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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Yesterday morning hundreds of police blocked kayak storage container not allowing villagers to even get the boats out. Isn't this a sign of desperation by the right-wing government that the people are winning the public relations struggle?

Father Moon (in the video) ending the mass along Gurombee rock in Gangjeong village just before our arrests on Feb 26.

I am still in Boston as I speak tonight at an event called Drones: The New Frontier of Warfare and Spying which will be held at the Cambridge Friends Meeting House near Harvard Square at 7:00 pm. It is being organized by United for Justice with Peace.

Natasha Mayers and Mary Beth Sullivan arrived back in Boston late last night and this morning we all had breakfast together to review our remarkable trip. Natasha is determined to organize a group of artists to return to Gangjeong as soon as possible. This morning I heard from fellow Maine Veterans for Peace member Dud Hendrick who is going to Vietnam in April and is considering stopping in Gangjeong before heading home. Yesterday I heard from Koohan Paik in Hawaii who is going to work on getting folks to go to the village as well.

Natasha and I both had several people approach us before leaving Gangjeong village telling us how much they appreciated and were inspired by the presence of Global Network people from around the world. Two such folks told me that when they heard a "conference" was to be held they at first thought it sounded like a boring idea. But they were surprised and happy to see the strong content of our event and most importantly that our members (of all ages) were willing to kayak to Gurombee rock, crawl under razor wire, go to jail, and more. It makes me very proud of our organization.

I've been getting quite a few messages in response to my latest blog (and email) post about the trip. It is clear that the concern about Jeju Island is growing worldwide. We've got to keep spreading the word and helping folks find ways to offer support.

The very best source of information anymore turns out to be on Facebook. Frequent posts of videos, photos, and updates are to be found there but you do have to be on Facebook to access them. Find it here

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Still sitting in JFK airport in NYC - half asleep and worn out.

Taking a Kinks break and making up for not posting a Sunday Song this past weekend.


When we got back to Gangjeong village on Feb 27 after the news conference we learned that the police were blocking villagers from using their kayaksGlobal Network chairperson Dave Webb (UK) reading the letter to Governor Woo from Global Network leadersFeb 27 news conference in Jeju City. Mayor Kang is speakingIn Jeju City for news conference on Feb 27 demanding Governor Woo protect the Gangjeong villagers and the environment
Gathering on the rocky coast on Feb 26. Got there by kayak and eventually 16 of us arrested for crawling under razor wire to protest the Navy's destruction plans

It was difficult for all of us to leave Gangjeong village. My last day in the village was filled with horror as the police surrounded the villagers and their kayaks and would not allow them to be put in the water. Four villagers were arrested and a daylong back and forth struggle took place where villagers and supporters would not give up their attempts to pull a kayak free and quickly put them in the water trying to head toward the embattled rocky coastline that is now virtually sealed off with razor wire.

Several people were hurt, as the police would swarm over any attempt to remove a kayak. Catholic Father Moon was knocked to the bottom of one scrum along with another revered villager who got his hand cut up. A Frenchman named Benji, who has been in the village for months, was knocked down and repeatedly pounced on by the police. I saw the police push one man off a ramp who was filming the scene.

Natasha Mayers (Maine artist) and Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi were able to get one kayak into the water. Angie Zelter put on a life vest and jumped into the cold water and swam to the rocky coastline. Benji jumped in with half of a wet suit on to make sure she didn't drown.

At one point I was asked to help create a diversion by going into the middle of where the police were surrounding the kayaks and attempt to pull a kayak out while others took kayaks from a nearby boat house. This worked and I was exhausted after trying to pull a kayak free from the grips of the police for at least 10-15 minutes during my diversionary attempt.

Earlier in the day yesterday about 30 of the villagers and remaining international supporters made the one-hour trip to Jeju City to hold a news conference demanding that the weak-kneed Governor Woo stand up to the Navy and protect the 450-year old village from destruction by the Navy. A large number of media covered the news conference and then we moved across the street to the governor's office building but they locked us out.

I've never seen such a thing where taxpaying citizens were locked out of their own government building - especially with the large media throng accompanying them. After much Korean-style yelling and demanding they finally opened the door and allowed Mayor Kang, Dave Webb (UK), Atsushi Fujioka (Japan), me, and a translator to go up and deliver our letter to the governor's office.

All day long I couldn't get out of my head the thought that South Korea is absolutely a police state. I think it is a sign of where we in the U.S. are quickly heading. The South Korean people have been dealing with this reality for many years but we in the U.S. are hardly prepared for what this tastes like.

I've just arrived at JFK airport in New York City after a 13-hour flight from Seoul. When I checked the Facebook page called No Navy Base on Jeju! I saw a tweet from Father Moon saying, "February 28 Gangjeong port blockade! Today, worse! They surrounded the kayak storage container. Not even allowed to enter the sea, blocking fiercely! SWAT team has been deployed, who was mobilized at that time of Yongsan eviction crack down in 2009 [in Seoul]."

The Navy has been bringing police in from Seoul by the hundreds at a time. They have no allegiance to Jeju Island and are conscripts doing their two-years of service.

So in the last two days about 30 people have been arrested for trying to protect the sacred coast of Gangjeong village. The villagers tell us that every day is like this - an endless struggle just to be able to stand on their own shoreline or now even have access to the water with a kayak!

People keep asking what they can do to help. They should continue to call the South Korean embassy/consulate nearest to you. But most importantly more international delegations are urgently needed in the village. When the international presence is strong the police have to back off some of their more aggressive treatment of the villagers.

I can't urge strongly enough for activists around the world to discuss sending 2-3 folks from your community to Jeju for 7-10 days. We can help you make the necessary contacts there. Please discuss this great need in your local community. I can promise you it will be an experience that you will never forget. The villagers are worn out and would be thrilled if you could bring them this kind of support.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Great video montage from last few days on Jeju Island. Please share the link to this with folks in your community.

We are doing a news conference today in Jeju City about the large number of arrests yesterday. No time for rest around here. We had a meeting until 2:00 am last night.

Angie Zelter from the UK is going to stay here for a month after the rest of us leave which is good news. She is an experienced and determined woman. More folks are needed here to support the beleaguered villagers. Please consider sending a delegation from your community to Gangjeong village ASAP.

Consider it an activist vacation that you will never forget.


Ten international activists and six Korean activists were arrested today after crawling under the razor wire at the Navy base on Jeju Island. Seven Global Network members were among those arrested including Bruce Gagnon, Mary Beth Sullivan, Dave Webb, Natasha Mayers, Agneta Norberg, Gun-Brit Makitalo, and Dennis Apel.

