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, August 10, 2019

Epstein takes his own life?


It was reported this morning that Jeffrey Epstein, being held in a New York City jail and under suicide watch, hung himself.

A sigh of relief was heard around the world as top politicians, actors, media moguls, assorted rich men, and intelligence agency operatives in Israel, UK and the US know they now have nothing to worry about.  There will be no investigation that blows their cover.  Things have been 'sorted out' by Mr. Big.

And what about the young women who were exploited by Epstein and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell?  Their stories will likely fade into the sunset.

The sex slavery case was just getting too big and had to be shut down.  So Epstein, supposedly under the watchful eye of jailers in his Manhattan cell, was able to string himself up without a peep from prison authorities.  Hard to believe?  Well, of course it is.....

The story even reached here in Maine, as just yesterday it was disclosed that former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell from our state was named as one of the perps.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, in a 2016 deposition, named Mitchell among a group of powerful men to whom she said Epstein offered her for erotic massages and sex. Others who were named include former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Britain’s Prince Andrew, financier Glenn Dubin, former MIT scientist Marvin Minsky and Jean-Luc Brunel, a well-known modeling agent. In a statement Friday to the Press Herald, Mitchell said the allegations are false.

You can just imagine the calls that were coming into 'massage central' from the fat cats who have been linked to this story.  Their rear ends were getting fidgety.  They were demanding that something be done to shut this whole case down.  I can just hear them now - someone has to shut this guy (Epstein) up.  And they did.  Either that or they snuck him out of the jail under false pretenses.

One must wonder if Ghislaine Maxwell will be quietly sent packing, out of the US, say to Israel or to the Moon in order to ensure that no more 'prosecutorial nonsense' is able to happen. After all Maxwell has been identified by many of the young women as the person who recruited them on Epstein's behalf and trained them in the art of 'massage'.

I also wonder what happened to the 'Me Too' movement?  They were screaming like crazy when a series of Hollywood gropers were IDed but during this Epstein saga they have been remarkably silent.  Why is that?

This entire scandal reeks of corruption. influence and big money.  Many good lawyers and journalists were working overtime to break the story and bring the many big wigs to justice for their crimes against young innocent girls.  Now it looks like the story could die along with Epstein.  We should demand otherwise.

It is a great tragedy.

Bruce 

Living with war in the Donbass



 New president in Ukraine, new Rada (parliament), same shelling and killing of citizens in the eastern part of the country (Donbass region) who are ethnically Russian.....US-NATO support the operation.

Life of Signalnoe residents (near by Dokuchaevsk) is not easy. There is no water in the settlement for more than 20 years, no jobs for young people and every day shelling on top of that! However, local people are optimistic and thankful to Russia for humanitarian aid and support. It would be impossible to survive without it in time of war.

Saturday Comedy Bonus


One of the greatest!

Friday, August 09, 2019

Jobs & a future for coming generations



Demand it - make it happen!

Convert the war machine to sustainable production - solar, wind turbines, tidal power systems, commuter rail systems, weatherizing homes, repairing crumbling infrastructure, and more.

Make the demand now and repeatedly.

Protest and survive.

Cut the Pentagon budget to pay for the Green New Deal.


The view from Iran



Iran has been preparing for a possible attack since the US 2003 invasion on Iraq, Professor Mohammad Marandi at the University of Tehran tells News With Rick Sanchez.

A hot war would be “catastrophic,” destroying not just the oil industry and global shipping but Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Iran hopes there are “enough sane people in the US to avoid that,” Marandi says.

America's role is 'security export'


In the early years of the illegal George W. Bush 'shock and awe' attack and occupation of Iraq I was watching C-SPAN TV one evening.

They showed a three-hour presentation of then Naval War College instructor Thomas Barnett who had written a new book called the Pentagon's New Map.  Barnett was introduced to the military & CIA audience as then Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld's 'strategy guy'.

