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, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Tuesday, May 30, 2006



Yesterday was the annual Memorial Day parade in the town of Brunswick where I live. The theme of this year’s parade was Vietnam. Our Maine Veterans for Peace (VfP) chapter, for the third straight year, was in the parade. This year we hired a professional float maker to build a float that honored Hugh Thompson, the helicopter pilot in Vietnam who stopped the slaughter at My Lai.

On March 16, 1968, while flying a recon mission in his helicopter, Chief Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, landed at My Lai, coming upon a ghastly scene of dead, dying, and horribly maimed bodies.

Charlie Company, under the command of Lt. William Calley, did a sweep of the My Lai village and found no Viet Cong anywhere around. Though not a shot was fired at Charlie Company, the U.S. soldiers went on a rampage, gunning down old men, women, children, even babies. Families huddling together for safety in huts or bunkers were shown no mercy, dragged out, shot, their bodies thrown in ditches. Within three hours, some 500 Vietnamese were killed in cold blood.

Outraged, Hugh Thompson put this chopper down in direct line of fire between the U.S. troops and wounded villagers, and told his crew to train the copter’s M60 heavy machine guns on the soldiers and to “open up on them” if they again fired at the civilians. Thompson was able to rescue about one dozen people to safety.

For all his heroism, Hugh Thompson was shunned for years by fellow soldiers, received death threats, and was told by a congressman that he was the only American who should be punished over My Lai. Thirty years would pass before Thompson would gain some recognition for his act of bravery. He died at the age of 62 on January 6, 2006.

As our VfP chapter prepared for the Memorial Day parade we were quite aware of the breaking story in recent days from Iraq about the U.S. massacre at Haditha. On November 19, 2005 Marines allegedly killed 24 unarmed civilians in a 3-5 hour rampage. One victim was a 76-year-old amputee in a wheelchair holding a Koran. A mother and a child bent over as if in prayer were also among the fallen.

A high-level Marine investigation is now underway but, according to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), there appears to have been an effort to cover up the incident. “It goes right up the chain of command,” Murtha says.

Haditha is the tip of the iceberg in Bush’s illegal war on Iraq. No media has yet documented the U.S. destruction of the entire city of Fallujah. Killings of innocent Iraqi civilians by U.S. troops, reported daily by the Iraqi people, are never taken seriously by the mainstream media. In the case of Haditha there were pictures taken by U.S. troops of the war crimes that have helped provide evidence to bring the story to light.

These kind of atrocities have been going on ever since the U.S. military set out to create the empire. The slaughter of innocent people happened all across America as the Native people were systematically eliminated. Wounded Knee in South Dakota is just one well known episode of U.S. genocide of Indian people. In Korea, Vietnam, Panama and now Iraq it is the same story – over and over again.

“America in the view of many Iraqis has no credibility. We do not believe what they say is correct,” says one Iraqi tribal leader. “U.S. troops are very well-trained and when they shoot, it isn’t random but due to an order to kill Iraqis. People say they are the killers.”

Yesterday as we paraded through Topsham and Brunswick, Maine people along the parade route were forced to confront more than the normal glorification of war that these Memorial Day parades represent. The boy and girl scouts, beauty queens, high school bands, pigs and cows, antique cars, dancing cartoon characters, marching soldiers carrying flags and rifles…..... all the things of militarism, materialism and diversion from reality were in the parade.

But there for one brief moment the VfP float was a reminder. Our group passed out 1,000 flyers through the crowd telling the story of My Lai and Hugh Thompson. At the end of our large VfP delegation was our banner that read “Abolish War.” We will remember. America can run but cannot hide from its past. The ghosts remain with the living.

(Parts of this report were excerpted from VfP flyer and from an article called "The Haditha Massacre" by Marjorie Cohn)

Friday, May 26, 2006


See Tony, it goes like this. I am the decider. You all had your turn as empire and now it's my turn. You get to tag along. We are going to stay in Iraq. I know that you are catching hell back home with your Labour Party on this war but you've got to remember who you really work for - you work for me! Tell them all back home to go fuck themselves. Tell them I said I am the decider.

