WHY DEMS ARE CHOOSING BIDEN—A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF USIAN POLITICS

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

I thought Bernard Sanders would handily win in the 2020 Democratic primary race since Hillary barely defeated him in 2016 and no other candidate in the 2020 primary race was as formidable as Hillary.

Sanders is a visionary with time-tested policies and ideas for curing fundamental USian economic and social problems, with intellectual honesty, integrity, determination, and good ethics demonstrated throughout his public life, dedicated to generally doing the right thing. He’s not perfect but relatively close for a politician, notwithstanding his helping to secure a pork barrel F-35 fighter plane base to help the economy near Burlington, Vermont, creating horrendous noise, as these poorly-designed incredibly expensive new US Air Force planes zoom through the air, disturbing the peace of mind of citizens for miles around.

Sanders’s votes and policies in Washington on social issues in my opinion however are about as good as you can get, Medicare for All, free tuition for college, forgiveness of student debt, maintaining Social Security, reforming the banking and financial system, cutting military spending, creating infrastructure jobs in the domestic economy, and, perhaps of greatest significance, stating in public debates he would fight global warming and climate change from day one after being elected and sworn in. He was the only Dem candidate with enough intellectual honesty and guts to make a major issue of fighting global warming and climate change.

And best of all he’s not bought and paid for. He’s the only candidate in the 2020 presidential race who has not accepted campaign donations from large corporations and is therefore free to work in the interests of middle and lower income people.

If elected if he can get just one-tenth of his plans accomplished he will have done more for middle and lower income people than any president since Franklin Roosevelt. Unfortunately while he still has some chance of winning, right now, it appears these if’s are mighty big ones.

Bernie came across in the primary debates with vim and vigor expressing his plans in clear straightforward easy to understand language, almost never missing a beat with his flow of words and sentences formed with correct grammar, his mind sharp as a tack.

Joe Biden is almost a polar opposite, a man with little or no plans or ideas for curing anything, a long-time Dem politician who will bend with any political wind that is good for him, a supporter of the establishment, not the common man or woman, a bought and paid for lobbyist-type politician for the defense industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the credit card industry. He was confronted by Sanders with a direct question in the last Dem primary debate in full public view of millions about whether or not he said five times during his career in Washington that he would cut Social Security. He merely looked down with his head bent, made no direct response to the question, and took off on another tangent with another rambling jumble of words and sentences. He has had frequent memory lapses during his primary campaign and in debates that indicate he is suffering from dementia or some sort of neurological disorder, as countless people have pointed out on the Internet and elsewhere. He also has some sort of character or personality disorder, having been charged by numerous women with groping.

The voting started off about like I thought it would for the 2020 Dem primaries. Everything was fine for Sanders in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. I thought he was headed for an easy win. But along came South Carolina and Super Tuesday and then Sanders got drubbed in the Deep South.

I was surprised and dismayed by those results, having thought Sanders would win in almost all states. I thought ordinary people everywhere had seen enough facts and reasoning in the primary debates to cause them to vote for Sanders.

But when Biden also won in Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, it dawned on me how wrong I had been. The social messages in the debates were like water running off a duck’s back for millions of people. The silent majority discounted the significance of what they saw and heard. The social words and reasoning they should have heard counted for little.  

What mainly counted were the unexpressed silent ulterior psychological messages they saw and imagined. Unfortunately, it seems to me most Dem voters do not know how to vote in their own best interests.

I thought Trump defeated Hillary in the 2016 general election because of her legal troubles over several decades; her excitement and satisfaction displayed on TV discussing the killing of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya; her warmongering tendencies as Secretary of State; her judgment problems causing her to decide to install a computer server in her home to do State Department, or whatever, work; and her taking speech money from big banks for promising to support their interests rather than those of the common people.

Regardless, I thought Hillary would easily defeat Trump. She was intellectually superior, better educated, and better qualified for the job.

But in her case too unspoken psychological ulterior messages did her in. A lot of voters discounted her abilities and experience and chose a lesser man for psychological reasons.

