"Bring NYC punk back to being FUN! Not carefree, just caring fun."
FOUR QUESTIONS FOR FOUR BANDS:
a punk rock quadruple interview with the four bands playing the August 27th ABC No Rio punk rock matinee!
Interview is with:
James Claypool from The Terrordactyls.
Maegan Dolan from Schweinehund
Joey from Joey Steel & the Attitude Adjusters
and Sander Hicks from Black Market Justice.
Come see these interesting folks rock your world at the show this Saturday:
1. What is the name of your band, and why that name?
JAMES CLAYPOOL: The Terrordactyls. We like dinosaurs and some of us look kinda scary. Why not?
MAEGAN DOLAIN: Schweinehund, because it makes me laugh.
SANDER HICKS: Nick and I are in White Collar Crime so the name “Black Market Justice” seems kind of like the opposite of White Collar Crime. A good name for a side project. It also seems to be the only kind of justice that is real these days, when you look at the crimes that go unprosecuted and uninvestigated: the economic meltdown, the bailout, the Federal Reserve system, 9/11, the military/intelligence complex, the Iraq War propaganda machine. Anarchism and marxism are in truth only a good start to analyze the problems we are dealing with.
JOEY STEEL: Joey Steel & the Attitude Adjusters is the name.
Well, the concept behind the band was something I had been dreaming of for a long time. But I always wanted to be respectful of the music we were covering, motown and soul songs. SO we wanted to pick a name that payed homage to that genre, but also assert that we were doing the songs our way. So we came to the idea of doing something like Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Junior Walker & The All Stars, etc. I love those bands so much , esp. Smokey Robinson.
So we wanted to do that, but the whole idea behind this music was to have fun that was uplifting and sounded great. Music that moved us, but moved us in our own way. NYC punk and hardcore scene is great. We have a ton of great bands, but the scene is so uptight, sometimes punks can be too cool for school, if you will. SOOO! We wanted to change people attitudes, stop some negative nancies in their tracks and put some smiles on their faces. Bring NYC punk back to being FUN! Not carefree, just caring fun. SO we just called the band what we had as our objective- the attitude adjusters. (It helps that the phrase is also synonymous with guns as well.) But basically the name is an homage to the songs we love and a reminder of our simple objective.
2. Tell us the most colorful story about the the weirdest thing that ever happened to your band?
JAMES CLAYPOOL: One time the band collectively dumpster dived 20 boxes of pizza in one night. I suppose that’s pretty cool.
JOEY STEEL: I am not sure what colorful is any more. We cut lose pretty hard. One of the most entertaining shows was when we played Philly a while back at this place, Hong Kong Garden. Awesome show, some girl broke her nose, some dude lost a tooth, and the place went wild for us. Crazy fun….I did get into a wicked little spat with a guy a full foot taller than me and whom was beating on a woman. After I took him down he proceeded to rip off my shirt, so i guess between the red blood and the pale white cracker skin, that was pretty colorful.
MAEGAN: We have only played two shows as a band so we have not had much opportunity for mayhem.
SANDER: One time in Baltimore the White Collar Crime van caught fire, because when you run a Dodge Ram van out of gas you have to pour some directly into the carburetor. But a spark from the engine hit some spilled gas in the air filter housing. The whole thing turned into an inferno in like 10 minutes. We were able to pull our gear out, but I lost the entire edition of a newspaper I had just printed, and a great old van. I remember watching it happen in awe. Remembering that everything happens for a reason. It almost seemed to be a sign from God, it was like… Biblical. White Collar Crime took an 8 year break after that. It’s good to take some time off, sometimes.
3. What does punk rock mean to you?
MAEGAN: Rock is my religion
JAMES CLAYPOOL: Punk Rock? You mean like Avril Lavigne, right?
JOEY STEEL: Liberation – cutting lose and letting everything inside us OUT! Uncaging ourselves to be human again.
Responsibility – to those around us and those show should be encouraged to join in.
Passion – music that never holds anything back, for better or worse.
Fearlessness – music that is unafraid of change and progress, and shaping our world in the new. FORWARD, ALWAYS!
SANDER: It’s funny Maegan said “rock is my religion.” I have come to believe that resistance is not only necessary, it’s holy. Punk rock is like Buddhism - it’s a practice, without being a “religion.” But it has the best elements of it: community, and sharing.
4. What is your question for the group? [or questions for the Facebook group at large for this Event….please answer in the comments, below.]
JOEY STEEL: How many hard boiled eggs do you think you can eat in an hour?
…no? Too over asked? Ok, I’ll ask this one, When the going gets tough what keeps you going?
MAEGAN: Read any good books lately?
JAMES CLAYPOOL: What’s the best place for a vegan meal?
SANDER: Can an acoustic guitar be “punk rock?”
Please forward this interview to all your friends and enemies, and tell them, loud:
Come see these interesting folks rock your world at the show this Saturday AUG 27 - at ABC No Rio, LES, NYC, USSA,
listen to free music:
+Black Market Justice (members of White Collar Crime:
+Joey Steel and the Attitude Adjusters (NYC motown hardcore:
+Terrordactyls (Thrash on tour from St. Paul, MN: http://www.facebook.com/TheTerrordactyls )
+ Schweinhunde (NYC punk: schweinehundmusic: http://schweinehundmusic.com/
Hi Gang! I will be BACK on WBAI 99.5 FM SOON…..last week was a blast - discussing the innocence of Bin Laden, and the grave guilt of Bush/Cheney.
In a similar way, KPFA out in San Francisco will be doing a 9/11 Truth marathon of 3.5 hours of excellent programming and guests….this just in from Project Censored founder Peter Phillips, Ph.D.
