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

Friday, January 31, 2014


Professor Yang Yoon-Mo hits his 365th day in prison today (January 31). Tomorrow is his birthday. It is Yang's 4th imprisonment for trying to block Navy base destruction vehicles on Jeju Island.  He still has about six more months on this jail sentence.

During his previous times in jail Yang has undertaken hunger strikes that nearly killed him.

He was a renowned professor and movie critic in South Korea and came back to his native Jeju to fight against the Navy base.  An earlier interview with Yang, filmed before the Gangjeong villagers were removed from their sacred rocky coast, can be seen just below.  It has English sub-titles.


Footage of what appears to be a group of cheering Afghans stoning a wreck of a Predator drone.  The MQ-1 Predator drone is used extensively by the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan for surveillance and to deliver airstrikes which frequently kill innocent civilians.

Drone crashes are normally not reported by the Pentagon or the CIA, which operate them in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Some transparency campaigners say the DoD is stonewalling their Freedom of Information requests for drone crash records.

Yet such incidents happen fairly often, especially with the fleet of unmanned aircraft rapidly expanding. Last year at least two military drones crashed, while this month the US Customs and Border Protection grounded its entire fleet after one of the drones was lost to a malfunction during a routine patrol mission off the California coast.


I went to our Veterans for Peace  monthly meeting last night in Augusta.  We made final plans for this exciting event tomorrow evening in nearby Brunswick. Two of my favorite activists in the US are coming to speak about their recent trip to Palestine.  Tarak Kauff and Ellen Davidson (both from New York) are active members of Veterans for Peace and are really dedicated and fun people.  They've been up to Maine before and we are glad to have them coming back again.

Yonatan Shipira will be with us via Skype to report on his experiences in the Israeli occupation forces.

If you can make it you don't want to miss this event.

Thursday, January 30, 2014



Today we issue an international call for Spring Days of Action – 2014, a coordinated campaign in April and May to:

          End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization

The campaign will focus on drone bases, drone research facilities and test sites and drone manufacturers.

The campaign will provide information on:

1. The suffering of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza who are under drone attack, documenting the killing, the wounding and the devastating impact of constant drone surveillance on community life.

2. How attack and surveillance drones have become a key element in a massive wave of surveillance, clandestine military attacks and militarization generated by the United States to protect a global system of manufacture and oil and mineral exploitation that is creating unemployment and poverty, accelerating the waste of nonrenewable resources and contributing to environmental destruction and global warming.

In addition to cases in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, we will examine President Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has already sold and deployed drones in the vanguard of a shift of 60% of its military forces to try to control China and to enforce the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We will show, among other things, how this surge of "pivot" forces, greatly enabled by drones, and supported by the US military-industrial complex, will hit every American community with even deeper cuts in the already fragile social programs on which people rely for survival.  In short, we will connect drones and militarization with "austerity" in America.

3. How drone attacks have effectively destroyed international and domestic legal protection of the rights to life, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech and have opened the way for new levels of surveillance and repression around the world, and how, in the United States, increasing drone surveillance, added to surveillance by the National Security Agency and police, provides a new weapon to repress black, Hispanic, immigrant and low-income communities and to intimidate Americans who are increasingly unsettled by lack of jobs, economic inequality, corporate control of politics and the prospect of endless war.

We will discuss how the United States government and corporations conspire secretly to monitor US citizens and particularly how the Administration is accelerating drone surveillance operations and surveillance inside the United States with the same disregard for transparency and law that it applies to other countries, all with the cooperation of the Congress.

The campaign will encourage activists around the world to win passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will draw attention to the call for a ban on weaponized drones by that has generated a petition with over 80,000 signers
and to efforts by the Granny Peace Brigade (New York City), and others to achieve an international ban on both weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will also urge participation in the World Beyond War movement.

The following individuals and organizations endorse this Call:

  • Lyn Adamson – Co-chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
  • Dennis Apel – Guadalupe Catholic Worker, California
  • Judy Bello – Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars
  • Medea Benjamin – Code Pink
  • Leah Bolger – Former National President, Veterans for Peace
  • Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
  • Sung-Hee Choi – Gangjeong Village International Team, Jeju, Korea
  • Chelsea C. Faria – Graduate student, Yale  Divinity School; Promoting Enduring Peace
  • Sandy Fessler – Rochester (NY) Against War
  • Joy First
  • Bruce K. Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
  • Holly Gwinn Graham – Singer/songwriter, Olympia, WA.
  • Regina Hagen - Darmstaedter Friedensforum, Germany
  • Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Nonviolence
  • Malachy Kilbride
  • Marilyn Levin and Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition
  • Tamara Lorincz – Halifax Peace Coalition, Canada
  • Nick Mottern –
  • Agneta Norberg – Swedish Peace Council
  • Pepperwolf – Director, Women Against Military Madness
  • Lindis Percy, Coordinator, Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) UK
  • Mathias Quackenbush – San Francisco, CA
  • Lisa Savage – Code Pink, State of Maine
  • Janice Sevre-Duszynska
  • Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck- Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen, Germany
  • Cindy Sheehan
  • Lucia Wilkes Smith – Convener, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) – Ground
  • Military Drones Committee
  • David Soumis – Veterans for Peace; No Drones Wisconsin
  • Debra Sweet – World Can’t Wait
  • David Swanson -
  • Brian Terrell – Voices for Creative Nonviolence
  • United National Antiwar Coalition
  • Veterans for Peace 
  • Dave Webb – Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • Curt Wechsler – Fire John Yoo! (a project of World Can’t Wait) – San Francisco, CA
  • Paki Wieland, Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop War(s)
  • Loring Wirbel – Citizens for Peace in Space (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Women Against Military Madness
  • Ann Wright – Retired US Army colonel and former diplomat
  • Leila Zand - Fellowship of Reconciliation

Sign-On Info: Until we have installed a program that will enable people to post their endorsements, please ask people to send them to me at my email:    I will update the list daily; it should be only a few days until the endorsement link is installed, and I will send full details.


This creative video is from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island. Grace Kim writes, "It's an experimental short fiction film [by Han Kang Joung] composed of documentary footage from Gangjeong. The film follows the routine of a 'supernatural' living in Gangjeong and helping police to lift up the protesters in the air."

