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....

My Photo
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

Friday, April 30, 2010


Representatives of SPARK (Solidarity for Peace & Reunification of Korea)

It appears that one of the South Korean peace groups (SPARK, a Global Network affiliate) had trouble getting their delegates into the U.S. yesterday.

It seems that two women, Hye-Ran and Pyeon Yon-Sik, were retained in the JFK airport for three hours as soon as they arrived in New York City. They were eventually released.

According to the SPARK report, the South Korean right-wing Lee Myung-Bak government had requested the U.S. Homeland Security to send back them for the reasons of their protest career against the U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

As the security officers found out that all the entering procedures of the two have been properly done, they even mentioned that the South Korean government's behavior was out of order.

They also questioned why the Korean government even criminalized the peaceful press interview and protest of SPARK. The Lee government proved its poor policy even to the US homeland security officers...

Similar thing happened another time when the delegates of the Korean Progressive Alliance were restrained in the Switzerland airport on their way to join an international conference. The Lee Myung-Bak government had requested the Switzerland authority to send them back as well and the representatives, after all the horrible ordeal, had to eventually return back to Korea without being able to join any events there.

- Sent by Sung-Hee Choi (Inchon, South Korea)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I am on the train to NYC and the wireless connection seems to come and go on this "Downeaster".

I got an email this morning from a Tea Party list that somehow got my name. One line in particular that stands out is "Arizona is being targeted by millions of illegal aliens for race riots!"

A virtual call to arms is now being sounded by some Tea Party organizers. One of them says:

"How many more Citizens must die before Washington realizes America is under a full scale attack? will NOT negotiate our values. We will NOT stand down and we will NOT go silently into the night. "
Stephen Eichler J.D. Executive Director -

It is supremely obvious to me that the ruling elite in America recognize that people of color will be the majority population in the coming years and they don't like that fact one bit. Just like the apartheid regime in South Africa, during the early 1980's, they are embarking on a dangerous and divisive strategy to turn angry white voters (who see the nation slipping away) against blacks and Hispanics. The white working class conservatives refuse to see that it is the corporations who have moved their jobs overseas - not the Mexican immigrant who in fact has also seen their economy destabilized south of the border by the corporate NAFTA trade agreement that threw many of them off their small farms as agribusiness moved in and took over their lands.

Tons of corporate money is now being pumped into the Tea Party movement to make leaders out of marginal people who otherwise could not have dreamed of getting their hands on such a cash infusion and non-stop media coverage.

I worry that the next step will be a national call for the cowboys (with their loaded guns) to come to Arizona in order to "defend the state from the rising hoards of brown skin illegal aliens". That is when the shooting could start. It would be a deadly mix of guns, racism, religion, and misguided social policy that will help to redirect the growing anger away from the corporate oligarchy who are ultimately responsible for the mess we have today in America. As Chris Hedges has previously written, this is how Yugoslavia came apart at the seams.

The primary thing we can do is continually point out to the public that our economic collapse has not been caused by Mexicans. It is the direct result of corporate policies to move millions of jobs overseas for cheap labor and the inevitable huge costs of endless war.

The coming national debate over immigration must be viewed in the larger context of corporate policies. People of good will had better speak out soon, loudly, and often, if we hope to avert an ugly fall to violence.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


* I will be getting up very early in the morning in order to catch the 5:45 a.m. train from Portland to New York City. Once there I will meet one of our Global Network members from India who will be joining me at the International Conference for a Nuclear Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World that will be held at Riverside Church on April 30-May 1.

Several of our Global Network leaders will do a conference workshop called Missile Defense Deployments Impact Hopes for Nuclear Disarmament.

Then on May 2 there will be a rally and march which many thousands are expected to attend from all over the world.

After that I, and my friend from India, will return to Maine for several days before we head back to New York City for the May 9 Global Network annual space organizing conference. See details here

We are excited that the producer of the new documentary Pax Americana will join us on May 9 to show the film and talk more about it.

* Have been picking up on bits of interesting info coming out of Washington DC concerning a debate going on inside the peace movement about the best strategy to deal with the war in Afghanistan.

Some are suggesting that we should not focus on the $33 billion war supplemental which comes up for a vote in Congress very soon. Instead, they are pushing legislation that would "require the President to develop a flexible timetable to draw down U.S. troops from Afghanistan."

There has always been this kind of tension in the peace movement between the grassroots and those who are based in the DC area and work closely with the Democrats who run Congress. It is my take that the toothless "flexible timeline for withdrawal" puts less pressure on the Dems than trying to force them to vote now against more war funding. Thus the Dems, and those close to them inside the peace movement, promote the more timid approach.

Local activists have to be circumspect about who they decide to follow over the cliff. I've been experiencing this "re-direct the peace movement into safer strategies" by the Democrats, and their peace allies in DC, since the nuclear freeze campaign in the early 1980's.

* Went to a "debate" last night here in Bath where the four remaining Democratic party candidates for governor in Maine appeared. It wasn't much of a debate as they all basically agreed that the next governor must do a better job of relaxing business regulations, "grow the economy," and raise some kinds of "revenues" to deal with Maine's fiscal crisis. One key revenue they agreed is a replacement for the gas tax as people are driving less and seeking more fuel efficient vehicles. One idea trotted out, that most of the candidates agreed with, was to tax a driver's annual mileage. In a large rural state like Maine that won't be a popular idea. Another idea by one of the candidates was to expand the toll highways in Maine further north.

There was some talk about rail and public transportation but mostly the railway expansion was in reference to moving commercial products as a way to save corporations money.

Bottom line for me is that these four folks are essentially corporate candidates who will do little to dramatically change things in Maine as we hit economic collapse and peak oil. None of them, as would be expected, said a word about endless war spending. They only took written questions from the 75 people in attendance in order to screen out any "unpleasantries."

So much for the "party of the people."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Click here for Greg Palast article called Behind The Arizona Immigration Law: GOP Game to Swipe the November Election


Catholic priests and nuns led a prayer service for peace on April 26 in the Gangjeong village and against the Jeju Island Naval base plan. The Catholic community erected a large tent and held the service in the rain along the coastline where the base is planned. The priests and nuns plan to stay with the villagers as the Navy makes a move to hold an opening ceremony in the next few days for the construction of the base.

Lately several organizational delegations from various parts of South Korea have come to the village to show support for the people in their effort to stop the construction of the Navy base. Aegis destroyers, outfitted with "missile defense" systems, will be homeported at the base and used to surround China's coast.

