HonestE-The DJ of Truth: Let's Dance, Feds!

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man." ~George Washington_____________ “Loyalty is the realization that America was born of revolt, flourished in dissent, became great through experimentation. Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past while we silence the rebels of the present.” ~Henry Steele Commager, Historian

Name:

Ex-US Army Paratrooper and Infantryman, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69, San Francisco, CA. Graduate: The Colorado College, May 1996. Sower of hope; Farmer of ideas; Guardian of the Republic; I live and work in San Francisco, California. Formerly, I owned a corporation building marketing-style-relational-databases. Currently, I am employed with a company in San Francisco. In 1989 I volunteered for service in the United States Army Airborne (paratroopers) where I took an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. CONSTITUTION against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC and that is exactly what I aim to do. My intent is to keep writing and publishing openly and widely waging peace in defense of my brothers-in-arms in Iraq and Afghanistan to bring them home. BRING THEM HOME NOW!!!! Politically, my inner stars shine brightly progressive yet I also bear strong libertarian stripes. I love writing, activism, working hard, music, art, reading, truth-telling with realism, speaking out for peace and speaking out for justice in defense of the highest ideals upon which our country was founded. I consider myself a principled patriot.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

'WHY COMPOUND THE TRAGEDY OF 9/11 WITH THE TRAGEDY OF PERPETUAL WAR??? WHY IS CORPORATE MEDIA SO SENSATIONALISTIC???


This posting is dedicated to the men and women were murdered in the crime of mass-murder that occurred on September 11, 2001 at the hands of a small band of mass-murdering criminal extremists, and to the firefighters/police officers/first responders who gave their lives to save the lives of their fellow citizens.    This posting is also dedicated to the troops who have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq and to all the innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq killed as a result of our wars.    Lastly, this posting is dedicated to all the still-living/or passed activists, anti-war protestors and patriotic-citizens who continue the noble work of trying to bring the troops home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through various forms of activism, engagement, writing, protesting and doing whatever they can do to help inform and educate their fellow citizens in our common pursuit of peace, justice, tolerance, liberty transparency, accountability and participatory democracy because they understand that it is these values and liberties, not our wars or interventions, that make America a beacon of light unto the world.  

These three articles are must reads:
On why attacking Iran is a terrible idea:

On how the Pentagon uses the media to sell all these unjust, unnecessary wars of aggression:

The continuing war in Iraq:

Q:   If the Iraq war is over, then how come troops are still dying in Iraq?
A:  The Iraq war is not over


This is a must read:

As is this:

Those of us who understand that holding former public officials accountable by prosecuting them for past crimes such as the war on Iraq, torture, rendition…etc., helps prevent future officials from committing such crimes should also understand that in absence of such prosecutorial accountability, the alternative way to demand accountability and transparency is to use the power of Free-Speech to constantly remind people of the crimes that were committed by perpetually continuing the national conversation about  it.   Free Speech is our way of enforcing some semblance of checks and balances.

Why are we in Afghanistan?

Escalate, escalate, escalate……..a war without end:

This may sound corny but it means something to me ……..recently, a good friend of mine asked me, “Why don’t you write a book and make some money from your writing?”  And to my good friend I replied, “I don’t want any money for my writing………this is not about me……..I do what I do for duty, honor, G-d and country to help save the lives of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.”  I am merely doing my duty to my country and my duty to the men whom I had the honor to serve alongside years ago.        Bring the troops home now!!!
http://www.wikileaks.com (the best way to disinfect is to shine light upon the filth)
http://www.bradleymanning.org/



On tolerance, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times provides an excellent view of our shared history:

On what one person can do.  

And this is a must read by Edward Curtis IV of the Washington Post:

Moderate-minded Muslims will find a home in America in time.   The unfortunate truth is that some Americans fear what they do not understand but over time their fundamental sense of fairness tends to triumph over racism and bigotry.  That is not to say that Muslims will not experience hateful words or actions since there’s always a few bigots in America, but the majority will, in time, come to accept.

Good job, CNN:

Good job, President Obama:

The Orwellian named, ‘Dove Church’ whose pastor, Terry Jones, was planning before he cancelled the event to burn Qurans…now you tell me, does that concern you like it concerns me?   That’s the kind of mindset we are up against folks and we must aggressively challenge such despicable behavior.  When I hear of book-burnings, it reminds me of the damn Nazis and their filthy, rotten book-burning festivals.   Stand up against hate…...hatred and bigotry directed against one is hatred directed against all. Advance tolerance.

This is a great website for promoting the moderate-minded, patriotic, Muslim-Americans of which there are many……….5.6 million Muslims live in the United States and most of them are patriotic and peaceful:

Bravo to religious leaders speaking out strongly against Islamophobia!!    And on giving credit where credit is due, I highly commend the Anti-Defamation League’s formation of a new Interfaith Coalition on Mosques to challenge anti-Muslim incidents across the country.

