Sat 30 May 2015
Lefties Are In Their Right Minds!
I will be leading the Lefties Are In Their Right Minds! panel discussion at Left Forum 2015 today. Please attend!
Sat 30 May 2015
Lefties Are In Their Right Minds!
I will be leading the Lefties Are In Their Right Minds! panel discussion at Left Forum 2015 today. Please attend!
Sun 10 May 2015
Political Misunderstanding Of The Mothering-Nurturing-Compassionate Aspect Of Our Lives
On Mother’s Day 2015, I’m painfully aware of a great dichotomy of political opinion regarding the strengths of this country. We might all assert to be “Patriotic Americans!” Of course!
Some will point to the “undisputed fact” that “We’re The Good Guys!” Didn’t we defeat the Nazis, and come to the rescue of the world? My own loving Son believes that I’m too critical of US Foreign policies. I respect and fully understand his point of view, in that he believes in economic and military power, and with his assigned role as Protector, defending US is primary, BUT,
As a Mother, my focus is more on the wellbeing of the whole Human Family, not just a few sub-segments, of it. After all, the United States of America is just one Member of this global Human Family. We assert to be the most powerful, because we hold, and will not relinquish, the power to respond militarily to any asserted threat that our militarily minded leaders may perceive.
This literally scares the hell outta me! Why is negotiation and seeking non-military solutions considered wimpish and subject to criticism? I am so concerned that, in the absence of, or the ineffective presentation of a coherent model of World Power that is non-military, we Americans will fall prey (let-us-prey?) to the “Military Industrial Complex” of which Dwight Eisenhower warned us, and in the din of electoral politics, in this “best democracy that money can buy,” might choose to confront adversity, as-in: “the Christians against the Muslims” with insanity!
Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, I fear that Dr. Strangelove might be convincingly more powerful. The basic primitive response to perceived aggression is “us against them,” wholly disregarding our thousands of years of Human history and the wisdom gained thereby. Corliss Lamont, a Patriotic Champion of Civil Liberties, wrote in 1952, pamphlets discussing US Foreign Policies, and titled one pamphlet: “Are We Being Talked Into War?” This man saw the dangers of commitment to military “solutions” in response to perceived or imagined threats as insanity, way back then!
Here’s a bit of history that is not often discussed for the general public. Perhaps is academic circles it may be clinically diagnosed, but any finding produced thereby have not filtered into general knowledge by our populace, especially potential voters. This is my biggest scare.
I fear that passionate Nationalism with all of its fearful implications will become the official US stance on the world scene, if not properly grounded in some motherly attention to history.
Let it begin with technology. Human creativity and ingenuity has brought us to an amazing never before moment in our human evolution. We now have the power to cause the extinction of this whole human experience! Poof! In a series of nuclear blasts, you know…the “Mushroom shaped cloud” bit! Nothing left but, maybe the cockroaches. ON THE OTHER HAND…..tada, we now have, thanks to technology, PEOPLE POWER! We human beings can communicate with EACH OTHER! Maybe, we can get it together, in the best interest of human survival?
Come sit by my knee, and let me tell you a story. It began, way back in the late 1800s, when the compassionate scholarship of some important whistle-blowers of the time, saw that the powerful industrial revolution that was going-on, didn’t filter down to the workers! The great potential for human betterment was being short-stopped at the paycheck, and was overflowing the coffers of the investors! WOW! What a shocking assertion! Of course, this accusation didn’t sit well with the investors, the bankers, and the corporations that promoted the industrial revolution. It literally sacred the hell-outta-them! The whole point of their investment was…guess what? It was to make money! If there were any altruistic aspects of their investment, they were usually sacrificed on the alter of profit-making, by decisions of the powerful. So, naturally, in their own best interests, they must oppose this mistaken conspiracy at all costs! And indeed, they did.
Ever since, in one form or another, the attempt to thwart, deride, propagandize, oppose, any move by the Workers to gain respect and a more equitable share of the profit, has succeeded!
You may be old enough to have experienced the Red Scare right here in the good ‘ol US of A? No? You haven’t heard of the Palmer Raids? How about Socialists elected-into office by New York Voters, who were refused entrance to the NY Legislature, because of their “foreign” beliefs? How about tales of the “Evil Empire” and fearsome Socialism? Totalitarianism? What about the House Un-American Activities Committee to root out the cancer of communism in our communities, then even worse, Joseph McCarthy who saw a “commie” under every bed?
