OGEECHEE ECONOMIC FORUM HOUR

Minutes of the Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour, September 21, 2019

As announced the forum took place at the Eagle Creek Brewing Company at ten o’clock before the pub opened for its normal business hours at eleven, per the invitation to the public posted below. Three participants attended, A, B, and C. Near the end of the hour C suggested that next time the forum start at eleven o’clock so the participants could order something to eat and drink during the forum. This will happen at the next meeting, the third Saturday of October, at eleven o’clock instead of the usual ten o’clock hour of the forum, at Eagle Creek.

The Classroom De-Gamer™ selected B as the Leader of the Day. B said he thought the major economic and political problem right now is the increasing polarization between extremists on the right and left caused by economic inequality and frustration that seems to be causing increasing violence and fascist attitudes and actions around Spaceship Earth. He said he had no idea what alternative for change would be best, being convinced everything that could be done has been tried at one time or another, such as higher or lower taxes, voting for different politicians, more government regulation, civil wars, world wars, regime changes, monarchies, republics, democracy, socialism, communism, fascist dictatorships, religious revivals, and what have you. He said he recommended hoping for a better day and the accidental or inevitable evolution of new and better economic, political, and social systems through synergistic learning, similar to what is recommended in the article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” posted in a page on the Effective Learning Report masthead at the top of this page labeled Spaceship Earth, Inc.

The participants then discussed on a free-flow basis the ramifications of the Spaceship Earth, Inc. article, which would more or less entail turning the Earthian economic system over to Artificial Intelligence programming and supercomputers. The discussion touched on authoritarianism and democracy and their relations to mathematics. Mathematics is inherently authoritarian, being provably-true based on deductive logic, almost the antithesis of democracy which is based on inductive logic and analogical reasoning, at best producing non-provably-true consensual answers that are generally satisfactory for most humans in groups, organizations, and systems. Regarding which is best, computers or democracy, consider what you would rather have landing an airliner you are riding on that is flying at night at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot who are looking out their windows?

The discussion at one point considered whether more and better teaching of mathematics might help solve the Earthian economic and political problem, since it would make human Earthians more inclined to lay down their swords and follow the dictates of AI programming and supercomputers regarding how to produce and distribute the necessities of life for all human Earthians. How to improve the teaching of mathematics was discussed. C suggested one reason why many humans do not do well in mathematics is because of the way math is often taught, with math teachers “preaching math instead of teaching math.” According to B there is nothing worse than a NIGYSOB-playing math teacher, NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You SOB) being a psychological Game inherently insecure and angry human Earthians play to get “one up”, looking for chances to catch people making mistakes and doing misdeeds, attempting to prove they are superior. While it would be nice if more humans learned not to play NIGYSOB in families, groups, organizations, and systems, it is essential that NIGYSOB players do not take control of nations through democratic elections.

C suggested more people do not attend the Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour because of perceived incompetency and lack of psychological permission to attend, being concerned that participation in the forum would somehow lessen their security and positions in other groups, which if so is a shame since a major purpose of the Ogeechee Economic Forum is to foster feelings of social and psychological equality, an I’m OK—You’re OK life position.

End of minutes of the September 21, 2019 Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

by Richard John Stapleton

The Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour as usual will be open for discussion this coming third Saturday of the month, September 21, 10-11 a.m.

This Saturday however we will meet at the Eagle Creek Brewing Company. 

Franklin Dismuke, entrepreneur, owner, and CEO of Eagle Creek Brewing Company, a graduate of the Georgia Southern Parker College of Business, agreed to make his pub space available to us free of charge from 10-11 Saturday morning.

Invite your friends who are also invited and drop by Eagle Creek Brewing Company at 106 Savannah Avenue in Statesboro at ten a.m. this coming Saturday, September 21, for fifty minutes of stimulating economic and political discussion. We’ll have more room and better parking than we had at my office. We’ll stop the discussion by 10:50 to straighten up the tables and chairs so the Eagle Creek Brewing Company pub can open for their normal business hours at 11:00. 

No food or drinks will be available during the forum hour, 10-11. Bring your own cup of coffee if you want one for the forum. You can buy whatever you might want off the Eagle Creek menu at eleven o’clock.

The main purpose of the Ogeechee Economic Forum is to provide an equal opportunity for responsible citizens to test their economic and political ideas in a public group about what to do about economic and political problems. If you don’t know a good answer for a problem maybe someone else in the group will.  Hopefully the process will make us all better citizens.

The process features a Classroom De-Gamer™ with group members sitting in a circle. A spinner attached to the De-Gamer will select the leader who will create the agenda by answering three questions, whatever pops into mind, about what s/he thinks is the most significant economic and political problem right now.

What is the problem?

What are the alternatives? 

What do you recommend?

Rarely will the De-Gamer select a leader who knows right answers for general economic and political problems, since there are no “right” answers for real economic and political problems, or at least there are no provably-true right answers.  

Once something is codified in a rule or law it is true that the rule or law entails such and such, and if one knows what is in the rule or law then s/he knows a “right” answer; but it’s difficult to prove that it was “right” that the rule or law should have been codified in the first place, or as it was. It’s even more difficult to prove, even with hindsight, that economic and political decisions were “right”.

Anyone can respond to what the De-Gamer-selected leader said with what s/he thinks are better answers, on a first-come first-serve basis, after the De-Gamer-selected leader stops talking. 

One spin of the De-Gamer most of the time generates about one hour of back and forth discussion about numerous related problems. If the discussion runs out of steam before the hour is up we can spin the De-Gamer again, or quit for the day.

The purpose of the discussion is to learn and educate, not to indoctrinate, by co-constructing answers. About the best you can hope for in most groups, organizations, and systems is to co-construct consensual answers that are good enough to satisfy most people affected by them. Or at least it seems to me this proposition is generally “right”. 

The Ogeechee Economic Forum is non-partisan.

The “Spinner” makes sure all participants (including me the moderator) have an equal shot at being the Leader of the Hour. If the spinner points me out I will present and answer the three questions just like any other participant would. Once the De-Gamer-selected leader breaks the ice it’s free flow from then on. Anyone can become the leader of the moment by diving in the discussion first. There’s no holding up of hands to get permission to talk to the whole group. No one can be interrupted once s/he starts talking to the whole group, assuming s/he does not talk too long. If someone talks too long I will clang my cowbell to give someone else a chance. There are no side conversations. All talking must be to the whole group. Anyone can get up and leave at any time if s/he has any sort of personal problem.  

A major purpose of the group is to create democracy, not autocracy.

Another purpose is to learn how to avoid playing psychological Games such as BALANCE SHEET, AIN’T IT AWFUL, GREENHOUSE, MINE’S BETTER, NIGYSOB, KICK ME, POOR ME, IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, LET’S YOU AND THEM FIGHT, DO ME SOMETHING, and I’M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.

A major purpose is to learn how to create win-win economic and political outcomes rather than win-lose outcomes.

For more information about the De-Gaming process and facts and evidence it works go here:

http://www.effectivelearning.net/de-gaming-and-saving-democracy.html

Lastly, another purpose of the forum is to learn how to have fun while coping with serious problems.

Believe it or not, in most sessions this Game-free process generates a full hour of interesting, stimulating, informative, and satisfying experience for all participants, and the time passes quickly.

After the forum hour’s over Saturday I recommend recognizing the contributions of Coach Erk Russell, who named a drainage ditch running through Statesboro, that bordered his football practice field, Eagle Creek, who won three national championships during his tenure at Georgia Southern University, who stopped by my office one day and told me he appreciated what I was teaching some of his football players.

Coach Russell’s spirit is still with us and the Eagles almost beat Minnesota last Saturday, in one helluva football game.

In the interests of full disclosure, I always wanted to be the quarterback of the team, as I documented at 

http://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.  

According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in 1954 I was probably the youngest and smallest Class A high school starting quarterback in the US.

I think I could do a better job quarterbacking the US than Donald Trump, if only a great football coach, such as Joe Moring, my high school coach in 1954, or Erk Russell in 1985, or some sort of national presidential De-Gamer, could send me in the game and put Trump on the bench.

It also seems to me most reasonably bright US adult citizens with decent educations could do a better job quarterbacking the US than Trump. I read yesterday that his approval rating is now thirty-eight percent.

Come to the Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour this Saturday to participate in some Saturday Morning armchair economic and political quarterbacking.   Armchair quarterbacking about the economy and politics is more relevant and satisfying than armchair quarterbacking about football games.  There’ll be plenty of time to watch and talk about football over the rest of the weekend. 

Please share this invitation with your friends who are also invited.

One more time,

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Moderator

— 

WHAT LAW: WHO BREACHED? – US – IRAN – AND THE WEST

By Courtenay Barnett

It is said that maybe Iran was behind a recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

The Iranian Government denies that any attack was launched from Iranian territory.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack; other accusations have been made, inclusive of, but not limited to, a possible launch from Iraqi territory without any complicity from the Government of Iraq.

In an adumbrated way, that is the essence of the problem; yet, there has not been, so far, any historical context placed on the issue.

Saudi Arabia has indeed been the source of much bombing and killing in Yemen in a war killing many Yemeni civilians now with loss of life estimated to be in the region of seventy thousand people. No doubt, from a Houthi perspective there would be much motive, willingness and perceived justifiable cause to attack Saudi Arabia. However, the US has primarily shone the spotlight on Iran – so let’s start there.

Historical and legal facts

Between 1917 and 1919 Iran suffered a great famine claiming some eighth to ten million lives. How did it happen? Simply stated, there was a British presence in Persia (subsequently changing the country’s name to Iran in 1935) and a commandeering of food from Persia for the feeding of British troops during World War 1. Britain invaded Persia in 1916 and thereafter confiscated the country’s harvests, one reason Iranians, to this day, look suspiciously at Britain in particular and the West in general.

In 1953 Iran had a freely and fairly elected democratic leader in the personage of Mohammad Mosaddegh. The CIA overthrew Mosaddegh in a CIA staged coup in 1953 ( the first of its kind post World War 11 with many to follow thereafter for the installation of leaders supportive of US policies). The issue concerned the nationalisation of Iranian oil interests ( i.e. with compensation to be paid) as was tested and upheld as lawful under international law by the then World Court. However, yet again, Anglo-American interests saw it fit to impose their will on Iran. By reference to the 1953 coup one can trace and note the seeds for the 1979 Iranian revolution having been sown by way of the installation of a leader who was more supported by the West than being credible with his own people.

The US also backed the Iraqi war against Iran of 1980-1988.

There is a resolution in the Untied Nations numbered UN Resolution 2231. By way of Article 25 of the UN Charter and as lucidly as can be stated:-

“Article 25. “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”

There was an extensive process of negotiations with a number of powerful Western countries, inclusive of the US, and also Russia and China and Iran agreed to comply with terms under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ( JCPOA). The UN Security Council unanimously had approved that plan. That Resolution 2231 ended other Resolutions on other Iranian nuclear issues and became binding upon Iran, as duly and legally agreed under international law per UN Charter Article 25. The International Atomic Agency as well as the EU was involved in monitoring the agreement. Up to the point of a unilateral withdrawal from the JCOPA, under the Trump Presidency, Iran had been found to be in compliance. Since there is an extant UN Resolution in place that had not been violated by Iran, then the unilateral withdrawal by the US quite clearly is in violation of international law. So, as of 2018 President Trump unilaterally pronounced:-

In his January 2018 speech on the JCPOA.  President Trump said, “the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.” and he went on and said “will withdraw from the deal immediately” unless the JCPOA is renegotiated.

By contrast to the US withdrawal, it is quite evident and logical that if Iran had violated the terms of the JCPOA, then the international community would logically have concluded that UN Resolution 2231 had been breached. Thus, unilateral action by the US ought not to be judged by the same standards of International Law, by which Iran is judged?

Yet, legalities for some who think it prudent to abide by the Rule of Law both domestically and internationally is one level of rationality; US foreign policy, however, works on another level of power. There are specific procedures within the UN system intended to apply to all nations and thus such nations are governed by the rules for any  withdrawal from international agreements falling within the purview of the UN. Yes – “apply to all nations” – but, in this as in other acts of international unilateralism and/or aggression – not to the US.

Let us stop there and think for a moment.

Breaches and non-compliance

Was there any material breach of the JCPOA by Iran?

Which country complied with the JCPOA?

Which country unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA?

