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'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

LBJ's daughter: 'These ships not to destroy'


Former US Navy Academy graduate (and All-American lacrosse player) Dud Hendrick arrested at BIW.  Dud is a Vietnam war veteran and now a member of VFP.

Lynda Bird Johnson Robb thanked the crowd gathered at Bath Iron Works on behalf of her father (LBJ) and quoted John Quincy Adams, calling America a ‘well-wisher of freedom for all.’

“We christen this ship in that spirit, not seeking to destroy, conquer, or dominate other nations, but rather to defend our own safety and the safety of other nations,” said Robb. “This ship goes to its mission not as part of an American vessel, not just as a part of our nation's self defense, it goes out as a vessel prepared to support and represent the strength, the purpose and the vitality of alliances, such as NATO. It goes out in support of important ideas, the idea of a community of free nations. Our defense pacts and alliances may come under threat from within and from without, but those alliances are vital in today’s dangerous and unruly world.”


This is the kind of mind numbing blather that we often hear to justify the aggressive US war machine now sent around the world to indeed dominate on behalf of corporate interests.  They can lie all they want and try to justify it but the protest blocking the buses bringing people into this 'private christening' ceremony removes the unholy Vail off the devil's face.  Those entering this worship of endless war were able to witness this citizens uprising close up and personal.

Money for human and environmental needs - not destruction.

See more media coverage here.

Bruce

Message to BIW: Convert & deal with coming climate catastrophe



















Twenty-five good hearted souls were arrested in Bath, Maine early this morning as they blocked the entrance road into the Bath Iron Works 'christening' ceremony of the $7 billion Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer.

In their act of civil resistance they called for the conversion of the shipyard to sustainable production - commuter rail, offshore wind turbines, tidal power systems and the like.  In order to save the future generations from the coming climate catastrophe we must shift wasteful and dangerous military spending to peaceful and sustainable production immediately.

Studies show that by converting military production facilities we would in fact get more jobs in the process.

We thank Regis Tremblay for these great photos.  You can see more of them on Fazebook here.

For a better view click on each photo to enlarge them.

Our love, admiration and thanks go to all who attended the event today in Bath and those who took the step to stand strong for peace, non-violence and a sustainable future.

See the Portland Press Herald coverage where they first reported that 'several' were arrested but an hour after seeing that story they pulled it and scratched any word of the arrests.  Just goes to prove that corporate media has been out sourced to the war machine.

Bruce

Friday, April 26, 2019

War with Russia?



After the fall of the Soviet Union, a dysfunctional and pro-American Russian President Yeltsin presided over the chaos of the 1990’s; when Putin came to power, the West was very disappointed at the independent and nationalist character of the Putin led state and the demonization began.

Stephen Cohen joins Paul Jay on Reality Asserts Itself

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The oligarchy wants us to know nothing......



Julian Assange is a thorn in the side of the US elites which explains the effort they made to capture him, ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters told RT, adding that it’s appalling the UK has become an accomplice “of the American Empire.”

Watching WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being physically removed from his shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last week “was absolutely chilling” to legendary musician Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), who gave RT’s Going Underground his take on Assange’s arrest.

Photos from Red Square








Photos by Global Network board member Will Griffin who went to Red Square today in Moscow.

I've been sitting in the hotel lobby all day waiting for our study tour participants who have been trickling in.  Still three more to go.

We begin our formal meetings in the morning at 9:00 am.  Over the next four days several Russian experts on areas from military policy, economics, Ukraine, and other subjects will come and speak to us.

The breakfast buffet (comes with the hotel room) this morning was stunning.  (Food is always important to me.)

Bruce


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Arrived in Moscow for study tour


Four of us from the US flew together to Moscow via New York City yesterday.  We came a day early to get adjusted to the time change and overnight flight.

The others in our Global Network study tour group will be arriving tomorrow and we'll start our meetings with various Russian experts the next day.

Our hotel window looks out on this magnificent building across the six lane road.  MB, Will Griffin and I took a walk before dinner through a park next to this beautiful site.

Everyone from taxi drivers (from the airport to hotel) and hotel staff have been really thoughtful and kind to us.

