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, July 27, 2019

Seeking the real story.....



A very compelling investigation.

Five years ago, on July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky while flying over eastern Ukraine. It was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 283 passengers and 15 crew on board we killed. It was immediately claimed that Russia was responsible, something that Russia vehemently denies.

Bonanza media investigative team of independent journalists take exclusive interviews with one of the suspects of downing the MH17, Malaysian prime minister; colonel that collected black boxes and much more. Eye opening testimonies from witnesses and irrefutable evidence from experts. Exclusive footage shot in Malaysia, The Netherlands and at the crash area in Ukraine.

The US, Ukraine and NATO don't want the truth to be known.  One can conclude why.

See for yourself.

Bruce

Friday, July 26, 2019

Public comment period on 'Space Command'


Public comment period opens for U.S. Space Command alternatives 

Three Colorado bases competing for U.S. Space Command have space for new facilities, according to an environmental assessment offered for comment on July 24.

Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base, both in El Paso County, and Buckley Air Force Base in the Denver area, are among those under consideration for command.

The other bases contending for the command include Vandenberg Air Force Base in California or Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.

A 30-day public comment period opened July 24. Click on this link to view the EA.

Email comments, which must be contained in the body of the email and not in attachments, can be sent to russell.perry.1@us.af.mil

Or mail comments to Russell Perry, HQ AFSPC/A4C, 150 Vandenberg St. Suite 1105, Peterson AFB, Colorado, 80914-4230.

Deadline is Aug. 23.

Key points that could be made in the public comments are:

1) The cost of a new arms race in space will be massive and we are in deep debt - we need to take care of Mother Earth and deal with climate change.

2) Space Force will necessitate huge numbers of rocket launches which pollute the environment and punch holes in the ozone layer.

3) We need to honor the United Nations Outer Space and Moon treaties that established that space should not be an arena of war.  Instead the US should be negotiating a new treaty to ban all weapons in space.  Russia and China for years have been urging the US to join them in doing so.

4) It is clear and obvious that the aerospace industry views space as a new profit center.  The industry has identified the 'entitlement programs' (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what little is left of the social safety net) as the new funding source to pay for their ambitious and dangerous plans for space control and domination in the coming years.

5) Select none of the proposed sites now under consideration.  We can't afford to expand the 'Space Command' or 'Space Force' - what ever it may be called.

Ask a question about the economy....and dive in



  • Ian Winer, investor, philosopher and author of “Ubiquitous Relativity: My Truth is not the Truth” joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the slowing growth of the US economy and whether a recession looms. He argues that the Fed and other US institutions appear to be “preparing for the worst.”

  • When you don't produce much anymore, except fracked gas and endless war, your economy is a paper tiger.

This nation is physically collapsing - roads, bridges, subways, water and air quality, massive homelessness, education system imploding, massive drug use, people working 2-3 jobs to survive - the list could go on all night.

The entire Trump 'public relations campaign' is an acting job.  While in DC last weekend a black man with a table at the entrance to the Smithsonian metro stop was handing our free red MAGA hats.  He was pushing them hard and said to me, "They're free man!  Here, take one, they're free!"

That is what corporate money does.  They can print MAGA hats (or pink knitted ones when they want to fire up the 'left side') and hand them out nationwide over night.  The Wall Street bankers (who really run the show in oligarchic Amerika) aren't going to stand at a table outside the metro and hand out the hats.  They hire some guy off the street, flip him a couple of $20's and you've created the appearance of a movement.

It's all psychological warfare - its a corporate game to capture the minds of the working class as they lose jobs along with any hope they might have had... and want someone to blame.  These folks at the bottom of the barrel have been used repeatedly in this country - to support the destruction of Native American culture, support slavery, fight the wars for oil, and keep the bankster class in power by falling for the flag-waving BS.

But the clownish-west now has no leadership and no positive vision.  That is why most thinking people are rejecting Trump, Boris Johnson in London, shaking Merkel in Bonn, Macron in Paris, and the idiot head of NATO (former Norwegian prime minister).  All these people represent the capitalist system that is destroying the planet.

I am sad about the state of the world - and about the passivity of most of the 'progressive' people in this country.  I guess they are keeping their heads down thinking that the NSA won't ID them.

But the algorithms on Fazebook already got them cataloged so what's the diff at this point.  You are on the list so why not just go out and raise some hell while you still can.  Look what the fired up folks in Puerto Rico just did!

