Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Dan Zak and Helen Young appeared on on August 27,2016 (taped on July 25 at The Half King Literary Series, NYC)

Helen Young is a documentary filmmaker whose work in progress is "Nuclear Insecurity."
Dan Zak is the general assignment feature writer for the Washington Post. 

We have reviewed, recommended and referred to his book Almighty in Posts of Aug 2, Aug 11, Aug 25 and posted a review on Amazon


Mr. Zak states that he was motivated, in part, to write his book from "a sense of guilt"about not knowing more about the Nuclear Weapons issue.
This lead to the intensive research and many interviews which formed the foundation of his book.

Both discussed what we have here referred to as the "out of sight, out of mind" problem concerning the public's lack of awareness and involvement in this issue.

Mr. Zak states that when there are too many crises in the public mind it can be overwhelming for many of us.
He cites concerns over climate change, for example, which if coupled with the subject of Nuclear Weapons and the potential for humanity to be "extinguished instantly" then "people feel paralyzed." (Helen Young)

Faced with what he calls "the immensity" of this issue, people look to their leaders to deal with it. Mr. Zak found it "disturbing" that many of our representatives in Congress are ignorant regarding this urgent, imminent and dangerous threat to our lives.


Add to that the "highly technical" and "classified" aspects of Nuclear Weapons which make it all too "abstract" for the average citizen to deal with.


Mr Zak linked the two issues of Nuclear War and Climate Change in a discussion of the potential for war between India and Pakistan caused by a future acute climate change-induced water shortage in the area. Referring to a widely cited study/model predicting over 2 billion deaths worldwide in such a war with the two adversaries detonating 100 warheads (just a portion of their robust Nuclear Arsenals) causing catastrophic climatic change and nearly global famine.


Ominously, the NYTS has recently reported that the current violent unrest in the disputed Kashmir Province "is the most sustained and violent since 2010."

Zak and Young concluded on a note of HOPE. Mr. Zak is encouraged by a youthful European movement against Nuclear Weapons. Both are further encouraged by "legal" actions being pursued by the Marshall Island's Lawsuits against the Nuclear Weapons Nations and by the "Humanitarian Pledge" - a new and important petition, signed by 127 nations and counting, to convene a "Convention" to ban and abolish Nuclear Weapons. As Mr. Zak notes: all other weapons of mass destruction, biological, chemical, as well as landmines and cluster bombs have been banned by treaty and international law - except the most dangerous, destructive weapons of all!


Please watch and listen to Dan Zak and Helen Young. Make the time and the effort to be informed and involved on the Nuclear Weapons threat as if our very lives depend on it. Because they do!





Monday, August 29, 2016


CLICK here to see Rachel Maddow's "breaking news" discussion this past Friday, August 26, concerning the Nixon administration's rationale for raising the Nuclear War Alert Level. The once secret information  is only now available due to recent "declassification".

Nixon later bragged that it was his "friendship" with Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev that "saved" the world from Nuclear War in 1973.


 Neglecting, of course, to mention that it was his actions that brought us to the brink of Nuclear Annihilation by alerting all US Nuclear Forces to go to DEFCON 3- all based upon faulty intelligence! Sound familiar!



                                ABOLITION IN OUR TIME

Thursday, August 25, 2016


This Blog has already highly recommended Dan Zak's superb non-fiction narrative Almighty.(See Post of August 11,2016) and Amazon review


A few days ago the National Catholic Reporter published an interview with Sister Megan Rice,now 86, who is one of the three Anti-Nuclear Weapons Activists featured in Mr. Zak's book.

She is one of those rare individuals possessing both the moral and physical courage to stand on that lonely legal ledge between her passionate convictions and the laws of the State.


"I think it is important to wake people up. They've gone to sleep for 70 years. People weren't consulted in the building of these horrific weapons. It was all very secret and very contained."

She describes the Oak Ridge Uranium Enrichment Complex as "a crime scene" where our government is committing "crimes against humanity. Crimes against international laws and treaties."


"People in various religious faith traditions recognize that it is a crime to possess nuclear weapons."


Referring to the history and dire threat posed by the world's Nuclear Weapons Arsenals:

"People need to know. It needs to be taught as historical fact and let people make their own conclusions about it."
But due to lack of education on this issue, we "are unable to recognize the immorality or even the thought of a nuclear bomb."


                                                   As this Blog has warned repeatedly - "out of sight and out of mind" is a major obstacle to Nuclear Weapons Abolition. That has to change!

There is real hope here - as noted "NUKES ARE IN THE NEWS" and back on the front burner of American and World consciousness.

Nuclear Weapons are not just in the news but are themselves the news. Steadily and surely becoming a matter of Public Consciousness and Private Conscience.


Sister Rice continues that she was pleased with Mr. Zak addressing the problem of nuclear weapons. But she takes issue with the author's describing what they did at Oak Ridge as a "crime."