The same thing happened to Al Gore running against Bush II in 2000. Gore was intellectually superior and more experienced than Bush II, another clownish bumbling dissolute sort of human being, largely devoid of plans, goals, and ideals for the US or anything else as a whole; but yet he too won, thanks to psychological messages causing millions of voters to discount reality and choose a lesser candidate for the job of US president.

It seems being the brightest and best has become a liability in USian presidential politics since about 1980, starting with a movie star president, Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama in 2008 appeared to be an exception to the rule, narrowly defeating Hillary in the Dem primaries, before he caved in to the military industrial establishment and Wall Street banksters, doing their bidding after being sworn in.     

While I thought Hillary should have handily beaten Trump in the 2016 general election, her 2016 primary race against Sanders in my opinion should have been closer than Sander’s 2020 primary race against Biden, with Sanders the winner, since Sanders has a better record relative to Biden than he had relative to Hillary in 2016. But, alas, it appears Sanders is now (March 24, 2020) being defeated by Biden by a wider margin than he was by Hillary in 2016.

Based on this line of reasoning, it should have been easier for Sanders to defeat Biden in 2020 than it was for him to almost defeat Hillary in 2016, in a close race, which I thought had been rigged by the Democratic National Committee in favor of Hillary.

So why is Biden defeating Sanders by a wider margin in the 2020 Dem popular vote primaries up to now than Hillary beat Sanders in the 2016 primary popular vote? Is it because Hillary is female and Biden is male?

Or is it what The Preacher in Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible said, “The race is not to the swift.”

Or is it what George Carlin blurted out in one of his Broadway Shows, “Stupid people vote for stupid people. It’s as simple as that.”

The Peter Principle also sheds some light on the question. It’s an organizational theory that competent people because of doing an outstanding job at one level eventually get promoted one level too high, to a level requiring skills and abilities greater than they possess relative to what they should know; so incompetent people sooner or later populate most levels of hierarchical organizations. This is the competent-people-rise organizational theory, which counter-intuitively eventually causes organizational dysfunctions.

Another organizational theory, irreverently called the Inverse Peter Principle, avers that only the incompetent rise, because truly superior performers are so knowledgeable, skilled, and productive at their current level that the organization cannot afford to promote them. So the higher you go in an organization the less knowledge and analytical and creative skill supposedly superior superiors have relative to what they should know, finally reaching a level, as you ascend up organizational chain of command ladders, like Jack climbing his beanstalk in his fairy tale, where you encounter someone at the top level somewhat like Donald J. Trump, who barely reads, who does not do any kind of competitive analytical or creative work, but who can bullshit, pop off “decisions”, bellow orders, and hire and fire people at will, and somehow survive in the organization, so long as he has political support or a bigger ownership share in a corporation than anyone else. Thus, based on this line of reasoning, almost anyone should be competent enough to be president of the US, the highest-up job of all up Jack’s beanstalk in USian culture, since real competence as most people think of it is almost irrelevant at that level, where the main “skill” is being able to more or less guess better than others about what to do, rarely having proof a decision is “right”.  

As a certified transactional analyst with professional experience dealing with psychological Games in organizations, I think the best explanation for why so many less knowledgeable and lesser-skilled and accomplished people are often promoted in organizations rather than better qualified people is that such decisions are determined by human scripts and psychological Games, that all organizational stakeholders play to vie for a greater share of the whole pie generated by organizations, including not only money but recognition, structure, and stimulation, to satisfy their ego needs.   

There are basically two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological scripts and social scripts.  

Psychological Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees, largely non-verbally by how they respond to a child, by how they get mad, sad, glad, or scared, or not, when the child does something or when various things happen in the environment. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kind of of feeling, thinking, doing, saying, and overall living. Transactional analysts call these basic “don’t” requirements injunctions.

There are some generic “do” script messages called counter-injunctions such as brush your teeth, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken, but they are not as significant or powerful over a lifetime as psychological script injunctions.

Injunctions and counter-injunctions wind up creating a life plan for people. The bottom line here is that most people are what they are and can only respond in adult life in certain ways because of their life scripts. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent.