We will tell folks we'll bring the troops home once the Iraqi government can stand up an Army. You and I both know what that means - never! We are building the permanent bases. If the heat gets too hot before our next election then we can say we are doing a gradual pull-out and bring home 30,000 troops. We'll do a big PR splash and make folks think they are all coming home. We can pull this off. We've got alot of experience playing these games.

I don't have to worry about the Democrats, all I've got to do is call them weak on the war on terrorism and they will back off. They've got no spines and Karl Rove tells me to just keep hammering them on terrorism.

The media will do what we tell them. Now that we've got corporate control of the media those high priced reporters won't stick their necks out too far. They like their fancy cars you know.

So your job Tony is to keep coming here to kiss my ass a couple times a year. That reminds the American people that I have the support of 'jolly old England'....we have allies in this war. The American people just want to think we are the good guys. You keep telling them that we are and everything will be fine.

Ok that's enough for now. Let's go have a stiff drink....or should I say a cup of tea?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Ray McGovern's 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from JFK to George H.W. Bush.

On May 4, 2006 Ray was seen on the evening news out of Atlanta, Georgia questioning Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld about why he lied to the public and Congress about WMD's in Iraq. Rumsfeld, stumbling over the truth, denied his infamous lies.

McGovern will be making one appearance in Maine on Friday, May 26 at 7:00 pm in Brunswick at the Curtis Memorial Library. The event is being sponsored by the Maine Veterans for Peace and PeaceWorks.

In 2003, when it became clear that the truth ethic was in serious jeopardy throughout the intelligence community, a handful of intelligence community alumni, including Ray, created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

While at the CIA, Ray's duties included chairing the National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President Daily Brief (PDB).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


It was reported this week that the U.S. is now talking with Poland and the Czech Republic about deployment of 10 "antimissile interceptors" in those countries by the year 2011. Already these so-called "missile defense" systems have been deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska (pictured above) and at Vandenberg AFB, California (where there was a protest on May 20). The Pentagon is requesting about $2 billion for the Poland and Czech Republic deployments. Congress would yet have to approve this move.

Looking at a map one sees that U.S. deployments of these systems would be in what was once called the Warsaw Pact countries, allies of the former Soviet Union. Then take into consideration the current U.S. bases in Central Asia, since 9-11 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, so what you see is a virtual surrounding of Russia. Russia has expressed grave concern about current U.S. intentions.

The Bush team says these deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic would be to intercept missiles shot from Iran. But in fact Iran does not have long-range nuclear missiles. And why would Iran fire missiles towards Europe? Iran acknowledges that its primary enemy today is Israel which could be hit with medium range missiles.

We should remember that just a couple weeks ago Dick Cheney went to Russia and spoke out critically against Vladimir Putin and the state of Russian democracy. I would venture to say there is another game underway here. I think the U.S. is trying to re-charge the Cold War with Russia and China. Planning to place weapons systems like these, virtually on Russia's western border, is a provocation. We all know that "missile defense" has never really been about is part of the overall U.S. first-strike system of the sword and the shield. We also know that first-strike attack is now official military doctrine of the Bush administration.

During the days of the Cold War the U.S. would have loved to place military bases in the Warsaw Pact countries or Central Asia, but if it had tried a mad nuclear exchange would have likely come about. But today, under the guise of fighting terrorism, the U.S. now has military outposts throughout Central Asia (the countries we call the "stans") and the Bush Pentagon is pushing the envelope to expand operations into countries in Eastern Europe like Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Taken along with Cheney's recent lecture to Putin about how to run a free, open, and democratic society (who do they think they are fooling anyway?), these new military operations are virtually surrounding Russia and also sit on China's inland border. A double checkmate if you will.

