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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Where to Find the News?

  • It's like a circus sideshow watching the election in Israel.  Netanyahu is going nuts as he tries to create big fear across his country.  The Washington Post reports today:  “The right-wing government is in danger,” Netanyahu said. “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out."  The man is a racist and fascist and likely a psychopath and I pray he loses the election today.  Some 20 percent of eligible voters in Israel are Palestinians, also referred to as Israeli Arabs. In recent elections, many have opted to boycott the polls in protest of the Israeli political status quo and the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza. But this year, a coalition of Arab parties opted to run on a joint ticket and stands to become the third-largest bloc in the Israeli Knesset, or parliament. Netanyahu would rather pass legislation banning anyone in the country from voting unless they were pure Jewish blood.  Israel is no doubt an apartheid state.

In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials concluded a deal with special services of the United States to release an Afghan diplomat, who had been held hostage by Al-Qaeda militants. The amount of the ransom was unaffordable - $5 million.

To obtain the money, the Afghan officials first looked into the secret fund, from which the US Central Intelligence Agency was funding Kabul on a monthly basis. Within a few weeks, they raised $4 million. The militants agreed to accept the remaining amount from the CIA through similar funds in other countries, the article says.

Noteworthy, the former leader of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, confirmed that the CIA was funding the presidential palace in 2013.

For the first time in more than a decade, more than half of Americans see Russia as a serious threat to the U.S.

A CNN/ORC International survey indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin's unfavorable rating among Americans has soared over the past month. And the poll indicates that the vast majority of the public says Moscow's actions in neighboring Ukraine break international law, and half of those questioned say a new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia is likely. According to the poll, 69% of Americans say they see Russia as threat to the U.S. "That's a 25-percentage point increase since 2012 and represents the highest number on that question since the break-up of the Soviet Union," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

  • This Russia is our #1 enemy poll indicates that the corporate controlled media has done its job very well.  They successfully created enough fear and doubt that Washington is now internally positioned to widen the war on Russia's border with little push back from the public.  Sadly many liberals and even peaceniks are falling for the bait.  Reports from around the country indicate that most local peace groups are finding many of their members and supporters largely ignorant about the Ukraine-Russia story.  The public is largely held back from further curiosity about the story by many factors.... including re-cycled red baiting that is still a powerful deterrent to critical thinking and action.  But even with that said I am slowly seeing more signs of interest among some as they put the pieces to the puzzle together and realize the severe danger a new cold/hot war with Russia would bring.

  • The mess that we see in Syria, primarily orchestrated by the cancerous US-NATO alliance, has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions of others displaced both internally and externally. There is some talk of the "moderate opposition" agreeing to allow President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power for two more years.  The two years are expected to be followed by snap presidential elections. These negotiations are apparently due to the joint Egyptian-Russian efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement to the Syrian crisis.

Boeing Co.’s Directed Energy Systems division in Albuquerque, New Mexico is leading a US Navy effort to build a beam control system that can provide pinpoint accuracy for laser weapons on warships. The company’s Defense, Space and Security unit, headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., won a $29.5 million contract with the Office of Naval Research to build a precision beam control system for ship-mounted solid-state lasers – building on truck-mounted laser systems developed for the Army.

All of Boeing’s laser-related work is based in New Mexico, where the company has concentrated its expertise in developing electro-optical systems and other directed-energy technology, such as high-powered microwaves. That’s largely the result of Boeing’s work with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base.

Boeing was the prime contractor of the now-defunct Airborne Laser Program – a nearly two-decade, $5 billion effort by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to mount a high-powered laser on a Boeing 747 to destroy ballistic missiles as they take off. Much of that work was based at AFRL. After it ended in 2011, Boeing’s Albuquerque division continued to lead the company’s directed-energy operations.  


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