Long Haul Run Completed to Support War Times 2.0

SantaClaritaLong Haul Run Completed to Support War Times 2.0 November 12, 2010

Dear family & friends,

Buoyed by support from so many of you, I finished the Santa Clarita, California Marathon Sunday in 4:13:21, four and a half minutes faster than I ran in last year’s Marathon for Peace. My 9 minutes/40 seconds per mile pace put me 6th out of 15 runners in the 60-64-year-old men’s division and in the top half of all male runners and in the field overall.

Thanks to your generosity, this 2010 Marathon for Peace has already raised over $4,000 to support War Times/Tiempo de Guerras work and our effort to upgrade to War Times 2.0 over the next year.

The war-making forces in U.S. society are working overtime to push all debate over war vs. peace to the margins of “acceptable mainstream politics”; indeed, to hide the bloodshed and suffering deep in the shadows. Of course the peoples who live in today’s war zones, who see their neighbors’ homes blown up by U.S. drones, who have their land taken away by U.S.-funded settlers, whose landscapes are dotted with U.S. military bases – the reality of ongoing war crimes and killing is no secret to them. It is the U.S. people who have to be kept in the dark under the holy doctrine of “national security.”

War Times/Tiempo de Guerras is one of many organizations dedicated to shining a spotlight on the reality of Washington’s wars, forcing public debate and making the moral and political case for peace. Knowing that this is a long-haul, generation-to-generation project, War Times now features the voices of a dozen talented younger writers as my role switches from columnist to editor and mentor.

It is a source of hope and endurance to be connected to so many wonderful people working for peace, equality and justice. I look forward to staying connected as I plan another year of antiwar activism and train for Marathon for Peace 2011.

Thanks and peace



October 18, 2010

Mother, mother, there’s too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying – Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On, 1971

Dear Family & Friends,

It’s almost 40 years since Marvin Gaye added his haunting ballad to the already massive upsurge of protest against the Vietnam War. That his lyrics are as timely today as they were then is a painful reminder of how urgent – and how long haul – the fight for peace is. For someone my age, they also drive home a message about how each radical generation has a responsibility to pass the activist torch to the next one as carefully as a relay runner passes the baton. So it’s no coincidence that the themes of both long haul and passing the torch are prominent in my upcoming fifth annual Marathon for Peace (and 27th Marathon race overall).

War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, the antiwar project I’ve worked on since shortly after 9/11, is in the midst of an exciting generational transition. A dozen talented younger activists have signed on as new War Times writers as my role switches from columnist to editor and mentor. Their fresh perspectives and new energy are now featured on the just-upgraded and redesigned War Times website (complete with blogs as well as articles). My long haul run this year is to raise funds to keep that website in top-notch shape and support War Times work in projects such as the Move the Money campaigns gaining traction across the country.

Can you pitch in to support this work, perhaps with a dollar for each of the Marathon’s 26.2 miles? I’m as committed as ever to both ending wars and running. Still, the years do take a toll on the body, and I don’t expect to finish the Santa Clarita Marathon November 7 in the 3:30s or 3:40s like I did in my fifties. But I’ll have maximum motivation to beat my time in last year’s Cape Cod Marathon for Peace with your support. All donations are tax-deductible, you can donate on-line at http://www.war-times.org or send a check to War Times, P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609.

It is a source of both hope and endurance to be connected to so many dedicated and generous partisans of peace and justice. Let’s all take renewed inspiration from what Marvin Gaye told Rolling Stone about why he wrote What’s Going On:

“In 1969 or 1970, I began to re-evaluate my whole concept of what I wanted my music to say… I was very much affected by letters my brother was sending me from Vietnam, as well as the social situation here at home. I realized that I had to put my own fantasies behind me if I wanted to write songs that would reach the souls of people. I wanted them to take a look at what was happening in the world.”

A new generation of activists is taking center-stage. Please join me in providing one group of them with the resources to “reach the souls” of ever-widening numbers of people with their message of peace, equality and justice.

Thanks and Peace,