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.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A FEW THINGS

  • I have to admit that I am not feeling any real excitement about next week's inauguration. I am though following the swirl around the Bush shoe-throw that will be held the day before the inauguration and is being organized by Mainer Jamilla El-Shafaie who has been collecting shoes all over the place. Our house was a regional drop-off spot for worn out shoes. This morning we heard that Jamilla will be on Jay Leno's Tonight Show early next week talking about the shoe-toss. There is some speculation that shoe throwing might become an official sport at the next summer Olympics.

  • I have three big balls up in the air right now and yesterday, if I can be so bold, I did quite a nice job of juggling them all. I am in the middle of getting our Space Alert newsletter done and at the same time working on a leaflet for the April 3 Town Hall meeting we are organizing in Portland. Then I also have been finishing up a brochure for the No Bases Conference that will be held in Washington DC at the end of February. My co-juggler in this task is Nancy Randolph who lives in nearby Topsham, Maine and who is doing the layout on all three of these projects. So we've been throwing the balls back and forth to each other - and so far neither of us have dropped them.

  • Mr. Obama has made a couple appointments to the Pentagon during the last few days. One of them, to be Deputy Secretary of War (under Bill Gates) is William Lynn III who has recently been the Senior V-P of Raytheon. Another pick is Michele Flournoy who will become undersecretary for policy at the Pentagon and was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton for President. Flournoy was a research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, where she founded and led the university’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) working group, which was chartered by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop "intellectual capital" in preparation for the Department of Defense’s 2001 QDR. In her confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee she was asked about the Poland and Czech Republic missile defense deployments and Flournoy said she believed it would be in the United States' interest if Washington and Moscow could agree to cooperate on missile defense. Translation: Russia should accept the deployments and we all walk away as friends. Bush tried that same strategy and Russia turned him down.

  • We are hosting a talk tonight at our Addams-Melman House by Molly Little, a student from Brown University (she is from Maine). Molly has been to the Middle East and has recently been doing organizing around the issue. Her talk will be entitled American Witness in Palestine: Roots and Realities. We expect a good turnout. It's 10 below zero here this morning so we might have to turn the heat on for the meeting.

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