Second Place in Marathon, Winning Peace Is Harder

N-Olympic-Mar2nd Place in Marathon for Peace 2012!

November 16, 2012

Family & friends,

Thanks to so many of you for the generous support for my Marathon for Peace and War Times – and for everything you do day-in and day-out for peace and a more just world.
My Marathon finishing time was 4:12:00, a pace of 9 minutes, 37 seconds per mile. I was second of 14 runners in the men’s 65-69 year old division and in the top half of the field of 1,375 runners overall. According to running charts that calculate an age-adjusted performance, if I was 20 this same effort would have led to my finishing in 3:15:24 – beating Marathon-time-liar Paul Ryan by more than 45 minutes!!

The run was a success on the fundraising front as well. It has already brought in more than this year’s $5,000 target. That’s a big boost for War Times efforts to expand our work over the coming weeks, months and years. A few more dollars would help even more: if any of you are moved to donate, say, a dollar or half-dollar for every minute that I outraced Paul Ryan, you can donate on-line here or via the ‘Donate to War Times’ icon here (whole dollar amounts only) or send a check to War Times, P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Ryan & Co. lost the election last week, but War Times along with activists in all corners of the progressive world believe this is the time to step up protest, pressure, education and outreach. The hard truth is that movements for peace and justice still face a tough, uphill fight. It’s a much longer haul and tougher struggle than running 26.2 miles. (If anyone has any doubt, check out what’s really behind the latest Israeli assault on Gaza – and Washington’s backing for it – in this piece by Phyllis Bennis. And raise your voice TO PROTEST!) Thankfully people like you all over the country and the world are carrying that baton forward.

I am fortunate to be connected to all of you who make up such a dedicated and caring change-the-world community. And now I will start training for Marathon for Peace 2013.
Thanks and peace,

October 25, 2012

Dear Family & Friends,

Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan ran one marathon when he was 20 and lied about his 4:01:25 finishing time last month.

I’ve run 31 marathon’s since age 48 – 18 of them faster than Ryan’s – and I always tell the truth about my race results.

These days Ryan runs only to privatize everything in sight, disenfranchise as many voters of color as possible, and turn U.S. foreign policy back over to the Neocons.

But I run 26.2 miles each year to support War Times, an intergenerational project aimed at fighting against war, militarism and empire.

That contrast is one reason I hope you’ll support my 32nd marathon coming up this November 10 in Santa Barbara, California. It will be a special boost to my spirits – as well as War Times finances – because this will be my first marathon in the 65-69 age group. (For a glimpse of what a 65-year-old looks like running, check out this video.)

There are two other reasons why I hope you’ll pitch in that may be even more compelling.

One is that even if Ryan loses, a revitalized peace movement will be urgently needed. No outcome on November 6 is going to stop Washington’s drone killings, cut off U.S. military and financial backing for Israel’s ever-expanding land grab or slash the military budget. Only massive pressure from an informed and aroused public can accomplish that. And War Times is one of the organizations working toward that goal.

Most important of all, this project is embarked on an ambitious “War Times 3.0” effort to expand its reach and output. Six new members joined War Times this summer expanding our collective by almost 25%. War Times 3.0 will feature more videos, more blog posts from our expanded pool of writers, and stepped up distribution of the Spanish versions of our Month in Review feature. To help facilitate this new level of work, we will now have a part-time staff person: War Timer Francesca Fiorentini will coordinate the expansion of our written and video output and increase our presence presence in social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

To get this work done, War Times will need more money than we’ve required in previous years. Can you pitch in to make sure War Times 3.0 succeeds, perhaps with a dollar or two for each of my upcoming Marathon’s 26.2 miles? Each of the last few years this Marathon-for-Peace effort has raised about $4,000. Can you stretch so it gets to $5,000 in 2012? All donations are tax-deductible, you can donate on-line here or via the ‘Donate to War Times’ icon here (whole dollar amounts only) or send a check to War Times, P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609.

It’s a long haul to a peaceful and just world, I’m glad we’re on this marathon journey together.

Thanks and Peace,

November 9, 2012

Family & friends,

All-round reactionary (and liar about his marathon finishing time) Paul Ryan lost Tuesday. But my motivation to run 26.2 miles for peace this coming Saturday hasn’t diminished one bit. No matter how slow I run at age 65, the fight for peace is going to take longer and remains a lot harder. War and militarism have deep structural roots and have become normalized in this country. An unexpected Op-Ed in the New York Times on the eve of the election – written by a professor at the U.S Naval Academy and titled “The Permanent Militarization of America” – cut through the fog:

“Uncritical support of all things martial is quickly becoming the new normal for our youth. Hardly any of my students at the Naval Academy remember a time when their nation wasn’t at war. Almost all think it ordinary to hear of drone strikes in Yemen or Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. The recent revelation of counterterrorism bases in Africa elicits no surprise in them, nor do the military ceremonies that are now regular features at sporting events. That which is left unexamined eventually becomes invisible, and as a result, few Americans today are giving sufficient consideration to the full range of violent activities the government undertakes in their names.” (The full text is here.)

War Times/Tiempo de Guerras is one of the groups working to change this appalling reality. With just a bit more financial support – my Marathon has already raised more than $3,500 toward War Times $5,000 target thanks to generous donations from many of you – we can expand our efforts against war and militarism in the next four years and beyond. If you can pitch in to support this project – perhaps with a dollar or two for each mile of Saturday’s marathon – you can donate on-line here or via the ‘Donate to War Times’ icon here (whole dollar amounts only) or send a check to War Times, P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Thanks, and expect a full report on both War Times progress and this year’s Marathon for

Peace after the run.