Posted by: Dr Churchill | February 28, 2021

Moral Economy

Is the minimum wage in America today too minimum for people to be able to live on?

This question ravages the brain cells of some of the brightest minds in America and methinks that we ought to solve it soonest by looking at the negative externalities the inequity of labor compensation creates for all of us, when the overburdened social services have to pick up the cost of sustaining the workers at the bottom of the pyramid.

So why should the taxpayers of our country, many of whom are struggling economically as a result of the pandemic, be subsidizing the starvation wages being paid at some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America?

Maybe it’s time that we shift our attention and we end the taxpayer-funded subsidization for the uber-wealthy corporations of this country.

And I am saying this because after a serious syllogism — I’ve arrived at the conclusion that the working people of America deserve to be paid a living wage of at least $15 an hour. Everywhere and always. Period.

That is not only the dictare of a moral economy but it is also the dictum of a moral society.

Moral Economy is an Economic Model for our future that reduces inequality within our economic systems because each product or service’s price is tied directly to the cost of that product or service — which is reflected as either the hard costs of creation and maintenance of the product, or in the total budget for providing the ongoing service.

While this does not totally eliminate the effect of intermediation on the cost (and therefore price) of something — it does address each touch point of markup at the outset, adjusting for it and including it as a line item in the total cost of the market offer.

We think about these things because late stage capitalism faces headwinds from systemically endemic issues that are not going away without serious adjustments…

From the often invisible yet the ravaging effects of negative externalities, to the inequity inherent in limited investment opportunities for everyday people, to the US tax structure that makes it more expensive to be poor than rich, it is clear that the capitalist model as it has stood for the last century has many fissures that show themselves at scale.

The current global economic system operates within a traditional model of supply & demand based economics.

It is well understood that within this model the price of a market offer is determined by supply and demand.

Rising disgruntlement amidst the working classes is one historically repeated and often feared result of economic inequality, and the band aids for staving it off are losing their adhesion.

These issues make it clear that cost based economic models create access for the masses and have a place in future capitalist economies that could be based on a far more moral relative scale of returns for all within society…

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

Food for thought…

Posted by: Dr Churchill | February 20, 2021

Ethical VC


In these difficult times we recognize that as Angels, early stage venture capitalists, and financiers — working alongside innovators, entrepreneurs, business people, educated consumers, citizens, environmental activists, social & political leaders & all other responsible individuals, be it investors and ethical bankers or mainstream savers — we all play a key role in our continued existence as environmental stewards, as leaders, and as honest to goodness simple human beings that are invested in our collective success for the People, for the planet and for the profitable growth of our economy.

It is especially important today to accept the challenge of our times, because after many decades of harm, our planet now needs plenty of responsible leadership, loads of TLC, and true stewardship, for the regeneration and the rehabilitation of our Earth, our celestial Home and our beloved “Gaia” our Mother.

We are the Innovators who will help to reverse the damage, protect our ecosystems, and create positive outcomes — and we all ought to pledge our support for all the Entrepreneurs who in turn will rely on the financial support of all of our ethical Venture Capital investors, partners and team members.

This new class of VC investors will abide by a higher standard of values, setting them apart from those practicing the old ways.

The “Mensarius” Oath, meaning “Financier” Oath from Latin, is an outline of values based on the original Hippocratic Oath for doctors, adjusted for the Venture Capital community.

The Mensarius Oath

As a VENTURE CAPITAL professional that invests in enterprises using personal or investor capital — I hereby pledge to honor these basic values outlined below:

  • In my profession of Venture Capital, I endeavor to help create positive outcomes for all of humanity.
  • With my dealings, I create positive outcomes financially and otherwise for all of those involved, including the conscious avoidance of harm to any parties.
  • Being in the industry, I will help others to achieve the highest standards that I set for myself and my organization.
  • As a steward of the trade, I work against any abuse of power that leads to unfair advantage, seduction, corruption or mistreatment.
  • As a person who can affect the outcome, I commit to reducing inequality and increasing fairness in society.
  • In honor of the community, I pledge to treat all that approach me with fairness, equality and the attention that each opportunity deserves.
  • As a professional, I am open and honest in all of my dealings with those that I serve, including Investors and Founders.
  • As part of my work, I keep all matters that are understood to be private with all available protections to keep safe from public or other unwanted disclosure.
  • To continuously improve, I solicit and respect feedback from those that I serve and from my wider industry professionals.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

At Advance Life Science Venture Capital — the firm I helm, we all subscribe to this “Mensarius Oath” that originally came to me from my friend Adeo Rossi of the Founders Institute, as it is based on the simple thought that today’s Venture Capital Investors ought to be the doctors that will help cure our unhealthy paths, prescribing innovative, correct & powerful environmental solutions via finance.

We prioritize these solutions because we need to magnify the impact from the “tools of our trade” in order to be able to solve the various wicked problems that were created by our predecessors and the past practices of rapacious finance…

Please feel free to share this Mensarius Oath with your community, and also share with us, your own views on this modern set of values for the Business Angel community and for all technology entrepreneurs, life science innovators, and all early stage business innovators, inventors and investors.

Thank You most kindly.

Posted by: Dr Churchill | February 9, 2021

Your silence is not appreciated…

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future.

When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”

–Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

[The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956]

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

A giant amongst men sums up the reality of our existence in relation to justice, ethics and courage.

Earlier this year, in the midst of our political leadership change in Washington DC — a junta was taking over our Society’s principle means of communication…

An oligarchical trust was created when the major companies of Tech and Communications all gathered together and agreed to limit access to the Internet for all dissenters, dissidents, and those voicing opinions that were not fit for their Theory of Control.

This was the rise of the quiet dictatorship known as Big Tech, made up of California dreaming jack-booted thugs pretending to be “woke” while they placed a stranglehold on all of our Public Spaces, our Emotional Expressions and our Political Discourse without nary a thought…

This awful single minded, totalitarian and Orwellian suppression of the Web, will live in infamy, because the World Wide Web — the Internet — is a thing that we all hold dear as our Free Will, and yet it was taken away from all of us, when every major Silicon Valley tech company permanently banned the President of the United States from its platform, as it also banned any and all free speech platforms from the worldwide web.

Sadly most of us — didn’t even notice.

Yet, there was a visceral backlash around the world — but the Silicon Valley Tech Oligarchs, these Trust Funders and their legions of minions, never listened nor did they care….

Yet, one after another, government and party leaders from across the World — many of them ideologically opposed to the policies of President Trump or to the PARLER platforms and GAB and all others — raised their voices against the dictatorial evilness, the unwarranted public power and the societal arrogance of the American tech giants’ deluded minions that performed and enforced this fascist putczh, this dictatorship and this grotesquerie, like new age Hitlerites and NAZI brownshirts of the new millennium.

Worldwide protestations were heard from literary voices, from political leaders as well as from social leaders and from all those People who called this betrayal of trust of the public space that is the internet or more accurately the World Wide Web — a NeoFascist monopoly.

And although many voices of dissent and amazement kept streaming in, from all corners of the world and these included the President of Mexico, the Chancellor of Germany, the government of Poland, ministers in the French and Australian governments, the neoliberal center-right bloc in the European Parliament, the national populist bloc in the European Parliament, the leader of the Russian opposition — who recently survived an assassination attempt, and the Russian government, which may well have been behind that attempt — no one in Silicon valley reversed their errant course.

Yet it is worth remembering that common threats create strange bedfellows, and that is why you now have LGBTQ, Democratic Socialists, Communists, Conservatives, Nationalists, Neoliberals, Autocrats, and Anti-Autocrats coming together and protesting on behalf of this issue against the Tech-Junta, because although they may not agree on much else — they all recognize that the tech giants have accumulated far too much power and have now unleashed a destructive barrage against all Human Beings.

And of course no free thinking human being, likes the idea that a pack of hyenas, like these small minded American hipsters amid Silicon Valley’s California dreaming “woke folk” and beard sporting socially & morally corrupt losers — can at any moment, cordon-off the internet, cut off all the digital lines of communications and deprive people of their voices, like all the dictators have always done.

Take as an example the recent actions of the Myanmar junta that cut off all the internet and wireless communications of all Burmese people as they went on arresting tens of thousands of people and throwing them in concentration camps and you can see where the next steps of this fascist policy will lead in America as well…

Democracy is on the retreat world wide but nowhere so much as in California’s Tech Valley and by extension in the whole of America.

