Founder's Blog

 

 

Peter DuMont - Wed Jul 04, 2018 @ 02:36AM
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Hi Everyone,

In the spirit of universal citizenship co-existing with national citizenships, I'd like to reproduce below (with a few minor edits) one of several posts I made to KQED-FM Forum's comments section, on their 2018 July 3rd show (with star host Michael Krasny) about the American Flag: What's Your Relationship to the Red, White, and Blue?

On the whole I was proud of this show's public debate, despite some discomfort in parts.  Several callers as the hour progressed (in addition to distinguished guest Professor Todd Gitlin) spoke thoughtfully and passionately about how the flag's deeper meanings should not be lost amidst the tumult of our times; that the American Flag can, in fact, represent our nation's highest ideals and inspire Americans to project our best to all the citizens of the world. 

In many ways, the specific purpose of the STAR ALLIANCE flag (pictured on the home page at this site), is similar. One way of putting this is: 

Radiating Unity: The Happy Integration of Diversity!                   (Hi George!*)

America was (and is) the place that gave me and my buddy-co-founder Ernest Daniel Siravo (and in a sense all those who have helped this initiative over the years): The freedom to start an entirely new organization from the grass roots since 1985: To refine and project ideas, principles, and ideals of good will and responsible freedom; lasting peace and love around the world.  

Enjoy, and feel free and warmly invited to participate!  

Happy July 4th, World! 

Peter Bruce DuMont

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To me. the American flag's stars (just as we were taught in school) stand for the fifty states, united. 

More broadly and implicitly, though: They stand for individuality and diversity successfully integrated — that is: United without losing themselves — into an orderly, harmonious whole.

The stripes stand for the original thirteen colonies-turned-states (Just as we were taught in school), and for me, too: The important sense of honoring sources: The founding states, unified.

In addition, as I think about it now: The parallel stripes can also stand for harmonious progress.  Because they, too, have a sense of multiple individualities, like the stars, but they are moving: Flowing in parallel directions like roads or rivers.  Most broadly and positively therefore: They can stand for genuine, harmonizing peace and love!

Finally: Stars, for me, in symbolic context, have come to stand first and foremost for Points of Value, StarPoints™ or pure virtues and ideals that can be shared by all.  And: The sense that each individual can be a Star Citizen (or Citizen Star) by trying his/her best to live up to all our Highest Civic Ideals — for America, for the world, for our common humanity. 

[Please reference the set of Declarations to this effect, offered for everyone, everywhere: at www.STARALLIANCE.org.]


* George Wooley, a fine graduate of Yale University, led founders DuMont and Siravo through a fun and meaningful exercise with the STAR ALLIANCE flag, newly designed in 1987.  George kept repeating the question (slowly and rather sternly, if the truth be known): What Is Star Alliance?  

It took quite a few repetitions, but finally he was satisfied with our answer, our energy and resolve as creative men, united for a cause, when we came up with: Radiating Unity!  The Happy Integration of Diversity!

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Peter DuMont - Tue May 01, 2018 @ 01:31AM
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Hearty congratulations and thanks are due Chairman Kim Jong-un and other leaders in North Korea (DPRK), South Korea, China, The United States, The Olympic Games and all their participants; and certainly many others, at different levels in their respective countries: All involved in some way in the dramatic recent softening of scary rhetoric — combined with massive military potentials! — and corresponding recent displays of diplomatic focus, progress, and human warmth emanating from and regarding the region.

May these developments — profoundly encouraging to the safety and hopes of the entire world — continue and crystalize into genuine, growing, and continuing understandings and cooperation for the benefit of all humankind and the natural environment!  And may this trend soon be shared with the rest of the world.

Sincerely yours in friendship and service for all Our Highest Civic Ideals,

Peter Bruce DuMont, for the "Principles" and Team 

At STAR ALLIANCE — A Foundation for All



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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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