Note: My family doesn’t discuss my social activism with me. They seem somewhat uncomfortable about the topics; most are already pressed with busy schedules even if they weren’t uncomfortable. After this holiday season without discussion, I decided to send this:
It was great seeing everyone over the holidays! Given limitations of time being together, I wanted to include you on the status of my “hobby” of social activism. I know this hobby can be difficult to approach in conversation, and would like to share this with family. I thought writing you a “brief” might be best to fill in historical gaps, and update you on current status.
Please feel free to treat this as any other hobby any of us engage in: sports, art, travel, etc. I’m just sharing with you. And please also consider as with any of our hobbies, I’ve only grown in competence and comprehensive knowledge.
So here are: background, an update on recent history with resources should you find them of interest, and a recommendation how to relate to this information.
Background: As you know, this “hobby” began with 18 years’ of work from 1979 to 1997 as I helped create and grow the citizens’ lobby, RESULTS working to end domestic and global poverty. We grew from SoCal (I founded the NoCal group), and grew to over 100 US communities and 7 countries; becoming a leading voice in both areas. Part of that hobby was to help shape and deliver 200-300 briefs for members of Congress.
The work we did was impressive: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director, James Grant, credited RESULTS with saving over one million children’s lives a year from increased funding we won for cost-effective programs that reduce infant mortality. We championed two UN Summits for heads of state: the 1990 World Summit for Children (largest meeting of heads of state in world history) and the 1997 Microcredit Summit (topic of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize). The UN and all parties were so impressed with RESULTS’ work that we were asked to manage nations’ progress toward the Microcredit Summit’s goals. Today, over 100 million of the world’s lowest income families now have access to credit; a total population greater than the United States.
I assumed teaching would be a temporary career until I’d be absorbed into government work to realize those policies when either US political party became serious about ending poverty. After the second UN summit when both parties continued their unbroken record of reneging on every promise to end poverty, both public and private, I concluded I needed to shift the focus of my civic activism.
I needed to follow the money.
Update on recent history: Since 1997 I’ve focused my “hobby” on economics and war research. In 2006, motivated by so many war lies that I couldn’t keep them all in mind, I revived my experience from RESULTS to write a detailed brief for interested members of Congress and publication: War with Iraq and Afghanistan, rhetoric for war with Iran to explain and document the extent of disinformation told the US public for current wars. In 2009 I was invited to contribute to alternative media, and now publish on three sites: CSU Sonoma’s Daily Censored, Washington’s Blog, and Examiner.com. Other sites republish from there, with a popular article having page views at least seeing the title in the tens of millions.
My economics research was honored by the Claremont Colleges in 2012 by inviting me as one of six international speakers to present at their conference on monetary reform. Among Advanced Placement Economics teachers who shared with me, they are unaware of any other high school teacher invited by a research university to share their “hobby” work with the public. The published version of the last section with links to all sections of the paper:
I helped create The Public Banking Institute by initiating lobbying in 2009 for a California state-owned bank for at-cost credit. We’re now the leading organization to explain and document those benefits. My article on our 2013 conference:
One of the things we in alternative media do is “catch and pass” to take valuable information we find, give it a catchy title, make a connection to some other interesting fact(s), and then pass it forward. A tiny article I did this for was recognized for 2012-2013 by CSU Sonoma’s Project Censored as the #2 most-important news story unrecognized by corporate media. In this case, outstanding research was unreported by corporate media, and my catchier title, synopsis of the research punchline in a few sentences, and connection to other facts brought the story well-deserved attention through reposts on alternative media sites:
Alternative media is vital for these stories. Among the best evidence I have is how the New York Times chose to “report” the 1990 World Summit for Children that took place in NYC, and in complete rejection of RESULTS’ direct communications of accurate and powerful info. This one insight into what corporate media is, and how they protect areas of power from public scrutiny shows why those of us with competence in perhaps 100 areas of tremendous public importance are compelled to take our messages to the public through media that we create.
I took my detailed brief for Congress on war lies and created a short public paper that seems among the top few in alternative media to explain war law, and how we now know from our own government’s documentation that all reasons for these wars were known to be false as they were told. This is a good example how alternative media makes clear important facts that the public kind of know about, but are kept confused by corporate media’s intentional obfuscations:
I’ve become a leading advocate for reforms in government CAFR data (Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports). The link also has a 22-minute TV interview I did from Dad’s office:
Over the last four years I’ve had perhaps 20 different interviews on radio, podcasts, and I think three on TV. Here’s one; I think I have four or five you can search with James Fetzer’s The Real Deal.
I’m also a leader to advocate for either arrests or Truth & Reconciliation for the obvious crimes centering in war and money that the facts reveal. One of the interesting facts those of us with this hobby face is that our “leaders” who engage in these War Crimes and “bankster looting” don’t have an elegant exit strategy without having to admit to massive crimes.
I also tried five satire articles; which I enjoy writing, but didn’t catch-on with the public 🙁
Recommendation how to relate to this information: As a professional educator with background helping brief Congress, I suggest you simply hold my “hobby” in that domain up to the same academic professional standards as for anyone else: don’t believe or disbelieve anything.
I make factual claims, provide documentation, and am open to any corrections or refutation anyone can provide from any source. I’m willing to explain any topic and guide people through the documentation. I assert these are facts under consideration; all objective and independently verifiable.
For example, among my colleagues working to end current US wars, including members of Congress, we are unaware of any argument anywhere of how the wars are legal. All the war proponents have to keep their wars are an ignorant public, jingoistic and fear-provoking propaganda, and complicit corporate media. And we’re talking about just one simple law that is arguably the most important one the US has (and easier to understand than sports laws we master like the infield fly rule in baseball).
I recommend that you withhold any negative judgment unless you’re willing to do the reading, talk with me, and/or do some kind of research. I also suggest that you consider that consistent with the history of this planet, governments lie in areas of war, money, and media. Consider this history of US wars that makes this clear. You may recall the Founding Fathers were clear in their admonitions that America would be vulnerable to oligarchs concentrating their own power and taking away the freedoms they forged.
If you’re interested in discussing any of these topics or have questions of any kind, of course, I’m interested in my “hobby” to talk about them. If this topic is not of interest, and/or too upsetting, then feel free to not discuss it anymore than anyone else’s hobby 🙂
I appreciated your support when my “hobby” of ending poverty was more easily understood. I of course appreciate support in this new expression, and completely understand if it’s too difficult to relate to or discuss.
I love you, and know that you love me. We all wish each other the best for success in our lives.
May 2014 be the best year yet for all of us!