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From Wargamer to Dr. Peace

A friend has advised me that people don’t know my personal history of peace.  So here it is.

Wargaming actually took me out of my reclusive mathematician origins into a new social role with my first friends outside of my neighborhood friends growing up.  I became the local Madison area hub of wargaming and then offered the second annual convention in the nation.  I published nationally and had leading roles in the largest national wargaming club.  These skills would later serve me well in graduate school decades later.  One car rider in college, when my friends and I were mostly high school, taught us reasons to doubt the Vietnam War by saying things and then quickly denying any anti-war sentiment when asked.  Although years of reading Newsweek cover to cover made me slightly pro-war, I also worked on the McGovern campaign despite reservations.  I went trick or treating dressed as a soldier up until age 16, but later feared the draft when I entered college.

I was shocked by the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and joined the nuclear freeze movement and became a party official and legislative activist. In June 1989 I attended the “Searching for the True Meaning of Peace” conference that was the coming out party for the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica.  The Dalai Lama was a keynoter.  Before the conference I attended a Radio For Peace International conference located on the UN University of Peace campus.  In November 1989 I was attending a national convention of United Nations Association members in Washington DC when the Berlin Wall fell November 10, 1989.  In 1990 I was the second one out there as one young man started a weekly anti-war protest on Fridays in front of the federal courthouse in Eugene, Oregon starting with the first Friday in September.  I went every week until the war started, when I gave up because it was hopeless to protest after the war started and a counter protest “Victory Through Air Power” mob had started across the street.  Then when I discovered the brochure that launched peace economics, I became active with Oregon Peace Works and eventually moderated the Eugene chapter board meetings from 1991 to 1993.  I wrote my peace economics monthly columns from 1989 to 1997, and wrote monthly letters to the editor in the Eugene Register Guard until moving to Wisconsin in 1993.

In Wisconsin I became active with Midge Miller’s Progressive Roundtable of the Madison Institute.  Midge is the woman given credit by Gene McCarthy for recruiting him to run an anti-war campaign against President Johnson.  She also is in the postscript commentary with Professor and Quaker Joe Elder in the famous film “The War At Home” about the Madison Wisconsin anti-war movement that started with candlelight marches in the Kennedy administration.  Joe Elder is now one of my letters of reference.  Midge Miller always loved my flyers and gave copies to family and friends.  In the spring of 1997 I was persuaded to offer a Radio For Peace International (RFPI) University of the Air course on Weather Wealth and Wars, a combination of my peace economics and global warming cycle research.  RFPI broadcast shortwave to the whole world from Costa Rica.  Due to limited time, this is when I stopped writing monthly columns in the Oregon PeaceWorker to make time for the preparations and taping of the 25 course tapes.  In 1999 I attended and presented peace economics material to The Hague Peace Conference 100th Anniversary gathering with Desmond Tutu speaking.  That same year I developed my website, so named so as to not turn off conservatives about my peace views.  Conservatives would see the title Peace Economics in my book and immediately get stuck in old fashioned debate notions that only made sense before the discovery of severe negative economic implications of high military spending levels.  They needed to know that economic growth, something they favored, was at odds with military spending, something that detracts from economic growth.  Without a teachable moment, they try to have it both ways.

In Madison, I joined US Out Now in 1998, the group opposed to the murderous sanctions in Iraq that killed 600,000 children.  When September 11th, 2001 came, the leader of this group became the leader of the new Madison Area Peace Coalition that organized on September 25th, 2001.  I went to five national World Federalist fall meetings in a row from October 1998 to 2002, making five peace economics presentations in workshops there.

After nine eleven, I witnessed the culmination of a long World Federalist dream with the start of the International Criminal Court holding leaders accountable for their atrocities.  But mostly I had the education of a lifetime networking anti-war articles between four list-serves.  I met the woman of my dreams in a candlelight war protest I started weekly after the Iraq War started.  The night of the first anti war rally the day after Bush’s announcement, 3000 of us marched 54 blocks around downtown Madison ending at a sit-in in the intersection of Francis and University Avenues by about 500 of us die-hards at 1:30am.  Then in 2006 I started my doctorate, finished in 2009. As soon as I graduated I applied for the license plate Dr. Peace.  The day after defending my dissertation on “Peace Economics in Peace Studies”, we flew out to the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock Peace Economy conference, where I ended up as the central figure in the newspaper photo of the event.  The long hard twilight struggle continues.

After decades of conferences having hardly made a dent in world consciousness, the last year has had a lot of traction for Peace Economics, with local weekly radio commentaries, weekly press releases to 7000 members of the press, and now up to 33 papers on my academic website.  Academic interest peaked with the comparison of Peace Economics with Peace Studies, but press interest has grown stronger with the emphasis on global warming and biographical press releases.  Current press releases are about three times as popular as the early months, showing a series of upward leaps on my graphs of viewership per press release.

See this link for a long partial list of academic conference presentations:

Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein,

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