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, January 19, 2013

THE LATEST NEWS



Gotta laugh sometimes.....

GIVING MY WHOLE LIFE



Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. talks about everything from his theological development and gradualism to the White South's guilt complex and the use of boycotts in the Civil Rights Movement.

The journalist conducting the interview was quite stuffy.

HOMER SMELLS


As I typed the headline above
Homer groaned.  I swear he did.
I looked down at him on his bed,
weary knees creaking
and sad eyes,
and I thought I heard him say
"Ok, you can post my picture
but don't abuse me."

I'll try not to Homer.

We just went on a walk to, and through, the woods.
He was anxious to get out
and once moving, his wobbly knees can still
carry us on his pulling romp
from one smell to the next.

Homer likes the snow
especially the yellow marks
cocaine I guess
citrus flavor.

He sniffs cars too
like a police dog
from one end to the other,
identifying the occupants
and potential dog scents?

He does not lick
first dog I've ever seen that does not lick
He sniffs
clothes
shoes
mustaches
mouths
ears
What is he looking for?

The book "American Indian Myths & Legends"
has a story I love.
"The Dogs Hold an Election"
It's a Brule Sioux tale.
They say the reason dogs are always sniffing each other
is because they are looking for a leader.
They hold a convention each year
where they nominate dogs for the post
but the debate over which is the best
seems endless and is never resolved.

I asked Homer what he thought....
He looked away, sort of raising his eyebrows.
I thought I heard him say we don't need one.
We just need each other.
Join the pack.

THE BROKEN CONNECTION



This brillant young journalist really connects the dots between growing rape culture and the larger issues.  Rape women, children, the Mother Earth - it all speaks to our spiritual disconnection.  And I believe that spiritual "deficit" is directly connected to how the consumerist culture has indoctrinated us to turn off our feeling button - because in order to create the endless consumer culture the Earth must be raped of every "needed resource".  It's a blindness to ever grinding economic growth and the obvious consequences.

Our souls have been hollowed out in this whole process and we've forgotten what it means to be human.  Humans are just commodities now too, so our embedded minds have been filled with a basic hatred of each other.  Thus we are able to rob, occupy, kill, and extract with virtually no conscience.

What is the way out?  In the midst of the political action that is necessitated in all of this is the equally important need to rediscover our humanity - and a humility about our place on this planet.  We are just one damn strand in this web of life and have no right to be so arrogant.  Our impacts on the rest of the living world are so devastating.  Native voices remind us that we must live in harmony with all other living beings.  Rape culture breaks that bond.

FASCISM ALERT



Sodastream's factory is in an illegal Israeli settlement built on land stolen from Palestinians. Each and every package they sell contains human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Boycott Sodastream.

Friday, January 18, 2013

99TH EDITION OF THIS ISSUE



My 99th show as I enter the 10th year of doing This Issue public access TV program in Maine.

My guest is Bob Klotz of 350maine.org who discusses climate change activism.

KILL LISTS AND SUCH

  • An elementary school teacher in Maine had to go to the doctor one day recently so a substitute teacher was brought in to run the class.  The kids went wild.  One of the 3rd grade children was found holding a "Kill list" with several names on it.  The child was suspended from school.  Not sure if professional counseling is being offered for the boy and his reportedly dysfunctional family.  Sadly many such counseling programs in the state are being defunded.  Where did the child learn about kill lists?
  • Before he leaves office Obama's Secretary of War Leon Panetta is out pumping up the jam for NATO expansion into the Asia-Pacific. "In particular, I strongly believe that Europe should join the US in increasing and deepening our defense engagement with the Asia-Pacific region," Panetta said while recently in London. The U.S. "pivot" to Asia has caused concern in Europe, he acknowledged. "But today those concerns should be put to rest," Panetta said. "Global security is not a zero-sum game, but neither are the security commitments of the US. More importantly, Europe’s economic and security future is -- much like the United States' -- increasingly tied to Asia. Panetta said after spending the week in Southern Europe, and continuing to deal with budget uncertainty at home, "I am very clear-eyed about the fiscal pressures nations are facing." NATO nations are facing a crisis, Panetta said. "But we must never allow any crisis to undermine our collective resolve."
  • There will be a Rally, March, and Die-In Against Drone Wars in Washington, D.C., next Monday, on inauguration day.  The theme is "I have a drone" on a take-off of MLK's "I have a dream" speech.  The schedule includes: 9-10 a.m. Rally with prominent speakers and music at Meridian Hill Park (lower level) at Florida Avenue and 16th Street NW, Washington DC.  At 10 a.m. parade forms and marches down 16th Street NW to K Street NW. Contact 202-422-6275. See more here
  •  At our Maine VFP meeting the other night Tom Whitney passed around an action alert about Colombian political prisoner David Ravelo. Colombia's prison population has increased by 30% during the current presidency of Juan Manuel Santos. David Ravelo is one of 10,000 political prisoners and is a leading human rights activist. The internal state of siege within which Ravelo is a victim is largely directed at clearing rural areas for exploitation of natural resources and industrial-scale agriculture, projects funded by foreign investment. Tom invited us to add our names to a letter in support of Ravelo's release from prison. Contact Tom directly to add your name atwhit@roadrunner.com