Seven in our group of early arrivals had dinner together at a Central Asian restaurant next door to the hotel and the food was excellent.

MB will explore the famous Russian Metro tomorrow while I sit in the hotel lobby to ensure all of our people get checked in without any difficulties.

When we were walking we saw people heading to the Metro after work, folks walking their dogs, all normal stuff.  In the restaurant a big group of 20 people were having a grand time and as we left we noticed the quite large restaurant was packed. I said to MB and Will how it is such a damn shame that Washington continues to demonize Russia.  The American people are wrong when it comes to how they view Russia and the people here.

On the plane I watched a film about one of the former Soviet Union's most famous folk musicians - Vladimir Vysotsky.  I went online to learn more about him once I arrived at the hotel and read that while in the US in late 1970's he was on the CBS 60 Minutes TV show and they said he had spent time in a Soviet gulag.  But it turns out to have been a lie.  This is just a tiny example of the way the US has in my lifetime brainwashed the American people about Russia.  It makes me doubt much of what I've been taught.

Do you remember the Bullwinkle cartoon TV series that ran from 1959-1964.  The bad guys were the two Russian spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, both working for the dictator Fearless Leader. The Russian demonization has been ingrained in the American mind.

Bruce

And the audience applauded.....



"I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment".

Mike Pompeo (Secretary of State) participates in a Q&A discussion at Texas A&M University as part of the Wiley Lecture Series, in College Station, Texas on April 15, 2019.

The 'glory of the American experiment'?  What?

Texas A & M is the home to the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library.  Daddy Bush was also the former director of the CIA.

Some years ago I was watching C-SPAN one evening and Daddy Bush was giving Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), brother of JFK and RFK, an award at Texas A & M.  I was quite shocked to see Kennedy accept the award from a man who has been directly implicated in the assassination of his own brother(s)!  Why would he take such an award from him?

I chewed on that one for many years and came to the conclusion that this is how the oligarchic system works in the US.  Sort of like the Mafia.  Sometimes the mob kills each other when they have disputes and other times they work together when their interests fall in line.

I've come to see that America has regional oligarchies.  Texas, Boston, Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, etc.  They battle with each other for power and control of the government.  Sometimes they kill one another.  Other times they give one another awards.

Most of the public would think this whole analysis of power in the US is crazy.  But that is how I see it.  I've learned alot about how oligarchies work by daily studying Ukraine since the US orchestrated coup d'etat there in 2014.

Ukraine's newly elected president (comedian Volodymyr Zelensky) has zero governing experience and was put up to run by one of the biggest oligarchs in the country - a man named Kolomoisky who owns the TV network which promoted Zelensky.  Kolomoisky also has his own private army which he uses to push people in Ukraine around.  Kolomoisky is strongly linked to the US and Israel so the 'new president' Zelensky will actually be working for the US-NATO.

Zelensky beat Petro Poroshenko (another Ukrainian oligarch) in the election.  The US loved the drunken Poroshenko but the public hated him so it was time to switch horses.

This is how things appear to work anymore.  Democracy has largely become a show horse with little meaning.

Bruce

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Connect the dots: Conversion for survival



Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space talks about the necessity to bring the environmental and peace movements together and to be authentic, even when your political party is on the wrong side.

The Global Network website is http://space4peace.org/

Bruce is departing for Russia with a group of Global Network and Veterans for Peace members this week.  You can follow their progress on his blog and donations to the Global Network can be made from their web site.

US-NATO stirring war pot



NATO is preparing a package of measures to counter Russia in the Black Sea region. These operations include the deployment of NATO warships to the Black Sea to guarantee ‘passage’ of Ukrainian ships via the Kerch Strait, U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison stressed during a press briefing on April 2.

Hutchison said that the prepared package “beefs up the surveillance, both air surveillance as well as more of the NATO country ships going into the Black Sea to assure that there is safe passage from Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Straits, the Sea of Azov”.

Earlier the US State Department announced that the Black Sea package is a response to the challenges the US and NATO face in the region, “not merely because of the Kerch Strait incident,” but because “Russia is threatening the alliance all along the eastern flank, not just in the north.