I also wonder what the police are thinking.  When the Global Network held our annual conference on Jeju this time two years ago we saw many police who were roughly preventing Korean protesters from getting into kayaks to go out onto their sacred rocky coastline to protect it from Navy base construction.

On our last day many of us from the Global Network where able to get onto Gureombi rock using kayaks where a mass was held by a couple Catholic priests.  Afterwards 16 people crawled under the razor wire and were arrested by the government police.

We were split up and some taken to a local jail and others to Jeju City jail on the other side of the island.  MB, Natasha Mayers also from Maine, and I were taken there in a van full of police.  The head of the squad accompanying us was quite talkative and said his crew of police agreed with us.

I've thought about all those legions of police from all over South Korea that have been brought to Gangjeong villager over these seven years of active resistance.  I would venture to guess that many of these police were deeply touched by the spirit and cause of the villagers and their many supporters.  Imagine the power of the Gangjeong seed of non-violence and love for the Mother Earth that has now been planted into the hearts and minds of all those police.  What a lesson and what a gift. I bet many of them pay closer attention to the Navy base resistance.  I wonder how many lives will be changed?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Yesterday I needed to go to Brunswick which is about 10 miles from Bath.  I got a ride there with a friend.  After I did my errands I walked to my hitchhiking spot and stuck out my thumb.  Usually it takes about 10-15 minutes before anyone stops.  Yesterday it took me almost 30 minutes and it was as cold as hell out there.  You'd think people would want to help someone get out of the cold.

I can see why women would be reluctant to pick up a male hitchhiker.  So I don't expect that to happen and never do get a ride from women.  But you wouldn't believe how many men just pass me by.  (I take off my shaded glasses so people can see my eyes.)  Even the tough guys, driving the big V-8 zoom-zooming trucks, pass me by.  My ride yesterday was from a man who delivers mail to rural post boxes.  We had a nice chat about climate change and even a laugh. 

We have been taught not to trust anyone - we even fear our neighbors, and sometimes even our own families.  Everyone knows that cars are the 'biggest security blanket' one can have in life.  Homeless people often sleep in their cars.  A person's car is their castle.  The inference then is that anyone without a car must be approached with extreme caution - they are way out of the normal.  And so the people do just that......

When MB, Karen and I moved into the Addams-Melman House in 2007 we had three cars between us.  After a bit I sold mine.  Then two years ago Karen sold her car, so now we are down to one vehicle between us.  It's caused me to walk more, hitch a ride when I can, or pay a cab.  I feel good about this because I hate cars and what they do to the planet and to community building.  I want more public transit.  Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in our city of 10,000 residents should be building commuter rail systems.  We need commuter rail from Bath down to Portland.  If we had that then MB could take the train to work and we could get rid of our last car.  But it won't happen unless and until we demand it.  The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

The conversion process would benefit labor, the environment, peace as well as social justice movements.  Economists have demonstrated that we'd get twice as many jobs building rail than we presently get building destroyers at BIW.  The Machinists Union last year passed a resolution at their national convention calling for conversion of the military industrial complex.  They asked their locals to get involved in the conversion issue.  The state of Connecticut passed a law in 2012 to set up a statewide commission to create a conversion plan since their state economy is heavily dependent on military production.  Other states are now working on this same law.  Here in Bath we have a meeting soon to see if we can bring the conversion issue alive in our community.  Unless we create jobs for military production workers we will never end war.

On my three visits to Cuba, back in the time when I lived in Florida and organized citizen trips to that country, I was always impressed by how people there handled hitchhikers.  Cubanos would gather at a particular place and any vehicle that had an available space would stop.  Cars, motorbikes, trucks, or buses would all stop and load up whoever they could.  People would pull each other aboard and would be smiling and laughing.  The feeling of community and shared life struggle, a fundamentally spiritual notion, was rich in the air.

I want that here in Maine too.


Recently elected Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawantin in Seattle, Washington responds to Obama's State of the Union speech.


Pastor Bill Bliss is my latest guest as I begin my 11th year of broadcasting in Maine.  Bill was my very first guest when I began the show in 2003.  The show now airs on 14 public access stations across the state.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Even when we are trying not to buy into the scripted demonization of US "enemies" those of us back home still have to evaluate just how much we have swallowed Mr. Big's pill.

The history of successful demonization of others by our nation is the story of the scientific method put to evil purposes.  Scientists, mental health experts, historians, mathematicians, engineers, anthropologists, media and more have been well paid to help the corporate oligarchy design their greedy plan for control of the people and everything else. They have it down to an art.

In my lifetime I can remember the early former enemies Japan and Germany.  We used to laugh when we were kids that all our cheap plastic toys were "made in Japan."

When we moved to Landscheid, Germany in 1959 I got the up-close and personal view of the former enemy.  We rented the upstairs of a farmhouse in the tiny village near Spangdalem AFB where my stepfather was assigned.  I took a charter bus to the base for our military run school.  But all my other time was spent in the village - the only American family there.  I helped bring in the hay, I helped bring in the cows in the afternoon from the fields overlooking the Eifel (a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium), picked piles of berries, brought in eggs in the morning, and played foosball with the boys in the village.  We dug up potatoes, built fires and roasted them in the fields. We rode cows. I learned to functionally speak German and grew to adore the host farm family (Katryn and Alvis) that rented to us.  We lived in their warm kitchen while the rest of the house was freezing.  Katryn was like a second mother.

One day Katryn asked me to go into her bedroom, and bring her something from her nightstand.  When I went to her bedside I saw a framed photo of Adolph Hitler sitting there.   I knew enough about recent history to know Hitler was the devil.  How could these people that I loved so much still have a photo of Hitler - especially since the war was over and Germany lost? I was in crisis.

I never said a word about it but increased my observations of our German landlords.  I was waiting for them to slip up and reveal that they were spying on us and might try to do something bad to us.  My imagination ran wild.  I would watch them on behalf of America!

