Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

ATTACK ON RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN KIEV


Hundreds of fascists in Kiev attacked the Russian embassy yesterday in Ukraine's capital city.  Molotov cocktails were thrown at the embassy building.  Then today Russia took a resolution to the UN Security Council but saw western states block their attempt to condemn the attack. 

UN, June 15 ITAR-TASS

Western countries at the United Nations Organisation’s Security Council have blocked Russia’s draft resolution condemning the attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev, a source at the organisation’s headquarters told Itar-Tass.

“Western delegations have blocked the draft statement for the press, which condemns the attacks on the embassy in Kiev,” the source said.

The UK, the U.S. and France were among those who voted ‘contra,’ the source said.

Clearly we are seeing more efforts by the US-NATO puppet regime in Kiev to draw Russia into war.  The fact that this comes at the same time that Obama is contemplating going back to war in Iraq will ensure that the western media will not likely report this provocation against Russia.

Isn't it getting fairly obvious by now what is going on in Ukraine?


JOBS ISSUE CRUCIAL IF WE WANT TO END WAR


Bath forum eyes state’s reliance on military spending

6-13-14
 
BATH, MAINE
 
A newly-formed citizens’ coalition based in Bath, Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies, will host a forum from 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 27 for the exchange of information and ideas about the diversification of Maine’s military manufacturing sector.

At the forum, which will take place at the Winter Street Church, experts will review what other states are currently doing to move beyond their dependence on military spending and seed a discussion about the possibilities for Maine.

“In 2013, the state of Connecticut passed a law creating a statewide planning commission to help the state prepare for conversion from their heavy reliance on military contracts,” it was stated in MCSE’s event announcement. “Additional states are following suit, with Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Michigan, among others, working on similar legislation. As we prepare to have statewide discussions about Maine’s future and prepare for an important election in November, we invite our fellow Mid-coast citizens to enter into a conversation about our spending, our economy and our communities.”

The expert panel includes:
  • Miriam Pemberton, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., who writes and speaks on demilitarization issues for the institute’s Foreign Policy In Focus project.
  • Leslie Manning of Bath, an advocate for economic and social justice and the Quaker representative to the Maine Council of Churches. A former union representative and organizer, Manning served as deputy director of the Bureau of Labor Standards at Maine Department of Labor in a previous administration.
  • Sen. Margaret Craven of Androscoggin County and co-chair of the joint legislative committee on Health and Human Services. Craven represents an area where there are many Bath Iron Works employees and, as a former member of the Appropriations Committee, understands the state budget process and reliance on federal dollars for a variety of programs and services.
  • Moderator Rev. Bill Barter is the executive director of the Maine Council of Churches and senior pastor at St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church in Portland. Barter was born in Bath, lives in Brunswick, and has friends and relatives employed in defense industries.
“Good-paying jobs with decent benefits are essential to Maine’s economy and communities, and many of our state’s current jobs are with defense contractors here in Maine,” the press release states. “Almost 10 percent of our state’s GDP is dependent on military contracting, producing everything from destroyers to footwear and apparel, and providing services such as submarine repair and health care contracting. That reliance on continued spending ($3,303.53 per capita, the fourth highest in the country) makes Maine especially vulnerable to expected reductions in Pentagon spending.”

MCSE argues that data shows that defense spending is not a reliable jobs creator: “In a recent study compiled by the University of Massachusetts, $1 billion in Pentagon spending results in 11,200 jobs, while comparable investment in education results in 26,700 jobs being created,” the event release states. “Other sectors fared better, as well: clean energy results in 16,800 jobs, health care creates 17,200 jobs, and even returning that money to taxpayers could result in 15,100 new jobs.”

The public also is invited to take part in the potluck from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 27, just before the event. The Winter Street Church is located at 880 Washington St., across from the Patten Free Library in Bath. Admission is free and donations will be accepted to cover costs.

This is MCSE’s first event produced under the auspices of Vital Connections, a public forum that meets quarterly in the Mid-coast area. For more information on MCSE and the June 27 forum, contact Carol Huntington at 443-5777, or find “Ships, Shoes and Submarines” on Facebook.

LATEST ON FUKUSHIMA CRISIS





Friday, June 13, 2014

KIEV USES WHITE PHOSPHORUS BOMBS

 

In recent days the US-NATO puppet project in Kiev has been using white phosphorus bombs against their own citizens in the east of Ukraine.  The reason?  They will not submit to full corporate fascist authority.  Simple as that.....and Russia is next on the list.

