Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Monday, April 30, 2012


My public access TV interview in Portland, Oregon.  Interview was on the show sponsored by the Alliance for Democracy.  Was filmed last week.


Veterans For Peace is going international.  A chapter has just begun in the United Kingdom.  Good job lads.  There is more yet to come.

This is a clear indication that the resistance to war is increasingly becoming globalized and working in a cooperative way.  It's the perfect antidote to the cancerous NATO and globalized capital.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Activists, lawyers, human rights advocates, civil liberties defenders and others came together for a major international summit on drone warfare and the issues created by drone use yesterday in Washington DC.

The summit was co-organized by CODEPINK, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Reprieve. An exceptional lineup of speakers addressed participants detailing salient and significant aspects around the Obama administration’s expansion of the covert drone wars in countries like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

See more here



Mike McCormick interviewed me very early yesterday morning on KEXP radio in Seattle.  He also filmed the interview.  Here it is....I was barely awake after not getting to bed til midnight the night before.


Leah Bolger is the new national president of Veterans For Peace.  She talks about her recent arrest and trial for speaking out at a hearing of the Congressional "Super committee" last fall.

She also speaks eloquently about the need to shut down the wasteful war machine.


I really enjoyed my time at Soul Food Books in Redmond yesterday.  Frankly I'd never heard of Redmond before, but it turns out to be the community where Microsoft Corp. employs 30,000 people just outside of Seattle.

I sat on a chair on the stage after one of the owners and another man played a couple of songs to warm things us.  Most of the chairs in the room were filled and I saw people throughout the book store/coffee shop/community center listening and that included both guys working behind the counter who each had a question during the Q & A.

Sarah, the other co-owner, told a heart warming story when she introduced me.  As it turns out she grew up in Idaho and was just a small kid in 1997 when NASA launched the Cassini space probe with deadly plutonium on-board.  Her father was supporting our opposition to the launch and that is how she knew about it.  But she was most worried about ET getting home safely.  She had just seen the movie ET and was terribly concerned that the Cassini launch would knock out ET's rescue mission.  Her father though told her not to worry because the good folks opposing the Cassini launch would not let anything happen to ET.  Just goes to show that you never know how far and wide these campaigns we organize can travel.

I get tired of doing the same talk day after day so yesterday was an example of how I switch things up depending on the local situation.  After hearing Sarah's amazing story I began by talking about our Cassini campaign and I focused on NASA's own Environmental Impact Statement that said if there was a worst case launch accident and release of the toxic plutonium that they'd have to remove all the people within a 60-mile radius.  Then they'd have to go back in and remove all the buildings, the vegetation, the animals, and finally the top 1/2 inch of soil because everything would be radioactive for thousands of years.

Imagine then a host of these launches in the coming years as the nuclear industry puts nuclear powered mining colonies on the Moon. Mars, and asteroids. The aerospace industry intends to carry this bad seed of war, greed, and environmental degradation into the heavens.

The New York Times ran a story this past week that "a company called Planetary Resources Inc. will unveil its plans to mine asteroids that zip close by Earth, both to provide supplies for future interplanetary travelers and to bring back precious metals such as platinum. The venture may sound far-fetched, but it has already attracted some big-name investors, including Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google, as well as profitable technology development contracts."

International space law (United Nations Moon Treaty and Outer Space Treaty) currently maintain that no country, no corporation, nor individual can claim ownership of any planetary body.  Thus these "start up" companies hoping to claim the rights to mine the sky must first re-write present space law and their lawyers are working on doing just that.

The reason international space law was created was to try to prevent the mad rush to control space resources that would inevitably lead to conflicts.  Just like after Columbus "discovered" the new world, all the European sea powers were soon cutting each others throats trying to control the resources and markets that were then available.  Without some kind of law to prevent such a "gold rush" the same thing will happen again in space.

One of the jobs of the Pentagon's Space Command in the coming years will be to create a militarized highway between the Earth and the planetary bodies so that the military industrial complex can control who gets into space and who does not.

In the 1989 report to Congress called Military Space Forces: The Next 50 Years congressional staffer John Collins suggested that with military forces controlling the "Earth-Moon gravity well" that the U.S. would be able to "hijack rival shipments upon return" thus allowing complete control and domination of space.

After years of taxpayer investment in NASA's space technology infrastructure Obama has accelerated the privatization of the space program.  Soon these aerospace industry corporations will begin to mine the sky and bills are set to be introduced in Congress to make their profits tax exempt.  The bad seed of greed is indeed being planted in space.

Read more here:


I've been playing this song at the end of several of my recent talks. It is a powerful song and brings tears to my eyes each time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


It was bound to end in disaster: two ideologues, one a communist and the other a neo-conservative, “do battle” over a skype link from a house in England where Assange is held under house arrest.

“You are a supporter of the closest thing we have to Nazism, which was a utopian idea, in the Middle-East! You support the Palestinians!” rails Horowitz in his opening statement. “I don't see anything to distinguish the Palestinians, who want to kill the Jews, from the Nazis.” It becomes clear almost immediately that, perhaps, this debate will generate more heat than light. But Žižek is in no mood to get burned, at one point needing to be physically restrained by Assange. Both sides accuse the other of being Nazis, and further accusations flung at public figures. Horowitz doesn't hold his tongue:

“Europe is a cultural theme park. It is insignificant. That's what the welfare state did — it took Europe out of the picture ... The Swedes have no morals”

His choicest morsels of opprobrium are reserved for Obama, however: “You've got a leftist in the White House, a guy who was brought up and trained by communists, whose whole political career was in the communist left”. This point is the most contested by Žižek: “In what meaningful sense is [Obama] a communist?”

Horowitz: "The United States is crippled in part because the Commander-in-Chief is a leftist!"

Žižek: "Here I respectfully disagree... if the United States still have a certain attraction and so on to the world, it is because of people like Obama!"

The circus continues, but perhaps the sanest moment lies in Žižek's last words, as the credits roll: “This was madness”.


This article is written by S. Brian Willson, VFP Member of Chapter 056 in Humboldt Bay, CA 

U.S. And South Korea Assault An Idyllic Island: Not For The First Time 

The beautiful island of Jeju in South Korea is packed with natural and cultural treasures and designated a UNESCO world heritage site. But it has the misfortune of appearing to the U.S. military strategically positioned to play a part in surrounding China.

Most Americans are unaware of Jeju or of the U.S. policy of increasing its military presence in Korea, Japan, and the rest of the Pacific -- even moving the Marines into Australia. But for the people of Jeju, attempting to nonviolently resist the construction of a new military base, there is an eerie sense of déjà vu.

In fact Jeju's history is central to how the United States became the militarized nation it has been for over half a century.

