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: Bath, Maine, 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.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Tuesday night I was driving to a meeting in nearby Brunswick and had the radio tuned to National Public Radio (NPR) - or National Petroleum Radio as many people call it these days.

The daily business program called Market Place was on and they did a long story about Hugo Chavez in Venezuela having the audacity to "funnel oil revenue funds into social programs." They made it sound as if Chavez was doing some illegal or immoral thing by taking the profits from Venezuela's oil and helping the poor with them.

They interviewed various "oil analysts" who speculated at what point Venezuela's national budget would go into debt if the price per barrel of oil was to drop below a certain point. The experts concluded that if the price of oil dropped below $50 a barrel then Chavez would not be able to continue with this dastardly deed.

This morning the price of crude oil was $96 per barrel. With diminishing supplies of oil around the world it is very unlikely that prices will be dropping, especially as low as $50. So the whole NPR story, built around this theoretical price drop, was a phony. The whole story was intended just to create more antagonism toward Chavez and Venezuela for doing something that we don't do anymore in the U.S. - and that is using national resources to help the poor.

My god, imagine the bad example Venezuela is setting by helping people get medical care, education, jobs, decent housing and food. Chavez must be vilified and National Petroleum Radio has joined the cause.

Expect more of the same in the near future.

[On Nov 11 I got the following email from Andi Sporkin at NPR]


I wanted to point out an error in your recent posting on the public radio program "Marketplace" and its piece on Venezuelan oil revenue."

Marketplace" is not produced nor distributed by NPR. It is a production of another independent public radio production company, PRI, and some public radio stations choose to air it either as a stand alone program during the day or as an insert in NPR's "Morning Edition" program. NPR has no control over the subjects it covers nor its reporting. I've attached a link to "Marketplace" for your information. I'd appreciate you correcting your posting.

Andi Sporkin NPR


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