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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I leave in the morning for Santa Barbara, California to speak at a series of events over the weekend being organized by the Pacific Life Community (PLC). The PLC is a faith-based network of west coast activists, many are Catholic Workers, who are leaders in the resistance to war and violence. They feed and house the poor as well as doing excellent peace work. It will be an honor to be with them, and the Catholic priest John Dear, for these events. On Sunday there will be a march to Vandenberg AFB, which like Cape Canaveral in Florida, is a major launch base for Star Wars. Vandenberg played a key role in the Pentagon's anti-satellite (ASAT) test last week that hit the falling spy satellite.

Last night I did a radio interview on a station from Jamaica. This was a first for me and it was exciting to see their interest in our work to stop this new arms race in space. It was also great to hear that they had closely followed the ASAT test issue and wanted to analyze it. I am encouraged by this as one of the goals of the Global Network has always been to expand the consciousness of people around the world about the nuclearization and weaponization of space. It helps to know folks everywhere are paying attention!

Participation in our 16th annual Global Network space organizing conference in Omaha, Nebraska on April 11-13 is growing. We now have people coming from at least 12 countries and it has been a great challenge to try to find places for so many excellent leaders to speak. A great problem to have. Right now we are waiting to hear if a delegation from South Korea will be able to join us. Their group is called SPARK and they recently affiliated with our organization.

As I type this I am watching the MSNBC TV program called Hardball where two Democratic Party Congressmen are being interviewed about their support for Clinton and Obama. Both of them are former military officers and one of them in particular, a former Navy admiral, is calling China our next great enemy that we must prepare for. The Democratic party is now becoming so dominated by these former military people and they are helping to drive us further into endless war.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008


One major reason to call for the abolition of all war is that in the "technological age" it is civilians who do the majority of the dieing.

As we are seeing in Iraq today, where over 1.2 million people have died since the U.S. illegal and immoral invasion of 2003, it is the innocent who are perishing.

In WW I, for every 100 deaths, 95 were military and 5 were civilian.

In WW II for every 100 deaths, 33 were military deaths as compared to 67 civilian deaths.

Hitler used his V-2 rockets to strike the cities of London, Paris, and Brussels. Clearly civilians were the targets.

The U.S. introduced the mass fire bombing of cities like Dresden and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of civilians lost their lives.

Estimates for the total casualties of WW II vary, but most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians.

Gino Strada, war surgeon and founder of Emergency Italia, with extensive first-hand experience in many modern war theaters, has argued that over 80% of casualties in modern high-tech wars are civilians.

There can be no such thing as a "just war" any longer. How could wars that kill innocent people who are not engaged in the fighting be called "just"?

We must call for the abolition of all war. It must be outlawed for a nation to spend their national treasury on weapons systems that end up killing women, children, and the elderly.

Like the abolition of slavery in the U.S., the abolition of war is a huge struggle that appears impossible to reach. But history reveals that such changes are possible if the people are single-minded and determined over time.

We must call for the conversion of the military industrial complex as our first-step in the abolition of war.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


A U.S. B-2 bomber crashed in Guam today as it was taking off. The B-2's cost taxpayers $1.2 billion each - 21 have been built. In recent years runways on Guam have been lengthened and widened to handle the B-2 as the U.S. military is doubling it's presence in the Asian-Pacific region. An encirclement of China is underway. The Pentagon has also increased the deployment of cruise missiles at Anderson AFB on Guam. A naval build-up is also expected there in coming years.

Activists on Guam have long been organizing to oppose the U.S. military buildup on their island. The best land on Guam is now controlled by the military and indigenous residents are packed into the remaining areas.


We had a fundraising party at our house in Bath last night for the Iraq Veterans Against the War and their up-coming mid-March Winter Soldier investigation hearings. In spite of a snow storm we still got enough folks there to raise $1,000 with more donations expected to arrive in the mail from those unable to make the slippery drive to our house.

One person that came last night was Herb Hoffman from southern Maine who is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Susan Collins (R-ME). Herb will run as an Independent as many of us in the state cannot imagine supporting the Democratic Party candidate Rep. Tom Allen. Tom Allen says he is against the war in Iraq but keeps voting for the money for the occupation. We call the mainstream choices Tom Collins.

