August 21, 2017 Did you watch and hear the speech Trump read from a teleprompter on TV tonight to captive soldiers in his physical audience at a military base and to many millions of people like you and me in our houses, after the eclipse got obliterated with clouds a few hours earlier? Do you know why he did it? I don’t. My wife watching TV in her room asked me what I thought of Trump’s speech, and when I turned on my TV set he was already into his text reading from his teleprompter in front of those soldiers. How do they do that? Does that teleprompter screen, that we cannot see, hang down from the ceiling somehow so he can read it? It looked like he had the words someone else wrote memorized. Who knows what he was really trying to say? It seems Afghanistan has suddenly become more of a problem, as has Pakistan, and maybe nuclear-armed India for not helping more to contain nuclear-armed Pakistan. Maybe the major point of the talk was to let us know he is getting tougher as a commander in chief. While our military are heroes for their efforts in Afghanistan, after fifteen years, they still have not won the war, which may have been the fault of previous US commanders in chief who did not have the sense to let them win by killing the Taliban and ISIS, instead of pretending to build nations, as Trump said he decided to do. At any rate, after telling us to to get elected he was going to stop wasting money on losing deals fighting wars, he blithely said he has now decided things are different now that he is sitting in the Oval Office and he needs to get tougher and therefore he is turning the military loose to do whatever it takes to win the war in Afghanistan, as if Afghanistan is the only place on Earth the US military is stationed. What about the other one hundred or more countries in which the US has military personnel stationed? He also made comments to the effect the efforts of our military heroes abroad should not be undone by unruly civilians inside the US fighting among themselves on college campuses over trivial matters such as their ideological right and left wing beliefs, as if giving a talk on prime time TV about setting the military loose to do whatever it took to win in Afghanistan would cure the problem of unlawful warriors fighting one another inside the US. I’m sure there was more to it than this, but these are my main thoughts about it at this time, about an hour after I saw and listened to it on TV. I don’t know about you, but this did not make me feel better about what is going on. If Trump’s intent was to soothe the fears and insecurities of people at home and abroad about the state of affairs of the US he failed based based on my reaction. August 16, 2017 This is a time of abnormally high anxiety for most people around Earth caused by continuing agitations between humans believing in and advocating right wing and left wing ideologies, dogmas, doctrines, policies, and behaviors, especially now in the US, brought to a head in recent days by President Donald Trump of the US refusing to seriously criticize right wing demonstrators at the University of Virginia who chanted neo-Nazi and white supremacy slogans in a clash with left wing demonstrators brought about by the tearing down of statues erected to glorify and commemorate Southern heroes and leaders during the US Civil War. Unfortunately this increasing agitation between the left and right of the political spectrum is not confined to the United States. Similar agitations exist in European countries, exacerbated in recent years by growing awareness of growing income inequalities brought about by pernicious processes at work in the global economy. Rather than deal with the root causes of this problem, systemic problems of the capitalistic economic system, numerous groups are promoting racism, ideologies, nationalism, and what has been called identity politics. Rather than deal with root causes of economic inequalities billions of humans have got it in their heads that hating and fighting humans identified as members of other groups, such as conservatives, liberals, socialists, communists, capitalists, imperialists, globalists, whites, blacks, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and immigrants, will magically solve their problems—which is a symptom of madness. See “Americans are Rapidly Descending into Madness,” by Michael Krieger, posted August 16, 2017 in his blog, Liberty Blitzkreig, for more perspective, at https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/08/16/americans-are-rapidly-descending-into-madness/. August 16, 2017 For more on the root causes of Earthian economic problems, read “Putting an End to the Rent Economy,” by Michael Hudson, according to many readers the greatest economist alive, author of Killing the Host and Junk Economics, in an interview conducted by Vlado Plaga, published in the German magazine FAIRECONOMY September 2016, posted August 16, 2017 in COUNTERPUNCH, at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/16/putting-an-end-to-the-rent-economy/. August 16, 2017 Here is a comprehensive analysis of one of the most troubling new developments of our times, ideologically-caused physical violence, by Henry Giroux, a world class writer and thinker, “Trump’s Neo-Nazis and the Rise of Illiberal Democracy,” posted in Truth-out, at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41617-neo-nazis-in-charlottesville-and-the-rise-of-illiberal-democracy. August 