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In view of the delicate and volatile situation surrounding Syria, the following letter was transmitted on 2018 April 10th at approximately 2:30 pm Pacific Time.

President Donald Trump
c/o WhiteHouse.gov

Dear Mr. President:

Francois Fenelon said: "All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers..." [The following important continuation, please note, was not included due to space limitations in the submission format: "...Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in which he was born."]

Albert Einstein said: "Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding."

Mahatma Gandhi reminded us: "Violence begets violence."

Delicate situations in Syria and elsewhere, including our own country, demand new methods of expressing moral indignation in response to violence. Using violence to respond to violence in the Information and Nuclear Ages could potentially escalate out of anyone's control.

Safer and very effective methods of de-escalating violence at every level of society are available.
Here are three. They will each be far more powerful in combination with the other two.

1) Actively promoting the "Highest Civic Ideals" (social values) outlined at : STARALLIANCE.org.

2) Actively promoting the scientifically-proven, stress-reducing effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique. [TM.org.] Fortunately, this particular technique is simple, natural, and easy for virtually anyone to learn.

3) Actively employing the power of media to conduct a series of Global Electronic Town Meetings. These can be focused on understanding and resolving conflicts "people-to-people," helping heal the sources of human division and discord. They can also include world-class cultural enrichment and entertainment to help soothe frayed nerves and enhance mutual appreciation, reconciliation, and healing.

On behalf of the STAR ALLIANCE nonprofit organization, we strongly urge you to consider all three vital, nonviolent interventions as alternatives to the possible (though still risky, dangerous) judicious and carefully limited use of destructive force.

[We] would also like to offer to help. Specifically: To organize and facilitate the first and third options much more quickly if you will empower our organization: At least to the modest, $.5M budget level posted under "Development" at STARALLIANCE.org.

Best wishes!

Peter Bruce DuMont 
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Developed from my post this morning to the comment board at KQED.org's Forum with Michael Krasny.

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People can be friends and nations can be friends. But it is important to be clear on what we are friends for! 
Being friends for unethical or otherwise wrong reasons brings danger to both immediate friends and the fabric of society. 
Being friends for the right, ethical reasons can help carry anybody and everybody through many a trial and error in this imperfect world, where we are all, always, subject to Murphy's Law.*
It is not only important generally, but in the case of Nuclear Armed States: Crucial to the sustainability of the world: That friendship for a complete set of Highest Civic Ideals — values essential to good, healthy, sustainable relationships at every level of life — become the collective goal of all nations and peoples.
Ideal values such as good will, integrity, communication, cooperation, and celebration for common (and harmonizing) goals and principles can — at least in theory — be held firmly in common even during storms of disagreement and change involving their application in the complexities of life. 
It is like the ancient image and reality of navigating by the stars, or today, by the satellite "stars" that guide cars and ships and planes through any kind of weather, day or night. Good values like honesty and integrity provide accuracy in navigation.  They are essential to guide all parties at every step, so that ideally: Everyone may reach their respective goal/s in harmony.

Whereas all nations and peoples are unlikely ever to adopt a set of ideals in the name of the same religion or religious leaders (with all due respect to the great men, women, and precepts celebrated by religions); we can and should declare and follow logically-derived, essentially self-evident values of healthy, sustainable relationships which can be expressed in a fully rational and civic way. 

It is important that nations and peoples everywhere — not to mention individuals, groups, and businesses — officially declare and adopt such a complete set of baseline, guiding values as soon as possible. 

This won't solve the myriad ongoing challenges of complex applications of principles to daily life and special crises, of course.  But it will certainly help enormously.  It will increase the speed and efficiency of conflict resolution while reducing untold threats; unlocking untold resources presently wasted at peril to all.

It is possible that Russia and America (or in theory, any two parties, even amidst active conflicts) can agree together on these Highest Civic Ideals in their abstract form, where the values themselves remain pure.  

With sufficient good will, integrity, sobriety of course; and by making an effort to meet everyone's basic needs, if possible (including deep conscious rest); it is possible to maintain or return quickly and peacefully to an a-priori commitment to our Highest Civic Ideals — even as we confront each other, when necessary, in this particular brand of friendship, one hopes with both or all sides making a sincere effort to understand each other and meet the challenges of our own and our respective deficits in performance.

Reducing the number of diplomats in our respective countries, by the way, may be a questionable approach. A crisis might be just the time to double down on opportunities and efforts to increase communication and cooperation rather than reduce them.  Appropriate punishment, when deemed necessary to deter bad behavior, might better be focused on economic or other desirable interests without cutting down on diplomats, as some pundits have recently observed.