When controlling production of oil and the transport of oil in years to come will mean one can essentially control the world economy by holding the keys to the global economic engine, it appears that these new basing arrangements are part of that larger military strategy.

All of this of course will be incredibly expensive to pull off. The Star Wars research and development budget (that would help pay for these new "missile defense" systems) is expected to be over $9 billion in 2007.

Publicly acknowledged military spending in the U.S. is now over $500 billion a year. Added to that is the $30 billion in classified Pentagon, or "black" programs, for the coming year. I recently read that secret military spending is reaching its highest level since 1988, near the end of the Cold War.

More cuts in social spending in the U.S. would surely be required in order to pay for all of this.

It appears to me that the military industrial complex is banking on re-creating a new Cold War. The war on terrorism is wearing a bit thin as the public loses its patience for the costly war in Iraq. The surrounding of Russia, and demonizing it once again as a force for totalitarianism, just might give the Pentagon someone to go after that can actually shoot back. That could insure a long and successful re-creation of an enemy that would "justify" enormous expenditures of tax dollars. The weapons corporations are drooling at the prospects I am sure.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Today is my partner Mary Beth's (MB) birthday. I threw a surprise party for her yesterday. We had folks come from all over the place, including her brother Johnny from Boston.

I was able to get friends to invite her over for a scrabble game during the mid-day yesterday. That gave us time to get everyone here. Then when she came home the house was full of people. She was quite surprised. Her brother Johnny, a wonderful Irish tenor, treated us to a couple standards.

So all you MB fans out there......remember to call tonight and wish her a happy birthday.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


The photo above is a 1960 shot taken of a fraternity at Yale University. You'll notice that John Negroponte, Porter Goss, and William H.T. Bush (an uncle to George W. Bush) were all members of the same frat club.

Goss (who just resigned as head of CIA) was, according to the current script, not getting along well with Negroponte (who oversees all intelligence operations for Bush). Now lets see - 2006 minus 1960 is 46 years.....Goss and Negroponte had 46 years to find out if they got along and they just had their falling out? Hard for me to believe. Sounds like an "official story."

Why did Goss really resign? Especially having been in office for such a short time. Maybe a scandal in the works? Sex, gambling,military-industrial-complex bribery .....who knows for sure...... but I am convinced it was NOT because Goss and Negroponte did not get along!

The lies are piled on top of the lies and have reached the heavens......

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


A Washington Post-ABC News poll is showing that the public is very angry with Congress. They are not doing their job and the people know it. Nearly two in three Americans believe the war in Iraq has not been worth it. People see the economy unraveling around them and they see the Congress doing nothing but giving more tax cuts to the rich. Gas prices go up and the oil corporations executives get enormous multi-million bonuses and federal tax credits.

But the polls are not necessarily good news for the Democrats. While 55% of the public says they are open to someone else being their Congressional representative, they also by a 58% margin say the Democrats have not offered a sharp contrast to Bush and the Republicans and they disapprove of the job the Dems are doing.

The Dems strategy is to try to ride out "the perfect storm" in hopes it will wash them into control of Congress. Maybe that will happen....but maybe voters will turn to Independents and Greens this year and reject both parties.

This is the year that progressive minded voters and activists need to work together to support good candidates no matter what party they are with. Greens, progressive Dems, Independents and the like must cross normal party boundaries and seek out people who are willing to tell the truth about what is going on. They must identify and support candidates who are willing to call for: investigation of Bush and Cheney for impeachable offenses; cut all funding for the war in Iraq; immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq; ending tax cuts for the rich; support for a single payer national health care program; investment in rail, solar and wind technology in the U.S. with our tax dollars; major cuts in the bloated Pentagon budget; and investment in the social and physical infrastructure all across the nation.