I spent two hours this morning co-hosting a radio program on the Bowdoin College station in Brunswick. A friend, Peter Woodruff, got us a weekly show and it is at a time that no one else wanted - 8-10 am on Saturday morning. But in spite of the fact that I had to get up earlier than I like, we had fun playing political protest music and chatting off and on during the show. Peter calls the show TRUE - Truth Radio Underground Experience.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


The Pentagon claims they hit the sinking military satellite with their Navy Aegis destroyer interceptor missiles.

You can be sure the military will now be asking Congress for a huge increase in research and development funding for Star Wars. And you can figure the Democrats now running the Congress will join with the Republicans to give the military virtually every penny they ask for.

Where will the money come from to expand these offensive space weapons testing programs? The aerospace industry has said they intend to defund the "entitlement programs" to pay for their space projects. Officially the entitlement programs are Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and what is left of the welfare programs. Social progress or an arms race in space? Which would you choose?

Russia and China know the score. They understand that the Pentagon is moving to "control and dominate" space. They understand that space control means control of the planet below. Here we go - off to a new arms race that we can't afford.

The only positive value of this anti-satellite weapons test is that it has put the issue in front of the people of the world. I've been doing radio interviews (from New York City to Seattle) non-stop the last two days and I can imagine that there are alot of people talking about this shoot down.

We are standing on the edge of a cliff watching the emergence of a new expensive and dangerous arms race right before our very eyes. Our best move would be to step back and take a deep breath.

There must be more active resistance to the weaponization of space.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This report covers the period of Feb 6-16 as I traveled to New Mexico and Colorado for a seven city speaking tour.

I flew into Albuquerque, N.M. on Feb 6 and Bob Anderson and his wife Jeanne Pahls picked me up at the airport. Much to my surprise Bob, who teaches political science at a local community college, was on crutches after severely hurting his back. Bob and Jeanne are the leaders of a local group called Stop the War Machine that focuses on military bases in their community like Kirtland AFB which now directs the research and testing of laser weapons for space.

Bob organized the trip that would take me all over New Mexico and into southern Colorado during the coming week. In the past he has driven me around on such speaking trips but he was in no condition to do so this time. Plus he had to try to teach as well, even while in terrible pain.

My first stop was down to Silver City where I spoke on Feb 7. Global Network member Vicki Johnson and her husband Mike drove me the five hours south.The ride was beautiful through the rugged Gila National Forest. The morning after my talk I appeared on a popular local cable access TV program called The Morning Show.

From there we drove southeast to Las Cruces which is where the White Sands Missile Test Range is located that is the place where many "missile defense" technologies are now tested. Vicki and Mike took us to the base and we visited their museum that tells the history of the U.S. space program. It was to White Sands that the Nazi rocket scientists under Operation Paperclip were first brought following WW II to create the Pentagon's space effort. That evening I spoke to a group of local citizens.

On Feb 9 we made our way back to Albuquerque and then Bob and Jeanne took me further north to Santa Fe where I spoke to an audience of people organized by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace. I noticed in the back of the audience a young man paying great attention to my talk. Afterwards he waited in the wings until almost everyone was gone before he approached me and told me he was an Iraq war veteran and was considering going to Washington DC for the Winter Soldier testimonies on March 13-16 where Iraq and Afghanistan vets will tell the stories about their role in the shock and awe invasions and resulting occupations of those countries. I urged him to go saying that while his life had already been dramatically changed by being in the war, participating in the Winter Solider events would likely change his life even more.

On Feb 10 I was treated to a wonderful Raging Grannies choir of more than twenty women who sang three songs about space at the Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center. One of the songs was called Take Me Out of the Bomb Game and went like this:

Take me out of the bomb game
take me out of the war
Buy me no missiles or Star Wars, Jack
I'll be glad if they never come back!
Oh it's BOO BOO BOO for the bomb team
If they should win we all lose
And it's ONE---ONE---ONE strike we're out
At the old bomb game.

You can imagine that after this great singing I was very energized to deliver my talk that was recorded and sent on to play on David Barsamian's Alternative Radio.