And I agree with Abe Foxman this time…I don’t like the implications of the recent Time Magazine cover…it presents a monolithic view which is anything but true…Israelis are a diverse people:

On Equality:

On the cult of vitriolic nationalism…….or shall we call it the cult of endless war and sunshine patriots:

Bravo former CIA Suzanne Spaulding, bravo indeed!!     

Why does the government seem only interested in finding new ways to continue feed the always famished, always hungry, always starving-for-more military-industrial-complex behemoth?   What’s that gigantic sucking sound?  That‘s the Pentagon sucking-off your tax dollars again to the tune of nearly $1 trillion per year in military spending.

Anything written by Andrew Bacevich is a must read:

There are so many people who do so much more than I do…..like Brian Willson who sacrificed his legs for peace, or Charlie Clements, or Paul Cox or Doug Rawlings or Michael McPherson or Medea Benjamin or Cindy Sheehan or Kathy Kelly or Woody Powell and the list goes on and on and on.     That said, I see myself as a writer and as an artist and so it is by the means of creative writing and creative teaching that I log my protest and do what I do.   I just wanted you to know that there are many others who do much more than I do.  What am I saying?   I am saying that you can do as much or as little as you wish as long as you contribute something……because by working together, each person whether doing just a little or doing a little more or doing a lot more, united together our actions (and in my view writing is an action) can sweep down the mightiest walls of war, oppression and resistance.   We are all Americans together and each of us can contribute a hand in shaping the future of our commonly-shared yet undetermined history.   So ask yourself, ‘What can I do?’, think about it, then decide, then do it and do it well.

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”  ~Robert F. Kennedy

“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”
~Robert F. Kennedy

“The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit.”
~Mark Twain


“Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” 
~Nathaniel Hawthorne


“I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” 
~James Michener



“Writing is a struggle against silence.” 
~Carlos Fuentes



“The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson




“A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare.  For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.” 
~Henry David Thoreau




“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector.  This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.” 
~Ernest Hemingway



On challenging the many affronts to liberty that the U.S. government now presents:

The concept of the ‘Unitary Executive’ is totally antithetical to any notion of effective Checks and Balances and amounts to little more than an electable-dictatorship.   The powers of the Executive-Branch definitely need to be curtailed and limited and this is done by shifting power to the Legislature and to the Judiciary who both should boldly challenge the entire concept of the Unitary-Executive.
A new Amendment to propose…………I like it a lot………..courtesy of Philip Giraldi….former CIA officer:

The U.S. Constitution is the covenant that stands as an agreement between the American people who are governed and the government’s right to govern.  If the government refuses to honor this covenant, then frankly, such a government lacks the appropriate legitimacy and appropriate right to govern.  This is why it is crucial that the Judiciary do its job in shielding the liberty of the people from the tyranny of big-government.   The U.S. government must obey the U.S. Constitution or else the American people owe no obligation to obey the laws they pass.   The Government is the servant of the people not vice-versa.  We the people command the Government; Government does not command the people.   The theory of American governance is quite simple:   The Constitution way or the Highway or something much closer to the Constitution since there is usually at least a third way.  Get it, Feds?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [persons] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
~The Declaration of Independence

I am and have been against the war in Iraq from the beginning and Afghanistan more recently.   But I must tell you that I am not a pacifist, folks, nor am I a total anti-interventionist either.   I am moderate, not absolutist, in most of my views.  My understanding of history prevents me from being a pacifist.  Why?  Well, mostly the Holocaust.   I praise FDR’s decision to use the attack on Pearl Harbor as a reason for going to war with the Nazis.  I only wish the Allies had intervened sooner or targeted the crematoriums at concentration-camps during their bombing raids.   I know I would have volunteered to fight the Nazi’s in a New York second, no question about it.   I am not Gandhi and I am not King, I am Eric and I’m going to be Eric whether people like it or not.    From a purely moral standpoint, I place Charles De Gaulle (who was one of the leaders of the French Resistance) and I place Mordechaj Anielewicz (who was one of the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising) on the same moral plane as I place Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.    Why?  History.  In my opinion, if Gandhi had been born in Germany at the proper time to be an adult by 1933, and had preached non-violence and passive non-violent resistance in Germany at the time of the Kristallnacht or the later Final Solution, I think it very likely that the Gestapo would have rounded him up very quickly and promptly sent him to Auschwitz or Birkenau to be subsequently murdered.    And the world would never have heard of Gandhi.   The name Gandhi would have no more historical significance that any of the 6 million names of Jews for which few people can name even one.   It is due to my understanding of history, this piece of history, that I cannot ever become a pacifist.  I believe that while peace is preferable and is the best way most of the time, I also understand that sometimes violence is a regrettable but necessary action for human survival.  We are still a Constitutional democracy and in a democracy, non-violence is the ONLY way.   

