Monday, November 13, 2017

Thou Shall Not

Thou shall not

Thou . . . . shall . . . . not . . . . ?

Thou . . . . shall . . . . not . . . . question.

Thou shall not question?

Thou . . . . shall . . . . not . . . . QUESTION!

THOU shall not question?

THOU! . . . . shall . . . . not . . . . question!

Thou shall NOT question?

Thou . . . . shall . . . . NOT! . . . . question!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

It Will Always Be Armistice Day

Armistice Day, 11/11, was originally a day to recognize the ugliness of war and vow never again to have war.  Its meaning, like many things in the U.S., has been changed.  Now 11/11 is called “Veterans Day”, a day to glorify the “heroes” who have been in the military.
I’m an Army, infantry veteran of the U.S. war against the people of Viet Nam.  I’m not a “hero” and I cringe when people say “thank you for your service”.  Those in the military are used as pawns in the rich man’s game of conquest.  We never hear that because those in power need the military to carry out their diabolical plans.

On Saturday 11/11, look up Armistice Day and watch the documentary “Untold History of the United States”.  Recognized the day as it was intended.  No matter how hard those in power try, war and its after effects are ugly, and it robs us of our humanity and resources.  For me, 11/11 is, and always will be, Armistice Day.

This was published in the Chicago Tribune on 11/11/17

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Business of "Veterans Day"

War is a business.  Maybe that's why a day of peace - Armistice Day - has been transformed into a day of promotion of the military model of conflict resolution by violence. The original Congressional resolution on June 4, 1926 stated that 11/11 "should be commemorated with . . . exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations" and they invited "the people of the United States to observe the day . . . with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples".
We won't hear any of that.  Instead on 11/11 we'll hear about "patriotism", "sacrifice", "love of country", and "defending our freedom”.  We'll see plenty of flags and images of young people in full combat dress - good people trained and ordered to do awful things.   
I’m an Army, infantry veteran of the U.S. war against the people of Viet Nam.  Please observe 11/11 as it was originally intended.  Violence creates more violence, and violence is the fuel for a very profitable business.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Armistice Day - Rebranded by the Plutocracy

As an Army, infantry veteran of the U.S. war against the people of Viet Nam I look at 11/11 with discerning eyes. Originally called Armistice Day, it marked the end of WWI and the beginning of world peace. The Congressional resolution read in part that this date is "designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations" and “friendly relations with all other peoples".

Now rebranded as Veterans Day, we will not hear about “mutual understanding” on 11/11.  Instead, veterans will be used to promote the military model of conflict resolution by violence and the business of war. Over $600 million of our tax dollars are spent each year on the promotion of militarization.  The results can be seen in our combat trained and equipped police, our schools being the most militarized in the nation, and our war zone streets.   Martin Luther King said that the U.S. is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.  He understood that it is ludicrous to believe that the promotion and use of the military model against other people will not spill over to our own people. 

Veterans Day is good for the weapons makers and the business of war.   I will celebrate Armistice Day.  Please join me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I gave the following talk on 4/27/15 on the steps of the Chicago Field Museum, outside the Boeing annual shareholders meeting.

Killing for $s
An Ode to Boeing

Some do it for fun,
Some for revenge, or hate, or fear.
But when you do it for dollars,
the message is clear.
 But if you create a person of many,
and own the more,
then killing for profit is simply a score.
The higher the number,
the bigger you grow . . . .
build buildings . . . hire people . . . . . wave flags . . . .
it’s part of the show.
Don’t think of the humans or animals or earth . . .
Make a bomb, up the score,
It raises the worth . . .
Of the stock. . . . of the fame . . . .  of the game . . .
Of killing for $s.

A long time ago a two-time Medal of Honor recipient – Marine Major General Smedley Butler wrote a booklet called “War is a racket”.   Smedley had great courage to write and speak those words in 1935.   He couldn’t have known that he was planting a seed that would affect me.

I first read Smedley’s words in 2003.  I was in business than, just waking up to my military experience from the U. S.  war against the people of Viet Nam, and totally immersed in the business of business  . . . and family . . .  and the struggles of life.  

I’ve learned a lot since 2003 – from people like you who stand up for humanity . . . .  from books . . . . from media . . . .  from the mosaic of my inner self.   I’ve learned of the inner-connectedness of all things . . . . how what I do touches others in ways I don’t know.  I’ve learned  - and am still learning  - the history of this country and the culture of violence that is the U.S.A.

Smedley called war a racket  . . . I’ve changed Smedley’s words . . . I call war a business.   War is part of the violence industry that produces weapons, fear, hate, and economic, social and environmental devastation.

Boeing is a major cog in the violence industry and by being here today, by standing up and expressing our humanity, and we are planting seeds.  Like all seeds, they may grow and supply food for the mind of one or many, or they may not.  But plant we must because one never knows if the seeds we are planting here today may one day deeply affect someone and change their life.

Killing for $s . . .  no matter how many buildings you build or people you hire or flags you wave . . .  is still killing . . . .  and Boeing is a KILLER. 

Keep Planting Seeds.  Thank You.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Humans are driven by many forces like love, sex, Maslow’s needs hierarchy, and others.  One of those forces is recognition - the action or process of recognizing or being recognized;
identification of a thing or person from previous encounters or knowledge; acknowledgment of something's existence, validity, or legality; appreciation or acclaim for an achievement, service, or ability.  There is even a professional association for “global, strategic workforce recognition” -

“Recognition from others is thus essential to the development of a sense of self. To be denied recognition—or to be ‘misrecognized’—is to suffer both a distortion of one’s relation to one’s self and an injury to one’s identity.” – Nancy Fraser in the article “Rethinking Recognition” in the New Left Review, May-June, 2000

Thus recognition is a powerful motivating force that can be used to move people in a specific direction.  One of those directions is to give recognition to the importance of the military model of conflict resolution by violence.  By celebrating the military model and giving recognition to those who are or were in the military, we are instilling the concept that conflict resolution by violence is good, is the “American Way”, and we should be proud of the fact that we use death and destruction as our model. 

Throughout the year we are continually reminded of the military model via TV ads and movies, veterans and other wearing military clothes, POW-MIA flags, the military carrying flags at sporting events and parades, military plane fly-overs, and more.  There are military recognition sites like:   We even have National Military Appreciation Month  “Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the opportunity to publically demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by our service members - past and present. Each year the president makes a proclamation, reminding Americans of the important role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country.”

I wonder why there is so much emphasis on the military model of conflict resolution by violence.  The answer appears to be that we, the people of the U.S., are an essential cog in the wheel of global hegemonic control.  We are being used as pawns in the barbaric ideology of conquest.   Two time Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Major General Smedley Butler had it right when he said he was, “a thug for big business”.  

Recognition . . . a powerful force.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

July 4th Myopia

Through the eyes of this grandfather and military veteran of the U.S. war against the people of Viet Nam, the celebration of July 4th is myopic and hypocritical.  

If you are a rich, light skinned male who has staked a claim in a land stolen from indigenous people and built on the backs of dark skinned people, then wave the flag, explode the fire works.  All others, step to the back of the bus.

There are those who say, “that was a long time ago, forget it”.  I remind them that 1776 was a long time ago, yet every year this very selective piece of history is glorified.

On this July 4th I suggest that you read the Declaration of Independence (including the part that refers to indigenous people as “the merciless Indian savages”) through the eyes of a female, or a person with dark skin, or from the perspective of a resident of one of the many countries that the U.S. has invaded and plundered – including this one.  If you want to remember the past, then remember all of it.