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

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

NEWS ROUNDUP



  • My weekly radio show, with Peter Woodruff, on WBOR at Bowdoin College has been moved to Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm.  Each new semester they kick all the regular shows to new times to accommodate the students who get first crack at the calendar.  It makes no sense because the regulars are the ones that keep the station going when the college is out of session.  We are like wandering minstrels.
  • Inter Press Service reports: The research wing of the U.S. Congress is warning that three decades of “historically unprecedented” build-up in the number of prisoners incarcerated in the United States have led to a level of overcrowding that is now “taking a toll on the infrastructure” of the federal prison system.....the  United States has incarcerated far more people than any other country, today imprisoning some 716 people out of every 100,000.
  • Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) writes in Politico:  Forty percent of private-sector workers have no access to paid sick days, meaning that they cannot miss a day of work without risking a day’s pay or even risking their job. So these hardworking people must make an impossible choice between the job they need and their health and well-being. It’s a choice that no American should have to make — which is why, this year, I plan to reintroduce the Healthy Families Act, a bill that would allow workers to earn paid sick days that can be used to recover from a short-term illness, care for a sick family member, obtain preventive or diagnostic treatment or seek help if they have been victims of domestic violence.
  • The Guardian reports: The CIA is secretly using an airbase in Saudi Arabia to conduct its controversial drone assassination campaign in neighbouring Yemen....Disclosure of the Saudi co-operation comes the day before the architect of the drone programme, John Brennan, appears before the US Senate for a confirmation hearing to become the CIA director. The drone issue is sensitive in Saudi Arabia because of the unpopularity of US military bases, which were thought to have been largely removed after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
  • Juan Cole at Informed Comment writes: Yemen was hit by the highest number of airstrikes in one month since June 2012.... Eight strikes hit Yemen in January, the most in a month since June 2012 when US attacks on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) began to slow from their May peak. An anonymous US intelligence official told the Times that Saudi jets have been striking other targets in Yemen in support of US operations – an allegation promptly denied by the Saudis.... The United Nations also launched a major investigation into the legality and casualties of drone strikes by the United States, Britain and Israel. 
  • Renowned professor Peter Dale Scott on the new article Petraeus: The Plot Thickens"I recommend this article for what it tells us, not about Petraeus and his affair, but about Yemen and the conflict in Washington over drone killings between JSOC and CIA – perhaps the most serious turf war there since the FBI/CIA battles in the Joe McCarthy era."

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