I'm reading a very good book called Gladio: NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe, The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis by Richard Cottrell.  I highly recommend it.

In the book Cottrell shares this important insight while discussing the dangerously expanding role of NATO:

A military pact ostensibly grounded on the principle of common deterrence, but turning instead to aggressive belligerence, was foreseen with astonishing clarity by the American political and social visionary James Burnham.  His seminal work The Struggle for the World appeared in 1947.   In this he glimpsed an American empire exercising 'decisive world control,' and a US-sponsored European Federation, with the Marshall Plan as the warm-up act.  The English-speaking powers and the Euro federation would eventually fuse as a Universal State, with the US occupying the central role of 'semi-barbarian, unifying power.'  For easy consumption the arrangement would be sugar-coated as 'the policy of democratic world order,' an early insight of the emerging mercantile-military globalism we recognise all around us today.  Burnham viewed this splendid project favourably.  His pulse quickened at the sound of war drums.  He imagined a planetary NATO, the prospect of 'winged soldier, air cavalry, able to raid two thousand miles behind the lines tonight and be gone before the defence arrives tomorrow.' In short, the promised land of perpetual war.


As you would expect the Russians and the Chinese are hyper-vigilant as they see the NATO war machine grind its way onto their doorstep.

Russia submitted a draft resolution on Ukraine at the Security Council Thursday demanding that the United Nations play a greater role in resolving the crisis, and accused Kiev of using white phosphorus.

Russia Today reported:

Much of the village of Semyonovka, located in the Slavyansk suburbs, was set ablaze. Local residents told RT that the ground didn't stop burning for some time.

“We all saw what happened here yesterday. They used rocket launchers as well as incendiary bombs against us. The ground was on fire. How can the ground burn by itself. It burned for about forty minutes,” resident Roman Litvinov told RT over the phone.
 
“Starting from 2 a.m. everyone I’ve met has a sore throat and is coughing all the time. I think this is because of the burning. I think we’ll feel the true consequences later. There are still a lot of people here, a lot of children we haven’t managed to get out yet,” resident Tatyana told RT.


Cottrell also writes in Gladio, "Such collective punishment of civilians is against all established laws of war, and expressly forbidden by the Geneva and Hague Conventions. "

Indeed Cottrell is right that US-NATO are now barbarically doing anything they can to provoke Russia to take a military step forward to defend Ukraine.  Not only is there a serious muscle pumping game going on but a global war for propaganda control is also underway.  The US-NATO are directing, and likely supplying, Kiev with this illegal and immoral toxic assault on the citizens of the east. 

When the people in the east defend themselves against this military attack they are called terrorists.  But the US-NATO are the terrorists.  Anyone who doubts that idea ought to read Cottrell's book Gladio.  It spells out the whole story - in great detail. 

We are up against the wall and the gun is pointed at us.  Hope Mr. Big has got your attention.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

THIS IS WHAT WE'VE DONE FOR IRAQ

THE JAIL-GO-ROUND

UKRAINE SOLDIERS LEAVING PIRATE SHIP



Ukrainian soldiers are in mutiny.  They are jumping ship because they've come to realize that the pirate captains are really working for the US-NATO war machine and only want to create a civil war.

On top of that evil the corporate masters of the newly installed President Poroshenko in Kiev don't even want to pay their conscripts to do their killing for them....or feed them.....or house them.  These pirate masters are amazingly greedy.  (I think it comes from deep deep personal insecurity.  These damaged humans rise in these authoritarian structures and we suffer.)

Their greed is their Achilles heel.  They can never have enough so they must put their ugly boot on the necks of the people of the world in order to control everything.  The people though have had more than a mouthful and must rise in revolt if they wish to live.

Mr. Big is coming at us with his pirate sword and his cannons blazing but his days are numbered.

PS  For those confused about my use of Mr. Big as my primary character in this drama about corporate fascist domination of the world, I offer this simple definition:  Mr. Big is the mob, military industrial complex, world banking system, global corporate media, big oil, insurance & drug companies, corrupt political hacks, leading educational institutions, and more.  Check out their interlocking corporate board memberships. If you are suffering from heart disease or serious inflammation do not keep reading this.  If your depression lasts for more than eight hours do not go to the emergency room because they will just drug you at a very high price.  Try going for a walk or chop some wood.  Plant a garden, you'll need the food when the crash inevitably comes. All trademark rights to Mr. Big go to The Kinks.

CIA IS SURPRISED?