In recent calls to the South Korea embassy several Global Network supporters were told that they should be calling the U.S. government since it is the one pushing the base. Those statements by S.K. embassy personnel were the first acknowledgement that the U.S. Navy is involved in the plan for the base.

U.S. Aegis destroyers are built at Bath Iron Works in Maine.

See more photos here
Call the South Korean Embassy at 202-939-5692 (Admiral Choi) or 202-939-5600 or email at

Tell the South Korean government that you oppose the U.S. and South Korean Navies building this base!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Our Congresswoman, Chellie Pingree (Democrat) in Maine's 1st District, has posted requests for federal funding on her web site.

Here is one of the requests, this one for $5,000,000 for a project called "Advanced Multifunctional Materials for Soldier Support and Protection" at the University of Maine-Orono.

The web site defines the project as: Current troop deployments require low cost, compact, rapidly deployable ballistic and blast protection to mitigate the threat of insurgents and their weapons.

What we are hearing across the nation is that as 45 state's fiscal crisis worsens they are cutting back funding for their state university systems - just like what is now happening in Maine.

As these cutbacks accelerate we find the politicians from both war parties then go to Washington and try to bring money home from the Pentagon and feed those funds into the state university systems to fill the budget gaps. Our public university systems are becoming research and development labs for the military industrial complex and they become more secretive as these dangerous trends continue.

A good friend of mine in Albuquerque, New Mexico reports that the University of New Mexico now has secret areas on the state university campus that are doing Star Wars research and development work. Students at the University of Hawaii a couple years ago occupied the campus administration building after their university signed a deal with the Navy to build a military research center on the campus.

Thus the taxpayer funded institutions begin to betray their original mission of public education for all in an open and democratic environment.

Physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and other departments are increasingly becoming dependent on war $$ and ruined as they are captured by the Pentagon agenda. The education community and the society at large become increasingly militarized as a result.

This is not just a coincidence that these trends are occurring. This is all part of the military industrial complex agenda to turn America's role in the global corporate economy to "security export."

If our elected officials representing us in Congress were worth their weight in salt they would instead be working feverishly to stop endless war funding and move those dollars back to our states and local communities for real investment in creating public transportation, open education, health care, building a solar society and more.

Sadly though Democrat and Republican politicians alike are on their bended knees begging the Pentagon for every dollar they can get their hands on and then loudly boasting how they are bringing home the bacon. The bacon though, in the case of military contracts for public educational institutions, comes with strings and helps to contribute to the further militarization of our killer culture.


Students at the University of Maine-Orono (near Bangor) protested on April 7 against $12 million in cutbacks on their campus. Over 200 students took part

Today I spoke to two Sociology classes at the University of Southern Maine (USM) in Portland. The two classes totaled about 80 students.

I began each class asking for a show of hands of those who have had to take out student loans to pay for school. Almost every hand went up in the air. Then I asked for a show of hands of those who feared that they would have difficulties finding jobs once they graduated. About half the hands went up. Then I asked both classes how many of them believed that we had a fair democracy in America today where working and middle class people could run for office and have their voices heard. Amazingly to me, in both classes, not one hand went into the air.

Next I gave them some statistics on income disparity. First the BBC has reported that "the top 200 wealthiest people in the world control more wealth than the bottom 4 billion." Then getting closer to home, I quoted the Wall Street Journal that reported, "the top .01 % or 14,000 American families hold 22.2 % of wealth and the bottom 90%, or over 133 million families, just 4% of the nation's wealth."

I handed out leaflets from our Bring Our War $$ Home campaign in Maine and talked about U.S. military spending and the upcoming vote in Congress for another $33 billion war supplemental. I talked about how the corporations have exported our jobs overseas by the tens of millions in recent years and how the Pentagon is now preparing our role of "security export" under corporate globalization of the world economy. (We won't have industrial jobs anymore, we will build weapons and wage war - largely to control declining supplies of fossil fuels and other rare resources.)

I suggested that with increasing military spending in the U.S., and declining social progress, that we are now headed for a 21st century variety of feudalism - except this time we get color TV and a car, assuming we can afford to put gas in the tank.

The professor, John Baugher, began the classes saying that the promised person from the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who was supposed to come to the class and debate me, had cancelled at the last minute.

After my talk Baugher asked each student to write down a comment and/or question for me and he ready them to me a few at a time. There were many excellent questions but the general theme was "What do we do?" and "How can we really bring out change?".

I told them my story of having grown up in a military family and that by the time I was their age my mind had been thoroughly colonized by our culture of militarism and consumerism. In the end I suggested that we must each start with ourselves by decolonizing our minds, throwing off the corporate consumerist ball-and-chain we drag around behind us, and then move into building non-violent movements for peace and social change. We have the oligarchy outnumbered, I told them, and we must begin to understand that we have the real power on our side - people power.

On the way out after the second class one young man ran me down and said he wanted to help. After listening to this bright student, I suggested he might want to explore organizing on campus around issues that were most relevant to his fellow students - such as declining funding for USM and increased tuition. Make the connections to war spending, I told him. I had earlier told the story about recent protests at UMO (above photo) and wondered if those students had thought to make the connection to military spending?

By the time I had arrived home there was an email sitting in my In-box from the young man. Here is part of his email to me:

"I am the student who stopped to speak with you after class today. First, I want to thank you for coming and speaking with us. I respect what you're doing and admire your courage in speaking on up on this topic. I also want to thank you for taking a minute to speak with me. I took your advice and have already contacted the girl responsible for the protest at University Maine-Orono. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sending me some statistics (or links) regarding military spending in Maine. I would like see the arguments that you referenced today in your talk."

You can imagine my surprise and great joy to hear from this young man so quickly. It is clear that I had run into a real gem. He had asked me to let him know about upcoming meetings and I have invited him to our next planning meeting. In the end I promised to assist him in every way that I can.

Once again I am reminded that the public, and in this case university students, understand much more than we think they do about what is going on in our society. But the biggest obstacle to real change is the sense of despair and disempowerment people feel. I told the students today that our culture teaches us "political docility" and resignation.

We each have the task of moving from political resignation to action. And we must begin this journey by taking full control of our minds again - removing all vestiges of corporate consumerist-militarist occupation of our brains and our hearts.

Once we do that the sky is the limit on what can be accomplished.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Maher takes on the U.S. military empire and challenges the tea party movement to do so as well if they hope to be taken seriously.