Many many publicly available interviews of Silicon Valley insiders, tech leaders and social media tycoons, have showed time and again, their hostility against democracy, liberty and free speech, as they demonstrate their love of all totalitarian ideas, fascist positions and NAZI actions that pose a grave threat as a risible betrayal of the vision of the World Wide Web to be a free and open platform and the PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS COMMONS of all the Peoples of this Earth, of the rainbow of Voices, Works and Expressions.

This inversion of the ideas that brought about the Internet and the World’s community as a “Do No Evil” PUBLIC COMMONS is based on the free movement of ideas, viewpoints and even goods, in this very public sphere of the GLOBAL PUBLIC COMMONS that some large websites and social media mavens have been squatting upon depriving all the rest of the people form their share of this Green Open Space that is meant to be shared equitably, justly and honorably.

This Silicon Valley junta has been taking over our Public Commons in a wholesale totalitarian fashion, commencing from removing the freedom of speech, to choosing what information will be allowed to be trafficked within the information highway, and leading to the total control of what information can be allowed on the World Wide Web Information Highway.

Indeed this has been the big Tech story of the past thirty years, because when the Web was created in the 1990s, the idea was, that everyone who wanted to express a voice on the WEB — could have an open call, and indeed all a person had to do in order to access the global marketplace of ideas, was to go online and set up a website. Once created, the website belonged to that person. Especially if the person owned his own server, no one could “de-platform” that person, because that was the design, since the Web, when it was invented, was competing with other types of online services that were not free and open.

It is important to remember that the Web, as we know it today — a network of websites accessed through browsers, was not the first online service ever created, since it was predated by the Arpa-Net, the University web, as well as the French Minitel (1980) and of course the military interweb and all of the pre-existing intra-webs. So when in the early 1990s, Sir Timothy Berners-Lee innovated on the technology that underpins interconnected digital websites and web browsers, creating the Web as we know it today — it was ordered to be a Free Public Space — the Village Commons.

And since there were many other online services, which predated Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web, that were all owned by corporations like CompuServe and Prodigy who ran their own online networks in the 1990s — these networks that were separate from the Web and had access points that were different from web browsers — were wholly controlled and micro-managed by the “owner” be it an enterprise, a university, a government, or a military command unit. And of course some of these privately-owned networks were open to the public, but CompuServe and Prodigy owned every bit of information on them and could kick people off their networks for any reason, at any time and without any oversight from anyone outside their hierarchy… 

Now, the newfangled World Wide Web was different. Very different. No one owned it. Not a single person owned the information on it. And no body could kick anyone off. That was the founding DNA and the whole premise of the COMMONS, up until the moment that the Web was captured by a handful of corporations that made it an industrial farm of their own without consulting anyone in the “Global Village” governance structure, or the Citizens and the Peoples of this Earth, or even the Internet governing body…

These totalitarian corporations are hiding behind a veneer of wealth and power — yet since we all know their names: Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, Microsoft, TenCent, AliBAba, and a few others — they have all started behaving like Prodigy, AmericaOnline and CompuServe back in the ’90s — erroneously thinking that they own everything on their platforms, and that they have the Gestapo-police power over what can be said, by whom it is heard and who can participate.

That not only sucks, but it is an illegal suppression and squatting of our Village Commons because it matters a whole lot more today than it did in the ’90s, since back then, very few people used online services, whereas today everyone uses them, because it is practically impossible not to use them and still have a productive social and healthy life. Businesses depend on them. News publishers depend on them. Politicians and political activists depend on them. And perhaps far more crucially — all of our Citizens depend on the World Wide Web for information management, accentuation and simple access. 

Thus today, Big Tech’s control over online information, means control over the news. It means control over commerce. It means control over politics. And most importantly it means control over our leaders…

Let us now see, how are the corporate tech giants using their control.

Judging by the three biggest moves they have made — such as the censoring of the New York Post in October when it published its blockbuster stories on Biden family corruption, the censorship and eventual banning from the Web of President Trump, and the coordinated takedown of the upstart social media site Parler — it is obvious that Big Tech’s priority today is to support the Communist China and her interests to install friendly people and “useful idiots” within the American government and the Washington DC establishment.

Since Big Tech has become the most powerful election-influencing machine in American history. It is not an exaggeration to say that if the technologies of Silicon Valley are allowed to develop to their fullest extent, without any oversight or checks and balances, then we will never have another free and fair election. But the power of Big Tech goes beyond the manipulation of political behavior. As one of the famed Facebook sources said in a public interview: “We have thousands of people on the platform who have gone from right to center in the past year, so we can build a model from those people and try to make everyone else on the American side, follow the same path.” Let that sink in. They don’t just want to control information or even voting behavior — instead they want to manipulate people’s emotional, personal and political ideology and even worldview. 

So now, would it be too much to say that Big Tech has prioritized this kind of manipulation?

Considering that Twitter is currently facing a lawsuit from a victim of child sexual abuse who says that the company repeatedly failed to take down a video depicting his assault, and that it eventually agreed to do so only after the intervention of an agent from the Department of Homeland Security — proves that Twitter will take it upon itself to ban the President of the United States, but refused to take down child pornography. And it only did the right thing only after being forced to do so, by federal law enforcement agents…

How do you feel about that?

Awful — I know…

So let us examine how does Big Tech go about manipulating our thoughts, our actins and our future behavior?

It begins with the fact that these tech companies strive to know everything about us, such as our likes and dislikes, the issues we are interested in, the websites we visit, the videos we watch, who we voted for, and our party affiliation.

If you search for a Hannukah recipe — they’ll know you’re likely Jewish.

If you’re running down the Yankees, they’ll figure out if you’re a Red Sox fan.

Even if your smart phone is turned off, they’ll track your location.

They know who you work for, who your friends are, when you’re walking your dog, whether you go to church, when you’re standing in line to vote, and on and on. 

As I already mentioned, Big Tech also monitors how our beliefs and behaviors change over time.

They identify the types of content that can change our beliefs and behavior, and they put that knowledge to use. They’ve done this openly for a long time because they want to manipulate consumer behavior, in order to get us to like certain people, click on certain ads and buy certain products from their long list of secret owners, patrons and advertisers.

As a matter of fact, anyone who has used these platforms for an extended period of time has no doubt encountered the creepy phenomenon where you’re searching for information about a product or a service, and then minutes later advertisements for the exact same thing, start appearing on your screen.

These same techniques can be used to manipulate political opinions. 

Big Tech has demonstrated ideological bias, because these companies have huge economic interests at stake in politics, since their ownership structure is particularly partisan and ideologically aligned with China’s interests far more than those of the US. And because the political party that holds power will determine whether Big Tech is going to get government contracts, whether they’re going to get tax breaks, and whether and how their industry will be regulated — they clearly have a commercial interest in political control and unsurprisingly currently, no one is even considering to prevent them from exerting or behaving honorably, justly and honestly…

To understand how effective Big Tech’s manipulation could become, consider the feedback loop. 

As Big Tech constantly collects data about us, they run tests to see what information has an impact on us. Let’s say they put a negative news story about someone or something in front of us, and we don’t click on it or read it. They keep at it until they find content that has the desired effect. The feedback loop constantly improves, and it does so in a way that’s undetectable. 

What determines what appears at the top of a person’s Facebook feed, Twitter feed, or Google search results? Does it appear there because it’s popular or because it’s gone viral? Is it there because it’s what you’re interested in? Or is there another reason Big Tech wants it to be there? Is it there because Big Tech has gathered data that suggests it’s likely to nudge your thinking or your behavior in a certain direction? How can we know? 

What we do know is that Big Tech openly manipulates the content people see. We know, for example, that Google reduced the visibility of Breitbart News links in search results by 99 percent in 2020 compared to the same period in 2016. We know that after Google introduced an update last summer, clicks on Breitbart News stories from Google searches for “Joe Biden” went to zero and stayed at zero through the election. This didn’t happen gradually, but in one fell swoop—as if Google flipped a switch. And this was discoverable through the use of Google’s own traffic analysis tools, so it isn’t as if Google cared that we knew about it. 

Speaking of flipping switches, I have noted that President Trump was collectively banned by Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and every other social media platform you can think of. But even before that, there was manipulation going on. Twitter, for instance, reduced engagement on the President’s tweets by over eighty percent. Facebook deleted posts by the President for spreading so-called disinformation.

But even more troubling, I think, are the invisible things these companies do. Consider “quality ratings.” Every Big Tech platform has some version of this, though some of them use different names. The quality rating is what determines what appears at the top of your search results, or your Twitter or Facebook feed, etc. It’s a numerical value based on what Big Tech’s algorithms determine in terms of “quality.” In the past, this score was determined by criteria that were somewhat objective: if a website or post contained viruses, malware, spam, or copyrighted material, that would negatively impact its quality score. If a video or post was gaining in popularity, the quality score would increase. Fair enough.