More than 70 activists used kayaks to get onto the rocky coast where they held a Catholic mass, sang songs, ate food, made speeches, and then moved under the the wire fence to enter the base destruction area.

Five of those arrested were moved to Dongbu police station in Jeju City. Today's candlelight vigil was held in front of Seogwipo police station where the other 11 were being held. The police arrested 20 more people during the vigil at the police station claiming it was an illegal protest.

After some hassles by the authorities many of the activists were released from jail by about 11:00 pm.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


The Navy is expanding its effort to put razor wire all along the rocky coastline so the villagers cannot any longer stand on their sacred ground. But the people keep coming by swimming or on kayaks. They are determined. They continue to be arrested. As I write this a group will find their way there for the Sunday morning Catholic mass.

Yesterday we had a joint meeting between the villagers and our international guests. Our folks shared stories about U.S. and NATO space technology expansion into Sweden and Norway, the effort by the U.S. to get India to create their own aggressive Space Command to help "contain" China, and the Vandenberg AFB in California space missile launching center.

One elderly man from Gangjeong village told us he can't sleep at night, suffers from depression, and sees that the community has been physically and spiritually torn apart by the base construction. He asked what they could do?

In the afternoon we took a walking tour all around the imposing barbed wire-topped fences that have been erected around the base site. We could hear the heavy equipment from inside the destruction zone and the police practicing their harsh anti-protest tactics.

We planted seeds, placed rocks and poured water from our hometowns in the new garden at the peace park that is being created just outside the fence line that guards one end of the base. Even in the midst of the ugliness and barbarity of the base the people are planting the seeds of life and hope. They still laugh and smile and share food. They love their land and the sea in spite of the Navy and construction corporations who have nothing but disdain for democracy, for the villagers 450-year old history, and for their close relationship to nature. It is good and evil in an epic struggle. Good and bad playing out right before our eyes.

After supper together in the village community center we were treated to the most inspiring and joyful experience of the nightly candlelight vigil. Vigil is the wrong word - it should rather be described as rally-dance-music festival-party. A totally amazing experience.

Speeches (Mary Beth's was a huge hit as she told her story of daily watching the videos from the village) were followed by traditional Korean drumming and singing; songs by villagers (including the mayor who has a great voice and many say looks like the actor Robert Mitchum; peace in space awards presentations by the Global Network to the village and to South Korean activist and GN board member Wooksik Cheong who was instrumental in organizing the programs; speech by the former governor of Jeju Island who ended by singing Amazing Grace; lots of dancing (including 75 year olds Agneta Norberg from Sweden and J. Narayana Rao from India); and the big finale that turned out to be a choreographed three-song set with spiral dancing and virtually everyone there including the old village women whose backs are bent from years of hard work on their farms. One village woman sang two songs that sounded very similar to Native American cultures that I have witnessed. This all lasted until midnight and they ended by saying, "We'll see you tomorrow night for more. We do this every night!"

Near the end of the evening village Mayor Kang called me up and handed me bags of gifts for each of the 3o-some international guests. As we were leaving he came running up to thank me again for helping to bring these wonderful activists from around the world to their struggling community.

Before I left home Maine friend and filmmaker Eric Herter loaned me a video camera and begged me to take as much footage as possible. I've never been much good with a camera but since Eric, who wanted badly to be with us but could not come, insisted I took on the task. I've been faithfully talking bits of video and interviewing people as we go along. I don't know if I got the light right at times, or the picture framed properly, but I am trying. Eric promised to do the editing and will make a mini-documentary out of it (if the footage is usable).

I thought to myself last night what a great gift we have all been given to be able to witness, and participate in, this absolutely remarkable experience. We are witnessing the best and worst times in the life of Gangjeong village. They are experiencing absolute horror but they are taking the moment and creating pure joy as well.

I feel like I am rambling on here but there is so much I want to share but feel incapable of doing so in the way I'd like to. I just wish everyone could come here to see for themselves this moment - you'd be changed, inspired, outraged, heart broken, and more.

We live our lives in boxes of comfort and conformity. All those boxes are being broken and cast aside here in Gangjeong.

Friday, February 24, 2012


There is so much to write about and so little time. Yesterday we began our time here on Jeju Island with a conference at the museum where the story of the April 3, 1948 massacre of tens of thousands of Jeju residents is told. Following the end of WW II the U.S. took control of Korea and put the former Koreans who collaborated with fascist Japan in charge of the country. The U.S. began the process of dividing Korea and the people of Jeju were accused of being communists because they were independent minded and did not want to follow the corrupt leaders appointed by the U.S. military.

The people rebelled and the U.S. military directed the new Korean government to aggressively put down the rebellion. The museum does a fine, and heart breaking job, of telling this sad but virtually unknown story.

The people of Gangjeong village feel that the April 3 tragedy is being played out again by the construction of the Navy base in their village. About 150 gathered in the museum auditorium for speeches yesterday by South Korean and international activists. Folks have come here from at least a dozen countries to show their support for the struggling villagers. Many Catholic priests and nuns were in the audience to hear their Bishop welcome us. A delegation of Buddhist monks held a news conference to announce their support for the struggle.

I am told that the conference yesterday drew more media coverage than people had seen in a long time which makes everyone here very pleased. Today we spend our time meeting with villagers to talk and share food.

As we arrived in South Korea we were greeted by headlines in the newspapers about right-wing President Lee having just held a news conference to announce that he intends to speed up the Navy base construction project and push through the controversial Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. Many feel that his days are numbered as the coming spring election will bring an end to his mean-spirited and divisive reign of power. But for the people in Gangjeong village there is little relief as they daily see the Samsung Corporation (lead base contractor) make further moves toward the blasting of their sacred rocky coast.

The approximately 30 international activists are all mindful that our time here is short. We had a meeting late last evening to discuss ways our energies could be best put to use. We will have a formal strategy meeting with village leaders tomorrow but for the moment we must continue to appeal to the hearts of our friends around the world to keep Gangjeong in your prayers and hope that you will take steps to rally people where you live to devise ways to show public support for the noble people here who clearly understand that this Navy base will be a trigger for a wider arms race in the region that will over time hurt all of us, no matter where we live.


It’s day 18 of Yang Yoon-Mo's hunger strike while in the Jeju Island jail house (Prison #220). Professor Yang endured more than 70 days of hunger strike last summer. He vows that he will not eat again unless and until the Navy halts construction of the base.