Your kids and grandkids will thank you for the effort.

Bruce

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Epstein Is Found Injured in Jail Cell




New York Times story today reports:

Mr. Epstein, the financier charged with trafficking minors for sex, had marks on his neck, and officials were treating the incident as a possible suicide attempt.
 
Mr. Epstein, was taken into custody on July 6 at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after a flight from Paris. An indictment unsealed on July 8 charged him with sex trafficking and conspiracy. Prosecutors said that between 2002 and 2005, Mr. Epstein and his employees paid dozens of underage girls to engage in sex acts with him at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison if he is convicted of sex-trafficking and conspiracy charges, and the long sentence, the government argued, gave him a motive to flee.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Didn't take long - some big wigs want him dead before he talks..... It will be interesting to see how long he lives.  The corporate fat cats that were involved in this sex trafficking operation are also heavily influential in the media.  They have friends in the courts, in Congress, the White House and throughout business and entertainment industries around the world.  

They've got alot of power - they are the mob bosses - and they will kill anyone who dares to get in their way.  We need a real 'criminal justice' system to take down this evil operation.

Thanks to some alternative media this story is staying alive and the public is getting a chance to take a peek behind the mirrors where Mr. Big sits. It's an ugly picture, hard to stomach, but we must look because it helps us to face more of our own illusions about America.  

This country is a global hazard.  North America is run by the mobsters who dress themselves up nicely with Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton robes and make illusions that God is on their side.  They are the robber barons, the pirates, the plunderers and today their sites are set on the whole world and the universe beyond us.

They even aspire to be the Masters of Space.

Let the example of the Puerto Rican people inspire us all to stand against the corruption that grips most global governments.

Bruce 

Message from Mars



Have you heard enough times
the recent question,
Where were you when Apollo
landed on the moon?

Talk about corporate hype
Intended for what purpose?
Right, to sell the next phase,
the profit$ rolling in
for another Moon shot
and Mars missions
after that

The Mars Society,
run by a Lockheed Martin
executive,
says,
"The Earth is a rotting,
stinking, dying planet.
We've got to move civilization
to Mars and terraform
the Red planet."

Imagine the cost of turning
Mars
into a beautiful green planet
like Earth.

I hear you,
why not just take care of this
green wonder we live on now?
Right!

But just one problem with that
the 'aerospace industry'
can't get rich beyond
imagination
by cleaning up
boring old Mother Earth


Anyway you cut it
we're in big trouble,
especially the kids,
they see little future
here on this tiny,
spinning orb,
and Mars don't look
so inviting either

What's a human
to do?


Bruce

Binny: CIA controls western media



Former NSA technical director and whistleblower William Binney says: "The media is totally infiltrated by the CIA and various other agencies. When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what's going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.

"William Casey, who was the director of Central Intelligence Agency back when Reagan was president, said at one point that you'll know how effective we are once at least 70 percent of what’s publicly known is false.

"In other words, they have been infiltrating the press for decades and they're pushing their thinking and agenda to the media, so the media will promulgate it to the public. The public won't even have any idea what’s really going on.

"The objective is to keep everybody uninformed so that they can't make a smart decision about anything. Everything is being done behind this secret door that you are not supposed to know about. That is really destroying the fundamental essence of democracy.


"That was what our Constitution was all about, that the people were supposed to know what the government was doing. Not the government knowing what the people were doing at all times, they way it is turning today.

"We are pretty much heading towards a totalitarian system. In this country, democracy has been subverted, much I think by Dick Cheney. He masterminded this because he would spend time in Congress, he knew about the congressional operation, how it worked. He was assistant to President Nixon, spying on everybody. He knew that he needed to know things about people in the opposition. What better way to do it than have a sister agency and the US government just open up and collect everything, store it, so you can go in and look at it at any time retroactively and examine anybody."

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Historic landslide for president’s party in Ukraine: what does it mean for war and peace?

Listen to "Historic landslide for president’s party in Ukraine: what does it mean for war and peace?" on Spreaker.

Ukranian President Volodymir Zelensky’s party is projected to win a majority of seats in the country’s 450-seat parliament. It would be the first time since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 that a party has won an outright majority. But what does that mean for foreign policy, especially toward NATO and Russia?

Brian and John speak with Bruce Gagnon, a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, and Jeremy Kuzmarov, a professor of American history whose latest book is “The Russians Are Coming, Again".