Over the past several years, however—and one can trace the beginning of the change to Donald Trump’s victory in 2016—Big Tech has introduced all sorts of new criteria into the mix that determines quality scores. Today, the algorithms on Google and Facebook have been trained to detect “hate speech,” “misinformation,” and “authoritative” (as opposed to “non-authoritative”) sources. Algorithms analyze a user’s network, so that whatever users follow on social media—e.g., “non-authoritative” news outlets—affects the user’s quality score. Algorithms also detect the use of language frowned on by Big Tech—e.g., “illegal immigrant” (bad) in place of “undocumented immigrant” (good)—and adjust quality scores accordingly. And so on.

This is not to say that you are informed of this or that you can look up your quality score. All of this happens invisibly. It is Silicon Valley’s version of the social credit system overseen by the Chinese Communist Party. As in China, if you defy the values of the ruling elite or challenge narratives that the elite labels “authoritative,” your score will be reduced and your voice suppressed. And it will happen silently, without your knowledge. 

This technology is even scarier when combined with Big Tech’s ability to detect and monitor entire networks of people. A field of computer science called “network analysis” is dedicated to identifying groups of people with shared interests, who read similar websites, who talk about similar things, who have similar habits, who follow similar people on social media, and who share similar political viewpoints. Big Tech companies are able to detect when particular information is flowing through a particular network—if there’s a news story or a post or a video, for instance, that’s going viral among conservatives or among voters as a whole. This gives them the ability to shut down a story they don’t like before it gets out of hand. And these systems are growing more sophisticated all the time. 

If Big Tech’s capabilities are allowed to develop unchecked and unregulated, these companies will eventually have the power not only to suppress existing political movements, but to anticipate and prevent the emergence of new ones. This would mean the end of democracy as we know it, because it would place us forever under the thumb of an unaccountable oligarchy. 

The good news is, there is a way to rein in the tyrannical tech giants: Start anti-trust litigation against all of them.

Break them up through Anti-Trust regulation by separating their advertising business revenue and their editorial powers from the core business of being the regulated and highly neutral, telecommunication “pipes” like the utilities of old.

And of course as always the easiest way is “Caveat Emptor” as the simple “Buyer Beware” principle of our personal agency, that will help us take away their power to own our data, and thus be able to filter information and filter all data on our behalf.

And most importantly we should ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on this pivotal issue for our Democracy.

Because the Supreme Court always seems to bring about some sense of balance, harmony and protection for our Democracy and Constitutional Republic.

And it is the bright light that we ought to celebrate as the Supreme Court just struck down all lockdowns against the practice of indoor worship bans in California and by extension in all other States of our Union — by stating clearly that the State or other governments, may not limit the Houses of Faith, Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples of Worship, in any way more, than all other indoor activities, such as supermarket shopping or anything else.

Chief Justice Roberts summed up the legal situation:

“The State’s present determination—that the maximum number of adherents who can safely worship in the most cavernous cathedral is zero—appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake.”

I thought you’d want to know. 

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

All of Big Tech’s power comes from their content filters—the filters on “hate speech,” the filters on “misinformation,” the filters that distinguish “authoritative” from “non-authoritative” sources, etc. Right now these filters are switched on by default. We as individuals can’t turn them off. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The most important demand we can make of lawmakers and regulators is that Big Tech be forbidden from activating these filters without our knowledge and consent. They should be prohibited from doing this—and even from nudging us to turn on a filter—under penalty of losing their Section 230 immunity as publishers of third party content. This policy should be strictly enforced, and it should extend even to seemingly non-political filters like relevance and popularity. Anything less opens the door to manipulation. 

This should be the standard we demand, and it should be industry-wide. The alternative is a kind of digital serfdom. We don’t allow old-fashioned serfdom anymore—individuals and businesses have due process and can’t be evicted because their landlord doesn’t like their politics. Why shouldn’t we also have these rights if our business or livelihood depends on a Facebook page or a Twitter or YouTube account? 

This is an issue that goes beyond partisanship. What the tech giants are doing is so transparently unjust that all Americans should start caring about it—because under the current arrangement, we are all at their mercy. The World Wide Web was meant to liberate us. It is now doing the opposite. Big Tech is increasingly in control. The most pressing question today is: how are we going to take control back? 

Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His erudite writings on the History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC great conflict between the confederations of Sparta and the Athenian empire, that lasted undiminished for three decades (431–404 BC) until such time that Athens was saved because her leaders managed to open a second front against Sparta and her allies; and thus caused them to divide their strength and fail in their overall military ambitions…

In many ways the Peloponnesian war was a terribly bloody Civil War within Greece and as such is reminiscent of the American Civil War that bedeviled our country and largely destroyed our Union for a number of years. Yet what is significant is that this Civil War was mainly caused by outside forces that agitated because they wished to reduce the United States to bloody splinters of its former glory and to reduce all of its great cities to rubble and to see its citizens turned to ghosts fleeing the burned shells of their homes…

Sadly, that internal conflict of the United States, was motivated by outsiders — and was done the same way as ancient Athens and Sparta’s conflict was fueled by “Median Gold,” special interests and undiplomatic foreign influence.

The first book of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, offers a brief review of early Greek history and some programmatic historiographical commentary, because it seeks to explain why the Peloponnesian War broke out when it did, and what its causes were. Except for a few short excursuses (notably 6.54–58 on the Tyrant Slayers), the remainder of the History (books 2 through 8) rigidly maintains its focus on the Peloponnesian War to the exclusion of all other topics.

While the History concentrates on the military aspects of the Peloponnesian War, it uses these events as a medium to suggest several other themes closely related to the war. It specifically discusses in several passages the socially and culturally degenerative effects of war on humanity itself. The History is especially concerned with the lawlessness and atrocities committed by Greek citizens towards each other, in the name of one side or another in the war. Some events depicted in the History, such as the Melian dialogue, describe early instances of realpolitik or power politics.

The History is preoccupied with the interplay of justice and power in political and military decision-making. Thucydides’ presentation is decidedly ambivalent on this theme. While the History seems to suggest that considerations of justice are artificial and necessarily capitulate to power, it sometimes also shows a significant degree of empathy with those who suffer from the exigencies of the war.

Today, for our Country — the single most important challenge facing the U.S. in the twenty-first century is the rise of an increasingly authoritarian China under Xi Jinping…

China’s rise, because of the scale of its economy and military, the speed of its technological advancement, and its radically different worldview than that of the US, and we ought to be paying real attention to that trend now; because China’s influence impacts every major US national interest, and especially our elected politicians, our U.S. Presidents, our Senators, our Congressmen, our Governors, and indeed all of our Leaders & Bureaucrats, across the whole spectrum of the United States government — because nobody is above the temptations fo the vast influence of the Chinese “Median Gold” and their unfathomable wealth that is thrown willingly at the feet of our bureaucrats and transactional leaders…

Currently, the rise to power of “Emperor” Xi Ji-ping has greatly accentuated this challenge, and accelerated its timetable. At home, Xi has fostered a quasi-Maoist personality cult, pursuing the systematic elimination of his political opponents, while using ethno-nationalism in order to unite his country against the United States as well as against any challenge to his authority, internal or external.

That is why today Emperor Xi’s China increasingly resembles a new form of totalitarian police state, replete with all of the trimmings of Adolf Hitler, including the lifetime dictator Xi and his use of the Gestapo, the SS and the Concentration camps against the minorities that according to his policies — they all ought to be re-educated, assimilated or exterminated.

By the way, you can ask the Fallun-Gong adherents, of the Christian missionaries, or the Muslim Uyghurs and the if you don’t believe me…

The whole of the vast administration region Xinjiang, is now fully devoid of any Muslim people since all the Uyghurs have disappeared, and their numbers diminished all across China because of the central government’s policy of forced sterilization, extermination and displacement into a great network of thousands of concentration camps that make millions of people disappear without a trace…

[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghur_genocide ]

Emperor Xi has demonstrated that he intends to project China’s authoritarian system, coercive foreign policy, and military presence well beyond his country’s own borders to the world at large — while the US, which once operationalized a unified strategy to deal with the challenge of the Soviet Union, in the form of Kennan’s containment, so far has no ambitious plans in regards to China’s containment.

This lack of planning and national direction, has indeed been a betrayal and a clear dereliction of national responsibility that might actually prove to be the downfall of not only the American empire, but it will represent the complete erasure of the leader of the Free World, and its replacement by a totalitarian Communist style regime all across the Globe.