9/11 Special on KPFA Radio this Thursday, May 19
KPFA is having a three & half hour 9/11 special this Thursday from Noon to 3:30 PST Hosts for the Program are: Dennis Bernstein, Bonnie Faulkner, Mickey Huff, and Peter Phillips
Guests During the day are: 12:15 David Ray Griffin, 12:45 Frank Morales, 1:00 PM Bob Bowman, 1:30 Paul Rea, 2:00 Mike Gravel, 2:30 Carol Brouillet, 2:45 Richard Gage and Kathy McGrade, and more. Clips from Press for Truth, Zero, Griffins bset DVDs will be played on the air. Program will be on-line live from KPFA.org, and archived on line from Noliesradio.org. This is a fund raiser for KPFA Radio
Please consider submitting an idea for a paper, here:
From Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies
Co-edited by Michael Truscello, Ph.D., and Sander Hicks, author and researcher.
This issue of Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies (ADCS;
http://www.anarchist-developments.org/) will be a special issue
dedicated to a specific examination of 9/11 ten years later. We will
approach the issue from two angles. One will be looking at 9/11 as a
contested concept, and the other will be looking at how the 9/11
discourse affected radical movements worldwide. The basic premise for
this issue is that 9/11 has had a profound effect on radical movements
worldwide, even though the event itself remains subject to divergent
interpretations. Perspectives from a variety of academic disciplines
and non-academic actors are welcome.
The upsurge of generalized patriotic fervour in the United States
following the attacks of September 11, 2001 was quickly translated by
the U.S. government into an aggressive neoconservative agenda that
wanted to advance corporate state hegemony worldwide in the form of a
massively expanded national security state and the declaration of a
“War on Terror.” Expanded imperialist ambitions abroad were matched by
the criminalization of dissent at home.
The official 9/11 narrative (Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda network,
without any external intervention, were solely responsible for the
attacks) was disseminated within hours of the attacks, and a state
investigation of any kind would not begin until over one year later.
The 9/11 Commission Report was published in July 2004, and scepticism
over its contents has been widespread. A Zogby poll in May 2006 showed
42% of Americans believe “that the US government and its 9/11
Commission concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence that
contradicts their official explanation of the September 11th attacks.”
A Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll in August 2006 showed 36% of
Americans believe their government was in some manner complicit with
the 9/11 attacks. A New York Times/CBS News poll from October 2006
showed only 16% of Americans believe members of the Bush
Administration are telling the truth about pre-9/11 intelligence,
while 81% believe the government is either “hiding something” or
“mostly lying.” A September 2007 Zogby poll found 51% of Americans
want Congress to probe the actions of President George W. Bush and
Vice President Dick Cheney regarding their “actions before, during and
after the 9/11 attacks.” A 2008 poll of 16,000 people in 17 countries
found only 46% believe al-Qaeda was solely responsible for 9/11.
The discourse of the contested events of 9/11 had a serious impact on
the growing anti-globalization movement. The momentum from the Battle
of Seattle stalled in the wake of 9/11, and states around the world
enacted authoritarian laws that undermined civil liberties and
criminalized dissent. The 9/11 Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
accompanied with a more general discourse of a “war on terror,”
dominated the international political climate.
What we are interested in is the kind of influence all this had on
radical movements worldwide. How did the official 9/11 Discourse and
its War on Terror affect popular culture? How did these discourses
change anarchist politics worldwide? How would contributors
characterize the resulting rise of nationalism and xenophobia in
relation to 9/11? We are also open to investigate changes in topics
like sexuality, education, arts, etc., in the wake of the 9/11
Discourse. What is the legacy of 9/11 from an anarchist perspective,
or how did 9/11 impact the anarchist perspective?
Submissions need not employ self-identified anarchists in their
analyses, but the conclusions of such analyses should gesture at some
of the common concerns of anarchists (class struggle, anti-statism,
anti-capitalism, anti-racism, freedom, socialism, libertarianism,
Some possible topics include:
- the 9/11 Commission and the power elite; what constitutes an
“independent” investigation in the contemporary corporate state?
- the 9/11 Commission Report: textual, rhetorical analyses; historical
accuracy; the process of its composition; etc.
- the use of tortured testimony in the 9/11 Commission Report
- the definition of “Al-Qaeda” in the 9/11 Commission Report vs. other
academic and governmental definitions
- the neoconservative agenda and the 9/11 Commission
- American events in the immediate post-9/11 era (“Amerithrax”
attacks, passing of the PATRIOT ACT, etc.)
- the 9/11 wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran?)
- US intelligence activities prior to 9/11: a consideration of the
national security state
- Responses to discussions of 9/11 by academic celebrities such as
Derrida, Baudrillard, and Jameson in the months following the attacks
- Why is the Left afraid of 9/11?
- The destruction of evidence (FAA tapes, the removal of debris from
Ground Zero, Able Danger, etc.)
- Pre-9/11 insider stock trading; the financialization of the economy;
the market “crisis” of 2008; etc.
- comparison of Barack Obama’s use of “hope” in his 2008 Presidential
Election campaign with anarchist notions of hope
- The neoconservative attempt to brand the “9/11 Generation”
- State-sponsored terrorism in the post-9/11 world
- State-sanctioned torture
Abstracts of no more than 500 words each must be submitted before
April 6, 2011. Authors will be notified before April 15, 2011.
Accepted articles must be submitted in full before June 1, 2011. All
submissions and questions should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of English
Mount Royal University
Calgary, AB, Canada
Let’s stop and do a visualization together.
Take a deep breath.
Hunch up and relax your shoulders. Exhale.
Close your eyes for a moment. Put yourself in the presence of the deeper Truth, the bigger Peace, that we are all a part of.
Visualize a future where the USA as a global leader in Peace, in the science of conflict resolution.
See it. Taste it.
This is a vision very different from what we do today, but not really all that different from who we really are.
This is a visualization I just did coast to coast, at the beginning of each of my gigs, on my recent national tour. I talked about my new book to come. It’s in this vision of peace that I am building up the Truth Party.
