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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The United Nations is warning Syria has become the most serious humanitarian crisis in the last 20 years.  People are now starving and suffering from the winter cold.

The US-NATO military alliance, led by the CIA, helped get this mess going by training and arming the so-called "insurgency" in their idiotic attempt to topple the Syrian government and install their own puppet.  Saudi Arabia emptied their jails and sent scores of fundamentalists to join the disparate Al-Quida forces that streamed into Syria from across the region.  The faked up sarin gas story, that Obama tried to use as a pretext for US cruise missile attacks, didn't work for the US war machine and has since been discredited.

Much like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan the US-NATO have left behind civil war and a growing refugee crisis with little immediate chance of resolution.


Disagreement between EU member states is growing as its newest members Bulgaria and Romania prepare to gain the same rights as other citizens. Freedom of movement and banking are driving a wedge between nations that fear the flood of benefit hungry immigrants and unfair competition as Polly Boiko reports.


Native News Online reports:

One hundred and twenty-three winters ago, on December 29, 1890, some 150 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by the US 7th Calvary Regiment near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some estimate the actual number closer to 300.

Snowfall was heavy that December week. The Lakota ancestors killed that day were left in brutal frigid wintry plains of the reservation before a burial party came to bury them in one mass grave. The photograph of Big Foot’s frozen and contorted body is a symbol for all American Indians of what happened to our ancestors.

Today we see similar photos from Yemen or Pakistan where groups of innocent civilians have been massacred by the US military.  Kill and grab is the ideology of the nation that has 5% of the world's population but uses over 25%  of global resources.  War is about extraction and the US is good at it.  You can say that by now "it's nearly in the blood of any good American".  If not the desire to actually do the killing - then say most 'good Americans' have learned to look the other way while they hop into their wheels and go shopping for just the right stuff.
There is one story I most remember from the period (late 1800's) of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull in South Dakota.  They were the last two bands of resistance to the US control of the Black Hills so that gold mining could begin in earnest.  Finally they both gave up (largely because of starvation) and were sitting in tepees on their reservations.  No horses, no guns - waiting on the rancid meat and bug filled flour and thin blankets from the corporations that supplied the reservation.  It was a policy of genocide in order to clear the land of any obstacles to rip and snort extraction. Capitalism had to dominate and control this outlandish nature-based way of life that stood in the way of "progress".

But the corporations were not satisfied.  They were still greedy and saw the opportunity for more.  The end of the war on the indigenous people of the west had come.  (Similar to the situation today in Afghanistan.)  The weapons companies that made considerable profit from the civil war and Indians wars faced a massive downturn in contracts from the government.  So what the military industrial complex did in the late 1800's was to hire artists to create fake drawings of Crazy Horse back on the warpath.  Raping women, killing children - so-called terrorists. Then writers created false stories to go along with the renderings.  These phony stories were placed in major newspapers across the US and an "outraged public" called for Congress to do something about those 'wild injuns'.  So immediately Congress swung into action and appropriated more money for war. 

When we step back we can see these same historic "methods of operation" take place in our militarized culture today.  We can begin to see how the media many of us watch and read are playing our minds like a master fiddler. 

Monday, December 30, 2013



The corporate oligarchy runs the US and significant parts of the world by using agencies like the NSA and the CIA to guide the propaganda and war machine.

Note the part near the end of the video about the NSA intercepting all computers that are sold on the commercial market and implanting chips in them so they can track all of us with every key stroke we make.  Over the top?

These guys inside the national security complex hate having the light of truth shined on them.  They are afraid at some point the public will turn on them - thus their naming of Snowden as a treasonous traitor and other such blarney.

The public is yawning as if awakening....we saw them respond well on the Syria issue.  We pray that the people will push back hard on these spying-surveillance issues while there is still a crack of light coming through the doorway.


We had more snow last night and are running out of places to put it.  Next Thursday and Friday the weather report says we will get up to 16 inches more of snow.  That will be a nightmare.

The last couple years we didn't get much snow at all.  But climate change experts predict that some places will get more drought and other places will be wetter in the future.  The predictions are that Maine will be a wet place and this winter's snowfall could be a sign of the times.

We have five doors on our big house so we've got to keep them cleared with paths open to each.  In addition we need paths to the shed and to the wood piles and compost heap.  Then the stairs (in the photo above) need to be cleared off and the roof over those stairs must be raked clear of snow or else when it begins to melt we get massive ice dams that can destroy the roof line.  Once you pull down the snow from the roof the stairs and ground below have to be cleared again.  It's a big job and I'm not complaining - it's why I wanted to move to Maine.  I love the snow and it is good exercise.

This morning MB and I were out clearing snow and it took us just over an hour to move about 3-4 inches of new snow.  The workout saves us from having to pay for a membership at the local YMCA.

We hire a friend to plow our long driveway with his truck.  After that is done we have to go and reopen the paths to the back doors and to the shed and wood pile.

There is nothing better than sitting in front of the wood stove in the kitchen watching the beautiful snow come down.  Once it stops though the work begins in earnest.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


  • Two days ago more than 100,000 people turned out in Seoul, South Korea to call for the resignation of right-wing President Park, the daughter of a former US puppet and brutal dictator.  The South Koreans have had it with their corporate dominated government that has drowned their democracy and they are non-violently pushing back.  We have so much to learn from the South Korean movements.
  • Over Christmas we had one of our dear local friends and her children share the holiday with us.  The single mother and her girls lived here at the Addams-Melman House for a couple of years and she still considers herself a lifetime member.  While here she was using my computer to try to figure out her unfair and bizarre college debt repayment schedule.  Like so many other students across the nation she is saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of student loans that must be repaid.  If Congress would just cancel one weapon system they could then forgive all student debt and give the next generation half a chance of getting out from under this indentured servitude.
  • The US government and its media, enthusiastic in their support for regime change in the Ukraine, has ignored information about the makeup and character of the demonstrations against the government. US and NATO officials have participated in the demos, including US Asst Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Murphy (D-CT). In fact, the demonstrators include racists, anti-Semites, and neo-Nazis. The leader of the“Fatherland” coalition in the absence of jailed leader Yulia Tymoshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “as a Christian and a Greek Catholic," rants against gay marriage. A major contributor to the demonstrations is the far right “Freedom” party, which this year the World Jewish Congress - and many others - described as neo-Nazi. Another smaller component is the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, established by the former Nazi collaborator émigré group, the war time Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUM ) which assisted in the extermination of Ukrainian and other Jews. Still another is the Ukrainian National Assembly/Self Defense, which maintains a close relationship with the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany.  There are many other elements in the demonstrations, some of which appear to be non-violent and more democratic but you can count on the fact that the US is encouraging the right-wing elements to take charge and funneling big money their way. 

