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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

CANARY IN THE MINES


  • The state of Michigan has turned the city of Detroit over to corporations.  The once vibrant auto manufacturing metropolis is now in haggars and is being privatized.  This will soon enough be the 'perscription' for most struggling cities across the nation.  The recent Veteran's Administration (VA) scandal is being used to push for privatization of the VA.  Some politicians are already suggesting that very thing....right on schedule.

News reports reveal that the corporate-run city of Detroit is preparing a campaign to shut off water service to 1,500 to 3,000 customers a week who are delinquent on bills. There are also more than 296,000 residential accounts – more than 154,000 of which are delinquent.

"We’re trying to shift the behavioral payment patterns of our customer base right now,” said Constance Williams-Levye, water department commercial operations specialist.

Love that phrase.... "commercial operations specialist".  The greed of Wall Street has taken over Detroit and water is being privatized.  There are no jobs there and where can people move?  If you can't afford to pay - tough luck.  Get on your knees and beg and maybe we'll give you a few plastic bottles of war at a discount.  The cynicism of these 'leaders' disgusts me.

  • In Ukraine word comes that more than 400 members of Kiev's Army Airborne Division have given their letter of resignation saying they don't want to kill their fellow citizens.  Very inspiring, particularly since I'd previously heard that the Kiev military junta had been threatening conscripts with 15 years in jail if they didn't go to war.  It appears obvious to me that Poroshenko's some what disingenuous 'cease fire' proposal on some level must be connected to the constant mutineering of the pirate's crew.

Russia's Putin, wanting to show maximum cooperation, has requested that the upper house call off the March 1 resolution allowing the Russian head of state to use the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine.  Actually many inside Russia, and many outside, have been critical of Putin for not using military force to protect the citizens in eastern Ukraine who have been under fierce attack by the US-NATO regime in Kiev.  But clearly Putin has seen that war with the west would not be good for the world.  On the other hand there are many Russian oligarchs (just like in Detroit) that are eager to get along with the west and make money in the process.  Russia is a capatalist system and intends to milk its natural gas and oil reserves as long as possible. 

  • My favorite blog on Ukraine is The Vineyard of the Saker.  He writes about the latest twist in the Ukraine-Russia-US-NATO chess game:

 I will therefore limit my analyses to credible options:

  1. Russia has concluded that the Ukrainians simply do not have the means to take over and ethnically/politically cleanse Novorussia and that covert aid is enough to secure the future survival of Novorussia.
  2. The EU and Russia have successfully bought Poroshenko away from US supervision and are now trying to take control of the situation.
  3. Russia is trying to offer the most symbolic concessions in preparation for an inevitable breakdown of the negotiations and a subsequent Russian intervention.
  4. Russia is buying time, just enough to have the Ukie economy collapse and the resulting social explosion to overwhelm the junta.
  5. Russia is offering a symbolic concession which more or less guarantees that the Europeans will not have to crash their own economy in further US-demanded sanctions.
Of those options which is the best?  In my opinion the most credible one is the one which combines them all: I think that they are all true.

  • I just got back last night after spending several days with my son in Kansas City.  He brought 17 kids (and many parents as well) from Taiwan to Kansas City for a national middle/high school debate tournament.  Despite being new to debate, and somewhat language impaired, six of the kids made it to quarter-finals and were given awards in the final ceremony.  You could tell it meant alot to the kids and the parents.  We had lunch with some of the parents and kids at a Chinese restaurant and they were effusive about Julian being in Taiwan coaching their kids.  I was very impressed with the parents that I met and saw that they valued family and cooperation in a big way.  Makes me happy that Julian is in good hands there.

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