CALL IT ALL MR. BIG

CIA director Brennan is surprised
CIA is getting such a bad rap
alongside it's historic
bad rep

They feel sad
no one likes them
no love for CIA
anywhere
except on Wall Street
and inside the dark
Pentagon

The killers got no friends
folks figuring out
CIA
the nest
of the pirates
who are out to loot
us all

Iraq on fire
Syria war
Ukraine breaking up
Afghanistan
always raging
someone has to
control the heroin
trade
and the fossil
fuels
the CIA does
alongside their
friends in the mob

Call it all Mr. Big

That is your short
course
in US foreign
policy.

ANGER IN EUROPE



Economist Richard Wolff discusses recent EU parliament elections.

IT'S ITALY


I took one of those Facebook tests this morning to see "what country I am best suited to live in".  They ask a series of questions and then give you the answer.  When my perfect place popped up I had a great laugh.  It came up as Italy.  My mom was Italian which might have had just a bit of impact on my answers to the questions.

Here is what they wrote about my responses...sounds about right to me.

You are complex person, yet you enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Your idea of a great day is to spend some time by the water, or have coffee [tea] next to your favorite landmark, then follow it up with a fantastic meal with mediterannean cuisine and excellent wine. You believe life is not for working too hard, but for enjoying the fruits of the earth, and you are more than happy to take a siesta. You are a lover of culture, and thrive in a town or city where you get to know those around you in depth. You appreciate fine architecture, art, music, and film, and need to be in a culture that values those mediums.

Amazingly with all the traveling I've done around the world I have yet to visit Italy.  Saving the best for last I guess.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

REMEMBER ME



MILITARIZED IN NORTH DAKOTA



North Dakota is home to a growing cluster of drone research, business and military interests. Aerospace companies, universities and state government helped secure North Dakota's position as one of six drone test sites across the US.

The eagerness of so many states to test and base drones indicates just how desperate local communities are these days for investment by the federal government.  Sadly the only government agency with any money is the Pentagon.  

Can be no doubt that the US is now a militarized culture.

The way we counter this reality is by demanding the conversion of the military industrial complex to sustainable technologies like solar, wind, rail, and more. 

The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said:

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

 

So what is our demand?

DIRECT ACTION IN CANADA




FINAL VOTING DAY WRAP-UP


Yesterday while at the polls one expects to see those who are enthusiastic and party loyalists turning out for their team.  (I was there with a table petitioning against big $$$ in elections). All we had on the ballot in Bath, city of 10,000 people, was the local school budget 3% tax increase and a couple uncontested primary seats for state legislature.  The crowd was thin but steady thoughout the day.  I went there for the opening and closing hours and then another two hour shift during midday.

I had lots of reactions to folks, so many that I took a bunch of notes.  Below are some of the things I wrote down when not talking with people.  Most folks were in a hurry so few wanted to chat.

  • During my four hours maybe 40% of the people would stop and sign the petition that opposes the Supreme Court ruling that corporations are people.  Our five volunteers, working 12 hours of voting, all together got 236 signatures.  We have to get about 53,000 signatures statewide in order to get this on the general ballot for referendum.

  • Relative American affluence and consumerism has turned lots of people into virtual automatons who haven't had to politically fight for much in their lives.

  • Their fighting spirit is weak as they watch the slide into oligarchic rule.  Much to my surprise no one seemed to object to me calling our ruling class an oligarchy.  It's a new word on most people's tongue but it seemed to slide down the throat alright.
  • I was surprised at how many people say they don't mind the big money taking over our elections.  Same as it has always been.  One man told me that the nation went down the tubes when FDR abandoned his wealthly class interests and fought for the poor.  Figure that one out. The guy that said that wasn't wearing a top hat and tails.  People are confused about their own class interests.  Amazing.  Maybe the guy is a comedian and I didn't get the joke.

  • The neo-liberal parliamentary-legislative left (while mostly Democrats) are not connecting to the pain and suffering of the working class and poor in a real way.  The timid 'leadership' isn't telling the truth about our present political moment - especially when it comes to solutions.  Very sad.

  • Alot of go-along-ism with people.  The safe road to......

  • There exists a lack of inquisitiveness and much fear among most people.

  • The me-first-ism crowd can be cruel at times....

  • Many voters expressed much resignation to our condition as slaves to corporate power.  They see it, understand what it is, can verbalize it, but they have no hope and it is rather hard to reach them. "Nothing can be done," several told me.  A key problem is that they don't trust anyone.  Sense of community has broken down badly.

  • In those moments I try to recall times in history where 10% of the people were able to push through major change. How much time do we have though? 