But they never slipped up.  Instead they stayed as gentle and loving as ever and my fear of their "betrayal" and such things just washed away.  I learned many good lessons from that experience. (Years later while on a speaking tour of Germany I visited Katryn and Alvis.  They told me that the US Air Force Base at Spangdalem had stopped holding their annual open house where they invited the local villagers onto the base for ice cream and propaganda.  Katryn told me that they were all considered potential terrorists and this was long before 9/11 happened.)

So fast-forward to this story from Iran:

When Iranian schoolteacher Ali Mohammadian (pictured above) noticed that one of his students was being bullied after going bald as a result of a mysterious illness, he decided to show solidarity and shave his own hair. In no time, his entire class shaved their heads and the bullying stopped.

I am tired of all the bullying my country does to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Guam, Philippines, Russia, China........ I won't forget the slave trade or the genocide of the Native Americans. Nor will I forget that the US Pentagon has the largest carbon boot print on the planet.

I am trying to look for the humanity in the people they try to turn us against so we will keep giving $$$$$ to the military machine that Mr. Big uses to control the planet.

Thank you Ali Mohammadian - you are a great blessing to the whole world. 


Monday, January 27, 2014


Snowden-Interview in English (Exclusive on German Television 01/26/2014) from Anonymous News on Vimeo.

In an exclusive interview with German television, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden discussed reports of government death threats and dismissed President Obama's calls to return home, saying he would face a "show trial."

Snowden was interviewed by German journalist and documentary filmmaker Hubert Seipel at an undisclosed location in Russia. It aired late Sunday night on Germany's main public broadcaster ARD.



I've been closely following the back-and-forth public relations campaign going on between the US and Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan over long-term bases.  The US wants to maintain permanent presence in Afghanistan practically forever but Karzai lately has been more forceful about Pentagon and CIA drone attacks and other Special Forces operations that have killed many innocent people.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that:

The risk that President Obama may be forced to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year has set off concerns inside the American intelligence agencies that they could lose their air bases used for drone strikes against Al Qaeda in Pakistan and for responding to a nuclear crisis in the region.

If Mr. Obama ultimately withdrew all American troops from Afghanistan, the C.I.A.’s drone bases in the country would have to be closed, according to administration officials, because it could no longer be protected.

Mr. Obama’s hope is to keep 8,000 to 12,000 troops — most of them Americans, some from allies — in Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission ends this year. The resurgence of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, combining with insurgents in Syria, has offered a sobering reminder of the consequences of the American decision to withdraw all its troops from Iraq. Mr. Karzai seems to be betting that the damage that a withdrawal would do to American intelligence operations is so great that he may be able to strike a better deal.

Maybe I've just become cynical about these things but I believe that the current dance between Karzai and Obama is largely scripted.  One must recall that it has long been alleged that Karzai was an adviser to the El Segundo, California-based UNOCAL Corporation (eventually merged with Chevron) which was once negotiating with the Taliban to construct a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through western Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Karzai’s ties with UNOCAL and the Bush administration were likely the main reason why the CIA pushed him for Afghan leader over rival Abdul Haq, the assassinated former mujaheddin leader from Jalalabad, and the leadership of the Northern Alliance, seen by Langley as being too close to the Russians and Iranians. 

So as this whole US-Afghan drama plays out - with Karzai "standing up to the US about drone strikes" - I am skeptical.  I think both sides are playing to their domestic audiences and at some point soon the Obama team will make some "concessions" to Karzai who will then sign an agreement with the US that will allow military bases and operations in Afghanistan for.... say the next 50 years.

Keep your eyes on this bouncing ball.


The Waihopai Valley spy base in New Zealand has been swamped with demonstrators calling for its closure.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Barrack ran for president against the Iraq war (the wrong one)
but in favor of the battle in Kabul (the right one)

But he's not had enough of the blood and glory
he needs more
so he vainly tries to kill the Iran nuke deal
while keeping Tehran
from the Geneva meeting to discuss
peace (read more war) in Syria

See on the map
just how close Tehran is to Damascus
practically next door neighbors
but Uncle Sugar says they're not close enough
to merit sitting at the same peace table
the shape of the table keeps shifting
depending on the whims
of the red, white, and blue

The South Korean robot
who runs the disunited nations
has the job of the go between
doing the dirty work
for the empire
glad handing his way around the globe

The first black president
with the peace prize in hand
now sells drones to Tokyo
and to Seoul
just in case they are needed
to rap Beijing up side their
swelling economic head
the Chi-coms must be tamed
either by hook or by crook
as long as it makes money
for the weapons mob
it doesn't really matter

From tainted corn
to sticky tar sands
to scooped up emails
the White Whores has been turned
into a palace of ill repute
where those with stained fingers and hearts
congregate and trade stories
about skulduggery and evil doing
on behalf of their corrupt
corporate masters

We are left to pray
that the pope
will comment
and put the tall thin resident
in his place
remind him that god is watching
from somewhere
not at all happy that the NSA
has taken over the task of monitoring
and judging
all of us
Santa is not happy either


David Swanson in Brunswick, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
3 - 5 p.m. Curtis Memorial Library
Sign up on Facebook.
Flyer: PDF.

David Swanson in Portland, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, USM, 34 Bedford Street
Parking in garage next to Wishcamper
Flyer: PDF.

Talks & Book signings. Free and open to the public.

David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of his new book, War No More: The Case for Abolition.

Swanson's books include When the World Outlawed War, named by Ralph Nader as one of the six books everyone should read; the best-selling classic War Is A Lie, and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, of which Glenn Greenwald said, "There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends."

Swanson is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign.

He blogs at and and works for Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

These events are co-sponsored by: PeaceWorks, Peace Action Maine, Global Network, CodePink Maine, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Maine Veterans for Peace, Brunswick Friends Meeing, PAM Action Committee.

For more information contact 207-865-3802.


Saturday, January 25, 2014


Our friends at St. Pete for Peace (Florida) have shared these important news bits:

How Can This Be?

