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

Saturday, August 31, 2013


The war team meets to plan strategy

Contact Congress Now - No Syria Attack

Prevent an Attack on Syria

The terrible and widespread killing in Syria will become even more terrible and more widespread if the U.S. military (or a coalition of allies) launches an attack.

We can't idly sit by and watch the already suffering Syrian people suffer even more at the hands of the US-NATO war machine.  We must act for peace now.

Contact your House and Senate members immediately.  Get others in your community to do it as well.  Growing numbers of Republicans agree with us so reach out beyond your normal circles.

This Syria attack would be illegal, immoral, dangerous, destabilizing and expensive.  Just because there is a Democrat in the White House does not make a violent attack acceptable.  If Bush or Romney were president and tried to pull this nonsense the outcry would be even greater than at present.  We can't give any president a pass on this madness.

  • Click here to send a message to Congress.
  • Read this article by renowned journalist Robert Fisk from the UK here 

  • Write a Letter to Editor immediately.

  • Get out on the street and hold a sign - even if you are alone.

  • Keep calling the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 to be put on hold until operator is available.

  • Keep praying for and demanding peace.  We must abolish war.  In the age of high-tech warfare it is the civilians who mostly die.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Israeli military tries to prevent Palestinian TV reporter from doing a story at the weekly Bilin demonstration in their village.

Now Israel wants to help Obama "liberate" the people of Syria just like they've "liberated" the Palestinian people - onto refugee camps where they can be smothered.


  • Dave Webb, Chair of the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament wrote me this morning with these words, "We are so relieved about the vote in parliament last night. People are realising at last that war is not the answer. There is no public backing for military intervention! All those protests, actions and all the lobbying have been worth it after all! Keep up the good work - it is so important."  Dave also serves as the board convener of the Global Network and runs our web site.
  • Because of revelations made possible by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Washington Post yesterday ran a story about the Black Budget, the secret budget that Congress is not even allowed to know about.  They reported it is up to $52.6 billion per year and gets dished out to 16 different military/spy agencies that collectively employ 107,035 people.  Yes, call that a secret government, unaccountable to anyone other than the profit-driven military industrial complex.  Tops among recipients of this black budget are the CIA at $14.7 billion, the NSA at $10.8 billion and the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) at $10.3 billion.  And remember, this is in addition to all the other money that Congress does knowingly appropriate for them!  Can there be any doubt that this secret, private government now running foreign and military policy is nothing more than a corporate criminal syndicate?  And what will be the response of Congress now that this information is public?  Nothing, because they don't have the guts to take it on....they are happy to remain part of the decorations on the tree of "democracy" - fancy lights and bulbs that look nice but have no real power. 
  • I went to our Maine Veterans for Peace meeting last night held in nearby Brunswick.  We had a presentation by an Iraq war veteran who flew drones for the Army in those war zones.  He briefed us on all he knew about drones.  It was quite good.  The young man is now out of the military and going to college.  During the meeting I gave a report on organizing progress for the upcoming October 10-19 Maine Drone Peace Walk that VFP is co-sponsoring along with the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home.  
  • The Maine Drone Peace Walk will end at the Hall of Flags inside the state capital in Augusta on Friday, October 18.  At 3:00 pm we will gather there for a closing ceremony with words and songs.  That evening we will have a pot luck supper at the Mediation & Facilitation Resources Center located at 11 King St in Augusta at 6:00 pm. 
  • We are looking for a seven-passenger van to use on the drone peace walk to shuttle people and carry our food.  So far we've not been able to find one.  If anyone knows someone who might loan us such a vehicle please let me know ASAP.
  • VFP also decided to call for a protest in Bath on Saturday, October 19 at 10:00 am when BIW does a "christening" of the new "stealth" Zumwalt class destroyer.  Originally 32 of these ships were planned for the class, but this was progressively cut down because of the cost so for now only three will be built. The Navy expects each ship to cost at least $3.3 billion, although I've seen some estimates of more than $4 billion each. The standard Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers were costing about $1.5 billion apiece. The Navy was not really excited about doubling the cost of these destroyers but Obama insisted they build them anyway.  I believe he was repaying the Crown family from Chicago (majority stockholders in General Dynamics that owns Bath Iron Works.)  The Crown family early on promoted Obama for president and raised $$$ for him nationally within the military industrial complex and the Jewish community.
  • Early the morning of October 19 we'll shuttle the drone peace walkers to Bath to join in the protest at the shipyard against the new destroyer.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Stung deeply by George W. Bush and Tony Blair's deception leading up to the 2003 Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) the Brits step up to the plate and say NO this time.  Very nice.

Now let's see France say NO to the Obomber.

And let's hear the US Congress, especially the rest of the Democrats, take on their war-mongering president for once like Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) does in the video just below.


I lived in Orlando, Florida for 20 years from 1974-1994.  The entire time I lived there the Central Florida region was ruled by right-wingers.

Somehow that community now has a Congressman named Alan Grayson representing them.  He stands his ground remarkably well in opposition to Obama's attack on Syria in this interview on CNN.  Good to see that Orlando is coming to its senses.

Action: Here in Maine there will be a protest against military intervention in Syria at noon on Saturday, August 31, at Monument Square in Portland.



I have an important public service announcement from The National Institute.

Please pay close attention.

There is a recall of a pharmaceutical drug that has been on the market since 2007. In preliminary studies, Obama was found to alleviate symptoms of major depression and anxiety disorders that were pandemic during the Bush/Cheney Administration.

This is a Class One Recall, a situation where there is a reasonable probability that use of or exposure to this product will cause serious adverse health consequences or even death. Obama was given to the nation in large doses to consume. Serious side effects from taking Obama have been found to include but are not limited to:

Significant memory loss both of short and long term memory
Delusional fantasies
Feelings of exceptionalism
Detachment from reality
Short term feelings of euphoria
Chronic feelings of betrayal
Monotonous speech patterns, characterized by droning on
Feelings of rage
Fits of despair
Fear of bugs
Sudden increase in alcohol consumption
Loss of appetite
Loss of vision
Loss of judgement
Willingness to compromise everything
No concern for the future

Once again we are seeing severe depression and anxiety disorders nationwide. An official recall is in effect. If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, remember you are not alone. Do not delay. Stop taking Obama.

Thank you.


This is how it works.

The US has been providing Egypt with nearly $2 billion a year in "aid" since 1979.  Most of this is military aid.  That "aid" is then used to buy weapons from American corporations.  So in reality most of US foreign aid becomes more welfare programs for the military industrial complex.

