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

THE EARTHIAN FORUM is a digest of articles containing facts, perspectives, theories, models, analyses, and recommendations concerned about existential states of affairs affecting all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth. Relevant articles written and published by writers in Internet posts in the last month or so on ecological, economic, social, psychological, political, religious, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth are linked immediately following the introductory essay, Or So It Seems to Me Right now.







It seems to me psychological Games have always been a major determinant of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been the most significant and pervasive psychological Game in business, economics, and politics.

If you’re thinking here I go again with more of that TA crap, looking at the world through a TA lens, I guess I have to admit guilt. I got hooked on TA back in the 1970s and have used it ever since. If you can’t stand TA just skip my rambling here and scroll down to the Sources section. You’re sure to find some articles there you will enjoy that are free of TA terms and concepts, however well TA jargon might help you understand what is really going on in the articles and videos.

NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.) entails players trying to reign supreme over others, to triumph over others, to become “one-up”, to be superior, to beat, to win, etc. NIGYSOB players are motivated by anger that they feel justified in releasing because of perceived social and psychological actions and manipulations on the part of Persecutors that might cause them to become loser Victims, causing them to feel their social and psychological standing and security are threatened.

All psychological Games include two sets of transactions being conducted simultaneously between the Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim being acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states used by the players, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States, as the players also switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle”.

I don’t have space here to get into lengthy detailed explanations or definitions of the above terms. If interested in learning more about them read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning that is listed on the Effective Learning Publications page on the masthead of this blog at the top of this page.

Suffice it to say NIGYSOB Game-playing underlies all conflicts, competitions, and wars among nations and corporations internationally. You might think nations and international corporations fighting constantly among themselves do not really hate their competitors, but it seems to me anger is a major factor when serious fighting breaks out. Leaders try to engender fear and anger among their followers before the first outbursts of fighting to psyche up the followers. You might think a war is not an ego trip for the leaders. You might think instead the leaders are simply doing their perceived ethical duty to preserve the safety and security of their followers, to Rescue Victims and Persecute bad guys. This might be true at the overt spoken social level; but the unspoken psychological truth is another matter. All wars are ego trips, with leaders trying to triumph over other leaders, wanting to become one-up top dogs.

This raises the question of whether it’s possible for a large organization such as a large financial, manufacturing, or communications corporation; or a Federal Reserve System; a FBI, CIA, or Pentagon; or a US government, to be fully OK?

Probably not, for long.

You can build a case competitions among political parties in presidential elections more than anything else are NIGYSOB Games, with leaders saying they want to improve the plight of Victim citizens, increase their relative share of national and international income, provide them with better and cheaper health care, and the like; but here too the contest is largely an ego trip for the leaders who are more interested in being the top dog one-up winner than anything else. It becomes an ego trip for followers as well as the leaders foment fear and anger among them to beat the bad guy Persecutors and run them out of office. If their party wins the followers also feel “one-up” because their party ideology won, regardless of nothing being done to improve their economic and social conditions.

Entrepreneurs may say their major motivation is to create a new business that will improve the lives of customers, but creating a successful, powerful business is also largely an ego trip, especially if the entrepreneur is able to take in much more money than others. The money may be important for what it can buy, but the major satisfaction a big pile of money generates is the ego satisfaction and recognition a winner gets because of being able to take in a much larger share of money than others, producing a bigger and better balance sheet to show off, proof one has won the business Game called BALANCE SHEET.

The capitalistic economic system is based on NIGYSOB-playing. It’s what makes the world go round. It makes everyone richer, the defenders of capitalism say, because it motivates people to work harder and longer and more efficiently than they would if they did not have to compete and do battle with others to make a living. Even the losers under capitalism get richer than they would under socialism, many imply, because they assume capitalistic countries are able to capture much larger GNPs (Gross National Products) than socialistic and communistic countries. Nations sometimes think they can win in international competition by NIGYSOBing other countries using sanctions and wars.

