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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Health care is a human right



Lisa Savage speaks with Dr. John Kazilionis about the crisis in US healthcare.

He called the current system a "dismal failure" that is "blatantly unfair" and "will end up bankrupting this country", and said he's come to realize that we need a single-payer system like Medicare For All.

Sign & share Lisa's petition for Medicare For All to make sure everyone who gets sick is covered and no one goes bankrupt!      https://www.lisaformaine.org/medicareforall 

Dr. Trump prescribes......


Now you are in the good hands with Dr. Trump running this virus pandemic

Stick out your tongue and say ahhh.....

Take a deep breath and cough

Please see the receptionist on your way out to pay your 'health insurance' bill - hope you brought your checkbook with you

Welcome to America - the greatest country in the history of the planet

See more on this story here

Ouch!

Bruce

Picking a fight with Iran



The US-Iranian standoff in the Persian Gulf has once again entered an acute phase. On April 22, US President Donald Trump announced that he had ordered the US Navy to “shoot down and destroy” Iranian gunboats that follow or harass US ships. In response, Commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Hossein Salami declared on April 23 that Iran will provide a swift, “decisive” and “effective” response to US forces if they threaten Iranian “vessels or warships”.

Even before Trump's vow to "shoot down" Iranian speedboats if they harass American ships in international waters, the Navy was bolstering its ability to call in AC-130 gunships and Apache attack helicopters to defend its presence in the Persian Gulf.

A practice run for the new tactics on April 15 drew 11 gunboats from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that crossed the bows and sterns of American vessels at close range. And that prompted Trump's tweet on April 22 saying he'd "instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea."

Take a close look at the map of the Persian Gulf region.  These Iranian speedboats are only operating in the gulf near their own borders.  It is the US warships that are 7,000 miles from home - bumping up along Iran's coast.

Could it be that the US is attempting to provoke a response from Iran that would then 'justify' further military escalations by the Pentagon?

The big question, if the US were to launch attacks on Iran, just how would Russia and China respond?

Friday, April 24, 2020

Grossman & Gagnon on weekly space segment

Listen to "Saying NO to the militarization of space" on Spreaker.

The White House recently issued an executive order on “encouraging international support for the recovery and use of space resources,” another push by the US to militarize and commercialize space, Karl Grossman, a professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear.

The April 6 executive order states: “Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law. Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view it as a global commons. Accordingly, it shall be the policy of the United States to encourage international support for the public and private recovery and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law.”

According to Grossman, the executive order signed by US President Donald Trump might include the term “international support,” but it heavily implies that the US has a unilateral right to engage in the recovery and use of resources in space.

“So between denial and greed, here the US is moving ahead quite unilaterally to exploit - I think there’s gold up there. It’s very important. We’ve discussed this before - how US military documents throughout the years have actually talked about the US military moving up into space … We [the US] somehow think we have eminent domain,” Grossman added.

A report by Space Daily explains that space is a “challenging place for commercial activity,” especially since an increased body of knowledge points to there being valuable minerals such as gold, silver and platinum on celestial bodies such as the moon.

Under the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, of which the United States is a signatory, “the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind.” The nonbinding agreement further notes that “outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States” and “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”

However, the Moon Agreement, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, only has 18 signatories, none of which are major space powers such as Russia, China and the US, which potentially may open up the moon’s resources to the United States under the recent executive order. According to the agreement, “the moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind,” and an “international regime should be established to govern the exploitation of such resources when such exploitation is about to become feasible.”

War is a virus


A lone voice in Augusta, Maine.

Speaks for many of us.

A new report examining the federal budget illuminates the deep connections between the climate emergency and the U.S. military, arguing that the shift to a green economy requires a just transition away from both fossil fuels and endless war.

The report, entitled No Warming, No War: How Militarism Fuels the Climate Crisis—and Vice Versa, says that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic "has utterly changed life as we know it" and warns against working toward a return to an old normal which was "defined by unfettered capitalism that thrives on the devastation of our planet, the devaluation of human life, and the use of military force to perpetuate both."

