Missouri Loves Company

In a hyperlinked world we dont necessarily know how we get some places.

Foolishly, i defriended John Downing the other day in my reckless pruning of my Facebook reality.  John was supposed to catch up with me at his cool pinball and arcade cafe in Richmond called Strange Matter.   I was driving the tofu truck.  I swung in to find him, he was not around, i dashed out.  Without really checking his FB page again i just zapped him (we had never met and our first date appeared to be a facebook fantasy).

He wrote back some time later and said “Hey, i thought we were friends”.  So i reinstated John and when i did FB recommended that i befriend Daniel Ellsberg.  Which is not really surprising, because we have 18 common friends.

Ellsberg is the Julian Assange of 1971 (tho Ellsberg relates more to Bradley Manning).  Wikileaks  father is the Pentagon Papers, where the secret and unflattering history of the Vietnam war which Ellsberg was writing for the Pentagon. He was released 7000 pages of top secret documents to the NY Times and the Washington Post. He nearly did life in prison for treason it.  In 1985, in the port of San Francisco, Ellsberg and i got arrested.  The US had just dropped out of the World Court, he said at the time “When your nation becomes an outlaw, the only proper place for a just man is in jail.”  So i dropped him a friend request and the following love letter.

Dearest Daniel:

You were in jail with me the first time i was arrested. It had a tremendous impact on me and i have been using non-violent direct action to fight mostly nuclear power plants since then. It was in 1985 after the World Court ruled against the US on the CIA mining of Corinto.  Reagan had responded by dropping out of the court.   We were two of 25 men in the SF city jail who had joined a quickly organized protest at the nuclear aircraft carrier the USS Missouri.  Our in jail affinity group was called “The Missouri loves company”

You told the story of your moving personal experiences of the Kennedy and King assassinations. But more importantly, in a story i oft tell, you spoke about the action you said changed your life.

When you were working for Rand, in the Pentagon and looked out the window and saw 300K protesters including your daughters. And you switched.

You are a hero of mine. And if in some way i am a student of yours, take can take partial credit for my subsequent activities, which include arrests in 12 countries on three continents.

And immodestly documented here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Paxuscalta/Vanity

Be well my friend, thanks for your fine work.

Paxus at Twin Oaks

31 Qaddafi Falls MMXI

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

3 responses to “Missouri Loves Company”

  1. Abigail says :

    I was just reading yesterday about his actions last week at a protest in support of Bradley Manning. He said “I identify with him more than anyone else I’ve seen in the last 40 years”. I am grateful for both of their tremendous courage. What is currently being done to Manning is totally unacceptable and heartbreaking.


  2. Sara Tansey says :

    i can hear the whispered voice of awe, the one with tears threatening. i love that voice. and thanks abigail for bringing us up to speed on ellsberg’s recent actions. it is tragic whats happening to bradley manning and more tragic how so few people have forgotten about him.

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