Social scripts include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role in any organization to make a living. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you like to play. Restaurant scripts for greeters, servers, and customers are more standardized than the social scripts of most organizations, most requiring these words, “How many?”; “Two”, or “Four”, or whatever number in the party; and “Right this way please”, to get the show started; but all organizations have generic and peculiar social scripts for all participants that have to be learned.

Most people who get fired for cause in organizations are fired because of psychological scripts thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, not for not being able to perform the required algorithmic steps of the job.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain certain satisfactions dealing with others, such as by making yourself or someone else feel comfortable or by causing a loss of some sort for others, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something.

Common psychological script injunction are Don’t Be Excellent and Don’t Be Important, among about fourteen kinds of Don’t feel, think, and do injunctions generally recognized by transactional analysts, widely transmitted in family scripting. I have covered them in detail in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn , easily found on the Internet. Why would any parent tell a child not to be excellent or important? Well, no rational parent would socially. They do it psychologically largely outside of conscious Adult ego state awareness mainly because they too did not have psychological permission to be excellent or important when they were children. People play psychological Games by “cathecting” , or turning on, all three of their ego states, including their Parent and Child ego states to create and maintain stimulation, recognition, and structure similar to what they experienced earlier in life, and in most cases they are not aware of what they are doing.

I have described and explained the dynamics and significance of ego states, psychological Games, and scripts in my books, as they were first described and explained in a large gush of books and papers written by Eric Berne, MD (the originator of transactional analysis), and others, published since the 1960s that are still in print and offered for sale on the Internet. An excellent collection of refereed scholarly articles on transactional analysis have been published quarterly in the Transactional Analysis Journal since the early 1970s by the International Transactional Analysis Association. I studied and trained in transactional analysis at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina during 1975-1978, passing written and oral comprehensive exams on transactional analysis in 1978 administered by the ITAA.

Political races are rife with psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for voters. Why vote in the first place? Well, the best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, and political party. Once scripted most people do not rebel. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue.

I remember distinctly a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me based on my experience dealing with presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play to some degree a psychological Game called Rapo by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games are basically compliments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build up or tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree  Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A Rapo Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a Rapo player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Not all psychological Games entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con artist of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential.  These Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations. It’s no secret that one of the best ways to be a successful Rapo player is to be good lookin’.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump won largely because of being successful psychological Game players, having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to citizens that they would deliver to them psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing them with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structures, and recognition. Whether these politicians did indeed produce for their voters the psychological and social satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be difficult for these voters to prove voting for these politicians actually produced the economic satisfactions they socially promised. It seems to me any president during the last forty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income people, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for his voters.

Unfortunately, it now appears all but certain that the hum-drum, good-ole-boy, dissolute, party-line-loyal Dem politician Joe Biden, who has told the establishment that nothing will change if he is elected, will defeat the well-qualified highly-intelligent visionary man with plans Bernard Sanders, who might cause significant economic changes for the better for middle and lower income people if elected in the 2020 Dem primary race and in the 2020 general presidential election.

Why is this? Well, it seems to me the short answer is that Biden is the better psychological Game-player in the eyes of a majority of Dem voters, by virtue of physical and psychological characteristics he inevitably and accidentally inherited having nothing to do with being able to do a good job as president for we the people.

The Biden campaign lately has been posting cameo pictures on my Facebook news feed timeline showing Biden and his attractive younger blonde second wife and his stately oversized German Shepard dog, leisurely sitting in wicker chairs on their large high-ceiling front porch with white columns, with Biden flashing his perfect white teeth. Another frequent post is of Biden just standing there in an open space, possibly an airport, apparently looking at something in the distance in his nice blue suit and tie as he adjusts his sunglasses (one of his favorite objects for photo opportunities, to channel Ronald Reagan), sort of like a corporate honcho might look who has just taken over something and has just arrived at the airport in his private jet, ready for action. His gleaming perfect white teeth, one can’t keep from noticing, make me wonder if he had his teeth capped just for the 2020 election, to draw attention away from his almost-bald head. It seems unlikely to me that he would have natural teeth at his age that look better than those of aging TV game show hosts.

