Giordano & Salzman, from “mortal friendship” to mutual contempt
Part II
of “Alberto Giordano & George Salzman,
mortal friends — a tempest in a teaspoon” [1]

by george.salzman@umb.edu  2010-03-04-2
this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/t/2010-03-04-2.htm

Al Giordano, it has to be said, is a liar. He readily lies whenever in his judgment it serves his immediate interest: One example, on 17 November 2009 I telephoned him. It was our last conversation, a very friendly one. He defended his relationship with the billionaire supposedly ‘former’ swindler Peter Ackerman, saying Ackerman is not now involved in speculating. I asked Giordano how he knew that. His response was that Ackerman is working full time on non-violence. That conscious lie was based on Giordano deliberately ignoring the fact — surely known to him — that Ackerman is the Chairman of the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Advisory Committee on Investments, which manages the investment portfolio of the University. N.B. The Committee, though called Advisory, in fact actually determines investments. Ackerman chairs this decision-making body. Clearly Ackerman is involved in speculation, as he has been for decades, the skill at theft from which Tufts now expects to benefit, with additional dishonest income.[2]

Responses to Giordano vs. Salzman postings

      This interchange, distinct from our earlier one on 17 November, began with my open letter to Alberto Giordano and his response, both initially distributed on 28 February[3]. I waited until the School session ended on 13 February to avoid doing anything that might conceivably interfere with it.

      Giordano, in his rush to go on the offensive, said that I've "become a bitter angry man, devoid of coherence, and obsessed with [my] hatred." That characterization is precisely accurate for Giordano, whose tarnished idols Obama and Ackerman are “betraying” to their utmost ability the principles for which Al claims to stand. Today, 19 April, Ackerman is in Dallas with his co-struggler for a "better world", George W. Bush.[4]

      The following section begins with a short note from a Venezuelan anarchist group (I don't know which member is the actual author) and my translation, followed by my comments. Then come (alphabetically arranged by first name) the remaining 19 individuals who responded to my open letter but whose responses I did not get to include in my Part I posting.[5]


El Libertario

      El Libertario <ellibertario@nodo50.org>

Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2010 00:18:41 +0200
To: George Salzman <george.salzman@umb.edu>
      Nos llamó la atención un párrafo en tu boletín: "It was a front-burner issue for me because I had only recently discovered that a former good friend, Alberto Giordano of NarcoNews, was trying to humiliate a small number of people who he mistakenly and stupidly thought were his "enemies". In each instance his lack of intellectual integrity was glaring, revealing that the prevailing capitalist value system had shaped him into an egotistial paranoid, absolutely unable to admit the possibility that he might have made an error of judgment or action."
      Esperamos que ahora que has tenido esa experiencia con Al Giordano, y como entendemos que Narco News era tu referencia absolutamente confiable para opinar sobre Venezuela, puedas revisar con cuidado lo que realmente pasa en este país. Hay abundante material para ello (en español y en inglés), tanto en nuestra web http://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario como en muchos sitios de la red.
Saludos libertarios.


      A paragraph in your journal called our attention: "It was a front-burner issue . . . judgment or action"
      We hope that now that you had that experience with Al Giordano, and since we understand that Narco News was your absolutely trustworthy reference for opinion on Venezuela, you can reexamine with caution what is really happening in this country. There is abundant material on that (in Spanish and in English), so much on our website http://www.nodo50.org/ellibertario as in many websites.
Libertarian greetings.
      Friends, Thank you for writing. I would like to clarify my views regarding Giordano and the political situation in Venezuela.
1. It's true that Giordano has shown me he is a liar. That does not mean he is never truthful. He lies when he thinks it is to his immediate benefit to do so. Most of the time he sees no "need" to lie, for example in his defense of the Venezuelan government headed by Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.
2. Like you, I consider myself a committed anarchist. I believe relationships of coercive power are always potentially damaging, even when a person with such power has the best intentions. I am in agreement with Giordano, with each of the individuals he improperly and stupidly attacked —
   Michael Barker <mbarker@riseup.net>,
   Jeffrey Blankfort <jablankfort@earthlink.net>,
   Eva Golinger <evagolinger@gmail.com>,
   David Sketchley <davidsketchley@gmail.com>, and
   William I. Robinson <wirobins@soc.ucsb.edu>,
and, I'm confident, with each of the NarcoNews staff, in believing that Chavez is honestly trying to better the circumstances of life for indigenous Venezuelans, the majority of that nation's population.
3. Personally I am as certain as it is possible for me to be, far from Venezuela, that there is much that deserves to be criticized in that country. That is probably true for all distant countries. Nevertheless, because I think the Chavez regime is led by a well-intentioned person, criticisms ought to be constructive, i.e. friendly criticisms, not destructive.
4. We can recognize, and as conscious anarchists I think we should recognize, all the social dangers of a centralized nation-state. But we should also — right now more urgently — be fully attentive to the insistent ruthless intervention of the forces of international neo-liberal capitalism, and should do nothing whatever to support them. I think this means we must, at this time, support Hugo Chavez. Not uncritically, but wholeheartedly.
5. I ask you, compañeros y compañeras, to write me your thoughts about the article "Fighting Corruption or Persecuting Political Opponents in Venezuela?", at http://upsidedownworld.org/main/news-briefs-archives-68/2450-fighting-corruption-or-persecuting-political-opponents-in-venezuela-a-response-to-the-new-york-times which responds to an article in the NYTimes at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/world/americas/04venez.html?scp=1&sq=afiuni&st=cse. The article, by James Suggett, strikes me as being reasonably fair, though overall sympathetic to Chavez. It deals with the imprisonment of Venezuelan judge María Lourdes Afiuni, judicial corruption, and the Times (mis)representation of these events.
6. I think we should all try to be aware of the prevailing circumstances in global society, accept as a fact that there are many desirable changes that we cannot implement at this stage of social development, ally with all the good people who are working towards similar goals, and avoid sowing distrust within our still-too-small popular movement. I know that of the people who even bother to read about the dispute between Giordano and me, some will likely think I am making too much of the differences, especially because Giordano and I are basically on the same side of the ramparts and because I think very highly of most of his work. Those who hold that view do not understand that I consider the building of mutual trust absolutely essential for the eventual success of our movement, as I discussed years ago. It is Al's destructiveness of that trust, a result of his extreme competitive indoctrination by the capitalist system of values, that I see as utterly harmful.[6]
7. Giordano sees me as one of his "enemies", someone who he claims he does not any longer "know". The idea that he does not "know" me is of course nonsense, as Stan Gotleib (see below) clearly stated. I see Al as an embittered struggler for human rights, most of whose efforts are admirable, except for his insistence that a person either follows him (the self-appointed Pied Piper) without question or is his "enemy". This leads him to indulge in juvenile tantrums, as he did with the people he attacked, metioned in paragraph 2. above.