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that black people, women and Democrats are more likely to support the NSA spying program than white people, men and Republicans. According to the poll NSA approval rates are as follows:

  • 43% of Blacks and 39% of Whites 
  • 43% of women and 38% of men 
  • 46% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans
Support of the NSA is down since polling was done in June, 2013, at which time African-Americans, women and Democrats were even more in favor of the spying program.  Finally, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to favor criminal prosecution of Edward Snowden, according to the poll. Sixty-two percent of Democrats, versus 54 percent of Republicans, think that the government should pursue a criminal case against Snowden. The assumption is that partisan politics explains why more Democrats than Republicans approve of NSA spying, but why have women consistently been more supportive of the NSA program than men? [If George W. Bush was still occupying the White House these numbers would be just the opposite.]

Regarding the unexpected Black/White results, according to Glen Ford, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, "Forty percent of Blacks told a Washington Post/ABC poll in late August and early September, that they supported President Obama’s threatened air strikes on Syria. Although majorities of Blacks (56 percent), Whites (58 percent) and Hispanics (63 percent) opposed Obama’s air war, African Americans were the most supportive of war – the first time that has ever happened. Given that Blacks were far more pro-peace than either Whites or Hispanics in the pre-Obama era, the conclusion is inescapable: Substantial proportions of Black Americans are now more concerned with defending Obama than with preventing the death of thousands of innocents abroad, at U.S. hands. In siding with the NSA’s spies, Blacks have shown they are prepared to sacrifice their own civil liberties in order to safeguard the prestige of the icon in the White House." 

Ukraine protests

As the situation reaches a head in Ukraine - not surprisingly timed to coincide with next month's Olympic games in neighboring Russia - here is a December radio interview with Russian studies professor and Nation contributor Stephen Cohen who criticizes the American media’s coverage of ongoing protests in Ukraine as one-dimensional, ideological and worse than it was during the Cold War.  Cohen said it appears as though the "powers in the west" are behind the people in the streets.  This supports Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's accusation that European politicians are stoking the crisis in Ukraine

In making its case for how bad the Ukrainian government is behaving, The New York Times lamented new laws that "stiffened the penalties for setting up tents and stages in public spaces. The measure would bar the installation of tents, stages or amplifiers in public places, with violations punishable by fines of up to about $640, and 15 days in jail."  The new laws also banned wearing helmets at protests.  (These sound like laws that protesters and homeless people in the U.S. have been subjected to for years.)


The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive


In Augusta, Maine......

Lisa Savage (on the right in the video) writes:

I have been called many things in my activist life, but last night was a first. We were called "unprofessional" repeatedly by the security guy at the Civic Center in Augusta, Maine. He also told me we had "no class." The extent to which US citizens are cowed by fear of hurting their standing in the community would be surprising -- if I weren't a student of history, that is.

Thanks to videographer Martha Spiess for her swift work getting out this great video of our unprofessional antics last night. Martha is the kind of professional I want to be! And huge gratitude to the Artists Rapid Response Team of the Union of Maine Visual Artists for their amazing banner. Nothing says classy like fine art!
And here is some great coverage by the Kennebec Journal (see full article here), a corporate sponsor of the event and the paper of record in Maine's capital city Augusta.

The paper is owned by the husband of Rep. Chellie Pingree, who has come out publicly against the TPP. So has Maine's other representative, Mike Michaud, who is currently running for governor.

Sen. Angus King and Sen. Susan Collins have yet to say where they stand on the TPP.

Maine is estimated to have lost 30,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing, since Bill Clinton pushed through NAFTA.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


  • This art work above was made by Suzanna Lasker here in Maine.  She's become one of the most prolific political artists in the state.  Maine has a wonderful organization called the Union of Maine Visual Artists.  They support one another across the state and have been a great resource to our progressive movements.

  • The printer delivered our Global Network Space Alert newsletter today and I began filling the many bulk orders that have come in from all over the US and around the world.  We didn't used to get many bulk orders for our newsletter but our last issue had a record number of requests and this current one is right up there as well.  It's exciting to see such good interest in the newsletter.  You can see it online here

  • I got alot of feedback on the EMP story that I blogged about a two days ago.  The response from various folks was helpful and encouraging.  Yesterday morning I got a phone call from Maine State Rep. Andrea Boland from Sanford.  A friend in the state legislature got her to call me about her bill to have the state "harden" the electrical grid to withstand "nuclear attack" and/or solar storms.  I tried to disabuse her of the notion that Russia or North Korea was going to attack the US but she surprisingly (especially for a Democrat) took a very strong Cold War anti-Russia stand.  At one point she more than hinted that people like me are being led down the garden path by foreign governments - in other words that I am either very naive or a closet commie.  I learned last night from someone down her way in southern Maine that Rep. Boland only lives about 10 miles from the Pratt-Whitney aerospace facility in North Berwick.  (At the plant they make the engines for the $75 million F-35 aircraft. The government has ordered 167 of them although the jobs estimates on the project by Lockheed Martin has come under criticism for being widely exaggerated.)
  • Once I put the Pratt-Whitney piece into the puzzle I had a better sense about why Rep. Boland is so strongly pushing a "missile defense" (MD) interceptor deployment site in Maine.  She told me that a new MD site would increase the amount of government military investment in related aerospace operations in Maine. Bingo.

  • This is a standard line that you hear from politicians (Republican or Democrat) these days - we should embrace any military production facility in our state because it is the only game in town.  Militarism is the top job creation program of our government.  We don't really build much of anything else but weapons.  So, as she told me, we should grab it before someone else does.  Ugh......

  • I tried to challenge her thinking about Russia and suggested we should be investing our national funds in other ways - how about building rail, solar, wind turbines, schools, hospitals, etc rather than more weapons and endless war?  It was frustrating.  One Maine activist wrote me this morning saying that he had always found Rep. Boland to be good on most issues like the environment.  I wrote back saying yes, this is the problem we in the peace movement have today.  We have to stand against liberal Democrats who are often good on environment, consumer issues, health care, women's issues, etc but when it comes to military production the Dems are standing at the head of the line with their hands out begging for more war money for their state.  This reality often puts the peace movement at odds with politicians that other parts of the progressive community like.  The peace movement gets the reputation of being party poopers. The truth though is that one key reason there is no $$$ for the environment, health care, education, etc is because of the massive Pentagon budget!  But saying that to some people is like farting in church.