Yesterday I drove two hours north to the University of Maine-Orono where the annual Hope Festival was held. Fellow Bring Our War $$ Home organizer Lisa Savage (Code Pink Maine) and I worked our table handing out literature and asking people in Maine's 2nd congressional district to call Rep. Mike Michaud and urge him to vote against the upcoming $33 billion war supplemental for Afghanistan.

We had a good table location right by the stage so our big Bring Our War $$ Home banner was easily seen by most of those attending the event. We had to leave early in order to then drive 2 1/2 hours south to Portland in time for the Peace Action Maine annual dinner that featured Noam Chomsky as the speaker.

When we arrived at the church, where a bread and soup dinner was held, our Bring Our War $$ Home door-hangers had already been put by each of the 300 settings on the dinner tables. Following the dinner the people moved into the church sanctuary and were joined by an estimated 450 more who came to hear Chomsky speak.

There likely were many Obama supporters in the large crowd last night but they had to come away from Chomsky's talk reeling from the stories he told about Obama over and over again proving to be Bush-lite on foreign policy issues.

Chomsky began his talk by stating that "half of the budget deficit is the military budget....the cost of past wars, veterans benefits, and the interest on the military spending share of the debt."

"Any hope for a decent economic recovery is up in smoke because of these military spending policies," he said.

Chomsky next quickly reviewed some of the new high-technology weapons systems being "escalated under the current administration - such as drones, nano technology drones that will be able to fly into a room inside a house and kill someone, super weapons [prompt global strike] to hit anywhere in one hour, and bunker busters." He told the packed church that the bunker busters were accelerated "as soon as Obama came into office" after having "languished under Bush" and are "now being deployed on the U.S. base in Diego Garcia."

Chomsky spent alot of time talking about the Middle East and said that there are "only two countries threatening force in the Middle East - the U.S. and Israel."

"On one hand Obama is talking about we need to move to a nuclear free world but on the other hand the U.S. is helping Pakistan, India, and Israel expand their nuclear forces - none of whom have signed the U.N.'s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," Chomsky remarked.

"The U.S. is consciously creating anger and hatred around the world," Chomsky reflected, as he gave a strong endorsement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel due to their policies against the Palestinians. "Right now Obama is about the same as Reagan was with South Africa - alot of rhetoric but no actions," he said.

The ruling corporate oligarchy "are concerned with their own interests, not the impact of their policies," Chomsky replied to one question from the audience.

In conclusion Chomsky declared, "Power systems do not respond to economic [or moral] arguments, they want to do what they are doing.....We must create enough popular pressure on them - that is how change has come about in the past."

As the huge crowd began to leave the church Mary Beth and I made our way outside and held our Bring Our War $$ Home banner and urged people to call 1st congressional district Rep. Chellie Pingree and urge her to vote against any more war funding.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Thank you very much for taking this survey which is being done by peace groups in Maine. We will not use your name and only use it to evaluate public opinion. Please print it out and mail to us at address on the bottom.

1) As 45 states today face fiscal crisis, are you worried about our economy and your family's future?
Yes___ No___

2) Do you support the bailouts of the Wall Street banks and insurance companies?
Yes___ No___

3) A study found (UMASS-Amherst Economics Dept) that military spending creates fewer jobs than if we were to use tax dollars for home weatherization, education, health care, or building wind turbines or public transit. Would you support this idea of conversion to non-military production?
Yes___ No___

4) The U.S. now spends about $800 billion a year on the military, more than the rest of the world combined. Are you in favor of cutting the military budget to help deal with our national fiscal crisis?
Yes___ No___

5) Congress will be voting on another $33 billion for the wars in Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan in the next few weeks. Do you support this funding?
Yes___ No___

6)If you are opposed to more war spending what do you think should be done to stop it? What will you personally do?

7) I am a:

8) I am: Male___ Female___

9) I am:
18-30 years____
30-50 years____
Over 50____

10) In which town/state do you live?____________

Return completed surveys by May 17 to:

Global Network
PO Box 652
Brunswick, Maine 04011


Hispanics in Arizona are reacting to a new law that would allow the police to stop every person of color in the state.....a new movement is sprouting from the dry desert.

The chant "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" is a recollection of the reality that the U.S. illegally grabbed much of Mexican lands by military means many years ago. The chickens are coming home to roost as the empire now faces push back from the descendants of those Mexicans who had their lands stolen from them.


The new military space plane, called the X-37B, was launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral strapped to an Atlas V rocket. The X-37 will spend up to 270 days in space before landing at Vandenberg AFB in California. The space plane will mostly fly on "autopilot" since there is no human inside the craft.

Meanwhile yesterday at Vandenberg AFB, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) also test launched another space plane - the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, known as the Falcon.

Analysts contend the Falcon is part of the Pentagon's effort to develop the capability to strike anywhere in the world with a conventional warhead in less than an hour - known as Prompt Global Strike.

Referring to the development of global strike weapons, the idea “really hadn’t gone anywhere in the Bush administration,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has served both presidents, said recently on ABC News. But he added that it was “embraced by the new administration.”

The purpose of the X-37B program is less clear, largely because it remains classified.

The Washington Times reports, "The actual expense [of the X-37] is hidden in the Pentagon's 'black,' or classified, budget - is likely to cost more than $1 billion. The launch vehicle alone - a two-stage, liquid-propelled Atlas V rocket - costs as much as $200 million. Ten years of development on the plane - as the project was shuffled from NASA to DARPA and finally to its current institutional home in the Air Force - is likely to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars more."

The development of these new space planes is one reason that the Obama administration and the Pentagon are eager to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles in Russia and China in the years to come. As key elements in the growing U.S. first-strike program, they become even more effective if the U.S. can get its potential rivals to reduce their nuclear retaliatory capability giving the Pentagon an ever greater chance of pulling off a successful decapitating attack.

Thus as the U.S. moves forward with these kinds of global strike systems it will be likely that Russia and China will be forced to respond by refusing to dramatically reduce their nuclear weapons and by developing new technologies to counter the U.S. program.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


All you peaceniks and fiscal conservatives out there - it's time to urge your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to call their representatives in Congress with this message:

Oppose the $33 billion war supplemental bill coming up for a vote very soon

Congressional switchboard 1-877-762-8762

Whether it is a moral, fiscal, or legal argument that butters your bread - we need you to reach inside and find something to spur yourself to rattle your chains about more war spending.

How can the American people turn their heads away from endless war and pretend it does not exist?

