Saturday, July 1, 2023

Lies, Damned Lies and Military-Industrial Media

Again, we are being lied to by the embedded, corporate mainstream media about Ukraine, just as we were about every recent war from Vietnam, to Central America to Iraq as bone-headed cold-war delusional Joe Biden pushes us to World War III in a delusionally arrogant effort for global U.S. hegemony. Ray McGovern, retired long-time C.I.A. analyst who breifed seven presidents spills the beans --

And it's not just Ray McGovern's projection, as laid out in FAIR.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Why I Am Not A Patriot

When I see the flags waving
I know death is sure to follow
and the rocket's red glare
the bombs bursting in air

I'm told, "patriotism
is a good thing"
love of country and all that. . .

I see in my mind
the old flickering images,
ecstatic proud
Germans waving
those little flags
It felt so good
in those days
after shameful defeat in war
and the weakness and corruption
of Weimar -- it felt so good
to be proud again
to adore god and country blood
and soil to be
strong and united
we stand and
patriotism is a good thing and
they all hate us anyway
so bomb them all and
let god sort 'em out
We're back and we're proud and
Never Again and make America Great
We're number one and
these colors don't run
so wave that flag with pride

But am I still talking
about Germany or
am I talking about
Israel or Ukraine or
our own corporate empire
where misery pools to wealth
and the burning world fuels
our glory? Or
does it matter?
Does it matter?

Is patriotism still
a good thing if
it kills if it
justifies murder?
Mass murder?
If it prohibits asking
even this?

So wave that little flag
harder or better yet
put it down

Now is the time
to stop fanning
to stop cheering murder
to dispossess the evil
which threatens us all
to look each other in the eyes
to listen and hear
our common human needs
our common hopes
for the future
if there is to be one
at all

The world, of which we are a part, is a dynamic, living thing, its circulating magma, drifting plates dynamic atmosphere and seas are organs of a living entity. Our position in relation to our star and our rich composition render Earth a Petri dish, or more accurately, a great Uterus, giving birth to life itself in all it's myriad and adapting forms. Very few single life forms can exist on their own and most are dependent on many others just to exist. Life on our small world is symbiosis, each form continuing to exist or dying out based on symbiotic balance and made possible by planetary forces and conditions we are only beginning to understand.

Countries and Nation States are very recent inventions of a particular species of territorial mammal which are us. In the relatively short time "nations" as we know them have existed, the results have been barbaric spreads of violence, mass murder and brutal subjugations. We call these "conquests" and "slavery" and they have lead to cycles of resentments, resistance and more wars with designated "borders" ever changing. Our world is littered with the mass graves and broken ruins that define our history.

As we clever hominids learned to alter the elemental makeup of the world developing technology -- often at the expense of poisoning and despoliation like a disease harming the larger body on which our existence depends. Our wars and our technology can no longer be separated from destructive harm to our great mother or to the symbiotic balance upon which life depends. We've even created and continue to stockpile weapons that could end life on our world. We seem trapped in our cycle of destructive behavior driven by continuing resentments, outdated territorialisms, prejudices and fears. We are led by those who hoard the most of what we produce, who project power -- the Alphas among us who are revered and feared for possessing the most destructive potential. We have developed a system of planetary destruction which oppresses most of us just for food and shelter to further enrich the few -- a system based on competitive growth in a world of finite resources which is the basis of continuing wars for resource hegemony ignoring and destroying in the process the greatest resource of all -- life itself.

And we celebrate this. We wave various symbols and flags for which many would kill and die. We beat our chests with pride and revere our founding alphas even as we are divided and despise each other like soccer fans or turf-conscious gangs as our mutual air, water and food are poisoned, our personal resources always stressed and the fellow creatures on which we depend die off.

Is there a way out of this? Is it too late? I don't know but I believe it must begin by changing our basic concepts. Rejecting widely accepted concepts basic to existing power structures has always been considered blasphemy -- and I am a proud blasphemer rejecting bronze age mysticism, nationalism and hierarchical power based on greed or delusions of control. I understand that such basic concepts, destructive or constructive, are based in and fed by culture. Culture defines how we see the world and ourselves in it. It defines how we see and treat others. This is why I write and why I have published a literary journal the Blue Collar Review, for over 25 years as a way of effecting cultural transformation.