Don’t laugh. Cosmetic procedures like this work in USian presidential politics. If Trump hadn’t fixed his hair and face as he did he wouldn’t have had a prayer running against a good lookin’ woman like Hillary. How many red-blooded USian women would vote for a bleached-out almost bald old fart like Trump really is? Ronald Reagan couldn’t have gotten elected if he hadn’t dyed his hair. Bush II spent more time pumping iron in the White House than he did reading reports and thinking about world problems. Not one of these presidents ever wrote and published anything of any general intellectual significance. James Garner said Ronald Reagan never had an original thought and someone had to tell him what to do and say when he was president of an actor’s guild in Hollywood. Trump now spends most of his time in the White House fixing his hair and face, eating junk food, and watching Fox so-called News, CNN, MSNBC, and other infotainment media, occasionally bullshitting with his hired and not yet fired lackeys.

Almost certainly this same sort of unproductive time structuring pattern will be true in the case of Joe Biden if he is elected president. Come to think of it, that’s probably why DNC insiders and the USian Deep State like him so much, so they can get away with anything they want, spending US taxpayer money and Federal Reserve System funny money without compunction.  

Near the end of the day, as it were, in the 2020 Dem primaries, it seems to me Joe Biden’s unfortunate successful political victory so far over Bernard Sanders is largely due to him and his campaign, consciously or unconsciously, playing a first-degree psychological Rapo Game, Big Bad Wolf, that may wind up garnering them millions of votes from downtrodden psychological Victims looking for a psychological Rescuer playing their time-honored psychological Games since childhood, including a Big Bad Wolf complementary Game— Little Red Riding Hood.

It’s not so much that stupid people vote for stupid people, as George Carlin said; the underlying problem in political votes is that people with Don’t Be Excellent script injunctions vote for politicians with the same sort of psychological injunctions. Why is that? It makes them feel more comfortable and secure since they psychologically feel and think they can trust people like they are to take care of them, better than excellent politicians would, just like C students prefer other C students in high school popularity contests.

It’s not that C performers are necessarily less intelligent than A performers. In some cases they make the grades they make because of script injunctions such as Don’t Be Important and Don’t Be Excellent that cause them not to do what it takes to achieve excellence in their studies, careers and lives.

I know of what I speak. I was a C student in grade, junior, and high school despite scoring three or four grades ahead of myself in all subjects in the eighth grade on so-called “achievement tests” administered by the county.  I made mostly B’s in undergraduate school, a little better than mediocre. I had trouble figuring out what to do for a living after I graduated from college the first time. I got accepted by two law schools, SMU and the University of Texas, but never went. I tried working in family businesses but couldn’t get along with my father. I started some small businesses of my own but got bored with it. I interviewed with large corporations and learned I was getting turned down because of scoring too high on certain parts of aptitude tests. I decided I had some sort of learning block, so I consulted a psychiatrist, Jerome Smith, MD, at Lubbock, Texas.

After some psychotherapy I wound up graduating with mostly A’s and no C’s in a doctoral program at Texas Tech. I can tell you it’s not easy to learn how to violate psychological script injunctions automatically transferred to you by parents psychologically telling you to be like they are if you psychologically bought into their script injunctions as a kid. And the hell of it is it all happens by accident.  

 

As Earthian biological, psychological, social, economic, and political life goes on, for how much longer nobody really knows, with humans suffering from and threatened by the Corona virus, collapsing USian and Earthian economic systems, nuclear war, and human-caused global warming and climate change, confined and isolated for nobody knows how long in their houses and apartments, if they have one, quarantined ….

In the immortal words of the Great One, Jackie Gleason, winding up one of his episodes on his TV show “The Honeymooners” way back in the 1950s and 1960s, back in the days when we had some really good adult comedy programs to watch on USian TV,

“How sweet it is.”

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and business policy, and is a certified transactional analyst. He is a founder and owner of Effective Learning Company as shown at the top of this page on the masthead of this blog.

CRASH – VIRUS – CRISIS

By COURTENAY BARNETT


History repeating itself in 2020 and as the song asks – when will they ever learn?


