Friday, January 9, 2015

Taos screening of "Forgotten Bomb" this Sat [Jan. 10] 7-9pm at Moby Dickens

For those living near Taos, NM interested in nuclear weapons and in particular, the myths surrounding these weapons and LANL’s role in promoting these weapons, there will be a showing of New Mexico’s Bud Ryan’s film, ”The Forgotten Bomb”  (no charge) at Moby Dickens Bookstore 124A Bent Street, Saturday, Jan. 10 from 7-9 pm.  The film producer, Bud ryan will be in attendance to answer questions.

The film’s website is here:  http://forgottenbomb.com/
The 2:09 minute trailer is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjoIt3aoXHI

Steven Okazaki, Director, White Light, Black Rain, has called this "The best big view of the subject I've seen...an amazing piece of work."  I concur, as this is one of the few films that give a sense of the secrecy, censorship, and misdirection the late Stewart Udall called ““the most long-lived program of public deception in U.S. history.” [“Myths of August”, 1998, p. 321]  In the same book he wrote:
“I learned that war leaders who are given complete power to manage “war news” usually try to control how the histories of wars—and their role in those wars—are written.  I learned to be wary of interpretations advanced by historians hired by generals to write official histories in the aftermath of wars. I learned also to be skeptical about self-serving statements in memoirs written by war leaders. And I finally learned that even after pertinent documents have been declassified there are instances when hidden decisions must be deduced from circumstantial evidence.”
In an earlier NYTimes [8 June 1993] interview of Stewart Udall stated:                     [ http://nyti.ms/mGXKuh]
"There is nothing comparable in our history to the deceit and the lying that took place as a matter of official Government policy in order to protect this industry," said Mr. Udall. "Nothing was going to stop them and they were willing to kill our own people…. "The atomic weapons race and the secrecy surrounding it crushed American democracy," Mr. Udall said in a interview. "It induced us to conduct Government according to lies. It distorted justice. It undermined American morality. Until the cold war, our country stood for something.”
If all this is of interest, this movie gives an excellent sense of the larger view of weapons, including interviews of Gar Alperovitz, Jonathan Schell, and George Shultz. In addition, the film explores the differing treatment of nuclear museums in the U.S. as opposed to overseas museums. It also documents how the “Myths of August”, the assertion that the atomic bomb helped end the war and save “a million lives” came into being, by using archival footage.

This film is sponsored by Taos "Love in Action" and Moby Dickens bookstore.

Future films in this series are here:     http://www.loveinactionnet.com/?p=15



PS in posting to Taos Groups, Bonnie Korman wrote:

Friends:
This film highly recommended, by me!
Bonnie

Saturday, June 29, 2013

From LASG: Obama Administration Unveils 25-Year, $275 B Plan for Nuclear Warheads, Production Plants




Obama Administration Unveils 25-Year, $275 B
Pl
an for Nuclear Warheads, Production Plants

Costly, Ambitious Plan at Variance with Obama’s Berlin Speech
Contact: Greg Mello, 505-265-1200, 505-577-8563
Albuquerque – Roughly contemporaneous with President Obama’s speech in Berlin expressing aspirations to nuclear disarmament, the administration released a $275 billion (B), 25-year plan (pdf) to maintain, design, and produce new nuclear warheads and build up U.S. warhead production capacity.[1]

In its proposed cost and scope of work, this week’s plan eclipses all prior planning for U.S. nuclear warheads.

Among its other features the new plan would:

Monday, January 28, 2013

“How The World Was Lost”




From:   they thought they were free”, Milton Mayer, 1955    pp. 176-180



     Another colleague of mine brought me even close to the heart of the matter – and closer to home. A chemical engineer by profession, he was a man of whom, before I knew him, I had been told, “He is one of those rare birds among Germans—a European.”  One day, when we had become very friendly, I said to him, “Tell me now—how was the world lost”
                                                                                                                                                                         
     “That,” he said, “is easy to tell, much easier than you may suppose. The world was lost one day in 1935, here in Germany. It was I who lost it, and I will tell you how. 

