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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


OB Rag
reports the following about new organizing happening across the nation concerning Obama's signing of the Indefinite Detention Bill or National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as it is formally called.

In a clear sign that grassroot activists on the left and on the right are joining together to fight the National Defense Act that President Obama signed into law on the last day of 2011, San Diego progressives and tea party groups are mobilizing starting this week in joint actions against local Congressional representatives.

Activists and organizers at both of the ideological ends of the political spectrum are extremely upset and concerned with provisions of the NDAA that will allow the government to pick up and detain American citizens indefinitely without charges and without trials.

A group in San Diego has formed the Save the Bill of Rights; they meet weekly, have a website and Facebook, and are planning at least two actions in the upcoming weeks.

Both libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who is running for president, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for example, have issued statements saying the NDAA provisions violate the Fifth Amendment.

Since Obama signed the Act into law on December 31st, there have been bills introduced in both the House and Senate to repeal the worst of the NDAA and prohibit indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced one such bill; it has bipartisan support in the Senate, and a House version has been introduced. Republican Ron Paul also introduced a similar measure.

Numerous petitions have been geared up against the NDAA. Here is one such petition calling on Congress to undo the NDAA.

February 3rd will be a National Day of Action against the NDAA, and the call is to protest at Congressional offices all over the country. Other groups have joined these efforts, including the hacksters Anonymous.

In Maine a protest will be held on February 3 at the Augusta offices of Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins who both voted in favor of the bill. (Maine's two members of the House of Representatives voted against the NDAA.) The protest will be held from noon until closing time - folks are invited to come for a shift and hold signs. Call Cathy Mink for details at 207-338-4920.

In Portland a protest will be held on February 3 from Noon - 2:00 pm at the office of Sen. Snowe (3 Canal Plaza Suite 601). Call 221-5899 for details.

It is my hope that we can see more joint protests and meetings between folks on the left and right. God knows we need to stop demonizing each other and figure out how we are all being screwed by the 1%. Our salvation is in our ability to bury the hatchet and work together when we can find common ground. The oligarchy counts on us hating one another.


Prof. Yang Yoon-Mo, who nearly died from a hunger strike of 74 days last summer, carries water and crawled underneath a cement-mixer truck on January 30

Sung-Hee Choi reports from Gangjeong village:

It was a long, emotional day again for many villagers and activists here in Gangjeong on January 30. Strong direct actions were combined with gentle approaches. In right timing, AWC (Asian Wide Action Committee) activists came to be the witness of the struggle.

From early morning, some activists went to a neighboring town to delay the construction vehicles.

In Gangjeong, it was around noon that Br. Park Do-Hyun reading his statement in protest of illegal destruction has tried again and again to block the trucks with his own body. Every time, the police forced segregation on him, surrounding him with a wall of about 20 ~30 young policemen who came from Seoul to Jeju, knowing little about how the village has been called the ‘best village,’ in Jeju for its heaven-blessed condition for agriculture and how its environment is full of protection zones; how more than 94 % of the electorates in the village oppose the naval base; and how there are many people’s tear and pains in nearly 5 years’ struggle.

Br. Park Do-Hyun has already been arrested six times for less than a year. It is his second time that he has publicly shown his readiness to be imprisoned. But the authorities being afraid to make issue by arresting Catholic priests, seems to determine not to send the Catholic priests to jail but with segregation.

A young woman activist, covering all her face, diligently chased trucks for long hours with a small sign written in both sides: “Stop construction, please!” “Run slowly, please,”

Otherwise, a woman activist, Deulkkot was violently hit in her wrist and broken down her flag by a couple of the villagers who are in favor of naval base. She was walking along with an old Quaker, Mr. Oh Chul-Keun, to protect him. Mr. Oh has been daily doing three steps one bow for peace for nearly three months around construction site, in traditional cloth. The couple also tore the cloth sign in his back. The abusive couple also committed violence to a group of the Catholic followers and people across the gate. The police were slow to stop that violence committed by that couple.

No people including those who joined regular Monday morning Catholic mass could not leave the site. Tension was continuing and people were there to protect Br. Park from possible arrest and to show signs to passing vehicles. People ate lunch on the cement road across the gate.

As there was another Catholic mass around 4:00 pm, the struggle became intensified. Many more people including villages came to the site to join the struggle.

It was Br. Park again who entered underneath the construction vehicle that was illegally entering into the naval base business committee building complex as the Catholic Fathers in robes blocked the main construction (destruction) gate. His fragile body was on the cold cement ground so people cared for him putting mat underneath his body and covered him with blankets.

It was Mr. Song Chang-Wook who stopped another truck. He is a graduate of the ROK Military Academy, admitted to it as the top in its passing examination long years ago, and now an activist of an Island people’s self-governing solidarity organization. He firmly and resolutely stood, despite a police threat, in front of a truck that was following a former vehicle.

Around that time, it was Prof. Yang Yoon-Mo who agilely entered underneath a cement mixer trucks crossing the bridge over the Gangjeong stream. One could see only his white hair under a monster-like heavy vehicle. All the cement trucks following that truck were but stopped.

It was Fr. Moon Kyu-Hyun of more than 60s years old, who stopped another truck, by laying his body underneath a truck. He has been operated years ago in his heart and a heart beat instrument has been hung inside his body since then.

Except for Br. Park Do-Hyun, the three were eventually arrested.

In many faces of young woman activists, tears were constantly flowing down as they appealed to the cement truck drivers with signs and flowers to find another job other than that of naval base destruction. The drivers could only sigh. It was apparent that in their deep hearts, they didn’t want to make living with such destroying works, either. Young activists appealed them for a vision of the Peace Park instead naval base.

Dr. Song Kang-Ho was dragging down a destroyed boat damaged by the navy’s partial burning of it with cigarettes last year, all along the struggle sites, displaying it to the world. The Navy has been seldom hearing his demand on damage compensation on it.

It was right timing that the 8 representatives of the Asia Wide Action Committee (3 from Taiwan, 2 from Japan, 1 from Philippine, 1 from the United States, and 1 Korean guider, Mr. Heo Young-Koo, a renowned labor activist) came to the site after their international conference on both days of Feb. 28 and 29 (see and saw all those wretched scenes. They recorded the scenes of the late afternoon with cameras.

