The System

Fighting 9/11 Disinformation the Easy Way

Ecocide on the East Side: the Environmental Crisis in Eastern Europe

Yuppies In Moscow!?

Crisis in Ukraine

Runaway Planetary Warming

On Terrorism and the State

Clean, Sober and Obedient

In the Wake of the Exxon Valdez: World Capitalism and Global Ecocide

The Sick Planet

Occupy Needs To Target And Destroy The Ruling Money Fetish

The Global Fascist Terror State

Michael Hudson and Webster Tarpley Disseminate Disinformation

The Modern American Left Doesn't Get Capitalism

The Crisis of Value

9/11 In Context: the Strategy of Tension Gone Global

Retort's Response: Intellectual Dishonesty

Left Denial on 9/11 Turns Irrational

9/11 In Context: Plans and Counterplans

Established Left as Ideology Police

Henry the Great on September 11

9/11: A Desperate Provocation by US Capitalism

After Genoa: Reform or Revolution?

Socially-Responsible Investing: An Oxymoron

In Memory of Tod Fletcher and Susan Peabody

Jeff Strahl

I am very sad to inform you all of the death of my friend and partner on this website Tod Fletcher and his wife Susan Peabody. They both died late on September 29, 2014 via a double suicide. Susan had been bed-ridden for some 28 years with chronic fatigue syndrome. Tod has spent most of his time being her caregiver. Although she seemed to undergo a noticeable improvement a year or so ago, after stopping all her medications, she took a drastic turn for the worse in early September. She had considered suicide several times, in fact tried it 10 years ago, was saved only because Tod found her and took her to the emergency room. They were basically rendered indigent by the medical expenses, and over the past several years had faced possible eviction for not being able to come up with rent. A few friends came through with help at critical times, but the situation kept worsening. Tod in any event did not wish to live any longer without Susan, such was his love for her, and he respected her wishes to no longer endure pain. It is very sad to lose them. But do we have a right to force people to continue to suffer pain and grinding poverty? A tough question.

Tod was a prominent member of the 9/11 Truth Movement. He became a member on 9/12/01, when he and i met as we had scheduled several days earlier to discuss his pending article on the Genoa 6-7 summit (posted on this site, under the name of Max Kolskegg). We of course discussed the previous day’s events, and agreed that the whole thing had the smell of an inside job. It took us a few months to fully grasp the extent, but our intent was clear. Tod was a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, of which i’ve written several times over the past few months. See this site. He also edited all but the first of the books of the movement’s leading author, David Ray Griffin, to whom he was a loyal and very crucial assistant, at times even stepping in to do interviews when Griffin was unable to do so. He also authored several articles about 9/11 and how it fitted the context of the global capitalist crisis, and for a while had a show on Resistance Radio concerning 9/11 and the global capitalist crisis, named “9/11 In Context.” Episodes are linked, see the home page’s left sidebar.

But Tod was much more than a Truth activist. Well before 9/11, Tod was part of the global anti-capitalist movement. From mid-1988 to September 2003, he and i met generally every week to discuss stuff we were reading together, to edit each other’s articles, talk about current events, etc. And we continued to be in close contact even after that time, when first work took him away and then when he had to move from the Berkeley area, where i still live, and did so to the very end of his life. He edited every single thing i ever wrote intended for public viewing, i did likewise. He and i worked together on a variety of projects, including a short-lived periodical called Collide-O-Scope, on teaching a student-initiated class at UC Berkeley during the Spring 1989 semester titled Against Authority and Capital, and on this website, which i helped found in 2001 which he joined and revived in 2010. He authored articles about various related topics, especially the ecological crisis and the anti-globalization movement. These can be found at this site under either his name or under the pseudonyms Max Kolskegg, Will Guest and I. Berg. He and i co-wrote this site’s statement which can be read along the left margin of the home page. These articles and writings were informed by his background in physical geography, in which he was a graduate student and taught at the University of California and several junior colleges. He influenced me in the late ‘80s to dive head first into the topic of global warming, something i’m still very involved in. He was as hard-core about global warming denial as about 9/11 truth denial. He was the author of a published book about the history of the Bodie-Mono Lake area in the 19th Century, “Paiute, Prospector, Pioneer,” published in 1987, Artemisia Press. I got a copy from him as a gift in 1988, a year after we met.He was invited to speak at an anniversary celebration at Mono Lake University a few months ago, and could not go, but the school had offered to have his remarks read if he mailed them in, and this arrangement worked.

