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, July 10, 2010

HENRY WALLACE NAMED IT "OIL" IN 1947


Very good historical review by The Real News of the politics of former U.S. Vice-President Henry Wallace who was talking about the dangers of the Cold War and the U.S. corporate moves to control oil in 1947.

This is a part of American history that should not be lost as he was our voice and his words are still profound today.

The Global Network received funding from the Wallace Global Fund a couple times in recent years.

DISCUSSING THE DEMS


More at The Real News
Paul Jay from The Real News asks the hard questions about Obama and support for the Democrats. He interviews Norman Solomon, Co-chair of the Progressive Democrats of America.

Friday, July 09, 2010

OBAMA'S NEW MAN AT CENT COM


New war criminal to lead Central Command says it's fun to shoot people. Arrogant bastard!

PICK ONE

1932 Unemployed march in Washington DC


Bring Our War $$ Home
for real national security

Bring Our War $$ Home
to make America strong

Bring Our War $$ Home
to strengthen America

Bring Our War $$ Home
balance the budgets

Bring Our War $$ Home
budget cuts? problem solved!

Bring Our War $$ Home
balance your town budget today

Bring Our War $$ Home
to make U.S. economy strong

Bring Our War $$ Home
for needs at home

Bring Our War $$ Home
America needs them!

Bring Our War $$ Home
and bring our troops home

Bring Our War $$ Home
invest in U.S.A.

Bring Our War $$ Home
it makes sense

Bring Our War $$ Home
fund human needs, not corporate greed

Bring Our War $$ Home
reduce the deficit

Bring Our War $$ Home
No more debt for military spending.
Bring our troops home now!

Bring Our War $$ Home
so America has a future

Bring Our War $$ Home
so there's a future for the U.S.A.

Bring Our War $$ Home
fund green jobs and other needs

Bring Our War $$ Home
spend for peace

Bring Our War $$ Home
because we need:
road & bridge repairs
health care
education
veteran's benefits
housing
green jobs

Bring Our War $$ Home
military spending is bankrupting U.S.

Bring Our War $$ Home
U.S. military budget not sustainable

Bring Our War $$ Home
convert to peaceful production

Bring Our War $$ Home
let's have a peace economy, not a war economy

Bring Our War $$ Home
fund jobs & housing

Bring Our War $$ Home
fund OUR economy

Bring Our War $$ Home
to run our country

Bring Our War $$ Home to ME, Bring Our War $$ Home to CA,
Bring Our War $$ Home to San Francisco, etc.

By Lisa Savage
CODEPINK Maine Local Coordinator

UPDATE:
During the last two days I have had several calls from around the U.S. about our Maine campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home. The word about the campaign seems to be spreading throughout the country and people at several national groups are starting to talk about trying to build national campaigns around the war $$ issue. It is long overdue that activists in the peace, social justice, union and other movements begin to see that unless and until we cut war funding nothing good can be done here in the U.S.

WE CAN DREAM CAN'T WE?


Former Sen. Mike Gravel from Alaska who helped Dan Ellsberg make public the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

GEO-ENGINEERING DEBATE


A Debate on Geoengineering: Vandana Shiva vs. Gwynne Dyer

Supporters of geoengineering have proposed radical ways to alter the planet to decrease the level of greenhouse gas emissions. Proposals include creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles, fertilizing the oceans and placing sun-deflecting aluminum foil in the sky. But opposition is growing to geoengineering. We host a debate between Indian environmentalist, scientist, philosopher and eco-feminist, Vandana Shiva, and geopolitical analyst and columnist, Gwynne Dyer.

$$$ BALL AND PROTESTS

Some people in America still hold protests. Sadly though it seems they are professional basketball fans trying to get their favorite players to resign with their team.

In the case of the most sought after player, LeBron James, his home state team (Cleveland Cavaliers) are trying to bring him home as he mounts a nationwide spectacle during his current free agency. James is expected to announce tonight in a nationally televised peep-show which team he has chosen. He is expected to sign a contract worth $20 million per year (likely 5-6 years) and that doesn't count the shoe contracts and other commercial money he will pull in.

Today is the first day free agent contracts can be signed, at least eight players are expected to ink deals totaling around $800 million. That is obscene. But the team owners deserve as much, if not more, of the blame for this run-a-way freight train.

It's getting so that fans can't afford to attend the games. By the time you pay for parking, the expensive seat, and a snack you are likely out nearly $100.

It's really hard to remain a professional sports fan as it all has become so corporatized.

The Washington Post reports today:

Twenty-five of the 30 NBA teams lost money last season, according to two people with access to the league's accounting, and NBA Commissioner David Stern has publicly claimed the league would sustain $380 million to $400 million in losses in 2009-10. Stern declined to comment for this story.

The NBA Players Association disputes those figures and contends the league is in far better shape than its accounting indicates. But even the union acknowledges that more than a half-dozen franchises are in financial trouble. They "concede the point," an individual with knowledge of the union's thinking said, "that seven, eight, nine teams need help."

The fans should begin to protest the corporatization of sports and call for the massive reduction of money players and owners are making.

Let's get real, we have serious problems in this world and basketball players don't need to be millionaires. Enough already!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

VOICES FROM ISRAEL


"I refuse to take part in the war crimes committed by my country. Violence will not bring any kind of solution, and I shall not commit violence, come what may."

