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....

My Photo
Name:
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.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Balkanize Russia?


Russia has the largest land border with the Arctic Ocean. As the ice melts the western oil corporations want control of that vast area. The Rand Corporation has done a study calling for the 'balkanization' of Russia - breaking it up into smaller nations so that the oil corporations can get control. 

This is why the US keeps saying they want regime change in Moscow. Ukraine is just a sideshow the US-NATO created to excuse major military escalation on Russia's border.  Missile defense deployments are being finalized in Romania and Poland and a new regional US base in Poland will serve as a supply hub for Pentagon war making material.  War games along the Russian border by US-NATO are escalating each year.

It would be enough to make any country paranoid under these circumstances. 

After 'shock and awe' in Iraq in 2003 (and Afghanistan-Libya-Syria) along with the media lies to push those  wars - why should we fall for the demonization of any country by Washington and the western 'allies'?

Bruce

Friday, November 30, 2018

Charity and tolerance



In 1959, Bertrand Russell, the Nobel Prize-winning philosopher, mathematician and peace activist was just short of his 87th birthday, when he gave wide-ranging interviews to the BBC and the CBC.

In this video Russell shares life lessons — lessons about critical thinking, love and tolerance — to a generation living 1,000 years in the future.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Flirting with fascism: America's New Path?



CBC radio:

We've heard it so much that it's almost become a cliché: America is on the road to fascism. The debate over that claim continues, but renowned scholar Henry Giroux argues that "Donald Trump is not just some impulsive rich guy who marketed his way into politics through empty Kardashian-style consumer culture". Trump needed followers. And he got them. Now what?

Fascism looks different in different cultures, depending on that culture. In fact, it is the essence of fascism to have no single, fixed form - Henry Giroux

While academics and historians argue whether America is becoming a fascist state, Henry Giroux believes the evidence is mounting that it is. Giroux holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest. And he argues that a "savage capitalism" has moved America from a landscape of certainty to a fog of precarity.  Politically, this movement creates a kind of rootlessness, and as thinkers like Eric Fromm and Hannah Arendt remind us, rootlessness can create the foundations of totalitarianism.

Giroux points to other indicators of America's flirtation with fascism, like the increase in racist language entering the public sphere. In his book American Nightmare, Giroux includes this quotation from public intellectual Ta-Nehisi Coates: "Not every Trump voter is a white supremacist, but every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one."

Giroux argues that one only needs to look at Trump's comments about the "Central Park Five" long before he became president. In the 1989 case, a group of black and Latino youths were charged with the rape of a white woman in Central Park. Donald Trump spent $85,000 dollars on newspaper ads calling for the return of the death penalty. Eventually, the members of the Central Park Five were exonerated by DNA testing, and a serial rapist confessed to the crime. When the teenagers received compensation from the state for their wrongful conviction, Donald Trump called their exoneration "outrageous".

While Henry Giroux applauds the work of some journalists at the New York Times and The Washington Post, he notes that enough work has not been done: "During Donald Trump's inaugural speech, Fox News commentators called it, 'muscular', 'unifying' and 'just masterful'. The fog of self-delusion was in full swing at CNN when historian Douglas Brinkley described Trump's inaugural address as 'presidential' and the 'best speech he has ever made.' Former conservative radio talk show host Charles Sykes argues that over the last few decades, right-wing media have played a major role in discrediting and delegitimizing the fact-based media".

Giroux thinks some academics simply are not willing to describe conditions in America as "fascist".  It's often been said that Trump isn't Hitler — "Of course he isn't," says Giroux, "but fascism looks different in different cultures, depending on that culture. In fact, it is the essence of fascism to have no single, fixed form."

He leaves us with the words of Adam Gopnik: "Fascism takes on the colours and textures of the nation it infects. In Italy, it is bombastic and neo-classical. In Spain, it is Catholic and religious. In Germany, it is violent and romantic. In England, it's form was paternalistic and aristocratic, through Oswald Mosley.  So, it's no surprise that the American face of fascism would take on the form of celebrity television."

Henry Giroux is the author of "American Nightmare: Facing the Challenges of Fascism"

Digging trenches in Ukraine under martial law



What a joke....

If Ukraine and Russia get in a war (with US-NATO likely jumping in) these trenches (in part dug by kids they grabbed from a local orphanage for this public relations stunt) are not going to help very much.

Nothing like pushing fear of war to make Porky Poroshenko look better to the electorate in Ukraine - especially when he is under 8% in the polls.  In the video you see that when he went out to 'reassure the people' they wanted to know about their pensions.  Porky claimed he has nothing to do with pensions....