On Feb 11 many of these same Raging Grannies came to our protest on the sidewalk outside of the Hotel Albuquerque where the 25th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion was underway. Inside the hotel were representatives from the military, the Department of Energy nuclear labs, nuclear academia, and the aerospace industry. They are making plans to put nuclear colonies on the Moon and Mars and are currently building nuclear rockets for expanded space exploration and colonization. These same nuclear reactors would ultimately be used to power space-based weapons as well. It is these people who are planning to mine the skies for precious minerals and hope to have the taxpayers fund all the research and development necessary to make it happen. On top of that the Space Command's job will be to control the "shipping lanes" between Earth and these planetary bodies with space weapons technologies. The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper noted our presence and quoted me on what was going on inside the space nukes confab.

My next stop was Las Vegas, N.M. where I spoke at the United World College. Students are brought there from all over the world in order to learn from each other in hopes they will return home and help foster peace among all nations. After my talk two young men from Africa and Asia approached me and were very interested in learning more about our work on space issues. I was hosted by Pat Lehan who runs the Peace & Justice Center and the next day she taped a one-hour interview with me on her local radio station for later broadcast.

On Feb 13 Pat drove me north to Taos where I spoke several times over the next two days. Beryl Schwartz from Peace Action had me scheduled to speak in two different high schools, I did two radio interviews, and then talked at an event for the local community.

My final talk was in Alamosa, Colorado at an event organized by a political science professor at Adams State College. My host, a local doctor by the name of Beth Kinney, took me to her home where I was met by Bill Sulzman and Loring Wirbel who drove down from Colorado Springs for the talk. Bill was one of the co-founders of the Global Network in 1992 and coordinates the local group called Citizens for Peace in Space. Both Bill and Loring serve on the Global Network board and drove me back to Colorado Springs where I was to fly home from the next day.

On Feb 16 Bill organized an informal breakfast meeting in Colorado Springs where we spent some time talking about plans for three days of protest by their group at the 24th National Space Symposium which will be held there on April 7-10. Several of us from the Global Network will come to these Colorado protests before heading to Omaha for the Global Network's international space organizing conference on April 11-13.

The Colorado Springs symposium is sponsored by a host of weapons corporations like Raytheon, Boeing, ATK, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and many more. It is the premier event of those planning to move the arms race into space. Their promotional literature says, "National security issues will broach on continuing to understand the central role of space and using the opportunities it has to offer for defense purposes. The partnerships that are being forged through the civil, commercial and national security sectors [will] help make space financially obtainable....."

So between our protest in Albuquerque at the space nuclear power convention and the April space weapons symposium in Colorado Springs we feel that we have identified the top two aerospace events that are integral to the nuclearization and weaponization of space. It is our role to shine a light on these events and to learn as much as possible about their latest plans so we can pass on that information to our members around the world.

As we are now seeing with the planned satellite shoot down of the wayward satellite, the Pentagon is escalating their efforts to move forward to achieve space control and domination. It is our job in the Global Network to build the resistance to this madness. Trips like I just made to New Mexico and Colorado help us to slowly but surely expand our grassroots base. I thank all who made the trip and our work possible.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


For Immediate Release

Contact: Bruce Gagnon 207-443-9502

The planned Pentagon shoot down of the wayward U.S. military satellite is nothing more than an opportunity to test new Star Wars anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) technology says the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

“The Bush administration is magnifying the risk to justify the testing of new dangerous and provocative offensive space warfare technologies,” says Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network, which is based in Maine.

“At the time when we need to be constraining space debris-creating ASAT testing, this test will throw open the door to a new arms race in space.”

The Strategic Command’s (StratCom) high-tech Global Operations Center, buried beneath Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska, will play the lead role in coordinating the ASAT test. StratCom now heads all military space operations since merging with the U.S. Space Command in 2002.

"The decision to destroy the American satellite does not look harmless as they try to claim, especially at a time when the U.S. has been evading negotiations on the limitation of an arms race in outer space," a Russian Defense Ministry statement has concluded.

For many years Russia and China have gone to the United Nations General Assembly with a resolution calling for a treaty to ban all weapons in space. The U.S. and Israel have annually voted against the treaty while every other nation in the world supports such a new legal ban on space weapons. The U.S. aerospace industry says that Star Wars will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth.