Sometime early next year, Boeing will make one state very happy and more than a dozen others very sad. It will select the location for a new manufacturing plant to build its 777X airliner, gifting what it promises will be thousands of good-paying jobs to the winner.

Those jobs are shaping up to be one of the most sought-after economic development prizes of 2014. Every state that covets them is, at Boeing’s urging, preparing a package of tax breaks and other government incentives, reaching into the billions of dollars. It’s the latest example of a decade-long trend: As good jobs have become harder to find, states have approved bigger economic handouts to attract or keep individual companies.
The state of Washington has offered Boeing $9 billion in tax breaks if they keep the 777X production there but the greedy bastards at the top of the corporation are fishing for even more.   

  • I did a live interview on Iranian TV this morning about US military base expansion in Okinawa. (75% of US military bases in Japan are located on Okinawa.) I expanded the interview to talk more broadly about the Obama "pivot" of 60% of US military forces into the Asia-Pacific in order to control China.  I mentioned that other islands, like Okinawa, in places like Jeju Island, Guam, Philippines, Hawaii and more are being overwhelmed with Pentagon demands for more bases, barracks, ports and airfields. Why won't mainstream media in the US ever cover this issue?  They are usually owned by the same corporate interests who run the war machine. 
  • A late Xmas card from a friend here in Maine arrived with the wonderful hand-written words: "May your roots going down deeper than evil can reach keep your joy alive."  A true blessing.  



Saturday, December 28, 2013


4th of July in Bath, Maine

I often suffer from the world.  Maybe because we moved around in my Air Force family so much I have always found myself deeply identifying with suffering people everywhere.  Because I lived in Germany and England when I was young I never considered myself an "American" when we moved back stateside.  Really my only loyalty to America was the Baltimore Orioles baseball them - my version of a hometown - and hamburgers.

I didn't think much about US military bases when I was young.  When we were overseas we spent good periods of time living "on the economy" - which in those days meant living in the local community - because the waiting list for on-base housing was too long.  So the experience of living with the German and English people was that the barbed wire fences were torn down for me and I could really learn from the people.  I was still getting all the pro-American brainwashing in my military run school but off base I confronted the real world.  We had our car tires slashed once and I saw "Yankee Go Home" spray-painted on walls in downtown Wiesbaden, Germany.  Nothing unique I know, but for me they were flashes of light.

Our school took our 9th grade class out to see the ruins of a former Roman military barracks overlooking the Rhine River.  I found myself wondering what the Romans were doing so far from home?  It made no sense, it was unsustainable in nature.  But I didn't immediately make the connection between the Roman Empire and the one my family was representing with our stationing in Germany.  I was always a bit slow.

Part of my suffering was about my own dysfunctional family.  Alcohol, violence and deep personal insecurity was the reality of my family.  My mother, pregnant early and shipped south because of the shame, met my father who was 10 years older than her.  He was shy and bookish and had a small chicken and turkey farm in Maryland.  My father was 'boring' and religious and my mother was a bit wild and angry at the world. They didn't last long.  My Italian immigrant grandparents, settled in Connecticut, and my grandfather hid his Jewish roots and married a devout Italian woman who was Northern Baptist.  My mother fell in love with a young Jewish guy and her father prohibited the relationship.  It appears to me my mother rebelled and wanted to acknowledge their Jewish heritage.  But my grandfather was a social climber and wanted no obstacle to his ascending the great ladder of success.  My mother had a hard road after all that and the six kids she dragged along (sometimes while singing beautiful Italian songs) all have our scars from the experience.

It was my stepfather, who my mother married when I was about three years old, who was in the Air Force.  He grew up in Maine and was a true Mainer in that he could do everything - fix cars, carpentry, plumbing, electronics, photography and more.  He was a good horse trader and often bought, fixed, and sold cheap cars on the side to make a few extra bucks to help feed all six kids - three of which came from mom's first marriage.  There was lots of pressure on Wesley, and like many in the military he drank.  It was not until I joined the Air Force myself did I see how the military intentionally peddles alcohol to personnel.  By creating legions of alcoholics the military retention problem was abated.  These days the poverty draft helps keep the barracks full. Imagine the profits the alcohol industry makes on military bases.

One of our military postings was in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  We moved there in the middle of a snowstorm.  Everywhere I went during my time in the Black Hills or the nearby Badlands I felt the spiritual nature of these places and it cut right to my core.  The wild sweet smelling grasses, the bitter howling cold wind, the big skies, the dry heat and rattle snakes, the shiny rocks and petrified wood, the sounds of the beating drums and high keening of the Lakota people - all brought me home.  I found out about our connection to Mother Earth and our relatives in the other life forms around us.  I prayed at night (of course after I first said the Lord's Prayer) to the Great Spirit begging to be part of the spiritual energy connection that ran through all life.  Please help me be part of "all my relatives"... I will give my life to it if you could help me.

Little did I know that there was not a sign-up sheet for this one.... if you wanted it all you had to do was take it.  Believe in it.... feel it......I've spent my adult life trying to make that all real for me. I've tried to keep my promise to the Great Spirit.

I thank my Mother Earth and my earthly mother Ruth, for my life.  I thank the water and air for keeping me alive.  I thank the wood that keeps us dry and warm inside our house.  I thank my sisters and my friends.  I thank Julian for being my son and I thank MB for helping me learn how to love.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Sent to me this morning from a friend in Maine......

