Eric Ehrmann

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Eric Wayne Ehrmann (born August 13, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an author and blogger whose columns are published on The Huffington Post. He also writes the "Institutions and Competition" blog at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) in Moscow, an adjunct of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Ehrmann is one of the original feature writers for Rolling Stone starting in 1968, working under co-founder Jann S. Wenner. He also does predictive analysis with a IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects) activity that has been privatized.

Ehrmann is credentialed as a blogger by Itamaraty, the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil. He is member of the Portal os Jornalistas of Brazil. He is since 1995 a professional member of PEN USA, an affiliate of London-based International PEN, and advocates extending the protection PEN advocates for writers, to bloggers.

Early life[edit]

Ehrmann is an only child from a working class Ashkenazi Jewish background. He worked in the Republic Steel bar mill in Cleveland to earn money for his early college education and was a member of the United Steelworkers of America (AFL-CIO) during that period. His father was also a member of the CIO and the AFL-CIO and was a journeyman plumber and an elected official of Plumbers Local 55 AFL-CIO at the time of his death at age 49 in 1967. Shipping records indicate that his antecedents (last names on paternal side include Ehrmann, Ehrman, Ermine, and Berzak and on mother's side; Friedland, Steindler, and Stotter all are emigrated from the Austrian, German and Russian empires, and arrived in the United States during the late 19th century.

Eric was confirmed in the Reform Jewish Movement in 1962 by Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of Fairmount Temple-Congregation Anshe Hesed. He was graduated class of 1964 from Shaker High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Eric Ehrmann follows developments in contemporary Judaism but is not a member of a synagogue. His political commentary has been published by Algemeiner, a New York based platform discussing Jewish affairs.

Rolling Stone[edit]

According to the website of Rolling Stone co-founder Jann S. Wenner, Eric Ehrmann began writing for Rolling Stone from his fraternity house while still a columnist for The Miami Student, the student newspaper at Miami University of Ohio, which he attended before becoming a "college drop out". Later, in northern California, he contributed occasionally to the Berkeley Barb in 1969 and 1970 using his own name, and pseudonyms.

He pledged Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, (Kappa chapter) at Miami, and was initiated into the Delta Kappa Epsilon ("Deke") as pin number Kappa 1113. He developed a friendship with author P.J. O'Rourke, who signed the Kappa pledgebook but never completed the program, a friendship that continued in later years.[1][1].

During this period Eric Ehrmann wrote the song "Ask Me If I Care" which was recorded by the rock band The Lemon Pipers on their LP by the same name released by Buddah Records that became a "gold record" selling over a million copies. Three members of the group were Deke fraternity brothers. The record company and its music publishing arm, Kama Sutra Music, were owned by Morris Levy, who also owned Buddah. Levy was linked to organized crime. Levy was convicted of federal racketeering charges in 1990. Levy used the young music business executive Neil Bogart as his front man.

Eric Ehrmann's controversial January 1969 Rolling Stone cover story on the Detroit/Ann Arbor political rock band MC-5 was selected by editors as one of the "great stories" in the history of the publication and subsequently featured in the magazine's [2] 25th anniversary edition, and anthologized in a Rolling Stone/Doubleday book. And his November, 1969 coverage of the funeral of beat generation icon Jack Kerouac was published in the successful Rolling Stone Book of The Beats, published by Hyperion and edited by Holly George-Warren. [3] He split with Wenner and Rolling Stone over classic writer-publisher money issues. With the nascent Rolling Stone paying just $50 for a cover story the offer of making more money working in the U.S. intelligence community outside the United States was one he did not refuse.

Free Lancing in Europe[edit]

During the 1970s he lived in Europe, in Heidelberg, and in Paris, attending the Sorbonne during the Cold War era and, subsequently wrote about politics, and cultural freedom. At the suggestion of a friend and mentor, George Bailey, who was a senior executive at publisher, Springer-Ullstein and a biographer of Soviet Nobel Laureate Andrei Sakharov, Ehrmann researched the popular collector movement associated with Hummel figurines and in 1976 wrote a book on what was then one of America's most popular "kitch" ceramic collectables and through clever marketing, it became a best-seller.

The book created controversy, detailing how the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler used certain "Hummel" figurines, decorated in the popular folk costumes worn by Croatian, Serbian and Czech people to promote friendship and unity between them and the Nazi occupation armies. Leading collectors of the figurines in the United States, many of whom were of European origin, were uncomfortable with this factual information the author obtained from the files of the company that produced the figurines. During a 50 city book promotion tour in 1976 a group of collectors protested at a book signing event at a theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, handing out pamphlets and demanding Ehrmann make changes to the book. While some changes were made that added to the market value of certain figurines owned by leading collectors, the publisher of the book did not remove content or photographs of the figurines in folk costumes used by the Nazis to build cultural ties in the nations occupied by their armies. Because of known legal risks associate with the book his writer contract represented at the time one of the few instances where the publisher holds harmless and indemnifies the writer, when in most situations it works the other way round. The contract was prepared for him by noted publishing lawyer Nancy F. Wechsler.