But it’s come to a point where I need your help. As a way to support my work, would you consider buying a copy of my book, Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up?
AH! Look how quickly the visualization has morphed into a commercial appeal, right?
But despair not, But there are more peaceful visualizations to come, in my new book, Slingshot to the Juggernaut. And there are some cool new things I have put online for you, today, below.
But first, let’s talk a little business.
For $20, I will sign one Big Wedding, and send it to you, postage-paid, anywhere in the US. I will draw little pictures in it if you like, or personalize it for your mother’s birthday.
For $40, I will send you three signed copies, so you can share the truth about 9/11 with your friends. The book is full of great first-hand reporting, deep historical research into Iran Contra/BCCI/the CIA and 9/11.
For $99, we have the Activist Special. I will send you a case of these books, yes, that’s 88 copies! You are free to sell them to support your local activism, or your local self! You can make mad cash. Or give them all away.
And even if you’re broke, and want to help me out, maybe you could store a case for me in your garage, so that they will be there for me during my next national tour!
I am quite proud of Big Wedding. The book was featured in, and was the basis for, the indie film Able Danger.
Author Anthony Lappé said something nice about Big Wedding:
Imagine Henry Rollins meets the young Bob Woodward—a clean-cut, hard-as-nails punk with the reporting chops to take on an empire. Hicks is out to do nothing less than expose the planet’s most insidious nexus: the jihadists, bankers, mercenaries, drug dealers, and so-called leaders who are currently pantomiming their way through a charade they’ve dubbed the ‘war on terror.’
My PayPal is email@example.com or if you like, you can use my Chip In site which will also process a debit card, or a PayPal transaction.
THANKS for your support. I am doing these speaking tours and writing these books because I really like working with people like you. Together we will get the world closer to peace. I know the Great Recession just went nuclear, and the USA just started it’s third little war against an oil-rich nation. But I don’t stand with the pessimists. I don’t think the world is over.
I think human creativity proves that we are a part of the Divine. We are all here to be Jesus, to be Buddha, for each other. The world needs us, it aches for the love we have to offer.
I have just published a new Outline for you to see, so that you can see what is going to be in Slingshot to the Juggernaut. It’s a fun read, here:
Now if you are REALLY ready to plunge into a wild hybrid of entrepreneurship, social enterprise, empowerment, freedom-love, and radical new notions of the power of human creativity, take a look at this new business proposal, for a new social network venture called the Truth Gathering, by Peace Machine Inc.
Download the Word file, here:
http://www.sanderhicks.com/Documents/Peace Machine Inc_V2.doc
Slingshot to the Juggernaut
Total Resistance to the US Death Machine Means Complete Love of the Truth
Visualize the USA as a global leader in Peace, in the science of conflict resolution. This is a vision very different from what we do today, but not really all that different from who we really are.
1. David vs. Goliath: Why this “Slingshot” and Why Now?
2. Who Killed David Graham? Confronting the FBI in Shreveport, LA
3. Able Danger and Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer. The Good Solider, Silenced.
4. Wolfgang Bohringer: Mohammed Atta’s Drinking Buddy. “You Can’t Arrest Me, I’m Working for CIA.”
NEW YORK STORIES:
5. 9/11, Giuliani, and the Death of New York City
How Did Giuliaini Know in Advance about the Towers’ Demolition?
6. Chapter Seven: Hauer, Hatfill, and the NYC Anthrax Connection
7. The New York 9/11 Spitzer-Silverstein Insurance Scam
8. Lin DeVecchio: The CIA’s Bag Man inside NY FBI, and how the Brooklyn DA took a “Dive to the Mat” on him, and 9/11.
9. NYC CAN: Legal analysis of a defeat, Hicks Gets Attacked on the Subway, for trying to get a new investigation of 9/11
10. Who Killed Barry Jennings? 9/11 Cinema Before the Fact/ 10 Years Later in NYC: No Truth, Just a Memorial
11. NY Media Plays its Role: The False Legend of Tucon’s Jared Loughner as “Truther” - Includes analysis of the Pentagon Shooter. Look at Daily Show producers attack on truthers.
II. THE POLITICAL PROBLEM:
12. The Post-Modern Democrats: Hillary, Spitzer, Sunstein and Obama.
13. The Death of Neo-Conservatism: Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, Horowitz, Paul Bremer
Compare to: Fujita
14. The Death of the Left, or How Sectarian Marxism Drove me Crazy. Lessons from the New English Anti-War Conference, MIT
15. Barriers to Perception: The Barrier Cloud (Limbic System), “Intoxication,” Carl Berstein’s model, and the Upton Sinclair quote.
16. Economics and Power: Finance Capital as the New “Divine Right of Kings” (includes: the problem of the Fed, i.e. a secret bigger than 9/11.)
17. Visualize a Citizen’s Grand Jury: US Constitution and Treason
18. Spritual/Political Strategies that Work: 3,000 years of history can’t be wrong: Jesus and Buddha and the USA. (Includes Pedophilia, Popes, and Cover-Up: 10,000 Reasons to Leave Catholicism) based in part on Devil in the Vatican
19. Direct Action Jesus: The Huffington Post Religion Postings
Witness Vs. Torture
Christianity at Left Forum
The Anarchist Jesus of the First Gospel (Gospel of Thomas)
20. Scenes from the Left/Libertarian Cross-over: the places and the issues where both sides find common cause. IRS, Fed, Currency.
21. The Truth Party Alternative: 3 Simple Virtues, 10 Point Program
22. Towards a New Political Culture: the Compassionate Communication Model (How NVC can help create an entirely new political culture. How NVC may be able to reach new ground on any issue, even super-contentious issues like abortion, or financial reform, etc.)
23. PIVC or PIVOT: Public Interest venture Capital
24. Entrepreneurship as a Political Strategy, NOT as a form of self-interest, growing the party through production, spreading the message through media production. PEACE MACHINE Inc. business proposal here.