Ansel Herz

      Ansel Herz <ansel@riseup.net>

      Ansel Herz is the journalist from New York City whose fundraising appeal in Narco News at http://narconews.com/Issue62/article3939.html on 17 Nov 2009 first called my attention to the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict. My first letter to Ansel, written 9 Jan 2010, is in Part I of this 2-part posting. Ansel maintains a weblog, Media Hacker, at http://www.mediahacker.org/ .

      His latest item, 15 Apr 2010, begins Audio: KUOW panel discussion on Haiti (returning there in May) 15Apr2010. A quick update: I left Haiti last week for Seattle. I'm in Washington DC now speaking to a few policymakers/staff about the dysfunction of the relief effort. I'll be in NYC later this week, then Austin, then back to Port-Au-Prince in May. I spoke at a few venues in Seattle, but I want to pass on this live radio chat from yesterday morning on 90.3FM KUOW's Weekday program. Host Steve Scher interviewed me, NPR sometime-Haiti correspondent Martin Kaste, and longtime Haiti relief worker Jack Andrew. There was some back and forth at times, and knowledgeable talk about how Haiti got to where it was before the quake. I learned some things! Listen below, or at KUOW's page.


Benjamin Melançon

      Benjamin Melançon <benjamin@melanconent.com>

      Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2010 16:30:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Open uncensored communication

      Hi George, Point of clarification - there are a few people who receive money from Narco News / Fund for Authentic Journalism. There is not a staff of five. Only “Luz III” currently receives regular payment. Everyone else is currently volunteer / no longer engaged or paid by the piece.
      I wish Al weren't so nasty about most everything when he decides to be, but I really hate to see either of you expend much time or energy on this. I'm glad to see you have it in perspective. Best, Ben


Earl Fish

      Earl Fish <mister_mexico@yahoo.com>

      Earl Fish, like Nancy and I, is increasingly alienated from what had been our homeland. Like most of the Oaxaqueños and U.S. expatriates we've met here, Earl had never heard of either Narco News or Al Giordano until we mentioned the website to him. He then became a regular reader.

      In 1971, when he was a prisoner in the Minnesota penal system he wrote a play, The Guest Chamber, which was performed at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. The program said, "The play actually started about five years ago when Earl Fish was serving a sentence at the Minnesota State Prison at Stillwater. Based on an actual breakout attempt that he was involved in, the play deals with the interaction of inmates over an event that forces each individual to make a decision.

      "Earl Fish, a thirty-one year old native of Minneapolis, spent eight years in various correctional facilities, including Glen Lake, Red Wing, the St. Cloud State Reformatory and the prison at Stillwater. Most of his life has been devoted to such activities as burglary, narcotics and escape . . ." Read more at http://mistermexico.net/ThePlay.html


Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 06:49:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: [noaap] Re: An open letter to Alberto Giordano

      I am sending this to you, George, with the hope that you will forward it to Al. I usually don't get so upset, but his response bothered quite a lot. --Earl
----------
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 08:14:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: George Salzman
To: narconews@gmail.com
CC: George Salzman <george.salzman@umb.edu>

      I am distressed and have been unable to put your letter out of my mind since reading it. You called George a crazy old fool who oughta be dead. Where I grew up that is a pretty serious fucking sentiment. It's the kind that makes me wonder about the person who embraces it. It's a bit scary, my friend. . It is almost biblical.

      I read the two letters and have gone through some of the "evidence" (or at least as much as I can stand, not being the legal type) George says that "here is a guy who looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck and all his friends seem to be ducks, I think he is a duck. I wouldn't any money from him. You know them ducks." It did appear to me, at least on the surface, that Peter Ackerman has a lot of the attributes of a duck. He seems to be mighty close to some other ducks we know. Be that as it may, George was very polite and respectful in his observations. Your response was not.

