Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Monday, March 31, 2014


US-NATO worked together in the cold, harsh environment of northern Norway as part of exercise Cold Response 2014. Altogether more than 16,000 sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines representing 15 nations participated in the exercise.

Check out the map and see what country borders Norway at the north.

Listen to one of the NATO brass say it's time we came home from Afghanistan and war-gamed something closer to home - now who could that be?


Maybe Luxembourg...


One of the really big stories from last week not covered in the US media.

US-NATO are working overtime trying to come up with a way to a justify full-blown attack on Syria.  Turkey is a NATO member, if Turkey gets attacked then NATO comes to the rescue.  Clean and simple, right?

But oops they got caught.....


  • Even though it is officially spring in Maine we still have winter.  Just this morning a cold wind blown sleet storm hit us.  People here complain about the weather all the time but rarely a mumbling word about climate change is heard.

  • Yesterday I read a disgusting Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times.  He went for a ride on a nuclear submarine under the Arctic Ice to promote that new "field of conflict" to the American consumers.  He wrote:

I had spent the night on the sub as part of a group accompanying Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, who was observing the Navy’s submarine arctic warfare exercise.
 But this wasn’t tourism. Climate scientists predict that if warming trends continue, the Arctic’s ice cap will melt enough that — in this century — it will become a navigable ocean for commercial shipping year round, and for mineral and oil exploration. Russia has already made extensive claims to the Arctic, based on the reach of its continental shelf, beyond the usual 12 miles from its coastline; these are in dispute. To prepare for whatever unfolds here, though, the U.S. Navy keeps honing its Arctic submarine skills, including, on our trip, test-firing a virtual torpedo at a virtual enemy sub, studying how differences in water temperatures and the mix of freshwater from melted ice and saltwater affect undersea weapons and the sounds a sub makes (vital for knowing how to hide), as well as mapping the Arctic’s seabed topography.

“In our lifetime, what was [in effect] land and prohibitive to navigate or explore, is becoming an ocean, and we’d better understand it,” noted Admiral Greenert. “We need to be sure that our sensors, weapons and people are proficient in this part of the world,” so that we can “own the undersea domain and get anywhere there.” Because if the Arctic does open up for shipping, it offers a much shorter route from the Atlantic to the Pacific than through the Panama Canal, saving huge amounts of time and fuel.

You learn a lot on a trip like this, starting with the fact that I’m not claustrophobic. Sleeping in the middle rack of three stacked beds, appropriately called coffins, I now know that.

  • Notice that Friedman didn't linger long after the bomb was dropped by the Admiral.  Friedman's job is not to analyze the fact that the US intends to "own the undersea domain".  His job was to plant the seed in the fertile soil of mindless patriotism and feel-good-isms that the corporate media specialize in.

  • The message is clear.  The oil-i-garchy doesn't intend to debate this one... they are going to make a grab for the resources under the melting Arctic ice.  They are quite fine with the whole idea of climate change.  They are going to make big money and fly off to Mars or some fancy space hotel with organic gardens.  Fuck the rest of us.
  • One big problem of course is Russia.  They have a huge land mass bordering the Arctic regions.  The US-NATO are thus preparing militarily for that 'problem'.

  • Now is our moment for reality check.  Obama and the Democrats won't save us on this one.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014


MB and I just watched this film.  It's a great one and we highly recommend it.

Legendary New York disc jockey Bob Fass revolutionized late night FM radio by serving as a cultural hub for music, politics and audience participation for nearly 50 years. Long before today's innovations in social media, Fass utilized the airwaves for mobilization, encouraging luminaries and ordinary listeners to talk openly, taking the program in surprising directions.


Burn baby burn
the flames leap into the sky
day or night
feel the heat
see the light

We keep burning the bridges
and villages
and hardening hearts
burn baby burn

When George Washington's army
entered the country of the Six Nations (Iroquois)
the Seneca called him Hanadaguyus
means “Town Destroyer”
the name destroyer still lives
sailing the empire's sea lanes
burn baby burn

Wounded Knee,
Philippines, Korea,
Dominican Republic, Panama
Nicaragua, El Salvador,
Granada, Haiti
Afghanistan, Iraq again
Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Pakistan,
burn baby burn

The flame of 'exceptionalism'
and arrogance
never goes out
it just moves on to another village
burn baby burn

We are burning our bridges
isolated from the true spirit
of humanity
once linked to our earth mother
our connection is broken
and charred

Don't tell me this!
Don't force my eyes onto these flames!
There is a cost to knowing
and a bigger cost to acting
Leave me in my 'innocent' state

Yes my soul hurts
but I can manage
by staying in the shadows
while the fires rage
burn baby burn 



Saturday, March 29, 2014


This ground breaking film tells the stories of seven women who live alongside US military bases in Texas, Puerto Rico, Hawai'i, Guam, the Philippines, South Korea, and Okinawa (Japan). They take us into their homes, walk us through their neighborhoods, and introduce us to their communities. We see how military operations and bloated military budgets have affected their lives as we listen to their experiences and take in their surroundings.


The Turkish government is red-faced after a leak on YouTube revealed a daring plot to justify invading neighboring Syria. An anonymous source posted audio of a secret meeting between top Turkish officials - discussing a false flag operation that would appear as a Syrian attack. It's not the first time Ankara has tried to rally NATO against Syria. RT's Marina Portnaya has a collection of Turkish attempts to spark a full-blown war with its neighbor, with the backing of the Alliance.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is implicated in the leaked audio.   Foreign Minister Davutoglu says:
...cogu zaman Kerry bana aynen sunu soyledi peki siz kararinizi verdiniz mi dedi bu vurma ve sey yapma...
Translation:  Many times Kerry has said to me "Ok, did you make the decision to strike?"

If Turkey could create a false flag attack on themselves from Syrian territory then NATO would have the "justification" to go full force into a war.  It is clear that the US-NATO have not given up on this evil plan.

The leak resulted in Turkey blocking access to YouTube.  That is an admission of guilt.