PROTESTS IN PAKISTAN



Several thousand people have been protesting against the military in the Pakistani city of Peshawar after 15 local villagers were killed. The outcry comes as thousands of supporters of a fiery Muslim cleric continued their anti-government protest in Islamabad. Osama Bin Javaid reports.

CORPORATE CONTROL OF WATER



Asparagus farming, which is highly water intensive, has grown so fast in parts of Peru that it is drying up some of the country's aquifers. According to the National Water Authority, the city of Ica uses 35 percent of all the underground water reserves in the country. Within three years, one particular region could have no more water left for agriculture. Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez reports from Ica.

WHAT IS NORMAL THESE DAYS?


Thursday, January 17, 2013

MILITARIZING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS



Watch this through the initial propaganda... It gets better as activists go the the board of directors at Cochise College in Arizona and challenge the corporatization of the campus and the teaching of students to become workers in the weapons industry building and operating drones.

Most of our college and university campuses across the nation, and around the world, are becoming militarized. As the schools face cutbacks they turn to the military for funding.  But there is a price to pay when you take money from the devil.  You lose your soul and these institutions of "higher learning" are facing this very fact - they are losing their missions to inspire and educate enquiring minds.  Instead they are turning our children into instruments in the Pentagon killing machine.

Congratulations to these brave activists in Arizona for taking their protest right into the center of authority at their local college.  More of us must do the same.

ANOTHER GREAT DEBATE



Malcolm X and MLK debate non-violent strategies......

THE GUN DEBATE (AND OTHER DEBATES) CONTINUED


  • A friend of mine who teaches college in California shared this picture yesterday and wrote, "my engineering students armed to the teeth."  Referring to my post yesterday about kids making violent videos this same friend also wrote, "they all want to be Tarantino!" (the famous violent filmmaker).
  • Tarantino is my grandmother's (on mother's side) family name.  I wonder.....
  • This morning I found on the Global Network Facebook page a comment from USN kids here in Maine who produced the violent films.  I had posted a link to my blog about the story on the GN page.  USN wrote: "hahahahahahahahaha".  I see they are taking the entire situation seriously - about as would be expected under the circumstances.
  • There is a raging debate on the No Drones list serve about a petition that has been posted by one of the Washington DC peace lobby groups calling on Congress to decide whether or not Obama should order drone flights over Mali as he assists the French attack.  The DC group staffer got angry when many grassroots folks declined to sign the petition because it did not stand in opposition to the use of drones - period.  (In other words if Congress says its OK, then what is your next move after your strategy was to rely on Congress to oppose drone use?  We all know that Congress has largely been bought and sold by corporations like Boeing who now are huge drone makers.)  The staffer wrote, "Why isn't the whiner dogmahead ideological purist ultra-left doing anything about Mali?"  You can imagine the push back that resulted from that comment and it still is going on.
  • I decided that something was missing in the Mali drone debate so I wrote a response and sent it to the No Drone list.  Here are my words:
    Folks,

    I think we have to be much more analytical about the reasons for divergent strategies....

    When one looks at the organizational infrastructure of Robert's group what you find is an inside the beltway group that likely gets funding to try to bring the grassroots energy into the lobbying scene in Washington.  Sometimes these groups are funded by foundations with close ties to the Democrats.

    Thus there is a tendency among many DC groups to try to work on issues that are "pragmatic" or even "acceptable" to those political institutions.  Thus the staffers in these DC oriented organizations often feel upset when the great unwashed (and far too independent) grassroots folks abandon the DC strategy.  Sometimes, as in this case with Robert, the grassroots gets called a bunch of do-nothings.  The thinking often becomes "if you are not playing ball in my ball park then you don't matter".

    So Robert is correct in saying that these divisions are real and they are important.

    Some of us out here in the hustings think the two-party game in DC enables the whole war making process.  Some of us have declined to use our limited energy and funds on the standard DC swirl - usually we have much less $$$ and paid staff than the DC groups have.

    So I think this debate should continue - but we need to be much more open about how some groups are closer to the power structure and are willing to occasionally accommodate with politicians.

    This question of "who speaks for the peace movement" will continue to rage on and it should.  It's just nice to know who and what we are dealing with when we do it.

    Bruce K. Gagnon
    Coordinator
    Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

CONTEXT IS LIBERATION


France is in its fifth day of an offensive to oust rebels that have held much of Mali’s northern region since March, an area larger than Afghanistan. The strikes have reportedly killed 11 civilians, including three children fleeing the bombardment of a camp near the central town of Konna. The United Nations estimates as many as 30,000 may have been displaced since fighting began last week. The United States has backed the offensive by helping transport French troops and making plans to send drones or other surveillance aircraft. It is aiding a fight against Malian forces that it once helped train, only to see them defect and join the Islamist rebellion. We discuss the latest in Mali with Al Jazeera correspondent May Ying Welsh, who has reported from Mali’s north, and with freelance journalist Hannah Armstrong, a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, who joins Democracy Now from the Malian capital of Bamako.



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

KIDS SHOOTING KIDS

This taken from a violent video game made by a group of kids in Brunswick, Maine calling themselves USN Films - USN refers to US Navy


There is a big dust up going on here in Maine over the discovery of a two-year spree of violent video making where local youth used public spaces to produce their "films".

A local Brunswick high school senior, who has been accepted next year at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, is the leader of the pack of about 20 kids involved in producing the videos.  Local newspapers report that the kids have made 26 videos, viewed 8.3 million times on YouTube, and have used the public library and the former US Navy airfield in Brunswick (now called Brunswick Landing) as back drops for the videos.

In the videos youth go around killing people randomly and wantonly.

A local friend called me early this morning wanting advice on what to do about this situation.  I told her that violence and militarism is becoming "normalized" in our society because this is the role that has been determined for us in America by the oligarchy.  We aren't going to make things anymore - its cheaper to go overseas to produce "stuff" - our role under corporate globalization will be "security export".  Thus it is no coincidence that today the #1 industrial export of the US is weapons.  And when weapons are your #1 industrial export product - what is your global marketing strategy for that product line?

So the upcoming generations are being taught that "this is your future".  Endless war overseas and growing violence at home.  The next generation has to be made to feel "good and excited" that despite the fact they have no jobs - they can get thrills, and still find self meaning, by going into the military to kill.  On whose behalf they kill is not to be discussed.

I suggested to my friend that unless folks like us push back hard against this growing violence the debate over what is "normal" will never happen.  We discussed some ideas she could take on.  I suggested we could do a future edition of my public access TV show on the subject.

After talking with her I knew I had to do something.  I noticed a quote in the newspaper article from Steve Levesque who directs the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority which now stands in charge of the former Navy base.  Once this story became public he acknowledged that he had recently had the kids evicted from the grounds of the former Navy base where they were "shooting" a video.  Levesque is the guy we've been running up against the last couple years as he is in charge of annually organizing air shows at the former Navy base.  So I sent him the following email (with a copy to two local newspapers):

Mr. Levesque,

I found it rather interesting to read your quote in the Times Record yesterday about the sad story of kids using Brunswick Landing (and other public places) to make their violent videos.

Your quote in the paper was good where you said, "We have to deal with this...Guns were one thing, but we have an issue in our society where we are desensitizing our youth to violence such as this.  That's a concern that I have personally."

Where my confusion comes in is that you don't seem able (or willing) to connect the dots.  Late last summer your authority had the Air Force Thunderbirds headline the air show at the former base.  Included in that air show was a "spectacular" simulated bombing with napalm on the runway that made the front page of the Forecaster.  My mind immediately flashed back to the Vietnam war and the little girl running down a road as her body was on fire from the napalm.