The 1929 crash


Until 1929 the US stock market had been buoyant for an extended period. There came a juncture where stock values did not relate true value and were significantly overpriced. Some ordinary people who did not have complete cash to purchase stocks bought into the market on ‘margins’ ( i.e. they paid for a part of the stock value and borrowed from banks to pay for the remaining value). 


The stock market crashed; people ran to the banks to withdraw their money; many bank officials had invested money on the stock market and so could not repay the cash; and so there were runs on the banks and massive bank failures. 


There was the great depression; no jobs and the American economy was adversely impacted for many years after the crash.


All history.


So, what did the U.S. Federal Government do to address the problem?


Solutions


There were regulatory (i.e. via legislation) and governmental ( via expenditures) solutions applied. 


A core piece of legislation of 1933 was the The Glass-Steagall Act ( a banking Act). It separated commercial banking from investment banking and established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation whose purpose was to insure banks. 


Then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the government expenditure side implemented his ‘new deal’. It invested government money in works programmes and large scale construction; basically, a central government scheme was used to put the ordinary people in the U.S. back to work.
So they learned – or did they learn from the solutions deployed?

Removal of The Glass-Steagall Act


In roughly two phases, under the Presidency of Ronald Reagan and then under the Clinton Presidency the Glass-Steagall Act  was removed. Clinton’s repeal was effected in 1999.


So when the protective legislation for the financial system which regulates institutions and protects  the risk of loss for people who deposit money in banks is removed – what is likely to happen?


The 2008 crash


Let valueless trading and ‘fake mortgages’ take place and derivatives thrive and then? So, the house of cards came crashing down in 2008. 


What I found absolutely astounding under the Obama Presidency was his response. Since it was not the shareholders or legitimate investors at fault but those who governed and those  motivated by greed, who had produced financial investment packages that were doomed to fail – who were primarily at fault – shouldn’t they be regulated and punished? But, who got the bail-out and benefited from ‘quantitative easing’ ( i.e. printing more money)? The C.E.Os. and Wall Street folks who caused the crash in the first case. 


To my astonishment, my  economic mind simply could not fathom then the sense in that. The U.S. government paid the Wall Street folks and went further and printed money. Thus, the impact has to be that the ordinary shareholders lose and the Wall Street folks remain rich and get richer, while the deficit increases ( i.e. it  is taxpayers money used to fund the bailout). 
What then happens with that kind of solution being used?


2020 – what next


I may be wrong on this – but I will hazard a guess. 


While the Corona virus is a global pandemic medical reality, it is not the virus in and of itself which is the real underlying economic problem – but the virus is a trigger which serves to expose and confound and exacerbate already underlying macro-economic and financial fault lines. 


How this crisis is addressed?


Well – when will they ever learn?

________________________________________

* 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.

Playing “Chicken” with US Democratic National Committee Owners

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

It’s sad that USian and Earthian states of affairs have evolved to where they are today.

I have always been a passive politician and citizen, doing nothing more than stating my opinions and voting. I never marched, never incited any sort of violence, never ran for a political office; but I was never confronted with a reality such as we now face:

Both political parties are oligarchies.


Both Republican and Democratic politicians operate the US government as pseudo-employees of the elite rich and large corporations who have paid them to do their bidding.


We the people are almost irrelevant.

Yet, I have some hope the DNC will recognize Bernie Sanders as the rightful leader of we the people, if he receives more popular votes than any other politician in the 2020 DNC primary race.

If so the US can progress along the right (and rightful) path.


At seventy-nine years of age I probably won’t change. I most likely won’t march and I won’t incite or commit violence if Sanders is robbed of his rightful place in USian and Earthian history by DNC superdelegates; but I can’t keep from thinking there will be hell to pay one way or another if the DNC and the RNC do not allow quasi-real democracy to work in the 2020 US presidential election.

Full democracy has never existed in a US presidential election, since the authors of the US Constitution saw fit to insert the odious Electoral College in the voting procedures, giving individuals the power to override the popular national vote in close races. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about that now, and Bernie Sanders could wind up like Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, winning the popular vote in the national election but deprived of the office of president by the Electoral College, assuming he wins the DNC primary popular vote, and the DNC pseudo-Electoral College allows him to run in the general election.