Global Network board member Stacey Fritz, Coordinator of No Nukes North in Alaska where so-called missile defense interceptors have been deployed says, “A culmination of events this month reveals the true direction of space weapons technology. China and Russia have formally proposed a new ban on space weapons on the heels of polls showing widespread public support for such a treaty in both the U.S. and Russia. Not only does the U.S. refuse to consider the ban, but also after denying for years that these systems have offensive capabilities, the rogue Bush administration proposes to demonstrate missile defense's anti-satellite technology. The doors of the Trojan horse are spilling open and the new arms race is on."

Three U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers, outfitted with missile interceptors, will fire at the satellite as it falls back to Earth from positions just off Hawaii. These same Aegis ships are now being home ported by the Navy throughout the Asian-Pacific region giving the U.S. the ability to encircle China’s coast. These Aegis ships could give the U.S. the ability to intercept China’s twenty nuclear missiles that today are capable of reaching the west coast of the continental U.S. The Pentagon has been war-gaming a U.S. first-strike attack on China, set in 2016, for the past several years. In that attack the Aegis ships would negate China’s nuclear retaliatory force by intercepting their missiles in the boost phase.

The Global Network is made up of more than 140-affiliated peace groups around the world working to halt the nuclearization and weaponization of space.

For more information see

- END -

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I am sitting around the fire in Boston at the home of MB's brother. I got in late last night and we came here. This morning I slept in a bit and then we went to see my son Julian at the high school debate tourney at Harvard. It was fun meeting the high school kids from Dallas, Texas that he coaches. When we left late this afternoon his team was 5-2 so far. We'll go back in the morning to visit with him again in between the debate rounds. The high schoolers from around the country are debating U.S. policy in Africa all year. There are over 1,000 kids at the tourney. The place is packed with kids all dressed up and laying down in the halls of classroom buildings. They get up early and stay up late preparing for the next day of debates. They look tired. It's good though to see them engaged in meaninging thinking about the condition of the world.

The photo above is from Bob Anderson in Albuquerque. Don't you just love those southwestern colors in the kitchen?

Op-ed colums in major U.S. newspapers are hitting the planned anti-satellite test against the wayward satellite pretty hard. This whole phony plan to protect us, while in reality being a Star Wars test, is starting to look like a global public relations disaster for the Pentagon. They are getting their just desserts.......

Have I mentioned on the blog that a Jacksonville, Florida radio talk show host recently gave the Global Network $4,000 worth of free radio ads on his station? I wrote an advert calling for the conversion of the military industrial complex and had one of our local members in Jacksonville record it for the show. Apparently the ad is causing some stir in the community. Jacksonville is one of the most militarized communities in the nation.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I am in the Colorado Springs airport waiting for my flight to Boston. My talk last night in Alamosa went well and then Bill Sulzman and Loring Wirble drove me back here where I spent the night. This morning Bill gathered some local activists for a breakfast meeting where we talked about the annual Space Foundation Symposium that happens in Colorado Springs each April. This year we timed our Global Network space conference to come right after the Colorado events so that we could hold protests on April 7-9 here and then move on to Omaha, Nebraska for the April 11-13 GN international conference.

This trip has gone well and I owe Bob Anderson in Albuquerque many thanks for putting together a good speaking tour for me. He took the photo above of us protesting at the Space Nuclear Power convention earlier in the week. We had a nice colorful presence.

Glad to see that people are quickly figuring out that the ASAT test against the falling satellite by the Pentagon is just one more gimmick to sell weapons in space. I am hearing from lots of people that we've not heard from in a long time. It's good to know that when you need folks to help they come out of the woodwork. That indicates that our years of work around these issues has paid off.

"In our opinion, the decision to destroy the U.S. satellite is not as harmless as it is being presented. Especially as the United States has been avoiding talks on restricting a space arms race for quite a long time," the Russian Defense Ministry's information department said in a statement.

"Under cover of discussions about the danger posed by the satellite, preparation is going ahead for tests of an anti-satellite weapon. Such tests mean in essence the creation of a new strategic weapon."

Friday, February 15, 2008


Just arrived in Alamosa, Colorado for my talk tonight at local college. My good friend Bill Sulzman is driving down from Colorado Springs and will drive me back to his house for the night. In the morning I will catch a plane from there to Boston.