Friday, March 28, 2014


The Navy's new expensive and provocative Zumwalt class destroyer at Bath Iron Works in Maine gets 'christened' on April 12

My letter to the editor was printed in our local Times Record newspaper today.

Dear Editor:

On April 12 there will be a ‘christening’ of the Navy’s new ‘stealthy’ Zumwalt destroyer at BIW.  Veterans for Peace, PeaceWorks and other groups around Maine will hold a rally just across from where the public will assemble for the Navy show.

The Navy has to put on the good face for this one, largely because they did not want the expensive Zumwalt anyway; it was going to eat up too much of the shipbuilding budget.  But the corporate forces behind the project pushed the door open and here we are.

Costs for the Zumwalt are still mounting (someone might ask about the sagging walls inside the engine room that are weak because money was saved by ignoring design specs) and will likely come in over $4 billion per ship.  The past destroyers made at BIW were more than $1.5 billion per copy.

President Obama pushed the Navy hard to go with the Zumwalt in spite of huge costs and questions about its strategic value.  One should follow the interesting thread about the Crown family in Chicago (who are majority stockholders in General Dynamics) helping fund and direct Obama’s political career. There is much to learn there – a real “House of Cards” story.

The Associated Press has reported,  “A super-stealthy destroyer [Zumwalt] that could underpin the U.S. Navy’s China strategy will be able to sneak up on coastlines virtually undetected and pound targets with electromagnetic ‘rail guns’ right out of a sci-fi movie.  Using electric pulses, not chemical explosives, the ‘rail gun’ can shoot a 40-pound metal slug from New York to Philadelphia at up to 5,600 mph — more than seven times the speed of sound — with 32 times the force of a car traveling at 100 miles per hour."

In other words, the Zumwalt will be provocative and destabilizing.  We want war with China now too?  Someone is pulling our chain.

Obviously jobs are the big issue when it comes to BIW.  Connecticut, near the top of the list of states most dependent on the military, last year passed a law to create a commission to make plans for the conversion/diversification of military production facilities.  One way or the other 57% of every discretionary tax dollar can’t keep going to the Pentagon.  When military budgets come down jobs will be cut.  But studies show that investing those same dollars in any other kind of job creation result in more jobs in every case.  Thus planning for a stable transition is imperative. 

People across the nation are demanding funding for social progress, education, health care, and probably most importantly turning us away from our toxic shock attack on Mother Earth.  What is our social priority – a corporate version of feudalism or real democracy, social justice and sustainability?

On April 12th we’ll hold our BIW rally from 10am to noon and we will talk to those lining up for the ‘christening’ about the benefits of the conversion process.

Later in the evening on April 12 an International Panel on US ‘Pivot’ to Asia-Pacific will be held at the new Unitarian Church in Brunswick.  Speakers from India, Japan, Korea and the US will discuss the implications of moving 60% of US military forces into the Asia-Pacific to “control” China.  Potluck supper begins at 6:00 pm and the panel discussion at 7:00 pm.  The public is warmly invited.
Bruce K. Gagnon


You take the high road
and I will take the high road too
maybe we'll get to where
we are going together

They'll take the low road
they take it every time
we know their story now
the suffering helps us to remember

Yes it seems like our boat is sinking
no end in sight
our 'leader' flies the world
spreading dark moments
and defending even darker times

but we keep rowing
and singing the rowing song
life is but a dream
dreams sometimes come true

I often feel
connected to the circle
sitting around the council fire
hearing about the past storms
and the coming storm

fire, deception, forked tongues
we hear it on the rail lines
when we press our ear to the steel
the train is coming

Do we talk Washington's words
with the Great White Father?
Can we trust the generals
the horse soldiers
the pox filled blankets
the rancid flour
for our starving children
on the reservation?

Iraq was better than
says the Washington talk
which continues much the same
as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull,
Standing Bear, Chocise
heard in their day

I'll take the high road
you take the high road too
maybe we'll get to where
we are going together


On a planned presidential trip to the E.U. headquarters, it was supposed to be all handshakes and photo ops about a new trade deal. But instead, President Obama, in his speech before the E.U., took to defending the United States' decision to invade Iraq.


Here is Dave Webb's video presentation about the work of the Global Network that he made for our 22nd annual meeting recently in Santa Barbara.  Dave chairs the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and lives in Leeds, England.  He is the convener of the Global Network boards.
The piece got great reviews at our conference and features a smash hit by board member Holly Gwinn Graham (Olympia, Washington) who sings "We're planning a war in space."

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Brazilian legislators are considering a bill that many are calling the "Constitution of the Internet," in response to the revelations about the NSA's accessing of internet users' data. Already passed by the lower house of the Brazilian legislature, the bill tightens privacy rights for internet users and also enshrines the concept of "net neutrality," where all internet traffic must be treated the same by Internet Service Providers.

Although widely popular, the bill must still be passed by the upper house and signed by the president. RT's Lindsay France speaks about the landmark bill with Harvard Fellow and open internet advocate, Carolina Rossini.


Wikipedia informs us about one of the US's big border wars.

The Mexican–American War, also known as the Mexican War, the U.S.–Mexican War, the Invasion of Mexico, the U.S. Intervention, or the United States War Against Mexico, was an armed conflict between the United States and the Republic of Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory.

Combat operations lasted a year and a half, from the spring of 1846 to the fall of 1847. American forces quickly occupied New Mexico and California, then invaded parts of Northeastern Mexico and Northwest Mexico; meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron conducted a blockade, and took control of several garrisons on the Pacific coast further south in Baja California. Another American army captured Mexico City, and the war ended in a victory for the United States.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified the major consequence of the war: the forced Mexican Cession of the territories of Alta California and New Mexico to the United States in exchange for $15 million. In addition, the United States assumed $3.25 million of debt owed by the Mexican government to U.S. citizens. Mexico accepted the loss of Texas and thereafter cited the Rio Grande as its national border.

The US has been grabbing other territories without popular election for a long time.  Check with the Indians just in case you still don't get it. 

