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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Battles of Corporate Empire


  • The Mayor De Blasio in New York City is asking the federal Circuit Court for the authority to engage in the mass arrest of protesters when they take to the streets peacefully, just as they have been doing recently against police brutality. This request for the legal authority to engage in wholesale mass sweeps of demonstrators would allow the police to do so without any notice or warning to them that they are even allegedly in violation of any law. In the Occupy Wall Street case at issue the NYPD trapped and mass arrested 700 people after police commanders led and escorted them onto the Brooklyn Bridge.  "This is the most significant and most defining legal case on protesters' rights in the last 40 years, since the mass arrests of May Day 1970," said Carl Messineo, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Legal Director. "Mayor De Blasio seeks the authority to arrest today's protesters in the same manner Mayor Bloomberg falsely arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters by the hundreds."
  •  Peter Koenig writes:
The world is still hell-bent for hydrocarbon-based energy. Russia is the world’s largest producer of energy. Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the West. To confirm this decision, in July 2014 Russia’s Gazprom concluded a 400 billion gas deal with China, and in November this year they signed an additional slightly smaller contract – all to be nominated in rubles and yuan.

The remaining BRICS – Brazil, India and South Africa – plus the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan and considered for membership since September 2014 are also India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia, with Turkey also waiting in the wings – will also trade in their local currencies, detached from the dollar-based western casino scheme. A host of other nations increasingly weary of the decay of the western financial system which they are locked into are just waiting for a new monetary scheme to emerge. So far their governments may have been afraid of the emperor’s wrath – but gradually they are seeing the light. They are sensing the sham and weakness behind Obama’s boisterous noise. They don’t want to be sucked into the black hole, when the casino goes down the drain.

To punish Russia for Ukraine, Obama is about to sign into law major new sanctions against Russia, following Congress’s unanimous passing of a recent motion to this effect. – That is what the MSM [mainstream media] would like you to believe. 


Now – as a consequence of declining oil prices and of western ‘sanctions’ – of course, what else? - Russia’s economy is suffering and the ruble is in free fall. Since the beginning of the year it lost about 60%; last week alone 20%. As a result and after serious consideration, says MSM, the Russian Central Bank decided a few days ago to increase the interest of reference from 10.5% to 17% to make the ruble more attractive for foreign investors. It worked only for a few hours. Raising the interbank interest was Putin’s reply to Obama’s bluff – feeding at the same time western illusion about Russia’s decline. 

Lockheed Martin Corp , the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier, has rarely felt the need to blow its horn about its secrecy-shrouded crown jewel - until now.

"Skunk Works," Lockheed's business for developing weapons outside the company's main chain of command, is starting to lift the veil in a sign of fierce pressure to win new orders and protect its brand as military budgets shrink.

The pride of Lockheed, Skunk Works has been celebrated since it developed the first jet fighter in 143 days during World War Two to battle the Nazis. But its logo was kept off buildings and employees were barred from saying where they worked.

Now, the company has published a glossy brochure with a 10-point "Skunk Works 2015" agenda focused on keeping costs down, working closely with government, and building prototypes. Its officials are meeting in small groups with all 3,300 employees, or "Skunks" as they are known, to underscore the importance of staying competitive.

Challenging Skunk Works are such newcomers as Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, which operate more like commercial firms than legacy weapons makers. Their costs are lower due to a younger staff - the average age of SpaceX's engineers is 27, while Lockheed expects half its employees to retire in the next five years - and their ability to leverage commercial orders.

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