      You do not sound like a "compañero" to me. You're offended by George's language yet you don't mind expressing sentiments that are offensive in any language. I am most distressed because I have always read the posts on Narco News with a great deal of respect for you and you views. Now I have to stop and wonder. I am sorry I could not be more articulate about this, but I must just stop and reflect.
----------
Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 10:38 AM
From: Alberto M. Giordano <narconews@gmail.com>
To: Earl Fish <mister_mexico@yahoo.com>

      The individual I used to know as George has been harassing me over this for months. I have spent - and he would confirm this - scores of hours answering his questions by email and by telephone when he has called me at all hours. He chooses not to read the brief materials I send him that demonstrate that he is forwarding falsehoods (this is not simply about Ackerman, but also his claims about Stephen Zunes, which are crazy and maliciously false).

      Anyway, if that makes you not want to read Narco News, don't read it. And, if you choose, don't collaborate with it. This is a free world and everyone can choose what to do or not. I don't really care what you do or don't do. I don't even know you.

      George behaves as if he can bark orders to us and tell us what to do. The latest is he demanded "a list" of all our students and professors and their emails. Imagine if he had demanded that of the APPO or any of its member organizations. I will insist that our autonomy be respected in the same way.

      I haven't published anything about the individual I used to know as George nor written him any "open letters." The only negative thing I have written about him that is public is something I gave him the choice to publish or not. This is his fight, of which I have ceased to participate.

      And I do think he is not the same person I once knew.

      And no matter what somebody's age, we all have the right to declare someone "dead to me." That's what he is. That does not - whether you think so or not - declare that he "oughta be dead." You would do well to stick to the facts and not exaggerate. But I will insist that you respect our autonomy too. To not respond to his crazy fool ravings would be akin to remaining silent in the face of "swift boating." Al Giordano
----------
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 08:16:13 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Amigo

      Apparently the message I intended to send did not get included. I sent it to Al with a copy to you. My best, Little Earl
----------
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2010 12:09:39 -0600
Subject: Many thanks Big Earl!

      I've got your two messages, . . . I really appreciate your taking the time to write a personal message to Al. I'm working on putting together a posting for my website so that people who are interested can follow the flood . . . without me bombarding everyone on my distribution listserv with e-mails. Nobody wants to be snowed with someone else's shit. I'll include your statement too, but will check it beforehand to make sure it's OK to make it public as it stands, or to make any changes you want. It's a strong statement. Again, thanks.
      Nancy's discouraged and feels bad about NarcoNews and Al suffering, but I'm optimistic that both will survive and be better. It's worth the effort, I think. Here's the tentative start of my anticipated new posting, Alberto Giordano & George Salzman, mortal friends — a tempest in a teaspoon . . . Al Giordano is one of the best non-professional, feet-on-the-ground intellectuals I know. His next-to-last last note to me was: . . .
----------
Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 8:33 AM
From: Earl Fish <mister_mexico@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: George Salzman
To: Alberto M. Giordano <narconews@gmail.com>

      You have obviously developed a passion over this thing. And I don't know what else to call them but a passion and a thing.

      Who I am, at least as is relevant to this thing, is a friend of George and Nancy. I am also a person who spent his youth in a culture where to wish somebody dead was tantamount to it being a fact. Something that is taken very seriously. It would have been a different sentiment if it were strictly between you and George, but you asked him, encouraged him, to publish it.

      I am glad I waited and collected my thoughts before I responded to you. I might suggest you do the same before you respond to all these people. Step back and take a look at yourself. Your responses have become hysterical. You have not addressed the concerns of these people, but rather have fallen into foot stompin', arm wavin', name callin' hysteria. It must be tough doing that while you're sitting at your keyboard. Enough to bust your brain. Stop a moment for your own mental health.

      You do such a nice job with the Narco News, amigo. After being introduced to it by George and Nancy, I refer to it regularly because of my interest in Latin America. With the clouds of "news" contaminating the air around us it is hard to determine what is not bullshit. I consider yours as one that is not. Bullshit that is. You got Latin America down pretty much.

      On the other hand, these guys who have gotten you so excited are guys I respect as very knowledgeable about the shit that is going on over there in the mid-east. They are not obsessed Jew hating Nazis. They are not of the mindset to perpetrate another Holocaust as you suggest. But they are keeping an eye on that ol' money pit over in oil country. I listen to them with respect. I listen to both of you with respect. Would to prefer to keep it that way. Stand down a bit. Collect your thoughts.

      As to my read on Ackerman, if you give a shit at this point: he looks a lot like a duck. He has had a lot of duck friends and the same propensity to aquire as ducks do. If I wanted to send someone a portrait of a duck, his do quite well. On his "non-violent" activities, I have the sneakin hunch that if some of these foreigners came to the US to do the same activities as he does out there, he'd be the first to want to put them in jail as subversive. But then, twenty thousand bucks is a lot of dough, Al. Take your time. What ever you do, take your time about your responses to these other journalists. I'd like for you to get your blood pressure down and your psyche in a rational state.