The quote I love is the woman working in the outdoor market who says there is no panic buying because "People don't have the money to buy anything."

Ba-bing....ba boom!

God help us.....!

Bruce 

Balsonaro blues.....


While I was in Russia in late October I attended a conference in Moscow of the Union of Ukrainian Refugees and Political Prisoners.  The weekend event was attended by activists and journalists from places like Brazil, Germany, England, Lugansk in the Donbass, and Russia.

One other American who attended was a young guy who went to Russia originally to teach English.  He is now working for RT in Moscow and spoke quite well at the conference.  He was critiquing the US 'progressive movement' and offering suggestions.  I was impressed with him.

The three men who came from Brazil were wonderful folks - one of them had once been an orchestral director and was constantly singing and waving his arms.  They are all terrified about the future of their nation after the last couple years of corporate directed coup that threw out progressive leadership.

The newly elected Jail Bolsonaro's (above photo) first official statement was "We cannot continue to flirt with socialism, communism, populism and extremism of the Left."  Bolsonaro was a military officer who worked with field artillery and parachutist units.  His job is now to be the heavy duty hit man. Big money is at stake.

The unit of measure anywhere these days is resource extraction - how much can Wall Street make if they control the Brazillian government?  It's like the good old days of Chiquita brands in Central America where they ran the show and put a banana in billions of homes around the world.

Brazil today produces oranges for Minute Maid orange juice - the company owned by Coca Cola Corp. based in Atlanta, Georgia where free elections are still not allowed.

Brazil also happens to inhabit the Amazon forest.  National Geographic reports:
[Balsonaro] wants to carve more mines and pave new roads. He wants fewer penalties for cutting down trees, and he has promised to halt growth of a network of indigenous forest reserves. By merging the nation's agriculture and environment ministries, he hopes to make it easier for Brazil's powerful soy and cattle industries to transform more native jungle into pasture and farms.

"We are already in a very critical situation in terms of climate change," says Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert, a native Brazilian who studies tropical forests at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. She's the lead author on a study published this month showing that the mix of tree species across the forest is already shifting in response to rising temperatures.
"If we mess up with the Amazon, carbon dioxide emissions will increase so massively that everyone will suffer," she adds.


Bolsonaro's brand of fascism (defined by Mussolini as the wedding of corporations and government) is not wasting anytime.  The new 'Trump from South America' is turning loose the dogs on the opposition.

It has been reported by Rodrigo Castriota, in Brazil: "More than 20 Brazilian universities were invaded by police in the past days.  They confiscated material on the history of fascism, interrupted classes due to 'ideological content', removed anti-fascist banners and posters claiming that it was electoral propaganda."

This is how it goes on modern corporate Earth.  Reminds me of Central America in the 1980's when the US ransacked the region and put death squads into power.  Washington is doing the same thing today in Ukraine, Brazil, and beyond.  No wonder thousands are fleeing Honduras toward the US as they try to hold Washington accountable for its crimes in 2009 when Hillary Clinton - as secretary of state at the time - pushed for new elections, rather than the return of  President Manuel Zelaya, whom she considered a leftist troublemaker in the mold of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.
 
In office Zelaya oversaw modest economic and social reforms. He introduced a minimum wage, gave away energy-saving light bulbs, and pledged to finally resolve longstanding land conflicts between peasant farmers and agribusinesses.

In June 2009, Zelaya called a referendum to decide whether an extra vote should take place in November – alongside the general election – to reform the constitution. If approved, the reform would have allowed presidents to stand again for re-election.

Two days before the vote, the army refused to deliver the ballot boxes. Zelaya tried to push on with the vote, but on the night of 28 June he was forced – still in his pajamas – on to a military plane and taken to Costa Rica. Zelaya was replaced with a brutal dictator who has been erasing his opposition.

Corporate globalization means Wall Street has no love for country - only total domination.  Wealth and resource extraction is the primary goal - accomplished at any cost to human or environment.  It's neo-feudalism - fascism - authoritarianism - evil.  Global slavery is their goal.


We must expand the internationalization of our resistance movements.  Last weekend's international conference in Dublin, Ireland of the Global Campaign Against US/NATO Military Bases is a great example of this kind of needed organizing.  (I'll do a report on the conference which I was unable to attend soon here on the blog.)

It's not just about changing the leaders in our capitals anymore -  we've got to figure out a global strategy to take down corporate power.

