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 23, 2015

A Hollowed-Out Economy and a Drowning Democracy

Maine's right-wing Gov. Paul LePage makes the case to cut health care for the poor

Times Record Op-Ed
Brunswick, Maine

BY BRUCE K. GAGNON


Gov. Paul LePage carries water for America’s corporate oligarchy. (Webster’s Dictionary defines oligarchy as “government in which power is in the hands of the few.”)

A quick review of LePage’s time in office makes clear that he serves the interests of the rich and the mega-corporations. America is being hollowed out as jobs move overseas and democracy is drowned by corporate power.

The governor does not care about the rule of law, thus his efforts to ignore Mainers’ votes on bonds. The governor vetoes bills from the opposition party no matter the content. His primary goal is to divide the people of Maine against one another — to make the state ungovernable. This is the basic corporate agenda that is being played out across the nation and literally around the world.

The U.S. corporate-run government spent $5 billion taxpayer dollars to help direct the coup d’état in Kiev, Ukraine just over a year ago. Now a civil war is underway on Russia’s border. U.S. Army troops are currently in western Ukraine training the “National Guard.” Neo-Nazi brigades have been put into military uniforms (likely also provided by U.S. taxpayers), and are being drilled and sent to the front to fight against Ukrainian citizens in the eastern part of their nation. The citizens in the east are called “separatists” because they want to speak their native language, Russian, and continue trading with Russia as they have for thousands of years. (It would be like the people of western Maine wanting to have trade and cultural relations with their relatives just over the New Hampshire border.)

I call the people in eastern Ukraine “self-defense forces” as they defend themselves from constant missile shelling by the U.S.- NATO-supplied puppet regime in Kiev. Kiev’s forces bomb civilian apartment buildings, schools, day care centers, hospitals, airports and railroad stations. Thousands of innocent people have been killed. Why?

The U.S.-NATO strategy in Ukraine has been clearly spelled out by George Friedman, founder and CEO of the private intelligence corporation STRATFOR. Friedman says that the U.S. wants “regime change” in Moscow.

Russia has the world’s largest supply of natural gas and significant supplies of oil. In addition, due to climate change, the Arctic Sea ice is melting. Western oil corporations are itching to drill there. Russia has the largest land border with the Arctic Sea. Don’t we know by now that the #1 job of the Pentagon is to serve as the primary resource extraction service for corporate globalization?

The corporations run the show in Washington. Just as democracy is being drowned in Maine, it has been drowned at the national level, and the U.S. economy has been hollowed out. We’ve been turned into a militarized culture where we do endless war on behalf of corporate globalization.

If we were truly a democratic nation we’d be having a raging national debate about whether or not the U.S. should be in the middle of waging a war on Russia’s border. Usually, the U.S. likes to invade small nations that can’t really fight back like Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. But now, the U.S. is surrounding Russia (and China) with an expanding NATO and deploying so-called “missile defense” systems that are key elements in the Pentagon’s first-strike attack program, along their borders. Russia and China could actually fight back and WW III would likely turn into a nuclear exchange real quick.

To pay for all of this Congress wants further cuts in programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what little is left of the welfare program. So, at the state and national levels we see politicians like Gov. LePage running divisive campaigns to demonize welfare recipients in order to create the political climate to justify these cuts. (When do we ever hear any politicians screaming about the hundreds of billions of dollars of welfare given to corporations each year?)

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the corporate-dominated media to bring this crucial story to our TV sets. Their job is “infotainment” and promoting mass consumerism. The American people have been abandoned by the corporate agenda. We’ve got to figure this one out ourselves if we hope to provide any real future for the coming generations.

~ Bruce K. Gagnon lives in Bath and is a member of PeaceWorks.

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