoid authoritarian agency similar to Bush II’s unnecessary and wasteful Homeland Security agency.

“The real State of the Union,” by Robert Reich, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29226.

February 6

Let’s hope it does not come to this, an unhappy story with an unhappy ending; but it is an interesting piece of fiction.

“How the World Ends: a Story,” by John Stanton, COUNTERUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/05/how-the-world-ends-a-story/?fbclid=IwAR2FADncPvuhhK3TuIIco2ZSnGTIkFnwVYMwc5rcCzyWvudRInryRWtrFAg.

February 6

While Trump did not technically lie about this, by a long shot he did not tell the full truth. If you ask Google—is Maduro the elected president of Venezuela?—you will find he was elected president in 2018. Unfortunately the political situation in Venezuela is complicated by legal and political actions taken after the death of Chavez that make it difficult to discern the truth of the matter. Several US vassal nations support Trump’s view that Maduro is not the legitimate leader of Venezuela. This article was written by a Maduro-supporting Venezeulan expat living in Canada who asserts a majority of people now living in Venezuela support Maduro, considering him a hero and Guaido a thief. Unfortunately this is one of those situations where no one can prove they’re right. On the other hand, if you have enough power you can simply tell people what the right answer is; and Trump, being the dictator he is, enjoys making up right answers; and his repug senators and his repug voters enjoy memorizing them, as if holy writ, to preserve the status quo of their positions.

“Trump’s Imaginary World, Maduro’s Real World,” by Maria Paez Victor, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/06/trumps-imaginary-world-maduros-real-world/?fbclid=IwAR0tGgi3hC6CVNwW3ff7h6nf_hWEJ3W5sOI64CnbV22xydsYkOf363FO_s0.

February 6

Lies, lies, and more lies about reality in the speech, yet Trump continues to win the political propaganda Game between authoritarian nihilists and democratic idealists. It was a dark night for Spaceship Earth and human Earthians. This author, Jack Rasmus, tells it about like it was.

“Trump’s ‘Red Meat’ SOTU Speech: US Political Crisis Now Deepens,” by Jack Rasmus, COUNERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/06/trumps-red-meat-sotu-speech-us-political-crisis-now-deepens/?fbclid=IwAR1vNjESOez6iKbyRz0ZHiHcQ6C-PPVN9p4b_cfE7r_UQw2F8PgIufegDOI.

February 6

Here is a new publishing adventure by Effective Learning Publications, a serial novel, a work in progress, featuring Rout Logger. Richard John Stapleton, Writer, Editor, & Publisher

“The Group: To Save Spaceship Earth—Part 1,” featuring Rout Logger, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-part-1/?fbclid=IwAR1BEyo6CzpaaqpM_2YWsMeJC8i_boPpYJU990E8_qxNehtcl9UlT5kapiE.

February 6

A serious thoughtful article on how to deal or not to deal with neo-Nazis, a problem either way.

“Anti-Fascist Practice and Impossible Non-Violence,” by Natasha Lennard, “EVERGREEN, https://evergreenreview.com/read/anti-fascist-practice-and-impossible-non-violence?fbclid=IwAR0nbqntElL5O4gsp2qEf_Ma8gbDcY0pugOlvqb6haDv0Hi55U82UTQnQrE.

February 6

Ralph Nader ought to be running the US government.

“It should be easy to defeat Trump, but corporate Democrats look ready and willing to blow it,” by Ralph Nader, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29207.

February 5

Another good window on US foreign policy

“How Obama’s Mid-East policy led to Nazi rebirth in today’s Germany,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29213.

February 5

Nuclear power produced by nuclear fission is safe, we have been told over and over again by employees in the nuclear power industry; and it may be, assuming there are no accidents, and if a way can be found to store nuclear waste. But is it worth the risk? Does anyone know? Most likely not.

“An appalling act of industrial vandalism: Japanese officials do PR for plan to dump Fukushima water into ocean,” by Andrea Germanos, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29223.

February 5

Best article i have read lately on USian foreign policy. Both Dems and Repugs are trying to convince we the people of the US Russia is a serious enemy to cement their funding internally in the US from their deep state sugar daddies to satisfy their never-ending insatiable lust for power and money, playing the psychological Game Top Dog trying to make their lives seem meaningful.

“NATO and the Impeachment Trial,” by Gary Leupp, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04/nato-and-the-impeachment-trial/?fbclid=IwAR1BoZyXiTkcmLWqGvEgYZIQGl-sBq6sTpTWBSRRc5_wAdS-3buRAv-OdvE.

February 5

Some interesting wisdom here

“Sedition or Sedationd?: Liberalism and Neuroses,” by Kim C. Domenico, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04/sedition-or-sedation-liberalism-and-neuroses/?fbclid=IwAR1ATfmvp-uNE4yl6Mcu1SyEa4ezImMa90EJHmOdTIFD2KsDDfDBy9xV74U.

February 5

Agree

“We Liver in a Disintegrating World,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04/we-live-in-a-disintegrating-world/?fbclid=IwAR02W9wxaQ8CNtbRCg8NyK7l8JwMKMj_AwZGMPClpsnwyUv5oI7yURf09l4.

February 5

Say it aint so Joe

“Explosives used on 9/11 say commissioners,” by Craig McKee, COMMON GROUND, https://commonground.ca/explosives-used-on-9-11-say-commissioners/?fbclid=IwAR3ywseu-vYr0YdtLCCxFGTavZMlKWe3CbA4YsqIefs0ai3SBEntyMGjt-o.

February 5

Lies, lies, almost nothing but lies in the speech, a few trivial facts here and there. It was a pathetic disgusting spectacle. Serious regard for truth was absent, exemplified by the fake news clapping of the Repug senators no matter what Trump said. Intellectual honesty and respect for truth was irrelevant among them.

“Twitter Users Hail ‘Queen’ Pelosi For Ripping Up Trump’s ‘Garbage’ Speech,” by Ed Mazza, HUFFPOST, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-trump-speech-rip-reaction_n_5e3a3f12c5b670682953ab4c?utm_source=politics_fb&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013&section=politics&fbclid=IwAR3Llm3TNLLD5So6iZia4X9VC8YpyLMUZV6IBHWlY8S_FebyUp-OPwl_N8c.

February 4

Serious problem

“Re-Contextualizing Fascism,” by Peter Harrison, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04/re-contextualizing-fascism/?fbclid=IwAR3DLSyXjpqOURof6qkLdkVA-VF2NT0USuPZVG2xkUin5BnMGc0npSRxAj8.

February 4

About says it all. Well said. Unbelievable incompetence for sure and possible fraud.

“The Iowa Caucus Has Choked Itself to Death at Last,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-iowa-caucus-has-choked-itself-to-death-at-last/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1FKAWaUGn1dgrcGd6PVn1aKC8vcrqcYSJjJEYcOP8ZWaTQdrOucihQ43o.

February 4

Possibly done to deny Bernie his moment of glory in his probably-won victory speech. This is not a conspiracy theory, merely a theory. I assure you I am not part of any conspiracy regarding the facts of this case, the incredible DNC trainwreck in Iowa. It’s also my opinion the abomination happened because the dim Dems were trying to sabotage Sanders; and the last time i checked, any USian citizen is allowed to have opinions. On the other hand, I suppose anyone who supports any political candidate could be labeled a conspiracist, conspiring against other candidates s/he deems inferior to his/her choice. In this sense I plead guilty to legally conspiring against all Dem candidates still in the race except Bernie, who it seems to me the corrupt DNC is again sabotaging; and, yes, it is my opinion (not a conspiracy theory) that the DNC establishment is crooked as a barrel of snakes, as they also demonstrated in the 2016 primaries.

“’it’s a total meltdown’: Confusion seizes Iowa as officials struggle to report results,” by Natasha Korecki, Alex Thompson, and David Siders, POLITICO, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/03/iowa-caucus-2020-election-110600?fbclid=IwAR0qmMc6Ijfluj2GmFHXi9Eh8XKTqNDl93qskUFod80DJ4IqYEa6OakQEVY.

February 4

Maybe a bit cavalier and overly certain, but generally correct. What the US needs to do is restore its social democratic immune system to ward off the morbid consequences of unfettered capitalism, especially authoritarianism and fascism.

“Why American Collapse is a Warning to the World,” by Umar Haque, EUDAMONIA, https://eand.co/why-american-collapse-is-a-warning-to-the-world-810a15a7eeb.

February 4

Strongly agree. Zerohedge should not have been banned from Twitter for life. I read Zerohedge most days. It has some of the best content out there on economics and politics, albeit posting a few conspiracy theories, aka fictional theories, now and then. But so what, a little creative writing won’t hurt anyone. As to Zerohedge posting fake news, one can build a case all news about economics and politics is fake in the sense that the true causes and consequences of the matter cannot be proved true. Making up facts and posting them as if they are real is indeed lying by commission, and should be punished. Assuming Zerohedge habitually did this (which i have not observed) the facts of the misdemeanor(s) should be proved and posted and appropriate punishment should be meted out; but lifetime banishment is extreme. How about banning a few mainstream media for lying by omission—not telling the public about things they need to know (often falsely labeled conspiracy theories) to protect the guilty rich and powerful, or the US government?

“Zerohedge’s Twitter Account is  Permanently Banished,” by Michael Krieger, LIBERTY BLITZREIG, https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2020/02/03/zerohedges-twitter-account-is-permanently-banished/?fbclid=IwAR1wSqUVhJSrr3QGpyL5VPQgnnCQLSHNla80Nn7_XZBeiZHCBgqD8F3A5RA.

February 3

Have they no shame

“The Bernie Blackout is Real, and These Screenshots Prove it,” by Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-bernie-blackout-is-real-and-these-screenshots-prove-it/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3MFdM_gLKVqESrzDVFr1pyltjLw48wqiM-5LrqSbW-5iao2wUXGI6Luak.

February 3

Surprise

“Right-Wing Business Billionaires Launch Attack on Bernie Sanders, by Alex Kotch, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/right-wing-business-billionaires-launch-attack-on-bernie-sanders/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1JUOUp0LuykSwSph6EkYhsnNTexG_0MNjln2y9IeAwTxoIGPyw_pK2te0.

February 12

Say it aint so Joe

“The Super Bowl is a Grift Of Epic Proportions,” by Dave Zirin via THE NATION, Zerohedge, https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/super-bowl-grift-epic-proportions?fbclid=IwAR1DCqDmx2QhY3J-GR2PWHGvevDUgKAnzO5KUsn3Pym0k1cO3fNxsZbUi44.

February 1

Why so? Because Bernie is for we the people, not for large corporations and the elite rich, and the DNC political hacks, who kiss up to the supers, aka the dishonest DNC bought and paid for super delegates.

“The Supers Are Back: DNC Members Planning Move to Block Sanders…Again,” by Jonathan Turley, JONATHANTURLEY.ORG, https://jonathanturley.org/2020/02/01/the-supers-are-back-dnc-members-planning-move-to-block-sanders-again/?fbclid=IwAR1r9hRlcaChL3k-CYfZCaNjm4KofOLtTefqYeegBUKex8gByL7RCV1Lu_s.

February 1

Another thing socialism means is that the people run the country, not large corporations and the elite rich for profit. While any military is basically a fascist top-down controlled system, the US military is also one of the best socialistic meritocracies you can find, doing its duty every day, totally funded by tax and borrowed US government dollars, having almost eliminated racism in its ranks, having no democratic processes or expressed profit making objectives. I don’t think you could argue our socialistic military has failed as an organization.

“Analysis: 10 Things You Should Know About Socialism,” by Richard D. Wolff, YES MAGAZINE, https://www.yesmagazine.org/democracy/2020/01/30/socialism-understanding/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YTW_20200131&utm_content=YTW_20200131+CID_9ee99f1f3d058106441a8ae595752cac&utm_source=CM&utm_term=10+things+you+should+know+about+socialism&fbclid=IwAR02BKNZXu8NA-yeivBCtpOHk7YnikAp8_SS7bDRxBUjirDvTFGOFEazccM.

February 1

The height of insanity

“US military prepares for war with Russia: Report,” PRESSTV, https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/31/617566/US-military-prepares-for-war-with-Russia:-Report?fbclid=IwAR2S2kkZU74t9Ru-bXf_bR89lV1gdbqfe2bha3BeJG-hvlLePk-tISIlKeE.

February 1

A heavily redacted smoking gun

“The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich,” by Craig Murray, CRAIGMURRAY.ORG, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/01/the-fbi-has-been-lying-about-seth-rich/?fbclid=IwAR0za8zscZYP9D_4X9vGj8BUeZo9EqRQ7r2rTxqUBbkATZC97OuqKLeTw8k.

January 31

What are the chances they will stick with their guns on this?

“’No Blank Check For War’: House Votes To Bar Trump Military Action on Iran,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/no-blank-check-war-house-votes-bar-unapproved-strikes-iran?fbclid=IwAR3JKOvnF49McJUjCjs5wY3qNrclxegEEYHdU6jXYTYT5ZwXdhttw88ENBE.

January 29  

Here’s the details of the bribery process that is ruining the US.

“Influence of Wall Street Donors Has Exploded in Decade Since ‘Citizens United’.” By Tatyana Monnay, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/influence-of-wall-street-donors-has-exploded-in-decade-since-citizens-united/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2XjDdSJhBXQpAPOO-ThEs-Fee6dZM6DpJ7Z1oh5aINPI4vWnm3I7v6LHY.

January 29  

No doubt about it, Howard Zinn had a large impact during his time aboard Spaceship Earth; but unfortunately democratic idealists have been losing the ultimate Game with authoritarian nihilists for decades.

“10 Years After His Passing, Howard Zinn remains a Threat to the Status Quo,” by Anthony Arnove, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/10-years-after-his-passing-howard-zinn-remains-a-threat-to-the-status-quo/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3gm37VYAQNUR2t80VUN16xyTJUW57HmOJ0sPZKryeA59atGJ19IW3z6O8.

January 29

So it seems

“Hegemon USA doesn’t negotiate, it demands,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29159?fbclid=IwAR2dZtIrT6y8M9Qj6gWlQ4XvF0AfZ1CFeokbeG0BvmR-TYXaaCAqoiofLu4.

January 29

Scary

“War on dissent by the US and West threatens speech, media and academic freedoms,” by Stephen Landman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29151.

January 28 

Could be a major strategic issue before long.

“Why the New Silk Roads are a ‘threat’ to US bloc,” by Pepe Escobar, THE SAKER, http://thesaker.is/why-the-new-silk-roads-are-a-threat-to-us-bloc/?fbclid=IwAR2CdBCv-wYsCIJsAnxpcxu5tLCcDllWlVVDiXbOoXqF2wE2QY-jrj1MY-k.

January 27 

Yes, but does he have a plan? I have one. See my Spaceship Earth, Inc. essay posted on the masthead of my blog at https://www.effectivelearning.net/spaceship-earth–inc..html.

“We need a new economic model or the planet will burn, Prince Charles warns,” by Mark Thompson and Max Foster, CNN BUSINESS, https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/22/business/prince-charles-climate-davos/index.html?utm_source=fbbusiness&utm_content=2020-01-26T06%3A01%3A05&utm_term=link&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR1rzLSjYbkVwJqndguG9v1SPpG78BicraGHYhe57YkFEw78IoDF9NiCNn8.

January 27

“Theocracy is a form of government that draws its authority from religion. Advocating for Judeo-Christian moral standards in favor of reason and our Constitution, as attorney general Barr does when he claims that those standards are “God’s instruction manual for the best running man and human society,” is, in essence advocating theocracy. That is at odds with the first amendment of the Constitution he has sworn to uphold. And to see where that might lead us, we need only look at the theocratic regimes in the Middle East. To address the problems of today, like global warming and wealth inequality, it will be far better for USian citizens to emulate the founding fathers and understand that the solutions are not in the Bible, but rather in the minds of intelligent well-informed citizens.” Topper

“The Better Moral Creed,” by Bob Topper, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/27/the-better-moral-creed/?fbclid=IwAR22qppf1-ZGxH-ovLgAp-uFerNFKyLuobnCq2eA191NnQvIkzO27wkdwHM.

January 27

Sad shape we’re in, no doubt about that.

“Bill Moyers: Government is Now a Protection Racket for the 1%,” by Michael Winship and Bill Moyers, MOYERS AND COMPANY, https://truthout.org/video/government-is-now-a-protection-racket-for-the-1/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1efl6gHy6uZ_Qag_ez4MHTN4D_w6lrtlEqAtljBrRv7X11DbMKzxwNisM.

January 27

Here is some good and relevant reading authored by my long time friend William John Cox. Wm and I played on the same high school football team at Frenship High School at Wolfforth, Texas in 1954. Wm is pictured on the first row at far right in our Frenship High School team picture for 1954 shown in the Photos section on the left side of this Facebook page.

Well Folks,

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, but I’ve been busy writing. It seems the older I get, the worse things seem to be getting, and as the decade of my 70s nears its end, my greatest worry is the mess we’re leaving for our children and grandchildren to clean up, and my grave fear is that they will fail, and our humanity will become extinct within the lifetimes of some who are living today.
Starting the first of December, and writing each day from early in the mornings, I just completed and published the fifth and last of The Gift of Mind Series of papers organized as little books. The Choices of Mind: Extinction or Evolution? will also be the last such task these tired old hands will ever undertake, but it was undoubtedly the most important. Choices incorporates my previous work and focuses it on the most critical issues we are confronting today.
Please take a minute to consider the following description of The Choices of Mind, and if you can, please forward to all your contacts. Paperback and eBook copies are available from Amazon, but Choices which serves as my digital autobiography and the first four of The Gift of Mind Series can be downloaded for free at the https://mindkind.info/ website, or along with all my books is available at the williamjohncox.com website,
.
Forgive me for imposing on all we’ve ever shared, but the reality of extreme crisis is all too real, and what I fear most is doing nothing to protect our children and their future, while waiting for someone else to do what must be done if we are to survive.
Thanks for sharing my message, and as always, you have
My Best Wishes for these very interesting times in which we find ourselves.
~wm


Dedicated to and written for the young people of the world, The Choices of Mind: Extinction or Evolution? is a handbook for human survival of the menacing dangers of global warming, casino economics, corrupt governments, endless wars, and intolerance that threaten near-term human extinction within the life times of those living today.
The Choices of Mind is written as a trial brief by public interest lawyer, William John Cox, who prosecuted Holocaust deniers and published the suppressed Dead Sea Scrolls. The book is organized into crimes—“The Extinction Papers” (the bad news) and remedies—“The Evolution Papers (the good news).
The Extinction Papers presents indicting evidence of the multiple threats to humanity resulting from crimes committed against the environment; a casino economy addicted to gambling; governments that are corrupt and unrepresentative; corporate militarization and its endless wars, and intolerance, an inherited, latent disease of Mankind.
The Evolution Papers prescribes a series of remedies flowing from an awareness of mind. By unleashing the evolutionary and exponential power of tolerance through compassion, collaboration, concentration, compromise, and cooperation, our collective minds will have the power to resolve these deadly threats, and to ensure our grandchildren have the chance to achieve their destiny and to visit places far beyond our imagination or present comprehension.

“Mindkind,” by William John Cox, MINDKINDINFO, https://mindkind.info/?fbclid=IwAR1K5DUWs6bF0xeyu8e_4QFpGzgBgsUSx4NS0gcS4jt4Px-quEVopriPKz0.

January 26

Here are some Christians making up conspiracy theories.

“Top Christian Academic Professor says Muslims didn’t do 9/11,” U-Tube Video, THE DEAN SHOW, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqxY3p4O094&fbclid=IwAR1ksns2HHpv-vY0OhcLfmrglIUx9R37d1iq8Z8gpzA_wFIwrI0WGgR6iiE.

January 25

Here is a fearless truth teller if ever there was one. This guy may be wrong, but if he is, he is honestly wrong. He is not trying to manipulate you for personal gain, in my opinion.

“Deadly distractions: Laying the groundwork for the next civil war,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29128.

