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

Monday, December 31, 2012



Try this for your new year's resolution......


Obama's former pastor in's clear that his moral preachings had no impact on the magician.

Did Obama just attend church in order to create his public image and then left the teachings behind?

Sunday, December 30, 2012


"United States, Stop the Pressure to South Korea to Purchase the Global Hawk".... translation from the site of Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (SPARK)

The US corporate media says that "The proposed $1.2 billion sale of four Global Hawks made by Northrop Grumman was first requested by South Korea several years ago."

Our friends in the peace movement in South Korea maintain that the US pressures their government to buy Global Hawk and many other weapons systems.

Our government would deny that they twist arms to force weapons sales which have now become the #1 industrial export product of the US.

When weapons are your #1 industrial export product - what is your global marketing strategy?

I remember when George Herbert Walker Bush (daddy Bush) was president.  He went to South Korea and was at a fancy dinner.  He got sick and threw up at the table.  But the real scandal was that he had a note in his hand which told the South Korean government how many fighter planes they were expected to purchase from US aerospace corporations.  It's like a mob shakedown.

The Global Hawk would likely be used against North Korea but there is another nearby country that would also find the surveillance plane monitoring them.....China.

What we are witnessing is the US surrounding China (and Russia) with space directed technologies.  Just a couple days ago I read that the Pentagon has now successfully positioned stealth bombers at bases within range of China.  Full spectrum dominance is being put into place.

The war machine grinds on and needs lots of $$$ to pay for its global appetite.  The citizens of South Korea, and people living in "allied" lands all over the world, are having social progress ripped from their hands to help pay for the US meat grinder. 


Housemate Karen Wainberg, Homer, and Phui Yi Kong (photographer) joined me for a walk through the snow in nearby woods yesterday.

I told a neighbor the other day, after our first big snow in two years, that I thought it was never going to snow in Maine again.  He laughed at me.

We've had about 18 inches of snow since Christmas.  I was just outside for an hour raking the roof and clearing snow.  That was after Addams-Melman housemates Karen and Janet had been out shoveling.  There is alot of it out there to move.

I must say I loved every minute of my morning workout.  Holding the long wobbly rake over my head and scraping the third floor roof makes the arms a bit weak after a while.  Some people pay to go to the YMCA for such a workout.  The exercise is a bonus when it snows

All along the street folks were out in the yards clearing snow.  I never see so many people out of doors any other time of year.  Normally you think the houses are empty except for the color TV's blaring through their windows.  Snow makes the neighborhood come alive.

It also gets quiet as the car traffic through the streets is diminished....snow brings such a slow down to life.  Except for those noisy blasted gas-powered snow removers all is well in my winter wonderland.

I can't wait to do another walk in the woods again today.


Saturday, December 29, 2012


Produced and narrated by Oliver Stone, this new ten-part series features events that at the time went under reported, but crucially shaped America's unique and complex history.

I think it shows the point where the US fully stepped into hell.  Ever since then the American imperial oligarchy has been killing anyone in sight who dared get in the way of manifest destiny - now called Full Spectrum Dominance.

You can find more episodes here


Where are the public voices of the liberals who went into the streets when George W. Bush's budgets spent even less than this on militarism?

Are the Republicans right when they denounce "liberals" as hypocrites who only complain about militarism when the "right-wing" is in power? 

If Romney had won the election would the liberals be protesting in the streets if the new president had suggested cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and much more?  If Romney kept the occupation of Afghanistan going would the liberals protest then?

Why are local Democratic Party town committees not holding public meetings to defend social progress from being knocked out with a deadly punch?  Why did one Democratic Party official in my community once tell me that "We have to kill all of them in Afghanistan"? Was the person just trying to defend Obama?

We won't get a fair slice of the pie unless and until we demand it over and over again.  The corporate banksters and war mongers will only yield to massive public pressure.