Message from Lugansk labor leader



Last October I went to Moscow to do advance work for the Global Network's spring 2019 Russia Study Tour.  While there I met Lugansk labor leader Andrey Kochetov at a conference.  He recently asked me to start a petition opposing US-Canada weapons sales to the Ukrainian government which I have done.  Andrey felt it important to get people in North America to know more about those on the receiving end of these weapons that are daily used to target the people living in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine (the Donesk and Lugansk areas).  Following the recent landslide victory of new President Zelensky's party in the Rada (parliament) election I asked Andrey to give me his reaction to events in Ukraine.  Here are his words. Bruce

On July 21st, 2019, extraordinary elections to the parliament – the Verkhovna Rada – took place in Ukraine. These elections were initiated by the president Vladimir Zelensky, who announced dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the VIII convocation right after his inauguration. At the time of the presidential elections, which took place on the 21st of April, the Verkhovna Rada’s popularity rating among Ukrainian people was at a record low level of 4%.

Before participating in the presidential election, Zelensky was a fairly popular comedian and actor, one of the organizers of a comedy show “95th quarter”. A TV serial “People`s Servant” with Zelensky as a main character had obtained a huge popularity. He plays a president of a country who declared war to oligarchs in power.

While conducting analysis of why Zelensky won the presidential elections, it is not quite clear whether Ukrainian voters were led by aversion to ex-president Poroshenko or by a desire to see in Zelensky the hero of the “People`s Servant” who radically fights against oligarchic clans. However it be, after elections Zelensky had been lightning fast in achieving the pinnacle of power in Ukraine. But from the very first days at the new office, Vladimir Zelensky faced clear resistance from the Verkhovna Rada, which had refused to dismiss the General Prosecutor of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavel Klimkin despite Zelensky submission for that.

Somewhere about twenty political parties of Ukraine made an attempt to take part in the elections. But it was clear from the start that a list of those who had overcome a voting barrier of 5% would have consisted of only 4-5 parties. According to the data of the Ukrainian Central Electoral Commission as on the morning of 24th of July, an unconditional victory was gained by the presidential party “People`s Servant” – 43.16%. The second place, with a large lag, goes to the “Opposition Platform - For Life” (Victor Medvedchuk, Yuriy Boyko, Vadim Rabinovich) - 13.01%. Third place is taken by the party of a former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko “Batkivshchyna” with 8.18%, followed by the party of the former president Petro Poroshenko “European Solidarity” (8.12%). The last passing place is occupied by the “Voice” - the party of another political newcomer, singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk with 5.84%. Despite one of the lowest turnout – 37-39% – and more than 40 criminal cases initiated for violations, the elections were recognized by the officials of the USA, European countries etc. and are supposed to have legal force.

It is still hard to predict how productive the Verkhovna Rada of the IX convocation will be. But it is worth noting that a political force of Vladimir Zelensky gained clear and doubtless victory what will obviously make his life as a head of the state much easier. Whether life of Ukrainian people will become easier – this is a question which can be answered after certain time and certain activities of the new Ukrainian authorities.


Unfortunately, residents of Donbass, who have been living under shelling of the Ukrainian army for five years, expect no particular changes. Just as the ex-president Poroshenko, president Zelensky had completely changed his “peaceful” electoral rhetoric in relation to the Republics of Donbass after the victory of his political party “People`s Servant”. The past few days after parliamentary elections had showed complete unwillingness of the new Ukrainian authorities for even a slight attempt to hear the voice of those Ukrainian citizens who are shelled by Ukrainian army. In his numerous media statements Zelensky consistently disappoints Donbass people by rejecting Minsk agreements which provide a peaceful scenario for regulating a conflict between Ukraine and Donbass Republics.

Zelensky is used to speak out readiness but not actually to carry out requirements of these agreements so for now nothing from Minsk peaceful treaties is done by Kiev – neither removal of heavy weapons nor full amnesty of the conflict parties etc.

During five years of armed confrontation in the east of Ukraine, the Kiev leadership has been shooting its own people justifying themselves by fairy tales about “terrible Russian aggression”. Ukrainian authorities are trying to convince the whole world that all their targets are only the Russian army, somehow ignoring thousands of victims among civilians. During five years the Ukrainian government has been persistently and methodically doing everything to push the Donetsk and Lugansk People`s Republics out of its state. It is true that at the beginning of the conflict many of Donbass people had experienced a grounded sense of nostalgia for life in Ukraine. But now, with each day of military conflict, there are less and less sentiments about possibility of “peaceful” life in the state where murderers of children proudly call themselves “heroes”.