* * *

(For the complete set of Highest Civic Ideals and principles we propose for public adoption: Please see the Good Will Wisdom Documents Offered for All page at www.STARALLIANCE.org.  * For an important discussion on the Universal Triple Threat™ of Murphy's Law, and why it is always best to understand and respect the pervasive potential for error: Please see our Product Warning document on the same page.) 


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Peter DuMont - Fri Mar 09, 2018 @ 01:31AM
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Herewith many good wishes and appreciations — stimulated by International Women's Day — for all the women of the world! [Maybe it should be a week!]

While certainly self-evident by logic, it is amazing to realize how often men may forget: 

No one would be here without you, ladies!  

Of course, the same thing could be said for men...

So here's another good wish for both/all genders: That all of us may enjoy an increasing social atmosphere of mutual respect, refinement, and appreciation going forward — according to all our Highest Civic Ideals!

May we all see our vital self-interests in supporting the cause of Universal Civic Peace Values Education, Awareness, Inspiration, and Participation!

Thanks to everyone for all the good we bring to the table!


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Peter DuMont - Wed Feb 21, 2018 @ 04:11PM
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The short essay below was first inspired as a listener comment following KQED radio's Forum show 2018 February 20th hosted by Dr. Michael Krasny on: How Can We Keep Schools Safe?  A guest emphasized that with the exception of Sandy Hook Elementary, ALL mass school shootings have involved a perpetrator somehow related to the school community.

This shows that while improved gun laws and security procedures are certainly vital, we must not overlook the importance of Universal Civic Peace Values Education.

1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

The fact cited that school shooters are almost always associated with their school communities is crucial. And it is pivotal, if we will focus on the implications.

This means that:

1) The health and quality of good, reciprocal relationships at every level of schooling and community is not only important, it is essential. Students, teachers, staff, administration, parents, and surrounding communities must all be involved. Everyone matters. No one can be safely excluded.

2) Values and procedures conducive to prompt, successful conflict resolution — and moreover to improved quality of life everywhere — simply MUST be incorporated into school curricula as well as business, legal, economic, political, and community cultures.

3) Since traditional religious approaches to values instruction are excluded from tax support and the broad reach of government, a CIVIC approach must be developed.

A Bay Area nonprofit initiative [STARALLIANCE.org] has been focusing on developing just such an approach to comprehensive peace values instruction over the last thirty-two years. We have carefully constructed materials to declare, disseminate, and allow individuals to commit to Our Highest Civic Ideals. It is high time that communities give this effort the attention and resources which it deserves (including technical assistance and program content media time for the organization.)

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The following essay elaborates a comment first posted to KQED's Forum Show on December 20th regarding Security Policy. It seems most appropriate to New Year's Resolutions on behalf of We, The People Everywhere. — Peter Bruce DuMont

Investing in enhanced safety systems and procedures for nuclear weapons seems wise indeed. The U.S. and Allies could potentially share these technologies and policies with all other nuclear powers, including the DPRK; similar to Ronald Reagan’s vision of sharing “Star Wars” nuclear defense technology with all.  And this investment should most definitely include better staffing so that Navy sailors and others handling nuclear weapons are guaranteed full daily sleep requirements (Please reference the recent This American Life broadcast on this topic.); not to mention training in proven techniques for stress-reduction and deep conscious rest. [Reference: www.tm.org.]

Investing heavily in a new generation of nuclear weapons, however — at a time when 184 (out of 193 Member Nations of the U.N.) have just voted (2017 July 7th) to BAN these illegal monsters— would be a truly mis-guided use of major resources in the name of security.

Wake up, humanity!

The nine nuclear powers are insufficiently acknowledging that although no one knows for sure, it is likely that only 50-100 [1,000 at maximum, until further clarified] nuclear explosions in big cities could kill virtually everyone on Earth via Nuclear Winter.  [Please reference the work of Climatologist Dr. Alan Robock at Rutgers University, whose team will be continuing to study these awful potentials throughout 2018.]

Obviously, this is an outrageous, totally unacceptable level of global risk. If present nuclear leaders collectively continue to flirt with it, Murphy's Law will eventually prove itself. What a horrible threat we all continue to live under!

Rather than trying to starve North Korea out of the weapons it already has — attempting somehow to ignore present reality while talking hypocritically about the glories of national sovereignty — the rest of the Nuclear Club should ACCEPT this new reality and provide the courageous leadership required for a BIG QUANTUM JUMP UP TO TRUE GLOBAL DEMOCRACY — complete with a unified Global Defense System.

We must trust that the People of Earth — properly represented with a directly-elected, population-based House, added to the current United Nations “Senate of Nations” appointed by national leaders — will never choose to self-annihilate!

And we must trust that even North Korea and other nations currently considered outliers will choose to participate in a fully honest, fair-minded formula for global governance, conceding THEIR unreasonable demands in return for a proportional share of the overwhelming benefits of a secure world peace accruing to all nations and peoples.

A population-based global political system will circumvent the traditional, legitimate objection to “World Government,”in that dictators and other ruling elites — although they might retain for a time their appointment power to the current “Senate of Nations” (U.N. General Assembly) — would be counter-balanced by their own collective populations, empowered with a direct vote. Perhaps even a secret ballot system for the newly-formed House would be wise: to protect voters from retribution by those in power who may disagree with them.

To upgrade our current, weak (and consequently often ineffective) global political system: What amounts to a Global Constitutional Convention can easily be called under Article 109 of the U.N. Charter.  This simply requires a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly including any nine of the fifteen Security Council members. Since there are only five so-called Veto holders, and fifteen minus five equals ten, none of the veto-holding nations is actually required to CALL the convention.

This is do-able, people!

As to the five Veto-holders, each will have a chance to block from full ratification any proposal the convention comes up with, so they should feel as "safe" as they are going to get for now, and NOT block the discussion for greater, holistic global safety!

Instead they should correctly perceive their own self-interests in the well being of the whole and provide leadership for effective global democracy.

Looking closely at the DPRK: What worked for devastated Europe after WWII was the Marshall Plan, and a similar program to rebuild devastated Europe and Japan. But there was no such re-construction effort from the West in favor of restoring North Korea after it was bombed until there were "no more targets” according to official USAF descriptions. (Thereafter, five dams were also destroyed in violation of International Law.) 

Such overkill and neglect of basic human rights and needs has contributed to the current volatile situation.

The solution is not to light a match!

This crisis is a "dangerous opportunity," as Chinese wisdom reminds us. The whole world must come together in favor of profound, careful, mutual respect.

Good Will, Responsibility and all their contextual ethical values — “Our Highest Civic Ideals” [www.STARALLIANCE.org] — are the great, reliable, and timeless guiding lights which We, the People of Earth must focus on, all together, first, for sure navigation — and then employ, each to our best ability — to achieve reasonably safe and secure forward propulsion. 

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Peter DuMont - Sun Dec 10, 2017 @ 03:28PM
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Dear Readers:

The following brief comment was posted (and cited, in part, on air by host Michael Krasny) at KQED's Forum radio show on 2017 December 7th. I hope international leaders, activists, and populations will take note.  I will simply add here: Israel's long-standing insistence on bi-lateral negotiations notwithstanding, it has long seemed obvious to me that since the International Community was instrumental in establishing the state of Israel, it should be at least equally instrumental and responsible to support establishment of a dignified, secure home for the Palestinian People after all these years. (Let's face it: This should have been arranged from the beginning. Why should Israel fear such support now?) Achieving lasting just peace (with love, by the way) is clearly in Israel's own higher self-interests.  — PBD

* * * * *

Looking to positive potentials here: Now that President Trump has "recognized reality" by recognizing Israel's long-functioning capital in Jerusalem; might this not be a wonderful "equal opportunity" moment to locate a functioning Palestinian capital there?

Crucial pre-conditions for such creativity are good will and a sense of responsibility — by and for all — in preference to anger-based, ill-willed reactivity.

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Peter DuMont - Fri Oct 27, 2017 @ 02:30PM
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  • Dear Readers: The following is a slightly edited version of a post I made to KQED's Forum show 2017 October 27th, hosted by Mina Kim on the topic: 
    North Bay Faith Communities Play a Role in Wildfire Recovery.  You can listen to the show here.Avatar
  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8 • 

    This comment will not be comforting, but since it could contribute to life-saving on a truly massive scale, I feel a duty to express it.

    Years ago I heard a Native American elder speak to the effect that Mother Earth was running a fever — that she was unhappy with what human beings, collectively, were doing to her.

    With great sympathy for those directly affected, it occurred to me during the fires that 'This is nothing compared to a single nuclear incident — much less an exchange' — which scientists like climatologist Alan Robock have been warning could easily lead to a Nuclear Winter.

    Nuclear Winter, of course, is precisely caused by smoke from uncontrollable urban fires on top of the initial blasts. This smoke would spread out and fill our precious Earth atmosphere all over.  Aside from being very difficult and unhealthy to breathe, the smoke would block the sun, causing temperatures to plummet, and crop failure and death throughout the Earth.