Thursday, December 26, 2013


MB and I with our favorite gals at the Addams-Melman House yesterday.  We were looking at the new book called "Even Aliens Need Snacks"

Our neighbors house grows icicles

  • MB works for an organization that runs a homeless shelter/soup kitchen in Portland.  It's a 45-minute drive from here.  In Maine jobs are few and far between so people have to move around to work.  She must be "on call" during the holidays because her turn came up in the supervisor’s rotation.  So last night, Christmas night, at 12:30 she was woken by the beeper signaling her that she had to respond to a situation.  Someone in one of the programs didn't show up for the late shift.  So MB drove to Portland, worked all night, and then came home about 7:00 am to sleep before leaving again just after noon to go back to work today on her own job.  This is the kind of life that social workers are being hammered with as cutbacks in jobs and social program funding is flooding the homeless shelter with new desperate folks.  Not many people want to, or can, handle working in that environment. I wish the social workers national association was stronger in publicly defending their members and the people they struggle to serve.
  • One reason that there is no money around is because of all the corruption going on in Washington and at the state capitals.  Both Republicans and Democrats are so indebted for the campaign donations given by Mr. Big that they must in return hand back massive funds to the corporate oligarchy.  They rob Peter to pay Paul.  And how do those "leaders" fight for the people who are being robbed?  Meekly and miserably....... and of course they keep the military production lines humming at all cost.  Even the liberals in Congress are on their knees before the mighty sword and crown.  The peasants are left to fend for themselves in their crumbling communities. 
  • Our friend Selma Sternlieb (a wonderful editor) lives in nearby Brunswick and sent an email around this morning illustrating one version of corporate welfare.  Here it is:
The federal government paid millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies to 50 billionaires who had interests in megafarms*** at the same time that Congress cut 5 million people off of food stamps.
  • Welfare doesn't have a bad name when Mr. Big grabs his bling.  They even dare say they are creating jobs for the people.  It's all a hoax and the word is out - Mr. Big is done - but it only happens if we all do it together. Each using their particular skills and contacts to bring on the non-violent revolution. It's the 3rd way we've all been looking for - power to the people from home to the top of the hill.  Call it socialism, communism, anarchy, christianity, feudal cooperative culture - it doesn't really matter to me.  Capitalism doesn't work for the people and the current mess, is to a large extent, a result of spiritual breakdown - our connection to Mother Earth has been severed by the bulldozers and the addiction to the green frog skins.  We've got to repair the sacred web.
  • I continue to be intrigued by the new pope story.  I posted one video below about the bling priest in Germany who just got fired (or relocated) due to spending $40 million on his private palace.  Not the kind of story you necessarily want to come out at Christmas time.  After all Jesus got nailed to the cross for taking on the empire and Rome's now got priests and bishops on the loose.  Maybe if nuns could share power with men in the church there might be a faster consciousness raising within the flock and the hierarchy.  Until they get rid of all the gold, jewels, and cash they are holding and do more for the poor I've got little patience for the institution.  One local perennial Republican candidate for Congress (who never wins) wrote an interesting Op-Ed the other day defending the pope's recent critiques of capitalism.  The conservative maintained that the pope has a long record of opposing the left wing.  He's merely helping capitalism survive by forcing them to deal with their greedy warts and such.  Kind of a globalized version of FDR saving his greedy capitalist peers during the Great Depression here in the USA. On it goes.  The great unraveling......all things must pass.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Artists gather in Gangjeong village to cast away the evil spirits of militarism.

Video made by Grace Kim.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013





Conflict in South Sudan over control of oil.  Profits from the oil not making their way down to the people.  The hand of Mr. Big in this mess is obvious.


Global Network 22nd Annual Conference
March 14-16, 2014
 Santa Barbara, California

The 2014 Global Network space organizing conference will be held near Vandenberg AFB, California on March 14-16.  We will meet at the La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center in Santa Barbara.  On Friday, March 14 we’ll organize a 4:00 pm vigil at the front gate of Vandenberg and on the evening of March 15 we will hold a public event at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara. 

Speakers at the March 15 event will include: David Krieger (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation), Dave Webb (Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament-UK & Global Network board convener), Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker House), Christine Hong (Korea Policy Institute and UC Santa Cruz), Andrew Lichterman (Western States Legal Foundation), and Mary Beth Sullivan (Social worker & peace conversion activist).  Music will be provided by singer/songwriters Tom Neilson and Holly Gwinn Graham.

We will have limited sleeping space (dormitory style) available at the La Casa de Maria Retreat center so reservations will be necessary.  (Other hotel information will be available if you would prefer those arrangements.)  We will provide meals for those staying at the conference center.  A sliding scale charge will run from $50-$150 (pay what you can best afford.)

There will be no charge for the Saturday, March 15 public event that will be held at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara.  More details will follow.

Events will conclude on March 16 after lunch.

  • Please sign me up for a sleeping space at the retreat center on March 14 & 15.  Enclosed is _________ (Pay what you can best afford between $50-$150)  Meals are included.
  • Please send me local hotel information in the Santa Barbara area.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502

Monday, December 23, 2013


Richard Falk, who is a professor Emeritus of international law at Princeton University, was appointed in 2008 to a six-year position as the UN’s special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

Falk is catching hell from the Obama administration and other Israeli allies.  I say good for Richard Falk for just telling the truth about the current plight of the Palestinian people.  


Trained into's the militarization of our culture.  Can you say Israeli style?

To learn more about the TSA push back go here


I'm closely following the current developments from South Korea - maybe it should be renamed the "Corporate state of South Korea".  This week's right-wing government "surprise" was to bust into the multi-storied headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) on Dec. 22.  The current fascist government in the corporate state of South Korea is cracking down hard these days on anyone that dares to peep their head into the clouds.  Everyone is supposed to look down and bow directly to the corporate dominated consumer culture they are being shackled with.