Now let's imagine that Russia or China tries to play the same game.  They stir up the Mexicans with lots of money, say $5 billion for the project, and they even send in some mercenaries like Blackwater (name changed to Xe and then Academi) and their own intelligence operatives.  They also send in some of their 'diplomatic' people with bags of tamales to hand to the blossoming occupy effort in the streets of Mexico City that is demanding an end to their government and the return of lands stolen by the US.  One of the Russian diplomats gets caught in a conversation saying who Moscow wants to head up the new Mexican government.

Then on top of all that the Russians and Chinese send warships into the Gulf of Mexico and along the Pacific coast.  Russian warplanes begin flying out of Cuba and are bumping up along the US border.

When the US strongly reacts by mobilizing its own military the Russian and Chinese governments claim that the US is being provocative and overly aggressive.  Russia and China also demand that the US must return Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California back to Mexico.  Maybe even Colorado too.

All hell is about to break loose.


The hypocrisy of Obama is beyond imagination.  The fact that he feels he has to make excuses for US attacks on Iraq, Yugoslavia, or Libya indicates though that much of the world is not buying what the Obama team is selling.

It's quite sad really that this man is reduced to groveling on the world stage - "The US attacks are not as bad as Russia's referendums."

In the larger scheme of things the US is finished as the 'shining light on the hill'.  The bulb has burned out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Several hundred students at the University of Southern Maine (USM) in Portland have been protesting in recent days due to major cuts and faculty lay-offs at their institution.

Students and faculty members who are protesting budget cuts at USM are accusing officials of making up numbers and “manufacturing” the crisis.

The critics say the University of Maine System should use its $183 million in unrestricted reserve funds to plug budget holes and save faculty positions.

It is good to see the students protesting against the coming reality of corporate feudalism.  At some point the hope is that they will also see that the massive amounts of $$$$ wasted on US militarism should be included in their solutions articulation.



The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents both current impacts with significant costs and extraordinary future risks to society and natural systems. The scientific community has convened conferences, published reports, spoken out at forums and proclaimed, through statements by virtually every national scientific academy and relevant major scientific organization-including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - that climate change puts the well-being of people of all nations at risk. Surveys show that many Americans think climate change is still a topic of significant scientific disagreement.

Thus, it is important and increasingly urgent for the public to know there is now a high degree of agreement among climate scientists that human - caused climate change is real. Moreover, while the public is becoming aware that climate change is increasing the likelihood of certain local disasters, many people do not yet understand that there is a small, but real chance of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts on people in the United States and around the world.

The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. The longer we wait to respond, the more the risks of climate change will increase. Conversely, the sooner we take action, the more options we will have to reduce risk and limit the human and economic cost of climate change....

See the full report here

The AAAS Climate Science Panel

Mario Molina (Chair)
University of California, San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography

James McCarthy
Harvard University

Diana Wall
Colorado State University

Richard Alley
Pennsylvania State University

Kim Cobb
Georgia Institute of Technology

Julia Cole
University of Arizona

Sarah Das
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Noah Diffenbaugh
Stanford University

Kerry Emanuel
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Howard Frumkin
University of Washington

Katharine Hayhoe
Texas Tech University

Camille Parmesan
University of Texas, Austin and University of Plymouth, UK

Marshall Shepherd
University of Georgia


Most folks don't pay much attention to politics anymore.  They've given up, they are depressed (financially and emotionally), likely on meds, and long ago determined that it was a waste of time to fight city hall.....let alone the feds.  But they do care, worry about things, and some of them even mouth off at work or in the local bar.  People are indeed agitated.

Years ago (god why didn't I save the link?) I found a story that reported the oil-i-garchy's strategy was to make politics so dirty, so ugly, and so dominated by big $$$$, that the public would not go near it thus giving Mr. Big virtual control.  They are close to the goal now.

Sooner or later though Mr. & Mrs. Average in the US will have to get engaged due to the overabundance of shit they are eating these days - literally and figuratively.  The remaining question is when they do engage will they be non-violent or make the mistake to 'let loose' using guns.  We tried Civil War back in the 1860's and it was a disaster.  Virtually every town in Maine has a Civil War statue on the town green with the names of local boys who died.

Democracy at home has been "occupied" by Mr. Big and now he's set his sites on the rest of the planet.  One effective tool that is being used is called the National Endowment for Democracy.  They spent $100 million or more on the Ukraine project.  They are destabilizing democracy around the world each day.  Take a look at the board of directors here.  The names that jumped out to me included Elliott Abrams, Norm Coleman, Zalmay Khalilzad, Vin Webber and Robert Zoellick.  All big time neo-con operatives.

Breathe deep....

But we get to decide what is right, and what is an illusion.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Notorious Ukrainian right-wing militant leader Aleksandr Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bilyi, has been shot dead during a police raid against his gang, confirmed Ukraine's Ministry of Interior.

Neil Clark, a UK-based journalist and broadcaster who's been covering the events in Ukraine extensively, explained why allegations that the Right Sector activist was assassinated make perfect sense.


Christ, the prince of peace
is coming to Bath
to give his blessings
his support
his stamp of approval
to a killing machine

The Pentagon has religious
the way the institution of slavery
was once blessed
by many churches

The priests of darkness
then maintained that 'inferior' slaves
were meant by god
to be ruled by the slave class

"Jesus Christ recognized this slavery institution as one that was lawful among men, and regulated its relative duties. ... I affirm then, first (and no man denies) that Jesus Christ has not abolished slavery by a prohibitory command; and second, I affirm, he has introduced no new moral principle which can work its destruction."

- Reverend Thomas Stringfellow, A Scriptural View of Slavery, Culpeper County, Virginia, 1856.