On the contrary, the police, Navy, and Navy-contracted company staffs were in all chaos. They were perplexed and downhearted.

While some went to the police station to meet the 3 arrested, the others had their daily candle vigil. Prof. Yang was told later to have told them not to send more people to visit them in the police custody room but to encourage them to continue fight.

In the candle vigil, many who happened to visit the village on the day expressed their solidarity to the struggle. The 8 representatives of the AWAC shouted slogans in their own languages. People wholeheartedly responded them by repeating them. There were no more language barriers then.

Benji reported his visit to the Amnesty International meeting in Seoul on Jan. 28. He brought much good news. It is expected that about 15 people from the meeting wish to come to the International [Global Network] conference on Feb. 24-26. He also said the "Amnesty International is planning to set up coordinator roles to increase their level of activity this year relating to Gangjeong issue. A senior researcher of Amnesty International is expected to visit Gangjeong soon."

It was confirmed that an event will be organized on the 2nd of March in Seoul. An awareness and money raising concert called "Rock and Resistance", where the Gangjeong issue will be the main topic. Four famous music bands are invited and 200 to 250 people are expected to come to the event. Some of the money raised would naturally go to Gangjeong activism.

A long day passed again.

And today will be another struggle, too. It is also the date when 12 Catholic Fathers stand in the court again.

Let’s bless our struggle for peace and love.

Monday, January 30, 2012


The Pentagon has been saying for some time that America's role under corporate globalization will be "security export" which of course translates to endless war.

Thus the war industry is preparing parents and children for the reality that the only future that working class and poor kids have will be to join the military or sell drugs.

Any thinking parent should be all over rejecting these war toys and violent video games.

It always amazes me how some parents pay no attention to what their kids are doing until they go off and join the military. Then they wonder what happened. In fact their kids had essentially been recruited for "security export" when they began playing with the violent toys/video games the parents were bringing home or when they were watching the violent programs on the family TV while dressed in the "cute" camouflage clothes mom and day bought at WalMart or Sears.

Time to wake up.


Still at it in Portland, Maine.....a report by Occupy TV.



Occupy Augusta, with state capital in background, before they were removed from the park last month

  • The statewide Occupy meeting on Saturday was attended by more than 130 activists from up and down the state of Maine. It was not a decision making meeting but instead was a time for folks to share their determination to keep the Occupy movement growing. The group broke into issue workshops and I facilitated the one called war-militarism. I came away impressed that my fellow activists in Maine intend to press on through the winter and keep building toward the spring.
  • On Sunday MB and I drove friends Stan and Loukie Lofchie to Belfast for a memorial service for their beloved friend Richard Stander who recently passed away. I knew Richard as an active peace worker but in his earlier years he was an organic farmer and alternative community builder. It was a moving memorial with lots of music and testimonies from many of his beloved friends.
  • There are two Occupy camps in Washington DC -Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square - and the cops are going to take them down today. The cops went into McPherson Square camp yesterday and tased a guy in his pajamas and took him away. It seemed to be for no apparent reason other than to rile up the campers and get a story in the local media that the camps are in turmoil. It's obvious that the police all over the nation are trying to continually instigate violent responses from the Occupy movement but for the most part folks have been remarkably non-violent. You can see the video here
  • The time is coming soon for us to be going to South Korea for our annual Global Network conference (Feb 24-26) on Jeju Island. We will have folks coming from Scotland, England, Sweden, India, Japan, U.S. and throughout South Korea. Very likely some other countries will be represented because I know that in the Gangjeong village now are activists from France and Taiwan and possibly other countries as well. I'll be stopping (along with GN chair Dave Webb and board member Lynda Williams) in Hawaii for meetings on Oahu and Kauai prior to going to Korea.
  • One of the very tiny victories we've had is that Congress had decided to cut the Pentagon's rate of growth over the next 10 years by $492 billion. That means that the military budget would essentially still grow but at a slower rate and that some planned weapons systems and troop levels would have to be trimmed. But now we learn that Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) has just introduced a bill that will substitute a reduction of the federal government workforce by 10% in place of the first year of mandatory cuts. And this will likely be the first of many attempts to change the law to shield military spending. Republicans and many Democrats are now saying that the sky will fall if we do not exempt the Department of War from mandatory spending cuts - even as they insist that our deficit is such a problem that we must make brutal cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. You can send a letter to Congress demanding cuts here (I'm not happy with this "only cut the growth" in Pentagon spending but it is something that should not be thrown over board.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The latest edition of This Issue features Ed Friedman from Bowdoinham who is an environmental activist in Maine. He discusses the growing controversy around "Smart Meters". Ed is also part of a legal action trying to prevent CMP from force feeding these meters to the public because of the health, safety, and privacy issues that surround their installation.


Saturday, January 28, 2012


A talk I did in 2006, just converted to YouTube by supporter Brendan O'Connor, where I speak about the necessity to convert the military industrial complex.

This will have to due for today's post as I am up early and on the way to the University of Maine-Augusta for a statewide Occupy conference.

Friday, January 27, 2012



A friend and I went to Bowdoin College today at noon to hear author/activist Barbara Ehrenreich speak. Bowdoin College and the town of Brunswick are doing a "community read" of her book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

We got there early so we could hand out the above flyer as folks arrived. Another one of our local Occupy Brunswick activists helped us so we had three of us passing out the 250 copies I brought. It wasn't enough though as a huge crowd packed the hall.

Ehrenreich is an engaging storyteller with a good sense of humor. She went undercover to write Nickel and Dimed and worked as a house cleaner in Portland, Maine and at a WalMart in Minnesota among many other working class jobs across the country. Her descriptions of trying to live on $7.00 an hour touched many hearts in the audience - I imagined that many Bowdoin students (who come predominately from wealthy families) had never heard such stories before.

Ehrenreich didn't have much earth shaking advice about what could be done other than suggesting people vote for Obama. She began the talk by scolding Obama for never using the word "poverty" in his recent State of the Union address. Then she went on to trash Bill Clinton for his administration's "welfare reform" that furthered Ronald Reagan's assault on social progress.

But Ehrenreich left a hungry audience hanging as she never once addressed the structural reality of the "corporate domination" of our economy and political system. Her liberal reforms calling for more public housing, education funding, and the like fell far short of possible solutions to the problem of corporate dismantling of the social fabric.

