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

Saturday, October 04, 2008

REPORT ON SCANDINAVIA TRIP

This report covers the period of September 18-29 as I traveled to Sweden, Denmark, and Norway for a speaking tour. The trip was organized by GN board member Agneta Norberg and Barbara Bradefors from Sweden who belong to Women for Peace.

My first stop was in Malmo, Sweden for the European Social Forum where I spoke at an event on the militarization of space. Also included were GN chairperson Dave Webb (CND, England), Jan Tamas (No to Bases Campaign, Czech Republic) as well as Agneta who highlighted the growing efforts of Scandinavian aerospace corporations to join the space militarization program. Just prior to my leaving home, I did two email interviews with peace publications that produced full-page spreads that were distributed in Malmo.

Hundreds of workshops were spread out all over Malmo during the Social Forum. The only other one I was able to attend was an excellent forum on the growing dangers of an expanding NATO which has become a global offensive military alliance under the control of the U.S. and trying to substitute itself for the United Nations. The U.S. is now pressuring NATO members to increase their military spending and to buy their weapons primarily from American weapons corporations. The head of NATO's expansion committee, Bruce Jackson, is a former Lockheed Martin executive. NATO is increasingly dominating the European Union's foreign policy and has begun expanding operations into the Asian-Pacific by holding military maneuvers with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. NATO is the cornerstone of military globalization just as the G8 is the cornerstone of economic globalization. Plans are now underway for major protests in Europe in early 2009 as part of the 60th "anniversary" of NATO. NATO is pushing the spread of "missile defense" throughout Europe.

On September 19, as we made our way back to the hotel in Malmo, we ran into a massive police presence and discovered that a group of about 150 anarchists had taken over a street and were holding banners and chanting. A bank sat on one corner and police closed down all the adjoining streets. We began to mill about among the anarchists and one videographer recognized me and began to interview me. Just in that moment a couple of the black-clad youth threw something breaking the bank windows and the video team ran off to film the action. The police made it hard for people to leave the area but we found a side street and moved on. I asked Agneta what we should do about the anarchists and she responded with a question of her own, "Should we give up the streets?"

Agneta arranged for me to speak at the rally that preceded the march through Malmo by 10,000 people on September 20. I was the last speaker and was given two minutes; I long ago learned to say what needs to be said in that short period of time. The march was a wonderful spirit-filled 3 1/2 hour parade through heavily populated neighborhoods full of four-story apartment buildings with people hanging out their windows. At one point we saw a heavier than usual riot squad presence along the march route and discovered that they were protecting a McDonald's hamburger joint. Just across the street sat an unprotected Burger King, and it was obvious that since "anti-globalization" protests for years have targeted McDonald's, the cops were taking no chances. Nothing happened.

Comparing the massive crowd of 10,000 with the small anarchist protest the night before made clear to me that in the end, the public saw for themselves that the vast majority of people attending the Social Forum were serious and determined non-violent activists. I agree with Agneta that we can't give up the streets but we must also begin to organize local dialogues with the anarchist community about their actions, which I believe are often infiltrated with government agents who intend to disrupt them with violence in order to turn the public away from our message.

During the march I had the pleasure to get to know Andre Brochu who was born in Farmington, Maine and moved to Sweden as a Vietnam War resister. Today Andre is a school librarian and a kinder, gentler man has never been found. He made sure that our small group of space-niks were well fed and watered and then escorted us back to our hotel in Malmo at the end of a long day.

My next stop was Copenhagen, Denmark where I spoke at a bookstore and did an extensive interview with the nationwide Daily Worker newspaper. I also did a video interview with a Humanist movement organizer that he immediately spread worldwide via the Internet. Annelise Ebee, the president of International WILPF, took care to walk me around the city that day and I was highly impressed by the tremendous number of bicycles on the street.

On September 23, Agneta and I flew to Stockholm, Sweden where I spoke that evening. The next day we both flew to Kiruna in the north of Sweden, just above the Arctic Circle. Kiruna is a mining town where iron ore is extracted and we learned that a good portion of the community's buildings, including a magnificent city hall, will soon be moved so that the mines can be expanded.

Kiruna is also the location of Esrange, the rocket launching and satellite tracking spaceport facility that is connected to the European Space Agency (ESA). Here, much to my delight, I spoke to 60 students and 15 community members in an evening program. The students attend the "space high school," and are recruited from all over Sweden for the very competitive program that appears to be a training vehicle for the space industry. I was astounded at the positive and attentive reception they gave me. Afterward, many of the students talked with Agneta and I about their shock of learning about plans for the nuclearization and weaponization of space. The staff of the school invited me to come back for an extended period of time to "work with the students" and I was energized by the offer, though I wonder how we could afford to send me on such a return trip. It was one of the most exciting talks I have done in my 25 years of working on space issues. I will always remember the bright wide-eyes in the audience. They touched my heart and I just know that some good things will come from that evening.