Time is running out. The health care system, education, roads and bridges are all broken. Jobs are leaving the country like a roomful of rats running from a nasty cat. Only with significant federal investment can we hope to rebuild the country and develop new technologies to deal with global warming. If we don't demand this now, by getting behind candidates who will fight for this alternative vision, then we will head south fast as a nation.

It is great that people are expressing real anger toward the status quo in the U.S. But in their desperation, if people just put a bunch of corporate Dems in power then nothing much will change. And believe me the corporations now dominate the Democratic party and will be working hard to put their people in place if the Congress turns over.

This is the year for bold action. This is the year not to fall for the glad handing from Dems that will promise they want to end the war in Iraq and then turn right around and vote for more money for the war. This is the year not to vote for candidates who tell you we can't talk about impeachment because it is too controversial. The constitution is clear that when a president oversteps his power we must move toward impeachment!

We need real leaders at this moment in history. I'm tired of seeing the “entitled kid" princes and princesses get elected who are primarily aiming for higher office and put serving the people low on their agenda.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Tony Blair is destroying the UK's Labour Party. In recent local elections Labour lost 317 seats and 18 town councils. The conservatives picked up most of the seats and if a national election was held today in the UK, Labour would have 26% of the votes while the Tories would come in with about 40%.

Blair has become an albatross around the neck of the Labour Party. His deception, along with George W. Bush, on the Iraq war and his continued destruction of social progress in Britain has led to his downfall. Growing numbers of Labour party members are calling for Blair to step down but he continues to hang on promising that he will eventually leave in a "smooth transition." In the end it will likely be a transition right into Conservative rule.

Blair has shown that he is not really a true Labour Party man. He in fact works for the corporations who have tried to privatize everything in sight in Britain. He has hijacked the Labour Party and taken it to its ruin.

Hillary Clinton would do similar devils work if she got the Democratic Party nomination for president. Lately she has been working overtime with right-wing members of the Senate like Bill Frist, Rick Santorum, and others on privatizing health care, supporting the war, sponsoring the flag burning amendment and other such schemes to prove her conservative colors. Hillary figures she has the desperate Democrats vote already and now is concentrating on the conservatives.

She is following the model so finely crafted by her husband and Tony Blair. Bill Clinton is the one who rescued NAFTA and "welfare reform" from certain defeat while he was president. He showed the corporate boys that he'd give them everything they wanted if they just let him be president. And he never let them down. He kept research and development for Star Wars humming for eight years and he kept the U.S. military engaged in the Middle East with constant U.S. bombing of the Iraqi "no fly zones." These days you find Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush virtually inseparable from one another as their "friendship" speaks louder than words. The Clinton dynasty has been anointed by the Bush dynasty.

Hillary's job, if elected, would be to do something that no Republican could ever accomplish. Privatize social security. Privatize public education. Keep the U.S. military bases in Iraq permanently. Keep military spending high. Keep supporting Israel's theft of Palestinian lands.

In the end Hillary would do what Tony Blair has successfully done in the UK. Be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and lead your political party into the hands of the multi-national corporate agenda. Blair has done a masterful job. If elected, Hillary would try her best to follow the script.

Friday, May 12, 2006


George W. Bush is now collecting data on more than 300 million domestic and international phone calls and the huge volume of internet traffic each day. According to a poll taken last night by the Washington Post, 66% of the American people have no objection to this program.

Some Democrats, like Sen. Patrick Leahy from Vermont, have expressed concern. "It is our government, it's not one party's government. It's America's government. Those entrusted with great power have a duty to answer to Americans what they are doing," he said.

Please note, he did not say stop doing it….he just said tell us what you are doing.

Unfortunately it appears that some number of Democratic Party leaders in Washington have known about the spy program for years and have kept their mouths shut - until now. One such person is House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). She held a news conference yesterday to bemoan the spy collection effort but knew about it all along.

Even some Republicans have spoken out about the program. Right-wing Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, told Fox News: "The idea of collecting millions or thousands of phone numbers, how does that fit into following the enemy?"