During the 10-minute question period Ehrenreich did regain some stature in my eyes as she, on her own, mentioned the need for people to get engaged in the Occupy movement. One disheartened woman asked a question about what could be done and Ehrenreich strongly reminded her that the Occupy movement had changed the national discussion - had brought the issue of class back into the public square.

I looked around the audience after Ehrenreich's third reference to the Occupy movement and felt good that we had handed out those 250 flyers. I guess we should now plan to have a big crowd turn out for our February 12 Occupy Brunswick Public Meeting. After all, Barbara Ehrenreich told everyone they should go join Occupy.


RT reports: With harsh US rhetoric and tensions around Iran's nuclear program snowballing by the hour, American polls nonetheless show that most Americans think a war with Tehran would be a grave mistake. But do the leaders care?

­Despite Iran's recent consent to return to negotiations over its atomic work, the Obama administration says war with Tehran is still on the table. Even harsher statements come from some of Washington's hawks like Newt Gingrich, who spoke of breaking the Iranian regime within a year.

I once read that Iran is eager to develop nuclear power because it presently relies so much on oil and natural gas exports to fuel its economy. Once it develops nuclear energy (which I oppose because of obvious safety and environmental reasons) Iran would be able to sell even more fossil fuels since it would not need to use them for its internal energy production needs.

All this U.S. and Israeli hysteria about Iranian nuclear weapons is a smokescreen to create the justification to topple that regime so the oil majors can get their hands on the huge stocks of oil and natural gas now controlled by people who resist playing ball with corporate globalization.

February 4th has been called as a Day of Mass Action to Stop a U.S. War on Iran. Local events will be held around the world.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is campaigning in Florida and made a trip to the space coast where he promised a permanent base on the moon.

Such massive spending could only come from the complete defunding of social progress in our nation.

The idea that "America" should control the moon would violate the United Nations 1979 Moon Treaty that says no country, no corporation, nor any individual can claim ownership of the moon.

The U.S. has never signed the Moon Treaty.

See more on the ideas for moon mining and military outpost here


Today, in the Gangjeong sea protest, 5 people including Catholic brother Park Do-hyon, Ms. Oh Doo-hee, Abigail Yu, Lee Jong-hwa and Kim Dong-won, were arrested by Jeju maritime police agency. The purpose of barge ship was to move the tetra pods near the Gangjeong port so the Navy (and lead contractor Samsung) can prepare the site for blasting the rocky coastline which the villagers fondly call Gureombee.



Youngsil Kang from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island joined me at Bath Iron Works yesterday as workers streamed out of the shipyard at 3:30 pm. Youngsil is traveling around the U.S. for two months and did a talk in New York City last week. We were lucky to have her visit Bath yesterday. Two local newspapers covered her visit - one of the stories will appear in the paper today and the other next Thursday.

It was a surprise for the workers to see the Korean banner Youngsil held (No Navy Base) but of course they did not know what it said. I called out to them as they passed by telling them she was from South Korea and that she came from a place where the Aegis destroyers they build will be ported.

Usually on such a day I've had at least a dozen workers take my flyers but yesterday, with three cameramen snapping photos, only two took Youngsil's letter. (One of those taking photos was BIW worker Peter Woodruff who shares a weekly radio show with me on WBOR at Bowdoin College. Youngsil was impressed that Peter had the courage to come out when so many workers at the shipyard scurried away from us.) We submitted her letter to the local newspaper as a Letter to the Editor so hopefully the content will still be available to the public.

"U.S. Navy shipbuilding programs will not be slashed to meet an expected Pentagon-wide reduction in spending. We've placed a priority on shipbuilding," Sean Stackley, the Navy's top acquisition official, told reporters on January 12. "You can see a lot of alignment between the [new Obama] defense strategy and what the Navy does."

With the new Naval fleet, "We span the globe.....We have enormous payload capacity in our big boys," bragged Navy Undersecretary Bob Work at the Surface Navy Association symposium in Washington DC.

In a related story the Washington Post reported yesterday that "Two decades after evicting U.S. forces from their biggest base in the Pacific, the Philippines is in talks with the Obama administration about expanding the American military presence in the island nation, the latest in a series of strategic moves aimed at China. If an arrangement is reached, it would follow other recent agreements to base thousands of U.S. Marines in northern Australia and to station Navy warships in Singapore."

Obama is moving quickly to implement his "pivot toward the Asia-Pacific" as outlined in the Pentagon's recent Defense Guidance. This coming massive U.S. military buildup bodes ill for the likes of Jeju Island, Guam, Okinawa, the Philippines, Hawaii and more.

These military moves on the grand chess board make the coming Global Network meetings in Hawaii (Feb 18-21) and on Jeju Island (Feb 24-26) all the more important for our work. It is through these meetings that we will learn much more about the real impacts this "pivot" will cause to the people across the Asia-Pacific. From these meetings we will also be able to develop organizing strategies to increase our ability to support the beleaguered people who are always the ones to suffer from U.S. imperial designs.

As Obama and the Pentagon make their "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific it is incumbent on the peace movement to also make an intellectual and organizing pivot toward that region as well.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Responding to President Obama's State of the Union address, longtime consumer advocate and former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader says Obama's criticism of income inequality and Wall Street excess fail to live up to his record in office. "[Obama] says one thing and does another," Nader says. "Where has he been for over three years? There are existing laws that can prosecute and convict Wall Street crooks. He hasn't sent more than one or two to jail."

On foreign policy, Nader says: "I think his lawless militarism that started the speech and ended the speech was truly astonishing. [Obama] was very committed to projecting the American empire, in Obama terms."


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


You'd think that Obama - who got elected president on the backs of black people across the country - would be doing something to change the staggering unemployment and poverty situation in the urban centers.

But truth is that he is doing nothing for the poor (no matter their color). He talks alot about the middle class and virtually never mentions poor people.

This video gives you a glimpse of what it looks like in Chicago these days as poor people lined up to get a job application to work in a Ford automobile factory. But they had so many people show up they closed the doors and sent them all home. (Who said poor people don't want to work?)

What is astounding is just how patient these folks are - or are they just resigned to a life of misery? It's a very sad story.