Because of current civil war conditions in Egypt the Obama team is having to hold off on providing more aid to that embattled nation.  A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 51% of respondents said it's better to cut off military assistance to Egypt, while 26% backed continued aid.

The "aid" now on temporary hold would include: F-16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin; M1A1 tanks from General Dynamics; and Apache attack helicopters made by Boeing Co.

CBS News reported on August 20:  "The billion dollars in aid Congress approved for Egypt does not go directly to Cairo, it goes to places such as Archbald, Pennsylvania.  The General Dynamics factory there makes parts for the M1A1 tank.  General Dynamics is filling an order for 125 tank kits for the Egyptian Army.  One-hundred-thirty people work at the Archbald facility."

You can imagine the workers at the Archbald facility want this "aid" to continue.  Archbald Mayor Ed Fairbrother says the jobs are "extremely important" to the community.  "They are some of the best jobs we have in the community," he says.  "Those are the kinds of jobs that sustain communities and families."

There are 44 companies in Pennsylvania involved in production of the M1A1.  The interesting thing is that Egypt does not need the tanks and many of the "kits" are still in crates after being delivered to their military.

American communities have become addicted to war spending and military production.  As most traditional manufacturing industry has moved overseas seeking cheaper labor the best jobs in most parts of the nation are building weapons.  It's thus no coincidence that the #1 industrial export product of our nation is weapons.   And what is our global marketing strategy for that product line?  Hello Syria!

An attack on Syria will at the least expend lots of Tomahawk cruise missiles.  When daddy Bush launched a cruise missile attack on Iraq in the early 1990's these missiles cost $1 million each.  The Pentagon used 100 of them in the initial attack.  McDonnell Douglas (now owned by Boeing Co.) had their factory in Titusville, Florida working round-the-clock to replace them.  At the start of George W. Bush's Iraq attack in 2003 it was the Tomahawk cruise missile that fired the first shots from the USS Cowpens. The ship is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser. The ship is named after the Battle of Cowpens, a major American victory near Cowpens, South Carolina, in the American Revolution. It was built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine.

Years ago I spoke to a peace group here in Maine and I noticed a young woman in the audience with a look in her eyes that I immediately recognized.  After my talk she hung around near my literature table but waited until everyone was gone before she approached Mary Beth and me.  She told us she was an Iraq War veteran.  We had not had dinner yet so invited her to come along with us.  Over the years we became like family with this wonderful former Navy Lieutenant who was the Officer on the Deck responsible for positioning the USS Cowpens when it launched the very first Tomahawk cruise missile during "shock and awe" in 2003.

Today this young woman suffers from severe war trauma.  She told us the story of seeing the series of missiles launch right before her eyes.  After her shift was over she went below to see the crew watching a TV with images of a burning Baghdad.  The crew was cheering.  She was in a daze and stumbled to her bunk.  At her first opportunity she got out of the Navy and today has a tough time functioning in the "real world".

Today these same missiles now cost up to $3 million each.  So a similar attack on Syria will keep the factories humming back home.  We've become a killer nation.  We have to have endless war, like a drunk needs a drink at the bar, in order for American workers to put food on the tables for their families.

What does this say about the soul of our nation?

The USS Cowpens launching cruise missiles at Iraq at the start of Bush's "shock and awe". This ship is credited with being first to strike and launched 11 of the missiles.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Video on the CIA funding and manipulation of the U.S. news media.  Operation Mockingbird was a secret Central Intelligence Agency campaign to influence domestic and foreign media beginning in the 1950s.

According to the Congress report published in 1976:

“The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.”

Senator Frank Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.

In 1948, Frank Wisner was appointed director of the Office of Special Projects (OSP). Soon afterwards OSP was renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the Central Intelligence Agency. Wisner was told to create an organization that concentrated on “propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.”

Later that year Wisner established Mockingbird, a program to influence the domestic and foreign media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham from The Washington Post to run the project within the industry. According to Deborah Davis in Katharine the Great; “By the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles.”

In 1951, Allen W. Dulles persuaded Cord Meyer to join the CIA. However, there is evidence that he was recruited several years earlier and had been spying on the liberal organizations he had been a member of in the later 1940s. According to Deborah Davis, Meyer became Mockingbird’s “principal operative.”

In 1977, Rolling Stone alleged that one of the most important journalists under the control of Operation Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop, whose articles appeared in over 300 different newspapers. Other journalists alleged by Rolling Stone Magazine to have been willing to promote the views of the CIA included Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (New York Times), Charles Douglas Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), William C. Baggs (The Miami News), Herb Gold (The Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times). According to Nina Burleigh (A Very Private Woman), these journalists sometimes wrote articles that were commissioned by Frank Wisner. The CIA also provided them with classified information to help them with their work.

After 1953, the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. By this time Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. These organizations were run by people with well-known right-wing views such as William Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time and Life Magazine), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times), Alfred Friendly (managing editor of the Washington Post), Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star), Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Barry Bingham, Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal), James Copley (Copley News Services) and Joseph Harrison (Christian Science Monitor).

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning of funds intended for the Marshall Plan. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers. Frank Wisner was constantly looking for ways to help convince the public of the dangers of communism. In 1954, Wisner arranged for the funding of the Hollywood production of Animal Farm, the animated allegory based on the book written by George Orwell.

According to Alex Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA), in the 1950s, “some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts”. Wisner was also able to restrict newspapers from reporting about certain events. For example, the CIA plots to overthrow the governments of Iran (See: Operation Ajax) and Guatemala (See: Operation PBSUCCESS). 


According to declassified CIA documents, US intelligence officials disclosed the location of Iranian troops to Iraq knowing that Saddam Hussein would use chemical weapons against them back in the 1980s. According to the new revelation from Foreign Policy Magazine, not only did they the US provide the location, but were aware of the scale of nerve gas attacks. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern weighs in on the report and explains how America's intervention changed history.


This is what an US attack on Syria will look like.  Tomahawk cruise missiles will be fired from Navy destroyers just like in 2003 when Bush's "shock and awe" attack on Iraq began with the firing of cruise missiles from these same ships.

Many innocent people, likely many hundreds, will be killed in Syria as Obama "punishes" the already suffering Syrian people even more.  For those liberal Democrats out there that still apologize for Obama, who acts more like Bush every day, this attack should be hard to swallow.  But swallow it they will.