Barnett proposed in his plan that America's role in the world under corporate globalization was 'security export'.  He said that the US would not make things anymore - shoes, cars, TV, cell phones, washing machines and other consumer products.  It's cheaper for the leading corporations to move overseas where labor is cheaper.

America's job Barnett said was to go around the world and control the 'non-integrating gap' - those nations who are not presently under the full control of western bankers.  Iran, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, the African continent, etc. 

Barnett declared that the Pentagon would go into one of these nations with overwhelming force - what he called 'Leviathon'.  But the problem he said, is who will run these countries after we take them over?  What we need he said is a force to run these nations after the initial take down.  He called this team 'Systems Administration'.  Not too soon after I noticed that Lockheed Martin had received a huge contract to train 'Sys Ad' forces. Barnett said our 'Sys Ad' troops would never come home.

Barnett also claimed that the US will need legions of young people to go into the 'Leviathon' force and that they should be easy to find because there are essentially no jobs in this country anymore.  He said that we need to recruit these 'angry young men' who while away their time playing violent video games.  There are an endless supply of them across America.

But increasingly, likely due to endless war and stories about PTSD, young people are figuring out that the Army is not such a great job.  So the Army has a plan.  Lower the enlistment age to 16 years old. They are now floating trial balloons to see how the public and Congress respond.

The Washington Times reports:

The best way to fix the U.S. armed forces’ recruiting challenges may involve dipping further into the nation’s high schools.

As the Army, Navy and other services contend with a thriving economy and a directive to expand their ranks, there is a growing debate over whether the military should consider lowering the minimum enlistment age from 17 to 16. More than a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, already have adopted the policy.


“For one, many of the factors that disqualify older youths from joining — like criminal records — are not as present in younger teens,” said Shane McCarthy, chief marketing officer of Sandboxx, a leading technology platform that connects military members stationed abroad with families and friends at home. Mr. McCarthy also has advised military commands on how to better target recruits.


Since first hearing Barnett's presentation it has become clear to me that his 'strategy' has increasingly been adopted by the US military and related civilian contractors.

In the end Barnett himself, and his neo-colonial program, are filled with arrogance and American exceptionalism.  It's all about global domination on behalf of corporate capitalism.  Barnett likes to claim that 'The world is my playground'.

Now it appears in order to pull this whole plan off they need to have more of our younger kids.  It's a sign of failure and imperial decline.  Don't let them get away with it.

Bruce

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Call it what it is - offense


Call it what it is

It's not about defense
it's offense
full spectrum dominance
first-strike
decapitation

don't call it defense!

It's the war department
not the defense department

No one is attacking us
except for these
young
angry white men
armed with assault weapons.
Domestic terrorists

Who sends them our way?
In whose interest
is it to create
a civil war in America?

What are the oligarchs,
across the US,
not wanting us
to know,
as we duck
under the neo-Nazi
shit storm?

It smells like
Ukraine to me
where the oligarchs
get citizen
to kill citizen
and turn the country
into a failed state
as it is hollowed out
by the rich,
and for the rich

Same, same
here in the USA
same agenda
same strategy,
modus operandi,
every criminal has one
a way of repeating
their psychopathic
behavior

We should put
the FBI
onto the case
except
they now work
for the oligarchs

Bruce

Time for cleansing & healing



This man says it all - short and sweet.  Watch the face of the show's host.

Eddie Glaude, the chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, speaks to American culture, racism in 2019 and how President Trump is the "manifestation of the ugliness that's inside us."

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Report directly from Donbass



Maine filmmaker Regis Tremblay is now in Donbass (near the Russian border) and has filed this report.

The interview is with Finnish journalist, Janus Putkonen, who has been living in Lugansk for several years. Janus reveals many unbelievable FACTS about the civil war in Ukraine. This video was recorded on August 7, 2019 as we toured the bombed out and destroyed parts of Lugansk. This short video will be part of a feature documentary on the civil war between Kiev and the people of the Donbass region.

Summer fun in Maine....