  • Save Jeju Now reports, " For cutting the naval base 2013 budget, the villagers and people had press conference in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on December 24, and also since December 24th, people have been doing peace bows continuously in front of the National Assembly as a peaceful protesting to cut the budget. December 29th is the last day for the budget talk on the Jeju naval base in the National Assembly. Thus, people in front of the Naval base in Gangjeong and in front of the National Assembly in Seoul at the same time had the peaceful 1,000 bows to request the budget cut of 2013!"  See more here
  • Shell photo and caption by Jang Hyun-Woo:
“A villager brought me these shells this morning. He said a worker in a dredging barge had taken these shells during his dredging work on a barge. Not only sands.. but shells are taken during the dredging. Are these shells empty? The villager says creatures in the Gangjeong Sea are dying…”

For more photos go here

  • Carolyn from Maine has gone to Jeju Island.  She sends the following message:

    The Gates
    Police pull back activists’ fingers, breaking them,
    sometimes along the joint, just below the fingernail.

    Since Park Geun-hye was elected president, 
    police repression of the nonviolent protest has ramped up. 
    With people dispirited, 
    And their bodies scratched, bruised, and broken,
    there’s no direct action this week.
    Just picketing now, a 19-year-old tells me.
    All last night he was in front of one of the gates.

    7 a.m.
    Cement trucks line up.
    Police move into place. 
    And security guards move the chairs and other objects blocking the entrance. 
    One guard throws a yellow No Jeju Base flag to the ground. 
    I wonder if he’ll leave it there to be run over, 
    but another guard picks it up 
    and leans it against the chairs placed on the side of the road. 

    After the vehicles pass, we move the chairs, a barrel stove, and a few placards back in front of the gate, along with a vase of lilies. 

    Just three of us are there early this morning as the rain comes down.
    We move from one gate to the other and back again 
    as cement trucks roll in and out,
    each activity logged in a thick activist notebook.

    Night falls.
    Workers continue to arrive for their shifts.
    We are sitting around a barrel stove,
    activists’ names painted on top of each wooden stool.
    Three candles flicker in the middle of our circle.
    We talk about the next day’s plans,
    about informants
    and Hawaiian history. 
    Then someone exclaims, Time to dance! 
    And in a new circle in front of the gate,
    we dance
    as workers in twos and threes pass by.
             The Hotel

    I have just stepped out of the shower and hear a rapping on the door. 
    Just a minute, I call out.
    Nae. (Yes)
    A pause. Then the rapping resumes.
    Just a minute, I call out again.
    I’m dressing as quickly as I can.
    The knocking happens two more times.
    I’m sorry, I say, as I open the door. I’ve made the hotel owner wait.
    She hands me a bag full of chocolate treats, bows to me, and walks away.
    So that was the urgent task.
    Each chocolate wrapper says Love in Jeju.

Friday, December 28, 2012


RT's Abby Martin sits down again with Academy Award Winning Director, Oliver Stone, and American University historian Peter Kuznick, to talk about US foreign policy and the Obama administration's disregard for the rule of law.


This film excerpt does a great service by introducing us to a bit of American history that has largely been buried by public education and the corporate media.  But it's an essential element if one wishes to understand this nation's history.  It reveals how this underbelly of capitalist power has schemed for many years to achieve their present status as rulers of the world.

Democracy in this country, and around the world, has been largely drowned by corporate power.  Much of what we see in Washington is the facade - the illusion that democracy still exists.

We must be thankful for people like Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler.  He showed great courage and respect for real democracy.  We need more like him.

You can read Butler's short book War is a Racket here


Thursday, December 27, 2012


  • Protests are continuing in Canada as indigenous people fight to defend the environment from the rape and pillage of a government under control of the fossil fuel industry.  "Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty and which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water, which affects all people. Idle No More calls on all of us to repair these violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, protect Mother Earth, and create sustainable, healthy communities."  See more at the Idle No More web page here
  • Ultimately it's the same fight that is going on at Jeju Island, South Korea and many other places around the world.  There is always a tipping point and 2013 feels like a year where the protests are going to keep expanding.  So do your bit where you are and help connect to the larger consciousness that is growing.  Remember that in nature everything is in a state of change.  The tide goes out (sometimes it seems like forever) but it always come back.  The tide is beginning to turn again.
  • PressTV reports, "Jason Leopold, an investigative journalist for Truth-Out, has obtained FBI documents - through the Freedom of Information Act - relating to Occupy Wall Street. Most of the pages in the documents are redacted, and show concerns of cyber threats against the financial sector. However, there are questions of assassination plots against Occupy activists in Houston, Texas. Because the documents have redactions, it is not clear who or what group was planning the assassinations."  See much more here 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