January 25

Hope it’s not a hoax

“Scientists in Britain May Have Just ‘Acidentally’ Found A Cure for Cancer,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/health/scientists-britain-may-have-just-accidentally-found-cure-cancer?fbclid=IwAR3UNY_LApHaTgWo3h4b4k-iZOTICxsbAP2m7Os99S_d4Us1PIM2eV0wP8Q.

January 25

Nothing but a bunch of party line-voting greedy careerists in both parties.

“Chris Hedges: Democrats Have No Moral Authority on Impeachment,” by Chris Hedges, TRUTHDIG, https://www.truthdig.com/videos/chris-hedges-democrats-have-no-moral-authority-on-impeachment/?fbclid=IwAR0NXEVwO4UB0-6zLE0AMnuqZTMD4BWa8R-o4NncnCqRaTZ4CRubsjVDp3s.

January 25

Capitalism makes most poor people believe they are entitled aristocrats just temporarily out of funds.

“What Happens When People Find Out Capitalism Was a Lie? Or, the Age of Disintegration,” by Umar Haque, EUDAIMONIA, https://eand.co/what-happens-when-people-find-out-capitalism-was-a-lie-78137aca7072.

January 24

A small favor

“Assange moved out of solitary in UK prison,” THE CANBERRA TIMES, https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6597815/assange-moved-out-of-solitary-in-uk-prison/?cs=14232&fbclid=IwAR2a_M0MLgwRtTauJuTGD3ifag-UeuVbdVvUFoZOfRPjOUdhwIUXqm-50-E.

January 24

Another great article by Paul Street, detailing the insanity of our times.

“A Letter From Iowa,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/24/a-letter-from-iowa/?fbclid=IwAR17CGNG7JRX4E20Yuq9mYvXC8_I5hrda7WismyrlraCuZbCNfQ2ZLrd45o.

January 24

Great article by Caitlin Johnstone

“How to be a mentally sovereign human,” by Caitlin Johnstone, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29112.

January 23

Yes, wage peace

“Ten Best Messages for Waging Peace,” by Richard Moser, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/23/ten-best-messages-for-waging-peace/?fbclid=IwAR2dNkZ8iTmNTnB4B_2z5PqUP_AyDjWqGI3mUltGL6iudUYbrsDvx1h0tJE.

January 23

One per woman sounds about right for several generations to shrink the Earthian human population back to a sustainable level.

“Feminist Author Calls on Germans to Stop Having Babies to Save the Planet,” by Paul Joseph Watson, SUMMIT NEWS, https://summit.news/2020/01/22/feminist-author-calls-on-germans-to-stop-having-babies-to-save-the-planet/?fbclid=IwAR1zxykc8z2KzonsmeMSImZHwK9F7x7m02TO0nZvHQk3eFRev-l6D3ob8Zk.

January 23

Got to keep the US dollar the global reserve currency.

“The Real Causes of the US Forever Wars,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-real-causes-of-the-us-forever-wars/?fbclid=IwAR0ECpjbTm7dfyVq1mC1nbR0ndmxJxG5Ut1IjmJJ-zLs-715zXBQnVDIsqY.

January 23

Why Trump Killed Soleimani

Here is an excerpt from Michael Hudson’s article linked below explaining in my opinion the major reason why Trump assassinated Soleimani. It’s a sad and grisly tale with no good guys and no happy ending in sight.

“Finally, what can U.S. anti-war opponents do to resist the neocon attempt to destroy any part of the world that resists U.S. neoliberal autocracy? This has been the most disappointing response over the weekend. They are flailing. It has not been helpful for Warren, Buttigieg and others to accuse Trump of acting rashly without thinking through the consequences of his actions. That approach shies away from recognizing that his action did indeed have a rationale—do draw a line in the sand, to say that yes, America WILL go to war, will fight Iran, will do anything at all to defend its control of Near Eastern oil and to dictate OPEC central bank policy, to defend its ISIS legions as if any opposition to this policy is an attack on the United States itself.

“I can understand the emotional response or yet new calls for impeachment of Donald Trump. But that is an obvious non-starter, partly because it has been so obviously a partisan move by the Democratic Party. More important is the false and self-serving accusation that President Trump has overstepped his constitutional limit by committing an act of war against Iran by assassinating Soleimani.

“Congress endorsed Trump’s assassination and is fully as guilty as he is for having approved the Pentagon’s budget with the Senate’s removal of the amendment to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that Bernie Sanders, Tom Udall and Ro Khanna inserted an amendment in the House of Representatives version, explicitly not authorizing the Pentagon to wage war against Iran or assassinate its officials. When this budget was sent to the Senate, the White House and Pentagon (a.k.a. the military-industrial complex and neoconservatives) removed that constraint. That was a red flag announcing that the Pentagon and White House did indeed intend to wage war against Iran and/or assassinate its officials. Congress lacked the courage to argue this point at the forefront of public discussion.

“Behind all this is the Saudi-inspired 9/11 act taking away Congress’s sole power to wage war – its 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, pulled out of the drawer ostensibly against Al Qaeda but actually the first step in America’s long support of the very group that was responsible for 9/11, the Saudi airplane hijackers.

“The question is, how to get the world’s politicians – U.S., European and Asians – to see how America’s all-or-nothing policy is threatening new waves of war, refugees, disruption of the oil trade in the Strait of Hormuz, and ultimately global warming and neoliberal dollarization imposed on all countries. It is a sign of how little power exists in the United Nations that no countries are calling for a new Nurenberg-style war crimes trial, no threat to withdraw from NATO or even to avoid holding reserves in the form of money lent to the U.S. Treasury to fund America’s military budget.”

Read this article for the full context and explanation.

“America Escalates Its ‘Democratic’ Oil War in the Near East,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/06/america-escalates-its-democratic-oil-war-in-the-near-east/?fbclid=IwAR0pvikShfrewhM_dgXc_thOwTm8WdO8Ghu_3rWKojMu2sqHESBim5D_0_8.

January 22

A prescient article

“Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies,” by Courtenay Barnett, GLOBAL RESEARCH, https://www.globalresearch.ca/oil-conflict-and-the-future-of-global-energy-supplies/1781.

January 20

How serious is this?

“The Rumbling Methane Enigma,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/17/the-rumbling-methane-enigma/?fbclid=IwAR3Oxr1NxMqvcdxeaxf_U3OhzPkv7iXYvXMhwy6GIQBEzErWv7JZja4JNIA.

January 18

The best hope for we the people is to go full blast for Bernie as Dem presidential nominee. Then go after the fifty percent of US eligible voters who have not voted for president. Convince enough of them to vote for democratic socialist Sanders, for higher taxes for the elite rich and large corporations, who will hopefully raise taxes back to what existed in the US before 1980, while attacking global warming full on. This is more likely to attract enough voters in 2020 to beat Trump than a pedestrian ethically-challenged politician like Biden. Sanders is the only viable Dem candidate with original ideas and real determination to do what he says he thinks should be done, which is also what i think should be done. On the other hand, I am not a Bernie buster. If he does not get the nomination more than likely I will vote for whoever is nominated by the Dems.

“CNN debate blatantly targeted Bernie Sanders and the anti-establishment,” by Jim Naureckas and Julie Hollar, NEWSWEEK, https://www.newsweek.com/cnn-debate-blatantly-targeted-bernie-sanders-anti-establishment-opinion-1482620?fbclid=IwAR060eTrvZOoqGv4Xqs0brdSpiJ4Jsqu8O-2e76JI7xZ6zBlzeDPoc_Fu1k.

January 18

Because the US healthcare system is a for-profit system

“US health system costs four times more to run than Canada;s single-payer system,” by Melissa Healy, MSN NEWS, https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/newspolitics/us-health-system-costs-four-times-more-to-run-than-canadas-single-payer-system/ar-BBYK8o9?fbclid=IwAR2LX-5L_kEgtB7woHidjzmXxd4gRuWuWAx0oxq27SLovbkinBXWMkv23xo.

January 12

Yuk

“Mega Droughts Engulf Countries,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/10/mega-droughts-engulf-countries/?fbclid=IwAR0LWBd_18x7qynCSiswrYwQ-yioOrFbtdbReCIb3qrpFY3K_YvAfoy5Nus.

Feel free to forward, share, post, print, or otherwise circulate The Earthian Forum any way you see fit.  

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT AND THE EARTHIAN FORUM: Email rjstapleton@bulloch.net and punch subscription into the subject line.     

Richard John Stapleton, Certified Transactional Analyst, Educator, Writer, Editor & Publisher

THE GROUP: To Save Spaceship Earth—Episode 2

The Group: To Save Spaceship Earth is a work in progress. While settings, plots, theories, objects, and narratives in this novel may be loosely analogous to the same that have happened in various realities around Spaceship Earth, the names, actions, and attributions of characters cast herein are purely fictional. All episodes of this novel will be published in the Effective Learning Report at various intervals on the Internet, subject to revision at any time, hopefully culminating in a final print edition offered for sale to the public.

Copyright 2020 by Effective Learning Publications. All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be copied or printed on paper without permission. Share on the Internet as you wish.

If you want to refresh yourself about what happened in earlier episodes, go to the following website addresses:

Part 1, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-part-1/.   

Rout—“Good afternoon, folks.  I hope you enjoyed your lunch.  Some of you probably think I should have told you in advance what would happen in the meeting, and I should have passed out a detailed list of do’s and don’ts, or a lengthy detailed printed set of instructions, perhaps passing out something like a syllabus for a college course, explaining in detail all the process procedures, rules, laws, requirements, and so forth in advance.

       “The problem is I don’t know everything that will happen as we progress through this process, yet I know I have to provide some structure.  Any process has to have a few procedures, rules and laws to achieve a satisfactory level of efficiency and effectiveness.  I’m sure I will invent a few more as time goes by, as they occur to me.  Most likely if you stay with the program long enough you’ll conclude the process is efficient and effective.  Everything I said this morning was audio and video recorded and you can access it with your computer in this room before or after a session starts, if you forget something you want to remember. I have an assistant who can help you pull it up on your computer if you need help.

       “Some people would call me a facilitator, but I am more than that.  I do some teaching, but I am more a co-learner than anything else.  Most of the problems we will be discussing do not have provably-true “right” answers.  The best answers are those that have the highest probabilities of producing salutary outcomes.  This process is similar to some university business school case method courses, which entail analyzing and discussing facts, not memorizing theories, dogmas or doctrines, or talking about rumors, lies and conspiracy theories; but instead of discussing researched printed paper cases in a casebook, our case is what is going on now around Spaceship Earth itself.

       “On the other hand, you may talk about your personal feelings and thoughts regarding the facts of Spaceship Earth in these sessions, as a client might in a group therapy session.  We are interested in what you feel, think, know, believe, advocate, and recommend regarding factual problems threatening Spaceship Earth.

       “You have now been furnished at your work station a seating chart showing the name and location of every member in the room, a UniDesk™, and a laptop computer. 

       “The laptop computers will be booted up during all sessions from now on.  You can adjust the UniDesk™ to position your computer to the height and angle that optimizes your comfort and efficiency using the computer as you sit in your chair.  The desk was invented and trademarked by a former professor who used a process similar to ours in his classes.  The particular model used here was custom manufactured to fit our layout and chairs.

       “A UniDesk™, an Apple laptop computer and a seating chart will be in place for your use in all subsequent sessions, as will one of the chairs in this room which will be moved from the hotel and city of the last meeting to the new hotel and city for the next meeting.

       “We will use the laptops to check out facts on the Internet when we have disagreements or a lack of factual knowledge among group members regarding a particular problem or opportunity.  When a legitimate question or dispute exists about facts the entire group will do an Internet search for relevant facts.  The default browser is Google because it is widely used and generally effective, and because I am used to it.  Once someone becomes convinced she or he has found relevant facts he or she will email the website address to the group.  Special email addresses have been arranged for every citizen in the group for use during group sessions.  It is against the law to email anything to persons, groups or organizations other than members of this group using these computers, and such emails have been blocked. You can only send content to the whole group in the meeting room at once. Again there will be no side conversations during group sessions, including computer email conversations.  “The Group” email addresses have been permanently affixed to the address bar on your email page.  All you have to do is hit the “send” button one time to email the whole group.  We use the same rule for email communication as for face-to-face communication:  No gossiping of any sort is allowed during group sessions, by tongue or computer.  Anything said must be said to the group as a whole.  We will not use this Google/email process often, but we will use it when disputes arise about facts in discussions and when I decide you need information from various Internet sites.  I will tell you when to use your computer during sessions.

       “I have also given some thought to using the laptops occasionally to give you an opportunity to publish your own writing to the group.  I’m not sure how this will work but it seems to me it might be helpful to set aside thirty or so minutes now and then for writing, posting and reading, to add variety to the discussion process.  If there are any poets among you this will give you an opportunity to express your feelings and thoughts about what has been going on the group process in writing.  All poems must relate to what has been discussed or experienced in the group process.  This would entail stopping the discussion and giving each of you a few minutes, perhaps up to thirty minutes, time to compose something.  Should you wish to post your writing to the group, you would save your writing in a Word document and email it to the all group members as an attachment, which would be opened on all laptops for reading and comments.  This would give you an opportunity to express feelings and thoughts in writing in language not possible to express orally in the discussion.

       “If you write something at home you want to publish to the whole group or forward something you have found on the Internet at home you will have to transfer it to your group computer using a memory stick, and you will have to get my permission to do so. All you have to do is tell the whole group during a session what you want to transmit and I will decide if it’s appropriate within the context of what we have been discussing.

       “While we are on the subject of laptops, you will notice—why not open up your laptop right now and turn it on?—the power button is a small circle on the upper left corner of your computer—there are only three icons at the lower edge of your screen, an Internet browser icon, an email icon, and a word processing icon, which are all we need for this process.  If you hit the browser icon a Google Internet search slot, as well as other browser options, will appear at the upper right of your screen.  When we do Internet searches to find facts, all you have to do is type your questions regarding the problem in the Google slot and hit the return key to find the addresses of Internet sites with information relative to the problem.  If you find a site with relevant facts, copy the address and paste it into an email—all emails are pre-addressed to all group members, and only group members, which are the only addresses you can use as recipients. After it appears to me you have had sufficient time to find relevant addresses, I will notify you to send the site addresses you consider relevant to the group, which all of you will do simultaneously, which will result in each of you receiving a list of sites sent by all group members.  I will give you a few minutes to visit and peruse some of the sites and digest the information.  We will then discuss the information using our normal discussion process with leaders selected by The Truther.  This should result in a factual discussion of the problem.

       “Regarding the poetry, during these sessions, should I decide to do this, I will give you a few minutes to write and save your poem to a Word document, after which time I will tell you to attach your poem to an email and send it to the group.  Everyone in the group shall then receive a list of all poems written and sent by the members.  We will then discuss one or a few poems using our normal discussion process by twirling The Truther to select the poems to be discussed.  It’s ok for you not to post any of your poems by the way.  It’s ok for none of you to post any, for that matter, should I decide to actually do this, the purpose of the exercise being to give you an opportunity to abstract in a philosophical artful way your experience in the group and get feedback.  All poems posted must relate to experiences shared by the group.  All posted poems will be saved and some of them might be posted in the Spaceship Earth Group book published around Earth based on the discussions and proceedings of the group at the termination of this program.

       “During the morning session I heard some cellphones go off.  This is also against the law.  All cellphones must be turned off during all sessions.  And for sure it is against the law to play on your laptop computer for your own entertainment during a session, searching for irrelevant information on Google, such as information for your personal business.   At no time are you to do anything with your computer unless I tell you to, and I must authorize all questions you are to find facts for with a Google search.  You many suggest questions and fact searches to the group, but I must ok the computer search.  We cannot waste the time of the group with frivolous irrelevant computer searches just for the fun of it. 

       “Don’t get caught with you hands on your computer except during authorized times.  If you do you can be fined or expelled.

       “You may not remove a computer from the discussion room for any reason.  Our support personnel will pack up all computers, UniDesks™, seating charts and chairs after and have them ready for your use at the city and hotel of the next monthly meeting.  Do not write or doodle on the seating charts.  The computers are not personalized, so do not save any sort of personal messages, notes, etc. on them.  The relevant thing is the discussion, the entire content of which is being saved through the audio/visual recording system.

       “On the other hand, the web addresses and facts of all Internet sites used for Internet facts found and accepted by this group as relevant in its discussions shall be saved.

       “Make sure you are sitting between the two members the seating chart says you are sitting between in sessions for a good while, so all group members can learn your name to be linked to your face and what you say. After the group has had time to learn the names of all participants I will from time to time require everyone to move to a different chair, maximizing the distance between themselves and the two people they are now sitting between, to eliminate any psychological collusion and alliances that may develop between group members.

       “You are not to remove a seating chart from the room for any reason. 

       “Although it’s not my job to teach you, I decided during lunch to share more background with you.  I know most of you are wondering why you were selected and where the money is coming from.  You were selected from a large pool using computers and the Internet, based on information available through Internet surveillance systems, much like the USian government uses now to surveil the entire USian population.  The sponsors know a good bit about you.  You represent a cross-sample of the culture, from various socio-economic and educational levels, representing various professions, occupations, vocations, religions, political parties, racial backgrounds, and sexual identities.  About one-fourth of you are registered Republicans and about one-fourth are registered Democrats.  The rest of you are Independents, Greens, Libertarians, Progressives, Tea Partiers, and some other things too insignificant to mention. Almost fifty percent of you are non-voters in USian national elections. All major religions are represented among you, as are non-theists. All of you are at least reasonably bright. 

       “As you know, this process could cost a considerable amount of money if it continues for a long time, especially if it expands into other countries.  Monthly expenses for this group currently are about $260,000, over three million dollars a year.  Where is the money coming from?  It’s coming from anonymous donors who pledged varying amounts, some large, some small.  Why did they do it?  These people are seriously worried about Spaceship Earth, a planet supplied with oxygen and various gases and elements necessary for sustaining plant and animal life by natural physical and ecological processes in a closed system hurtling through infinite airless time and space in concert with gadzillions of other inter-galactic and inter-universal objects.  The sponsors think serious changes must be made to stop and avert extinction processes and events caused by global warming and the possibility of nuclear war, caused by greed and lust for power among humans, causing income inequalities, poverty, racial hatred, class hatred, religious hatred, nationalism, ethnic hatred, cultural hatred, overpopulation, resource depletions, and poorly regulated economic systems such as capitalism, fascism, communism, and socialism. 

       “The donors think homo sapiens on Earth will not change their economic and political systems unless they learn new ways of feeling, thinking, believing, communicating and behaving, and they do not think mainstream media, schools, colleges, universities, churches or governments can produce this kind of learning.  They want to see if this process can cause you to learn what might save Spaceship Earth.  They know you would not pay to receive this sort of education, so they want to see if you will assimilate and accommodate this sort of learning if they pay you to do it.  The whole thing’s an experiment. 

       “The donors do not think human Earthians will voluntarily learn new feelings, thoughts, beliefs, dogmas, doctrines, and behaviors on their own, especially if they have to pay for it.  They want to know if human Earthians can be paid to learn what is necessary to save Spaceship Earth.  You are their first class of guinea pigs.  If it works they intend to roll the program out to other countries, as extensively as possible, depending on how many more donors they can find to fund programs.  If what you feel, think, say, do and learn in this program produces salutary results it could help save Spaceship Earth by creating this sort of learning process in groups around Earth.

       “At present about sixty-five thousand Earthian species become extinct every year, and millions have already become extinct.  Our job is to hopefully come up with something that will help prevent the human  species on Earth from joining all the other extinct Earthian species in a theoretical cosmic happy hunting ground.  An Earthian is a member of any species of fauna or flora now alive on Earth. 

       “The appellation Spaceship Earth, by the way, was invented by Buckminster Fuller back in the 1960s.  For background you might want to read his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.  Fuller also invented the word Earthian

       “There were some programs similar to this back in the 1960s and 70s that people paid to attend, but they mostly died out as the culture changed after 1980, after the Ronald Reagan USian presidency turned back the clock in the US, not quite as much as the Taliban turned back their clock in Afghanistan, but a serious antediluvian regression occurred nevertheless, pitting authoritarian nihilists against democratic idealists, and the nihilists basically won.  Fewer and fewer US citizens would pay for bottom-up personal growth, encounter group, brainstorming, and pop psychology programs after 1980, largely caused by anti-intellectual top down messages and requirements produced by the regressive culture.  More and more poorly informed fearful citizens were brainwashed with conservative right wing ideologies and fantasies, increasingly eschewing facts, logical reasoning, social and psychological innovations, and scientific discoveries. 