How can liberals keep chasing after Sarah Palin and ignore the draining of the federal treasury for war under Obama and a Congress controlled by "your" Democratic party?

If you have any self respect left - do something to build the momentum to help end war.

It's your war, you are paying for it, and your country is collapsing all around us as you worry about Sarah Palin.

The truth is that if Sarah Palin was president today she would be asking for another $33 billion for war and you would be screaming about it!


Protect your mother....everyday

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Activists from Jeju Island, South Korea in 2008 held an action to oppose the construction of the Navy base in the Gangjeong village. Six people from the village went underwater and held banners amongst the colorful coral protesting the base and expressing their concern that the coral life would be destroyed by the Navy base and Aegis destroyers.

CALL NOW: Call the South Korean Embassy at 202-939-5692 (Admiral Choi) or 202-939-5600or email at

Tell the South Korean government that you oppose the U.S. and South Korean Navies building this base!


I was a bit surprised to hear Obama last week promote the Mars missions with such vigor. His call for manned missions to the red planet won't be cheap and you wonder how the nation can afford to pay for them. He intends to increase NASA funding by $6 billion over the next five years - one of the few budget increases in government discretionary funding.

Democracy Now did a short story on the Obama announcement and had Victoria Samson from the Secure World Foundation on to talk about it. Amy Goodman asked her about the military connection to NASA and she denied there was one. Anyone who follows the space program knows differently. Here is what she said.

AMY GOODMAN: We should say we’re talking to Victoria Samson at the Denver airport. She’s just coming from Colorado Springs from this meeting [annual aerospace corporation "National Space Symposium"]. Can you talk about the meeting and the uses that the Pentagon has for NASA? And when we talk about $6 billion, is some of that actually military spending but just sort of under the guise of giving it to NASA?

VICTORIA SAMSON: Well, no, I don’t think so. There’s a real separation of church and state between the United States Pentagon and NASA. They’re very careful not to combine the two. But on the other hand, you know, NASA uses rockets that the Pentagon uses for other sort of options, so when you look at the investment on heavy-lift sort of vehicles, solid rocket motors, things like that, there is sometimes a benefit for both sides. But I don’t think—the $6 billion over five years, that’s NASA funding. And if you look at it compared to what the United States Department of Defense gets, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to their annual budget.

Let me just list a couple of examples of the Pentagon-NASA connection:

1) NASA's space shuttle for years has put military satellites into orbit

2) NASA for years has done Star Wars technology and other military tests on-board the International Space Station

3) The 1994 Clementine mission to the moon, ostensibly to map the surface of the moon, tested Star Wars sensors for the Pentagon. The mission was jointly sponsored by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and NASA.

4) The space shuttle Endeavour, launched on January 31, 2000 from Cape Canaveral, did an 11-day radar Earth topology mapping mission that created high resolution 3-dimensional maps for 80% of the Earth’s surface. Few in the corporate dominated media though mentioned the fact that the Pentagon gave NASA over $200 million for the shuttle flight. Most of the high resolution maps created by the mission were classified TOP SECRET and were put under the control of the military. Most likely these maps have been used since in the 2003 "shock and awe" attack of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan to help direct targeting.

5) On April 22 the Pentagon will launch a test of the new military robot space plane, the X-37B, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. According to media sources, "The X-37B initiative leverages extensive and early NASA, DARPA, Air Force, as well as investments by its builder – Boeing Phantom Works. The funding level for the overall project is within the Air Force's classified budget."

There are zillions more examples of NASA-Pentagon collaboration. For Ms. Samson to claim there is a "real separation of church and state between the U.S. Pentagon and NASA" is an outright distortion of reality. Democracy Now should do a correction of this kind of serious misinformation.

There is no doubt that Ms. Samson knows better than this and one can only wonder if the Secure World Foundation has gotten so far into bed with the aerospace industry that they have no shame about becoming apologists for the military takeover of the space program.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010


On April 25, a people's gathering will be held in Okinawa to call for the closure of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, the return of the land, and to oppose construction of another base elsewhere in Okinawa.

The US-Japan Security Pact signed by the mainland Japanese government resulted in Japan's consent of allowing the U.S. to force its unwanted military bases on the people of Okinawa. The U.S. bases have damaged Okinawa's rich environment, and created daily issues: noise pollution, accidents and crime, and the linked dangers of war.

The problems of the bases in Okinawa are not Okinawa's problem. They are, instead, a problem of those of us from the mainland who are forcing this burden onto the people of Okinawa.

We must seriously consider this issue now--more than ever.

If no site in mainland Japan is willing or planning to accept the bases in its own territory, then this burden must not be forced onto Okinawa. We cannot push the problem around within Okinawa and pretend that we are not aware that this is happening.

The U.S. Marine Corps must withdraw, and the Futenma Air Station must be closed.

The people of Okinawa are united in their opposition to the forced placement of the Futenma base in Okinawa.

- Copied from Ten Thousand Things

In Washington DC: The people of Washington, DC will show solidarity with the Okinawans with a rally, in front of the Japanese embassy, on Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m. The embassy is at
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.


From Democracy Now:

Pat Mooney on the Dangers of Geoengineering and Manipulating the Planet to Combat Climate Change.

Supporters of geoengineering have proposed radical ways to alter the planet to decrease the level of greenhouse gas emissions. Proposals include creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles, fertilizing the oceans and placing sun-deflecting aluminum foil in the sky. But opposition is growing to geoengineering.

Here at the World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change in Bolivia, the ETC Group is launching an international campaign against geoengineering experiments. We speak with the group’s founder, Pat Mooney, a Right Livelihood Award winner.


* Our dear old dog Red was put to sleep yesterday and we will miss him badly. He was 15 years old and was the best dog I ever had. He had developed Cushings disease and in the past few weeks was losing his ability to stand up and walk around. Never did he complain, always his kind gentle spirit remained. We buried him in Georgetown in the woods along the marshland on land owned by our friend Rosie Paul. Our neighbor girl Leann, who has grown to love Red, dug the hole in the rocky soil. We wrapped him in my beloved red Navajo Indian rug that was one of my most favorite possessions. Native people believe that the best gifts are those hardest to give away.

* A few days ago I got a call from Sr. Mary Jude Jun from St. Louis, Missouri who told me she had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Then on last Friday, as my train headed south to Hartford, she called again and said the doctors had given her just a couple weeks to live. She told me she wanted me to know how much she supports the work of the Global Network and that she would be praying for us. Sr. Mary and I had never formally met but for many years she has been one of my most avid email friends. She would often send comments to the various emails I forwarded around and made an effort to share our space work with others living in her retirement center.