On previous trips to South Korea I was taken by Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi to meet with representatives of the KCTU while in Seoul.  They kindly assigned a reporter from the union newspaper to one meeting where I talked about the growing militarization and corporatization of space and ultimately the earth below.  They gave me a chance to reach South Korean workers with our message and I was happy to make that connection.

I learned alot in South Korea about the corporate and military connection and the return to a fascist model.  Right after WW II, when the US took over South Korea, there was a harsh period when many were jailed for long periods or killed for opposing the puppet government run by Uncle Sam and his investors.  The long struggle against the military "Uncle" (such misuse of a sacred word) forced a relaxation of the military boot and helped build hopes for some kind of reunification with North Korea.  But now the boot is coming down hard again as the workers, through their unions and general domestic support, have made significant economic gains for many people.  And with that came more political voice across their nation.  Those gains though have become too costly to those who rule and they also feared a strong and mobilized labor would naturally oppose the growing militarization of the Republic of [South] Korea - a sure sign that Uncle Sam had "big plans" for the near future.

South Korea is a US military colony - just as are Guam, Hawaii, Taiwan, Japan and Okinawa, and soon again the Philippines.  All of this is aimed directly at China.  Boom.

Back here at home, as we near the birthday of the prince of peace, the few remaining decent paying jobs across America are in the military production system.  Alot of paper pushers fill those jobs because Mr. Big needs to skim off a good-sized national layer of bright, ambitious, and good-hearted folks who must be kept employed, and satisfied, if the corporate oligarchy wishes to keep control.  Social control is maintained by that thin but wide layer of natural born leaders that essentially get bought off with good jobs.  If they still have a conscience they join the Sierra Club.

That group is now on the ledge - fearing that they will soon be pushed over - to fall likely into the declining welfare system - imagine falling from one safety net to the other, each with gaping holes.  Ouch.

When this "executive layer" falls out of grace the political momentum will pick up across our land.  Our work now is to connect with them to ensure they have open hearts and understand the deeply wounded moment we are in as we see our Mother Earth in toxic shock.  We must ask the question:  "Can we now all get on with the real program"?......

What say you my friend?


Police break down the glass door at the Korean Confederation of Trade Union headquarters during a government raid of KCTU in Seoul on December 22.

Umbrella trade union KCTU sets Dec. 28 for a general strike

By Jeon Jong-hwi, Im In-tack and Lee Jung-gook, staff reporters
the Hankyoreh

The Park Geun-hye administration, which has maintained an “uncommunicative and proud of it” approach on contentious social issues, is ramping up its use of force and rejecting dialogue.

In the latest development, police stormed the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) on Dec. 22, the fourteenth day of an ongoing strike against railway privatization. It was the first time authorities had been sent into the KCTU since it was legalized in 1999.

The police were there to execute arrest warrants for nine members of the leadership for the Korean Railway Workers’ Union (KRWU), but the individuals in question weren’t there. Instead, the 136 KCTU officials and members who fought back against the police were rounded up and arrested.

After convening an emergency meeting of its central committee, the KCTU declared a “genuine campaign to bring down the Park administration,” with a general strike to start on Dec. 28.

The government’s attack on the KCTU was a signal of how anxious it is to end the KRWU strike, which has drawn out to become the longest in South Korean railway history. As popular support for the anti-privatization strike remains high, the situation appears poised to escalate into a more general anti-privatization campaign in areas like healthcare and education. With the “front lines” of the privatization furor now parked on the railway, the government appears to be trying to break them down as quickly as possible.

Previously, Park called the strike a “groundless action that shows a lack of trust in the government’s promise not to privatize.” Police and prosecutors promised to enforce the law rigorously.

“There seems to have been a strategic decision by the hard line bureaucrats in the Blue House,” said Cho Hee-yeon, a professor at Sungkonghoe University’s graduate school of NGO studies. “Crushing the privatization strike is the only way to keep the unions in check, and they would also be able to push the next phase of their policy.”

“In short, they see it as a great opportunity,” Cho said.

Indeed, unions are among the best organized areas in South Korean society for speaking out on social issues.

Another of the government’s aims is to draw a clear line that extends beyond the KRWU to all members of the labor community who oppose the administration’s policies. While the KCTU, KRWU, and civil society in general have proposed setting up a “social dialogue” framework to address the key issue in the privatization furor - the establishment of a KORAIL subsidiary - the government’s response has instead been an ostentatious use of force. In effect, it has shown that it intends to respond to the debate by putting physical force ahead of dialogue.

“The government should be the ones initiating dialogue,” said a KRWU source on condition of anonymity. “Instead, they’ve issued what amounts to a declaration of war. They refuse to even recognize the body that is the supreme representative of unions, viewing it as an enemy instead.”

Some are saying the administration’s militant response is a reaction to having its legitimacy called into question. From this position, the actions are intended to break a deadlock that has been going for nearly a year since Park took office.

It’s a year that has seen one problem after another for the administration. Already facing a challenge to its legitimacy due to the election interference by the National Intelligence Service and the military’s Cyber Command, it has had to deal with a backlash over backpedaling on its basic old age pension election pledges, the privatization controversy, and charges of “targeting” former Prosecutor General Chae Dong-wook.

“These actions come in the context of questions about the administration’s legitimacy, after it emerged that the election that brought it into office was unfair, along with a loss of popular support over the backpedaling on election pledges,” said Catholic University of Korea professor Cho Don-moon.

“They can’t win the people over, and they’re trampling on the right to pursue stability and happiness,” Cho added. “What happened today shows just how weak the administration’s legitimacy is.”

The KCTU’s declaration of a campaign to “bring down the administration” comes two years and one month after the ruling Saenuri Party (NFP) single-handedly pushed the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement through the National Assembly in Nov. 2011. All that’s left now is a clash between giants.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Happy holidays to everyone.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


The Pentagon has secured a $630 billion budget for next year, even though it's failed to even account for the money it's received since 1996. A whopping $8.5 trillion of taxpayer cash have gone to Pentagon programmes - none of which has been audited. This black budget has sparked concerns over potential fraud, as Gayane Chichakyan reports.