Similarly now we see some in the church
defending high-tech militarism
our current dark economic system
so similar to slavery
in that they both suck the life out of the nation
and of the people they destroy

Slavery and militarism
equally immoral
but war is defended with religious zeal

“God is Pro-War” declared Rev. Jerry Falwell
soon after US shock and awe
forces attacked Iraq
the first shot fired from the 'christened'
USS Cowpens
built in Bath
loaded with cruise missiles
that carried the godly
and wicked message
to their civilian targets

Yes god blesses us
because we are his 'exceptional'
we are the world's greatest
and it's greatest people
we have been chosen by god
to carry his mighty sword


The Navy's new Zumwalt stealth destroyer will get the 'blessings of Christ' on April 12 at Bath Iron Works.


  • Rick Rozoff from Chicago has become a leading expert on NATO, particularly the steroidal expansion of the military wing of corporate globalization.  He does an interview with Gary Null about NATO which can be heard here. Much to his credit Rick is also a fan of The Kinks.

  • Poland late last week said it would speed up the process for choosing a "missile defense" system that would tie into the US-NATO program. Warsaw had previously intended to cull the number of contractor proposals by early summer. There are competing bids from four different entities: the Israeli government; a Lockheed Martin-led consortium that produces the Medium Extended Air Defense System; the Raytheon aerospace corporation; and a consortium of France's Thales, the European firm MBDA and a Polish state defense group. The contract is worth approximately $5 billion. However, analysts estimate the entire cost could be as much as $13.1 billion, when maintenance expenses are factored in. Washington praised Warsaw for its willingness to ramp up military spending -- something the US-NATO have been urging all European alliance partners to do. A  missile defense site in Poland would be part of Obama's "European Phased Adaptive Approach" to NATO missile defense and is aimed at Russia.

  • During the summer of 2008 Russia and Georgia had a five-day military dust up along their border.  The first US politician to arrive was then Sen. Joseph Biden (later Obama's Vice-Prez) who pledged undying loyalty to the CIA-directed project in Georgia.  The US largely funded and directly this shoot out which was intended to  keep the steady beat of anti-Russian war drums going.  The US-NATO are itching to bring Georgia (and Ukraine) into the alliance.  The Stars & Stripes newspaper reported Biden's words last week:

“We are exploring a number of additional steps to increase the pace and scope of our military co-operation, including rotating U.S. forces to the Baltic region to conduct ground and naval exercises — as well as training missions,” Biden said Wednesday during talks with Polish and Estonian officials.

Biden’s tour through the region includes a stop on Wednesday in Lithuania, where the U.S. already is taking part in a NATO air policing mission.

  • So currently the same script, I call it modus operandi, is being played out against Russia along its European borders.  The US-NATO are militarily encircling and poking the bear on many fronts.  Imagine this happening during the Cold War - a Cuban missile crisis in reverse - the US-NATO instigating trouble with a nuclear superpower.  This display of arrogance on the part of corporate globalization is just mind blowing.

  • The fact that this version of the story never sees light of day in the western mainstream media indicates the level of deceit and censorship that goes on today.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Speaking outside Mountjoy prison (Ireland) on her release, 79-year-old Margaretta D’Arcy says she will keep protesting.

Margaretta D’Arcy, 79-year-old feminist, peace activist and film-maker was released from jail on 22 March 2014, after serving three months for protesting against the US military use of Ireland’s Shannon Airport.

Following her release, Margaretta D’Arcy continued to reject the charges against her and her co-defendant, Niall Farrell, that they were interfering with the ‘proper use’ of Shannon Airport by going onto the runway in October 2012 and again in September 2013. They were in fact, says Ms D’Arcy, highlighting the ‘improper use’ of Shannon Airport by the US military, who have effectively colonised an Irish airport.

Since 2003, over 2 million US soldiers and their weapons and thousands of US military aircraft and cargo planes have transited through Shannon Airport, on their way to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere.

The Government of neutral Ireland has ‘improperly’ facilitated these movements of troops and weaponry – which could easily have included killer drones and depleted uranium – and failed to inspect any of the military cargos. Neither did the government inspect any of the CIA planes landing at the airport which have been implicated in illegal ‘extraordinary rendition’ flights.

“It is a fact”, stated Ms D’Arcy, “that CIA teams travelled via Shannon en route to kidnap individuals and transfer them to torture venues. This is in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention against Torture. Our Government has turned a blind eye. They are complicit in these crimes.”

Galway Alliance Against War summed up the motivation for the Shannon protest as follows:

Over the past twelve years consecutive Irish governments have colluded in Washington’s campaign of wars from Afghanistan to Yemen, in which up to 2 million people have perished. By allowing the US military to use Irish airspace and Shannon airport to wage these wars we have become a willing accessory to mass murder. We have blood on our hands…we feel we have no alternative but to block the runway at Shannon to highlight Irish involvement in this carnage.

On her release from prison, Margaretta D’Arcy said, “President Michael D Higgins has called on Irish citizens to have ‘conversations’ in public places as part of active citizenship. I have sat on a runway, had a court hearing and gone to prison in an attempt to have this ‘conversation’.”

“I am facing another trial in exactly three months’ time. I hope to continue this conversation/dialogue with the Irish people and our Government and judiciary, and to highlight what we have sacrificed as Irish and world citizens by allowing this colonising of our airport for illegal and immoral purposes.”


The acting chief executive of Ukraine's state broadcasting has been forced to sign a resignation letter - by neo-Nazi MPs who broke into his office.

The group of men, from the far-right Svoboda party, were angry with Oleksandr Panteleymonov's decision to broadcast a ceremony from the Kremlin on Tuesday. It showed Russian President Putin signing a bill to make Ukraine's Crimea region part of Russia. The MPs filmed themselves beating Mr Panteleymonov over the head until he gave in to their demands.

These are the people that the Obama administration is now supporting in Kiev.  In the latest twist on this story another of these 'new Ukrainian leaders' claimed that Russians should be attacked with nuclear weapons and reduced to dust. Nice touch.......

The Obama crew is playing with fire.  Once again I have to say... if George W. Bush was president today the liberals would be screaming mad.  Where are their voices now?  Why are the liberals silent about Obama teaming up with neo-fascists?

Could it be possible that the Russians understand these neo-Nazi's better than we do?  After all the Ukrainian fascists sided with Hitler when he invaded the Soviet Union during WW II killing about 27 million people before being defeated.


