artist statement

essays & films











We need to above all realize that: every chemical we refine, every bomb we drop, and every mile we drive, is integrated into each of our lives through our connection to this remarkable planet that we share. Our physical lives rise out of the earth, are sustained by, and sink back into it. Every action taken, each breath, each mouthful, and moment experienced, is inseparably connected to all life here on earth.


Midday Dream

The Studio



Four Ways to Spend Time



Martin Luther King - Beyond Vietnam


Houseraids Iraq

Impeach Dick Cheney


Cultural Momentum 2



Declaration of Independence 1776 - 2006
July 9, 2006

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men 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 to 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.1


Our country has 725 foreign military bases and 926 domestic ones2. We are the world's largest possessor, creator, and user of weapons of mass destruction. We sell more weapons then the next twenty arms dealing countries put together. We have supported and perpetrated more wars and regime changes in the last fifty years than any other country on earth. Our 2007 military budget is $547 billion dollars (after the monies to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are added) with $84.2 billion in new weapons systems - an 8% increase from 2006. (The average college graduate in the US can expect to earn 2.1 million dollars over the course of a lifetime, or about a minute and a half of pentagon spending) The pentagon does not know where a trillion dollars went in 2002 and they admit that they do not know how 25% of their budget is spent annually3, 4.

A recent poll of a hundred bipartisan experts in foreign policy and security issues has 84% of them expressing that the US is losing the war on terror and 86% saying that Americans are less safe because of it, and it provides a recruiting bonanza for anti-American ideologues They express a 'belief that the U.S. national security apparatus is in serious disrepair " and that to win America must place a much higher emphasis on its nonmilitary tools such as the United Nations and other multilateral institutions5, 6.

The US government is now $8.4 trillion in debt, if you add the American peoples personal and public debts it is $44 trillion, which is 350% higher than our gross domestic product. (If one could count a number a second 24/7 it would take 30 years to count to one billion -9 zeros- and 31,700 years to a trillion -12 zeros US.) We are running a $724 billion dollar trade deficit, meaning we import that amount more than we export annually. In other words our nation is the worlds largest debtor nation, we are increasingly (up 17.2 % in 2005) spending more than we earn7, 8.

Human beings with US citizens in the lead are warming our planet. Colombia professor James Hansen the head of the Goddard space institute believes we have ten years to reverse this trend. Most atmospheric scientist agree we are causing this warming but are less sure of a timetable to a environmental tipping point from which it will be difficult to recover. However the rate of warming and the effects of it have been surprising to almost all of the experts on the subject. Our government is essentially not addressing this issue9.

The bush administration has declared the unitary executive theory of government, which advocates for the Presidents right to interpret the constitution and expand his powers as far as the other branches will allow. In this effort he has signed over 700 signing statements (essentially line item vetoes) that declare he does not have to follow this or that aspect of a bill passed into law by congress. In addition he has negated the fourth and sixth amendments to the constitution with the NSA's non-court approved spying on the American people and by jailing American citizens without charges, allowing them no access to representation and denying them their right to a speedy trial of their peers. Our government has decided to pull out from: The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Treaty Banning Antipersonnel Mines, the International Criminal Court, the Biological Weapons Convention treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. In addition we are not complying with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Commission, and have shown a total disregard of the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations, and nearly all international institutions10, 11, 12, 13.

The evidence now is unequivocal that the Administration knowingly misled the public into war, by cherry-picking intelligence, bullying CIA analyst and ignoring foreign intelligence reports and warnings.

They consistently change key wording in scientific findings to reflect their point of view. And they have engaged in a foreign and domestic propaganda campaign that disseminates inaccurate information on a broad range of subjects.

There is a great deal of evidence that shows that our election system has been skewed towards the Republican Party over the last eight years. Electronic voting machines have shown a distinct pattern that drastically differs from both exit polls and past voting patterns. A team at the University of California at Berkeley, found a highly suspicious pattern in which Bush received 260,000 more votes in those Florida precincts that used electronic voting machines than past voting patterns would indicate compared to those precincts that used optical scan read votes where past voting patterns held. According to Dr. Steve Freeman, a statistician at the University of Pennsylvania, the odds are 250 million to one that the exit polls were only wrong in the counties that used voting machines with no means to recount the vote and held in the counties that had a recountable trail, where the exit polls disagreed with the computerized outcomes the results always favored Bush. If you combine this with the suspicious lack of machines for democratic precincts that created unreasonably long lines, and with the governments own tally of 1,855,827 ballots that were cast but not counted, you have an election system that would not pass the third world standard for a fair election14, 15.

So is our present government "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" and are they enhancing our ability as citizens to have, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?