Many fear he will die in jail and he is deeply in the hearts and minds of everyone here. Last night at the end of the day long conference Father Moon made an emotionally charged speech where he challenged everyone to do more to stop this insanity.

We each must find something we can do each day to save Yang's life and the life of the nature and Gangjeong community.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


The Kauai Alliance for Peace & Social Justice organized a great turnout last night of over 100 folks who came to hear talks by Koohan Paik, Dave Webb, Lynda Williams and myself. The two hours of presentations were patiently listened to by virtually everyone. It was a big step forward for their group and their island.

The Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) is one of those isolated and not frequently challenged manifestations of the military industrial complex. It sits along the coast of Kauai and takes a long time to drive to. Few ever go there and many have been intimidated over the years into grudgingly accepting its presence because of the "jobs" issue. Even many of those who are inclined to oppose PMRF have learned to live with it and this unpleasant acceptance has largely become the norm. (I heard that next month PMRF is sponsoring a health care weekend where they will offer to provide check-ups for those without insurance. Isn't that sweet? The military, who has socialized medicine, is going to offer to give the poor folks a bit of a taste of the good life. All of course intended as public relations.)

Koohan Paik, one of the leaders of the Kauai peace group, led things off with a blistering denunciation of PMRF and its mission to test the Aegis "missile defense" (MD) interceptor system. Obama has decided to additionally create the "Aegis Ashore" program where they will put the usually ship-based MD systems on land. After testing at PMRF these Aegis Ashore interceptors will be deployed in Romania and other locations in the growing encirclement of Russia and China. Koohan also did a powerful slide show of the struggle on Jeju Island and won over the hearts of those in the audience for the struggling Gangjeong villagers.

Dave Webb did a slide show that showed how the Space Command has set up the global system of satellites, radar stations, MD bases, and more that now weave the full spectrum dominance plan into place. He showed how PMRF fits into the larger Pentagon's grand scheme of things and was able to put to rest the myth that the Navy testing missile installation on Kauai had anything at all to do with defense.

Lynda Williams, physics teacher from California and long-time Global Network board member, is also an entertainer. She writes songs about space and science as a way to help her students and the public understand these issues. Her song "War in Heaven" was my favorite of the four numbers she performed to her adoring audience last night. I woke up at 4:00 am singing it........

I wrapped up the event by telling a number of stories that illustrated the mission and dangers of PMRF, the agenda behind the current U.S. "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific to surround China, and more. I concluded by taking on the jobs issue by reminding people that military production is in fact the worst way to create jobs with our tax dollars.

After the event was over I was surprised to be approached by a woman who said she grew up visiting a lake in Maine. Then she said she wrote the famous Vietnam-era anti-war song Universal Soldier. It was none other than Buffy Sainte-Marie. She was very kind and humble.

Earlier in the day we had a swim at one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to. Kauai is a wondrous mix of mountains and breath taking beaches. One of my favorite things was the abundance of wild chickens roaming around the island - the true free-range chicken. It appears that a hurricane in 1992 had smashed all the chicken houses on the island and they've been "liberated" ever since.

I'm at the Honolulu airport waiting on my flight to South Korea. Dave Webb is also on a flight to South Korea but left two hours earlier than me. It's a 10-hour journey to Seoul and then we must transfer to a domestic airline for the trip to Jeju Island. MB and Natasha Mayers are coming from Maine and will meet us on Jeju Island along with a bunch of other Global Network leaders.

Our Hawaii visit was a huge success and I must thank Lynda Williams who got the whole idea brewing for the Global Network. I think our activist friends in Hawaii, who often feel so isolated, very much appreciated our visit and our solidarity. I think that we will see more collaboration in the future.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


These folks were arrested for their prayers.

A report from Gangjeong village:

Yesterday night, in the regular candlelight cultural night in Gangjeong village, one naval base construction worker visited alone. It was a very brave action. He came to say sorry about what he has done for this naval base construction, and he shared that he came from a small village where the naval base also invaded in. He cried and said to the villagers that if you want to remain your simple life in your village then you must block the naval base till the end. ...


Global Network leader Dave Webb from the UK yesterday at Naval Communications Center in the middle of Oahu during our de-tour of military sites. You can see three white satellite communications devices in the background.

We had a great meeting today at the Quaker Meeting House in Honolulu. We heard from activists from Oahu, Kauai, and the big island who are working against the expanding military bases on each of their islands. Alot of the expansion is gobbling up large areas for military training. On the big island the military wants seven times what they now have for war training. The Army has ignored a county council resolution that called for a halt at the Pohakuloa bombing range.

One of the activists from Kauai told a story about his recent leafletting about our talk that is scheduled there for tomorrow. He handed a flyer to a woman who said to him, "My husband works at the base [Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility where Aegis destroyers test their interceptor missiles]. He has cancer. Everybody in his shop has cancer."

On Oahu the military machine is paying a native Hawaiian Democrat $750,000 to counter organize against local peace group opposition to Army expansion. On Oahu 17% of the total population is military connected while 20% of island residents are native Hawaiian.

We concluded the meeting by going around and asking each person to share three strategy ideas. Amongst the top choices of the group were:

  • Keep building the Occupy movement across the country and inside Washington DC
  • Work more with young people and develop peace education curriculum for schools
  • Keep connecting the dots between key military installations and issues
  • Use the UMASS-Amherst Economics Department jobs study to drive home the fact that military spending is the least effective way to create jobs
  • Expand our use of culture and alternative media to reach out to the public
  • Take on the China threat myth
  • A day or weekend of coordinated actions across the Pacific should be organized
  • Keep a public presence at the military bases/training areas/production sites
  • Come to the protest of the NATO/G8 summit in Chicago next May
  • Organize a local action during Keep Space for Peace Week during October 6-13

We are getting up at 5:00 am for an early flight to Kauai. We will visit the Pacific Missile Range Facility, have a swim, and do a live radio interview before our talk at the library.

On Wednesday Dave and I head to Jeju Island. Lynda will head back to California.


Despite a lack of concrete evidence, the Western powers and their allies have continued to accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons. A series of events including the bombing of Israeli embassies, threatening to cut oil exports to the UK and loading fuel rods in a research reactor have many feeling Iran is provoking a war. So is Iran really a threat or is the mainstream media promoting America's next war? David Swanson, author of War is a Lie, joins RT to discuss the complicated situation with Iran.

