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, September 30, 2010


  • I head to Washington DC in the morning for a talk at the Dorothy Day Catholic Workers house in the evening. Long-time Global Network supporter Art Laffin lives there and is a leading peace activist in the city. Years ago when we held the big protest actions at Cape Canaveral in Florida against plutonium space launches he would come down and help us with non-violence coordination of those risking arrest doing civil disobedience. Art organizes weekly vigils at the Pentagon and White House these days and has probably been arrested hundreds of times over the years for his resistance work against war and nuclear weapons.

  • On October 2, as I have previously written, I will take part in the One Nation protest in DC. My earlier analysis of this event seems to be holding true as any promotion that I have seen of it by unions or NAACP never mentions the words war or peace. It is only the peace movement that is talking about that part of the equation. The call is for jobs but one must keep asking where the $$ will come from to create these jobs unless we cut military spending. Peace folks will meet at 10:30 am on Saturday at 14th Street & Constitution Avenue NW in DC for an anti-war feeder march into the larger protest rally. I will be there carrying our Bring Our War $$ Home banner from Maine. I will fly home that evening and get ready for the next leg of my trip.

  • On Monday morning I head to Andover, Massachusetts to speak that evening at Merrimack College. The Raytheon aerospace corporation has a production facility in Andover where they work on an assortment of "missile offense" programs. My talk will cover what Raytheon is doing globally to help create the new arms race in space that they are also profiting from in a big way. Their sales in 2009 were $25 billion - they are the federal governments 4th largest contractor.

William J. Lynn III is Obama’s Deputy Secretary of Defense. Mr. Lynn served for six years on the staff of Senator Edward Kennedy as liaison to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He also served as senior vice president of Government Operations and Strategy at Raytheon Company, proof that “good Democrats” can find a comfortable home in the Military Industrial Complex - it’s a bi-partisan endless war system.

  • On Tuesday I leave for India where I will be on a tour until October 21. As usual I will do my best to blog while away but it might not always be possible to get Internet service as I move around the country. I'm sure I will be able to do some posting from airports though so I should have some access from time to time. I'll be able to make some observations about the Oct 2 DC protest events before I leave so check in later for that.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I've been thinking for some time that the Obama White House's coordinated campaign to trash their base is part of a strategy on their part to blame the "hard left" after they lose the Congress in November.

Instead of admitting that their corporate policies are in fact disempowering the base they have been relentlessly attacking their own constituency for months.

Now others are beginning to see the writing on the wall as well. Just yesterday I saw several references to this coordinated attack plan on the Internet and then this video above lays it right out there on national TV.

My own feeling has long been that Obama was given the job as president because he was ambitious and had been thoroughly "vetted" by the oligarchy long ago. In fact six months before the election I read an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski in a British publication where he said that very thing, that he had vetted Obama and was confident he would make a good president. Of course he was talking about Obama being a good pick for the oligarchy, not for the grassroots "base".

So when the Democrats lose the House of Representatives (as they likely will) it is being set up in the public's mind that it was the unreasonable, picky, stubborn, whining, obstinate, left-wing, out-of-touch section of the party that was at fault. The "good" liberal Democrats, who usually do what the corporate dominated party leadership tell them to do, will then turn to us peacenik types and pull the Nader card on us. It's your fault that the Democrats lost Congress!

The outcome will be that the oligarchy will have broken the left further apart as they move to the next level of Obama's job which is to do what George W. Bush could never have done. Finish off social progress in the nation - all in the name of fighting against massive budget deficits. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and the like will be further hit hard. Obama will turn to the public, throw up his hands and plead, "What else can I do? I have a Republican House now that I have to deal with. If those whining leftists had just bucked up and gone out and worked for Democrats this would have never happened."

You can smell the gun powder in the air. You know the assault is coming. The cannon ball is heading our way. You know they want to move the poor and the working class onto the reservation. All they need now is a scapegoat to divert attention away from the corporate handlers.

The people have been betrayed by Obama and his puppet masters. And now they are going to blame us for noticing.

We can either submit or get off our knees. We outnumber the oligarchy by the millions. It's your call now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This CBS TV 60 Minutes reporter is a homer. She has done story after story over the years where she tries to put a happy face on the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

But the truth of the Afghanistan quagmire is so hard to hide these days, no matter how much fresh varnish they put on it, that even the officers can't help but reveal it for the disaster that it is.

Bring Our War $$ Home.


  • Three cheers for the 100 people who were arrested outside of the White House yesterday in the protest against mountain top removal of coal. Appalachia Rising reports, "Arrests included Appalachian residents; retired coal miners; renowned climate scientist, James Hansen; and faith leaders."

“The science is clear, mountaintop removal destroys historic mountain ranges, poisons water supplies and pollutes the air with coal and rock dust,” said former NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who was among those arrested. “Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, can and should be abolished. The time for half measures and caving in to polluting industries must end.”

It's great to see environmentalists stepping up their non-violent resistance actions. More of this is needed. I can just imagine Obama peeping out of a White House window saying to himself, "But I told them this was 'clean coal'. Why aren't they out going door-to-door for Democrats instead of making trouble here at my house."

  • Vice-President Biden expressed just those kind of sentiments yesterday when he told the media, while on a campaign swing in New Hampshire, that he wanted to “remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This President has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises."

And they wonder why their "base" is not working for their sorry party at this time. Can you say "Labour Party" in the UK? These arrogant Democrats punch the left in the mouth and then wonder why we are not whistling happy tunes for them through the gaps in our teeth.

  • More whining was happening at the offices of the FBI across the nation yesterday as well. Good crowds turned out to protest the FBI raids in Chicago, Minneapolis and other cities. The strong and immediate response to the Obama version of the Woodrow Wilson-era FBI "Palmer Raids" (against World War I anti-war activists) is very important.