Because of that anomaly that is clearly hidden into our future — it is now a matter of national security urgency, that the US develop an integrated, operational, and bipartisan national strategy to guide the content and implementation of US policy toward Emperor Xi’s China for the next five decades.

And we can start by taking advantage of Realpolitik, because the internal conflicts within China’s leadership, because the political reality is that the CCP is divided on Xi’s leadership and his ambitions. Senior party members have been greatly troubled by Xi’s policy direction and angered by his endless demands for absolute loyalty, obedience, and blind following of his increasingly authoritarian and Hitler-like orders, screaming bouts and outbursts of uncontrollable ferocious red-hot anger.

Yet it doesn’t seem that anger management will fix the situation with Emperor Xi and the troubles that he has already unleashed for the World…

More drastic medicine is required for that.

Maybe war is the end of Diplomacy but we haunt gotten there yet…

So for now — we need containment and because of that — the mission for US-China strategy should be to see China return to its pre-2013 path — i.e., the pre-Xi strategic status quo.

Indeed all US responses to China, today, should be focused in understanding the principal lens of Emperor Xi himself, so that we can understand how he views himself in the mirror and consequently how he sees the world in relation to his ambitions.

And because the current Emperor Xi has spent enough time in Iowa as a college student — this helps us understand that he knows the stories and the American culture, and indeed he sees himself like a Chinese Superman.

Superhero or not — Emperor Xi is a military dictator, who has ushered a vast social engineering project within China, a tremendous BioTerror war against all of the Free World, and a new era of nuclear weapons instability, because of his supersonic ICBMs that today are only targeting the United States of America.

One rightly wonders, WHY?

Why Mr Xi do you only target America?

Is it because You didn’t like your school years in Iowa?

Someone disrespected you there?

What’s up with that?

Yet regardless of whether we find out or not why Emperor Xi is butt-hurt by America — we must operate under the assumption that he is willing to change our system through conquest and occupation, and that is why our own objective should be to cause China’s leadership to change and conclude that it is in their own best interests to throw out the Dictator, and to replace him with a more Democratic form of representative government, because their country needs to start operating once again, within the existing US-led liberal international order of liberal democracies for the betterment of the whole world and especially for the benefit of all the Chinese people.

Capice?

Of course, the US list of red lines should be short, focused, and enforceable. China’s tactic for many years has been to blur the red lines that might otherwise lead to open confrontation, because the United States lacked any clear plan for the containment of the Chinese Empire. Yet now that we are attacked mercilessly — the ambition of all US strategy for now, as well as for the decades ahead — should be to cause China’s Communist Party leadership to change strategic course.

This has to be our focus.

A system of Realpolitik that agitates for a free China — with or without Emperor Xi at the helm…

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

Yet, there is still some room for a wider form of strategic competition with China, in both diplomacy and economics.

And there indeed exist diplomatic opportunities; where it is in US interests “to engage in strategic cooperation with a New China.

This strategy must be implemented nationally, bilaterally, regionally, multilaterally, and globally with allies. Such an approach will require an unprecedented level of US national and international policy coordination.

For North Americans, Europeans, and others who believe in open economies, just societies, and competitive political systems, the challenge is to have continuing confidence in the ideas upon which they rest…

In the final analysis, the major problem facing the US in confronting Xi’s China is not one of military, economic, or technological capabilities.

It is one of self-belief, or of a suspension of disbelief…

Our Call.

PPS:

Yet the most immediate goal of our international relations and military strategic policy as well as our diplomatic goal — should be no other than getting China and its Emperor to engage in a New Strategic limitation of Nuclear Weapons Systems, and that is what I have proposed to the New Administration in Washington DC because it is the most important thing to do if we are to avert the New Nuclear War that is looming right around the corner…

Take my word for it:

The New S.A.L.T. treaty ought to be the most important priority of the United States new administration and it first One Hundred Days urgent policy.

Let us now get this thing done as we have accomplished the same thing with President Misha Gorbachov of the old Soviet Union.

I know — I was there.

And although many times, we thought it would never really happen — it did happen and it made the world a Safer place for all Human Beings.

What a glorious day that was…

Posted by: Dr Churchill | January 31, 2021

A Great Hero worth remembering now…

They called him the Black Sparrow, and from the beginning of his life, all he wanted to do was get to France.

He was born in Georgia, USA, his father a former slave from Haiti, his mother full-blooded Creek.

He ran away while still a child, determined to fulfill his destiny.

He lived for a time with a group of English Romani, learning the art of horsemanship and working as a jockey. He kept traveling and working until he made his way to Norfolk, where he stowed away on a ship bound for Scotland.

He wouldn’t see America again for thirty years. In Glasgow he got work as a lookout for gambling operators, saving money until he had enough to get to England: one country closer to his goal. In Liverpool he did hard labour until his muscles developed and he turned to boxing. He became part of a whole expat community of Black boxers — some of the finest fighters in history — who had fled to Europe to find opportunities denied them in the States.

Soon he was fighting regularly as a welterweight, racking up an impressive record, even fighting on the undercard of a few Jack Johnson bouts.

His boxing career earned him a decent amount of money, and eventually took him to Paris, where he won his bout and promptly hopped off the tour.

He was home.

Imagine, if you will, being a young, handsome Black/Creek man, son of a slave, escaped from the American South, newly arrived in Paris in the springtime with your own apartment and a pocketful of money.

Then imagine it is 1914.

Fighting for France was a no-brainer. After all, in his heart at least, it was his country. He joined the French Foreign Legion, training to fight in the 3rd Marching Division alongside wealthy Ivy Leaguers, mariners, farmers, doctors, executives, refugees, cooks, and plenty of characters from all over the world running from undisclosed situations. These were Belgians, Italians, Russians, Greeks, Americans, a handful of Black Americans; Muslims, Catholics, Jews and Protestants — the legendary rabble of the Legion.

Sent directly to the front along the Somme, he was thrust into a world of filthy, bloody trenches still filled with the body parts of the dead and the rancid smell of faeces and blood as his unit experienced some of the worst losses of the war.

At the end of this stint, what was left of the 3rd was disbanded and he had only the briefest respite before he joined the 170th Cavalry and was sent straight to Verdun to participate in what would become one of the worst battles in the history of the human race.

Now a corporal, he led a machine-gun crew and again was front-and-center for the worst of the fighting, suffering first a shrapnel wound to the face that he simply fought through, then finally sidelined by a massive, nearly fatal wound to his thigh that finally sent him away from the front.

Decorated with the Croix de Guerre for his valor at Verdun — one of France’s highest military honors — he was well within his rights to find a desk job in the military. He had other ideas. He wanted to fly. Already viewed as a hero, he was able to pull the necessary strings to enter flight school, and became the first Black American fighter pilot in history.He flew a SPAD VII C1 with a distinctive alteration to its appearance. Painted on the outside of the fuselage was a red heart with a dagger through it.

Above the heart was his personal slogan, one he would later use for the title of his unpublished memoir: Tout Le Sang Qui Coule Est Rouge; roughly, in English: “All Blood Runs Red.”

He flew with honor and distinction until his career in the air came to an abrupt halt. The Americans had entered the war and the involvement of a certain Dr. Gros, a US Army Major with racist attitudes, led to the end of the Black Sparrow’s career as a pilot. But the French continued to celebrate him. He ended this part of his military career with the Military Medal, Croix de Guerre, Volunteer Combat Cross, Medal for Military Wounded (twice), World War I Medal, Victory Medal, Voluntary Enlistment Medal, Battle of Verdun Medal, Battle of Somme Medal, and the American Volunteer with the French Army Medal.

And that is when his life got interesting.

The Great War over, he found himself in Paris in the 1920s at the onset of the Jazz Age. He got back in shape, took work as a sparring partner and fought a few more times. But it wasn’t sustainable with his injuries.So he learned to play the drums and became a jazz musician. He gigged frequently, saved money, and ended up in a business partnership with a biracial American blues singer whose birth name was Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louis Virginia Smith — known as “Bricktop” for her red hair. Together, they opened the Le Grand Duc, and thus he became proprietor of the hippest nightclub in the hippest city during the birth of hip. He got married around this time to a Frenchwoman named Marcelle and they had two daughters. For reasons that remained private, Marcelle ended up leaving him with their children, to whom he would remain devoted for the rest of his life, as we will see.