25. The Joy of Confronting the Powers that Be
26. The Truth Party
New meditations, new visions of victory.
The Truth Party
Ten Point Program
March 12, 2011
Brothers and Sisters,
It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Vista, California, a lively village community between LA and San Diego. I am grateful to my hosts at the 12 Tribes community, who fed and housed me last night. Now that I am recharged, let me tell you what I learned from listening to people nation-wide on this whirlwind tour. I realize now that I was too modest in my goals for this Party. I was reticent at first, but when activists kept suggesting we hold a convention and nominate a Presidential candidate for 2012, I soon stopped saying, “we can’t” and said “Yes!”
So, yesterday, I called my old pal Lenny Charles at TV show INN World Report, back in NYC. He invited me to be a part of the planning for 9/11 truth events in NYC around the big ten year anniversary. We are now working on making a “Truth Party National Convention” a part of the after-events. (Think, perhaps, Monday 9/12/11.) People nation-wide are talking about “putting a million people on the street” in NYC on 9/11/11; the Truth Party convention will help add that. Please plan to be there. At the ten year anniversary of 9/11, we will witness the unveiling of the 3-D propaganda vehicle “9/11 Memorial” at Ground Zero, juxtaposed with a massive throng of activists in the street, asking for answers, through the simple, profound power of presence. The Truth Party National Convention will add to the importance of that time.
Here’s a report on what we started, in just two weeks. There are now official Truth Party facilitators in: Boston, NYC, Chicago, Madison, Austin, San Francisco, and San Diego. I am also talking to people about this now in Eastern PA, Concord, NH, Central Iowa, Phoenix, Portland, Minneapolis. and Las Vegas.
Over the course of my talks and discussions I realized we have to make certain points about strategy. This is the beginning of a “Truth Party Ten Point Program”:
1. The Truth Party has a Positive Vision. We stand for something substantial. We define ourselves in terms of what we are for, the way the positive symbols in the logo carry our message. The Truth Party has three core values: USA Peace Leadership, Economic Democracy, and Total Transparency. It’s time to expand upon this.
2. The People Can Be United. On certain issues, people are moving beyond the same old political categories: the bailouts, the cover-ups that create war, etc. This is a huge strategic advantage: let’s unify around these issues. This has never really been tried before: a political movement based on the big ideas that unite people, people from all sides of the so-called “left and right”. Together, we are developing a program that is uniting a mass movement: patriots, populists, and real progressives.
3. Economics Is A Vibrant Form Of Direct Action. Jack in New Hampshire talked about “Agorism” (i.e. “marketism”) and the 12 Tribes community out here are doing something very similar. What it is is living by example, showing the world a better way, not through scolding, but by doing. By creating ventures, vessels to carry the message. 12 Tribes have an amazing café/restaurant here in Vista that is packed from 9 PM to 2 AM everyday, (all 180 seats). Isn’t it funny that the people best at “business” are the ones who don’t do businesses primarily for money. They have put their mission, first. We need to move beyond the Federal Reserve, and the government of, by, and for Wall Street. We need public markets to work for the public. We need to make capital available to more people.
4. There Has To Be A Way Out. The temptation with deep research work is to get over-whelmed by the data. Every problem has a solution. And remember, that the Truth Movement can’t go anywhere if it’s just a conspiracy theory club. What we want is to spread this realization: the days of war are numbered. War Is Obsolete. How do we know this? By studying the fabricated provocations that have started all the wars. 9/11 is a good place to start. But it’s not the place we end.
5. Everyone’s Creative Capacity Is Infinite. Jim in Madison gave me a book on Nicholas of Cusa, a forgotten 14th Century mystic who states the universe is the unfolding of the Divine. Also in that book is the assertion that the creative powers of each human being are infinite, despite the pessimism and the limits we are taught. The First Amendment knows this truth. The Bill of Rights is based on the reliance on common sense, the “inner light” inside us all. There’s a link between the free exchange of ideas and the life of a democracy. The more we nurture our “inner light” or what the Buddhists call “everyone’s Buddha nature” the better we become as a people, as a republic, and as a democracy.
6. We Are All In a Dialogue with the World’s Great Religions. The First Amendment seems to encourage freedom of religion, as a cousin of the right to free speech, and the right to dissent. So, religion amd spirituality is something that every working intellectual/activist in the Truth Party needs to have a knowledge of. No particular belief system is required, of course, but we have to be able to speak the language of religion and faith. The core values we have: peace, truth, Divinity, and emancipation are also at the core of the Judeo/Christian tradition, and its descendant religion, Islam. We are all for the separation of Church and State, while acknowledging that religion, politics and philosophy all stem from the same tree. Consciousness changes the world. “The power of unity changes history.” -Daisaku Ikeda
7. The Call for a New Political Culture. At one point, during this tour, a 9/11 Truth Activist posted on the tour’s Facebook page, regarding the larger Movement: “No more drama! No more arguing!” Unfortunately, conflict and disagreements will always be with us. We can try to be of “one mind and one spirit” but at the same time, we must be able to deal with conflicts. You can’t outlaw them, unfortunately. One thing that has worked for me in my own life is Compassionate Communication techniques, in which I get away from making accusations, and instead, learn to clarify my own needs. If everyone’s needs can be “held equally” then together people can create a new strategy to meet all of those needs. This has been a good way to get away from the normal dramas, and into some serious conflict resolution success. This has to be a part of the culture we develop inside the Truth Party.
8. Cause and Effect. It’s the age-old law.You get what you give. You become what you focus on. Keep voting for deceptive politicians, you get more heartbreak and economic suffering. Some say work within exisint parties, but we say that that ground is toxic, and we won’t plant there. We can see the toxicity of too many bad compromises in that soil. Time to break new ground! A new Party with a new vision, a new culture, a new spirit has ARRIVED!