 1. Declaration of Independence
Chalmers Johnson, The sorrows of Empire, Page 154
Where is the money
The Washington Post
Foreign Policy
San Francisco Chronicle
The National debt clock
Congressional Research Reports
Real Climate
Rethinking Presidential Power
Fox News
Coalition for the international criminal court
Project Censored
Common Dreams



Methanol: a way out?
Tue May 09, 2006

We have the technology and most of the infrastructure to rapidly change from the increasingly expensive fossil fuel economy to a perpetually renewable solar and methanol economy.

Imagine all the roofs on earth quietly and safely collecting solar power1 during the day and using this electricity to create methanol, by combining CO2 from the air, and hydrogen from wastewater, in a fuel cell. The methanol then becomes a relatively safe2 and stable energy storage medium, which can then be used to cleanly power cars, heat homes, and when run the opposite direction through a fuel cell it will make electricity at the site where it is needed3. Essentially the methanol becomes a very efficient battery without the long-range toxic residues and energy loss associated with all current batteries. And, because the CO2 is taken directly from the ambient air when it comes back out of the fuel cell there is no net gain of green house gas to the atmosphere.

This approach to our energy needs would not require vast tracks of land for wind farms or solar installations, it would not have all of the long-range dangers of nuclear power, or the massive environmental damage created by fossil fuels. It presents a good solution to our electrical infrastructure problems by replacing centralized - top down - power generation with a decentralized on site - bottom up - power generation which would be much more efficient and environmentally safe.
The 1994 Nobel Laureate in chemistry Dr. George Olah
4 and his collogues at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute of USC have been doing research into the use of Methanol as a energy storage medium for a number of years now5. Dr. Olah explains the advantages of methanol over the more touted hydrogen for the storing of energy as: Methanol is a stable liquid that can be used without any conversion in our present automobiles and gas stations (except it is corrosive to aluminum so intake valves made from aluminum would have to be replaced with plastic ones) whereas, Hydrogen would require a completely new infrastructure for both our vehicles and our gas stations, ands its molecular structure would necessitate very specialized systems to store and transport it.

The other relevant comparison is Ethanol, which has been getting a lot of attention from the government and private industry lately. Currently in the United States ethanol is being made from corn. This approach is highly impractical because corn is a land depleting, relatively water-demanding crop, which is heavily subsidized by the government. Ethanol can be made from any cellulose fiber, and there are a number of better crops such as switch grass that are being proposed for producing it, but any crop takes away from food production and adds to the huge problems generated by modern agriculture. Methanol does not require cellulose for its production so avoids the massive land use problems inherit to ethanol. However Dr. Olah stresses that we can have multiple ways of meeting our energy needs. Where other systems are practical they should be implemented.

Methanol can also be made from methane by inserting an oxygen molecule, so landfills, feed lots, and sewage treatment plants could potentially create large amounts of it, and reduce the amount of methane (which is a very dangerous green house gas) in the process. In addition methanol can be made from the CO2 waste from factories if combined with hydrogen from water and electricity in the manner described above. Also, Methanol can be used to create propylene, which is a major ingredient in plastics, and is now made from fossil fuels.

We are faced with the need to rethink and reinvent our ways of producing energy and transporting ourselves. If we do nothing we will probably not survive this century6. Why not make use of all of the technologies that are currently being developed to give our children and the children of the world a chance to live decent clean life's?

  1. Solar panels: http://www.solarintegrated.com/bipv.htm
2. from Material Safety Data Sheet
Environmental: Dangerous to aquatic life in high concentrations. Aquatic toxicity rating: TLm 96>1000 ppm. May be dangerous if it enters water intakes. Methyl alcohol is expected to biodegrade in soil and water very rapidly. This product will show high soil mobility and will be degraded from the ambient atmosphere by the reaction with photochemically produced hyroxyl radicals with an estimated half-life of 17.8 days. Bioconcentration factor for fish (golden ide)
(3) Fuel cells http://www.oksolar.com/0_n_cart/htm/72490.htm
(4) http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/faculty/faculty1003584.html
(5) http://www.usc.edu/dept/chemistry/loker/
(6) http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/4/22/125842/960
Dr. Olah's book can be found at
For a written interview with Dr Olah see:
For a spoken interview see:


Our tailpipes, our survival and the bottom line
Sat Apr 22, 2006

A hundred years ago our planet had vast amounts of energy stored beneath its surface in the forms of oil, gas and coal. There is debate about how all that energy got there, but there has been little dispute about what to do with it. We are burning it on an ever-increasing scale (2% annual increase since 1960). Our cars and factories are pouring all of this energy into our atmosphere. This week PBS's show NOVA presented "Dimming the Earth" which described the amount of energy we have trapped into our atmosphere, "as comparable to burning a 50-watt light bulb on every square meter of the earth's surface".