       “We are paying citizens to participate in our progressive discussion process, which is devoid of doctrines, dogmas and rituals, focusing instead on relevant factual problems and opportunities, hopefully generating workable consensual strategies that will help sustain Earthian life indefinitely.

       “Any questions?”

Bill—“I gotta ask.  Why did you choose these Apple Macintosh laptops?”

Rout—“Because I have been using a Mac since they first came out in 1984, and I still think they are the easiest to use.”

Bill—“I beg to disagree, and I teach computer science.”

Rout—“You’re entitled to your opinion.”

Maria—“During lunch some of us decided it would be better if the lunch hour was only one hour long so we might get out off work earlier so we might catch a plane back home on Saturday, to attend mass, or church, or whatever on Sunday morning, to have more time with our families.  Would this be permissible?”

Rout—“No.”

Hal, the last person selected by the Truther, got up from his chair and did his duty, spinning The Truther one more time, after Rout caught his eye and diverted its gaze to the center of the room.

       The Truther selected Adam and the rooster crowed. 

Adam—“This is the most insane seminar I can imagine, but I guess I might as well try to say something relevant.  The biggest problem is there are so many problems it is almost absurd to waste time talking about any one of them.  Most people do not want to hear or talk about real problems.  They’re zombies numbed and dumbed down by irrelevant crap since childhood.  Somehow most kids learn how to read, write and do simple arithmetic in grade school, but not much else.  I was talking about this with my wife a few days ago, telling her I could not remember learning a darn thing in grade school in any class.  I could remember playing with some blocks as if they were musical instruments in a music class and filling out some sort of work sheets in another, but that is about it.  I can’t remember a single discussion about anything in any class.  Relevance was irrelevant.  Most of the time the teacher just seemed to sit behind her desk and stare at us.  I do remember one teacher teaching us how to eat soup using pencils as simulated spoons and her coming up behind me and showing me how to do it holding my arm and telling me to dip into the soup from the inside out and raise the spoon straight up to make sure it doesn’t spill.

           “But, I swear that is about all I can remember learning in a grade school class.  Somehow I learned how to read, write, and do arithmetic during those years, but I cannot remember learning any of it class.  I remember looking at a few books with colored pictures about Jack and Jane doing things in simple declarative sentences that were supposed to help us learn how to read.  High school was not much better, but there were two courses in which I actually remember learning something, plane geometry and physics.  And I did learn a few lines of one or two of Robert Burns’ poems in a literature course, and a few lines of a poem called Invictus.

           “If you take the average person today, even many college graduates, all they care about is watching movies and television, especially soap operas and sports, and playing video games.  Rarely is there any serious discussion of economic and political problems.  As I said they’re zombies.  And they vote, if they vote, that is, for zombie politicians who tell people platitudes, fantasies and dogma they want people to hear.  God forbid a politician would talk about or seriously analyze facts about real problems.

       “So the biggest problem is ignorant and stupid voters.  I recently saw George Carlin on TV telling his audience, ‘Stupid people vote for stupid politicians; it’s as simple as that!’

           “How you would ever educate enough voters to cause them to vote for intelligent, wise politicians who would vote to raise the taxes of large corporations and the elite rich, create infrastructure jobs to create jobs for the middle class, and scale down the US military-industrial complex?

           “But that’s what needs to be done, among many other things, such as doing things to reduce the threats of global warming and nuclear war.  It’s depressing as hell.  What are the chances any of this will happen any time soon?  Probably about zero.  So here we sit waiting for some catastrophe to happen, as most people just blithely tend to the details of their daily lives as if there were no threats at all, some looking as if they are actually happy.  Ignorance is bliss I guess.”

Dick—“Come on now.  You know that’s not right.  I’m a politician and I know I talk about relevant matters with my constituents. You are lucky enough to live in this great land of ours and yet you complain.  America is the greatest place on Earth, blessed by God with the greatest values on the face of the earth.  If we stick to our beliefs and values the Lord will guide and protect us.  If we continue to love Him in His tender mercy he will see us through and welcome us into his heavenly home.  Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?  If not, as a true American I say unto you it is time you got right with God, before it’s too late.”

Adam—“I can’t believe right off the bat in this lunatic seminar I get confronted by a moral moron.  All I did was speak the truth as I see it and I immediately get preached to. If god protects everyone how did we get in the mess we are in now. Must be a very incompetent god. You people are living in a dream world. You don’t want to be confused by facts or logic.  All that count are your so-called values.  If God is going to take care of everything when is he going to start?  Why did he allow things to get as messed up as they are in the first place if he takes care of things?  I have never seen one shred of evidence with my two eyes that any sort of god has ever done anything on Earth, regardless of what people believe or do, or say, or pray.”

Dick—“Well, I can see you need some praying for my friend; but don’t you ever call me a moral moron again.  I won’t put up with it.  You have insulted me and my religion, which is against the laws of this group.  What about it Rout?  Tell this liberal creep he can’t insult me or anyone else in this group because of their religious beliefs.”

Rout—“Well, I’m not sure Adam was seriously insulting you using the term moral moron.  I think he was making the point that people in general who ignore facts because of their ideologies are morons, which sounds ok with me, a bit pejorative perhaps, but not necessarily a direct insult for purposes of this program. I’m not sure that would rise to the level of a law-breaking insult in this program. On the other hand you just called him a liberal creep, which some people would consider insulting. ”

Dick—“Anyone who criticizes my religion, my beliefs and my values insults me.  I will not tolerate this.”

Rout—“You don’t have to.  Anyone can drop out of this group at any time. There’s the door.  But if you’re making a threat, that is against the rules. By the way, I suppose I should reemphasize to the group that we have security people available if we need them to enforce rules or protect the group from violence.”

Dick was angry and confused, shocked by Rout’s response.  He decided Adam must be a damned atheist.  He considered getting up and walking out right now but he remembered the five thousand dollar monthly fee, which he needed.  He wondered how many people in the group were like this asshole, Adam.  Adam’s reactions were similar to Dick’s in some respects.  Did he want to put up with this?  Yes, at least for now, because the money was too good to turn down.  Adam was pleasantly surprised by Rout’s reaction to Dick’s comments; but he wondered where were the security people? Were they somehow observing and listening to the group?  Most of the group members had similar feelings, reservations, and questions stimulated by this new alert about the security system, which made most of them feel less secure.  They felt trapped by what had looked like some easy money.

Looking out the window of the plane on the way home, Sam, like most members, wondered what he had gotten himself in for.  He thought the project sounded interesting and was impressed in some ways by what he had seen and heard.  He was impressed by the UniDesks™, the laptop computers, and the seating charts, which made it easy to link names and faces, and the overall efficiency of the process. And the chairs were comfortable.  In some ways, he liked the way Rout had laid down the law.  Although he thought Rout had been a bit harsh and impolite with a few of the group members, he thought he had generally been fair and impartial.  He thought using a Truther to randomly select leaders was a novel idea and was surprised by the dynamics it caused in the group, especially the rooster crowing.  It did seem to cause them to talk in a more adult way in more depth and detail than normally happens in conversations.  And The Truther did seem to engender equality. It appeared those with domineering and manipulative personalities would not be able to take over psychologically or otherwise.

       Sam had never seen a group composed of people from backgrounds as different as those in the group.  It was clear some of the people in the group were wealthy and others were poor; some were highly educated and some were not.  There were several shades of skin color, ranging from almost black to almost white.  It would be interesting to see what would happen in the group, making different people talk with one another like equals, but he had little confidence anything significant would happen.  What could they produce or learn bullshitting like this that most people did not already know?  He could not believe charitable donors would spend this kind of money on this sort of thing.

       On the other hand, if only the country as a whole could operate like this, he thought, there would at least be a chance people could work out some of their problems face-to-face.  One of the problems with the way things work now is that people are congregated into their particular groups and cliques, such as churches and football teams based on their wealth, skills, and beliefs, doing the same things day after day week after week, talking with the same people about the same things over and over.  A group like this might cause people to at least think about new things.

       Sam had been worried about the state of the world for some time.  He had been depressed about the possibilities of global warming.  People were now talking more and more about human extinction.  Can you believe that?  The human species becoming extinct within decades.  Yet most people just keep on going as if nothing is wrong, feeling, thinking and doing pretty much like they always had.  Just a normal temporary change in the weather they think and then things will get just hunky dory again.  How this group could solve this problem is something else, but at least they might talk about it, and this might at least cause them to vote for politicians who might vote for things that might help stave off extinction.  Or is it already too late?

       On the other hand, Sam was already in his seventies, and he knew he would not be around much longer.  He knew he would soon be extinct regardless of what happens to all species.  And sometimes he wondered if he cared what happened to him personally.  He had by now learned enough about old age to know it’s not fun, prostate cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, skin cancer, arthritis, allergies, having to worry about falling and breaking a hip, no, not fun at all.  But there were still a few satisfactions.  He still loved his wife and beautiful scenery, birds, trees, streams, sunset views.  He enjoyed good food and a bottle of red wine.  He took satisfaction from making money in the stock market, however punishing it is to think about his real estate holdings some of which are now probably unsellable, without taking a beating selling them. And it wasn’t pleasant knowing another economic recession similar to 2007-08 might wipe out half the market value of his investments.

       He knew he would do what he could to live as long as he could, however much of a drain he became to the healthcare system, finally wasting away in a nursing home if he lived that long.  On the other hand, he thought one good strong heart attack any time would be the best way to go.  He had written his will as fairly as he could and he was ready to go when his lights went out, so why not hang out once a month with this lunatic discussion process, just for a lark?   

End of Episode 2. To be continued.

THE GROUP: To Save Spaceship Earth — Part 1

The Group: To Save Spaceship Earth is a work in progress. While settings, plots, theories, objects, and narratives in this novel may be loosely analogous to the same that have happened in various realities around Spaceship Earth, the names, actions, and attributions of characters cast herein are purely fictional. All parts of this novel will be published in the Effective Learning Report at various intervals on the internet, subject to revision at any time, hopefully culminating in a final print edition offered for sale to the public.

Copyright 2020 by Effective Learning Publications. All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be copied or printed on paper without permission. Share on the internet as you wish.

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

Hank thought it was junk mail.  Why would anyone want to pay him five thousand dollars a month to participate in some sort of discussion group?

       He deleted the message thinking it was a scam—but the messages kept coming.  

       He emailed the sender and told him to take him off the list and threatened to notify the police, but the sender assured him by return email the offer was real, and to prove it a bank account had been set up in his name with an initial deposit of one hundred dollars, which he could verify and access with a username and password, which turned out to be true. Hank withdrew fifty dollars from the account using an ATM machine. 

       He thought he must be insane to even dream about getting involved with a screwball idea like this.  There was no telling what kind of outfit was behind it, and there had to be a catch somewhere; most likely it was a scam. Why would anyone pay him to show up at a hotel and talk with people?  How had they found him?  What did they know about him?    

       He wound up emailing the anonymous sender telling him or her there was an account in his name and he had withdrawn fifty dollars.  He asked the sender to send him the name and address of the organization responsible for this.  He said he wanted proof the offer was legal.

       He received an email informing him the group financing the project was ethical and legal, registered as a non-profit organization in the name of Spaceship Earth, Anonymous, and ethics was  one of their major concerns. The ultimate objectives of the project included fostering free, fair, ethical, legal and progressive human behavior around Spaceship Earth that would contribute to the survival of as many plant and animal species as possible, including homo sapiens, and there was no question about the legality of the project.  The email said Henry should attend the first meeting of the group and discuss these issues with people at the meeting, the first meeting having been scheduled in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of the coming November. 

       The e-mailer said his name was Dr. Rout Logger.  All meetings would be held in hotels in different cities the first Saturday of each month until such time as the sponsors decided to terminate the program.  The sponsors were all citizens of Spaceship Earth concerned about preserving life for all Earthians, which included all species of fauna and flora aboard Spaceship Earth.  All participants would be paid five thousand dollars per Saturday meeting, deposited monthly in their bank accounts established by the program administrators.  Participants would be responsible for arranging their own transportation to the meetings and food and lodging, to be paid from their monthly fee.  They could stay and eat wherever they chose in the various cities.

       Logger wrote in the email that group members would meet in formal sessions in designated, secure meeting rooms, which would be protected by a private security service.  Group sessions would be conducted from nine a.m. to noon and from two p.m. to five p.m. on the first Saturday of each month.  If Henry replied to this email agreeing to attend the November meeting, five thousand dollars would be deposited in his bank account.  On Mondays following Saturday meetings attended another five thousand would be deposited in his account for the next meeting.  It was permissible to miss a monthly meeting for compelling reasons, but after missing a monthly meeting no additional deposits would be made until after attendance at the next meeting.  The city and hotel selected for the next month would be announced in emails sent the Monday following the last meeting. 

       Participants could discuss whatever they wanted to discuss. Logger said each session would be started by randomly selecting the group leader, who would answer three questions: 

What is the Problem? 

What are the Alternatives?

What do you Recommend?

       The meetings were to be conducted in rooms large enough to accommodate forty participants, who would use their first names in the group, aliases being permissible. There would be no breaks during the three-hour sessions but participants would be excused for legitimate calls of nature.  No eating or drinking would occur during the sessions.  There would be no physical touching or sexual innuendoes or flirtations during group meetings.

       The group members had been selected according to various criteria and considerations attempting to form an inclusive group reflecting beliefs, ideas, and behaviors held and enacted by various groups in society as a whole.

       All sessions would be audio and video-recorded. Some of the information collected would eventually be published in reports making recommendations for sustaining all Earthians, made available to all humans around Spaceship Earth.

       It bothered Hank that this guy would not snail mail him any printed documentation for the meetings and program, but he decided to go to one meeting and see what was going on.  What were the chances you might get shot, tortured, kidnapped or something?  Pretty slim he thought.  If you got paid five thousand dollars for doing nothing but talk it was worth taking a chance.  But where did this Earthian crap come from?

SESSION ONE

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

September 2019

The conference room was a large square room furnished with comfortable leather armchairs arranged in a circle that left enough space between the circle and the walls for someone to walk around the outside perimeter of the circle of chairs. Each chair was furnished with a movable desk and a laptop computer. The desk could be adjusted to suit the preferences of each participant.

       A black, red, and yellow copper rooster about three feet tall was perched atop a two-foot cubic mahogany box in the center of the room. An iron rod about three feet long with a pointed triangular arrow head on one end and copper feathers on the other end was attached to the rooster. A system of ball-bearings beneath the rooster’s feet attached to the box made it easy for someone to spin or twirl the rooster and the pointed arrow. The rooster was battery-powered and programmed to throw its head back and crow each time it stopped spinning, after someone had twirled it by hand.

       About twenty people were already there.  Henry sat in the nearest empty chair, making eye contact with two or three people nearby.  It was ten minutes before nine o’clock.

       The armchairs had almost filled up by nine o’clock, at which time Rout Logger briskly walked into the room, carrying a large leather briefcase, seating himself in one of the empty armchairs, all of which were identical. 

       “Good morning folks.  I’m Rout Logger.  It’s good to see you.  I’m glad you could make it.  Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of one another in these meetings for a good while.  Thanks for being here.  I see a few members are not here yet, but we’ll get started anyway.  Please make sure you are on time from now on.  It’s rude, disrespectful, and disruptive for anyone to come in late. 

       “I think most of you generally understand the purpose of the meetings, the times for the meetings and so forth.  You were all sent the same emails introducing the process.  Here’s the procedure we’ll be using in the sessions.  We want the discussions to be honest, full and frank.  We’ll start every discussion by spinning that rooster out there in the center of the room, called The Truther.  I’ll spin it the first time myself to kick off the process; from then on whoever got pointed out last spins it next.  The purpose of spinning The Truther is to randomly select the leader of the discussion, insuring each member has an equal chance to be the leader of every session, excluding the person making the spin.  If The Truther stops on me I’ll be the leader myself, just as any of you would if it landed on you.  We want to foster equality among members and response-able, efficient, effective, intelligent, critical and creative feeling, thinking and behaving in the group.  Although I am the formal leader of the group I have as much right as anyone else to be the designated leader of the moment if The Truther selects me under the fully democratic laws of this process.

       “I originated the idea for this project and secured the funding.  Most of the donors are wealthy individuals but some are middle class. The donors will remain anonymous, but I can tell you they have donated funds for this project based on their hope the process might contribute to improving the quality of life, and chances of survival, of all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth, especially homo sapiens

       “The donors are convinced if Earthian homo sapiens do not make significant changes in their feeling, thinking, believing and behaving dire consequences will result, possibly resulting in their extinction as a species during this century.  If it can be demonstrated that this process worked in this group hopefully similar groups will be established around Spaceship Earth.  Each of you is being paid the same for your attendance and participation, five thousand dollars for each monthly session in which you participate.  Do the math.  Since there are forty of you in the group this amounts to almost two and one half million dollars per year for group member compensation, about three million per year for total expenses, counting my salary, logistics, room reservations, administration and security, and what have you.      

       “I have degrees in economics, organizational behavior, and management science, plus post-doctoral training in social and psychological disciplines, including a certification in transactional analysis.  I have forty years’ experience in entrepreneurship, university teaching and research, and management consulting, dealing with organizational analysis and policy formulation, manpower motivation and productivity, and organizational development, for a variety of organizations and groups.

       “My job here is not to impart information per se but to facilitate the creation of new comprehension of the Earthian plight to generate recommendations for changes.  Everything you say in these group discussions will be recorded and videotaped and any information generated may be used in a summary report for improving Earthian states of affairs.  You will be able to access anything I have said or anything any one of you has said in these meetings using your computer in the meeting room, but you may not copy, save, forward, or share the information.  None of you will be personally identified in the report.  Anything you say, however, may be quoted in the report, attributed to the first name you choose to use in the group.  The report may be published anywhere around Spaceship Earth.  This process won’t work if two or more of you use the same first name.  As we go around the room, if someone has already announced your desired first name, use a first name no one has already announced; aliases are fine.

       “OK, let’s go around the room, proceeding clockwise, with this gentleman to my immediate left.  Just give the name you want to be known by in the group and say something about what you do.”

       “Hello everyone, I’m John.  I’m a systems engineer and programmer.”

       “My name is Wendel.  I’m a farmer.”

       “I’m Ellie, a teacher.”

       “I’m Helen. I’m a nurse.”

       “Hi, I go by Hal.  I’m an attorney.”

       “My friends call me Joan.  I’m a supervisor with an insurance company.”

       “Bud.  I’m a mechanical engineer.”

       “My name is Maria, a social worker.”

       “Bob.  I’m a physician.”

       “Sam. Writer and social activist.”

       “Napoleon.  Retired military.”

       “Margaret.  I work for the government.”

       “Luke.  Evangelical minister.”

       “George. Politician, state senator.”

       “Julia.  I run a cleaning service.”

       “Hank.  I own my own business.  Construction.”

       “Bubba.  I’m a farmer.”

       “Bill. Educator.”

       “Tony. A bartender.”

       “Mikhail. An accountant.”

       “Judy.  Housewife and mother.”

       “Matilda. Librarian.”

       “Joe, the plumber.”

       “Harrison.  Corporate CEO.”

       “Stuart. college student.”

       “Dick.  US representative.”

       “Nancy. I own my own beauty shop.”

       “Rupert.  I’m a banker.”

       “Clarence.  Lawyer.”

       “Albert.  University professor.  Physics.”

       “Barbara.  I’m a housewife.”

       “Ron.  Truck driver.”

       “Marshall.  Weatherman.”

       “Jimmy.  Labor union organizer.”

       “Steve.  I work in our family manufacturing business.”

       “Marian. Elementary teacher.”