"He doesn't say that this is our shared responsibility whenever we know our government is involved in criminal activity to expose and oppose all that the government is doing against the common good."

Expose and Oppose. Agreed. Nothing illegal there.

This Blog has described what these three activists did there on site as "bending" the law - not breaking it.


We can admire and respect their convictions and actions and applaud their willingness to accept punishment under the laws of the State.

But the law has been and can be changed. Often, most effectively by grassroots activism.

Future Posts will describe and discuss the legal implications and parameters of the world-wide struggle to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:

The Marshall Islands' Lawsuits versus the current Nuclear Weapons Nations, the Global Movement to establish a legally binding international treaty to abandon and abolish Nuclear Weapons.

"Justice? - You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law." -William Gaddis, first sentence of his novel A Frolic Of His Own

Yes, the Law is what we have in this world. What we must work with. What we must change. 


                             ABOLITION IN OUR TIME


Monday, August 22, 2016


Sometimes within the Circle of the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Movement, it may seem as if we are unheard voices crying in the wilderness. Expressions of moral outrage shouted into the eye of an indifferent media hurricane.

Take heart! The Circle of Abolition is growing, expanding outward. More and more concerned, sensible people are taking that first step into the Circle. Thanks to Anti-Nuke Activists and a volatile election campaign, Nukes Are In The News.




And back on the minds of an ever-increasing number of concerned citizens both here and abroad.
Citizens concerned and worried about such a deadly concentration of power in one individual's hands.

In our August 15, 2016, Post we linked to the NYTS editorial regarding "A Nuclear Legacy Within Reach" for President Obama. That same date, the Times printed five letters to the editor all expressing great concern over the Nuclear Weapons threat to all of us everywhere: 

IRA HELFAND,Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War: referring to our survival against the odds thus far - "a string of incredible good luck that will not last forever", "these weapons are the greatest threat to our security and must be banned and abolished."

(Ira Helfand with former Sec of Defense William Perry)

LISBET GRONLUND, Union of Concerned Scientists:
"Regardless of who is in the Oval Office, the process is not designed to be the careful, deliberative one you would want for the biggest decision in history."



Point taken. But our GOAL is to arrive at the point that such a decision will never have to be made.

The alternative is to hope that nothing will ever happen forever.

Sounds like a fairy tale? IT IS!



Tuesday, August 16, 2016


From today's New York Times to last night's Rachel Maddow show, we see that Nukes Are In The News.

VP Joe Biden on the front page of the TIMES: "There's a guy that follows me, right back here, has the nuclear codes." (speech in Scranton, PA)


Last night on her show, Maddow discussed the "Nuclear Football" and its history. Created for JFK in the aftermath of our "global near-death experience" during the Cuban missile crisis, it began to follow Kennedy around in spring of 1963.

That's not all! Maddow points out something that most of us did not know or have forgotten.


That there are not One, not Two, but Three Nuclear Footballs that contain the codes the President and/or Vice President of the United States would use to launch World War III. One "football" or "satchel" follows President Obama. One follows Vice President Biden. The third is stored somewhere in the White House. 

Remember the knife-wielding man who entered the White House, running amok through the ground floor?


CLICK for the NYTS Biden story

CLICK for Rachel Maddow Show

All of that destructive power concentrated in one person's hands.




Monday, August 15, 2016


New York Times Editorial: "A Nuclear Legacy Within Reach", August 8, 2016


President Obama's problem is that in promising to pursue "a world without nuclear weapons", he made a deal with the Nuclear Weapons devil. To secure the needed Senate votes for the New Start Treaty of 2010 he gave in to demands from key senators (John Kyl, R-Arizona, retired) to begin "modification" of the entire U.S. Nuclear Weapons Arsenal - at great cost to taxpayers and handsome profits for weapons contractors at the top of the Nuclear Weapons industry hierarchy. 


(Raytheon Missiles System's sprawling complex is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, Senator Kyl's state.)


A New Age of Nukes created by the rejuvenation ("modernization") of the Triad of Nuclear Subs, Missile Silos and Bombers will guarantee that all of us now living along with generations yet to be born will continue to be menaced by extinction and threatened with global annihilation.

Our aging weapons of mass murder need to be taken off life support. Let them die in their silos and bombers. Or else, they will live and we will die. It is as stark and simple as that.

President John F. Kennedy: "The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us." (Address to the UN on Nuclear Weapons and Disarmament)

We must stop this Insanity Now- if not sooner!


It can and must be accomplished.

"Time is not on our side." Former Sec of Defense William Perry


Thursday, August 11, 2016


In our last Post, August 2nd, we strongly recommended Washington Post journalist Dan Zack's Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age.


 (See Our Recommendation on Amazon)                                                 

Unfortunately, we recently read with great disappointment Kai Bird's review in the NYTS Book Review, August 7, 2016.