How great it is, this democracy of the US!

DNC superdelegates have the power to negate a Sanders popular vote victory in the primaries according to arbitrary rules insider DNC establishment members approved among themselves, that a judge has ruled legal.


That ruling is not a DNC in-house Electoral College enshrined in constitutional law. Far from it. It runs counter to common sense notions of fairness and justice; it smacks of corruption; and it will not mollify the anger of Bernie Sanders’s workers and financial contributors, who were led to believe their work, money, and votes would count—and Sanders would be the Democratic nominee—if  he won the most votes in the primary elections.


Or have I missed something? Did the DNC insider establishment make this clear at the outset?


Did DNC establishment insiders tell Sanders’s supporters something like this:

“Yes, you people can vote in our primary race for anyone you want to, but your votes won’t count if you vote for a candidate that wins that will not work with DNC establishment insiders to satisfy their personal financial and egotistical wants and needs, and the personal financial and egotistical wants and needs of their elite rich and corporate employers.”

Are DNC establishment insiders worried about this? Of course they are. Their livelihoods are at stake, as are the livelihoods of most Repub and Dem politicians, their paid employees, and the locust swarm of lobbyists in Washington, given that Bernie Sanders promises to help the lower ninety percent instead of the upper ten percent.

The poor will be with you always? Well, maybe not always, but a long time, if Trump or a DNC insider gets elected in 2020.

Let it be known that Bernie Sanders is not a real socialist. He does not advocate nationalizing all US industries, just the healthcare industry, which should be managed as a natural monopoly, as I have pointed out in my article, “Why Healthcare Should be Managed as a Natural Monopoly,”at https://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-healthcare-should-be-managed-as-a-natural-monopoly-2/.

Sanders is a social democrat, a reincarnated Roosevelt New Dealer bent on enhancing social programs, not tearing them down, which is necessary to prevent the US from sliding deeper into fascism, which the Deep State and the RNC and DNC establishments seem to have in mind.

The 2020 presidential race is more than a contest between two pseudo-different political parties; it’s a contest between different kinds of humans who have been scripted from birth to feel, think, and behave as they do. I disagree with the common sense notion that people can easily choose nihilism or democracy using free will. Most people are indoctrinated and programmed by their parents and others before they are eight years old with psychological injunctions to feel, think, and behave somewhere on a continuum between extreme democratic idealism and extreme authoritarian nihilism; and it’s difficult to change this indoctrination and programming even if individuals are aware of being programmed and make concentrated efforts to change the programming. The programming is deeply embedded and ingrained in their subconscious minds.

It seems to me humans are polarized emotionally and intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be best described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered closer to the middle of the continuum.

All democratic idealists in the US are not necessarily members of the Democratic Party; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican Party. You can have wolves in sheep’s clothing in either party going against the grain of the programming of most party members, aka trolls or traitors, in the eyes of true believers.

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 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 and 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, in early childhood by injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring, largely outside of conscious awareness.

Changing dysfunctional scripting, feeling, and behaving is not easy; but it can happen if humans after they learn how to read accept new messages powerful enough to cause them to override the early psychological script injunctions.

See my column “Or So It Seems to Me Right Now” introducing the latest issue of The Earthian Forum, Number Fifteen, at https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-15/ for more information on the democratic idealism…authoritarian nihilism continuum, including its causes and effects, which I constructed and published in the Effective Learning Report.

The political situation now reminds me of what went on at recess when I was a pupil in a small rural grade school on the South Plains of Texas.

There were about one hundred or so kids from several grades milling about on the playground, about half male and half female. We had as I recall two recesses of about thirty minutes each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, unsupervised by teachers or the principal, several grades together doing whatever they wanted to running wild with whomever they wanted to of whatever age. Younger smaller boys had to watch out for older and bigger boys. The unstructured process or melee was like a form of gang warfare, at least among the boys. I don’t remember what the girls did since I never played with them. It behooved the smallest and youngest boys to choose their friends wisely.

Nobody to my knowledge ever got seriously hurt but there were always Games going on, and fights happened. I got involved in a couple that drew blood. Never lost a fight. Law of the jungle basically. Apparently the teachers and principal thought this was good training for adult life.