During the past year a group of artists in Maine have been making banners for various protest movements.  Artists' Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) is a fluid group of dedicated Maine artists who are members of the Union of Maine Visual Artists.

Yesterday ARRT! met in nearby Brunswick for a day of banner making and delivered this one above to our house just before supper time.  They made the banner for us to use on Saturday, April 12 at the planned protest during the 'christening' of the Navy's new stealth destroyer here at Bath Iron Works from 10:00 am to noon.

On April 12 Veterans for Peace, and the other co-sponsoring groups, will share our conversion message with the thousands of local citizens who line up at BIW to enter the ‘christening’ ceremony.  The peace groups are calling on the Maine legislature to pass a law creating a commission to plan for conversion.  Connecticut, very reliant on military spending, recently passed such a law and many other states are now working on similar legislation. Maine workers know that when military spending cuts do come jobs will be lost.  Planning for conversion and diversification is a good strategy.

Other sponsors for the April 12 protest at BIW include:  Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm; Maine Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom; Pax Christi Maine; CodePink Maine; Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Vital Connections; and Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Later in the evening on April 12 an International Panel on US ‘Pivot’ to Asia-Pacific will be held at the new Unitarian Church in Brunswick.  Speakers from India, Japan, Korea and the US will discuss the implications of moving 60% of US military forces into the Asia-Pacific to “control” China.  Potluck supper begins at 6:00 pm and the panel discussion at 7:00 pm.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


The Draft and the Vietnam Generation will be a 60-minute video documentary that features men from diverse backgrounds who opposed the Vietnam War and defied the draft.

The draft forced young men to ask themselves if they were willing to kill and die in a war half way around the world.

If you were unwilling to fight in what you felt was an unjust war, you had to decide what to do.  Should you fake a medical illness, go to college, flee the country for Canada, or challenge the draft by going to prison?


Saturday, March 22, 2014


The US-NATO like to claim that their 'missile offense' deployments increasingly encircling Russia and China are intended to protect against possible nuclear strikes from Iran or North Korea.  Iran and North Korea though are the bogey-men.  The real prize is the final corporate takeover of the Russian and Chinese economies, and in the case of Russia, the world's leading supply of natural gas. (And don't forget the Arctic Sea melting ice that leaves Exxon-Mobil and Chevron a freer hand to grab that undersea oil - if Russia is neutralized.)

I had a Canadian man ask today to be removed from the Global Network email list because he said I was pro-Russia.  That reminds me of back in the 1980's, during the height of the Cold War, when I was handing out flyers at the Post Office in Orlando, Florida on tax day about US military spending.  One man called me a Soviet agent.  I told him, yes, sure, you are right and that damn Gorbachev is late again with his check!

That's the anti-communism bug which still is strong here in the America's.  If you dare tell the truth about US foreign and military policy that has anything to do with Russia or China then be prepared to hear the charge of "Red".

I am actually a green - working on behalf of Mother Earth.  My sign today at the Lenten vigil at Bath Iron Works here in town read:  Pentagon has the largest carbon boot print on Mother Earth.

Hoka hey
it's a good day to die
from the bad ways

Hoka hey
it's a good day to be free
to take back my mind
from the corrupting corporate influences
that push profit over life
blinded by the love for $$$$

Hoka hey
it's a good day to tell the truth
to those who are nicely paid to hide from it

Hoka hey
it's a good day to be alive
not fearing anyone
looking instead for our spiritual connection
remembering that our #1 job
is to keep the next seven generations alive

Hoka hey


The US is like Dracula - it can't stand the light of day.  The US lives and thrives by hiding behind shadows, deception and falsehoods.  This is why Disney World is so popular - the unreality of Cinderella's Castle fits well with the streets of gold mythology in the US story.

Any leader, any country that dares challenge the official line of the US is demonized and smashed.  The corporate media in the US, often staffed over the years with CIA operatives, repeats the lies until they are drummed into the heads of the American people.  This brainwashing is soon enough accepted as the gospel truth by the public - to the point that the people begin to believe that they were the ones to have thought up the ideas.  It's called internalized oppression.

I was on a radio program from Tampa, Florida yesterday talking about air shows.  There is going to be a big show there this weekend and the host wanted my take on these kind of events since I've organized protests at many of them here in Maine during the past 10 years.  I said air shows are Expensive, Polluting, Propaganda, Military Psychological Operations, Promote Idolatry and False Patriotism, Entertain, and Glorify War.

One caller accused me of being un-patriotic and stated that the US must have the "strongest military on the face of the planet in order to defend ourselves"...... from whom I asked?  The US spends more on the military than the rest of the entire world combined.  The Pentagon has nearly 1,000 military bases around the planet - how many does Russia and China have?  Google it.  Do they have bases in Canada or Mexico or warships off our Atlantic and Pacific coasts?

Why do we have to destabilize other countries and kill legions of people around the world in order to create jobs here at home?  We have a dark heart and yet we are unwilling to see that fact - instead we project our dirty deeds onto the rest of the world and accuse them of being the aggressor.  Look at the facts.  Look at who does the invading and knocking over governments.

I told the listeners to the Tampa radio station that I used to go to the air shows when I was young and living on Air Force bases.  I used to look up into the sky and idolized the war planes.  I had big photos of these war planes on my bedroom wall, along with my crucifix, when I was a kid.  I now realize that I had been brainwashed.

It wasn't until I was in the Air Force myself during the Vietnam War that I really learned the truth behind the facade.  I read the sordid story inside the government's own 'secret' history of the Vietnam War - The Pentagon Papers - and was liberated from my darkness.  Since then I've never stopped shining the light on the face of Dracula and I will never stop.

Friday, March 21, 2014


A new hypersonic arms-delivery vehicle able to penetrate highly protected airspace such as China's or Russia's has been developed by the Pentagon. Calling the development of hypersonic arms a top-priority, the Pentagon says that they did not want to be the second country to understand how to develop this type of weaponry. The vehicle is powered by new technology called a scram-jet, which is able to evade traditional air defenses. RT's Ameera David takes a look at the new weaponry.



