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: Brunswick, 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 22, 2018

Putin on Trump's Syria pullout tweet



Vladimir Putin: " We haven't seen any signs the United States is withdrawing its troops. But I admit it's quite possible. Moreover, we are going the path of political control over the situation. Currently, we have the issue of creation of a constitutional committee on the agenda."

How many world leaders hold a 3-hour news conference with hundreds of international media present?

I believe he answers questions quite directly - something we've not seen from the US in a very long time.  Could this be another reason for the demonization of Putin?  He talks too straight.

Bruce

Friday, December 21, 2018

Vive la liberté!




U.S. laws to support anti-BDS movement



Award-winning author and host of “On Contact” Chris Hedges joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the anti-BDS legislation sweeping the US, an effort to protect Israel’s public image by muzzling the Boycott, Divestment & Sanction (BDS) movement, which seeks to put economic pressure on Israel and bring attention to the plight of the Palestinians. Hedges says “Israel can no longer control its narrative or hide the brutality of their apartheid system.”

Korea Updates

Sung-Hee Choi in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island standing in front of the main gate at the new Navy base


  • Many progressives in South Korea believe that a U.S.-centered approach on the current peace process (rather denuclearization of North Korea) is too risky and won't address real issues. They want to push for a Northeast Asia Collective Security Framework, Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, etc. I agree with them. The arms race in Northeast Asia is going mad and driving us to a hell! In the year when two Koreas are taking significant steps toward peace, Japan is on a fast track toward hyper-militarism. Very few pay attention to the military threat and ambition that Japan poses.  ~ Simone Chun
  •  Trump’s demand that South Korea increase its funding for U.S. troops deployed there has reportedly soured on-going negotiations over the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) between the two countries. The SMA’s five-year contract expires December 31 and currently requires South Korea to pay $830 million per year to the U.S. for the 28,500 U.S. troops based there.
  • CNN’s recent report on “new missile base activity” in North Korea is deceptive, said a South Korean media outlet. CNN had reported on December 6 that new satellite images it obtained exclusively reveal that “North Korea has significantly expanded a key long-range missile base.”   The Yeongjeo-dong missile base has been known to the outside world since as early as 1999 when North Korea test-launched its Daepo-dong 1 and 2 missiles, according to the South Korean media outlet Voice of People (VOP). And one of the satellite photos that CNN published as evidence of new construction activity near the missile site has a 2004 date stamp, VOP noted.
  • South and North Korea held working-level talks on December 13 to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the inter-Korean railway project. A group of South Korean officials and experts traveled to North Korea for a joint railway survey of 400 kilometers of the western Gyeong-gui Line as part of efforts to connect major railways along the divided peninsula.  
  • A retired army general under investigation for illegal surveillance jumped off a building in an apparent suicide on December 7. Lee Jae-su, former chief of the Defense Security Command (DSC), was being probed for his alleged involvement in illegal surveillance of the bereaved families of the victims of the 2014 Sewol Tragedy. The sinking of the Sewol ferry killed 304 passengers aboard, mostly high school students on a field trip to Jeju Island.
Thanks to ZoominKorea for much of this information

Thursday, December 20, 2018

One small part from Putin's 3-hour news conference....brilliant response to a question from a worried father if there will be a nuclear war



Vladimir Putin: "There's the tendency of lowering the threshold of application. There's an idea of creating low-yield nuclear weapons not for applications on a global scale, but a tactical scale. Some experts in the West even express such a thought that there's nothing terrible in using such weapons. The lowering of the threshold may lead to a global nuclear catastrophe."

Latest This Issue



My latest This Issue show with Maine filmmaker Regis Tremblay on the western demonization of Putin and Russia.

This was the 146th edition of the show which airs on about 15 local public access stations across Maine.  It's been on the air since 2003.

Thanks to all those who help produce the show.

You'll notice that the sound from Regis drops way down half-way thru the show.  His microphone fell down inside his shirt.  The crew in the booth decided to keep going anyway.  Regis and I didn't even know it had happened. They turned up his microphone and it turned out OK.

Bruce


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

U.S. occupies Okinawa



The U.S. has 32 military bases on the Okinawan island.  The people want them gone yesterday!

Dr. Annmaria Shimabuku is professor of East Asian Studies at New York University. She and host Will Griffin discuss U.S. militarism and Japanese capitalism on the island of Okinawa. 

Nearly 20 percent of the island is controlled by the Pentagon. At the same time, Okinawa suffers from a history of Japanese racism, capitalism, and exploitation.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The inside story behind Washington's war on Russia



As I've often written the US goal is to break Russia into smaller countries giving the western corporate oligarchies better access and control of their vast resource base.

This fascinating documentary gives both historical perspective on this process as well as updates us on the current realities of this regime change plan for Russia.

The American media daily talks about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election but this film absolutely shows how the US (thru an alphabet soup of US funded agencies like the CIA, National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, US Agency for International Development, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, George Soros money at Open Society Foundations, and more) work to destabilize Russia and other nations in order to put puppets in place who will do Washington's bidding.

Putin is hated in the west because he tried to put a stop to this process in his country.  When George W. Bush declared his 'love' for Putin during his administration Washington figured they had Vladimir in the bag.  When Putin stood up to the west the process of demonization took off and today is running at an Olympic pace.

If anyone speaks up to call out this western regime change plan they are often labeled 'Putin worshipers' in order to back them off and to isolate them.  This is how the powers that be get away with their plan for 'full spectrum dominance'.

I've lost a few friends over the years because I refuse to choke down the red, white and blue pill that is handed out to political activists in the west.  If you refuse to swallow the Madison Avenue anti-Russian script you get isolated.  It means you are supposed to sit back and watch as World War III is being planned.

I'm not interested in being a lap dog.  I am not about to keep my mouth shut as Washington spends one trillion dollars per year on the military and tries to take over the world on behalf of corporate interests.

Call me what ever you like - just don't call me after the nuclear explosions and say, "Bruce, what happened?"

Why didn't we speak up while we could?

Bruce

Monday, December 17, 2018

Shift BIW’s reliance on military


At our last Saturday Advent vigil at Bath Iron Works we were joined by a one-year old who insisted on holding a sign.  He helped hold his aunt's sign which read:  We love Workers...We want a different product.

We had 26 folks which is good for this time of year in Maine at a vigil.  Next Saturday will be our final vigil for the Advent season.

Dan Marks (the father of the young sign holder) also had a great Letter to Editor in the Portland Press Herald the morning of the vigil. It reads:

Shift BIW’s reliance on military

We need to transition toward jobs that build a sustainable infrastructure here at home. 

Last Sunday, General Dynamics-owned Bath Iron Works launched the last of three death machine “destroyers.” Two weeks ago, Rep. Chellie Pingree signed on to the “Green New Deal.” The two actions may seem unrelated, but they are not.

The Green New Deal would create “green” jobs by shifting the nation’s energy use to fossil fuel alternatives. The military is the single greatest contributor of fossil fuel emissions. Rep. Pingree correctly notes in her news release that the effects of climate change are already being felt here, from lobster and shellfish to rates of asthma and tick-borne illnesses.

And don’t forget the immense suffering exacted around the world through the direct action and support of our military – be it in Yemen, Gaza or among the Central American refugees on our southern border. Resources are consistently pulled away from humanitarian aid, health care and education while the military-industrial complex grows. General Dynamics is one of the greatest examples of corporate welfare in the country. This year, we added to their handout with state tax incentives. “Jobs” is always the argument for the handouts.

Ensuring that the hardworking people at BIW have viable employment is paramount. Transitioning jobs away from dependency on military spending toward building a sustainable infrastructure here at home is a way to do that. Let’s drop the false narrative that BIW in its current form is the only way for people to work. Let’s envision a new BIW, one that builds the future’s needs.

A dedicated group is working to gain the support of BIW workers in this transition. Come join us and we can build that future together! We are meeting on Saturday and on Dec. 22 at 11:30 a.m. on Washington Street, in front of the BIW administrative offices in Bath. Don’t lose hope, or your power!

Dan Marks
North Yarmouth 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Finding your truth....



Ferment is all around us
many colors
many cries for justice,
peace and sustainability

the masses are afraid,
angry
and confused

Who should we believe?
Many ask
and painfully allow
the question to freeze them
into
no action,
complicity
by silence


The answer
is find your own truth
read more,
listen deeper,
see with your eyes
and heart,
allow yourself
to feel

then you will know
your truth
from your own
experience

But experiences
won't come
by hiding
from the world

no matter
its condition....

Bruce

Sunday song