Sadly, now that this new poll is reported today, many of the politicians will back-off from even making strong statements as they realize that the American people have been lulled to sleep. And Bush will feel empowered by the new poll numbers showing support for the spy agency's collection of phone information. Knowing how Bush works, this will only give him confidence to go the next steps.

Greater domestic spying and attack of Iran come immediately to mind.

It has been reported that the spy collection information was leaked to the media in retaliation for Bush's appointment of the NSA's Gen. Michael Hayden to head the CIA. The word is that many in the CIA feel that the Pentagon is grabbing the authority to do covert operations - especially without consulting the CIA's intelligence bureaucracy and its civilian leaders.

According to William Arkin, who writes for the Los Angeles Times, "The Defense Department is building an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised."

The bottom line is a total consolidation of war making power inside a Pentagon that has been purging any opposition to the "endless war" plans of the Bush team. They are privatizing war making and ensuring that all decision making will be done by a very select few. Last January Rumsfeld created the Strategic Support Branch and gave it the job of competing with the CIA to "operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control."

So now we have a full picture of the future. The coup d' etat is virtually complete. Total military control of all intelligence operations, cutting out all civilian run intelligence agencies. Consolidation of all covert operations into the hands of just a few high-level operatives inside the Pentagon. No fiscal restraint on the Pentagon. No congressional oversight. And now a poll showing that 66% of the American people feel like the vacuum cleaner style collection of telephone calls is fine.

What's next? How long before martial law is declared? Maybe it won't be necessary. As long as the American people, the Democratic Party "leadership", and the courts go along with the show, the nation will have suspended constitutional government without much of a whimper.

To me this is the final straw that indicates we have descended into fascism. The Congress is nothing put a prop – a puppet. The opposition party fears to really stand up and fight. And when the opposition leadership won’t fight, the American people say to themselves, “Why should I make a big deal out of this? The Democrats are compliant. I should be as well.”

For me, now is the time more than ever to stand up and shout the truth. We must speak out loudly and often while we still can. I do fear martial law will be next. Bush is not going to back off now. Even though his approval ratings are at an all-time low he has no real opposition. The media still rolls over. The Democrats have no guts. Bush will keep rolling the dice.

With the coming elections in November of this year the advocates of peace and constitutional government must declare their independence from both parties and only vote for people who are willing to call for impeachment of Bush and for immediate cut-off in funding for the war and withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

And we must be in the streets as often as possible between now and then. We’ve got to get organized. Stop worrying about your job. You are now losing your country!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


A Maine National Guard helicopter landed at two Portland high schools last Friday giving the kids a chance to sit in the cockpit. One TV news announcer called the whole process "cool". In another part of the state a middle school is working with the National Guard to send the school kids on a two-day "campout" at a local military training facility. One parent refused to sign the permission slip and the teacher said to the parent, "If you could have just seen how sad your son was when he turned in this to me." Teachers are now becoming recruiters.

Another story I heard is that the military recruiters in Maine are now doing kiddies birthday parties. They bring a big military tent and a truck and set it all up for the kids to play Army. Big time cool stuff!!

And then today I read a story about an 18 year old kid in Oregon who suffers from autism. The Army "promised" the kid he would be a "combat scout" in the service. One friend of the kid's family described the job of a combat scout as "it's like send him in and if he doesn't get blown up, it's safe for the rest of us."

Can anyone doubt that our culture is being militarized? Can anyone doubt that the message to working class kids, early on in their life, is that you only have one real choice for a job and that is in the military.

Now why is this happening? Endless manufacturing jobs in America anymore....America's role in the world will be the military boot to enforce the dictates of corporate globalization. Non-stop war for oil, for water, to keep the low-wage workers in the Third World under control.

