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.

Friday, July 27, 2018

How'd your Dem vote on Trump's war bill?



  • My Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (Maine District 1) was one of 139 Democrats in Congress who voted in favor of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The NDAA stipulated that Trump can't withdraw serious amounts of troops from the Korean peninsula without Congressional authorization.  That means the weapons corporations are calling these shots today in Washington.  Ike's warning to us has come true - democracy has been drowned in the tub.

"Of the total $717 billion, the bill would authorize $616.9 billion for the base Pentagon budget, $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Energy Department, and another $69 billion in war spending from the special Overseas Contingency Operations account," Politico reported following the 359-54 vote. View the full roll call here.

Pingree is one of those otherwise progressive Democrats who votes correctly on women's issues, the environment and other social issues.  But she loves destroyers being built at Bath Iron Works and like so many others in her party are just fine with the US-NATO encircling Russia and China in a military dragnet.

Most liberals say they want peace and want the military budget cut but they are historically unwilling to put real skin in the game when it comes to doing the organizing to stop the metastasizing Pentagon budget. One friend here in Maine wrote me the other day after attending an 'Indivisible' rally in Bangor.  A speaker, trying to gin up the crowd, yelled out, "Yes we are at war with Russia."  I guess when a Dem front group says we are at war with Russia, then the Dems in Washington are gonna vote that way.  The Hillary wing of the party is in firm control.

  • Today is my birthday and MB drove me to the VA for a knee check-up.  They took the bandage off, said it looks good, and urged me to keep trying to straighten my leg.  I go back again in a couple more weeks.  It's a bit boring being laid up - there is so much work I'd love to be doing now and I can't get at it.  So while walking today MB and I talked about how I need to get some patience and be present in this moment.  Rest and exercise (slowly but surely) is what will make it possible for me to do more later on.  The nice part is all the calls and visits from friends and relatives.
Bruce 

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