Have you ever stopped to wonder if your promotion of war and violence at these air shows does in fact directly contribute to this "desensitizing our youth to violence"? 

We all have to take responsibility for helping to normalize this growing culture of violence and militarism in America.  The fact that you are eagerly scheduling another air show for 2013 only makes my sadness more acute.

In peace,

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Very soon after sending the email to Mr. Levesque he responded with the following:

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for your note on this issue.  I personally believe that there is a clear distinction between the promotion of youth gun violence for the sport of it and military activities to defend our country. 

For the record, Napalm was not used at the airshow.

Steve Levesque
Executive Director
Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
The parents of the kids see no problem with the videos.  In fact the lead boy's father quite often participates.  (Why not go on a long tiring nature hike with the kids?)  But the most troubling was the news in the article that teachers at the school often play the videos for the students.  The reporter noted one kid saying:

"Sometimes in class, when we have study halls or free periods at the end of the day, some of my teachers have actually played the videos on projectors."

We have a huge problem here in the US.  We have become a killing culture and few are willing to see how all these little seemingly unrelated pieces add up directly to build this culture of violence.  Those of us deeply concerned about this need to find more creative ways to involve ourselves directly in these conversations.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DO YOU TRUST SHELL?



After announcing plans to drill in the Arctic last summer, Shell has proven — through a series of accidents and mishaps — just how impossible it is to function safely in the severe conditions of this remote region. Just this month, a Shell drilling rig ran aground, again demonstrating that Big Oil cannot be trusted to drill in one of the last pristine wild places left on the planet. Call on President Obama to suspend, re-evaluate and then end all oil and gas operations in the Arctic Ocean.

MORAL HIGH GROUND?





Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films went on the Ed Schultz Show to discuss America's inhumane drone program.


Monday, January 14, 2013

FOOLING OURSELVES TO THE BITTER END

Beijing, China covered in pollution.  "Progress and growth" are killing us.

The Myth of Human Progress

By Chris Hedges

Clive Hamilton in his “Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change” describes a dark relief that comes from accepting that “catastrophic climate change is virtually certain.” This obliteration of “false hopes,” he says, requires an intellectual knowledge and an emotional knowledge. The first is attainable. The second, because it means that those we love, including our children, are almost certainly doomed to insecurity, misery and suffering within a few decades, if not a few years, is much harder to acquire. To emotionally accept impending disaster, to attain the gut-level understanding that the power elite will not respond rationally to the devastation of the ecosystem, is as difficult to accept as our own mortality. The most daunting existential struggle of our time is to ingest this awful truth—intellectually and emotionally—and continue to resist the forces that are destroying us.

The human species, led by white Europeans and Euro-Americans, has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the Earth—as well as killing the indigenous communities that stood in the way. But the game is up. The technical and scientific forces that created a life of unparalleled luxury—as well as unrivaled military and economic power—for the industrial elites are the forces that now doom us. The mania for ceaseless economic expansion and exploitation has become a curse, a death sentence. But even as our economic and environmental systems unravel, after the hottest year in the contiguous 48 states since record keeping began 107 years ago, we lack the emotional and intellectual creativity to shut down the engine of global capitalism. We have bound ourselves to a doomsday machine that grinds forward, as the draft report of the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee illustrates.

Complex civilizations have a bad habit of destroying themselves. Anthropologists including Joseph Tainter in “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” Charles L. Redman in “Human Impact on Ancient Environments” and Ronald Wright in “A Short History of Progress” have laid out the familiar patterns that lead to systems breakdown. The difference this time is that when we go down the whole planet will go with us. There will, with this final collapse, be no new lands left to exploit, no new civilizations to conquer, no new peoples to subjugate. The long struggle between the human species and the Earth will conclude with the remnants of the human species learning a painful lesson about unrestrained greed and self-worship.