Which country has shown disregard for UN Resolution 2231 and the procedures applicable thereto?

Conclusion

Four simple questions; four easy answers.

So who is/was lawful; and – which country is a law unto itself?

The questions, it appear, shall be answered primarily in the arena of realpolitik more so than in a civilized dispute resolution, Tribunal, Court or International agency. Sad, but true. However, do consider that Iran is not Iraq and Iran is definitely not the Iran of 1953.

That is the lawless world in which we live!

________________________________________

* 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 — 11

THE EARTHIAN FORUM, Number Eleven, Effective Learning Publications,  http://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html   32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, August 24, 2019

THE EARTHIAN FORUM is a digest of articles containing facts, analyses, perspectives, 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 publications on ecological, economic, social, 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

Kurt Vonnegut, the author of Slaughterhouse-Five, once said, “Hell is waking up one morning and realizing your senior class in high school is now running the United States.” 

Vonnegut was a staff writer for the daily newspaper of his high school where he became a relative expert on high school politics.  I can’t remember whether my high school newspaper was a weekly or monthly, but for sure it was not a daily.  I published one article in it titled “Christianity—The Key to Success,” in which I asserted if you followed the teachings of Jesus in the Bible you would go to heaven, which was guaranteed success.  I have no idea what my high school readers if any thought about the article, but my grandfather, a Methodist minister, liked the piece, telling me he was surprised that I would write an article on religion.

My idea of success in my high school Christianity article was most likely not what most students in my high school considered success.  Most likely the most desired forms of success for them were getting elected president of the senior class and being popular, being recognized in the yearly Annual for it and getting voted things such as most handsome or most beautiful, most congenial, or most likely to succeed. Things like being the class valedictorian or salutatorian counted as success but not as much as getting elected class president or most handsome or most beautiful.  Me, I got voted most athletic, a desirable form of high school success, requiring little or no political ability.

It seems to me the brightest and the best are generally not elected to high offices in high schools or in US governments, state or national. The main thing that counts is popularity, caused by reverberating the characteristics, beliefs, behaviors, and narcissistic desires of the majority of voters.  

In recent decades in the US we have had people like Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Trump elected presidents.

Instead of getting the brightest and best as class presidents of the US we have gotten some of the worst morally and ethically.

Jimmy Carter was a notable exception being one of the brightest and best intellectually and a good role model morally and ethically.

And now, the Democratic Party establishment (the DNC) and corporate media, such as CNN, want and are favoring and promoting in various ways – Joe Biden – for class president, calling him the “Frontrunner” and so on in debates, when there are other Democratic candidates who are brighter and better—Sanders, Warren, Gabbard, Yang—as anyone can see in the televised debates. 

Apparently the DNC and the Deep State, including corporate media such as CNN, consider Sanders, Warren, Gabbard, and Yang to be too intelligent, moral, and ethical to be president of the US.

Kurt Vonnegut was obviously a good student in high school, going on to Cornell, majoring in chemistry.  He learned how to write novels on his own and became famous largely because of his accidental experiences in World War II, where as a scout in the US Army he wandered into enemy territory and got captured by Germans, who sent him to Dresden where they forced him to work as a slave. 

Dresden while Vonnegut was there became a literal hell on Earth when British and USian bombers firebombed the city back into the Stone Age, killing twenty-some-odd thousand helpless civilians, leveling and burning all buildings, homes, and infrastructure of one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. 

Vonnegut survived because his German captors had accidentally assigned him to work in an underground meat storage locker.  Imagine what it was like when he got out of there into the light of day after the bombing.  That experience in Dresden is what made him famous, causing him to write Slaughterhouse-Five.

The Dresden slaughterhouse was set afire by the British and USians hoping to hasten the end of WWII, thus reducing their military casualties.  The Germans would have done the same thing to them if they could have, having tried by dropping bombs on London from airplanes, and shooting rockets over the English Channel into London, but the Germans could never develop the concentrated firepower required to ignite slaughterhouses like Dresden, or Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, destroyed by the USians for the same reason, to shorten the war and minimize US casualties.

As described in more detail in an article by Paul Street linked below the US created additional slaughterhouses similar to Dresden after WWII in North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East and elsewhere, trying to bomb these cultures back into the Stone Age, a phrase published in mainstream media and widely quoted, attributed to US Air Force General Curtis LeMay. 

Hopefully there will never be another human slaughterhouse ignited, burned, and destroyed by US bombing, and USians will never experience one in the US.

The US is now the undisputed Earthian military superpower, now spending as much money per year on military personnel, equipment, and bombs (including nuclear bombs) as the next eight major countries combined, some one trillion dollars this year.

Hopefully all these military expenditures will be wasted, and no more wars will be waged, especially those with human slaughterhouses caused by bombing. 

Unfortunately the US Deep State needs enemies to justify its military revenues and expenses, and some of its members probably feel a little guilty spending as much money as they do on warfighting equipment and personnel with no serious wars being fought.  How could there be any serious enemies?  Any nation on Earth would have to be a fool to militarily attack the US in a serious war. 

Because of Russia’s geographic size they are still the best prospective enemy, and the US Deep State still tries to make Russia out to be a formidable military threat in mainstream media, which they definitely are not, if the US leaves them alone.  On the other hand, there are some other military enemy prospects out there the US Deep State can possibly use to build up business and maintain revenues, namely China, Iran, and Venezuela.

Russia’s economy is about one-tenth the size of the USian economy, not much in terms of GDP, but they are in relatively good shape financially, with a much lower debt to GDP ratio than the US, a much better trade balance, and a budget surplus; and they still have hundreds of nuclear weapons left over from their Soviet Union days; and they could, if they wanted to, bomb the US back into the Stone Age with them, creating human slaughterhouses in the US.

Nuclear slaughterhouse war is one thing; global warming and climate change is another. 

Despite having been told over and over that global warming and climate change can lead to human extinction around Spaceship Earth within twenty years, it appears about half of all voters and their elected leaders in the US are determined to ignore the possibility and do away with as many environmental protection laws, rules, and procedures as possible.  

As anyone should know overpopulation is a major cause of global warming, since breeding more humans requires producing more goods and services to feed, clothe, house, and medically treat the additional humans, which requires igniting and burning more fossil fuel that causes increased global warming. 

A logical peaceful way to reduce global warming is to reduce the human population around Earth through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births, and the way to make this happen is to use better birth control procedures.

Unfortunately, another way to correct the overpopulation problem would be a nuclear war, which hopefully will never happen.

Regardless, voters and politicians in state after state in the US are voting for laws that could cause the human population to increase, making it harder and harder for women to have abortions, trying to force some women to birth unwanted (for any reason) children.  Advocating in effect for no birth control at all, demonstrators recently pictured on page one of our local newspaper carried signs saying that god should plan parenthood, as the crowd crowed about a new recently passed restrictive state abortion law that will reduce the freedom, dignity, and peace of mind of many thousands of women and men.

Forcing by law mothers (and fathers) to birth unwanted children—with many such parents being unable to satisfy requisite emotional, intellectual, physical, and psychological needs of a child—is cruel and inhumane—since it causes to be brought into this cold, cruel, precarious world defenseless unprotected children, who through no fault of their own will be conditioned and shaped by crippling economic, social, and psychological forces, traumas, and messages that will cause them problems as long as they live. 

So the ethical and moral thing to do is prevent unwanted human children from being birthed to parents not wanting children by making abortions and other birth control procedures readily accessible by law. 

It seems to me few Earthians are worse off than human children forced to live with parents who do not want and, worse, who do not like children, such as, for example, people depicted and represented by Jonathan Swift, W.C. Fields, and Joan Crawford.. 

And, yes, as Kurt Vonnegut pointed out, it is hell to wake up one morning and realize your senior class in high school is now running the United States—by voting into office their friends who they know will vote for things such as getting rid of environmental and social laws protecting the environment and children, as if they want all Earthians to endure short, hard, brutish, precarious lives.

Hundreds of Earthian species are now going extinct every year, largely caused by the burgeoning human species. It’s time humans took a little pity on all Earthian species of fauna and flora, a significant percentage of whom/which they are now rendering extinct, possibly including themselves.

We live in precarious times, but it will do little good to play AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game identified and labeled by transactional analysts,  https://itaaworld.org/  , in which psychological Game players collect strokes by constantly complaining about the evils and troubles of the cold cruel world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, political, and family systems manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and parents and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists and politicians, however awful that might be in reality.

At the same time, it will do no good for Earthians to stick their heads in the sand 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 labeled GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic (fake) strokes (units of recognition) for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs.

For at least two centuries humans have lived under the illusion that technology and labor-saving devices, new chemical applications in agriculture (fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides), and new scientific discoveries of all sorts would enable them to live happily ever after, while producing as many offspring as they wished, thereby increasing the world human population without limit, despite the admonitions of humans like Thomas Malthus, an English parson, who published in 1798 “An Essay on the Principle of Population” containing an idea that has been widely circulated in various media ever since, known as the Malthusian Concept, namely that the human population grows geometrically while the human food supply grows arithmetically, and therefore most humans were doomed to suffer food shortages, poverty, subsistence living, and premature deaths.  Up until the last few years economists have generally said that Malthus was wrong, arguing that technology, chemical agriculture, better seeds, and better irrigation would enable an ever-increasing human population to be adequately fed and housed indefinitely. Unfortunately it now appears that Malthus was right after all. World hunger, poverty and misery are increasing, even in the United States; and, even worse, some forms of technology, while improving the lives of most humans in the short run, have led them down a path to possible extinction, namely electricity and the internal combustion engine used to power billions of cars, trucks, motorcycles, riding lawn mowers, tractors, airplanes, boats, ships, houses, refrigerators, central heating and cooling systems, factories, computers, and what have you around Earth, requiring the ignition and burning of many millions of barrels, cubic feet, and tons of fossil fuel (oil, gas, and coal) every day as an energy source, the burning of which is causing global warming and climate change by putting ever more tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere. All forms of technology are not good things; and humans must now learn how to use good technology instead of bad technology, however addicted to bad technology they may be; and the Earthian human population should be peacefully reduced through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births, thereby reducing the need for humans to destroy Earthian habitats, unnecessarily deplete resources, and burn more fossil fuel to sustain the Earthian human population, in the short run, irrespective of long run consequences. Bringing that about will require many different kinds of changes not only in technologies and in the beliefs and behaviors of human individuals but especially in the behavior of large human institutions controlled and manipulated by deluded self-interested sociopaths. The situation is especially ominous when one considers that if humans were to give up all their addictions to bad technology cold turkey they would immediately cause an economic and political catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, possibly an earlier extinction than would otherwise have been the case. Humans are cornered or trapped in a Global Catch-22 or Gordian Knot—in a damned-if-they-do-and-damned-if-they-don’t situation—and there are no easy answers for getting loose.

For more information regarding the relevance of Transactional Analysis go to  https://www.itaaworld.org/  .

To create better discussion groups 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 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  .

To see what I personally think should be done to correct the US economically and politically in the short run given the current US Constitution see my platform for my own political party the FreeFairProgressParty at http://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html .

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” http://www.effectivelearning.net/spaceship-earth–inc..html    for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone.   

TO RESPOND:

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.

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways environmental, economic, social, and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum http://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html go to the RESPONSES  http://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html    page and let us know about them.

Feel free to respond with comments about any of the SOURCES listed below using the RESPONSES http://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html page; but please refrain from making ad hominem attacks. Criticize the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles; but please refrain from attacking the characteristics of the authors, illogically trying to prove their facts, reasoning, arguments and conclusions are wrong and yours are right because of their personal histories and characteristics.

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

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EARTHIAN FORUM: Email me at rjstapleton@bulloch.net and punch subscription into the subject line.

Best wishes, RJS

SOURCES:

August 30, 2019

Here is a reality check for you.

“’Child actorvism’ and the extinction agenda of neoliberal racists,” by Matthew Maavak, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27967.

August 30  

Say it aint so Joe.

“The New York Times’ propaganda war on Syria,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27938.

August 30

Say it aint so Joe.

“Trump’s increasingly dangerous messiah complex demands his removal from office,” by Wayne Madsen, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27964.

August 30

Pathetic state of affairs.

“Breaking the media blackout on the imprisonment of Julian Assange,” by Minar Muhawesh, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28005.

August 30

“Behand Islamophobia is a global movement of anti-Semites,” by Nafeez Mosaddeg Abmed, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28011.