The rich have abandoned the rest of us. This is a return to feudalism. Why in hell are the rich paying so little in taxes? Why do corporations get welfare from the government? Why are we wasting so much money on the Pentagon and endless war? Why aren't we building rail systems and a solar society? Why aren't we making real demands on the oligarchy?

Why aren't we all out in the streets marching?


America's controversial use of its drones in Asia may have caused overwhelming anger, but now it's threatening to do the same at home. Washington's key spying weapon in overseas operations is becoming a common tool for U.S. police, stirring up privacy concerns among more and more Americans.

Monday, January 23, 2012


The South Korean Government [under pressure from the U.S.] is constructing a naval base on Jeju Island.

The Base is the inspiring tale of a humble fishing and farming community. Men, women and children determined to fight military and corporate giants with their bare hands, in pursuit of a vision of Peace shared for generations.

Not sure when this will be available to the public. But I'm sure it will be a very interesting story that you will want to see and share with many others.



  • I went to an interesting lecture last night at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. David Zirin, the sports writer for The Nation, spoke about "Not Just a Game: Power, Politics and American Sports”. He's a very entertaining and interesting speaker. He just wrote a book with 1968 Olympian John Carlos (remember the people power salute?) and they've been touring the country together, often stopping to meet and speak with Occupy movements. Even Mary Beth, who expected to be bored and sleeping by the end of his talk, loved Zirin and found him interesting as he integrated corporate sports issues with politics in general. You should check out his blog here
  • The Artists and Poets Walk through South Korea arrived in Gangjeong village over the weekend, just in time for the Chinese New Year. What a feat it was, especially through the cold and snow of a Korean winter. That is just the kind of national outreach that is needed to bring more awareness to the Korean people about the Navy base fight on Jeju Island.
  • Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, will speak on Friday at Bowdoin College. I will go to hand out leaflets to the hundreds who will likely attend. We are organizing an Occupy Brunswick public meeting on February 12 so it will be a great opportunity to spread the word. Bowdoin is having a full week of speakers - the student who opened the Zirin event last night made some veiled reference to trouble on the campus last year as the reason for this week of speakers. It was not clear what she was referring to but she kept talking about the "chance to open your mind" - so I think it must have something to do with the fact that most students at Bowdoin are rich white kids who tend to be arrogant and conservative. (I heard that some Bowdoin students recently were chanting on the campus "We are the 1%"). There must have been some food fight last year with the small group of progressive (and people of color) students on campus which made this week a "healing" time. But I am only speculating - I'm curious now and must find out the whole story.
  • This coming Saturday a statewide "Visions and Strategies for the Occupy Movement in Maine" conference will be held at the University of Maine-Augusta. There is alot of buzz about this meeting and I think there will be a big crowd attending. It speaks to the fact that despite most Occupy camps having been forcibly shut down by the gendarmes, the movement lives and breathes. Should be a fun day.
  • The Newt Gingrich victory in South Carolina has thrown the Republican nomination process into further turmoil. One Gingrich adviser said people want "a tough guy". I'd call him a bully, a racist, a corrupt hack, a thug. The oligarchy likes the idea of turning the electoral process into a boxing match - making it very ugly and dirty. The more voters that get turned off and don't show up at the polls the better they seem to figure. It's all ultimately a distraction from the fact that the 1% is ripping the 99% off big time. The current political slug fest helps mask that reality.

Sunday, January 22, 2012



Saturday, January 21, 2012


Friday, January 20, 2012


  • The environmental community is claiming a great victory following Obama's decision to deny the Keystone XL TarSands permit because the current pipeline route would pass through Nebraska and significantly impact the Ogallala Aquifer. It is a vast yet shallow underground water table located beneath the Great Plains. One of the world's largest aquifers it reaches portions of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.

Protest leader Bill McKibben said, “Assuming that what we’re hearing is true, this isn’t just the right call, it’s the brave call. The knock on Barack Obama from many quarters has been that he’s too conciliatory. But here, in the face of a naked political threat from Big Oil to exact ‘huge political consequences,’ he’s stood up strong. This is a victory for Americans who testified in record numbers, and who demanded that science get the hearing usually reserved for big money."

Obama's press secretary told the media that the president suggests Keystone XL reapply for the pipeline permit but route it around Nebraska which is the state with the largest part of the aquifer beneath it. It would take some time of course to redesign the route - probably would not be done until after the November presidential election.

My guess is that the magician in the White House would then approve the pipeline and the big machine in the photo above, that is used to rip up the Tar Sands in Canada, could then get back to work. I know the environmental groups are trying to put a positive spin on their successful effort to slow down this pipeline but I think I'd be a bit careful about suggesting that Obama had just shown an unusual display of courage. I think it was a classic case of Obama's shifty hands.

  • The South Carolina Republican primary vote will be tomorrow and the "clown show," as one conservative pundit called it, is beginning to send huge waves of fear through elements of the Republican party. There is talk that the evangelical wing of the party is trying to create an "anybody but Romney" movement in hopes they can slow down what had seemed to be an inevitable anointment of the former Massachusetts Governor as the party's presidential candidate. The Obama-ish Romney, moderate and swinging in the wind like a weather vane, is not the top choice of the more conservative Republican rank-and-file. He was the candidate of the oligarchy. But his campaign is proving to be inept and his failure to connect with people in a human way has become legendary. The talk is now that there could be a brokered Republican convention this summer and that someone from the outside will emerge to save the day. I still maintain that the puppeteers are happy to watch the clown show proceed as they intend to have Obama reelected and the dysfunctional Republican primary process just helps to make that end come true. It's all theatre - interesting for sure - but still theatre and destructive. The Republicans are warming up to their role to divide the American people against each other - working class whites against people of color, anti-union, anti-female, anti-science, anti-democracy, pro-corporate - it's a return of the 1850's Know Nothing Party.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Egyptian activists say they are fighting an information war with the country's military rulers.

They say state media has not been reporting truthfully about what they call the army's brutal handling of protests.

To counter the official narrative, a grassroots campaign called Kazeboon, or Liars, has now been launched.

By setting up screenings in streets and squares across Egypt, activists say they want their message to be heard in every home.



I hope to go to Chicago in May for the anti-NATO protests and alternative conference that are now being planned.

NATO will hold a summit meeting in Chicago on May 20-21. The Network for a NATO-Free World: Global Peace & Justice will organize a counter-summit conference and protest on May 18-19.