      “I was employed in a defense plant (a war plant, of course, but they were always called defense plants). That was the year of the National Defense Law, the law of ‘total conscription.’  Under the law I was required to take the oath of fidelity.  I said I would not; I opposed it in conscience. I was given twenty-four hours to ‘think it over.’  In those twnty-four hours I lost the world.”
     “Yes?”  I said.
     “You see, refusal would have meant the loss of my job, of course, not prison or anything like that. (Later on, the penalty was worse, but this was only 1935.) But losing my job would have meant that I could not get another.  Wherever I went I should be asked why I left the job I had, and, when I said why, I should certainly have been refused employment.  Nobody would hire a ‘Bolshevik.’ Of course I was not a Bolshevik, but you understand what I mean.”
     Yes,” I said.
     “I tried not to think of myself or my family. We might have got out of the country, in any case, and I could have got a job in industry or education somewhere else.
     “What I tried to think of was the people I might be of some help later on, if things got worse (as I believed they would).  I had a wide friendship in scientific and academic circles, including many Jews and ‘Aryans,’ too, who might be in trouble.  If I took the oath and held my job, I might be of help, somehow, as things went on. If I refused to take the oath, I would certainly be useless to my friends, even if I remained in the country. I myself would be in their situation.
     The next day, after ‘thinking it over,’ I said I would take the oath with the mental reservation that, by the words with which the oath began, ‘Ich schw√∂re bei Gott, I swear by God,’ I understood that no human being and no government had the right to override my conscience.  My mental reservations did not interest the official who administered the oath.  He said, ‘Do you take the oath?’ and I took it. That day the world was lost, and I was the one who lost it.
     “Do I understand,” I said, “that you think you should not have taken the oath?”
     “Yes.”
      “But,” I said, “you did save many lives later on.  You were of greater use to your friends than you ever dreamed you might be.” (My friend’s apartment was, until his arrest and imprisonment in 1943, a hideout for fugitives.)
     “For the sake of the argument,” he said, “I will agree that I saved many lives later on. Yes.”
     “Which you could not have done if you had refused to take the oath in 1935.”
     “Yes.”
     “And you still think that you should not have taken the oath.”
     “Yes.”
     “I don’t understand,” I said.
     “Perhaps not,” he said, “but you must not forget that you are an American. I mean that, really.  Americans have never known anything like this experience – in its entirety, all the way to the end.  That is the point.”
     “You must explain, “I said.
     “Of course I must explain. First of all, there is the problem of the lesser evil. Taking the oath was not so evil as being unable to help my friends later on would have been. But the evil of the oath was certain and immediate, and in helping my friends was in the future, and therefore uncertain. I had to commit a positive evil, there and then, in the hope of a possible good later on. The good outweighed the evil; but the good was only a hope, the evil a fact.”
     “But,” I said, “the hope was realized. You were able to help your friends.”
     “Yes,” he said, “but you must concede that the hope might not have been realized – either for reasons beyond my control or because I became afraid later on or even because I was afraid all the time and was simply fooling myself when I took the oath in the first place.
“But that is not the important point. The problem of the lesser evil we all know about; in Germany we took Hindenburg as less evil than Hitler, and in the end we got them both. But that is not why I say Americans cannot understand.  No, the important point is – how many innocent people were killed by the Nazis, would you say?”
     “Six million Jews alone, we are told.”
     “Well,that may be an exaggeration. And it does not include non-Jews, of whom there must have been many hundreds of thousands, or even millions.  Shall we say, just to be safe, that three million innocent people were killed all together?’ 
      I nodded.
     “And how many innocent lives would you like to say I saved?’  
     “You would know better than I,” I said.
     “Well,” he said, “perhaps five or ten, one doesn’t know.  But shall we say a hundred, or a thousand, just to be safe?”
     I nodded.
     “And it would have been better to have saved all three million, instead of only a hundred, or a thousand?”
     “Of course.
    “There, then, is my point. If I had refused to take the oath of fidelity, I would have saved all three million.”
     “You are joking,” I said.
     “No.”
     “Or that others would have followed your example?”
     “No.”
     “I don’t understand.”
     “You are an American,” he said again, smiling. “I will explain. There I was, in 1935, a perfect example of the kind of person who, with all his advantages in birth, in education, and in position, rules (or might easily rule) in any country. If I had refused to take the oath in 1935, it would have meant that thousands and thousands like me, all over Germany, were refusing to take it.  Their refusal would have heartened millions. Thus the regime would have been overthrown, or, indeed, would never have come to power in the first place. The fact that I was not prepared to resist in 1935, meant that all the thousands, hundreds of thousands, like me in Germany were also unprepared, and each of these hundreds of thousands was, like me, a man of great influence or of potential influence.  Thus the world was lost.”
     “You are serious?” I said.    
     “Completely.”       