Monday, April 22, 2019

We will never stop fighting for this planet....



A day before countries around the world celebrate Earth Day, activist and leader of the School Strike for Climate Greta Thunberg addressed protesters in London who have been occupying a number of major landmarks for almost a week, rallying the demonstrators to continue their fight against the "existential crisis" brought about by climate change.

"Humanity is now standing at a crossroads," Thunberg told the protesters gathered at the Marble Arch. "We must now decide which path we want to take. How do we want the future living conditions for all species to be? We have gathered here today and in many other places around London and across the world too, because we have chosen which path we want to take and now we are waiting for the others to follow our example."

Vidal: 'Meaning of the Cold War'



Gore Vidal speaking about the National Security State at the National Press Club in 1998.

He opens by saying he wishes to speak about, "The origins of the American empire and the meaning of the Cold War.  How it started, who started it, and who benefits."

This is great history for us as we head to Russia for our Global Network study tour.  Note the parts about the US-UK-Soviet meeting at the Livada Palace in Yalta, Crimea which we will visit.  Vidal makes certain to mention that the US walked away from the agreements struck at that historic meeting.

Even though this speech was made 21 years ago it holds up quite well in the present time.

We were lucky to have a man of such intelligence, honesty and wit.  He is surely missed.

Bruce

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Keeping the Russia distraction alive....



Russia distraction

Distract
from what?

Forgot about
global warming....

Toxic water in
Flint....

Take the bait
swallow the
Maddow line
drag the 'citizenry'
into a mindless
black hole

Widening gap
between
rich & poor
1% wants it all
who pays attention
when you've got Mueller

They have a slogan
"the one who dies
with the most toys,
wins"

It's a deep,
spiritual
disconnection
nature is a tool
to the psychopath*

Democrats
push NATO
war
with Russia

their 'liberal' followers,
maybe we should
call them disciples
since its Easter,
ignore truth
help bang war drums

The corporate media,
as one would expect,
is doing their job
of distracting
the public
with Hollywood
story lines

All while
the news
(that is fit to print)
schools the American people
on the mythology
of exceptionalism, freedom
and liberty

The only liberty
actually involved though
is the corporate 'liberty'
to steal the
global public
purse
and natural heritage.


* Psychopathy is traditionally a personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits.

Addendum from Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now


 "I should say, the Democrats are helping [Trump]. They are. Take the focus on Russiagate. What’s that all about? I mean, it was pretty obvious at the beginning that you’re not going to find anything very serious about Russian interference in elections. I mean, for one thing, it’s undetectable. I mean, in the 2016 election, the Senate and the House went the same way as the executive, but nobody claims there was Russian interference there. In fact, you know, Russian interference in the election, if it existed, was very slight, much less, say, than interference by, say, Israel. Israel, the prime minister, Netanyahu, goes to Congress and talks to a joint session of Congress, without even informing the White House, to attack Obama’s policies. I mean, that’s dramatic interference with elections. Whatever the Russians tried, it’s not going to be anything like that. And, in fact, there’s no interference in elections that begins to compare with campaign funding. Remember that campaign funding alone gives you a very high prediction of electoral outcome. It’s, again, Tom Ferguson’s major work which has shown this very persuasively. That’s massive interference in elections. Anything the Russians might have done is going to be, you know, peanuts in comparison. As far as Trump collusion with the Russians, that was never going to amount to anything more than minor corruption, maybe building a Trump hotel in Red Square or something like that, but nothing of any significance.
The Democrats invested everything in this issue. Well, turned out there was nothing much there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him the next election. That’s just a—that’s a matter of being so unwilling to deal with fundamental issues, that they’re looking for something on the side that will somehow give political success. The real issues are different things. They’re things like climate change, like global warming, like the Nuclear Posture Review, deregulation. These are real issues. But the Democrats aren’t going after those. They’re looking for something else—the Democratic establishment. I’m not talking about the young cohort that’s coming in, which is quite different. Just all of that has to be shifted significantly, if there’s going to be a legitimate political opposition to the right-wing drift that’s taking place. And it can happen, can definitely happen, but it’s going to take work."

Sunday song