The Chicago summit will make clear that NATO “will not leave Afghanistan behind: we'll stay committed, with a focus on continuing to train and educate Afghan security forces, to continue to improve their capacity,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen declares on the NATO website. NATO also plans to discuss continued funding and deployments of a controversial U.S. controlled "missile defense" system that is being used to surround Russia.

Despite its claims, NATO was never a defensive alliance, and since the end of the Cold War has been transformed into a global alliance structure to wage “out of area” wars in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as to “contain” Russia and China.

But there is a problem. Former Obama Chief of Staff, and now Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel is using his office to erect legal obstacles in front of the many organizations who are attempting to secure permits for marches and assemblies. Mayor Emanuel lobbied hard to land the summit in "his" city.

An impressive coalition of organizations -- unions, anti-war, human rights, churches and neighborhood groups -- held a news conference to press their demands on January 17 at Chicago's City Hall.

In this excerpt from the news conference speakers include Eric Ruder, Coalition Against NATO/G8's War & Poverty Agenda; Erek Slater, ATU 241 member speaking for ATU International Vice Presidents; Talisa Hardin, National Nurses United; Wayne Lindwal, SEIU 73 Chicago Division Director; Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union.

Mayor Emanuel is carrying water for Obama and NATO who don't want any alternative voices to be visible during the summit. There are such big military plans ahead for NATO and the corporate oligarchy does not want the American people, or people around the world, to be drawn into a public debate about whether we should keep wasting our $$$ on this aggressive, expansionist, militarist and undemocratic NATO war machine.

This looks like a good opportunity for the nationwide Occupy movement to link with folks who are organizing these protests. After all, NATO is the military arm of corporate globalization.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Occupy the Courts will be a one day occupation of Federal courthouses across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday January 20, 2012.

Move to Amend volunteers across the U.S. will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.

See more here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Friends Mark Roman & Lisa Savage from Maine offer a review of stuff people say in defense of the current occupant of the White House.


Extreme snow in Valdez, Alaska from anchoragedailynews on Vimeo.

The snowfall has been extreme this winter in Valdez, Alaska even for a city used to lots of snow. When the weather cleared, many were busy trying to move it from streets and roofs and reopen schools. Valdez residents discuss how they've handled the 322 inches of snow that had fallen by January 13, 2012.

The weather is out-of-whack. How can anyone deny this reality?

The Mother Earth is having convulsions.



Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) lead the way for Obama's forces in Congress to pass the NDAA which will allow any of us to be arrested without charges, to be held indefinately, not allowed legal representation, nor allowed our day in court.

It's called corporate fascism.


On January 3 Obama signed the new Pentagon defence guidance. It's called Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.

Following Hillary Clinton's recent statement that U.S. policy would now "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific, this document solidifies that turn and backs the statement with the full force of the military machine.

I want to share a few bits from the document since it's unlikely that many of you will have time (or interest) in reading the whole thing.

  • Working with like-minded nations, the U.S. has created a safer, more stable, and more prosperous world for the American people [read the 1%], our allies, and our partners around the globe than existed prior to WW II. Over the last decade, we have undertaken extended operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to bring stability to those countries and secure our interests.
  • Al-Qaida and its affiliates remain active in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere....The primary loci of these threats are South Asia and the Middle East....For the foreseeable future, the U.S. will continue to take an active approach to countering these threats by monitoring the activities of non-state threats worldwide, working with allies and partners to establish control over ungoverned territories, and directly striking the most dangerous groups and individuals when necessary.
  • U.S. economic and security interests are inextricably linked to developments in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia, creating a mix of evolving challenges and opportunities....while the U.S. military will continue to contribute to security globally, we will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The U.S. is also investing in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region.
  • China's emergence as a regional power will have the potential to affect the U.S. economy and our security in a variety of ways.
  • U.S. policy will emphasize Gulf security, in collaboration with Gulf Cooperation Council countries when appropriate, to prevent Iran's development of a nuclear weapon capability and counter its destabilizing policies.
  • The U.S. has enduring interests in supporting peace and prosperity in Europe as well as bolstering the strength and vitality of NATO, which is critical to the security of Europe and beyond.
  • In this resource-constrained era, we will also work with NATO allies to develop a "Smart Defense" approach to pool, share, and specialize capabilities as needed to meet 21st century challenges.
  • Across the globe we will seek to be the security partner of choice, pursuing new partnerships with a growing number of nations - including those in Africa and Latin America - whose interests and viewpoints are merging into a common vision of freedom, stability, and prosperity [ for corporation control].
  • Growth in the number of space-faring nations is also leading to an increasingly congested and contested space environment, threatening safety and security.
  • Our planning envisages forces that are able to fully deny a capable state's aggressive objectives in one region by conducting a combined arms campaign across all domains - land, air, maritime, space, and cyberspace.
  • Even when U.S. forces are committed to a large-scale operation in one region, they will be capable of denying the objectives of - or imposing unacceptable costs on - an opportunistic aggressor in a second region.
  • States such as China and Iran will continue to pursue asymmetric means to counter our power projection capabilities.
  • Sustaining our undersea capabilities, developing a new stealth bomber, improving missile defenses, and continuing efforts to enhance the resiliency and effectiveness of critical space-based capabilities.
  • Modern armed forces cannot conduct high-tempo, effective operations without reliable information and communication networks and assured access to cyberspace and space.
  • Department of Defense (DoD) will continue to work with domestic and international allies and partners and invest in advanced capabilities to defend its networks, operational capability, and resiliency in cyberspace and space.
  • As long as nuclear weapons remain in existence, the U.S. will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal.
  • Homeland defense and support to civil authorities require strong, steady-state readiness, to include a robust missile defense capability.
  • Finally, in adjusting our strategy and attendant force size, the DoD will make every effort to maintain an adequate industrial base and our investment in science and technology.

See Joseph Gerson's (Disarmament Coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee and Director of the AFSC’s Peace and Economic Security Program in New England) critique of the new guidance plan here.


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists who report on terror-related issues, such as Hedges, for supporting enemy forces. "It is clearly unconstitutional," Hedges says of the bill. "It is a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing."

Democracy Now speaks with Hedges, now a senior fellow at the Nation Institute and former New York Times foreign correspondent who was part of a team of reporters that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism.