I spoke this morning at the public high school in Taos and had 25 students in a class for over an hour. Much to my surprise they really intently listened to what I had to say and asked several excellent questions. They turned out to be much more interested and engaged than the kids at the "alternative" high school that I spoke at yesterday. After telling stories about my personal history/transformation via the Air Force during the Vietnam War, I talked alot about space and tried to show the connection to how funding Star Wars will help destroy social progress in America. The aerospace industry has long been saying that to pay for their space programs they intend to defund the "entitlement programs" which officially are Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and what is left of the Welfare program after Bill Clinton got through with it.

The internet is buzzing today with stories about the Pentagon (Missile Defense Agency) now saying that are going to shoot down the military satellite that is falling back to Earth in coming days. They will fire missiles into space from Aegis destroyers that are made where I live in Bath, Maine. The Navy is now deploying these Aegis destroyers, outfitted with "missile defense systems," in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia as the Pentagon begins to militarily surround China.

It is clear to me that the Pentagon is using the falling satellite as an excuse to test anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons in order to perfect the technology that would give the U.S. the ability to knock out other countries satellites. The military has been itching for a long time for a good excuse to field test ASAT technology. They are using this incident as an excuse to put into the public's mind that space weapons will be used to "protect" us. In fact these are offensive systems, part of the overall U.S. first-strike attack program now under development.

In a news conference yesterday we saw Deputy National Security Advisor James Jeffrey, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright and NASA Administrator Michael Griffin make this announcement of this shoot-down. They said the falling satellite "could release much of its thousand-plus pounds of hydrazine fuel as a toxic gas."

Gen. Cartwright said, "On the first side of the equation, this is the first time we've used a tactical missile to engage a spacecraft, but not the first time that we've used a tactical missile to engage a body that is just reentering, okay. So the leap to move to catching it just before it hits the atmosphere really takes almost no modification at all. What we're talking about here is minor modification to software, both in the system that -- the Aegis system and in the missile itself. So that gives a reasonably high confidence that we understand all of the activities here."

I think the quote just above reenforces the point that with just minor "modification" the "missile defense" system on-board the Aegis becomes a ASAT weapon. The Pentagon is thrilled to have the opportunity to run this test.

Igor Barinov, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, said he was informed by, "Russian military experts," that "the satellite could have an on-board nuclear power source."

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I am in Taos, New Mexico now. This morning I spoke to 25 high school students at an alternative school and then went to a local radio station for a 10-minute live interview to promote my talk tonight that is open for the public.

Taos is a beautiful place, with snow capped mountains all around, and yes almost all of the buildings here have a similar look as the one in the picture above.

New Mexico Democrats are still counting their votes from the "Super Tuesday" caucus. I've heard that 17,000 Native people and poor Hispanics got to the polls and discovered their names had been purged from voting lists. So even when the Democrats run an election, fraud is still used to keep the poor and working class from voting. It's a class war in America.

In the morning I speak at a public high school and then will be driven two hours north to Alamosa, Colorado for a talk at the local college. From there I will head further north to Colorado Springs where I catch a plane back to Boston.

Mary Beth will pick me up in Boston and we'll hang around there for a couple days so we can see my son Julian who is coaching a high school debate team from Texas, where he lives, at a tournament at Harvard. So that will be a nice treat for all of us.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I watched a moving documentary on TV in my hotel room last night done by an Iraqi filmmaker. He filmed innocent Iraqi civilians being rushed into hospital after hospital after being wounded in the chaos that is ever present in their country. I saw one boy, six years old, having scrapnel taken out of his body without any sedatives to ease the pain. The screams of the boy, and the blood pouring out of his small body, shook me to my core.

I spoke last night at the World College in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The school has students from all over the world who come there for two years after high school before moving on to formal college. The school is primarily oriented toward teaching young people about global peace issues. After my talk two young men, one African and the other Asian, approached me and expressed their deep interest in space issues.

I've got the TV on right now as I write this blog entry and am watching Congressional hearings about the baseball steroid scandal. It's interesting to see these outraged politicians question former superstar Roger Clemens about his having lied about using steroids.

This hearing is so striking to me because we have heard over and over again that Congress can't do impeachment hearings of Bush-Cheney because they would "distract" Washington DC from doing more important business - like steroids. Let it be said that the Democrats are running these Congressional hearings.