But he had to balance the duties of being a single parent with Le Grand Duc — and later his other club, L’escradille, which was connected to a boxing gym so that patrons could party, then exercise, take a steam bath, get a massage, and start partying again. To name the personages that frequented his clubs is basically to list the greatest names in art and culture in the renaissance that was the 1920s. Langston Hughes was a busboy and dishwasher. Arthur Wilson — you may know him as “Sam” of Casablanca fame — was part of the house band. Charlie Chaplin was a favorite. Gloria Swanson. Fatty Arbuckle. The Prince of Wales. Staff would move tables when Fred and Adele Astaire came in to tear up the floor. Picasso would stop by, and Hemingway was there often enough that he wrote about it in “The Sun Also Rises.” Josephine Baker could not be missed, and even babysat for the Sparrow. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda were frequent, notorious guests. Cole Porter would come in; he adored the way Bricktop interpreted his songs.

When Louis Armstrong encamped in Paris, he and the Sparrow became close.

But the good times couldn’t last. In 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. In France, the Deuxième Bureau was created as a counter-intelligence service and the Sparrow was recruited to work with the beautiful Alsatian spy, Cleopatre “Kitty” Terrier, whose father’s murder by Germans in the disputed border region had instilled in her a lifelong hatred of German expansionism.

Kitty and the Sparrow worked as a team at the club. He would serve tables and play dumb, exploiting German prejudices that would never suspect he was fluent in German. She would flirt her way into privileged information. It was a highly successful (and probably romantic) pairing, but with rationing, blackouts, and other wartime austerity measures, keeping businesses running became harder and harder.

He tried.

He procured a wagon and would visit markets at the end of the day for discounted goods, throw them in a stew at the club. Come evening he would feed everyone for free, plus a free glass of wine per person and a pack of cigarettes per table. He tried. But of course, things got worse.

He pulled his daughters out of their convent school to keep them close. Closed the club. Many were fleeing as the Nazis came storming through Belgium. He wouldn’t run. He continued to work with Kitty in the Resistance until 1940, when the Nazis marched down Champs-Élysées and through L’arc de Triomphe. Tens of thousands fled the city only to be bombed from the skies. He left his daughters in the care of Kitty, who promised to do what was necessary to keep them safe, packed his gear, and headed for the frontlines, determined, despite his age and multiple injuries, to find his old unit and rejoin the Legion.

When he arrived, it was only to find that his unit had been destroyed. Returning to Paris, he couldn’t enter; it had been completely overrun. But he heard rumors that the French 51st was holding out at Orléans. He started off on foot. The roads were full of starved, half-mad refugees. Bombings were frequent.

When he got there he discovered that his lieutenant from the last war was the commander of the 51st, and, in what must have felt like the world’s worst case of déjà vu, he was once again in charge of a machine-gun crew, fighting the Germans. He fought with his usual bravery.

But it was a hopeless last stand. A shell that killed 11 men threw him forty feet and cracked a vertebrae. His fighting days were over. Using his rifle as a crutch, he struck out for a military hospital in Angoulême, trying to stay out of sight. But there was little they could do for him there: painkillers, some bandages, and a few cans of sardines with a suggestion to head for Bordeaux and into Spain which, although Fascist, had maintained official neutrality, and was tacitly allowing Allied rescue efforts on Spanish soil.

He made it, somehow, received his first passport, and was put on a Navy ship to finally return to the United States he had fled decades before.

Life in Manhattan wasn’t easy.

He had to start from scratch.

He worked odd jobs — longshoreman, salesman of French perfume.

Through a contact in the State Department he was able to get in touch with Kitty, who was true to her word: his daughters were safe.

They came to the States without a word of English between them and moved in with their beloved father in Spanish Harlem.

He became involved in Free French groups, working to support General de Gaulle, head of the Free French government in exile, and was also filmed getting beaten by police as part of a human chain to protect Paul Robeson when his concert was disrupted by white supremacists. Times were tight but he was doing okay. His old friend Louis Armstrong came to help, hiring him as a tour manager and occasional drummer. He even tried to recover his club and gym in Paris, but the postwar situation was hopelessly complicated and he had to give up. In 1959, via the French Embassy in New York City, he was made a chevalier (knight) of France. He said at the ceremony, “My services to France could never repay all I owe her.”

Working at the time as an elevator operator at 10 Rockefeller Plaza, he was wearing his medal on his work uniform when Dave Garroway, the host of The Tonight Show, asked him about it. Naturally amazed by what he heard, Garroway saw that this elegant elevator operator got the day off of work so he could come to his office for an interview. It took a week to confirm facts. They all checked out: the elevator man at 10 Rockefeller Plaza was the first Black American fighter pilot in history — and a lot more.

He appeared on The Today Show, which led to a slew of other appearances and speaking engagements.

At least in parts of America, he became a celebrated figure, his heroism recognized. During his one return visit to Georgia, though, things were not so bright. His family has been scattered. One brother had been lynched by squatters when he’d tried to recover ancestral Creek land.

He never returned to the American South, living out the rest of his life in New York City.

But there was one final honor, because back in 1960, General Charles de Gaulle, leader of Free France, came to visit Eisenhower in the United States…

A million people greeted him in the streets when he arrived in New York. Hundreds of children sang “La Marseillaise.” He gave speeches at City Hall and the Waldorf Astoria, then went where he truly belonged, to the Seventh Regiment Armory.

Five thousand French were there.

And the Sparrow.

His presence had been requested.

After de Gaulle’s speech, he looked into the crowd as though searching for a friend.

The thousands gathered, and assembled press, may have wondered what was going on as the general left the podium and headed into the sea of faces to find a lone Black man, his chest gleaming with medals.

The man stood at attention and saluted.

De Gaulle returned the salute.

Then the general stuck out his hand and, when it was received, pulled the old soldier into a massive hug.

“All our country is in your debt,” he said.

Crying, the man whose journey began as a stowaway, bound for an uncertain future, sure only that he belonged in France, could only respond thus: “Merci, mon general. Merci beaucoup.”

Not long after, he entered the hospital with stomach pains.

He’d been ignoring them, but the insistence of his daughters finally prevailed.

The cancer was advanced. He turned 66 on October 9, 1961, and died on the 12th.

The woman who had been helping him with his memoirs visited him on the day he died.

She was crying at the bedside where he lay, seemingly lost to the world he was leaving.

Hearing her sobs, his consciousness returned from wherever it had been.

He pulled the tube out of his mouth.

He had something he wanted to say to her.

The old horseman, boxer, soldier, pilot, spy, club-owner, musician, and father turned to his friend and smiled.

“Don’t fret, honey,” he said.

“It’s easy.”

His name was Eugene Bullard.

They called him the Black Sparrow.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

A Great Hero worth remembering now.

Posted by: Dr Churchill | January 30, 2021

A Good German…

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was a pastor, a theologian and a martyr at the hands of the NAZI regime, because he was eager to rid the world of injustice…

He styled his form of writing as resistance to Evil and he based his life on the same principle.

He created a secret church to lead his flock because he was banned from the German hierarchy of his church since they were collaborating with the NAZI regime that Bonhoeffer was resisting…

His teachings were part of his resistance movement as he was offering solace, and the mysteries of faith in a hidden basement cellar, while being hunted down by the Gestapo, the SS and all of the Police forces of Adolf Hitler, on whose side he had become a thorn with his Christian equity teachings of what a Good German Christian would do…

After one of his sermons — in 1943 — he was asked, how it was possible for the official Church to cooperate with Hitler and the German NAZIs in wielding their terrible power because of the extermination of all the “undesirable” and “different” people of the German Society.

Bonhoeffer was stunned that the Church would allow the wholesale killing of the developmentally disabled, the invalids, the “light on the head” young people, the autistic children, the many artists, the politically undesirable, the homosexual and transgender folk, the Gypsies, the Hebrews, the Jews, the Sinti people and all the other folks who didn’t fall in, or follow the NAZI regime’s “National Unity” rule.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s answer to that difficult question of there official German church’s culpability with murder, the priestly class’s disgrace and the Pope Pius personal cooperation with the NAZI Fuhrer — was: “It was the church’s teaching of ‘cheap grace.'”

The Pope, Pius XI, signed the “Concordat” which was an agreement with the Third Reich not to interfere, in exchange for assurances that the Catholic church will not be attacked by the German NAZI hordes of Evil, and it also offers recognition to the newly founded German NAZI led Protestant church…

Shortly thereafter, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was arrested, imprisoned in a concentration camp where he was tortured, and shortly thereafter executed by the NAZIs in the spring of 1945.

On April 3rd of 1945, pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was moved from Buchenwald to Regensburg concentration camp, and five days later his was moved to the Flossenbürg concentration camp during the night. The next day, on April 9th, the compassionate priest Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed at Flossenbürg concentration camp, together with other key figures of the German home grown resistance.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.”