He is joined by Hedges’ attorney Carl Mayer, who filed the litigation on his behalf in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Monday, January 16, 2012


  • A Catholic priest was arrested today while attempting to prevent cement mixer trucks from entering the Gangjeong village.

  • 108 Catholic sisters held a press conference where they demanded an apology from the national police chief for the arrest of 29 people on January 10, including 18 nuns, and the halt to Navy base construction.

  • Writers and artists peace relay walk arrived in Mokpo, southern port of Korean peninsula today. They are arriving at Jeju port on 17th by ferry and be at the Gangjeong village on 20th.

  • The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is disturbed by the arrest of 29 people including those from a religious group for praying in front of the construction site of the naval base in Gangjeong village in Jeju Island on January 10. In a report AHRC says, "Having monitored the situation of Gangjeong village and the arrest or persecution through legal means against the villagers and activists, the Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government of South Korea to stop the arbitrary use of force by the police and military in Gangjeong village in Jeju Island, guarantee the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration and respond to the demand of villagers who are affected by the construction."



High-tech gadgets built on the backs of workers: South Korea’s richest conglomerate uses banned and highly-toxic substances in its factories, without informing and/or protecting its workers. As a result at least 140 workers were diagnosed with cancer, of which at least 50 young workers have died. Despite clear evidence, Samsung denies its responsibility and publicly discredits the sick and deceased, as well as their relatives. Samsung has a history of over 50 years of environmental pollution, trade union repression, corruption and tax flight. Samsung’s power in South Korea is so great that many citizens speak of the “Samsung Republic.”

Samsung is also the lead contractor on the Navy base construction project on Jeju Island in South Korea. Their workers have been harshly cruel to the people of Gangjeong village, a 400-year old fishing and farming community who are non-violently fighting to save their way of life.

Boycott all Samsung products. Tell others to boycott Samsung as well.

You can vote Samsung as the worst corporation in 2012 here


Sunday, January 15, 2012


Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity examines the ideological roots of the "austerity" agenda and proposes revolutionary paths out of the current crisis. The film features original interviews with Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Michael Hardt, Peter Gelderloos, Leo Panitch, David McNally, Richard J.F. Day, Imre Szeman, Wayne Price, and many more!

This Canadian documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and suggests organizing paths for the future.


Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

by Chris Hedges

A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don’t want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those with the financial means to prepare for them. They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.

“Imagine,” said a public school teacher in New York City, who asked that I not use his name, “going to work each day knowing a great deal of what you are doing is fraudulent, knowing in no way are you preparing your students for life in an ever more brutal world, knowing that if you don’t continue along your scripted test prep course and indeed get better at it you will be out of a job. Up until very recently, the principal of a school was something like the conductor of an orchestra: a person who had deep experience and knowledge of the part and place of every member and every instrument. In the past 10 years we’ve had the emergence of both [Mayor] Mike Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy and Eli Broad’s Superintendents Academy, both created exclusively to produce instant principals and superintendents who model themselves after CEOs. How is this kind of thing even legal? How are such ‘academies’ accredited? What quality of leader needs a ‘leadership academy’? What kind of society would allow such people to run their children’s schools? The high-stakes tests may be worthless as pedagogy but they are a brilliant mechanism for undermining the school systems, instilling fear and creating a rationale for corporate takeover. There is something grotesque about the fact the education reform is being led not by educators but by financers and speculators and billionaires.”

Teachers, under assault from every direction, are fleeing the profession. Even before the “reform” blitzkrieg we were losing half of all teachers within five years after they started work—and these were people who spent years in school and many thousands of dollars to become teachers. How does the country expect to retain dignified, trained professionals under the hostility of current conditions? I suspect that the hedge fund managers behind our charter schools system—whose primary concern is certainly not with education—are delighted to replace real teachers with nonunionized, poorly trained instructors. To truly teach is to instill the values and knowledge which promote the common good and protect a society from the folly of historical amnesia. The utilitarian, corporate ideology embraced by the system of standardized tests and leadership academies has no time for the nuances and moral ambiguities inherent in a liberal arts education. Corporatism is about the cult of the self. It is about personal enrichment and profit as the sole aim of human existence. And those who do not conform are pushed aside.

“It is extremely dispiriting to realize that you are in effect lying to these kids by insinuating that this diet of corporate reading programs and standardized tests are preparing them for anything,” said this teacher, who feared he would suffer reprisals from school administrators if they knew he was speaking out. “It is even more dispiriting to know that your livelihood depends increasingly on maintaining this lie. You have to ask yourself why are hedge fund managers suddenly so interested in the education of the urban poor? The main purpose of the testing craze is not to grade the students but to grade the teacher.”

“I cannot say for certain—not with the certainty of a Bill Gates or a Mike Bloomberg who pontificate with utter certainty over a field in which they know absolutely nothing—but more and more I suspect that a major goal of the reform campaign is to make the work of a teacher so degrading and insulting that the dignified and the truly educated teachers will simply leave while they still retain a modicum of self-respect,” he added. “In less than a decade we been stripped of autonomy and are increasingly micromanaged. Students have been given the power to fire us by failing their tests. Teachers have been likened to pigs at a trough and blamed for the economic collapse of the United States. In New York, principals have been given every incentive, both financial and in terms of control, to replace experienced teachers with 22-year-old untenured rookies. They cost less. They know nothing. They are malleable and they are vulnerable to termination.”

The demonizing of teachers is another public relations feint, a way for corporations to deflect attention from the theft of some $17 billion in wages, savings and earnings among American workers and a landscape where one in six workers is without employment. The speculators on Wall Street looted the U.S. Treasury. They stymied any kind of regulation. They have avoided criminal charges. They are stripping basic social services. And now they are demanding to run our schools and universities.

“Not only have the reformers removed poverty as a factor, they’ve removed students’ aptitude and motivation as factors,” said this teacher, who is in a teachers union. “They seem to believe that students are something like plants where you just add water and place them in the sun of your teaching and everything blooms. This is a fantasy that insults both student and teacher. The reformers have come up with a variety of insidious schemes pushed as steps to professionalize the profession of teaching. As they are all businessmen who know nothing of the field, it goes without saying that you do not do this by giving teachers autonomy and respect. They use merit pay in which teachers whose students do well on bubble tests will receive more money and teachers whose students do not do so well on bubble tests will receive less money. Of course, the only way this could conceivably be fair is to have an identical group of students in each class—an impossibility. The real purposes of merit pay are to divide teachers against themselves as they scramble for the brighter and more motivated students and to further institutionalize the idiot notion of standardized tests. There is a certain diabolical intelligence at work in both of these.”

