Larry Wartel to Gregory Hartnell on his father Peter George Hartnell: ‘Just fascinating, Dad’s feisty irreverence and shakedown of the socialists! Very funny, hearing about all that now.’ … Open letters of veteran Victoria activists

Hi Gregory,

Just fascinating, Dad’s feisty irreverence and shakedown of the socialists!

Very funny, hearing about all that now.



May I ask what Grandpa did for a living?

It’s just interesting historically to understand where Dad got his passion for his political role models from.

My grandpa was a pauper from Poland who emigrated to New York City late in the 1800’s.

I know little about him, other than he died poor and alcoholic.

My Dad was lifted out of poverty with his first union job in the 30’s, New Deal policy, then World War II.

I really appreciate your blog’s article about Dr. Ron Paul‘s donation receipts coming from the soldiers, compared to the other hacks–amazing that the soldiers support him.

Makes sense.

No shame needed for being a “socialist living in Victoria’s best neighbourhood.”

You deserve it!

It’s Uplands people who might want to share a bit more, at least with some cheap secondary suite rentals.

My uncle told me of a French millionaire Communist who was asked if he was a hypocrite.

He said when France goes Communist, everyone will live like a millionaire.

You may be down on your knees laying grout, doing harder work than I’ve ever known.

But, I don’t know about you deserving to be there.

Good old Roman Catholic humility.

And I really admire you getting arrested at  Clayoquot Sound!

At that time I was too scared to do that and had heard about it from Los Angeles, where I was still living.

I wanted to come up and get involved, but was coming out of isolation.

Thanks for participating in that vibrant history.

Disgusting what Harcourt did, I know.

About tracking our net activity, everything everybody does is tracked, according to progressive surveillance researchers.

But intelligence is hard pressed to do much to all of us that they collect data on.

My buddy Morgan Stewart was kidnapped by undercover agents in Quebec City at Free Trade Area of the Americas protest.

Held for three days.

He was UVic Student Society pres. at the time.

Morgan doesn’t even use a computer firewall because he says let them see anything he does – a very open spirit.

He has nothing to hide, he says.

Though traveling for the ensuing court case was a nuisance, no one has disturbed his life since.

I’m glad I looked at your blog, because I never saw images from the anti-stupid meter rally until then.

A book you may find revealing follows–Michael Parenti’s father admired Mussolini and Parenti was a Nixon Republican early in his academic career, but let that all go after writing his first book.

Here’s the more recent book: 
The Assassination of Julius Caesar:  A People’s History of Ancient Rome

A great article about change and the internet:

I do not believe the wicked always win. I believe our despair is a lie we are telling ourselves. In many other periods of history, people, ordinary citizens, routinely set aside hours, days, time in their lives for doing the work of politics, some of which is glam and revolutionary and some of which is dull and electoral and tedious and not especially pure-and the world changed because of the work they did. That’s what we’re starting now. It requires setting aside the time to do it, and then doing it. Not any single one of us has to or possibly can save the world, but together in some sort of concert, in even not-especially-coordinated concert, with all of us working where we see work to be done, the world will change. And we have to do it by showing up places, our bodies in places, turn off the fucking computers, leave the Web and the Net-and show up, our bodies at meetings and demos and rallies and leafletting corners.

Because this is a moment in history that needs us to begin, each of us every day at her or his own pace, slowly and surely rediscovering how to be politically active, how to organize our disparate energies into effective group action-and I choose to believe we will do what is required. Act. Organize. Assemble. Oppose. Resist. Find a place a cause a group a friend and start, today, now now now, continue continue continue. Being politically active is for the citizens of a democracy maybe the best way of speaking to God and hearing Her answer: You exist. If we are active, if we are activist, She replies to us: You specifically exist. Mazel tov. Now get busy, She replies. Maintain the world by changing the world. Despair is a Lie We Tell Ourselves, by Tony Kushner,

Congratulations on your nearly decade-long marriage to your lovely wife,



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