When I began to speak in Hartford on Friday night I began telling the story of Sr. Mary's call and that in her own time of great worry she was thinking of us and praying for our success. That kind of selflessness deeply touches my heart.

* The word from Jeju Island in South Korea is not good. The military has begun the process of buying up some of the land near the proposed Navy base in the Gangjeong village and tearing down some of the tangerine growing green houses. The military has also successfully forced the postponement of the legal case of the villagers that they hoped would help stop the base construction. On April 28 the military plans to hold a small ceremony to bless the construction crews, largely made up of the big corporation Samsung.

The people in the village are meeting every evening to monitor the situation and prepare to resist the construction process.

Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi has been in Gangjeong for several weeks writing about the situation. She reports, "This sudden whole elevation of tension cannot be done without the U.S. strategy and will to militarize the maritime border with the missile defense system, against China and to use the Jeju Island as one of her effective bases to invade the poorer countries, along with the bases in Okinawa, Guam, Tinian, Hawaii, and other areas."

You can see her photos and full reports here

TAKE ACTION: Call the South Korean Embassy at 202-939-5692 (Admiral Choi) or 202-939-5600 or email at

Monday, April 19, 2010



At the Teach-in in Northampton, MA.

This report follows my short trip to Hartford, Connecticut and Northampton, Massachusetts to speak about the campaign I have recently been co-coordinating in Maine called Bring Our War $$ Home.

On April 16 I took the train to Hartford where I spoke to 50 people from the West Hartford Citizens for Peace & Justice. This group is led by the very enthusiastic Flo Woodiel who described herself as one of the “freeze ladies” from the days in the early 1980’s when the nuclear freeze campaign was blazing hot across the nation. The freeze campaign got its start in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as these two states were instrumental in creating the early momentum around the issue of ending the nuclear arms race.

Flo told me that since those glory days their local group had been looking for the “right” issue and had been yet to find it. They felt that the Bring Our War $$ Home Campaign made sense to them and helped to connect the dots to other key issues like defending social progress, dealing with climate change, creating jobs, as well as stopping the push for endless war.

In my talk I spelled out the basics of our four-month old Maine campaign that was topped off when Maine’s largest city (council) in Portland recently passed a resolution calling on our congressional delegation to Bring Our War $$ Home by a margin of 7-1.

I described to the Hartford audience how our goal in Maine has been to make war spending a local issue as communities struggle with the fiscal crisis that affects our state just like it does in 44 others across the country.

We have made it a priority to reach out to town councils, school boards, and the state legislature (where we have now secured 22 state senators and representatives signatures on a letter calling on our congressional representatives to vote against further war funding.)

A vote is expected in the coming weeks on another $33 billion war supplemental proposed by the Obama administration. That is on top of $137 billion already passed by Congress for 2010 war spending.

I left Hartford hearing promises that they would immediately begin working on the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign and would take the additional responsibility to reach out to other towns in their state with the understanding that these kinds of efforts work best if they can be spread throughout our states and be organized in a coordinated and cooperative fashion.

On April 17 I took an early bus to Northampton where I was met by peace movement legend Frances Crowe who is now 91 years old and still working hard. I had been invited to speak at a Teach-in called “Bring the War $$ Home” which was organized by The Alliance for Peace & Justice. Other speakers were Michael Klare (defense correspondent for The Nation magazine) and Sut Jhally (Professor of Communications at UMass).

In my talk to about 125 people at the event I again outlined the goals and organizing steps we took in Maine to build our war $$ home campaign. I shared with them some words from a recent surprise editorial on April 14 in the Midcoast Maine newspaper called The Times Record that said in part, “In the buildup to Tax Day locally, we had two [city council] presentations last week by local peace and social justice activists calling attention to how much our federal tax dollars are going to war funding….one could argue that Bath and Brunswick are ideally suited to having a robust and healthy debate about 'war dollars,' given the makeup of our local economies and communities….Why not schedule the public hearings that have been requested and give everyone – shipyard workers, retired and active-duty sailors, peace activists, apolitical taxpayers – the opportunity to weigh in on critically important questions concerning national priorities and how our tax dollars are being spent?”

I also shared copies of the Bring Our War $$ Home pizza-style door-hangers that we distributed on the weekend of April 10-11 in 17 communities across Maine.

Following my talk in the plenary session workshops were held and I led a well-attended session on the same theme as the Teach-in. During the workshop it became apparent that this particular issue was going to move quickly across western Massachusetts. Already the folks in Amherst have scheduled to take a war $$ home resolution to their city council on May 5. The town of Leverett is also planning to do the same very soon.

During the long bus ride back to Maine I began reading a new book that Frances had recommended I get called Beyond Vietnam: The Politics of Protest in Massachusetts, 1974-1990. In this book I read the story about the founding of the nuclear freeze campaign in western Massachusetts by Randy Kehler, Judith Scheckel, and Frances Crowe. Their work to bring freeze resolutions and referendums to the many towns across their state lit the fuse that forced the nuclear freeze movement into national prominence.

When I returned home I found an email waiting for me from the wondrous Frances that read in part, “Enormous thanks for coming and speaking exactly as we envisioned the talk. It gave the emphasis and energy we needed.”

It is clear that Frances, like Flo Woodiel in Hartford, feels that the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign is the right organizing ingredient for this particular moment in our country. Both of these veteran peace activists will now undertake the effort to create statewide campaigns, that along with our efforts in Maine, will help galvanize much of New England as people cast about looking for answers to our national fiscal crisis and concomitant attack on social progress.

It is our hope that activists around the country will explore making similar efforts to create Bring Our War $$ Home campaigns in their community.

For more details about the campaign see this web site at

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This new space issues film, now making its way around the world at major film festivals, features several of our key Global Network leaders.

Created by French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Delestrac, Pax Americana is now seeking a U.S. distribution deal.

Please help spread word about it.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Glenn Beck talking about cutting military!

Things went well in Hartford, CT tonight - they liked the Bring Our War $$ Home theme and appear to be wanting to work on it. It's spreading folks. Even to Glenn Beck!

Prediction - If Glenn Beck does too many more shows like this he will suddenly be taken down by some mysterious scandal and will lose his job.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Obama went to the space center in Florida today and made a proposal to send humans to asteroids by 2025 and to Mars by the mid-2030's.