Capitalism does indeed make some NIGYSOB players richer, those who wipe out their competitors and those who exploit and dispose of their employees to get cheaper ones in impoverished countries; but, of about 7.6 billion humans now aboard Spaceship Earth under capitalism, most will never get ahead, and a billion or so or will stay dirt poor the rest of their natural lives, however long or short, if global warming and climate change, or nuclear bombs, do not render the Earthian human species extinct in the meantime.  

I was a good football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I found it incredibly satisfying calling plays and running the team in a real game before cheering ecstatic fans on a football field, especially when you’re winning, in total control of the team on offense, as was the case when I was in the eighth grade, when we won every game, eleven out of eleven. I don’t recall feeling serious anger caused by my football and basketball opponents but I seriously wanted to beat them, badly.

I read a post on my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago featuring Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics basketball superstar, back in 1980 or so, reminiscing about the intense anger he and his teammates felt when they played the Los Angeles Lakers. He said the anger was real and serious. Maybe you have to be a little angry to be a superstar basketball player.

Ten or so years ago Joe Moring, who coached me three years in junior high and high school football and basketball back in the 1950s, telephoned me out of the blue. In the conversation, the first one we had had since the Texas state basketball playoffs in 1960, he told me “You may have been the ‘most coachable’ player I ever had.” This was quite a “stroke” coming from a superstar athlete and coach like Joe Moring, a stroke being what we transactional analysts call a “unit of recognition”, which can be positive or negative. It never occurred to me back in the day that my success in sports may have been partially due to repressed anger released in an underlying second-degree NIGYSOB psychological Game.



Capitalism may be a poor kind of economic system, but it’s better than the alternatives, some say. Just take a look at what has happened to people in socialistic and communistic countries, they say.

Maybe so, maybe no.

As a certified transactional analyst with professional experience dealing with psychological Games in organizations, it seems to me under capitalism people are forced to play psychological Games to vie for a greater share of the whole pie generated by organizations, including not only money but recognition, structure, and stimulation, to satisfy their ego needs.    

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

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

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

Injunctions and counter-injunctions wind up creating a life script that includes a life positions. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three basic TA life outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

There is no way under capitalism for all people to be fully OK economic and political winners, making the I’m OK–You’re OK life position impossible. The bottom line is that most people are what they are because of family scripts, not economic conditions, and can only respond in adult life in certain ways because of their life scripts that cause the life positions and outcomes. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent, regardless of whether the economy is booming, flat, or imploding. In this sense the type of economic system is largely irrelevant.

Social scripts include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role in any organization to make a living. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you like to play.

Social restaurant scripts for greeters, servers, and customers require more conformity than most, requiring these words to get the show started in most restaurants: “How many?”, “Two”, or “Four”, or whatever number in the party; and “Right this way please”.

All organizations have generic and peculiar social scripts for all participants requiring certain words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organization. Organizations such as Disney World are the most scripted of all. Employees there are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters like Donald Duck, Mickey or Minnie Mouse, or some fairy tale character like Snow White, or a dwarf, dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines. While all employees in all organizations have to pretend to some extent they are something they are not to keep their jobs, it’s not this extreme in most organizations.


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

A problem under capitalism is that the easiest way for upper managers to do a good job increasing the profit of the corporation is by eliminating jobs, regardless of how well their employees are acting out their required scripts and doing the algorithmic therbligs of their jobs. Therbligs are the smallest units of doing something your job requires, such as moving something from Point A to B or making some sort of calculation. Therblig is a made-up word using various letters of Gilbreath, the surname of two of the founders of so-called scientific management in the US.

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

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

While all managers say they want excellent important employees many of them don’t want them to be too excellent or important, otherwise they might have to pay them more money, or one of them might take over his or her job as manager or supervisor, pushing him or her out the door.

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

Two major purposes of TA are to help people become more authentic and script free so as to gain more satisfaction from life in general and to see social and psychological scripts for what they are in organizations to help people learn how to adapt and flex to them to make a living.

Sorry about the digression into TA, but it was necessary to explain my major point in this article, which is, political races are rife with psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for all stakeholders–vested interests, candidates, and voters.