We worked the polls yesterday (in a special State Senate election) here in Bath, Maine with our petition opposing more tax breaks for Bath Iron Works (BIW) where these Navy destroyers are built.  So this attack on Syria cuts deep into my heart as the shipyard sits just blocks from our house.  We got 369 signatures during the 12-hours at the polls.  Reports indicate that 1,786 people passed through the voting booth here in Bath yesterday.  That means we got 20% of the voters to sign the petition.  Not bad considering we were only allowed to have one person staffing the table at a time so when we were speaking with someone many others would pass us by.  I was deeply touched by the number of BIW workers that stopped to sign the petition.  One man said to me, "I've been working at BIW for 31 years, you don't have to convince me to sign this."  A woman worker said to me, "I'm now doing the job of three people and we won't get a pay raise for a long time to come."

I strongly believe that the US and NATO have set up the pretext to bomb Syria just as they have been arming the so-called "rebels" who are tied directly with Al-Qaeda. The rebels have been armed and secretly directed by the US-NATO war machine all along.

Respected journalist Gareth Porter wrote yesterday that, "After initially insisting that Syria give United Nations investigators unimpeded access to the site of an alleged nerve gas attack, the administration of President Barack Obama reversed its position on Sunday and tried unsuccessfully to get the U.N. to call off its investigation."  The US is not seeking truth and justice.  The US wants more war, more instability in the region, and wants to cross off Syria on its list of nations it has toppled on behalf of corporate interests.  Next on the list is Iran.

Near the closing of the polls last night one former BIW worker came up to the table and quickly signed the petition.  Talking about the impending attack on Syria he said, "The Indians said the white man was crazy."

That pretty much sums it up for me.  The US-NATO white man's capitalist empire is out to take over the world.  They use the language of international law, justice, peace, democracy, freedom and the like.  But these are dirty players and they will go to any lengths to accomplish their evil deeds.  Republican or Democrat does not matter, they are in this one together.

I might be just one person but I will continue to stand against this insanity until the day I drop.  Nothing is more important to me than protecting the Mother Earth and all of its inhabitants against this dark corruption of the soul that we witness inside Washington and NATO today.

I urge you to make a call to Washington DC and leave a message for Obama.  (Recent polls show that only 9% of the American people support an attack on Syria.) Call the White House comment line now at 202-456-1111 or  202-456-1414 to be put on hold until operator is available.  Stand on the street corner with a sign.  Do something.

I am so tired of war.  Speak out while you still can.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013



I spent two hours this morning gathering petition signatures at the voting polls here in Bath.  We have a petition calling on the City of Bath to reject the upcoming request from Bath Iron Works (BIW) for another round of tax breaks for their shipyard expansion. (BIW builds Navy Aegis destroyers which are outfitted with 'missile defense' systems and are being used to surround Russia and China.)  BIW is owned by General Dynamics whose top Chief Executive Officer (CEO) last year made $18 million in compensation.  The municipal budget of our city is less than $15 million a year.

Since 1999 BIW has received $197 million in state and local tax breaks for their expansion and mechanization of operations.  During that same period of time BIW has laid off 2,000 workers.  Since 1999 property taxes in Bath have risen by 25%.  So it's more than obvious that the tax payers of Bath are subsidizing BIW's ability to reduce their work force.  On top of all that only 500 of the current 5,500 workers at BIW live in Bath.

During my time at the polls this morning I got about 70 signatures from local residents.  I asked the City Clerk how many voters she expected today and she said if we are lucky we will get about 300.  She told me that prior to today 450 people had voted absentee ballot.  So if that holds true that only 300 or so show up at the polls then we are going to get a sizeable percentage of those voters signing our petition.

I was pleasantly surprised how open people were.  I didn't have to use the words "corporate welfare" to describe the BIW tax break request.  Several voters used the words before I could open my mouth.  One man signed the petition and told me, "I work at BIW but oppose this tax break." 

We have seven different people staffing our petition table today which indicates that there is growing concern in the community about this issue.  One of our volunteers told me this morning that he had sent an email to all city councilors and one of them had responded to him with these words:  "I am getting more calls about this issue than practically any other thing before."  Bingo.

I go back to do the last hour tonight from 7-8 pm.  It will be exciting to see how many signatures we get.  Even many of those who refuse to sign the petition are taking our information leaflet.  Our day of working the polls in Bath is going to ensure that this corporate tax break issue will be reverberating across the community.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Bill Moyers says the parody and satire of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert pay Washington the disrespect it deserves, but in the end it’s the city’s predatory mercenaries who have the last laugh.

Them there is fighting words for sure...... who has any fight left in them?  Enough of being nice and polite, we are in big trouble folks.

See the deeper story about bi-partisan greed and corruption in the Moyers interview with Mark Leibovich of The New York Times.  He has written about the city’s bipartisan lust for power, cash and notoriety in a book that everyone who’s anyone in the nation’s capital is talking about.

This Democrat-Republican corporate collusion is clear evidence that we must have a revolution.


This latest edition of This Issue features Shenna Bellows from the Maine ACLU.  She talks with me about the drone surveillance bill that passed the Maine legislature this spring but was vetoed by Gov. LePage.  The bill would have required the police to obtain warrants before using drones for surveillance.  The bill also would have allowed for "weaponized" drone testing in the state.  Shenna also speaks about the NSA surveillance program and the recent revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

I learned just last night that the public access TV channel in Brunswick, where my show has been running for the past 10 years, has cut my show times in half.  I've had a set schedule that ran the show four times each week but a recent staff change by the town of Brunswick has also brought political changes.  In addition to my show times being cut by 50% they did the same thing to shows produced by the local Brunswick-based PeaceWorks.  They went from two shows per week to only one.  (Just to illustrate the point a non-political show called Train Times, produced some place else, is running nine times per week.)

My show, This Issue, is the second longest running locally produced TV show on public access in Brunswick.  The whole idea of public access TV is to encourage local people to bring their ideas, creativity, and issues to the airwaves.  It's becoming clear that in the midcoast of Maine political commentary "outside the box" is being pushed off the air. (Brunswick residents may reach TV 3 at 725-0614.)

I often hear veterans say to people like me, "If it wasn't for us fighting overseas you'd have no right to free speech."  Of course this is nonsense as GI's "fighting" overseas are not fighting for my free speech but for corporate interests.  But never the less, I'm still waiting for the day when these same vets come to the aid of those of us who daily are losing our "freedoms" to assemble, to speak, and to be free from government surveillance.