“There is a pattern in the past of civilization after civilization wearing out its welcome from nature, overexploiting its environment, overexpanding, overpopulating,” Wright said when I reached him by phone at his home in British Columbia, Canada. “They tend to collapse quite soon after they reach their period of greatest magnificence and prosperity. That pattern holds good for a lot of societies, among them the Romans, the ancient Maya and the Sumerians of what is now southern Iraq. There are many other examples, including smaller-scale societies such as Easter Island. The very things that cause societies to prosper in the short run, especially new ways to exploit the environment such as the invention of irrigation, lead to disaster in the long run because of unforeseen complications. This is what I called in ‘A Short History of Progress’ the ‘progress trap.’ We have set in motion an industrial machine of such complexity and such dependence on expansion that we do not know how to make do with less or move to a steady state in terms of our demands on nature. We have failed to control human numbers. They have tripled in my lifetime. And the problem is made much worse by the widening gap between rich and poor, the upward concentration of wealth, which ensures there can never be enough to go around. The number of people in dire poverty today—about 2 billion—is greater than the world’s entire population in the early 1900s. That’s not progress.”

“If we continue to refuse to deal with things in an orderly and rational way, we will head into some sort of major catastrophe, sooner or later,” he said. “If we are lucky it will be big enough to wake us up worldwide but not big enough to wipe us out. That is the best we can hope for. We must transcend our evolutionary history. We’re Ice Age hunters with a shave and a suit. We are not good long-term thinkers. We would much rather gorge ourselves on dead mammoths by driving a herd over a cliff than figure out how to conserve the herd so it can feed us and our children forever. That is the transition our civilization has to make. And we’re not doing that.”

Wright, who in his dystopian novel “A Scientific Romance” paints a picture of a future world devastated by human stupidity, cites “entrenched political and economic interests” and a failure of the human imagination as the two biggest impediments to radical change. And all of us who use fossil fuels, who sustain ourselves through the formal economy, he says, are at fault.

Modern capitalist societies, Wright argues in his book “What Is America?: A Short History of the New World Order,” derive from European invaders’ plundering of the indigenous cultures in the Americas from the 16th to the 19th centuries, coupled with the use of African slaves as a workforce to replace the natives. The numbers of those natives fell by more than 90 percent because of smallpox and other plagues they hadn’t had before. The Spaniards did not conquer any of the major societies until smallpox had crippled them; in fact the Aztecs beat them the first time around. If Europe had not been able to seize the gold of the Aztec and Inca civilizations, if it had not been able to occupy the land and adopt highly productive New World crops for use on European farms, the growth of industrial society in Europe would have been much slower. Karl Marx and Adam Smith both pointed to the influx of wealth from the Americas as having made possible the Industrial Revolution and the start of modern capitalism. It was the rape of the Americas, Wright points out, that triggered the orgy of European expansion. The Industrial Revolution also equipped the Europeans with technologically advanced weapons systems, making further subjugation, plundering and expansion possible.

“The experience of a relatively easy 500 years of expansion and colonization, the constant taking over of new lands, led to the modern capitalist myth that you can expand forever,” Wright said. “It is an absurd myth. We live on this planet. We can’t leave it and go somewhere else. We have to bring our economies and demands on nature within natural limits, but we have had a 500-year run where Europeans, Euro-Americans and other colonists have overrun the world and taken it over. This 500-year run made it not only seem easy but normal. We believe things will always get bigger and better. We have to understand that this long period of expansion and prosperity was an anomaly. It has rarely happened in history and will never happen again. We have to readjust our entire civilization to live in a finite world. But we are not doing it, because we are carrying far too much baggage, too many mythical versions of deliberately distorted history and a deeply ingrained feeling that what being modern is all about is having more. This is what anthropologists call an ideological pathology, a self-destructive belief that causes societies to crash and burn. These societies go on doing things that are really stupid because they can’t change their way of thinking. And that is where we are.”

And as the collapse becomes palpable, if human history is any guide, we like past societies in distress will retreat into what anthropologists call “crisis cults.” The powerlessness we will feel in the face of ecological and economic chaos will unleash further collective delusions, such as fundamentalist belief in a god or gods who will come back to earth and save us.

“Societies in collapse often fall prey to the belief that if certain rituals are performed all the bad stuff will go away,” Wright said. “There are many examples of that throughout history. In the past these crisis cults took hold among people who had been colonized, attacked and slaughtered by outsiders, who had lost control of their lives. They see in these rituals the ability to bring back the past world, which they look at as a kind of paradise. They seek to return to the way things were. Crisis cults spread rapidly among Native American societies in the 19th century, when the buffalo and the Indians were being slaughtered by repeating rifles and finally machine guns. People came to believe, as happened in the Ghost Dance, that if they did the right things the modern world that was intolerable—the barbed wire, the railways, the white man, the machine gun—would disappear.”