In an interview on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews I heard Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) talking about the plasma rocket that they hope can get astronauts to the red planet in just 39 days. See the interview here

Sen. Nelson mentions former astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz who is working to develop the plasma rocket. In an interview published in 2009 Chang-Diaz talks about the absolute need for nuclear power in space in order to make the trip to Mars. Here are some excerpts:

Seed: We’ve been sending people and machines into space for more than half a century, but we’re still mostly using chemical rockets.

FCD: Well, part of the problem with electric propulsion back then, and to a lesser degree today, is that it’s hard to get enough electricity to power the rocket. Typically, electricity in space comes from sunlight, solar power. That works okay in Earth orbit and other places close to the Sun. But people have to realize sooner or later that, if we’re ever going to explore Mars and beyond, we have to make a commitment to developing high-power electricity sources for space. What we really need is nuclear power to generate electricity in space. If we don’t develop it, we might as well quit, because we’re not going to go very far. Nuclear power is central to any robust and realistic human exploration of space. People don’t really talk about this at NASA. Everybody is still avoiding facing this because of widespread anti-nuclear sentiment [the legacy of the 1997 Cassini campaign].

Seed: What has to happen to make that change?

FCD: In 1958, the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, was able to actually navigate under the north polar cap and surface on the other side. No other submarine had ever been able to do that before. It was an eye-opener, a game-changer, a paradigm shift. The idea was that nuclear power enabled a completely different class of missions for these types of ships. Now, nuclear submarines are common. Something similar has to happen in space.

In fact, with the power close to what a nuclear submarine generates, you could use VASIMR [plasma rocket] to fly humans to Mars in 39 days. A chemical rocket makes the trip in eight months. That’s eight months of exposing your astronauts to debilitating cosmic radiation and weightlessness. By the time they get to where they’re supposed to work, they’re gonna be in bad shape—almost invalids! They’ll have to spend a big chunk of their time just recovering from the trip. That’s simply not a smart way to conduct an exploration program. By not addressing the key problems of limited power and propulsion, NASA is forced to work with extremely complicated and expensive mission architectures that are very limited in capability.

Seed: So you believe that in the long run it would be more cost-effective to develop nuclear-electric capabilities in space, even given potential regulatory difficulties?

FCD: Absolutely. People have fears of nuclear power in space, but it’s a fear that isn’t really based on any organized and clear assessment of the true risks and costs. When you send these missions based on chemical propulsion to Mars, they aren’t only going to be extremely expensive, but also extremely fragile. Imagine being on Earth, watching astronauts on an eight-month death trip from which there is no return, all because they made a small mistake or something failed. It would be an agonizing process, and there would be a lot of questions asked if you lost a crew. Well, in space, power is life. You can plan against a lot of contingencies by simply having more power available for a crew to use.

Seed: But the larger versions of VASIMR really need nuclear power to perform. What if NASA chooses not to develop space-based nuclear power?

FCD: We would hope that, if not the US, maybe the Europeans, the Chinese, the Russians, or somebody else will develop a nuclear-electric power capability that we can marry up to this rocket. We have to realize that the US is no longer the only player. The US may choose not to do this, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world will follow—not anymore. We no longer live in a confrontational world like the one that fueled the Apollo program in the 1960s. We live in a world that has to cooperate, to collaborate. The US has a tremendous opportunity to still be the leader here, but if it isn’t, others will be. Information is traveling faster everywhere now; technology has gained a foothold and developed in the nooks and crannies of the planet. The world has changed, and the US no longer has a monopoly on knowledge. We need to collaborate to build a capable space infrastructure so that we can truly explore.

See the full interview here

UPDATE: Journalist Karl Grossman reports the following:

There was an editorial in Space News on March 1 saying that "Obama's NASA budget also includes support for nuclear thermal propulsion and nuclear electric propulsion research under a $650 million Exploration Technology and Demonstration funding line projected to triple by 2013."

It went on: "Nuclear propulsion research experienced a brief revival seven years ago when then NASA-Administrator Sean O'Keefe established Project Prometheus to design reactor-powered spacecraft capable of carrying unprecedented arrays of science instruments to the outer planets.

Mr O'Keefe's successor, Mike Griffin, wasted little time pulling the plug on NASA's nuclear ambitions -- and a billion dollars worth of other technology projects -- as he focused the agency's limited resource on getting astronauts back to the Moon."

Obama is reversing course again and resuscitating the space nuclear program.


In 2008 alone, Boeing earned over $31 billion from military contracts.


* I take the train early Friday morning to West Hartford, Connecticut where I will speak that evening on the Bring Our War $$ Home topic. The event will be held at the St. James Episcopal Church. Hartford taxpayers have spent $419.8 million since 2001 to pay for their share of the wars.

From Hartford I will take a bus to Northampton, Massachusetts to participate in a War $$ Home Teach-In that will be held the Edwards Church. There I will be on a panel and also do a workshop. Taxpayers in Northampton has paid $111.7 million since 2001 on war.

It's been interesting that quite a few peace groups in New England have been picking up on the war $$ home campaign theme.

* I get emails almost every day now from our friends on the Walk for a Nuclear Free Future that we recently hosted here in Maine. They keep checking in to see how our war $$ campaign is going. I think they might be spreading the word about it as they go along - which would be a great help to the cause.

* My son Julian called the other day from New York City where he is a debate coach and said he would be attending the Global Network's annual meeting on May 9 in the city. Very exciting for me.

* Yesterday I taped another edition of my public access TV show and had Edgar Cahn as my guest. He was the founder of the "time bank" movement. Quite an interesting guy, now in his 70's, he went to work right out of college for Robert Kennedy (Justice Department) drafting the poverty program legislation in Washington. Then he moved over to help create the Peace Corp and other such service programs.

Last night I had to do our weekly radio show on WBOR-FM on my own as co-host Peter Woodruff had some personal business to attend to. The show theme was Cuba Week and I had a guest for half an hour who is from the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Association. We talked about life in Cuba and played a bunch of Cuban music. I was dancing around the studio a bit.

* Every Tuesday a local church has started a thing called the "Neighborhood Cafe" here in Bath. The church already hosts a food pantry on Tuesday night so now the idea is to cook food and when people come to pick up food at the pantry they can have a meal. It's been a good experience and I have been washing dishes as my contribution to the effort. My old military training coming back to use. My other great skill developed during my time in the Air Force is running a floor buffer.