The show went on to say that the burning of fossil fuels has two major effects on the earth's climate; the first is the release of green house gases, which trap heat from the sun in the atmosphere, creating an overall rise in global temperatures - there is a vast amount of information about this and virtually no dispute among atmospheric scientists - and the second major effect is air pollution. When we burn these fuels we send billions of very small particles of sulphur dioxide, soot, and ash into the air, called aerosols by scientists. We all know about the health damaging effects of smog, but what has more recently come to light is that these small solids change the properties of clouds.

Clouds form when moisture gathers around airborne particles such as pollen. What has now been observed in several scientific studies is that the particles emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, create clouds that are made up of many more tiny droplets than "natural" clouds. These smog created clouds have a twofold effect: they shield sunlight from getting to the earths surface and because of the reflective nature of water they reflect light back into space from the millions of tiny droplets held suspended in them. This has been duped the "global dimming" effect.
Many scientist now believe that global dimming caused by these pollutants have been mitigating the temperature rises brought about by Global warming. Over the last thirty years or so we have increased the earths temperature by about one to one and half degrees Fahrenheit. Without global dimming our planet would be two to three degrees warmer than it currently is. So there is a sort of tug-a-war between the green house gases and the particulates released by burning fossil fuels.

We know that airborne pollutants effects human health in a variety of dangerous ways and are responsible for a sharp rise in asthma and other respiratory diseases. We have responded to these dangers in Europe and the United States by placing catalytic converters in our automobiles and smog scrubbers in factory smoke stacks. These efforts have shown a marked improvement in the air quality of cities. However they have also allowed the green house effect to become more pronounced. If we continue to decrease smog while pouring CO2 and other green house gases into our atmosphere we will rapidly warm our planet.

Dr. James Hansen1 of Columbia University and the head Goddard Institute for Space Studies, believes this warming could be as much as five degrees in the next thirty years and ten to fourteen degrees over the course of this century. Such a temperature rise would be devastating to life on Earth, and would likely bring on a cascade of self-promoting warming effects such as: forests drying and burning, a steady thawing of the Greenland and arctic ice sheets, and (most dangerous of all) a release of the methane hydrates that are now frozen at the bottom of the oceans.
These responses to human activity by the earth's climate could remake the planet into something that is very inhospitable to human life. Dr, Hansen warns that his research shows that man has just 10 years to reduce greenhouse gases before global warming reaches what he calls a tipping point and becomes unstoppable.
What these climate models do not take into consideration is what could happen if humans started focusing our energies on fixing the life threatening problems we face. If we consider all of the effort, thought and inventiveness that we have put into our modern lives, from the complex and incredible industry we have shown to get these fossil fuels out of the ground and into our gas tanks, and then to get our cars on the intricate and vast systems of roads we have produced for them, to the technological innovativeness that we have poured into warfare and consumer products in the last forty years we must conclude that we can have a positive effect on promoting our own survival if we decide as a people to focus on protecting life rather then destroying it.

To do this we will have to define our basic values. We all want good health and a decent standard of living for our families, the people we love, and ourselves. The information presented above makes it clear that we will not be able to make this happen on the old model, of individual achievement and acquisition. We will have to co-operate on a global scale if we want to survive this next century. If we continue to make warfare, and short-term corporate profit taking, our priorities we will literally ignite and burn away our life here on earth. However if we embrace the cooperation and openness to innovation that appears at present to be our only way to survive we may gain a new way of understanding and living in the world.


1. Dr James E Hansen

Additional Reading
 * David Sington "Dimming the Sun". PBS/ NOVA, April 18 2006
 * Guest posting from Beate LiepertLDEO "Global Dimming and climate models". Real Climate, April 17, 2006
* David Sington "Why the Sun seems to be 'dimming'". BBC News, January 13.2005
* Horizen Radio "Global Dimming" BBC Co. UK,
* David Appel "The Darking Earth". Scientific American.com, August 2, 2004
* none given "Pollution, cloud may solve global evaporation puzzle". ABC,net, Friday, 15 November 2002
* Catherine Herrick/Bill Owens "Rewriting The Science".
CBS News, March 19 2006

George Orwell's trousers, and the prevailing orthodoxy
Sun Apr 16, 2006

Recently I read George Orwell's original unpublished (some say suppressed) introduction to Animal Farm. In it he talks about how no one - and particularly the left - was willing to discuss the brutality of Stalin, because the Soviets were critical allies in the war effort, and the left was more or less head over heels in love with the possibilities presented by communism. But, more importantly he is talking about allowing a prevailing orthodoxy to remain unquestioned. Here is a quote. (I had to include the first sentence just because it is so descriptive of our current mass media.)

The British press is extremely centralized, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is 'not done' to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was 'not done' to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.1"

  1. http://home.iprimus.com.au/

The natural question that arises from this is, what are the unmentionable trousers of our time, and is it important to question our prevailing orthodoxy?
As much as I would like to leave that an open-ended question surprisingly, I also have an answer. It goes like this please sing along if you know the words.
The ever expanding market driven 3% annual growth laisser faire greed is good dog eating dog fixed market militirist captilist economy is killing us and most of the other forms of live here on this planet.