"On a local and global scale, humanity and community have been co-opted by profit and violence. This 'normal' has now brought us to the brink of an existential crisis as climate change continues nearly unabated," co-authors Lorah Steichen and Lindsay Koshgarian write in the foreword. "In the face of both COVID-19 and the climate crisis, we urgently need to shift from a culture of war to a culture of care."

The report was published Wednesday, the 50th annual Earth Day, by the National Priorities Project (NPP) at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). A 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, NPP tracks military spending and promotes a federal budget "that represents Americans' priorities, including funding for people's issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, health, and the need to build a green economy."

"To achieve climate justice, we must transform the extractive economy we have now that is harming people and ecosystems," the report says. "Resisting militarization is core to building an economy that works for people and the planet. As such, we must pursue solutions to the climate crisis that challenge the violent and oppressive systems that have fueled war and warming for generations."

Virus update: Economics 101



Jimmy Dore dives into the global economic system with the good help of Dylan Radigan.

Ratigan is an American businessman, author, film producer, former host of MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show and political commentator for The Young Turks.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Happy Earth Day from the Planet of the Humans (featuring Jeff Gibbs & Ozzie Zehner)





On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Michael Moore is joined again by Jeff Gibbs and Ozzie Zehner, the team behind the new film, “Planet of the Humans.” They discuss what Earth Day means to them, the explosive first day of the film’s release, and where we go from here.

Global Network Space issues webinar



This video is the Global Network's space issues Webinar that was held live on April 17.

Webinar brought together key activists Dave Webb (UK), Lynda Williams (California), Bruce Gagnon (Maine) and others to discuss the latest news and views on ‘star wars’, missile defence, space weapons, Space Force, mining the sky, and the on-going campaign to prevent a war in space.

We anticipate doing more of this in the coming weeks.

Co-sponsored by Yorkshire CND in the UK

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The current Wall Street 'switch-er-oo'


Prague statue take-down: Degradation of Morality


By Andrey Kochetov

In recent years, an epidemic has swept across Eastern Europe. The epidemic of complete unconsciousness of pro-government elites. The unconsciousness of their own history. The Baltic countries for a long time, out of hatred of their Soviet past, made liquid goods for which Old Europe paid with great generosity and continues to pay those same thirty pieces of silver to the governments of these countries. (Europe is ready to spend money to encourage Baltic governments to say many dirty things about the Soviet past. It is very easy money. No need to produce anything. Just make a show in the informational field. That is all. And they are very glad to get this easy money.) 

But Bulgaria and Poland were relatively recently affected by this disease. We all followed the mass demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers in these countries. This was the result of the painstaking and lengthy work of Western propaganda aimed at completely erasing from the human memory the feats of the Soviet soldier [during World War II]. There are well-known data on the losses of the Red Army in the territory of Eastern Europe:

• in Poland - 600,212 people;
• in Czechoslovakia - 139,918 people;
• in Hungary - 140,004 people;
• in Germany - 101,961 people;
• in Romania - 68,993 people;
• in Austria - 26,006 people;
• in Yugoslavia - 7,995 people;
• in Norway - 3,436 people;
• in Bulgaria - 977 people.

The ashes of all these soldiers rest in the territory of the countries for whose freedom they gave their lives. And we, the heirs of the Victory soldiers, quite reasonably expected respect and dignity for the graves and monuments of fallen heroes, as the generally accepted laws of human morality suggest.

But no! Contrary to common sense and morality, egregious acts of vandalism have become the norm for the current descendants of the inhabitants of countries liberated by Soviet soldiers from [Nazi] fascism.

With alarm and indignation, we all watched with what frenzy the Polish authorities rushed to destroy the monuments. How bashfully, the Bulgarian authorities did not see anything reprehensible in numerous acts of vandalism over monuments to the soldiers of the Red Army.