Responding to a question in a recent interview longtime noted journalist Diana Johnstone says:

US-Russian relations are determined primarily by an ongoing US geostrategic hostility to Russia which is partly a matter of habit or inertia, partly a realization of the Brzezinski strategy of dividing Eurasia in order to maintain US world hegemony, and partly a reflection of Israeli-dominated Middle East policy toward Syria and Iran.  Between the two major nuclear powers, there is clearly an aggressor and an aggressed. It is up to the aggressor to change course if relations are to be normal.

Simply compare.  Is Russia urging Quebec to secede from Canada so that the province can join a military alliance led by Moscow?  Evidently not.  That would be comparable, and yet mild compared to the recent U.S. gambit led by Victoria Nuland aimed at bringing Ukraine, including the main Russian naval base at Sebastopol, into the Western orbit. The material reality of this political orbit is NATO, which since the end of the Soviet Union has systematically expanded toward Russia, which stations missiles whose only strategic function would be to provide the United States with a hypothetical nuclear first strike capacity against Russia, and which regularly holds military manoeuvers along Russian borders.  Russia has done nothing against the United States, and recently provided President Obama with a face-saving way to avoid being voted down in Congress in regard to military action against Syria – action which was not desired by the Pentagon but only by the fraction of Israeli-oriented policy makers called “neocons”. Russia professes no hostile ideology, and only seeks normal relations with the West.  What more can it do?  It is up to Americans to come to their senses.

- Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions


Jo Yakgol from Jeju Island sings during protest at Vandenberg AFB

Dave Web from Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK talks about "missile defense" deployments at Vandenberg

Alice Slater from New York speaks about the nuclear missile tests launched at Vandenberg during vigil
Dennis Apel arrested once again by military police at the base
On the final day of the GN weekend conference we met outside under the warm California sun

Our 22nd annual Global Network (GN) space organizing conference was hosted this year by Catholic Worker (CW) activist Dennis Apel from the Guadalupe Catholic Worker House near Vandenberg AFB in California.  Dennis and his wife Tensie Hernandez have run the CW House in the migrant farm worker community of Guadalupe for the past 18 years.  During that time they have regularly held peace vigils at Vandenberg.

Dennis currently serves on the GN’s board and was with us in 2012 when the organization held our 20th annual meeting on Jeju Island, South Korea.  We were then invited by Gangjeong villagers where the US is forcing a Navy base to be built that will port warships being moved into the Asia-Pacific as part of Obama’s military ‘pivot’ into the region.  On that occasion eight of us from the GN, including Dennis, were arrested for crawling under razor wire to get onto the sacred Gureombi coastline to express our outrage over the blasting and cementing of the rocks.

Prior to our March 14-16 GN conference planned for Santa Barbara, California Dennis invited me to come to Las Vegas, Nevada to speak at the Pacific Life Retreat held on March 7-9.  This gathering of CW activists from across the west coast drew about 60 people and early each morning vigils were held at Creech AFB (drone base), Nellis AFB (air operations training base) and the Nevada National Security Site (formerly called Nevada Nuclear Test Site). 

It was great to be with this group of dedicated activists who are known for feeding and housing the poor and for their long-time determined resistance to the military industrial complex.

Following the Las Vegas retreat I rode back to California with Dennis and stayed at his home while waiting for the GN conference to begin.  We had time to go over last minute conference details – Dennis had secured our meeting site at a Catholic retreat center in Santa Barbara and he was using his connections to gather the food for our GN event.

Dennis was also working his local media contacts to promote the coming GN conference that was to begin on March 14 with a protest at Vandenberg AFB.  He has been arrested for non-violent protest at Vandenberg many times and the base has banned him from the grounds for life.  He took this “ban and bar” order to court and won at the federal district court level.  The government then took the case to the US Supreme Court that decided 9-0 that the base has the right to enforce their ‘boundaries’ but the bigger issue of the rights of the public to freely protest was sent back to the federal district court for further review.

Just over 30 of us arrived at Vandenberg at 4:00 pm on March 14 to hold a protest in support of the dedicated local activists who have been protesting at the base for the past 30 years.  We held a brief news conference to begin our solidarity vigil and soon after we began a phalanx of military police marched into our group and handcuffed and removed Dennis.  Within minutes they came back and took another of our GN board members MacGregor Eddy (WILPF) who has also previously been banned from the protest area outside the base.

Our protest at the base received good coverage twice by the two largest newspapers in the region as well as a local radio station.  That’s not bad considering how hard it is these days to get any notice by the mainstream media.

Vandenberg is a key space operations center that launches military satellites, is a deployment site for ground-base missile defense interceptors, and tests Minuteman nuclear missiles by firing them from the sprawling base into Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific. 

Following dinner that first evening back at the retreat center we watched The Ghosts of Jeju documentary about the Navy base struggle and the sordid history of US militarism on Jeju and throughout Korea.  Activist and musician Jo Yakgol came representing Gangjeong village on Jeju Island and sang throughout the weekend.

We continued the GN conference program on March 15 with a two-hour sharing of the 40 people attending the retreat.  We had people with us from India, Norway, England, Japan, Canada, Korea, and throughout the US. It was a moving experience to hear the words from those attending.  All of us acknowledged the difficulty organizing against multiple US military operations throughout the world and cutbacks on social progress at home.  We agreed that the peace movement currently faces two severe challenges:  Many liberals are reluctant to publicly question Obama’s foreign and domestic policy and our movement is aging.

Journalist Bard Wormdal, author of the book The Satellite War, gave a fine presentation about how US deployment of a radar in Vardo, Norway near the Russian border is a key element in US “missile defense” strategy.  He went on to detail the extensive Pentagon use of satellite ground relay stations near the north and south poles which violate existing treaties outlawing these locations being used for military (surveillance and targeting) purposes.