How the world was lost -1935


From The 1955 Book by Milton Mayer "they thought they were free", p. 176

       Another colleague of mine brought me even close to the heart of the matter – and closer to home. A chemical engineer by profession, he was a man of whom, before I knew him, I had been told, “He is one of those rare birds among Germans—a European.”  One day, when we had become very friendly, I said to him, “Tell me now—how was the world lost” 
     “That,” he said, “is easy to tell, much easier than you may suppose. The world was lost one day in 1935, here in Germany. It was I who lost it, and I will tell you how.”

open up Milton's book at Amazon, "look inside" with search term "chemical engineer" to learn how.

http://amzn.to/V03nE1

Milton Mayer: They Thought They Were Free THE GERMANS, 1933-45


They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45  


An Excerpt:

But Then It Was Too Late


"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people.
 "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

Full excerpt, "But Then It Was Too Late"

 


Milton Sanford Mayer (1908-1986) was a journalist and educator. He was the author of about a dozen books. 

He studied at the University of Chicago from 1925 to 1928 but he did not earn a degree; in 1942 he told the Saturday Evening Post that he was "placed on permanent probation for throwing beer bottles out a dormitory window." He was a reporter for the Associated Press, the Chicago Evening Post, and theChicago Evening American. He wrote a monthly column in the Progressive for over forty years. He won the George Polk Memorial Award and the Benjamin Franklin Citation for Journalism. 

He worked for the University of Chicago in its public relations office and lectured in its Great Books Program. He also taught at the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College, and the University of Louisville. He was an adviser to Robert M. Hutchins when Hutchins founded the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. 

Mayer was a conscientious objector during World War II but after the war traveled to Germany and lived with German families. Those experiences [Primarily very extensive relationships he formed with ten individuals, centered around involvement with the burning of a synagogue on Nov. 8, 19349- which they didn't know] informed his most influential book They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45.

The review, from his daughter:

187 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "M" in my name stands for "Mayer." March 31, 2008
Format:Paperback
It is wonderful to see so many thoughtful and incisive reviews of my father's book. A few details that might interest you: 1) None of the "unimportant Nazis" he interviewed knew he was a Jew, which he was. 2) The book wasn't published in German for years after its original publication (we spent 1951 in the small town which Milton Mayer calls "Kronenberg," where he wrote the book, which was published shortly afterwards). 3) His German was awful! And, he said, this was a great aid in the interviews he conducted: having to repeat, in simpler words, or more slowly, what they had to say, made the Germans he was interviewing feel relaxed, equal to, superior to the interviewer, and this made them speak more freely. "Sehen Sie, Herr Professor Mayer, SO war die Sache," very patiently. ("You see, THIS is how it was...").
He made one small, but dreadful mistake: There is a very common name in German, to which Milton Mayer added a suffix--because, with the suffix, it was the name of a great family friend (in fact, my boyfriend four years later) and used it fictitiously for one of the interviewees.. However: with the suffix, it's a very RARE German name, and, having given the general location and size of the town together with the rare German name, he really identified the interviewee as-our family friend-- who was quite upset. (He never told my father this, though.)
My father was always a superlative interviewer; he said as little as possible, aside from encouraging the interviewee to go on talking. If someone seemed to be avoiding a subject he was really interested in, he would repeat the name of the subject the interviewee had abandoned, and look terribly keen and respectful.
When my father was about 14, a wind blew in one of his ears while he was camping out, paralyzing one nerve in his face. For the rest of his life, he could only open, while speaking, one side of his mouth (and he had a very diabolical grin), and could never raise both eyebrows--always, he was raising one eyebrow! This gave him a very wise look, somewhat ironic at the same time, and made him appear even smarter than he was.
My sister and I occasionally exchange "Misms." Things he used to say from time to time, some inherited from his father, and others from God knows where. Here are a couple (try them; they are very effective in many convrersations):
"I left it in my other suit."
"Been to the city and seen the gaslights."
I don't think I have anything to add substantively to what has already been said in the excellent reviews, aside from these few personal details. Milton Mayer died in 1986, and is survived by several real and step children, real and step grandchildren, and two great grandchildren (at least), all of whom, like him, are pacifists.

The Table of contents are here:

An excerpt from

They Thought They Were Free:  The Germans, 1933-45 by  Milton Mayer

But Then It Was Too Late

""What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people"

"
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter."

Full excerpt here






Friday, November 16, 2012

How Societies Retreated From Trust and Responsibility for Each Other - The Path Through the Atomic Bomb


Seems like Oliver is telling the story  "The Untold History of the United States", beginning with how the atomic bomb transformed American Society , that I have been preparing to tell. 