Veterans for Peace (VFP) recently sent members to Jeju to monitor the local resistance to this militarization, but they were refused entry by Korean security officials who gave no reasons other than following orders. VFP represents thousands of U.S. military veterans who have participated in various overt and covert U.S. interventions violating the sovereignty of countless countries. This aggressive foreign policy, little mentioned in our history classes, has caused incalculable harm to people, cultures, and the environment. Our personal experiences summon us to carefully re-examine the nature and patterns of U.S. foreign policy. Our clear understanding of past and present imperial adventures compel us to passionately and tenaciously oppose further militarism, war and aggression which we see as severe obstacles to the continuation of our species.

 In examining U.S. interventions since World War II, historian William Blum has recently catalogued the following disgraceful record: (1) attempted overthrow of more than 50 governments; (2) attempted suppression of populist and nationalist movements in 20 countries; (3) interference in democratic elections in at least 30 countries; (4) bombing of citizens in 30 countries; and (5) attempted assassinations of more than 50 foreign political leaders.

Shockingly, when all the empirical evidence is scrutinized, the U.S. has militarily intervened nearly 400 times since World War II in nearly 100 countries, while covertly intervening thousands of times. Millions of human beings have been murdered, maimed, and displaced as a result of this egregious, unlawful behavior. Adherence to international and Constitutional law, and honest diplomacy, have been thwarted over and over.

One of the darkest, virtually unknown chapters of U.S. intervention occurred in the southern portions of Korea prior to the Korean War. In 1945, a Joint U.S. Army-Navy Intelligence Study reported that the vast majority of Koreans possessed a strong desire for independence and self-rule, and were vehemently opposed to control by any successor to the hated Japanese who had ruled them since 1910. A subsequent U.S. study reported that nearly 80 percent of Koreans wanted a socialist, rather than capitalist system.

Despite the conclusions of these internal documents, U.S. President Harry Truman, after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, imposed a purportedly temporary partition at Korea’s 38th Parallel dividing a 5,000-year homogenous culture. He then commanded U.S. General Douglas MacArthur to “govern” the people living south of the 38th Parallel. In October 1945, needing a trusted Korean with “an [U.S.] American point of view” to be the U.S. strongman, MacArthur flew 71-year-old Korean-born Syngman Rhee from the U.S. to Seoul on MacArthur’s personal plane. Rhee, a Methodist who had lived in the United States for 40 years, was to be a surrogate ruler of Korea that was largely Buddhist and Confucianist.

Rhee unilaterally chose to hold separate elections in 1948 to “legally” create an artificially divided Korea, despite vigorous popular opposition throughout the Peninsula, north and south of the 38th Parallel, including residents of Cheju Island (now called Jeju, hereafter identified as such). What is referred to as the April 3 (1948) uprising on Jeju in response to these elections, actually lasted into 1950, and is the single greatest massacre in modern Korean history. The Jeju uprising in 1948 may be seen as a microcosm for the impending Korean War.

A CIA National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Rhee was so unpopular that the newly-established Republic of Korea (ROK) would not survive “without massive infusion of U.S. aid.”

The U.S. Embassy described the repression in response to the Jeju opposition to Rhee as a “scorched earth” campaign of “extermination.” Secret protocols placed all Korean Constabulary, police, ROK forces, and paramilitary units under USAMGIK’s (United States Army Military Government In Korea) control.

CIA documents concluded that politics under the USAMGIK and Rhee regime were dominated by a tiny elite class of wealthy Koreans who repressed dissent of the vast majority, using “ruthlessly brutal” policies similar to those of the previous Japanese machinery hated by most Koreans.

Then U.S. Military Governor of Korea, John Reed Hodge, briefed U.S. Congressional Representatives that “Cheju was a truly communal area that is peacefully controlled by the People’s Committee.” Despite this understanding, he commanded three U.S. military officers (among others) – Colonel Harley E. Fuller, Captain John P. Reed, and Captain James Hausman – to advise and coordinate the “extermination” and “scorched earth” campaign. Koreans who had collaborated with the hated Japanese occupiers now served in the U.S.-trained Korean Constabulary and police. Right wing paramilitary units became a brutal element of Rhee’s security apparatus. U.S. advisers accompanied all Korean Constabulary and police (and additional ROK units after 1948) in ground campaigns; U.S. pilots flew C-47s to ferry troops, weapons, war materiel while occasionally directing bombings; and U.S. intelligence officers provided daily intelligence. Additionally U.S. Navy war ships, including the USS Craig, blockaded and bombed the Island, preventing supplies and additional opposition forces from arriving, while preventing flight of boatloads of desperate Islanders.

Hodge’s successor, General William Roberts, declared it was of “utmost importance” that dissenters “be cleared up as soon as possible.” The repressive Japanese organization, “National League To Provide Guidance” (Bo Do Yun Maeng), was expanded by the Rhee regime. Used to systematically identify any Koreans who had opposed Japanese occupation, the League now worked to identify those who opposed the de facto brutal U.S./Rhee rule. Thousands were murdered, jailed, and tortured, and many dumped into the sea as a result.

The Governor of Jeju at the time admitted that the repression of the Island’s 300,000 residents led to the murder of as many as 60,000 Islanders, with another 40,000 desperately fleeing in boats to Japan. Thus, one-third of its residents were either murdered or fled during the “extermination” campaign. Nearly 40,000 homes were destroyed and 270 of 400 villages were leveled. One of Robert’s cohorts, Colonel Rothwell Brown, claimed that the Islanders were simply “ignorant, uneducated farmers and fishers,” a weak excuse for repressing those who, Brown asserted, refused to recognize the “superiority” of the “American Way.”

U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and George Kennan, head of the State Department’s Policy Planning, agreed in 1949 that suppression of the internal threat in South Korea, (i.e., Koreans’ passion for self-determination), with assistance of the newly created CIA, was critical to preserving Rhee’s power, and assuring success of the U.S.’s worldwide containment policy. The 1949 Chinese Revolution made repressing the neighboring Korean’s passion for self-determination indispensable for success in the emerging “Cold War,” complementing successful U.S. efforts using CIA covert actions to thwart any socialist movements in Europe following World War II.

The 1949-50 National Security Council study, known as NSC-68, laid out U.S. aims to assure a global political system to “foster a world environment in which the American system can survive and flourish.”

The Korean War that lasted from June 1950 to July 1953, was an enlargement of the 1948-50 struggle of Jeju Islanders to preserve their self-determination from the tyrannical rule of U.S.-supported Rhee and his tiny cadre of wealthy constituents. Little known is that the U.S.-imposed division of Korea in 1945 against the wishes of the vast majority of Koreans was the primary cause of the Korean War that broke out five years later. The War destroyed by bombing most cities and villages in Korea north of the 38th Parallel, and many south of it, while killing four million Koreans – three million (one-third) of the north’s residents and one million of those living in the south, in addition to killing one million Chinese. This was a staggering international crime still unrecognized that killed five million people and permanently separated 10 million Korean families.