I won't hold my breath while's like waiting for Godot.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I've run this short video before but with the coming US attack on Syria it's worth playing again.  Can there be any doubt who Obama works for?

In an interview with Amy Goodman on March 2, 2007, U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), explained that the Bush Administration planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
So, with the pending illegal action against Syria, is the Obama Administration following Bush’s mid-east plan?


Saturday, August 24, 2013


No Missile Defense

No to NATO Expansion

End Afghanistan Occupation
Stop the Drones Surveillance & Killing
No Nuclear Power in Space or on Earth
End Corporate Domination of Foreign/Military Policy
Convert the Military Industrial Complex


  • Order the new documentary video The Ghosts of Jeju that puts the Navy base struggle on Jeju Island in context of US military pivot to Asia-Pacific and illustrates how US space domination is used to direct all Pentagon operations.


Syrian army soldiers have found chemical agents when they entered rebel tunnels in Damascus suburb of Jobar, Syrian TV reports, adding that some of them started suffocating. The US Navy's expanding its presence in the Mediterranean with a 4th cruise-missile armed destroyer. The move is a response to the escalating conflict in Syria. For more on this RT is joined by Paula Slier.

A lifetime of watching the US war machine in action leads me to believe that the US-NATO are behind the chemical gas story in Syria. They always fabricate the pretext for war - the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident leads to war in Vietnam; Bush-I and the faked up story in Kuwait about babies taken from incubators and thrown on the floor by Iraqi soldiers helped prepare the American people for the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990's; Bush-II and the more recent "shock & awe" attack on Iraq due to the "ticking time bomb" that did not exist; Obama's lies about Libya which enabled the illegal attack on the nation with the most oil on the African continent.

Law enforcement has a phrase "modus operandi" - MO - every criminal has a way of repeating their criminal behavior.  There is no doubt to me that the military industrial complex has an MO and we keep seeing their fabrication of truth in order to justify endless war.  One day the public will wake up to this shell game that is being played with our tax dollars and the lives of our soldiers and the people they are sent to kill.

Obama is preparing to attack Syria so we can kill the innocent civilians "he is going to protect".  Go figure.......


Desperate for any kind of job, low-paid workers in the UK are being caught in the trap of what's become known as zero hour contracts. RT's Polly Boiko looks at a world where employment doesn't mean there's any work ... or any money.

Friday, August 23, 2013


  • Housemate Karen told me this morning that my blog today ca only be filled with good news.  So here I go.
  • Our friend Phui Yi from Malaysia arrived back here late last night after a 25-hour trip from home for her summer vacation.  She is a student at nearby Bowdoin College and is a wonderful peace and justice activist.  Mary Beth helped her learn to drive during the last semester.  This morning we were joking about places with the craziest driving conditions and  I said my #1 in that category was Nagpur, India when at one intersection I saw cars, scooters, bicycles, trucks, buses, cows, monkeys, and an elephant - all without any traffic lights or policeman directing things.  That was exciting.
  • The Global Network newsletter is now online for your viewing pleasure.  We are taking orders from those who wish to help us spread it around their local community.  You tell us how many you want, we give them to you for free, and you just pay the postage.  I got an email this morning from a woman in Maine who has a wine wholesale business and she said she'd have her drivers spread them around as they make deliveries across the state.  Now that is good news for sure!  You can see the newsletter here
  • The radio interview I did last night on KPFA in Berkeley about Jeju is online.  Oliver Stone, K. J. Noh and I can be heard here
  • We are doing our second planting today of peas, green beans and lettuce.  Our tomato crop this year easily exceeds anything we've ever had before.  Likely has something to do with the very hot summer.... oops, that's not such good news.......
  • Karen just asked me if she could write a blog post once a month on good news.  I said of course, please do so.  I'll urge her to do it soon.  God knows we need it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


The Jeju City cathedral was packed. Here supporters hold various signs. In front a sister holds a sign that says, "The Peace of Gangjeong is our Peace."

  • Our Space Alert newsletter is done and set to go to the print shop.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  Nancy Randolph always does a great job of laying it all out.  We should have it posted online in the next day or so and folks will be able to see it in full color.  Won't likely get printed for another week or so which makes me crazy but there is little I can do about that.
  • I am doing a radio interview tonight at 8:00 EST on KPFA-FM in Berkeley, California.  Oliver Stone will do a 10-minute pre-recorded spot that will air first and then another Berkely area activist and I will come on the show.  We will be discussing Jeju Island, South Korea and Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific.
  • I had to post the photo above of the cathedral crowded with Nuns and Priests as well as faithful Catholics and Gangjeong supporters.  Jeju Bishop Kang Woo-il lead a mass demanding the release of Dr. Song Kang-Ho and Jesuit Brother Park Do-Hyun in late July. The two were recently arrested and imprisoned since July 1st for exposing massive environmental violations by the main Gangjeong naval base construction companies, Daelim and Samsung.
  •  In between work on the newsletter this week I've been outside dealing with a large pile of tree branches that needed cutting into small pieces for winter wood stove kindling.  Then today I walked into the nearby woods and gathered two large shopping bags more of small sticks for fire starting.  It's kind of like a meditation for me knowing that each small twig helps bring us warmth in the cold of winter. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


TIF Petition at Bath Polling Place on August 27

A group of local concerned citizens will have a petition opposing another round of corporate tax breaks (Tax Increment Financing) for BIW at the August 27 polling station in Bath.

We encourage you to be sure to stop and sign it when you vote.  If you've already voted please stop by and sign the petition.  We'll have extra copies on hand that people can take home and get their neighbors to sign and get back to us before September 4.  That is the date of the next City Council workshop on the TIF.

Here is the petition language:

Petition to the City of Bath, Maine

We, the undersigned Bath residents, call upon the City Council to reject another tax break for BIW.  Past Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) have not resulted in more jobs being created at BIW.  We prefer our local resources be used for public education, road repair, and other local needs.

Bruce, Karen, Mary Beth, Kristin


Kevin Zeese (Baltimore, MD) writes from the Manning sentencing courtroom:

Manning sentence: Courtroom TV cut-off immediately so media could not hear audience erupt with calls of continued support for Bradley and shouts of ongoing efforts to free Bradley Manning; but Bradley heard it. 35 year sentence was extreme, Manning will serve 2/3 plus get 4 years off for time served. Could also get parole and serve 1/3. Tonight 7:30 at the White House effort for pardon begins.