  • The Washington Post reported early this week that  "A U.S. Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations early next year, part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists and give the U.S. a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the U.S. military emerge."  Ironic that the black president is leading US Africa Command (AfriCom) into the military occupation of the African continent. This step-by-step militarization of Africa has been a hallmark of the Obama administration. 
  • We know that in just a few years blacks and Hispanics will be the majority population in the US.  The oligarchy long ago realized that they had to come up with politicians of color who could use popular rhetoric to appeal to constituencies of color but at the same time actually work for Mr. Big.  Obama was identified early on while he was a student at Columbia by then professor Zbigniew Brzezinski.  Brzezinski worked as National Security Adviser for Jimmy Carter and was credited with the policy to train and arm the Taliban in Afghanistan to fight against the former Soviet Union occupation.  He also wrote the book The Grand Chessboard that spelled out the need for the US to control "Eurasia" - what is commonly called Central Asia and the Middle East.  All of which are key fossil fuel sources.  I remember Brzezinski saying in his book that the military occupation of this region, in order to successfully "manage" it, would be very expensive and that the American people would never go along with such a high price unless there was a Pearl Harbor like event first that captured the public imagination and support.  Remember that this book was published in 1997.
  • So Obama was developed as a future leader prospect by the oligarchy because he was bright, ambitious, and had no real core values.  While in the Illinois State Senate there were 100 times when Obama voted "present" on controversial issues.  Why?  Because he was already being shaped for higher office and wanted to avoid angering various constituencies.  Thus when Obama ran for president he was able to appear to be many things to many different people - a phenomenon that still exists to this day.
  • Some say it is just a "conspiracy theory" to think that the capitalist corporations get together and make plans about how they will control the world.  I call it "good" business planning.  They take no chances.  Why risk the fate of global profits to the great unwashed populations.  Why not run two horses in every race?  Why not plan ahead and stay on top of the population curve?
  • Here is a list of the top 50 corporations in the world who make up what New Scientist called a "network of power" in their 2011 study.

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
7. Legal & General Group plc
8. Vanguard Group Inc
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation
26. Lloyds TSB Group plc
27. Invesco plc
28. Allianz SE 29. TIAA
30. Old Mutual Public Limited Company
31. Aviva plc
32. Schroders plc
33. Dodge & Cox
34. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc*
35. Sun Life Financial Inc
36. Standard Life plc
37. CNCE
38. Nomura Holdings Inc
39. The Depository Trust Company
40. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
41. ING Groep NV
42. Brandes Investment Partners LP
43. Unicredito Italiano SPA
44. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan
45. Vereniging Aegon
46. BNP Paribas
47. Affiliated Managers Group Inc
48. Resona Holdings Inc
49. Capital Group International Inc
50. China Petrochemical Group Company

  • As this network of global corporate power consolidates its control of resources and markets they give various countries different roles.  The role of the US is "security export" which means in America we will build weapons and send our troops around the world as occupation forces for global capital.  
  • The old idea of country is being erased - our future is being "directed" by a network of power that have their own interests at heart.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. "When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator... As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn't get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it's one of those dreams that bothers you night and day."

Four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retraced the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. "We can't blame the wasichus anymore. We're doing it to ourselves. We're selling drugs. We're killing our own people. That's what this ride is about, is healing." This is the story of their journey- the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away.


Monday, December 24, 2012


When war between Israel and Iran seemed imminent, Israeli graphic designer Ronny Edry shared a poster on Facebook of himself and his daughter with a bold message: "Iranians ... we [heart] you." Other Israelis quickly created their own posters with the same message -- and Iranians responded in kind. The simple act of communication inspired surprising Facebook communities like "Israel loves Iran," "Iran loves Israel" and even "Palestine loves Israel."


This is an unusual studio cut of The Kinks.  First 2:10 is them pretending to be in Las Vegas.

After that is one of my favorite Kinks songs - Uncle Son.  It's a tribute to the Davies brother's favorite uncle.

It sums up the way I see the world as well.