Today I head further north to Taos where I will be for two days of speaking to community groups and a couple different high schools. From there I head into Southern Colorado to the town of Alamosa which everyone keeps telling me is the coldest spot in the U.S.

Monday, February 11, 2008


We often hear people talk about our Founding Fathers. Many say things like, "If our Founding Fathers could see the way things are today, they'd roll over in their graves."


Gore Vidal wrote in his book Inventing A Nation, that at the time of the revolutionary war with England that George Washington's "wartime temper was an awesome volcanic affair in serial eruption when dealing with a crooked Congress that was allowing food and supplies to be sold to the British army while embezzling for themselves money appropriated for the 'naked and distressed soldiers,' as Washington referred to his troops."

After the Revolutionary war was over New England merchants were eager to reestablish trade with Great Britain. By importing large amounts of goods into postwar New England, merchants glutted the market. Export markets had yet to be fully developed thus a trade imbalance existed that led to a nationwide debt crisis and a chain of debt collections. [Sounds just a bit like the U.S. today with our enormous trade/debt problems.]

David Szatmary writes in Shay's Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection, that "To satisfy British creditors, New England wholesalers tried to collect their outstanding loans" from their customers who tended to be inland shop keepers and small farmers. "Having difficulty with debt collections, merchants increasingly chose legal action that contributed to a great increase in debt suits," Szatmary concludes.

Soon the local shopkeepers and farmers faced creditors who took their land. State governments helped in the confiscation process as the local working class could not afford to pay their property taxes. Many found themselves in prison because of their debts. Szatmary writes that, "Yeomen, husbandmen, day laborers, and rural craftsmen comprised 91% of these debtors while no prominent retailer were behind bars [in one Worcester County, MA. jail]."

It soon came that the coastal traders, in the big cities like Boston, were of one class and the inland workers another. A rebellion, ultimately to be called Shays' Rebellion, ensued as those who were oppressed went to their town meetings and county conventions seeking legal remedy to their plight. The working class began to elect their own representatives who tried to reform the harsh laws through nonviolent means. According to one leader of the revolt they "advocated reforms that would ease the payment of debts, reduce taxes, publicize the expenditure of state funds, and pare down the powers of the court of common pleas."

During this time poor economic conditions even forced revolutionary war veterans to sell their Continental and state certificates. Large speculators, many of them coastal merchants, bought this paper for a fraction of its stated value. Szatmary quotes one farmer, "A very few men in each state have monopolized these obligations to such an immense amount, and originally on so easy terms, that there are now some fortunes among us which would tolerably well support the expenses of an Earldom."

The divide between rich and poor was established early on in the new America. Remember too, that under the new Constitution only white men who held land could vote. Thus legions of small farmers and land owners who lost all they had no longer were able to participate in the new "revolutionary" government. Their attempts to use existing government reform measures to hang onto what little they had largely failed.

In 1786 New England small farmers gave up on peaceful protest and took up arms. A rebellion leader urged others to join the fight against "all the machinations of those who are aiming to enslave and oppress us" and to strike down "that aristocratical principle too generally prevalent among the wealthy men of the state." Szatmary reports that "By the end of the year, an uprising that involved almost 9,000 militants or about one-quarter of the 'fighting men' in rural areas had surfaced in every New England state except Rhode Island."

Rich merchants and the "professional class" feared the insurgency, if successful, would spread and redistribute property throughout the nation. Thus the new Colonial government turned to George Washington to form the first national army to suppress the rebellion. But first they made sure that the new Constitution gave the federal government the powers to control the "internal insurrection."

According to one man of property, "the new Constitution is received with great joy by all the commercial part of the community. The people of Boston are in raptures with it as it is...and all men of considerable property, the clergy, the lawyers, including the judges of the court, and all the officers of the late army advocated the most vigorous government." The reaction of the "insurgents" naturally was quite different to the news that a national army was being created to put down the unrest. One farmer argued that "With national military power lawyers and men of learning, and monied men expected to get all the power and all the money into their own hands, and then they will swallow up all us little folks, like the great Leviathan" turning independent farmers into tenants or wage laborers.