More GRITtv

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The Brunswick Times Record today wrote an editorial calling for public hearings in Brunswick and Bath on the war $$ issue. The video above is from the April 5 testimonies of Brunswick PeaceWorks members before their town council.

Tax Day: Where do our $$$ go?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thursday is “Tax Day,” the deadline day for filing our state and federal taxes for 2009. It will be day of scrambling for last-minute filers, a day of rallies for Tea Party Patriots at Augusta’s Capitol Park and Portland’s Monument Square.

And for the rest of us?

Whatever our politics, it’s probably as good a day as any to reflect on where our tax dollars are going ... and whether those hard-earned dollars are being spent wisely and fairly.

In the buildup to Tax Day locally, we had two presentations last week by local peace and social justice activists calling attention to how much of our federal tax dollars are going to warfare funding. At the April 7 Bath City Council meeting, several residents presented a proposed resolution calling on Congress to “Bring our War Dollars Home.” They asked that a hearing be scheduled to allow for public debate on that topic; the council took that suggestion under advisement. A similar resolution presented at the April 5 Brunswick Town Council was received politely without any action being taken.

What seems to be a less-than-enthusiastic response to these two resolutions probably stems from our region’s longstanding reliance on federal defense dollars supporting the Bath Iron Works shipyard and the soon-to-be-closed Brunswick Naval Air Station.

No doubt there’s a similar reluctance in thousands of communities across the nation dependent on Pentagon funding to raise, let alone debate, the troublesome question of whether our nation spends too much on war and building weapons of war. Local political and business leaders — north, south, east and west — learn early in their careers the saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

But one could argue that Bath and Brunswick are ideally suited to having a robust and healthy debate about “war dollars,” given the makeup of our local economies and communities.

Why not schedule the public hearings that have been requested and give everyone — shipyard workers, retired and active-duty sailors, peace activists ... apolitical taxpayers — the opportunity to weigh in on critically important questions concerning national priorities and how our tax dollars are being spent?

In the meantime, to stimulate some thinking about those questions on Tax Day, here’s a suggestion: Put 100 pennies on your kitchen table (representing the $3.8 trillion FY 2011 budget).

Now divide them into piles representing where our tax dollars end up: military, 27 pennies; health, 20; interest on debt, 14; government, 10; income security and labor (including Social Security), 9; housing and community, 7; food, 4; veterans’ benefits, 4; environment, energy and science, 3; education, 2; international affairs, 1; transportation, 1. [Percentages .5 and higher were rounded up, resulting in a total greater than 100.]

The exercise, we believe, should bring home the point that Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks and the Maine Bring Our War Dollars Home Campaign ask a fair question: What local needs are not being fully met when 27 cents of every federal tax dollar goes to military spending? Obviously, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are key to that question, with upcoming votes in Congress on war funding being important opportunities to reassess our nation’s priorities.

Tea Party Patriots are not bashful about giving voice to their priorities — and that’s all well and good, so long as those who might differ with them don’t concede the debate because they’re too busy or fearful to speak up.

Why not host public hearings on bringing our war dollars home? What are we afraid of? Ourselves? Our government? Fear itself?


Chomsky Warns of Risk of Fascism in America

By Matthew Rothschild, April 12, 2010

Noam Chomsky, the leading leftwing intellectual, warned last week that fascism may be coming to the United States.

“I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio,” he said, “and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering” here at home.

Chomsky was speaking to more than 1,000 people at the Orpheum Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin, where he received the University of Wisconsin’s A.E. Havens Center’s award for lifetime contribution to critical scholarship.

“The level of anger and fear is like nothing I can compare in my lifetime,” he said.

He cited a statistic from a recent poll showing that half the unaffiliated voters say the average tea party member is closer to them than anyone else.

“Ridiculing the tea party shenanigans is a serious error,” Chomsky said.

Their attitudes “are understandable,” he said. “For over 30 years, real incomes have stagnated or declined. This is in large part the consequence of the decision in the 1970s to financialize the economy.”

There is class resentment, he noted. “The bankers, who are primarily responsible for the crisis, are now reveling in record bonuses while official unemployment is around 10 percent and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at Depression-era levels,” he said.

And Obama is linked to the bankers, Chomsky explained.

“The financial industry preferred Obama to McCain,” he said. “They expected to be rewarded and they were. Then Obama began to criticize greedy bankers and proposed measures to regulate them. And the punishment for this was very swift: They were going to shift their money to the Republicans. So Obama said bankers are “fine guys” and assured the business world: ‘I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.’

People see that and are not happy about it.”

He said “the colossal toll of the institutional crimes of state capitalism” is what is fueling “the indignation and rage of those cast aside.”

“People want some answers,” Chomsky said. “They are hearing answers from only one place: Fox, talk radio, and Sarah Palin.”

Chomsky invoked Germany during the Weimar Republic, and drew a parallel between it and the United States. “The Weimar Republic was the peak of Western civilization and was regarded as a model of democracy,” he said.

And he stressed how quickly things deteriorated there.

“In 1928 the Nazis had less than 2 percent of the vote,” he said. “Two years later, millions supported them. The public got tired of the incessant wrangling, and the service to the powerful, and the failure of those in power to deal with their grievances.”

He said the German people were susceptible to appeals about “the greatness of the nation, and defending it against threats, and carrying out the will of eternal providence.”

When farmers, the petit bourgeoisie, and Christian organizations joined forces with the Nazis, “the center very quickly collapsed,” Chomsky said.

No analogy is perfect, he said, but the echoes of fascism are “reverberating” today, he said.

“These are lessons to keep in mind.”

- Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine

Tuesday, April 13, 2010



Spring has come to Jeju Island in South Korea. So has more arrests.

Prof. Yang Yoon-Mo, the movie critic, was recently arrested for breaking a gate the Navy had created by the area where they want to build the Navy base. He was fined $4,000 and released the next day. Yang refused to pay the fine.

(Please remember that the South Korean embassy in Washington DC has told several of the people that have called about the base that it is the U.S. that is pushing the construction of the base.)

He has lived in this tent, along the rocks by the ocean, for more than eight months. Two villagers put a banner made by visiting high school students, on the top of his tent, on the day he was arrested early in the morning by the Jeju police. The banner says, “Please Keep Gangjeong!”

Inside the tent there are lots of items the villagers have given to him, including a couch.