Sven Lindqvist  (born 1932) has written a trilogy on this, taking the broader world view over a longer period beginning in 762 with the Chinese invention of gunpowder. The story in the third book, "The History of Bombing"  is told in an interesting way:

This book is a labyrinth with twenty-two entrances and no exit. While printed in a chronological order, it is recommended to be read according to themes, and thus skips around chronological with  " >>"  suggesting the order the numbered sections are recommended to be read.




Section 1.                                                                            BANG, YOU’RE DEAD

"Bang, you're dead!" we said. "I got you!” we said. When we played, it was always war. A bunch of us together, one-on-one, or in solitary fantasies -- always war, always death.
      "Don't play like that," our parents said, "you could grow up that way." Some threat --there was no way we would rather be. We didn't need war toys. Any old stick became a weapon in our hands, and pine cones were bombs. I cannot recall taking a single piss during my childhood, whether outside or at home in the outhouse, when I didn't choose a target and bomb it. At five years old of age I was already a seasoned bombardier.
      “If everyone plays war,” said my mother, “there will be war.” And she was quite right – there was.  
                                                                                                >> Section. 166



166.    [1939]  When the Second World War broke out on the first of September in 1939, I was seven years old and had just started school. Suddenly I realized my father was already an old man.  He didn't even know how to put out a firebomb. He wouldn't be able to get out of the cellar of a house that had collapsed, he had no idea how to hide in the forest and dig down into the snow. He was stuck back in the first World War, and if I wanted to survive the second, the responsibility would be all mine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


It's always puzzled me how societies moved from mutual cooperation, that Charles Darwin alleged was the most important inheritable characteristic for survival, to an Ayn Rand, dog eat dog, every man for himself mentality. Yes, I realize that Thomas Hobbes, in his Leviathan, 1651 wrote:
               ".....there be no Propriety, no Dominion, no Mine and Thine distinct; but only that to be                 every mans that he can get; and for so long, as he can keep it.

A Thread of my own making, to give a sense of how Sven Lindqvist tells a story.

1803. [#35-p13] 
Malthus:  Principles of Population (1803). It is quite possible to solve Europe’s food shortages temporarily by exterminating the native populations of other continents.
“If the United States of America continue increasing, which they will certainly do, though not with the same rapidity as formerly, the Indians will be drive further and further back into the country, till the whole race is ultimately exterminated, and the territory is incapable of further expansion.”
But not Africa or Asia.


“To exterminate the inhabitants of the greatest part of Asia and Africa is a thought that could not be permitted for a moment.”
1869.  [ #45 p. 17 ]   
Charles Dilke:  Greater Britain (1869).   Bestseller

              “The gradual extinction of the inferior races is not only a law of nature, but a blessing to    
              mankind.”

1961. [ #315 p. 149 ]
Several hundred professors: Open letter to US President Kennedy:
                “By buying a shelter program that does not shelter, and thereby believing that we can  
                   survive a  nuclear war, we are increasing the problem of war.”

Margaret Mead.  The U.S. was no longer trying to build a safe world, or even a safe country or a safe city. No, the family sought instead an illusory security by creeping into itself and pulling back from the world. The last station on that line was the little hole in the ground where the family ducked and covered under attack from nuclear weapons. 

Margot A. Henriksen:  Dr. Strangelove’s America:  Society and Culture in the American Age.
                “The armed, individual  shelter is the logical end of this retreat from trust and
      responsibility for others.”

Lindqvist, Sven:  TheHistory of Bombing.    1999  Translated 2001 by Linda Rugg. New Press

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tea Party Crashes: The Most Unpatriotic Act by Susan Lindauer


Posting here as facebook blocks link:

http://bit.ly/h7tq9t
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig12/lindauer1.1.1.html

