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. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

In Facebook jail again


I am in Facebook jail again.  During the past several months I've repeatedly been put on 'time out' for a week or so at a time.  In the past two weeks FB has decided to shut my account down twice without any explanation other than that I have 'violated community standards'.

This time my sin was to share this article from the Grayzone entitled The spooks’ choice: Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Pete Buttigieg’s list of national security endorsers.

The offending article says this in part:


Why are so many intelligence veterans throwing their weight behind a young Indiana mayor with such a thin foreign policy resume?

By Samuel D. Finkelstein

These questions continue to loom large over the 2020 Democratic primary field: Who is Pete Buttigieg? And what is he doing here?

Seemingly overnight, the once obscure mayor of Indiana’s fourth-largest city was vaulted to national prominence, with his campaign coffers stuffed with big checks from billionaire benefactors.

The publication of a list of 218 endorsements from “foreign policy and national security professionals” by Buttigieg’s campaign deepened the mystery of the mayor’s rise.

Some observers have raised questions about Pete Buttigieg’s intimate relationship with the national security state, after it was revealed that his campaign had paid nearly $600,000 for “security” to a Blackwater-style military contractor.

Buttigieg’s new roster of endorsements from former high-ranking CIA officials, regime-change architects, and global financiers should raise more questions about the real forces propelling his campaign.

Buttigieg has offered precious few details about his policy plans, and foreign policy is no exception. His campaign website dedicates just five sentences to international affairs, none of which offers any substantive details.

Beyond a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan as a Naval Reservist in 2010, the 37 year-old mayor has no first-hand foreign policy experience to speak of.

As The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal reported, Buttigieg’s enjoys a long relationship with the Truman National Security Project, a foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC that advocates for “muscular liberalism.” He has also taken a short, strange trip to Somaliland with a Harvard buddy, Nathaniel Myers, who ultimately became a senior advisor to USAID’s Office of Transitional Initiatives. Otherwise, Buttigieg’s foreign policy credentials are nil.

Buttigieg’s lack of core principles are what might make him so attractive to military contractors and financial institutions, two of the status quo’s biggest beneficiaries.

Mayor Pete has effectively positioned himself as a Trojan Horse for the establishment, offering “generational change” that doesn’t challenge existing power structures in any concrete way.


How in the world does sharing an article about a candidate who is running for president violate community standards?  Of course I am not naive, I understand that the community I have violated is called 'the Deep State' that does not appreciate any questioning of how they go about 'selecting' the leaders of this corporate colony called the USA.

One of my last infractions on FB was sharing an article about the fairly recent state elections in Germany where Angela Merkel's party got beat badly in her home state.  That one in particular puzzled me - what community standards did I violate by sharing it?

At some point FB will likely decide that I am more trouble than I am worth and give me a lifetime ban.  Considering that was a possibility I long ago created an account on MeWe

But that social media platform is small in comparison to FB.

It really is just a matter of time before the ruling oligarchies try to shut down much of social media because it is being used to keep the rays of truth and light coming through the darkness.

In the meantime I'll do what I can to keep my candle from being blown out.

It's a sad story that in election year we can't have an open and honest debate about the various candidates without being put in the clinger.

Oh, the modern world......

Bruce

Update: As of Sunday morning I am back on FB (But, I quickly discovered that I can go onto FB, I can 'like' a post, but when I tried to share it I got this message: You're temporarily restricted from sharing links until February 14 at 9:30 PM. If you think this doesn't go against our Community Standards let us know.)



Big Pharma is a drug dealer



Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of Children's Health Defense joins to discuss the much-touted HPV vaccine, which new evidence shows may be ineffective and why it has done tremendous harm. He also explains how legal loopholes exempt vaccine makers from rigorous testing.

RFK Jr. goes on to discuss the revolving door between Big Pharma and the bodies that are supposed to oversee it and curtail its abuses. He argues that regulatory capture has turned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into "a vaccine company."

Friday, February 07, 2020

This is what 'Democracy' looks like



The grand democracy in action in the 2020 Iowa caucus.

The flip of a coin?

You decide......

Why NATO war games along Russian border?



NATO Chief, Jens Stoltenberg, says a massive and destabilizing deployment of troops to Eastern Europe will not be aimed at Russia.

About 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries are to participate in the US-run war exercises dubbed 'Defender Europe 2020' in the coming months.

This is “the largest deployment of US troops to Europe in more than 25 years,” NATO’s Secretary-General, Stoltenberg tells us.

Jan Oberg, director of Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research in Lund, Sweden critically responds in the video.

Germany will be the logistics center for the Defender Europe 2020 exercise. The military drill will take place in Germany, Poland, Georgia and the Baltic States and cover 4,000 kilometers of convoy routes and rely on 10 European countries to host exercise activities.


In the spring of 2020, more than 20,000 US troops will be deployed across the Atlantic to NATO’s eastern flank. Thus, within the framework of the Defender Europe 20 maneuvers, the largest deployment of American troops on the European continent since the end of the Cold War will take place.