August 30

You don’t say.

“Liar-in-Chief Trump,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/28022.

August 30

Say it aint so Joe.

“’Sociopathic disregard for our future’: Trump EPA set to gut restrictions on planet-warming methane emissions,” by Jake Johnson, INTREPID REPORT, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

August 30

Unfortunately neither Sanders nor Warren are stellar on military problems.

“Are Sanders and Warren throwing a lifeline to the military-industrial complex?,” by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies, INTREPID REPORT, https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397.

August 30

Sounds like the queen is senile or she would not have sanctioned this.

“Boris Johnson Suspends Parliament Ahead of Brexit in Attack on UK Democracy,” by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/video/boris-johnson-suspends-parliament-ahead-of-brexit-in-attack-on-uk-democracy/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2_ysa4ikmbR7tuyTJgN-XNVovcXvCtcwPJEfaevxgB8qJOqnS3KjEjQ3U.

August 30

Yeah, right, what next?

“Probe of Missing Georgia Votes Finds Extreme Irregularities in Black Districts,” by Andrew O’Hehir, Salon, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/probe-of-missing-georgia-votes-finds-extreme-irregularities-in-black-districts/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1QMWLKowH67_-6h0DOe-HyGC6418uByANhBGj59ZTgsXEGE-yuuPKNjcU.

August 30

Interesting, isn’t it?

“Bankrupt and Irrelevant:  the Presidential Debates and Four Recent Studies on Pentagon Spending,” by Pierre Sprey, Chuck Spinney, and Winslow T. Wheeler, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/30/bankrupt-and-irrelevant-the-presidential-debates-and-four-recent-studies-on-pentagon-spending/?fbclid=IwAR1MYdC9JE19rim-cgpGY7GKqykrZP-VRmYF_EOHZ1Q6Np-fG7MhiZoH6XM.

August 29

Here’s a relevant intellectual exercise for you, crafted by Paul Street.

“Real News or Fake News,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/30/real-news-or-fake-news/?fbclid=IwAR2EC2gIDmTDcHl9t2XsVJsY2pLzE3_2hDMb-Ba0Yf6nL4oiJOQSBNwIQmg.

August 29

Yeah, well, maybe, maybe not, who knows.

“Futurist Predicts Cyborgs Will Rise As ‘Our Supremacy…is Rapidly Coming To An End,” by Marc Slavo, SHTFPLAN.COM, https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/futurists-prediction-cyborgs-will-rise-as-our-supremacy-is-rapidly-coming-to-an-end_08282019.

August 29

Here’s an interesting and challenging video by James Corbett about what your eyes and ears can believe and not believe about fake news and conspiracy theories. Lying about something being fake news or a conspiracy theory when it’s not creates the worst kind of fake news or conspiracy theory.

August 24

For more detail on how a better world might come about using Artificial Intelligence read my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth” by clicking on the Spaceship Earth, Inc. page on the Effective Learning Report masthead..

“A.I. Is the Cause Of — And Solution to —The End of the World,” by Bryan Walsh, MEDIUM ONE ZERO, https://onezero.medium.com/a-i-is-the-cause-of-and-solution-to-the-end-of-the-world-2d247d37eccb.

August 24

As it’s happened before.

“How Human Collapse Could Really Happen,” by Phil Torres, MEDIUM ONE ZERO, https://onezero.medium.com/how-human-collapse-could-really-happen-8f26bcf0866d.

August 24

Good news and bad news in this one.

“Could Climate Change Really End the World?, by Bryan Walsh, MEDIUM ONE ZERO, https://onezero.medium.com/could-climate-change-really-end-the-world-d0e7eb7f5b09.

August 23

Right wing ideology vs biology and ecology. What will lose?.

“Brazil’s regime destroying the Amazon rainforest for profit,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPID REPORT,  http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27954.

August 23

Pathetic.  Right on.  Excellent article.

“Amazon Fires Put the Planet at Risk,” by Tierra Curry, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/23/amazon-fires-put-the-planet-at-risk/?fbclid=IwAR3J9Cv9a_iVUkyxUYhiaOrzU8UK_E2MOK1V8UQJCx46O6BmuLLm4IpLDFE.

August 23

You know what i think the overall problem is? As much as i hate to say it, it’s overpopulation and poverty. The people are so impoverished in Brazil that they cannot resist burning down the Amazon hoping for a better life, and the new right wing Bolsonaro regime is aiding and abetting the process, just as Trump is in the US. So what if it causes human extinction in the long run they seem to think.

“The Amazon is Dying and Bolsonaro is Fanning the Flames,” by Dahr Jamail, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-amazon-is-dying-and-bolsonaro-is-fanning-the-flames/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3uezkMqclT3aVHW-BGw0OJJCjs8LHAkV8SdGx1y2gH1XRB6LCQKsg6DOY.

August 19

Here’s another artful, cogent, relevant article by Courtenay Barnett.

“The Epstein Disgrace in the Earthian Internet Forum of Morals and Ethics,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-epstein-disgrace-in-the-earthian-internet-forum-of-morals-and-ethics-an-allegory/?fbclid=IwAR1Sf10-UJUeK3xZblZ1r9L5lbiwiP7VWsCeuMnX3MwqTQHt4AjIX3H6f6Q.

August 22

Sad but generally true.

“What globalism did was to transfer the US economy to China,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27940.

August 22

A bad deal.

“Offering Choice But Delivering Tyranny:  The Corporate Capture of Agriculture,” by Colin Todhunter, COUNTERPUNCH, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27940.

August 22

Excellent article.

“Endangerd Species Act:  A Failure Worth Fighting For?,” by Craig Collins, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/21/endangered-species-act-a-failure-worth-fighting-for/?fbclid=IwAR2r8PMfwU-6Q872qKJogrtMi4isMPep5dfqnOHVdqi5JZlNgkY8GMz3MnQ.

August 22

Sure looks that way.

“Sanders And Bezos’s Shared, Debilitating Basic Premise,” by Clark T. Scott, COUONTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/22/sanders-and-bezoss-shared-debilitating-basic-premise/?fbclid=IwAR3Gaz7eoZAjEpCgaTRdw4JLBcFHzSZUNA5GuCBNGJmoxgmLW-b-YjNL1u0.

August 22

Right on.

“Breaking the Web of Life,” by George Ochenski, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/22/breaking-the-web-of-life/?fbclid=IwAR1Z8Ja7NoiVn-NRTnRgC5Ud8Vi6ZcX_9efj42BlvlWG55gMG-0Tb0Jgezs.

August 22

Best plan I’ve seen yet.

“Sanders Unveils Plan Detailing 10-Year Mobilization to Avert Climate Catastrophe,”  by Jake Johnson, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/sanders-unveils-plan-detailing-10-year-mobilization-to-avert-climate-catastrophe/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3kOLk_xfKtnFmAD_MASjxuaoDOTS7P4_sPQF38SwRuGVe34geEz732sRY.

August 22

Yuk.

“The ‘Lungs Of The Earth’ Are Being Burned Away As Unprecedented Wildfires Absolutely Ravage The Planet, By Michael Snyder, END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-lungs-of-the-earth-are-literally-being-burned-away-as-unprecedented-wildfires-absolutely-ravage-our-planet.

August 22

First time I have heard anyone mention “aggregate demand” in some time, that is, putting money in the hands of consumers who will spend the money on real goods, which is the problem. Lowering taxes do not increase aggregate demand because the rich use the extra cash to buy stock or bonds and the poor do not get enough extra cash from the tax cuts to make any difference after they spend the money. Lowering interest rates will not help increase aggregate demand if lower income people are already maxed out on their credit cards and they cannot pay back other types of bank loans for lack of income, and even if lower interest rates cause the rich to borrow more they will use the proceeds to purchase stock or bonds.

“Larry Summers Comes Clean Ahead of J-Hole, Admits Central Planners Are Impotent,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-22/larry-summers-comes-clean-ahead-j-hole-admits-central-planners-are-impotent?fbclid=IwAR36Y9rIY4Js74O6ZN4lNzPErLZGeHVCAXedKzz0IyRJxNZQP7yAX50HmEs.

August 22

Say it aint so Joe.

“The Man Who Predicted The Collapse in Bond Yields Reveals What Happens Next: ‘There is a lot more to come’ ,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-22/man-who-predicted-collapse-bond-yields-reveals-what-happens-next-there-lot-more?fbclid=IwAR27EfzCaXJ4v6cdtHBxIVs0wXYpiBdcp1gsPMt2OR4gNIc-p5qwNDAjfhw.

August 22

The Russians beat the US into space with their Sputnik satellite in 1958. They’ve beat the US in space again with their robot. Using solar panels to recharge batteries in robots is about the only way I can see sentient biological creatures could examine other planets harboring biological life outside their own solar systems—using robots staying in space many years traveling scores of light years.

“Russia sends its first humanoid robot Fedor into space,” by Maria Antonova, YAHOO.COM, https://news.yahoo.com/russia-send-fedor-first-humanoid-robot-space-020751065.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=fb.

August 22

Amazing it’s not higher.

“AP-NORC poll:  62% disapprove of how Trump’s handling his job,” by Steve Peoples and Hannah Fingerhut, ASSOCIATED PRESS, https://apnews.com/1ad13f32984a4480a45738ead2b4c0d8?fbclid=IwAR1WQ04uIMvQQn7a2GkKOyrH68-i6OXYmZmON-sEooGiyGmwqViRATuip70.

August 21

Say it aint so Joe.

“American capitalism is based on plunder,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27903.

August 21

Sounds pretty darn right on and prescient to me.

“The Real Reasons Why The Media is Suddenly Admitting To the Recession Threat,” by Brandon Smith, ALT-MARKET.COM, http://www.alt-market.com/index.php/articles/3894-the-real-reason-why-the-media-is-suddenly-admitting-to-the-recession-threat.

August 21

Pathetic.

“’Celebriphilia’ Epidemic Sweeps Across America:  Forget Knowledge & Wisdom, Listen to the Stars,” by Michael McCaffrey, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-20/celebriphilia-epidemic-sweeps-across-america-forget-knowledge-wisdom-listen-stars?fbclid=IwAR1fa-4wtyfHE1cYGKXVAhzHURgIzYGBsB29cvNia13n7zg3H_-6lvP38_0.

August 21

So much for religious freedom in the Middle East.

“The Extinction of Christians in The Middle East,” by Giulio Meotti, GATESTONE INSTITUTE, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14691/extinction-christians-middle-east.

August 21

Agree.

“Russia-Europe Relations Should Not Be Up in The Air,” by Brian Cloughley, STRATEGIC CULTURE.ORG, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14691/extinction-christians-middle-east.

August 21

Yuk.

“’A Generation Without A Future,’  Milennials Struggle To Survive in Modern Hong Kong,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-21/generation-without-future-millennials-struggle-survive-modern-hong-kong?fbclid=IwAR0x8zlZJkjug3-TJ7w_49q1My4LEumY7iywV4eOwa5iH1UGwGA-8tIKNLk.

August 21

What?  You mean James Bond can’t fix things?

“No Time To Die,” by Michael Every, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-21/no-time-die?fbclid=IwAR0Y-mfyFEWAG86pBICfN64Qyfs9R08wxGCn_jUq2zM3tIiPoBrYKwLGQ_s.

August 20

Sickening though the facts of this article are, Paul Street once again paints an accurate picture of what has been and is going on with the US empire.  Another great article by Paul Street.

“Uncle Sam was Born Lethal,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/16/uncle-sam-was-born-lethal/?fbclid=IwAR2xNC2e1cL6w98aQPySscwueFn71TwRoQTJEFqgaeHo-6NNKWlwvF5R6lY.

August 19

For sure, from the git go, the US was a new nation based on conquering and supplanting a native culture, designed for European immigrants, both high and low, predicated on owning, controlling, and exploiting native and African people as enslaved primary workers, a mass migration largely caused by overpopulation and poverty in Europe, leading to what now exists, apparently unsustainable social, economic and political systems around Earth, harassed and threatened by global warming and climate change, caused by bad technology and lack of planned parenthood, causing the possibility of human extinction. Not a pretty picture.

“In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.” by Matthew Desmond, NEWYORKTIMES.COM, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html?smid=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR0rkMesUPZHYhtrvWVU87_R2DCEf8K_BjnA4bWa3DOyUepgXQvWB9AJA8E.

August 19

Quite a statement coming from a Catholic pope.  Might cut into their market share, reducing the incentive for people to pay up.  Why go to church if there is no danger of going to hell?

“Hell does not exist, says Pope,” by The Nation Newspaper, THE NATION, https://thenationonlineng.net/hell-not-exist-says-pope/?fbclid=IwAR31d5ZYnoZlSdaV_Lv-yKkRUheoo8Npphr5ZbJYK-YwYbPMuDqj2TDz8kk.

August 19

Good article/interview.

“Russia Investigation:  Jill Stein Explains Her Relationship to Putin and Hillary Clinton,” by Alexander Nazaryan, YAHOO.COM, https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-investigation-jill-stein-explains-115002063.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=fb.

August 19

About as ignorant as it gets.

“Analysis:  Scientists decry ‘ignorance’ of rolling back species protectons in the midst of a mass extinction,” by Christopher Ingraham, WASINGTONPOST.COM, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/16/scientists-decry-ignorance-rolling-back-species-protections-midst-mass-extinction/?fbclid=IwAR37HTRZxaJf4WD9xW10EGWvr0iMwt2n2ciO-tVmR8DLhxSJfmmdeEnIb7w.

August 18

So he’s not that mentally competent, but will voters care? After all they voted for Reagan, Bush II, and Trump in sufficient numbers to put them into office as president.

“Joe Biden has bigger problems than just gaffes,” by Post Editorial Board, NEW YORK POST, https://nypost.com/2019/08/18/joe-biden-has-bigger-problems-than-just-gaffes/?utm_source=facebook_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site+buttons&utm_campaign=site+buttons&fbclid=IwAR3UUu-EH3cspA7v_KA72e-tjgrWpdAObnTvlcfQ6G9thuR2LLah0uF6xJY.

August 18

Are they trying to get rid of paying in cash requiring all payments to be made electronically, thereby capturing a permanent record of all transactions?

“Lost Within The Rate Cut:  The Fed’s Drive To Establish A New Payment System,” by Stephen Guinness, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-17/lost-within-rate-cut-feds-drive-establish-new-payment-system?fbclid=IwAR2oFzghBHu3AVmOu_kgT8jwEEeXXlb1kx7BwXY7vr2ubi5e_QFJ50pEdZE.

August 18

Say it aint so Joe.

“America’s Benevolent Bombing Of Serbia,” by James Bovard, RON PAUL INSTITUTE FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY, http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/august/17/america-s-benevolent-bombing-of-serbia/.

August 17

Not sure I agree with this.

“Why Liberal Internationalism Has Already Lost the Global Struggle for the Future,”  by Martin Sieff, STRATEGICCULTURE.ORG,  https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/16/why-liberal-internationalism-has-already-lost-the-global-struggle-for-the-future/?fbclid=IwAR0F0SB3at8HPKUF0EZyCIEW6INrnNgrFfWsxOrK4yxPt180C3xaUuAS8CE.

August 16

Had no idea about this kind of pollution.

“Plastic Apocalypse:  Dangerous Microplastics Invade Alps To Artic, Found In Fresh Snow,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-15/plastic-apocalypse-dangerous-microplastics-invade-alps-artic-found-fresh-snow?fbclid=IwAR3ZvgBcC8xr4J2IamZeSozUbYTutiUROnmoiiM22x239ATL84zzodH5ieA.

August 16

Say it aint so Joe.

“US Axis of Aggression in Gulf,” by Finian Cunningham, STRATEGICCULTURE.ORG, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-15/plastic-apocalypse-dangerous-microplastics-invade-alps-artic-found-fresh-snow?fbclid=IwAR3ZvgBcC8xr4J2IamZeSozUbYTutiUROnmoiiM22x239ATL84zzodH5ieA.

August 16

Unfortunately this is relevant. Basically Ayn Rand’s philosophy is a rationalization for greed and selfishness and a total lack of empathy, such as displayed by Trump and most of his Republican supporters. There is a grain of truth in it assuming you must live in a fully dog eat dog world. Philosophically she praises objectivism and logic. Anyone smart enough to figure out a suboptimum answer logically and implements it for selfish gain, regardless of its affect on others and the total system, should be praised and rewarded. Assuming free will exists is illogical since most likely it does not exist. Ask Google about this and note the arguments for and against the idea that free will exists. Rand’s entire philosophy is illogically derived from the assumption that all people have free will. This is illogical because all things are caused, including thoughts, feelings, decisions, actions, etc. Therefore it’s all a matter of luck and no one is to be blamed or praised. The rich are merely lucky because of the cause-effect chains they inherited, not smart, or willful, and the poor are merely unlucky, having been subjected to the wrong kinds of cause-effect chains throughout their lives. Most rich people were born rich one way or another, and certainly did not get rich because of their own free will. Read my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” at http://www.effectivelearning.net/spaceship-earth–inc..html for an antidote to Ayn Rand’s books and philosophy, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, all illogically based on the fallacy of free will, and read the article posted here for the author’s take on the problem. Be sure and watch and listen to the embedded 1959 video interview of Ayn Rand by Mike Wallace to get a fuller understanding of the whole problem.

“The right wing love affair with Ayn Rand ties conservatives to one of the most disturbing sociopathic killers,”  by Thom Hartmann, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27886.

August 15

The Brits under Johnson seem to be headed off the proverbial cliff.

“Brexit is Not the Holy Grail Its Supporters Are Imagining,” by Sasha Abramsky, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/brexit-is-not-the-holy-grail-its-supporters-are-imagining/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR02AKurOwKMrKMjiTEM-q8rDf6pdSHNlMCOIBJLnHJojN0awoh2anPKJ4I.

August 15

Gets to the root of the matter.

“The US Has Driven Central Americans to Flee “the Northern Triangle,” by Rebecca Gordon, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-us-has-driven-central-americans-to-flee-the-northern-triangle/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR38Whb7mzzLw9lUeRGSVez4rNHf68YeZHRUjAzXGQ6bCJp-IgxQVngf-N0.

August 15

Good point by the Chinese on Hillary’s dismal record on regime change effects.

“China Slams Hillary’s Regime Change Record After She Praises HK ‘Democracy’ Protests,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-15/china-slams-hillarys-regime-change-record-after-she-praises-hk-protests?fbclid=IwAR1aLDG-YPgonetyev7OUfku2zfeFudR7Q4_yT8DqCTq5j5iDDff-Nw0p-8.

August 15

Seems a mite strange.

“Whopping 18 inches of hail accumulates in parts of Michigan,” by Amanda Schmidt, ACCUWEATHER, https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/whopping-18-inches-of-hail-accumulates-in-parts-of-michigan/70009085?fbclid=IwAR1xEWIndO_zBdrXCdHR_ogzMDU5S3j4i8kj6BqHBMu5uxQrfkWYZXIrE9c.

August 14

Very sad.

“The Average U.S. Farm is $1,300,000 in Debt, And Now The Worst Farmng Crisis in Modern History Is Upon Us,” by Michael Snyder, END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/whopping-18-inches-of-hail-accumulates-in-parts-of-michigan/70009085?fbclid=IwAR1xEWIndO_zBdrXCdHR_ogzMDU5S3j4i8kj6BqHBMu5uxQrfkWYZXIrE9c.

August 13

Are domestic terrorists modeling military attacks?

“Bodies on the ground and the rise and rise of the economic elite,” by Phil Rockstroh, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27830.

August 13

Is China winning the war of economic models?

“Neoliberalism has met its match in China,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27834.

August 12

Come hell or high water.

“Sea Level Rise,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/13/sea-level-rise/?fbclid=IwAR34ZQ6px2l3LsJIhyeGrgZH7WxJVmS5GvYmGRq6A3JCH9bbxIgATvkDdIM.

August 13

Goes without saying.

“Killing Plants is the Fastest Way to End the World,” By Dahr Jamail, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/killing-plants-is-the-fastest-way-to-end-the-world/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1BHBQcTVgrlCTYN_d3D8D_dAMNzkkkK0Gzl8QbwYDdugLeHgvoQLRk2YE.

August 13

David Stockman rides again.

“Stockman Slams The Risible Myth Of the Savings Glut And The Lunacy Of Sub-Zero Yields,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-13/stockman-slams-risible-myth-savings-glut-and-lunacy-sub-zero-yields?fbclid=IwAR1WArQyjPJUaqmgSa6KK_-FDQYPKPPlsa2gYOk9xpUa1Vwy1PsZMALpIqw.

August 13

Eerie alright.

“Russia’s space agency releases eerie footage of human-like android,” by Peter Lloyd, DAILY MAIL, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7352321/Russias-space-agency-releases-eerie-footage-human-like-android-Fedor.html?ito=facebook_share_article-factbox&fbclid=IwAR0DbJOxdyx7yea5mF6pP8hHMTj-k5M6Pjq78vn7rZ-1XKLNt3SfffmqBvg.

August 13

So it seems.

“Noam Chomsky:  Trump’s ‘Economic Boom’ is a Sham,” by C.J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/noam-chomsky-trumps-economic-boom-is-a-sham/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR00ucNhLbmqk0Lv7qh5ggSsdNr44k5DBK6qQFjpahd8mig1xgsNczl73ZE.

August 13

Remember Mike Wallace? Here is one of his greatest interviews, with one of the smartest men ever born, Aldous Huxley.

“Aldous Huxley Interview-1958 (FULL),”YOUTUBE.COM, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TQZ-2iMUR0&t=673s&fbclid=IwAR1u7-UH2ucwBp1WhDsuZBZaUoKWj7W8DriN35PVxzgRDT4iTif38ifUn9U.

August 13

Not one of the brightest and the best, but not one of the dullest and the worst.

“Greenpeace Gives Joe Biden a D- on Climate Change Report Card,”  by Ari Natter, TIME INC, https://time.com/5598313/jo-biden-climate-change-report-card/?fbclid=IwAR1c0YKRKUqxktLL-nWF8_z19ClVCYz1SSX2Lbp-Jt_FgH27pn0ehApnLXo.

August 13

A tragic story.

“The Great Land Robbery,” by Vann R. Newkirk II, THE ATLANTIC, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/09/this-land-was-our-land/594742/?utm_source=pocket-newtab&fbclid=IwAR3JdnVEbwkKUfWUy2p9pLcxKvaT5mVYZRMMzng8g0NdEMGd9u9ZxO6C55c.

August 12

Very sad.

“Farm Rot is Eating America Alive,” by Evaggelos Valliannatos, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/12/farm-rot-is-eating-america-alive/?fbclid=IwAR2hqy4u2YB52BC3DOVZC70cauNaCAp0Hm8tP1uRhfTLGivLoaZnN0l6ZuM.

August 13

Debt and more debt.

“Debt-End: ‘Everything’s Gone Alice-In-Wonderland’,” by David Hay, EVERGREEN GAVEKAL, https://blog.evergreengavekal.com/debt-end/.  

August 12

But the establishment wants lightweight Biden.

“Bernie Sanders ‘Acing the Electability Test’ as Another Poll Shows Senator Crushing Trump in General,” by Jake Johnson, COMMON DREAMS, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/12/bernie-sanders-acing-electability-test-another-poll-shows-senator-crushing-trump?fbclid=IwAR3cf5xiTsmvVoJHBQo8LjEi_wkaFI9t7f2-k1nyZFJW2Z1LmQL4e64s60c.

August 12

Say it aint so Joe.

“Noam Chomsky on why the Republican Party is the most ‘dangerous organization in human history’,” by Maya Oppenheim, THE INDEPENDENT, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/noam-chomsky-republican-party-most-dangerous-organisation-human-history-us-politics-mit-linguist-a7706026.html?fbclid=IwAR0WJ8IUYaQlTBiKIyJtz7Qdof4v0Bmg617GI3wLFuDfGdesRn5GNWks9qs.

August 12

Seems foolhardy to me, like trying to start a fight.

“Washington’s Utterly Failed Diplomacy,” STRATEGIC CULTURE.ORG, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/09/washingtons-utterly-failed-diplomacy/?fbclid=IwAR22GFQEPAY_eNyFtoYSctz7oqQbftfa7VKYtwtBrqki2mB0OcI1600au2M.

August 12

If there is any single technological device that could save us from global warming this is it.

“Is This The Key To Commercial Nuclear Fusion?,” by Haley Zaremba, OILPRICE.COM, https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-This-The-Key-To-Commercial-Nuclear-Fusion.html.

August 11

Here’s some practical observations and suggestions on what’s involved in changing life scripts. Do not assume I advocate tattoos, something I never understood, and would never do. On the other hand I agree with most of the article. Why the publisher wanted to use the embedded photo illustrating the article escapes me. Maybe it’s because tattoos like everything else are inevitable, not a function of free will. I cannot imagine what causes someone to permanently alter his or her appearance with tattoos, but something does.

“Free Will & Willpower Are Becoming a Thing of the Past. Here’s What You Can Do About It” by Benjamin Hardy, PhD, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/better-marketing/free-will-willpower-are-becoming-a-thing-of-the-past-heres-what-you-can-do-about-it-58799091fb8a.

August 10

So it seems.

“Know-nothing Americans,” by Stephen Lendman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27746.

August 10

I too think Gabbard is the real deal. Not only do I think that but a large number of USians also think that. The Drudge Report ran a poll right after the last debate in which I participated, one of those polls in which you hit a button for the person you think won. In this poll Tulsi Gabbard won by a landslide. She received ten thousand some odd votes of twenty eight thousand hit. Yang was second with about four thousand. Biden was a distant third with two or three thousand. The rest of the twenty eight thousand were split among the rest, including Harris. It’s obvious mainstream media such as CNN and the DNC are up to their old tricks touting Biden as the “Frontrunner”, attempting to manipulate the establishment favorite into winning, by squelching the facts about Gabbard’s approval among real people in the last DNC debate.

“The Empire is coming for Tulsi Gabbard,” BY TOM LUONGO, INTRREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27787.

August 10

Yep, it does seem what they mainly want is adapted obedient sheeple. This is the same thing the Nazi and Stalinist secret police did, the same thing any corrupt dictator has done to retain his power. More freedom down the tube.

“An open invitation to tyranny,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27798.

August 10

But, alas, dead men tell no lies.

“Politics and pedophilia: a demonic mix,” by Wayne Madsen, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27808.

August 10

After 9/11 we got TSA and Homeland Security. What’s next?

“Biden is Doubling Down on Iraq War Lies,” by Stephen Zunes, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/biden-is-doubling-down-on-iraq-war-lies/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3nLkvLt8VzYJYCWAuhCzs-19R7wY40XWMnnMaJ2LiIuyF7725FUVhza_M.

August 10

Absolute insanity.

“The Right Wing is Trying to Make It a Crime to Oppose Fascism,” by Shane Burley, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/biden-is-doubling-down-on-iraq-war-lies/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3nLkvLt8VzYJYCWAuhCzs-19R7wY40XWMnnMaJ2LiIuyF7725FUVhza_M.

August 10

Dead men tell no lies.

“AOC After Jeffrey Epstein Found Dead: ‘We Need Answers. Lots of them.’,” by Jim Queally, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/aoc-after-jeffrey-epstein-found-dead-we-need-answers-lots-of-them/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1Wo9UQiAj9kOEUgDIwMXYP5Hr-HagZ33g2jOMGBDWfdxoNbcgkraAQChI.

August 10

How would we know? Its easy to see if water is rising in a glass or bathtub. You can make a mark to prove where the water level once was. But how do you do that with oceans? Do you make marks on beaches? Has anyone done this in such a way as to prove anything? Seems to me anecdotal evidence from places such as South Louisiana and the Maldives Islands make the point

“Global Sea Level Rise Began Accelerating 30 Years Earlier Than Commonly Thought,” by Ayesha Tandon, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/global-sea-level-rise-began-accelerating-30-years-earlier-than-commonly-thought/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2RkeQnaDVKsPjBeDo73V5ofW_OP5mQtSZkl4-XqUfCuqjNqWW-OHsOKKo.

August 9

Precarious times alright.

“Climate Crisis Means the Ruling Class has Failed. Can the working Class Inherit the Earth,” by Richard Moser, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/09/climate-crisis-means-the-ruling-class-has-failed-can-the-working-class-inherit-the-earth/?fbclid=IwAR1R_zocKRR5DyuuUNBVgjp817b6JYTbP9HnZM8uHzGc4z6ZBkmazs8XezI.

August 9

Another great article by Paul Street, one of the greatest writers alive. I must say I disagree with Paul Street on his basic idea, however much I like this article, namely that only a revolution can save us. Seems to me revolutions have never really solved anything. All they did was replace one set of elite rich with another. It seems to me what we need is a truly successful peaceful evolution that gets rid of the elite rich forever. Read my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.,” a page listed at the top of the Effective Learning Report masthead for more information on how this might happen.

“Nothing Less Than A Revolution Can Save Us,” by Paul Street, COUONTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/09/nothing-less-than-a-revolution-can-save-us/?fbclid=IwAR3E4Ns_k2bfvmfoE86DWF0Q1d4zQJoXnUrGZEY_ptTvWx0eH8CjHX4WyxM.

August 9

Very sad case.

“Judge Won’t Reconsider $1,000-Per-Day Fines for Chelsea Manning,”  by Kevin Gosztola, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/judge-wont-reconsider-1000-per-day-fines-for-chelsea-manning/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0nHTrs5ZJ3Ojz8GmgYZpuj3zPRqtfWGmlvEo0j2kgD4ads4zq6txkJGIk.

August 9

True there’s no free lunch but humans can increase their chances of survival by changing what they have for lunch.

“There’s No free Lunch With Climate Change,” by Bryan Walsh, MEDIUM ONE ZERO, https://onezero.medium.com/theres-no-free-lunch-with-climate-change-4b9c1e095eaa.

August 3

Go Tulsi.  Gabbard is maybe the best candidate the Demos have.

“Tulsi:  A Living Reminder of Iraq’s Liars and Apologists,” by David Masciotra, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/tulsi-a-living-reminder-of-iraqs-liars-and-apologists/?fbclid=IwAR3D6dUSqdV_quLw-kpX0KWNvKG94DjT38aClCsZcVw-ZV-oqv5uptCDLGw.

August 3

Let’s hope not.

“Are We Heading Toward Extinction?” by Catherine Ingram, HUFFPOST, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/facing-extinction-humans-animals-plants-species_n_5d2ddc04e4b0a873f6420bd3?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003&fbclid=IwAR0Yh1o_c6GmgXcCB1DE17Q-0GZb_HsQfk1LkZfLo5Qr6aHQV3KT0GjTawk&guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZmFjZWJvb2suY29tLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAADR7onc0aeU-bHdhnNCl4CVfU0-SDjk94ABB3a1igbwEXVUzBEsb-ESlu9lFgNtlmp9c9r2qxzZGY4QBgghsOImP87Etu9s8vRzSwk3cMTegZQIqD15Gm5IVx4d0OoOssjLSjW_2tvnbz576qYliNjyWM56qtSpbD6Uco3yBGEpS.

August 2

More than a little truth here.

“Federal Judge John G. Koeltl Ruled Against Criminal US Government’s Attempt to Frame Julian Assange and Destroy the First Amendment,” by Paul Craig Roberts, PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY, https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/02/federal-judge-john-g-koeltl-ruled-against-criminal-us-governments-attempt-to-frame-julian-assange-and-destroy-the-first-amendment/?fbclid=IwAR3CqxsGbnkYTqzr5vI03TESsBb0A6er_k4tETonUaExRTgshqOEaM2_S7Q.

August 2

Did not know there was a tree planting battle against climate change, but it sounds like a good idea.

“Ethiopia is leading the tree-planting battle against climate change,”  by Charlotte Sutherland-Hawes, HOUSE AND GARDEN, https://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/article/ethiopia-is-leading-the-tree-planting-battle-against-climate-change?fbclid=IwAR2OsRhlr7ksDBVWNwvBvXazqFOq_o3yf_CbSSS5wBCOcBwOJQPsS16NCt8.

August 2

An artful cogent presentation on a significant issue, by Courtenay Barnett.

“An International Prayer for Peace,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/an-international-prayer-for-peace/?fbclid=IwAR0M2akAF7qZk4akwjZgZZFjgbBpZO3k-q65661vEwvQftUlp5LK7zqFl8g.

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

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RJS,  Writer, Editor & Publisher

 

THE EPSTEIN DISGRACE IN THE EARTHIAN INTERNET FORUM OF MORALS AND ETHICS—AN ALLEGORY

By Courtenay Barnett

MY CLOSING SUBMISSIONS IN THE EPSTEIN CASE – IF ONLY.

“ Ladies and Gentlemen of the Forum – we have reached the point in this case where the Defense has to state that which is thought to support the Defenses’s case; however,  we too have to be balanced and it is ultimately His Honour who holds and weighs the scale of justice with impartiality. His Honour should remind you that you are the sole Judges of the facts.

“ I shall be brief in what I have to say – but shall first preface – then deliver as succinctly as I can.

“ No doubt – most members of this Forum are high school graduates. What a coincidence – for I too managed to graduate from High School. Now, recalling all these many years ago, I do remember two types of teachers. There were the ones who took simple theorems, concepts and formulae and chose to make them complex. Then there were those who took complex theorems, concepts and formulae and chose to make them simple. Well, if I were to be a teacher I would follow the effective path of the latter. I am a lawyer – so – let me try.

“Mr. Epstein was charged, before his death, for the offences you shall have to consider when you deliberate. Like the non-complex teacher – all that is alleged there is clear and simple – stated in equally simple language.

“But, like the complex teacher let me elaborate on what the Prosecution says is obvious and self-evident.

“There is central to this case what I shall simply call ‘Epstein Island’ where many rich and powerful men visited ( mostly men but allegedly a few women.)

“ So, if any of you are pious, religious and Godly, then you will visit on the appointed day a Church or a Mosque or a Synagogue or a Temple to worship and pray for sanctification and a cleansing subject to the God, as you conceive of and believe in.

“If a man (or woman), by parity of reasoning, visits a whore-house, then it is evident that the visit is not one for sanctification but is for sexual gratification by preying upon others for reasons of indulgences in the flesh.

 “The latter sums up this Epstein case.

“Epstein is now dead, allegedly by suicide hanging in a maximum security prison, but a coroner’s report says a broken bone in his neck is more commonly caused by choking homicide, and loud shrieks allegedly coming from his cell were allegedly heard in the prison, as guards near the cell slept, as Epstein died.

“Will we ever know the truth of this with certainty? Possibly not. No one may know (except the killers, if such existed), even the coroners, who seemingly do not know with certainty whether the death was caused by suicide or homicide, although they ruled it a suicide, and thus that for now shall be the official ‘narrative’ in public proclamations. 

“Many criminals in effect are above the law in most cultures by virtue of being rich enough, powerful enough, and clever enough to avoid prosecutions and convictions, and there may be some enmeshed in this case, including some very prominent names in at least three cultures—US, UK, and Israel—Trump, the Clintons, Prince Andrew, Wexler, Maxwell, Dershowitz, Richardson, among others, who were enticed into and/or linked to Epstein’s interests, activities and domains.

“Humans that flock together are not always of the same feather, and therefore we should not rush to judgment, or take our responsibilities lightly, being cognizant that this disgraceful nefarious episode will negatively influence human feelings and thoughts and possibly behaviors around Earth for a long time.

“ The ‘evidence’ is there before you on the Internet, easily found with a Google search.

“However, like the unnecessarily complex teacher I shall in short order explain ‘evidence’ – direct testimony, as you can hear and read on the Internet – documentary ( inclusive of air flight records) – circumstantial – corroborative – and all together similar fact evidence ( i.e. different people, who are not connected, save and except having had the same unfortunate experiences at different times – saying  very similar things as regards the modus operandi of the entire Epstein sex trafficking operation).

“Who do you believe – that is solely for you to decide based upon the facts and evidence and your application of a clean conscience duly applied to the objective of ensuring that justice ( as you may conceive it to be) is to be delivered to these several women ( then merely under age and/or compelled sex slaves) – with due regards for how you assess the facts.

“Your Honour, I promised to be brief and do apologise for extending for an unduly long time.  My complex non-effective High School teachers would truly have been proud of me.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Earthian Morals and Ethics Forum –  this case actually does not have to be complex based upon the facts as the Defense has led.

“I remain appreciative notwithstanding my lack of brevity.

“I have thus said as much as I intend to – and – to you also Ladies and Gentlemen of the Earthian Morals and Ethics Forum – I remain grateful.”

________________________________________

* 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.