    If we consider these recent fires (and the acceleration of hurricane rates in frequency and intensity) relatively kind, early warning shots from Mother Nature; we will each do our sober best to raise public awareness and support the historic Nuclear Weapons Ban passed by 122 nations at the United Nations 2017 July 7th [The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons], and also our sober best to see that it gets ratified by the required fifty nations, first of all, and subsequently put into practice by all nations.

    We, the People of Earth, and specifically the Nuclear Powers of Earth, have been flirting with totally unacceptable risks in this regard for far too long already.  Mother and Father Nature are warning us: Be care-full with ourselves, with one another, and with Them.


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    Grameen Bank founder and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus was interviewed 2017 October 9th by star host Michael Krasny on KQED's Forum radio talk show.  Yunus has authored a new book, Three Zeroes, about eliminating environmental destruction, unemployment, and devastating inequality by harnessing for the masses the power of entrepreneurship.

    During the interview, Yunus expressed doubt that law could adequately address shocking inequality gaps. (He pointed to the power differentials that wealth creates even under law.) 

    He also described a brilliant adaptation (or one could say completion) of the Pyramid social-economic model.  In the latter, the rich are at the top and the poor are at the large base, whereas in the Diamond model, there is another pyramid directly underneath, base-to-base with the first one.  Thus, a few super-rich make up the top, and an equally few super-poor appear at the bottom point, with the majority of society making up the middle.

    I posted the following comments (with minor edits here) in the citizen-participation section of the show's website.

    • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8 • 

      1) Thank you for your life's work! Today is Columbus Day, or variably: Indigenous People's Day.  We might also call it (incorporating both): Global Pioneers' Day!  Host and guest alike deserve this appellation.

      2) I love the Wealth Diamond idea. Thank you for that simple powerful metaphor!

      3) Here's a slogan which, if not new, I haven't heard enough of: EACH ONE HELP ONE.  Let's have more of this in our society and spread the load of assisting the poor and injured!

      4) Mr. Yunus was dismissive of law as a means of fixing social ills and extreme polarization.  But law will help a lot when more poor people can make use of it promptly and enjoy its protections. We need to counterbalance Economic Discrimination Before the Law with A Universal Right to Civil Counsel.

      5) To help accomplish this, a model somewhat akin to the Grameen Bank-like model can be employed, in the sense of honoring the potential of the poor; helping them to help themselves. Here is the idea in brief: Establish a dedicated fund, with earnings sufficient to hire a small panel of attorneys and support staff.  Solicit applications for civil legal representation from poor people in a given area. Carefully select cases that are likely to win monetary awards (just as contingency lawyers do when bigger winnings are involved!) Settle or prosecute these cases, and use a disclosed percentage of the winnings to grow the fund and serve more clients!

      Not only will many individuals be helped in a critical way; the entire community of the rich and powerful will be put on notice: they just might not get away with quiet and/or systemic abuse of the poor.

      The need, purpose, and importance of this plan may be obvious to some. For others, here is some added information and commentary.

      Such a movement would help fill the terrible gap left for the poor under the current contingency system regarding civil matters. Many civil cases of the poor, although critical to their lives and careers, do not involve enough money (or in some cases, involve too much risk) to attract the business needs and motivations of attorneys under the contingency system. These attorneys normally contract for 30-40% of winnings and charge nothing up front. That formula works fine for personal injury cases with high provable damages and deep pockets or adequate insurance on the defendant's side — but it doesn't work at all for most other categories of complaint the poor encounter, which usually don't meet these two criteria.

      Because the staff attorneys of the Grameen (or perhaps we could say the STAR ALLIANCE) model would receive salaries and not be dependent on big commissions; they could spend their time representing the poor and the agency would nevertheless be sustainable.

      Just as in the contingency law business, careful selection of cases — almost surely to be victorious for money damages AND collectible, once won — is vital to success.

      Without such an institutionalized, creative solution for the poor; they are systematically left outside to suffer helplessly (with the exception of VERY NARROW cases categories covered by under-funded legal aid.) The abused poor are also at grave risk of at least tripling their own damages by trying, unsuccessfully, to work the system themselves without the vital training required — this while already off-balance and damaged by the injuries they seek to redress! This gap in the practical legal system is an ugly reality, utterly horrible to experience, which tears at the entire fabric of society and could soon tear it up.

      Filling in this one, glaring gap in our legal system would heal and empower large numbers of individual actors and help close — by uncountable, individual means — the treacherous economic and social gaps which Yunus and other great minds have warned are unacceptably dangerous to everyone.

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    The following short essay is about preventing future wars and atrocities by fixing egregious structural limitations on effective global democracy in (and through) the United Nations.  It was first posted as a listener comment, at KQED.org/forum on 2017 September 13th; stimulated by the show's discussion of "Textbook Ethnic Cleansing" alleged right now in Myanmar. 