Uncle Son

Written by: Ray Davies  

He was just a workin' man,
Simple rules and simple plans,
Fancy words he didn't understand,
He loved with his heart,
He worked with his hands.

Liberals dream of equal rights,
Conservatives live in a world gone by,
Socialists preach of a promised land,
But old Uncle Son was an ordinary man.

Bless you Uncle Son,
They won't forget you when the revolution comes.

Unionists tell you when to strike,
Generals tell you when to fight,
Preachers teach you wrong from right,
They'll feed you when you're born,
And use you all your life.

Bless you Uncle Son,
They won't forget you when the revolution comes.


  • I send holiday best wishes to all of you.  Thanks for stopping by this blog.  I hope you find it interesting and learn something now and then.  This blog has become my spiritual practice.  Each day I try to learn something new and share it with others.  The Italians have a tradition that you save a few drops of wine in your glass and pour it on the ground as a way to put something back to the Earth that brought us our bounty.  I love that I try to share as well what I have - my crazy mind and restless heart.
  • I'm not big on the religious aspects of Christmas but at the same time it is one of my favorite times of year.  The cold and snow (back in the pre-climate change days) and the decorated Xmas tree.  I love the smells of the tree, the baking, the food....  I love to close my eyes and squint at the lights on the tree.  You just see the lights and no form.....I try to share this with the little kids that visit the house.  The small pleasures in life......
  • We are not big on presents and the commercialization of Christmas.  I have adverse reaction to lots of presents.....especially for kids.  Sometimes they get so many gifts they don't have time to play with them all.  When I was growing up I would get, if I was lucky, one nice gift.  I still have my Marklin train set that I got in 1959.  The best present I ever got.  I've passed it on to my son Julian but it's still in the attic.  It's not really fair for me to expect him to value it the way I did.  The Indians said the best gifts are the hardest ones to give.
  • Our favorite neighbor girl came by yesterday with a used guitar slung over her shoulders.  Her father, incapacitated and strung out on pain meds, gave her the instrument for Xmas.  She's often said she wants to be a rock star - the next Lady Gaga maybe - and when she strutted into the house I could see it for a moment.  The guitar needs new strings so that will be our gift to her - along with the fedora she wanted.  Got to start somewhere.
  • My sister Joan sent us a smoked turkey.  Each year she sends our intentional community some big food gift item.  So I will make Christmas eve dinner tonight and we will bless Joan for her kindness to us.
  • Julian is far away in Taiwan and he is feeling a bit homesick for friends and family.  You want to protect your children from emotional pain and turmoil but some things have to be lived.  I had that same feeling while far away from home during the holidays when I was in the Air Force.  We have to learn though to find peace where we in the moment is the hardest lesson to learn.
  • I could type all day on this subject but will end with this - I constantly think about how lucky I am to be doing the work that I do.  I feel so grateful that I've had to chance to make so many incredible friends all over the country and around the world.  It would be nice that we could all win our many struggles in the coming year but for me there is something even more important.  It is that we are in motion working for things we believe in - we are alive in the best sense of the word - sharing our hearts and life energy so that others may live with peace, justice, and joy.  I celebrate all of you in that memory.

Bruce K. Gagnon
president of the Underdog Club


Irregularities are surfacing in last week's South Korean presidential election.  In the electronic count the right-wing candidate, Park Geun-hye, won by about 3%.  She is the daughter of the  former military dictator Park Chung-hee and would continue the policies of the disastrous Lee Myung-bak administration.

Normally very reliable exit polls showed a very close race.  In the exit poll by OhMyNews, Moon Jae-in was projected to win the election by a 2.4 percentage point lead, beyond the margin of error.  And in fact, in the exit poll by YTN, Moon was projected to win the election by a 3.6 percentage point lead.  All these exit polls had been taken up until 3:00 pm.

Around 1:00 pm, Park Geun-hye’s conservative Saenuri Party announced they would file a lawsuit to declare invalid election even if Moon won the election, making a false accusation of unlawful acts.  According to some reports made around that time, Park’s camp and Saenuri Party were texting one another, declaring the emergency while Moon’s camp, the Democratic Party, and the supporters were in a festive mood. According to the resources available for reporters, the joint exit poll taken by KBS, MBC, and SBS up until 3:00 pm indicated a 2.2 percentage point lead for Moon (Moon: 50.8%, Park: 48.6%).

In South Korea the tendency is for older, more conservative, people to vote early with the more progressive younger folks voting later in the day - often after exit polling was finished.

Any way you cut it this whole election smells something like some recent presidential elections in the U.S.  Can anyone doubt that paper ballots are the only way to have a fair election?  Electronic voting can be manipulated in some many ways to arrive at a predetermined outcome.  Especially when the big electronics corporations like Samsung and others have direct interests in the outcome of the elections.

I got most of this information from a blog in South Korea.  There is much more to read here

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Saturday, December 22, 2012



Leonidas Oikonomakis writes:

Since the early hours of the 21st of December 2012, thousands of Zapatistas from the Bases of Support of the EZLN — their faces covered with the legendary Zapatista pasamontañas and paliacates around their necks — started marching in silence, in perfect formation, entering the cities of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, Comitan, and Altamirano, and occupying their central squares.
This is the most impressive Zapatista mobilization since May 2011, when — together with the Movement for Peace, Justice, and Dignity of the poet Javier Sicilia — they gathered more than 30.000 people in the central square of San Cristóbal de las Casas in a manifestation against the “War on Drugs” of Felipe Calderon that has already cost Mexico more than 70.000 deaths.
Right now we are expecting the Communiqué of the Comandancia General of the EZLN, but what is certain is that today’s impressive silent mobilization is the Zapatistas’ response to the increasing repression their communities have been facing from the government and its paramilitaries over the past years, in combination with the return of PRI — the party against which the EZLN initially mobilized in 1994 — to government.

It is also a message to the world: that the Zapatistas are still here, in silence and with patience, like the water of the river that beats the sword…

"The Story of the Sword” is an ancient parable that demonstrates how the indigenous peoples of Mexico can finally defeat the European invader. “The tree”, says Subcomandante Marcos when narrating the story, “tried to fight the sword, but was defeated. The stone likewise.” But not the water. “It follows its own road, it wraps itself around the sword and, without doing anything, it arrives at the river that will carry it to the great water where the greatest of gods cure themselves of thirst, those gods that birthed the world, the first ones.”

Late in the day a one-page communiqué signed by Zapatista rebel leader Sub-Comandante Marcos, El Sup, began to go viral on the internet. The communiqué simply read the following:
Did You Hear?
That is the sound of your world falling apart.
It is the sound of our resurgence.
The day that was the day, was night.
And night will be the day that will be the day.

See alot more of the story and photos here


From the comfort women who suffered sexual slavery during the Japanese occupation to domestic workers subjected to assault and isolation by their employers, to systemic causes of intimate partner abuse, the Philippines has had enough of violence against women. Watch as they RISE in this short film for ONE BILLION RISING, a campaign by V-Day culminating on Feb. 14, 2013 with a billion people strikingand dancing in the streets to oppose violence against women.


A US Marine has had his rank reduced and been fined $500 fine for urinating on corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan after pleading guilty at a special court martial in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Friday, December 21, 2012



Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Protesters hold up banners as the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre speaks at a news conference focusing on guns and violence following the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


Stir my heart....Indians in North Bay, Canada took over a shopping mall in their community.  The people were drumming, singing and dancing.  Security guards came and pushed around some people and a couple got knocked to the floor.  But the native people kept drumming and singing to the end.

Talk about exposing the contradictions.....the native way of harmony with nature in the face of mindless consumerism and materialism.

The flash mob was a part of a national campaign across Canada to bring to light grievances the First Nations (indigenous) people have against the right-wing government of Stephen Harper.

CBC News reports:

As Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence continues her hunger strike on Parliament Hill in an attempt to get a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a grassroots protest movement of First Nations activists across Canada has united on social media and at public rallies.

Idle No More's supporters say they are upset about the effects of the Harper government's policies on their communities. They want First Nations to be recognized as sovereign stakeholders in decisions affecting the country's land and resources.

 The campaign was started by four women from Saskatchewan who were protesting against a number of bills before Parliament. They are particularly critical of Bill C-45, the government's omnibus budget legislation, which they say weakens environmental laws.

"There are many examples of other countries moving towards sustainability, and we must demand sustainable development as well," says a manifesto published on the group's website,
 "We believe in healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities and have a vision and plan of how to build them."

See the full article here


It's the hidden time bomb just waiting to explode.... the under ground world of pipes for drinking water and sewer systems that keep cities working.  They are collapsing across the nation and there is virtually no $$$ to repair them.

Yesterday in Portland, Maine a rupture of a century-old water main that flooded Somerset Street, disrupted 4,000 homes and businesses and prompted a 24-hour boil-water notice exposed a stark reality: Most of Portland's water pipes are old.  Some lines date to the late 1800s. To replace everything that needs to be replaced system wide would cost $630 million. The city's current budget for such repairs is $3 million a year.

The $8 billion a month now wasted in Afghanistan would fix alot of pipes across the nation. But alas, it is not yet to be.

Can one begin to imagine, just for a moment, that those who really control the levers of power in Washington know that this problem exists and they choose to ignore it because they have their own agenda?

I would humbly suggest that the corporate oligarchy does not care about this country, nor any other country, instead they have bigger fish to fry these days.  International capital is about running the whole global show - and the way to pull this deal off is to drain all nations of their treasury and leave the workers in a place where they have to toil for practically nothing if they wish to survive.  Then they arm themselves to the teeth under the auspices of NATO as they fully expect push back from the masses.  It's a return to feudalism - except this time the lords and masters work for the mega-banks and corporations.

Aren't we lucky to live in such exciting times?  The challenge is not to sleep walk through the journey.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


"And I would like to say that according to the Mayan Calendar the 21st of December marks the end of the time and the beginning of no-time. It is the end of the Macha & the beginning of the Pacha. It is the end of selfishness & the beginning of brotherhood. It is the end of individualism & the beginning of collectivism... the 21st of December this year.

The scientists know very well that this marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a biocentric life. It is the end of hatred & the beginning of love. The end of lies & the beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness & the beginning of joy. It is the end of division & the beginning of unity."

― Evo Morales, President of Bolivia to the UN General Assembly, 67th Session, 2012


Social Security or Military Empire?
You have likely been receiving many email appeals to call Congress about the so-called "fiscal cliff variety show" now running in the media.
I am convinced that it is a largely scripted process whereby the two corporate controlled political parties do their dance and then continue to hack away at social progress.
We had just recently heard the Congress and Obama talk about the need for $50 billion in Pentagon cuts each year for the next 10 years.  Chump change in the grand scheme of things.  Now even that slim number is being cut in half in order to please their military industrial complex masters. It could be even lowered still to virtually no military cuts.  After all, the Pentagon is targeting Syria and Iran next and needs all the $$$ it can get.
We've each got to do more.....and this will be an ongoing process.  Just see Greece and other nations where the bankers are re-accumulating cash as they break societies down to the bone.  We are being hollowed out as well and we will virtually all be brought onto the reservation.
I urge you to do something immediately - even if you feel like it is a waste of time.  We have to get the people out of their frozen state and each time we crack the ice a bit we move just a bit further along.
I'd first ask you to sign the petition to Congress here.
Write a letter to editor of your local newspaper. The free weeklies often have larger circulation than the daily papers do. My letter was published in my local paper yesterday.
Organize a meeting locally and statewide to bring all the losing parties together so that we can begin to know one another and begin to work together.  The old business model of organizing - every organization for themselves - is not going to make it for us any more.  We've got to continue the work Occupy started of connecting the dots.  Except this time one of the dots that often gets left out - the U.S. military empire and its insatiable fossil fuel diet - has to become part of the organizing equation.
Hopefully your organizing will lead to action.  Here in Maine, just last Saturday, 40 keys local leaders met in our state capital of Augusta.  We named ourselves the Maine Alliance for the Common Good.  There were people in the room that we don't always work with.  Not everyone we invited came but it was a good start.  A demonstration at the state capital was planned for January 8 and we intend to connect all the dots this time.
We also have to make a pledge to one another that we will stop swallowing the B.S. from the media and the two corporate political parties.  We have to pledge to each other that we won't serve two masters at the same time.  People have to choose between being apologists for the corporate agenda or get onboard for all of humanity and the environment.
We have serious problems and an honest assessment cannot leave one to be overly optimistic.  But we have a little two-year-old running around the kitchen as I write this.  She is a part of our house's extended community.  She is a bright and joyful child who we've come to adore like our own.  We have to be fighting for her now.  And our Mother Earth is in toxic shock.  One day she is cold with shivers and the next day she is sweating in fever.  The weather here in Maine has never been so strange.  We must act and act again.  Nothing is more important.


Syrian girl does a series of commentaries on the Middle East.  You can find her page here

See the related article called US in bed with extremists as new phase in 20-month war begins written by former staffer at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee here.


Yes the messy details are continuing to emerge about the "deal" that is being cut by Obama and the Republicans.  I'd suggest the corporate interests are quite happy to have this president in power at this time.  He does such a great job of appearing tough in presidential campaigns and then turning into melting butter come time for negotiations.

Yesterday I posted evidence of the magician's two-handed act to sell his base out on Social Security and social progress in general.  Today the word is that his cuts on the war machine are going to be slim pickins.

Below are some choice comments by Jack Rasmus from his article entitled Fiscal Cliff—The Well Orchestrated Dance

Forget about the $500 billion in defense cuts called for in the sequestration deal of August 2011. That’s no longer an issue, and never was. If readers had listened closely to Obama in the second presidential debate, when asked by the moderator what was his position on that issue, he briefly answered ‘that was Congress’ proposal, not mine’. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that even in the sequestration deal, only $24 billion in 2013 is scheduled in defense cuts. Look therefore for about half, or no more than $200 billion over ten years in military spending cuts. That will come from withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and Army personnel downsizing. Military equipment expenditures will likely actually rise, however, after 2014 as the US military redeploys to the western pacific and Navy-Air Force spending takes precedence over Army expenditures. Defense equipment companies know the deal for them is already cut. They reportedly even have no ‘Plan B’, according to the Wall St. Journal, in the event that military spending is reduced per the sequestration agreement, which is now virtually out of the question. Unlike the reduction of the cuts in military spending by half in a Fiscal Cliff agreement, don’t expect the other $500 billion in the 2011 sequestered cuts social programs to be similarly reduced by half.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Tuesday night criticized President Barack Obama for agreeing to adjust the measure of inflation for safety net programs like Social Security.

During an appearance on Current TV, Reich said the President was “chipping away at Social Security and Medicare by fiddling with the formula for inflation” amid the ongoing budget negotiations. The proposed changes to the measure of inflation — called “chained CPI” — would lead to smaller cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries.

The average retired Social Security recipient gets $12,000 per year and for many that is all they get.  They have no other pension plans.  For Obama to make significant changes in the inflation adjustment they get is to set them back.  Over time these folks would eat less, take less medications, live in a colder house and more.  They end up dying earlier as well.

If you think Congress should stop Obama from caving in then please call them at  202-224-3121


Leonard Peltier, one of the nation’s most well-known and longest incarcerated prisoners, speaks out from the U.S. Penitentiary at Coleman, Florida, where he is currently held. Peltier is the Native American activist and former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of aiding in the killing of two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Sentenced to prison in 1977, Peltier is now 68-years old. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman spoke with Peltier on Saturday when he called into a press conference organized by his supporters.


  • In a potentially precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a National Lawyers Guild (NLG) lawyer's challenge to military spying on peace activists can proceed. The ruling marks the first time a court has affirmed people's ability to sue the military for violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights. 'This has never been done before,' said NLG member attorney Larry Hildes, who is handling the case. 'The U.S. government has spied on political dissidents throughout history and this particular plot lasted through two presidencies, but never before has a court said that we can challenge it the way we have.' The ruling is the latest development in the lawsuit, Panagacos v. Towery, first brought by Hildes in 2009 on behalf of a group of Washington state antiwar activists who found themselves infiltrated by John Towery, an employee at a fusion center.
  •  Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein criticized Obama’s latest proposals as, “throwing ordinary Americans under the bus while continuing to reward the economic elite. These proposals cut the cost of living adjustments for Social Security, seek $400 billion in unspecified cuts to Medicare and other health care programs, extend the Bush tax cuts for households making as much as $400,000, and fast track changes to the corporate tax code. The bipartisan policies of recent decades made the rich a lot richer, pushed millions into poverty and insecurity, and created a 16 trillion dollar national debt. Now both establishment parties are using the national debt as a concocted excuse to cut critical services including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and food stamps.  While their proposals differ around the margins, both Democrats and Republicans are promoting austerity budgets that are highly likely to deepen and extend the Great Recession. We need a prosperity budget not an austerity budget. By redirecting trillions of dollars being wasted on the bloated military, Wall Street bail outs, health insurance profiteering, and tax breaks for the wealthy, we have more than enough money to fund our real urgent needs – job creation, infrastructure investments, reducing mortgage and student debt, health care as a human right, and aggressive action against climate change," said Dr. Stein. 
  • You may call your "representatives" in Congress and rattle your chains by dialing 202-224-3121I did my duty today and called Sen. Collins and Rep. Pingree's office.  At Pingree's office the staffer who took my call acknowledged that Congress is talking about cutting very little of the massive Pentagon budget.  I urged our congresswoman to be more vocal and show leadership on this topic.  I'll keep you posted on the results.


Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire joined the Afghan Peace Volunteers and 9 other international peace builders in Kabul, Afghanistan to remember the 2 million victims of war over the past four decades in Afghanistan.

December 10th was the International Day of Human Rights. In this Human Rights week in Kabul the above mentioned sent a petition to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon asking for a UN-brokered ceasefire by all the warring groups in conflict in Afghanistan.


For a world that needs encouraged.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


  • This photo was created by an Arizona gun club in 2011 that offered the chance for customers to pose with Santa.  "Our customers have been looking for a fun and safe way to express their holiday spirit and passion for firearms," said the gun club manager.  The UK's Guardian published the story and ran the photo with it.  See it here.  Peter Woodruff and I will do the first hour of our weekly radio show on the assault weapons theme on Wednesday from 6-8pm (EST).  Our show slot got changed again.  You can listen online via WBOR
  • It will be interesting to hear what the Christians say about the militarization of Christmas.  Next we'll see images of Jesus on the cross holding an assault rifle.
  • The scripted (remember professional wrestling metaphor) "fiscal cliff crisis" in Washington is nearing its long anticipated crescendo.  Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner have started playing footsie following their opening round of snarling and cursing at one another.  Trial balloons are being floated that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will take hits as expected.  Increased taxes on the rich will come but "negotiations" are presently underway to determine if they will start at $250,000 or $500,000 per year income brackets.  Not much being said about the Pentagon budget except for a few strains of that familiar tune "wasteful military spending" (which is of course true) but does nothing to indicate a serious reassessment of the U.S. military empire.  If you are so moved you can reach your representative and our senators through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
  • We had a really good statewide meeting in Augusta last Saturday.  Were about 40 folks there from 20 Maine communities and we came up with an initial campaign called Budget for all....why not?  Also decided to call our efforts the Alliance for the Common Good.  The whole intent was to say that we have to connect the dots between all our issues and find ways to support one another.  The "good old days" of single issue focus are dead.  We are all getting our asses kicked and need to work together when possible.  Our next meeting will be in Augusta on February 9.  Two TV stations showed up and did interviews but nothing appeared on air.  One newspaper reporter came and stayed for the entire meeting which is very unusual.  The story ran in three papers across Maine on Sunday.  See it here
  • I earlier wrote that I did a phone interview with Iranian TV on Saturday.  On Sunday morning they called again and I did another live interview on Press TV in Tehran.  It was about a three-minute spot and they asked me to talk about the growing conflict between Japan and China.  I suggested that the U.S.-Japan military alliance was about surrounding China and trying to destabilize the region - just as U.S.-NATO are currently doing in the Middle East and Africa.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Gangjeong in the Luxemburg daily newspaper

Here is the next article. It was in the most widely read daily in Luxemburg. Three more articles to come. Lots of love from Luxemburg. I am sad that I am not in Gangjeong anymore! And I miss all of you!

  - Carole Reckinger (Photojournalist who recently spent several weeks on Jeju Island)
You can see Carole's photo blog from Gangjeong village here

Another great article was also just published in The Nation magazine.  You can find it here