AN INTERNATIONAL PRAYER FOR PEACE

By Courtenay Barnett

CONSTRUCT OR DESTROY.

Whatever one’s political preferences and/or ideological persuasions, there are some home truths – and when one focuses on a ‘rule based’ international order there are some possibilities and realities which must make any rational world citizen wishing for peace – worry and cringe.

CONSIDER:-

Do we construct or destroy: When fifty or so cruise missiles are launched into Syria killing civilians including children.

Do we construct or destroy: When smashing a country such as Libya with the objective of regime change?

Do we construct or destroy: When there is a tearing up of the book of rules for world governance?

Do we construct or destroy: When the US condemns the International Criminal Court ( while war criminals such as Kissinger, Bush Jr. and Blair walk free) – but perceived enemies of the US/West feel the full force of the law in war crimes tribunals? 

Do we construct or destroy: When we dismantle the INF Treaty and end the START Treaty in 2021?

Do we act on a predictable and rational basis so as not to destroy the entire planet by honoring the existing global rules of governance ( at least those established since post World War 11): or do we embrace John Bolton’s vision for America – and – by extension – the world when he says America will not cooperate in any way with the International Criminal Court?   

Maybe we all need to kneel at the Altar of Peace and pray that the neo-cons do not have their way as they obviously worship at the Altar of War and Eternal Conflict.

________________________________________

* 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.

WHAT NOBODY MENTIONED IN THE MUELLER INTERVIEW

By Courtenay Barnett

If the facts below are correct then the entire Mueller investigation is/was an elaborate hoax.

Issues

There seemed to be one large question looming throughout the Mueller investigation:-

Did Russia interfere ( meddle) in the 2016 US elections?.

Brief facts

  1. Hillary Clinton sought to be elected as the first female president of the US.
  2. Clinton’s main rival, within the ranks of the Democratic Party, was Bernie Sanders.
  3. There was meddling with the computer(s) of the Democratic Party.
  4. At about the same time James Comey, as head of the FBI, stated that Clinton might be the subject of investigation.



    The foregoing is a significantly adumbrated list of the factual dynamics.



    Investigation.


  5. Since much centered around the DNC computer(s) then these questions spring to mind.
  6. Why not subject the computer(s) immediately to a technical investigation so as to determine the times of external interference and sources of any hacking or leaking – both of which can technically be done?
  7. Why not call on a man from the NSA ( a world renowned technical computer expert) to examine the computer(s) and give testimony in the Mueller investigation if truth seeking was the objective? The man’s name is Bill Binney and he was willing to give evidence as an insider with very detailed knowledge and capabilities in a technical way to get to the truth.
  8. Of all the people in the world who could speak directly to the truth there is the man at the centre of the whole event – namely the publisher in Chief of Wikileaks. He made it publicly known that he was willing to be interviewed by Mueller. Further he had stated that it was not the Russians who hacked the DNC computers. So, if a person is accused and he makes himself available to be interviewed then logically ( as any competent detective and/or police officer would do) why not then interview the primary suspect and then take the trail further to where it leads to seek the truth?



    Conclusion



    Having listened to the Congressional testimony of Mueller I noted so far that there are some 200 unanswered questions based on claim of privilege. So much for that. Yet the wider farce, which many seem unaware of is that there are two (2) things running in tandem:-
  9. The allegation of Russian interference; and
  10. The allegation against President Trump of obstruction of justice.



    However – here is the rub. Trump does have a point, for the first limb (the allegation of Russian interference) has to demonstrate some credibility in a detailed and evidentiary way. The whole investigation stems from point of focus number 1. For the misbehaviour of Trump in misadvising and misinforming and lying in true Trumpian style – becomes but a side show, for the real question as I have outlined above has yet to be truly investigated. Congress therefore, and Mueller, are both dancing around the mulberry bush, and no one seems to notice the avoidance occurring on the turf which really matters as regards the commencement of the whole investigation. Trump’s dalliance was and remains but a secondary and consequential sideline stemming from the first main and still yet unanswered issue, the alleged hacking of, meddling with, and leaking from DNC computers .



    Here – listen to Bill Binney as the former technical Director of the NSA – and ask again – why with simple common sense if not logic – then how in goodness name can a man so centrally placed not have been interviewed by Robert Mueller?



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9TyASfZV0c

________________________________________

* 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 — 10

THE EARTHIAN is a digest of linked articles containing facts, events, analysis, perspectives, and comments concerned about existential states of affairs around Spaceship Earth.

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, July 12, 2019

Or So It Seems to Me Right Now

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

Here I am one more time, with one more issue of THE EARTHIAN  — 10, one more time as our legendary football coach at GA SO Univ, Erk Russell, used to say about the next football game.

What sort of age is this anyway?

A writer-source posted below says we are now living in “The Age of Stupidity,” epitomized by the emergence of Donald Trump on the world stage, exemplified by his performance July 4, 2019 in Washington, DC at his military parade, replete with army tanks rolling down Washington streets with air force jets flying in formation and then dramatically fanning out overhead, and his speech, in which he revved up his congregation with his interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner, in which he said Americans were still behind the ramparts and their flag was still standing, as if still fighting the Revolutionary War, in which they took over the air and airports, heroes of mythic courage and virtue, as his pack of hungry hounds ate up every word he said, ecstatically howling and yelping as each new bone was thrown their way—which was fine so far as it goes for such a speech on such an occasion—except for the fact the Star Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812 and there were no airports to take over then, airplanes unfortunately having not been invented yet.

Maybe we should call our age The Age of Suspended Disbelief or the Age of Awakening or The Age of Anger or The Age of Reckoning or the Age of Letting It All Hang Out.

Possibly because of the emergence of the Internet and electronic media in general, human Earthians around Spaceship Earth in recent decades have been exposed to a greater variety of facts, data, propaganda, fake news, information, and honest and dishonest analysis than ever before in history, possibly causing widespread bewilderment and frustration. Humans are like field mice forced out of their burrows into the light of day that do not know what to make of what they see. They have learned that much of what they were taught was wrong and that things are often not what they seem.

Not only ideas and doctrines but events and practices contradict themselves at every turn.  Nothing seems to work anymore. The global economy is stagnant or prosperous, going to hell or getting better, depending on which version of truth you believe; nations are at peace or in constant war, depending on which version of truth you adhere to, with various dichotomies and bifurcations presenting themselves, such as the quality of human life on Earth declining or improving, a country getting greater or weaker or becoming more just or unjust or getting smarter or stupider, and so on. 

It seems to me right now a better trope for our time might be “The Age of Contradiction.”

A fundamental teaching of transactional analysis is that humans should 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 maximize their shot at being successful and satisfied with their lives, despite how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

Transactional analysis, or TA, teaches there are three naturally occurring life outcomes for humans:  winner, loser, and non-winner— caused by the sum total of inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to from the moment of birth, even including messages some say one is exposed to in one’s mother’s womb—and by the decisions offspring make about the outside messages that become permanent determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life that determine the three generic life outcomes, or life scripts.

In other words, it’s all a matter of luck in the naturally-occurring world of inevitable cause-effect chains causing human scripts and outcomes, all of which are to some extent different for individuals, a blind unfair process that produces in the aggregate predictable outcomes that recur in about the same proportions among the human population generation after generation.

A major purpose of TA is to add new artificial causes of causation to alter the path of the naturally-occurring cause-effect chain of an individual so as to increase her or his life satisfaction, helping the person to escape the “script” naturally imposed on him or her throughout life—if the individual decides her or his natural script is less-OK than it should be.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires a lot of hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires artificial script messages powerful enough to control the naturally-occurring deleterious or debilitating script messages.  TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, requiring perhaps the use of different ego states and transactional patterns, learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically as well as socially with others, psychological messages being ulterior and non-spoken, social messages being overt and spoken. 

Changing a loser script may also entail changing the way one structures his or her time, learning how to spend more time working than playing Games, or learning how to spend more time being intimate instead of pastiming, performing rituals, or playing Games, especially playing Games similar to those Trump plays with people, seeking but rarely achieving intimacy, most likely, possibly being the most Game-infested actor on the Spaceship Earth global stage in history.

Does the man have a loser script? A loser is someone who cannot achieve his or her goals. Trump seems to think he’s a winner whose political purpose is to rescue losers.

One can build a case it’s better not to try to change a loser script. Just let nature take it’s course. 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 can in some cases increase serenity. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset as it is by global warming and climate change and by escalating hostilities and agitations among organizations and groups around Earth, especially between big organizations and groups, such as the US and Iran, with the US government trying to goad Iran into doing something rash that will give the US government an excuse to tear Iran to shreds with another war in the Middle East, a gruesome Game indeed. 

How could anyone be serene knowing his or her country is being lead by top leaders such as Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, and all members of Trump’s cabinet for that matter, government leaders ranking high on the list of unqualified government leaders through time?  Or how serene could anyone be knowing the judicial system is ruled by a dumbed-down prejudiced and biased supreme court such as the current SCOTUS?

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens on Earth, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help specific individuals, groups, and organizations become more ok, ok not only in terms of achieving personal 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, burrowing up in your burrow as much as possible, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. One can build a case this is the way to maximize your mental health. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

To maximize your chances of satisfaction it seems to me it’s best to try to solve problems and take action to bring about satisfactory conditions and outcomes. TA is a field of study that might help you do this on your life journey. 

Regardless of what sort of techniques and cognitive structure you use sooner or later you have to take action, and this entails defining the problem, delineating the alternatives, and making recommendations for changing things, 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?

Unfortunately this Adult problem-solving process does not seem to work with nations. Who would be idealistic or grandiose enough to think he or she could define the problems of a nation, generate alternatives for solving them, make recommendations for change, and then start an action plan of things to do to cure the not-OKness? 

It seems nations never solve their problems. All they ever do is change the actors of roles required by the script, which may involve trivial script changes over time, say changing from a monarchy to a republic, or from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism to fascism, and maybe back again to capitalism; but so what, the dynamics remain the same. The top leaders wind up screwing and exploiting the members regardless of the economic or political system de jure, caused by the innate greed and corruption of top leaders incessantly fighting for more money and power, playing the ultimate Game, trying to be the top dog. 

Yet so far humans have kept on muddling through somehow despite their chronic problems doing about the same things over and over, despite the fact no single human or nation has been smart enough or wise enough or powerful enough to start and implement an action plan that results in real improvement and correction for everyone.

The problem now however if climate change and global warming are real in ways thousands believe they are we may be living in

The Age of No More Muddling Through

or

The Age of No More Bullshit.

Politicians promise to start and implement action plans for real improvement if you will just vote for them. Most of their promises are snake oil such as “socialism” or “cutting taxes” or “more military spending” or “Make America Great Again”—but It never happens or does any good, despite the billions of dollars spent on campaigns, and the new characters acting out the same roles after the elections; and the country keeps sliding downhill, as if the purpose of the whole charade was to give winners the pleasure of winning elections and acting out the roles they tried out for, giving them a taste of increased power and recognition as a top dog, with no real achievement for everyone.

We live in precarious times, but it will do little good to play AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game identified and labeled by transactional analysts, in which psychological Game players collect strokes by constantly complaining about the evils and troubles of the cold cruel world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems 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.

Yet, it seems to me humans should discuss serious economic, political, environmental, social, and psychological problems in Adult Game-Free ways to develop consensual bottom-up policies and strategies, and the more groups around Earth the better, which increases the odds of developing workable and cooperative approaches for staving off the dire consequences of global warming and climate change. 

At the same time, it will do no good for Earthians to stick their heads in the sand 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 labeled GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic (fake) strokes (units of recognition) for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs.

Regardless of the causes of the Earthian plight, it seems to me individual humans should assume responsibility and take action for conserving energy as best they can in their daily lives to reduce greenhouse gases and the effects of climate change; but especially they should help select politicians who will vote for economic and political policies and strategies that will help correct environmental, economic, political, social, and psychological problems on a mass scale, before it’s too late.  