Bruce

Comparing real leadership with political bloviation



Hillary Clinton recently made some very controversial immigration statements to the Guardian newspaper in England.

Listen to how the UK's Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn approaches the issue.

Jimmy Dore does a good job showing this contrast of two political leaders - Hillary or Jeremy Corbyn?

I'll take Corbyn any day!  He has long been an active leader in UK's peace movement and his words in this video reveal that he has not abandoned those deep concerns.  Corbyn is a real leader.

Hillary?  She is a political hack and a bloviator.

Bruce

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a Space Force Sellout



By Will Griffin

Neil deGrasse Tyson has been on every mainstream media outlet this year promoting the idea of a Space Force. Along with supporting President Trump’s idea of forming a new military branch, which would cost taxpayers billions of dollars, Neil also promotes the myth of how military spending is required to increase spending in science. Studies have shown that we do not need to bulk up the military in order to further the advancement of science in the civilian sector. So what’s up with that Neil?

Neil deGrasse Tyson has ties to the U.S. government and corporations which he never mentions on mainstream media, so I expose those connections here. Indeed, promoting the military like Neil has been doing all year is the very definition of

MILITARISM: holding military ideals up to every standard, every decision, and every solution. We need to stop believing that every solution comes with a bigger military budget. Shame on Neil for doing this, he’s smarter than that!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

BIW Advent vigils


Please join us as we hold a light in the darkness at the Advent Vigil for Disarmament at Bath Iron Works.  We will gather across from the BIW Administration building on Washington Street in Bath from 11:30 am till 12:30 on the four Saturdays of Advent, December 1, 8, 15, 22.

We stand with signs calling for the end of the building of weapons of mass destruction by General Dynamics in Maine.  We stand in opposition to the production of the Arleigh Burke class of Aegis destroyers and the new Zumwalt stealth destroyers which will cost well over $4 billion each.

It is time to end the construction of these warships and to begin the transformation to a nonviolent society by using our resources to create life affirming alternatives to our present war-based economy.


Please join us for an hour on these four Saturdays in December as we witness in hope for a nonviolent world through disarmament.

Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm
Hope, Maine
763-4062

Monday, November 26, 2018

Was there an ideological contamination from the Nazis?



I first learned about Operation Paperclip and the Nazi scientists creating the US space program when I read the book Secret Agenda by former CNN investigative reporter Linda Hunt. The book told in detail how 1,500 top Nazi scientists, engineers and intelligence opeatives were smuggled into the U.S. through Boston and West Palm Beach, Florida. One hundred of them, along with 100 copies of Hitler's V-2 rocket, were brought to Huntsville, Alabama to create the U.S. space program. Wernher von Braun, the lead scientist of Hitler's team that built the V-1 and V-2 rockets was made the first director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.


In Germany the Nazis had a concentration camp called Dora where 40,000 Jews, French resistance fighters, homosexuals, communists and other prisoners of war (including a black American GI) were brought to build the V-1 and V-2 inside a mountain tunnel called Mittelwerk. By the time the slaves were liberated by the allies, over 25,000 had perished at the hands of the Nazi rocketeers.



Hitler's military liason to von Braun's rocket team was Maj. Gen. Walter Dornberger. Several times Dornberger and von Braun met with Hitler requesting more money and more slaves so they could step up the rocket production effort. Hitler was anxious to use the rockets to terrorize European cities like London, Paris and Brussels toward the end of the war as the Nazi army began to lose. Dornberger and von Braun showed Hitler films of the V-2 rocket launches to prove they were making significant progress.


Dornberger came to the U.S. along with von Braun's rocket team during Operation Paperclip. According to author Jack Manno in his book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, 1945-1995, Dornberger was appointed as a vice-president at Bell Aviation Corporation in New York and served on the first 'military oversight committee' that ensured that NASA was controlled by the Pentagon from the first days. It was Dornberger who first came up with the idea of 'missile defense' as an offensive program that would have nuclear powered satellites orbiting the planet and able to hit targets on Earth.



Kurt Debus, the chief of V-2 launch operations in Hitler's Germany, later became Chief of Operations for NASA at Cape Canaveral. When tourists converge on the Kennedy Space Center they will pass by a portrait of the former German SS member that hangs in the entrance in honor of Debus's service as the center's first director.