       “Horatio.  I own some small businesses.”

       “Martin.  University professor, religious studies.”

       “Trudy.  I’m a psychotherapist.”

       “Dan.  I’m an insurance agent.”

       “Adam.  Economics professor.”

       “Socrates.  University professor, philosophy.”

       “Ellen.  I just graduated from college. Accounting major.  Looking for a job.  Can’t believe I was given five thousand dollars to attend this six-hour seminar.”

       “Andy.  I’m a cop.”

       “Noam.  I’m a social activist.”

Rout Logger got up, walked to the center of the room, and gave The Truther its first twirl.

As The Truther arrow spun round and round, winding down, Logger said, “If it stops on you, just tell us what you think is the problem, what are the alternatives, and what you recommend.”

       Bubba jerked upright in his chair as if he had been shot through the heart as The Truther stopped spinning, pointing right at him, as the rooster raucously crowed, letting everyone know it was time to wake up and get to work.  Glaring at Rout with incredulity, fear, and consternation, Bubba said, “You mean you want me to tell these people about some problem?  What do you mean, a problem?  What problem?”

Rout—“Whatever you think the most relevant problem is right now.”

Bubba—“You mean what I think the most relevant problem in the whole damn world is?”

R—“Basically, yes.”

B—“How would I know?”

R—“If you did know, what would it be?  What is the first thing that comes to mind?”

B—“Well, I guess, jobs.”

R—“Why is that a problem?”

B—“Why, hell, any fool knows it’s a problem when you have people goin’ hungry, folks can’t find jobs.”

R—“Good, that’s a start.  What are the alternatives?”

B—“I don’t have the foggiest idea.”

R—“Yes, you do.”

B—“Well, I guess we could make sure people can find work or somethin’.”

R—“How would you do that?”

B—“Beats the hell out of me.”

R—“No recommendations at all?”

B—“Nope.”

       Rout thanked Bubba for starting the process and told the group once a discussion had been opened and the Truther-selected leader stopped talking the group would then discuss what had been said on a free-flow basis until the problems and issues brought up by the randomly-selected leader had been exhausted of relevant points, relevant points being relevant in the opinion of group members.  He said one of the major tasks in these discussions was to identify relevant points from the mass of possible points, most of which were irrelevant.  Once the relevant points were separated from the irrelevant the task became to see how the relevant points related to one another so as to comprehend the problem well enough to make recommendations having a decent probability of producing beneficial outcomes if implemented.

       He told them when the randomly-selected leader finished his or her opening remarks others should then jump in the fray on a first-come first-serve basis, meaning the first person to speak up then had the floor until s/he said what was on her or his mind about the problem, the alternatives, and the recommendations.  He said quite naturally disagreements will result, and arguing about various points is a vital and necessary part of the process, necessary to separate irrelevant focal point entities from the relevant.  He said it was the responsibility of every group member to attempt to correct and educate all group members about points or focal point entities they advocated or those considered wrong said by others, trying to set dissenters and antagonists and the group straight in the process.  He said unlearning what was wrong was as important as learning what was right.  He said this was the only way to separate the irrelevant from the relevant.

       On the other hand, Logger told them in most cases economic, political, social, and psychological problems did not have “right” answers that could be proved right, and therefore the best that could be hoped for in most cases would be for humans to develop consensual answers that would produce sustainability and satisfaction for all species around Spaceship Earth.  

       He said the process was roughly analogous to the naturally-occurring process aboard Spaceship Earth causing the evolution of ideas and practices over time, causing beliefs, policies and practices to happen that were somehow acceptable in past short runs to various groups and organizations but which might now be obsolete and irrelevant.   In this process in this room, however, everyone had an equal opportunity to correct obsolete or irrelevant beliefs, policies and practices anyone in the group might be carrying around in his or her head, caused by the spinning of The Truther, and the fully democratic laws of the process, however improbable it was anyone could change someone else’s mind with one rebuttal.

       Logger said they weren’t searching for absolute truth here, which could not be found, or which could not be proved true to ordinary people if found; but rather they should be able to generate workable propositions having decent probabilities of being considered true in the minds of most humans that would cause salutary outcomes.  The best they could hope for was to find the truest of the relatively true, irrespective of absolute truth.

       Rout said there was one law for this process that must not be violated except in the case of emergencies:  No one could talk when someone else was talking to the whole group, and talking to the whole group is the only kind of talking allowed. 

Rout—“There can be no gossiping, commenting, or communicating of any sort—verbally or non-verbally—with members sitting to your right or left in the circle when someone is talking to the whole group.  There can be no rolling of eyes, smirking, frowning, gritting of teeth, or any other non-verbal psychological communication gesture when someone is talking to the whole group.  There can be no actions, social or psychological, intended to alter or influence what speakers are saying as they say it, or cause them to stop saying what they are saying, as they say it.  On the other hand, you may confront them socially with counter-arguments by saying whatever you wish in an Adult manner as soon as they finish saying their piece, assuming no other member beats you to the punch by commencing to talk before you can, in an attempt to change their minds or behavior. 

       “After the current Truther-selected leader stops saying what s/he is saying, the first person to dive into the conversation then owns the floor until she or he decides to stop talking, her/his speech also being protected as was the speaking of the previous speaker; and so it goes for the duration of the process. Anyone can become the leader of the moment by simply diving into the process first after the previous speaker shuts up.  

       “If I decide to spin The Truther to select another leader, there can be no communicating of any sort, socially or psychologically, before, while, or after The Truther is spinning, except by the member randomly selected as leader by The Truther. 

       “The overriding law here is there can be no communicating of any sort when the process is in session except when talking to the whole group or to a specific person in response to something the person had said to the whole group, which must be said in such a way the entire group can hear everything being said.  But as soon as the person owning the floor finishes talking it’s first-come first-serve, with the first person to start talking now owning the floor until s/he finishes communicating. 

       “In other words, there can be no covert, ulterior psychological communication, side deals, subversive power alliances, psychological threats, bullying or quid pro quo cronyism throughout the process at any time, however long the process shall be conducted, perhaps months, perhaps years, depending on what happens. Everything must be overt and above board with all cards played face up on the table, which can be checked using your laptop computer. We’ll have more to say about how to do that later. 

       “There can be no holding up of hands to get permission to talk.  You must compete will all members as an equal on a first-come first-serve basis by diving in first as soon as the person speaking stops. 

       “Some of you will naturally acquire larger market shares than others as the process unfolds in the free market of the communication process.  Peer ratings will be used from time to time to give everyone feedback regarding his/her market share.  Different market shares will naturally happen due to some of you having training and knowledge especially relevant to various focal point entities that will emerge, some of you are just naturally better communicators than others, some of you have more functional personalities than others, some of you are just naturally more intelligent and creative than others, some of you are better than others making analogous comparisons, seeing interrelations among focal point entities, and being able to comprehend whole systems.

       “Buckminster Fuller asserted in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth that humans should comprehend whole systems, not just the parts, and the way to do this is by separating irrelevant observations from relevant focal point entities, and then comprehend how the relevant focal point entities relate to one another, where the more relevant entities there are in a system the greater the comprehension required and  produced. Buckminster Fuller, by the way, invented the appellations Spaceship Earth and Earthian, and this program would not have happened had he not written and published his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth in 1969.

       “Fuller defined Comprehension as a mathematical function of the number of relevant focal point entities identified in a system, where Comprehension = N2-N/2, where N equals the number of relevant focal point entities in the system under consideration. 

       “You will improve your Comprehension abilities through practice over time in this process.  On the other hand, not all market shares will be equal.  Each of you will have an equal opportunity to earn and accrue strokes for identifying relevant focal point entities and explaining how they interrelate, but as in any fully democratic free enterprise system qualities such as ambition, courage, hard work, determination, risk-taking, and ability to endure failure are relevant determinants in many cases.  Some of you shall accumulate higher stroke incomes and develop larger stroke bank accounts than others.  On the other hand, all of you will be paid the same in money terms, five thousand dollars per monthly session.  Since all of you inherited your abilities, knowledge, and skills by accident you are not to be blamed, praised, or monetarily rewarded for merely possessing relatively different abilities, knowledge bases, and skills. 

       “If you have a low market share don’t worry about it; as with all eventualities it just accidentally or inevitably happened, given that free will probably does not exist and all events have causes, including events such as feelings, thoughts, wishes, decisions, desires, goals and wants happening in human brains, resulting from infinitely regressive unbroken cause-effect chains going back to the beginning of time, assuming there was a beginning of time.

       “Although a major objective of the process is to cause the creation of beliefs, propositions, policies, and practices that will make Earthian life fairer, more satisfying, and more sustainable, there is no way to make the prior acquisition of knowledge, skills, and ability in the group equal and fair among members.  We all have our own genes, scripts, formal educations, karmas and dharmas that we inherited.  There is very little you or I or anyone can do right now about the particular cause-effect sequences that caused our brains to be programmed from birth as they are.  If I were to try to make the process fair by attempting to manipulate equal market shares and stroke incomes for each of you, by requiring you to hold up hands to get my permission to speak, or by going around the room in sequence to make sure everyone has the same airtime, the creative potential of the process would be significantly diminished.

  “On the other hand, a major purpose of this process is to cause over time the natural inevitable and accidental cause-effect chain causing you to be who and what you are right now to be changed in such a way as to cause you to accept consensual answers caused to be developed in this process that will cause all species aboard Spaceship Earth to experience satisfying and sustainable lives. 

       “That’s a tall order I know; but basically that’s what we are up to, however probable or improbable it is it will be achieved.       

       “One develops market share by selling ideas to the group about the problem or opportunity under consideration, that become relevant focal point entities.  Selling an idea means others think you are right.  Trying to sell irrelevant ideas will not produce sales and market shares or cause you to receive a large number of high quality positive strokes.  On the other hand, you will receive and aggregate more strokes by trying to sell relevant observations than by not trying.  The only way you can know whether your observations are relevant is by trying to sell them. 

       “W.C. Fields, the comedian, was incorrect, at least for purposes of this process, when he said, ‘Tis far better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.’ 

       “It’s possible The Truther will never select you as a leader in this process, thereby never guaranteeing you strokes, either positive or negative.  If this happens to you you have to volunteer observations, ideas, and the like to get some strokes, competing with all group members after members owning the floor finish saying whatever they want to say.

       “A stroke is a unit of recognition.  Most homo sapiens have a strong need to be recognized for their achievements, and receiving positive strokes for achieving relevant goals are among their greatest satisfactions.  Satisfaction is the most common human goal. Unfortunately some forms of satisfaction may result in deleterious outcomes and should be suppressed or outlawed, such as those craved by pedophiles, narcissists, sadists, fascists, and the like; although, for whatever it’s worth, they too are not to be blamed or praised for accidentally inheriting their particular cause-effect chain that caused them to be what they are and gain satisfaction from what turns them on, socially-unacceptable it may be.  

       “On the other hand, if you are selected by The Truther and you refuse to answer the three reality questions you will be fined the first time it happens; and if it happens several times after being selected by The Truther, you will be banished from the group.  This law is necessary to make democracy happen in any group or organization. 

       “The bottom line is that it’s OK to be wrong by saying something; but it’s not OK to say nothing, if The Truther selects you.  Everyone knows something, however irrelevant it might be. It’s OK to be honestly wrong in this group. It’s Not OK, however, to be dishonestly wrong.

       “After experiencing the process for a session or two, persons violating process laws will be fined and perhaps required to leave the room for one hour at the instant of infraction, and if this does not result in causing the individual not to violate group laws s/he will be permanently banished. 

       “It takes some time for some people to get used to these laws, having never had an opportunity to function as an equal response-able member of a truly free and fair democratic process. Most group processes are contaminated by stroke-hungry greedy power-hoggers who control most of the airtime and strokes for themselves, forcing most members into stroke-deprived positions by psychologically forcing to remain silent while adapting to and obeying irrelevant time-wasting rituals and pastimes; but after experiencing fully democratic processes most people can overcome their prior undemocratic programming and will appreciate being caused to lead when selected by The Truther; and they will find it satisfying when they succeed in inserting themselves in the process after the person owning the floor stops, thereby earning strokes, with no holding up of hands to get psychological permission and protection, thereby learning not to play psychological Games, i.e., not being forced to act out Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim roles. We will hear more about Game-playing, Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims later.

“In transactional analysis terms, this democratic Game-free process encourages the cathecting of Nurturing Parent, Adult, and Free Child ego states rather than Critical Parent, Adult, and Adapted Child ego states. If you are not familiar with transactional analysis terms I suggest you do some homework and learn them. You can find several excelllent TA books on transactional analysis on the internet by simply punching transactional analysis into Google. An excellent TA book for purposes of this program is titled Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

       “Another reason it’s against the law in this group to hold up your hand to force someone to rescue you or to force others to give you the floor because it’s a deleterious use of power, not only reinforcing your weaknesses but debilitating the group by causing the group to lose relevance, effectiveness and efficiency.  In this group you are all empowered adults, and you must assert your opinions whenever you get a legal chance, whether to selfishly garner strokes for yourself or to help others learn based on feelings of social responsibility.  This process has no gatekeepers tasked to Rescue, Persecute, or Victimize others, and no one can make a fool of anyone.  While the express purpose of this group is to help save Earthians aboard Spaceship Earth the process is not a psychological Game, since all relevant transactions are over social transactions. Psychological Games entail two sets of transactions, one overt, the other ulterior and covert.

       “In this group all members are equally OK existentially by virtue of having been caused to be as they are by the above-mentioned cause-effect chains.

       “There are other laws of the process, such as no libeling, slandering, or cursing.  Any slanderous allegation about any person, including public figures such as politicians, celebrities, and prominent citizens, must be backed up by facts and evidence if challenged.  Unfounded malicious libelous defamatory allegations spread by word of mouth in scurrilous ways are outlawed in this process.  All forms of communication designed to foster bigotry, hatred, and irrationality, or prejudicial discrimination are outlawed.”

Logger’s long monologue bored, rattled, confused, and irritated some of the group members, making them wonder whether they could put up with Rout’s arrogant peremptory attitudes and demeanor for one meeting, much less any number of them.  Everyone in the group had by now realized they had never experienced a group like this. 

       Most of the members sat looking at the floor in front of them, with several thinking Logger was a hypocrite, preaching democracy while telling them what to do and think like a fascist dictator, talking down to them.   

       Logger matched and paced the demeanors, facial expressions and postures of the group members, also saying nothing, attempting to out-passive them, to force someone to respond to the issues Bubba had led the group to think about and discuss, or what he had just said.

Maria— exasperated, finally blurted out,  “This is unbelievable.  You come in here and start laying down rules and laws like we are a bunch of criminals or school children. You have not furnished us any written documentation for anything, no agenda, no syllabus, no handouts, no background reading of any sort, no worksheets, and then start talking to us like we have no rights.  No one can learn like this.” 

Rout—“I’m sorry you feel that way Maria.  You are free to leave at any time if you seriously disagree, but the laws of the course are what they are.  They are necessary to insure our discussions will be full, free, fair, frank, democratic, and effective, and democratic.  They insure respect, dignity, and equality for all group members.  You are being well paid for your time and work.  As of now each group member has received a five thousand dollar payment for today’s work.  You may resign from the process at any time and you may retain whatever payments you have received up to that point as the process unfolds.  The laws of the process, however, are not subject to democratic argument, and they won’t change.  This group will not operate like the US Congress.  One of the paradoxes of democracy is that you have to have dictatorial fair rules and laws laid down by ethical lawgivers in order for democracy to function efficiently and effectively.  There are of course many forms of democracy, but here we will use the form of democracy deemed most efficient and effective by me and the process donors, who are paying you for your time, attention and participation.”

       This comment escalated the shock and dismay in the group.   

       Several more minutes elapsed with no one saying anything.  Most members sat stone-faced glaring straight ahead and not making eye contact with anyone.   

       Finally someone said something. 

Harrison—“Now see here, Rout, this is no way to run a meeting.  You’ve got to take charge and follow an agenda.  You’ve got to call on the most qualified people to talk about things.  You can’t just point out people to say things by a damn spinner or let just anybody say whatever he wants to, which by the way is a damn insult to my intelligence.  What do you think we are, a bunch of kids playing Spin the Bottle?  You’ve got to assign the problem to your best staff people so they can make a power point presentation to fill everybody in.  This is ridiculous!  Especially sitting in a circle like this.  You need to have your people set up in chairs in neat rows and columns.  You’re supposed to be the leader, out front, taking charge.  You can’t avoid your leadership responsibility by spinning an arrow to make people talk, not calling on people, not even allowing people to hold up their hands, while you sit around twiddling your thumbs just like everybody else.  You’re trying to make people say something whether they want to or not, no matter how unprepared or unqualified they might be.”

Rout—“Harrison, you have got a lot to learn here.  For starters, you are not the boss here.  In a pure democracy anyone can speak up and say what they think, and has a responsibility to do so.  I’ll grant you using The Truther to select people to start discussions does not occur in most democratic processes but the founders of this particular democracy decided after weighing the advantages and disadvantages it is best to randomly select leaders to start discussions, to insure every member has an equal chance to be the leader of the discussion, otherwise certain members will cow others into submission and control the agenda so as to achieve their selfish nefarious ends at the expense of others. 

       “For whatever it’s worth, randomly selecting people in a democracy is not a new idea.  The ancient Greeks used it to select leaders as early as the Sixth Century BCE. The process is called sortition.

       “Most people who rise through the ranks in large fascist corporations do so by adapting and flexing to and doing the bidding of authoritarian bosses to survive.  Otherwise, they can be fired at the drop of a hat by a supervisor for any reason.  They have no concept of what it is to function in a democracy with real rights of membership under a rule of law.  They are psychologically enslaved to a boss.  Large corporations are fascist dictatorships, pure and simple.  The main thing that counts in a corporation is pretending to agree with and pleasing your boss, living up to his expectations, commonly called ass-kissing and brown-nosing, not thinking for yourself. 

       “This group for sure is not like a contemporary large corporation, an authoritarian fascist dictatorship antithetical to democracy, where all are enslaved to a boss right above their level, who has the right and power to fire subordinates for any reason, and nobody has a right to freely speak her or his mind about anything, even if they hold up their hands.  I know many of you in this group are opposed to the idea of democratic Game-free discussion processes using Adult—Adult transactions, but if you stick with this program long enough you may learn to respect true democracy.

       “I am talking about transactional analysis psychological Games here.  A Game-free discussion process is one in which there are no Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims.  We’ll be hearing more about this as we progress in our meetings.  Adult—Adult transactions happen when members of the group have their Adult ego states cathected, as opposed to their Parent and Child ego states. The Truther cathects, or turns on, Adult ego states.  Most transactions in large corporations are Parent—Child transactions at every level of the chain of command, the boss cathects a Parent ego state and subordinates are forced to cathect Adapted Child ego states and essentially say yes sir, and do as they are told. We will learn more about this as we go along. In most businesses, especially large corporations, bosses use their Parent ego states and employees are supposed to use their Child ego states.”

Harrison—“You mean you think you can teach me to respect your idea of democracy.”

Rout—“Yes, if you stick with the program long enough.”

Harrison—“Well, I’ll assure you, that’s a mighty big if.  I run a business and for sure I do not need your five thousand a month.  I can walk out of here at any time.  I make over twenty times that much per month already.  I came to this meeting out of curiosity more than anything else, and I think I have about learned enough.  This is a lunatic fantasy of some sort.  And furthermore, my friend, you are badly out of line.  I will not tolerate your insulting attitude.” 

Rout—“I’m sorry you feel that way about it, Harrison.  Thank you for your candor.  There’s the door, if you want to leave now.  It’s my way or the highway here, as far as these democratic process rules and laws go.  There’s one thing I agree with you corporate bosses about, my way or the highway, at least regarding democratic process rules and laws needing to be obeyed to preserve real democracy, and I assure you my way is the highway here.”