Here are a few examples:
· The United States is the weapons-are-us supermarket to the world. We sell more weapons annually then the next 14 weapons selling nations put together. We also give away and sell at deep discounts a whole bunch of used military equipment. Warfare is arguably the single most environmentally destructive practice that humans do, and I believe these weapons sales are a major contributor to it.

  See: http://www.globalissues.org/,

The US government has worked against almost every movement and government that has sprung up anywhere in the world that was dedicated to the betterment of it's citizenry, apparently in an effort to promote the business interests of our large corporations and thereby expand our ecomnomic and military empire. It is not that the record doesn't exist of this behavior it just "does not do" to speak of it. From Iran's Mossadegh and Sukarno in Indonesia, Manley in Jamaica, Allende of Chile, and Arbenz of Guatemala, right on up through, Chavez in Venezuela and Aristide of Haiti, the story is very similar, although the reasons given vary, I believe Capitalism is at the heart of it.

  Search Wikipedia. Here is a start:

The reasons cited by the Bush administration for not signing on to the Kyoto protocols were for the most part, that participating in these measures would be detrimental to US business interests. We are faced with one of the most life threatening events in human history and the immediate profits margins of the ultra wealthy few (and the need to keep our shell game economy afloat) are more important than the overall health of life on earth.

We daily pour poisons in our soil and directly onto our food to create a temporary and unsustainable over abundance that gets dumped on foreign markets, (devastating their traditional farmers in the process) and ends up as subsidized corn syrup so we can super-size our children.

We allow large corporations to "brand" our children with their products, using systems of indoctrination that connect to their lizard brain with sexually stereotyped titillation and ultra-violence. This market driven media uber-culture attempts to trump all the healthy values we want our children to carry with them into their future and the future of our society, in order to sell product and gain market share.
So there are five examples and of course there are many more that come easily to mind but that is probably enough for now.

So one wonders what was the consequence to a person in Victorian society, that dared to mention the emperors new trousers, and did naming the problem have a positive effect on sexism and sexual repression among their culture?


The bush agenda versus life on earth
Fri Apr 14, 2006

The questions I keep asking are: why is the Bush administration doing this wide range of determined world destroying behavior, and how do we counter them?
It appears George himself is irrelevant in terms of policy. He has stated he does not pursue any information for himself but takes what ever his handlers shovel into his trough as the gospel (a loose quote). It is one of the things that must make him so appreciated by mr. chenny. I have to assume that the real policy makers are in possession of any information that I am, and probably a great deal more.

Noam Chomsky says that you can look through the bush decision record and see that every decision they have taken benefits the wealthy one percent and gives the boot to the rest of us, this is clearly true, and an answer to my question in a short term sense. However, the severely diminished world that would be brought about by:

· Global warming: resulting in world wide food and water shortages - and the conventional wars that would ensue from these, flooded cities, the loss of waterfront property and all the unpredictable whether effects that no one can plan for.
· A world wide nuclear arms race and the eventual use of these weapons by individuals or states. (The message that most people would take away from the US position in regards to Iraq and N. Korea is if you have WMD we will talk big at you if you do not we will attack you if you posses something of vital interest to us. It appears that Iran got the message)
· A mass extinction event: we are now in the sixth largest extinction event in history, and have moved up from the seventh largest in the last couple of years.
· The loss of power and control that will occur, as they continue to follow the well proven path of the failure of empires, that they are on: An over reach and over emphasis of the military, widening gaps between the rich and the poor, a total loss of confidence and support by the citizenry, increasingly brutal treatment in satellite states, and paranoia and surveillance at home.
· The mental problems that occurred to people after participating in a period of complete disregard for life: Post dramatic stress, depression, lack of intimacy, etc...

All this must at least make them stop and think about their actions. I realize we are dealing with a "non reality based community" here but why would they work so far away from their own long-term interest?

The historian and author Barbara Tuckman wrote a book called The March of Folly in which she details this same type of behavior throughout western history - the renaissance popes, world war one, Vietnam, and more - she documents this syndrome in which systems and individuals work assiduously against their own best interest. It is apparent that we are caught in another one of these periods.
So the question is, are we just going to be lead into their nightmare or are we going to stand up for our own dreams? Alternatives to their insanity still exist, but we will have to be able and willing to change. Here is what I believe is an agenda for the near future.

The first priority has to be this years congressional campaign we are much more likely to be heard on our other agenda items with a majority of democrats in the house and senate then republicans. We will need to win by margins above the five percent or so by which the republicans can rig the elections.
Next we will need to push for impeachment of the president, as much to show the world that we do care about them as to protect our children and ourselves from further disaster.

We need to insist on election reform. As long as our politics are run by private money the wealthiest among us (corporations and there major stock holders) will be well represented and the rest of us will not. We need to figure out how to have a fair voting system that can be recounted with accuracy.