For at least two centuries humans have lived under the illusion that technology and labor-saving devices, new chemical applications in agriculture (fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides), and new scientific discoveries of all sorts would enable them to live happily ever after, while producing as many offspring as they wished, thereby increasing the world human population without limit, despite the admonitions of humans like Thomas Malthus, an English parson, who published in 1798 in an essay titled “An Essay on the Principle of Population” what became known as the Malthusian Concept, namely that human population grows geometrically while the human food supply grows arithmetically, and therefore most humans were doomed to suffer food shortages, poverty, subsistence living, and premature deaths.  Up until the last few years economists have generally taught that Malthus was wrong, arguing that technology, chemical agriculture, better seeds, and better irrigation would enable an ever-increasing human population to be adequately fed and housed. Unfortunately it now appears that Malthus was right after all. World hunger, poverty and misery are increasing, even in the United States; and, even worse, it appears that some forms of technology, however beneficial and enjoyable they have been in the short run, have led human Earthians down a dangerous path to possible extinction, namely electricity and the internal combustion engine used to power billions of cars, trucks, motorcycles, riding lawn mowers, tractors, airplanes, boats, ships, houses, refrigerators, central heating and cooling systems, factories, computers, and what have you around Earth, requiring the ignition and burning of many millions of barrels, cubic feet, and tons of fossil fuel (oil, gas, and coal) every day as an energy source, the burning of which is causing global warming and climate change by putting ever more tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. All forms of technology are not good things; and humans have to learn how to use good technology instead of bad technology, however horribly addicted to bad technology they may be; and the Earthian human population should be peacefully reduced through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births, thereby reducing the need to deplete resources necessary to sustain the Earthian human population in the short run, irrespective of long run consequences. Bringing that about will require many different kinds of changes not only in the behavior of human Earthians but especially in the behavior of large human institutions controlled and manipulated by deluded self-interested sociopaths. The situation is especially ominous when one considers that if humans were to give up all their addictions to bad technology cold turkey they would immediately cause an economic and political catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, possibly extinction. Humans are cornered or trapped in a Global Catch-22 or Gordian Knot—in a damned-if-they-do-and-damned-if-they-don’t situation—and there are no easy answers for getting loose.

Unfortunately, it seems to me right now that human Earthians over and over fight (and sometimes win) the same sorts of futile battles, while they inexorably lose the long war.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis go here. To create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning .

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds .

See my article “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.   

TO RESPOND:

As usual this month’s THE EARTHIAN  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.  

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, or irrelevant authoritarian make-believe certainty, to be memorized and obeyed by sheeple.

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 go to our RESPONSES  page and let us know about them.

Feel free to respond with comments about any of the SOURCES listed below using our RESPONSES 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 please 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, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN and would like to reciprocate go to our Effective Learning Publications  page and purchase one or more copies of my books. 

Best wishes, RJS

SOURCES:

June 26, 2019

Jonathan Walker Stapleton, my son, the author of this article, was born June 17, 1972 in Savannah, Georgia, reared in Statesboro, Georgia, graduating from Statesboro High School in 1990 as the Star Student of the 12th Congressional District of Georgia, graduating from Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1994. He now teaches physics and earth sciences at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont. He was selected to deliver the commencement address this year by the graduating seniors at Essex High School. This article is the text of his speech. A video is attached.

“A Graduates’ Brief Guide for Dealing with Inevitable Failures,” by Jonathan Walker Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-graduates-brief-guide-to-failure/?fbclid=IwAR0TBvPADYi3OkjdLRGQnFcoW3cm3ZooZayUEP9K8nIYf8g5RxdNob9J-Wg.

July 12   

Good questions indeed.

“Capitalism and a primitive, violent society,” by Dave Alpert, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27556.

July 12 

Ellen Brown again tells it like she sees it, about right, as I too see it.

“How to pay for it all:  An option the candidates missed,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27559.   

July 12 

John Whitehead again tells the truth as he sees it.

“The heart of darkness:  The sexual predators within America’s power elite,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27561.  

July 12

Another great article by Paul Street, one of the greatest writers alive.

“Skull of Death:  Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/12/skull-of-death-mass-media-inauthentic-opposition-and-eco-existential-reality-in-a-pre-fascist-age-of-appeasement-2/?fbclid=IwAR2-WniRRkLQO_PyU5rhL6IC56Em_FFwVjyNaAEvp1Nbc6v14QroyUPab5U.

July 12

Always about oil.

“Oil’s Enduring Sway in US Policy in the Middle East, by Michael T. Klare, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/oils-enduring-sway-in-us-policy-in-the-middle-east/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2wVmyF7EukpfDw8JBIloWY0XzNCzQtGdTZvkj39ZwotASG4pFOLEibmtk.

July 12

Say it aint so Joe.

“The Climate Crisis Has Made Breathing Smoke Normal in Pacific Northwest,” by Martha Baskin, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-climate-crisis-has-made-breathing-smoke-normal-in-pacific-northwest/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2IASWWJJ5rOSM7LWGiKb8aqEmKARPAwxuYW4GG-eoDFdL9XGXUnh0zFCM.

July 12

Serious indeed.

“Iran Tells US and UK to Leave Gulf Region immediately as Tensions Soar,” by Jake Johnson, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/iran-tells-us-and-uk-to-leave-gulf-region-immediately-as-tensions-soar/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0gWkoORq8H9MRepPJRtwVcGIBBk7z1RahGIAKH6HIYJLzbiwNkYf1idN0.

July 12

Yuk. Let us pray this climate change was caused by humans, since there is some chance we could turn it around.  If we did not cause it we are at the mercy of fate.

“Up to 25 inches Of Rain!—New Orleans Faces “Storm Of Biblical Proportions,” by Michael Synder, END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/up-to-25-inches-of-rain-new-orleans-is-about-to-be-absolutely-devastated-by-a-storm-of-biblical-proportions.

July 12

Quite a story.

“The mystery surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s private island,” by Jonathan Levin, SAN FRANCISCO GATE, https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-mystery-surrounding-Jeffrey-Epstein-s-private-14090511.php?utm_campaign=CMS+Sharing+Tools+%28Desktop%29&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&fbclid=IwAR2SQHueQs-x5nYkDevjSqyveGdr3KETHfYMmQghrC1Dr2sXgm5PBnXdGQ0.

July 10

Interesting the parallel downhill courses of UKania and USia, both declining economically, socially, psychologically, and politically, both soon to be ruled by buffoonish conservative over-weight male monied moral degenerates with weird blonde hair.

“London’s Burning: Brexit and Climate Change,” by Kenneth Surin, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/10/londons-burning-brexit-and-climate-change/?fbclid=IwAR38lpbUoWyw-KZHS7A1stJWFuU-JUHwrXrMie-vOuHfn9R9N_jDzBfIteA.

July 10

Yes, a must do.

“High-Impact Opportunities Exist to Restore Tropical Rainforests Around the World, by Robin Chazdon, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/high-value-opportunities-exist-to-restore-tropical-rainforests-around-the-world/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR27L5zQmz_s6fteLLCFDNW3SbzIAHQgPi1A-g4RDSz-ZEfOHFKuasvGBjY.

July 10

So it seems.

“Climate Crisis Disasters Now Occur Weekly, UN Warns,” by Jessica Corbett, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/un-warning-that-climate-crisis-disasters-now-occur-weekly-provokes-calls-to-act/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3CkQstKTPL7_CX9pAG3CyurexBI8huHGIS6BH6qAVNUxyaeRl3trpG43c.

July 10

If you try to bully others enough sooner or later some of them will find a way to get back at you.

“Weaponizing the Dollar,” by Patrick Lawrence, CONSORTIUM NEWS, https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/09/patrick-lawrence-weaponizing-the-dollar/?fbclid=IwAR3RVY58rztBNmEtMBNqFrbH-w2gw6F-c7mQmXVe4Pe5iP8_Sc5QcQdcQzc.

July 10

Never heard of it in the US before. Crazy.

“A Time of Unspeakable Things,” by Umair Haque, EUDAIMONIA, , https://eand.co/a-time-of-unspeakable-things-e221a4060bf4.

July 10

Say it aint to Joe.

“The quake to make Los Angeles a Radioactive dead zone…be afraid…be very afraid,” by Harvey Wasserman, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27507.

July 9

Pathetic. Make up nonsense and supporters will still eat it up.

“The age of stupidity,” by Wayne Masden, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27509.

July 9

Hope it’s so.

“US Doctors Call for Universal Healthcare:  ‘Abolish the Insurance Companies’,” by Olga Oksman, OCCUPY.COM, https://www.occupy.com/article/us-doctors-call-universal-healthcare-abolish-insurance-companies#sthash.DpQqgcKM.dpbs.

July 8

Another must read article by Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive.

“The IMF and World Bank:  Partners in Backwardness,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/05/the-imf-and-world-bank-partners-in-backwardness/?fbclid=IwAR1WZUQc-7laCzZ0vEnkFLx4LG1t1YWm5iboSWFUxt3OePvVsayt2h3yJjY.

July 8

Another article by Michael Hudson, well worth a read.

“An Interview with Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2003/04/21/an-interview-with-michael-hudson-author-of-super-imperialism/?fbclid=IwAR0YLQ3WDP5IbW37DlDCWskMx-Z1cI1x7b0BAX0uia6Q9rkLSIdQOkH3Jn4.

June 30

Is it the US is just getting old, because of having old men past their primes as leaders?

“A Story: The Global ‘Old Man’,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-story-the-global-old-man/.

June 30

No more invading, bombing, and destroying nations that do not pose a military threat to the US!

“From Cyber War to Omnicide,” by Paul Atwood, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/28/from-cyber-war-to-omnicide/?fbclid=IwAR0Vg2A5JjRIlIHdaHKWAdYE29m7ECV9e4Yd54wL_4a6OnsMEQtvS6hAGzU.

June 30

Does capitalism inevitably cause trends that grind middle and lower classes down while enriching the rich?

“Unfair Food Pricing Is Killing Family Farms and Regenerative Farming,” by Elizabeth Henderson, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/unfair-food-pricing-is-killing-family-farms-and-regenerative-farming/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR0-DSODwIuaWXg35m3l1aVq7VCc9_bD8gBea7qQCROL5XkfypJaidqgrwI.

June 26

Sounds spot on to me.

“The Real Reason Why The Fed Isn’t Cutting Interest Rates,” by Brandon Smith, ALT-MARKET.COM, http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3821-the-real-reason-why-the-fed-isnt-cutting-interest-rates.

June 29

An unexpected perspective.

“Dalai Lama:  Europe Will turn ‘Muslim Or African’ If Migrants Not Returned ‘To Their Own Land’,” by Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-27/dalai-lama-europe-will-turn-muslim-or-african-if-migrants-not-returned-their-own?fbclid=IwAR3fBMJoFKkgYdiMqkG4NF_s60BuJ0BNwdBPAjozPCRdmeJoAL2wO3B0hrs.

June 29

Go Tulsi.

“Memo to Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi,” by Patrick J. Buchanan, BUCHANAN.ORG, https://buchanan.org/blog/memo-to-trump-trade-bolton-for-tulsi-137211.

June 28

Audacious all right. Maybe an idea that somebody should not have had. Facebook is already powerful and rich, but if they make this come true they will almost rule Spaceship Earth, which might not be such a bad idea per se given how badly Spaceship Earth is currently being run, but if this Libra idea comes true, like the Facebook idea did in the beginning, it will hasten the march of humanity toward a world government, because that is what will be required to regulate Facebook and Libra, and that would lead to who knows what, good and bad. Got to give them credit, Zuckerberg and his cronies do know how to think big.

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” for more context for this article at https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaces…//

“Libra: Facebook/s audacious bid for global monetary control,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27429.

June 28

Shame.  Fie on the 5-4 SCOTUS biased decision.

“SCOTUS Hands GOP Gerrymandering Victory, Ensuring ‘Massive Election Rigging,” by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/video/scotus-hands-gop-gerrymandering-victory-ensuring-massive-election-rigging/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR2jDCYntRREMK59nEaxqat2JRlgh6ZzjzevGj6CIQO_OGD4lNcybsKt1Xo.

June 28

Agree.  This is a serious threat to democracy.

“Demasking the Torture of Jullian Assange,” by Nils Melaer, MEDIUM.COM, https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768.

June 26

Another great article by Courtenay Barnett dealing with a very serious problem.

“Iran – War: One Small Step For Man; A Disastrous Leap for Humankind,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/iran-war-one-small-step-for-man-a-disastrous-leap-for-humankind/?fbclid=IwAR1pxJtWnDiQwLt7Fz0OWJjHM0xpGGGgujep_UFyolCz1TlYHKawZYaOO8o.

June 25

Straightforward writing by a straight shooter, Paul Craig Roberts.

“The Diminishing American Economy,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY, https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/06/25/the-diminishing-american-economy/.

