Eric Ehrmann

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Eric Wayne Ehrmann (born in Cleveland, Ohio August 13, 1946) is an author, blogger, and columnist. His independent blog columns on sports and politics are published on multiple platforms of The Huffington Post since 2009. He is one of the original feature writers for Rolling Stone when it was an underground tabloid in 1968-70, working under co-founder Jann S. Wenner.

Ehrmann also does predictive analysis and forecasting with an IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects) activity based in the United States, a project whose IARPA funding life will end late in 2015. He also authors "Institutions and Competition" blog at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), an adjunct organization to the Russian Academy of Sciences, published electronically in Moscow.

Ehrmann is credentialed by Itmaraty, the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil as well as for events at the Planalto presidential palace and the ministry of justice. In addition, he is member of the Portal os Jornalistas of Brazil, Brazil's largest online organization of journalists, commentators, bloggers and writers. He holds a United States passport and has permanent residency status in Brazil. He is a professional member of PEN USA, an affiliate of International PEN, the London-headquartered international literary and human rights organization. He is an early advocate of extending the protections provided by PEN to writers, to bloggers.

Early life[edit]

Eric Ehrmann is an only child from a working class Jewish background with Ashkenazi and Sephardi origins. As a college student he worked in the Republic Steel bar mill in Cleveland to earn money for his college expenses and was a member of the United Steelworkers of America (AFL-CIO) during that period. His father was member of the CIO and the AFL-CIO and was a journeyman plumber and an elected official of Plumbers Local 55 AFL-CIO who was responsible for managing the pension funds of the union until his death in 1967. His paternal grandfather Ed was a printer's devil and a journeyman union printer who worked with the Cleveland News and later an early RotoGravure pressman. Immigration and shipping records indicate that his antecedents from the Austrian, German and Russian empires arrived in the United States during the late 19th century.

Eric was confirmed in the Reform Jewish Movement by Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of Fairmount Temple-Congregation Anshe Hesed. He was graduated class of 1964 from Shaker High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He received additional teaching about the history and politics of the Reform Jewish Movement from Rabbi Albert A. Goldman of the Isaac Mayer Wise Temple-K.K.B'nai Yeshurun in Cincinnati, Ohio, who was a friend of his father, Robert.

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. His first Rolling Stone byline was out of London's famous Marquee Club in October, 1968, where he did a feature on the blues revival group Savoy Brown. He was also in Paris in the wake of the May 1968 events in France, but did not cover the political situation for Wenner's publication. As one of the early contributors to Rolling Stone he looked at the connections between rock music and politics. He also contributed occasionally to the Berkeley Barb in 1969 and 1970 using his own name, and pseudonyms.

While a student at Miami University he pledged the Kappa chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon and was initiated into the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity as pin number Kappa 1113. As a Miami Deke, he developed a friendship with author P.J. O'Rourke, who signed the Deke pledgebook at Kappa 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 went gold on the Billboard charts. Three of the band members were his Deke fraternity brothers. "Ask Me If I Care" was a cut on the Pipers million selling Buddah Records LP. The record company and its music publishing arm, Kama Sutra Music, were owned by Morris Levy, who had a reputation for ripping off talent and also owned Buddah. Levy was a music business tough guy and involved with organized crime and was convicted of federal racketeering charges in 1991. After an appeal, the charges were upheld by a full panel U.S. Federal Appeals Court. 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 and also questioned elements of Wenner's editorial vision. Jann viewed this as a breach of loyalty. With the nascent Rolling Stone paying Ehrmann ust $50 for a cover story the offer of making more money working in the intelligence community 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 George Bailey, 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 a novelty popular art subculture that became a best-seller.

The book created controversy because it detailed 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 group- in Europe. The aftermath of the attack was a stressful and traumatic experience for Ehrmann, the details and aftermath of the attack were covered by New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith. Eric Ehrmann also played rugby (prop)on the squad of the RG Heidelberg and was authorized to travel to France to play matches.

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 his employer Peat Marwick, Ehrmann travelled to Mogadishu, Somalia to assist in preparation of a study regarding the refugee food and health issues and the conflict in the region disputed by Somalia and Ethiopia known as the Ogaden. He travelled to the Ogaden region on a small Cessna twin prop 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, American Express, and the government of Mexico and was registered as such with official US organizations as per legal requirements. Public relations efforts by Edelman during this period promoted international trade at the German Democratic Republic's annual Leipzig Trade Fair. During the ambassadorial tenures of diplomats Rozanne L. Ridgway in Berlin and Dr. Gerhard Herder in Washington increased commerce was viewed as a component of overall détente. But while the GDR's gross domestic product rivaled that of Great Britain at the time an attempt by the regime of Erich Honecker to develop a very costly microchip industry in a highly competitive market depleted hard currency reserves and the trade expansion Ehrmann helped publicize foundered. He continued to receive advice and mentoring from George Bailey, who had become director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Ironically, Bailey's office in Munich was also blown up by terrorists (Red Brigade).It was convenient for the two men 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 a short elevator ride down from the 22nd floor. He left Edelman after a falling out with Edelman International president Mike Morley and Dan Edelman, both of whom were critical of his work habits. But he had an excellent relationship with Richard Edelman and supervised Matt Harrington, who is current managing director of the firm.

South America and the Buenos Aires Herald[edit]

Following that Ehrmann lived during the mid-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, among others. He has been writing opinion and commentary on Latin American affairs for 27 years.

He also wrote travel features for Clipper, the award winning in-flight magazine of Pan American World Airways.

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 and publishing, collaborating with Christopher Barton at the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia. He developed editorial content for Time magazine that appeared in sponsored news sections paid for by an agency of the government of Mexico. 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.

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.

In July 1995 he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He took a long hiatus from writing and served as a volunteer citizenship mentor and trainee in a program conducted at that time by Catholic Social Services of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2000 he participated in the nationwide Presidential Cancer Panel, which at the time operated under the aegis of the sitting president George H.W. Bush. He continues to author occasional articles about cancer issues.

After complaining of stress he was given the DMS-IV diagnosis of dysthymia (depression and chronic anxiety disorder) He was prescripbed and agreed to take the new SSRI anti-depression medication Zoloft, which, while helping to mediate his feelings dealing with his cancer diagnosis (doctors gave him a 23% chance of living for five years after his hemicolonectomy in 1995), modified his personality in ways that are described in product literature and other publicly available information. He titrated himself off of the medication in late 2007. He accepted a consulting position with one of the early social media marketing websited "Social Media Today" and able to cybercommute, he opted for a change of scene and relocated in 2008 to Brazil, immersing himself in another language, different music influences and a different culture.

In 2009, Ehrmann, no longer mood-mediated by the SSRI Zoloft, returned to writing and blogging, doing columns about Brazil and Latin America on The Huffington Post in English. He was one of the bloggers on the original Huffington Post World section as it was being developed by editor Hanna Ingber Win.

Eric Ehrmann's columns and blog posts have been mirrored by a range of online media to include The Dallas Morning News, Forbes, The Times of India and USAToday, among others. He is divorced. from Valeria Fernandes, a physical education professor who coaches football (soccer) and is also a beach and traditional volleyball referee who attended the Methodist University of Piracicaba UNIMEP. She is the only female coach to have coached three alumnai who have played first division football in Brazil Eric is a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns and sometimes blogs about them on HuffPo. He resides in Goiania, a city of 1.5 million that is a 3-hour bus ride into Brasilia.