We need to end all funding for nuclear weapons, sign the nuclear test ban treaty, and reinstate nuclear nonproliferation treaty, and start unilateral reducing our nuclear stockpiles, while publicly renouncing all talk of nuclear first strike and fire military leaders who advocate this type of behavior.

We need to stop exporting weapons all over the globe. And force the arms manufacturers into another line of work (possibly renewable energy technologies).
We need to cut the military research and development budget and send that money towards teams of negotiators and mediators who can be deployed around the world to listen to the various sides in disputes and work on solving these problems.
We need to address our energy problems with solar powered roofing and siding materials, and get the outer shells of our homes producing energy for us, and massively export this technology.

We need to directly address global warming with a large research and development budget to figure out ways to reduce our green house gasses and get some of the co2 back out of the atmosphere.

We need to institute a single payer healthcare system.

We need to develop system by which clean fresh water can be produced and distributed to every citizen of the world.

We need to encourage local organic farming in every neighborhood around the world and redistribute the surpluses to the areas that cannot produce enough food.
We will need to revoke the charters granted to large corporations by the US government under which they can legally operate if they refuse to adopt a long-term, life sustaining agenda in place of their current damn-the-future, make-money-now policies.

There is a start to what we could be doing to live up to or potentials as compassionate human beings who care about our children's future and respect the gift of life we share here on earth.

We need to above all realize every chemical we refine, every bomb we drop, and every mile we drive, is integrated into each of our lives through our connection to this remarkable planet that we share. Our physical lives rise out of the earth, are sustained by, and sink back into it. Every action taken, each breath, each mouthful, and moment experienced, is connected to all other life here. No force on earth will ever be able to sever the actual physical connection that we have one with the other, and between all of us.


Preemptive Strike Policy Goes Nuclear

The joint chiefs of staff of the US military have been working on two doctrines to clarify their current position on the use of nuclear weapons. The first is called The Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations1, which states in the executive summary:

"The use of nuclear weapons represents a significant escalation from conventional warfare and may be provoked by some action, event, or threat. However, like any military action, the decision to use nuclear weapons is driven by the political objective sought."...
"Integrating conventional and nuclear attacks will ensure the most efficient use of force and provide US leaders with a broader range of strike options to address immediate contingencies… This integration will ensure optimal targeting, minimal collateral damage, and reduce the probability of escalation." …
"Although the United States may not know with confidence what threats a state, combinations of states, or nonstate actors pose to US interests, it is possible to anticipate the capabilities an adversary might use…
These capabilities require maintaining a diverse mix of conventional forces capable of high-intensity, sustained, and coordinated actions across the range of military operations; employed in concert with survivable and secure nuclear forces" …
"The immediate and prolonged effects of nuclear weapons including blast (overpressure, dynamic pressure, ground shock, and cratering), thermal radiation (fire and other material effects), and nuclear radiation (initial, residual, fallout, blackout, and electromagnetic pulse), impose physical and psychological challenges for combat forces and noncombatant populations alike. These effects also pose significant survivability requirements on military equipment, supporting civilian infrastructure resources, and host-nation/coalition assets. US forces must prepare to survive and perhaps operate in a nuclear/radiological environment."

Note: After public exposure, the Pentagon has formally canceled the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations and three related documents2. The decision to cancel the documents simply removes controversial documents from the public domain and from the Pentagon's internal reading list. The White House and Pentagon guidance that directs the use of nuclear weapons remains unchanged by the cancellation.

The second major policy paper that the Joint Chiefs have been working and doing major operational tests for is called JCS Strategic Deterrence Joint Operating Concept (JOC), prepared by STRATCOM., or Space and Global Strike Plan
3. A draft of this offensive strike plan published in February 2004, describes the role of nuclear weapons as follows:

"Nuclear weapons provide the President with the ultimate means to terminate conflict promptly on terms favorable to the United States. They cast a lengthy shadow over a rational adversary's decision calculus when considering coercion, aggression, WMD employment, and escalatory courses of action. Nuclear weapons threaten destruction of an adversary's most highly valued assets, including adversary WMD/E capabilities, critical industries, key resources, and means of political organization and control (including the adversary leadership itself). This includes destruction of targets otherwise invulnerable to conventional attack, e.g., hard and deeply buried facilities, "location uncertainty" targets, etc. Nuclear weapons reduce an adversary's confidence in their ability to control wartime escalation".

These programs have undergone extensive testing and implementation4 over the last few years with very little notice from the public or coverage by the media.

  1. The nuclear Information project
2. The nuclear Information project
3. http://www.nukestrat.com/us/stratcom/GSchron.htm
4. http://www.nukestrat.com/us/stratcom/globalstrike.htm



Viewpoint published in the South Whidbey Record

I have been reading the essays of Wendell Berry. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in issues of community, food production, security, economy, or just really fine writing. From these writings and my own experience these truths emerge;

1. Soil, water, and sunlight create the food we eat and therefore they create our bodies. Healthy soil, water, and sunlight should be a primary concern of our economy, governmental policy, and parenting practices All other concerns rest on this foundation.