Why vote in the first place? The best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, political party, or nation.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel over a lifetime. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic OK presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders, a hard-headed intellectual more interested in changing the whole system to optimize the functioning of the whole system to benefit everyone, rather than play psychological Games with people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Be

Don’t Be You (the sex you are)

Don’t Be A Child

Don’t Grow

Don’t Make It


Don’t Be Important

Don’t Be Close

Don’t Belong

Don’t Be Well (or sane)

Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject)

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

Don’t Feel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1–What is the problem?

2–What are the alternatives?

3–What do you recommend?

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

By the same token, it will do no good for humans to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

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

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

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis  to create better 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 using TA 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 aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop and I’m OK–You’re OK life position. 

This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

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

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”  

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

For details regarding my transactional analysis and management science qualifications see my RJS Academic Vita at   


As usual this month’s THE EARTHIAN FORUM  links and cites as SOURCES recent articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I generally agree with these writers about what is most relevant about Spaceship Earth states of affairs, but each of them brought up facts, analyses, conclusions, ideas, or perspectives that were new to me when I read them during the last thirty days or so, thereby teaching me something, which is why I included them in this issue of THE EARTHIAN FORUM.  

Some Game playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer is psychologically persecuting, rescuing, or victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, and politically. Unfortunately it seems to me one can build a case that politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games. They waste a lot of time pastiming (bullshitting), engaging in rituals (shuffling paper, filling out unnecessary forms, attending useless meetings, and the like), and playing psychological Games. Almost everything done in so-called foreign policy is a psychological Game.

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

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

It seems to me most lying is lying by omission, people not telling people things they know are true that others need to know. Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful than lying by commission, telling people things you know are falsehoods bu dispensing fake news, is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to know what’s true and what’s not. Political parties, the US government, and Mainstream media lie by omission about what is going on with alacrity, in many cases socially presenting true facts but omitting analysis about why they happened or what could have been done better.


If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum at go to our RESPONSES page and let us know about them at .

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

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May 12, 2020

John Whitehead–”With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

“Technofascism: Digital Book burning in a totalitarian age,” by John Whitehead, INTREPED REPORT,

May 11


“We Honor What We Value – Entertainers Over Saviors,” by Ralph Nader, COUNTERPUNCH,

May 11

This post presents new information regarding the problem of US slavery.

“Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?,” by Edward E. Baptist, NHPR.ORG,

May 11

Very sad it’s come to this, a summary of a life of good legal, literary, and social activist work lived by my long time friend Wm Cox from our days back at Wolfforth, Texas in the 1940s and 59s.

“This is Not a Reality Show. This is Reality!,” by William John Cox, WILLIAM JOHN COX.COM,

May 10

Say it aint so Joe

“The Coming Collapse,” by Chris Hedges, TRUTH-DIG.ORG,

May 10


“American Shopping Malls Resemble Ghost Towns After Reopening,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,

May 10

Seems plausible

“One Bank Explains Why QE No Longer Stimulates The Economy And Only Leads To Higher Stock Prices,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,

May 10

Never would have thought it but it seems more and more likely.

“Dear World Leaders: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual,” by Luke Eastwood, ZEROHEDGE,

May 9

Another great article by Paul Street

“Live and Let Die,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH,

May 8

Hell of a note, Nothin’ much to do but walk to the bathroom to take a leak or shave or brush teeth or do some other chores around the house, or mow the grass driving your riding lawnmower, sometimes mowing the same grass more than once to kill more time, significantly increasing lawn mower noise in the neighborhood.

“A Tragic Record: For the First Time Ever, More than Half Of The US Population is Not Working,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,

May 7

Of course. Mail-in voting makes it harder to suppress voting. Why should anything be fair anymore? It’s unfair not to let Repugs suppress votes.

“Republicans Oppose Mail-In Voting Because They’re Scared of Losing,” by  William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT.ORG,

May 7

Very sad

“Shot dead for ‘looking like a burglar’: New video stirs anger, calls for justice over killing of  black man in Georgia,” TRTWORLD, YOUTUBE,

May 7

Say it aint so Joe

“The temple of self-gratification,” by Jason Hirtheir, INTREPID REPORT,

May 6

Right. Lying is ok for the DNC. The case was dismissed for lack of standing.

“DNC: We rigged primaries. So What?,” by Alicia Power, WMD.COM,

May 6

It’s mind boggling to think a poor excuse for a human being like this gets to define reality all the time for millions or billions of people around Spaceship Earth based on his impulses that are subject to change at any time because deluded befuddled voters in an election voted for him as president of the US, about twenty-five percent of eligible voters of the country, a country sheltering about five percent of the Earthian human population.

“Trump says corona virus crisis ‘worse than Pearl Hzrbor’ or 9/11,” AFP, NEWS.YAHOO.COM,

May 6

Here is an article I recently wrote and published in the ELR.

“Why Large Powerful Political Parties Are Evil,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, by Richard John Stapleton,

May 5

Unexpected development. Hope he creams Biden in this election just for the hell of it.

“A federal judge just ordered New York election officials to restore Bernie Sanders  to the presidential primary ballot,”  by Grace Panette, BUSINESS INSIDER,

May 5

“I thought most Dem voters would rebel against their overlords in the Dem Party and choose Bernie; but they didn’t: they went along with their masters, or naturally agreed because of their life scripts.

What mainly counted were the unexpressed silent ulterior psychological messages they saw and imagined. It seems to me most Dem voters do not have psychological permission to vote in their own best economic interests.

“Why Dem Voters Chose Joe Biden,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

May 4

More than anything else Trump’s win in the 2016 Repug primaries shows the disrespect and contempt Repug voters had for all the other Repug candidates in the primary race. Now in 2020, unfortunately US voters are faced with another lesser evil situation, Trump or Biden, thanks to Dem voters choosing Biden rather than Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Dem primary race. Chomsky’s logic still stands, but is it worth it, letting the DNC establishment get away with their rigging, hijacking, and contempt for democracy, truth, and justice once again to preserve their personal perks and privileges at the expense of middle and lower income US citizens, however much middle and lower income voters are to blame for Trump and Biden being the two lesser evils this time around, because dammit they voted for them in primary elections, not having the sense to vote in their own interests. There are few innocent players in this process. The basic decision of the 2020 US presidential election does not entail choosing the lesser evil candidate but the lesser evil ideology of the Repug and Dem parties. In terms of truth, fairness, and justice as i see it that would entail voting Dem, and let the devil take the hindmost. Dem politicians these days are not any better in general than Repugs when it comes to doing what they say they will do for the good of the country, both Dems and Repugs being employees of the deep state. But what Dems say in general, however unlikely it is they will do it, is better than what Repugs say they will do; and that’s what US voters are stuck with, voting for what an evil political party says it will do, not for what it will do. As the late great Jackie Gleason would say, “How sweet it is.”

“Noam Chomsky, lesser evilism, and democracy,” by Michael K. Smith, INTREPID REPORT,

May 4

Another great analysis and vision by Ellen Brown, the smartest and most honest money and banking expert out there.

“Crushing the States, Saving the Banks: the Fed’s Generous New Rules,” by Ellen Brown, COUNTERPUNCH,

May 4

So much for the labor movement in the US.

“Lingg’s Autobiography: An Overlooked Haymarket Confession?,” COUNTERPUNCH,

May 4


“The Anatomy of a Failing University,:” by David Schultz, COUNTERPUNCH,

May 4


“The Pentagon Continues to Profit at Taxpayers’ Expense During Pandemic,” by Mandy Smithberger, TRUTHOUT,

May 2

Cant the fed govmint do nothin’ right

“The Small Business Loan Racket,” by Eve Ottenberg, COUNTERPUNCH,

May 2


“Head of Postal Union Says Mailed Ballots Are Best Way to Secure 2020 Election,” by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, TRUTHOUT,

May 1


“The out-of-pocket cost of Coronavirus treatment: Canada, $0; US, up to $74,310: We need Medicare for All,” Bernie Sanders,

May 1

Necessary lies some would say.

“If Trump is a Pthological Liar, What Type of Liar is Biden?,” Bruce E. Levine,

May 1

This article by Courtenay Barnett presents a cogent analysis of evolved economic issues, problems, and approaches faced and taken by the US and what to do about them now, Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher

“A Crisis Within Capitalism,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

May 1

Bill Blain tells it like it is: capitalism is dying, not caused by middle and lower class workers attacking their upper class bosses and betters but by the upper class destroying capitalism by undermining processes that make capitalism work, such as free competition and survival of the fittest. Now it’s not the fittest businesses that survive, but those big enough and politically active enough to extract favors and handouts from governments and central banks to rescue them from their greed, incompetence, and malfeasance, supposedly necessary for the survival of all species of fauna and flora aboard Spaceship Earth..

“Blain’s Morning Porridge (1) May Day 2020: Boeing – Mars Wins,” by Bill Blain, BLAIN’S MORNING PORRIDGE,—marx-wins#disqus_thread/.

April 30

Is the US a failed state under Trump and was it before? Here is Noam Chomsky at his best delivering one of the best overviews of US politics I have read. As bad as the current predicament is, Chomsky advocates voting for Biden, however banal, corrupt, dysfunctional, and mediocre he is, because “Left doctrine,” is better that “Right doctrine”, which disgusts me, but which I must admit might be the best thing to do in this case, Based on Chomsky’s analysis here, which it seems to me in effect asserts humans en masse are too stupid to understand the facts of actual cases, so as to vote for the right policies and actions, humans have little choice but to vote for the supposed best dogmas and doctrines, which is a major cause of Earthian human misery and fallure in my opinion.

“Chomsky: COVID-19 Has Exposed the US Under Trump as a ‘Failed State’,” C. J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT,

April 30

Very sad

“Las Vegas Transforms Casino Into Food Bank As Working Poor Line Up for Miles,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,

April 20

Uncharted Blue Sky

“$6.66 Trillion: At least our satanic overlords have a sense of humor,” Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,

April 30

Just updated our wobsite making some changes to the UniDesk™ page, improving my philosophy on reading and learning.

“Educational Website for Teachers & Adults, Statesboro, GA,” EFFECTIVE LEARNING.NET,

April 29

The height of his inanity

“As for Trump’s own intelligence, he paraded his IQ in front of a national television audience last week when he incoherently suggested exposing Covid-19 patients to disinfectants or strong light: “Suppose that we hit the body with tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light? Then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that by infection inside, or almost a cleaning? It would be interesting to check that.” The manufacturer for Lysol, a disinfectant spray and cleaning product, immediately issued a warning against Trump’s medical bulletin.” Melvin Goodman

“Trump Takes His War on Intelligence to a New Level,” by Melvin Goodman, COUNTERUNCH,

April 27

The best Chris Hedges video yet.

“American Anomie,” Chris Hedges, YOUTUBE.COM,

April 27

Generally agree

“Jill Stein: Why 5% for the Green Party is a win for America,” CNBC.COM,

April 26

Say it aint so Joe

“Smithfield and Our Troubled Future,” by Louis Proyect, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 26

About right

“Capitalism on Life Support…Time for a Cure,” Staff Editorial, STRATEGIC-CULTURE.ORG,

April 26

Worth a look and listen

“How Bernie & Squad Actually Support Corporate State,” by Chris Hedges, YOUTUBE.COM,

April 25

“I WANT YOU TO STOP THINKING: The Reussians and the Chinese Are Your Enemy,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM,

April 23


“Coronavirus Crisis Makes Clear Pentagon Should Get No More Money This Year for Its ‘Wasteful War Machine’: 60+ Groups,” by Andrea germanos, COMMON DREAMS,

April 23

This is the best entrepreneurial and business policy article and video presentation I have heard and seen lately. It’s basically what i have been saying since 2000 or so, before I retired from teaching entrepreneurship and business policy in a business school in 2005. For more on entrepreneurship according to me read my book Business Voyages, easily found on the Internet.

Be sure to look and listen to the embedded video interview of Chamath Palinhapitiya, an entrepreneur who really knows his stuff and practices what he preaches.

“Round 2: Chamath Explains Why Corporate America is ‘Incompetent’ & Fed Stimulus is ‘Dangerous’ in Epic Interview,”  article and video interview of Chamath Palinhapitiya conducted by CNBC, ZEROHEDGE,

April 20

Well thought out and presented article by Ellen Brown, one of the best money and banking experts around

“A Universal B asic Income is Essential and Will Work,” by Ellen Brown, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 19

“This is a real solution to a real problem. But with the One Percent in charge of the problem, we are not going to get a real solution. We are going to get more money used to push up prices of financial assets and paper over unsustainable debt and a dying economy with an artificially-inflated stock market.

“The elite have failed us too many times. It is time to dethrone them.”

Paul Craig Roberts

“Are we brewing a new feudalism?,”  by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT,

April 19


“Postal carriers are essential workers. They need a stimulus too,” by Sarah Anderson, INTREPID REPORT,

April 19

About sums it up.

“Bernie’s Political Funderal,” by Kathleen Wallace, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 19

If capitalism is the best economic system I would have to see what the worst one would have done.

“Covid-19 Was a Triger, But Capitalism Caused the Economic Crash, by Richard D. Wolff, TRUTHOUT,

April 18

Losing the US postal system would be an irreplaceable loss. The post office is one of the things that really did make America great.

“Postal Workers Union Leader Warns the USPS Could Be Dead in Three Months,” by Hamilton Nolan, TRUTHOUT,

April 18

Essentially correct. All Earthians are suffering from “the fallacy of composition” that explains why what is good for a part is not necessarily good for a whole system. Not only does corporations pursuing their own interests not work in the best interests of the US as a whole in many cases, the US pursuing its own interests does not work in the best interests of Spaceship Earth, which explains why Spaceship Earth as a whole is collapsing.

“How CEOs are ruining America,” by Robert Reich, INTREPID REPORT,

April 18

Cooperate or perish

“Gorbachev: World Must Come Together After COVID or ‘Rish Sliding into chaos,”  by Mikhail Gorbachev, op-ed via, ZEROHEDGE,

April 14

The greatest show on Earth today is USian repug and dem politics and the biggest suckers on Earth are lower and middle income voters who do not vote in their own best interests.

“Barnum, always quick to capitalize on his audience’s skepticism–”to turn all doubts into hard cash,” as he put it–brought the two men together on stage. To his surprise, this only deepened the audience’s suspicion. The more he tried to convince customers of their error, he wrote, “the more they winked and looked wise, and said, ‘It’s pretty well done, but you can’t take me in.'” He had trained his audiences in the art of the humbug too well. “It is very amusing,” Barnum concludes, to see how easily people “deceive themselves by being too incredulous.

“Wilson notes this episode only in passing, but to an American reader in 2020, it barks from the page. The great danger to democracy today comes not from marks slow to spot a humbug but from a public made cynical to the point of believing that everything, and everyone, is a humbug, especially the humorless class of credentialed experts whom Barnum took such joy in ridiculing. In the end, though, it’s a distinction without a difference. Too credulous or too incredulous–you’re a sucker either way.” Nathaniel Rich

“American Humbug: On P.T. Barnum’s genius salesmanship,” by Nathaniel Rich, based on a book Barnue: An American Life, by Robert, Wilson, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS,

April 16

The biggest ripoff in US history caused by Repug middle and lower income suckers who voted for humbug Repug politicians who lowered the highest tax rate from some eighty percent to nothing in some cases for large corporations.

“Taxes Paid By Billionaires Decreased 79 Percent Since 1980, as Percentage of Their Wealth,” by Bob Lord and Chuck Collins, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 15

Say it aint so Joe

“The Indigenous Genocide We Refuse to Acknowledge,” by Eric Anderson Scott, MEDIUM,

April 15

Another nail in the coffin

“Abrupt Ecosystem Collapse,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 15

Here’s why Bernie dropped out.