In a book called The Hunt for Zero Point, respected military journalist Nick Cook talks much about the "black" (the Pentagon's secret) budget. For 15 years Cook had been a defense and aerospace writer for Jane's Defence Weekly, which some consider the bible of the international weapons community. Cook spent 10 years researching secret military programs in the U.S. and believed that well over $40 billion a year is spent on these programs outside the purview of Congress. Cook states, "It [black programs] has a vast and sprawling architecture funded by tens of billion of classified dollars every year. The height of its powers was probably in the Reagan era. But it has not stopped since then. In fact, under the Bush administration it [had] something of a resurgence. Stealth technology is a primary example...research into anti-gravity technology...has been going on for quite some time."

Cook traced the roots of the U.S.'s secret programs back to the Nazi scientists brought to the U.S. after WW II in Operation Paperclip. He states, "We know the size and scope of Operation Paperclip, which was huge. And we know that the U.S. operates a very deeply secret defense architecture for secret weapons programs...it is highly compartmentalized...and one of the things that's intrigued me over the years is, How did they develop it? What model did they base it on? It is remarkably similar to the system that was operated by the Germans - specifically the SS - for their top-secret weapons programs."

"What I do mean," says Cook, "is that if you follow the trail of Nazi scientists and engineers who were recruited by America at the end of the second world war, the unfortunate corollary is that by taking on the science, you take on - unwittingly - some of the ideology...What do you lose along the way?"


Could this be what former President Dwight Eisenhower was talking about just a few years later when in 1961 he warned the American people to 'beware' of the power of the military industrial complex? Could Eisenhower's prophetic warning been that an ideological contamination had come from America's embracing of the Nazi operatives?

Bruce

The Saker: About the latest Ukronazi provocation in the Kerch strait



By The Saker

First, here is a pretty good summary of what has taken place (including videos) posted by RT:
I will just add that at the time of writing (07:38 UTC) the cargo ship blocking the passage under the bridge has been removed, traffic has resumed and the situation has returned to normal.

Second, let me give you the single most important element to understand what is (and what is not) taking place: the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea are, in military terms, “Russian lakes”.  That means that Russia has the means to destroy any and all ships (or aircraft) over these two seas: on the Black Sea the life expectancy of any intruder would be measured in minutes, on the Sea of Azov in seconds.  Let me repeat here that any and all ships deployed in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are detected and tracked by Russia and they can all easily be destroyed.  The Russians know that, the Ukrainians know that and, of course, the Empire knows that.  Again, keep that in mind when trying to make sense of what happened.

Third, whether the waters in which the incident happened belong to Russia or not is entirely irrelevant.  Everybody knows that Russia considers these waters are belonging to her and those disagreeing with this have plenty of options to express their disagreement and challenge the legality of the Russian position.  Trying to break through waters Russia considers her own with several armed military vessels is simply irresponsible and, frankly, plain stupid (especially considering point #2 above).  That is simply not how civilized nations behave (and there are plenty of contested waters on our planet).

Fourth, one should not be too quick in dismissing Poroshenko’s latest plan to introduce martial law for the next 60 days.  Albeit Poroshenko himself declared that this mobilization does not mean that the Ukronazi regime wants war with Russia, the fact is that the first-line reserves will be mobilized.  This is important because the situation resulting from the introduction to martial law could be used to covertly increase the number of soldiers available for an attack on Novorussia or, God forbid, Russia herself.  In fact, Poroshenko also officially appealed to the veterans of the war against Novorussia to be ready for deployment.

Fifth, while there are all sorts of caveats offered by the Ukronazi regime about the introduction of the martial law, including that it will not mean war or infringe on the right of the people, the truth is very different.  Here is what a memo by the Unian agency says about what martial law means in legal terms: (emphasis added)

Martial law is a special legal regime that is introduced in Ukraine or its individual areas in the event of armed aggression or threat of attack, a threat to Ukraine’s state independence, its territorial integrity, and gives authorities, the military command and local self-government the powers that are necessary to prevent threats and ensure national security. It also foresees temporary threat-related limitations on constitutional rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen and the rights and legal interests of legal entities, indicating the duration of such restrictions (Article 1 of the Law on the Legal Regime of Martial Law).
Considering the current single-digit popularity rating of Poroshenko and the fact that he has no chance in hell to be re-elected (at least not in minimally credible elections) it is pretty darn obvious of why the Ukronazi regime in Kiev decided to trigger yet another crisis and then blame Russia for it.  The very last thing Russia needs is yet another crisis, especially not before a possible Putin-Trump meeting at the G20 Buenos Aires summit later this month.  In fact, Ukrainian bloggers immediately saw this latest provocation as an attempt to scrap upcoming elections.

So what’s next?