Tod did all this in spite of the incredible constraints placed upon his time due to Susan’s illness. Susan earned graduate degrees in English literature, and had taught classes at UC. At the time she was first afflicted she had been working in the campaign to oppose the U.S. government’s Star Wars program to militarize space. Her own pursuits were of course short-circuited by her condition. They were both like siblings to me.

One thing must be totally understood. Tod was an opponent of capitalism who strove for its total abolition, be it corporate capitalism, free market capitalism with “real” money, Keynesian capitalism with government “planning,” a more “fair” wealth distribution and unlimited money creation, state capitalism a la the former Soviet Union or North Korea or Cuba, “green” capitalism even if it comes with worker-owned co-ops making “green” commodities under “fair trade,”..... or any other rendition. He made that thoroughly clear in his articles (aside from ones with very limited focus such as on the Pentagon 9/11 matter), and did so till his last piece extant, the introduction to the Miguel Amorós article on anti-industrialism which is posted at this site. In fact, as that piece indicated, he also opposed the industrial system which capitalism spawned, which has made technology, production and “development” the end-all to be-all of human existence, whose logic has made it a supposedly unquestionable fact that all of our material problems can be solved via pouring in enough resources, either monetary or material, into developing new and better technologies, and has reduced human beings to appendages of tee world-wide machine. Let no one ever mistake his commitment on this matter.

Tod influenced me politically in a variety of ways. When we met in November ’87, he had just started reading Capital, and was surprised to hear that i never had. I had a bit of an attitude at the time, feeling that i didn’t need to, since i had read The Grundrisse several times, this being a book formed out of Marx’s notebooks regarding his grand project about capitalism, of which Capital’s three current volumes formed a small part, the beginning. I knew the whole thing, so why bother with the pieces? Tod prevailed upon me to read it anyway, and i am so glad i did. I came to realize how important and fundamental a role the Enclosures played in continue to play in the emergence and continued expansion of capitalism. They get a much more detailed treatment in Capital than in the Grundrisse. The separation of people from the means of producing their subsistence needs is indeed what makes capitalist social relations possible and what ensures their perpetuation. On this matter i owe Tod a big debt.

Likewise regarding a lot more. Thanks to Tod, i got to learn of many people who have upheld and continue to uphold the ideas and values of the real Karl Marx against those who call themselves “Marxists” who led old Karl to state “I am not a Marxist.” See for instance the Marx Myths and Legends website, Amongst such people was the British political activist and artist William Morris, whose rich legacy would have been lost to the world were it not for people like Tod. I knew relatively little about the Surrealists until Tod informed me of their work, in particular Andre Bretons writings, and the fact that the movement was still alive and vibrant even in the late 20th Century. And thanks to Tod, i discovered the critique of the mechanistic materialism paradigm which has dominated science for the last several centuries with its metaphor of the mechanism or machine to explain all scientific phenomena, a perspective which has been found wanting in every field of science and challenged by process philosophy and its metaphor of the organism. See here and here.

Dr David Ray Griffin has posted a tribute to Tod Fletcher and Susan Peabody, it can be read here.

A memorial for Tod and Susan was held on November 22, 2014, at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. You can listen to it here. Included is aninterview of Tod on Al Jazeera regarding 9/11, shows him standing up well to an idiotic anchor whose questions can only be described asidiotic and insulting.

And details about the suicide can be read in this fine article by Shelly Ingram in the West Marin Citizen.

UPDATE: 9/11 truth activist/troubadour Vic Sadot has created a web page with links to Tod's various works, be they articles or interviews. Much of this material is on this site, but some isn't, such as the debate on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 between Tod and Kevin Ryan on one side and official conspiracy theory supporters Jonathan Kay and Bryan Bonner. See here.

For myself, i say “Keep on Truckin,’ it’s been a long strange trip and it’s gonna get stranger. But i will survive, we will survive.” I will have to learn to do such basic stuff as posting articles and other aspects of site maintenance, which Tod did, so i hope you all bear with me.

Jeff Strahl, 1/26/15.

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