  • There were noble exceptions - warm, compassionate, grateful and humble people who tend to be so gentle that they become meek and retiring against the tide of arrogance and greed that we are up against.... but they are so nice.

I LIKE THESE GUYS



Two interesting characters giving us some of the inside scoop on corruption in India.

Newsclick speaks to Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Commentator and Journalist, on his latest book Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis. The book was released on April 18. Guha says this book analyses the Krishna Godavari Gas Pricing controversy and details the impacts of crony capitalism in India. Guha and his co-authors along with the distributors of the book have been served legal notices by the Reliance Industries Limited seeking Rs 100 crores for defamation.

SPORTNIK REPORT



World cup soccer impinges on the local people and they are in the streets.  The TV money must be huge around the world.  Advertising rates now trump the actual sport.  All major sports are now fully dominated by the corporate money.  My two favorite sports, baseball and basketball, are infested with money and increasingly are used for dangerous displays of nationalism.  They call it the "warrior culture".  Baseball players are dressing in camo to "honor the troops" at the same time the VA waiting list scandal is humming along in Washington.  It's all smoke and mirrors.

It often comes back to the TV - politics is entertainment:

"The less people involved in real political decision making the better.  Easier to write scripts that way.  Just tell the people to stay home and turn on the TV.  We'll make sure they are anesthetized," said Mr. Big in a recent news release.
Stay tuned....

MORE ON US-JAPAN WAR PREPARATIONS



Excellent report on growing US-Japan military alliance aimed at China & Russia...... 

For those who forgot - or never knew - Japan was an imperial aggressor during WWII and brutalized many across the Pacific.  Coming out of the war the US, just like we did in Europe, did prosecute some fascist leaders but many others with particular 'skills' in spying, weapons making, military administration, or more were brought under the US umbrella.  Under this shelter the 'former' fascists could be put to work on a new mission - making Mr. Big's program of full spectrum dominance a reality.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

THE VIEW FROM INDIA



Newsclick discusses with Aijaz Ahmad, senior political analyst, about the recent developments in Ukraine, where there is a civil war like situation in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country. Ahmad feels that in the days to come, as the IMF conditionality's begin to bite, there is going to be a conflict in Western Ukraine also. Attacks from the Kiev regime on the east, many of which are war crimes -- has increased significantly specially after the election of Petro Poroshenko as the President of Ukraine.

WE IS POOR FOLKS - MIGHT HAVE TO SELL MY JEWELRY



Hillary Clinton on Tuesday moved to contain the fallout from her comment that she and Bill Clinton were “dead broke” when they left the White House.

MAYBE HE'S AMISH?

WHO WILL PAY FOR ELECTIONS?


I was up early this morning and at the voting station in Bath for the 8:00 am start of our Maine primary election.  I set up a table on behalf of We the People Maine which is gathering petition signatures for a statewide referendum to safeguard access to the political process for everyone.  We have to get about 53,000 signatures of registered voters across Maine to get the referendum on the ballot.

In response to the horrid Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case corporations have been given the rights of people and $$$ was determined to be "free speech".  This ruling has thrown democracy into the dumpster as the corporate oligarchy can now buy elections like nothing ever seen before.  Even state and local elections are being impacted as corporate money is being thrown at those races making it increasingly difficult for working class people to effectively run for political office.

I worked the first hour at the polls and got about 20 signatures.  Primary elections usually get a very low turnout.  I will return for two other shifts during the 12 hours that we will have our table at the voting station.  Four other Bath residents will help staff the table throughout the day.

Most of those who voted during my first hour did sign the petition.  But some did turn their nose up at me as I asked them if they'd like to sign.  One woman asked me, "Who would pay for elections?" if we were to limit the ability of corporations to buy politicians.  Several folks told me "I don't have time to sign anything."

The idea that one does not have the few seconds it would take to sign a petition that would help force constitutional clarification of the status of corporations and the role of money in the electoral process is mind boggling.  How can you go to vote and not be concerned about the corporate oil-i-garchy making a mockery of the whole process? 

It's a no-brainer. Hello!

FLASH BACK TO HELL


Monday, June 09, 2014

APPEALING TO THE WORLD



Women & children refugees from eastern Ukraine now in Russia appeal to the world...... 

Families who fled the turmoil started a Twitter campaign #DontKillUs urging the Kiev government to stop the deadly military operation in the area. 

WATER WARS



By the end of this century, around half of the world's population will suffer from water scarcity. All according to UN estimates. The vital resource will become a main driver of regional and global conflicts, as demand for fresh water tripled over the past five decades. RT's Gayane Chichakyan has more.

US BOMBERS MOVED TO BRITAIN



The US Air Force has sent more of its bombers to Europe, deploying two B-2 stealth aircraft as part of a military exercise. On Sunday they joined three B-52 StratoFortress bombers already deployed in Britain.

All the visiting American aircraft are stationed at RAF Fairford, a British air base west of London.

“This deployment of strategic bombers provides an invaluable opportunity to strengthen and improve interoperability with our allies and partners,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, commander, US Strategic Command in a USAF statement. 

The B-2 bombers are normally stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.  

KIEV OLIGARCHY FORCING MEN TO FIGHT



The oligarchy that runs Kiev has more problems than they can handle. They are out of money, half of the country is in rebellion against their authority, the US-NATO are pushing them to war with Russia, and their troops don't want to fight.

They have two primary forces in Ukraine.  The regular Army, mostly made up of conscripts, and the National Guard, which is increasingly being filled with Right Sector Nazi's.

There have been several stories in the past two weeks about regular Army troops not wanting to kill their fellow citizens.  What the government has done is put the Nazi-filled National Guard behind the regular Army and they shoot any soldier who refuses to fight.  In one recent case the regular Army turned on the National Guard in a gun battle.

This is probably why the Kiev regime has taken to bombing and shelling the cities in eastern Ukraine from a distance.  They don't have the manpower to wage a real ground war.

But as you can see in the video above when you have citizens in western Ukraine objecting to this whole program the regime in Kiev has big problems on its hands. No wonder the rumors are growing that US mercenaries and Polish troops are now fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

SWEDEN LOST NEUTRALITY & BECOMING MILITARIZED



Swedish and Finnish leaders have reinvigorated a push for their traditionally non-aligned countries to join NATO, in the face of what they say is a Russian threat. But does Russia really pose a threat to European security, or has it become a convenient scapegoat for growing militarism in Europe? How can Russia and the western world end the conflict in Ukraine, and rebuild peace by peace? Oksana is joined by the founder of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Dr Jan Oberg, to examine these issues.

The US Ambassador to Sweden is currently right-winger Mark Brzezinski, the son of Zbigniew who was Jimmy Carter's national security adviser and who claims that he recruited Obama while at Columbia University.  (Zbigniew was the son of a Polish diplomat to Nazi Germany in late 1930's.)

I remember years ago Dr. Manning Marable speaking at one of our annual conferences of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice.  He told us that the oligarchy was going to recruit people of color for top political positions who were ambitious and could be controlled as the US increasingly has a population that is predominately composed of people of color. 

AVOIDING THE DARK HEART


  • I am trying not to get a dark heart.  That's why I put the George Harrison song on the blog today....beware of darkness.....  Watch out now, take care....Beware of greedy leaders....They take you where you should not go.  
  • It's hard though to watch the global war machine punishing so many innocent people around the world and not feel it.... my heart weeps and wails.  I am furious with my own corporate-dominated  'government' and I know there is little I can do to directly impact Washington and damn near everyone else knows it as well.  That's why it is so hard to get people moving these days.  Many folks have given up.  But how can we turn our backs on those who are being killed with weapons we make and pay for?  I just can't look the other way.
  • I sent Diana Johnstone a message of thanks yesterday for her great article on Ukraine.  I told her I sent it to our Global Network email list, posted on Facebook, and on this blog.  I've been glad in the last couple months to see her writings again.  I've been reading her stuff for years....in the 1980's she was a primary source of information on Europe during the last Cold War.  She wrote back this morning and reminded me that she used to write "for In These Times, which banned me because of what I wrote about Yugoslavia.  The Nation also stopped taking my articles for the same reason: wrong line on Yugoslavia."  She was right about US-NATO breaking Yugoslavia into pieces as they have since done to Iraq and are now doing to Ukraine and want to do to Russia as well.  Even many in the 'progressive' media have a tendency to avoid the truth when the war drums start beating.
  • I've been out working in the garden this morning.  Helps keep me a bit more sane.  Our veggies are coming along and flowers here in Maine are blooming.  Reminds me that mother nature keeps on grinding away no matter what comes....that is where I get my inspiration and hope. 

SUNDAY SONG




WORTH A WATCH



Grab their fossil fuels, agricultural land, force GMO production, install US-NATO 'missile defense' systems there......the list goes on.

Do you see the corporate agenda?

Backed up by the fascist thugs.

Wake up dear friends from our long sleep. Rip Van Winkle no more.