It got very quiet in the room, and after about another ten minutes elapsed with nobody saying anything, Rout decided to move on.  He told the group most discussions normally lasted about one hour after The Truther was spun, since after about one hour discussants generally got bored with the point or problem under discussion.  He said they had barely scratched the surface of a good discussion of the issue Bubba raised, namely whether the economy was the biggest problem in the world, and if so, what to do about it.  He told them since they were a neophyte group he would ask Bubba to spin The Truther to select a new leader so they could move on.  He repeated the rule for spinning The Truther: The last person selected will spin The Truther next.

       Bubba demonstrated his disgust and contempt for the whole proceeding by slowly swaggering toward The Truther in the center of the room, where he twirled The Truther in a dramatic fashion, creating psychological signals that caused several group members to reverberate signals that caused some members to make scurrilous comments to nearby members, as the cock crowed again when the arrow came to rest. 

       Rout then reached down and pulled a cowbell from his briefcase, which he vigorously shook, creating a loud clanging sound that quickly jerked the group members to attention.

Rout—“Several of you are violating the no gossiping law.  Do not do this again, or punishments provided under the law will be administered.”      

Hal—“I thought you said the no-gossiping law only applied when someone else was talking.”

Rout—“No, it applies during the entire three hours of a session, including time members are spinning The Truther.”

The Truther selected Trudy as the new leader.  She wanted to know if she was supposed to comment about what Bubba had said or bring up a new topic.  Rout said he didn’t care, that she should do whatever she thought most appropriate, since she was now the group leader.  She then said she agreed the economy was a serious problem but it was so general that she did not have much to say about it.  She said she thought civil rights were equally important, and women were entitled to equal pay for equal work and should be free to choose abortions.  This produced about thirty minutes of discussion with several members saying what they thought.  When the discussion ran out of steam Trudy twirled the arrow and selected a new leader.  The next leader, Margaret, mechanically defined a problem, listed two alternatives, and perfunctorily gave a recommendation.  This produced a new silent spell.  Rout thought more should be said about the issue Margaret brought up so he refrained from ordering a new Truther twirl.  About two hours of the first morning session had by then elapsed. 

       Nobody said anything for forty-five minutes, up to about noon, so Rout told them they were on their own until two o’clock. He told them to enjoy their lunch and report back promptly at two o’clock for the afternoon three-hour session.  He told them coming into any session late without a valid excuse was also against the law, and violators would be prosecuted.  Rout told them violating this law, or any of the process laws, could result in a fine that would reduce their monthly compensation and could cause their permanent banishment from the group.

       Rout said there was one additional law he probably should alert them to at this juncture.  Stonewalling is illegal.  He said if it appeared to him that certain members were deliberately not saying things to psychologically collude with other members to passive-aggressively undermine and sabotage the process they would be fined or banished.  He said he realized some people just naturally talked more than others and some members would naturally speak up more than others, but passive-aggressive stonewalling, lying by omission, deliberately not saying things attempting to cause others not to say anything to undermine the effectiveness of the process, was illegal.  He said lying was also illegal—both lying by commission, by telling deliberate falsehoods, and lying by omission, deliberately withholding relevant thoughts, ideas, and information to play Games.

       Most members by then were shocked, disoriented, upset, or infuriated, but no one said anything as they left the hotel. Outside they scattered like a covey of flushed quail, a loose analogy, assuming you have ever seen a covey of flushed quail take off.  Unfortunately wild quail had been almost rendered extinct in the last fifty years by agricultural herbicides and pesticides developed and sold by large corporations and applied by farmers, so almost nobody would ever again see a covey of wild quail flushed.

Bubba and Henry headed down a sidewalk in the same direction.

Bubba—“Can you believe that shit?”

Henry—“Hell no!  This takes the cake.  Who does that asshole think he is?”

B—“Hey, why don’t we find us a bar somewhere and have a beer.”

H—“Good idea.”

B—“By the way, my name’s Bubba.  What’s yours?”

H—“Hank.” 

B—“Glad to meet you, Hank.”

After taking his first swig of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Bubba popped a question.

B—“How much longer you gonna stick with this crap?”

H—“I don’t know. I thought it was crazy from the git-go.  We still don’t know who’s payin’ for this or what they’re up to.  This has got to a scam of some sort.” 

B—“Or a bunch of liberals, nuts, communists or something.  One thing’s for sure, though, they’ve got more money than sense.”

H—“Yeah, the money’s real.  At least so far.  That’s what got me.  I couldn’t believe it when $50 popped out of that ATM machine.  Did they deposit $100 in a bank account for you like they did me to sucker you into this thing?”

B—“Yeah, that’s what got me too.  And then after I told them I would come to one meeting they put a fucking five thousand dollars in the account.  I don’t know what they woulda done if I hadn’t showed up, which I thought about.  But then I got to thinkin’ if them damn fools put five thousand G’s in my account once they might do it again, for one day’s work, or whatever you want to call what this crap.”

H—“That’s pretty much my story.  Reckon how long they’ll keep it up?”

B—“Don’t know, but, irregardless of now obnoxious that Logger asshole is, I’ll probably stick with it a while longer, so long as they keep a’handin’ out the money.”

H—“Me too more than likely.  I’ve got too many bills piled up to turn it down.  Wonder what that rich sombitch who said he makes twenty times more a month than they are paying him is gonna do?  Reckon he’ll drop out?”

B—“I’ll bet he don’t.  But he shore did get pissed off didn’t he.”

Over sandwiches and another beer their conversation continued.

Bubba—“I don’t know what’s worse, having to sit for three hours without a break, or puttin’ up with that smartass’s attitude, or that damn spinner. Calls it a truther, for god’s sake.  Can you believe that shit?  Spinnin’ that damn thing to make people talk?  Hell, it’s a damn insult.  That is a nice lookin’ rooster though I must admit.  Makes a nice crowin’ sound. Sounds like my rooster back home.”

H—“You’ve got that right, but the asshole just sittin’ there sayin’ nothin’ is even worse.  Can you imagine him just sittin’ there for damn near an hour with nobody sayin’ nothin’?  With everybody just setten’ there not knowing whether to shit or go blind—and there’s some smart people in there, one guy’s a doctor—and nobody sayin’ nothin’.  God amighty.”

B—“I know.  It’s like the asshole is paying us to waste our time to put up with him, or maybe he just wants to make fools out of us or somethin’.  It’s damn weird, I’ll tell you that.”

H—“I wonder what he’ll come up with next—bring out a bullwhip or chains or something.  He’s already got a cowbell.  I tell you what, Bubba.  I think I’m gonna go back to my hotel room and call my wife and maybe take a nap.  We’ve got over an hour before we have to show back up.”

B—“Good idea.  Enjoyed talking with you.”

H—“Yeah, me too.  Well, see you back at the torture chamber.”

Most of the group members went their separate ways as soon as they got out of the hotel, having no desire to talk with anyone, feeling drained, confused and angry.  Most found a deli, pub or restaurant a few blocks from the hotel and ate by themselves.  On the other hand, two other small groups congregated here and there.  Most of them had about the same sentiments as Bubba and Henry regarding Dr. Rout Logger.  No one had anything good to say about him, considering him arrogant, unfeeling and dictatorial.  Maria said he was dehumanizing.  She said he said he believed in democracy but acted like a fascist, making up rules right off the top of his head whenever he felt like it, like an absolute dictator. 

       Almost all participants thought about dropping out, but concluded they would be paid rather well for six hours of misery, bullshitting, discussing or whatever you wanted to call this.  A few knew they could not attend all the monthly meetings even if they wanted to because of previous commitments; but they were curious to learn what would come of this.  Some thought they could eventually turn Rout Logger around and teach him how to act like a decent human being.

       About half the members wondered what to do with the two hours, which was more than enough time for lunch.  Most of them staying in nearby hotels went back to their rooms to collect their thoughts and refresh themselves, some taking naps; others read, checked their emails and made telephone calls.  Some sat in the lobby of the hotel where the meeting was held and read until two o’clock.  A few went shopping.  Some took walks. 

       Several members thought about asking Rout to cut the time for the lunch break to one hour so they could get off work an hour earlier.  This would give them more time to catch earlier flights home after the meeting, as some had decided to do, not staying in a hotel Friday or Saturday night, having arranged early and late flights before and after the Saturday meeting, to save a little money and have more time with their families at home, while others wanted to stay in a hotel to give them more time away from their families.  A few brought their spouses along with them; two members brought spouses and children along for the trip, since they had never been to Louisville, Kentucky. 

End of Part One. To be continued.

THE REAL CAUSES OF THE US FOREVER WARS

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON, PhD, CTA

This essay is based on two well researched, documented, and reasoned articles—one authored by Effective Learning Report correspondent Courtenay Barnett, published in 2005 in the Global Research internet journal, entitled “Oil, Conflict and the Future of Global Energy Supplies,” that hit the nail right on the head with respect to what the US was/is up to with its forever wars started in 2003 by Bush II. Read this article at https://www.globalresearch.ca/oil-conflict-and-the-future-of-global-energy-supplies/1781.

The second article was written by Michael Hudson, recently published in the Counterpunch internet journal, entitled “America Escalates its ‘Democratic’ Oil War in the Near East.” Read this article at https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/06/america-escalates-its-democratic-oil-war-in-the-near-east/?fbclid=IwAR3SgZQOuEu1b4OObFxTQwqLRidNZPMy2NpEgwcLz53eYaJ7fkbG9Sm1Q1Y.

One supposedly Adult reason for starting the forever wars – to protect the US oil supply – may have been relevant to some extent in 2003; but, in light of new information about global warming, this reason was/is irrelevant, since peak oil arguments about scarce oil supplies have been rendered obsolete by global warming, since all the oil already discovered still in the ground cannot be pumped out and burned if human Earthians expect to survive global warming, assuming the opinions of hundreds of scientists and millions of others are correct regarding the seriousness of global warming. There is a consensus that humans don’t have much time (probably less than twenty years) to convert to green energy to stave off an ecological catastrophe.

US governments started and persisted with the forever wars for oil, and they should be stopped; but as both articles referenced here also point out, there were/are deeper realities involved in the whole Game. As Barnett pointed out in 2005 there is an even more ominous and relevant reason why the US fights its forever wars: to preserve the reserve status of the American dollar in global trade. Michael Hudson has written extensively about the importance of preserving the American dollar with US foreign policy in recent years.

If oil is not traded in US dollars globally, causing balance of payments dollar surpluses for countries that export more than they import to and from the US, especially exporters such as China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, the US system used globally for financing and supplying its 800 military bases outside the US (that cause huge yearly balance of payments deficits for the US, since food, energy, and other local purchases for those American bases are counted as US imports) could collapse.

If those surplus trade dollars are not recycled back into the US treasury to buy treasury bonds the market for US treasury bonds will shrink, which will probably force the US treasury to significantly raise interest rates to sell more bonds to private investors to finance the US budget deficit (largely caused by the 800 military bases overseas), which would dramatically increase the interest payments on the entire US government debt, now some twenty-two trillion dollars. These higher interest rates would probably cause a massive stock, bond, and housing bubble burst, and an economic collapse.

The forever wars are more for controlling oil and gas pipelines and making sure other countries use the American dollar trading oil internationally than they are for spreading and protecting freedom, democracy, and the like globally. In reality the US has no serious Earthian military threats at this time, other than the remote chance of a lone nut pushing a nuclear button somewhere. Barnett shows where the pipelines are in Central Asia and how they cause US military activity in the region and both he and Hudson explain why the US government and its military do not want to get out of the region now.

While there was/is Adult logic buttressing US military policy in the Middle East to protect the US oil supply in 2003, one can now build a case that protecting the oil supply alone does not justify keeping US military forces in the region, since there is little chance the US cannot buy and import enough oil at world market prices to make up for any shortfalls in US domestic oil production required to power existing production and consumption systems in the US until new green systems can be produced and implemented.

Protecting the reserve status of the American dollar, on the other hand, is another matter. The amoral cold-blooded neocon and neolib decision makers in the US White House, Pentagon, CIA, and State Department can build their usual case that the US military should stay in Central Asia forever, so as to be able to quickly destroy governments who would replace the American dollar as the international trade reserve currency with their own currencies around Spaceship Earth.

A solution would be to shut down all the 800 US bases scattered around Spaceship Earth and bring all US military and civilian employees now living in them (in the equivalent of an outsourced US socialistic pseudo-state) back to the US, which would eliminate the need to protect the reserve status of the American dollar and just about eliminate the US domestic budget deficit, assuming the well-disciplined well-trained US socialistic military and civilian employees now housed and working outside the US were reemployed back home in the free enterprise dog-eat-dog capitalistic domestic US economy.

If you ever thought all US government employees (military and civilian) living in those 800 US bases scattered around Spaceship Earth were plain ole patriotic simple-minded good guys out to keep Americans in the US safe and free and to help unfortunate undeveloped impoverished people in countries outside the US forget it. They are primarily there to create good deals and make money for the US deep state, as our current USian Repuglican dear leader truthfully bloviates in tweets and public outbursts.

Richard John Stapleton is a Certified Transactional Analyst, Educator, and the Writer, Editor & Publisher of the Effective Learning Report, January 23, 2020, https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html

THE EARTHIAN FORUM — 14

THE EARTHIAN FORUM, Number Fourteen, Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, January 10, 2020

THE EARTHIAN FORUM is a digest of articles containing facts, perspectives, theories, models, analyses, and recommendations concerned about existential states of affairs affecting all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth. Recent articles written and published by writers in Internet posts on ecological, economic, social, psychological, political, religious, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth are linked below as sources.

“ASK LESS WHAT YOUR NATION CAN DO FOR YOU—ASK MORE WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR SPACESHIP EARTH”

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME RIGHT NOW

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher

“More light and light it grows, more dark and dark our woes.”

The amoral and impulsive dear leader of the US Don Trump, having the power vested in him by virtue of having been elected president of the US by about twenty-five percent of US eligible voters in the presidential election in 2016, in the last few days assassinated the most revered general in Iran, thereby creating the possibility of causing another major war and the destruction of another nation in the Middle East, that could, if such a war happens, set off a larger war, possibly World War III, this time pitting the US and whatever nations there might be that would side with it against Iran, Russia, Syria, China and whatever nations there might be that would side with them.

William Shakespeare wrote the opening line for this essay quoted above in 1594 in his play Romeo and Juliet about two young “star-crossd” lovers who couldn’t marry because of having been unfortunate enough to have been born in two families that did not get along, so they drank hemlock hoping to consummate their love in a better world after death. The line in the play occurred after a cock crowed thrice in the early hours of their last day aboard Spaceship Earth.

How does this resemble the plight of Earthian humans today? Well, for one thing, we’re again faced with the immediate threat of another disastrous war that will result in widespread death and destruction similar to, but probably worse, than what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.

Will the Clint Eastwood-like US military add another notch to the notches already carved on the weapons it used to shoot bad guys in the Middle East and North Africa in the last few years?

Our plight in the US and Iran is vaguely similar to the plight of Romeo and Juliet since our national families—the US and Iran—are now supposed to hate each other so much that we cannot live with one other in peace and tranquillity. And ending frustrated and hopeless lives with war is about as sad as drinking hemlock.

I taught an Iranian graduate student in a US business school in the days shortly after Islamists in Iran deposed the US puppet Shah of Iran in 1979. She came by my office just before she was to go back to Iran after graduating.

We talked about an hour, covering economic and political issues in Iran and the US, centering on her going back to Iran, discussing what her opportunities might be after graduating.

One of the points she made in the conversation I remember concerned her feelings in regard to Jews in Israel. She said they presented themselves in advertising in the region as innocent and peaceful white doves while depicting Arabs as ugly black crows. She said most Jews in Israel weren’t real semites, many being blue-eyed blondes whose ancestors had intermarried with Europeans.

She wasn’t keen on going back to Iran to live under sharia law and the strictures of the mullahs, having to cover her beautiful body from head to toe in public, but she said she was duty bound to do it, having been born a Persian princess.

As she was leaving she gave me one of the best strokes I ever received. She said she wanted me to know that I was the best teacher she had ever had—ever.

Could I have a hug I responded? “Oh, sure” she said.

And it was a great hug, one of the best I ever had.

I lived in Adana, Turkiye three months in 1982, in southeast Turkiye, not far from the Syrian border, teaching systems management in a master’s degree program for US air force personnel at Incirlik Air Base. I lived in downtown Adana on the seventh floor of an apartment building surrounded by Turks. I got to know quite a few Turks there and at the base, which was ten or so miles outside Adana. All the Turks I knew were respectful, friendly people, seemingly relatively happy and satisfied with their lives. Religion was never a problem.

Many people have had someone say to them at some point in their lives that all people are basically good people if you really get to know them as people. I believe that. Unfortunately we can’t really get to know people in many cases because of what we have been taught to believe. Despite everyone having been caused to be what they are, not being responsible for what they are, most people are considered to be Not OK in some ways by others, which is unfair and unfortunate.

True, we are all born OK, but soon after opening our eyes in the light of day we get contaminated with messages of various sorts about who we are and what we should feel, think, and do with respect to ourselves and others.

Unfortunately most people are psychologically scripted after birth to be Not OK with respect to themselves and others in some psychological, social, religious, cultural, and political ways by parents, teachers, politicians, police people, military people, preachers, priests, rabbis, mullahs, and other people who have jobs and roles that entail using primarily adapted child and critical parent ego state energy to control and shape people. 

Our dear leader in the US Don Trump using primarily his impulsive irrational witch parent in his child ego state would now have us believe that all Iranians are Not OK, so Not OK that the US is justified in destroying their infrastructure and their cultural monuments and treasures, and their lives, if they seriously retaliate against him for assassinating their revered General Soleimani.

And that’s where we stand now, waiting to see what happens. I have read the Iranians have shot some rockets into a US base in retaliation, with no reported casualties, and an airliner bound for Canada from Iran has been shot down in Iran with casualties.

At first I thought Trump had finally really lost it, assassinating Soleimani, losing what was left of his small and capricious mind, going off the deep end; but, alas, it’s worse than that.

According to Michael Hudson, maybe the best economist now aboard Spaceship Earth, Trump did have an adult ego state rationale for doing what he did, as Hudson explains in detail in the first Source article linked below in this issue of The Earthian Forum.

According to Hudson, the US Pentagon, using its adult ego state and the same cold-blooded logic devoid of nurturing parent energy they have been using in the Middle East and North Africa since 2003, gave Trump the idea to assassinate Soleimani as an option, to “draw a line in the sand” to send a clear psychological message to the adult ego states of leaders of Iran, Russia, Syria, and other nations that the US military will indeed destroy Iran as it did other nations in recent years who threatened US policies if Iranian leaders seriously threaten and undermine US economic and political policies necessary to maintain the dominant role of the US dollar in international oil trading and the time-tested system of cash flows now in place in international trade required to fund the US budget deficit, that includes supplying and funding 800 US military bases outside the US scattered around Spaceship Earth.

Yes, as Shakespeare wrote in 1594:  “More light and light it grows, more dark and dark our woes.”

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfying lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans:  winner, loser, and non-winner— caused by inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to throughout life—and by the early decisions offspring irrationally and rationally make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the human population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

A purpose of TA is to help individuals and groups insert new causes into natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes in the populace.

Using adult ego states to consciously construct winner scripts requires hard work but it can happen if people somehow acquire new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or harmartic script messages recorded in their sub-conscious minds. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, perhaps requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, and religious troubles then everything would be wonderful for everyone. Not so, some people would not be satisfied and successful living in paradise because of non-winner and harmartic script messages indelibly recorded in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live satisfying and successful lives humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser script may entail changing the way one structures time, learning how to spend time in different ways, spending more or less time withdrawing in their heads, pastiming (shooting the bull) with others, performing rituals, working, or playing psychological Games.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this:  Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among organizations and groups around Earth.

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

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

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, trial and error, over and over, till something works. 

1—What is the problem?

2—What are the alternatives?