In his book The Creation of America: Through Revolution to Empire author Francis Jennings states, "The farmers of Shay's rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion were not so much intent on tearing down as simply bettering their own conditions. Resentment against the perceived ruling class deflected into aggression against Indians. Instead of conflict with the ruling class, seizure of Indian lands could be effected with its complicity. Thus perpetual conquest diverted rebellious sentiment into the satisfaction of demands for personal advancement at the expense of Indians instead of the wealthy. "

Empire was born. And today it remains as we see those in Washington continually making decisions that perpetuate the privilege of wealth and power. Words like freedom, patriotism and liberty have become the tools of the elite to control the rest of us and to spread empire.

Issues like abortion, flag burning, school prayer, gay marriage, and immigration are these days used to divide the public and keep the focus away from the real rulers of the land.

Frances Moore Lappe writes in Time for Progressives to Grow Up that "We've lived so long under the spell of hierarchy..... that only recently have we awakened to see not only that 'regular' citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crisis cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high."

Sunday, February 10, 2008


We asked a couple years ago if we could have a Global Network exhibit inside the Space Technology conference but they turned us down. No surprise.

I spoke in Santa Fe last night to a group of people organized by Veterans for Peace. Tonight I talk at the Peace & Justice Center in Albuquerque. On Monday we will hold a protest outside of the space nukes confab. I'm told the local Raging Grannies will be coming along to sing some new songs they've created just for the occasion.

The newspapers in New Mexico are filled with articles about the Democratic Party caucus last week that totally messed up the voting process. People were standing in lines for two hours waiting to vote after the polls had closed. Then it took 4-5 days to count the vote. The results are still not official. Hillary is leading Obama 49%-48% with 99% of precincts reporting. It appears that there was an effort to limit the vote. Hillary and Bill Clinton watched the Superbowl with New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson (who worked in the Clinton administration). There is some speculation that by limiting the vote here on election day it would hurt Obama the most.

Just further evidence to me that the Democrats will play games with the voting process when it benefits them. Both parties are corrupt. It was the Democrats who fought to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot in Maine and other states in 2004. So much for them defending democracy.

Gov. Richardson is considered highly corrupt by peace activists here. He is a major supporter of the military industrial complex which dominates this state.

By the way, I read yesterday that Obama had supported Joe Lieberman's election for the U.S. Senate over the anti-war candidate Ned Lamont in Connecticut in 2006. Obama even went to Connecticut to campaign on Lieberman's behalf. That is revealing. Lieberman is now supporting John McCain for president.

Friday, February 08, 2008


I am sitting in an internet cafe in Silver City, New Mexico. It's a mining town and in the hills surrounding the area you can see the results of years of devastation to the environment. Mountains of tailings from the mine are washed away by the rain and pollute the local water and blow through the air. The state is trying to force the mining corporations to cover the stripped off land but as usual the corporations resist doing the right thing in order to save their investors some money.

I spoke here last night and this morning did a 40 minute live community access cable TV interview on The Morning Show hosted by two local women activists. It was fun and I was able to really get into the whole corporate domination plans for space and the planet below.

Later today I will be taken to Las Cruces where I speak this evening. Las Cruces is near the White Sands Missile Testing Range where the military is doing space laser weapons testing.

The weather here is sunny and about 60 degrees. Driving through the mountain pass on the way here yesterday there was some snow on the ground but not much of it. People say it has been real cold lately but just as I arrive it warms up.

Like every place else folks are talking about Obama - is he or isn't he for real? I refer people to a recent interview by Amy Goodman with Allan Nairn about Obama's foreign and military policy advisers. One name mentioned by Nairn is Gen. Merrill McPeak who was the former commander of the U.S. Space Command.

It is clear to me that Obama would never have been allowed to ascend as far as he has if he was a serious "change" agent.

Monday, February 04, 2008


I leave Wednesday morning for a 10-day speaking tour in New Mexico that will include our annual protest at the Space Technology & Applications International Forum.