  • I also had an email this morning from the producer of the Maine Calling radio program.  I had sent them a copy of my blog post and the man said he was going to go back and re-listen to the show and would get back to me about my concerns.  I was glad to get that message and will be interested to see what the gentleman has to say.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I saw an interesting exchange today on Facebook.  Someone wrote about problems with their local Housing Authority which runs government low-income housing programs. A responder on FB had this to say:

If you find out the answer to this, I would like to know as well. Cause if housing there is like it is here, just as corrupted, I am afraid anything you can do will have to be something outside the agency. Of course you are then running the risk of them finding some reason to put you out. Be careful. Here in the past year or so, it's gotten SO MUCH worse then it has in previous years, it's starting to feel like a concentration camp starting up. I hear it's going to be worse when they turn them into "tax credit homes" (RAD program) and that is by their own admission during one of the mandatory meetings at the home office.

Here, it's like complaining to the police about one of their own. Those lower down the chain are on a leash, only doing what they know they are allowed to do (and some instructed to do) from the higher ups. So many of them are in bed with each other, so to speak, as they employees are carefully selected and some groomed for special positions.

And if you think HUD will do anything, good luck on that. I had Doug Weed tell me face to face last year that HUD doesn't care and won't do anything about any of the corruption. But don't let my words discourage you, just be careful and let us know if you get any positive results and how you came about them.

People can't afford to pay the landlords anymore for a place to sleep.

It should be a human right,
a nice place to land at night,
free from fear, safe from the weather.

How come bankers get to work us like slaves to extract
our limited income by chaining us to a friggen highway-robbery 30-year mortgage? 
When the hell we going to complain about that?

It's the class war
it's raging on now
coming to a home near you
it's all the rage
everybody is getting into it

Some loving$$$ it,
some suffering from it.
And it rages on.

The rage is out there
gonna catch you before long.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


79 year old Irish peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy had the temerity to lay down on the runway of Shannon Airport to prevent U.S. war planes from using it as a stopover to the battlefield in Afghanistan.  When this feisty lady refused to sign away her right to protest, she was sentenced to serve a three month prison sentence, in spite of the fact that she suffers from Parkinson's disease and is being treated for cancer.  She has been at Limerick prison since January 16th, her supporters have been holding daily protests in Ireland, and supporters from Iceland, Britain, the U.S., and international organizations, notably the Global Women's Strike (GWS Ireland), are demanding her release.


Today a friend emailed me about a radio program that played yesterday across Maine on the public radio network.  The show was supposed to be about 'solar storms' and the damage they could do to the electric grid.  So I listened to the show and came away outraged and motivated to learn more about the scam that is behind this story.

Our old nemesis Frank Gaffney (longtime weaponization of space advocate) is linked to this Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) story and is once again promoting fear and the interests of the military industrial complex.

His crew are working on a scare-campaign about space induced EMP taking out our electrical grid.  They've failed in Congress so are picking states one-by-one to join in the program to fund the 'protection of our grid'.

The Washington Congressional bill is called "Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (SHIELD) Act" – legislation designed to ensure that, at a minimum, the roughly 300 transformers that make up the backbone of America’s electric grid are quickly hardened against electromagnetic pulse effects. Newt Gingrich is one of the key promoters.

Gaffney reports that, "In Maine a Democratic politician [Rep. Andrea Boland from Sanford] is pushing the state to adopt legislation calling for the 'islanding' of its grid, so as to ensure its continued viability in the event EMP takes down the rest of New England’s electric infrastructure.  It is to be earnestly hoped that, once again, 'as Maine goes', so goes the nation with other states emulating this effort to adopt grid-hardening measures that the federal government has failed to date to inaugurate."

The talking heads on the Maine radio program yesterday made the outrageous case that possible nuclear attacks from Iran and North Korea are key reasons for needing this protection.  And they made them sound imminent.

During this program one of the men was from EMPACT America, an organization “concerned about protecting the American people” from a nuclear or natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP) catastrophe. One of their "missions" listed on their web site is to "Organize the American people to act effectively in furtherance of their security from the EMP threat at the federal, state, local, and individual levels." 

The EMPACT speaker talked about a possible east coast mid-course missile defense base coming to western Maine and said the state would be more likely to get it if the local grid was hardened so that the base could survive any EMP 'disruption'.  "State's have to take things into their own hands," he claimed.

Looking closely at EMPACT's board of advisors you find present and past right-wing members of Congress, retired military, weapons industry, Heritage Foundation, Navy nuclear program, and missile defense operatives.   

After the show got going they didn't talk much about solar storms and mostly talked about how we need to get Maine and Congress to quickly move and protect the grid - and mostly from Iran and North Korea. (Great geomagnetic storms have occurred in the past, but not since the advent of the modern electronic age.) 

According to Robert Farley, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, "The central political purpose of the EMP awareness movement appears to be advancement of the cause of missile defense. The most extreme estimates of the effect of EMP restore the Cold War-era existential fears of nuclear war... The fact that EMP is poorly researched and not well understood works in its favor as a scare tactic. Since evidence of EMP’s allegedly lasting impact is purely theoretical, EMP awareness advocates can make outlandish claims regarding the threat that even the smallest nuclear arsenal poses." See more here

It should be noted that the Pentagon has long been planning to use "missile defense" programs as key elements in their first-strike attack planning on Russia and China.  (The missile defense systems would pick-off a countries retaliatory strikes after the Pentagon hit them first.  The US Space Command runs computer war games on this first-strike program each year. StratCom in Nebraska is in charge of this program.)

The thought of a national campaign to "harden the grid" can only lead one to remember similar programs in the past for fallout shelters that would give the public reassurance and the Pentagon confidence to follow through with its first-strike planning.  

It's very sad to hear one whole hour on Maine's top public radio station promoting this right wing, corporate first-strike attack program.  They promote fear and attempt to hijack already financially strapped Mainers with this boondoggle. Not one whisper of questioning was heard on this MPBN “missile defense” promotion program.  The corporate control of media is so intense now that even Maine public radio is corrupted.

In the end we should be working to create a solar society so we can get off the centralized corporate dominated grid.  A decentralized more simple lifestyle is the answer to the potential solar storm problem.  Hardening the grid so it can survive a nuclear war is playing the current insane power game that must be rejected. 