2. Healthy food production requires lots of human interaction with the plants, and animals we feed on. The more people involved in food production the more care is taken in the process. The further away from us that our food is produced the less knowledge about and control of it's health we have.

3. Protecting the health of soil and water are the primary purview and concern of the local communities that are built on top of and in which they flow through. Communities protect the land around them from self-interest, and affection for it. The primary group that communities are made of is families. Families by their nature are built on mutual trust, affection, and economic co-operation. Communities are made up of many families existing in the same locality. They function well to the extent that they practice mutual trust, common courtesies, economic co-operation and local entertainments. The idea of the public varies from this in that it is primarily concerned with the protection of the private rights of individuals and not the function of groups.

4. Our corporate institutions and industrial economy are inimical to healthy food production and to communities because they separate people from their homes by requiring them to work away from them. This breaks the mutual economic interest of communities, while dividing us from our ability to raise our children, the source of our food, and increasingly our water. The energies of the community are drawn out of the them and sold to an institution that uses it for the profit of a few shareholders. The larger the shareholder the more profit they are able to realize from the labor. So, where human energy used to be spent in the betterment of local economies where mutual trust and economic dependence bound people together, now it is spent away from these moderating influences and in an environment where competitiveness and a strict interpretation of the law is the rule, conditions that tend to separate people from each other. Our food is grown under this model of competitiveness with an eye towards profit rather than health. The cheapest producer of food in the world market wins. Trans-national corporations are just as their name states not bound to any locality or people so they by their nature and by law have no ties to or affections for the land or the people on it. After this global shuffle of goods takes place they come back to our communities and are sold to us with the purchasing power we gained from selling our labor. Leaving us entirely dependent on the corporate institutions for our basic necessities, and with very little understanding of where these goods come from or what has gone into their creation. Politicians who require large sums of money for political advertising get locked into a system of support for their corporate sponsors and tend to pass legislation with corporate interests in mind.

5. Freedom is only practicable through independence. Our country was founded on the desire for independence from a distant and therefore disconnected government. Empires extract resources from their colonies often with very little understanding of local needs and without affection for, or commitment to local environments. This makes local people unable to act freely in the best interest of their communities, families and land. In many ways the citizens of the world are in this position with respect to a multi-national corporate empire. Our local resources are being extracted with very little value added by the communities from which they come (this is most starkly true of the "developing world") and we are totally dependent on the same small group of corporations for virtually all of our survival needs (this is most starkly true in the "developed world"). These goods tend to have less care and quality put into them because of the need to spend less time on them to bring the price of their manufacture down and the total disconnect between producer and consumer. This allows us very little freedom of choice or action. Our stores are filled with many items but we have almost no way to judge quality or the healthfulness of them. We can move anywhere we want but the same disintegration of communities prevails everywhere.

6. Our intense concentration on warfare and weaponry takes money away from middle-income families and invests it into weapons manufactures who make large profits from it. In the case of nuclear weapons (which our country has a the largest stockpile in the world and Russia is once again building it's arsenal as a reaction to Bush administration policy) we are literally professing our willingness to kill every human, plant, and animal in our country and much of the rest of the world for at best an ill defined principle of capitalist democracy. This century has seen the expansion of the cold war rather than the end of it.

7. The world in its entirety is sacred. From a Christian point of view it is literally the creation of God and "God said it was good". He liked what he had made. By taking what God made and reforming it into cheap consumer items or weapons, and using resources without care or thought we very directly dishonor God. From a secular point of view the resources of this earth are all we have. We are using them in an unsustainable fashion and are spoiling the beauty and livability of our land in the process.

We do have some choices however. We can commit ourselves to a local economy by purchasing local goods and services. We can make every effort to encourage local small business by investing in them. We can do our banking through local banks and avoid corporate chains of every kind. We can try to find jobs that add to our community by adding value to every natural resource that leaves it (including intellectual). We can choose to spend vacation time locally. And, we can communicate with each other respectfully and thoughtfully by listening carefully and by trying to find solutions to problems while putting aside our attachment to being right, intelligent and correct. We will have to put aside our narrowness and self-protections in order to face and solve our problems as they are in the blood and bone reality of our lives and not in the denial based fantasies of nationalism or any fundamentalist system of excluding others while building our own self importance and

Viewpoint published in the South Whidbey Record
8/10/ 2004

The Bush Administration has said they will no longer support dictators. Sadly, their practice is in stark contrast. Uzbekistan is a good example of a one party state that routinely arrests and holds dissidents with very little due process. Torture, mass arrests, and indefinite detentions are common. We now give them millions of dollars in weapons and military grants along with most of their oil rich neighbors in which political conditions are similar. The Bush Administration has lifted arms sale sanctions on Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Yugoslavia all countries that have appalling human rights records. In fact many of the countries we supply with our sophisticated weaponry -- in the form of US grants and financing, or used military articles sold at 5% to 50% of their actual value, or gifts -- are basically dictatorships. Since 9/11 we have sharply increased our support of these countries. Pervez Musharraf -- the man who took power in Pakistan in a military coup -- has been sold and given billions of dollars in weapons that are just one assassin's bullet away from the hands of people who are very unfriendly to the US. A study of our own history shows us that this is part of long standing pattern of support for tyrants and dictators not an exception.