9. We Have a Winning Viral Strategy. A smart guy in San Diego said, make it an “organism” not so much an “organization.” We need a Starfish, not a Spider. This is NOT about one man, one ego, or one political career, and this is not the “Sander Hicks Party”. Instead, we should seek to create a network of equals, not an authoritarian hierarchy. To this end, I will reach out to my co-facilitators today, in their cities, and we will talk about goals for Fall 2011. I would like to attempt to coordinate a simultaneous live event, in ten cities, at once, on the 11th of May, 2011. I would like to practice a “network of equals” strategy by where we seek to grow this Party virally: 1 becomes 2 becomes 4 becomes 16 becomes 256….
10. Micro and Macro Politics. The Truth Party strategy for its first ten years or so will be to run candidates at the micro level: neighborhood council, school board, city council, etc. as well as nominate a national candidate, or slate of candidates, in order to gain national stature.
Like what you hear?
I need your help. My car rental bill that has just about depleted my finances. and I am trying to get back to NYC now. I did sell a lot of T-shirts and books on this tour, and money did flow in nicely, at times. But when gas is $4 a gallon in CA, the oil companies take their pound of flesh….
Would you consider donated $50 to $150 at my Chip In page?
AND MORE IMPORTANTLY:
Will you come to NYC in Fall of 2011? Will you attend and vote at the national convention? Will you consider running for office at the micro-local level? Or for President?
Let’s BUILD this thing together! It’s already started.
THANKS for reading the whole thing.
email feedback to sanderhicksdotcom [AT] gmail.com THANKS!
Sander Hicks’SLINGSHOT TO THE JUGGERNAUT
Cell: 347 446 4461
The Truth Party now has official representation in Boston, New York City, Chicago, Madison, and Austin, Texas.
We have people also talking about setting up a Truth Party in Concord, NH, Eastern PA, and Central Iowa, as well. From Madison to Boston to Austin, the country is ready for a new political party around Truth, Peace and rediscovering what is GOOD about the USA.
By talking to people, I have heard the suggestion that we hold a national conference, and nominate a presidential candidate. Let’s DO IT! We will, next year, for the 2012 election.
My new book, Slingshot to the Juggernaut, will talk to America and formally introduce the Truth Party. That book will come out in the Fall of 2011. Chapter One is about the slain whistle-blower Dr. David M. Graham. He died for Truth, so that truth can live.But the trick with the truth about corruption in the USA is to remember “There HAS to be a solution to every problem.”
This tour, this new political party, will all be in the Slingshot, my new book. The work we are all doing at these events on tour is historic. My book, however, is only half done, and a deadline is fast approaching.
Here’s where you come in.
I have created a new campaign on “Chip In" (which is much better than KickStarter). I am looking to raise $1,500. I need to get a van back in NYC fixed, and a rental car for the tour paid off. I need to hole up somewhere and WRITE.
Most gigs have been great on tour, some have not come through. Revenue I was counting on turns into expensive down time.
If you would consider even a ten dollar donation, that would be a big help. If you can give $500, then, God Bless You!
I am heading into Las Vegas tonight with an event with We Are Change, and then it’s onto Berkeley, CA, in a gig with Project Censored. I am so very grateful to all my supporters who helped with the banner, and everyone who has put together a gig thus far. And I’m grateful to you, for even considering this crazy idea, that we can take our country back, and hold together a positive vision of the USA becoming about peace, nonviolence, truth, economic empowerment, and transparency. That’s what WE are all about! TRUTH PARTY!
Please chip into the hat, here.
In Light and Truth,
OK, this will be a ten-minute blast of speed writing because that’s all the time I have left in the hotel here in Des Moines. The tour has gone really well. I hope you find these highlights inspiring so that you will resolve to come out and join us.
In Concord, NH, I spoke to a lively crowd in the back of the Liberty Book Store. It turns out the whole state is being infiltrated by a Libertarian movement called “Free State.” They are attempting to move 20,000 freedom-loving people into the State, in order to influence the politics there. Liberty Book Store was a great shop – full of hard-to-find books about 9/11 truth, liberty, and a form of politics that I am under-read in. Even though I didn’t get any formal volunteers to be the Truth Party representatives in the Free State, I do have a couple of people who are considering it. Spending time with lefty libertarian activist Jack Shimek was especially nice – he educated me on Agorism (the formation of a permanent paralellel alternative economy to replace the one we don’t like) and he’s also active in the Seekers – the rebirth of a Quaker offshoot that supported free inquiry, and even welcomed atheists into their ranks.
From there, I shot down to the Philadelphia area of PA – and caught up with Betsy Metz and Chic Migeot, two dedicated activists in that area. (Betsy is the producer of last March’s Treason in America conference, which was so high-profile, ABC’s Nightline showed up to do a hit piece, and the Pentagon Shooter incident happened to happen that same weekend….) I am learning that it’s NOT super easy to just ask people to be local coordinators of the Truth Party in their town … it sounds like it might be a big commitment – and not everyone is as crazy about the idea as I am. AND YET, Chic and Betsy Metz at dinner that night pushed me to take it to the next level. I was asked in Boston, “Will you have a 2012 Presidential Candidate” and I said something like “Aw shucks, we can’t do that, it’s too soon.” But after that dinner I started to think that “Hey, a national convention of Truth Party people democratically nominating a real Presidential Candidate would be a great way to help establish the party, and fire up the base!”
Later that night, I had the worst gig of the tour – I was the “featured artist” at an open mike in Gardenville, but the people there forgot I was coming, and mostly the people there did not want to hear a speaker. They said, “we work hard, on a Friday Night we want music.” So I went to my car, and got out the guitar, came back and played them a song, about my ex-wife, and her new love for the “middle class life” which includes voting for well-marketed politicians (Obama) who are programmed to betray you. It was a 200% change: instead of the audience fighting me, they heard me.