“We all have the same, basic psychological hard wiring,” Wright said. “It makes us quite bad at long-range planning and leads us to cling to irrational delusions when faced with a serious threat. Look at the extreme right’s belief that if government got out of the way, the lost paradise of the 1950s would return. Look at the way we are letting oil and gas exploration rip when we know that expanding the carbon economy is suicidal for our children and grandchildren. The results can already be felt. When it gets to the point where large parts of the Earth experience crop failure at the same time then we will have mass starvation and a breakdown in order. That is what lies ahead if we do not deal with climate change.”

“If we fail in this great experiment, this experiment of apes becoming intelligent enough to take charge of their own destiny, nature will shrug and say it was fun for a while to let the apes run the laboratory, but in the end it was a bad idea,” Wright said.

MELTING SNOW


It's was up to 54 degrees here in Maine today.  The snow is melting.  Our dog Homer likes seeing grass again.  The way things are going we might not need the big huge snow plows in the future.  Maybe the one above just might do the job.  It would certainly fit in well with our dramatically declining state budget.

BOYCOTT SODASTREAM



You Should Know . . . SodaStream is manufactured in an illegal settlement on the West Bank. So boycott SodaStream, have a cup of Palestinian tea instead!
  
David Zirin is a rarity - a progressive political activist who also happens to be a sports writer.

See more here

Sunday, January 13, 2013

NEWS ROUNDUP

  •  The region of Sicily on January 11 moved to suspend US plans to construct a satellite communications system called Mobile User Objective System, on the Italian island after activists blocked construction crews. The move came after protesters blocked trucks and cranes overnight in the town of Niscemi and later clashed with police near an American military base. There are only three other ground stations like the MUOS in the world, producing very high electromagnetic fields, in Virginia, Hawaii and Australia.
  •  The ‘reset’ in relations between the US and Russia is dead, as the Obama administration has never truly cooperated with Moscow, instead pushing the same policy Washington has been imposing on Russia for the past 20 years.  Stephen F. Cohen— professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and Princeton University told Russia Today, “That policy is advancing NATO toward Russia’s borders, building missile defense on Russia’s borders, interfering in Russia’s internal politics....Increasingly we are plunging into a new Cold War. But it’s not a surprise ....Obama has continued the policy toward Moscow begun by President Clinton, a Democrat, and continued by President Bush, a Republican."
  •  The US and New Zealand conducted secret tests of a "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive tidal waves. The tests were carried out in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World War and showed that the weapon was feasible and a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami capable of inundating a small city. The top secret operation, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests.
  • In 2011 one corporation, Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine, received a $3.5 million “credit against withholding taxes otherwise due” from the state government. Individual employees were credited for their withheld taxes, but since 2000 BIW has retained and will continue to retain $3 million-$3.5 million annually. This subsidy lasts 20 years, or until $60 million of state income tax revenue has been captured by the company. After being given $197 million in state and local tax subsidies to modernize its Bath plant, employment went from nearly 7,700 in 1999 to below 5,200 in 2011. BIW builds Aegis destroyers for the Navy that are outfitted with so-called "missile defense" systems and are being used to surround Russia and China's coastal regions.  See more here 

OPEN SEASON FOR AFGHAN MINERAL WEALTH

As President Obama announces a shift in the U.S. role in Afghanistan, we talk to the Woodrow Wilson Center's Michael Kugelman about a potential economy booster lying under the surface of the embattled country.

DRONE PROTEST AT CIA HQ



An estimated one hundred people assembled outside the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters on Saturday expressing their opposition to the US presidential assassination lists, killer drone death squads, illegal rendition, torture, and the continued confinement of prisoners at the Guantanamo prison camp in US-occupied Cuba.

Anti-killer-drone activists were joined by participants of Witness Against Torture who were on the last day of their week-long fast and work calling for the closing of Guantanamo, justice for the prisoners there, and an end to torture everywhere.

See Malachy Kilbride's full article here

SUNDAY SONG