Some years ago a journalist who writes for Jane's Defense Weekly studied the US black budget to try to determine where this secret budget architecture came from.  He came to the conclusion that the Nazi operatives smuggled into the US after WW II during Operation Paperclip carried the secret weapons development program with them. They had used the secret program during Hitler's regime to develop weapons systems like the V-1 and V-2 rockets.


MB and I are on Cape Cod, Massachusetts to attend a wedding.  We went for a walk this morning along the ocean.  The weather here is quite mild for this time of year.

When we left Maine yesterday there was almost two feet of snow on the ground.  After nearly a six hour drive south we found no snow here when we arrived last night.  And much higher temperatures.

We return home tomorrow and the weather report calls for an ice storm in Maine as we head back north.  It's quite amazing how just a few hours difference can usher in such huge changes in weather conditions.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and several other EU countries were named among "third party partners" in the NSA-led global signal intelligence program, a new leak submitted by journalist Glenn Greenwald to Danish TV reveals.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Brazil has rejected a contract for Boeing's F/A-18 fighter jets in favor of the Swedish Saab's JAS 39 Gripens. The unexpected move to reject the US bid comes amid the global scandal over the NSA's involvement in economic espionage activities.


A recent protest in Springfield, Oregon as our corporate dominated government moves to privatize the postal service.  If we want money for post offices, education, healthcare, infrastructure repair, and the development of sustainable technologies then we'd better wake up and smell the coffee.

The buried treasure chest is called the military budget. Make the connections and survive.


New Chinese aircraft carrier was recently challenged by US Aegis cruiser

Sometimes I just shake my head in disbelief.... the recent US-China military near hit (the second time in recent months) indicates that our nation is pushing this power trip thing way too hard.  This game is being ramped up to create "China fear" in the hearts and minds of the people (here and around the world).  China says it is not rolling over.  Someone or something eventually has to give way...

Foreign Policy reports on the recent naval warship "near collision" between the US and China:

On Dec. 5, the U.S. missile-carrying cruiser Cowpens almost collided with a Chinese ship in international waters. The Cowpens was observing the maiden voyage of China's new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (pictured above), when a vessel accompanying it cut across the Cowpens' bow less than 200 yards away, forcing it to change course. Chinese and U.S. sources agreed that this was the most serious incident between the two countries' navies since 2009, when Chinese ships harassed a U.S. vessel about 75 miles away from southern China's Hainan island -- but Chinese officials are speaking louder about it than their U.S. counterparts. After the story was first reported on Dec. 13, an unnamed senior U.S. defense official told the New York Times that the Chinese ship had been "particularly aggressive" and "unhelpful in trying to increase cooperation between the two navies;" other major U.S. media reports cite unnamed officials as well. But Chinese were willing to go on-record with their side of the story: Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo told the state-run People's Daily that the Cowpens had provoked the confrontation.
On Dec. 5, the U.S. missile-carrying cruiser Cowpens almost collided with a Chinese ship in international waters. The Cowpens was observing the maiden voyage of China's new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (pictured above), when a vessel accompanying it cut across the Cowpens' bow less than 200 yards away, forcing it to change course. Chinese and U.S. sources agreed that this was the most serious incident between the two countries' navies since 2009, when Chinese ships harassed a U.S. vessel about 75 miles away from southern China's Hainan island -- but Chinese officials are speaking louder about it than their U.S. counterparts. After the story was first reported on Dec. 13, an unnamed senior U.S. defense official told the New York Times that the Chinese ship had been "particularly aggressive" and "unhelpful in trying to increase cooperation between the two navies;" other major U.S. media reports cite unnamed officials as well. But Chinese were willing to go on-record with their side of the story: Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo told the state-run People's Daily that the Cowpens had provoked the confrontation. - See more at:

As I write this I am listening to a recent interview with filmmaker Oliver Stone.  He's was talking about those inside the Pentagon, during the JFK administration, who wanted the US to push toward war with Russia because at the moment the Pentagon was confident they could "win the war".  Stone named Navy Admiral Arleigh Albert '31-knot' Burke as one of those key players who wanted war.  Today the Navy has named an entire class of Navy destroyers after Burke.  These destroyers, outfitted with 'missile defense' systems, are being used to encircle and provoke Russia and China.  The admiral would be proud - his blitzkrieg strategy still on the verge of being implemented by the Nobel Peace Prize president.

The cost of this enormously aggressive strategy is being felt in communities across the nation.  Here in Bath high percentages of children in school come from poor families.  Jobs are scarce, people are losing their homes, the homeless population is expanding rapidly, people can't afford to heat their homes, and our right-wing Gov. LePage keeps talking about the need to reform welfare.  Kick the cheats off the dole!  Studies show that the "cheats" are few and far between but that tens of millions of $$$$ in corporate welfare are handed out in Maine.  We are waiting for the Democrats to take that one on.... if they wish to defend the poor and struggling families they must take on the corporations.

But they must be pushed to do so.  A coalition rally to this end will be held in Augusta, Maine inside the capital Hall of Flags on January 9 at 1:00pm.

The Rally of Unity is a collaborative demonstration by the Alliance for Common Good, an ad-hoc coalition of over 20 environmental and social justice groups assembling as a unified front to give voice to ordinary Maine people and to push back against corporate dominance in government, with hopes to organize into the future.  We recognize that our democracy has been abandoned, so we must work together to tell to our elected officials that we want:

  • Maine Money and Resources for People, Not Corporations!
  • A Maine Economy that Protects the Environment
  • Money Out of Politics


Nuclear Engineer Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, confirmed that ocean currents are carrying the radioactive water to the West Coast. "There are several hundred tons of radioactive water that are pouring into the ocean at the site every day," Makhijani said.

According to a study published in the Journal Deep Sea Research 1, it will begin arriving this March.