That is in addition to the 17,000 NATO troops that are already in Europe and will take part in the war games.

The movement of the main US forces to Europe is planned for April – May next year, but taking into account the scope of the event, troops and equipment will begin to arrive in February.

Most of the American forces will arrive by civilian passenger planes, and almost 13,000 units of military equipment and weapons will be delivered by sea.

Notably, one armored brigade of the US National Guard from Idaho will arrive without weapons and equipment and use the hardware previously stored in American hub facilities in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

The 20,000-strong deployment includes 7,000 National Guard personnel, from 12 states and approximately 750 people from the US Armed Forces reserve.

How is Russia expected to respond as they see this massive military mobilization essentially encircling their eastern and central borders?

How would Washington respond if another nation was holding similar war games in Canada and Mexico aimed at the United States?

Will the American people even know that such a provocative military operation is underway?  How much will this mobilization cost US and European taxpayers?  

Thursday, February 06, 2020

More on Shadowy Pete.....



Voters are still reeling from the disastrous 2020 Iowa Caucus, which has been blamed on a malfunctioning vote-counting app. 

How did Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana come from fourth place to become frontrunner of the 2020 Iowa Caucus? 

RT America's Michele Greenstein joins Rick Sanchez to examine the rise of Pete Buttigieg and his ominous connections to the Defense Dept. and US intelligence community. 

They also discuss evidence of voter suppression in the Iowa Caucus.

My generation has failed you, but we can still fix it


The Bowdoin College Orient

Opinion

By Lisa Savage (Solon, Maine)

Dear young people: my generation owes your generation an apology.

We have failed to make urgently needed changes to an economic system that ravages the planet we all depend upon for life. Many of us have been actively involved with, or at least silently complicit in damaging the ecosystem.

It can sometimes seem inexplicable that older folks seem indifferent or resigned to ecological destruction. With wildfires burning out of control around the planet, we continue to invest in and subsidize fossil fuel extraction. The Gulf of Maine and other ocean waters are warming so quickly that centuries-old fishing grounds are disappearing. Yet we continue to barely give lip service to solutions like renewable energy, public transportation and regenerative agriculture.

With multiple species on the brink of extinction due to climate change, we continue to fund an enormous budget every year for the Pentagon, which has the biggest carbon footprint on the planet—bigger than 140 nations—waging endless wars. This addiction to militarism and war, and its many downstream effects, is another woeful legacy of the Boomer generation’s failures.

Our planet’s atmosphere counts military emissions, and so should we. I founded the Maine Natural Guard to help people connect the dots between militarism and its harm to our climate.

The recent assassination of Iranian officials was especially alarming, seen by many in the U.S. as bringing us one step closer to the possibility of a worldwide nuclear war, and is almost certain to perpetrate ever more military build-up and waste.

Imagine if our government spent as much time, energy and money on solving the climate crisis as it does patrolling the world for enemies to kill. My generation hears but does not heed, young voices pleading—demanding—that climate change is treated as the emergency it is.

You need more than apologies, though. You need bold action. So here are some of the solutions I’m offering in my run for U.S. Senate:

A real Green New Deal to create good jobs, tackle the climate crisis by building clean energy solutions like solar, wind and public transportation—by converting the industrial capacity that now churns out weapon systems that make climate change worse.

A Medicare for All health care that will cover everyone, provide better care, and cost less, instead of a system that drives sick people into bankruptcy.

Fully funded public education, including public higher education without student debt. Forgiveness of student loans so that young people can begin their adult lives with the freedom to realize their potential and contribute to the common good.

A living wage for all, including housekeepers, food servers and other service workers.

Affordable housing as a human right.

A progressive tax code that requires everyone to pay their fair share, and eliminates loopholes that have billionaires and wealthy corporations paying a lower rate than working people, or even nothing.

Humane treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, with no concentration camps for refugees, no family separations and a renewed respect for immigrants’ rights under international law.

Harm reduction measures for opioid addiction, and addressing this crisis (and drug use in general) as a mental health care issue rather than as a crime.

An end to the mass incarceration of people of color (POC), including children, and accountability for police violence against POC.

My generation should have done better. Yours surely will. There is no limit to what a group of dedicated human beings can accomplish working together for the common good. We must do so now, urgently. The future of life on Earth may depend on it.

~ Lisa Savage is a member of the Bowdoin College (Brunswick) Class of 1977. She is running for the US Senate seat currently occupied by Susan Collins. Lisa will visit Bowdoin on February 14 to speak with students.

Art work by Holly Harris

https://www.lisaformaine.org

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Playing games in Iowa




Krystal Ball criticizes the behavior of the Iowa Democratic party in releasing partial results.

The media was complicit in this charade.

Look for more of these shenanigans in other upcoming state primary elections.