3—What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play AIN’T IT AWFUL more now than  in the past, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for complaining about the evils and troubles of world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems and policies manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists and politicians, however true that might be in reality.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans 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 called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Trump is doing a good job of playing IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU with Iran right now, and one can build a case about all he does is play psychological Games.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU entails aggrieved humans psychologically believing that opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused by circumstances and script messages to do what they did just like the aggrieved aggressive people were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems caused by poor scripting caused by inadequate families, inadequate educational systems, inadequate religions, inadequate economic systems, and inadequate political systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis check out the website for the International Transactional Analysis Association at https://www.itaaworld.org/ . To learn about ego states, Games, strokes, and life scrips and to learn a guaranteed system for creating Game-free discussions and political processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331 

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds   https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/   for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth.  This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/  

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

For details regarding my transactional analysis and management science qualifications see my RJS Academic Vita at https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.   

TO RESPOND:

As usual this month’s THE EARTHIAN FORUM  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 FORUM.  

Some Game playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer is psychologically persecuting, rescuing, or victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, and politically. Unfortunately it seems to me one can build a case that politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games.

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet, and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong than dishonestly wrong, that is, telling someone something is true because you really do not know what is true than to tell someone something is true when you know for a fact it is not true.

It seems to me most lying is lying by omission, people not telling people things they know are true. Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful than lying by commission, telling people things you know are falsehoods and dispensing fake news, is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to know what’s true and what’s not.

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 at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html go to our RESPONSES page and let us know about them at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html .

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

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for THE EARTHIAN FORUM, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN FORUM and would like to reciprocate go to our Effective Learning Publications page and purchase one or more copies of my books at   https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html  .

Best wishes, RJS

SOURCES:

January 10, 2020

Here is an excerpt from Michael Hudson’s article linked below explaining in my opinion the major reason why Trump assassinated Soleimani. It’s a sad and grisly tale with no good guys and no happy ending in sight.

“Finally, what can U.S. anti-war opponents do to resist the neocon attempt to destroy any part of the world that resists U.S. neoliberal autocracy? This has been the most disappointing response over the weekend. They are flailing. It has not been helpful for Warren, Buttigieg and others to accuse Trump of acting rashly without thinking through the consequences of his actions. That approach shies away from recognizing that his action did indeed have a rationale—do draw a line in the sand, to say that yes, America WILL go to war, will fight Iran, will do anything at all to defend its control of Near Eastern oil and to dictate OPEC central bank policy, to defend its ISIS legions as if any opposition to this policy is an attack on the United States itself.

“I can understand the emotional response or yet new calls for impeachment of Donald Trump. But that is an obvious non-starter, partly because it has been so obviously a partisan move by the Democratic Party. More important is the false and self-serving accusation that President Trump has overstepped his constitutional limit by committing an act of war against Iran by assassinating Soleimani.

“Congress endorsed Trump’s assassination and is fully as guilty as he is for having approved the Pentagon’s budget with the Senate’s removal of the amendment to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that Bernie Sanders, Tom Udall and Ro Khanna inserted an amendment in the House of Representatives version, explicitly not authorizing the Pentagon to wage war against Iran or assassinate its officials. When this budget was sent to the Senate, the White House and Pentagon (a.k.a. the military-industrial complex and neoconservatives) removed that constraint. That was a red flag announcing that the Pentagon and White House did indeed intend to wage war against Iran and/or assassinate its officials. Congress lacked the courage to argue this point at the forefront of public discussion.

“Behind all this is the Saudi-inspired 9/11 act taking away Congress’s sole power to wage war – its 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, pulled out of the drawer ostensibly against Al Qaeda but actually the first step in America’s long support of the very group that was responsible for 9/11, the Saudi airplane hijackers.

“The question is, how to get the world’s politicians – U.S., European and Asians – to see how America’s all-or-nothing policy is threatening new waves of war, refugees, disruption of the oil trade in the Strait of Hormuz, and ultimately global warming and neoliberal dollarization imposed on all countries. It is a sign of how little power exists in the United Nations that no countries are calling for a new Nurenberg-style war crimes trial, no threat to withdraw from NATO or even to avoid holding reserves in the form of money lent to the U.S. Treasury to fund America’s military budget.”

Read this article for the full context and explanation.

“America Escalates Its ‘Democratic’ Oil War in the Near East,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/06/america-escalates-its-democratic-oil-war-in-the-near-east/?fbclid=IwAR1yRxgvyECTcDldUdp3OVp2Mlv93bjt7VuyjkxKtJ4bmiMFtTpfKOjW2W8.

January 10  

Where is the evidence?

“Trump: Iranians Sought “To Blow UP Our Embassy” So We Took Out Soleimani,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/trump-we-took-out-soleimani-because-iranians-looking-blow-our-embassy?fbclid=IwAR1rrJwQCNkKPhgDCkqJzLdlCI_7-RChxTlD2Z-07lwKSgjeg3bR1oH_GNw.

January 9

Slurred speech and sniffing or not, drug addled or not, Trump’s so-called speech was simple-minded, disingenuous, and inflammatory. Listen to some of it here for yourself. For one thing the US under Obama did not give Iran 150 billion dollars. What it did was release 150 billion dollars of Iran’s money the US had seized and frozen as a so-called “sanction”. The US has crippled Iran’s economy with all manner of such sanctions, telling other countries not to buy Iranian oil and such, and threatening to retaliate against them with sanctions if they did, and what have you. It’s impossible for the average US citizen including me to know exactly what the US has done in Iran and elsewhere with sanctions, or know with certainty what the effects of the sanctions have been, but it’s a safe bet that US sanctions have caused serious economic harm in Iran and elsewhere, destabilizing economies and causing hardships (such as hunger and disease) for innocent men, women, and children, trying to force governments to toe the line with USian policies, trying to bully and cow them into submission. One thing’s for sure, you can’t believe what this pathetic human being says about almost anything.

“Nation Demands to Know What Trump Is Takng after Slurred Speech,” by Jason Miciak, PolitiZoom, DAILY SOUND AND FURY, https://dailysoundandfury.com/nation-demands-to-know-what-trump-is-taking-after-slurred-speech/?fbclid=IwAR0QZ5j9q5VEBN1WDWk47mI8reQZG6uqWkkQL56gTr8H_oc9hYG558idj2w.

January 7

Here is how the US govt works at the highest levels. After you leave government service you get paid for the favors you did for large corporations you were supposed to regulate when you were in office, via quid pro quo board of director payments, consultancy fees, speaking fees, etc. Here is a typical case, involving a not so bright but successful politician, the former Trumpian energy secretary, and former Texas governor, repuglican Rick Perry, a male equivalent of Sarah Palin and the Trumpian education secretary, Betsy DeVos.

“Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry Rejoins Board of Dakota Access Owner,” by Sharon Kelly, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/former-energy-secretary-rick-perry-rejoins-board-of-dakota-access-owner/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2orPeOuUb2zog5WNC9bWz3Sh3a0J671OlP7orT_W8wLM9_4GOBecywmHc.

January 7

Well, most of them don’t

“Naturally The Common People Don’t Want War,” by Brian McCully, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

January 7

Here is a short explanation of the Spanish Civil War. Some of the same impulses that caused it are reemerging today. Nazis, republicans, nationalists, monarchists, anarchists, communists, dictators, and democrats, they are all still here. Some say the Spanish Civil War was a microcosm that morphed into WWII. Will the horrors of all out nuclear war prevent current international conflicts from morphing into WWIII?

“Spanish Civil War,” Resource Library, National Geographic Society, https://www.nationalgeographic.org/thisday/jul18/spanish-civil-war/?fbclid=IwAR2PeIYtHZnpYuAN85iHNwqTxsLO0goT7ZKxEopQa5S3ZOxJ5CsaNseihnU#.XhS21WMkoFw.facebook.

January 7

Will harvesting the assets of Aramco in Saudi Arabia cause the end of the world? This writer thinks it will. In a nutshell he thinks Aramco, the Saudi Oil Company that recently went public selling one trillion dollars in stock making it the most valuable corporation by market value not only in the world now but in history, owning about one third of all oil still in the ground around Spaceship Earth, will destroy Earthian life if all the oil they now own still in the ground is pumped out, sold, and burned.

“Why the End of the World is the Most Valuable Thing in the World, According to Capitalism. Wait, What?” by Umair Haque, EUDIAMONIA, https://eand.co/why-the-end-of-the-world-is-the-most-valuable-thing-in-the-world-according-to-capitalism-b7d47ebccbc9.

January 6

Scary

“Fifth Pentagon official announces resignation within a week,” by Karen Graham, DIGITAL JOURNAL, http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/fifth-pentagon-official-announces-resignation-within-a-week/article/563823?fbclid=IwAR0Jl4qOJJXxC4TEkzcYoIG2kANcTlptMo00YWDH-ucDX2AQRtNGUPtiMWg#.XhP-OuoO4ZF.facebook.

January 6

One of my favorites

“WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US,” by Bill Brissette, FACEBOOK, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

January 6

It does seem the balance of Earthian military power has shifted, even though one can build a case it’s merely a busy work Game, since several countries have the power to destroy Earthian human life already with nukes, making no holds barred war obsolete, barring a madman pushing a nuke button somewhere.

“Some Thoughts On The Current State Of The U.S. Military,” by Paul Gilbert, TMIN, http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/some-thoughts-on-the-current-state-of-the-u-s-military?fbclid=IwAR0sbo6p8yn19a8zqbQ-84b2wjq4-gQ1d-8KmBMkPHb8NYJJv2Rm2inqMcM.

January 6

Just read the first two paragraphs of this. Unbelievable. To think a real world power government such as the US govt could say we are getting out of a country after seventeen years and then an hour or so later say “‘whoop’s, no, we’re not, we just made a ‘mistake’.”

What else will this incompetent fool US administration come up with? This is off the chart managerial incompetence.

“’Honest mistake’ sets off alarm about US troops in Iraq,” by Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns, ASSOCIATED PRESS, https://apnews.com/e384b6e3d230b63d3f69092ef53b5bd9?fbclid=IwAR0yrDUWjhChZgG0oWuYllX-PPBDalt5KMOp76MYBoxa2y-fo-1P4Oxx_9c.

January 5

Mainstream media do not publish fake news, lying by commission (if they can help it), thereby protecting themselves from lawsuits; but they lie by omission with alacrity.

“Two huge suppressed news reports in a 3-day period reveal corrupt U.S. & allied mainstream press,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28878.

January 6

Interesting take on things from Bangladesh

“Toxic Asia,” by Iftekhar Sayeed, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28931.

January 6

A well researched, well written, and well reasoned article about serious problems with no simple answers

“The True Cause of the Opioid Epidemic,” by Olga Khazan, THE ATLANTIC, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/01/what-caused-opioid-epidemic/604330/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&fbclid=IwAR3-EPQVj2noCdHdRvajOGiq9kqhXuUr1TapxOQwL_fgdp0Qg6lo-jOrF6w.

January 5

Not only GDP numbers but unemployment percentages fail to paint an accurate picture of what is going on economically. They paint a seriously rosy picture.

“Kill GDP to Help Save the Planet,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/02/kill-gdp-to-help-save-the-planet/?fbclid=IwAR3JScPSvariVQY7Vf_nmJXpuzep4C3vpY4WFd8Pm8VCPOZdrpvEjFIlDeU.

January 5

News to me

“Our Nazis: the Gehlen Org,” by Gaither Stewart, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/02/our-nazis-the-gehlen-org/?fbclid=IwAR2zhnBPzC2_BJDP5SRfDwiuSOpT0aq8CaI3mK8Fn8ppzH1bIEHPz07fo-Q.

January 5

Interesting

“Bad Planet,” by John Davis, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/02/bad-planet/?fbclid=IwAR373mdR9U6BsH-NrGKV0V7Q_ZgnGWeXBAxA5cuoLn8nInU0F8x8d7WTUhQ.

January 5

Hope he’s not right

“A Grim New Definition of Generation X,” COUNTERPUNCH, by Ted Rail, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/03/a-grim-new-definition-of-generation-x/?fbclid=IwAR06j6JXvwS2XVZPUPEVugny25OxLwnGKwCw7xDt5nYC2a5U5qhxcdygmLE.

January 5

Brave and good kids

“Work of Necessity, Work of Choice,” by Carolyn Coe, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/03/work-of-necessity-work-of-choice/?fbclid=IwAR37WQAAKu3d1Nz-ouuMvKoI6LxW9s3hJVgWwYhB2eG13ksoswW4b9iONYk.

January 5

Afraid Hornberger is right

“A Limited-Government Republic versus a National Security State,” by Jacob G. Hornberger, THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM FOUNDATION, https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/a-limited-government-republic-versus-a-national-security-state/?fbclid=IwAR3btI3Tffchus2cbyezZqItRVGtzwxbJvko57B4a9_Gw7o7QPJsTNAFAWg.

January 5

Goes without saying

“Sanders introduces measure to block funding for Iran strikes,” by Andrew Blake, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/4/progressives-seek-to-block-funding-military-action/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork&fbclid=IwAR2oe0lVb2Obntb927cmJa0ZHQP3w1IEFMkuh990MGjRVCd1_Go87WoDdOA.

January 5

Hard to comprehend

“24 people dead 500 million animals dead 8,000 kaolas dead Over 5.5 million hectares burned (the size of Belgium),” PAKKE AUSTRALIA WALE, https://www.pakkeoz.com/2020/01/24-people-dead-500-million-animals-dead.html?m=1&fbclid=IwAR0wC9WDz9GV5JxHWviory6O95qUps38obyaZFrlpAoP6zdSVGek49t4ic0.

January 5

Who knows? He might get away with it without setting off WWWIII, if his body guards are good enough protecting him. I would not recommend Trump taking any announced trips to specific locations near Iran anytime soon.

“Iran ‘offers $80 million bounty for Donald Trump’s head’ after death of general,” by Milo Boyd, MSN NEWS, https://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/other/iran-offers-2480million-bounty-for-donald-trumps-head-after-death-of-general/ar-BBYDj63?fbclid=IwAR04J1rnKduVB8gXsJgOEXCf6Dz4VoJU8uPsjPT6O0Xa6Znmam3YopQl2g8.

January 5

More than a little truth here

“Corbyn’s defeat shows that Western democracy is built on lies and contradictions,” by Danny Haiphong, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28884.

January 5

Proves you can change your mind

“Impeachment derangement or how I learned to stop hating and love Trump,” by Douglas Valentine, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28884.

January 5

Smart lady wrote this. Hope she’s right.

“The key to the environmental crisis is beneath our feet,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28903.

January 5

Pathetic

“An Eyewitness to the Horrors of the US ‘Forever Wars’ Speaks Out,” by Kathy Kelly, National Catholic Reporter, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/an-eyewitness-to-the-horrors-of-the-us-forever-wars-speaks-out/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR27NHq3QXmjLUMLAGT8LGLR4l7hCW1qfl_1UzG4guYZwMEETChsR6onrkw.

January 4

Bullshit article by a bullshit writer. Thinks low birth rates are an existential threat. Low birth rates are a good thing. Let them roll. Low birth rates will eventually make it easy to produce enough necessities of life for all living Earthian humans without destroying all Earthian species burning fossil fuels to create energy. On the other hand, human caused climate change, a massive global economic collapse, or nuclear bombs could bring Earthian human affairs to a screeching halt. These are real existential threats.

“Our Real Existential Crisis — Extinction,” by Patrick J. Buchanan, PATRICK J. BUCHANAN OFFICIAL WEBSITE, https://buchanan.org/blog/our-real-existential-crisis-extinction-137964?fbclid=IwAR0mUL9TMu4U0VxAcP1xL65xAnu9N0NBDCWgnM9nn9Jav0MmsESdjELeVAQ.

January 4

All made possible by computers and computer software. Analogous to what happened in Russia when they gave up communism. Bureaucrats and cronies got control of the spoils and they just got richer and richer, becoming oligarchs. Controlling software in companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle, and what have you around Spaceship Earth is like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie controlling oil fields and steel mills. What is needed is de-privatization, that is to say, nationalization, or internationalization, to spread the wealth among all humans.

“Privatization is resurrecting feudalism,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28914.

January 4

More than you wanted to know about the environment

“World Gone Wrong: an Environmental Diary of 2019,” by Jeffrey St. Clair, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/03/world-gone-wrong-an-environmental-diary-of-2019/?fbclid=IwAR2neOOCrdD_3c3qazMpcxjUrYYxHwhCKralihutqUCl-6GH5PpjuIaT3kA.

January 4

Surely they are just playing dumb trying to match and pace their presumably dumber voters. If not heaven help us.

“The Democratic Party’s Campaign to Re-Elect Trump,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/03/the-democratic-partys-campaign-to-re-elect-president-trump/?fbclid=IwAR1ROn28NeiYQN-h390G4EhfJe7ZmhG-GnAmGbE8NfLiXSviNFSwz52qjMQ.

January 4

Got a long way to go

“’Shit-Life Syndrome,’ Trump Voters, and Clueless Dems,” by Bruce E. Levine, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/03/shit-life-syndrome-trump-voters-and-clueless-dems/?fbclid=IwAR049JZd-_6UuQSkH3gk5iMDiGFk6u1WXQdzHoKndAy410euvU5DEdyhh78.

January 3

Here is the litmus test for proving if you are really for peace. Are you for the greater good for the greater number?

“’Right Now is the Moment to Decide If You Are Pro-Peace or Not’: Ocasio-Cortez Joins Progressive Chorus Against War,” by Eoin Higgins, staff writer, COMMON DREAMS, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/03/right-now-moment-decide-if-you-are-pro-peace-or-not-ocasio-cortez-joins-progressive?fbclid=IwAR1XK1e6dPr7egvo0orlq-6bpZNaPdYBB554PgOtJjAZSe7JflxeNwwzcz4.

January 3

BE sure and click on this to see more pictures and quotes.

“War is a Racket,” by Smedley Butler, US Marine Corps Major General, FACEBOOK, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/03/right-now-moment-decide-if-you-are-pro-peace-or-not-ocasio-cortez-joins-progressive?fbclid=IwAR1XK1e6dPr7egvo0orlq-6bpZNaPdYBB554PgOtJjAZSe7JflxeNwwzcz4.

December 28

After several afterthoughts and updates the last article I wrote, edited, and published in the Effective Learning Report and posted on Facebook yesterday now shows in this version more clearly why Earthian humans need to repent and discontinue their organizational sins to save themselves from global warming and climate change.

“A Strategy for Actually Draining the Political Swamp of Spaceship Earth,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-strategy-for-actually-draining-the-political-swamp-of-spaceship-earth/?fbclid=IwAR3Y46rtVKw-EvoKOZ5kaY8OFwk_4vFAG5_bQm-_KNLExqZ0D88QWLRo4yM.

December 28

Try it. You might like it.

“Stop Believing in Free Will to Cause Peace Aboard Spaceship Earth,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/stop-believing-in-free-will-to-cause-peace-aboard-spaceship-earth/?fbclid=IwAR2Yo1nzTIvSbMmfG-eyy8NUVz7QrzxSGhV5_H-vudmlQa-Omn7e3DPf7iY.

December 27

Will it make any difference? Surely the US will have enough time to shoot off enough nukes to destroy Russia before this new system can hit the US, assuring MAD (mutually assured destruction) as usual if Russia pulls the trigger first, leaving all-out no holds barred serious war as obsolete as it is now barring human extinction. Unfortunately this would leave in place the small busy work type wars with no end we have now to keep the deep state employment going. On the other hand the US will probably try to copy the new Russian technology to restore the same balance of terror MAD system that existed before the Russians came up with this new faster missile system.

“New Russian weapon can travel 27 times the speed of sound,” by Vladimir ISAchenkov, ASSOCIATED PRESS, https://apnews.com/597e7f2b20b21af959e4c6983b255c37?fbclid=IwAR23WtWaqwcAGLvSfr2nCvvMC9FHDw5PSQPtxjTkmsM4Z_bULi4fHmbl4Yk.

December 26

Here is a story I co-wrote, edited, and published

“A True End of Year Holiday Story That Just Happened on the Internet,” between Courtenay Barnett and Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-true-end-of-year-holiday-story-that-happened-on-the-internet/?fbclid=IwAR1glKqgD0WOBIrsPV7aemEXVRktJ30xmZRfxWJ8zX3Y3butBK2Os-9kMwo.