The one standing up for transparency, true democracy, and support for peace and justice gets 35 years.  The real criminals like Bush, Cheney, Obama and those corporate banksters/warmongers who are robbing us blind sip champagne and celebrate.  Their day will come.

Money & Corruption

We are sick and tired
Of being promised this and that.
We work all day, we sweat and slave
To keep the wealthy fat.
They fill our heads with promises
And bamboozle us with facts,
Then they put on false sincerity
Then they laugh behind our backs.

Money and Corruption
Are ruining the land
Crooked politicians
Betray the working man,
Pocketing the profits
And treating us like sheep,
And we're tired of hearing promises
That we know they'll never keep.

Promises, promises, all we get are promises......

- The Kinks

Tuesday, August 20, 2013



  • I taped the latest edition of my public access TV show yesterday.  My guest was Shenna Bellows, the Executive Director of the ACLU in Maine.  We talked about our work together on a drone bill in our state legislature last spring.  It passed but with an exemption to allow for weaponized drone testing in northern Maine.  Interestingly enough our right-wing Gov. LePage demanded the exemption then vetoed the bill anyway.  We parted ways with the ACLU once they agreed to the weaponized drone exception - ACLU felt it important to give in on that issue in order to get the police warrant requirement before they use drones for surveillance.  Yesterday during the show Shenna said they now feel that they gave too much to the governor and the drone manufacturing company who wanted the exemption but then turned against the bill anyway.  I wonder if the governor wanted to divide us and then vetoed it after having achieved that goal.  But in the end we are still friends with the ACLU and will continue to work together.
  • For many years I've been saying that one key reason the US-NATO are surrounding Russia is because they have the largest supply of natural gas in the world.  This morning I stumbled upon a very interesting article about this subject.  The bottom line is that many NATO countries rely on Russia for natural gas.  The US, with its expanding fracking effort to mine natural gas, wants those European markets.  See the whole story here
  • The Global Network has been approached by some folks asking for more information about how drones use satellites to do their dirty work.  GN board member Loring Wirbel explains:
In all military fields, the Pentagon uses the proprietary U.S. systems it can, then fills in gaps with commercial systems. For navigation of drones, the Pentagon is stuck with federal GPS, as it does not trust European Galileo or Russian Glonass systems. For drone-to-Earth communication, the Pentagon can use U.S. satellites such as MUOS (Mobile User Objective System), AEHF (Advanced Extremely High Frequency), GBS (Global Broadcast System),  WGS (Wideband Global SATCOM), and a secret satellite network know only as PAN (what PAN stands for is secret). To fill in the gaps, the Pentagon contracts with any commercial satellite company with Ku-band or Ka-band services, such as Hughes, Iridium, or Intelsat General. No one says no.

Monday, August 19, 2013


The Drone Boom

By Cole Stangler
In These Times

The drone lobby really doesn’t like the word “drone.”

When I say it in an interview with Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), he immediately corrects me.

“We don’t call them drones,” says Toscano, who has led the largest trade association for companies in the growing drone industry since 2008. “When most people hear the word ‘drone,’ you think military, you think hostile, you think large and you think autonomous. There’s a total misconception. And every time the media uses it, you’re not portraying good information.”

The AUVSI, which has gained prominence in recent years and now benefits from ties to the 80-member Unmanned Systems Caucus on Capitol Hill, wants to make this point very clear. At the organization’s annual convention this week in Washington, D.C., the word “drone” is hard to spot in the hundreds of exhibits from companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin and iRobot (maker of the Roomba, an autonomous vacuum cleaner). Even the Wi-Fi password in the press center is “DONTSAYDRONES.”

Industry leaders prefer terms like “unmanned aerial systems,” “unmanned aerial vehicles” or “unmanned systems.” According to Toscano, this is a matter of linguistic precision. The word “drone,” according to Merriam-Webster, refers only to the unmanned vehicle itself, while, Toscano explains, drone technology is ultimately a system featuring multiple components that depends on some degree of human input.

But it’s clear that there’s more to this than just dictionary definitions. Industry leaders are intent on improving the public image of their products, which tend to evoke covert military action, assassinations and fears of government surveillance that span the political spectrum. These are, in fact, the most prominent uses for UAVs, which originated in the American military. But the industry wants lawmakers, media and the general public to know that drones are not just flying death robots zooming around for prey in the borderlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan; they are also a state of the art, multi-purpose technology capable of harnessing and unleashing human ingenuity.

“We are constantly exploring and trying to expand our capabilities, and in doing so, we push the bounds of which human beings are capable,” Toscano says. “On a daily basis, we send men and women into harm’s way, whether it’s in a military application or a natural disaster or research, whether it’s a thousand feet below the surface or in the air. And what we find in many cases is that the weak link in all of these systems is the limitations of the human being. So [unmanned technology] allows us to do what we want to do in a much more effective and efficient manner.”

Drone-makers have a strong financial incentive to recoup their product’s image: There is a growing industry around adapting unmanned systems technology for commercial use. Congress recently directed the Federal Aviation Authority to create regulations governing the introduction of drones into the national airspace by 2015. As the FAA drafts those rules, a wide array of companies hopes to take advantage of the commercial market. As the drone market prepares to expand into a more liberalized airspace, 37 states have applied to host one of six planned FAA test and research sites, which the agency is expected to announce by the end of the year.

Many of these commercial uses are hard to quibble with. The biggest domestic use of UAVs could be for precision agriculture, a field which Toscano says could eventually occupy 80 percent of the industry’s UAVs. Farm robots would monitor crops, eliminating waste and boosting agricultural production. Drones could also be used for search-and-rescue missions after natural disasters. They could also help provide scientific research, reaching extreme terrain like volcanoes or the Arctic and compiling data more effectively than manned vehicles.

A more controversial market the drone industry wants to tap is law enforcement—an idea that has already sparked backlash over privacy concerns. The ACLU argues that “routine aerial surveillance would profoundly change the character of public life in America.” Forty-three state legislatures have introduced bills to limit unmanned aerial systems, with eight of those bills passing.

Of course, the potential domestic utility of drones does not mean that the military has any plans to curb its current usage. And right now, the crucial distinction between military and non-military use is that the former is far more technically advanced. UAV enthusiasts can wax poetic about drones being able to perform all sorts of day-to-day tasks in the future—delivering pizza, for instance—but the U.S. military is still the most active user of the technology, and is likely to remain so. One industry forecast estimates that while the total UAS market could be worth $89 billion by 2023, the commercial market will make up only 2 percent of that. The Pentagon reportedly has a fleet of around 7,000 UAVs, far exceeding any other competitor. In sessions at the convention and in interviews with In These Times, representatives of both the military and the major drone manufacturers said they foresee UAVs playing a prominent role in U.S. military operations for the long run.