TEPCO is in over their head and another earthquake could finish off the Fukushima plant.  At that point some scientists predict Japan would be fully contaminated and the west coast of the US would have to be evacuated.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Monday, December 16, 2013


If you've wondered about the politics of some of the protesters in Ukraine this video should help clear the picture.  Right-wing militarist Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) just went to Kiev to threaten Russia.  While McCain and the US are deeply interfering in the Ukraine situation they have the gall to tell neighboring Russia to leave Ukraine alone.  That would be like Russia coming to our country and telling Canada and the US how they should relate to one another.  Arrogant nonsense.

There can be no doubt that the US is spoiling for a fight with Russia.  Very dangerous and stupid.  Russia's response in recent days was to move some of their nuclear missiles closer to their European border.

I've seen more evidence that some elements of the Ukraine protests are from ultra right-wing parties.  For McCain to show up there should confirm that the worst elements of the US corporate oligarchy are deeply "embeded" in the so-called Ukraine revolution.  So is big $$$$ from the CIA.


The Spirit of Gangjeong #1 from Regis Tremblay on Vimeo.

Done by Regis Tremblay from Maine.  Regis has a son in the Army who served a year in Afghanistan.  Regis was very active in the Maine Occupy movement making videos and widely publicizing their messages on public access TV across the state.

He made the film The Ghosts of Jeju and recently has been touring the country promoting the Gangjeong village struggle.


We had a big storm yesterday that brought about a foot of snow.  I spent hours yesterday and today shoveling and raking off the roof.  I enjoy being outside, particularly while the storm is still in motion, in the wind and swirling snow. For me it's a mystical experience and takes me back to my young days in blizzards while living in South Dakota. Those were great times for me in so many ways.

The storm ended just in time for the driveway to be plowed and we lit the wood stove in our living room.  Then just after it got dark key folks from our recent BIW corporate subsidy campaign came for a potluck so we could all reconnect.  Our committee became very close during that intense process, each of them a gifted leader, each with great energy and a cooperative spirit.  It was a pure delight to work with them all.  So we kicked the ball around a bit just to see where our collective interests might take us.  Early signs are that cutting corporate welfare at the local/state level and conversion of BIW are on the table. 

This morning I drove to Harpswell, which is one of the five long finger-like islands that jut out into the ocean here along the midcoast. There is a public access TV studio there where the producer of This Issue, Eric Herter, can put our show together.  My guest this morning was Orlando Delogu who is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Maine law school.  Orlando helped us out during the height of the campaign opposing the BIW tax break and spoke before our Bath city council about the unfairness of the unneeded tax subsidy.  He's a very passionate man and I enjoyed watching him in action then as well as having him on the show today.  His bottom line is that big corporations don't need the money, they just take it because they can.  Until the public speaks out loudly Mr. Big will keep taking the fat.

The Lakota people called the white man wasi'chu which in their language means the 'one who steals the fat'.  The story is that the first time the Lakota people ever saw a white man he was sneaking inside their food storage tepee and took the buffalo fat that they saved for the worst of times. 

We've got to deal with the wasichu....they are robbing us blind.


CBS TV's show '60 Minutes' used to break many important news stories.  In recent years they've taken the dive and increasingly have become apologists for the corporate agenda.  This particular show on the NSA runs cover for the agency in order to put the American people at ease. 

Of course the NSA is lying but what's new.  They've fragmented the surveillance state system in such a way that they can offer this kind of "deny-ability about doing harm" and the corporate media has to let them slide.

Such is the pervasiveness of the clamp down machine these days.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Following a deadly U.S. drone strike on civilians in Yemen, members of a dozen peace groups wearing blue scarves gathered yesterday at the entrance of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. With guards and barricades on one side and cars whizzing by on Rt. 123 on the other, they held a vigil in memory of civilians, especially children, killed by U.S. drone bombings in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The CIA touts that drones are accurate,” said Jack McHale of Pax Christi USA to about 30 protestors from groups including CODEPINK and Veterans for Peace. But, he said, according to the Navy’s own analysis, they’re no more accurate than traditional air power. “I think we saw that this week when a wedding party was targeted and 17 people were killed as a result of an armed drone in Yemen.”


Peter Woodruff and I have had a weekly radio show on WBOR at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine for the past six years.  Peter works at Bath Iron Works and is a loyal union man.  We've had past union leaders on the show.  We talk politics, play commentaries, and put on good music connected to our theme that night.  Peter has been the stalwart spending hours each week finding new music and timely commentaries for us to share with our midcoast audience.  How many listeners?  Know one knows.  I used to ask folks to raise their hands high if they were listening so we could count them......

But its done now.  WBOR has come out with a new policy that all DJ's need to get a security clearance.  We are both refusing to take the "background checks" and ran that fact up the line of authority at the college.  Don't expect much sympathy since its a college decision to corporatize their security operation in the first place.

The company that would do the background checks is called HireRight.  The name speaks for itself.  Here is what the company offers their clients in today's "security market":

  • Superior in-country and global coverage
  • Customizable solutions to screen anyone in your organization, from the mailroom to the boardroom
  • The power to order, manage and view background checks via the Web or a pre-integrated solution
  • The most accurate and current information available
  • Quality searches processed in the fastest time possible
  • Unwavering commitment to legal compliance
  • All information passed through rigorous quality controls

Peter and I are slowing down a bit and have lots on our plate.  We'll miss the radio show but the larger issue screams out to me.  They are of course creating global databases with large amounts of profile information - and it is now reaching further into our communities and militarizing them. Even WBOR radio is now a state security entity.  The corporate state does intend to engulf the people with military operations and will use that apparatus to weed out those who don't cooperate with the program.  If you fail the test you'll be cast into the weeds to fend for yourself.  Hard times are coming.

Peter and I will keep finding new, even more effective ways, to reach the people.  We are going down swinging at the baseball.  The odds are that now and then you can hit the top of the fence during your lifetime.  It's worth trying but only if you keep the sacred prayer in your heart.

Hoka hey!


Saturday, December 14, 2013


An aerial view of Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard in Maine

I was out at the Advent vigil at BIW today.  It was about 10 degrees though felt much colder with the breeze coming off the river.  There were 10 of us there for the second to last of the weekly Advent season vigils.