Peace Fair

The crowd above gathered in Brunswick, Maine last Saturday for the final Peace Fair which has been held for 15 straight years on the town green.  Christine DeTroy, who initiated the fair and has done much of the leg work over these years, is now 91 years old and has reached her limit.  No one seems yet willing to keep the tradition going. It's been a good run.

The keynote speaker on Saturday was Maine artist Robert Shetterly who has painted the portrait series called Americans Who Tell the Truth.  He's done more than 235 portraits and spends alot of time on the road showing them and telling stories about the people he has painted.

I facilitated a workshop under a shade tree about the links between the military and climate change and met some new folks in the process.  There is expanding interest around Maine in the subject.

Hiroshima Day

On Tuesday at 7:00 am 21 of us met in front of the administration building at Bath Iron Works (BIW) for a two-hour vigil remembering the US bombing of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.  We concluded the event by taking turns reading parts of a long poem written by Thomas Merton called the Original Child Bomb.  As we read the moving story of the warped US decision to produce and drop the atomic bombs, two BIW security stood silently just a few yards away.  I turned up the sound on our portable amplifier to max level to ensure they could hear Merton's words.

Afterwords most of us went together to a local eatery for a late breakfast.  We've become like a family after all these years of working together in Maine - particularly with the regular protests at BIW. Quite a few of those attending the vigil came from a long distance - two of them making a three-hour drive from the north to be with us.

Court Arraignment

It was fitting that on Hiroshima day 13 folks from our last arrest at BIW (twenty-two were arrested on June 22 for blocking the highway during a 'christening' of another destroyer at the shipyard) had to appear in West Bath District Court for their arraignment.  Nine of us had already been arraigned after spending the weekend in county jail because we refused to pay the bail commissioner fee after our arrest.  We learned that the state reduced the misdemeanor charges to a 'traffic citation' for the 13.  They now face a $150 fine which no one wants to pay.

The nine of us previously arraigned at the jail in June have to appear for our Disposition hearing at the court on September 4.  Not certain what our next steps will be after that.

Staying faithful & determined

In the midst of a United States that is coming apart at the seams (almost daily terrorist shootings of innocent people by white nationalist men; worsening climate change; growing global poverty as corporate capitalism extracts and hoards wealth; Washington's wars all around the world; sanctions increasingly squeezing China, Russia, Iran, and Venezuela; plus announcements of US withdrawal from arms control treaties and production of new deadly weapons systems) we here in Maine are doing our best to stay active and public.  Like so many of our friends in similar places around the world - we want to show a frightened, discouraged, depressed, and resigned public that there are those who still care and are doing all they can to stand up against the insanity of our corporate run government.

We'd all like to be successful and show good results from our activism.  But I don't worry so much about 's-u-c-c-e-s-s' anymore.  I keep rolling because I must.  I continue to protest because I could not live with myself if I wasn't doing all I could do to protect the future generations.  Yes, results are great - but I figure you have to put the gears of outrage into motion first if you ever hope to make an impact.

I'll leave the rest to history - so to speak....

Bruce

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

History lesson: Collecting colonies



The global expanse of US military bases is well-known; but its actual territorial empire is largely hidden. The true map of America is not taught in our schools.

Abby Martin interviews history Professor Daniel Immerwahr about his new book, 'How To Hide An Empire', where he documents the story of our 'Greater United States.'

Monday, August 05, 2019

This is how the system works....



Anyone that has any illusions left should pay attention to this one.....


Space week: October 5-12


Keep Space for Peace Week this year will be October 5-12.

We invite you to organize a conference, public meeting, protest or other activity that helps to bring the issue of expanding the arms race into space to the public consciousness.

Let us know your plans please.

This piece of art is from Sicily where they protest the US Navy space-directed communications facility called Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). The system utilizes four satellites and four ground facilities located in Australia, Virginia, Hawaii and Sicily.  The facility in Sicily is pictured below.  It was built in the middle of a cork forest preserve.  Regular protests have been held there for more than 11 years.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Sunday song