December 26

This psychological Game reminds me of the cartoon I saw somewhere showing a sheep dog and a wolf amiably chatting with one another punching a time clock to start another workday as usual pretending to threaten and protect the sheep blissfully grazing in the valley below. This psychological Game, sometimes referred to as the “Forever War”, is a busy work charade designed to maintain employment and profits for deep state personnel and corporations around Spaceship Earth and to maintain the international banking and balance of payments system and the strength of the US dollar that makes it possible for the US to manage its budget deficits and international trade deficits year after year.  

An important point is that not only are the leaders of the US playing this Game, so too are the leaders of Russia, China, Syria, Iran, and numerous others, maybe all national leaders, who enjoy being the TOP DOG in their countries with all the spoils they can muster appertaining thereto. Unfortunately these Games keep the mass of Earthian humans living in poverty and misery while a minuscule minority at the top get richer year by year at an exponential rate. 

If you haven’t already read it, be sure and read Michael Hudson’s illluminating article listed at the top/beginning of this list of Sources for this issue of The Earthian Forum to really understand what is going on here.

“Impeachment is a Distraction: Heavily Scripted Vote Demonstrates That Democracy Really is Dead,” by Philip Giraldi, STRATEGIC-CULTURE, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/12/26/impeachment-is-a-distraction-heavily-scripted-vote-demonstrates-that-democracy-really-is-dead/?fbclid=IwAR2FqosGwwZNrAFIAYncmL6ychHxmGYQeeGGMKR_vK-z_9khFRZuQVtDofY.

December 25

Say it aint so joe

“CO2 and Climate Change, Old and New,” by Manual Garcia, Jr., COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/23/co2-and-climate-change-old-and-new/?fbclid=IwAR2d0MtA3CA7WVIE6wwypZu3wAtmlWz00h2j2KNIhUOyJEmeZF18kVkm0eg.

December 25

Most horrifying is the way this tipping point has been inexorably developing for decades. The burning of the Amazon has been in the news for a long tine and nothing has done anything about it.

“The Amazon at a Tipping Point,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/24/the-amazon-at-a-tipping-point/?fbclid=IwAR0ZQ-y1T_qrvQy2dZ9GIOU8n3pATWjmNrhOo2yrqp5Hp8eiUlMze7PDZYM.

December 25

The best article on the subject i have read

Is this the relevant point? “Yet, a European-style proportional representational voting system would have put a rainbow coalition led by Labour into power, giving the Tories just 288 seats.”

Pathetic haw things have gotten twisted around to protect and promote the boorish as leaders in the US and in the UK

“The Dream is Over: How Boris Johnson Won the UK Election,” by T.J. Coles, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/24/the-dream-is-over-how-boris-johnson-won-the-uk-election/?fbclid=IwAR1-0xtgm4Uu9v9fcgCamHdHCZCyuagsCQhZxLeyOcNdB9luPT-DWgjpHOY.

December 23

Afraid he’s right

“More Fascist Nonsense from a Disgraced President,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/20/more-fascist-nonsense-from-a-disgraced-president/?fbclid=IwAR3_ivvE4oeEvhwGHGP8nV5dp9ZrgAkQGjMB_I70ruJqREkUd61iHXMMoMk.

December 23

A short article with a powerful opinion. Been ‘sayin the same myself for about twenty years.

“Nobel prize-winning economist debunks right-wing economics,” by Kian Maalekanian, NORTH, https://north99.org/2019/10/30/nobel-prize-winning-economist-debunks-rightwing-economics/?utm_content=buffer166ce&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_north99&utm_campaign=buffer&fbclid=IwAR0e-wPy9DjCTNVbDpU-NAgNs1zmJ7cyW3QoLQMhCC4izJK6Zh04Qg1pWHE.

December 22

They are good to eat you know. If there are now too many wild hogs up North, then Yankees need more hunters. A friend of mine had a brother-in-law here in Georgia who liked to hunt wild hogs, who cooked up one of them I ate some of. Tasted pretty good. Pretty much like regular hog meat.

“Feral Pigs Roam the South. Now Even Northern States Aren’t Safe,” by Jim Robbins, THE NEW YORK TIMES, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/16/science/feral-pigs-canada-texas.html?fbclid=IwAR2xN0qBHWSyH2mv8-ZqPwW3–__DuAN2_tEwWKFjPcRD8MsAfA_JJWa1UY.

December 22

Not broken up, nationalized. Needs to be run like the US Postal Service.

“One of Amazon’s first employees says the company should be broken up,” by Jason Del Ray, VOX, https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/12/20/21031694/amazon-employee-break-up-paul-barton-davis-marketplace-sellers?fbclid=IwAR1RXe4JND0CrYavdzj1YasVH2BRmXAb9Wky5tzdHiwgwOYypT3jmlq6IvY.

December 20

Yes, he’s guilty as sin, but has he committed high crimes seriously threatening the nation?

“Is Trump Guilty? An International Lawyer’s Perspective,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/is-trump-guilty-an-international-lawyers-perspective/?fbclid=IwAR02_SZsLImn7dKrmb1rzOKHK1PeIO5XOt_-muYX0BKBjdWRBiz4CG0J-jY.

December 20

First time I have heard an economist mention aggregate demand in some time. I used to write about it myself. The Nobel economist cited above has an idea designed to increase aggregate demand. Raise the taxes of the rich and large corporations. Hard to believe he won a Nobel Prize for it. It’s pretty much common sense: the best way to increase aggregate demand is to put more money in the pockets of consumers who will spend the money on consumer goods, and the best way to do this is to raise the tax rates of the rich and the large corporations back to where they were before 1980, before Reagan unleashed voodoo economics and Repuglicans became Keynesians by lowering the taxes of the rich and large corporations and increasing budget deficits, which they said don’t matter, leading the US down the primrose path to perdition it is on now, and then spend the increased tax revenue on infrastructure jobs, hiring the dispossessed at middle class wages. Voila.

“Neoliberal economics destroyed the economy and the middle class,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28870.

December 19

Now here’s some news for you. Apparently they have decided sin matters after all.

“Evangelical magazine Christianity Today: Trump must go,” by Elana Schor, Associated Press, https://news.yahoo.com/evangelical-magazine-christianity-today-trump-011557667.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=fb.

December 19

So it seems

“The News Churn Memory Hole: How the MSM Lies Even When Telling the Truth,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-news-churn-memory-hole-how-the-msm-lies-even-when-telling-the-truth-3662de102ff2.

December 18

Telling. Anyone should know the stock market is pumped up by Federal Reserve funny money. How long can the Fed keep it up? If the US is being Japanized seems to me this sort of thing can continue for several more years.

“FedEx CEO: ‘The Stock Market is Very Bullish, But The Industrial Economy Doesn’t Reflect Any Growth At All Worldwide,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/fedex-ceo-stock-market-very-bullish-industrial-economy-doesnt-reflect-any-growth-all?fbclid=IwAR1MP124h37exn3Zc6-aZnGz-j61OKaZEy1LHMsh0t-6nuCH2PUd-PHBbXQ.

December 18

Are Americans and Brits in the same boat economically and politically?

I just published a new article in the Effective Learning Report by Courtenay Barnett from the Turks and Caicos Islands entitled “The British Election – 2019.”

“The British Election – 2019,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-british-election-2019/?fbclid=IwAR3Xb6p2aUhVnacYaDoiyl5HRTqliX-tHqlR8F-Q5dwEhTQE-V1HYykS7IE.

December 16

More great reporting by Paul Street. What next?

“The Woman-Hater-in-Chief,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/16/the-woman-hater-in-chief/?fbclid=IwAR0KK3Rr1Z8_NIQq9RW3HVDYVoLMJXb_WxEcDvf5V5C-enM-AEr8bm-vGjs.

December 15

Why not do it?

“The Stubborn Persistence of the Military-Industrial State,” by William D. Hartung, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-stubborn-persistence-of-the-military-industrial-state/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1d8GKYR9wmI03p0IK76wmcAubuGWknT5AwBDCzV81WP-4I36UoIwm1wUM.

December 16

Yes, but can you make it happen? See my attempt at creating real democracy with the Ogeechee Economic Forum described in a post on the masthead of this blog above on this page. Having conducted the forum once a month about a year I have never had more than five participants show up. According to one of the participants most people are afraid to participate in face-to-face political discussions because most of their bosses don’t want them discussing politics at work or in public, even on their own time.

“For Real Democracy, We Need Political Participation at All Levels of Public Life,” by Eve Olney, Roar Magazine, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/for-real-democracy-we-need-political-participation-at-all-levels-of-public-life/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2X5cQwiLjE8-j89V_BNRcECxNCaeZOFS3VUaOuQtOQ5xCTtQwWVIOdXIs.

December 15

I consider myself a Progressive and I for sure am not trying to coax anyone back into a corporate party. Quite to the contrary, I would like to coax voters back into a truly democratic party independent of the corrupt and rigged DNC and RNC National Committees.

“Intentionally or Not, Progressives Are Coaxing Us Back Into a Corporate Party,” by Chris Morrill, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/intentionally-or-not-progressives-are-coaxing-us-back-into-a-corporate-party/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0x70maJsIOnw–H1Ha5K3s3BPsHSW3cAm0GMRzWVZyhp5s_vzGWM1RI4c.

Feel free to forward, share, post, print, or otherwise circulate The Earthian Forum any way you see fit.  

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION to the EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT and THE EARTHIAN FORUM: Email rjstapleton@bulloch.net and punch subscription into the subject line.     

Richard John Stapleton, Certified Transactional Analyst, Educator, Writer, Editor & Publisher

A TRUE END OF YEAR HOLIDAY STORY THAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET

BETWEEN COURTENAY BARNETT AND RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

CB to RJS and Others December 20, 2019 6:45 PM

AND

Peace to all Men and Women of Good Will (and may the evil ones all go to the burning “Bush” and “Blairly” be lost forever)

To Our Muslim Brothers

SALAAMU ALAIKUM


To Our Hebrew Brothers and sisters 
                         
Happy Chanukah


To my African brothers and sisters in and out of Africa

Happy Kwanza and Kwanzaa


To our atheist and agnostic brothers and sisters

Have a good day

( and if you are of a group that I forgot or did not specifically mention – good will to you nevertheless, but send me your details and you will be included next time in the list above – promise) 

And to Our Christian brothers and sisters


                          MERRY CHRISTMAS 
                          CHRIST IS BORN 
                .     .  .        +     .      .          . 
                      .      .     #       .           . 
               .       .         ###            .      .      . 
              .      .   “#:. .:##”##:. .:#”  .      . 
                .      . “####”###”####”  . 
              .     “#:.    .:#”###”#:.    .:#”  .        .       . 
        .              “#########”#########”        .        . 
               .    “#:.  “####”###”####”  .:#”   .       . 
           .     .  “#######””##”##””#######”                  . 
                     .”##”#####”#####”##”           .      . 
           .   “#:. …  .:##”###”###”##:.  … .:#”     . 
            .     “#######”##”#####”##”#######”      .     . 
          .    .     “#####””#######””#####”    .      . 
                  .     ”         000      ”    .     . 
             .         .   . __000___  .        .       . 
                              /. 000 ./| 
                             /_______/ | 
                             | Barnett| / 
                             |_______|/ 

This email is sent as a “love gift” for Christmas 2019. It is also a “health gift” – the best gift a human can have – compliments of Dr. Courtenay.

There are six  gifts in this package.The inner health gift.

1. The inner health gift

We unwittingly ingest parasites at times from vegetable and other foods. Normally our system will deal naturally with these, but there is a way in which we can improve our inner health. The papaya fruit is a fruit with dual healing properties. The papaya is a natural meat tenderizer. This also means that it has properties that are beneficial for our digestive system. It will literally melt what we have in our digestive tract, and in its natural state it is absorbed quickly by our body. So, eat a complete papaya once a week, and you are assured that it will do its cleansing best in your system. Next, do not throw away the little black seeds – eat them. The reason for this is that the seeds have anti-parasitic properties. So, about once every two weeks eat a handful of papaya seeds. You can dry and store these and have them in your kitchen cupboard, and make this a part of your regular diet.

2.  The healthy nerves health gift.

There is a fruit that grows in the Caribbean known colloquially as the ‘sour sop’. It is green with a soft spiny exterior, and has white flesh on the inside. It is used to make a drink, which when taken has natural properties that are good for the nerves. Some of the other health properties can be found at this web site: http://hubpages.com/hub/Medicinal-Benefits-of-Soursop

3.   The good night’s sleep and clean skin health gift.

Fever grass – also known as lemon grass – makes a tasty tea, and as a lotion does wonders for the skin. It naturally assists with a good night’s sleep. When rubbed on the skin as a lotion, it has anti-fungal properties and naturally cleanses the skin. Dr. Courtenay recommends “Country House products” out of Jamaica, for this lotion:countryhouseproducts@yahoo.com

4. The overall good health tip.

Try consuming the Moringa plant. I have it on island and I make a tea from the leaves which Idrink. It has been scientifically proven to have a wide range of beneficial properties. Rea here, for more information:-

http://www.edlagman.com/moringa/moringa-health-benefits.htm

5. The clean teeth tip. 

Use the peel of the banana on your teeth. Rub the inside on your teeth. You will find that any yellowstains or discolouration is naturally removed, and this method does not in any way damage the enamel. 

6. The healthy body tip

Exercise two to three times a week – nuff said.

Now, these six (6) tips are worth a million dollars in total N.B. US and not Jamaican dollars ( i.e. measured in dollars – each tip brings to you a total of US$250,000). Therefore, for free you are receiving a very valuable present which you should treasure. Dr. Courtenay has packaged these six gifts in this exclusive package, and is sharing this special gift only with you ( well – to be truthful, with all my family and friends, because it really is a lot cheaper than buying conventional presents).

Disclaimer: The natural products are made by God, so if any one does not work, you are free to sue Him. I am available for all retainers ( having sued a Chief Justice – I will ratchet the challenge up to the high heavens).  The exercise tip is left totally to you  and  your use of your body, so if you want to over-stress your heart, then don’t blame me , nor should your estate bother me with any law suit.

Comment: If my day job does not work out, then via Barnett Enterprises Inc. these love gifts will be packaged and marketed globally at the heavily discounted price of $2.50 each. But, for now just appreciate and accept at the true value with all the extra zeros added on, and remember – that we can’t put a true value on good health.

These gifts come in our standard internet package, which requires:-

1.       That you open

2.       That you read

3.       That you apply your mind and not the delete button

These gifts are meant as an instructive and easy to use way towards better health – valued at least at a million dollars in total. Have a happy and healthy Christmas 2019, and even healthier new year.

Love,

Dr. Courtenay 

RJS to CB December 21, 2019 12:24 AM

Hello Courtenay.  Apparently you have had good parenting for all your ego states and you have a winner script. You are one of the lucky ones. I too am one of the lucky ones despite having been poorly parented. My father was a high functioning autistic and my mother was chronically depressed, both having high IQs. I am where I am largely because of being programmed to seek out good professional help. Born with a serious scoliosis and other bone problems I had to lie in bed three months during the summer of my fifteenth year lying on my stomach ninety percent of the time in a body cast after s spinal fusion operation, that prevented me from becoming permanently paralyzed from the waist down, which enabled me to live without back pain. Now seventy-nine years old I am sometimes amazed I made it as far as i have. I read on the internet a few months ago a doctor about fifty saying he did not want to live past seventy-five since life really was not worth living past that age for most people. I think he was about right but life past seventy-five is not that bad for me, not bad enough that I want to euthanize myself yet, but not good enough that I worry about exercise and what I eat and drink to live longer. I basically live from moment to moment doing what I have to do to get some satisfaction, dopamine spurts in the brain, one satisfaction being thinking I have helped someone feel, think, and behave better so as to live with more satisfaction than they otherwise would have. Not thinking it’s possible that any god such as those described by the religions you list could exist, I nevertheless hope that should there actually be some sort of loving spiritual thing eternally existing after I die, if there is any sort of human-like consciousness left after death, which I doubt there will be, that any such thing will at least give me a little credit for the good I have done on Earth, despite my not thinking any god described by mainstream Earthian religions can exist. Best wishes for an enjoyable end of the year holiday, or any other holiday anytime anything might cause you to have one. Cheers, Richard

CB to RJS December 21, 2019 9:24 AM

Dear Richard,

Thanks for sharing with me.

You have indeed had challenges to meet and nevertheless done extremely well in life.

I am off today to Jamaica to spend the holiday with family.

We will communicate further.

Later,

Courtenay 

CB to RJS December 21, 2019 7:12 PM

Here is my reply to your God( un-Godly?) reflections.

I am fully aware of who we are as human beings; the challenge is to deal with us as we are. So here ( I wrote it several years ago) and here share:-

http://www.daniellesgarden.org/dw-myth.htm

Myth – Danielle’s Garden Danielle’s Garden. TOWER HILL EDUCATIONAL FUND A/C 20067 Bank of Nova Scotia 1-3 Knutsford Blvd. kingston 5, Jamaica. E-mail: INFO@ DaniellesGarden.org . MYTH AS WORLD INSPIRATION www.daniellesgarden.org

RJS to CB December 23, 2019 10:12 PM

Hello Courtenay

Wow. You had great parents. It’s a beautiful garden they planted based on and dedicated to humanity with the best of sentiments, thoughts, and ideals, a great legacy. Thanks for sharing.

I enjoyed and appreciated your essay “Myth as Inspiration.” As usual it like your other writing I have read is well referenced and reasoned, artfully written, and rational, interesting, and informative. I agree with the notion that the development of myths such as those in your article were helpful and maybe necessary for human survival.  I have advocated for the renewal of similar processes along the lines of anthropologist Michael Adzema’s thinking cited in my essay “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” which is posted on the masthead of the Effective Learning Report.  

Christmases were not merry in the immediate family I was inevitably caused to be born in and those negative feelings get “rubberbanded” in my psyche every year caused by Christmas. I have a green sweatshirt with the words “Bah Humbug” printed on the front of it I wore again the other day. Regardless, my wife and I do Christmas rituals and she gets truly merry about it at times. We buy gifts for friends and family and ourselves, especially for my son and his wife and our three grandchildren in Vermont. Debbye and I had an enjoyable Christmas dinner with friends yesterday at the Country Club. I ordered sweet tea to drink and a friend told me I could get a glass of wine on Sunday. I told her no, that this was Sunday, and Jesus’s birthday was only a few days away.  Another friend at table, an Episcopalian, said “We drink real wine at communion.” And I said, “Yeah, but we Methodists always drank grape juice for communion, and I know Jesus may have served and drunk real wine with his friends, even at ‘The Last Supper’, but I think I will pass this time.” She smirked a bit, others raised their eyebrows and smiled some, and the dinner pleasantly progressed.

While I have no problem with cultural myths and rituals that promote peace and satisfaction I do have a problem with the politics of organized mainstream religions, Buddhism being the least harmful in my opinion. Most large organized religions are aggressive, coercive, manipulative, divisive, and exploitative, just what capitalism needs, and they encourage an I’m OK—You’re NOT OK attitude among members with respect to non-members, which in many cases leads to hatred and war. In my opinion these religions do more harm than good.  In many cases they dumb members down, absolving them of responsibility for rationally talking action to solve existential problems, turning them into passive gullible sheep, since they are taught to believe an all powerful all loving god answers prayers and will forgive and save them no matter how much they fuck things up if they profess to love and glorify him in religious ceremonies and pay his priests, preachers, and such to build churches, temples, mosques and various edifices to awe and intimidate more people into joining (Notre Dame comes to mind), thereby increasing the power of the religion overall, helping it win competing with other religions for prestige and the top dog position in the religion industry of the nation, in some countries almost eradicating competing religions over time. I lived in Turkey three months in 1982 and was astounded sightseeing around southeast Turkey near Adana where I lived that the area contained numerous well-preserved historic Christian churches, one founded by Paul of Tarsus of New Testament fame, at Tarsus today, with interesting frescoes and preserved pews, altars, and such; but there were no Christians in the region, the original Christians having long since been driven away.