See many more photos of the village Gangjeong and the resistance to the Navy base here

We must not forget about the struggle on Jeju Island. The courts are expected to rule on the lawsuit against the proposed base on April 22. The Navy is anxious to get the bulldozers moving. Hard days are still ahead.

Monday, April 12, 2010



I am feeling rather grumpy this morning. I've had a second cup of tea and it has not helped.

Maybe it is because I read last night that in order to sweeten the pot for the next Obama $33 billion war supplemental to be voted on in the next few weeks the administration is going to stick a $2.8 billion amendment inside the bill for Haiti recovery aid. Talk about cynicism. (That $2.8 billion is the same amount of $$$ the taxpayers of Maine have spent on war since 2001.)

Or maybe I am grumpy because I saw another panicked appeal from the Democrats as they face losing a slew of House and Senate races in November. They are pushing the fear button about the Republicans taking over Congress. Maybe the Democrats should look in the mirror and begin to wonder if they have created this problem for themselves as they have turned into Bush-lite and expanded wars, continued detentions/torture/assassinations, continued the corporate bail-outs, and a whole lot more.

The Dems base is dispirited and angry and is planning to stay home in droves. Why vote for the Dems when in most cases you are just playing a shell game with the peanut under the cup being the corporate domination of the government.

It's pretty hard to honestly evaluate Obama and see much difference between him and the last administration expect for the nice smile and better elocution.

We've now put 900 of the war $$$ door-hangers in Bath and I will put out more on Tuesday. Want to get it up to about 1,200-1,500 distributed in our city. I notice as I go through the working class neighborhoods how depressed so many people look. When I ran into a few folks and handed them the door hangers they had a sad look on their face like "We know this is bad and killing us" but in most cases I think folks have given up faith and their hope that anything can change.

This is where I again blame the Democrats because they have helped increase this sense of despair and resignation among the people who genuinely wanted to believe that Obama and control of the Congress was going to mean something. To me it is one of the biggest political betrayals in American history and that sorry party is going to pay for it in the next couple of years.

UPDATE: A Maine friend sent me this in an email tonight:

I read your blog and I have to say that I felt the same way this morning, grumpy, dispirited. I have another issue to add to your list of Obaminations. The systematic dismantling of public education and the union busting of the administration's Race to the Top school "reform"/funding game.

My concern about the current political climate is the vast number of people still cheerily and blindly lionizing Obama. It is clear that few are paying attention to what is really going on and how they are getting screwed. The Dems have found in Obama the perfect embodiment of their party, lots of empty rhetoric about workers, the environment, peace, health care but still the same corporate state.

Apologies I had to rant, carry on.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Obama administration is steamrolling the privatization of the U.S. public schools, imposing a corporate model in which there is no place for teachers unions or for “anything resembling community control.” Education chief and Obama buddy Arne Duncan’s public school demolition derby would be denounced by “every progressive force in America” – if he were a Republican.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Socialism - let's count the ways:

  • Social Security
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Public schools
  • Food stamps
  • City recreation facilities (public parks, ball fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, skating rinks, etc.)
  • Sidewalks
  • Fire and police departments
  • Taxpayer funded professional sports stadiums
  • Public water and sewer systems
  • Homeless shelters
  • Federal student financial aid for college
  • After school programs for children
  • Publicly funded day care centers
  • Public highways
  • Public libraries
  • Public museums
  • Public snow removal
  • Public access TV programming
  • Publicly owned air waves
  • Free health care in the military
  • Bailouts for big banks, hedge funds, and insurance corporations
  • Welfare for the military industrial complex
  • Welfare for agribusiness corporations

I am sure I have left out many examples, please feel free to add more in the comments.

Saturday, April 10, 2010



* Six of us went door-to-door in our city of Bath this morning and dropped 625 of the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign door-hangers. Some of us will go back out on Sunday to do some more.

It was quite amazing because we all returned to the Addams-Melman House within five minutes of each other. We each went to different parts of our town that has a population of 10,000. All of us were complaining of the same tired legs as we were up and down steps and hilly streets.

* The new documentary film called Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space is beginning to be seen around the globe. The other day I got an email from an old friend in France who saw the film on French public TV and was surprised to see me in it. Canadian Broadcast Corporation is now preparing to show the documentary and it is also scheduled to be featured in the Doxa Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver on May 11. See details here

Still no word when the film will be released in the U.S. I assume a distribution deal has not yet been worked out for the U.S.

* Baseball season has just started and my team (Baltimore Orioles), perennial door-mats in the American league Eastern Division, are off to a less than stunning start. Could be another long summer. The basketball season has about four games left and my team (Washington Wizards) are in last place in their division although last night they beat the powerhouse Boston Celtics in what I hope is a sign of better things to the next year or so.

* Info about the next $33 billion Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan war supplemental is starting to come out. A vote in the Congress on this should be coming sometime in the next month. See more here Now is the time to rattle your chains.

* Obama's nuclear deal with Russia calls for about a 30% cut in nuclear weapons, about the same amount that Ronald Reagan suggested in the early 1980's when negotiations broke down largely over the Star Wars issue. In today's world Russia fears U.S. expansion of "missile defense" deployments in their backyard and the ever growing expansion of NATO along their borders. Russia has stipulated that if the "missile defense" deployments continue they reserve the right to pull out of this new treaty.

Friday, April 09, 2010



Sunday, May 9
Church Center, 777 U.N. Plaza, 2nd Floor
New York City


8:30 am – 11:30 am Global Network Annual Membership Meeting

- Introductions
- Financial report
- Coordinator report
- Planning for Keep Space for Peace Week - October 2-9, 2010
- Review of plans for India space organizing conference - October 9-12, 2010
- Board elections

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch provided ($12 each)

1:15 – 1:30 pm Welcome by GN Chair Dave Webb (CND-UK)

1:30 – 3:45 Plenary Panel: Space Organizing Reports from Key International Activists

3:45 – 4:00 Closing words

*** This GN annual meeting is being held in New York City in conjunction with other international events centered around the U.N.'s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

Registration form (Please clip and return to the address just below)

__ I can provide home hospitality in NYC for people coming from a distance. Contact me.

__ I will be at the annual meeting for lunch. Enclosed is my $12

Name: ____________________________

Organization: _____________________

Address: _________________________

City/State: ________________________

Postal Code: _________________


Phone: ______________________

Email: _________________________________

(One easy way to pay the lunch fee is by using the internet. Go to our web site at and look for the Donate Now! button and contribute via your credit card. In the comment section say it is for annual meeting lunch. This is a secure process.)

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502