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. @BruceKGagnon

Sunday, March 08, 2009

MELTING SNOW - FOR NOW

Climate change to me means increasingly weird weather - severe disruptions of the normal weather patterns in a particular location. Virtually every place I visit these days folks always talk about how their weather is really screwed up.

We had a relatively warm day yesterday and the snow is melting - there is still alot of it too. But weather reports say we will get more snow next week, so back and forth we go. People here are getting garden fever and want to be outside digging in the soil and planting seeds. But that will have to wait.

I head to Ft Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday I will get to go to an Orioles spring training baseball game during the day. I'm praying for no rain. That evening I will speak to Pax Christi at a local church and then the next day I head to Portugal where I will speak at a national conference of the Portuguese Green Party next weekend.

The airline ticket I am using to go to Ft Lauderdale is a free-bee I got on Airtran for giving up my seat last year when they were over booked. I was actually given two free tickets and every time I tried to use one of them Airtran turned me down saying that there were not any open seats on the flight I was requesting. So in the end I lost the second ticket because a year had passed since they were issued to me but they felt sorry for me and gave me the Ft Lauderdale flight. The whole "frequent flyer" program on the airlines is getting to be a real racket as they rarely let you use your "free miles" and often end up charging you double miles for a particular flight.

I was going to do as I often do and rush right back from Portugal after my talk but my sister Joan, my travel agent, insisted I stay for a few days and see Lisbon. After all, I'm not likely to get to Portugal again any time soon. It's hard to argue with your travel agent.

Here's an interesting bit on military spending from today's Washington Post:

"It was Democrats who stuffed an estimated $524 million in defense earmarks that the Pentagon did not request into the 2008 appropriations bill, about $220 million more than Republicans did, according to an independent estimate. Of the 44 senators who implored Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in January to build more F-22 Raptors -- a fighter conceived during the Cold War that senior Pentagon officials say is not suited to probable 21st-century conflicts -- most were Democrats.

"And last July, when the Navy's top brass decided to end production of their newest class of destroyers -- in response to 15 classified intelligence reports highlighting their vulnerability to a range of foreign missiles -- seven Democratic senators quickly joined four Republicans to demand a reversal. They threatened to cut all funding for surface combat ships in 2009.

"Within a month, Gates and the Navy reversed course and endorsed production of a third DDG-1000 destroyer, at a cost of $2.7 billion."

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