      Love ya Al, my best regards, Little Earl
----------
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 06:36:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Earl Fish <mister_mexico@yahoo.com>
To: George Salzman <george.salzman@umb.edu>

      The guy has gone a little nuts, George, but he seems to be okay otherwise.
----------
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 2010 09:27:47 -0600
From: George Salzman <george.salzman@umb.edu>
To: Earl Fish <mister_mexico@yahoo.com>

      Earl, you've got it exactly right. Overall Al is fine -- his social commitment is fiercely on the right side. I myself don't think the $20 grand is what got him, though it didn't do any harm to his take on Ackerman. Jeffrey Blankfort disagrees, as does Nancy. They both think Al was bought. I wrote “Luz” this morning (or was it last night?) "It's almost "funny" to me that here's Ackerman, world-class con artist with his incredible stolen booty based on his great gift for swindling as he went from a middle-class Jewish boy in Far Rockaway (where I grew up) to a multi-millionaire or billionaire, now succeeding in seducing Al Giordano, as street-wise a New Yorker as you're likely to find, into being a part of and defending Ackerman's imagined change of heart." Thanks very much for writing Al. Psychologically he's a captive of his egotistical need to always be right. In trying to bully me he's messing with the wrong fucking guy. Saludos amigo.
P.S. I plan to add your exchange with Al to my posting "Alberto Giordano & George Salzman, mortal friends — a tempest in a teaspoon".
P.P.S. The next beer's on me.
----------
[I seem to have lost the heading for this note from Earl.]

      Hello, George. I have been thinking and trying to understand this "tempest in a teaspoon." I wonder if the Fuckin Duck has not already won. It is almost too simple, or obvious, to be true. I see some very sincere, dedicated, passionate people who agree in principal hurling invectives at one another. What is worse, you are from now on divided. Seems kinda like the deal that was set up with the two party "democracy": all the noise is about bullshit and the real action keeps moving right along without hindrance. I could go on but you all are tired of hearing about it.
My best and with the greatest respect. Little Earl

      You may, by the way, distribute this to the other folks. In fact I may myself. It's just that I am saddened by it and I wonder if only the very most positive energy should be applied. My best
----------
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 13:19:34 -0600
Subject: Re: The Tempest
CC: Eric Pottenger , Nancy Davies

      Hi Earl, I think you're right about the Ackerman entourage having "already won" in so far as Al having been successfully seduced, but the struggle for real authentic journalism is of course much bigger than Al. We are all tiny fish in a damn big ocean, which Al can't seem to realize because he thinks he is really big shit. In our group, defined by our social commitment, he is very important, because he's a real fighter and very smart and skilled -- truly big shit. But in the larger picture he's almost unrecognized. Ask damn near anyone you run into here in Oaxaca what they think of NarcoNews and the response will likely be Huh? And Giordano -- they never heard of him. Ask them what they think of Noam Chomsky, and if they are newspaper readers they'll more than likely have at least a glimmer of name recognition. Those with some political interests are often acquainted with Chomsky's reputation. But he too is "small time" in the big ocean (that forms American public opinion). Chomsky doesn't get opinion pieces published in the New York Times. And yet for being widely recognized, he's a giant compared to gnat-sized Giordano. Al can't accept being only one small struggler for social justice, and so anyone, like you for example, who thinks he ought to "cool it" can go fuck yourself as far as he's concerned. Who the hell are you to give HIM advice! He's psychologically incapable of respecting anyone who doesn't fall into lockstep agreement with his ideas and actions. Pretty pathetic in my view. Still, I value all the positive work he does. It's worth pursuing this "tempest in a teaspoon", I think, because we need trust, and Al destroys trust by his attacks on people like the few I've come to know since I started looking into this Ackerman outfit. If you write him again feel free to include our exchange if you wish. Actually I write hardly anything that isn't open. There's a likelihood that a few people will do some investigation into Ackerman and the ICVC. I think they may come up with significant info that Al may ignore but not the young journalists who were at his school. And Al is already 50 -- on the downhill side of life. Thanks for keeping your oar in. George


Eric Pottenger

      Eric Pottenger <epotteng@gmail.com>


Gerald Spezio

      Gerald Spezio <rotsaroni@yahoo.com>


Jonathan Campbell

      Jonathan Campbell <work@cqs.com>


Julie Webb-Pullman

      Julie Webb-Pullman <juiiewp05@yahoo.co.nz>


“Luz I” as ‘Ana Maria Lopez Perez’

      ‘Ana Maria Lopez Perez’ <lopezperez.anamaria75@gmail.com>

      ‘Ana Maria’ forwarded to me a note that contained Giordano's 22 Feb letter that read in part, "As signers of the so-called "open letter" I inform you that the letter is now published in "The Lab," the Narco News section created by participants in the work group on Journalism Online in the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism. The letter and my response to it appear in English at this link: http://narconews.com/lab/node/33" ‘Ana Maria's’ note also had a list of the recipients of Giordano's letter. Subsequent communications are temporarily private.


“Luz II”

      “Luz II” <“Luz II”@gmail.com>

      For the time being correspondence with “Luz II”, like that with “Luz I”, is best kept confidential. As participants in the Feb 2010 School of Authentic Journalism both of them were well placed to observe a good deal of Al's behavior and that of the participating members of Ackerman's group.