The prospect of defense cuts does not substantially alter the utility of UAVs, says Doug Hardison, strategic development manager at General Atomics. His company manufactures the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones, two of the models favored by the Obama administration to carry out its strikes, which mostly take place in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

“We’ve been at war for 10 to 12 years, and we’re pulling back out,” Hardison says. “You’ve got the Arab Spring going on, you’ve got a lot of uncertainty, some ongoing crises, and some potential crises out there. The only way that our nation can stay ahead of those kinds of crises is to be able to see and hear what’s going on around the world. … We can respond before a crisis starts. So in the next 1 to 5 years—and really 1 to 10 years depending on where the world goes—that’s where we see value for the products we build.”

Although drone strikes by the CIA and the Air Force began under the Bush administration, they have skyrocketed under the Obama administration, which views them as a critical counterterrorism tool. The Army also increasingly uses drones for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

Now, the Navy has begun incorporating drones into its arsenal, through its new Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons division (whose logo features a Grim Reaper). Last month, a Navy drone successfully landed aboard a carrier for the first time.

During a speech at the convention, Rear Admiral Mathias Winter, program executive officer of the Navy’s drone division, laid out plans to expand drone usage over the next decade. “We do it because we have a responsibility to provide domain awareness in a maritime environment,” said Winter. The Navy is at work developing its next generation of carrier-based drones, which could be ready by 2019.

As UAV military technology becomes more advanced, foreign militaries have begun adopting it. General Atomics, for instance, has already sold drones to Australia, the United Kingdom and Italy. France is also on the verge of a deal to purchase Reaper drones. Last week, an Israeli drone strike reportedly killed five people in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. China also has a burgeoning UAV industry, represented at the convention by the Ewatt company, which recently announced its plans to build an $80 million plant. Among many other concerns, drone critics often point to the dangerous long-term implications of the proliferation of unmanned technology. Eventually, they say, we could be living in a world where countries regularly use drones for surveillance and killing missions, breeding a risky cycle of instability.

But these kinds of critiques aren’t of primary concern to AUSVI, a trade association whose very mission is to promote unmanned technology and sustain the growth of the industry.

“If people misuse any technology, they have to be held accountable,” says Toscano, when asked about the potential long-term impact of the industry. “You can’t stop bad people from doing bad things. You’re going to have that situation with any technology.”

Sunday, August 18, 2013


The Jaber family of al-Baqa'a is being harrased and attacked by the Zionist settlers of Kiryat Arba. This incident was filmed by Hudaina and Atta Jaber's daughter through the house window on July 12th, 2013. Her father, who arrived at the scene as the settlers were rampaging around the house, had fainted and was given water by the ITF soldiers who would not apprehend the settlers a moment earlier.


Ten-minute video via Charmaine White Face, of Defenders of the Black Hills, where the Great Sioux Nation, local residents, and environmentalists are working  to stop a uranium fracking permit and to make uranium mining companies take responsibility for spills, leaks; and to guarantee protections and restoration of any land or water they have contaminated.

The Black Hills arise in the Great Plains to a height of 7,000 feet. Charmaine White Face describes their historical and spiritual significance: "They cover a vast expanse of land from South Dakota, northeast Wyoming and southeast Montana, forming a sacred landscape for members of the Great Sioux Nation... More than 60 indigenous nations had been traveling to the Black Hills for millennia to conduct spiritual ceremonies, gather medicines and lodge poles.

Since the 1950's, uranium mining companies, seeking quick profits, have created thousands of uranium mining sites on both public and private land throughout the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.  Now the Black Hills are pockmarked with abandoned open pit uranium mines that contaminate the eco-region's air and water.

Now South Dakota is under siege by a Canadian mining company called PowerTech that wants to build hundreds of injection-recovery wells in Edgemont to extract uranium from ore formations hundreds of feet under the ground.  This method could deplete and contaminate  aquifers.


Saturday, August 17, 2013


Protesting outside a "Christening" of an Aegis destroyer at BIW some years ago.

Our local newspaper, the Times Record, wrote a brave and forward thinking editorial in their weekend edition on August, 16, 2013 opposing another tax break for Bath Iron Works (BIW).  In the same edition another Bath resident had an Op-Ed also opposing BIW's request for more corporate welfare.  There seems to be some rumblings in the community. Just maybe people have had enough.

Bath needs tax dollars kept here

Times Record Editorial
We know the importance of national defense, and we know well the city of Bath’s proud shipbuilding heritage.
We also know the city has huge capital needs, for infrastructure, housing, tax relief for the elderly, code enforcement, parks — you name it.

So, regarding General Dynamics’ imminent request for a local tax break, if you balance the need for a class of overpriced [destroyers] — which even analysts say are of limited use to national security — against a variety of pressing local needs, we’d take the money and re-do the viaduct area, open new areas for public recreation, refurbish or relocate Morse High School, and a host of other local projects that could put local people to work.

Yes, we are aware that BIW is one of the largest private employers in the state, paying above average wages. The Mid-coast economy leans heavily on its success. And using tax dollars to lure or retain solid companies can be good policy when used with precision.

The problem is — as was the hallmark of our national economic policy during the George W. Bush administration — tax breaks alone have not been shown to create jobs. Rather, there is significant evidence to the contrary. Tax breaks have been lavished on BIW even as the labor force there dropped and executive compensation jumped. Nationally, the evidence is even clearer: Jobs suffered as corporate tax rates were cut.

So it’s a stretch — if not outright ludicrous — to say BIW jobs rely on the contributions of local tax dollars. It’s even possible an equivalent number of jobs can be created using the local tax base to fund local projects — not bonuses for out-of-state executives.

Bath’s municipal budget in 2013 is not quite $15 million. Compare that to former General Dynamics CEO Jay Johnson, who was paid $16.1 million in 2011 and $18 million in 2012 — more than the city’s entire outlay.

It’s true that, at 35 percent, the United States has the highest nominal corporate tax of any of the world’s developed economies. But the effective corporate tax rate — what companies actually pay after credits, exemptions and loopholes — actually fell to 12 percent in 2011. That’s the lowest level of corporate taxation since before World War I.