Following the Korean War, Dean Acheson concluded that “Korea saved us,” enabling the U.S. to implement its apocalyptic imperial strategy laid out in NSC-68. In Korea, this meant that the U.S. consistently assured dictatorial governments for nearly 50 years, long after Rhee was forced out of office at age 85 in 1960. Since 1953, the U.S. and South Korea have lived under a Mutual Defense Treaty, Status of Forces Agreements, and a Combined Forces Command headed by a 4-star U.S. general. The fact is that despite claims to the contrary, Korea has never assumed sovereignty since the U.S. imposed division of Korea in 1945. The U.S. has possessed more than 100 military bases and nearly 50,000 troops on Korean soil, and even today has dozens of bases and 28,000 troops stationed there. For decades, the U.S. maintained its main Asian bombing range south of Seoul.

Despite this gruesome history, Koreans began to successfully assert some semblance of democratic governments in the 1990s. However, despite creation of a constitution that protects free speech and basic human rights, Koreans once again are experiencing egregious repression. The Korean residents of pristine Jeju Island vigorously oppose the construction of a deep-water port to host Korean and U.S. guided missile-equipped Aegis Destroyers at the village of Gangjeong. The South Korean government headed by reactionary President Lee Myung Bak is ruthlessly repressing their legitimate, constitutionally-protected free speech. This is not acceptable. The residents of Jeju have a long history of living in peace and harmony. They were brutalized in the late 1940s for wanting independence, and are being brutalized once again for attempting to preserve self-determination. It is déjà vu.

We have been following the daily brutal repression by as many as 1,500 Korean police and security forces of Jeju’s 1,500 residents whose voices of passionate and nonviolent opposition have been completely ignored. When we called the Korean Embassy in Washington, D.C. to ask why this deep-water port construction continues in Gangjeong over objections of more than 90 percent of its residents, the answer has been, “Don’t call us, call your own (U.S.) government.” Political pressure from the U.S. continues to interfere with sovereignty of the Korean people as their own government disrespects, then represses, the free speech of its own citizens despite protections inscribed in the Korean constitution.

We read reports in the Korean press of more than 2600 politicians, journalists and civilians being secretly, illegally spied upon during the current Lee administration. In January 2009, Korea Broadcasting Service (KBS) aired a program that disclosed a secret deal made by the CIA-style Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), Korean police, and components of the Jeju Island government, to quash any opposition movement to the planned construction of a Jeju deep-water military port, saying such opponents are, in effect, traitors. It is being built by the huge South Korea conglomerate, Samsung, despite watchdog Public Eye citing its 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.”

And we note that the NIS has raided Korean citizens and organizations, even on the mainland, who support the valiant villagers of Gangjeong on Jeju Island who resist the militarization of their Island, of their coastline, of their villages.

The stakes are much higher now that U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen a dangerous policy to militarize the Asia-Pacific region, due to obvious U.S. political intentions to encircle resource-rival China. Jeju, only 300 miles from China’s mainland, is located in a strategic sea route between Japan, Korea, and China. Obama recently dispatched U.S. troops to a northern port of Australia (2,500 miles from China) as part of this plan, while possessing existing jet landing strips in Okinawa (400 miles), Guam (1,900), and new landing bases in Afghanistan (1,000) and Turkmenistan (1,500), and increased strategic relationships with Singapore (1,200) and Philippines (750).

The immensely biodiverse Jeju Island is a most inappropriate location for a deep-water port to host highly armed U.S. and Korean Navy war ships. Former Korean President Roh Moo Kyum designated Jeju as “Jeju Island of Global Peace” when he formally apologized for the April 1948 massacre. A popular tourist vacation spot, famous for honeymooners and sometimes called “women’s Island” due to its matriarchal history, it is also called the “Island of the Gods.” It is Jeju’s incredible unique ecosystem that makes the island so inappropriate for militarizing a deep-water port in quiet coastal village of Gangjeong. It is sheer madness to blow up sacred lava rocks to make way for violent war machines. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated no less than three World Heritage sites on Jeju, including the Gureombi Lava Rocks being blown up for construction of the Navy destroyer port that are being covered with cement along the coast. UNESCO has also designated nine Geo-Parks on Jeju, as well as designating it as a protected Global Biosphere Reserve that includes Jeju coastlines and its fragile coral reefs.

The Korean government has claimed the deep-water port will also host commercial cruise ships. Their huge weight and 1,000-foot length makes them twice as heavy and long as the 500-550 foot Aegis Destroyers. The port will not be capable of hosting these tourist ships, revealing this dual-use claim as fanciful propaganda.

Our military experiences tell us this plan by Korea and the U.S. to host missile-equipped Aegis Destroyers as part of its global anti-ballistic missile system on the pristine Island of Jeju is extremely threatening to world peace, destroys the peace of the residents of Jeju and Gangjeong village, and flaunts Korea’s Constitutional assurances of protecting free speech of its citizens. We urge the Korean government act decisively to end its continued deference to pressures from the United States, and instead commence pursuing Korea’s legitimate dignity and sovereignty.


When I arrived at the Mount Baker theater last night in Bellingham I was just a bit surprised to see my name in lights flashing on the marquee.  The talk was well attended and capped off a very nice visit with activists there.  Old friends from Florida, John & Dorie Belisle who live just outside of town on an apple farm, came to the talk and it was exciting to see them again.  They had sponsored me here some years ago when I first visited Bellingham.

After the talk was over Mike Jacobsen drove me to Seattle and we arrived about 11:30 pm.  I was taken to an empty house where I will be staying for three nights.  I had to get up early this morning as I was scheduled to do a half-hour live radio interview on a popular local station.

The host of the KEXP radio show remembered hearing me speak last time I was in Seattle and told me that when he is able to find any radio interviews I've done with other stations he likes to put them on his weekend public affairs show.  It's always good to know that someone is out there paying attention.

I'm washing my clothes now and preparing to get ready for a 1:00 pm talk today in nearby Redmond at Soul Food Books.  Then I am off for the rest of the day.  On Sunday I do my big speech here in Seattle at the University Temple United Methodist Church at 4:00 pm.  This event is being sponsored by a host of local groups including the United Nations Assn, Veterans For Peace, and Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.

Just a note: last night I saw that Father Moon was back on the streets again in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island.  A photo showed him, with cast on his broken wrist after his near tragic fall from a tetra pod, laying under a construction vehicle trying to block its entry into the Navy base construction area.  I can't imagine that his three broken vertebrae are yet healed but this remarkable 71 year old Catholic priest refuses to be deterred.  That is an example for all of us to follow.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Mike Jacobsen went to Jeju Island for three weeks and returned one week ago.  He is a member of Veterans For Peace in Bellingham, Washington.  I am staying at his home while here.  It's fun hearing Mike talk about his trip that came after the first three VFP members we sent over there were thrown out of the country by the South Korean government.

Yesterday, soon after arriving here, Mike took me to Western Washington University where I did a late afternoon talk.  From there I was taken to dinner with three other members of the local VFP chapter.

This morning I was lucky to be able to go to their VFP chapter's weekly Friday morning breakfast at a local joint.  About a dozen members of the Bellingham chapter were there and we had some great discussion about endless war and organizing strategies.