  • Maybe something is happening here. Just maybe the two-year infatuation with the magician is finally coming to an end. Or maybe there is a realization among the left that Obama's days are numbered and that we need to get back in motion as we face the likely possibility of Republicans taking control again. Either way it is crucial that we kick things into high gear. Yesterday was a good sign.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I spent the weekend at Maine's historic Common Ground Fair working at the Veterans for Peace booth where we promoted the upcoming November 2-11 peace walk through our state. I read this morning that 27,000 people were at the fair on Saturday - an all-time high.

We were particularly pleased that many young activists showed interest in the walk. One of the goals of this walk has been to get more students involved in participation as we pass near their communities.

The walk will be talking about the costs of war - the cost in terms of $$ (we are spending $8 billion a month on Afghanistan); the cost to veterans in terms of PTSD and suicides; and the cost to the environment as the Pentagon is the world's biggest polluter since war is the ultimate environmental disaster.

We will have the full walk schedule posted on the Maine Veterans for Peace web site in the next few days.

The walk will be led by the Buddhist monks/nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order which does peace walks all over the world.

The fact that we are starting on November 2 (election night) is an important symbolic statement that no matter which party takes control of Congress the peace movement in Maine will be public, out in the streets, taking these important issues to the people.

We feel it is vital that as the clamp comes down on the peace movement from the feds (see FBI raid story below) that we increase our efforts to stand up and be counted.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


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In the BBC series the Power of Nightmares, there is a segment introducing Leo Strauss, the intellectual godfather of the Neocons. Strauss taught at the University of Chicago in the 1960's, and had some theories on the psyche of Americans and how they should be controlled.

Many felt he was a Jewish Nazi.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

September 24, 2010.

The local peace community rallied quickly to protest and to act against the FBI search and seizure of 6 homes of peace activists and a local peace office. Computers, cell phones, files and records, passports were among items swept up in the early morning raid. This action came a few days after the FBI's Inspector General criticized the FBI for lying to Justice Department about raids and surveillance of peace groups after 9/11.

Doors were kicked in during the early morning raids in Minneapolis and Chicago and personal belongings including childrens’ artwork, posters of Martin Luther King, Jr, were taken, as well as cell phones, computers and boxes of paper records. About a dozen activists from Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury. The FBI emphasized that no arrests were made, but that evidence was being collected regarding the possible ‘material support’ of terrorism. The ‘material support’ statute is so broadly written that it can, and does, include international peace-building activities that are not in any way intended to support terrorism.

Here are some links if you want more info: and


Monday 9/27:

Minneapolis, MN – 4:30, FBI Office Monday, 111 Washington Ave. S.

Chicago, IL – 4:30 Federal Building, Federal Plaza.

Kalamazoo, MI – 4:30 Federal Building, 410 W Michigan Ave

Salt Lake City, Utah – 9 AM at Federal Building

Durham, NC – 12 noon Federal Building, 323 E Chapel Hill St

Buffalo, NY- 4:30 pm at FBI Building – Corner of So. Elmwood Ave. & Niagara St.

Gainesville, FL – Monday, 4:30 PM at FBI Building

Tuesday 9/28:

NYC, NY - 4:30 to 6pm Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza,

Newark, NJ – 5 to 6pm Federal Building Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA – 4:30pm Federal Building, 6th & Market,

Washington DC - 4:30 – 5:30 FBI Building, 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW.

Boston, MA - 5 pm, JFK Federal Building

Detroit, MI - 4:30 pm McNamara Federal Building, Michigan Ave. at Cass

Raleigh, NC - 9 am. Federal Building, 310 New Bern Ave

Asheville, NC - 5 pm Federal Building,

Atlanta, GA – Noon, FBI Building

Los Angeles, CA – 5 pm, Downtown Federal Building, 300 N Los Angeles St

Tucson, AZ – 5 pm Federal Building

Wednesday 9/29:

Albany, NY - 5 to 6 pm Federal Building

Friday, September 24, 2010


October 2-9, 2010

International Week of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space

- No Missile Defense
- Stop the Drones
- Convert the Military Industrial Complex
- Bring Our War $$ Home

Local Events (List now in formation)

1. Agra, India (Oct 13) Bruce Gagnon speaks with local activists about space issues

2. Albuquerque, New Mexico (Oct 2) Protest at Kirtland AFB, Truman Gate, 10:00 am-noon

3. Albuquerque, New Mexico (Oct 2) Showing of Pax Americana & the Weaponization of Space, Guild Theatre, 1:00 pm

4. Argentina - Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space will show in a Cordoba cinema during space week

5. Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 9) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street, 11:30-12:30 am Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm (207) 763-4062

6. Bhopal, India (Oct 11) Bruce Gagnon speaks with local activists about space issues

7. Bradford, England (Sept 27-Oct 8) U.S. Missile Defence Exhibition at Bradford Library, Yorkshire CND

8. Bradford, England (Oct 5) Showing Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space, Desmond Tutu House, 2 Ashgrove, Bradford, Yorkshire CND

9. Chile - Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space will show in 5 cinemas across the country during space week

10. Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 8) Vigil at noon outside the office of the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council. Theme will be opposition to current dependency on military spending, especially Star Wars and Cyber War spending with a strong suggestion that we move the money to other endeavors

11. Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 8) Demonstration at 3:30 pm outside the gates of Schriever AFB, home of the Space Warfare Center and numerous other Star Wars programs

12. Duluth, Minnesota (Oct 7) Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space showing at Labor Temple, Andy Anderson (218) 724-1891

13. Florence, Oregon (Oct 9) Showing Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space at Siuslaw Public Library, 4:30 pm

14. Fylingdales, England (Oct 4) Guided walk to launch the new guide to Fylingdales U.S. radar facility. Bring weatherproof clothing and sturdy footwear. Meet Ellerbeck Car Park, A169, near Whitby. Yorkshire CND

