By Courtenay Barnett

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

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

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

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

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

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

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

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

The American way

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

What history teaches

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

What Trump has not learned

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

What Trump might still yet learn

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

1.       Luddites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.       Financial systems

Two ( 2) points might suffice. 

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

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

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

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

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

3.       Trade and isolationism

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


by Courtenay Barnett


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Establishment and verification of facts

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


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

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

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


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



* 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.


By Jonathan Walker Stapleton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Death looks you bang in the eye,

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

To cock your revolver and . . . die.

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

And self-dissolution is barred.

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

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

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

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

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

Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.

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

So don’t be a piker, old pard!

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

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

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

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

It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;

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

Why that’s the best game of them all!

And though you come out of
each gruelling bout,

All broken and battered and scarred,

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

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

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

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

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


by Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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