Compare that to how Bath’s local property tax rate has performed. From 1999 to 2005, it rose from $20.60 to $25.75 per $1,000 valuation — up 25 percent.

Liberals want to demilitarize our nation to generate a peace dividend. Conservatives bristle against pork and federal usurpation of local control. Everyone in the center wonders why corporations get big breaks while making false economic promises as aid to the poor is slashed and the rest of us pay more in local tax.

Given the tight-knit links between city and shipyard, it’s likely Bath residents will end up opening their wallets to pay a multinational corporation for costly warships no one is sure we need, forgetting the chance to fix more shattered roads or provide food to more of our hungry neighbors.

A false choice — but one the city seems happy to make, unfortunately.


The United States was reportedly able to target an alleged al-Qaeda operative named Adnan al-Qadhi for a drone strike after U.S. allies in Yemen convinced an eight-year-old boy to place a tracking chip in the pocket of the man he considered to be his surrogate father. Shortly after the child planted the device, a U.S. drone tracked and killed al-Qadhi with a missile. He was killed last November, less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama’s re-election. Gregory Johnsen writes about the case in his new article "Did an 8-Year-Old Spy for America?" published in The Atlantic.


Vanessa has become one heck of an activist

I am sitting in a bakery in Bennington, Vermont due to the fact that Highway 9 is closed because of a major accident.  Police said the road would be closed for at least 90 minutes as they clear the two-lane country highway that runs east-west.  I am heading east.  Or I was heading east.

Early yesterday I took my scooter from Bath to nearby Brunswick and rented a car to make the six-hour drive to Grafton, New York for the 20th anniversary Hiroshima observance at the Nipponzan Myohoji Peace Pagoda.  I arrived early enough to be greeted by Buddhist nun Jun-san who set me up to take a very hot soak in their wood-fired hot tub.  I'm talking hot I had to jump out and add a bunch of cold war.  Even then when I finally got out my body had turned rosy red.

But the hot soak relieved the road tension from my body and I took a short nap before about 30 people loaded up and made the 4.5 mile drive into the center of Grafton.  From there we walked back behind the chanting and drumming monk and nun to the Peace Pagoda which is set in the countryside of rolling hills that borders New York and Vermont.  When the walk arrived back at the Pagoda it was just turning dark and we were greeted by about 40 more people who had come for the ceremony.  As we walked up the rocky driveway thru the woods to the Pagoda a line of white paper bags with a candle inside had been placed along the path to light our way.

The first thing we did was enter the temple and Hattie Nestle, long time anti-nuclear campaigner from Western Massachusetts, did a moving and troubling slide show about Fukushima and the condition of the nuclear power plan now running in Vermont.  Hattie and others have been organizing monthly protests and civil resistance actions at the troubled nuclear power plant.

Following that we went outside and were each given a white paper bag with a candle which we took up to the Pagoda and they were placed all the way around the peaceful monument which was quite a site to behold.  Then we all gathered on wooden benches near the front of the Pagoda and a series of spiritual leaders made prayers for peace.  One Mohawk first nations man from Canada told the moving story of how his people this very weekend are meeting to remember the story about how they had long ago buried their weapons in an effort to move from constant wars to a more peaceful way of life.  They wanted to bury their dark side.

One of the people who was at the gathering is dear friend Vanessa Whitney Zorlu who I've met on several Nipponzan Myohoji peace walks over the years.  This young woman has become a remarkable activist and last year spent three-months walking across Western Australia to bring attention to uranium mining on indigenous lands.  Vanessa hopes to come to Maine to join our Oct 10-19 drone peace walk.

I was asked to speak about nuclear power in space to the gathering last evening and I told the story about many years of opposition to the launching of plutonium into space by the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and the Global Network.  I invited the assembled to join us for the October walk in Maine.

About 10:00 pm, after most people had left, the remaining couple dozen folks at the Pagoda came inside to share some hot miso soup and rice balls.  A young woman approached me and asked if I recognized her.  Sadly I told her I did not.  Then she introduced herself as Olga Ehrlich, daughter of long-time friends Tony and Beth Ehrlich from Florida.  A very young Olga was arrested at Cape Canaveral in 1987 at our largest ever protest at the space center when nearly 200 people tried to non-violently block the first test launch of the Trident II nuclear missile.  I told her she looked much different in those days - a bit wild and rebellious but it is clear that her parents raised a fine person.

Once the road opens I'll head east again for Maine.  I've got to get home because on Sunday there will be a showing of The Ghosts of Jeju in Bath at the local Episcopal Church and I don't want to miss that.

On the side of the Pagoda were the last words of Budda:  Life is a like a river flowing, don't hold onto the past, work hard.  Words to live by for sure.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


The world is losing trust in the dollar as a safe haven. A major blow came after Germany's Bundesbank demanded the repatriation of a big chunk of its gold being held in the US. Because as RT's Gayane Chichakyan reports, some are concerned the assets of foreign nations in the Federal Reserve are not secure or even there. The Germans were infuriated when the US Federal reserve didn't even let them examine their own assets properly. Peter Boehringer, the founder and chairman of 'German Precious Metal Association', says that's a bad sign.


