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I’m going to break a six-month “blogger fast” which I took, for better or for worse, since recalling the late, great “Star of Peace” award recipient: composer and maestro Leonard Bernstein.

On Oscar Week and ongoing: Let me join many others (if we are smart about it!) to wish President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jung Un of the DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) a successful summit meeting process in Hanoi, Vietnam [and beyond.]

[Post Hanoi summit note: And let us remember that for the wise, success may be measured not only in immediately apparent results, but in the quality, process, and progress of lasting relationships.]

Let us pause here to appreciate — with a degree of appropriate wonder — that this venue itself was agreed at all: a testament to the healing power of mutual respect and good will that is occurring at this important “moment” in human history.

To have the capital city of a former “enemy” of the United States serve as the literal ground: for a meeting intended toward peaceful progress for all — is a remarkable mutual statement.Congratulations to all involved! I believe it augurs well.

I was further inspired by the Oscar Awards ceremonies this year. It made me proud to be an American. With all our flaws, we have come a long, long way in even one lifetime, not to speak of the last 400 years, as cited by producer Spike Lee.It was truly great to see such an emotional and joyful display of excellence, achievement, and recognition among racially and culturally diverse sub-groups of one people.Hooray for Hollywood!May this powerful, positive trend continue and spread everywhere.

To complete a sort of triple-play here: Just before the Hanoi summit, I discovered the song Only Love.It is performed with passion and power by a youthful singer named Jordan Smith.I found myself playing it over and over again.It is a fitting inspiration towards peace in our times — though tragic that it's been so true when it says…

"Only love, only love can save us now

Keep the world from burning down, down, down

To the ground, ground, ground

Only love, can look inside a human heart

And see us for who we are

And who we are would be enough..."

Peace and love, at the deepest level, are really two aspects of the same thing.They are our only rational choice in the Nuclear Age.In the immortal 1946 words of Albert Einstein: The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our modes of thinking, and thus we [have drifted] toward unparalleled catastrophe.

I have put this quotation advisably in the past tense, because the abrupt turn-about in mutual attitudes between Mssrs. Trump and Kim which occurred in late 2017 does signal, I believe (although extreme danger certainly continues — really until everyone's remaining stockpiles of nuclear weapons are dismantled): a critical, historical turning point which will long be remembered.It was an unexpected and welcome change and relief when these leaders suddenly decided to save themselves and their nations — and perhaps set a trend for the whole world — by departing from the long, sad history of the scourge of war.

The enormous collective resources still spent on wars and preparations for war worldwide are desperately needed to provide for the basic needs of people everywhere who are not now meeting them.Desperate people do desperate things. If anyone's basic needs are not met, it is ultimately dangerous for everyone. By redirecting public resources toward better priorities, we will effectively eliminate many of the the root causes of war and violence.

With major resources freed up, we will also have realistic hope to save our global environment from collective calamity via Climate Change feedback loops.

* * *

Hearing Jordan Smith’s rendition of Only Love made me recall the remarkable process of writing to Chairman Kim over the fateful summer of 2017.

On the Fourth of July of that year, a certain citizen of Berkeley — Mr. Karl Mitchener, a PhD mathematician and friend — reminded me by telephone of what I already knew: his deep concern — shared by many experts — that a nuclear clash between North Korea and the United States was not only plausible at the time, but strongly possible, even dangerously likely.What a horrible thought, much less reality!

Most people don’t realize that only a very few big monster nuclear bombs — actually exploded over big cities — could snuff out the entire world through the fires and smoke that would spread out and shadow or even block the sun worldwide.

So it was: that on that special day, during that very conversation: I was able to overcome the significant inertia of my own multiple challenges, and — using the extra focus and voltage on the line with Karl — I began to compose what I knew had to be a major, difficult, unique, and pioneering undertaking.

Sure enough, it took at least twenty, serious sessions of composition and editing over the summer, crucially aided by Karl and several other friends and acquaintances — not to mention the consciousness and emotional support of key foundation advisors, neighbors, friends, and our STAR ALLIANCE Board of Directors, who patiently endured multiple advance editions in a sense imposed upon them during the creative process.

Finally, under the stimulus of 2017 September 11th — that powerfully symbolic anniversary (as Karl and I agreed) — I felt we had created a STAR ALLIANCE Policy Advisory that could be sent with confidence to Chairman Kim.I did so ℅ the Mission of the DPRK to the United Nations, with a copy and brief cover letter to President Trump.