“Luz III”

      “Luz III” <“Luz III”@gmail.com>

      Correspondence with “Luz III”, unlike that with “Luz I” and “Luz II” will for important personal reasons, be kept confidential permanently, by request of “Luz III” It is my decision to honor this request, but without lowering the count of respondents who were not negative about my efforts to "out" Giordano.


Mark Metzelaar

      Mark Metzelaar <markmetzelaar@yahoo.com>


Mark N. Lance

      Mark N. Lance <lancem@georgetown.edu>


Martin Posner

      Martin Posner <m522posner@aol.com>

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 10:48:53 -0800
Hi George,
How are you doing?
Who is Al Giordano??
Martin

      This message, from a very good close friend of many years, says it all,

Who is Al Giordano??
A simple, honest, direct question. Martin Posner and I were colleagues in the physics department at the Univ of Massachusetts-Boston campus for the better part of thirty years. Martin is one of the most compassionate people I have ever known. His research interests were in the area of medical physics and he maintained close contacts with research activities in the Boston area medical establishment. If I recall correctly, he also worked with some of the biology faculty at UMass-Boston. That was notable because within the biology department there was a faction that was adamantly opposed to my "Science for Humane Survival" courses, which they tried to have the College Dean disallow for fulfilling "the science distribution requirement", basically because they saw it as competing with their own first-year biology offering in attracting large numbers of students. They knew that Martin and I were good friends, but were nevertheless forced to recognize his good scientific work. For years Martin, and another physics colleague and close friend, Naraschandra Shah, and I regularly went before lunch for a daily run around the perimeter of the Columbia Point road encircling the campus at the edge of Boston harbor.

      Martin, like most of us in the department who were Jewish, strongly identified with the State of Israel at that time. I know that Martin made a number of trips there and maintained contacts with medical professionals in Israel . . . [more info from Martin, I hope]

Date: Thu, 06 May 2010 05:00:47 -0500
Subject: Hello Martin
To: Martin Posner <m522posner@aol.com>

Oaxaca, Mexico, Thursday 6 May 2010
      Hi Martin, I hope you and Tao and the children (Daniel, I think, and a younger sister) are all well and active. Nancy and I are keeping occupied with various things, a lot of which are related to just maintaining ourselves physically in this somewhat difficult environment. Despite all the violence throughout Mexico, we are relatively secure unless the dollar plummets and/or the Massachusetts retirement system goes flat broke. We are threatened more by air pollution than bullets.
      I never did answer your note asking me who Alberto Giordano is, because I was deluged with mail that I had to deal with urgently. But now I'm getting around to posting the correspondence that my open letter to him generated, and I'd like a little help from you in telling folks about yourself. I've written about you, all from my poor memory, and put it on my latest posting at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/t/2010-03-04-2.htm . If you can take a look at it (scroll down to your name, a little more than half way), offer corrections and flesh out the personal part -- about your family, your religious views, your experiences in Israel, etc. -- just whatever you wish to say, that will help people know what a real person you are. I'll make all the corrections and additions as soon as I hear from you.
      For me these are tortured years, because I see the world literally being destroyed, and hardly any of my friends and acquaintances seem to have a clue about what needs to be done. Of course I worry about my grandchildren -- truthfully about everyone's grandchildren. People are so wonderful, and yet the world is so fucked up. Well, that's my lament. Best to you and Tao and the "kids" -- no longer kids, of course. All best wishes, --George
----------
Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 16:46:32 -0700

      Hi George, Thanks for your message. We are all doing well here in California, thank God. Our daughter, Clara, went to South Korea this year on an international student scholarship and has been living and studying in Seoul - a real educational experience for her. Daniel graduated from BU [Boston Univ] a year ago last December with a masters and BA in Economics. He has not been able to find a job and will go back to graduate school next year for a PhD. in economics. I have been doing volunteer tutoring in science and math at my daughter's high school and have done some physics demo work as well. I also did some volunteer science demo work at a bilingual elementary school near our house. I have yet to find a Spanish-English dictionary that has scientific terms. I couldn't even find the word for electricity in the standard tourist pocketbook dictionaries.

      I will take a look at your website and correct and fill in your entry for me. Thanks for putting me on the website. Yes, the state of the world is depressing for many reasons and it is frustrating that we as individuals, no matter how well intentioned, cannot seem to make any significant impact. This was brought home to me by two recent e-mail messages from Rabbi Michael Lerner's Beyt Tikkun detailing all the abuse he has taken from right wing Jewish organizations, including death threats, and recent defacing of his home in Berkeley. As fair and well intentioned as Rabbi Lerner is, I was shocked to learn of these attacks. I will forward a couple of recent messages to you, in case you did not get them directly. Best wishes, --Martin

P.S. Clara and I are making a trip back to Boston and New England to visit colleges she is interested in applying to for admission. I am hoping to see some of my old friends from UMB [UMass-Boston] and elsewhere while back there. At my age and distance it may be the last time I see them. I am particularly worried about Naresh who I have been unable to contact for a long time and who no longer has a listed telephone number for his Stoughton address. Have you heard from him recently?