And then the host took back the stage, and played ten songs mostly covers.
I knew I had a long drive ahead of me, so after that weird hell gig I slipped up through Allentown, and caught I-80, thanks to a short little highway that pops up North and grabs it where it dips down after East Stroudsberg. I rode 80 all night until 4 AM, drinking energy drinks and eating dark chocolate and puffing a bit of what I call “Boston Brown” which is seedy but cheap.
After a motel in State College, I made it to Chicago, IL ihe next day, in time for a home-cooked chicken dinner with Ben Strawbridge, and his girlfriend Erin (whose last name I didn’t catch.) Unlike other towns, Ben Strawbridge was intense and eager to become the Truth Party facilitator of Chicago. Our flag is planted in the Windy City! Ben got me a really nice hotel room on the 38th floor, high above downtown Chicago, and I felt like a million bucks, completley recharged from the lone I-80 trek through PA, OH, and Indiana. The gig in Chicago was also a lot of fun – my old pal Bill Giltner was there, as was Fed whistle-blower Bill Bergman. (I want to say thanks to Jon, the political cartoonist host of the Chicago house party.)
OK – THIS PART IS PRETTY BIG for me. Madison, WI.
Tour Manager Lisa Ross (who joined the tour briefly in Madison and her native Iowa) said this about this stop:
Synchronicity is bringing the Slingshot Tour to Madison at a very exciting time. This is not an accident. Attend and be a part of the Digital Revolution!
At this moment in history, the people have risen up, here in Madison, WI. Most of us know that there has been international media attention, about the labor struggle, regarding public service workers VS. a right-wing Governor Walker. Gov. Walker has been eager to slash workers pay (and the union went along with that) but also remove completely the unions’ rights to organize and collectively bargain at all (and no union can ever go along with that.) Hence, a stand-off, in which an already politically-charged community has risen up, and SEIZED the State Capitol building.
So, we had a great gig that day, at a local community center very close to the Capitol. AND we made a march to join the struggle the final part of events of the day. The gig was great, because I had three local activists speak: Phil Zimmerman from Christians for 9/11 Truth, Eric Sayward from We Are Change Madison, and of course, event host Dr. Kevin Barrett, who is active in a number of groups, most recently, Muslims for 9/11 Truth. His eloquence is inspiring, and so flattering I am flattened. See a sample, here:
I read that on my phone as I pulled into town and knew it would be a great gig. I spoke a lot more about Jesus, as the “original Truther” in this talk. The Wil-Mar community center is a former church, and we were gathered there around Peace and Truth. I couldn’t think of a better Sunday afternoon. Lots of religious activists were in the crowd, eager to hear about my experiences with Catholic Worker, NYC.
Later, after a lovely snack with local microbrew at “The Weary Traveller” Kevin Barrett and the local public access TV guy Matt set up seats in front of the capitol and shot an impromptu debate about labor politics in WI, with a local attorney who agreed to argue the other side. We were told we couldn’t get into the beautiful domed structure up the hill, the doors were locked. People inside had bedding and food and were planning to continue to occupy the building. It was only the second day of the stand-off, only the second night (I believe) that activists had slept in the building.
Good photos and OK reporting, here:
We were all like “Aw shucks” we can’t get into the building anymore. But at one point I decided I felt like getting really close to the building, so I walked up the steps to the temple-like place. Then, a men’s room window opened, and about 7 or 8 of us just dove in. It was like the kind of move you have to make when you are marching with the black bloc at an anti-war protest, and you know that you have to be spontaneous, and not over-think anything.
Once inside the men’s room, I met two young protestors in t-shirts, with wide smiles on their faces: “Did you hear? Schultz has caved in!” They meant that a GOP state legislator had backed away from supporting the draconian Walker budget. The people were only two votes away from victory.
Inside, the mood was jubiliant. There was electricity in the air, sounds of drums, a young woman addressed the crowd on a megaphone, to a packed assembly under the Rotunda. “We have good news, we will be allowed to stay the night!” Sounds like the cops couldn’t have it any other way, if they tried. There was an intense irony to the classical gilt architecture, draped with TAX THE RICH banners.
From there, I came South to Iowa, outside Des Moines, in Adel, a nice crowd of about 20, mostly farmers and workers, some Tea Party people angry at the betrayal of the Tea Party, voting for the PATRIOT ACT’s renewal. Great dialogue, great mix of politics. We had everyone in the room: Democrats to anarchists to libertarian conservatives. The Truth Party is getting started.
OK, gotta get out the door to Branson, MO.
Remember the story of David and Goliath?
It’s one of those classic tales that can appeal to the religious and secularists alike. We all relate to the underdog, the scrawny shepherd boy who with a strange self-assurance takes on a blood-thirsty giant warrior. The stage is set for tragedy, because Goliath is the undefeated champion. But in a shocking upset, the little guy wins, despite all odds. How did that happen? How did a kid knock out a towering, fearsome ogre using just a slingshot?
There are details to the David story often overlooked. David had faith he could do the job, because he had some experience, fighting animals. He had rescued lambs from the jaws of lions as a shepherd. He felt a divine power over him then. He had faith that the divine power was real, that God was inside him.
When David volunteers to do the impossible, David is at first gussied up in the armor of the Israelites. But he can’t move around. He says, “I cannot go in these, because I have never tried them before.” Or a modern translation could be “Dude, I can’t even breathe in this gear, forget it, it’s not going to work this way. Let me try something.” So he puts away the professional war weapons and military armor. He sticks to what he knows. He goes to a dry creek bed and picks out five smooth stones.
Goliath, for his own part, is loud and obnoxious. Not only does he enjoy a great Win-Loss record, he’s a trash talker. He mocks the God of Israel. He blasphemes so obscenely, David is filled with a special kind of rage. David’s rage is holy. You see, David loved God. He loved the truth and the poetry of God. We know this because of the songs he wrote, the Psalms. Radical stuff like,
"Trampling under foot the pieces of silver;
God has scattered the peoples who delight in war.”