“Cheap grace is a false grace. A grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sadly today, we also live in a time and culture that the church, not only teaches cheap grace — but praises it.

PPS:

It is important today that as we remember the Holocaust — we also remember the Righteous men of all nations and the gentiles that helped the World stand Upright…

To that end we remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer and all the others who gave up their lives for the liberation of our collective Soul and Being, because they are the ones who shone a light at this dark and awful tunnel of darkness, despair and Evil that the NAZIs had brought upon the Human Spirit.

Long live the Righteous, long live the Just, long live all of our people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

PPPS from PBS:

Bonhoeffer - Premieres February 6, 2006 - Check your local listings
TimelineBonhoeffer family - Dietrich Bonhoeffer on left1906Dietrich and his twin sister Sabine are born on February 4. Six years later the Bonhoeffers move to Berlin where Dr. Karl Bonhoeffer begins teaching neurology and psychiatry. Dietrich enjoys a comfortable, privileged childhood there.1923The young Bonhoeffer begins theological studies at Tubingen University. Within four years he successfully defends his brilliant and ground-breaking doctoral thesis, Sanctorum Communio ( Communion of Saints), a significantly new way of looking at the nature of the Christian church.Union Theological Seminary - New York1930Bonhoeffer sails to New York and begins a teaching fellowship at Union Theological Seminary. There he meets, among others,  Frank Fisher, a Black fellow seminarian who introduces him to Abyssinian Baptist Church and the African American church experience. Bonhoeffer hears Adam Clayton Powell preach the Gospel of Social Justice there and he forms a life-long love for Black Gospel music.Dietrich Bonhoeffer during transatlantic crossing - 19311931Bonhoeffer returns to Germany. 1933Hitler is installed as Chancellor. Two days later, Bonhoeffer delivers a radio address on leadership attacking Hitler. He is cut off the air. In November, Bonhoeffer is ordained at St. Matthias Church, Berlin.Hitler's first radio address - February 1, 19331933By April the Aryan Civil Service legislation bans Jews from public employment. Ludwig Müller is appointed Hitler’s representative for the Protestant churches and installed as Reich Bishop of the first-ever national church of Germany. The Pope, Pius XI, signs the Concordat, an agreement with the Third Reich not to interfere, in exchange for assurances that Catholic church will not be attacked.1934The Confessing Church is organized at Barmen, Germany, and the Barmen Declaration is adopted, insisting that Christ, not the Fuhrer, is the head of the church. Bonhoeffer leaves for England to head a church for Germans.On August 2, German President Paul von Hindenburg dies. Hitler proclaimed as both Chancellor and President.Finkenwalde train stop1935Bonhoeffer returns from England to direct the seminary for the Confessing Church in Finkenwalde, Germany. By December, Himmler declares all examinations for the Confessing Church invalid, all training there invalid and all participants liable to arrest.In September, the Nuremberg Laws are passed, canceling citizenship for German Jews.1936In July, the Confessing Church leader and WWI hero Martin Niemöller is arrested. In August, Bonhoeffer’s authorization to teach at Berlin University is withdrawn.The August Olympic Games in Berlin begin. Hitler is quoted as saying of 4-time gold medal champion Jesse Owens “The Americans should be ashamed of themselves, letting Negroes win their medals for them.” He refuses to shake Owen’s hand.1937In September the seminary at Finkenwalde is closed by the Gestapo. By November, 27  pastors and former Finkenwalde students are arrested. Also in November, Bonhoeffer publishes The Cost of Discipleship.Pope Pius XI issues “With Burning Anxiety,” protesting Hitler’s infractions of their earlier agreement, the Concordat of 1933.1938In February Bonhoeffer makes his initial contact with members of the German Resistance. In September he writes Life Together. Bonhoeffer’s sister Sabine, her Jewish husband Gerhard Leibholz and two daughters escape to England by way of Switzerland.Jewish temple burning - 1938On March 12 Austria is annexed by Germany. In April all German pastors are ordered to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler in recognition of his 50th birthday. On November 9 a nation-wide, organized riot called Kristallnacht takes place, bringing the destruction of nearly 300 synagogues across Germany, the looting of 7,500 Jewish-owned shops, and the arrest of 30,000 Jewish men.Jewish boycott1939In June Bonhoeffer returns to the United States for second time. He realizes almost immediately that this was a mistake and he returns to Germany on the last scheduled steamer to cross the Atlantic.On January 1 all Jewish-owned businesses are liquidated by order of Hermann Göring. In March German troops invade Czechoslovakia. On September 1 Germany invades Poland. Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.1940Bonhoeffer is forbidden to speak in public and is required to report regularly to the police. He spends September and October working on Ethics. On April 9 German troops invade Denmark and Norway. In May German troops invade Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. By August the Battle of Britain begins; German Luftwaffe bombs London.1941Bonhoeffer is forbidden to print or to publish. He makes two trips to Switzerland on behalf of the Resistance.Hitler shaking hands with Reich Bishop Ludwig MullerIn April German troops invade Yugoslavia and Greece. In June they invade the Soviet Union. By September a decree requires all German Jews to wear a yellow star stitched to their clothing. In October the first deportations of Jews from Berlin begin and the first gas chambers are installed at Auschwitz, Poland. On December 7 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and the United States joins the war effort.Jews rounded up by Nazis1942In April Bonhoeffer visits Norway and Sweden. In May he meets in Sweden with the British Bishop Bell, a member of Parliament, on behalf of the Resistance.1943In January Bonhoeffer proposes and becomes engaged to Maria von Wedemeyer. On April 5 he is arrested and incarcerated at Tegel Prison, Berlin. Beginning in July Bonhoeffer is intensively interrogated in prison. In December Bonhoeffer writes his Christmas essay, “After Ten Years.”In January the Casablanca talks begin between US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. On May 19 Joseph Goebbels, the German minister of propaganda, declares that Germany is now Judenfrei (free of Jews). From November 28 to December 1 Joseph Stalin of the USSR, Roosevelt and Churchill meet at Teheran.1944In October the Gestapo arrests Bonhoeffer’s brother Klaus and Rüdiger Schleicher, Bonhoeffer’s brother-in-law. Bonhoeffer is moved from Tegel prison to the Gestapo prison at Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, Berlin. In December 19 Bonhoeffer writes his last letter to Maria von Wedemeyer.Assassination attempt trial - 1944In January Allied military forces land at Anzio, Italy. In Hungary 437,000 Jews are shipped to Auschwitz. In June Allied military forces land on Normandy coast, France (D-Day). On July 20 Klaus von Stauffenberg attempts to assassinate Hitler at Rastenburg, East Prussia. 1945On April 3 Bonhoeffer is moved from Buchenwald to Regensburg. Five days later his is moved to the Flossenbürg concentration camp during the night. The next day, April 9, Bonhoeffer is executed at Flossenbürg together with other key figures of the resistance. On April 23 Klaus Bonhoeffer and Rüdiger Schleicher are killed in Berlin.Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1938February 4-7. An Allied conference is held at Yalta from February 4th to 7th to discuss post-war settlements. On March 7 American forces cross Rhine River at Remagen. On April 12 President Franklin Roosevelt dies; Harry Truman is sworn in as president. On April 30 Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker. By May 2 Berlin falls. On May 7 the German forces make an unconditional surrender. On August 6 through 9 United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. By August 15 hostilities end in the Pacific.  On November 20 major war criminal trials begin in Nuremberg.
TimelineBonhoeffer family - Dietrich Bonhoeffer on left1906:
Dietrich and his twin sister Sabine are born on February 4. Six years later the Bonhoeffers move to Berlin where Dr. Karl Bonhoeffer begins teaching neurology and psychiatry. Dietrich enjoys a comfortable, privileged childhood there.1923The young Bonhoeffer begins theological studies at Tubingen University. Within four years he successfully defends his brilliant and ground-breaking doctoral thesis, Sanctorum Communio ( Communion of Saints), a significantly new way of looking at the nature of the Christian church.Union Theological Seminary - New York1930:
Bonhoeffer sails to New York and begins a teaching fellowship at Union Theological Seminary. There he meets, among others,  Frank Fisher, a Black fellow seminarian who introduces him to Abyssinian Baptist Church and the African American church experience. Bonhoeffer hears Adam Clayton Powell preach the Gospel of Social Justice there and he forms a life-long love for Black Gospel music.Dietrich Bonhoeffer during transatlantic crossing - 19311931Bonhoeffer returns to Germany. 1933Hitler is installed as Chancellor. Two days later, Bonhoeffer delivers a radio address on leadership attacking Hitler. He is cut off the air. In November, Bonhoeffer is ordained at St. Matthias Church, Berlin.Hitler's first radio address - February 1, 19331933By April the Aryan Civil Service legislation bans Jews from public employment. Ludwig Müller is appointed Hitler’s representative for the Protestant churches and installed as Reich Bishop of the first-ever national church of Germany. The Pope, Pius XI, signs the Concordat, an agreement with the Third Reich not to interfere, in exchange for assurances that Catholic church will not be attacked.1934The Confessing Church is organized at Barmen, Germany, and the Barmen Declaration is adopted, insisting that Christ, not the Fuhrer, is the head of the church. Bonhoeffer leaves for England to head a church for Germans.On August 2, German President Paul von Hindenburg dies. Hitler proclaimed as both Chancellor and President.Finkenwalde train stop1935Bonhoeffer returns from England to direct the seminary for the Confessing Church in Finkenwalde, Germany. By December, Himmler declares all examinations for the Confessing Church invalid, all training there invalid and all participants liable to arrest.In September, the Nuremberg Laws are passed, canceling citizenship for German Jews.1936In July, the Confessing Church leader and WWI hero Martin Niemöller is arrested. In August, Bonhoeffer’s authorization to teach at Berlin University is withdrawn.The August Olympic Games in Berlin begin. Hitler is quoted as saying of 4-time gold medal champion Jesse Owens “The Americans should be ashamed of themselves, letting Negroes win their medals for them.” He refuses to shake Owen’s hand.1937In September the seminary at Finkenwalde is closed by the Gestapo. By November, 27  pastors and former Finkenwalde students are arrested. Also in November, Bonhoeffer publishes The Cost of Discipleship.Pope Pius XI issues “With Burning Anxiety,” protesting Hitler’s infractions of their earlier agreement, the Concordat of 1933.

