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

Thursday, February 12, 2009


* Some good news for once. The $50 billion in taxpayer loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors and "clean coal" plants has been stripped from the final economic stimulus bill. Thousands of calls and emails were sent to Congress in an effort led by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS). In an email this morning the groups says, "But make no mistake: the nuclear industry and its Congressional backers will try again, and sooner rather than later. Two days ago, for example, they began a new push to have nuclear power declared a 'renewable' energy source in Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman's (D-NM) upcoming Renewable Portfolio Standard bill, which is intended to increase renewable energy production in the U.S. (although first indications are that the bill is much weaker than it should be). This is likely to become a major issue in March." Stay tuned.

* More space junk is on the way after an American commercial communications satellite collided in orbit yesterday with a "nonoperational" Russian satellite 490 miles above northern Siberia. There will be lots of debris now flying at 15,000 mph that folks worry could severely damage the International Space Station (ISS). Many scientists have long predicted that someday the ISS would be destroyed by orbiting space junk as more and more of it is created by the tremendous growth of human space activity and the accidents that come with it. The parking lot in space is getting crowded so expect to see more of this. If too much space debris is created in orbit it makes the launching of rockets off the Earth problematic as it would resemble someone trying to swim through shark infested waters.

* My home town newspaper, the Brunswick Times Record, yesterday ran a great editorial called Bath-built wind turbines? that gave strong support to a campaign by workers inside the Bath Iron Works Navy shipyard who are circulating petitions calling on Maine political leaders to "work as hard for the offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Maine as they do going after contracts from the military." The editorial features worker Peter Woodruff who initiated the petition drive. Maine media has reported that offshore wind turbines put in the Gulf of Maine could create the equivalent amount of power as 100 nuclear plants. The plan calls for 1,000 wind turbines that could create 30,000 jobs in the state if they were produced here. "This is a national security issue," they quoted Woodruff as saying, explaining that our country's over-dependence on oil makes us vulnerable to wars in the Middle East and turbulence in supplies and prices. This is the kind of worker organizing we need to see all over the nation. Congrats to Woodruff and his fellow workers.

* Today is a National Call-In Day to Congress in support of a single-payer health care plan. Health care is a human right - take the profit and the insurance companies out of the system. Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121. White House: 202-456-1414. If your Congress member is a current co-sponsor, thank your representative and ask them to stand firm for HR 676 and actively seek additional co-sponsors. If your member has yet to co-sponsor HR 676, ask them to please become a co-sponsor, select one or two talking points here.

* Just a warning. Baseball spring training begins this weekend so be on the look out for more from me on the status of the Baltimore Orioles in 2009. They made quite a few trades and free agent signings over the winter. Hope for a winning season springs eternal!


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