For lunch today we will be hosted by chapter member Gene Marx at his home.  Not yet heard plans for dinner.  But I am enjoying eating my way across Bellingham.  I speak tonight at 7:00 pm and then Mike will drive me the two hours south back to Seattle where I will be kept busy over the following three days.

The big talk here is about a proposed coal train (carrying strip mined coal) that would run from Montana and Wyoming to this part of Washington state where it would then be loaded on ships and taken to China.  In Oregon and here in Washington folks are strongly opposed to the plan and are organizing to stop it. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Bring Our War $$ Home art show in Maine

I am sitting in a coffee shop in downtown Seattle drinking English breakfast tea, a block from the Amtrak station.  Leonard Eiger, from the anti-nuke group Ground Zero, is meeting me in a bit to take me to an art show by Gillchun Ko from Jeju Island who is displaying his work in a nearby gallery.  Timing worked out nicely.  Leonard has been one of the key organizers for my several days of events here in Seattle this weekend. But first I head to Bellingham later today where I speak at a local college at 4:00 pm and tomorrow night at 7:00 pm in a community event.

My time went well yesterday in Walla Walla.  Was able to speak to enviro students and show a Jeju video.  Had dinner with another group of enviro students.  Nice to be able to drop that "little" known fact that the Pentagon is the world's biggest polluter and has the largest carbon boot print on the planet.  At my talk during the evening one environmental professor took umbrage at my critique of Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific and stated that we had to vote for him in November otherwise bad things will happen.  I used that as an opportunity to introduce the story about Chicago's Crown family (big time stockholders in General Dynamics) giving the magician $500,000 in campaign donations in 2008 and additionally raising funds for him within the military industrial complex.

After Obama won the election Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine reported that he got more campaign $$$ from the weapons industry than the Republican war hawk John McCain did.  The magician rewarded General Dynamics by moving their Navy Aegis destroyers, outfitted with "missile defense" systems, to the head of the line as preferred options for surrounding Russia and China.  One has to reward their chief donors you know.

I rode the light rail system from the Seattle airport into downtown.  Very smooth ride, passing cars alongside the freeway, a model for all big cities.

Build it and they will come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I was up early this morning to catch a ride from Olympia, Washington to the Seattle airport where I fly to Whitman College in Walla Walla. I speak to an environmental class in the early afternoon and then have a more formal talk in the evening. Tomorrow morning I will have a very early flight back to Seattle. From there I take a train north to Bellingham where I will spend two days being hosted by Veterans For Peace.

Whitman College is paying for the flight to get me out to southeastern Washington for the talk in Walla Walla. All along this trip I’ve had virtually no travel expenses – I think I’ve only had to buy one $27 train segment from Berkeley to Sacramento.

Last night I spoke to a good gathering of folks at the local Traditions Café that is an institution in Olympia. The talk was video taped and will be posted on various web sites in that community and well as on cable access TV. I had a nice rest while there although last night I had a hell of a time falling to sleep after having a glass of red wine following my talk. So this morning I woke up wishing I had not had the wine or was able to stay in bed longer.

I was driven to Seattle airport this morning by Glen Anderson who has maintained a weekly peace vigil in Olympia for the past 32 years.  That is quite a feat.  Dedication and stick-to-it-iveness for sure.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I've posted this before on this blog but have found the need to watch it over and over because Yang Yoon-Mo has so much to say. He is very deep and his words are really important. He was on a hunger strike last summer for 75 days while in jail. Then more recently he was arrested again for blocking a Navy base destruction vehicle and did another 50-some day hunger strike. He is out of jail now and I heard he is being taken care of by nuns.


Mainstream media struggles to talk about U.S. killing in Afghanistan.

Scott Camil (Veterans For Peace) from Gainesville, Florida carries the day.

Monday, April 23, 2012



Zainab al-Khawaja is in jail, arrested after peacefully sitting on the road leading to the Formula One circuit last night. Zainab's father, Abdulhadi AlKhawaja is in the 74th day of his hunger strike in a Bahrain prison. He was sentenced to life for standing up for human rights and democracy in his country. His health has seriously deteriorated and he is not expected to last much longer.... from Huwaida Arraf
There is a big U.S. Navy base in Bahrain. That is why we've heard nothing from the Obama administration when it comes to defending the people there who are revolting against a monarchical dictatorship. In fact it is likely that the CIA is working against the uprising.

These stories keep reminding us of the presence of U.S. Naval bases.  They are the tip of the spear of empire.


  • Students have been walking around Jeju Island in support of the Gangjeong villagers.  It appears to me that the numbers of Koreans from the mainland who are supporting the villagers is quickly growing.  This is such good news.  What we do around the rest of the world to help the cause will strengthen those inside of South Korea.  We must join hands around Mother Earth if we hope to defeat corporate globalization and its quest for military control of all of us so it can plunder what is left of the planet.
  • I went for an hour walk today.  Holly's house overlooks an inlet of Puget Sound and it is very wooded along the road by her home.  In the distance you can hear the ever present rumble of a major highway full of cars.  We are still doing so little to get ourselves out of these machines even though gas prices keep rising and we know that climate change is staring us in the face.  While in Oregon people told me they had more rain last month than ever before.  All along this trip people are talking about crazy weather patterns.
  • I talked with my son Julian today.  He mentioned his idea of banning cars which I heard with great joy.  I am so proud of the person he has become and how he is trying to integrate what he has learned in the debate world over all these years into his own life and the world as well.  It's a real hard time for his generation and he understands that as well as anyone.  I think the lesson for all of us is to keep reaching out and developing real community so we can help each other along the rocky path in the coming years.  Going it alone (one more example of the "Business Model") ain't gonna cut it.
  • I feel lucky to be doing what I do and I never stop thanking the great spirit for that gift.  I am trying hard to give it all I have and to remember that I am doing it so that Julian, and those who come after him, have a chance for survival.  There is no more important job for me - or for you. 


The Columbia University (New York City) protests of 1968 were among the many student demonstrations that occurred around the world in that year. The Columbia protests erupted over the spring of that year after students discovered links between the university and the institutional apparatus supporting the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, as well as their concern over a gymnasium to be built in the nearby Morningside Park in Harlem. The protests resulted in the student occupation of many university buildings and their eventual violent removal by the New York City Police Department.

The speech just after the 32 minute mark is particularly important for its relevance today.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


  • News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal and Fox News 
  • Walt Disney, which owns ABC News and ESPN 
  • NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast and includes NBC News 
  • Allbritton, which owns several TV stations and Politico 
  • Gannett Broadcasting, a division of Gannett, which owns USA Today 
  • Post-Newsweek Stations, the broadcast division of The Washington Post Co. 
  • Belo Cos., which owns 20 TV stations 
  • Cox Media Group, which owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Austin American-Statesman and other newspapers and TV stations 
  • Dispatch Broadcast Group, which owns Ohio and Indiana TV stations 
  • Barrington Broadcasting Group, which owns several TV stations around the country 
  • The E.W. Scripps Co., which owns TV stations and newspapers, including The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn. 
  • Hearst Television Inc., which owns 29 stations 
  • Raycom Media, which owns TV stations 
  • Schurz Communications, which owns newspapers and TV stations nationwide 


  • I am at Union Station in Portland, Oregon waiting for my train to Olympia, Washington.  It's been a good couple of days here as my host Celeste Howard has kept me busy speaking at three different churches (two Unitarian and one Presbyterian) and at Pacific University.  In addition I've done a second interview on KBOO radio and an interview on public access TV sponsored by the local chapter of Alliance for Democracy.  So I feel that my message has gone out far and wide here and am grateful for the efforts made by Celeste to schedule a good mix of events.
  • Mike Hastie, one of the three members of Veterans for Peace who we tried to send to Jeju Island but was forced to immediately return home by the South Korean authorities, came to both of my talks yesterday.  In the middle of my speech, where I talk about the Navy base issue on Jeju, I asked Mike to stand and share his story.  It was sad to think he was so close to reaching Jeju.  He was seated on the plane going from Seoul to Jeju but was pulled off just before the plane took off.  He was held in a detention center inside the airport for some time and was never given any reason for his treatment other than, "You are not welcome in Korea."  In a way though it was a supreme complement to all of those who have been working so hard to internationalize resistance to the Navy base on Jeju.
  • They have an extensive public transit system here in Portland.  Many years ago my Florida friend John Hedrick had visited here and noticed they let people ride for free in the downtown area.  He brought this idea back to Orlando were I worked with him for several years organizing the People's Transit Organization that was over time successful in forcing Orlando to double their public transit funding.  Since that time I've always been a devotee of mass transit - and during this speaking tour I've made special effort to compare the jobs created by investing $1 billion in building rail systems (19,675) verses spending the same amount of money on military production which creates far fewer jobs per billion dollars (8,600).  That's a huge difference and I've made the case over and again that such use of our tax dollars not only would benefit labor unions, but would also help the environmental groups in a small way solve for the coming ravages of climate change and reduce the need to go to endless war for oil.  The conversion of the military industrial complex is a unifying theme - a transformative demand that we should be making over and over again.
  • I get a day off tomorrow in Olympia.  I'll be staying at the home of GN board member Holly Gwinn Graham who has arranged for me to speak on April 24 at 6:30 pm inside the popular Traditions Cafe.  Still another nine days to go.  I am having a good time and really enjoying meeting so many great activists along the west coast.  People often ask me where I find my hope and I like to tell them that one key factor is that everywhere you turn wonderful people are working hard to change things.




From my talk in Santa Monica, California on April 4. Thanks to Mansoor Sabbagh, Director of Global Voices for Justice, for filming and editing the video.

Friday, April 20, 2012


The latest census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty — or could be classified as low income. Democracy Now interviews Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, who continue their efforts to spark a national dialog on the poverty crisis with the new book, "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto."

Smiley, an award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, says President Obama has failed to properly tackle poverty. "There seems to be a bipartisan consensus in Washington that the poor just don’t matter. President Obama is a part of that," Smiley says. "I take nothing away from his push on healthcare, but jobs for every American should have been primary issue, number one."

West, a professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University, says that after the historic U.S. struggles against monarchy, slavery and institutionalized racism, "the issue today is oligarchy. Poverty is the new slavery. Oligarchs are the new kings. They’re the new heads of this structure of domination."


Father Moon out of the hospital on Jeju Island

  • My talk in Hood River was well received last night. I've been here three times over the years so I've come to know a few of the people a bit. The host groups were the Columbia River Fellowship for Peace and Occupy the Gorge so it was a nice mix of older activists and some young folks. Many good questions and what like happens so often, I had to stop things at 9:00 pm because I start running out of gas. I was feeling a bit sick last night but my host Linda Short fixed me up with medicinal teas and such and by this morning I felt much better. I also got to sleep late which is a rare treat. Usually I am up around 6:00 am getting ready to make my next travel connection.
  • Today I have until 1:00 pm to just relax. I will be given a ride into Portland where I speak tonight at the First Unitarian Church. My hosts there have kindly decided to put me into a hotel for the next two nights which is most appreciated. Sometimes on a long trip like this it is nice to have some alone time.
  • People in Hood River are quite frustrated with the growth of the local drone manufacturing operation since Boeing bought it. A retired Navy guy (double dipper) has been brought in to run the show. He was a middle man while in the Navy - one of those guys who works as liaison with the military industrial complex and then goes to work for same after "retirement". I saw one newspaper story that exclaimed the joys of weapons production by saying, "Now our local economy is not reliant only on agriculture and tourism" as if there had been something wrong with that in the past.
  • The first question I get practically every time I speak is "What can we do?" I have many answers, depending on my mood and what I've already talked about, but one answer I often give is that we all need to take a trip to the Wizard of Oz and get some more courage and determination. As we face the coming economic and civil liberties clampdown we will surely be tested. I tell people that this is why learning from and supporting folks on Jeju Island, South Korea is so important. Activists there have been dealing with fascism for a long time - they know what it smells like, what it tastes like, and they know how to react to it. We all can learn alot from them.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My friend Richard Rhames from Biddeford, Maine came on my public access TV show just before I left for the west coast. Just got the online version. Richard is one of my favorite all-time guests and has been on more than anyone else during the eight years that the show has been on.

If you want to see a real Mainer in action then watch this interview.


Menwith Hill, the largest intelligence gathering and surveillance center outside the US, in the heart of the UK's Yorkshire Dales, is surrounded by protesters demonstrating against America's planned missile defense system.

The local residents, often camping outside, have been joined by members of the global Occupy movement, supporting ongoing local efforts.

"It’s completely unaccountable, run by the NSA [National Security Agency], which is one of the most shadowy organizations in the world. It’s not even accountable to the UK government. The capabilities at Menwith Hill are worrying for our civil liberties…There’s whistleblower testimony that shows that what goes on there isn’t just political espionage, but commercial espionage too. And that’s before you even consider its implications on our civil liberties, that they can listen to our phone calls, intercept our emails," said Helen Alexander of the Occupy Leeds branch.

To keep up with new types of warfare, billions of dollars has been invested in Menwith Hill over the last decade. It has enabled the base to remain a vital component of the global US surveillance network.

Comprised of 33 satellite dishes housed inside large golf-ball structures, the site has the technology to intercept telephone calls, faxes and emails from around the world.

Menwith watcher and author of the 65-page report "Lifting the Lid on Menwith", Dr Steve Schofield believes it is providing information for special operations in around 100 countries – which he dubs an “unprecedented level of intervention.”

"The UK’s providing a facility here that’s involved in drone attacks that we know, from independent assessments, are killing and injuring thousands of civilians, and because of the covert nature of that warfare, it’s very difficult to provide information and accountability through the UK parliament. And yet these are acts of war. And normally when we have war, parliament should normally inform people that we’re involved in those. And we’re not being informed. We’re kept entirely in the dark about them."

In his report, Dr Schofield also challenges the assertion that the US presence provides significant economic benefit to the local area as being "grossly exaggerated." He claims that any such benefits must be measured against the costs to the UK of servicing American bases like Menwith.

As in Poland and the Czech Republic, where the US also planned to situate bases, locals are worried that the facility will put their area in danger, heightening the risk of an attack by anyone who wants to disable the shield.

For Dr. Schofield, Menwith represents a global concern: "What we’re seeing is the Americans developing a new form of imperialism… This isn’t about protection of democracy. If you look at the pattern of investment in bases over a number of years by the US, it’s all about ensuring that they have access to oil and other vital non-renewable resources in Africa, in the Persian Gulf. And we’ve got to challenge that! Because the next stage is probably an attack on Iran."

However, plans for expansion show no signs of abating, with a roadmap for developing the ballistic missile defense shield laid out until 2025.


  • Catholic priest on top of a cement truck on Jeju Island. I just saw the great news that Father Moon, who fell/was pushed from the top of a tetrapod and broke his arm and four vertebrae has been released from the hospital much earlier than expected. He is going to take a week to rest before jumping back into the fight.
  • VFP member Mike Jacobson (Bellingham, WA) has just returned from three weeks in Gangjeong village on Jeju. We were thrilled he was able to go after the first three members of VFP we sent were immediately returned to the U.S. by the right-wing government of President Lee after they had arrived in South Korea. Where there is a will, there is a way. I will be staying in Mike's home when I arrive to speak in his community next week.
  • OK where is the outrage about India?! They just tested a long-range nuclear missile and we heard no denunciations from the Obama administration about it. When North Korea or Iran test missiles there is alarm and threats from the U.S. and its NATO allies. What did they say about India's test? The Washington Post reports, "On Wednesday, NATO said it did not consider India a threat. The U.S. State Department said India has a 'solid' nonproliferation record, while urging all nuclear states to show restraint." There you have it. I'd call it blinding hypocrisy. Some nukes and missiles are good while others are evil. In this game it just depends on which side of corporate globalization you line up on. In this case India's nuclear missiles are pointed at China and the U.S. is glad to have one more country help militarily encircle Beijing.


I am on the beloved train again heading from Corvallis, Oregon to Portland where I will switch to a bus that takes me to Hood River. I speak there tonight at the Riverside Community Church. I spoke in Hood River a couple years ago about drones.

A local drone manufacturing company is based in this community and was bought up by Boeing a while back. Hood River sits along the Columbia River Gorge and a more beautiful place is hard to find. Sad to see the military industrial complex move into this neighborhood - but they are doing that nationwide as our communities increasingly become addicted to Pentagon $$$$.

My talk went well last night in Corvallis and I am told that two city councilors were in the audience. I thank long-time GN member Linda Richards for organizing the event at Oregon State University.

I stayed in the home of Bart Bolger, the husband of new VFP President Leah Bolger. Leah was out of town as she is touring the country meeting with many local VFP chapters. I discovered that Bart and I are solid Baltimore Orioles fans.

There has been a lot of debate on some national list serves about the upcoming May 18-20 anti-NATO actions in Chicago during the planned NATO summit. Lots of cross-talk about non-violence and diversity of tactics. Some organizations involved won't specifically say they are committed to non-violence while others demand they should. One person commented that our goal should be to reach the public with our message and to have them feel supportive and included in our movement. Making pledges to non-violence seems like a no-brainer to me. Why would we want to alienate the very public we are trying to win over to our side?

I will be going to those events in Chicago and will speak on a workshop panel during the May 18-19 Counter-Summit for Peace & Economic Justice. On Sunday, May 20 I will also speak at a Unitarian Church about the work of the Global Network. There are two different marches on May 20 and I will go to which ever one I can get to as time allows.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


  • I am at Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis where I speak to students today at 5:30 pm. I've been without Internet connection for a bit. Just caught a ride here from Eugene where I was for the last day or so.
  • I was given a tour of the Linus Pauling archive when I arrived on OSU campus. Pauling was from Oregon and a student at OSU. He was also a key figure in the movement to ban above ground nuclear testing and won the Nobel Peace prize (back when it actually stood for something) in 1963.
  • I've been busy today, first with a 7:00 am nationally syndicated hour-long radio interview on the populist show called The Power Hour. People called in from Texas, New York, and Florida as well as some other places that I didn't catch. After that I was taken to a local public access TV studio in Eugene where I taped a show with Occupy TV for another hour. Then it was back to my hosts home for a half-hour radio spot on the KBOO community radio station promoting my coming talks in the greater Portland area. Hectic but exciting to say the least.
  • Last night I did a talk in Eugene that was taped and will be delivered to Alternative Radio for their consideration for national airing and a video was made as well that will be widely distributed in the region. Saw a couple of hold friends from past visits to Eugene.
  • I had a day off on Monday but spent most of the day making the long drive (seven hours) from northern California to Oregon. Passed through some amazing forests lands on twisty narrow roads in the rain but had some Kinks CD's playing in the rental car which made the drive all the better. A one-way rental from northern California to Eugene was the most expensive one day rental I'd ever experienced but there were really no other options for me to make this connection in my schedule. Fortunately this was the only time I have to rent a car during this trip.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Military Drones (UAVs) in Civilian Air Space from Sheridan Hill on Vimeo.

Ret. Army Col. Ann Wright describes use of drones by the CIA and the U.S. military, and why drones are coming to your neighborhood soon. Wright served 29 years in the US military and 16 years in the US State Department.

After discussing CIA use of drones to kill innocent Pakistanis and a Pakistani-American, she lays out the effects for the average American.

In March 2012, Congress mandated the FAA to open up commercial air space to military drones for testing. First test areas will be national parks. Local police departments also are equipping with drones that can carry cameras, tear gas and tasers. Drones can be as big as a 747 jet or as small as a toy airplane.

Wright explains how they have already been used to fire hellfire missiles at US citizens, killing them and their family members. The Obama administration and the Congress have drastically expanded the use of drones. Bottom line: call your congressmen and congressswomen.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I got to visit the Hendy Woods State Park before my noon time talk in Boonville yesterday. This park is the site of the only easily accessed ancient redwood groves in all of Mendocino County and is slated for closure on July 1. It is one of eight state parks in the county, and is among legions across the state, that will be closed due to Gov. Jerry Brown's budget cutting plans.

The visit put my talk in some context as it is tangible evidence of just how insane the whole current program of U.S. militarism really is. The $10 billion our government wastes every month on the occupation of Afghanistan could easily be used by states that are in fiscal crisis to solve their woes. The recent announcement that the price of the Aegis destroyers made at Bath Iron Works in Maine will jump in cost from $1.5 billion each up to between $4-7 billion per copy indicates that the military industrial complex has no national conscience as they continue to steal from the future generations. (Just where are the loud voices of the "fiscal conservatives" in these moments?)

These trees at Hendy Woods are up to 1,000 years old. They've seen a few empires come and go during their days. They are likely to witness the collapse of the murderous and arrogant U.S. military empire as it is now overextended and withering from within. When a nation abandons its own children, its elderly, its homeless, and turns neighbor against neighbor as a way to divert attention from its own misdeeds you know its days are numbered.

My talk yesterday was at an event hosted by John Lewallen who has been harvesting seaweed in this area for 35 years. He is running for Congress and asked me to come talk about economic conversion of the military industrial complex. He is trying to bring that issue to the public during his campaign.

Later today John and his wife Barbara will drive me further north to Garberville where I will speak to a meeting of Veterans For Peace. (John was in Vietnam for two years during the 1960's.)

As you drive through this part of California you see miles and miles of vineyards. I am told that "newly rich" ( folks) have bought up lots of land in this region and their wine making operations are using up significant amounts of already scarce water. This mono-culture is beginning to change the local community where growing marijuana has been the largest economic engine for years. One man told the story about how he has been swimming in the river for more than 30 years but one of the new rich land owners, who doesn't even live here, has positioned security guards along his land and won't allow local folks to have access to the water anymore.

Money is king and money destroys no matter where it goes. But in the end the redwoods are likely going to outlive this greedy culture that we have introduced.


Peace Conversion

By Miranda Lee

If you were born in California
It don't matter if you were or not
Cuz we are free no matter where we're born
Yeah, Even if they take away every thing we've got

Take a look deep inside our hearts
It may seem our world is falling apart
But believe change is within our reach
Even if the holes in your pockets run deep

Planting seeds to make us proud
Singing songs to be heard out loud
Let us work and occupy our land
By keeping peace we take our stand

We cannot believe in all we hear
News & media keep us living in fear
Will you let fear rule your vote
Or will you stand up proudly and take a toke?

Stop the war, let's make a deal
And use our weapons to plow our fields
We must act now to change the pace
We don't need no war in space

To act with love, all people are freed
Peace conversion is what we need
Convert our actions and start today
John Lewallen help us pave the way.

This song was written for the event I spoke at yesterday in rural Boonville in Mendocino County, California. The event was organized by John and Barbara Lewallen. John is a candidate for the open U.S. House of Representatives seat.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Global Network board member Loring Wirbel (Citizens for Peace in Space, Colorado Springs) writes about the new NSA data center in Utah:

  • James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace and other books on the intelligence community, wrote the cover story in the April Wired magazine on the National Security Agency's new data center in Bluffdale, Utah (formerly known as "Storage Station Freedom"). While the link to this story has been widely proliferated around the web in the last couple weeks, I read it in detail last night and came away with important new takeaways. While there are few true surprises, the story basically confirms with multiple sources the worst-case analysis of activists who feared the NSA was going back to full surveillance of U.S. citizens, and trashing out anything that was left of the 1978 FISA restrictions. But here's a few wrinkles:

  • The 2004 flap about "FISA Bypass" and "warrantless surveillance" was largely a cover ruse. The NSA planned to implement a program called Stellar Wind, in which deep-packet-inspection equipment manufactured by Narus was installed at dozens of major telco switching centers in the U.S., the architecture being planned long before Sept. 11. The Patriot Act and FISA Bypass were used as an excuse to put Stellar Wind into action - and this was the project that Joe Nacchio refused to implement when he was CEO of Qwest. Since it was initiated, Stellar Wind was expanded so that all major land-line telcos in the U.S. and all major wireless operators, surrendered years' worth of billing records to the NSA, giving the agency full identity trackers for all U.S. citizens. A few conscientious NSA employees went to Obama and Holder early in the Obama administration, suggesting that the decency of an automated warrant request should at least be preserved, and they were turned down flat. Obama and Holder are as solidly behind Stellar Wind as Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft.

  • Those same "liberal" NSA insiders suggested that it would be a more efficient use of resources if the NSA only retained data for U.S. citizens to the degree to which the data matched NSA keyword schemes. They were told that the reason the NSA is building the Utah facility is that the agency wants to retain all phone calls, email, social network activity, credit card records, etc. of U.S. citizens for a minimum period of several months, so that more interesting data mining and social factor analysis can be performed on that data. (Of course, the NSA has been doing this globally for many years, through sites in Menwith Hill (UK), Misawa (Japan), etc.)

  • Up to one-fourth of all new construction activity at Oak Ridge National Labs in Tennessee is now under the NSA budget, not the Department of Energy, because NSA is using the front of nuclear-weapon analysis to build dedicated code breaking computers, similar to what they did in the 50s and 60s. The computers all are resident in Tennessee, not at Fort Meade headquarters in Maryland. Researchers are using a variety of parallel-DSP and quantum-computing search tools to break the supposedly unbreakable codes such as public-key crypto and Advanced Encryption Standard. (I always figured that was true, but didn't know details.) Incidentally, and not discussed in the Bamford article, NSA and CIA both have established public-source search divisions in their headquarters to integrate public Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, etc. into the records established in Utah.

  • The Aerospace Data Facility at Buckley AFB in Aurora, CO, now employs at least 850 NSA employees, in addition to Air Force and NRO employees, for processing information from U.S. spy satellites. The number of dedicated NSA employees probably exceeds 1000 by now. (If you go to Centre Tech Parkway next to Buckley, you will see dozens of contractor facilities that have vastly expanded in recent years, all in huge, windowless buildings, and likely involved in intelligence pre-processing.)


South Korean citizens gathered in Gangjeong village on April 14. A declaration for the "Direct action for the Peace of the Gureombi Rock" was announced.

Imprison 10,000 of us! Even though you jail us for fear, we will be jailed with joy. As the masters of this country, we have the right to enter the Gureombi Rock in peaceful way, The wall of police cannot stop us. This is to save the value of Life and Peace. Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘The mystery of struggle is to go to prison. And feel happiness in the jail.’ Here Baek Ki-Wan said, ‘Let’s all go to jail. The Spring of History comes not from election but from jail.’

Citizens took action to break the fence... total 12 including two women were arrested yesterday.


Members of the Kauai Alliance for Peace and Social Justice oppose the testing and deployment of missiles from the world's largest missile range: Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Lockheed-Martin's Aegis missiles are shot regularly in tests from Kauai at Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. And once those missiles are tested, they are deployed in bases all around the world. Currently, on the South Korean island of Jeju, villagers are being jailed for protesting the destruction of their food-giving, pristine reef and fertile farmland, in order to make way for a navy base that will house Aegis destroyer warships.

PMRF is one of over a thousand U.S. bases in the U.S. and all over the world contributing to widespread pollution and destruction on the planet.

With this many bases, we are more than sufficiently defended. We need to bring those billions of dollars back home, into education, health and jobs for Americans.


  • I did another radio interview yesterday afternoon in Santa Rosa. It was on KBBF which was the first bi-lingual station in the country. They had a signed poster from Cesar Chavez on the studio wall. He helped to train me as an organizer when I went to work for the United Farm Workers Union in 1978.
  • In the evening a pot luck supper was held before my talk at the Peace & Justice Center. I was glad to see several of the students from my community college the night before come back for a second dose. Lynda Williams sang again to kick things off.
  • This morning Lynda drives me north to Boonville (redwood tree country) where I do a noon time talk. My host John Lewallen is running for Congress and wants me to focus on economic conversion of the military industrial complex.
  • I had an email two days ago from Diana Bohn in Berkeley who is a member of the City of Berkeley Peace & Justice Commission. She said she heard me on the KPFA show called "Flashpoints" but missed my talk. She intends to bring a resolution to the city that calls Berkeley a "Samsung Free Zone". There we go. Let's have some more of that.

Friday, April 13, 2012


  • Lynda Williams is a peace diva! Last night she turned out 66 students, faculty, and staff at Santa Rosa Community College at 7:00 pm. I was doubtful that they'd show up so late after a day at school. Most were her physics and chemistry students and she proceeded to warm them up with her singing of the above song "War in Heaven". We had a great discussion during the Q & A. It's quite clear that this generation knows they are being sacrificed to the gods of feudalism. They are just looking for what they can do about it. I told them to start with decolonizing their own minds. I ended with the question: "And we are going to boycott....?" and they responded right on time in unison....."Samsung". Made me proud.
  • Business Insider reports:
    The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources. "Iran is our neighbor," Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to NATO, said. "If Iran is involved in any military action, it's a direct threat to our security." Rogozin now is the deputy Russian prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia's defense sector. Russian Defense Ministry sources say that the Russian military doesn't believe that Israel has sufficient military assets to defeat Iranian defenses and further believes that U.S. military action will be necessary. The implication of preparing to move Russian troops not only is to protect its own vital regional interests but possibly to assist Iran in the event of such an attack. Sources add that a Russian military buildup in the region could result in the Russian military potentially engaging Israeli forces, U.S. forces, or both.
  • It's increasingly becoming clear that the U.S. is poking a sharp stick at Russia and will eventually get a reaction. Russia is being encircled by an eastward expanding NATO and by Obama's ground and sea-based "missile defense" deployments. I still maintain the U.S. is doing this because Russia sits on the world's largest supply of natural gas and significant supplies of oil. Hasn't it become clear that the Pentagon is now the resource extraction service for corporate globalization?
  • This morning I did two radio interviews. One was with Peter Phillips from Project Censored that aired on KPFA in Berkeley and the other was the nationally syndicated Gary Null Show. When I arrived at Lynda's house yesterday Peter came by for a couple of hours and we had a great talk about the work of the Global Network and Project Censored. Project Censored picks out the top 25 most censored stories each year and gives them big play in the alternative media. In 1999 and again in 2005 they included articles I had written about space issues in their most censored series.
  • The U.S., Japan, and South Korea are making a big deal about North Korea's failed rocket launch. They pumped up the fear about the launch to justify deployment of PAC-3 systems in Okinawa two weeks ago. But this is all a lark. They don't fear North Korea. Instead they use North Korean missile tests as a ploy to frighten and justify U.S. doubling of Pentagon operations in the Asia-Pacific that instead are being aimed at China. Anyway, isn't it total hypocrisy for the U.S. to lecture any country about building, testing, and deploying nuclear missiles or war-fighting satellites? This is why people around the world detest U.S. policies so much.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


  • I am back on the train heading to Santa Rosa/Sebastopol where I will be for the next two days. Global Network board member, and physics teacher, Lynda Williams will host me for talks at the community college where she teaches and in a public event sponsored by the local peace and justice organization. While there I will do three more radio interviews.
  • I pre-recorded one interview for a Santa Rosa radio station that airs today. The host did a nice job of putting together an Internet page with graphics to highlight what I had to say. You can see it here
  • I spoke twice yesterday in Sacramento. After lunch my host took me to Sacramento City College where I talked with 50 students and got a tremendous response. Usually when I speak to students they are very quite and don't engage much. In this group there were many questions and several of them made very strong statements opposing U.S. policies overseas and at home. I played the Jeju Island video made by Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker) after he returned from our GN meeting there in February. Best of all the kids were working class and represented a diverse ethnic mix. Then in the evening I spoke at a local library in an event sponsored by several groups including Peace Action and VFP.
  • The Washington Post has a story this morning reporting that a majority of Republican voters are now opposing the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. This is great news and should give us all the confidence to go out and push hard for an immediate exit from that war ravaged nation. 70% of American citizens now oppose this madness. We are wasting $10 billion a month in Afghanistan. What we spend there in one year could wipe out the debt of the 27 states across our nation that are in fiscal crisis. That would mean that the attacks on education, health care, mental health programs, etc would not have to be made. Now is the time to be heard. Will the Democrats in Congress listen and begin to lead?


Activists in Seoul, South Korea take to the streets in a flash mob to express support for Gangjeong villagers fighting the Navy base.


Time to hit the streets again....people of the world unite.

The way we fight against corporate globalization and neo-liberalism is by creating a non-violent global movement to stand against growing militarism, corporate domination of democracy, and control of our governments by the oligarchy.

Resist and live.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The police keep coming in huge numbers to Jeju Island from the South Korean mainland. The National Assembly elections were held yesterday and it appears that the right-left divide is going to be nearly even in the assembly.

The people though continue trying to get onto sacred Gureombi rock.

We've all got to keep calling the South Korean embassy/consulates near where we live and we must keep spreading the word about the struggle on Jeju. Let's get more people involved.

Jeju is the epi-center of Obama's "pivot" of U.S. foreign and military policy into the Asia-Pacific. It's a peace, environmental, and human rights issue.

Remember the Samsung boycott too.

Listen to the radio interview I did on a Santa Rosa, California station here


Align Center
High school friend Ron San Miguel joined me in Berkeley last night
Bring Our War $$ Home art show opened last weekend in Maine

  • Last night I spoke in Berkeley at the Unitarian church. An old high school friend, Ron San Miguel who now lives in Oakland, met me at my radio interview on KPFA and then we had dinner together before my talk. We both went to Wheatland High School north of Sacramento, California when our dads were stationed at Beale AFB. Ron's brother Rick and I were in a rock-and-roll band together. Ron is an excellent musician and teaches young people. He is a special person and it was a real pleasure to see him after so many moons. I can thank Facebook for connecting us.
  • I am on the train to Sacramento where I speak at a college this afternoon and then do an evening talk at a public event organized by Peace Action. I had a great sleep last night which refreshed me and seemed to knock out a sore throat I was developing. Got to stay strong.
  • The photo above of the Bring Our War $$ Home art show was sent to me by Natasha Mayers from the Union of Maine Visual Artists. We've been working with artists around Maine for the past couple of years to get images produced of how our endless war $$ could better be spent here at home. The month-long art show opened last weekend with 100 people showing up. Our theory is that we need to use more cultural expressions to reach the public with these messages. Poetry, music, art, radio, and videos are important vehicles that fit nicely with our more traditional marches, rallies, and public speaking around these issues. People respond to different stimuli so it increases our effectiveness as organizers to use all these mediums of communication.