1938:
In February Bonhoeffer makes his initial contact with members of the German Resistance. In September he writes Life Together. Bonhoeffer’s sister Sabine, her Jewish husband Gerhard Leibholz and two daughters escape to England by way of Switzerland.Jewish temple burning - 1938On March 12 Austria is annexed by Germany. In April all German pastors are ordered to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler in recognition of his 50th birthday. On November 9 a nation-wide, organized riot called Kristallnacht takes place, bringing the destruction of nearly 300 synagogues across Germany, the looting of 7,500 Jewish-owned shops, and the arrest of 30,000 Jewish men.Jewish boycott

1939:
In June Bonhoeffer returns to the United States for second time. He realizes almost immediately that this was a mistake and he returns to Germany on the last scheduled steamer to cross the Atlantic.On January 1 all Jewish-owned businesses are liquidated by order of Hermann Göring. In March German troops invade Czechoslovakia. On September 1st, Germany invades Poland. Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.

1940:
Bonhoeffer is forbidden to speak in public and is required to report regularly to the police. He spends September and October working on Ethics. On April 9 German troops invade Denmark and Norway. In May German troops invade Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. By August the Battle of Britain begins; German Luftwaffe bombs London.1941Bonhoeffer is forbidden to print or to publish. He makes two trips to Switzerland on behalf of the Resistance.Hitler shaking hands with Reich Bishop Ludwig MullerIn April German troops invade Yugoslavia and Greece. In June they invade the Soviet Union. By September a decree requires all German Jews to wear a yellow star stitched to their clothing. In October the first deportations of Jews from Berlin begin and the first gas chambers are installed at Auschwitz, Poland. On December 7 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and the United States joins the war effort.Jews rounded up by Nazis

1942:
In April Bonhoeffer visits Norway and Sweden. In May he meets in Sweden with the British Bishop Bell, a member of Parliament, on behalf of the Resistance.1943In January Bonhoeffer proposes and becomes engaged to Maria von Wedemeyer. On April 5 he is arrested and incarcerated at Tegel Prison, Berlin. Beginning in July Bonhoeffer is intensively interrogated in prison. In December Bonhoeffer writes his Christmas essay, “After Ten Years.”In January the Casablanca talks begin between US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. On May 19 Joseph Goebbels, the German minister of propaganda, declares that Germany is now Judenfrei (free of Jews). From November 28 to December 1 Joseph Stalin of the USSR, Roosevelt and Churchill meet at Teheran.
1944In October the Gestapo arrests Bonhoeffer’s brother Klaus and Rüdiger Schleicher, Bonhoeffer’s brother-in-law. Bonhoeffer is moved from Tegel prison to the Gestapo prison at Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, Berlin. In December 19 Bonhoeffer writes his last letter to Maria von Wedemeyer.Assassination attempt trial - 1944In January Allied military forces land at Anzio, Italy. In Hungary 437,000 Jews are shipped to Auschwitz. In June Allied military forces land on Normandy coast, France (D-Day). On July 20 Klaus von Stauffenberg attempts to assassinate Hitler at Rastenburg, East Prussia. 1945On April 3 Bonhoeffer is moved from Buchenwald to Regensburg. Five days later his is moved to the Flossenbürg concentration camp during the night. The next day, April 9, Bonhoeffer is executed at Flossenbürg together with other key figures of the resistance. On April 23 Klaus Bonhoeffer and Rüdiger Schleicher are killed in Berlin.Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1938February 4-7. An Allied conference is held at Yalta from February 4th to 7th to discuss post-war settlements. On March 7 American forces cross Rhine River at Remagen. On April 12 President Franklin Roosevelt dies; Harry Truman is sworn in as president. On April 30 Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker. By May 2 Berlin falls. On May 7 the German forces make an unconditional surrender. On August 6 through 9 United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. By August 15 hostilities end in the Pacific.  On November 20 major war criminal trials begin in Nuremberg.

Posted by: Dr Churchill | January 27, 2021

God of the World, Einstein and Spinoza…

Often times, when Albert Einstein gave lectures at U.S. universities — the question students asked him most often was this:

“Do you believe in God?”

And he always answered thus:

“I believe in the God of Spinoza.”

Baruch de Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher considered one of the great rationalists of 17th century philosophy, along with Descartes.

According to Spinoza, God would say: “Stop praying. I want you to go out into the world and enjoy your life. I want you to sing, have fun and enjoy everything I’ve made for you.”

“Stop going into those dark, cold temples that you built yourself and saying they are my house. My house is in the mountains, in the woods, rivers, lakes, beaches. That’s where I live and there I express my love for you.”

“Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner, or that your sexuality was a bad thing. Sex is a gift I have given you and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So don’t blame me for everything that others made you believe.”

“Stop reading alleged sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you can’t read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the look of your friends, in your son’s eyes—you will find me in no book!”

“Stop asking me, ‘Will you tell me how to do my job?’ Stop being so scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you, nor get angry or bothered. I am pure love.”

“Stop asking for forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. If I made you, I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies, and best of all, free will. Why would I blame you if you respond to something I put in you? How could I punish you for being the way you are, if I’m the one who made you? Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who behave badly for the rest of eternity? What kind of god would do that?”

“Respect your peers, and don’t give what you don’t want for yourself. All I ask is that you pay attention in your life—alertness is your guide.“My beloved, this life is not a test, not a step on the way, not a rehearsal, not a prelude to paradise. This life is the only thing here and now—and it is all you need.”

“I have set you absolutely free, no prizes or punishments, no sins or virtues, no one carries a marker, no one keeps a record.You are absolutely free to create in your life. It’s you who creates heaven or hell.”

“Live as if there is nothing beyond this life, as if this is your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist. Then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is an afterlife, rest assured that I won’t ask if you behaved right or wrong, I’ll ask, ‘Did you like it? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?”

“Stop believing in me; believing is assuming, guessing, imagining. I don’t want you to believe in me, I want you to believe in you. I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when you tuck in your little girl, when you caress your dog, when you bathe in the sea.”

“Stop praising me. What kind of egomaniac God do you think I am? I’m bored with being praised. I’m tired of being thanked.”

“Feeling grateful? Prove it by taking care of yourself, your health, your relationships, the world. Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me.”

“Stop complicating things and repeating as a parrot what you’ve been taught about me. Why do you need more miracles? So many explanations?”

“The only thing for sure is that you are here, that you are alive, that this world is full of wonders.”

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

Surely a Good God this is…

Posted by: Dr Churchill | January 27, 2021

Love & Life in the Native Cultures of the Pacific Northwest…

“In the course of my lifetime I have lived in two distinct cultures.

I was born into a culture that lived in communal houses.

My grandfather’s house was eighty feet long. It was called a long “smoke house” and it stood down by the beach along the inlet.