16, 2017 Oswald said he was a patsy, and most likely he was not lying. This is a detailed and factual article with new information about what really happened to JFK. Unfortunately it does not prove who did it, but it comes close. See “New Files Confirm the JFK Investigation Was Controlled by the CIA—Not ‘Botched’ as Some Pretended,” by Jefferson Morley, posted in AlterNet August 11, 2017, at http://www.alternet.org/media/new-files-confirm-jfk-investigation-wasnt-botched-it-was-controlled-top-cia-officials#.WZUNUGsfY08.facebook. August 15, 2017 Here is a video presentation about the opioid crisis in the US, a symptom of systemic problems with the capitalist economic system, showing in graphic terms what it’s like in one of the hardest hit areas, Baltimore, in the US, posted in ZeroHedge, by Tyler Durden, at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-15/inside-opioid-crisis-youre-not-allowed-see. August 15, 2017 This article “Conspiracy or Chaos” by Jim Quinn, originally posted in the Burning Platform blog, also posted August 14 by Tyler Durden in his ZeroHedge blog where I read it, makes cogent points about the nature of conspiracy theories, one of the most unspecific of all terms, and a widely-used buzzphrase. What is a conspiracy? Like beauty it depends on the eye of the beholder. In my view it means to conspire against someone or something. Many people label almost any explanation that is not to their liking, especially something that puts them in a bad light, as a conspiracy theory. Most conspiracies are not theories. Real ones are actions taken with malice aforethought. Conspiracies are ubiquitous. Millions of businesses conspire against their competitors every day. All national governments conspire against other nations. Jealous teenagers conspire against other teenagers for popularity. Preachers and religions conspire against others for followers, money, churches, mosques, and temples. Did someone conspire against JFK? You bet. Is global warming a conspiracy? No. Jim Quinn seems to think conspiracy theories in some cases are defense mechanisms. People like conspiracy theories because they make them feel better and more secure. It’s comforting to think bad things happened because someone conspired to make it happen, something that might be corrected. Many people would like to believe the world is in such sorry shape now because the rich have conspired against the poor, or unbelievers have conspired against believers and their god, and so on. Quinn thinks it’s scarier for people to think nobody deliberately conspired against them to make their bad things happen than to think it just happened, like shit happening, as the saying goes. If nobody conspired to make bad things happen then they happened by accident and no one is to blame or praise, including gods. Read all about it in Quinn’s article, “Conspiracy or Chaos,” at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-14/conspiracy-or-chaos. August 14, 2017 This article points out with facts and data a sobering reality about the global Earthian economic system: GDP (Gross Domestic Product) still floats on oil, and global gross production is sinking. In recent years with lower oil prices, the GDPs of oil producing countries have sunk more than others, and emerging undeveloped country GDPs have risen more than most. Ergo, GDPs of different countries are largely determined by the price of oil in a win-lose relationship. The higher the price of oil the higher the GDPs of the oil producers and the lower the GDPs of poor non-oil producers; and conversely the lower the price of oil the more producers suffer while the poor get a little better off. Here is an excellent presentation and analysis explaining the process by Gail Tverberg, posted August 14, 2017, in Our Finite World blog, “World GDP in current US dollars seems to have peaked; this is a problem.” https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/08/14/world-gdp-in-current-us-dollars-seems-to-have-peaked-this-is-a-problem/. I first read the article in Tyler Durden’s blog, ZeroHedge. August 14, 2017 Here is a relevant article about the stock market by David Stockman, first published in his Contra Corner blog, “After 100 Months of Buying the Dips—Peak Crazy,” also posted in the Daily Reckoning blog at https://dailyreckoning.com/100-months-buying-dips-peak-crazy/, where I read it. I remember David Stockman from when he was Ronald Reagan’s budget director in 1980. I admired his honesty and straightforwardness then and still do. He was one of the early advocates of Reagan’s “supply-side” economics, based on the notion that cutting taxes for the rich will produce more revenue for the government, and create economic growth on Main Street, caused by the tax cuts producing more investment that results in more profit to be taxed, more than offsetting the revenue-reducing effect of the tax rate reductions, based on the so-called Laffer curve. As the Reagan repubs got into the process of administering their policies, Stockman realized the federal budget would not balance if the government simultaneously increased military expenses by astronomical percentages, despite the tax cuts. Stockman forthrightly pointed this out to Reagan, and he got fired for it; and the Reagan administration turned out to be the most un-conservative profligate administration fiscally in US history, adding twice as much debt to the total US debt as all other