I’ll tell you, the powers that be have really done a number on the concept of equitable treatment of workers and of human beings in general, even respect for planet Earth, to convince us that we Earthlings are not worthy of better treatment and humane considerations for our health and wellbeing, for the safety and happiness of our families, for fair treatment of all of us humans regardless of our heritage. Many workers, to this day, will automatically respond negatively to the word “socialism” This is almost a kneejerk reaction, with head shaking, disapproving of any ideas of those foreign ideas. Alas, our workers are in desperate need of the best ideals of the Socialist economic ideals. Workers of the World Unite! That was the battle cry in the 1900s! They didn’t unite, and the battle still rages. Socialism does NOT mean totalitarianism! Instead, it is a concept that is humanitarian and of benefit to the People. It is only when governments are fierce and controlling in protecting ITSELF, rather than the rights of its own People!
Because the average American voter, who may not be aware of our own history, or steeped in the lore of equality and justice, and identify with the history of the people’s attempt to have a stronger voice in decisions made in this country, we might be vulnerable to a strong backlash surge of militaristic nationalism in an upcoming election, in which the ideals of “America First” might prevail. This could usher us into a world of fascism that could make the Nazi’s look like Boy Scouts in comparison. Never mind Europe; some fanatics envision Global domination. Don’t we have a military finger in every pie on the face of this Earth? Maybe, a finger in the EYE of almost every Human? This is truly a fearful prospect. We need a peaceful Earth.
In the 1930s, in Germany, the ideals of Socialism and of Communism were in opposition, with adherents of each party competing fiercely, rather then articulating and presenting a coherent and comprehensive vision to appeal to the voters of Germany, they were pretty much rejected as a source of wisdom and power, almost like “You trouble making foreigners go home to the USSR!” It was into this absence of a coherent articulation of the ideals of socialist society, that a powerful surge of German Nationalism arose. Germany Uber Alles! This led to the Nazi power.
It’s still Mother’s Day 2015. I worry about all the kids on the face of this Earth who will benefit from a Humanistic approach to the complex problems on this Planet. Military power will not bring safety, respect, equality, civil liberties, health care, education, food and shelter. Human concerns are more closely aligned with the social aspects of the Humanist philosophy and must not be feared. We’re social beings; we’ve evolved from compassionate ancestors: MOTHERS!
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Wed 4 Mar 2015
Remembering a Volga River Tour with Promoting Enduring Peace
Running time: 8 minutes 42 seconds
YouTube Channel: Struggle Video Media
TSVN - The Struggle Video News a Project of The Middle East Crisis Committee, Woodbridge, CT.
Interview with Beth Lamont, widow of Corliss Lamont, at the two-day event entitled “Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction” held February 28 & March 1, 2015 at the New York Academy of Medicine.
Features recollection of her travel on the Volga River in the then Soviet Union in the 1980’s.
Video courtesy of Stanley Heller, Secretary of Promoting Enduring Peace, New Haven, CT.
Download this video in MPEG-4 AVC/AAC or WebM VP8/Vorbis formats
(right-click and “Save As…” to download):
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Tue 25 Nov 2014
It’s Gift-Giving Time! Give Humanist Books!
The Corliss Lamont Half-Moon Foundation, dedicated to the Humanist Philosophy; Respect for all of Humankind; Promotion of Peace; and Protection of Planet Earth, is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Organization, that will benefit from Your donation, and benefit Yourself on Income Tax Day.
More information about this Foundation is available on Corliss Lamont Website http://www.corliss-lamont.org/.
Presently, it sponsors the historical information about the Man. It tells the story of his courage, his lawsuits, and his lifetime devotion to truth, and social and economic Justice!
All the Books of this Philosopher are listed on his Web site.
As a Thank You for your donation to the Foundation, in any amount, an official letterhead acknowledgment will come to you, and now, in addition, your choice of the Books of Corliss Lamont will also be sent immediately, in time for Holiday gift-giving. It’s as simple as clicking a PayPal button.
All of his books are listed there. You may want copies of all of them, several of each, or boxes of the same title for your study group. Philosophy of Humanism, Eighth Edition is the de-gendered version. Lefties Are In Their Right Minds is also available; Corliss wrote: You Might Like Socialism.
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Note: This special offer extends through March 31, 2015.
Thu 29 May 2014
As most regular readers of this blog already know, the Human Values Network Web site, along with this Humanvalues Weblog, is sponsored by Half-Moon Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
We’re pleased to announce that HSMNY Executive Director Stephen James will be moderating a panel discussion at this year’s Left Forum 2014 conference entitled “Prejudices, Fantasies, and Justice”.