Japan's structural economic problems are further alienating its already marginalized populations.

Photojournalist Shiho Fukada goes beyond the bright lights of Tokyo to document the country's unemployment crisis - disposable workers who are easily fired and live without a social safety net. They are usually shut out from the rest of the society, living in poverty but rarely acknowledged by their fellow citizens.

Fukada's photographs add a human face to widely discussed issues—from day laborers living on the streets to educated women taking banal jobs. She reveals the other side of Japan where alcoholism, hopelessness and suicide are increasingly commonplace.

This report is part of Pulitzer Center-sponsored project "Japan's Disposable Workers: Lost in the Global Unemployment Crisis"

Monday, January 20, 2014


On January 16 CODEPINK led a tour to the offices of two of the Senate sponsors Menendez (New Jersey) and Schumer (New York) of bill S.1881



MLK was a treasure.....if we each pick up the baton they can't kill us all. 

Keep planting the olive trees so we can feed the next generation.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


David Swanson will be speaking in Brunswick, Maine (public library) on Saturday, February 15 from 3:00-5:00 pm.  He's one of the really good ones out there and you'll enjoy listening to him talk about the need to end war and other such corporate malfeasance's.

Swanson writes:

President Barack Obama gave a eulogy for the Fourth Amendment on Friday, and not even his fans are proclaiming victory.  In this moment when Obama is actually doing one thing I agree with (talking to Iran), more and more people seem to be slowly, agonizingly slowly, finally, finally, finally, recognizing what a complete huckster he is when it comes to pretty speeches about his crimes.

Obama's speech and new "policy directive" eliminate the Fourth Amendment.  Massive bulk collection of everybody's data will continue unconstitutionally, but Obama has expressed a certain vague desire to end it, sort of, except for the parts that are needed, but not to do so right away.  The comparisons to the closure of the Guantanamo death camp began instantly.

See more here


Saturday, January 18, 2014


Bobbie Heinrich was arrested on January 17, 1987 at Cape Canaveral and was one of the leaders of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice.  She got arrested several times at the space center and was an important activist  in her Ft. Myers community.  Bobbie and her husband were avid gardeners who were pioneers in the idea of localization.  They had lived in Africa for many years.

Dr. Benjamin Spock spoke at the January 17 protest at Cape Canaveral.  In his book "Spock on Spock" he ended the autobiography with a photo of him climbing over the base gates.  He wrote, "Every effort made in this direction, every letter and every demonstration, has done some positive good.  Without these protests, things would be much worse."

January 17, 1987 was a special day.  It was the date of the largest peace protest in Florida history when well over 5,000 people marched onto the front gates of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in protest of the planned test launch of the first Trident II nuclear missile.  I was then coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice where I worked for 15 years.  We initiated the call for the protest and asked for help from groups around the country.  Our march to the gates that day was led by famous baby doctor Benjamin Spock and he was the first person to climb a ladder to get over the barbed wire fence. We called the protest "Cancel the Countdown".

In all 186 were arrested for symbolically trying to enter the base to sit on the launch pad where Trident II nuclear missiles would be test fired. About 50 were arrested in the days preceding the January 17 event when they tried sneaking onto the launch center that is located inside the national seashore and surrounded by ocean and swamps.  Some hiked up the beach toward the launch towers along the shore and others trudged through the alligator infested swamp marshes.  Some were arrested at night with military helicopters searching for them.  For a solid week the media around Florida was intensely covering the arrests prior to the January 17 rally.  Peter Lumsdaine from California came to help and was a key organizer of these back country actions at the Cape.

Events really got going two weeks prior to the January 17 rally and march.  We organized a Peace Pilgrimage to Stop the Trident that began with a protest at Kings Bay nuclear submarine base on the Florida-Georgia border.  John and Martina Linnehan took on the responsibility for making the pilgrimage such a success. The peace pilgrimage was led by Buddhist monks and more than 200 people made the two week trek to the space center. 

When Jimmy Carter was president (after saying during his campaign that "the arms race is a disgrace to the human race") he went on to build the huge new Trident sub base in the sleepy north Georgia fishing town called St. Marys. Once the Trident missiles were tested they were to be put inside the nuclear submarines at Kings Bay and at the other Trident nuclear sub base at Bangor, Washington.

As the pilgrimage came south, affinity groups were formed that began to plan the back country occupations of the space center in hopes they could get on the launch pad and delay the launch.  

From Boston a peace train was organized by the national peace coalition called Mobilization for Survival (Mobe).  They reserved several rail cars on Amtrak and the train went from Boston to Orlando stopping along the way holding quick news conferences in major cities at the rail stations and a couple hundred activists jumped on-board the train for the ride to Florida.  It was Mobe who got Dr. Spock, Peter Yarrow and Odetta to come to Florida for the protest.

Other organizers streamed into Florida in the weeks prior to the protest to help and we put them to work across the state helping build turnout.  Thanks to local supporter Smitty Hooper in Cocoa Beach we opened an office there to coordinate local organizing near the space center.

It was my job to coordinate the overall operation and it was one of the most thrilling campaigns I every worked on.  There were lots of threads weaving this protest together and in the days prior to the Internet and Facebook we had to organize the old fashioned way - traveling the state, talking to people, phone calls, mailing leaflets, and the like. One night while speaking to a peace group in southwest Florida I mentioned that we needed to raise $1,500 to pay for a trailer with port-a-toilets for the peace walk.  After the meeting a woman walked up and handed me a check for $1,500.

In the end I spent about five days in jail along with many others, some stayed in the lock up for weeks.  The Brevard County jail was so over crowded the night of January 17 that they had to set up a huge tent in a parking lot to hold the men who had been arrested.  It was cold and raining outside and we chanted for hours demanding better treatment.  Eventually, late in the night, they brought us plastic pads to lay on but I refused to do so.  I held out for us being moved to a warm and dry inside location.  I lost the battle and held tightly to the tent poles through that long and memorable night.  I admit there were moments that I regretted taking such a hard line but my pride was at stake here - I'd made a demand and was going to stick with it - through thick and thin, and cold and rain.