presidential administrations cumulated in US history, tripling the total debt from $1 trillion to $3 trillon in eight years, 1981-1988. Stockman, a former US Congressman, went on to Wall Street where he spent the rest of his career. He now spends his time writing books and articles and publishing his ContraCorner blog about financial matters. In his book The Great Deformation, Stockman asserts central banking systems have deformed stock markets and other financial markets globally through misguided policies after the crash of 2008, by creating trillions of dollars worth of keystroke digital money with no backing used to buy toxic non-performing debt to save banks and banksters, and governments, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. In the article recommended here Stockman asserts the US economy is in worse shape now than it was before the 2008 crash, primarily caused by the quantitative easing and low interest rate policies of the US Federal Reserve board that have artificially inflated and deformed financial markets. He says most of recent price increases in US stock markets have been caused by dip-buying (buying stocks when their daily market prices decline) executed by algorithmic robots owned and operated by hedge funds, but it won’t work much longer. He thinks the US stock market is in a major bubble that will pop soon. https://dailyreckoning.com/100-months-buying-dips-peak-crazy/. August 14, 2017 Violence is a waste of time and energy Rather than rationally deal with the root causes of their problems, humans often discount, devalue, vilify, and tear the tissue of scapegoat enemies. This has been going on since time immemorial as humans played psychological Games that escalated in hardness from minor fool-making jokes and kidding to insults to tissue-tearing violence to genocidal wars, trying to get their human needs for structure, recognition, and stimulus met. Rather than play Games to get their basic needs for structure, recognition, and stimulus met, in ascending order of stroke intensity, humans can withdraw from others or interact and engage with others in pastimes, rituals, activities (especially work activities), or intimacy. What Earth needs now is human unlearning and new learning. Humans need to learn how to get their needs met without playing Games and resorting to violence, as in wars and acts of terrorism such as occurred last week on the campus at the University of Virginia. Violence rarely solves anything. It just kicks the can further down the road, where the problem rears its ugly head again. As Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King demonstrated, non-violent action can produce real change. Here’s a book on how not to waste time playing Games. Posted on Facebook, by me. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-john-stapleton/born-to-learn/. August 10, 2017 What does the US power structure get out of this deal, what Trump calls a deal, a deal that requires threatening North Korea, China, and Russia, and fighting terrorists and destroying weak nations in the Middle East? It gets enemies necessary to justify US military expenses, which are about half of all discretionary spending in the US federal budget, about six hundred billion dollars per year, more than the total military spending of the next seven highest military spending nations on Earth combined, causing US politicians to cut corners with healthcare for US civilians. “Watch: Former US Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Defends North Korea and Russia Instead of America,” by David Badash, posted in the New Civil Rights Movement blog, July 31, 2017. http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/watch_former_us_presidential_candidate_jill_stein_defends_north_korea_russia_and_china_instead_of_america. August 10, 2017 Here is an egregious breach of the US Constitution by US congress people to get personal campaign money from the Israel lobby. “These are the tyrants in government who co-sponsored a bill to make it a crime to boycott or criticize Israel. This is tyranny,” posted by Patricia Dowling, August 8, 2017, on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397. July 22, 2017 How to Manage Spaceship Earth By Richard John Stapleton The other day I happened to click on a link on the Intrepid Report and lo and behold up popped the articles I had published in the Intrepid Report since 2012, thirty-two in all. It was interesting just to read the titles, some of which I had forgotten. I thought you might be interested in taking a look at this. I have been accused of being a liberal since getting into this writing business after retiring from business teaching at Georgia Southern in 2005. Looking through the titles of my Intrepid Report articles I can see why someone might think that. But I still don’t think I am a liberal, or a conservative. I am just expressing my humble opinion about how to manage problems and issues. I appreciate very much Bev Conover, the editor of the Intrepid Report, including me in her selection of writers, which includes some well known names, such as Bill Moyers, Ralph Nader, Robert Reich, Douglas Valentine, Paul Craig Roberts, William John Cox, and others. Regardless, here it is, a free book of essays written by an unknown upstart writer, namely me, titled by me today How to Manage Spaceship Earth. http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/author/richard-john-stapleton.