June 25

So it seems.

“As we face Armageddon the Western world is leaderless,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27389.

June 24

Sad but true.

“Capitalist Workplaces Set Bosses Up to Be Authoritarian Tyrants,” by C.J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/capitalist-workplaces-set-bosses-up-to-be-authoritarian-tyrants/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR1PYHDq8HULU6Tkf_OHy-9_oQgNoK0VcVcOlfIFq6AsB9qUYBv694Tb3i8.

June 24

A hell of a note.

“Rich Americans publish open letter asking to be taxed more,” by Andrew Buncombe, THE INDEPENDENT, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/open-letter-tax-rich-george-soros-chris-hughes-2020-democrats-elizabeth-warren-a8973111.html?fbclid=IwAR2b4VMYp1llSZNVK0N7mGPD99jMOHf3xMCct0h7bjSdKllcGCus2MlJ-oM.

June 24

So it seems to me.

“No, It’s Not Time to Break up Facebook,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/no-its-not-time-to-break-up-facebook/?fbclid=IwAR0-xj_rs8fKxlkgrnsZjIb2LQwmjj66IVO_Vhh1DJmiDQu9BZC5pbY_h2w.

June 23

Yes, it is time to break up Facebook, according to this writer.

“It’s Time to Break Up Facebook,” by Chris Hughes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, https://medium.com/new-york-times-opinion/its-time-to-break-up-facebook-8b6ae2cb3d9d.

June 22

Agree.

“Noam Chomsky: Israel’s Actions in Palestine are ‘Much Worse Than Apartheid’ in South Africa,” by Noam Chomsky, DEMOCRACY NOW, https://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/8/noam_chomsky_what_israel_is_doing?fbclid=IwAR18Rzd9asmLrk2OkOdnC1tBkMKFIRsuQ6hoQt55LqQbhG9FaRX_ab0HXmI.

June 22

Well said.

“No Dare Call It Austerity,” by Ajamu Baraka, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/21/no-dare-call-it-austerity/?fbclid=IwAR3xlDs8o5Ixwl7zY0oJa-4OEjYqvQM4UL8Wc_TVstaDJJ7nKKJxfgfZ9Es.

June 22

To prevent the most insane act in US history, yes, this is a no-brainer.

“Bernie Sanders Says Everything Must Be Done to Prevent US Attack on Iran,” by Jon Queally, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/bernie-sanders-says-everything-must-be-done-to-prevent-us-attack-on-iran/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3zteZtF7k51lNonxKent4HJWmpd8Eu1KnkBck8NnsFy0gzGHWKph0lSEw.

June 20

There are interesting perspectives in the well-written article posted below, “A Brief History of Whiteness.”

Here is my response to it.

Having been born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1940 and soon moved to Lubbock County in Northwest Texas where i was reared to age twenty-nine, with all four of my grandparents traced back to old Virginia before the so-called American Revolutionary War, with grandparents and great grandparents of respective times removed having lived since then in most states of the South, with generation after generation of my ancestors moving farther West to get ownership control of cheap land recently taken from Indians, I have experienced just about any attitude, racial included, you can imagine as a so-called “American”, better known as a US citizen, since there are twenty-two nations in North, Central, and South America.

I can tell you all USians are “colored” to some extent, as are all “Americans” of North, Central, and South America, except for perhaps some albinos.

I have been accused of being almost anything—because of my curly hair, “You must have a nigger in the woodpile somewhere,”—or because of my high cheek bones, “You must be part Indian, meskin, nigger, or ‘somethin”—starting at an early age and continuing into my years as a professor in a university, such slurs not all having been made by uneducated ignorant loser bigots, some having being made by educated bigoted loser professors.

About six years ago I decided to have my DNA tested by Ancestry.com. According to the results my genes are similar to the genes of humans now living in Ireland (about twenty percent); Scotland, England, and Wales (about fifty percent); France, Belgium, and Holland (about twenty percent); Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece (about five percent); Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland (about five percent); and Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia (about two percent).

How wonderful it was to been born in “America” to so-called “white” people in the South so as to be able to experience the joys of living among racist bigots, in the so-called “melting pot of the world.”

All white supremacists, even blue-eyed blond ones, in the US should have their DNA tested at Ancestry.com or a similar service. Quite a few of them have genes that are similar to the genes of people now living in sub-Suhara Africa.

On the other hand, all people labeled black or non-white should have their genes tested. More than quite a few of them have genes similar to those of people now living in the UK, Ireland, and Europe.

The bottom line: No one is inferior or superior with respect to anything because of race alone. Race as a category on official documents of all sorts should be abolished by law. Verbally insulting, demeaning, and attacking people because of the color of their skin or the curliness of their hair should be a misdemeanor punishable by law.

For more information regarding my ancestors see my article “A Snynopis of my Family Background.

SOURCE: “A Brief History of Whiteness,” by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi, MEDIUM.COM, https://zora.medium.com/a-brief-history-of-whiteness-547feda4c7c7.

June 22

Is it only me, but is there a strong resemblance between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump?

“’I am a passionate Zionist,’ declares Boris Johnson,” JEWISH NEWS, https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/boris-johnson-zionist/?fbclid=IwAR13vsxliGnvmnYyrPBa_1Iujv-_SewGXG9Ixy0uOzi9tT8SEqR36_JEDes.

June 22

If this is rampant all humans are in deep trouble.

“The Belief that Trump is a Messiah is Rampant and Dangerous,” by Bobby Azarian, PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201905/the-belief-trump-is-messiah-is-rampant-and-dangerous?fbclid=IwAR0kFk-W8b5Ndv6Sjm40F_W38zuls5IR9r7tRJ96t2xElOTZGXSO-vCWWlQ.

June 22

Go for it.

“The Green New Deal Is Exactly the Right Idea,” by Noam Chomsky, DEMOCRACY NOW, https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/27/noam_chomsky_the_green_new_deal?fbclid=IwAR0COo0sZIOGKixYNb4cBqQUd70zLqZH-PNGoS95I3fsw9KOlGLv50hDufM.

June 22

Could be.

“Falling profits drive U.S. war threats against Iran,” by Bill Dores, STRUGGLE LA LUCHA, https://www.struggle-la-lucha.org/2019/06/21/falling-profits-drive-u-s-war-threats-against-iran/?fbclid=IwAR0n4AbbfJeUGI45M0d_xRFQtSNRNR2naVHv3Gcfv0StbYbKEHyj6JbI77o.

June 22

Well written article.  ‘Somethin to think about.

“My Mom Buried My Inheritance in the Ground,” by Mary Kroth, MEDIUM.COM, https://gen.medium.com/my-mom-buried-my-inheritance-in-the-ground-3ceaefb87c2b.

June 20

David Stockman tells it like he sees it, most likely like it is.

“America Last – The Real Meaning Of Trump’s Deplorable Aggression Against Iran,” by David Stockman, ZERO HEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-20/stockman-america-last-real-meaning-trumps-deplorable-aggression-against-iran?fbclid=IwAR2mAJCa0CZHjIUEBVfmreXL86_ZICzlfZQyPnBaAc6eVyls6vag77tUm1Q.

June 19

Is China’s communism more entrepreneurial than the US’s capitalism?

“The American Dream is alive and well—in China,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/27325.

June 16

I had a grandfather who was a Methodist minister who did not believe an anthropomorphic god exists and did not believe the virgin birth story of Jesus who told me in his eighties he became a minister because that was all he ever wanted to do. I worked with and studied with many psychiatrists completing my post doctoral training as a certified transactional analyst at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, NC during 1975-1978 and I never met one that seriously used the DSM, Diagnositc and Statistical Manual. They made their diagnoses and therapeutic interventions using simple English to describe the not ok psychological feelings, thoughts, decisions, and behaviors they saw in their clients. Prescription drugs were rarely used. I did hear of some using lithium to treat manic depression. It seems to me some psychiatrists are medical doctors who like to prescribe prescription drugs, an easy way out, some of whom it seems to me probably had less psychological and therapeutic training than I had earning a CTA in transactional analysis to be used in management teaching in a university and consulting with organizations and groups, however much they might know about the limbic system, which involves hard wiring in the brain that is hard to change. For a full listing of my credentials and experience go to http://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.

“Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry,” by Bruce E. Levine, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/14/tom-paine-christianity-and-modern-psychiatry/?fbclid=IwAR1FSUC7C-qcobygrHyCnrS8-iesl6bhnhGOh8YV4JFkRZiVO3JS6xOvzsk.

June 14

A great speech by Chris Hedges.

“Fascism in the Age of Trump,” by Chris Hedges, UTUBE.COM, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/14/tom-paine-christianity-and-modern-psychiatry/?fbclid=IwAR1FSUC7C-qcobygrHyCnrS8-iesl6bhnhGOh8YV4JFkRZiVO3JS6xOvzsk.

June 14

Now here is a horse of a different color, a scholarly study by a former full professor of physics who says climate change and global warming, gender equality, and racial equity are forms of religion instilled in western societies by the elite class to distract middle class attention away from the real problem, namely an attempt by the US since Bretton Woods to harvest the rest of the world financially by maintaining the power of the paper US dollar in global trade, and middle class people who attack global warming and climate change, gender equality, and racial equity as bogus issues are the smart ones who realize these “religions” are being used by the elite class to hasten the demise of their middle class status. If this would not make you think it’s hopeless nothing would. Who or what could possibly solve this problem?

“From Dollar Hegemony to Global Warming:  Globalization, Glyphosate and Doctrines of Consent,”  by Colin Todhunter, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/13/from-dollar-hegemony-to-global-warming-globalization-glyphosate-and-doctrines-of-consent/?fbclid=IwAR0pe-ALcyGEWXOUda0VAbkZW7nMxoWwOPi846bbAzQhiEqykO0O0tV0XA8.

June 14

Most religions engender, aid, and abet discrimination against those who do not believe as they believe.

“The Suppressed Plight of Palestinian Christians,” by Raymond Ibrahim, GATESTONE INSTITUTE, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14358/palestinian-christians-persecution?fbclid=IwAR0zCX8R7NAsiixbLdBrR9zpLETEz4t_M9lBE6IHyo1E__W-kp0PtAukAKw#.XQPEm0jlPz4.facebook.

June 14

Interesting insightful article. If feminists are females trying to out-patriarch males then they are not feminists. On the other hand are women like those in this photo feminists? Is the real problem a desire for power, protection, and dominance by any means, even ironically sheep-like submission and conformity, in a dystopian, violent, unfair global world, such as Spaceship Earth, since time immemorial? And patriarchy is a handy defense mechanism and rationalization for all women, and men, who are forced to submit to primarily male sociopaths ready to do violence against others at the drop of a hat, who are in control of large hierarchical dogmatic fascist organizations, including all kinds of organizations, economic, political, military, religious, social, etc.?

“Why Do (So Many) American Women Still Support Patriarchy?,” by Umair Haque, EUDAIMONIA, https://eand.co/why-do-enough-american-women-still-support-patriarchy-53767f2d7a4.

Feel free to forward, share, repost, print, or otherwise copy this blog any way you see fit.       

RJS,  Editor & Publisher

 

A STORY: THE GLOBAL ‘OLD MAN’

By Courtenay Barnett

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

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

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

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

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

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

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

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

The American way

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

What history teaches

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

What Trump has not learned

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

What Trump might still yet learn

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

1.       Luddites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.       Financial systems

Two ( 2) points might suffice. 

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

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

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

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

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

3.       Trade and isolationism



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



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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

__________________________________________________________________________________

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

IRAN – WAR: ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN; A DISASTROUS LEAP FOR HUMANKIND

by Courtenay Barnett

CONTEXT

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

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

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

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

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

HISTORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A BALANCED, SENSIBLE AND FAIR APPROACH TO THE ISSUE

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

Establishment and verification of facts

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

SABRE RATTLING

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

PEACE!

________________________________________

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

A GRADUATES’ BRIEF GUIDE FOR DEALING WITH INEVITABLE FAILURES

By Jonathan Walker Stapleton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Death looks you bang in the eye,

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

To cock your revolver and . . . die.

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

And self-dissolution is barred.

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

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

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

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

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

Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.

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

So don’t be a piker, old pard!

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

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

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

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

It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;

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

Why that’s the best game of them all!

And though you come out of
each gruelling bout,

All broken and battered and scarred,

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

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

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

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

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