One of the vigilers, a long-time local person, said that she felt the workers "get our message" but they are just in a place of fear where they worry about maintaining their comfortable lifestyle.  Many of the workers are driving in "style" as they leave the shipyard in their big V-8 pick-up trucks.  A very high percentage of them drive such rigs.  They don't come cheap and it must cost well over $100 to fill the gas tank these days.  That in itself could make you feel like you were walking on a tightrope.

I had an email this morning from a guy who is predicting major economic collapse for the US in the coming year.  He says that the military empire will quickly fall as a result.  The US would not be able to afford the bases or the price tag of the high-tech space directed control and domination program now in place.  There is no doubt that the one trillion a year cost of this US war machine is unsustainable.

Already we see unemployment insurance, food stamps, Head Start and other vital programs being trashed in order to keep the sinking war machine afloat.  Pretty soon, no matter how they try, there won't be $$$$ left to keep the Pentagon humming at its current rate. (This of course is one key reason why the US is corralling the NATO allies to help pay for the expanding offensive war system.)

My sign today depicted a high-speed rail system with the words "Made in Bath" and was painted by a local artist friend.  We know that the studies show that if we built rail at places like BIW we'd create twice the jobs that we currently get from building weapons for endless war.  You can see one such study here.

There will be a national conference call next Monday, December 16 at 7:00 pm to talk about growing interest in the conversion effort across the country.  The state of Connecticut this year created a conversion commission to plan for the inevitable.  I will be on the call.  Here is the info about it:

Monday, December 16th at 7:00 pm EST; 4 pm PSTCall-in number: 559-726-1300; Code 463900#

Friday, December 13, 2013


Members of the European Parliament are pressuring Ukraine's government to hold early elections - as a way out of the crisis that's gripped the country. Ukraine's government has said it could renegotiate the terms of the association deal, if Europe provides more money. The sides met in Brussels and agreed to discuss a new roadmap towards a possible deal. While in Kiev, anti-government protesters continue to defy the authorities, blocking the city centre with barricades and suspending the work of government institutions. And as RT's Aleksey Yaroshevsky reports, it's not only causing chaos in the streets but also taking a toll on the country's economy.


The Colbert Report
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This one speaks for itself......


[Seventeen] people on their way to a wedding in Yemen were killed in an air strike after their party was mistaken for an al Qaeda convoy, local security officials said on Thursday.

The officials did not identify the plane in the strike in central al-Bayda province, but tribal and local media sources said that it was a drone. Fifteen people on their way to a wedding in Yemen were killed in an air strike after their party was mistaken for an al Qaeda convoy, local security officials said on Thursday.

When I went to the Drone Summit in Washington last month a woman from Yemen really caught my ear when she said they they'd never heard of al-Qaeda until the US weaponized drone strikes began.  She also said that they believed the US was testing drones on them and would some day use them on the American people as well.  Think a bit about that one.......

  • There has been an interesting discussion on a Veterans for Peace list about the situation in Ukraine.  One Vietnam veteran, Bill Perry from the Philadelphia area, wrote a response to an earlier email that said, "Hats off to the 50 some Afghan veterans who stood up to the special police, the Berkut, in Ukraine."

    I wouldn't get too excited over this...

    CIA Asset Popovic (Orange Revolution, and other "Color revolutions", as well as some of the "Arab Spring" uprisings) are ALL part of our CIA & State Dep't Geopolitical plan of  installing the US/NATO "Missile Shield" around Russia (similar to our "Asia Pivot" to encircle China).

    The fact that "I made it absolutely clear to him that what happened last night, what has been happening in security terms here, is absolutely impermissible in a European state, in a democratic state,” Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, said after a two-hour meeting with [Ukraine head man] Yanukovych".

    The fact that this scumbag made this statement, and was backed up by John Kerry, saying the exact same thing, should make you want to look into this, a bit more.

    ANY objective observer knows both she, and John Kerry are flat out lying, about "this wouldn't happen in a democratic state". How bout dem OCCUPY's that were VIOLENTLY cleared in NYC, Philly, Oakland, SF, L.A., Greece, Portugal, Spain, et al?  Hundreds of beaten & gassed Occupy's, across the planet ~~   ALL "Democracies".

    When you see our Sec'y of State, our Sec'y of Defense, and oBOMBa's administration ALL lying to promote BALKANIZATION, red flags should go up.

    Once red flags go up, you can learn that these wonderful Ukrainian Veterans are Neo Nazis, and the street crowds are Reich wing libertarians, and, most comical, the actual working folks in the EU countries do NOT want the Ukraine peeps in the EU.

    Typical Great American Theater!
    bill perry

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Stop wasting global resources on militarization.  These precious resources are urgently needed to deal with climate change.

Convert the global war machine now.

Remember the seventh generation!


Congress provided the legislative vehicles for the NSA’s massive spying programs—and it’s time to roll them back.

The incredible abuse of government power demonstrated by the NSA spying programs shows the grave threat that secret and unchecked government surveillance programs present to democratic freedoms.

Act now to back legislation that repeals the surveillance state sections of the Patriot Act and FISA.


A very interesting look inside of North Korea from the seats of five New Zealanders on motor bikes.

Some really strikingly beautiful nature scenes in the video and it is obvious that they encountered many wonderful people.  It reminds me how much our view of North Korea is tainted by years of unrelenting US propaganda. 

Take a look and see for yourself.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Only hours before Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) announced yesterday that they reached a two-year budget agreement (The BiPartisan Budget Act of 2013), representatives from a broad coalition demanding a budget that would cut military expenditures in order to increase funding for a wide range of domestic programs called on Congressional leaders to craft a budget for people, peace and the planet.

This deal is very likely to pass thru the House and Senate.  The agreement will return some of the previous millions of dollars cut back to the Pentagon and continue cutting human needs programs.  It's an austerity budget.