Omer Goldman, age 19, Tel Aviv

First Prison Sentence: 22nd Sept. - 10th Oct. 2008 (18 days)
Second Prison Sentence: 12th - 24th Oct. 2008 (10 days)

Omer Goldman, has had to confront the values of her own family. She is the daughter of the former deputy head of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service and who is still considered one of the most powerful men in the Israeli security system. Omer, without her fathers permission visited a Palestinian town in the West Bank and at a check-point, alongside Palestinians, her supposed enemies, was fired upon by Israeli soldiers

TALK ABOUT HOT

* Climate change activist Ted Glick was sentenced in Washington DC yesterday to $1,100 fine, one year probation, and 40 hour community service for helping to drop two banners (Green Jobs Now and Get to Work) in a U.S. Senate office building. In his statement Ted talked about the escalating reality of global warming.

I’ll begin with a quote from a March 4th, 2010 press release from the U.S. National Science Foundation. It concerns the emission of methane, a greenhouse gas 70 times as strong as carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it is released into the atmosphere. This release begins:

“A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team. . .

“The research results show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is starting to leak large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”

This melting of frozen methane on the sea floor is one of several climate tipping points that scientists have long identified as of great concern. The others are: the release of methane frozen in the permafrost in the earth’s northern latitudes, the accelerated melting of the Greenland and West Antarctica ice sheets such that sea level rise would be much more rapid than currently expected, and the drying out of the Amazon rain forest because of drought and the release of much of the estimated 120 billion tons of carbon sequestered there.

What is a climate tipping point? It’s a point at which there has been so much heating up of the atmosphere that we experience drastic and runaway heating with truly catastrophic implications for the whole world, especially for the poor people of the world who are most vulnerable to respiratory diseases, heat stress, droughts, floods, major storms, water scarcity and disruption of agriculture.


* In the meantime, instead of dealing with these harsh environmental realities facing us, most governments continue on their break-neck pace of militarization. It appears to me that they are accepting the coming climate change and marshaling their forces to be in competition for declining resources like water and oil. This alarming trend, unless interrupted by coordinated global citizen activism, will certainly ensure fight-to-the-death scenarios all over the planet.

Instead our governments should be taking frantic and coordinated international efforts to reshape our fossil-fuel dependent economies. This can only be done by converting the military industrial complex. I am still astounded that most key environmental groups are not articulating this absolutely obvious strategy for survival. But then I shouldn't be surprised, many peace groups are not either.

* Russia is again sounding the alarm about U.S. deployments of "missile offense" systems in Poland. On July 3, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Polish counterpart signed amendments to the Bush-initiated agreement on these deployments which will be about 35 miles from the Kaliningrad, Russia border. "We are convinced that neither presently nor in future there were missile threats to justify that an anti-missile defense system must be deployed near Russian borders," a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

This deployment agreement indicates Obama's priority. Despite his lip service to dealing with climate change he is continuing the military encirclement of Russia and China. And sadly, the Democrats in Congress follow him over the cliff like lemmings.

* There are quite a few articles appearing in various Washington political journals saying that the Democrats will likely take a severe beating in the House of Representatives during the November elections. This is largely because the Dems "base" is highly disillusioned by Obama and their party leadership's strategy of saying one thing but doing another. The base is going to stay home or look for alternative candidates. At the same time the Republicans are getting their base fired up and organized. Expect some last minute "show boat" attempts by the Dems to reel their base back to the voting booth but it will be too little and far too late.

* On the plus side my tomato plants like the heat. They are doing quite well. But I'd rather have the usual cool Maine summers than this stifling heat.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

TRYING TO BRING THE KINKS BACK ONE MORE TIME

Do It Again Film Reviews from Geoff Edgers on Vimeo.


They said no one could get The Kinks back together.
But that isn’t stopping one man from trying.

I am going to see this film on Saturday night in Waterville, Maine at the annual film festival.

Monday, July 05, 2010

ICELAND FIGHTS THE BANKSTERS


Very interesting story about how the banksters took Iceland down and how the people there are now fighting to take back control of their banking system. This was an early test of the banksters operation to take the global economy to its knees so they could steal the savings of people all over the world.

Let the banks fail......stop bailing them out.

PARADE IN BATH




Thirty-five of us made up the PeaceWorks group in the Bath, Maine July 4 parade yesterday. I was the one inside the huge puppet in the top photo. It was hot inside it but I had a great time.

Thousands of people lined the more than mile-long parade route and we got a generally good response from folks. Behind the Bring Our War $$ Home banner were a series of signs that said things like: Child care; Public transit; Affordable housing; Health care; Schools & teachers; Solar power; Wind turbines; Clean environment; Roads, Bridges & Snow plows; and other such messages giving people a glimpse at our vision for life after we stop wasting our money on war.

At the end of the parade, as we all gathered, our Congresswoman Chellie Pingree marched by and we all yelled congratulations to her for her good votes the other day on the war spending supplemental in the House of Representatives. So it was good for her to see us still out there working the issue and that we are committed to staying on the case.

Climate change is indeed real as yesterday and today it is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit here. The usual Maine weather of sunny and cool summers seems to be a fading memory. When we first moved here in 2003 we only used a fan once that first summer. Now we use them almost every day.

All the more reason that we need to end the wars and convert the military industrial complex to peaceful and sustainable production.

THE BIG PICTURE


Fascinating animated overview of our economic "troubles"......radical sociologist David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?