Parents need to get on the stick. They need to get involved and engaged right now or their kids will be the next ones marching off to war. Is this what you raised your kid for? If not, then the time has come to step up and fight against this militarization of the youth.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sunday, May 07, 2006



1) Gallstones in the Belly of the Beast (A musical/comedy performance)
Featuring Singer/Songwriter, and Global Network member,
Holly Gwinn Graham
Saturday, June 24
7:00 p.m.
The Roundhouse Community Arts Center (181 Roundhouse Mews, Davis & Pacific)
Vancouver, BC, Canada

2) Weapons in Space: Should We Extend the Arms Race Into the Heavens?
(A panel discussion)
Speakers: Mel Hurtig (Canadian author/activist), Dr. Rebecca Johnson (Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, UK), Dr. Jurgen Scheffran (Int’l Network of Engineers & Scientists Against Proliferation, Germany), and Holly Gwinn Graham (Singer/Songwriter, Olympia, Washington)
Sunday, June 25
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
University of British Columbia (UBC), Liu Institute Room

3) Global Network Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner
Sunday, June 25
4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
UBC, Liu Institute Room
(Please RSVP to Global Network before June 16 for dinner)

4) No Means Yes: Canadian Complicity in the “Missile Defense” Weapons Development Program (A workshop)
Speaker: Richard Sanders (Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, Canada)
Monday, June 26
11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
UBC, Student Union Building (SUB) Room 205

5) Space Weapons & Canada: Strategies for Citizen and Government Action
(A workshop)
Speakers: Steven Staples (Polaris Institute, Canada) and Mike Wallace (Professor of International Relations, UBC)
Monday, June 26
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
UBC, Student Union Building (SUB) Room 205

6) Star Wars Organizing: Activists Reports from Around the World
(A workshop)
Speakers: Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker, California), Robert Anderson (Stop the War Machine, New Mexico), Sarah Estabrooks (Project Ploughshares, Canada), Bruce Gagnon (Global Network, Maine), Regina Hagen (INESAP, Germany), Tamara Lorincz (Halifax Peace Coalition, Canada), Bill Sulzman (Citizens for Peace in Space, Colorado), Dave Webb (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK)
Tuesday, June 27
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
UBC, Student Union Building (SUB) Room 205

7) The Space-Military-Industrial Complex: Connecting the Dots and Acting on the Picture (A workshop)
Speakers: Bill Sulzman & Loring Wirbel (Citizens for Peace in Space, Colorado)
Tuesday, June 27
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
UBC, Student Union Building (SUB) Room 205

Friday, May 05, 2006


Lots in the news these days. Rumsfeld gets some face time with protesters in Atlanta and he lies on camera saying that he'd never said that Iraq had WMD. The CIA director just resigned, some speculating it is connected to the new military industrial complex - prostitution scandal.

The House of Representatives voted on April 26 to pass the Iran Freedom Support Act by a vote of 397-21. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) calls it "a steppingstone to war." My own Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME) voted in favor of the bill.

The House and Senate passed amendments to the recent appropriation of $72 billion for Iraq that say the U.S. won't be building permanent bases there. Who believes this? The construction money was appropriated two years ago and now they are building 14 long-term U.S. bases in Iraq. The new U.S. embassy in Baghdad, costing $772 million, will be our largest state department outpost in the whole world. Built to be permanent.

Why do the politicians pull tricks like this? Say we are not going to stay in Iraq but then look how long we have been in Japan, Korea, Germany. Do they think we are that stupid?

One sad thing is that some in the peace movement, so hungry for some sign of a victory, are falling for this no permanent bases lie.

The same Democratic senator, Joe Biden from Deleware, who pushed the no permanent bases in Iraq is now pushing the break-up of Iraq into three separate entities. Maybe that is how they will get around this whole "no permanent bases" shell game. They will say, "See Iraq does not exist anymore. We never said we would not have permanent bases in the three separate autonomous regions that have now been set up."

I just remember what I heard Hillary Clinton say on TV last year. "We're going to be in Iraq a long time," she told Faze the Nation.