“John Prine and Bernie Sanders: Honoring Two Men Just Brought Down by the Coronavirus Pandemic,” by Dave Lindorff, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 13

Hell of a note. The coronavirus is so dangerous the UN has called for a complete ceasefire in all wars being fought around Spaceship Earth.

“UN ceasefire defines war as a non-essential activity,” by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies, INTREPID REPORT,

April 13

Well said by William Rivers Pitt.

“Minimum-Wage Workers Are Dying to Keep Everyone Else Alive. They Deserve More,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT,

April 13

Brave lady tells the truth as she sees it, Caitlin Johnstone. Agree with her with one reservaton: The propaganda was not only provided by current media but by the sum total of propaganda inundating voters from birth, from parents, churches, religions, schools, and friends that wired them to believe and vote as they do.  

“This Absolute Busshit Would Not Be Possible Without Propaganda,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM,

April 12

All all i can say is that Google works for me with factual information for my questions, but there is a good point. There is no end of manipulation and corruption that could exist if Google wanted to go full evil to extract monies from greedy and hungry humans.

The most astounding thing about this article to me was the picture of a Google building, I assume its home office, solid blue, strange color of blue, with a curved wall. You ought to click on this just to see their building, if for no other reason. The Google founders are now among the world’s richest men, so I guess they can afford any kind of building they want.

“Google Becomes Evil: The Technoskeptic,” by Tom Valovic, THE TECHNOSKEPTIC,

April 10

More unethical and treacherous US behavior.

“Freedom Rider: Standing with Venezuela and Iran,”  by Margaret Kimberley, INTREPID REPORT,

April 10

Excellent facts, data, and analysis on where we are now after Covid-19 changed and threatened Spaceship Earth even more.

“Chomsky and Pollin: To Heal from COVID-19, W Must Imagine a Different World,” by C. J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT,

April 0

Unfortunately some good points here.

“Richard Wolff and Harriet Fraad on Capitalism’s Effects on Mental Health,” UTUBE VIEDO,

April 8

Say it aint so Joe

“An American Horror Story: Rabobank On The Recession of 2020, by Philip Marey, ZEROHEDGE,

April 9

If true, ethical rational free enterprise business as we hav e known it is over.

“Free Markets Are Dead: Fed to Start Buying Junk Bonds, High Yield ETFs,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,

April 9

Seems germane

“The New Normal: Cascading and Multilayered Crises,”  by Vincent Emanuele, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 7

Excellent discussion

“Live: Mehdi Hasan and Naomi Kleoin on Coroavirus Capitalism,” THEINTERCEPT.COM,

April 7

Pathetic things have gotten this bad for the newspaper business, and for a lot of other small businesses. I started out in life after graduating from college the first time as a newspaper man in my home town, Wolfforth, Texas, starting and publishing for two years the Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette. I made a little money at it, about thirty dollars a week, and that, with selling a few fire and casualty insurance policies and houses and handling mortgage loans through what I called Rick Stapleton Agency I made a living; but I sold out and went back to graduate school, never losing my enjoyment of writing things that might make a positive difference for humanity, however grandiose that notion might be. I just read on Facebook a notice by DeWayne Grice in his Internet publication about the passing of Senator Jack Hill, possibly caused by Covid-19, whom I have known since 1990. Jack Hill was a good friend and an irreplaceable Georgia state senator for our district. We live in dark times, made sadder by Senator Hill’s passing.

“”‘Media Extinction Event’: Print Newspapers Face COVID-19 Dealth-Knell,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,

April 6

Can you imagine not only being attacked by covid-19 but by Trump unleashing USian sanctions on you?

“Donald Trump, Capitalism, and Letting Them Die,” by W. T. Whitney, COUNTERPUNCH,

April 6

Jack Hill has passed. He was an exemplary politician and human being and a good friend of mine for thirty years. He will be sorely missed, impossible to replace.

“Georgia State Senator Jack Hill has Died,” by DeWayne Grice, GRICECONNECT.COM,


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Thanks for reading…

Best wishes,

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