15. Fukuoka, Japan (Oct 3) Public forum on space weaponization at Salon de Sofia, 2:00 pm,

16. Jalgaon, India (Oct 4) Round table discussion of space issues in the Nutan Marathi College

17. Jammu, India (Oct 15) Bruce Gagnon speaks with local activists about space issues

18. Jeju Island, South Korea (Oct. 2) During one-day Island of Peace march, screenings including ‘The Life and Peace Village, Il-Gangjeong is Alive’ (produced by Kim Min-Soo) and ‘Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space’ (translated in Korean) in the Joongduk coast, Gangjeong village where the struggle against the Jeju naval base plan has been going on, 7pm. Contact Go Gwon-Il and

19. Leeds, England (Oct 6) Showing Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space at Leeds Metropolitan University, Yorkshire CND

20. Menwith Hill, England (Oct 2) Demonstration at NSA Spy Base in Yorkshire, Sponsored by CAAB

21. Nagpur, India (Oct 3) Demonstration in the Railway Colony

22. Nagpur, India (Oct 7) Space issues meeting in the Matru Seva Sangh Institute of Social Work

23. Nagpur, India (Oct 9-11) National conference on Achieving a Nuclear Weapons and Missile Defense Free Asia

24. New York City, New York (Oct 7) Noon educational event in local park

25. North Andover, Massachusetts (Oct 4) Bruce Gagnon speaks at Merrimack College about Raytheon’s role in Star Wars, John Schuchardt (978) 356-9395

26. Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 16) Nebraskans for Peace annual peace conference will feature Mike Moore & Loring Wirbel on “The New StratCom's de facto motto: Warfighting Is Our Vocation”

27. Oslo, Norway (Sept 27) Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space film showing with panel discussion to follow, Literary House, 6:00 pm

28. Oxford, England (Sept 25) Pax Americana and the Weaponisation of Space film showing at East Oxford Community Centre, 8.00 pm,

29. Prague, Czech Republic (Oct 9) Demonstration in the Wenceslaw Square against demanded USA military base and anti-rocket center in the Czech Republic, Citizens Initiative No Bases

30. RAF Croughton, England (Oct 2) Rally at U.S. communication base, noon-3:00 pm, Oxfordshire Peace Campaign,

31. San Francisco, California (Oct 10) Codepink March and Rally on Golden Gate Bridge, noon, walk eastern walkway and meet in middle. Keep Space for Peace, Stop Drone Warfare

32. San Jose, California (Oct 8) Program on Drones=Terrorism and showing of Silent Screams video, WILPF, at San Jose Peace Center 7:00 pm

33. Seattle, Washington (Oct 8) "Keep Space For Peace!" is the focus, featuring street theatre by The Loose Nukes and music by the Seattle Raging Grannies to raise awareness of and stop the militarization and weaponization of space, with a special focus on local military aerospace contractor Boeing. 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, at Westlake Plaza, 4th and Pine. Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

34. Spain – Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space will show in 47 cinemas across the country during space week

35. Srinagar, India (Oct 17-19) Bruce Gagnon speaks with local activists about space issues

36. Tokyo, Japan (Oct 8) Symposium: How to construe the military plan under the Democratic Party of Japan 6:30 pm at PPS Conference Room

37. Tucson, Arizona (Oct 1-4) Workshops on “Space war business” during Southwest Catholic Worker gathering

38. Tucson, Arizona (Oct 4) Vigil at Raytheon during Southwest Catholic Worker gathering

39. Tucson, Arizona (Oct 9) WILPF forum and action meeting from 2-4 pm in the Himmel Park Library including film 'A Space for Peace'

40. Uruguay - Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space will show in 3 cinemas across the country during space week

41. Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Oct 9) Nonviolent resistance at Lockheed Martin, the world's largest weapons corporation and space weapons contractor, noon

42. Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 6) Vigil at Vandenberg AFB main gate 4:00-5:00 pm

43. Washington DC (Oct. 1) Bruce Gagnon speaks at Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House on space issues, 7:30 pm, Art Laffin, 202-360-6416

44. Washington DC (Oct 4) Vigil at the Pentagon from 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Art Laffin

45. Washington DC (Oct 8) White House vigil from Noon - 1:00 p.m. Art Laffin,

Keep Space for Peace Week is co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom and the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases.

Download the full space week poster at:


Because there appears to be major oil and natural gas deposits in the Arctic there is growing conflict over who will control this region for exploration.

U.S. researchers have warned that global warming could leave the Arctic region ice-free by 2030, opening the area up to oil and gas exploration.

The Pentagon has recently been increasing its military maneuvers in the Arctic. The Obama administration has been encouraging Canada, Norway, and Denmark to join the U.S. in an anti-Russian effort in the Arctic.

Just what we need - more conflict over fossil fuels. Imagine the money wasted on this new power struggle that could instead be poured into conservation and alternative energy development. The oil industry intends to ensure we remain dependent on their monopoly fuel until the last drop is gone.

And sadly, the oil industry helps run politics in America as we have dramatically seen in recent years.

Thursday, September 23, 2010



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Stephen Colbert interviews United Farm Workers Union President Arturo S. Rodriguez and takes his challenge to go work in the fields to see how hard the job is. Mostly illegal immigrants are migrant farm workers because American "citizens" don't want to work that hard for such low pay in lousy working conditions.

I don't expect Colbert will last very long as a lettuce picker. Let's hope he doesn't cut his fingers off.


New poll numbers are out about American citizens feelings about endless war. They don't look good for the oligarchy. Obama's job was to cool off the left, de-mobilize the peace movement, and he did a good job of it in his first two years in office. But the tide is turning against him as even his own supporters are coming to the realization that he is the magician who says nice things but continues the basic Bush plan.