For any push back to be effective it must spread widely across this big and difficult to organize nation.  But we have some things going in our favor: (1) The legacy of the occupy movement, which planted the seed of the 99%, is still strong. (2)  The new pope is speaking some pointed truths about capitalism. (3) The recent widespread public rejection of Obama's planned Syria attack unified the people and gave them a victory. (4) The growing despair and impatience of Mr. & Mrs. Average across America is growing daily. (5) The near universal understanding that corporations now run our government and foreign policy.

All of these factors combine to serve as a lightening strike waiting to happen.  Each of us should find ways in our local communities and regions to connect these dots and build local campaigns which offer the public an opportunity to step into a global political movement that is the best chance in our lifetime to turn back corporate control of the economy and politics.

Corporations have gone global - our organizing and articulation must as well.  In Thailand the riot police have put down their helmets, shields, and sticks and joined with non-violent protesters in the streets.  The police did not want to beat their own family and neighbors.  They recognized that they too cared about the issues the people are raising.

Let it be here as well.


In Maine six voters are required to sign the filing papers to begin the process to take an issue to statewide referendum.  I was one of those six who today met at our capital in Augusta.  Our next step is to gather 60,000 voter signatures to bring forward a citizens initiative calling for a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics - Move to Amend

We met today in Augusta at the state capital - Republicans, Democrats, Greens and Independent voters - all agreeing on the need to get big corporate money out of politics.

Since the 2010 US Supreme Court ruling called "Citizens United", when the high court ruled that corporations had the rights of individuals, we've witnessed an explosion of corporate money influencing our elections at the federal, state and local levels.

Across the nation 15 states have passed non-binding resolutions calling on Congress to create new laws regulating money in politics.  Nothing has happened.

Here in Maine our state legislature was one of those to pass a resolution and more than 26 local towns/cities across the state have also passed similar resolutions.

Now the next step is to hold a binding citizens initiative (vote) that calls on Congress to enact a constitutional convention that would write the 28th Amendment to the Constitution declaring that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

The real work lies ahead as the signature collection process is never easy to do but with the proper organizing effort can be accomplished.

The other five signers today on the We the People Maine Initiative were:  State Senator Edward Youngblood (Republican from Brewer); Dave Marshall (Green Party Portland City Councilman); Naomi Cohen (Campaign coordinator); Philip Worden (Attorney); Jacqui Deveneau (Chair of Greater Portland Move to Amend).


The fascist South Korean puppet government, fully under the control of the US corporate empire, is now paying operatives living in the US to disrupt protests done by progressive Koreans inside the US.

Below is an account of a recent protest at Yale University (New Haven, CT) that was against the South Korean (ROK) government and was disrupted by former ROK military men now living in the US.

On Dec. 7 (Sat.), a candle protest in demand of ‘Out, Park Geun-Hye,’ carried out by the Korean residents from the parts of Connecticut and New York, turned into a hell by the groups of right wing Korean residents from the New York. The groups of mostly ROK veterans were almost on the verge of being arrested for their awful violence on protesters.

It is known that the leader of a group wearing military uniform is a President of the ROK veteran association based in New York. It is also known that he is directed by the ROK vice-consulate in NY who was dispatched from the ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS). Each of the group is known to be paid of about $100 USD for one time mobilization. A leader of such group has leaked that about $2,000 including meal fee are paid for about 30 mobilized right wing people to interrupt people’s one time non-violent protest.

A woman who is a President of the NY Parents Association and also a government officer of the Education Dept., City of NY (Parents coordinator) - principally prohibited to contact with the intelligence departments from other countries - is in fact, taking a role of ROK NIS agency, such as by her meeting with the ROK NIS personnel, which would be greatly mattered.

An informant told that in case of NY, money is delivered from the ROK veterans to the account of Mr. M, whose origin is an ex-ROK navy officer. Mr. M is known to be one of famous figures in NY for his past career of Advisory chief of the Korean Society, NY.

As such, it is confirmed that the ROK government is illegally supporting funds to the ROK veterans in the United States to stop the Korean residents’ candle protest, which would bring a big ripple in the US not to mention the Korea-domestic political field if it becomes an issue.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Love thy neighbor as thy self.......


DP lawmaker says Pres. Park should step down after ‘cyber coup’

Opposition party distancing itself from lawmaker’s remarks, which they say are her personal position 

the hankyoreh (South Korea)

By Song Ho-jin, staff reporter

Jang Ha-na, a young first-term proportional representative Democratic Party lawmaker, caused a stir on Dec. 8 when she declared that last December’s presidential election was rigged as a result of the interference of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Cyber Warfare Command and called on President Park Geun-hye to step down and make way for a special presidential election during the regional elections in June of next year.

“It has been confirmed that the National Intelligence Service systematically posted 22 million messages using 2,270 Twitter accounts to help Park Geun-hye be elected president,” Jang said in a personal statement. “The only option remaining for Park, who came to office through a completely rigged and unfair election, is to apologize to the Korean people and resign immediately.”

“Park Geun-hye’s father became president through a coup that relied on guns and tanks. The only thing different in this election is that it was a cyber coup carried out by the National Intelligence Service and the army’s Cyber Warfare Command,” Jang said.

“Calling on Park and the Saenuri Party to reveal the truth and to take stern measures against those responsible is a waste of time. By holding a special presidential election at the same time as the regional election on June 4th, we can resolve all of the conflict in an efficient and economic manner,” Jang said, urging Park to make a decision.

While the Democratic Party has criticized the 2012 presidential election as having been illegal and unjust, this is the first time that a party lawmaker has openly called for the president to step down and for another presidential election to be held.

The ruling party immediately issued a heated response. “In short, I feel like we’re watching an absurd soap opera,” said Yoon Sang-hyun, deputy floor leader of the Saenuri Party (NFP). “These remarks are an insult to Korean voters and an affront to the president.”

“These were very regrettable and unfortunate remarks,” said Prime Minister Chung Hong-won in a full meeting of the Special Committee on Budget & Accounts.

DP spokesperson Park Yong-jin released a statement aimed at calming the situation. Park said that Jang had made the comments in a personal capacity. He expressed regret that Jang had made an official expression of her personal position that clashed with her party’s position.