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Friesen Press Announces “Be All You Can Be” by Shawn E. Hamilton


SACRAMENTO, CA, USA, October 19, 2014 / — SACRAMENTO, 19 October, 2014—The belief that it’s noble to support the nation’s military regardless of circumstances will perhaps always prevail. It’s a seductive patriotic ideal, but over the course of our nation’s history, the US military has been increasingly used to protect the interests of the rich and powerful rather than liberty and justice for all. Journalist Shawn Hamilton has written his new book, Be All You Can Be, as a wake-up call to the nation, using his WWII veteran father’s story as the revelry bugle.

A person who is willing to sacrifice his life ‘for his country’ is merely a dupe in the profit game of the military-industrial complex.”

— Major Ralph E.   Hamilton, 1976


Homeless in Sacramento: Interview with Darryl Jefferson

(Click to play)

Every Saturday morning a few good folks bring food to feed the homeless in Sacramento. One informal group was started several years ago by a woman from Taiwan named Lily who arrived in the US with no education, no ability to speak English, and little money. Life was very hard for her, but Lily eventually became a licensed accupressure therapist and became financially stable, She never forgot how it felt to be poor, however, and started feeding the homeless because of her compassion for people in tough circumstances. I extracted the recording above from an interview I conducted with Darryl Jefferson during the breakfast one Saturday morning. The piece originally aired on KPFA Radio.



Interview: Dr. Rick Staggenborg Interviews Be All You Can Be Writer


A Kriegie’s Prayer –Ralph Hamilton

Oh, God, I ask of you in humble prayer,

As I lie in torment far from home,

Keep safe my loving family over there;

Make lighter theirs—this burden

Which they bear.

I ask not why this plan for war was lain,

Nor question your divine authority,

But couldn’t you have had the flak refrain

That last time I went down to

Strafe a train?

Oh, God, just slightly overflow thy cup,

And speed me from this vermin-prison’s bed.

Please, God, release me from

This land of Krupp

Before these God-damned bedbugs eat me up!

Note: Ralph wrote this under a dim night light, on toilet paper in the German prison camp at Moosburg. He said the bedbugs had chewed his wrists, neck, and ankles to a “painful mass of itching misery” and forced him from his bunk.

Shawn Hamilton _ on 9/11 Free Fall

Shawn Hamilton _ on 9/11 Free Fall

Shawn Hamilton _ on 9/11 Free Fall

 This show was broadcast January 30, 2014.

911 Free Fall

“Be All You Can Be”

Released on March 24th, 2014 through Friesen Press:  Be All You Can Be

Be All You Can Be cover

“There is something sad about a person who blindly sacrifices his life ‘for his country,’ for he is unaware of the real issues. If a person can grasp the truth about war, it can’t help but color his thinking on such issues as draft dodging. The name draft dodger suggests the evasion of a just debt or obligation. In reality, a draft dodger is either a person who rejects military service on religious or moral grounds—or plainly doesn’t want to allow himself to be killed. Any of those reasons should be good enough, and I don’t think that he should be persecuted or prosecuted.

A person who is willing to sacrifice his life ‘for his country’ is merely a dupe in the profit game of the military-industrial complex. A man who has the courage to stand up against such twisted idealism and refuse to be sacrificed for profiteers is no coward. My opinion of the draft dodger differs from the opinion of many of my peers, but then, my generation is probably one of the biggest collections of fools on record.”

— Major Ralph E. Hamilton, WW2 Veteran, 1976

Americans (a concise poem)

Mad carnivores staked on chains–
Sit near the spike and feel no loss
Of freedom at the circumference.


McDonalds and Disneyland in Baghdad (oral poem)

McDonald’s and Disneyland in Baghdad



List of 78th Fighter Group Pilots in WW2

Thanks to Curt Shepard for providing this list:

Copy of Master Pilot List

US Medical Care: $3000 bill for removing cotton from boy’s ear

In order to augment the veracity of Dan’s article (Shamelessly Oxymoronic US Healthcare), I’m posting a medical bill I got for taking my son to the ER to remove a piece of cotton from his ear. My young son got the head of a Q-tip stuck in his ear on a Friday night, and when I tried to remove it, it went in deeper. As it happened on the weekend, I was afraid it would infect his ear if it got wet and we waited until Monday to see our primary doctor, so I went to the U.C. Davis Emergency Room. I admit there was no real medical emergency at the time, but I wanted to avoid a possible one and did what, as a parent, I thought was best. I am not one to abuse emergency room services and have only used them twice in my life previously, once for my wife when I was teaching college and had no insurance, and once for myself.

It took two minutes (or less) to remove the cotton from my boy’s ear , but the “Q-tip extraction specialist” needed longer hemostats, so I guess that’s what cost the extra thousands…. A hemostat is such a complicated tool as we all know, about as complex as a pair of tweezers.

In Taiwan, a very capitalist country with wonderful nationalized health care (I’ve used it), most likely the doctors would have said no charge and given my kid a lollipop on his way out. If they did charge, it would have been no more than $20 and probably with an apology since we had no national health care card like everyone else and had to pay out of pocket. This happened to me at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, Taiwan in 2008. I got an x-ray of my back along with a consultation and they charged me $20. The billing agent said she was sorry she had to charge me. How many of you have heard that in the US?


Here in the US they gave us a $3000.00 bill for a one-minute cotton ball removal from my son’s ear. Yes, we’re lucky to have had health insurance, at least temporarily, so we had to co-pay $75, which I still think is too much for what the white-coated demigod that treated my son actually did. That’s not the point. Just because I had coverage doesn’t excuse the travesty of a blatant overcharge like that. What if it were a real medical emergency? That’s how people go bankrupt in America for getting sick or hurt once without insurance. We’re the only “civilized” (the term doesn’t seem appropriate somehow) country where that happens. Shame on us. We suck because we tolerate this shameful state of affairs, and most Americans are completely duped about the nature of health care in America. These are invariably people who have never traveled outside the US to another truly civilized country.

This is the problem with US health care. Insurance or not, it costs too damn much. So where’s the money going? Doctors do well in other countries without exploiting patients. My guess is the insurance business bandits in the US are skimming off most of the loot.

This is criminal, and the crooks need to go.

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