In a new CBS News/New York Times poll (Sept 10-14) the following was found:

  • Do you think the war with Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and other costs of attacking Iraq, or not?

23% said worth it and 71% said not worth it, 6% had no opinion

  • Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?

38% say right thing and 54% say should not be involved, 9% no opinion

  • What is your impression of how the war in Afghanistan is going now?

2% say Very well, 36% say Somewhat well, 34% Somewhat badly, 21% Very badly, with 7% no opinion

  • In answer to the question, "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?" people responded as follows:

32% Economy, Jobs 28%, Other 11%, with a host of other responses at 1-3%....Afghanistan got 1%

These responses indicate a very clear organizing strategy to me for the peace movement and its allies.

Coming at the Afghanistan issue directly is not going to get the public's attention. They have their minds fixed on the economy and jobs. So the peace movement must take the tack that the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home is using which is to connect the collapsing economy to spending on endless war. When that is done people get it.

The campaign has been spreading slowly but steadily across the country. The city council in Northampton, Massachusetts has recently passed a Bring Our War $$ Home resolution similar to the one passed by the Portland, Maine city council. Just today I got an email from an activist in Broome County, New York who said, "I have been active in New York with our cost of war sign on City Hall, but want to expand to Bring our War Dollars home this fall."

So you local activists out there in TV land who are looking for a way to get the public stirred up, the answer is in the poll numbers. Give the people what they want - talk about the economy and jobs with every breathe you take and they will start to listen.

Be sure though to finish your rap with the need to convert the military industrial complex to building rail, solar, wind turbines, weatherizing homes, etc.... show that while the Republicans and Democrats have no vision for the future, we in the peace movement do. And the data clearly shows that such conversion plans would create more jobs than we presently get from militarism and endless war.

This message has to be like a heart beat - never ending - always pounding away. Giving life to our movement and the nation. Let it beat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This recent poll (above) gives us a good sense that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are exciting the public. Neither party has a vision. They both are leading the nation into the toilet with their war spending and corporate policies. The public is losing confidence in both of them.

As this video below spells out the Tea Party is mostly a white, older person, conservative organization. Younger people are on the opposite side of the political fence but don't get the media coverage that the corporate sponsored Tea Party does. Young people are not yet organized on a mass scale though they ought to be.

I spoke this morning to a Sociology class at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. The students are almost all in debt trying to pay for college and they fear the declining job market. Some of them have been in the military and others have family members who have, or are now, serving in war zones.

Suffice to say they are not particularly optimistic about the future.

The instructor interviewed me in front of the class. Because I studied Sociology in college he asked questions about institutional power, the media, the military, and the like. He asked me what the connections were between declining social progress and the expanding military budget.

Near the end he asked for questions. One student asked how I knew if I was right about what I thought. Another asked if we would be successful in our efforts. Another asked why I was not enamored with Obama.

My responses would be familiar to those of you who read this blog. I said that we have to change our values away from a consumerist, greedy, money-oriented society to one that puts respect for all life (water, air, land, animals, plants, people) before money and power.

I said that we have to be in this for the long-haul and that we have to redefine "success". For me to be speaking to a class of 35 young people was a success.

We must dismantle the military empire, cut military spending, and invest in social progress. We must learn the definition of corporate oligarchy - those are the folks that control the world today.

As I often do I asked the students, "What is America's #1 industrial export product today?" One student meekly said weapons. Yes, I said, and then asked, "When weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line?" War, said the same young woman in the same meek voice. Right.

In answer to the question about my feelings about Obama I told them the oligarchy runs two horses in every race so they make sure they win. I told them that we are returning to the days of feudalism that I learned about while living in England and Germany as a kid. I still have the images of the castles in my mind. And there was always a thatched hut village at the bottom of the hill to serve the lords and ladies in the castle. We are heading back to feudalism I said, except this time you get a color TV, a car, and massive credit card debt. We are still indentured servants - this time to the corporations. It's called 21st century feudalism. Rattle your chains I told the students.

The class and the instructor will evaluate today's discussion early next week. I look forward to hearing what they thought.


Keep Space for Peace Week event planned at U.S. Menwith Hill spy satellite base in North Yorkshire, England on October 2.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


On Tuesday, October 5, following a 5-month run in more than 140 theaters nationwide, The Most Dangerous Man in America has its broadcast premiere on the POV series on PBS, at 9pm (check local listings). A special videotaped panel discussion with Daniel Ellsberg, former Times editor Max Frankel, and current editors of The New York Times, will immediately follow the film as part of the broadcast.


Ther German government has promised to phase-out nuclear power. They are back-sliding on the promise.

So rather than give in to despair the German anti-nuclear movement organized a protest in Berlin of 100,000 people in recent days.

In a peaceful march around Berlin’s government quarter, protesters converged on Angela Merkel’s chancellery to call for a stop to her plans to extend the life spans of nuclear power stations by an average of 12 years.

Sociologist Klaus Hurrelmann said the wave of anti-nuclear sentiment could be "the match capable of sparking a new political movement."

This is the way to deal with broken political promises.

Stand up and fight back.


The Sweden Democrats, a party that has been compared to the Nazis and labelled as racist, has won seats in the Swedish parliament for the first time on Sunday. The anti-immigration party is the latest in a number of far right organisations to gain representation across Europe. Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee reports from Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Lady Gaga (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ) came to Portland, Maine today for a rally to put heat on our two Republican women senators as the vote to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) is fast approaching in the Senate.

Gaga, who is gay, told the thousands who appeared at the rally on very short notice, "Equality is the prime rib of America. Equality is the prime rib of what we stand for as a nation. And I don't get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat that my country has to offer."

As the large and diverse crowd was waiting for Lady Gaga to appear on stage a series of other speakers took to the podium. One speaker was Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) who voted for an amendment to kill DADT when it was tied to a military appropriations bill in the House of Representatives a few months ago. She told us later that she "had to" vote for the $159 billion war spending bill for 2011 in order to kill DADT.