In recent years I have come to feel and think at times that I am now living again in a process similar to those recesses in grade school. International relations now seem like a form of gang warfare, with mafia don-wannabe presidents and prime ministers like Donald Trump and their cronies mucking around Spaceship Earth playgrounds Persecuting, Rescuing, and Victimizing others playing Games.

But it’s far worse now than it was in my grade school playground days in Texas since one cannot escape big brother watching everyone with electronic surveillance. I have no idea whether I am actually being watched electronically, but I could be; and, as Craig Murray, George Galloway and others in their videos point out here at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/53041.htm?fbclid=IwAR2QJf0HIhpAP2WmpmvW8cb43TculjtnefoLOkNFcGGcjkdr3upVw6DaBwI , serious effective truth tellers exposing or maybe just discussing the crimes of governments on the Internet can wind up getting disappeared, rendered, tortured, extradited, incarcerated, or murdered.

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are dramatic and egregious cases showing humanity run amok persecuting truth tellers. Processes of persecution inflicted on them have become extended sadistic and gruesome ordeals watched by Earthian humans around Spaceship Earth, processes that have probably caused billions of mere humans around Earth to feel smaller, weaker, and less significant than ever.

US and UK governments are degenerating not progressing, as they get exposed more and more as the thuggish gangs they are in many cases. Mainstream media talking heads and their watchers and hearers generally seem certain Assange and Manning are guilty of heinous crimes, appearing devoid of empathy for them, and oblivious to the significance of the truth of the matter, namely that Assange and Manning were serious ethical truth tellers doing the right thing for humanity as a whole.

It seems most readers, watchers, and hearers of this sadistic ordeal feel and think Assange and Manning made the US government look bad; so they should pay, big time. They seem to feel and think big brother governments can watch anyone committing crimes using electronic surveillance and tell the whole world about it; but anyone watching big brother commit crimes with electronic surveillance has to lie by omission about it: they can’t tell anyone outside the gang about it. As is the case with Assange they can be cornered, isolated, and harassed without trial for ten years and then (possibly? probably?) get sent to prison for life if they go to trial. What’s good for the gander is a crime for the goose in hypocrit nations.

The 2020 presidential election may be the most significant US election yet. If Bernie wins USian and Earthian states of affairs can improve; if Trump wins the US can wind up a full-blown fascist dictatorship run by extreme nihilists cut from the same cloth as Hitler and Stalin.

Most USian voters won’t accept the fact their governments have committed egregious crimes against humanity since the beginning of the US as a nation. Whether the US has been worse in this regard through time than other major nations is another matter.

Regardless, all Earthian humans around Spaceship Earth have got to learn how to use more nurturing parent and adult ego state energy to seriously work together to combat global warming and nuclear bombs to survive. Life on Earth has been hell for most humans for a long time, and those days must end.

No one around Spaceship Earth can be fully OK unless everyone is OK, and nobody can be OK if global warming or nuclear bombs render humans extinct, annihilated, so it behooves humans to work with and for everyone, not just a chosen few.

Here’s a way Bernie supporters can maximize their power in the short run to prevent unfair treatment of Bernie and themselves by DNC insiders and playground bullies in the event Bernie does not win 1,990 delegates, despite receiving more votes than anyone else in the primary popular vote. To make sure Bernie is not screwed out of the popular vote nomination by superdelegates in second round voting at the DNC Convention July 13 in Milwaukee, Bernie supporters should let potentially-unfair Dems know now they will not vote for a Blue nominee other than Bernie in the general election against Trump, if they unfairly screw Bernie out of the nomination using superdelegates.

If the DNC obstinately screws Bernie and his supporters they will then be guilty of causing Trump to win by choosing the greater evil— by choosing their insider DNC vested-interest favorite regardless of the fact Bernie fairly won the popular vote.

The problem boils down to a high stakes “Chicken” Game, such as those played on playgrounds by nihilist kids back in my time during grade school recesses.


Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Founder & Director, FreeFairProgressParty of Spaceship Earth, at https://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html, March 3, 2020.

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,
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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

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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 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.