During the early 1970s period, Ehrmann worked at a facility in Heidelberg (West Germany) known as Building 28, which served as a secret center for the computerization and analysis of human intelligence data. He held top secret and special intelligence security clearances (prior to the single scope investigation process). Building 28 was the first US facility to be blown up by terrorists- the Baader-Meinhof gang- in Europe.

Returning to the US in 1980 Eric Ehrmann worked as a corporate writer for the executive office of consulting firm Peat Marwick at 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan, now KPMG. He did ghostwriting assignments for prominent world figures including productivity expert W. Edwards Deming, Manfred Rommel, and nuclear weapons strategist Herman Kahn among others. In 1981, at the invitation of Ed Daly, owner of World Airways and a client of Peat Marwick, Ehrmann travelled with Daly to Mogadishu, Somalia to assist in preparation of a study regarding refugee food supply and health issues and the conflict in the region disputed by Somalia and Ethiopia known as the Ogaden. He travelled to the Ogaden region and visited refugee camps and discussed health, food and logistical issues with Lino Bordin, an Italian diplomat who was a special representative of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees assigned to the region at that time.

He later worked in public relations, at Edelman, developing and supervising programs for DATAR a French government trade promotion agency, the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), an Israeli high-tech firm called Scitex, and the government of Mexico and was registered as a foreign agent with official US organizations as per legal requirements. He continued to receive advice and mentoring from his friend George Bailey, who had become director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. It was convenient for the two to meet when Bailey was in New York since RFE-RL had a suite offices at 1775 Broadway at 57th St. on the second floor and Ehrmann's office with the Edelman firm was on the 22nd floor.

South America and the Buenos Aires Herald[edit]

Following Edelman, and the death in South Florida of his mother from lung cancer, he lived during the late 1980s in Buenos Aires[2] when Argentina was transitioning from dictatorship to democracy and wrote opinion columns for The Buenos Aires Herald, working with editors Dan Newland, Ronald Hansen and Michael Soltys. Eric Ehrmann wrote political commentary on South American affairs for US publications including National Review, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The Journal of Commerce, The Journal of Defense and Diplomacy, The New York Times and The Toronto Star.

His opinion columns published by the Chicago Tribune in 1989-1990 created popular awareness of the growing nuclear arms race between Brazil and Argentina as both nations transitioned from dictatorship to democracy and called for both governments to reconcile their nuclear, submarine and guided missile programs with international norms.

Eric Ehrmann was hired as a project consultant by pioneering political simulation game developer Jim Gasperini and developed scenarios and political content for the popular political simulation video game, Hidden Agenda, which went on market in 1988. The game helped establish the foundation for the games for change movement and was also purchased by agencies of the U.S. government for use in training.

The University of Virginia at Charlottesville[edit]

Returning to the US in 1990 he continued writing, collaborating with Christopher Barton at the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He also investigated and published articles in The Journal of Commerce and The Christian Science Monitor discussing cooperation between Iraq and South American companies in connection with the Iraqi medium range guided missile program known as "Tammuz" in Iraq, and "Condor" in the West, and issues connected with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

The University of New Mexico, Colon Cancer and the Web[edit]

In 1995 he was named writer in residence at the University of New Mexico Department of Communication and Journalism by Associate Provost David E. Stuart. Eric Ehrmann also did radio political commentary for KUNM, the National Public Radio affiliate at the University of New Mexico.

Later in 1995 his life was disrupted by a diagnosis with colon cancer. Doctors gave him a 23% chance of surviving 5 years after a diagnosis of Dukes C-3 colon cancer. He did one year of weekly chemotherapy after a 7 cm stretch of colon was removed, and he survived the prognosis of a 23% chance of living five years, beating the odds. In 2000 he participated in the nationwide Presidential Cancer Panel. He is a 21 year colon cancer survivor and sometikes writes about colon cancer issues.

As the social media phenomenon took hold he was offered, and accepted a consulting position with one of the early social media marketing websites "Social Media Today" co-founded by the late Robin Fray Carey. Able to cybercommute, he opted for a change of scene, Already familiar with Brazil from his days in Argentina, he relocated there.

In 2009 he balanced his social media activities with political opinionator columns, doing blog columns about Brazil and Latin America on The Huffington Post. He was one of original bloggers on the HuffPost World section as it was being developed at that time by editor Hanna Ingber Win. His columns have been featured on multiple HuffPo platforms in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish, and syndicated elsewhere. He is divorced from Valeria Fernandes, a Brazilian national. Eric is a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns and sometimes blogs about them on HuffPo. He resides in Goiania, a city just outside the Federal Capital, Brasilia. He holds permanent residence status in Brazil and holds a U.S. passport.