~ Andrey Kochetov
Chairman, Trade Union of Small & Innovative Enterprises of Lugansk People's Republic (Donbass)

You can sign the petition suggested by Andrey here.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What is it good for????


Activists at Beale AFB in northern California.  They'd been getting arrested at this drone/spy operations base every month for several years.

My family lived at Beale AFB and I graduated from Wheatland high school in 1970.  My dad worked on the spy plane (SR-71) cameras at the base in those days.

I had the great honor of being arrested with these folks at this very gate a couple of years ago.  The charges were dropped.

From what I've seen and heard they get a pretty good response from the GI's when they block the morning drive time gate each month.

Love their signs.

Bruce

What comes next in Ukraine?



  • Elections for the Rada (parliament) in Ukraine were held on Sunday and it appears that the new party under President Zelensky will win a strong majority.  The question remains as to whether Zelensky will end the war on his own Ukrainian citizens who are the Russian speaking population in the Donbass, near the Russian border?

  • In this video interview political scientist, Dimitriev shares his thoughts on what happens next in Ukraine:

”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Two men walk into a room and leave with the same anti-Russian policies. Two men arrive under slogans of ”peacemaking” and rational politics but with actions steadily keeping to the same program . . . but which program? According to political scientist, Dimitriev, Ukraine’s senior partners in Washington determine the brink of what is possible, huddling in Ukrainian political characters into a special ”corridor of possibility”. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to stay in line with the promised election slogans during their campaigns. Add the Soros organizations and NGO’s that are active in influencing these campaigns into the mix and you can understand why Dimitriev mentions Ukraine as a playground for political experiments.

The political field in Ukraine has reached a level of unison in its actionable policies where a puny Opposition Platform remains just to showcase the illusion of democracy. The perspective is one to consider in line with Ukraine’s recent snap elections.

  • A good background piece for understanding the Ukraine story can be read here.

  • Also Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down on June 19, 2019, in the Kremlin, for an on the recorded interview with Oliver Stone. The Russian government has released a transcript of the interview. Putin’s discussion with Stone about the 2016 presidential election and more can be read here.

Monday, July 22, 2019

U.S. counter-insurgency base in Honduras



The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal rolled up on the Soto Cano/Palmerola air base in Honduras, the US military's largest in Latin America.

It plays a key role in Washington's military strategy for Central America, and was a major factor behind the 2009 coup.

Video by Ben Norton

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Weekend in Washington.....


MB and I have just returned from a weekend in Washington DC.  I had some frequent flyer miles that I had to use or lose.  So, we decided to travel to DC and visit our dear friend Herschel Sternlieb (I think of him as the godfather – in the best sense) who now is in an assisted living facility near his son.  

After his wife Selma, long-time peace stalwart in Maine, passed away last year Hersch was moved to DC.  We spent lots of time at their home for meetings, parties, talks, and game playing over the years after we moved to Brunswick in 2003.  Selma is hugely missed by all but at least we can still soak in the love and wisdom of Hersch now and then.

As always when we go to DC, we stayed at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House where we have many good friends.  The only thing is that DC was hotter than hell all weekend and their big house stays quite warm even though we had three fans blowing in our room.  Many years ago, the house was a Catholic convent which was donated to the Catholic Worker community.

We arrived mid-day on Friday not sure what we’d do that night – hoping there would be some kind of political activity in the city but as it turned out nothing of interest was happening.  So that left us with just one good choice – take the hour-long train ride to Camden Yards in Baltimore to watch the Orioles play the Boston Red Sox in a baseball game.  

MB was agreeable to this plan since my birthday comes next week and she has pity on me as the Orioles are the worst team in all of major league baseball.  The Red Sox are the defending champs so we were prepared for the worst.  It turned out that the O’s won by a score of 11-2 in a well-played game (including an inside the park home run) by the lowly O’s and we caught an Amtrak train back to DC, arriving at the Catholic Worker House just after midnight.

Up early Saturday morning we grabbed a cab to get to Herschel in time for breakfast.  He misses Maine so much (he ran a textile mill for many years in his day) but it was a joy to once again spend time probing his quick and gentle mind for his take on politics.  He’s long maintained that our nation’s massive debt, plus our cancerous military spending, were dooming us to a hard-economic collapse.  