Another presentation was made by Masaki Toda from Kyoto, Japan who briefed us on the pending deployment of another US X-band “missile defense” radar near their community.  Local activists in the Kyoto prefecture have been building a campaign to oppose the radar deployment because of its destabilizing nature.  While it is said to be aimed at North Korea the true nature of the radar will be for US military “control” of China.

Canadian activist Tamara Lorincz also made an excellent presentation about the need for demilitarization and conversion of the military industrial complex.  She thoroughly reviewed the work of former Columbia University professor Seymour Melman, the father of economic conversion.  All of us should be paying attention to the growing conversion organizing now underway across the nation.

On the evening of March 15 we moved the conference participants to a local church in Santa Barbara where we had invited the general public to join us for a program that included speakers and more music.  About 75 people heard several talks that included a fantastic video presentation about the history and work of the Global Network prepared by our board convener Dave Webb who also chairs the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK.  (We hope to be able to share this via YouTube soon.) Music that evening was performed by Tom Neilson, JoYakgol and Holly Gwinn Graham.

The conference concluded with a final planning meeting on March 16.  We reviewed GN finances, made a few minor adjustments to our boards, came up with a theme for Keep Space for Peace Week, and accepted the proposal to hold our 2015 annual space conference in Kyoto, Japan (likely in mid-June).

Keep Space for Peace Week will be held on October 4-11 this year and the theme will be Full Spectrum Dominance – Full Spectrum Resistance.  The colossally expensive and intrusive military eye in the sky, that coordinates all warfare on Earth, works to benefit corporate globalization.  Back on Mother Earth international resistance to corporate militarism is daily growing. We are asking renowned Florida artist W. B. Park to design our poster and flyers for space week this year.

The GN will also hold an event during the UN’s NPT events in New York City in 2015.  Board member Alice Slater will take on responsibility for setting this up.

Our Peace in Space awards were presented this year to west coast activists Dennis Apel, Tensie Hernandez, Lynda Williams, Holly Gwinn Graham and MacGregor Eddy.  Plus a special lifetime award was given to WW II veteran Bud Boothe who has been protesting at Vandenberg AFB for the past 30 years.

It was suggested that the GN offer an internship this year so we will pursue that opportunity.  We also decided to organize a video contest for students from around the world by inviting them to submit a 3-5 minute video on Keep Space for Peace.  First prize will be an all expenses paid trip to Kyoto, Japan for our 2015 annual conference.  A committee was formed to work on this.

In the meantime our work will be to support the local peace efforts of our affiliate groups and individual members in the US and around the world.  We’ll use our web site, blog, newsletter, staff and board travel, and our on-going media work to shine a positive light on good local organizing.  Many times during our meeting we reminded each other that millions of people around the world are working hard each day on these important issues and we stand linked to them.

We thank all of you who donate to the work of the GN each year.  Without your steady support none of our efforts would be possible.  We pledge to you our on-going efforts to build for peace on Earth and in space and to continue working to convert the military machine to peaceful purposes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


In 1971, Dorothy Day and Tom Cornell were interviewed on the Christopher Closeup Show. Dorothy was introduced as the cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement, author of several books, and widely travelled lecturer. Tom Cornell was the former editor of the Catholic Worker newsletter.

During the interview, Dorothy, comments that “There is a movement of nonviolence all over the world.”


Israeli Homeland Security (iHLS) interviews Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) Chairman Riki Ellison about American and Israeli missile defense.

Ellison's expertise appears to come from being a former pro-football linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers where they used to put up defenses against the 'long bomb'.....other than than I can't figure out why he is the 'leading citizen proponent' of MD.

The truth is that the aerospace industry needs some kind of 'grassroots' base to promote MD.  Since there is not really any out there the industry funds Ellison to travel around the world to shill for the program.  Because of his football celebrity many doors are opened for him including recently when he testified before a congressional committee where he called for greater funding for MD.

His absurd claim that the US needs MD to guard against North Korea is belied by the fact that he is constantly promoting NATO expansion and MD deployments to encircle Russia and China.


BBC Newsnight's Gabriel Gatehouse investigates the links between the new Ukrainian government and Neo-Nazis.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


According to a new scientific study funded by NASA, modern civilization is heading for collapse within a matter of decades. In the study, mathematicians used theoretical models to predict what will happen to the industrialized world over the course of the next century. And they found that even with conservative estimates, the Earth is headed down a very tumultuous path. RT's Ameera David reports.


Monday, March 17, 2014


  • Just landed in Newark after aircraft maintenance problems interrupted my planned flight sequence of Santa Barbara-San Francisco-Chicago-Portland.  Now I won’t make it back home tonight as originally scheduled and have to spend the night in Newark… getting home a day late on Tuesday.  Had to cancel the taping of my next public access TV show on Tuesday morning. 

  • I’ve been out of world news contact for several days and have not yet caught up with the latest about US-NATO intervention into Ukrainian affairs.  I did notice some comments by the recently installed US-NATO puppet government in Kiev threatening those who don’t want to follow the new ‘leadership’.  Funny how the US-NATO can barge into a country, help topple the government, and then complain when folks don’t want to go along with the show.

  • Now that the US has lost in Afghanistan the scriptwriters are looking for the new “Crazy Horse on the warpath” story that will keep the gravy train flowing into the coffers of the war machine … enemy creation is at the root of the “American experiment”.  Russia as the ‘latest’ mark makes a handy story line.

  • I read over the weekend that Obama’s Pentagon is sending the Navy destroyer USS Truxtun into the Black Sea as a show of the ‘grand old flag’.  This was seen by Moscow as a challenge to the Russian fleet and evidence that the US was "ramping up its military presence in the region." The Russians are right, this is just what the US is doing. Obama, the “good liberal Democrat” is doing the dirty work this time.  He is the white hat version of George W. Bush and gives the oil-i-garchy the extra bonus of keeping much of the left in their place – cowering on the sidelines.

  • Our Global Network 22nd annual conference went very well at a beautiful flowering Catholic retreat center in Santa Barbara, California.  Forty of us from many places spent hours sharing with one another – about our struggles, our fears, our times of joy, and lives of principled determination.  About 75 people attended our public forum on Saturday evening at a local church in Santa Barbara.