That's how these things seem to go. Let's just watch and see what happens.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


He did it! Everyone has one moment in life to stand up and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And Stephen Colbert did it. He hit a home run. He knocked Bush out of the ballpark.

Colbert was the guest comedian at the recent White House Correspondent Dinner in Washington. And sitting at the head table, just next to Colbert at the podium, was none other George W. Bush who had to sit and listen to an honest litany of putdowns. It was as if the people of the world were speaking through Stephen Colbert. It was a moment that will live forever.

His truth was stinging to those who tip toe around Washington's power elite. Talking about the war Colbert said, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

Bush's face on the video, that ran on C-SPAN, was as red as a newly harvested apple. He'd never had anyone mock him so publicly, right in his face. Colbert, all along pretending that he supported Bush, made fun of Bush with punishing truths.

He made fun of those in the media who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”

Colbert ended the event with a pre-taped skit that honored long-time Washington White House reporter Helen Thomas. Thomas is one of the few reporters in Washington who has been willing to press Bush on his lies about the war in Iraq, so much so that Bush now often refuses to call on her in news conferences. By Colbert honoring her in such a way the message was clear to all.

Please click on the link in the headline above. There are three segments of the video. Watch each one and enjoy the laughs. Most importantly enjoy Stephen Colbert speaking truth to power!

Monday, May 01, 2006


I know that none of you who read this blog drive a gas fact you ride your bike regularly and walk whenever possible to lessen the amount of gasoline you use. You turn off the bathroom light when you brush your teeth and you don't let the water keep running when you brush up or shave. So of course I am not talking to you......I'm talking to someone else.

We all at times feel like all is lost. Global warming is overwhelming....the dolphins committing suicide by the hundreds by beaching themselves is probably happening because they are telling us the ocean is polluted and they can't stand it any longer.....humans just rush down to the beach and try to shove them back into the water thinking they are doing something noble....or maybe it is the Navy's underwater sonar that is literally blowing the minds of the dolphins.....but we need the Navy, right? We've got to have the big advanced, high tech Navy to protect us from the Chinese.......

Or how about the polar bears that are now drowning because as the icebergs melt they have to swim farther from one iceberg to the next to find their food? We are all complicit in this destruction of life and yet we just go on like nothing is happening....some feel powerless and some just don't really care anymore.

Some of us are already dead inside....we've given up feeling responsible....oh well we say, it was nice while we were here....let the cockroaches take over. And forget about getting upset that Bush is thinking of using a nuclear weapon to hit Iran....”nothing I can do about that” we say to ourselves.

This is what happens when your culture has become militarized....our minds become colonized by the militarists and we just turn everything over to them.....we just give up, the fight goes out of us, and we turn dead inside.....dead people walking around.

We might be dead on the inside but on the outside we can still consume though. We can still eat more than our fair share, drink more than our fair fact food and drink help deaden the pain inside....what little left we might be able to feel. The goal is to kill all the feelings inside.

Bush and his regime of corporate global fascists counts on this. Remember right after 9-11 Bush told us all to go shopping and to fly down to Florida to go to Disney World. The message was "Hey, don't worry...we are going to war....just keep paying your taxes and we'll take it from there. Just go kill your pain and your conscience with some shopping." And we did.

To be alive would require that we feel the hurt....that we actually allow the pain and suffering of drowning polar bears to reach into our insides and rip our hearts out...that it would motivate us to skip the car for just one day and hop on the bike...that we might begin to talk with others about creating community housing where we share a home with others, that we share our washing machines, our vacuum cleaners, our cars....that we begin to try to figure out a new way to live on this very fragile Earth......

Maybe by killing the illusions that we live in a democracy, that America is a free and honest country, that technology will save us from the oil crisis, maybe if we allowed those illusions to die we could live again.

Maybe we would become free again if we killed the American dream that the mental colonizers planted in our hearts and brains from our first days in school.

What does it mean to be human? How can I be a real person again? What do I do now?