The next day Agneta and I were taken for a tour of Esrange. There we learned that the space facility is expanding its operation to serve as a tracking station for the ESA's reconnaissance and surveillance satellite system called Galileo that comes on-line in 2013 with 30 satellites. The GPS-like system will be "dual use", meaning it will serve military and civilian purposes, and will also have tracking stations near-by in Norway.

On September 25 we flew back to Stockholm and Agneta took me to a Turkish family's house for dinner. We were treated to a wonderful meal, and I heard the horrible story of the military coups in Turkey during the 1970-80's. Many progressive activists were forced to flee the country as thousands were killed by their fascist government with the full support of the U.S. military and NATO.

Our host described how the Turkish Social Democrats sat back and watched as their hope for real democracy was crushed by the para-military Grey Wolf dead squads used by the dictatorship to do much of the killing of those from the left who were protesting in the streets. There are quite a number of Turkish refugees in Sweden and Agneta, who is 70 years old, has befriended many of them. She has gone to Turkey several times and witnessed entire towns that were wiped out just for having stood against the military government. When I asked our host to reflect on what more they could have done at the time, he said the people did not fight back hard enough. It's advice we could use today as we see democracy slip away from us in the U.S. Our host was a journalist for a well-respected Turkish political publication and interviewed me about space issues before we said good-night.

September 26 found us flying to Oslo, Norway where I was hosted by WILPF for a well-attended talk. Alongside me at the podium was a Norwegian journalist who has written extensively about Norway's growing role in space issues due to their membership in NATO and the presence of a U.S. Star Wars radar base in Vardo, just a few miles from the Russian border. Vardo collects intelligence data on Russia's long-range ballistic missiles. Coupled with the new U.S. radar proposed for the Czech Republic, this iinformation would give the Pentagon a formidable military advantage in developing a first-strike capability against Russia. Norway also hosts a National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance station at Fauske and has a rocket launch range called Andoya.

Our last two days in Oslo were spent being superbly hosted by WILPF members Edel Beukes, Dr. Dagmar Sorboe, and Inya L'Orange. These three powerful women came to our GN annual meeting in Darmstadt, Germany a couple of years ago and have determined that they will weave the cost of space technology and conversion of the global war machine into discussions at upcoming international global climate change meetings. They also pledged to work to expand discussions of Norway's role in space militarization. My hosts kept talking about the "oil dope" that the Norwegian people are addicted to as their off-shore oil drilling industry has done much to strengthen their economy as prices for the fossil fuel skyrocket.

On my first day off during the trip, September 26, Inya took Agneta and me for a 6-7 mile walk along the beautiful hills and lakes overlooking Oslo. The next day Dagmar took the four of us for a boat trip in the fjord where she showed us some ruins from the WW II Nazi occupation. Like all military occupations, this one could not last, and I was once again reminded that the U.S. empire will in time also crumble. Empire is a contradiction and violates the laws of nature.

I took a good number of copies of our new documentary video "A Space 4 Peace" with me on the trip and they sold very quickly. By the end of the tour we were having to ask people to copy them and pass them on to others. People were hungry for a good teaching vehicle and the video surely is a good one.

During this trip to Scandinavia I heard over and over again about current efforts to slowly but steadily dismantle the social welfare system for which these three countries are so well known. Just like everywhere else, the ethic of privatization is being preached and cutbacks in social programs are now underway. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are still far ahead of most countries in the human services they still provide, but corporate globalization is hitting this region too. Militarization is steadily creeping into the Nordic lands and people there are worried about NATO expansion and possible war with their close neighbor Russia.

Throughout the era of the cold war between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, most of the women I met on this trip had been key leaders in the effort to end the nuclear arms race between the two superpowers and to build human relationships between their own country and the people of Russia. Once again, by necessity, they are being drawn into rebuilding the peaceful bridge which this time has a new and deadly twist - the militarization and weaponization of space.

I thank Agneta Norberg, Barbara Bradefors, and all the many others who worked hard to make this trip such a wonderful experience. I am sure we will work together again.

Friday, October 03, 2008

FINAL SPACE WEEK ACTIONS LIST

October 4 – 12, 2008

Keep Space for Peace Week:
International Week of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space


No Weapons in Space!
Stop U.S. First-Strike Star Wars Deployments in Poland
and Czech Republic!
Convert the Military Industrial Complex!
Fund Human Needs!



* Adelaide, South Australia (Sept 24) Monthly vigil on steps of Parliament House with leafleting by Women in Black and South Australian branch of WILPF cpicone@westnet.com.au

*Adelaide, South Australia (Oct 11) Presentation and discussion at local Australian Section of WILPF cpicone@westnet.com.au

* Baltimore, Maryland (Oct 3) Peace vigil by Jonah House at the new Northrop Grumman weapons production plant in Linthicum Heights (1570 W. Nursery Rd) at 11:00 am disarmnow@verizon.net or (410) 233-6238

* Baltimore, Maryland (Oct 4) The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will hold a demonstration at the Headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) between 5-6 PM. (410) 366-1637 mobuszewski@verizon.net

* Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 4) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street 11:30 am Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm 207-763-4062

* Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 18) Veterans for Peace march & rally at Aegis destroyer “Christening” featuring Granny D. Aegis is outfitted with "missile defense" systems Assemble Waterfront Park on Commercial St. at 9:00 am jafabussell@gwi.net

* Bend, Oregon (Oct 10) Presentation by Jackie Hudson at Central Oregon Environmental Center jackiehudson123@yahoo.com

* Blair, Nebraska (Oct 7) Former editor of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Mike Moore, speaks at Dana College about his new book The Twilight War: The Folly of US Space Dominance in the Durham Classroom Center 7:00 pm walterinne@neb.rr.com

* Boston, Massachusetts (Oct 4) Vigil and leaflet at Park Street train station (Park Street at Tremont) with WILPF at 2:00 pm clagos@verizon.net

* Boston, Massachusetts (Oct 11) Posters and leafleting at regional anti-war mobilization on Boston Common clagos@verizon.net

* Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Oct 4) Presentation and discussion at local Australian Section of WILPF cpicone@westnet.com.au

* Cambridge, Massachusetts (Oct 2) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” at Central Sqauare Library by WILPF and Cambridge Peace Commission 6:45pm clagos@verizon.net

* Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct ) Panel discussion at Colorado College on the “Military Influence in Colorado Springs” bsulzman@juno.com

* Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 7) Bannering in downtown area at noon bsulzman@juno.com

* Copenhagen, Denmark (Oct 4) Presentation and discussion at "The Poetic Bureau" (Griffenfeldsgade 52) 20:00 juhauski@gmail.com

* RAF Croughton, England (Oct 4) “No Missile Defence” march and rally at U.S. Space Communications Base with speakers and music oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk

* Damascus, Syria (Oct 11) Public meeting on space issues at cultural center ghassan.dr@gmail.com http://www.anrolm.org/an/

* Fylingdales, England (Oct 11) Demonstration at U.S. Star Wars radar facility by Yorkshire CND info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk

* Grand Rapids, Michigan (Oct 5) Marywood Campus Health Center presentations by Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert disarmnow@verizon.net

* Grand Rapids, Michigan (Oct 6) Aquinas College presentations by Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert disarmnow@verizon.net

* Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (Oct 7) Film showing of Arsenal of Hypocrisy space video at the Just Us Café tlorincz@dal.ca

* Hampton, Florida (Oct 5) FCPJ’s “Remember our Roots” Day on the coalitions’s land. FCPJ was a co-founder of the Global Network bob@fcpj.org

* Jalgaon, India (Sept 23) Address in the North Maharastra University jnrao36@sify.com

* Jalgaon, India (Sept 24) Address in the Nutan Marathi Mahavidyalaya jnrao36@sify.com

* Kirtland AFB, New Mexico (Oct 4) Demonstration at Space War Center Truman Gate in Albuquerque Stopthewarmachine@comcast.net (505) 401-4808

* Las Vegas, Nevada (Oct 4) Peace Concert and Fair jim@nevadadesertexperience.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Sept 29) “A Space 4 Peace” video showing at the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation meeting with the School Sisters of Notre Dame gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Oct 6) Afternoon showing and discussion of “A Space 4 Peace” video with the School Sisters of Notre Dame and open to the public. gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Oct 8) Weekly noon vigil will include signs to Honor the Space Treaty, and Keep Space for Peace gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Oct 8) Evening showing and discussion of “A Space 4 Peace” video with School Sisters of Notre Dame and open to the public. gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Menwith Hill, England (Oct 4) Demonstration at NSA Spy Base in Yorkshire http://www.caab.org.uk/ mail@caab.corner.org.uk

* Nagpur, India (Oct 4) Meeting in the Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work at 2:30 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 4) Joint demonstration at Variety Square at 5 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 6) Meeting in the Providence Jr. College at 9:30 a.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 6) Space issues forum at Dharampeth Science College yugalrayalu@yahoo.com

* Nagbhir, India (Oct 10) Meeting organised by the Municipal Council at noon jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 11) Meeting in the Mahila Mahavidyalaya at 1:30 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 11) Meeting in the BP National Institute of Social Work at 3 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 12) Round table discussion of intellectuals on space security issues at Panch Sheel Library jnrao36@sify.com

* New York, New York (Oct 3) Joel Landy’s musical presentation at The Yippie Museum Café will include space issues joellandy@yahoo.com

* New York, New York (Oct 5) Film showing of Arsenal of Hypocrisy space video in the Bronx ag@annegibbons.com

* New York, New York (Oct 6) Protest at L-3 Communications, a prime contractor in space Command, Control and Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, 600 Third Avenue (at E. 39th) 12:00-1:30 pm ag@annegibbons.com

* New York, New York (Oct 21) Space issues forum at United Nations hosted by Reaching Critical Will of WILPF and others. Begins at 1:15 pm ray@reachingcriticalwill.org

* Oakville, Canada (Oct 8) Public educational forum on space issues at St. Jude’s Anglican Church by Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology, and Human Rights 7:30 pm (905) 849-5501

* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 7 & 9) Demonstrations at Quest Center, home of annual aerospace Strategic Space & Defense convention mmwells1@cox.net

* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 7) Former editor of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Mike Moore, speaks at Creighton University about his new book The Twilight War: The Folly of US Space Dominance 3:30 pm in Skutt Center walterinne@neb.rr.com

* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 8) Former editor of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Mike Moore, speaks at University of Nebraska-Omaha in Milo Bail Student Center about his new book The Twilight War: The Folly of US Space Dominance 7:00 pm walterinne@neb.rr.com

* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 8) “Die-In” CD/Nonviolent direct action at Quest Convention Center during annual aerospace Strategic Space & Defense convention cwomaha@gmail.com

* Oswestry, England (Oct 25) Market stall to promote awareness about the militarization of space mgt2800@hotmail.com

* Oxford, England (Oct 2) No Missile Defence public meeting at Friends Meeting House with Caroline Lucas MEP oxfordcnd@btinternet.com

* Penny Farms, Florida (Oct ) Forum at Penney Memorial Church

* Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia (Oct 2) Peace Concert at Temple University edaguilaresq@aol.com

* Portland, Maine (Oct 8) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” and talk by Mary Beth Sullivan at Meg Perry Center 7:00 pm danny@peaceactionme.org

* Prague, Czech Republic (Oct 8) Protest happening tour in front of Russian, Chinese and U.S. embassies 11:00 am (CET) toni@vol.cz http://www.nenasili.cz/en/1781_keep-space-for-peace-week

* Rome, Italy (Oct 12) Video presentation and discussion at Centro Umanista La Svolta - via degli equi, 25 at 5.00 p.m. isabelstella@gmail.com

* Queensland, Australia (Oct 6) Demonstration at University of Queensland’s Center for Hypersonics technology at noon maxigar@iinet.net.au

* Saco, Maine (Oct 5) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” at First Parish Congregational UCC 9:00 am tkircher@maine.rr.com

* Sacramento, California (Oct 8) Space issues leafleting by Peace Action, WILPF, and Grandmothers for Peace from 11-1 pm at rail stations in city downtown. Will also have people use cell phones to call White House opposing space militarization. ellen@nicetechnology.com sacpeace@dcn.org (916) 835-4330

* San Mateo, California (Oct 7) Lecture with Andy Lichterman from Western States Legal Foundation at Unitarian Universalists at 7:30 pm smpa@sanmateopeaceaction.org

* Santa Rosa, California (Oct 7) War in Space presentation at Santa Rosa Junior College Newman Auditorium by Physics Instructor Lynda Williams spinor64@hotmail.com

* Santa Rosa, California (Oct 8) Sonoma County Astronomical Society will show “A Space 4 Peace” video at the Proctor Terrace Elementary School in a public event at 7:30 pm (1171 Bryden Lane) spinor64@hotmail.com

* Seoul, South Korea (Oct 9) Showing of Arsenal of Hypocrisy with Korean translation in script, Neutinamu Hall, PSPD with Korean Committee of Int’l Meeting armha5156@gmail.com

* Sebastopol, California (Oct 18) “Cosmic Cabaret” live multimedia musical theater with Lynda Williams at Sebastopol Center for the Arts at 7:30 spinor64@hotmail.com

* Sunnyvale, California (Oct 24) Vigil at Lockheed Martin weapons production plant http://wevigil.org/

* Tampa, Florida (Oct 10 & 11) Holly Gwinn Graham will be talking about Keep Space for Peace Week on two WMNF radio shows at 9am and 10am on those two days. hollypatrice@comcast.net

* Tampa, Florida (Oct 12) Holly Gwinn Graham will sing space for peace songs in her show at Unitarian Church Dome Concert at 3:00 pm hollypatrice@comcast.net

* Toledo, Ohio (Oct 4-12) Daily space issues leafleting at Lucas County Courthouse rkmarovitz@hotmail.com

* Traverse City, Michigan (Oct 4-12) Space week posters put up around the region, flyers and Space Alert newsletters put in several local churches and handed out throughout the week. Plans to go to Sen. Carl Levin's office to give him materials, including latest Space Alert. ipjn.1@charter.net

* Tucson, Arizona (Oct 3) Space Ecology: The Final Frontier of Environmentalism talk led by physics instructor Lynda Williams. University of Arizona Steward Observatory, Room 204 at 5:00 pm spinor64@hotmail.com

* Tucson, Arizona (Oct 4) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” and Raging Grannies will sing at Martha Cooper Library at 2:00 pm patbirnie@gmail.com

* Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Oct 4) Nonviolent resistance at Lockheed Martin, the world's largest weapons corporation and space weapons contractor brandywine@juno.com http://www.brandywinepeace.com/

* Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 11) Vigil at front gate of Star Wars missile launch base 1:00 pm (831) 206-5043 macgregoreddy@gmail.com http://www.vandenbergwitness.org/

* Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (Oct 9) Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council shows “A Space 4 Peace” video at Grace Church 6:30 pm kingraye@hotmail.com

* Walpole, Massachusetts (Oct 4) Lemonade Stand Informational on the corrosive effects of the MIC ericlee45@comcast.net

* Washington, D.C. (Oct 6) Weekly vigil at the Pentagon to incorporate Keep Space for Peace theme. Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (202) 882-9649

* Washington, D.C. (Oct 10) Weekly vigil at the White House to incorporate Keep Space for Peace theme. Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (202) 882-9649

* Wellington, Florida (Oct 4) Rally against space weapons at Wellington Green, 2:00 pm by Palm Beach WILPF and Peace & Justice Coalition susanm4peace@yahoo.com


Use this link to view the Space Week poster http://mpjen.org/uploads/docs/keepspaceforpeace2008poster1.pdf

and this link to see the flyer http://www.space4peace.org/actions/GN%20Flyer%20KS4Peace%20Week%202008%20w%20coupon%20final.pdf

Thursday, October 02, 2008

LETTERS FROM OUR FANS


Below are two emails that were sitting in my inbox this morning. It appears that our space week activities are stirring the opposition up a bit.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Timothy Weaver" <crossover_maniac@yahoo.com>
To: <globalnet@mindspring.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 11:25 PM

Subject: To the cult leader Bruce Gagnon and his kool-aid drinking followers at GNAW N PIS

Your anti-space rant posted at op-ed news and the activities of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power In Space (GNAW N PIS) has not gone unnoticed. The pro-space enthusiasts and members of the National Space Society and the Mars Society and other pro-space organizations, will not take your slanderous accusations and propaganda anymore. We have read your lies about us being corporate toadies and tools for the so-called military industrial complex and we are not ignorant of your neo-Luddite, anti-space crusade to force those of us enlightened enough to see man's future in the stars to wallow in the mud with the rest of the socialist hippy gutter trash that compose the membership of GNAW N PIS. You haven't won recruits to your movement, you have only enemies and a world of hurt. And putting a stop on your steaming pile of bullshit will be a service to mankind. Neo-Luddite like you deserves nothing less than to rot in a third world hellhole of poverty deprived of the benefits of the techology you claim to hate so much.

PS. Since you hate mixing space and capitalism, I suggest you stop making use of the following as they are the product of the evil space capitalists:

Integrated circuitsAdvance weather prediction systemsLight-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) (2005)Infrared Ear Thermometers (1991)DeBakey's Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) (2002)Artificial Limbs (2005)Aircraft Anti-Icing Systems (2007)Highway Safety Grooving (1985)Improved Radial Tires (1976)Chemical Detection (2007)Video Enhancing and Analysis Systems (2001)Land Mine Removal (2000)Fire-Resistant Reinforcement (2006)Firefighting Equipment (1976 onwards)Temper Foam (1976-2005)Enriched Baby Food (1996, 2008)Portable Cordless Vacuums (1981)Freeze Drying Technology (1976, 1994)Water Purification (1995, 2006)Solar Energy (2005)Pollution Remediation (1994, 2006)Better Virtual Software (2005)Structural Analysis (1976-1998)Internet-Connected Ovens (2005)Powdered Lubricants (2005)Improved Mine Safety (1978-2008)Food Safety Systems (1991)

Failure to do so only proves the inherit hypocrisy of GNAW N PIS.


----- Original Message -----
From: Joshua Vardeman
To: globalnet@mindspring.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 10:16 PM

You people are fools.

Expanding into space is mankind's only path.

You are obstacles to progress and luddites.

Kindly step aside and fade into obscurity the world has no need for you, your ideals are meaningless for in the end humanity exists to consume and expand, that is the purpose of life, to grow.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

DEALS AND ILLUSION

The dollar is going the way of the Mexican peso. While just on my Nordic trip it was humbling to pay the equivalent of $10 USD for a beer.

The Senate appears prepared today to make a deal that will pacify the Republicans and will include more tax cuts. Just what we need - more debt. We are always told that tax cuts for big business creates more jobs. Yes it does, jobs overseas where they can maximize profits.

For me the message is clear - we have become a colony. Like colonialism everywhere the people are exploited for their labor and their resources and made to serve the interests of big capital.

In our case we get something else in the bad deal. We get security export as our role under corporate globalization. We get to send our kids into the military, since few other job opportunities are available and education for the poor and working class is priced out of their reach. They get to go off and fight for the interests of big capital overseas where they help to suppress others who have been colonized. Heroes these soldiers are called - the defenders of the rich. They get a medal or two and if severely wounded they get promises of medical treatment which in the end is an illusion.

It's a money game and the public in America are now only included as the chips on the game board. We are not real players in the game. It's monopoly and we get the boot.

We have no political voice. The Democrats are the party of capital just like the Republicans. So many people I know tell me that we have to vote for Obama and all other Democrats because we have no other choice. They tell me that we can't let McCain become president because he will support more wars and only represent the rich.

These folks don't want to see how Obama says we have to expand the war in Afghanistan and move into Pakistan, that we have to increase the size of the military. I've seen these people on TV cheering for Obama when he tells them this and I wonder if they can see how they are being led to the slaughter. Obama is also strongly promoting the bailout of the big banks.

I heard on the news yesterday that Obama opposed helping to bailout those who can't pay for their home mortgages by restructuring their debt. These are the "down-and-out" people the Democrats profess to represent but that too is an illusion.

America is all about illusion. We pretend to be a democracy. We pretend to support peace in the world. We pretend to care about the environment. We pretend to care about the working class while we slide the national treasury into the bank accounts of the rich.

What we need most is an analysis of the present "occupation" of our nation by big business and the determination to fight for real democracy. But sadly far too many "progressive" people are content to allow the Democrats to pretend that they represent the "little guy" when in fact they do not.

We set our sights far too low and thus we get what we ask for.

As anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass once said, "If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation...want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters...Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

Who will stand up and make demands?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

LOCAL EVENTS GROWING FOR SPACE WEEK


October 4 – 12, 2008

Keep Space for Peace Week:
International Week of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space


No Weapons in Space!
Stop U.S. First-Strike Star Wars Deployments in Poland
and Czech Republic!
Convert the Military Industrial Complex!
Fund Human Needs!


* Adelaide, South Australia (Sept 24) Monthly vigil on steps of Parliament House with leafleting by Women in Black and South Australian branch of WILPF cpicone@westnet.com.au

* Adelaide, South Australia (Oct 11) Presentation and discussion at local Australian Section of WILPF cpicone@westnet.com.au

* Baltimore, Maryland (Oct 3) Peace vigil by Jonah House at the new Northrop Grumman weapons production plant in Linthicum Heights (1570 W. Nursery Rd) at 11:00 am disarmnow@verizon.net or (410) 233-6238

* Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 4) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street 11:30 am Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm 207-763-4062

* Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 18) Veterans for Peace march & rally at Aegis destroyer “Christening” featuring Granny D. Aegis is outfitted with "missile defense" systems Assemble Waterfront Park on Commercial St. at 9:00 am jafabussell@gwi.net

* Bend, Oregon (Oct 10) Presentation by Jackie Hudson jackiehudson123@yahoo.com

* Blair, Nebraska (Oct 7) Former editor of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Mike Moore, speaks at Dana College about his new book The Twilight War: The Folly of US Space Dominance in the Durham Classroom Center 7:00 pm walterinne@neb.rr.com

* Boston, Massachusetts (Oct 4) Vigil and leaflet at Park Street train station (Park Street at Tremont) with WILPF at 2:00 pm clagos@verizon.net

* Boston, Massachusetts (Oct 11) Posters and leafleting at regional anti-war mobilization on Boston Common clagos@verizon.net

* Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Oct 4) Presentation and discussion at local Australian Section of WILPF cpicone@westnet.com.au

* Cambridge, Massachusetts (Oct 2) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” at Central Sqauare Library by WILPF and Cambridge Peace Commission 6:45pm clagos@verizon.net

* RAF Croughton, England (Oct 4) “No Missile Defence” march and rally at U.S. Space Communications Base with speakers and music oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk

* Damascus, Syria (Oct 11) Public meeting on space issues at cultural center ghassan.dr@gmail.com http://www.anrolm.org/an/

* Fylingdales, England (Oct 11) Demonstration at U.S. Star Wars radar facility by Yorkshire CND info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk

* Grand Rapids, Michigan (Oct 5) Marywood Campus Health Center presentations by Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert disarmnow@verizon.net

* Grand Rapids, Michigan (Oct 6) Aquinas College presentations by Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert disarmnow@verizon.net

* Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (Oct 7) Film showing of Arsenal of Hypocrisy space video at the Just Us Café tlorincz@dal.ca

* Hampton, Florida (Oct 5) FCPJ’s “Remember our Roots” Day on the coalitions’s land. FCPJ was a co-founder of the Global Network bob@fcpj.org

* Jalgaon, India (Sept 23) Address in the North Maharastra University jnrao36@sify.com

* Jalgaon, India (Sept 24) Address in the Nutan Marathi Mahavidyalaya jnrao36@sify.com

* Kirtland AFB, New Mexico (Oct 4) Demonstration at Space War Center Truman Gate in Albuquerque Stopthewarmachine@comcast.net (505) 401-4808

* Las Vegas, Nevada (Oct 4) Peace Concert and Fair jim@nevadadesertexperience.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Sept 29) “A Space 4 Peace” video showing at the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation meeting with the School Sisters of Notre Dame gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Oct 6) Afternoon showing and discussion of “A Space 4 Peace” video with the School Sisters of Notre Dame gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Oct 8) Weekly noon vigil will include signs to Honor the Space Treaty, and Keep Space for Peace gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Mankato, Minnesota (Oct 8) Evening showing and discussion of “A Space 4 Peace” video with School Sisters of Notre Dame gschmitz@ssndmankato.org

* Menwith Hill, England (Oct 4) Demonstration at NSA Spy Base in Yorkshire www.caab.org.uk mail@caab.corner.org.uk

* Nagpur, India (Oct 4) Meeting in the Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work at 2:30 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 4) Joint demonstration at Variety Square at 5 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 6) Meeting in the Providence Jr. College at 9:30 a.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 6) Space issues forum at Dharampeth Science College yugalrayalu@yahoo.com