 
Tea Party Crashes: The Most Unpatriotic Act

by Susan Lindauer
The People's Voice
I confess that since November I've been holding my breath, watching the clock for how long Tea Party newcomers could hold out against the entrenched Republican elite on Capitol Hill. Collapse was inevitable, however I admit to feeling bitterly surprised at how rapidly they have thrown in the towel. For the record, most of the Tea Party quit their principles of liberty on February 14, 2011 – 20 days into the new Congress – when Tea Party leaders abruptly abandoned their opposition to the Patriot Act and voted to extend intrusive domestic surveillance, wire tapping and warrantless searches of American citizens. In so doing, they exposed the fraud of their soaring campaign promises to defend the liberty of ordinary Americans, and fight government intrusions on freedom. All those wide-eyed speeches that flowed with such thrilling devotions, all of it proved to be self-aggrandizing lies.
The Tea Party didn't even put up a fight. Briefly they rejected a sneak attack to renew three surveillance clauses of the Patriot Act on a suspension vote. That filled my heart with hope. One push from the Republican elite, however and they went down with a loud thud.
My disappointment is particularly acute. Rather notoriously, I am distinguished as the second non-Arab American to face indictment on the Patriot Act, after Jose Padilla.
My status was pretty close to an enemy non-combatant. One would presume that I must have joined some terrorist conspiracy? Or engaged in some brutal act of sedition, such as stock piling weapons and munitions to overthrow those crooks in Congress?
You would be wrong. I got indicted for protesting the War in Iraq. My crime was delivering a warm-hearted letter to my second cousin White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card, which correctly outlined the consequences of War. Suspiciously, I had been one of the very few Assets covering the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations for seven years. Thus, I was personally acquainted with the truth about Pre-War Intelligence, which differs remarkably from the story invented by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.
More dangerously still, my team gave advance warnings about the 9/11 attack and solicited Iraq's cooperation after 9/11. In August 2001, at the urging of my CIA handler, I phoned Attorney General John Ashcroft's private staff and the Office of Counter-Terrorism to ask for an "emergency broadcast alert" across all federal agencies, seeking any fragment of intelligence on airplane hijackings. My warning cited the World Trade Center as the identified target. Highly credible independent sources have confirmed that in August, 2001 I described the strike on the World Trade Center as "imminent," with the potential for "mass casualties, possibly using a miniature thermonuclear device."
Thanks to the Patriot Act, Americans have zero knowledge of those truths, though the 9/11 Community has zoomed close for years. Republican leaders invoked the Patriot Act to take me down 30 days after I approached the offices of Senator John McCain and Trent Lott, requesting to testify about Iraq's cooperation with the 9/11 investigation and a comprehensive peace framework that would have achieved every U.S. and British objective without firing a shot. Ironically, because of the Patriot Act, my conversations with Senator Trent Lott's staff got captured on wire taps, proving my story.
You see, contrary to rhetoric on Capitol Hill, the Patriot Act is first and foremost a weapon to bludgeon whistleblowers and political dissidents. Indeed, it has been singularly crafted for that purpose.
The American people are not nearly as frightened as they should be. Many Americans expect the Patriot Act to limit its surveillance to overseas communications. Yet while I was under indictment, Maryland State Police invoked the Patriot Act to wire tap activists tied to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, an environmental group dedicated to wind power, solar energy and recycling. The DC Anti-War Network was targeted as a "white supremacist group." Amnesty International and anti-death penalty activists got targeted for alleged "civil rights violations."
All of these are American activists engaged in lawful disputes of government policy. All of them got victimized by the surveillance techniques approved by Tea Party leaders, because they pursued a policy agenda that contradicted current government policies. The Tea Party swore to defend the freedom of independent thinking in Congressional campaigns. One presumes those promises are now forgotten until the next election.
I cannot forget. I cannot forget how I was subjected to secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony that denied my right to face my accusers or their accusations in open court, throughout five years of indictment. I cannot forget my imprisonment on a Texas military base for a year without a trial or evidentiary hearing.
I cannot forget how the FBI, the US Attorneys Office, the Bureau of Prisons and the main Justice office in Washington – independently and collectively verified my story – then falsified testimony to Chief Justice Michael Mukasey, denying our 9/11 warnings and my long-time status as a U.S. intelligence Asset, though my witnesses had aggressively confronted them. Apparently the Patriot Act allows the Justice Department to withhold corroborating evidence and testimony from the Court, if it is deemed "classified."
I cannot forget threats of forcible drugging and indefinite detention up to 10 years, until I could be "cured" of believing what everybody wanted to deny – because it was damn inconvenient to politicians in Washington anxious to hold onto power.
Some things are unforgivable in a democracy. The Patriot Act would be right at the top of that list. Nobody who has supported that wretched law should ever be allowed to brag of defending liberty again. That goes for the Tea Party. By voting to extend surveillance of American citizens, they have abandoned the principles of freedom that brought about their rise to power. They have shown their true face.
It is a face that we, the people, will remember. I, for one, have no intention of allowing them to forget.
Reprinted with permission from The People's Voice.
February 17, 2011
Susan Lindauer is a whistleblower indicted under the Patriot Act. She is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.