If There Is A War In Space, Everybody Loses





Last December, the National Defense Authorization Act that was renewed with bipartisan support in Congress authorized the creation of a new branch of the military, a space force. In January, President Trump appointed the head of that new force, General John Jay Raymond. The US military plans to move 16,000 military and civilian personnel into that space force.

We speak with Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space about what this space force means. He describes how space technology is already being used in warfare, how this area is a new profit center for the aerospace industry and how it is draining critical resources from necessary programs.

He also explains that a war in space will create so many problems that everyone on the planet will be impacted in a negative way.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Busted in Iowa: Setting up the corporate 'selection' of the Democrats 'presidential nominee'



The video speaks for itself.  Cheating was rampant in Iowa.

What more needs to be said?

The Washington Post ran a story entitled Shadow Inc., which built the Iowa caucus app, received money from Buttigieg and Biden campaigns 

The New York Post has a similar story about Shadow, Inc (what a name) here 

Max Blumenthal (The Grayzone) has an article on this as well called Pro-Israel Buttigieg backer Seth Klarman is top funder of group behind Iowa’s disastrous voting app

Max writes:

[Shadow, Inc] was staffed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaign veterans and created by a Democratic dark money nonprofit backed by hedge fund billionaires including Seth Klarman. A prolific funder of pro-settler Israel lobby organizations, Klarman has also contributed directly to Pete Buttigieg’s campaign.

The delay in the vote reporting denied a victory speech to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the presumptive winner of the opening contest in the Democratic presidential primary. Though not one exit poll indicated that Buttigieg would have won, the South Bend, Indiana mayor took to Twitter to confidently proclaim himself the victor.


Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming......

Bruce



Our 'modern' way of life is soulless



CBS surprisingly covers one of the most neglected stories in this worn out country.  Wealth disparity.

The first part of the story was instructive as the reporter shows a group of folks walking around in some mall the real wealth numbers - today's version of feudalism.

Near they end of the coverage CBS goes to a fancy yacht sales bazaar where those making money selling expensive boats (to fat cats who want to impress their family, friends and neighbors) understand that any 'wealth taxes' would cut into their ability to make lots of money.

Instead of talking about the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the elite who are hoarding enormous wealth, while the masses increasingly pile onto the streets to sleep, CBS falls flat - punks out - takes a dive to protect the interests of the ruling class.

CBS sticks in a clip of Trump trashing 'socialism' with angry white working class people standing behind him at a political rally.  Trump uses these marginalized white folks as props and turns their outrage into a tool to divide and conquer the country.  In this case frustrated whites are being pitted against people of color and what remains of the left.

The big mistake of the Trump supporters is that they are don't seem to realize that they are cheering for the same people who have decided they are superfluous human beings.  Trump is a 3rd rate actor but doing an effective job on behalf of Mr. Big's corporate interests.

In playing this role the ambitious and arrogant Donald Trump reveals he has no soul.

My political sense of this particular report was that it is election year and the Democrats must at the least 'make a nod' toward the issue of income inequality.  In the end though the liberals are not particularly dedicated to doing much about it because their party has been bought and sold by Wall Street which is not interested in 'revolution' or socialism.   The job of the Democrats is to let steam out of the valve - when the people get too angry throw out some 'hope and change' that will shut down the organizing in the black community and other significant movements - like the peace movement during the eight years of Obama-Biden.  The Dems have clearly proven their loyalty to the banksters and the military industrial complex.

Damn right we need a revolution but it won't come from the Democrats.  The DNC is in the middle of rigging the game to dump Bernie Sanders and shift power in the party back into the hands of the oligarchies who intend to have someone like the rich-man Bloomberg or the weak-kneed Mayor Pete Butta-jigg or Sen. Amy Klobacher from Minnesota.  (I'll write more on Klobacher when I get time - I've got a photo of her with Sen. John McCain in Ukraine standing with the Nazi Ukrainian Army who have been killing their fellow citizens by the thousands in the Donbass - eastern Ukraine along the Russian border.)

The Democrats are a war ship filled with rats, dirty money, and ambitious hacks. There are millions of good-hearted citizens supporting Birnie and Tulsi but they will soon enough be kicked to the curb with the declaration - 'Who else you gonna vote for?  Trump?'

The time is here to stop playing by the rules of Wall Street which cares nothing about Mother Earth nor the great unwashed.  It is time to fight for our lives, the future generations and for our relatives in the plant and animal world - along with the air, water, rocks, soil.

Our 'modern' way of life is soulless and very sick.

Bruce

Monday, February 03, 2020

Monthly GN video



Our Global Network social media coordinator Will Griffin does a monthly video for the organization.

Here is his latest contribution.

The link between the Pentagon and climate crisis.

A subject that does not get enough attention.

Since 2001, the US military emitted over 1.2 billion metric tons of greenshouse gases into the atmosphere. 400 million metric tons of that figure is directly related to the wars.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Sunday song




Pu'uanuhulu from Makana on Vimeo.