Readers can view a slightly-polished edition of this major missive, as posted for the public record at: www.STARALLIANCE.org.

It was indeed Only Love — as defined by commitment to all the principles we declare — which achieved, apparently: a healing and inspiring resonance between the composing and the receiving ends.

The universal STAR ALLIANCE principles or Points of Value, declared for the common civic good — taken all together — make a good working definition of the duties of genuine, lasting peace and love.

Along with the Policy Advisory, the STAR ALLIANCE declared principles seem successfully to have stimulated a most remarkable, dramatic, and necessary change in the direction and quality of relationship between the leaders of these two Nuclear Powers, old and new.

The original catalytic influence was aided importantly, of course, by the fortuitous occasion of the Winter Olympic Games in Seoul which followed almost immediately.Thank goodness for the important invitation extended by the South Korean government at that amazingly opportune time! [Thanks also to the many others who undoubtedly contributed — with a special note to the Chinese, who certainly played a critical role, recalling Mr. Kim's trip to Beijing prior to the first summit in Singapore.]

Congratulations, Chairman Kim, President Trump, and all the other members and supporters of your respective teams: for the stunning, collective achievements and breakthroughs you are engaged in, in continuing friendship, we hope: for timeless STAR ALLIANCE ideals and principles!

Another fine song — recently re-recorded by John Batiste — says: Don’t Stop!

Indeed, let's all hope this process continues and succeeds apace!The particular results, as advertised, may well have to change.But every step of progress is important.The improvement in human relationship is of paramount importance.May your achievements in process as well as results be an inspiration to you and ALL the nuclear powers… ultimately to all people!

Collectively, we simply must get the Nuclear Genie back in the bottle while there is still time.

Murphy’s Law is always active, and we absolutely must respect it! As the law, coined by a United States Air Force safety engineer teaches us:

If something can go wrong, [then with enough time:] it will.

Accordingly, when it comes to Nuclear Weapons and the outrageous risks they carry: The only truly rational goal for any leader in a position to choose: is to work tirelessly toward eliminating them universally. 

The nine Nuclear Powers simply must find a way to conform to the Will of the Peoples of the United Nations — as expressed in the recent, historic 2017 July 7th Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. With some 70 signatory nations, it is arguably well on its way to full ratification under International Law.

The present Nuclear Powers can conform: not as slavish followers, but — if they are courageous and wise — in the role of leaders for all humanity.

We need you, dear leaders of ALL the Nuclear Powers!We, The Peoples of the World: need you to lead us: to be successful in this Great Endeavor — to create what John F. Kennedy predicted as a “grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all [human]kind!Let us start with nuclear safety and human values for all, which will also require a new era of True Global Democracy!

May we soon make — around our one, precious planet — a victory lap for “Stage One:” Declaring and Pledging our Highest Civic Ideals for Humanity.Let us plan and enjoy the first-ever STAR ALLIANCE ‘Round the World Flight for Peace!

Most sincerely yours in service to all people —

and in commitment to all our principles for peace:

our declared STAR ALLIANCE of Highest Civic Ideals for Humanity

Peter Bruce DuMont

Berkeley, California

Comments: 0
Peter DuMont - Sat Aug 25, 2018 @ 05:39AM
Comments: 1

As the world celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Composer-Conductor Leonard Bernstein's birth, we warmly recall presenting the STAR OF PEACE award to this storied Maestro at a private ceremony in San Francisco conducted in August of 1986.

In addition to receiving the award with gratitude, Maestro Bernstein then signed the STAR ALLIANCE Declaration for World Peace Through International Communications, a signal document in a historical series which includes, 35 years later, the Star Citizen's Declaration of Highest Civic Ideals (I-III.) This document set may be found on the page entitled:  Good Will Civic Value Documents Offered for All at: STARALLIANCE.org.

We also proudly publish today (2018-8-25) on the History page: An image of the Declaration signed by the Maestro.  [Historical note: Bernstein was in the Bay Area to conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at The Concord Pavilion ...Interesting that the word concord means peace!]

Following are the concluding two paragraphs from an interview by music producer, reporter, and NPR Music blogger: Mr. Tom Huizenga, with Leonard Bernstein's daughter, Jamie Bernstein, author of the new book: Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein. The book is described as "a frank recollection of family life and the struggle to find herself amid the "blinding light" that was Leonard Bernstein..."  

Q: If you could send one thought to your father through the ether somehow, what would it be?