Nancy English Vinal

      Nancy English Vinal <englishvinal@yahoo.com>

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 15:43:35 -0800 (PST)
      Dear George: For what it may be worth to you, you are doing the EXTREMELY unpopular "right thing". Stay the course.
      "Requiem" my arse~!!!!
      A man who tells the TRUTH... as best he knows it, without bending, bowing, and salivating at the boots of power is a brave man and a hero. He has a bit left of the material that made up the men of history who changed the world. (you are facing one of the most formidable powerful enemies on the entire face of this earth at the moment.) This "Alberto Giordano" is either brainwashed and sincere, or "going with the flow" lest he be castigated, or something worse. The old cliche' -- "you have to pick your enemy carefully" -- may be exactly what he is doing. And YOU look 'easy' compared to the Zionist gorilla.
      At the very least the letter (Requiem Notice?) below, has "cured" me of spending any of my valuable time reading the regurgitated pablum of "Narco News and the School of Authentic Journalism" , and I shall spread the word far and wide.... maybe I won't change the world, but I might make a dent on their world. --Nancy E. Vinal
------
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 16:26:51 -0800 (PST)
From: Nancy E. Vinal <englishvinal@yahoo.com>
      Akerman is all about the MONEY.... read his D&B~!!! And "Old Money Dogs" don't change their spots.. you are right, he IS a Zionist and as they so often do, has fabricated a cloak of deception appearing to be "equality and charity on the hoof"... behind which he will continue to fill his own (and his wealthy friends) coffers at the expense of the very people he is purporting to "help". --Nancy
      "Peter Ackerman is the Managing Director of Rockport Capital Incorporated, a private investment firm. Since its inception in 1990, Rockport has made numerous direct investments in fields as diverse as movie libraries, publishing, propane distribution, textiles, custom labeling, wax refining, auto part remanufacturing, variable life insurance, SMS integration, and internet-based food retailing.
      From 1978 to 1990, he was Director of International Capital Markets at Drexel Burnham Lambert where he structured, financed, and invested in hundreds of recapitalizations including the largest and most complex leveraged acquisitions of that period."
----------
      A quick search to try to find out how I first made contact with Nancy Vinal turned up:

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 16:21:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The struggle in Oaxaca, Mexico

      GEORGE: THE PAGE HAS BEEN "REMOVED".. IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY THAT YOU CAN SEND IT SO THAT IT WON'T BE VOIDED, DELETED, ERASED, VANISHED OR WHATEVER IT IS THAT "THEY" DO TO MAKE SURE NOBODY FINDS OUT? NEV

------George Salzman >:george.salzman@umb.edu> wrote:------
>> Cambridge, Massachusetts 7 July 2006
>> Friends, The popular struggle in the southern . . .
----------
Date: Sun, 09 Jul 2006 16:03:26 -0400
Subject: Re: The struggle in ALL of Mexico
CC: Alberto M. Giordano <narconews@gmail.com>, Nancy Davies <nmsdavies@yahoo.com>

Cambridge, Massachusetts Sunday 9 July 2006

      Hi Nancy [Vinal], I read Al's articles I and II on the presidential contest in Mexico. As my last posting (the URL is http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/2006-07-07.htm) shows, I think the Narco News website is an excellent source of information on Mexican struggles, maybe the best (If I were more widely read I could make a more definitive statement). I agree with Nancy Davies' view, in a private note she wrote, that Al Giordano is "the indispensible connector of the dots." Of course, with all the secrecy and efforts to fog up what actually happened, Al's had to make extrapolations from the limited data available to him, and such extrapolations can't be as accurate as we all would like, but I think he's probably hitting pretty close to the bull's-eye with his numbers. And as for the basic conclusion, that Obredor actually won the vote, I have no doubt he's correct about that. I hope Obredor (more realistically, the Mexican population) succeeds in preventing the attempted PAN theft. But basically I'm personally convinced that the more significant struggles in the long term are those at the grassroots level -- the Zapatista base communities in Chiapas and elsewhere, the "other campaign" of the Zapatistas, the current Oaxaca struggle to oust the politicians from control, and similar on-the-ground struggles, like those of the people of San Salvador Atenco.

      I hope this helps. By the way, I'm just curious how you happened to be on my mailing list. All best wishes, --George
----------
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 14:49:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The struggle in ALL of Mexico

      Dear George: Thank you for your insightful commentary. I have been on your mailing list for a long time. You may remember that once I contacted you about a small coffee farm that I own in Nicaragua that has been the source of much tribulation because of the "selling-out" of a long standing family friend. (We bought the farm, moved everything we owned to Nicaragua in 1999 and our bi-lingual friend was there with my husband but he became involved with a young Nicaraguan woman and their plans to siphon away all our life savings and eventually to claim the farm itself.)

      I asked you if you knew of anyone who might be interested in leasing the very fertile productive property. You told me that 'off hand you did not'. I keep a finger on the pulse of what is happening in South America and Central America and Mexico. There is "The Big Shift" coming. I don't believe that the U.S. can even imagine how much the world is going to change during the next 5 to 10 years.

      The Sandinistas will be back in November. The only competition that Ortega HAD for the nomination died of a heart attack a week ago yesterday. Ortega has enlisted the pledge of energy assistance from Hugo Chavez during the several meetings that have taken place when Ortega has traveled to Venez.. Chavez has extracted an agreement from Ortega that this "new" Sandinista regime will NOT be operated in the same way the old one was. This one will truly bring long term benefits to the people of the country and Ortetga will insititute much the same protocol as Chavez has in Venez.. "The Cardinal".... is stepping back up to the plate and has condemmed "CAFTA" and has pledged to work with the new administration hand in glove as long as they hew the line of enriching the country of Nicaragua instead of their own individual private nests.