Flooding the world with small arms and ammunition, bombs, tanks, warships, helicopters, and airplanes has been a bi-partisan effort of our government and arms manufacturers for at least the last fifty years, and it carries real consequences for our soldiers who end up fighting against enemies that we have armed. Our helicopters were shot down in Afghanistan with stingers missiles we supplied to the Resistance Movement (mujahadeem) there. Weapons have no allegiance. If you arm people with sophisticated weapons you are guaranteeing they will use them. For every bullet we sell there is potentially a dead body and an angry, grieving family. For detailed information on this subject go to: fas.org (federation of American scientist) or cdi.org, (center for defense information) look under arms trade.

We can turn away from this and towards sustaining and supporting life. Instead of weapons and war we can retool ourselves and our nation to be the worlds largest producers of sustainable energy technologies, solar, wind, biomass, neighborhood hydrogen generation plants, new lighting systems, new transportation systems, sustainable farming practices, and equipment, new technologies to get all people clean water, decent medical care, housing, and sewage treatment. With a nationwide commitment to producing technologies that support life we can be the worlds largest exporter of the tools the world needs to survive this century. We can pour our nations remarkable creative energies into research and development to bring up the worlds standard of living while reinvigorating our own economy by providing good manufacturing jobs in these new industries. Food, clean water, electricity, jobs, housing, and hope for the future, are the best way to fight terrorism. We are not safer with more enemies in the world we are only safer with more friends.
In the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition, all life is of God which means that life itself is sacred. Science is recognizing the interdependence of life. We must turn away from dumping weapons, soil killing fertilizers, chemicals, and sowing the tools of hate and vengeance on this sacred earth and turn towards loving it as we love our own children. We as a nation can provide the example. Write your congress people and senators, talk to your neighbors. Invest in life.


Letter to the Editor

In 2004 we are allocating 431 billion dollars to the defense department. If you add the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, servicing our past military debt and other military expenditures it's 536 billion dollars annually (www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm) Almost one and a half billion dollars a day. This is about half of the U.S. budget. In contrast, our foreign economic assistance last year was 11.4 billion dollars -- So, about a week's worth of our military budget. As a percentage of GNP(less than 1%), the U.S. ranks last in foreign aid, relative to other developed nations, with Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Denmark, at the top. ( the Netherlands with a population of 5.3 million gave 3.2 billion dollars in 2001)

We could give every child in the United States early childhood education (birth through age five) for ten years for seventy billion dollars. We could pay the yearly salaries and benefits for 15 RN's for the cost of one minute of the war in Iraq ($763,000). We could improve, repair, and modernize 20 schools for the cost of one hour fighting in Iraq ($46M). We could prevent all the cuts to education (FY2003) for the cost of one day fighting in Iraq. We could pay the annual salary for 38,000 elementary school teachers for the cost of one Stealth Bomber ($2.1B) We could eradicate polio worldwide for the cost of three tests for the Missile Defense Program ($275M). We could provide clean drinking water to the 1.2 billion people who currently don't have it build sanitation facilities for the 2.9 billion people who don't have them, sewer systems for the 4 billion people who do not have them and save 3.31 million children's lives annually worldwide for 75 billion dollars (50 days of our military expenditures)

I counted 800 defense company lobbyists for the year 2000 at a cost of $60million (www.opensecrets.org). These defense companies gave about $15 million to political campaigns of both Democrats and Republicans that year. So who is getting represented here? If we put half of the resources, energies, time, and thought into negotiating peaceful solutions to disputing parties and helping the poorest among us, wouldn't we be working towards a more peaceful world rather a more heavily armed one?


Letter to the Editor

I want to share some information with you on cluster bomb use in Afghanistan. I feel it is extremely important for us to know about, and reflect on the way we are behaving in our military actions around the world. We must always keep in mind that we pay for and produce these weapons.