We must as a species, reject blind loyalty to political systems and parties, nation states, and technologies that threatens all life. We must replace loyalty to tribe and nation with love and loyalty to the Earth mother, to each other, and to restoring and protecting the symbiotic balance of all life of which we are part.  Thus, rejecting "patriotism," I am a Matriot and hope to set an example for us to be one big Earth tribe -- not just we humans, but encompassing all living things for our mutual health and preservation.

Patriotism is the ego-centric, hyper-national alliegacne to competitive destruction and death. Matriotism is the worship and loyalty to earth and to life.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Sent to Joe Biden via the Whitehouse Contact Page

Dear President Biden,

I urge you to listen to what former CIA analyst and Presidential advisor writes about "off ramps" and the prevention of nuclear annihilation -- Ray McGovern

Russia is not the USSR, It does not seek expansion so much as security. You and you alone can end this today. Instead of upping the considerable risk to life on earth with increased weapons to Ukraine, you need to pull back NATO, missiles that can reach Russia, and assure Russia that Ukraine will not be a NATO state.

At the present moment, impending nuclear holocaust (even by accident) aside, our world is facing the rapidly expanding existential disaster of climate catastrophe -- already made worse by the sabotage of the Nordstream pipeline and the release of all that methane. If you are to have a legacy at all it's time to end this now while there is any chance of our survival. We feel for Ukraine but it isn't worth the sacrifice of all life on earth. What is needed here is sanity, a longer view, mutual security for all involved.

Will he listen or even see this? Not likely but the more of us that send anti-war letters and links that show we are aware of the lies, the history and the truths omitted by corporate embedded media the better. Of course writing is not enough. Action updates we can participate or have listed can be found at United National Antiwar Coalition.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Cutting through the False Narratives

Beyond the offical propaganda and war-mongering hypocrisy of the U.S corporate embedded media there are informed individuals attempting to set the record straight. They and others contradicting the pentagon line will not be read in the New York Times or called upon as experts on CNN. Below are two of our greatest and most informed minds telling it like it is. It should be noted that both can be found at

This also fully illustrates why Dr. Cornel West is the most intelligent, principled person of integrity to seek the Presidency since Eugene V. Debs and why we must support him. His campaign is our only sane alternative and, no matter the odds or outcome, it must alter the national conversation and be the basis for a movement to overthrow corrupt, ecocidal corporate dictatorship.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Beyond Corporate Corruption and Nation States

Still my favorite songs from this era with a message that continues to reverberate. We are living in a time of escalating climate catastrophe and international tension as the unraveling of civilization increases, driven by the economics of competitive greed and the resulting creation of refugees by impoverishment, war, class oppression and climate disaster made worse by purveyors of xenophobic nationalisms. It becomes increasingly obvious to those who pay attention that the competitive nation state is a moribund, outdated and ecocidal disease. Now, only internationalist cooperation can save our species. Half-way measures and incrementalism on climate action will not save us. Ecosocialism or extinction. It's not just a slogan.

Your humble truth-telling writer continues beyond the limitation of a one-time column in the local Veer magazine. I continue my onine commentary on articles in the New York Tims as well as continuing to write and publish the poetry, prose and cutural reviews of other progressive, enlightened thinkers in the .

Friday, May 21, 2021

Roadmap Redux

This is an article first publshed in Veer magazing back in 2012. It provdes some background on the present phase of the ongoing catastrophy of zionism. Real questions are, how many times must we go through this? Why is our Presdent still spouting ridculously uninformed nonsense? Why do we arm, support and financially underwite such blatant human rights violations in Israel?

I had an article on another subject prepared for this space but the situation in Gaza has been weighing heavily on me. This latest attack on the Gaza strip by Israel began with its assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed al-Jabari. The last time, it began with Israeli shelling of a beach crowded with people just as Hamas was making overtures for peace. The militants in Gaza responded with largely ineffective missiles and, like last time, our President and press pontificate about Israel's right to defend itself. Never mind the rights of Palestinians living in what is an open air prison surrounded by guard towers and shot at regularly, to defend themselves. I take it personally. I find it unbearable.

As a Jew I was raised with an awareness of the horror of fascism. Most of my mother's relatives, Hungarian Jews, died in Auschwitz. Only a few survived; a cousin I met with a faded number tattooed on his arm and two others; cousins who walked back to Hungary only to find there was nothing for them to return to. They married to keep the family going and emigrated to Palestine and the newly forming Israel. My own sensitivity to and awareness of how nationalism, prejudice and religion are used to support Fascism continues to inform and shape my political perspective.