      We live in interesting times. I hope Mexico can strip off the chains of slavery and move forward. I used to LOVE Mexico~! I don't even dare cross the border now to get Tonapan for my headaches. Best to you, Nancy English Vinal (Oh, PS, I used to live in Cambridge in the 60's. I worked at the Cambridge Motor Hotel on Mass. Ave. [-Smile-])


Ramor Ryan

      Ramor Ryan <ramorx@gmail.com>


Stan Gotlieb

      Stan Gotlieb <realoaxaca@gmail.com>

      Stan, a friend of Al's and of mine, is a gifted writer/journalist with broad interests who lives in, and reports from Oaxaca City. His most recent posting is at http://www.realoaxaca.com/freenewsletter/free03=10-03-25.html . He participated as a professor at Al's School for Authentic Journalism a few years ago.

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 17:40:48 -0600
Subject: I wish I didn't have to write this
      Al, George is right when he identifies the Israeli policy of genocide, and lays a lot of the blame on the continued support of American Jews (as well as non-Americans and non-Jews, by the way, George). To me, the much more temperate writings of Norman Finkelstein (validated by the smear campaign orchestrated against him by prominent American Zionists) ring with truth, and much of what even progressive Jews do not dare to say — that Zionism is, philosophically, historically and in current actions, out to wipe out all Palestinian presence from Palestine — is reality.

      I've been to Israel. I've talked to people who, by now, are in positions of power, who essentially said as much to me. I can provide specific instances if you wish. I have cut off relations with virtually my entire family over this issue. I have no personal doubt that the essential outline of George's screed - that there are powerful American Jews feeding the killing machine - is true. I do not agree to some of the details, or the overly broad brush with which he paints American Jewry. But I cannot dismiss him as merely some kind of racist kook, and nor should you. The George you knew is the George you know. Feisty, combative, incisive, thoughtful and fiercely dedicated to pursuing that which he believes to be true, no matter what the consequences; hyperbolic sometimes, and sometimes too far ahead of himself and most everyone else.

      I understand that George is being a pain-in-the-ass distraction from the necessary work you are doing. Still, I think he deserves better than your characterization of him.

      George, Al is right. I too read your "offer of assistance" to be controlling and way out of line. It implies that Al is indeed for sale, and that you are merely trying to establish the price and the parameters. It was deeply insulting, and Al would be right to be personally hurt by it, as I believe he was.

      Things have gotten out of hand, guys. Stop this exchange now. It's not doing either one of you any good, and the work that you both do is not being furthered. Lay off until you can be civil to one another again. I have nothing but admiration for the work that both of you are doing, and support you both in that work, until the struggle is won. But please, no more of this. My love to you both. --Stan


Stephen Zunes

      Stephen Zunes <zunes@usfca.edu>


Tadit Anderson

      Tadit Anderson <ideasinc@ee.net>


Tom Hansen

      Tom Hansen <tom@mexicosolidarity.org>

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 12:18:23 -0600
Subject: Re: [noaap] Influence of the "brains of the Junk Bond King" Peter Ackerman on NarcoNews
From: Tom Hansen <tom@mexicosolidarity.org>

      George, It's been a while. I read your recent series of exchanges with Al and was reminded of an experience I had some years ago in Mexico City. I was invited to a two-day retreat that included about two dozen human rights organizations in Mexico and the US. During the initial round of introductions, I was shocked to learn that one of the organizations at the table was Freedom House. After the introductions, I strongly objected to their presence at the meeting, which upset some of the more mainstream HR groups - pero ni modo. I later found out that Freedom House has been, for some years, trying to establish relationships with "left" leaning human rights organizations around the world - for what purpose I have no idea. Perhaps to influence their HR reports by providing funding? Perhaps to increase their own (sorely lacking) credibility in international circles? Quien sabe. --Tom Hansen, Mexico Solidarity Network


William Blum

      William Blum <bblum6@aol.com>


NOTES

[1] Giordano's delusion. He thinks a teaspoon isn't big enough to hold his anger. 'Big Al', he fancies, needs an ocean. No Lilliputian he! Here's the last bit of bullshit I got from Mr. Big:
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 12:28:57 -0600
Subject: Re: Open uncensored communication

      Sir, It should have been clear from my final response that I don't know you, and will have no further contact with you. I'm certainly not going to be a party to your continued petty harassment of people who choose freely to collaborate with me. I'm fairly certain that none of the collaborators you keep CCing on these emails wants to receive them. All you are accomplishing is becoming defined as a purveyor of unsolicited spam.
      You've become a bitter angry man, devoid of coherence, and obsessed with your hatred. Oh, well, you're not the first leftist or anarchist to slip through the looking glass into becoming a fascist. You should know from studying your history that that is how many of the worst fascists started out.

[2] Lying about Ackerman. In an effort to confirm that Giordano lied to me in saying that Ackerman is no longer involved in speculation, I wrote the Tufts Univ Trustees Office:
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 13:12:06 -0600
Subject: Request for information
To: Paul J. Tringale
      Dear Mr. Tringale, I would very much appreciate it if you or one of the other Trustees Office Staff (Catherine J. Boleyn, Angela R. Bombino, Lisa M. Keniston) could send me a page that had been at
http://www.tufts.edu/trustees/info/ackerman.shtml , but was apparently removed when the page titled Tufts University: Office of the Trustees was updated on 28 January 2010. It had specific information about Peter Ackerman that I saw a short time before, but when I went to refresh my memory on 8 February, all I got was the page http://trustees.tufts.edu/ which lacked the information I sought. Thank you for your help.

      I noted: {sent the above to Tringale and to the office address . . . Neither message was bounced, so presumably both were delivered. On Thursday I called the office, 617-627-3320, and talked with [one of the staff, who] took my e-mail address and said . . . the page with Ackerman's bio [will be sent].} Later that day I received

Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 10:17:00 -0500
Subject: Peter Ackerman
From: Staff member
      Here is the information you requested.
Peter Ackerman
      Peter Ackerman is founder and Managing Director of Crown Capital Group, Inc., an investment firm located in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ackerman has co-produced and directed two documentaries for PBS, most recently Bringing Down a Dictator on the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia. A former Visiting Fellow and Executive Council member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mr. Ackerman has served as Director of the Albert Einstein Institution, CARE Inc, the CATO Institute, and U.S. Term Limits. He earned a B.A. from Colgate, where he serves as Trustee, in 1968. He received an M.A., M.A.L.D., and Ph.D. from the Fletcher School, where he chairs the Fletcher Board of Overseers. He was elected Charter Trustee in 1996 and currently serves on the Investment Committee.
Trustees Office, Tufts University

      In a Google search on 18 April, I came upon http://www.linkedin.com/pub/peter-ackerman/5/661/b43 with information consistent with the above, namely
Peter Ackerman - Owner, Rockland/Crown Capital - Greater New York City Area
Current * Owner at Rockport/Crown Capital
Education * Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Colgate University
Industry - Investment Management
Owner Rockport/Crown Capital, (Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Investment Management industry), January 1991 — Present (19 years 4 months)
      According to the above, if indeed the page is current, the 19 years 4 months from January 1991 would go until April 2010, that is, Ackerman would still be in the so-called Investment Management industry.

[3] Part I of “Alberto Giordano & George Salzman, mortal friends — a tempest in a teaspoon” is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/t/2010-03-04.htm . Contrary to Giordano's claim that he was “fairly certain that none of the collaborators [I] keep CCing on these emails wants to receive them”, many people wrote back, only three of whom - Giordano, Zunes and Lance - expressed any displeasure at receiving my e-mails. Giordano and Zunes receive money from Ackerman's ICNC, and Lance plays a muddied game, as shown by our exchange, reproduced in this posting. Up through 17 April I worked at posting correspondence at the site linked to above, and on 18 April decided there was too much. So I started Part II.

[4] Ackerman and George W. Bush. A note from Eva Golinger, one of the journalists Giordano attacked, had the information “that Peter Ackerman, representing the International Center on Non-Violent Conflict, which funds Al Giordano's Narco News, is participating as a principal speaker at the upcoming George W. Bush Institute conference on "cyber-dissidents", to which Venezuelan opposition members are also invited. Ackerman will be speaking along with representatives from the State Dept, Freedom House, and George W. Bush himself.” The announcement is at http://georgewbushinstitute.com/the-conference-on-cyber-dissidents-global-successes-and-challenges/

[5] A somewhat radical change. Some people may be taken aback at my decision to post parts of their correspondence without first seeking their permission, as has generally - but not invariably - been my practice in the past. I'm doing this as a result of reading a remarkable essay, “You are a Scary Woman” : The personal politics of the new McCarthyism, in which Dana L. Cloud not only reproduced hate mail she received. She included the names and e-mail addresses of the senders and her responses, in some of which interchanges the haters, when no longer anonymous, ended up changing their tone to admitting her intelligence and trying to "tidy up" their initial filth. Her essay is in Academic Repression: Reflections from the academic industrial complex, AK Press (2010), pp.347-363. Dr. Cloud's idea – deprive the purveyors of slime of their anonymity – drag them into the light of day – is not what "nice" polite people are "supposed" to do, but sometimes it is quite effective.
      Giordano is a more sophisticated hater and slinger of slime than some of the gratuitous slobs who jumped on Cloud, but he, like they, deserves to be "outed" publicly for what he does. I can "out" him most credibly by quoting other people, in particular those who wrote me on this issue. I've decided to do this, despite being conscious of the desire of one or two of them to avoid “risking” any possible conflict with Giordano that might result from his learning that they had corresponded with “the enemy”.

[6] On building mutual trust in the popular movement. See "Mutual Aid and Mutual Trust, essay 5 of the series Building the global grassroots infrastructure", 29 Dec. 2001, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Grass/Infra/Infra-5.htm .


George Salzman is a former American Jew living in Oaxaca, Mexico, an Emeritus Prof of Physics, Univ of Massachusetts-Boston.
All comments and criticisms are welcome.    george.salzman@umb.edu

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Initial posting of this page: 18 April 2010.
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