  • We told the media repeatedly, and they actually printed our words several times in two different local papers, that we’d come to Vandenberg AFB to stand with and honor those in the community who have non-violently protested at the base for a long time.  Bud Boothe, a WW II veteran, has been vigiling at Vandenberg for 30 years.  In the high times of the 1980’s Bud repeatedly invited activists to camp on his land during large protests at the base.  We presented him with a “Lifetime Achievement Award”.

  • These peace protests at US bases around the nation and worldwide are going up against the power of the military industrial complex and we are demanding an end to our growing local economic “addiction” to the war system drug.  Cancerous militarism is the new high-tech version of slavery – we are shackled to war.  One of our Global Network founders, Bill Sulzman from Colorado Springs, reported that his community has the highest level of dependency on the military in the whole nation.  They have five military bases in Colorado Springs and a slew of weapons production facilities as well.  How can we ever stop war when local communities have to rely on killing to create jobs? What does it say about the soul of our nation?

  • I am proud to work with this feisty crowd in the Global Network and our allied friends.  It was often said during our gathering that there are millions of us out there around the world doing these good works.  We need to find more ways to reach out to one another and recognize that our survival on Mother Earth depends upon what each of us can contribute to this historic effort.  Let’s be friends and put down the bully stick of war, environmental degradation, and economic collapse. 


Sunday, March 16, 2014


Friday, March 14, 2014


I was recently asked to send a message to people on Okinawa who are resisting the expansion of US military bases there which are part of Obama's 'pivot' into the Asia-Pacific.

I am told that my message was printed yesterday in the newspaper.  Here is what I wrote:

It was very encouraging to hear that Mayor Susumu Inamine of Nago City was reelected despite misguided efforts of [Japanese Prime Minister] Abe and the US to influence the election with promises of money.  The US military is desperate to expand its military operations in the Asia-Pacific region in order to control and dominate China.  Okinawa is just a useful tool, like other expanding Pentagon operations on Jeju Island, South Korea, Guam, the Philippines, Australia and beyond.  This cancerous military expansion by the Pentagon is destabilizing and expensive.  There are also severe environmental consequences with this US military expansion program as we witness on Okinawa and places like Jeju Island.  Human rights abuses are rampant as well as the US and Abe attempt to crush public will.

But the story about the people's movement on Okinawa and Jeju Island are spreading like wildfire across the globe.  More and more of the world's citizens see this military expansion plan as dangerous to world peace.  It must be stopped.  The people on Okinawa are on the front lines but will not be forgotten nor abandoned.

Our organization, like many others, is now expanding our education and organizing around Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific.  It is a program to make the weapons industry even wealthier and to give the corporations that now control the US government full domination of the planet.

 In the US we also oppose Obama's "pivot" because the cost of expanding militarism is destroying our society as well.  There is no money for health care, transportation, education, and infrastructure repair.  We also oppose this US military expansion because it is morally wrong.  It is wrong to steal land from people on Okinawa and it is wrong to prepare for war.

We thank the people of Okinawa for standing strong.  This madness must end some time and we are honored to join you in this fight.  Let us use our resources to deal with climate change, environmental pollution from Fukushima, growing hunger and other pressing social problems.

- Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space



A string of small earthquakes in Mahoning County, Ohio this week triggered the Ohio State Department of Natural Resources to order a halt on fracking operations near the tremor site. Hilcorp Energy, which is producing oil and natural gas out of the Utica Shale, is the only company with fracking operations near the epicenter. Although, the boom in oil and gas drilling central and southern U.S. has been tied to an increase in the number of earthquakes in the region, RT's Perianne Boring reporters there is little evidence to show that hydraulic fracturing is actually the cause.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Global Network board member Dennis Apel from Santa Maria, California reads a statement at Vandenberg AFB during a recent protest vigil at the base.  He was arrested after making his statement.  Apel is hosting the GN's 22nd annual conference this year.

Groups to hold vigil at Vandenberg

Protest part of Santa Barbara conference by peace activists
Santa Maria Times
A network of global peace groups will kick off a weekend conference in Santa Barbara with a Friday afternoon vigil at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s main gate.

The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN) will hold its 22nd annual space organizing conference in Santa Barbara. The GN is made up of 150 peace and religious groups opposed to what they say is the development of a new arms race in space.

The theme for the conference will be “Vandenberg’s Role in U.S. Global Domination: Implications of US ‘Pivot’ into the Asia-Pacific.”

Conference organizers cite Vandenberg’s role in launching military satellites, testing unarmed nuclear missiles and developing “missile defense” interceptors.

The conference weekend will begin with a vigil at Vandenberg’s main gate from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.Friday.

“For years there have been peace protests outside Vandenberg AFB with many people arrested for their non-violent witness,” GN Coordinator Bruce Gagnon said in a press release. “GN members are coming from all over the world to honor and encourage these dedicated local citizens. We will share our deep concerns about current US plans to ‘control and dominate space’ and the Pentagon’s pivot into the Asia-Pacific.”

Santa Maria resident Dennis Apel, who is part of the Guadalupe Catholic Worker movement, said he plans to attend the protest and expects to be arrested for the second time since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the military has the right to bar him from even being in the designated protest area along Highway 1.

The ruling says the law doesn’t remove a commander’s authority “to exclude individuals who have vandalized military property and been determined to pose a threat to the order and security of the base.”

While the Feb. 26 ruling favored the military position, justices noted it didn’t deal with First Amendment issues. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said “it is questionable whether Apel’s ouster from the protest area can withstand constitutional review.”

Apel joined with approximately one dozen other activists for a monthly protest last week and was arrested again, his first since the Supreme Court ruling.

The conference and protest are expected to attract representatives from England, India, Norway, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Approximately 50 people are expected at the retreat in Santa Barbara.

Apel is listed among the speakers scheduled for a public forum at 7:00 p.m. Saturday at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara. David Krieger from the Santa Barbara-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation also is set to speak.