The Democratic Party leadership is very slick about tying certain popular issues together with military spending packages.

"Our military is stretched very thin. The last thing we should be doing is kicking out skilled men and women who have volunteered to fight for their country. Last thing we should be doing, telling troops we've spent hundreds thousands to train, we just don't need you anymore," Pingree told the crowd.

"DADT threatens our national security ... It goes against the values our military embodies."

What values are those? Killing, torture, environmental destruction, illegal detention?

One other speaker told the throng of Gaga admirers that if he hadn't been kicked out of the military because he was gay, "I could have been flying planes over Iraq and Afghanistan."

There is the rub for me. I am opposed to kicking gays out of the military or any other place. Equality should be for everyone, sexual preference should not matter. Gays should be allowed to serve in the military like anyone else if they wish to do so.

But I am extremely uncomfortable with the dangerous trend to ignore the sordid reality of U.S. wars by those at this pep rally in Portland today. There was alot of over-the-top patriotic BS going on at that rally.

The comment by the man who claimed he could have been flying planes over Iraq and Afghanistan is but one example. One might want to ask him - just what are those planes doing? Delivering milk and bread?

I wonder if Lady Gaga has feelings about our war policy? I wonder if she feels at all conflicted about sending gay people to die in a resource war for the oligarchy? I wonder if the thousands who turned up in Portland today to catch a glimpse of Gaga ever wonder about that either?

Life can be so complicated.


Some of Obama's fans are starting to speak up...these folks tell Obama directly that they have had enough.

Isn't it time that we all stop giving Obama a free pass on his corporate policies.

The man is so arrogant...."I'm having so much fun" he says.

Well Obama, you might be having a good time but the unemployed are not and neither are the innocent civilians in Afghanistan who are being killed by your surge.

Time to rattle your chains folks.


Bill Moyers signed off his last broadcast in May with an editorial discussion on why plutocracy and democracy don't mix.

Facebook friend Brian Willson wrote this morning about MAYAN Lessons: Why did Mayan civilization collapse?

"By 800 AD its society had too many elites demanding exotic trinkets. More temples were needed & higher caloric demand on workers required more food production & more slave labor from other city-states. Slaves were overworked & underfed. Confidence in the nobility collapsed. Workers abandoned the centers & fled. The nobility starved. Mayan civilization collapsed. Lessons?"

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This is a fascinating inside look at how Palestinian businessmen in the West Bank's historic soap and olive oil sectors face severe challenges due to Israel's occupation.

Whether they are dealing with the expansion of Israeli settlements that destroy olive orchards or having to struggle with the many check-points that inhibit their ability to send their products to market, the Palestinian businesses face constant pressure.

It is not often you get such a close look at the daily challenges of those trying to create an economic future for their beleaguered people.


The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon has acknowledged that members of a U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan have killed civilians in Afghanistan for the sport of it.

According to charging documents, the unprovoked, fatal attack on Jan. 15 was the start of a months-long shooting spree against Afghan civilians that resulted in some of the grisliest allegations against American soldiers since the U.S. invasion in 2001. Members of the platoon have been charged with dismembering and photographing corpses, as well as hoarding a skull and other human bones.

The subsequent investigation has raised accusations about whether the military ignored warnings that the out-of-control soldiers were committing atrocities. The father of one soldier said he repeatedly tried to alert the Army after his son told him about the first killing, only to be rebuffed.

This is one of the reasons I absolutely hate it when people in this country call U.S. combat soldiers "heroes" when they return from war. People have no clue what these troops did while in Iraq or Afghanistan. At one point in the article it says one of the accused soldiers, "confided to his new mates that it had been easy for him to get away with 'stuff' when he served in Iraq in 2004."

We know that this kind of random "sport" killing has been going on for years. Seldom is anyone caught and prosecuted.

This is what happens when you put soldiers in a war zone and dehumanize the "enemy". This is what happens when soldiers are trained to kill, kill, kill - some of them begin to like doing it and make a game out of it. This is what happens when the Army repeatedly ignores the pleas of a father, who tried to report the killings, after being told by his son that this was going on in the platoon.

The Army knows it is "business as usual". Indirectly they encourage it in their training and in their supervision of the soldiers in the war zone. They always try to ignore it.

The only way this will ever stop is to end the wars now.

When will Obama and the Democrats do so?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Another sign of the times...the Native Americans used to put their ears on the railroad tracks so they could hear the white man's Iron Horse (trains) coming as they moved west to take the Indian lands and kill their buffalo.

Corporate globalization is the Iron Horse today. It is about global militarization, privatization, destroying social progress (particularly public education), and grabbing up the remaining natural resources left on the planet.

These students in Argentina are not sitting on their rear ends but are organizing and making demands. We should all learn from them.

Friday, September 17, 2010


If you are not familiar with Building 7 at the World Trade Center on 9-11 just click here

Thursday, September 16, 2010


The Israeli Knesset is debating a bill proposed by David Rotem of the extreme right Yisrael Beiteinu party that would require all Israeli citizens to swear loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.” This bill is targeted at increasing pressure on the twenty percent of Israelis who are Palestinian citizens while forcing the ultra Orthodox Jewish minority who reject the legitimacy of any state not based on Jewish biblical law to accept Zionism. If passed in its proposed form, citizens unwilling to take the loyalty oath would be at risk of losing citizenship.

With a fascist mood permeating Israeli government and society, we set out into the streets of central Jerusalem to engage young revelers on the issue of loyalty. Because Israel is debating legislation claiming that it is alone the Jewish sovereign state and has the authority to speak in the name of the “Jewish people,” we thought that the opinions of supporters of Israel from the Jewish diaspora were an essential element in any discussion about the proposed loyalty bill. Given the already simmering controversy over ‘dual loyalty’ in the United States, the topic needed to be explored thoroughly and unflinchingly. Did the Zionist loyalty oath represent a fulcrum point in the ‘dual loyalty’ debate for diaspora Jews? Would diaspora Jews have any objection to taking an oath to defend the Jewish state? If so, did that put their allegiance to their country of residence in question?