David put all his love for beauty and truth into his actions that day. He put his faith in God, not in armor or big weapons. (This poet-king was an ancestor to both Joseph and Mary, parents of Jesus of Nazareth.)
So, even if you, my reader, don’t believe in God, or don’t believe in “the God” of ancient Israel, I think you can still relate to David’s situation. Goliath had already killed a lot of David’s friends and countrymen, but when he talks shit about God, the thing most important to David, it’s the beginning of Goliath’s end.
The juxtaposition must have been startling: Next to his enemy, David appeared practically naked. David was “stone cold” terrified as he looked out at the battlefield that day. And we can imagine well how his stones got cold: the statue of David by Michelangelo reminds us of how naked David was. Many people have joked about how small David’s penis and testicles look in that work, but that too is a telling detail: the fear of death was so intense, David’s genitals shrank as a natural protective measure. We guys can relate.
And yet, despite the fear, and the odds, and the inequal weaponry, he won. He felt fear, but worked through the fear. He put his faith in the holiness of Truth, the divine poetry, the Divine that was within him, and in history. God is the history of all history, and the Spirit of History tends to love subversive underdogs. History teaches us we can beat a brutal military juggernaut with a slingshot.
So, in a similar way, this book is my slingshot. There’s a Goliath in our midst. That Goliath is the status quo reality of war and lies. It’s an America that doesn’t know what it stands for. It’s an American politics that is locked it’s own self-destructive, wasteful cycles. It’s a war machine that not only has killed millions already, it has moved into new territory: the realm of spectacle-creation. The war machine kills people, but it also kills truth. It doesn’t just make wars anymore. It creates the situations that themselves create wars. It molds public opinion to support wars that normally, we decent regular people would never support.
Along the way, this book will talk about the fundamental self-deception at the root of our economic system. But be it politics, history or economics, I’m not going to leave you in a quagmire of negativity. I’m crazy enough to dream up some solutions; I’ll share some ideas I’ve been working on.
I am a revolutionary. But like David, I’m not interested in big guns. There are better weapons for the struggle I am going to describe. It’s like David said before he used his slingshot: “All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves.” Modern translation? It’s not from the Pentagon, or the White House, or the Media that the truth comes out, but from a truth that is in each of our hearts. The USA has a destiny to be a leader in peace and non-violent conflict resolution. But we are going to need to change to realize this destiny.
The time is right for this book for so many reasons. America is aching for meaning. It’s aching for some new revolutionary ideas. With a so called “progressive” president in the White House, the “left” in America can’t seem so rouse itself to protest the wars that this President fights. Indeed, this President feeds the war machine and spills more blood. Not enough people have stood up and said, “Isn’t it weird that we had a change of party in the White House, but zero change in Foreign Policy?”
So, let me give you a bit of a overview of all the fun and exciting and completely terrifying places this Slingshot to the Juggernaut will launch us into. I consider this a book of prophetic political philosophy. I say “prophetic” because this is a work of history, but also a work that projects a new future, based on where we’ve been. In the Old Testament, we see that the prophet’s work is to look back into history, see the promises his (or her) people have made, and then call for a future that returns to those core promises.
(And yes, before I go on, I should give a nod to the atheists, and say yes, the Old Testament is also full of blood, gore, genocide, homophobia, misogyny, historical contradictions, and a “jealous God” who is willing to exterminate whole races. I know. Twelve years of Catholic School drilled that into my head. But also this: there are also the foundations of a revolutionary philosophy in that Bible. Potential revolutionaries are robbing themselves of some powerful magic by completely throwing out the Bible. I will prove this below.)
Slingshot to the Juggernaut is dedicated to David, and I mean that in a number of ways. I dedicate this book to the David who slew Goliath. The David who wrote great songs of peace and justice. (Even if he was also a conquering military king, and a big cheater on his wife.)
But I also dedicate this book to a “new David” Dr. David M. Graham. Graham is a guy I never met, but I have studied his life and death for the past five years, and I find him heroic. David Graham met two of the “9/11 Hijackers” ten months before 9/11. David had sharp suspicions about them. But he was threatened and bullied by the FBI when he tried to report his meetings. After 9/11, David was shocked to see the two young Arabs he met pop up suddenly on the mug-shots of the “19 hijackers.” He wrote a book about who he met, what he saw, and how the system would not listen. He was always in touch with the Shreveport FBI, before and after 9/11, and they were adamant he not publish his book. David feared for his life, but he acted through the fear. In 2005, on the verge of going forward with his book, Graham was poisoned. He suffered, died and was buried. Yet his story lives on here. His resurrection is in the hearts of all who remain curious about 9/11. Graham was a martyr, he was crucified for our lack of courage. He died, so that we may live in a time free from state-created fear. He was a true Christian, and every Christian in the USA has a lot to learn about the real Jesus from this man. He was a maverick American, and every American needs to connect to the just how free from control this man was. He was a lover of the poor, and all people need to expand their hearts in his name.
I don’t share this story out of a desire to spook you out with a morbid details of a strange mysterious murder. Just the opposite is true. Graham would want us to be free, to use the crisis of our current time to renew our dedication to the truth. So, even in the crush of his death, there’s an opportunity for new life. He was clearly a martyr (and I will make this case in detail) and the story of a martyr is a powerful motivator. When someone shows fearlessness against the Juggernaut, it’s important that their story is spread. We need to shout his story from the rooftops, all of us, because that story will inspire more fearlessness, and holy resistance.
I have been dedicated to exposing the Bush/Cheney 9/11 cover-up for ten years now, but what really turns me on is that a whole new political practice has emerged inside the movement for truth. The old borders of “Right and Left” are not as relevant as they once were. Rather than frame the world to come in the paradigms of “Democrat VS. Republican” or “liberal versus conservative” the new struggle to come will be “the people versus elite.” Or, as I saw on a bumper sticker recently, it’s all about “People Versus Pigs.”