I would say, "Can you give us something to help us get through what we're going through now?" If my father were alive today he would be apoplectic with what's going on with our government. But, you know, he would be out in the streets. He would be making music to benefit immigrant families. He would be doing everything he could think of, I'm sure. We could use his good works and good energy right about now.

Q: Name one thing about you, and one thing about your father, that you hope readers will take away from the book.

What I hope I conveyed is that everything my father did, in any aspect of his life, was always in the context of love. If he could have, he would have hugged every person on the planet — and he kind of did, through his music. So when I wrote this book, I, too, am hoping that I framed everything I wrote about in the context of love. There are a lot of things about my dad that are complicated... He was a handful, to say the least. But I hope that I presented all of that in the ultimate context of love, because that's certainly how he was.

* * *

The historic STAR ALLIANCE Declaration that Bernstein signed in 1986, and the Star Citizens' Declaration which has evolved today, are indeed gifts of good work, good energy, and love for the world.  Thank you, Leonard Bernstein, for supporting this gift for all humankind.  It is consistent with your lasting legacy of passion, peace, and love.  And may our Highest Civic Ideals soon get the support they deserve — that our humanity so much needs!

— Peter Bruce DuMont, for the STAR ALLIANCE Team


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Peter DuMont - Tue Aug 07, 2018 @ 04:08PM
Comments: 9

[The following remarks were first posted at KQED.org/Forum on 2018-8-7, in two separate comments, here combined.]

Norman Solomon is right on...I'm all in favor of this conversation, and the Open Letter [First published in "The Nation,"] is a good start.

Let's recall that People-to-People activism was instrumental in the surprising rapid dissolution of the Cold War — This included pioneering efforts from groups like Beyond War (now Foundation for Global Community), Women for A Peaceful Summit, Children as Teachers of Peace (and also Children as the Peacemakers), STAR ALLIANCE(.org), and what we called "Space Bridges" (televised exchange meetings with citizen participation) conducted by PBS, ABC News, and others.

We need more People-to-People activism again — particularly use of media exchanges. We can do these globally on a regular seasonal basis, four times a year, and keep it up.

This is not a job to be left to single leaders, and indeed, leaders need the support of their populations to make peace on their behalf.

The late, great Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say: "Progress is the basis of maintenance."

The exciting discussion that Russia, China, India, and all nations can and must be invited into (by the people, apparently!) is establishing true global democracy.

This will require dealing with the Elephants in the Room: 1) the lack of a reasonable override mechanism to the current, stifling (and dangerous) Security Council veto by only one nation; 2) the lack of a population-based organ in the United Nations.The latter is something that will probably require creative use of the Internet as a practical matter.

The People of the World need to assert themselves as the true source of authority for their collective global governance and safety.

Peter Bruce DuMont

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Peter DuMont - Mon Jul 30, 2018 @ 02:25PM
Comments: 8

The following thoughts and questions intended for everyone's reflection were first expressed in the Comments section of KQED.org/Forum on 2018 July 30th, during the segment entitled:

Firefighters Battle 17 Major Blazes Across California

Thank you, Michael, for the invitation to share "...what's really in your heart."

With much humility and a sense of awe, I must express my thoughts that We, the People of the World, will be wise to start reflecting and taking into account the effects of our collective consciousness, actions, and attitudes — on a level of spirit as well as science — and perhaps consistent with science — In conjunction with what happens in Nature.

Who can say for sure if there is some unseen connection between leaders and peoples threatening violence, death, and destruction on one another; and the outbreak of wildfires? Which is more "wild," in the final analysis?

Why are nine nations continuing to cherish physical arms capable of destroying in fire and smoke not only each other, but (due to Nuclear Winter potentials) the rest of the world as well? Where is the level of discussion and action to de-escalate (and re-direct resources) that should be occurring — at the multiple levels that it must occur — both for preventing future violence and wars, and for reducing waste of all sorts and Climate Change?

Is it time for greater human empathy, sympathy, sensitivity, and solidarity; at every level of life and society: For the things that really matter?

Even though harsh for direct victims: Is there actually a level of kindness implicit in the warnings from Nature we are receiving?

Comments: 8
Peter DuMont - Wed Jul 04, 2018 @ 02:36AM
Comments: 1

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
Comments: 4

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



Comments: 4
Comments: 1

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 
Comments: 1
Comments: 2

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

Avatar
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.) 


Comments: 2
Peter DuMont - Fri Mar 09, 2018 @ 01:31AM
Comments: 6

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!


Comments: 6
Peter DuMont - Wed Feb 21, 2018 @ 04:11PM
Comments: 22

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.)

Comments: 22
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