While we should boldly press for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and advance the hope that a just and more permanent peace can be achieved, we should also recognize the many great contributions to the world that emerge from state of Israel including this remarkable story below about creating a future based on renewable energy.   I believe we should also strive to think in ways that are neither binary nor Manichean—that is, we should avoid thinking in ways that depend on ‘good and evil’ constructs. Instead we should strive to think in ways that engender the multiplicities and many shades of grey that comprise our world, how we view this greater world and how we view our role in it.   To that end, I think we should strive to recognize the many great contributions to the world that the state of Israel does offer to us.  There exists pro-Israel critics of Israeli policy like me and there exists anti-Semites who criticize Israel too.  The easiest way to recognize an anti-Semite is by identifying those who, in their binary ass-backward way of thinking, proclaim that Israel is evil.  Let me state quite explicitly that Israel is not evil.  While I do not approve of the Occupation on humanistic grounds, I also recognize the incredibly valuable contribution that the state of Israel makes in the world today and I recognize that Israel demonstrates a form of democracy, though imperfect, in a part of the world seemingly hostile to democracy and that is ultimately a good thing that makes the state of Israel shine like a beacon in the dark, though considerably dimmed by the Occupation.   I just wished to publicly acknowledge this fact.

Lastly, we should also recognize that once the state of Palestine is founded, that it will require substantial economic investment from various partners in order to create the kind of society that will foster a moderate style of governance which should allow for similar Palestinian contributions to be made to the wider world.

Hope not skepticism:

The best and most-enduring agreements are typically the result of tough, skilled negotiations resulting from the ability to make difficult compromises.   In my view such compromises include:  1) Settlement building by Israel must cease.    2) The Palestinian right-of-return to borders inside Israel must be abandoned, it’s just not going to happen.  3) Gilad Schalit must be released and returned to his family.   4) Arresting and imprisoning non-violent protests by Palestinians must also stop.   5) Israel is a Jewish state and inside its official borders it affords its citizens equal rights (I made mistake a couple of weeks ago when I suggested otherwise……..I have since educated myself so I offer my sincerest apologies to the Israeli people……I make mistakes too and I find that part of being principled means one must admit their mistakes and then demonstrate the intestinal fortitude to offer a public apology….this is what being principled requires).  6) If settlement building continues, I do agree with Uri Avnery that the world should engage in a targeted boycott of products made in the Occupied territories (as opposed to all Israeli products).

Bravo to those artists making common cause with Israeli artists and academics!!!!   Really good to see Tony Kushner join with the Israeli artists…”Angels in America” is one of favorite movies.  Fabulous!!!

Despite all the skepticism, I believe peace is possible and I believe we should promote hope.  Kudos to Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom and the other groups in Israel waging peace:

Last week, I harshly condemned Hamas for killing innocent civilians and I meant it.   This week,  I condemn those who say that killing innocent civilians is ok in wartime….it is not ok….killing innocent civilians and/or non-violent-protesting-activists is nothing short of a war crime calling it a war-crime is just telling it like it is.  When Hamas murders innocent civilians—it is a war crime and when the IDF murders innocent civilians like Rachel Corrie—it is a war crime.   And when US forces engage in killing Afghans for sport and collecting their fingers as trophies—it is a war crime.  Principles are consistent.

On ending torture…torture does a great disservice to our nation because it discards our commitment to human rights.  We cannot demand from others that which we not willing to do ourselves.

Wrong:


On Media responsibility to report real news:





Have you ever really listened to jazz music?  Really listened to it??  Oh my, it is so delightful.   I enjoy so many forms, shapes, genres, flavors and textures of music but jazz is quite remarkable.   Jazz is like a mosaic motif---a cacophony of sounds, notes, tones, pitches, melodies and beats, heavy on improvisation, imbued with a rolling rhythm and bound together into a single harmonious composition.  I love jazz, I love listening to music, I love playing the music and I love dancing with THE MAN.  Fabulous! As a boy, I played the trumpet but gave it up.  Now writing is my trumpet and ‘our values’ is my song.


“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.”  ~Truman Capote



“Writers are just people who have a whole lot on the inside that they need to get to the outside, with pen and paper as their preferred method of transport.  Same with dancers, artists, and singers - all the same urges with differing transportation.” 
~Graycie Harmon


Shanah Tovah!!   I’m not a devoutly religious person, but I do believe that writing brings me closer to G-d and the concept of G-d I embrace is more like that of a force that connects us all.  On some days I question the existence of G-d and on other days I embrace the notion of G-d as I often oscillate between agnosticism and a belief-in-a-higher-power since this is my way of ‘wrestling with G-d.’



"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear."
-Thomas Jefferson


"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
~Thomas Paine



Wage peace!!!!             Reflection and Atonement.

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