    From: 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8 • 

    To answer your caller's question to the effect: "Why doesn't the U.N. do anything?..." 

    The Security Council, which has fifteen member countries at any given time, includes five permanent members — China, France, Russia, the UK, and the USA.  The other ten member countries on the Council at any time, rotate in and out on two-year terms; and since there are about two-hundred member countries (193 to be exact), the five big historical players have hugely disproportionate power.  In addition to their permanent status, any one of them can block action by the entire Security Council with their single vote withheld. This is the so-called "UN Veto," which is never mentioned by that name in the Charter language.

    The good news is: it is absolutely legally possible, under Article 109 of the Charter, to call for a UN Charter Review at virtually any time.  This would amount to a Global Constitutional Convention, and with this, We the People of the World, through the current UN structure itself, would have a chance to upgrade the legal realities of our nascent global democracy to a more fair system. We could create a sensible override feature for the Veto, for example, such as we have in the United States over a Presidential Veto. And we could upgrade the UN in other important ways such as creating some form of population-linked, directly-elected representation, which is now entirely feasible in the Internet Age.  This would augment the General Assembly, which is a kind of "Senate of Nations" where the head of each nation, whether elected or not, appoints one senator.

    In the 72 year history of the UN (which body was put together in a matter of months after WWII), Article 109 has NEVER been activated. I believe this is from a-priori discouragement that all five of the permanent Security Council members, who vote is required for final ratification, would ever agree on a reasonable change.  This combined with ignorance on the part of the public and frankly, most in officialdom, too: on how, specifically, to get started on this vital discussion.

    As with so many things, it is a matter of knowledge and political will. This opportunity is very important and worthy of mass attention as soon as possible!  "Natural Law," as it were, will keep "hammering us" in different ways until it finally gets our attention and we fix our own global governance dysfunctions. No mystical outside force is going to do it for us.  Meanwhile, we face no less than the harsh and costly realities of Climate Change and the very real possibility of sudden global death through Nuclear Winter!  The Big Five — and literally everyone — are encouraged to see clearly, rationally, and quickly: their own self-interest in making way for progressive changes by these and other means.

    The caller and other alert citizens are invited to volunteer or donate to nonprofits including the UNA (United Nations Associations or "citizen-booster chapters," of which there are several in the Bay Area alone) and the STAR ALLIANCE Foundation of Berkeley, for example, with which I have been volunteering for thirty years(!) They can also contact their elected officials and generally "Talk it up."  We must BUILD POLITICAL WILL for the points outlined above.

    Upgrading the structure and function of democracy at the global level is one of the very best ways — and certainly a necessary component — of preventing future wars and atrocities.  We must act promptly.  We are not helpless in the Challenge of Peace.

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    Peter DuMont - Mon Jul 24, 2017 @ 07:00PM
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    The following essay was first composed as a comment for KQED-FM's outstanding Forum show with Michael Krasny on 2017 July 24th.  Krasny hosted Nobel Laureate Al Gore at the end of the hour, following the producers of his new film on Climate Change: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.  The entire show can be accessed here.
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    It has long seemed obvious to me that "The Big Bucket" of global resources needed to arrest and remediate climate change is still largely squandered on armaments and unresolved conflicts.

    A truly tiny fraction of the defense budgets of the world re-directed to more effective conflict resolution and prevention — at every level of society — would soon unlock sufficient resources to preserve our collective environment. A positive, solution-oriented Citizens Media Network will help stimulate and maintain such an intelligent shift of policy priorities. And by the way, the militaries of the world can help employ the network for peace by guaranteeing security in designated media stations, allowing conflicting parties opportunities to talk to each other, let off steam, and reach understanding from a safe distance.

    As touched on by Mr. Shenk in today's discussion — the peace, environmental, and social justice movements should attempt to integrate and support each other even more explicitly than they have to date. The media network will be a great project to engage together and foster this goal ongoingly.  An exposition of baseline civic values for good social behavior to catalyze this effort, and improvements generally, may be found at www.STARALLIANCE.org, which can also provide a good brand for the network.

    Upgrading the United Nations to a truer form of democracy — via a population-based house and a legislative override on the veto at the Security Council — will be particularly vital. This process is NOT a nonstarter. Article 109 of the U.N. Charter provides a mechanism for its own review at virtually any time. It is the political will and focus on this vital process that is needed. Rather than assuming current veto-holding nations to be their mortal enemies, other nations and peoples should be asking The Big Five (U.S., Russia, China, France, and the U.K.) to lead the campaign in the interests of collective security, peace, justice, and love for both nature and humanity.

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