  • I've been going at a frenetic pace all week and today is my day to stop.  I've been like a man obsessed and I need to slow down.  I type this still in my pajamas. It's a good start.
  • This morning I was greeted to many back-and-forth comments in my email box relating to Bradley Manning's sort of apology yesterday at his trial sentencing for spilling the beans on the US governments deception and war-mongering.  Some folks were upset with him that he didn't throw himself on a sword and others were much more understanding and supportive, especially after the revelations about his tragic childhood.  I come down on the gentle side, the guy is facing 2-3 life in prison sentences, he's been tortured already in prison, why expect him not to want to save his skin.  He shown great courage releasing the mountains of documents, his part of the truth telling has been done.
  • I got an email from a local Bath resident yesterday after a second Op-Ed I wrote about proposed corporate welfare for Bath Iron Works (locally called a TIF) was published in our local Times Record newspaper.  The person wrote:
FYI, when BIW approached the people of Maine for initial TIF funding for the Land Level Transfer Facility [in the late 1990's] it was made quite clear that the expressed purpose of the modernization was to achieve a 1/3 decline of its workforce. That was understood by all parties, from the get-go, and publicly financed anyway. The deception, if one views it as such, was that BIW succeeded in gaining permitting by claiming that it could not modernize elsewhere than at the existing facility, while allowing the public, somehow, (by their never reading the permitting filings!) to assume that lack of public funding might prompt BIW's departure. BIW is very adept in such matters, and the public's supposed watchdogs are very lazy.
  • What we are seeing here in Maine is the local and state governments paying BIW (owned by General Dynamics) to cut the work force in hopes they will stick around anyway.  As it turns out only 500 of the couple thousand workers at BIW actually live in Bath.
  • One local friend reminded me that when BIW gets more tax cuts from the city of Bath other local towns that share the cost of the regional school district get the shaft.  That's because the share that Bath can put into the regional school pot gets reduced and then other small towns have to pay more.  My friend called this whole BIW tax credit scam "The TIF of the iceberg".  A nice turn of phrase for sure.
  • In the morning I rent a car and head to the Grafton Peace Pagoda in Petersburg, NY for the 68th Commemorative Ceremony of Hiroshima-Nagasaki by Nipponzan Myohoji.  Buddhist nun Jun-san Yasuda invited me to share some words there about nuclear power.  They are putting special emphasis on the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  New revelations from Fukushima suggest that the Pacific Ocean is becoming a radioactive mess due to the dumping of eons of nuclear waste into the sea. How could anyone still support nuclear power?
  • Word from the Philippines this morning:  "Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City was approached by the US to use the old airport as a military base, starting with its drone program, speaks of a US military design in Mindanao as part of the US pivot to Asia."  Mayor Duterte turned the US down.  Already the US has hundreds of troops on Mindanao which is the second largest and southernmost island in the Philippines. Davao City is the largest city in Mindanao.  Mindanao is the only area of the Philippines with a significant Muslim presence. Due to widespread poverty the island has been the site of a separatist movement by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Fighting between MILF and Philippine forces has displaced more than 100,000 people.  US troops are there to ostensibly fight against "terrorism".

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


October 10-19, 2013

Welcome & Register

We invite you to consider joining the October 10-19 Preserve our Privacy: No Drone Spying in Maine peace walk.   The walk is being organized by the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home and Maine Veterans for Peace.

The peace walk will be led by Buddhist nun Jun-san Yasuda (Grafton, NY) from the Nipponzan Myohoji order.  They are an order from Japan and specialize in doing peace walks all over the world.

We must push back against the expanding use of surveillance drones in the US and weaponized drones around the world that are killing many innocent people.  There is much talk about bringing drones to Maine and making the Presque Isle airport a weaponized drone test center, thus our reason for starting the walk in Aroostook County.

Below you will find the daily walk schedule.  Please note that we will usually begin walking at 8:30 am each day and walk about three miles per hour. Most evening’s local hosts will organize a potluck supper for us around 6:00 pm.  The public is invited to attend any and all events.  On most of the nights a short program will follow the supper.

We would like for you to let us know if you plan to be with us for any part of this peace walk so we can more effectively make our logistical plans.  Contact us at or 207-443-9502 and let us know the date(s) you plan to join us, your name, and contact information for each person.

What to Bring?

If you plan to walk we recommend you bring:  good walking shoes; water bottle; rain gear (including rain pants); sleeping bag (some nights we will be provided with home hospitality, other nights we will sleep on church floors); a cup/bowl/chopsticks/spoon; and hat.

We will have a covered truck to haul all walker gear so you will not have to carry anything.  We will also have vans to give people rides when they get tired during the walk or need to get back to their cars.

This will be a community building experience for all of us.

Drone Walk Schedule

·       October 10 (Thursday) Begin in Limestone (former Loring AFB) and walk to Caribou.

·       Oct 11  (Friday) Walk to Presque Isle

·       Oct 12  (Saturday) Drive to Indian Island (near Old Town) and walk into Bangor and have program that night

·       Oct 13  (Sunday) Walk to Skowhegan (need to drive some part of the day) with program that night

·       Oct 14  (Monday) Walk to Mercer

·       Oct 15  (Tuesday) Walk to Farmington with program that night

·       Oct 16  (Wednesday) Walk to Waterville (need to shuttle some part of the day)

·       Oct 17 (Thursday) Walk to Belgrade

·       Oct 18  (Friday) Walk to Augusta and hold closing ceremony at state capital (Potluck & program at Mediation & Facilitation Resource Center, 11 King St)

·       Oct 19 (Saturday) Shuttle to Bath and join protest against BIW "Christening" of first stealth destroyer - we urge folks to join us from around state 

Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home

Maine Veterans for Peace


The US, and a cancerous NATO, has their eyes on bringing Georgia into the alliance next.  Already more than a dozen former members of the Soviet-era Warsaw Pact block have been brought over into NATO.  Georgia, sitting along the strategic Black Sea on Russia's southern border, would be the grand prize.

In 2008 the US encouraged Georgia to attack the two break away provinces Abkhazia and S. Ossetia (which have large Russian populations).  The brief war was a disaster for the US and Georgia as Russia counter-attacked and pushed Georgian forces back.  I blogged quite a bit about all of this at the time and you can see it here.

In the summer of 2008, just as the smoking embers were subsiding, then Senator Joseph Biden made the trip to Georgia to beat the war drums and threaten Russia with "consequences" if they didn't leave Georgia alone. "When Congress reconvenes, I intend to work with the [George W. Bush] administration to seek Congressional approval for $1 billion in emergency assistance for Georgia, with a substantial down payment on that aid to be included in the Congress' next supplemental spending bill," Biden said at the time.

Since Obama and Biden took power in Washington they've increased efforts to bring Georgia into NATO and they've continued sending money and military equipment there.

Last weekend the US Navy Destroyer Bulkeley arrived at a Georgian Black Sea port for several days of "maneuvers". Very recently two Georgian combat battalions were undergoing training at a US Army base in Southern Germany.

Reminder:  After the reunification of Germany the former Soviet Union was worried what this could mean as a unified Germany had previously tried to invade the Russian territories.  Although then-Secretary of State James Baker had assured Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the time of German reunification in 1990 that NATO would not be moved one inch eastward, a unified Germany was brought into NATO and the capitalist military alliance immediately began moving east to the borders of Poland and Czechoslovakia and closer to that of the Soviet Union.  Today NATO perches in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia along Russia's western border.  Georgia and Finland (both bordering Russia) are on the NATO expansion list.  At the same time we see Russia being demonized in the corporate dominated media in the US and in Europe and the US/NATO "missile defense" system continues to grow in its encirclement of Russia. 

Put two and two together and what do you get?