But the Prague [in Czech Republic] authorities distinguished themselves with particular cynicism, which at the time of hype in the information field about the situation with the coronavirus, dismantled the monument to Marshal of the Soviet Union, Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Ivan Stepanovich Konev. And if the Soviet ranks and awards may not be interesting to the modern Czech inhabitant, then the fact that it was Marshal Konev who commanded the Prague offensive operation in May 1945, during which not only was liberated but also saved Prague, they simply must know. It was Marshal Konev who defeated the remnants of the regular Wehrmacht troops and put the long-awaited point in the most bloody war of the past century.

Residents of liberated Prague then appreciated the merits of Marshall, conferring on him the title of “Honorary Citizen of Prague”. How can the descendants of these very liberated inhabitants allow the authorities of Prague to demolish the monument to the commander-liberator on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory? How can we evaluate the actions of the headman of the Prague-6 district, Ondrzej Kolář, who directed the demolition of the monument?

The special cynicism of his phrase is noteworthy: “We dismantled it, because the marshal did not have a mask." In our opinion, this is a complete degradation of morality. Especially against the background of the recent history with masks that China sent to Italy, and the Czech Republic calmly appropriated these masks, clearly demonstrating to the whole world the “unbreakable unity of the European Union”.

I really want to believe that the leadership of the Russian Federation will not leave unnoticed the fact of flagrant vandalism on the part of the authorities of the city of Prague, and also find a way to “note” directly the special cynicism of Ondrej Kolář. After all, the Russians do not abandon their own. And the slogan: "Nobody is forgotten, nothing is forgotten!" still remains the property of our national memory.

~ Andrey Kochetov is a labor leader living in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.  During my visit last October he arranged a tour of the region for me and a couple of other visitors from the west.  The Donbass region (near the Russian border) is under constant attack by the puppet government now in control of Ukraine after the US orchestrated coup d'etat in 2014.

Someone has to get the blame....



The United Kingdom has retracted its invitation to Chinese tech giant Huawei to help build its 5G network. 

The frontal attacks on China continue as US-UK blame Beijing for the virus epidemic. 

Former UK MP George Galloway weighs in. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Endless growth kills everything



Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It's too little, too late. 

Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars? 

No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine"). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

Virus photos reveal America

Food pantry in Des Moines, Iowa (Click on photos for better view)

The line for lunch at a soup kitchen in Minnesota

Statue of a lobster fisherman in Maine

The car culture is accommodated with a drive-up food pantry in Minnesota

Photos and more from Mother Jones

The rich rule


Just heard,
the rich
along the French
Riviera
have created
their own private
compound
with a virus testing center
'separate
and unequal'.

Good and evil.

Reminds me
of the timeless
struggle to
quench the
dark fires
of slavery

Hell,
some have
called it.

Hell on Earth,
slavery,
serve the rich,
fatcats,
mafia,
underworld,
corporate elite,
media,
Mr. Big,
psychopaths,
greed-mongers,
war-mongers,
Wall Street gamblers,
political hacks
and more.

Feudalism
making a strong
comeback.

Yes,
it is the time
to call them out
and build
the consciousness
to resist
the dark forces

But first
we must lay down
the barbed wires
that separate us
here in our own
nation

Right vs left
rural vs urban
Democrat vs Republican
blue vs red,
Harvard vs Yale,
all constructs
of manipulation
to keep the people
scratching at each other
rather than taking down
the feudal overlords
that rule us

Bruce 

Watch out for centrists.....


Monday, April 20, 2020

Pyramids to the Heavens, Inc.



Life of Cuban sugar cane workers



The Las Tunas region lies in the south east of Cuba. Here, the largest sugar crops in the Caribbean grow. 

The country’s vital export is still harvested manually by the "macheteros" who use machetes to cut the cane. 

Argelio Marrero Pérez has been working the fields for most of his life. To make sure he withstands the tough work, his wife Lucy cooks hearty meals like pork roast or yellow rice with chicken: Arroz amarillo con pollo.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday song