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, November 05, 2011

"I'M PROUD TO KNOW THE KOCH BROTHERS"



Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain went before a friendly audience of conservatives on Friday and pitched his trademark economic plan, eager to leave accusations of sexual harassment behind.

Cain has been working for the right-wing Koch brothers for several years essentially as a high-paid pitchman where he promoted their ideas of corporate economic domination. His campaign has become an extension of the Koch empire's public relations message.

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Friday, November 04, 2011

ALABAMA IMMIGRATION

GREAT ACTION IN CHICAGO!

GERMANY BUILDS UNMANNED WAR PLANE


German Air Force Unveils Powerful Spy Plane
SPIEGEL

On Wednesday, the German air force unveiled the latest addition to its fleet: the "Euro Hawk," a state-of-the-art spy drone. The reconnaissance aircraft can fly non-stop for 30 hours in the stratosphere without having to refuel and its on-board sensors can penetrate clouds and sandstorms.

After 10 years of planning and development, the Bundeswehr on Wednesday publicly unveiled its most recent acquisition of next-generation reconnaissance technology: a powerful new drone designed to bolster its surveillance capabilities on the battle field. The deployment in 2012 of the "Euro Hawk" is expected to launch a new era for Germany's armed forces.

The unmanned drone is similar to the spy plane introduced a decade ago in the United States military, the "Global Hawk," but with European modifications, Lieutenant Colonel Holger Neumann, a Luftwaffe spokesman, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Both models are strictly used for surveillance purposes.

Although their plane may look like a clone of its American counterpart and includes much of the same technology, defense contractor Cassidian, a subsidiary of the European aerospace giant EADS, is equipping the aircraft with German-engineered sensors and surveillance equipment before delivering the final Euro Hawks to the Bundeswehr.

The drone will be able detect potential targets on the ground while simultaneously eavesdropping on wireless communications from cruising altitudes of up to 60,000 feet (18,288 meters) -- well above that of any commercial airliners, which generally fly at 30,000-40,000 feet. It is also designed to eavesdrop on telephone calls and text messages and to pick up radio and TV signals, among other data. That information is then transmitted in real-time to a control center on the ground in Germany. The on-board sensors are powerful enough to penetrate heavy cloud covering and sandstorms to capture signals.

A 'Vacuum Cleaner for Information'

Some have dubbed the machine a "huge vacuum cleaner for information," while others, like Rüdiger Knöpfel, the director of the German military's Euro Hawk program at the Federal Office for Defense Technology and Procurement, called the move a "milestone" in the history of the country's armed forces. The Euro Hawk is expected to far surpass the capabilities of Germany's existing unmanned aircraft. Reconnaissance is a core challenge for armed forces, Knöpfel said, and "currently we are deaf when it comes to electronic reconnaissance." That could change with the deployment of Euro Hawk.

The drone's technical details alone are impressive. The unmanned aircraft weighs 15 tons and is built of carbon fiber. It is 14.5 meters long and has a wing span of around 40 meters (131 feet). It can travel up to 25,000 kilometers non-stop, meaning it could fly from Berlin to Tokyo and back without having to land. But that's only one example. The drone's real future area of deployment is likely to be in war and crisis regions like Afghanistan, where the Bundeswehr is deployed.

Although the aircraft components for the first prototype were officially completed in 2009, the Euro Hawk didn't take off for its maiden journey until June 29, 2010. It was produced in California by Northrop Grumman, the American contractor that manufactures the drone and has created a joint venture with EADS to build the European version. Finally, on July 21, 2001, a prototype of the machine landed at the Luftwaffe air force base in Manching, Germany, after flying more than 10,000 kilometers (6,213 miles) in a 24 hour-long "hand-off" flight, during which American and German operators observed the drone's progress from ground control installations in their respective countries.

By next summer, the Luftwaffe is expected to begin operations with the drone as it carries out reconnaissance missions. Eleven German pilots have already received training in the United States. In total, the Bundeswehr plans to acquire a fleet of five Euro Hawks.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

G20 PROTESTS



Political uncertainty in crisis hit Greece is dominating the G20 meeting in France. Away from the actual summit, anti-G20 marches have been held across the French Riviera.

VIOLENCE & COMPOST



  • I've watched some video of the Black Block anarchists (or was it Masked Agent Provocateurs) smashing and spray painting windows in Oakland yesterday. In the video you could see some of the Occupy folks trying to stop the violence. It's now been proven that in several cities across the U.S. the police have been placing provocateurs into the Occupy encampments so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this was also happening in Oakland as well - especially after the police took a public relations beating for their warlike raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment last week.


  • Here in Maine Occupy efforts are underway in Portland, Augusta, and Bangor. There will be a march on Saturday in Augusta (the state capital) and I plan to go. It begins at 2:00 pm. At 10:00 am that same morning in nearby Brunswick an Occupy solidarity event will be held that will include a protest outside of the local office of Bank of America.


  • I worked outside in the garden again for five hours today. We have two dozen raised garden beds and I turned the soil in each one and then was able to spread fresh soil that we made in our compost bins into each of the beds. Then I raked up a bunch of maple leaves that refilled the compost bins to begin the process all over again. During this time I was continually finding more fallen twigs from our recent storm which I picked up and put into big barrels that we keep in our shed for kindling. We go through alot of kindling in the course of the winter and that is one job I take very seriously.

PLASTICS ARE EVIL



Plastic trash has made its way to the Pacific Ocean and its collected in massive amounts out in the middle of a 10 million square mile area known as the Pacific Gyre (pronounced G-I-R-E) which is also known as "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch". The Gyre is a large clockwise spinning vortex that basically sucks everything into itself and because plastic is not biodegradable and cannot be broken down naturally it will just continue to circle the Gyre for decades maybe even centuries. This plastic soup is wreaking unimaginable havoc on the area's ecosystems.

More than 1 million sea birds die from ingesting the plastic thinking that it's food. Turtles are choking on plastic shopping bags, which look amazingly like jelly fish, the main prey of turtles. The answer to stopping this madness is to STOP USING SO MUCH FUCKIN' PLASTIC. And for the plastic that you do use, try to recycle it or better yet, REUSE it!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

VETERANS SURGING INTO MOVEMENT



Right on brothers and sisters! It brings pure joy to my heart to see this......

KOCH BROTHERS AIM FOR TOTAL CONTROL



Charles and David Koch are each worth about $25 billion, which makes them the fourth richest Americans. When you combine their fortunes, they are the third wealthiest people in the world. Radical libertarians who use their money to oppose government and virtually all regulation as interference with the free market, the Kochs are in a class of their own as players on the American political stage. Their web of influence in the US stretches from state capitals to the halls of congress in Washington DC.

EMMA'S REVOLUTION SINGING ABOUT OCCUPATION


GENERAL STRIKE TODAY IN OAKLAND



Below is the proposal for a General Strike passed by the Occupy Oakland [California] General Assembly on Wednesday October 26, 2011 in reclaimed Oscar Grant Plaza. 1607 people voted. 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against it, passing the proposal at 96.9%. The General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.

PROPOSAL:

We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011 we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.

DEMS CAVING ON SOCIAL SECURITY CUTS

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

JEJU DOCUMENTARY PREMIERS NEXT WEEK



A full length documentary on the Jeju Island Navy base struggle will premier November 8th on Al Jazeera.

Here is the trailer.

PUSHING THE FEAR ABOUT PENTAGON CUTS



Department of War and weapons industry working together (with mainstream media) to create fear about losing massive numbers of jobs if Pentagon budget gets cut.

Truth is we'd get more jobs if we put that war $$ into building rail systems, health care, education, home weatherization or any other category.

Cut the Pentagon budget and raise taxes on the rich = better economy, we maintain social progress and create more jobs.

Make a demand now!

U.S. MILITARY BOOT INTO AFRICA



NATO ended its bombing campaign in Libya on Monday. Over the past seven months, NATO aircraft conducted more than 26,500 sorties, including 9,700 strike missions. NATO said it bombed 5,900 military targets inside the country. While NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hailed the campaign as a success, many analysts say NATO’s intensive bombing campaign violated its U.N. mandate. "The role that NATO played in Libya has been a very, very problematic one, a very troubled one, and ultimately is going to have a very long-term, deleterious impact on Libya’s future," says Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies.

"The notion that the NATO bombings somehow was to do nothing but protect civilians is simply not the case." Bennis said the Libyan revolution began as part of the Arab Spring, but the NATO intervention turned it into a "Western assault on another North African, Middle Eastern, Arab country." She also expresses alarm over the rising U.S. military presence in Africa. "Despite efforts to claim that AFRICOM [U.S. Africa Command] is really about healthcare and AIDS education and women’s rights, to be carried out by the U.S. military, we have a very serious reality that Africa now provides more oil to the United States than the entire Middle East."

COLBERT GOES TO WALL STREET

Monday, October 31, 2011

HANCOCK 38 DRONE TRIAL



The story of those who passionately care about humanity and our nation, enough to risk arrest and trial to stop the illegal and immoral killings done with drone technology by the US government and the USAF.

Trial begins on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 in Dewitt, (East Syracuse) New York.

FUKUSHIMA WOMEN



Makiko Sato writes from Japan, "Now in Japan, some women from Fukushima, along with supporting women from many places, have been staging a demonstration in front of the relating ministry in Tokyo, demanding policy changes as to nuclear power plant issues, etc. This has become much trouble to our government."

SCARY THINGS



The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran...... "Back to the future" is how Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Central Command’s chief of staff, described planning for a new posture in the Gulf. He said the command was focusing on smaller but highly capable deployments and training partnerships with regional militaries. "We are kind of thinking of going back to the way it was before we had a 'big boots on the ground' presence," General Horst said. "I think it is healthy. I think it is efficient. I think it is practical."



  • The Epoch Times also reports, "There will be some U.S. troops staying behind, however, including 150 at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad who will serve as military liaisons, Navy Capt. John Kirby told the military’s American Forces Press Service (AFPS). The majority of the work will likely fall on an estimated 17,000 civilian contractors. “After our troops are gone, the diplomatic mission that remains will be of unprecedented size and complexity,” said U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, during a Feb. 1 hearing, according to a transcript. Kerry stated the 17,000 contractors will be spread across 15 different sites, which “will include three air hubs, three police training centers, two consulates, two embassy branch offices, and five Office of Security Cooperation sites.”


  • This big storm that hit the Northeast this weekend has left one-half million people without power as of Sunday. It is easy for me to view this storm, coming so early in the year, as being linked to the reality of Climate Change. Weather patterns worldwide have been thrown topsy turvey by the combination of military weather modification experimentation and the massive footprint of human fossil fuel use. The top user of fossil fuels, in fact the world's largest polluter and contributor to greenhouse gases, is the U.S. war machine. One has to wonder why most environmental groups say virtually nothing about the Pentagon's ecological footprint? Why is that? Why would environmental organizations not take on the planet's largest polluter?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

THE WORDS OF A PROPHET

PEOPLE POWER



The Occupy Wall Street protesters who were left without power after their gas-fueled generators were confiscated by New York City authorities on Friday may have found the idea solution in the form of a stationary bicycle hooked up to charge batteries.

Once again the people show the creativity to trump the oligarchy in New York.

WINTER COMES A BIT EARLY TO MAINE


As I hoped it was possible for me to spend several hours in the garden yesterday. I pulled up our carrots and picked up many sticks that had fallen from the big trees in our yard that make for good kindling. I brought in two wheel barrows full of wood in anticipation of the big storm that began last night. After being on the road for two weeks it felt so good to be outside working in the yard.

The wet snow and wind storm began last evening around supper time and the electricity went out sometime during the middle of the night. I went outside this morning to clear the snow from the wooden steps at each of our four doors and then worked to shovel the entrance to the driveway as well. The snow was very heavy because it was so wet and slushy. In the nine years we've lived in Maine this was the first time it has snowed before Thanksgiving Day.

Housemate Karen was gone to Boston to visit her new granddaughter. We have a running joke at our house that whenever it snows Karen seems to be out of town. She kept her string alive. MB recently dislocated a finger on her hand so she could not shovel and housemate Amanda has some hand problem as well so I was on my own dealing with the snow.

The power returned while we were finishing up supper tonight by candlelight. I spent the day catching up with my snail mail since I couldn't get online and check my emails. When you lose power all your "normal" patterns are changed and life slows down quite a bit. It felt like Christmas in a way as we were all huddled around the wood stove in the kitchen, Amanda's two kids were playing on the floor, the feeling of family and holiday time was a joy.

We were supposed to host our monthly Addams-Melman House potluck supper tonight but we cancelled it due to weather. Two friends didn't get the message and showed up anyway.

SUNDAY SONG