As a child I thought Sunday school and church, and the Bible, were fantasies or irrelevant. My mother saw to it I went to Sunday school and church and I conformed but I more or less tuned it out. Those were my true feelings and thoughts on the matter of organized religion as I experienced it in the environment into which I was accidentally caused to be born without my consent. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a Methodist minister, and he wanted me to become a minister. He was about as heretical as I was about Christian dogma and doctrine, not believing in the virgin birth, and telling me “There is not an old man with a long white beard sitting up there in the sky on white puffy clouds with a walking stick in his hand looking down on us.” 

I have always had a problem “willingly suspending disbelief” having read few novels, considering it a waste of time to read something as if real that someone just made up out of thin air. Regardless, I have been writing a “novel” off and on for about six years, an allegory, which is more factual than fictional. My problem with the novel now is figuring out how to end it. How much should I lie? If I want to maximize my chances of selling a few copies I probably should make up a happy ending. To make the book sell via word of mouth I probably should tell readers that what they have just read will cause them to spend eternity in a heavenly paradise. On the other hand, at the rate I’m going most likely the book will never get finished and published, so the ethical question of how to end it is moot.

It seems the closer I get to death’s door at age seventy-nine the more intellectually honest I get about what I really feel and think, proving the less I have to lose the more intellectually honest I get. I would never have said to my students in class what I have written here. It’s always been risky to speak honestly in public about what you really feel and think about religion, as my Methodist minister grandfather told me, even, I might add, if you are retired with a good defined benefits pension, as you slowly but surely walk up the sidewalk closer and closer to death’s door. 

Regardless, time may also be running out for dysfunctional technologies, economic systems, political systems, political parties, religions, and cultural myths. Unfortunately the possibility exists today that there will be serious hell to pay if serious feeling, thinking, and behaving corrections are not made fairly soon in all Earthian human populations.  Human caused global warming and climate change, a massive global economic collapse, and nuclear bombs can bring Earthian human affairs to a screeching halt.

Best wishes,

Richard

CB to RJS December 24, 2019 9:50 AM

“Human caused global warming, a massive global economic collapse, and nuclear bombs can bring Earthian human affairs to a screeching halt.” 

Sad – and – I agree.

CB to RJS December 24 10:20 AM

This man is a college mate of mine; he is now a Professor of world religions…

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/letters/20191224/letter-day-let-us-still-be-thankful-christmas

Letter of the Day | Let us still be thankful for Christmas | Letters | Jamaica Gleaner Although there are these dubious associations, and mythological elements surrounding Christmas, let us still eat, drink, be merry, and be thankful that we’re still alive; and that we have family and friends around us during this season. jamaica-gleaner.com

RJS to CB December 24, 2019 11:11 AM

Agree

________________________________________

* 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 has published several articles in the Effective Learning Report. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

* RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON, a certified transactional analyst, is an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and business policy at Georgia Southern University. He has a BS, MBA, and PhD from Texas Tech University. His areas of study were economics, organizational behavior, and management science. He is the founder, editor, and publisher of the Effective Learning Report.

IS TRUMP GUILTY? AN INTERNATIONAL LAWYER’S PERSPECTIVE

BY COURTENAY BARNETT

THE ADDRESS TO CONGRESS WHICH ( IN MY WILDEST IMAGINATON NEEDS TO BE HAD) – AT THE TIME OF IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.

Honourable Chairman, distinguished members of this joint sitting of the Congress of the United States of America, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am truly honoured to have been asked to address this august body.

The historical context

I am Jamaican by birth, human by accident of existence, and an aspirant to be of  a higher order’s making, yet  truly humanitarian at heart. Why this humble person  should have been asked to address one of the world’s ( if not the world’s – save and except the UN General Assembly’s) most powerful bodies ( if not bodies combined) – totally astounds and defeats my wildest imagination. Nevertheless, here I am, so I advance  in response to the three(3) issues I have been asked to speak on:-

  1. What is my opinion of what is the greatest strength of the Constitution of the United States of America?
  2. What is my opinion of the Constitution’s greatest weakness?
  3. What is my opinion on the recent impeachment of President Donald J. Trump?

The first question

In answer I can be very brief. It is that the U.S. Constitution is a well crafted document designed to ensure that there is strong governmental oversight with accountability and checks and balances.

The second question

This is a more complex matter, for the Constitution as a living document subject to the socio-economic environment within which it operates lends itself  susceptible to the power within and impact from that very environment. I shall explain with one (1) central and important example.

Now let us raise two(2) important names in US Post World War 11 history. The first is George Kennan – but – who was he? He was the US Ambassador to Moscow and then the US architect of the ‘Cold War’. Truly a brilliant man who authored a series of foreign policy papers which defined more than over half a century. Here is what he said with foresight:-

“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.”

He was correct and presaged what then in his farewell speech General ( Later – President) Eisenhower had to say with great sagacity and prescience  to the American people:-

“So is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Stated briefly – he was saying – beware the military-industrial complex.

That is the nub of this, my Congressional address. All of you are there.

  1. Where is the rationality in building and stockpiling more armaments ( many nuclear ones) which can never be deployed against another nuclear power without the predetermined outcome of mutually assured destruction ( MAD)?
  2. What sense is there in building this global arsenal of bases and war planes and armadas and more weaponry – on and on and on?
  3. Where in your Congressional oversight and is there anyone who ever begins to ask rational questions – such as the forgoing just posed?

I could proceed – but you would have to invite me back to present a full-throated delivery. Far too diplomatic to proceed further on this occasion  – lest I offend.

The third question

Here, I see that there is both a Constitutional and political  problem in the United States of America.

So, here I stand,  before you as an invitee to address the difficulties which your country presently faces.

I could lay a foundation to build on a structure of historical references. Rather, I speak and shall limit myself to the  truth about and immediate impact of the impeachment.  I do believe that what I have to say can be coded and encapsulated in quite diplomatic terms from which your own honest determination can make as an informed decision. I do so by way of an analogy.  

Problem

The problem in essence is that there is a President who is alleged to have abused his high office?

Issue

Did he?

Answer

I am not an American and so, while on American terrain, let me then address you in this wholly diplomatic manner.

I therefore reason, as I said I would, by way of analogy.

Say, for instance, a lawyer of great experience finds himself or herself asked by a Judge to represent on legal aid, an indigent female client.

The lawyer accepts.

The lady attends for first interview – and she happens to be extremely attractive.

The lawyer after accepting the professional obligation, in private, in coded language, makes clear to the client that while he is willing to advance her case, it would be subject to conditionalities of an amorous sort. He effectively seeks a ‘favour’ from the lady. He goes further and indicates relative to his professional duty that he could expedite to trial or he could await a longer route to trial. Unbeknown to him, a member of his office staff overhears the conversation and is appalled.  The  staff member anonymously brings the matter to the attention of the Ethics Committee of the Bar association.  In effect there is this  ‘whistle blowing’.

The lawyer  discovers that a formal complaint has anonymously been lodged against him in a two(2) pronged process:-

  1. To the Ethics Committee of the Bar Association to see whether or not there is a serious matter to be addressed and then be referred upwards.
  2. Reference to the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Association, if there is a case to be answered.

The lawyer treats the Ethics Committee with total contempt and tells them that he will not be present and says further that the process is a  total sham and that it is a ‘witch hunt’ and forbids all his staff from speaking to the Ethics Committee.

The Ethics Committee in those circumstances examines the limited evidence which they have and in turn decide that the conduct ( read: misconduct) is sufficiently serious to be referred to the Disciplinary Committee. There is a case to answer.

The lawyer, knowing full well that his close and personal associations with all the members of the Disciplinary Committee, who are friends of his and/or persons who are wholly dependent upon him for referral of case work – which he is most able to feed to all and sundry – sits back with ease.

Conclusion

I am a total outsider – yet – I posit a humble opinion based on my legal knowledge. It is for you to decide whether or not the conduct of such a person, be it the lawyer or the President of the United States is ethical, is principled, is in accordance with the requirements and requisite standards of his office.

As I said, I am not an American citizen, but I realise that America has a Constitutional crisis on her hands.

Thank you for having afforded me this opportunity. 

While the lawyer in my analogous reference, is standing on safe ground – what does that auger for the future of the integrity of the lawyer’s Bar Association and legal system? Without undue interference – in any future American electoral process – what does President Trump’s situation auger for the American Constitution?

I remain most appreciative that this, again stated, august body, thought me worthy to address to their elected members.

________________________________________

* 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 BRITISH ELECTION – 2019

BY COURTENAY BARNETT

I dispatch this missive to those who are thoughtful, intelligent ( whether from the right or the left) and who do believe that in this globalised world of ours, we actually all do need each other. In fact, even back to ol’ Ghengis Khan’s time  and before – ‘globalisation’ is not, on an accurate historical assessment, a new phenomenon. It has so been packaged to serve the interests of a narrow modern day elite ( but that commentary for another day and another time). Today we shall examine, in a brief way, the recent British election results.

First, let me go wide to narrow my observations.

For those of us who follow global political processes, then this becomes evident.  Jo Swinson, of the Liberal Democrats,   took a position which did defeat Labour remainders. She lent her support to Boris Johnson and his  call for an early election. That is where it all started. Comment: Swinson lost  her  seat to the Scottish National Party ( SNP) – a point to which I shall return.

Put the politics aside for the  moment and let me share my opinion ( for what it is worth) on the more important issue  of the economics of the moment as it may impact the United Kingdom going forward.

Frist, across the wide Atlantic we find some similarities between the US and Britain:-

  1. In the US there is a so-called ‘rust belt’. 
  2. In the UK there is the midlands and then Northern England.
  3. With regards to both A and B these are primarily working class and blue collar people areas which traditionally are either solidly Democratic or Labour voters.

So, what happened in the UK?

I answer my question in this both practical and theoretical way.

It is not highly likely that persons faced with daily bread and butter issues are going to be raising questions in their minds about what is structurally dictated unemployment? Or, what is, as related to the first question, globally dictated  structural unemployment? The first question relates to domestic shifts in investment and the latter to the global situation. But, what does all of that have to do with anything? Actually – everything.

When global capital decides that it is investing in a region, or country ‘A’ or ‘B’ or ‘C’ as the case may be, the decision is made in totally pragmatic terms. More profit relative to the level of investment.

So, when jobs move from the traditionally established Western countries to more attractive and profitable regions of the world, such as China, then there is an unemployment hole left in the former US and UK industrial belts.

What then?

Well, the unemployed, or under-employed situation and others suddenly need an economic answer. How does that come?

It comes in the US from Donald Trump making a series of anti-immigrant; anti-Muslim; anti-Semitic embraced speeches and statements ( such as that there were good people on both sides in Charlottesville Virginia where the neo-Naizs were marching) and a general anti ‘other’ set of politically motivated speeches – which help to create tensions amongst diverse people within a country. Playbook followed over in Europe too.

But what is the real  problem?

Well, ‘dear leader’ Boris – may I suggest that your real challenge is as follows:-

  1. How do you address the issues which the people in the Midlands and the North of England face – especially regarding jobs and unemployment?
  2. If you can succeed in striking a US/UK trade deal – then on what terms and will same be proven to be mutually beneficial for both the US and UK? We already know that Donald, as with all his other ‘successful’ business ventures will be angling to do as he did with China – only to find that he has absolutely no basis of understanding of economics 101 when it comes on to trade-wars. But, be forewarned – the UK does not wield as much power as China.
  3. You have promised more, much more investment, in education – and – you are to be commended for that.
  4. There is the question of the future treatment of the NHS – and that remains to be seen.
  5. The relationship with Northern Ireland and whether you prove to be a man to your word – remains to be seen.
  6. Last, but not least, there is the SNP victory, which now necessitates an early, if not immediate second referendum on Scottish independence.

Boris, I am not your enemy, for at heart and throughout my legal career I have demonstrated and proven myself to be a humanitarian. Hate not – and – try to assist as best one can as a human being – one to the other.

I have given you a short ‘dirty dozen’. Do not despair – my hearty congratulations on your victory.

My short six( 6) points constitute  just an adumbrated form of the challenges which you face going forward.

But victor Boris and vanquished Jeremy, really and truly do not despair. I am on the cusp of completing my five(5) star Villa in the Caribbean, hopefully to be operational by mid-February, 2020. When the post-election stress hits both of you, be assured that both of you shall be welcomed. As regards you Boris – you are an avowed capitalist; and you Jeremy are an avowed socialist.

Let me give both of you  a warning.

Boris – you will have to pay top dollar, for that is what the market commands and you will have to pay full price for a top retreat and your much deserved  relaxation.

Jeremy – there shall be no Turks and Caicos Islands state subsidy paid out for your retirement and a justly due vacation. Full price as usual.

Based on that understanding, please book in advance.

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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.

A STRATEGY FOR ACTUALLY DRAINING THE POLITICAL SWAMP OF SPACESHIP EARTH

By Richard John Stapleton

About thirty percent of US citizens love Donald Trump, mostly true-believing conservatives, evangelicals, etc.

About fifty percent of US citizens detest Donald Trump, mostly liberals, freethinkers, etc.

Some say the most significant difference between the two groups is racism, pure and simple. Who can prove it?

And some say there are fundamental differences in how the two groups see their worlds and think they should be run. 

True believer conservatives are in general authoritarians, generally seeing the world as black or white, with clear-cut rules that must be obeyed.

Liberals (moderates at least) are more democratic, more open-minded, more inclined to see shades of grey, and are more tolerant of differences.

And the personalities of the two groups are different.

True-believing Conservatives use more critical parent and adapted child ego state energy than Liberals. They believe more and question less.  

Since extreme Conservatives and Liberals know they are right they have permission to do less unto others than they would have others do unto them.  

They are more militant and warlike, more clannish. Their attitude is I’m OK and You (if you are different from me) are NOT OK.

Dyed-in-the-wool Liberals use more nurturing parent and free child ego state energy transacting with others. Being less authoritarian and less rigid they experiment more and are more respecting of the rights, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of others.

Members of both groups think they are smarter than the other. Since they know they are right they must be smarter or they would not have decided what they decided in the first place, about how the world works and how it should be run, and about what and how one should adapt and flex transacting with others.

Trump may be the least hypocritical president the US has had, the most transparent, the least deceptive, thanks to his Tweets, in which he often blurts out whatever happens to pop up in his mind, despite generally being a venal ungodly selfish lying clown, who was smart enough not to lose all the money his family gave him, and who was smart enough to parlay his simplistic ideas and behaviors, and that inherited money, into becoming President of the (dis)United States—winning the biggest ego trip contest around Spaceship Earth.

Since Trump thinks like his supporters his supporters therefore think he is smart and they are smart for electing him president, confirming how smart they were all along, smarter than Liberals.

What needs to be drained in the Earthian political swamp is the pernicious pentagonal paradigm of organizational perversity, described by Stephen Karpman, MD, and the five deadly organizational sins, told to me by Martin Groder, MD, one of my transactional analysis mentors, described in detail in my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds (2008), still in print, available at Effective Learning Publications listed on the masthead of this blog above.

The Five Deadly Organizational Sins (drumroll please) are: Power, Money, Sex, Righteousness, and Smarts.

Why are these sins deadly in organizations? They’re deadly because they corrupt organizations, rendering them incapable of achieving effective goals efficiently.

If an organization’s members focus most of their mental and physical energy on proving how powerful they are, how much money they have (regardless of how gained), how sexy they are, how right they are, and how smart they are they will naturally waste energy that should have been used to achieve the organization’s legitimate goals.

Teaching organizational behavior in a business school and doing organizational development work with organizations as a consultant, I used to draw a pentagon on a flip sheet and then label the five points of the pentagon with the words power, money, sex, righteousness, and smarts, and then explain to my learners how each of the points could erode and maybe destroy the functioning of their or any organization.

In order to be effective and worthwhile an organization has to do work in its environment, changing something for the better or producing necessary goods and services in its environment, that cannot be done efficiently, or maybe at all, if people in the organization are primarily focused on adapting and flexing to the power, money, sexual, righteousness, and smarts urges and messages of others, especially if supervisors and managers up the organizational chain of command are demonstrating in multifarious social and psychological ways they are more OK than others, playing Top Dog, the most ubiquitous psychological Game in organizational life, caused by organizational leaders engendering an organizational culture in which subordinates are required to recognize socially and psychologically using verbal and body language signals (by saluting in fascist organizations) how powerful, rich, sexy, right, and smart their supposedly superior organizational leaders are.

For more detail on why and how this is true read my e-book, Recommendations for Waking Up From The American Nightmare, at Amazon.com, or my paperback book, Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, also available at Effective Learning Publications above.

One can build a case the US under Trump as an organization is now more sinful than any previous US administration, and the US is now the most organizationally sinful nation around Spaceship Earth.

The US has been sinking into its power-mad narcissistic self-righteous egotistical sinful ways for decades after inevitably winning WWII, electing relatively sinful presidents, starting in 1946 with Truman, with since then one relatively sin-free president, Jimmy Carter, but including three off-the-chart sexual sinners, Kennedy, Clinton, and Trump.

Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II were among the worst money-grubbing, power-mad, and self-righteous US presidential sinners since the 1950s, dislocating and killing millions of Earthian humans, trying to prove capitalism is right, communism is wrong, and the US is entitled to a disproportionately large share of Earth’s wealth and resources.

Trump seems to think he is the smartest, calling himself a stable genius.

How to get the populations of all nations around Earth off the Five Deadly Organizational Sins Pentagon, not only top dog leaders, is another matter.

Whether it can be done before the consequences of past organizational sins destroy all Earthian species through global warming and climate change or shooting off nuclear bombs remains to be seen. 

Fascist economic and political systems encourage the five deadly organizational sins more than most, but no Earthian nation has been without organizational sin.

The US and China are now the economic and political leaders among Earthian nations. Both the supposedly capitalistic US and the supposedly communistic China have become more fascist in recent years. Whether Communist China becomes as fascist as Communist Russia did before it imploded remains to be seen.

One can build a case all national governments throughout Earthian history eventually ruined themselves committing The Five Deadly Organizational Sins, Power, Money, Sex, Righteousness, and Smarts, eventually becoming ruled by fascists mired in orgies of organizational sin, attempting to gratify themselves ensconced in isolated centralized power-mad hierarchies. Nero comes to mind.

Nations as organizations exist because of historical evolutionary forces that caused existing human practices and problems to be moved into new territories enabling individuals and groups to accumulate enough power to delineate and defend geographic boundaries, within which Earthian humans with similar beliefs, ideas, practices, and so forth could live with a modicum of peace and satisfaction. This process naturally entailed conflict, competition, and wars among nations and people.

Through time humans became addicted to competition and war, many finding it satisfying, raping, killing, pillaging, etc.

Many Earthian humans now think the major purpose of a nation is to win wars and prove it’s more powerful, rich, sexy, right, and smart than competing nations, as if playing college or professional football and basketball games in conferences and leagues, hoping to win a national championship.

Not so. The only legitimate justification for the existence of a nation is to produce services that enable Earthian humans to live peaceful and satisfying lives, proving in the process its salaried teachers, politicians, judges, civil servants, and military employees actually do some work, rather than waste their time and energy engaged in entropic time structuring such as playing Top Dog, I’m Only Trying to Help You, If It Weren’t For You, and other psychological Games not doing much for citizens and doing violence against other nations, imposing sanctions, invading and looting, and dropping bombs; reciting, performing, marching, and participating in ceremonies and rituals; and bullshitting with individuals, groups, and organizations.   

The best hope in the short run would be for deep-thinking hard-hitting politicians like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard to resign from the contaminated ineffectual DNC to run in 2020 as Independents for president and vice president.

There might be enough of us disillusioned US voters and non-voters out there to put them in office.

They could not fully drain the swamp in eight years, but they could make a good start, proving third party candidates are more likely to drain the swamp than Deep State bought and paid for pork barrel establishment politicians, touted by conservative establishment Demos and Repugs in the DNC and RNC National Committees.

Feel free to repost, reprint, or otherwise share this essay any way you see fit.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, is a certified transactional analyst, and the Editor & Publisher of the Effective Learning Report and The Earthian Forum at www.effectivelearning.net