Some years later I was shopping at the Albertson's grocery store in downtown Orlando near where I lived.  In those days they had bag boys push your cart of groceries into the parking lot and they loaded your car.  As we approached my car the young man noticed my bumper stickers and got excited.  He told me a story about the Cape Canaveral protest a few years before and how he and his father were watching the news reports on TV about peaceniks going over the fence.  "I loved it," he said.  "My dad hated it and screamed at the TV."

I realized in that moment that the protest had not just been about the 5,000 people there.  The audience for this public participatory production had been extensive, even national.  It made me wonder even more what other creative ways we could find to get our message beyond our limited confines.

In the end this bold day of action was the kind of direct citizens challenge that we need to mount against the military industrial complex.  We were proud to have organized many of these events at the space center in Florida over the years.

A few other friends yesterday have offered their memories of that protest.

Long-time Catholic Worker activist Patrick O'Neill from North Carolina writes:
"As 5,000 people (from dozens of cities around the nation) converged on the gates of Cape Canaveral 27 years ago today, we soon discovered the Air Force had changed plans on us -- the gates -- which were always open, were closed to prevent our plan to occupy the base to protest the Trident II D-5 missile, the most diabolical first-strike weapon ever made. Undeterred, the late great activist and famous baby book author, Dr. Benjamin Spock, (then 86 years old and leading the march) walked straight up to the 8-foot fence and scaled it with his wife right behind. More than 200 others followed Spock over or around the fence line [by going into the river], joining one of the greatest mass acts of nonviolent direct action ever staged in the South. That day marks one of the strongest efforts ever carried out in opposition to US nuclear policy."

Frank Donnelly (then in Florida but now living in Maine) writes:
"I'll join in on this, 27 yrs ago I along with others rode bus from Lake Worth, Florida to the protest where I saw Patrick for the first time since prison, I was still on probation . I remember that most of the folks on my bus where older Jewish women along with a friend visiting from Maine, he was worried we'd be arrested .It seemed to me there was more than 5,000 but maybe I was just hoping. It was a great day for the peace movement we sure could use lots more like that day. Peace to you both."

Leslie Cagan (then national coordinator of Mobe in New York City) writes:
"In the 1980's, Mobilization for Survival was a fairly strong national network of about 125 organizations - mostly local groups with several national organizations as well. Committed to trying to build a strong national peace and justice presence meant we did what we could to help nurture grassroots, community based activism. As is so often the case, the most creative, the boldest and most challenging ideas came from that grassroots activism and our national work was given shape by those initiatives. Such was the case with the plans for an action in Central Florida at the time of the 1st flight test of the Trident nuclear weapons missile. Here was an opportunity to take the widespread opposition to nuclear weapons right to the front door of one of the facilities directly involved. It was a no-brainer - Mobilization for Survival quickly jumped into the work.

We did what we could to let people far and wide know about the plans for the protest in Florida. Most importantly, we encouraged those who could to make the trip there themselves. And we facilitated this by organizing a peace train that came down the East Coast picking up folks along the journey. I don't recall now how many stops it made or how many people got on board. But that didn't really matter since everyone knew the great majority of the people at the demonstration would be Floridians. What did matter was that people in other parts of the country were taking notice, helping in whatever ways they could, and being inspired to think about what anti-nuclear actions they could take in their own backyards.

I had the good fortunate of people able to go to Florida for several days before the action, and of course was there on that great day. It was exciting to watch the buses roll in and to be there as people gathered for the rally and march to the front gate of the facility. I'll never forget the sight of hundreds of senior citizens who had retired to Florida opening up their folding chairs and taking out their lunch baskets...rejoicing in the fact that they did not have to travel all the way up the Washington, DC or New York City (where so many of them had come from) to be part of this protest! Some of these folks were too frail to do the march to the front gate, let alone to climb over the fence that day. But their full support for the action was evident, and inspiring.

It was a great day, and another one of those important reminders that a national movement is grounded in communities all across the nation. Mobilization for Survival was thrilled that we could help build this protest, and I, personally, was honored to have been a part of it."

I thank Patrick for the reminder of this special day.  He is good at remembering these important landmarks in our life and celebrating them.  His joyous and loving personality brings us all great gifts.



Friday, January 17, 2014


Tim Rinne in Nebraska tends his winter garden and shares his story.

The following guest editorial by friend and GN board member Tim Rinne appeared in the December 8th edition of the Lincoln Journal Star and was reprinted in the Wednesday, December 11th edition of the Grand Island Independent.

How embarrassing.

Here I am, a lifelong resident of one of the premier agricultural regions of the world, whose family has farmed in the state since 1868, and I didn’t get it.

You would have thought that eating at least three times a day for 50 years would have stirred me to take an interest in how that food got on my plate.

But no. I just ate.

It took a quote from an aristocratic British farmer (a member of the House of Lords, no less) to get me to grasp not just the centrality of food production in our lives — but how fragile this system is.

“Nine meals away from anarchy” is how Lord Cameron of Dillington described Britain in 2007.

The first time I came across this statement I wasn’t even sure I knew what he was talking about. But the inspiration for his disquieting comment comes, in part, from our side of the pond. From the experience of Hurricane Katrina.

Our grocery stores (where most of us do all of our ‘hunting and fishing and farming’) operate on what is called ‘just in time delivery.’ Your average grocery outlet carries just three days of inventory — the equivalent of ‘nine meals.’ Any disruption to that delivery schedule and our food security is at risk.

Hurricane Katrina, Lord Cameron declared, provided a textbook case of the social disruption that occurs with a sudden calamity. The first day (meals 1-3), people rush to the grocery store to stock up. The second day (meals 4-6), those who can afford it go back and buy whatever’s left. And the third day (meals 7-9), when the larder’s empty and people are hungry, the social order begins to break down.

Or, in Lord Cameron’s words, “there will be rats, mayhem, and maybe even murder.”

Scarcity does ugly things to a population. “The better angels of our nature” (to use Abraham Lincoln’s phrase) tend not to fare very well when people are hungry and afraid. Our first thoughts are for ourselves and our own, and conflict invariably erupts with our neighbors over competition for resources. The Pentagon, in fact, already is bracing for wars over food and water — and not just in the poor nations of the globe. As Lord Cameron warns, everyone who eats is vulnerable to food insecurity. It’s a world we want to avoid if we can help it.