We’ve learned so much from him over the years – such as Obama was ‘made’ by the Crown family in Chicago who are the majority stockholders in General Dynamics Corp. which owns Bath Iron Works.  It was Obama that forced the Navy to build the Zumwalt ‘stealth’ destroyer at more than $7 billion per copy when the Navy didn’t even want them.  Obama was paying the Crown family back for greasing the skids (within the military industrial complex and the national Jewish community) to get him elected.  

We left Hersch at noon and took a cab to the African-American Museum in DC.  It’s damn hard to get into this place – even though the tickets are free they are almost nearly impossible to get ahold of.  Our cab driver though told us to get in line and tell them we came all the way from Maine and maybe they’d take pity on us and let us in. It worked and they told us to come back in an hour’s time and they’d let us enter. So that is how it all turned out.

There were legions of buses parked just outside the museum. Big groups of African-American families with colorful T-shirts, designating one family reunion after another, were also lined up waiting to get in the museum.  It was like a pilgrimage – once we got inside there was very little room to move around as the crowd was enormous but electric. 

The museum recommends you begin in the basement level and work your way up to the 4th floor.  But because of the crowds we did the opposite.  On the 4th floor were the stories of the descendants of slaves who have contributed so much to America and the world in music, politics, art, literature, sports and more.  

They do a wonderful job of mixing standard museum artifacts and written descriptions with multi-media imagery.  My favorite thing was the Muhammad Ali section that much to my delight showed his anti-Vietnam war statements that led to his being kicked out of boxing for several years.  Ali is one of my greatest lifetime heroes.

Finally, we moved down to the basement and got in the long line which had us waiting more than 30 minutes before we reached the slavery section.  The first thing we saw was some European woman of ‘royalty’ quoted as saying that ‘Yes slavery was indeed horrible but our economy needs the cheap labor and profits’ from this brutal and evil system.  This entire part of the museum movingly shared the horrid story of the ‘passage’ from Africa to the Americas and then the calamitous life of the slave in the US.


The next level up was about the resistance to slavery – from the Nat Turner rebellion to the Underground Railroad to revolution and liberation in Haiti.  The story of black participation in the Civil War was not neglected and emancipation brought a temporary ability of black citizens to vote and participate in the government at long last.

But the next level up brought us to the KKK, Jim Crow and the crackdown on liberation.  The brutality of lynching, Emmet Till and much more.  But all along this journey, over and over again we were given the often-little known stories of those who fought for freedom and liberation from a hypocritical nation that declared ‘all men were created equal’.


The civil rights movement was on the next level and a most remarkable display was present there – a long lunch counter with screens at each seat where one could order from an interactive ‘Woolworth’s menu’ which had choices like protest, voting, etc.  Each different menu item took you to another series of stories and questions – asking you what you would have done at the time if you’d been sitting in the middle of these historic moments of activism.  


Probably the best part of the museum for me was just watching this overwhelmingly black jammed-packed crowd slowly making their way thru the museum.  Old women in wheel chairs, young people, folks singing and moving to the sounds of several generations of black music and entertainers who brought such beautiful culture to a white bread society.  Watching the people learn and share what they knew about this event or that one – the burning in 1921 of an entire black section of Tulsa, Oklahoma because the white folks couldn’t handle the fact that black people (left in peace) could in fact create a successful and happy life.


The museum opened in 2016 and is still packed every day.  It’s just so heartwarming to see how black people have such a place where they can go to connect, or reconnect, with their hard, sad, and joyful struggle in the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’.
 
I’m glad we finally got inside this great place and I urge everyone to take this pilgrimage as well.  

I’ve always believed in, and am eternally grateful, for the loving, determined spirit that African-American people have brought to this land.  I also am lovingly grateful for the rich culture they have created here to America – the place where I learned to love the blues.

Bruce

Hope dies last......



"I go to the neighbors, helping Kuzminishna with her garden etc, and sometimes have to crawl back home! What can I do, if they shoot like Hell?", tells Alexander who is living in the bomb shelter for more than 3 years already.

Kominternove residents can't relax even during rare moments of silence: they are awaiting something to happen. Nowdays shelling can start not only at night, but any time of the day. People need to stay alert every minute.

Take action:  If you've not yet signed the petition addressed to the US-Canada opposing their arms sales to Ukraine please do so here.  People from any nation can sign.

Sunday Song