9/11 is a rotten onion. When you hold up this historical topic, you find a complex, rotting vegetable. Peel any layer, every one is soaked through with an acrid stink. As a country, we have been put through an emotional, multimedia wringer, where an authoritarian government/media machine has pounded certain images, and explanations, and justifications, and scapegoats, into our heads, with such repetition and such intensity, that you would be surprised that anyone would rebel. It’s a miracle that the American people have not been fooled, all of us, 100%, en masse.
After all, look at our world: there is really no one in the media, either the mainstream or the so called “liberal” or “alternative press” who has picked up the ripe opportunity to seriously question the Bush/Cheney/Obama official story about 9/11. That’s right, I’m talking about journalists you would expect to question things, some of whom I almost consider friends: Amy Goodman, Greg Palast, Alexander Cockburn, etc. For whatever reason, their silence is deafening. They have been appealed to, personally. I have been an eyewitness to that. They have declined to take up the slingshot against this particular Goliath.
That means the opportunity falls to us. We are the Davids. The failure of our mainstream and alternative media is tragic. But this failure is an opportunity for a new rigorous investigative journalism to emerge. It has emerged, and is emerging. The new technologies and the social networks support disruption and free dialogue, so that the truth will, in the end, win out. And that freedom is at the essence of the First Amendment.
The American people, in their wisdom, have not been fooled by the 9/11 Official Story. A uniformed, angry voice has boomed out telling us to blame Arabs, blame Bin Laden, give up our rights, endorse torture. The voice of tyranny wants America to become a permanent national security state. But the American people are not buying it. Major polls show a significant and growing level of skepticism about 9/11. (Especially the Scripps/Howard/Ohio University Poll or the NY Times/CBS Poll.) Globally, the recent data shows that once you get outside the influence of the US Media antennae, an even bigger swath of Earth’s good people reject the flimsy assertion that 19 young dudes with box cutters could defeat the strongest nation on Earth. (World Opinion Poll data here).
Throughout the book I will be fleshing out these assertions about 9/11, and making the case that the attacks came from deep inside the permanent US war machine. But again, as weird as it may seem, this is not a reason to go slash your wrists. The topic is actually an opportunity for hope.
How? Well, the American people, in their wisdom, don’t like war. We don’t want it, and we as a people are eager to figure out how to ban it once and for all. The study of the truth about 9/11 is essential to understanding modern history. You start to see a pattern: we had to be hood-winked into Vietnam, World War II, World War I, the Spanish-American War, the Mexican American War, etc. The US Government’s use of traumatizing spectacle to mold public opinion is well-documented. This fact shows that war is obsolete. And the system knows it.
Once you understand just how calculating and cold the US War machine has become, you are liberated from having to have the same old fears. The fears are fake. It’s like they are junk food, sold as “organic.” And once you wean yourself off them, you come to realize that war itself will soon be a thing of the past.
I have been called many things, politically. However, I am a man of wide-ranging interests. Rather than primarily embrace the label Christian, Buddhist, Marxist, community activist, capitalist, Traditionalist, or Anarchist, I would prefer the term “American.” That’s right, American, like Walt Whitman, Thomas Jefferson, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. These great lovers of truth who were men of action. All of the other terms do apply, to an extent, and I have used them, at times, in the past. But going forward, I’m more interested in finding a way for us in this country to love ourselves again, so that we can love other countries.
I believe the work of truth and peace run counter to the interests of the modern National Security State. The highest ethical calling therefore is to envision a revolutionary new State. Or perhaps the need for a State is itself obsolete. The future of the US State is a State that is something between a revolutionary State and the abolition of the State.
At the outset of this journey, we must ask ourselves: does the modern National Security State manage “reality?” And if so, is this perhaps a new historical phenomenon that takes oppression to a new low? And what would a revolutionary new form of democratic self-organization look like? What would be the best anti-dote to the War State?
America went through a rough century, the 20th was a period of intense growth at a rapid pace. Suddenly we find ourselves running a global empire with over 600 military bases around the world. Is this what we were destined to become, at our founding? Or did we go horribly off track, somewhere along the way? What will the 21st Century mean for America, as new global super-powers emerge, and the US Dollar begins to wane in strength?
The 9/11 Commission Report has one true statement: “The USA needs to figure out what it stands for.” The Commission was not up for trying to fix the problem, but I am. The USA needs a special kind of revolution. We need new Davids to come forth, to say, this armor isn’t working, we need a new kind of struggle. We need to go deeper. We need to go beyond Left and Right, beyond Democrat and Republican, to expand our hearts, to nurture our spirits, our spirituality, and to create a renewal of the American Spirit.
Out of this spiritual renewal will come powerful new ideas that empower people. We will rejuvenate our democracy, and our economy. I have run two businesses, and have had a ribald mix of success and failure. I have found that it’s not hard to learn the language of capitalism, to appreciate what’s good about capitalism, without giving up on the idea that capitalism must change, in a fundamental way, if the people are going to survive. Once we learn this language, we can talk about ways to democratize capital itself. Once you forsake violence, new ideas are possible: new forms of freedom and democracy that can live with, and not be opposed to, the interests of capital. It is in the interests of both capital and labor to create a whole new set of relationships around capital, free markets, investors and entrepreneurs. I will expand upon these ideas in my chapter on Public Interest Venture Capital, etc.
I’m sure this book will upset some people. That’s OK, we need to have this talk. I will be asking everyone, especially the people on the Left, to go farther in their thinking about history, economics, and power. I am coming from the Left, but I’m not constrained by any one ideology. In fact, I have found the more I step outside the bounds of Left orthodoxy, the better ideas I come up with, ideas that just will contribute to a larger dialogue about how we can save America, and the world.