- Max Blumenthal

See his full article here


Who could be surprised by this story? But still the corporations who have the government in lock-down make sure they keep the scientists away from the evidence that BP's toxic oil disaster is indeed killing wildlife. Something BP wants to deny.


Dan Ellis and I drove the walk route again yesterday to finalize the maps and to meet with local coordinators in each location where the peace walk will stop. Things are moving along well and the excitement is growing. We've added another stop to the walk that will now go from Farmington-Skowhegan-Waterville-Bangor-Belfast-Rockland-Bath-Freeport-Portland.

We now have to do more to promote the walk across Maine and beyond. In addition our media work must now begin in hopes that we can get some advance stories about the peace walk. We want the public to know about the walk so that when they see it passing through their community they have some idea what it is all about.

Because some of the distances between the towns we will visit on the walk are so great, we will have to sometimes shuttle a bit each day. In the end the actually walk distance will add up to just over 127 miles from Farmington to Portland. We don't expect people to walk every inch of it, though a few likely will. But many will walk an hour, or a day, or a couple of days. They will do what they can and we will have a blister van trailing the peace walk to pick up folks when they get tired.

We will begin things with a kick-off program on the evening of November 2 (election night) at the University of Maine-Farmington. Doug Rawlings is already working on that event. It will be kind of fitting that we begin the walk with an event on election night - essentially saying that no matter how the Congress changes we in Maine are staying focused. We will continue our work to end war, and cut military spending, no matter which party takes control of Congress after the election. Veterans will still need care and the environment will still be harmed by the U.S. military empire's toxic footprint.

We hope that you will find the time to walk with us during this hike through Maine. It will be cool out, the colorful leaves will be falling from the trees, and our strong and determined hearts will beat to the sound of the drum of the Buddhist monks and nuns from Nipponzan Myohoji who will lead us on the walk.

As I always say before these walks (and I have organized many of them over the years) it will be a life changing experience. Something(s) always happen to open the door to people in the community who get inspiration from just seeing the walk in action. It's grassroots organizing in its elemental form.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


At least 18 people have been killed in demonstrations in the last 24 hours alone.

But the long simmering dispute over independence was not the only fuel for Monday's fury.

Anger about threats to burn the Quran in the US led to attacks on Christian schools in the territory.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Here they go again. The Pentagon has announced plans to launch another Minuteman III nuclear ICBM from Vandenberg AFB, California toward targets at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The test is scheduled less than three weeks after the official UN International Day against Nuclear Tests (August 29).

Imagine the smirks, laughter, and back slapping going on inside the Pentagon as they yuck it up over this test. I can hear the generals now - "We can do what the hell we want because we are the USA! But those other damn pipsqueaks in Iran and North Korea had better watch out. We'll nail them when they practice launching missiles! We are the big dog and they ain't!"

So that is the way we think in Amerika these days. We can flout international norms, we can talk smack about WMD's being "evil weapons", but don't you damn well dare launch them (unless of course you are a junior partner of the U.S. empire.)

Our friends out in California will valiantly hold another peaceful protest outside the front gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base at 11:55 pm on September 14. They will once again attempt to pull the veil off the nuclear devils face - reveal to the world this utter hypocrisy.

Truman-Eisenhower-Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush I-Clinton-Bush II-Obama, it's all the same. We can do what the hell we please! Don't you try matching us or we will take your ass out!

American foreign policy, simple and clear.


INFO ALERT: ICBM launch postponed to Sept 17 at 3:00 am

Monday, September 13, 2010


With unemployment growing across the nation local school systems are increasingly turning to the Pentagon for support and funding. This means an increase in the Junior ROTC programs in middle and high schools.

Global Network board member Bob Anderson (a Vietnam vet) from Albuquerque, New Mexico sent me a message this morning saying:

Recently I followed a link off an Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) web page for more JROTC information, each school has a separate JROTC web page.

I wanted to see what the kids are seeing when the JROTC gets to them. One of the things our kids can sign up for is a web blog called I signed up for it and want to urge you to also (just open one of the links below and click on the sub button at the top).

Major Barker, who is an employ at APS earns over $107,000 running the JROTC program that he says gives APS students leadership and citizenship training. I think if you subscribe to and look at the types of things they are putting before children you will be horrified. This is as near smut porno as one can get and we taxpayers are footing the bill for this. I am outraged.

The videos at this site are the ones that Bob refers to that are now linked to the public school web page. Can there be any doubt that young people are being given the message - "This is all you can be." They are basically being told that your future will be endless war. This is normal. This is your future. Violence is fun and patriotic.

The rich kids will still go to Yale and Harvard and a few exceptional working class kids will get a scholarship to those schools as well. But the majority of American working class and poor youth are now being funneled into the military to fight the wars for control of the declining resources around the world.

We must talk more about this military infiltration of our public schools and resist it in our local communities. Call if what it is - teaching our kids to be killers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Click on graphic to enlarge


Scientists have said that the first seven months of this year brought some of the hottest combined sea and land temperatures on record to parts of Southeast Asia.

The high temperatures have led to some of the worst coral bleaching the region has ever seen.


Kudos to Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) for their efforts to build a real bi-partisan anti-war coalition in the House of Representatives.

The fact is that if the House cuts war funding then we can stop the wars. Local peace organizing around the nation needs to focus on the House. Force your member of Congress to Bring Our War $$ Home.