The panel discussion, scheduled to take place from 10:00 AM to 11:50 AM on the morning of Sunday, June 1, is sponsored by the New York Chapter of the Ernest Becker Foundation.
If you’re in the New York area this weekend, please try to attend Left Forum 2014, and especially the “Prejudices, Fantasies, and Justice” panel discussion.
Left Forum 2014 is being held May 30 through June 1 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York (CUNY), 524 West 59th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues), New York, NY. The theme for this year’s conference is “Reform and/or Revolution: Imagining a World with Transformative Justice”.
Now celebrating its 10th year, Left Forum is the largest annual conference in the United States of the broad spectrum progressive intellectuals, activists, scholars, organizations and the interested public. Each year thousands of conference participants come together in New York City to discuss pressing local, national and global issues; to better understand commonalities and differences, and alternatives to current predicaments; or to share ideas to help build social movements to transform the world.
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Sat 24 May 2014
This just in… from Sara Flounders via Norman Roscoe.
STOP the U.S. MARCH to WAR
March and Rally: Monday, May 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM.
Gather at Times Square, 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, NYC.
March to CNN Columbus Circle.
INITIATED BY: INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER IACenter.org 212-633-6646
PART OF THE EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION BY UNITED NATIONAL ANTIWAR COALITION (UNAC)
Please download and distribute the flyer below (right-click and “Save As…” to download):
Tue 3 Sep 2013
New York City, NY
September 2, 2013
Hello Dear President Barack Obama,
I’m writing to urge that you use all possible diplomatic means to help solve the present dilemma with Syria. Please do not take military action toward Syria.
You are getting all kinds of advice from your official Advisors. I hope that some are warning of long range dangers and counter productive repercussions among our allies, and even among our enemies, on the world scene, if the US resorts to bombing.
Using chemical weapons on one’s own citizens is indeed a reprehensible act! We all recognize that this violates the laws of human decency, and is counter to international agreements. You are quite correct in calling attention to this grievous violation!
People all around the world are shocked and dismayed at this new chemical violence in Syria, that follow the previous outrages of murdering hundreds of civilian protestors in the streets.
Many of us, wary of historical “false flag” operations, wonder who are the actual perpetrators of this use of Sarin Gas. Was it really initiated by the Assad regime, or could it have been used by a covert entity that planned for the US to assume Assad’s guilt; certain that US would take action; accusing it of “crossing the line;” and then bombing Syria in retaliation? How can we know for certain?
Please, until further determination, I am urging that no military action be taken. There are those of military mindset who would have you authorize an immediate surgical strike, giving a decisive blow to punish the Assad regime. Even initiating a “quarantine” would be better than bombing. But, there are other considerations that you may wish to consider.
This is a pivotal time in world events, especially with the availability of Internet information. New access to “old” information, regarding US foreign policy secrets, and hence whistle-blowing, has left the US in a few embarrassing situations, with a lot of “Egg on its face!”
The US has used Napalm and depleted Uranium on civilian populations. For these violations, the credibility of our own “righteousness” is called into question.
Not only are we hypocrites, we are still relying on primitive military means to solve complicated world problems, that instead need wisdom and finesse.
Oh, yes! We can boast that we can bomb the hell out of anybody on Earth! This is a boast you’d expect of a psychopath! Not a nation that values human life.
Dear President Obama….you are NOT guilty of any of these previous wrongs!
You did NOT use Napalm! You did NOT use depleted Uranium!
You can be the initiator of a new and more honest US approach with which to face the world. The American People believe that we can do better. We do NOT want WAR!
We Peace Persons want you to close Guantanamo and stop relying on targeted assassination that creates new enemies! You have the right to make new and wiser decisions of your own. You have the right to cast off the burdens of old wars that you inherited. Cast off the poor decisions that were made in previous administrations.
The US can “Come Clean!” Start a new and ethical approach for US foreign policy!
This is the “change” that we, who voted for you, had in mind. “Yes, we can!” is still our Mantra! We CAN pledge that we will not just automatically respond militarily to situations that can be better solved by more diplomatic means.
The rest of the world will rejoice upon observing this new wisdom. Many will be eager to work with us, against our common enemies. Our worst enemies are anger, ignorance and vengeance.
I love the idea of our fostering democracy around the world, and wish for the US to promote peaceful negotiations among those with opposing agendas and opposing viewpoints. This is the urgent need. Please retire the military mindset?
Please, Dear President Obama, use all diplomatic means to solve world problems.
Thank you for your consideration,
Beth K. Lamont, Humanist Chaplain, and Widow of Corliss Lamont
P.S. I would really appreciate a response. Thank you again.
Sun 26 May 2013
Today, I really felt sorry for the poor fellow who stated that women can’t succeed in business because they have babies! He really got lambasted, and accused of reiterating “the glass ceiling” limitation…further accusing that he asserted women are totally incapable of making effective business decisions because their thoughts are instead, with the child.
Someone slyly pointed out that his corporation sells infant formula and that he’d most likely prefer for women to all stay home and feed babies.
I’d like to take issue with all of his accusers! I’d like to point out that rather than a sexist and denigrating statement, this man has inadvertently championed one of the most significant attributes, even a most potential virtue of a woman.
The decisions that are demanded of a CEO to maximize the profits of any corporation are, to say the least,…troublesome. That person who does not do everything in their power to maximize profits, might even be fired by a Board of Directors, or be publicly accused by the Shareholders of failing in his/her duties, if their decision results in financial damage or a loss of value on the Stock Market.
This is the supreme value of the Capitalist economic system: to secure profit for the investor! This is the nature of the Beast! The monetary decisions made can often times be at odds with other values that consequently must be disregarded. A CEO is obligated to, and pressured to make decisions that may ultimately cause harm to his or her own descendents. Some cultures consider the long range benefit or danger to a seventh generation, which certainly heightens responsibility.
A CEO who is a Father, or a Grandfather, will no doubt wish to create the most financially secure future for his Family, and will naturally be focused on doing his best according to conventional wisdom and market values. A CEO who is a Mother, or a Grandmother, might have a different take on the whole situation! Consider this:
A Mother has already been in cahoots with nature. She has participated in the most amazing miracle of creating a human being from a single fertilized ovum, and from her own body has brought forth a living projection into the future. She even more than the Father has made a total commitment over those necessary months to the wonderment of this task, that we often take for granted. It is she, who has a greater stake in creating a world that will best protect her progeny. It is she who may recognize the ultimate dangers of risk-taking!
What kind of decisions might she make that involve the sustainability of our way of life and of the survival of our precious Planet Earth? Might she be more cognizant of the working conditions of all, but perhaps, especially of women, who are treated disrespectfully in the “sweatshops” of the world, where their life’s blood may be squeezed out of them to pour upon the almighty altar of profits!
I would even assert for all the world to consider that Mothers are the very kinds of CEOs that this weary old world needs. Perhaps she can bring to the Corporate Board a real discussion about the long neglected values of sustainability that are vital to our Human well-being:
HUMANIZING THE INHUMANE ECONOMIC CAPITALIST SYSTEM !
Fri 4 Jan 2013
Hello Dear President Obama!
We have been told that you have a KILL LIST! That you may personally decide who is our enemy today! Who is to be targeted today! And that these decisions are based upon recommendations to you, by persons whom we do NOT know, and by what criteria we also do NOT know. And, they recommend that, in the best interests of the People of the United States of America, these targeted alleged enemies should be ELIMINATED! These…direct and targeted murders shall be carried out in the name of the American People?
This is totally NUTS! This sounds more like a stupid movie plot involving juveniles waging gang warfare, than reflective of any Statesman-like posture of Ethical Leadership in the International arena. This is worse than war!
What the Hell is going on? Are we not a Nation of Laws? Is there no sense of Human Decency?
Dear President Obama, please have the courage to renounce these advisors who are purveyors of vested interests. This course of action is NOT PROTECTING US! The following of their advice actually creates MORE hatred and more vows of revenge against the American People. The resulting revenge thus merely perpetuates MORE murder in unending cycles.
I am a proud American. I want to believe that we’re the good guys…at least we used to think we were, at some long-lost moment in time. I want to be a law abiding American citizen. I do believe that most Americans who voted for you, want to believe that we’re the good guys. We would rather be helping than hurting people of other nations. We shrieked and raged against Nazi atrocities and their aims of world domination. We renounce this image!
If world domination…even economically, and therefore militarily, is where your advisors are taking the US, then please, Mr. President, renounce their aims. Divorce yourself from this madness!
This inhumane, insane and illegal concept was once displayed on the Internet as: WWW.UNITEDSTATESPACECOMMAND.GOV (no longer an active link)
On that Web site there was a pledge to “control Space” in the interest of the US and its INVESTMENTS and “to ZAP naughty nations.”
A PDF produced by that organization is still available from the Federation of American Scientists at: United States Space Command - Vision For 2020
If this is the prevailing mentality of any advisors who get anywhere NEAR to the Whitehouse, and have access to the ears of our President,…it makes the Nazis, in comparison, look like misguided Boy Scouts. We, the People of the United States of America must take responsibility, and to prevail upon Congress to do all that we can to Stop Drone Warfare! According to Andrew Cockburn, drone warfare is BIG BUSINESS! Please read the following article:
Fri 4 Jan 2013
Whose “cold, dead hand” were we supposed to remove their gun from? I’m ready! Maybe at least half of us citizens…peace persons of the US…are ready for a showdown at OK Corral!
Imagine, if Congress even had the temerity to create a Law to Ban Automatic Weapons from…get this: ownership, sale, purchase!…eeeek! what next? How about: manufacture, import, export? Where could such courage, such audacity lead? What vengeance would such foolhardiness wreak?
Who would the Peace People trust to enforce this law?” And with what weapons? How many lives would need to be sacrificed in order to accomplish such a cataclysmic change in the long-standing traditional dilemma? That of the Wild West mentality VS. Civilized Society?
This is simply a no-brainer “ethical” argument between the Right to Kill and The Right to Live!!!!!
This essay by Jeffrey Sachs puts it well. Your comments are invited.
Fri 9 Nov 2012
Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on your glorious triumph against the moneyed vested-interest propaganda machine, in behalf of the workers, the multifaceted and multi-hued American populace! We the People have spoken! We need for you to accomplish the work that you started! We newly hopeful Voters appreciate the staggeringly difficult decisions that you have been required to make in your first Administration, that now, you will be facing anew. Please, consider this plea!
Many decisions that have come before you, to approve or to disapprove, have been painful for us to watch, especially for those of us who tried to continue believing in the change that you inspired in us. You’ve had to listen to the Generals! You’ve listened to the Wall Streeters! ………And, now?
Our vote of confidence in you, that your success signifies, is a mandate for you to proceed on your stated agenda. Please do not allow “the Military Industrial Complex,” as decried by Dwight Eisenhower, to flex its muscle in the face of your resolve! Those who wish to make a profit on human misery, death and destruction, all the while pretending that fierce and aggressive “Patriotism” will protect us, are using the very same tactics and illogic that the Republicans’ campaigned on: lies! Pure and simple!
We do not want targeted assassinations in the name of the American People! Those who have persuaded you that this unethical tactic is beneficial are totally misguided, generated by warped militaristic mindsets. The opposite is true; anger, mistrust, and revenge are spawned thereby! The same is true of the Guantanamo that you promised to close. We do not want torture in our name. Resolution in courts-of-law is necessary. Are we not the nation of “laws” that we brag about?
You are known for being conciliatory in your approach to problem-solving. This is an admirable attribute for most purposes, that of bargaining various issues for a compromised outcome, but! Some issues must never be compromised or bargained away! Human beings who die at our hands are not half dead! They are dead! Willful targeting and killing of “alleged enemies,” and others who have the misfortune to be nearby, is in no way accidental “collateral damage!” It is willful killing….plain and simple!
Many of us who have re-invested our faith in your integrity and your promises to work in the best interests of the American People, are expecting a very bold declaration of change! Please, have courage, against all opposition, to carry though with your promises to us!
There is a very sad joke that: If peace were profitable…We would have peace! Perhaps someday we will humanize our in-humane economic system! Is the idea of Capitalism with a Conscience an oxymoron? We gird for war; we practice for war,…so, we will have war! We have numerous War Colleges, and military institutions. We have a “Defense Department” wherein the word “defense” seems merely a euphemism, a fig-leaf, for concentrated militaristic mindset.
Most of us would like to believe that we Human Beings are actually evolving into a more ethical species. Perhaps using more wisdom than muscle might be in this ascendancy if we are to survive at all. Never before in the history of this powerful and creative country has there ever been the wisdom to put into place an entity devoted to a whole new concept: would you believe…a Peace Department?
For you, Mr. President, to create, by Presidential Decree, the establishment of a brand new Cabinet Level Department of Peace, and to put into place as its Head, our primary Peace Person in Congress, Representative Dennis Kucinich, will be the most bold signal of change in the right direction that all of the Peace loving People of this Nation and of the World will applaud.
Please consider this plea! Thank you from the aching and grieving hearts of those of us who might willingly choose to die, defending our cause, but will not kill! This is in no way meant to dishonor our Veterans, who themselves, have become victims! We are Proud Americans who champion a democracy that can’t be bought! And who used to believe, and would like to believe again, that we’re the good guys!
Fri 2 Nov 2012
Video courtesy of Joe Friendly. Thanks, Joe!