While rightly praising this fine book, Bird spills a lot of ink casting stones at the three courageous activists at the heart of Mr. Zak's story. Three people who risked incarceration and worse for their Anti-Nuclear Weapons convictions and actions. They literally "walked the walk" across "The Field" (See Chap 2) to the Oak Ridge Uranium Enrichment Complex and eventually to U.S. government prosecution, trial and substantial prison time.


Bird essentially dismisses them as "stubborn souls" and "annoying, self-righteous voices from the wilderness." Though Mr. Bird writes that the book itself makes it "hard not to admire them", clearly Bird himself does not.


His review never does justice to these heroic, if law-bending, people and their moral and actual path to Oak Ridge.

He uses his review to repeat the mainstream gloom and doom official narrative that Nuclear Weapons will always be with us... so just get used to it! A cynicism that leads to words like these: "but given enough time, it is certain to happen," "that humanity is screwed," "we are stuck with Armageddon" and that our situation vis a vis these weapons is "hopeless."

What we all need to understand is that it is hopeless only if we see ourselves as helpless.
Mr. Bird apparently did not read the subtitle of Mr. Zak's book.
Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age.
These words are at the moral heart of this riveting narrative.

The three of them acted in the best prophetic tradition of non-violent resistance: Gandhi in India, King in Birmingham and Selma, Vaclav Havel in the Czech Republic, Mandela in South Africa, to name a few.

Mr. Zak's three activists faced down, at great risk to themselves, the existential threat that lives with us every second of every hour of every day and every night. Annihilation at any moment by these horrendous weapons.


Does Mr. Bird really want us to look into our childrens' and granchildrens' eyes and with an apathetic shrug tell them that they will be "stuck with Armageddon" in their "dreams?" Make that "nightmares", Mr. Bird.

He ends his review with the memorable line from Vonnegut's anti-war novel Slaughter House Five: "So it goes." If we follow Mr. Bird's line of thinking regarding Nuclear Weapons, the lament will undoubtedly be: "SO IT ENDS." But there may be none left to speak it....

We end this post with a thank you to Dan Zak for researching and writing this excellent book. You can follow his BLOG including his post on the Marshall Islands and that nation's current lawsuit against the Nuclear Armed Nations. CLICK

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


We began these Posts, these pleas and messages, to urge all citizens of all nations, the people of the world, to move BEYOND HIROSHIMA. (SEE POST Below May 26, 2016)


Move beyond the annual arguments over whether or not the awful, terribly awesome Nuclear Weapon detonations over those cities could ever be justified militarily, politically, morally.

For they are barren arguments, without end, bearing only the fruits of recrimination and vindictiveness. And so it has been for the past 71 years.

These arguments distract from the urgency of our present situation. Distract from what is grounded in moral truth and absolute necessity: NUCLEAR WEAPONS ABOLITION IN OUR TIME.

But on this horrible "anniversary" we need, also, to pay our respects to the only people in history to have, SO FAR, lived through and died in a Nuclear Weapons assault.

To that end, we will create in this space a SACRED SILENCE. To commemorate what happened to the people of those cities in August 1945. We will be silent here from the date of this Post through August 9.

There will, of course, be a plethora of commentary and argument over the course of this week and next. We will not add to that cacophony of opposing views (as important as that debate may still seem). But we can still read, reflect, get involved.

Noteworthy: "Bicycle Around the Bomb" sponsored by GLOBAL ZERO in Washington D.C. this Saturday August 6. CLICK

"Command and Control" Eric Schlosser's engrossing book is now a soon to be released documentary which was shown at last week's Democratic National Convention. You may view the "trailer" at CLICK


Please read Eric Schlosser's New Yorker piece on the U.S. military's stashing of Nuclear Bombs in what we now can see is an unstable Turkey: CLICK

Please read ALMIGHTY:Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in The Nuclear Age by Dan Zack. Just released. 
A "moral thriller", part morality tale, scientific discussion, history lesson. We accompany three veteran Anti-Nuclear Weapons activists, one an 82 year old nun, as they march across "The Field" (title, Chap. 2) to the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Y-12, Uranium Enrichment Complex. Zak tells the story of their motives, backgrounds, actions, trial and aftermath. It reads like a novel. Highly recommended.

Please also check out Mr. Zak's Blog Post on the Marshall Islands lawsuit against the Nuclear Weapons Nations. Commentary and informed opinion by the Washington Post journalist:                     "The Ends of the Earth"


During this anniversary week, we hope that all of us, inside or outside the growing circle of the Abolition Movement, will concentrate our energy and efforts on avoiding the greatest catastrophe of all time - the annihilation of humanity and the world by our Ultimate, yet somehow still LEGAL, Weapons of Mass and Final Destruction.

So much Work needs to be done....



"Do not depend on the hope of results...but on the value of the rightness, the truth of the work itself." Thomas Merton