* Nagbhir, India (Oct 10) Meeting organised by the Municipal Council at noon jnrao36@sify.com
* Nagpur, India (Oct 11) Meeting in the Mahila Mahavidyalaya at 1:30 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* Nagpur, India (Oct 11) Meeting in the BP National Institute of Social Work at 3 p.m. jnrao36@sify.com

* New York, New York (Oct 3) Joel Landy’s musical presentation at The Yippie Museum Café will include space issues joellandy@yahoo.com

* New York, New York (Oct 5) Film showing of Arsenal of Hypocrisy space video in the Bronx ag@annegibbons.com

* New York, New York (Oct 6) Protest at L-3 Communications, a prime contractor in space Command, Control and Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, 600 Third Avenue (at E. 39th) 12:00-1:30 pm ag@annegibbons.com

* New York, New York (Oct 21) Space issues forum at United Nations hosted by Reaching Critical Will of WILPF and others. Begins at 1:15 pm ray@reachingcriticalwill.org
* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 7 & 9) Demonstrations at Quest Center, home of annual aerospace Strategic Space & Defense convention mmwells1@cox.net

* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 7) Former editor of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Mike Moore, speaks at Creighton University about his new book The Twilight War: The Folly of US Space Dominance 3:30 pm in Skutt Center walterinne@neb.rr.com

* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 8) Former editor of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Mike Moore, speaks at University of Nebraska-Omaha in Milo Bail Student Center about his new book The Twilight War: The Folly of US Space Dominance 7:00 pm walterinne@neb.rr.com

* Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 8) “Die-In” CD/Nonviolent direct action at Quest Convention Center during annual aerospace Strategic Space & Defense convention cwomaha@gmail.com

* Oswestry, England (Oct 25) Market stall to promote awareness about the militarization of space mgt2800@hotmail.com

* Oxford, England (Oct 2) No Missile Defence public meeting at Friends Meeting House with Caroline Lucas MEP oxfordcnd@btinternet.com

* Penny Farms, Florida ( Oct ) Forum at Penney Memorial Church

* Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Oct 2) Peace Concert at Temple University edaguilaresq@aol.com

* Portland, Maine (Oct 8) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” and talk by Mary Beth Sullivan at Meg Perry Center 7:00 pm danny@peaceactionme.org

* Prague, Czech Republic (Oct 8) Protest happening tour in front of Russian, Chinese and U.S. embassies 11:00 am (CET) toni@vol.cz http://www.nenasili.cz/en/1781_keep-space-for-peace-week

* Queensland, Australia (Oct 4) Demonstration at University of Queensland’s Center for Hypersonics technology maxigar@iinet.net.au

* Saco, Maine (Oct 5) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” at First Parish Congregational UCC 9:00 am tkircher@maine.rr.com
* Sacramento, California (Oct 8) Space issues leafleting by Peace Action, WILPF, and Grandmothers for Peace from 11-1 pm at rail stations in city downtown. Will also have people use cell phones to call White House opposing space militarization. ellen@nicetechnology.com sacpeace@dcn.org (916) 835-4330

* San Mateo, California (Oct 7) Lecture with Andy Lichterman from Western States Legal Foundation at Unitarian Universalists at 7:30 pm smpa@sanmateopeaceaction.org

* Santa Rosa, California (Oct 7) War in Space presentation at Santa Rosa Junior College Newman Auditorium by Physics Instructor Lynda Williams spinor64@hotmail.com

* Santa Rosa, California (Oct 8) Sonoma County Astronomical Society will show “A Space 4 Peace” video at the Proctor Terrace Elementary School in a public event at 7:30 pm (1171 Bryden Lane) spinor64@hotmail.com

* Seoul, South Korea (Oct 9) Showing of Arsenal of Hypocrisy with Korean translation in script, Neutinamu Hall, PSPD with Korean Committee of Int’l Meeting armha5156@gmail.com

* Sebastopol, California (Oct 18) “Cosmic Cabaret” live multimedia musical theater with Lynda Williams at Sebastopol Center for the Arts at 7:30 spinor64@hotmail.com

* Sunnyvale, California (Oct 24) Vigil at Lockheed Martin weapons production plant http://wevigil.org/

* Toledo, Ohio (Oct 4-12) Daily space issues leafleting at Lucas County Courthouse rkmarovitz@hotmail.com

* Tucson, Arizona (Oct 3) Space Ecology: The Final Frontier of Environmentalism talk led by physics instructor Lynda Williams. University of Arizona Steward Observatory, Room 204 at 5:00 pm spinor64@hotmail.com

* Tucson, Arizona (Oct 4) Showing newly revised space video “A Space 4 Peace” and Raging Grannies will sing at Martha Cooper Library at 2:00 pm patbirnie@gmail.com

* Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Oct 4) Nonviolent resistance at Lockheed Martin, the world's largest weapons corporation and space weapons contractor brandywine@juno.com www.brandywinepeace.com

* Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 11) Vigil at front gate of Star Wars missile launch base 1:00 pm (831) 206-5043 macgregoreddy@gmail.com www.vandenbergwitness.org

* Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (Oct 9) Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council shows “A Space 4 Peace” video at Grace Church 6:30 pm kingraye@hotmail.com

* Walpole, Massachusetts (Oct 4) Lemonade Stand Informational on the corrosive effects of the MIC ericlee45@comcast.net

* Washington, D.C. (Oct 6) Weekly vigil at the Pentagon to incorporate Keep Space for Peace theme. Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (202) 882-9649

* Washington, D.C. (Oct 10) Weekly vigil at the White House to incorporate Keep Space for Peace theme. Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (202) 882-9649

* Wellington, Florida (Oct 4) Rally against space weapons at Wellington Green, 2:00 pm by Palm Beach WILPF and Peace & Justice Coalition susanm4peace@yahoo.com



Use this link to view the Space Week poster http://mpjen.org/uploads/docs/keepspaceforpeace2008poster1.pdf

Monday, September 29, 2008

BIG WIN FOR THE PEOPLE

The "investor class" is shaken after the House of Representatives today voted NO on the big bank bailout bill. The Democratic party leadership, who pushed this Bush pirate bill, have taken one on the chin.

Now we need public hearings in Congress to get to the real truth in all of this. Congress held hearings for days about steroid use in baseball but tried to rush this thing through with minimal public exposure. It appears that the American people are fired up on this one. They are swinging into action which is a good thing. Keep it rolling folks.

I agree with David Swanson (After Downing Street) when he says, "I want Congress to haul fraudulent bankers into Washington and force them to testify, fire them without compensation as part of any bailouts, and refer them to the Justice Department for prosecution.

I want serious regulation of Wall Street.

I want a five-year moratorium on foreclosures, and a bailout of homeowners equal to any bailout of bankers.

And, finally, I want $700 billion invested in green energy jobs immediately, to be paid for by a tax on carbon emissions."

And I would add that we want health care for all. If people had national health care, like they do in the Nordic nations I just visited, many of them would probably not be defaulting on their home mortgage loans in the first place.

To see how they voted in the House just clink on this link: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/36430

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ON THE LAST LEG

I am sitting in a hotel near the Copenhagen airport. I arrived about two hours ago from Oslo, Norway after three days there. In the morning I catch a plane to Amsterdam and then home via Boston.

I had a brief shock tonight as I was leaving Oslo when the airlines discovered I was at the wrong airport to catch my plane to Copenhagen. I had flown into the main Oslo airport and everyone had assumed I would be flying out of the same airport. But that was not the case. Instead they said I had to go to another airport, which I of course had never heard of, or pay a severe fee to change the flight. They told me I'd have to call the travel agent, in Sweden who had made the initial trip arrangements, and they gave me a number to call. Sadly the phones did not work, or I did not know what I was doing when I dialed the number with my credit card. Either way I crawled back to the airline agent who by this time had talked with her boss and they decided to be kind to this worn out American and scheduled me for another flight and all the rest was without alarm. For a bit though I was in panic mode and very unhappy as you can imagine.

On Friday night I spoke at a well-attended event in Oslo organized by the Norwegian WILPF chapter. In the audience were representatives from several peace groups and an elected member of parliament who also represents her socialist party as their foreign policy minister in the ruling government. A journalist who has covered the "missile defense" issue for his newspaper also made a presentation about Norway's growing role in the U.S. program and space technology in general.

My talk was well received and people really responded to my big picture approach which did not get stuck on technology but instead focused on the larger strategic direction the U.S. was heading.

On Saturday Agneta Norberg and I were taken into the hills beyond Oslo for about a 6-7 mile walk through the beautiful countryside that was busy with hikers and bikers. In the winter I was told this is a big cross country skiing area as the very active Norwegians love the outdoors.

This morning Agneta and I met with three leaders of the WILPF group to do brainstorming and planning for their expanded effort to bring the space issue to the Nordic region. Then following that meeting, Dr. Dagmar Sorboe who is the president of Norway WILPF, took four of us out in her boat for a ride in the fjord (inlet from the ocean) to see sights which included old ruins from the time of the Nazi occupation during WW II.

I'll write more about all of this in my report once I get home. For now I am watching the last two innings of the Baltimore Orioles final baseball game of the season via the internet. They have finished in last place making it 10 or 11 losing seasons, can't remember which and at this point it doesn't really matter. The final record for the year in case you were wondering is 68-93. Very bad.

Throughout the trip people were asking about Obama and the upcoming U.S. election, Sarah Palin (they are universally not impressed and usually laughed), the banking bailout, NATO expansion, and wondering if the U.S. is going fascist. I've had some fascinating discussions as you can imagine.

So for never having been in the Nordic nations before I think things went very well. I made many great new friends and excellent contacts for future work. Agneta Norberg was pleased too as she will now do follow-up throughout the region helping to keep the wind in people's sails. I owe her many thanks for making it all possible and I think the Global Network and our space work will benefit from her having brought me here.