Bob Anderson in Albuquerque has organized the most extensive New Mexico speaking trip for me yet. The schedule this year will include:

  • Feb 6 Fly to Albuquerque
  • Feb 7 Speak in Silver City
  • Feb 8 Speak in Las Cruces
  • Feb 9 Speak in Santa Fe
  • Feb 10 Speak in Albuquerque
  • Feb 11 Protest at Space Technology Forum in Albuquerque
  • Feb 12 Speak in Las Vegas, NM
  • Feb 13 Speak in Taos
  • Feb 14 More talks in Taos
  • Feb 15 Speak in Alamosa, Colorado
  • Feb 16 Return home to Maine

It's going to be a busy trip as I go from one end of New Mexico to the other and then head north into southern Colorado for the Alamosa talk. Hopefully I will get some chances to post on the blog while gone.

You can be sure that I will be eating alot of good Mexican food, including my favorite Huevos Rancheros.

I've been making this annual trip to New Mexico for the past dozen years or so and Bob has reached out farther and farther afield each time to have communities host me. I think we've only missed one space forum in all these years.

It's important that we hold a protest outside the annual Space Technology Forum. Inside you will find NASA, Air Force, aerospace industry, and Department of Energy personnel planning the complete nuclearization and weaponization of space. They have huge elaborate displays of nuclear powered mining colonies on the Moon and Mars. They have mock-ups of the nuclear rocket with reactors powering the engines on space ships heading to Mars. These are the same people that have been working for years to create nuclear reactors for space-based weapons.

Our goal is to shine a very public light on this space nukes folks. We want to keep reminding the public and the policy makers that our opposition to the nuclearization and weaponization of space is as strong as ever and growing worldwide.

We want to give voice to the millions of Americans who think our tax dollars should be spent on health care, education, and sustainable environmental technologies rather than preparing for control and domination of the heavens.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Mary Beth and I just returned from a weekend visiting friends in Deer Isle, about three hours north. They have a nice cottage next to their home and we arrived on Friday evening just in time for a dinner party they were hosting. The weather turned fierce just 10 minutes from their home as the wind dramatically picked up and a freezing rain turned the roads into a sheet of ice. All night long the wind and cold rain continued to lash the windows with their angry howls.

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day and we went for an hour long walk along the woody and rocky coastline of Deer Isle. Many very wealthy people have summer homes on Deer Isle and come to Maine for one or two months in the summer. The rest of the year people who live there year-round go for walks along their well manicured hiking trails on the large land holdings. The spot our hosts, Dud and Jean Hendrick, picked for us was one remarkable place. The owners, wealthy people from the west coast, have literally paid to have their woods cleaned out to the point that acres and acres look like a city park. Long stone walls have been built, a huge swimming pond created, large tracts of trees cut down and pastures for sheep created. It was staggering to contemplate the sheer cost of doing this cosmetic turning of the wild coast of Maine into such a tamed place. It made me think hard about the fact that some people have way too much money on their hands.

Following the walk MB and I took took a very hot sauna at the cottage where we were staying. I can't remember being so relaxed after the warm shower taken in the cold air outside of the sauna. It was easy to fall asleep once dried off and laying down.

On Saturday evening we all went to the the film Kite Runner at a historic theatre in nearby Stonington. The film, which I was told closely follows the book, was very heart wrenching for me as I witnessed the total destruction of the Afghanistan nation and culture. The "oil" word was never mentioned in the film but anyone who closely follows the issues in the region knows that the invasion by the former Soviet Union and the current U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is all about securing the country so that pipelines can move Caspian Sea oil south to ships in the Arabian Sea.

Just days ago we were all made aware of the latest death toll figures for Iraq since 2003, over one million now dead, and last night the emotion of this genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan so oil can be controlled and shipped washed over me with the intensity of the howling freezing wind and rain the night before.

Following the film we all stopped by the local American Legion hall for a fundraising dance that was to benefit a local fishing conservation organization but the crowd was sparse and we left after a couple spins on the dance floor. I was in no mood to dance. A beer? Yes, I could handle that. It helped loosen the knot in my throat.

This morning, after breakfast, Jean and Dud told wonderful stories about their days as Bed and Breakfast Inn operators on Deer Isle. Jean also played music by Dan Fogelberg who was a longtime customer at their Inn and who had a summer house on Deer Isle. Fogelberg recently died at home from prostate cancer and Jean helped his wife in the moments immediately after his death.

We took one last long walk this morning, along the coastline of another wealthy summer residents hiking trail, and then headed back home to Bath.