All my grandfather’s sons and their families lived in this dwelling. Their sleeping apartments were separated by blankets made of bull rush weeds, but one open fire in the middle served the cooking needs of all. In houses like these, throughout the tribe, people learned to live with one another; learned to respect the rights of one another.

And children shared the thoughts of the adult world and found themselves surrounded by aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents who loved them, and did not threaten them.

My father was born in such a house and learned from infancy how to love people and be at home with them. And beyond this acceptance of one another there was a deep respect for everything in Nature that surrounded them.

My father loved the Earth and all its creatures. The Earth was his second mother. The Earth and everything it contained was a gift from See-see-am… and the way to thank this Great Spirit was to use his gifts with respect.

I remember, as a little boy, fishing with him up Indian River and I can still see him as the sun rose above the mountain top in the early morning…

I can see him standing by the water’s edge with his arms raised above his head while he softly moaned…”Thank you, thank you.” It left a deep impression on my young mind.

And I shall never forget his disappointment when once he caught me gaffing for fish “just for the fun of it.” “My son” he said, “The Great Spirit gave you those fish to be your brothers, to feed you when you are hungry. You must respect them. You must not kill them just for the fun of it.”

This then was the culture I was born into and for some years the only one I really knew or tasted.

This is why I find it hard to accept many of the things I see around me.

I see people living in long “smoke houses” hundreds of times bigger than the one I knew.

But the people in one apartment do not even know the people in the next and care less about them.

It is also difficult for me to understand the deep hate that exists among people.

It is hard to understand a culture that justifies the killing of millions in past wars, and it at this very moment preparing bombs to kill even greater numbers.

It is hard for me to understand a culture that spends more on wars and weapons to kill, than it does on education and welfare to help and develop.

It is hard for me to understand a culture that not only hates and fights his brothers but even attacks Nature and abuses her.

I see my white brothers going about blotting out Nature from his cities. I see him strip the hills bare, leaving ugly wounds on the face of mountains. I see him tearing things from the bosom of Mother Earth as though she were a monster, who refused to share her treasures with him. I see him throw poison in the waters, indifferent to the life he kills there; as he chokes the air with deadly fumes.

My white brother does many things well for he is more clever than my people but I wonder if he has ever really learned to love at all.

Perhaps he only loves the things that are his own but never learned to love the things that are outside and beyond him. And this is, of course, not love at all, for man must love all creation or he will love none of it.

Man must love fully or he will become the lowest of the animals.

It is the power to love that makes him the greatest of them all… for he alone of all animals is capable of [a deeper] love.

My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love.

When Christ said man does not live by bread alone — he spoke of a hunger.

This hunger was not the hunger of the body…

He spoke of a hunger that begins in the very depths of man… a hunger for love.

Love is something you and I must have.

We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it.

We must have it because without it we become weak and faint.

Without love our self esteem weakens.

Without it our courage fails.

Without love we can no longer look out confidently at the world.

Instead we turn inwardly and begin to feed upon our own personalities and little by little we destroy ourselves.

You and I need the strength and joy that comes from knowing that we are loved.

With it we are creative.

With it we march tirelessly.

With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.

There have been times when we all wanted so desperately to feel a reassuring hand upon us… there have been lonely times when we so wanted a strong arm around us.

I cannot tell you how deeply I miss my wife’s presence when I return from a trip. Her love was my greatest joy, my strength, my greatest blessing.

Yet, I am afraid my culture has little to offer yours.

But my culture did prize friendship and companionship. It did not look on privacy as a thing to be clung to, for privacy builds walls and walls promote distrust.

My culture lived in big family communities, and from infancy people learned to live with others.

My culture did not prize the hoarding of private possessions, in fact, to hoard was a shameful thing to do among my people.

The Indian looked on all things in Nature as belonging to him and he expected to share them with others and to take only what he needed.Everyone likes to give as well as receive. No one wishes only to receive all the time.

We have taken something from your culture…

I wish you had taken something from our culture, for there were some beautiful and good things in it.Soon it will be too late to know my culture, for integration is upon us and soon we will have no values but yours. Already many of our young people have forgotten the old ways.

And many have been shamed of their Indian ways by scorn and ridicule. My culture is like a wounded deer that has crawled away into the forest to bleed and die alone.

The only thing that can truly help us is genuine love.

You must truly love, be patient with us and share with us.

And we must love you—with a genuine love that forgives and forgets… a love that forgives the terrible sufferings your culture brought ours when it swept over us like a wave crashing along a beach… with a love that forgets and lifts up its head and sees in your eyes an answering love of trust and acceptance…”

–Chief Dan George

Dan George was a leader of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation of what is now British Columbia.

He was born in North Vancouver in 1899 and died in 1981.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

There are no Noble Savages in my book — yet their existence over the past tens of thousands of years in these lands, waters and mountains have informed my view of what is the right way to deal with our World.

Long live the First Peoples.

Posted by: Dr Churchill | January 25, 2021

Inauguration simply means change…

If a person could personify ideas, then perhaps, we could say that Moses, Socrates and even Jesus, are representing the same personal beliefs, sharing aspects of the same humane ideas and affecting people similarly in a great way as aspirational and transformational leaders…

And somewhere there we could also tack in that August grouping of high personages — the 16th president of these United States, Abraham Lincoln the Great Emancipator, too…

I say that, because when we hear the words of Abraham Lincoln admonishing us to “Return to the fountain whose waters spring close by the blood of the revolution” we have to place the Man next to those “Great Spirits” springing eternal truths that are always self evident.

Abraham continues: “Think nothing of me — take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever — but come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence.”

Still he says: “You may do anything with me you choose — if you will but heed these sacred principles.”

He was standing before a small crowd of people on a stump, in the village commons of Lewiston, Ill., in the summer of 1858 — and that is when Abraham Lincoln spoke thus, where he begged his listeners to act, and not to just listen…

Five whole years before Lincoln inspired the American public with the short yet memorable phrases of the legendary Gettysburg Address — candidate Abraham Lincoln was already concerned, that the eerily familiar and yet still radical message of the Declaration of Independence of 1776, had been lost on the people of his generation.

Because he saw that his people had come to associate the Revolution only with the Fourth of July festooning, carousing, the fireworks, the picnics and the parades leading flag-wavers onto the streets…

Indeed, Lincoln believed the very soul of American democracy had been lost for a time of division hate and the inexorable march towards the Civil War.

And yet he hoped that the “glue” to hold the nation together, could be found in the Declaration of Independence — not just because it was the penultimate founding document — but because it reached far beyond the present-day biases and flaws of the men who wrote it, as it led to something far greater than themselves, such as this becoming a transcendental statement of WHAT, WHICH, and WHO, we ought to be.

“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.”

Still three years after becoming president and facing “a great civil war, testing whether that nation” created by the Declaration of Independence “or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure,” Lincoln wanted the crowd to understand the wisdom, truth and sheer goodness contained in the document of 1776.

“If you have been inclined to believe that all men are not created equal in those inalienable rights enumerated in our charter of liberty,” Lincoln told the Lewiston crowd, “let me entreat you to come back.”

As a practical matter, the Declaration of Independence is mostly a prosecutor’s indictment of King George III and Great Britain’s misgovernment of its 13 American colonies, a list of grievances and a proclamation of rebellion.

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.”

But its real value comes in establishing a basis for political rule — self-evident truths, unalienable rights, and equality — manifested in the sovereignty of the people.

Self-evident truths are unquestionable and beyond debate. Unalienable rights are those that can’t be taken from us or even surrendered by us. Equality, although not yet a reality in the colonies, was the foundation and the aspiration of what the country was meant to be.

That was the genius that Lincoln saw in those words and that inspired him to hold the country together through the bloodiest war in American history.

Lincoln saw the Declaration not just as a statement in the moment of 1776 but as a promise from the Founders for all the following generations, “a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.”

Another hundred years after Lincoln, one of those children, Martin Luther King Jr., would lead a march on Washington with the very same view of the Declaration’s promise.

“In a sense, we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check” is what Dr King said in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial as he addressed the crowd at the the “March in Washington” D.C., where he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963.

And he continued by reminding us that “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

We hold these truths to be self-evident…

“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

That was the message that Lincoln feared was being lost in 1858.

It is a creed that must be rekindled each year.

“Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants,” Lincoln said in Lewiston, “and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.”

That is the meaning, the promise and the hope stemming from each and every New Inauguration of a New President fixing to lead as the Chief Executive of these United States of America, and we Thank God for this change of leadership now and forever…

Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: