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: Bath, Maine, 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.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ODDS & ENDS

VFP members Tarak Kauff (left) and Bill Gilson carry the lead banner in a Tuesday protest in New York City.  More than 500 people marched from Bryant Park to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where Obama was attending a fundraising dinner.


  • James C. Goodale, has been called the “father of reporters’ privilege” and the author of a new book called Fighting for the Press.  Mr. Goodale, 79, was the general counsel of The New York Times during the 1971 Pentagon Papers case, when President Nixon ordered the newspaper to cease publication of excerpts from a 7,000-page document, which detailed America’s involvement in Vietnam over the course of three decades. The Times published the first excerpt on June 13, 1971. Now, the man who successfully fought Nixon says President Obama has an even more troubling record. He has indicted six leakers to Nixon’s one, and just this week came word that federal investigators had seized two months of Associated Press phone records without notice. Mr. Goodale believes that a grand jury has secretly indicted Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and the publisher of the Afghan War Logs, one of the more substantial leaks since the Pentagon Papers. The father of reporter’s privilege is doing everything in his power to make sure the case does not go forward.
  • Corporate profits are at a 50-year high.  The politicians like to call the rich the "job creators".  If this were truly the case we'd be swimming in jobs due to their massive wealth.  But alas the rich are not creating anything but domestic chaos. 

Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.

- See more at: http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/03/ungary-destroys-all-monsanto-GMO-corn-fields.html#sthash.ID8j6PV9.dpuf
Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar.

Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.

- See more at: http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/03/ungary-destroys-all-monsanto-GMO-corn-fields.html#sthash.ID8j6PV9.dpuf
  •  Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1,000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds. Unlike many countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods. 
  • Studies shows that charter schools don’t typically outperform public schools and they often tend to increase racial and class segregation. Compared to public schools, charters schools are an extremely unregulated business. They contract with private companies to provide all kinds of services, from curriculum development to landscaping. Most of the regulations that bind charter schools are implemented at the state level. And unlike public institutions, the finances of charter schools are managed on a school-by-school basis. Because they are not consistently held accountable to the public for how they distribute funds, charter schools are often able to keep their business practices under wraps, and thus avoid too much scrutiny.  And even by the flimsy legal standards in place to protect the public against charter school industry corruption, charter schools across the nation are failing. They are mired in financial scandal—and have become known in many districts for mismanagement.
  • A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination. James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.
  • A great activist resource is the web site called Occupy Washington DC.  I find great organizing reports from around the world there - from a multi-issue perspective.  I use some of the videos they post.  See it here

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