We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Message to my readers

Due to time constraints and advanced age my posting is no longer following any particular schedule. I have abandoned my practice of posting articles daily and posting them around noon Central Time. I will likely post articles and commentaries less frequently. Also, I have dropped the comments section. Should you wish to contact me for any reason, please click on the "About Me" section.

I was not born with a gift for writing, but over time I think I have achieved a reasonable level of competence. I learned much from George Orwell whose essay about five rules plus one I have tried to follow. I try to write for people who have at least some advanced education or who have read somewhat widely about political and economic affairs. Because one third of my readers are from foreign countries and their language skills are not primarily in English, I will sometimes provide links to definitions especially when using words that have many meanings or phrases that are common American expressions or slang--which I try to avoid.

I especially appreciate people notifying me whenever they spot a significant error or a clause that is ambiguous or simply doesn't make sense. In such instances notify me, Ron Horn, immediately via email at goatmeal36@yahoo.com, and let me know if you wish to remain anonymous for the correction. Otherwise I will credit you on the edited post with your name. I don't ask for donations, instead I seek rewards from people in the form of comments or reactions to my posts in the "comments" section, whether positive or negative. The interaction with people of like values and perspectives is very stimulating for me.

The "categories" section is not ideal because once a writer uses a category, they cannot be easily changed in this Google website software. One has to go back to each article and change categories. For example, for several years now I would like to use the category "Syria"; but because the conflict there started so slowly beginning in 2011, I lumped articles pertaining to Syria under the category of "Mid-East". Once I realized the importance of Syrian affairs and wanted to have a separate category for this, I would have spent many hours changing each previous article to the new category. Because of this, it may be more useful to use key words (for example, like "Syria" or "Syrian Kurds") in the search engines to find what you are looking for on my website.

Finally, I have been asked by Google to include a note about Google's use of "cookies" resulting from, I think, a judgement from a European court against Google. I don't use any advertising on my site, but Google may use other cookies that invade your privacy. So, here is the Google disclosure.