“If the Bloomberg administration can be said to have succeeded in anything,” he said, “they have succeeded in turning schools into stress factories where teachers are running around wondering if it’s possible to please their principals and if their school will be open a year from now, if their union will still be there to offer some kind of protection, if they will still have jobs next year. This is not how you run a school system. It’s how you destroy one. The reformers and their friends in the media have created a Manichean world of bad teachers and effective teachers. In this alternative universe there are no other factors. Or, all other factors—poverty, depraved parents, mental illness and malnutrition—are all excuses of the Bad Teacher that can be overcome by hard work and the Effective Teacher.”

The truly educated become conscious. They become self-aware. They do not lie to themselves. They do not pretend that fraud is moral or that corporate greed is good. They do not claim that the demands of the marketplace can morally justify the hunger of children or denial of medical care to the sick. They do not throw 6 million families from their homes as the cost of doing business. Thought is a dialogue with one’s inner self. Those who think ask questions, questions those in authority do not want asked. They remember who we are, where we come from and where we should go. They remain eternally skeptical and distrustful of power. And they know that this moral independence is the only protection from the radical evil that results from collective unconsciousness. The capacity to think is the only bulwark against any centralized authority that seeks to impose mindless obedience. There is a huge difference, as Socrates understood, between teaching people what to think and teaching them how to think. Those who are endowed with a moral conscience refuse to commit crimes, even those sanctioned by the corporate state, because they do not in the end want to live with criminals—themselves.

“It is better to be at odds with the whole world than, being one, to be at odds with myself,” Socrates said.

Those who can ask the right questions are armed with the capacity to make a moral choice, to defend the good in the face of outside pressure. And this is why the philosopher Immanuel Kant puts the duties we have to ourselves before the duties we have to others. The standard for Kant is not the biblical idea of self-love—love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you would have them do unto you—but self-respect. What brings us meaning and worth as human beings is our ability to stand up and pit ourselves against injustice and the vast, moral indifference of the universe. Once justice perishes, as Kant knew, life loses all meaning. Those who meekly obey laws and rules imposed from the outside—including religious laws—are not moral human beings. The fulfillment of an imposed law is morally neutral. The truly educated make their own wills serve the higher call of justice, empathy and reason. Socrates made the same argument when he said it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong.

“The greatest evil perpetrated,” Hannah Arendt wrote, “is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.”

As Arendt pointed out, we must trust only those who have this self-awareness. This self-awareness comes only through consciousness. It comes with the ability to look at a crime being committed and say “I can’t.” We must fear, Arendt warned, those whose moral system is built around the flimsy structure of blind obedience. We must fear those who cannot think. Unconscious civilizations become totalitarian wastelands.

“The greatest evildoers are those who don’t remember because they have never given thought to the matter, and, without remembrance, nothing can hold them back,” Arendt writes. “For human beings, thinking of past matters means moving in the dimension of depth, striking roots and thus stabilizing themselves, so as not to be swept away by whatever may occur—the Zeitgeist or History or simple temptation. The greatest evil is not radical, it has no roots, and because it has no roots it has no limitations, it can go to unthinkable extremes and sweep over the whole world.”


On Jan. 18th there is going to be an all-out strike on the Internet. Websites across the Internet are going dark in protest of the Internet censorship bills in Congress, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA.

If passed, SOPA would allow the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders against foreign and even domestic websites that enable or facilitate copyright infringement. If a website is accused, it could be punished by being removed from search engine results, barred from online advertising networks, and blocked from payment processing networks. In other words, sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube and Reddit could be crippled for hosting or linking to user-uploaded content that potentially infringes on copyrights.

The bill would also make the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content, such as a song or TV show, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Once you’ve made a decision on how you feel about SOPA, there are a couple of things you can do to help prevent it from passing. Call your Congressperson and tell him or her how you feel about the legislation. You can also send a letter to your state’s Congressperson through the American Censorship Day website. The SOPA vote is scheduled for January 24, so the sooner you act, the better.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


Saturday, January 14, 2012


Today at Tom Sturtevant's memorial service in Winthrop, Maine (more than 450 people showed up) three of his nieces went up to tell some stories about him.

One of them talked about how he detested a product she said he called "belly wash" - soda, or pop, some call it soft drink. But there is nothing soft about this stuff.

This very interesting video is for all of you out there who still drink belly wash - especially the diet version.

An interesting name - someone most peaceniks are very familiar with - pops up in this story. Watch and learn.



You see alot of similarities today between the treatment of MLK and the way Cornell West is being hounded for pushing Obama. King was vilified for coming out against the Vietnam War as he made the deadly connections between endless war and cutbacks in LBJ's "war on poverty".

These days West (and Tavis Smiley) are the leading African-American voices against endless war and cutbacks in social progress.

King was killed because he was moving to unite the civil rights and the peace movements. We must not let his death be in vain. We must push ahead to create organizational linkages between the peace movement and those who work day-to-day to ameliorate the suffering of our fellow citizens.

Unless and until we build these kind of coalitions we will see no justice and no peace.

Friday, January 13, 2012


This is former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and he is a big time right-to-life (anti-abortion) activist who says all human life is sacred.

It's an example of why I never take people like him seriously. They talk out of both sides of their mouth.

He'd kill half the world's population if he had half a chance and at the same time would be on his knees praying for babies in the womb.

Go figure.

Find our more about the self-righteous Santorum here


  • We got 5 inches of snow yesterday - at last. I went out several times to shovel. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a mirage. My last time was around 10pm - the night was so still, the snow covered trees swayed in the wind, the neighborhood looked like a picture postcard, I lingered outside for awhile not wanting to leave the beautiful scene. After 30 years in Florida I have to drink in these moments fully.

  • I am on my way out to pick up our newsletter from the printer. The local newspaper company prints it - for them quite a small run compared to what they are used to printing each day. My next step is the stuff the newsletters into envelopes to mail them to our international members. Our national mailing list will be sent out directly from the printer who also does non-profit mailings. Much easier that way - and quicker.