Well, the most likely options is just one more Ukie bawling about the “Russian aggression” with the hope that this will a) raise the value of the Poroshenko regime in the eyes of the Empire and b) disrupt the planned Trump-Putin meeting.

I am not so sure that Poroshenko will be given the option to simply cancel the elections.  Yes, he cannot win, but the Empire can replace him.  Not only that, but outright canceling the elections would be a PR disaster (but one which is sometimes chosen by the Empire’s “sons of bitches” like, say, Mahmoud Abbas).  Still there is also a very good chance that the Ukronazis regime feeling that it has nothing to lose would take such an unprecedented step.

Some kind of limited Ukronazi military operations against Russia, Novorussia, Crimea or the Kerch bridge would be militarily suicidal but political very profitable as it would allow Poroshenko to a) blame Russia for all the Ukrainian problems and b) demand even more aid to “resist against the Russian aggression”.  The problem with that option is that there are good signs that a lot of the Ukrainian military personnel does not have the courage to actually fight the Russians (for ex: look how ALL the Ukie soldiers folded in Crimea; also, the blog of “Colonel Cassad” reports that of the three ships which tried to breach the Russian border, at least one had a captain who voluntarily surrendered his ship to the Russians; finally, one Ukrainian sailor has apparently been shot for refusing to open fire against the Russians).  It is worth mentioning that on Sunday the Urkonazis sent a few more ships obviously to aid the ships intercepted by the Russians, but as soon as the Russians closed the passage and Russian Su-25s and Ka-52 appeared in the skies, they quickly stopped and eventually left the scene.  Did they do that under order or because they did not want to die?  We will never find out I suppose.

Finally, there is the very real possibility of a full-scale war against Russia.  Yes, the Ukronazis would last just a couple of days, but keep in mind that their goal will not be to win, but to force Russia into an overt military operation which the entire “collective West” will have to condemn like what happened with the Georgian attack in 08.08.08. (you know, in the name of “solidarity” like during the Skripal false flag).  As for the leaders of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, they will gladly fight Russia down to the very last Ukrainian solider, we all understand that.

Finally, let me address those who might think that Russia somehow over-reacted or should not have used force.  First, let me remind you that we are talking about armed and military vessels, not fishing boats.  Second, the Ukronazis have been daydreaming about bringing this bridge down even before it was built.  So how where the Russians to know that these ships were not packed with explosives?  Third, let me remind you that a few months ago the Ukronazis did send a few tiny military vessels under the bridge.  That first time, they did ask for permission and even had a Russian pilot on board helping them to cross the narrow passage.  Yet the regime in Kiev presented that a major “victory” against the Moskal’s.  This time around tried to sneak by without asking.  If the Russians had left them pass, what do you think they would have done the next time?

The truth is that the Ukronazi regime has been claiming for years now that it is at war against Russia, that Russia has invaded the Ukraine, that all those who oppose the regime or speak even the basic truth are “agents of the Kremlin/FSB.  The funny thing is not just that this is the first time in Russian history that Russia is accused of waging a war which shes does not even participate in – it is even more hilarious that the Ukronazis claim to be at war with Russia but have a hissy fit when three of their (tiny) ships are arrested for violating the Russian border.  Is there a war going on or not?!  What the hell were they thinking when they tried to force their way through?!

[Sidebar: there is even a joke about this going around: Ukrainian military personnel are asked why they are fighting in the Donbass.  They reply “because the Russians are there”.  Then they are asked why they are *not* fighting in Crimea and they reply “because the Russians are truly there!!”.  Bottom line: everybody knows full well that this is bull and that there are no Russian forces in Novorussia]
How do you prove that the other guy is an “aggressor state”?  Simple – by forcing him to attack you.  Considering the “selective blindness” of the collective West, the fact that you hit the other guy first makes absolutely no difference whatsoever (again, see 08.08.08).

It is obvious that the Nazi regime in Kiev is in a tailspin and that short of some dramatic action Poroshenko is a goner.  Most of the gang around him won’t fare much better, especially not if Timoshenko ever gets the presidency (which might happen if the Empire decides to ditch Poroshenko).  For them the options are either to leave the Ukraine or face some serious jail time (sort of the same situation as Saakashvili [former President of Georgia and US puppet] had to face).

We are entering a very dangerous time period, one in which a totally corrupt Nazi regime will fight with every trick imaginable to save itself.  Whether this will result in a major war against Novorussia or Russia is impossible to predict, but we have to recognize that this is a distinct possibility.

The Saker

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Now they are coming for your Social Security......


Sunday song