The difficulties are real of course as both parties are largely under the control of the war machine's corporate campaign donations. Until the American people begin to see that military spending creates fewer jobs than war spending it will be tough to move most members of Congress who are in the go-along-to-get-along frame of mind.

It really comes down to getting those in Congress who know the truth to take more leadership educating their constituencies. That is a challenge we face here in Maine at this time. Even though our two members of the House voted against the last war supplemental they are not yet willing to use their offices to educate the public about this reality. Instead they still beg for overall military spending increases for our state and have yet to work with us in our effort to help the public understand that war spending is actually bad for the economy.


Veterans for Peace 2010 Portland Maine annual conference.

Keynote speaker Chris Hedges -speaking about the moral imperatives of local resistance and building sustainanle cooperative communities.

The speech by Hedges created more discussion at the confab than any other talk. In fact people are still talking about it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Tim Kaine
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
Tim Kaine (Chair of the Democratic Party) calls the Democrats the underdog party, despite their control of the Senate, the House and the executive branch.

They must just be "having a bad day"..... or a bad time in power.


  • I was in the dentist office in Gainesville, Florida on 9-11. The TV was on and I saw the madness happening. Since then it has been non-stop war. For some people today is a chance to beat the war drums even harder. Others, like me, want to reflect on the kind of questions Peter Dale Scott asks in the video post below. Some folks remain in hiding under their kitchen table in hopes that all the turmoil will just go away. But it won't. We must be engaged in all this - there is a higher calling for us in these moments. We must do all we can to stop the mindless killing and keep calling for the redirection of our war $$ to life affirming needs. It ain't easy but we are not the first generations of humans to face difficulties. I figure we owe it to the past and future generations to stay engaged in life.

  • Yesterday our local paper (Times Record in Brunswick) ran a triple play for us on the editorial pages. The opinion page editor wrote a powerful editorial and then two other pieces were done by peace activists. You can see them just below. They were all in advance of a public forum on military spending and the economic collapse being organized by our local group PeaceWorks that will be held next Thursday.

Let's Keep the Dialogue Going (Times Record Editorial by James McCarthy - Opinion Page Editor)

Speak Up Even If your Voice Cracks (Mary Beth Sullivan & Karen Wainberg)

Path to True Security (Lisa Savage)

Last week the Lewiston Sun Journal newspaper here in Maine wrote a powerful editorial (Turning From War to Building Our Economy) along these same lines. They are a paper owned by Republicans and are not normally known for this kind of position. There is clearly something beginning to sprout across Maine and we in the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign feel we have helped to foster this change in climate.

  • I drove most of the route for our Veterans for Peace (November 2-11) Maine Walk for Peace, Human Needs, and Veterans' Care the other day. I started in Farmington and worked my way east to Waterville, Bangor, Belfast and then south to Rockland and Bath. Still need to head further south to Freeport and Portland to finish up the maps. Since that time we have added one more stop on the walk in Skowhegan which will come right after our visit to Farmington. Our graphic layout artist friend Nancy Randolph is now working on a walk promo leaflet which I am excited about - it will have a picture of the state with an outline of the peace walk route on it. I'll post it on here once we get it done.

  • Trying hard to get the details of the walk done before the popular Common Ground Country Fair (September 24-26) which is held each year up in Unity, Maine. VFP will have a table there so we want to promote the walk during that event. A week after that I will head out on the road for a couple weeks of speaking that will take me to Washington DC, Merrimack College in Massachusetts, and then on a trip to India.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Peter Dale Scott a former Canadian diplomat and Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. His most recent books are Drugs, Oil, and War (2005), The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (2007), The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11 and the Deep Politics of War (2008) and Mosaic Orpheus (poetry, 2009).


Matthis Chiroux is a former Military Journalist, or as he calls it, "propaganda artist" and was in charge of turning "chicken shit into chicken salad".

He refused to re-deploy citing the illegality of the war in Iraq under the UN Charter, and his sworn duty to uphold the constitution as his reasons. The military offered to allow him to quietly disappear and get his full benefits, but he decided to challenge the military and the war, in court.

He brings the kind of determination, honesty, and energy we need to stop these endless wars. Keep it up brother.


Republican candidate for Treasurer of Stark County, Ohio.

This gives you an idea what kind of kooks are signing up with the Grand Old Party these days.

Can you spell Nazi?

It appears he did not get the nomination from his party to be their candidate on election day. Thank goodness......


I was asked by the Japanese board members of the Global Network to send comments about the coming launch of a new military satellite by their country. The comments will be translated and shared widely throughout Japan (with activists and the media) in order to build consciousness about how the U.S. is using space technology to drag Japan into the program to militarily surround and control China. The photo above is of the orbit of the Japanese satellite. Below are my comments:

Sept. 8, 2010

It has come to the attention of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space that JAXA (Japanese Space Agency) will soon launch the Quasi-zenith satellite (QZS) to serve as a complement to existing U.S. military satellites.

While the public is told that this satellite will be for civilian "peaceful purposes" it is clear to us that these kind of satellites have "dual uses" and will largely be under the control of the military.

When one checks the planned orbit for this satellite it is obvious that it will be used to track U.S. Navy objectives in the Asian-Pacific region where the Pentagon is now doubling its military operations in order to control China's emerging economy.

The U.S. military strategy is to expand military bases in Guam, Okinawa, and South Korea and to open up new Navy porting opportunities in places like Vietnam. At the same time the U.S. is strongly encouraging India to become a junior partner in the space militarization plan aimed at China. Thus China is to be surrounded as NATO expands into the Asian-Pacific region.

All of these new military moves must be tracked and coordinated by space technology. Thus Japan's launch of the QZS helps to give the U.S. military another "platform" and even more capability to "control and dominate" this already dangerous region.

It is well-known that China imports a high percentage of its oil through the waters that the QZS will be monitoring. At the same time the U.S. is increasing its so-called "missile defense" presence in South Korea and Japan. It is the Pentagon's goal to be able to choke-off China's ability to import oil thus giving the U.S. the keys to the Chinese economic engine.

