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.

Friday, February 11, 2011


  • I am getting packed up and ready to head to Massachusetts tomorrow for the Walk for a New Spring that will lightly touch Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island during the Feb 13-28 trek. The theme of the walk will be: End All War: Building peace and human solidarity in a disarmed world. MB was going to drive me on Saturday but has been sick so now my plan is to take a bus from Maine to Boston and then catch another bus west from there to Amherst, Massachusetts. All in all it will be about a nine-hour trip.

  • Our Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home meets here at the Addams-Melman House tomorrow from noon to 3:30 pm. We begin with a pot luck lunch. It's time to crank things up again in our state as the governor and new Republican controlled legislature are getting ready to gut social progress like a hunter does after shooting a deer. Sadly the labor unions, social service organizations, environmental groups, and Democrats are sort of frozen like a deer in the headlights as the hunter draws a bead on their heads. The governor is ready to pull the trigger and up to this point any real signs of fight-back are hard to find. We figure it would be a good time to insert the message that the now $3 billion that Mainers have paid in war taxes since 2001 could have gone a long way to solve our fiscal crisis. But we don't just have to look at the past spending - it's the future war spending that we can actually do something about.

  • The chart at the top is quite telling. Our war spending is at an all-time high and the Obama team of corporate raiders understand that they have to quell growing public support for substantial Pentagon cuts, so they have announced what sounds like welcome news. CNN reports, "The administration is expected to propose a $78 billion reduction in defense spending over the next five years. Unfortunately, there's a lot more to the story. First of all, the cuts might prove illusory. The federal government appropriates money one year at a time, and the vast majority of that $78 billion reduction would take place in 2014 and 2015, when there will be a new Secretary of Defense and possibly a new president."

Call it a shell game. Call it subterfuge. Call it illusion. Call it the magician at work again. Just call it for what it is - a sham.


Blogger erich said...

The chart (DOD source?) "shows" a decline in DOD spending from 2010 to 2011 ( or is it 20009 to 2010?)

This is a bit different from sources not relying solely on what DOD "says" it spends, which shows no such "decline". see eg

2/11/11, 4:20 PM  

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