So to bring this all back home, we need to be asking where that food on our grocery store shelves comes from.

And the answer for more than 90 percent of it is: from somewhere other than Nebraska.

Agricultural powerhouse that we are, barely a tenth of what we grow in the state is consumed locally. The other nine-tenths is exported to out-of-state markets.

It hasn’t of course always been that way. My father assures me that, growing up on the farm in Johnson County in the 1930s, 95 percent of their diet came from within 5 miles of where they lived. They had to buy their coffee and sugar. And they never had fresh strawberries in December. But they ate three times a day and they could tell you where their food came from — because they either grew it themselves or got it from a neighbor.

That kind of food localization is something we need to get back to, particularly those of us living in towns and cities where the single-largest irrigated crop in America is grown: our lawns.

We can’t eat the grass they’re made of. They sap enormous amounts of water, fossil fuels and arable land.

But we religiously nurture them in our yards, while the average bite of food on our plate travels 1,500 miles or more.

This is a recipe for disaster. And with the increased risk that extreme weather events like drought and flood pose to agriculture because of climate change, we frankly have no choice but to develop a more stable — and locally based — food system.

In April of this year, yet another British government official, Agriculture Minister David Heath, warned of coming food shortages and exhorted Britons to replace their lawns with gardens and “dig for survival.”

Call me overly cautious, but I’m taking the minister’s advice. I don’t like missing meals. It makes me crabby.

Tim Rinne is the state coordinator of Nebraskans for Peace. He and his wife, Kay Walter, have converted their entire property in the Hawley Historic District to an ‘edible landscape.’  You can see a whole slideshow of his garden photos here


A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Among other awards, this short film won the Grand Jury Prize in short filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.


This video is from the January 9 rally in Augusta inside the state capital. There was a special effort to get young people to speak.  The rally was multi-issue that connected all the dots.  This particular video segment from the rally shows the public divestment movement on campuses across Maine.

Video/audio Peter Woodruff.  Edit/video Martha Spiess.


This graphic tells the story.  The US military "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific is provocative.  Imagine if another nation was moving 60% of its military might right off the shores of the US's east and west coasts.  Washington would take it as a declaration of war.  When the US does it no one is supposed to bat an eye.

China is the target.  North Korea, that pip-squeak with mostly outdated military technology (according to the Pentagon), is just the excuse.   When I was in the Air Force I had a friend that had once been stationed in Korea near the DMZ during the late 60's.  Cold War fever was burning strong.  In those days he was a security guard and was put on the runway in the middle of a freezing Korean winter.  His job?  'Watch out for the communist hordes coming over that hill.  You are the first line of defense.'  He froze in fear with his gun until one cold night it dawned on him that the Chinese Communists were not coming over the hill.  He eventually got out of the security guard job and moved into base administration where I worked.  But in the end we were all complicit on some level - we helped the war wheels turn - in our time it was the Vietnam War.

The corporate masters who invest heavily in China want to control the whole ball of wax.  They are greedy and want everything.  So they use the big military stick that has time and again brought chaos but has always helped give the capitalist class control.  (Look at Vietnam today.) Mr. Big benefits from the chaos and the times of stability.

Back here at home we have lots of parades to honor the vets.  We should remember the post-WW I "bonus Army" who dared set up camp in Washington to demand their actual "war bonus" during the depression and were met with the back-hand of the US military led by future Generals MacArthur and Eisenhower.  In order to climb the Army ladder of success these two ambitious "leaders" knew they had to take charge of the repression of the bonus Army protesters, their own citizens, and they willingly did.  (Congress ran out the back door - they've always been pawns.)  We’ve had a military dictatorship in America for a long time.

Today we have more homeless veterans than ever but there is one big difference from the bonus days.  The people now have become more beaten down, broken, war weary both from battles abroad and the struggles at home.  The people increasingly are taking anti-depressant medications that often are addictive and dangerous to our health.  Money is made selling legal drugs to a public who just wants to know how to survive. (Probably a huge reason for the excitement over the sporadic legalization of marijuana across the country. People are looking for another way, it is the longing we all have to be more connected to the spirit.  Maybe a joint will help.)

But sadly all the TV ads selling drugs and promises of “nice quiet Sunday's on the porch sipping tea" are nothing but Hollywood creations.  Those images help to keep us taking the bait.  We've swallowed them easily in the past but they are getting harder to take.

The ads on TV also remind us that we have to keep our mouths shut about peace issues because we have to 'always' support the troops.  That is another illusion created to keep us docile.  The oligarchy doesn't give a shit about the troops.  The troops are disposable.  Displays of "patriotism" trotted out a few times a year are intended to keep the illusion (and our fear of Mr. Big) fresh in our minds. They have the mind control system down to a tee. 

Just where do you want me to stand sir?  'Don't cross that line...salute my bidding even though you think it is wrong.....' get nice stuff in return for your silence.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


US Senators from both parties imperil the prospect of peace with Iran.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


We wrapped up the Global Network newsletter today and it is off to the print shop.  You can see it online here.  Our wonderful web master Dave Webb in England got it up on the web site in record time.  Dave also chairs the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and serves as board convener of the Global Network.  He is one busy guy but now that he has retired from teaching he somehow finds the time to fit it all together. I can't imagine how he did it all before he retired.

There is extensive reporting in this issue about the US "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific and anti-drone campaigning.  We also have some great articles about Jeju Island, the rush to drill for oil in the Arctic, Boeing the war corporation and more. 

Nancy Randolph in nearby Topsham, Maine does the layout work after I pull the copy and graphics together.  She has a creative eye and we work well together.  She's been doing posters, leaflets, and newsletters for the GN since we moved to Maine in 2003.
We are looking for folks who will help us distribute copies of the printed newsletter in their local community.  We will provide newsletters to you for free and only ask reimbursement for the cost of postage to you.  So if you can help pass them around please let us know how many copies we should send you.  Distribution is key - our last edition had the widest distribution ever.  You can place an order for bulk copies by sending me a message at

Thanks for the help.