I was very religious in my youth. Growing up in an intolerant Christian area in California, I remember being taunted by schoolmates as a “Christ killer” and could count on being beaten up on Christmas and Easter. I know all to well about antisemitism and the bitterness of being hated. The Judaism I was raised with was rich with values. Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord your God, as the prophet Micah said. We were proud to stand against racism and to have a cultural and racial rainbow of friends. We were a people of laws who knew first hand the horror of hatred and nationalism. That was before the real effect of nationalism took hold on us.

Though my own spiritual journey has taken me beyond any belief in deities, as a cultural Jew with many spiritual and philosophical influences, I still take it personally: What Zionism has done to us, distorting our culture and values; How the antisemitism that was once a European Christian phenomenon has grown globally because of it; The suffering of Palestinians chased from their homes and made permanent refugees tormented at checkpoints and endlessly harassed; The splitting up of families, the demolition of their homes, the uprooting of their orchards, the theft of their water; The teaching of hate and fear my grandchildren got in Sunday school. I learned it myself and it took a long time to get beyond it. It goes against thousands of years of our values and teachings. It echoes our own experience at the hands of others. Who should know better than us? Some of us do. I am not alone in my disillusionment and distaste for Zionism and the poison of nationalism – all nationalism. There are large organizations like the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Not Zionists and others. I was deeply moved by the number of Jews attempting to bring humanitarian relief to Gaza aboard the small ship Irene, under the banner “Not In Our Name” back in 2010. The one American on board was Lillian Rosengarten, 75, a practicing psychotherapist from Cold Spring, N.Y, who fled the Nazis as a child in Frankfurt. Also on board, were Israelıs Reuven Moskovıtz, an 82 year old concentration camp survivor, and Ramı Elhanen whose child was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in 1997.

You should take it personally too. The continuing intransigence, human right abuses and regional aggression inflicted by Israel is our doing. We underwrite Israel's existence at over 3 billion dollars a year. That is enough to support every Israeli quite comfortably and it doesn't include military support. The rest of the world and the nations in the region are well aware of our support and responsibility for Israel's behavior and it earns us neither trust or friendship. We have the power and the responsibility to use it.

Friends don't let friends become monsters. If we really care about Israel's security, we should apply some tough love and help them out of a tight spot. Consider it an intervention. We should, as responsible benefactors, apply strings to our benevolent support by tying continued funding to a concrete schedule of real action toward a just peace that would bring them and ourselves security. Hamas may be militant but who can blame them? They are the product of injustice and confront the equal militancy of a much larger and better armed oppressor. No good will comes from brutal oppression. Hatred made powerful by injustice can be undermined with good will. Mistrust can be overcome, though it takes time.

I am pleased at the UN vote overwhelmingly supporting recognition of Palestine, reaffirming “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.” This historic vote recognizes Palestine as a state and gives it observer status and the right to join U.N. agencies, including the International Criminal Court. It also allows Palestine to bring cases against Israel. It is an important moment. Unfortunately, Israel has responded to the UN vote by announcing the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank and by seizing $120 million dollars of Palestinian funds. And they threaten to take more. The official UN recognition gives Palestine status that may afford them some protection and a long overdue degree of power in negotiating and defining their future but much depends on the response of the real power, which is our government.

Even in the unlikelihood that Israel removed its many settlements and its military forces from the West Bank, it has purposefully made a two state solution physically impossible over the last two decades. It seems to me, and to a growing number of Palestinians, that as even under the best situation with both states mutually dependent on limited resources, ultimately, a single combined state would be the best solution with equal citizenship and equality for all. Israel could do this by granting full citizenship to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza ending this festering crisis once and for all. The elected Palestinian leadership and parties could be granted representation in the Israeli Parliament, or Knesset. Israel has the advantage of a multi-party system where clear majorities are difficult and cooperation is a necessity. As citizens sharing the same country, common interests would override differences. Civic participation should be encouraged and the most militant segments on both sides, disarmed. This would be in Israel's best interest making them more secure, ending a costly occupation and undermining regional animosity. Treating others as we would want to be treated is more in line with Jewish cultural norms.