  • Tomorrow is the memorial service for Tom Sturtevant. I've heard that there will be a big crowd there, his family reserved the middle school gymnasium in Winthrop. Going to be alot of tears flowing. There will be lots of love there.

  • I am setting up a 30-day west coast speaking tour for myself (April 1-30) that will begin in Los Angeles and end up in the Seattle area. Already I've got invitations to stop in 17 different communities along the dusty trail. Global Network member MacGregor Eddy (WILPF) wants to give me Amtrak tickets so I can take the train the whole way. I am very excited and I'm sure it will be a great experience. Should have the schedule in order in about another week or so.

  • Next Thursday I will tape the next edition of my public access TV show. The topic will be "Smart Meters". Our city government here in Bath has voted for a moratorium against installment of these meters which are raising serious questions about their impact on health, safety, and privacy. Our local power company is ignoring the moratorium and pushing residents hard to agree to have them installed. We've been called three times at our house by the power company and received several mailings. Looking forward to doing the show. More people need to be aware of the issues involved. You can learn more about the meters here

Thursday, January 12, 2012


It is hard for many in the mainstream media to accept that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) came in 2nd place in the New Hampshire primary. Many voters liked his anti-imperialism, anti-Wall Street, and anti-drug war positions.

The corporate media love Romney and Obama and they won't be denied - even by the voting public.


An eye-opening video clip that made it online Wednesday may cause a scandal on par with what erupted with the Abu Ghraib photographs of 2004. Now US Marines have been caught on film - urinating on dead Taliban.

A 40-second excerpt of the clip has managed to make its web to the Web and in it viewers can watch four US Marines on patrol in Afghanistan allegedly urinating on the corpses of deceased Afghan men. It is unclear of the victims’ identities in this incident, but according to a note included with the uploaded file, the US servicemen were members of the Marine Scout Sniper Team 4 and the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The group was dispatched to the northern Helmand Province in Afghanistan during the summer of 2011.

This should win over some more hearts and the Taliban side. We are one sick country. End the war now!


Publishing on MLK Day 2012: The Military Industrial Complex at 50 is the most comprehensive collection available explaining what the military industrial complex (MIC) is, where it comes from, what damage it does, what further destruction it threatens, and what can be done and is being done to chart a different course.

Authors (from within and without the MIC) contributing chapters to this collection (and available for interviews) include: Ellen Brown • Paul Chappell • Helena Cobban • Ben Davis • Jeff Fogel • Bunny Greenhouse • Bruce Gagnon • Clare Hanrahan • John Heuer • Steve Horn • Robert Jensen • Karen Kwiatkowski • Judith Le Blanc • Bruce Levine • Ray McGovern • Wally Myers • Robert Naiman • Gareth Porter • Chris Rodda • Allen Ruff • Mia Austin Scoggins • Tony Russell • Lisa Savage • Mary Beth Sullivan • Coleman Smith • Dave Shreve • David Swanson • Pat Elder • Jonathan Williams • Ann Wright.

Short bios of the authors are available here

The book will be available at in paperback, bulk discount, audio, PDF, kindle, Epub, and iPad/iPhone.

The MIC, this book expertly argues, kills large numbers of people, endangers us, hollows out our economy, transfers our wealth to a tiny elite, devastates the natural environment, and threatens civil liberties, the rule of law, and representative government.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower found the nerve in his farewell speech in 1961 to articulate one of the most prescient, potentially valuable, and tragically as yet unheeded warnings of human history:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

This collection shows that the “total influence” of the MIC has increased, the disastrous rise of misplaced power is no longer merely a potential event, our liberties and democratic processes are in a state of collapse, and that Ike himself disastrously misinformed the citizenry when he claimed that the very monster he warned of had been “compelled” by the need for “defense.”


Panetta: "Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon, no."

This one speaks for itself. The U.S. is berating Iran, surrounding Iran, doing covert ops inside Iran, working with Israel to assassinate their scientists, and slap economic sanctions on them.

But the Secretary of War says, no, Iran is not trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

Just a small detail.

These guys drip with arrogance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


It is my opinion that the oligarchy wants Obama back for a second term and that they will carry him through to victory. Just like they did Bill Clinton. It's no wonder the Republicans have such a weak slate of candidates in the current state primaries.

The oligarchy thinks it's good to have a pro-corporate Democrat in the White House now and then. It helps keep the rabble down. They spice it up a bit by having the right-wing throw outrageous accusations at Obama by calling him a Socialist and other such nonsense. That is theatre to help perpetuate the mythology in America that we have real differences between the two corporate political parties.

In the end the power structure runs two horses in each race. Bush against Kerry was one example - they both belonged to the secret Skull & Bones Society at Yale University.

This time we'll likely get Obama and the corporate branded Mitt Romney as the top choices. But Romney as president would not be able to keep the left tamed the way Obama can - particularly the black community who is getting screwed more than anyone else these days.

But let's just think about 2016 for a moment. The oligarchy likes to plan ahead - even though they have always raged against centralized five-year plans as being communism - they are now setting future elections up.

Take this video above with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Republican). He was rumored to be the "new darling" of the party, the great hope for 2012, but after playing coy for several months, Christie had a big news conference to announce that 2012 "was not his time". The first thought that came to my mind was, yeah, they've told you 2016 will be your shot at the gold.

So it's interesting that this video of Christie campaigning for Romney in New Hampshire is being promoted within conservative circles as an example of how Christie would be tough (and nasty) on those protester types. They are setting Christie's brand for next time around.

When the social program cuts really hit hard in the near future, and we see further attacks on the "entitlements" (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and what is left of the welfare program), the public will get even more restive. The oligarchy is grooming bully boy Christie who will have no problem banging some heads of those who get out of line.

You might wonder who the Dems are grooming for 2016? I saw a trial balloon floated the other day by Robert Reich (Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor) where he predicted that Obama would switch Hillary and Joe Biden's positions before the November election. Putting Hillary in as V-P would energize some elements of an otherwise dispirited Democratic party - the perfect TV rerun of the "Mod Squad" - one black, one white, one woman. Hillary would then be first in line for 2016.

Stay tuned.