These provocative and aggressive U.S. military moves on the grand chessboard will only make the Asian-Pacific more unstable. People in Japan should learn to recognize the "high-tech" signs of Japanese participation in U.S. imperial operations and reject collaboration with them.

All peace loving people in Japan should renounce Japan's launch of the QZS.

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Baltimore, Maryland or Detroit, Michigan - same story. No jobs, banks disinvesting in the community, government services being defunded.

But there is plenty of money to recruit the poor people from these neighborhoods to join the Army and fight and die in Iraq or Afghanistan.

This is happening all over America. The people are being brought onto the reservation. The oligarchy has no intention of creating real jobs for the people. Our role in the world will be "security export" which means we will build and sell weapons and fight wars to control diminishing resources.

Republicans and Democrats alike understand the coming game and are fine with it. You hear no politician from either party alerting the public to the real plan for our future. If they told the truth their corporate campaign financing would be pulled out from under them.

So what we will get in the coming years is a back-and-forth shell game where the increasing frustrated and angry public throws one party out of power and then in the next election throws the other out.

Nothing will change until the people demand that we end the wars and the trillion dollar a year levels of military spending.

Convert the military industrial complex now. Anything less is just pure public relations bullshit.

Some people are beginning to figure it out. See this editorial by the Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal newspaper owned by Republicans. We need more of this - Bring Our War $$ Home.


Demonstrators in Kabul called for the death of US President Barack Obama at a rally against Terry Jones' plans to burn the Koran

Terry Jones Accused of 'Spiritual Abuse' at Cologne Church
By Yassin Musharbash and Dominik Peters

Spiegel Online

US fundamentalist pastor Terry Jones, who wants to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, ran a church in the western German city of Cologne until last year when members of the congregation expelled him. Former members have spoken of his hate-filled sermons and insistence on "blind obedience."

The world is holding its breath -- and it's all down to a tiny Christian fundamentalist church in Florida.

Next Saturday, on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Rev. Terry Jones and his colleagues plan to burn hundreds of copies of the Koran on the church's property in Gainesville, Florida.

The White House has condemned the plan, and Muslim organizations around the world have warned of the consequences should the Koran-burning go ahead. But the church is sticking to its plans.

Naturally the radical Islamophobes know very well that their deliberate provocation could trigger potentially violent protests and riots. But they have washed their hands of any responsibility. "Let's just make one thing clear," the wannabe Koran-burners write on their blog. "A small church, in a small town, down a back road, burning copies of its own books, on its own property, is not responsible for the violent actions anyone may take in retaliation to our protest."
Terry Jones, the man behind the action, is the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, a church that manages to attract a Sunday congregation of just 50 people, members of the radical fringe of the evangelical movement. Jones, a 58-year-old former hotel manager with a distinctive mustache, is also the author of a polemic book titled "Islam Is of the Devil."

'Climate of Fear and Control'

In the United States, Jones has already attracted attention on several occasions as an Islamophobic provocateur. What is less well known is that the pastor led a charismatic evangelical church, the Christian Community of Cologne, in the western German city up until 2009. Last year, however, the members of the congregation kicked founder Jones out, because of his radicalism. One of the church's current leaders, Stephan Baar, also told the German news agency DPA that there had been suspicions of financial irregularities in the church surrounding Jones.

A "climate of fear and control" had previously prevailed in the congregation, says one former member of the church who does not want to be named. Instead of free expression, "blind obedience" was demanded, he says.

Various witnesses gave SPIEGEL ONLINE consistent accounts of the Jones' behavior. The pastor and his wife apparently regarded themselves as having been appointed by God, meaning opposition was a crime against the Lord. Terry and Sylvia Jones allegedly used these methods to ask for money in an increasingly insistent manner, as well as making members of the congregation carry out work.

Andrew Schäfer, a Protestant Church official responsible for monitoring sects in the region where Cologne is located, confirmed the accounts. "Terry Jones is a fundamentalist," he told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Both major churches in Germany have "sect commissioners" who monitor the activities of religious groups, sects and cults. Although they are obviously not totally impartial, the officials' findings are usually considered to be trustworthy.

'Delusional Personality'

Former church members are still undergoing therapy as a result of "spiritual abuse," Schäfer said. According to Schäfer, Jones urged church members to beat their children with a rod and also taught "a distinctive demonology" and conducted brainwashing.

"Terry Jones appears to have a delusional personality," speculates Schäfer. When he came to Germany in the 1980s, Jones apparently considered Cologne "a city of Hell that was founded by Nero's mother," while he thought Germany was "a key country for the supposed Christian revival of Europe," Schäfer says.

Terry Jones used his powers of persuasion to expand the congregation. By the end, Schäfer estimates, it numbered between 800 and 1,000 people. They had to work in the so-called "Lisa Jones Houses," charitable institutions named after his first wife who has since died, under very poor conditions.

Increasingly Radical

Jones became increasingly radical as the years went by, former associates say. At one point he wanted to help a homosexual member to "pray away his sins." Later he began to increasingly target Islam in his sermons. A congregation member reported that some members were afraid to attend services because they expected to be attacked by Muslims. "Terry Jones has a talent for finding topical social issues and seizing on them for his own cause," says Schäfer.

By the end of 2007, the community had had enough. Members confronted him and tried to change the direction of the church. But Terry Jones refused to make changes, they say. In the end, Jones, his wife and their fellow preachers were expelled from the church and he moved back to the US. "The community imploded," says Schäfer. It only has some 80 active members today.

Now the whole world is condemning Jones for his planned burning of copies of the Koran. Schäfer, for his part, sees Jones as a fanatic who is courting global media attention because he couldn't cope with the "immense loss of power and significance."