Though the wounds inflicted by the injustices of the past will take time to heal, they can't even begin until the situation changes. I recall watching a powerful documentary at the Naro Cinema, where Jews and Palestinians living in Los Angeles sat down and listened to each others experiences. In doing so they overcame mistrust and created a bond, becoming friends who still meet. This was inspiring in demonstrating how hate and fear can be overcome if we stop clinging to our own narratives and listen to each other. I believe it can happen in Palestine but those with the power bear the responsibility of initiating change. That means Israel and more so, the United States. It is in our shared interest to see this conflict end. Thanks to pressure by our own government and Egypt, there is a truce as I write this-- a fragile truce. It won't bring back the more than 160 Palestinians killed or the 5 Israelis. A permanent and just solution must be pursued and that will require ongoing pressure. It is incumbent on our government, as the patron state and on us as citizens to demand that our government take responsibility to make it so.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Surviving the Storms Together

This article was written, like most of the others here, for Veer Magazine but will not appear in it. Due to the crippling economic difficulties affecting that local paper, editorials like this are not welcome for now but may again be used in the indefinite future, should they or I survive.

These are certainly the darkest and most ominous of times I've lived through. Like many, I have been locked down, living on tinned fish, rice and beans and noodles and drinking more than usual. When I go out, I am masked, gloved and wary of others, It seems everything has changed. As a close friend pointed out, this is as much a plague of the spirit as it is of the body. At the same time, we are seeing an outpouring of generosity as people check on each other, sew masks and give away food. There are tables set up in places like Graydon Avenue, near Colley where neighbors put out cans of food for those that need it. Some even share rolls of that now rare and valuable commodity -- toilet paper!

We understand why we as a nation are less able to deal with this crisis than any other modern country on earth. We do not have a public healthcare system. Many of us lack health care coverage. Even if we have it, deductibles and copays aside, our corporatized medical approach treats symptoms rather than causes and relies on over-priced, often toxic medicines and expensive procedures. It is a commodified disease maintenance model designed to rake in profits. And now so many more of us are without basic coverage.

This viral pandemic is only one of the deadly plagues that has infected our country. We continue to suffer the plague of cultivated partisan division. We suffer from a much longer-term disease of racism and the violent suppression of minorities; especially Black people.

I have written many essays in Veer on racism, on racist police violence and on the dangerous rise of armed proto-terrorist hate groups. The attention brought has helped push reforms in local policing policy though much more needs to be done. We still lack a community-based civilian police review board. It is still more likely for Black people to be shot by police than it is for wild animals who would be subdued with drug darts.

The racism and divisions that are tearing our country apart were here long before Trump was appointed president but he has, through steady provocations and ineptitude made our situation far, far worse. From his stubborn resistance to science in handling the spread of COVID 19 to his rolling back of public safety protections and of the CDC defenses against pandemics, to his constant incitement, support and promotion of neo-faschist hate groups, he has been and continues to be a toxic danger and the number one threat to our national security. And I'm no loyal democrat! This is all a trial run for worse disasters to come, from the horrific destruction made inevitable by the expanding climate catastrophe and the storms we will experience locally to other waves of disease and of possible societal breakdown and civil war.

Given the reality of this moment, we are either witnessing the economic and social collapse of civilization and the rise of brutal fascism inherent in disaster capitalism or the beginning of a new era of progressive fightback as so many find ourselves with no other realistic choice.

So how do we get through this? The protests we are seeing are a beginning. The rising up and standing together of citizens, even amid the dangers of the pandemic and increasingly violent acts of suppression by militarized police at the direct instruction of the president and his attorney general, demonstrate our solidarity against racist violence and against Trump's destructive actions.

With the exceptions of Richmond and aggressive police in Virginia Beach, our local area has avoided violence and riots. We have, so far also avoided massive deaths by COVID seen elsewhere, though the numbers of sick continue to grow locally. We have responsible state leadership and that saves lives.

I expect the numbers to rise as we "open up" and due to the number of people in the streets protesting police violence and institutional racism.

As I wrote in the editorial of a recent Blue Collar Review, it is increasingly obvious that we are now in undeniable need of Medicare for All, a minimum income and the job-creation and climate sanity of a Green New Deal. The time for the Jonestown rule of corporations and billionaires has been unmasked by the multiple pandemics we face and must be swept away by united citizen action to restore the Republic.

Only the committed solidarity of love and community can save us as a nation from rising dictatorship and destruction. The protests around the country and in our area are examples of that. Hate and well earned mistrust can be overcome. Together, as history repeatedly demonstrates, even brutal dictatorships can be overcome when we as citizens stand together in opposition.

Though the situation is too dynamic to make any predictions, this promises to be a long, hot and bloody summer. Let's do everything we can to be safe, to avoid the worst, to take care of each other and, more importantly, to demand leadership with integrity that puts people first.