The current generation of cluster bomb (CBU-87) is a thousand pound shell, housing two hundred and two bomblets. The main bomb opens at certain predetermined times releasing the bomblets (called BLU-97). Depending on preset spin and altitude of their opening they can be dispersed over area of from 70 by 70 feet up to 450 by 800 feet. Each of the bomblets contains its own inflatable parachute and it's housing has been preformed to explode at extremely high velocity into 300 shrapnel like pieces. They also have a zirconium ring that provides for fuel and other fires by spreading small incendiary fragments. The shaped charge has the ability to penetrate five inches of armor on contact. The tiny steel case fragments are also powerful enough to damage light armor and trucks at fifty feet, and to cause human injury at 500 feet. Naturally the kill or severely maim at closer distances. The incendiary ring can start fires in any combustible environment.

  This information was found at: http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/arms/cluster-bck1031.htm

I have excerpted the following from another article found on the web..
In eleven weeks, U.S. planes had dropped 1,210 cluster bombs, each containing 202 BLU-97 bomblets. The British Halo Trust now estimates on the basis of groundwork in the vales of Afghanistan that 20% of the bomblets failed to explode, meaning 48,884 yellow soda-can sized, yellow-colored deadly sub-munitions now litter the villages, paths and fields of Afghanistan. ( I believe the color yellow is emphasized here because U.S. food drops were also in yellow packages. D.I.)

On New Year's Day, 2002, the United Nations' UNIC Director Eric Falt disclosed that U.S. planes had dropped cluster bombs in 103 cities of Afghanistan and possibly in another 25. The areas around Herat, the Shomali Plain and Tora Bora were particularly hard hit with cluster bombs. More than 600 cluster-bombs were dropped by U.S. planes in the Shomali plain region alone during the five weeks the U.S. planes pounded Taliban positions.

The villages of Denar Kheil, Kalakhan and Qarabagh were particularly hard hit, being covered by BLU-97s. Early on November 10, 2001, CBU-87 bombs were dropped upon Denar Kheil in the Shomali Plain. Between January 9 - 20th , a de-mining team found 100 active BLU-97 bomblets in the village. It is believed that snow, sand and mud in Afghanistan make it even more likely that the bomblets are not exploding [hence the higher reported dud rate].

More than 10 Afghans are killed or injured each day from unexploded ordnance. And nearly one out of 10 families has a member who has been disabled by mines or other unexploded ordnance.

Cluster bombs are anti-vehicle and anti-personnel weapons. They kill people without destroying property. They also serve as land mines and detonate later, even years later, when they are unearthed. The Times of London noted that the U.S. lobbied at a landmine conference some years ago against classifying cluster bombs as landmines. But they serve this secondary and murderous purpose: "35,000 unexploded bomblets in Kosovo still kill one person a week," the paper noted. They are still killing people in Laos, 30 years after the war there ended: 30 years after being dropped from U.S. planes, one Laotian a month dies of a cluster bomblet.

Or cursor.org, scroll down to "The dumbest bomb"

I think we all need to ask ourselves is this the way to fight terrorism?


To the Editor

If we go to war in Iraq or anywhere else, we will be using Depleted Uranium weapons.
I believe it is extremely important for the US taxpayer's who pay for these weapons, to understand what they are, how they are used, and what the long-range consequences of their use are.

Depleted Uranium weapons (DU) are conventionally fired missiles tips, bunker busting bombs, and 30mm-120mm cannon shells, that have been made with the material left over from the process of enriching Uranium. It is radioactive and has a half-life of 4.4 billion years. These weapons penetrate armor easily, and have the capacity to go through two heavily armored tanks with one cannon shell. They catch fire in flight and burn their way into personal carriers creating a "fire storm" inside the vehicles, and leaving radioactive dust in their path. This dust gets airborne with any disturbance and is said to have spread all over southern Iraq, Kuwait, and a good part of Saudi Arabia.

We first used these weapons in the Gulf War. The US DOD estimates we used about 315 tons of them there. We also used from 10-200 tons in the Balkans, and have used 500-600 tons in Afghanistan, I heard last week that we are still bombing the Tora Bora cave complex. This is a particular problem because of the caves are involved with the water shed for the Kirsch valley one of Afghanistan most prolific agricultural areas.

A Retired Army Maj. Dr. Doug Rokke, who was tasked with the clean up of DU in the Gulf War, said in a recent speech in Seattle, that all of the men he was in command of, in the removal of some 20 "friendly fire" vehicles from southern Iraq, are either dead or gravely ill from their exposure to DU, including himself. DU is strongly suspected in "Gulf War Syndrome", which has killed 10,000 gulf war vets, and has seriously affected the health of 250,000 others, it causes cancer of all kinds but particularly affects the liver, and kidneys. Many vets have complained of abnormal infant births in there family after they served. There are also high cancer rates in towns around DU production and storage facilities.

Rep. Jim McDermit who recently came back from Iraq said "In southern Iraq mothers ask is my baby normal, rather than is it a boy or girl, after giving birth".

Tungsten is said to be just as affective for use as a weapon, without the 4.4 billion year legacy. But is much more expensive.

Can we live with ourselves?