Monday, February 20, 2012


We had a 10-hour tour (de-tour) today of the militarization on Oahu in Hawaii. Kyle Kajihiro, former director of the AFSC peace program until the national office did a massive cutting back and closed their local office, is a long-time and dedicated peace worker who knows just about everything that is happening on this island.

More than 20% of Oahu is militarized and that number is growing by the day. Obama's "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific means that the Pacific Command (PACOM) headquarters here will grow and its "area of responsibility" will become much more important and its mission much more aggressive. Bad news for Hawaii and for the people of the Pacific.

We were joined today by two activists from Kauai who will be hosting us when we go there on Tuesday. On Monday we will have a mini-conference here with about 20 key people from at least three of Hawaiian islands. It will be a chance for us to learn more about their work and share with them the stories from the Global Network.

We are staying in the guest rooms of the Friends Meeting House (Quakers) here in Honolulu. It's very comfortable and much cheaper than anything else we could have found in this expensive city. It's late and I'll write more tomorrow. I've got a ton of emails to get caught up with.

Spring training started today for my Baltimore Orioles baseball team. They've signed two pitchers from Japan and Taiwan. The Pacific region now touches my baseball life too. Should be an interesting year.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Amidst all the political wrangling over the Keystone XL pipeline, some may lose sight of what the fight is ultimately about. And that, of course, is one of the most environmentally devastating projects ever undertaken: the tar sands mining operation in Alberta, Canada.


The EU states are calling for creating humanitarian corridors in Syria, which some fear could open the door to foreign intervention. But Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar says it's already underway.

See additional analysis from Escobar here

Friday, February 17, 2012


  • I am in the Los Angeles airport with a five-hour wait for my plane to Honolulu. It's been a long day already and still a long way to go. Just sitting at an airport eatery and talked to two young black women that were interested in where I was going. Told them about Jeju Island and handed them each a village brochure. Fortunately I got a stack of them in the mail on Thursday so the timing was good to bring them along on the trip. Looks like I will arrive in Hawaii around midnight which will be equal to about 5:00 am back in Maine. I was able to get some cat naps on the plane which is unusual for me. My overhead cargo compartment on the plane to L.A. got stuck so I was the last person to get off the plane as they had to bring a guy from maintenance to pry it open so I would get my back pack and coat. Won't need the coat in Hawaii but had better hold onto it for Jeju Island.
  • While in Hawaii I will be talking alot about the Navy's huge Pacific Missile Range Facility based on the island of Kauai. Their website brags that "PMRF is the world's largest instrumented multi-environmental range capable of supported surface, sub-surface, air, and space operations simultaneously. There are over 1,100 square miles of instrumented underwater range and over 42,000 square miles of controlled airspace." It is here that they test the "missile defense" systems on-board the Navy Aegis destroyers that are made in Bath, Maine and will be ported on Jeju Island. So this trip is truly about connecting the dots. (The Pentagon is porting these ships in many other places as well including Japan, Australia, the Middle East, the Black Sea, and the Mediterranean.) The Navy now has a big public relations campaign on national TV where they call themselves "A global force for good." They are using our tax dollars to brainwash the public into supporting their aggressive "full spectrum dominance" program that only benefits corporate globalization.
  • Just got an email from fellow Maine activist Ed Friedman who is one of the leaders of the anti-SMART meter campaign in our state. He shares a New York Times article called Congress to Sell Public Airwaves to Pay Benefits. Ed quotes the article and comments:

    "The measure would be a rare instance of the government compensating private companies with the proceeds from an auction of public property". Say that phrase to yourself three times. The "tell" about this measure was the coordinated decision to sell it to the compliant mainstream media as a long-neglected, post 9-11 public safety measure and a means to pay for the payroll tax and unemployment benefit extensions. They couldn't sell it on its own. If you want to give a windfall to already enormously profitable companies, you better tell people it's necessary to keep us all safe, help poor people and be fiscally responsible at the same time. Keep those media conglomerate and telecommunications company campaign dollars rolling in. Make no mistake. That's what this is about. We deserve better from Washington and from the coverage of political machinations.
  • This sell off of the public airwaves is coming under the Obama administration. The magician continues to pull rabbits out of the hat on behalf of the corporate oligarchy. I must again remind folks that if Bush did half the things that Obama does the grassroots Democrats would be howling. But Obama keeps them parked in neutral and all you hear from them is "Well, we have to vote for Obama. You don't want the Republicans to get into power do you? They would start more wars and privatize what public services we have left." Does anyone remember Tony Blair? Hello, is anyone home??!!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I'm doing a radio interview at 9:10 pm tonight with a station on Kauai, Hawaii to promote our event there on Feb 21.

Earlier this evening we had our weekly radio show on WBOR in Brunswick. Had one of the students from Bowdoin College on to discuss her involvement with Occupy Maine. She was very articulate.

Getting up at 4:15 am to make my way to Portland. From there I take a bus to Boston and plane to New York. Then I'll switch to a plane to Los Angeles. Then another plane to Honolulu. It's going to be a 24 hour trip. Let's hope for no delays and some sleep in the sardine can.

I'm sure I'll have a chance to post something while waiting at an airport gate. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


  • I leave early Friday for Hawaii and then South Korea. This video is from today in Gangjeong village. There are huge numbers of police there and lots of plainclothes security too. The younger man in the red mask appears to be one of the goons hired by Samsung (the lead contractor) to harass the people. We are going there at an important time.
  • Professor Yang Yoon-Mo is back in a Jeju jail and is now on his 10th day of hunger striking. Last summer he fasted for 74 days and nearly died. Many people are convinced that this time he will not end his hunger strike unless the Navy base construction stops.
  • The Jeju Island prosecutor has released his proposal of punishment for the accused Catholic Fathers who have been struggling against the Jeju naval base.
Fr. Mun Jeong-Hyeon - Two years’ imprisonment
Fr. Lee Young-Chan - One and half year imprisonment
Br. Park Do-Hyun - One year imprisonment
Fr. Lee Kang-Suh - One and half year imprisonment

Fine 700,000 won for all 9 Catholic priests. The court decision will be made on Feb. 24, the date that our conference is to begin on Jeju Island.

  • An interesting new poll by the conservative United Technologies/National Journal has some interesting information. Not really what the right-wing wanted to hear. It goes to show that in spite of the fact that the corporations control the mainstream media the public is still able to separate wheat from chaff.

When asked to identify the biggest reason the federal government faces large deficits for the coming years, just 3 percent of those surveyed said it was because of “too much government spending on programs for the elderly”; only 14 percent said the principal reason was “too much government spending on programs for poor people.” Those explanations were dwarfed by the 24 percent who attributed the deficits primarily to excessive defense spending, and the 46 percent plurality who said their principal cause was that “wealthy Americans don’t pay enough in taxes.”


The devastation wrought upon Greece by international bankers acting through the IMF, EU and other institutions once again shows that governments have two choices: they either govern FOR the people and AGAINST the Bankers.... or they govern FOR the Bankers and AGAINST the People....

Adrian Salbuchi, author and consultant talks to RT, suggesting it's the bankers, who are responsible for the economic downturn in the first place.


We recently removed the wireless connection in our house and went back to the more standard DSL. We had five cable connections put in throughout the house to help us get over the loss of wireless mobility.

We did it because we have become convinced that the electromagnetic signals (microwave radiation) from WiFi, SMART meters and cell towers are bombarding our brains and our bodies. I understand those who say there is nothing we can do about it - that these signals are now everywhere around the globe and that mass communication is totally dependent on this technology. I hear that.

But I think we know little about the long-term impacts of these technologies and until we have a better idea of things we need to step back a bit. (Like so many other things in our "modern" lives.)

Maybe we might be the only ones on the street who do this. Maybe though if we speak out about it others will join us. We can learn from each other. In this series of videos Barrie Trower reports that in several European countries they are now taking the WiFi out of schools.

This video above blew me away. I kept thinking of the two little kids that run around our house. I thought of the recently born that are daily exposed to these signals.

You could say I am pro-life in a way. After the mother chooses if she wants to have a child I think it is the absolute sacred task of the village to do everything it can to protect the future generations. They are life.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


A French court has found U.S. biotech giant Monsanto guilty of the chemical poisoning of a French farmer, in a case that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.

The farmer, Paul Francois, said he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller in 2004.

He said the company was at fault for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.


Yamani Simmons offers 'A Doorway To Persia' and encourages citizens everywhere to insist on the truth from governments and media.

Sincere diplomatic dialogue has been abandoned and replaced with more threats of war. Please join Yamani in demanding nonviolent solutions.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Karen Wainberg and Maine artist Natasha Mayers made this banner today. Karen will carry it to Jeju Island for the conference. (Click on photo for a better view)



The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space will hold its 20th annual space organizing conference in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in South Korea from February 24-26. The group is made up of 150 peace groups around the world who are working to oppose the development of a new arms race in space. The theme for the conference will be Jeju for Island of Peace.

The South Korean Navy is building a base just 300-miles from the Chinese mainland. The base will become a port for U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with “missile defense” systems that are key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning. The 400-year old Gangjeong fishing and farming village on Jeju Island is being destroyed to build the base. Endangered soft-coral reefs offshore will also be destroyed when the seabed is dredged to make it possible to bring U.S. warships into the port.

Activists will come to Jeju Island from as far away as India, England, Sweden, U.S., Japan, Taiwan, and from throughout South Korea. Of particular interest this year will be discussions about the Obama administration’s “pivot” of U.S. foreign and military policy toward the Asia-Pacific region and its controversial “missile defense” deployments that are now being used to surround Russia and China.

Global Network Coordinator Bruce Gagnon stated, “When I, and other Global Network members, called the South Korean embassy in Washington DC to express support for the Gangjeong villagers fighting to save their way of life we were told, ‘Don’t call us. Call your own government. They are forcing us to build this base.’ It is clear that the current doubling of U.S. military operations in the Asia-Pacific region is going to have severe implications for people who live there and for world peace.”

Dave Webb, National Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK said, “The people of Gangjeong village on Jeju Island have been living under a dark cloud of military invasion for some years now. The threat is not coming from some ancient enemy but from their own government, influenced and encouraged by the U.S. military. Like millions of people around the world they have found themselves on the front line of the struggle against empire, greed and militarism. It is so important that their courage and resistance is recognized and supported. We are meeting on Jeju Island in order to do just that.” Webb also serves as the chair the Global Network.

Each year the Global Network holds its space organizing conference in a different part of the world. Several Global Network leaders will stop in Hawaii for a series of public meetings (Feb 18-22) before heading to South Korea. The Aegis warships test their “missile defense” systems at the Pacific Missile Range Facility located on Kauai, Hawaii.

Full conference details are available at the Global Network’s website click here


Samsung, the lead contractor, resumes blasting the sacred rocky coast of Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in South Korea for the proposed Navy base.

It's a sickness called militarism.


“In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, ...a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. ...[to] be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, ...

Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main (sic) incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals. ...Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus …

Further : a “necessary degree of fear .. frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention... the CIA and SIS [MI6] should use … capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

- Joint US-UK leaked Intelligence Document, London and Washington, 1957

Canadian activist and professor Michel Chossudovsky has a new article out that I highly recommend. In Syria: NATO's Next "Humanitarian" War? he writes, "The 'protests' did not emanate from internal political cleavages as described by the mainstream media. From the very outset, they were the result of a covert US-NATO intelligence operation geared towards triggering social chaos, with a view to eventually discrediting the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad and destabilizing Syria as a Nation State.

"Since the middle of March 2011, Islamist armed groups --covertly supported by Western and Israeli intelligence-- have conducted terrorist attacks directed against government buildings including acts of arson. Amply documented, trained gunmen and snipers including mercenaries have targeted the police, armed forces as well as innocent civilians. There is ample evidence, as outlined in the Arab League Observer Mission report, that these armed groups of mercenaries are responsible for killing civilians.

"It is important to underscore the fact that these terrorist acts --including the indiscriminate killing of men and women and children-- are part of a US-NATO-Israeli initiative, which consists is supporting, training and financing 'an armed entity' operating inside Syria."

It's Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya all over again. They say every criminal has an MO (Modus operandi) and this criminal syndicate now running corporate globalization and NATO surely has one. It reminds me of reading the Vietnam war-era "Pentagon Papers" while I was in the Air Force. Those ugly pages (but thank god they were released to the public by a courageous Daniel Ellsberg) helped turn me into a peace activist. I learned that the CIA had done these very same kind of "destabilization" tactics that eventually lead to the balkanization of Vietnam and overt U.S. intervention.

Hopefully people are getting smarter these days and not falling for the hook. The corporate media drum is loud and pervasive but many are turning away from that sound machine and toward alternative media sources.


  • It was a busy weekend here. On Saturday we held our statewide meeting of the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home. We decided to organize a rally inside the state capital in Augusta on March 20 from 2:00-4:00 pm. Since college basketball has a big thing called "March Madness" we decided to call our rally Marching Against Fiscal Madness: Fund Human Needs. I've put the call out to artists to design us a graphic of our rotund Gov. LePage in a tight-fitting basketball uniform with the team name Big Shots and $$ on the jersey instead of a number. Can't wait to put it on our flyer.

  • Last night Occupy Brunswick held a public meeting at the local library that was attended by 75 people. Many new faces were there. We broke up into 10 small groups to get feedback on what we should do next. Lots of good ideas emerged. One that I was particularly impressed with was that we should organize local citizens forums to give Mr. & Mrs. Average the chance to publicly talk about their current financial struggles. We could hold them in various local towns. Very exciting.

  • Everywhere I go these days I am talking about the need to keep "connecting the dots". Corporate domination of the political system is at the core of most of our collective problems today. The old business model of organizing where each group goes at it alone with their relatively isolated constituency is playing a losing game. We must step up our efforts to work together across organizational lines if we hope to be able to create the kind of momentum to push back against the increasingly mean-spirited politics being aimed at all of us. There is no substitute for smart organizing. Anything else is a waste of our energies and precious resources. Not saying that activists shouldn't still work on their primary issues but that we have to learn how to integrate our work into the larger framework. We can thank the Occupy movement for helping folks see the light and the value in working in unison. About time for sure.

  • I drive to Pittston tonight for a meeting of the three new committees we've just appointed for Maine Veterans for Peace. I will co-chair the Outreach/Membership committee along with Dan Ellis. Our first task is to divide the work between the three committees and then move it along from there.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Four police officers in the U.S. state of Connecticut have been charged with using race as the primary reason for alleging that people had committed a crime.

Members of the community say racial profiling issues such as this have created fear for the police.

The U.S. government has noticed a growth in these types of civil rights violations by police around the country, and is investigating 17 different law enforcement agencies, all in different cities, for the abuses.


Saturday, February 11, 2012


Hummingbird drone surveillance technology.


On February 5, 2012, President Obama invoked the NDAA, which authorizes the use of military force, and issues an executive order declaring the “threat” of Iran a National Emergency. The video shows this issuance of President Obama'S executive order which declares Iran’s threat to cut off oil supplies a national emergency.

The executive order directs all government agencies to respond immediately to the threat. It further invokes the authority of the 2012 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which gives the President the power to launch military action against any nation without the approval of Congress. Ironically, the State of Emergency order also accuses the Iranian central bank of deceptive banking practices.


My play where I give the 1% a chance to share their side of the story now ready for viewing.

Please welcome Herman and Constance Dollagrabber played by Maine visual artists Ed McCartan and Natasha Mayers.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Aren't they lovely? Each just a bit different but all clustered together enjoying the company of one another. We have so much to learn from them.

Because humans have "big" brains many of us think this makes us better than all the other life forms that we share the planet with. I think we are all connected. I am connected to the birds. The birds are my relatives.

If they perish I will as well.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


The $12 billion a month sinkhole in Afghanistan.

See Lt. Col. Davis story here


On Jan. 31, organic and natural foods giant Whole Foods Market (WFM) once again attacked the Organic Consumers Association, the nation's leading watchdog on organic standards, as being too "hard-line" for insisting that retailers like WFM stop selling, or at least start labeling, billions of dollars worth of so-called "natural" foods in their stores - foods that are laced with unlabeled, hazardous genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.

Whole Foods Market admits in an internal company memo that it sells Monsanto's genetically modified foods, while at the same time they claim to support mandatory GMO (genetically modified organism) labels. So, why don't they set a Truth-in-Labeling policy for their own stores and voluntarily label conventional and "natural" foods containing GMOs or coming from Factory Farms (Confined Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs) where animals are fed genetically modified feed?

Send a letter to Whole Foods here


The U.S. Department of Defense boasts the world's largest military budget. It also is the planet's biggest polluter. With hundreds of military bases around the world, the Pentagon is responsible for more waste than any other corporation or country. And though the contamination is costing lives, the cost to clean up the mess would be an estimated $320 billion dollars.

How come you've likely never heard a mainstream environmental organization mention the Pentagon as the world's biggest polluter? Why don't environmentalists ever talk about the damage that endless war does to plant, animal, and human life on our Mother Earth?


In the February issue of The Sun magazine they have an excellent interview between journalist David Barsamian and economist Richard Wolff (emeritus at the Univ. of Mass-Amherst) and currently visiting professor at The New School in New York City.

Here are just a few of my favorite excerpts:

Barsamian: And employees are working longer hours today, right?

Wolff: That’s right. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (oecd), Americans do more hours of paid labor per year than workers in any other advanced country. That is because, if you don’t earn more per hour, the only way to deliver a better life to your family is by doing more hours of work. So Americans have been pushing themselves, taking second jobs or working full time if they had worked only part time before. We have elderly people coming out of retirement to help their grown children. Teenagers are working on weekends to help pay bills. Americans have committed to an incredible number of work hours per household to try to achieve a rising standard of living. Let’s remember that we are constantly bombarded by advertising telling us that, to be a success, we need a better house, a better car, a better vacation, and a college education for our children. To be financially successful today, most of us have to work crazy hours.

And of course the other thing the American working class has done since the 1970s to keep their consumption rising is take on debt. When your wages don’t go up, and adding a few hours a week isn’t enough, you buy on credit.

In the 1970s we had to develop new mechanisms for providing credit to the masses. Before then the only people who carried credit cards were traveling businessmen with expense accounts, and the only company offering such a card was American Express. But then MasterCard, Visa, and others came along to make credit available to the rest of us, because there was such a hunger on the part of our working class for a better standard of living. American workers started to borrow money on a scale that had never been seen before in any country.

Barsamian: There have been other busts and recessions and depressions throughout U.S. history. How is this one different?

Wolff: This isn’t a typical business cycle. This is the culmination of a thirty-year postponement of what happens when 150 years of steady real-wage increases comes to an end.

Capitalism is an inherently unstable system. I like to tell my students that if they lived with a roommate as unstable as this economic system, they would have moved out long ago. Capitalism is notorious for its ups and downs. We have a whole vocabulary to refer to them: booms and busts; recessions and depressions; upturns and downturns. When people have a lot of words for something, it’s because it’s a frequent phenomenon in their lives.

You would expect that we would know this about capitalism’s history and therefore not believe that we could somehow manage to escape instability. But over the last thirty to forty years we, as a society, have been unwilling to think critically about capitalism. And it shows. We thought we weren’t going to have another crisis like the one we had in the 1930s, or like the one the Japanese have had since 1990. We imagined that these problems were no longer relevant to modern life. So we were unprepared for the mess we’re in. Nothing shows our unpreparedness better than the inability of either President Bush or President Obama to deal with this problem.

So another reason this crisis is so different is that it’s coming at the end of a long period of denial. Let me give you an example: When I began my work as a PhD student in economics, the typical curriculum had a course about the business cycle, to introduce students to the history of economic ups and downs in their own country and others. In 2007 the vast majority of graduate programs in economics had no course on the business cycle at all. We thought we had overcome it, outgrown it. We had come to believe that we were in a new economic system, a mature capitalism, and that we had all the mechanisms to control it.

Barsamian: Is there anything that has surprised you about the Occupy Wall Street movement?

Wolff: Several things. First, the welcome OWS has extended to the labor movement, which has long been far too hesitant to enter into alliances with social movements. Second, its steadfast refusal to be pushed by its enemies — and also some of its friends — into articulating a set of specific demands, as if the demand for a different economic system were somehow “vague.” Instead OWS has held fast to its basic message of 1 percent versus 99 percent.

Barsamian: So who is most to blame for the mess we’re in?

Wolff: We should be beyond blaming the poor or the rich. Everybody did his or her part to contribute to this crisis. The bankers did what bankers do; the working people did what working people do. Everyone tried to make this system work for them. Workers couldn’t pay back their debts for understandable reasons. Employers stopped raising wages because the system allowed them to do it.

When a system has everybody playing more or less by the rules and achieves the level of dysfunction we have now, it’s time to stop looking for scapegoats and understand that the problem is the system itself. It’s driving everyone in it — corporations, individuals, banks, businesses on Main Street, whomever — to act in ways that are bad for the economy as a whole. It’s like when your refrigerator is on the fritz, and the repair person says, “Look, I can fix it, but it’s going to cost you fifty dollars for this, and forty-seven dollars for that, and fifty dollars for that. You can pump money into it, but you’ve gotten twenty years out of this fridge. I think it’s time to move on and get a new one.”

We’re at that stage with capitalism as a system. We need to decide whether it can be fixed or whether we need a new refrigerator.

Barsamian: What immediate steps would you recommend?

Wolff: I would focus on one short-term step that ought to be taken immediately, and one intermediate step that will be harder to take.

Let’s deal with the easy one first: We ought to have a national jobs program to put our unemployed back to work, and we ought to end the plan that has now failed for four and a half years, the plan of Presidents Bush and Obama, which is to provide incentives for the private sector to hire people. Unemployment is as high now as it was three years ago, or worse. It is unconscionable and unethical to stick with a policy of proven failure.

Two and a half years ago President Obama designed a stimu­lus program that was supposed to put people back to work. It offered incentives of various kinds: tax cuts and subsidies that would hopefully lead the private sector to hire more people. It cost roughly $800 billion and was passed by Congress. It didn’t solve the problem. In September 2011 President Obama went on television again to propose yet another stimulus, only this package was half the size of the one before it. Obviously if the first one failed, this one cannot work either.

The solution is for the government to hire people directly. Use every dollar of the program to create government jobs, not to provide incentives, some of which will end up in the hands of executives or shareholders. You want to put people to work? Hire them, and pay them a decent salary. We need day-care centers and programs for the elderly. We could be insulating our homes or building public transportation. In the 1930s the government built national parks, constructed levees in flood-prone areas, and so on. Those projects turned out to be useful for generations to come. It is unconscionable to have millions of people who want to work while one-quarter of our productive capacity — factories, machines, and tools — sits idle. When we have unemployed workers, unused tools, and unused raw materials, we’re losing out. So a jobs program ought to be enabled right away.

But more important than that, and a bit more far-reaching, is the need to democratize our enterprises. Right now the majority of people come to work Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and use their brains and muscles to operate equipment provided by the employer to produce a good or a service, which the employer then sells for as much money as he or she can. All the decisions in this arrangement are made by a tiny group of people. In most corporations that group is the board of directors: fifteen to twenty people who decide what to produce, how and where to produce it, and what to do with the profits. And who selects these people? The major shareholders, another group of fifteen to twenty people. The vast majority of working people have no voice. If the board of directors and major shareholders decide to close down a factory in Ohio and move those jobs to China, all the people in the community who depend on that employer are going to suffer. But we permit that decision to be made by a tiny minority. In a democracy the people who have to live with the consequences of a decision ought to participate in making it.

What if the employees themselves ran these enterprises? How would that work? Maybe Monday through Thursday you would do the job you always did. On Friday you would come to work and sit in meetings with the other workers, making decisions democratically. You would collectively decide what to produce, how and where to produce it, and what to do with the profits.

If we’d had such an arrangement in the 1970s, the workers would not have stopped raising their own wages, so the whole credit-card borrowing frenzy could have been avoided. Would those workers have destroyed their own jobs by moving production overseas? Highly unlikely. Would those workers have employed technologies that pollute the local environment? I don’t think so, because they live there. They’re not going to risk their health and the health of their families the way that a board of directors living many miles away might. Would they have used the profits to speculate in risky derivatives? I doubt it. Would they have allowed some managers to earn astronomical salaries while the rest of the workers didn’t get raises? No. In fact, every part of our economic history over the last thirty years would have been radically improved if we’d had a different way of organizing our enterprises — not the top-down, undemocratic, and bureaucratic arrangement of corporations today, but a much more cooperative, collective, community-focused method that is democratic at its core.

For a country that prides itself on its commitment to democracy, we have always had a terrible gap between the private and public sectors. The most important activity of an adult’s life in this country is work. It’s what we do five days out of every seven. If democracy belongs anywhere, it belongs in the workplace. Yet we accept, as if it were a given, that once we cross the threshold of our store, factory, or office, we give up all democratic rights. If this agreement at least delivered a rising standard of living, it might make sense that people would accept it. But now we have an economic system that imposes an undemocratic workplace and doesn’t deliver a decent economy in exchange.

Barsamian: Do you think we can reform the system but keep it intact?

Wolff: Reform is what was accomplished the last time the economy collapsed, in the 1930s. Reforms are never secure. The banking reforms of the Depression were later repealed. The taxes on corporations and the rich were later sharply reduced. The federal employment programs were ended. Social Security benefits are now being cut. When reforms are not accompanied by a reorganization of enterprises, they leave power in the hands of people who have the incentive and the resources to undo those reforms. Major shareholders and their boards of directors use profits to buy the political power needed to undo the reforms that mass movements manage to win. Thinking people are already saying no to reform proposals. Systemic change must now be on the agenda, just as the Occupy Wall Street movement suggests.

Barsamian: Capitalism is resilient. It’s been up against the ropes before and bounced back. Can’t it do that now?

Wolff: No one ever knows — despite grandiose claims to the contrary — when an economic system has accumulated so many problems that its survival is no longer possible. Every economic system has made it through crises. It’s only reasonable to expect capitalism to do the same. Capitalism survived the Depression in the 1930s. But today’s circumstances are quite different. This is a deep and long-lasting crisis with global impact. Although I cannot predict whether a tipping point has been reached, I am glad that the question of whether capitalism continues to serve people’s needs is now on the minds of millions worldwide. That is a long-overdue development.


  • The peace group SPARK (Solidarity for Peace & Reunification of Korea) had some of its offices raided yesterday by the CIA in South Korea. The right-wing government of President Lee has once again used the anachronistic "National Security Law" (that originated during the Japanese imperial occupation of Korea) as justification to grab the computers of the organization. One must wonder if in this case the great work of SPARK to defend the Gangjeong villagers on Jeju Island is one reason for this attack? SPARK is an affiliated group of the Global Network and is always one of the leading support groups present in the various villages across South Korea whenever lands are being stolen for new or expanding U.S. military bases or training fields.
  • Another sad example of the authoritarian Lee government's harassment of people exercising their right to protest is the Asian Human Rights Commission report about more than one hundred villagers in Gangjeong facing legal action for peaceful demonstrations. The South Korean government is being investigated by the Human Rights Commission because of their arbitrary arrest and detention of citizens for assembly and demonstration. The Human Rights Commission is asking for letters to be written on behalf of Gangjeong villagers to the following South Korean government officials:


1. Mr. Lee Myung-Bak
1 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu
Seoul, 110-820
Fax: +82 2 770 4751
E-mail: or or

2. Mr. Kwon Jea-Jin
Minister of Justice
88 Gwanmon-ro, Gwachon-si
Gyonggi Province 427-760
Tel: +82 2 503 7023
Fax: +82 2 2110 3079 / 503 7046

3. Mr. Han Sang-Dea
Prosecutor General
Supreme Prosecutor's Office
1730-1, Seocho3-dong
Seocho-gu, Seoul
Fax: +82 2 3480 2555
Tel: +82 2 3480 2000

4. Mr. Maeng Hyeong-Gyu
Ministry of Public Administration and Security
77-6 Sejongno Jongno-gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 2 2100 3399
E-mail: or

5. Mr. Kim Kwan-Jin
Ministry of National Defense
No. 1, Yongsan-dong 3-ga
Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 2 748 1111
Fax: +82 2 748 6895

6. Mr. Oo Geun-Min
The government of Jeju-do
312-1, Yeon-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Fax: +82 64 710 3009

You can see the full Asian Human Rights Commission report here

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


This was constructed almost entirely using government/military animations, videos, images and photos. The narrative is sourced from government quotes from start to finish.

It unveils the governments numerous and ongoing programs related to A.I., "NBIC", the "Global Information Grid", nanotechnology, biotechnology, autonomous drones, "naval sea-bases", space weapons, weather modification... or more directly: domestic and global totalitarian technological domination.

Your $$$$$ is paying for the research, development, testing, and deployment of these technologies that will ultimately be used by the corporate oligarchy to kill or enslave you.


The World Socialist Web Site yesterday carried this story:

A report by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) has found that the US Central Intelligence Agency deliberately attacked rescue workers and funeral processions in follow-up strikes after drone missile attacks on insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The findings were made public on the group’s web site and published by the Sunday Times of London.

According to the organization, which includes British and Pakistani journalists, at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes while they were attempting to help victims of an initial CIA drone attack. Dozens more were killed by missile strikes against the funerals of victims of drone attacks.

Overall, the group found that “since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed, including more than 60 children.” Pakistani officials and humanitarian aid workers have reported much higher figures for the death toll in Pakistan’s tribal areas, as many as several thousand.

Experts on international law have characterized these follow-up drone missile strikes as war crimes. Clive Stafford Smith, who has fought for the release of many innocent men held in Guantanamo Bay, told BIJ the drone strikes “are like attacking the Red Cross on the battlefield. It’s not legitimate to attack anyone who is not a combatant.”

Christof Heyns, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, told the group: “Allegations of repeat strikes coming back after half an hour when medical personnel are on the ground are very worrying. To target civilians would be crimes of war.”

It's obvious why Obama is not concerned about this bad news. Just this morning the Washington Post carried a story entitled Poll finds broad support for Obama’s counter-terrorism policies. The article reveals that a new "Post-ABC News poll found that 83 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s drone policy, which administration officials refuse to discuss, citing security concerns.....77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, meaning that Obama is unlikely to suffer any political consequences as a result of his policy in this election year."

The poll also shows that "that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed."

The Denver Post additionally reports that "An alliance has been formed to pursue an unmanned aircraft test range for Colorado, with the likely site being the Front Range Airport near Watkins, it was announced today.

"Joining in the alliance are the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corp., the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., and the Front Range Airport Authority.

"Six new pilot test sites for unmanned aircraft will be determined by the Federal Aviation Administration under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA].

"The FAA and the U.S. Department of Defense will use the test sites to integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace."

This stuff just keeps on coming. It's further evidence that rank-and-file Democrats, who screamed and hollered about Bush the evil killer, now look the other way in large numbers when their man is in the White House. It's pure and simple hypocrisy. You might call it "tactical peace activism" - joining the call against war (and drones) only when a Republican is firing the missiles.

This solid factual base strongly reinforces my claim yesterday that any "progressive" worth their weight in salt could/would/should not support the magician for reelection. But the numbers cited above tell us that many of our so-called peace allies in the Democratic Party (including the self identified "liberals") not only are willing to vote for Obama but more importantly APPROVE of his drone killing policies and Guantanamo prison camp policies.

An email from Colorado activist Bob Kinsey today sums it all up well when he says:

Could we take a note from the "social conservatives" and say that our first amendment rights to religious freedom are being co-opted by an out of control government that is spending money for something our leader, the peaceful Jesus, commands us not to do? "Peter put away your sword!" "Choose Life!" etc.

It's a mind blower for sure!