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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Song

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The View from Kiev Political Activist

Ukrainian political activist Margarita Montyan talking about how the oligarchs all took the West's inducements for warfare as a chance to rip off money allocated for it.

Fascinating analysis of Ukrainian situation - even if you don't know a lot about internal politics in Kiev you can still learn much from this spirited woman.

To get the English subtitles you may need to click on the wheel in the lower right hand corner of the video and pick English

An Instructive Afternoon in Ferguson

Standing in front of what looks like a brand new police and city court building, likely funded by the heavy fines levied on black residents in Ferguson

Today two of us from Veterans for Peace went to Ferguson to see what was going on.  The town had the atmosphere of a festival along the main drag.  When we arrived cops were blocking the street near the police department (where most of the nightly protests have been held) as a large group of black motorcyclists zoomed into a parking lot nearby.

All along both sides of the downtown business strip people (predominantly white) were painting the boards that are covering up windows in the store fronts and tying colorful ribbons to a fence.  I spoke to several of those painting the boards and asked if they thought things would now change in Ferguson.  All of them said yes.  I asked one white couple who owned a store about the story that blacks in Ferguson are more frequently fined for minor legal infractions.  They said that this story was not true, it was only because there are more black people in the city that it "appeared that blacks are singled" out they told me. 

NPR reports:

In 2013, the municipal court in Ferguson — a city of 21,135 people — issued 32,975 arrest warrants for nonviolent offenses, mostly driving violations. Last year, Ferguson collected $2.6 million in court fines and fees. It was the city's second-biggest source of income of the $20 million it collected in revenues. Blacks make up 67 percent of the city's population, but are 86 percent of motorists stopped by police. Whites make up 29 percent of the population, but 12.7 percent of vehicle stops.

A recent report says the courtroom in Ferguson gets so crowded that judges lock the doors just five minutes after court begins. Sometimes people show up late and can't get in, so they leave. But then they're counted as missing court, and an arrest warrant might be issued.

Jeff Smith, an assistant professor at the New School and a former Missouri state senator from St. Louis, says Ferguson "facilitates a debtors prison" because of the high number of arrest warrants that get issued when people don't pay. When people go to jail, they sometimes lose their jobs.

That sounds like a 21st century version of Jim Crow to me.  Indentured servitude, a modern version of feudalism. When I gently challenged the white store owning couple on this they became very defensive so we moved on.

Next we came across a middle-aged white women wearing a "Don't shoot" T-shirt standing vigil across from the police station with her two children.  I asked her what she thought about the painting of boarded up windows and she said it was all for show.  "These people never come stand here to support the black community," she told me.  "It's all being done to make themselves feel better," she said.

As we talked three bus loads of National Guard troops unloaded in the parking lot behind city hall.  At that same moment an older white woman drove by and screamed at the T-shirted woman who was standing next to me with her hands in the air.  The angry white driver stopped her car and yelled "Stop holding your hands up!"

Before leaving we drove to another part of Ferguson where some of the local stores had been burned down.  As we approached the area we noticed many TV crews and lots of cop cars.  Then we saw a march organized by the NAACP with about 100 people heading the opposite direction in the four lane road. (I later learned that it was a 120-mile march to the governor's mansion in Jefferson City.)

One old black man I spoke with just a few doors from the police department told me he thought change would come.  "We've never seen protests like this in the St. Louis area before.  Now they are protesting at the shopping malls too.  The impacts on these business people is going to force some changes," he predicted.

Everywhere I've been during these recent days there has been tons of police and it must be costing the greater St. Louis community a bunch of cash.  The negative impacts on local business must also be forcing the local ruling class to consider some changes.  (A Mexican restaurant owner in Ferguson told us her business has been heavily impacted by the ongoing protests.) But the brand new looking police department and municipal court building was likely built on the backs of black residents paying these outrageous "fines" over many years.  Those in power are not likely going to be eager to shut off that pipeline of easy cash anytime soon.  It's a modern plantation system and the Michael Brown killing gave local black residents the impetus to express their pent up rage.

My first, middle, and last reflection on the painting of the boards on the windows was what I'd call a typical American reaction to such things - create a facade, a false front, an illusion, go Hollywood.  I asked several of the white folks painting the boards if doing so was not an admission that things are not really changing - after all the boards are still up in the windows and you are just trying to make the best of a bad situation.  It was when I said that that several of the folks got the most agitated with me - the only thing worse than putting up a false front in America is for someone to challenge the illusion.

Let's all go on pretending that everything is just fine and dandy.

U.S. Funding Neo-Nazi Extremism in Ukraine

An amendment to the 2015 NDAA that would have forbidden US assistance, training and weapons to neo-Nazis and other extremists in Ukraine was dropped at the request of two of the largest Jewish pressure groups in the United States.

Saturday History Lesson: Confronting Nuclear Death Machines

"Polaris Action" is an 11-minute 1960 film by Hilary Harris, about nonviolent demonstrations and civil disobedience against Polaris nuclear missile firing submarines, in New London, CT. (They have since been supplanted by the multi-warhead Trident ballistic missile submarines.)

Letter to St. Louis Post-Dispatch

VFP member Russell Johnson manhandled by St. Louis cops at city hall protest

Dear Editor:

I have been in St. Louis for the past week. I came from my home in Maine to join other members of Veterans for Peace who have come to your community to stand with those who are outraged over the killing of Michael Brown. Yesterday I helped shut down the Galleria Mall for about 90 minutes on what was appropriately renamed 'Brown Friday'.

I picked up your paper (11-30-14) and was drawn to the Opinion page. I read local columnist Bill McClellan's piece suggesting that it was "Time to move on....Whatever happened happened." Not quite the kind of attitude that shows the community is really ready or willing to deal with the reality of racism and economic disparity that causes these tragic circumstances. It appears to me that Mr. McClellan is missing the historic moment here.

After witnessing St. Louis's "finest" charge a peaceful group of us sitting on city hall steps the other day I got a feel for how police work is done around here. Barely given a chance to disperse I got a billy club in my chest as I tried to find a way from the steps around the cops. One of our Veterans for Peace members (a Persian Gulf war vet from North Carolina) was tackled from behind as he moved away from the steps and was then grabbed by four cops who dislocated his shoulder as they man-handled him into a police van. He is a tall black man and we all wondered if he was selected for "prosecution" in that moment.

I'd not recommend anyone ever come to St. Louis for a vacation - this doesn't seem to be a very friendly city. But I'm already suggesting that fellow Mainers come join the protests that I hope will ultimately force this community to deal with its cold-hearted treatment of its black citizens.

Bruce K. Gagnon
Maine Veterans for Peace
Bath, Maine

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cold & Wet in Gaza

Shut It Down!

These two women workers at Macy's led chants as we passed their closed store

I'm right in the middle of this shot in the green waving a peace sign

The Galleria Mall in St. Louis was shut down today as hundreds of black and white activists walked chanting through the enormous shopping center on "Black Friday".  We learned about the action just before it began and when we arrived inside the mall many activists were already there leading chants like:

  • Shut it down
  • Indict, convict, put the killer cops in jail - the whole damn system is guilty as hell
  • No justice, no peace
  • Forward together, no going back
  • No Black Friday
  • Hands up, don't shoot
  • Stop shopping, join the movement
As the crowd swelled it took over both floors of the mall and about half the stores pulled down the security gates to close their shop.  Many of the workers inside the stores stood behind their gates and clapped, chanted and filmed the protest.  The best moment was when two women in Macy's uniforms led the rousing chant "No Black Friday".

Twice during the 90 minutes we were there a mass die-in was held to remind everyone that Michael Brown's body was left in the street of Ferguson for four and one-half hours after he was shot dead.  Local organizers named the action today - Brown Friday.

Many cops from various law enforcement agencies were brought into the mall but they were helpless - it was impossible to distinguish the protesters from shoppers as many mall customers were clapping and filming the action with their cell phones.  Many actually joined the crowd as we walked through the mall.

As I write this back at the Veterans For Peace office I am listening to St. Louis public radio which is reporting on the event.  One local Fox News station posted on their web site that the mall was closed "indefinitely".

This action had to have significant impact on the shopping mall's Black Friday profits.  (I learned after we left that the protest organizers moved from the Galleria Mall to other stores in the metro area.)  The local business community has to be feeling the pressure as these protests spread from the streets into the economic zone of the St. Louis metropolitan region.

The best thing about this action was knowing that most of the mall customers would never dream of attending one of these Michael Brown solidarity protests.  They would be too afraid to ever go near such an action but here today they suddenly found themselves right in the middle of the whole thing.  They had to see and feel the spirited non-violent protest was in fact not nearly as dangerous as corporate media keeps telling them.

The media, gathered here in St. Louis from around the world, was all over this protest today.  The young black men and women leading these events are doing themselves proud.

Europe Becoming Irrelevant

Former Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini has hit out at sanctions implemented against Russia, saying they are counterproductive. He also believes this is a very bad time for the EU to be losing a valuable economic partner.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ain't No Maidan Allowed Here

The US government
supported the violent
Maidan in Kiev
that set Ukraine
on path
to civil war
on Russia's border

The US government
funded much of
violent uprising
against Socialist
government in

The US government
was linked
to 'Occupy Hong Kong'
wanting to give China
a black eye
and balkanized

on and on
the story goes

The US government
opposed the largely
Occupy movement
across America
the message of
the 99%
a big threat
to the ruling 1%

The US government
fears the Ferguson
inspired protests
now happening
across the nation
violent police
sent in to break
the backs
of the growing
solidarity movement

MLK called the US
"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today"
King was killed
for uttering those
prophetic words
while trying to end
the slaughter in Vietnam
and bring social justice
to poor people back home

Obama lectures
the nation
about staying
after the
Grand Jury spectacle
was announced

The half-steppin prez
“You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust...but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”

Washington loves
the rule of law
when it suits
their fancy
when it works
in their favor
when it is
when it looks good
on TV

but mostly
loves violence
to create
regime change
in other places

but we can't have
regime change
here at home

Sitting on the steps
of city hall
in St. Louie
for real justice
not allowed
riot cops called in
break up the crowd
ain't gonna be
no Maidan
allowed here
in the USA

Oops in Ferguson Case

This is Black History

The First Thanksgiving

"Stools of stumps made good seats for the Pilgrim population. The Indians sat on the ground, gnawing on deer bones, tearing fowl apart, and lapping up the very ancient and rancid butter with grunts of appreciation. It is a pretty picture to think of."
- from Old Glory, by Samuel Eliot Morison

A harvest feast did take place in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621, probably in mid-October and the Indians who attended were not even invited. It later became known as "Thanksgiving" but the Pilgrims never called it that. The pilgrim crop had failed miserably that year, but the agricultural expertise of the Pilgrims’ Indian friend Squanto had produced 20 acres of corn without which the Pilgrims would have surely perished. The Pilgrims invited Massasoit, and it was he who then invited 90 or more of his Indian brothers and sisters to the affair to the chagrin of the indignant Europeans. No turkey, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie was served, no prayers were offered and the Indians were not invited back.

The Pilgrims did, however, consume a good deal of home brew. In fact, each Pilgrim drank at least a half gallon of ale a day which they preferred even to water.

Contrary to popular mythology, the Pilgrims were no friends to the majority of local Indians. Just days before this alleged Thanksgiving communion, a company of Pilgrims led by Myles Standish actively sought the head of a local chief.

They deliberately caused a rivalry between two friendly Indians, putting one against the other in an attempt to obtain "better intelligence and make them both more diligent." An 11-foot-high wall was erected around the entire settlement for the purpose of keeping the Indians out.

Standish eventually got his bloody prize. He beheaded an Indian brave named Wituwamat and brought the head to Plymouth where it was displayed on a wooden spike for many years. Just a few years later, in about 1636, a force of colonists trapped some 700 Pequot Indian men, women, and children near the mouth of the Mystic River. English Captain John Mason attacked the Indian camp with "fire, sword, blunderbuss, and tomahawk." Only a handful escaped and few prisoners were taken, to the great delight of the Pilgrims:

To see them frying in the fire, and the streams of their blood quenching the same, and the stench was horrible; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave praise thereof to God. This event marked what was most likely the first actual Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims were pleased with the result. Any goodwill that may have existed was certainly now gone and by 1675 Massachusetts and the surrounding colonies were in a full-scale war with the great Indian chief of the Wampanoags, Metacomet.

Renamed "King Philip" by the White man, Metacomet watched the steady erosion of the lifestyle and culture of his people as European laws and values engulfed them. Forced into humiliating submission by the power of a distant king, Metacomet struck out in 1675 with raids on several isolated frontier towns. The expedient use of the so-called "Praying Indians," natives converted by the colonists to "Christianity," ultimately defeated the great Indian nation, just half a century after the arrival of the European historian Douglas Edward Leach describes the bitter end:

The ruthless executions, the cruel sentences ... were all aimed at the same goal—unchallenging white supremacy in southern New England. That the program succeeded is convincingly demonstrated by the almost complete docility of the local native ever since.

When Captain Benjamin Church tracked down and assassinated Metacomet, his body was quartered and parts were "left for the wolves." The great Indian chief’s hands were cut off and sent to Boston and his head went to Plymouth where it was set upon a pole on Thanksgiving Day, 1676. Metacomet’s nine-year-old son was destined for execution, the Puritan reasoning being that the offspring of the devil must pay for the sins of their father. He was instead shipped to the Caribbean to serve his life in slavery. In the midst of the Holocaust of the Red Man, Governor Dudley declared in 1704 a "General Thanksgiving" not to celebrate the brotherhood of man but for:

[God’s] infinite Goodness to extend His Favors ... In defeating and disappointing ... the Expeditions of the Enemy [Indians] against us, And the good Success given us against them, by delivering so many of them into our hands... Just two years later one could reap a $50 reward in Massachusetts for the scalp of an Indian.

The model of the Indian reservation system in North America had its origin in Massachusetts. A series of legislative acts "for the better regulation of the Indians" established Indian settlements throughout the state. A White overseer was appointed and white Christianity was imposed. Historian George F. Weston wrote that demand was great for rope maker John Harrison, what with "the need for rigging for all the ships and a new rope every time an Indian was hanged." Bon Appetite!

- Dr. Tingba Apidta is author of The Hidden History of Massachusetts: A Guide for Black Folks and also The Hidden History of Washington, DC

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

VFP Member Attacked by Cops in St. Louis

Veterans for Peace member Russell Johnson from Asheville, North Carolina was arrested at St. Louis city hall today as the crowd of a couple hundred was dispersing after sitting on steps to building....he was walking away from the city hall steps and was slammed to the ground from behind......more than 100 riot cops attacked the non-violent protest...he's now got a dislocated shoulder and was released from jail about 7:00 pm.  He was taken to an emergency room by another VFP member who did not return to the office where we are sleeping on the floor until 2:00 am.

The Black & White Problem

Ferguson: Far From Over

Protests during last 24 hours spreading all over the world.  This one in Atlanta is a winner.

This morning on steps of historic court house in St. Louis

Several of us from Veterans For Peace attended an incredible protest action today in downtown St. Louis within a stone's throw of the famous arch along the Mississippi River.  We marched from a local park to the historic courthouse facing the river that was a place that slaves were once sold.  It was also the courthouse where the famous Dred Scott case was first heard. 

At the old courthouse a moving series of young black speakers shared the many reasons that the Michael Brown case had been a betrayal of justice.  One reason cited - white privilege.  The several hundred there (mostly black with a good smattering of young white activists) then proceeded to march to the larger newer courthouses a few blocks away that are symbols of injustice for the black people that currently populate the jails in this state and across the nation.

At the four-lane intersection by these towering court buildings the organizers had us spread out to block the streets by holding hands closing both two lanes in the four directions of traffic.  One young woman organizer said that we'd have one moment of silence for each of the four hours that Michael Brown's body was left in the street after being killed by the police.  It was a profoundly moving four minutes and my heart swelled with pride to be a part of it.

From there the organizers led us a couple blocks further to St. Louis city hall where people sat on the steps leading into the building.  Immediately more than 100 riot police descended on us, and armed with tear gas, began to rush the steps of the city building.  Most people tried to get away but the police began pushing and tackling some of the crowd.  I tried to move away from the steps and was hit in the chest by a riot cop's thrusting wooden baton.  I saw police slam several young people to the ground and then other cops pounced on them like a football gang tackle.  I was able to get away with most of the others and we reassembled on the street and began heading back to the park where it had all started.

At the park a young black woman concluded the event by saying that this cause would not die.... that revolution in America was needed and was inevitable as the forces of repression escalate their attacks on those who have tried to call for real reform of this corrupt system.

By the end of the action it was snowing and cold and the young woman told us all to go home, have some hot soup, enjoy our family time, love one another, protect one another, and remember that all this is far from over.

Checking in from Ferguson

On the streets last night in West St. Louis (I am on the right in the red)

Last night I had the chance to ride around St. Louis and Ferguson with Veterans For Peace (VFP) Executive Director Michael McPherson who is also serving as co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition.  I was quite impressed with the planning and coordination that is going around the protests that continue both in St. Louis and nearby Ferguson.

We made stops at several 'safe houses' where food, medical workers, and other volunteers were assembled to give aid to people who are currently protesting or have been released from jail.  The VFP office is real close to the county jail where most of those arrested have been taken.

We also stopped to join a protest of a couple hundred people that were blocking street intersections in a 'trendy' part of west St. Louis.  At one intersection an elderly white couple were in their car and having to wait while the peaceful occupation of the road was going on.  The white man in the car was honking and flailing his arms demanding the blockade be removed.  I moved over and stood in front of their car so they could see a white person was part of the blockade.  At another intersection a black woman was the first car blocked and her reaction was one of solidarity, positive waves, and a smile.  Many cars were honking their support.

Next Michael drove us to Ferguson - the scene of continued protests against the killing of Michael Brown.  Some roads were blocked in the community and the dark sky was dotted with helicopters (likely media and police) making a large continuous circle around the town.  We went to the safe house inside a local church basement that was staffed by about six women and men.  They reported that two nights ago things were busy with young people who were tear gassed coming there for aid and safety.  Last night was different as they police had shut down the road between where the protests were happening at the Ferguson police department and the safe space.  Michael explored with the volunteers whether additional safe houses in Ferguson would be needed as the police made tactical adjustments.

It is clear that the local authorities made the Grand Jury announcement so close to Thanksgiving for a reason.  They knew that it would throw a monkey wrench into the local protest movement planning and it has.  A meeting is being held today (that I hope to attend) to review what comes next.

Two nights ago it appears that virtually the entire greater St. Louis metro area was shut down - mostly needlessly out of over-hyped fear.  

I'm not the only one from VFP to come to St. Louis to show solidarity.  Last night I slept on the floor as did other members who came from across the country to be here.  I am glad to be here and can say without hesitation that the organizers are doing everything they can to keep the protests non-violent and positive.  After watching some police and some private security types last night in action I can say that they are the ones we need to be concerned about.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In Missouri to Show Solidarity

I flew to St. Louis today and was picked up at the airport by folks from the national Veterans For Peace (VFP) office that is headquartered in this city.  I've come to join other members of VFP to support the people of Ferguson in their struggle for dignity and justice.

We are waiting on one more person to arrive and then will head over to Ferguson.  More later.

Isn't it pure irony that the most violent country in the world can't understand when the most repressed, suppressed and beaten down people reach their final boiling point and react with the very violence that the nation is steeped in?  The black community is the conscience of America.

This important fact (that blows my mind) should be remembered:  The Ferguson police let Michael Brown’s body lie in the street for four and a half hours after he was shot by the cop.  The rage in Ferguson has a long track record.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Some of the Inside Story

United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down from his post atop the Pentagon, the Obama-appointee said Monday from the White House. Hagel's departure could both signal the White House is ready to carry out a more aggressive foreign policy.

Patrick Henningsen writes:

History will eventually show (we hope) that the elephant in the room isn’t ‘how to deal with ISIS’, but how to conceal and whitewash Washington’s integral role in building up, funding, training and arming today’s extremist ISIS fighters.

Stop the Pipeline

"They've Been Tested"

The film is Yotam Feldman‘s The Lab, which was released in North America in August.  Feldman writes:

    The Lab is a cinematic investigation into the lure of Israeli weapons in the international arms trade. Why are countries all over the world lining up to buy Israeli arms? And how did such a small country become one of the biggest military exporters in the world? Israeli salesmen and executives in huge arms corporations seem eager to promote their products and pride themselves on their booming business. Profits have never been better — sales are doubling every year, and the potential seems unlimited.

    But the product they are selling is unique. Rather than rifles, rockets or bombs, the Israeli companies sell their experience. The long-running conflict with the Palestinians has created a unique and unrivalled laboratory for testing technologies and ideas relating to “asymmetric warfare” — a conflict between a state and civil or irregular resistance. In this manner the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians may be seen as a national asset — rather than a burden…

    While making the film, I witnessed the relationship between a network of military generals, politicians and private business; the use of current military operations as a promotional device for private business; the brutal employment of the Israeli experience, and the blurred lines between what is legitimate and forbidden in this line of business.

Great Short Film: The war Inside Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern province a 3-year uprising has been raging, hidden from the world. With unprecedented access, this report explores the growing protest movement - the biggest in Saudi history.

In scenes reminiscent of Libya, Egypt and Bahrain, masked protesters fill the streets, fling rocks and chant "martyrdom is better than oppression" as police bullets fly. In the Shia-dominated Eastern region of Qatif, there has been growing resentment that despite "standing on top of oil fields that feed the world", local communities suffer poverty, sectarian discrimination and no political freedom. Figureheads of the protests have been added to government wanted lists, been arrested and several have been killed in dubious circumstances. Saudi filmmaker Safa Al Ahmad risks arrest and worse to get inside this troubled region. In secret meetings protesters share their accounts of the growing state violence against them and their families. One leader's disabled sister tells of how security forces "came while I was sleeping and threatened me with a gun".

The movement insists it is nonetheless growing, but a few incidences of violence by protesters have alienated many locals and given the state justification for their crackdown. After protesters fire on security forces, police funerals are broadcast on public television and the rioters are officially labelled "terrorists". Both sides are now entrenched. "It is very dangerous for the future. The state just want to show the iron fist. The only reaction is apathy or violence."

- BBC Arabic

Interview with Regis Tremblay

The latest edition of This Issue features Regis Tremblay who shares his views on the recent elections and U.S. military and economic policy.  Regis is a filmmaker from Woolwich, Maine and is the creator of the award-winning documentary The Ghosts of Jeju.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

News Reminder: Biden Admits U.S. Allies Funding ISIS

And do we think the CIA is not involved in this funding, directing, and training ISIS as well?

This serves two primary purposes:

1)  Helps take down the Syrian government which is an ally of Iran and an enemy of the brutal regime in Saudi Arabia

2)  Creates the vicious new boogey-man ISIS that then allows the US to re-send thousands of troops back into Iraq and to further justify destroying Syria.

This whole bunch is as corrupt and evil as can be.......

Sunday Song

Saturday, November 22, 2014

U.S. Encourages Nazism in Ukraine

Poroshenko and Biden pushing war with Russia

The US, Canada and the Ukraine voted against a UN Resolution condemning the heroization of Nazism. The EU was not much better: it abstained.

This from the Vineyard of the Saker:

The US, Canada and the Ukraine refuse to condemn the heroization of Nazism 


It is often argued whether the Ukrainian junta is Nazi or not.  I would strongly argue that even though Poroshenko did not come out, make a Nazi salute and declare "I am a Nazi" all the signs point to the conclusion that the regime in Kiev has its ideological roots in the Nazi past.  The latest example of that "filiation" can be found in this absolutely amazing event last week:  only three countries - the US, Canada and the Ukraine voted against a UN Resolution condemning the heroization of Nazism.  The EU was not much better: it abstained.  This development is so crazy, so insane, that it is important to have access to the original document which was voted on.

Here is the official voting record:

To me, this is disgusting beyond belief.  Here we have two countries who try to positions themselves as the most pro-Israeli on the planet (the US and Canada) and the EU which has even passed laws making not only Nazi propaganda illegal, but jailing those who would dare investigate the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis (the so-called 'Holocaust').  And yet these putatively anti-Nazi and "democratic" countries are now refusing to condemn the heroization of Nazism not so much because they particularly like Nazis, but because they want to "protect" the Ukrainian junta.  As for the Ukrainians themselves, they have suffered more from Nazis then any other country or ethnic group, and yet they also refused to condemn the heroization of Nazism.  This makes a mockery not only of all their so-called principles and values, it also is an act of obscene disrespect for the millions of Ukrainian murdered by the Nazis.  There is one good thing about all this: it shows clearly and unequivocally how much the western elites truly hate Russia and that this hate clearly trumps any other considerations or values.

Russian disgust

For the past few days, or weeks, really, I have seen more and more signs of total Russian disgust with the West.  If, in the past, Russian diplomats and politicians were mostly trying to sound polite, now they are openly expressing their disgust.  For example, they are now openly saying the Europe does not have a foreign policy or an opinion, that Europe is just a subservient colony of the US.  As for the US, the Russians are now openly saying that this entire Ukrainian crisis was just a pretext and that the US are really out there to submit Russia.  Putin said that openly last week, adding that nobody had every succeeded in subduing Russia and neither would the USA.  This goes further than words, Russia has already announced that she was going to boycott the 2016 Summit on Nuclear Security.  This became known when the Russian informed the other members of this Summit that Russia would not participate in its preparatory work.

Sergei Lavrov also made a remarkable speech today, but since the pathetic website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not even bother providing a translation on the same day,  we will have to wait before I can post it here.

The Saker

We Shall Overcome (reflection from Jeju)

Breakwaters for the Navy base on Jeju

Dear Friends,

I am home and feeling overwhelmed emotionally. Gratitude, outrage, solidarity, humanity, pain, sadness, celebration, beauty, resilience, change, military and corporate power, faith, truth......

I woke last night with Gangjeong [village] overflowing my head and heart. Physically one circle away-- connected by spirit. What resonates loudly is the powerful ritual, of art, music, dance, faith, the struggle of indigenous people to protect heritage, life and place.

A large chunk of sacred shoreline has been taken -- a tall white fence with barbed wire separates the naval base from the village and its people. On the west sea side there is a river estuary and a rock jetty. It is a beautiful spot- heron, egrets feeding in the river, gentle fresh water flowing into the sea, Tiger island arising from the sea close by..... a group of stored kayaks-- a peace fleet. The west side of the naval base dissects the scene. There are protest flags and paintings all along the river path from the sea...and an encampment supporting the struggle.

Walking north along the riverside fence line arrive at the bridge, the main road into town. It is another site of significance, heavily decorated with anti-base flags and flowers. A few hundred feet up the road from the bridge is a shrine and large permanent peace tent, one side set up for Mass, all decorated with logs carved with prayers.. The other side of the road the base fence line is adorned with illustrations, peace poetry , flags, murals up to the new main gate.

Six days a week mats are placed on half of the main gate road at 7am with activists and sisters bowing with peaceful intentions spoken over a loudspeaker "as I hold in my heart....I make my 1st, ..30th..88th.. 100th bow. Later, at 11am a full mass with communion and rosary is celebrated both in the tent with villagers and extended along the road over a loudspeaker to priest and activists in chairs blocking the gate- stopping construction trucks. Police interrupt every 10-15 minutes to remove and contain resisters to the side for 10 minutes of truck flow...  After mass is a human chain, and 3-4 dances in the street.

From the gate walk on a path decorated with murals and flags on the fence side depicting Gureombi rock, the imprisoned activists, and lined with several greenhouses. Arrive at the communal kitchen, the residence for sisters, and several living/storage containers abutting the north side of the fence. Resume walking along the continuously protested fence line to the road where the fence turns south toward the sea along the road to the marina. The unfenced side of the road has a large 24 hour peace encampment and campfire blocking the proposed naval housing construction.. The last of the fields on this eastern side of the naval base were still being bulldozed and fence erected during our visit.

The walk ends just past the marina --a large crucifix where Father Moon was pushed off the rock by police at the end of a high cement dyke facing west toward the base -- an evocative shrine.

Every centimeter of land that was taken is a passionate colorful tragic place of resistance -- a cry for peace...

Mira Leslie

War Crimes in Palestine

In September members of the European Parliament called on the European Union to break diplomatic ties with Israel and implement sanctions against the country because of the war crimes it has committed against the people of Palestine. 

90% of the water in Gaza is now undrinkable after the recent Israeli 'shock and awe' attack on the Palestinian people.  This kind of 'collective punishment' of innocent civilian populations is a war crime worthy of the Third Reich. 

Last night here in Bath we had a wonderful concert and fundraiser for the Palestinian people.  Fifty people turned out and we raised $643 for the Middle East Children's Alliance.

Stepping Up Resistance in Okinawa

Citizens in Okinawa recently threw out politicians on their island who had betrayed the people by supporting US military base expansion.  Now they are increasing the pressure by organizing blockades of these bases.  In the case of Henoko (northern Okinawa) the US wants to build an airfield that goes right out into the ocean where endangered species are found.

People all over the world are saying NO to the string of more than 800 US imperial bases.  We need that same spirit back here in the USA.

If we could ever end the US war machine's global dominance we would have money for jobs, health care, education, infrastructure repair and more in this country.  See the links - make the connections.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Climate Change Alert!

Can you see the Mother Earth, suffering from toxic shock, thrashing about?  She is going to shut down our whole way of life.  We refused to pay attention and to act like good little Earthlings.... so Madre Terra is going to do what we wouldn't do.  Hang on friends!

The Face of Armageddon

The Navy's new Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer being built at Bath Iron Works in Maine. The ship was designed to sneak up along China's coastline and blast them with 'elctro-magnetic railguns'

We had our Maine Veterans For Peace (VFP) meeting last night in Augusta - about an hour from Bath where I live.  Three of us rode in Peter Woodruff's truck.  On the way there I apologized for having forgotten my wallet and thus couldn't kick in a few bucks for gas.  Peter immediately took the next exit near Gardiner and I thought he was going to drop-kick me right there.  We all had a good laugh.  Also in the truck was Dan Ellis who does the web site and membership for the chapter.

It was a good meeting last night and we had an excellent discussion about the impending public reaction in Ferguson, Missouri when the killer-cop will likely be let off the hook by a Grand Jury after having unnecessarily taken the life of the young black man Michael Brown.  Protests are planned all over the nation at 5:00 pm the day following the Grand Jury announcement.  (I read yesterday that white folks in that area have recently been busy buying handguns fearing a race riot.  Sales are up by 50%. The media and right-wing racist web sites have been hyping that story big-time.)

During the VFP meeting the discussion was centered around the growing militarization of our culture.  Just like many countries around the world that are involved in civil conflict the ruling oligarchy in the US is pitting citizen-against-citizen.... white people against black and brown citizens.  Rather than face the growing income disparity across the land (created by corporate capitalism) the races are being manipulated into a pre-civil war mode.

America has never recovered from slavery and our own Civil War in the 1860's - which many young people know nothing about. Currently we face the neglected wound of race coming back to haunt the nation once again.  You could call it 'the old stand by' - a tactic rolled out when the heat gets a bit too hot for those in power.  Divide and conquer always works well to distract the masses.

On the way home from the meeting, while talking about endless war, Peter remarked that the Navy's new 'stealth' destroyer (pictured above) is "the face of Armageddon."  This is particularly relevant because Peter only recently retired from Bath Iron Works (BIW) after 33-plus years at the shipyard.  In 2009 he created a petition saying "We want to build wind turbines for off-shore wind in the Gulf of Maine" and circulated it amongst the workers at BIW.  He gathered 800 signatures, just about one out of every five workers there at the time.  The local Times Record newspaper wrote an editorial congratulating him for his vision and courage saying:

We agree with Woodruff and other circulators of this petition that the time is ripe for this initiative - given President Obama's emphasis on "green energy"..... Statistics released by the European Wind Energy Association show that 43% of all new electricity generating capacity built in the European Union last year was wind energy, exceeding all other technologies including gas, coal and nuclear power.

Even before he retired Peter was the first BIW worker ever to attend a destroyer 'Christening' ceremony protest and speak out for conversion of the shipyard.  He's been an active member of the local effort to convert the shipyard to peaceful production for several years.

In Peter's earlier days he fished, was an environmental leader, and has a great love for the sea.  He is deeply troubled about the growing acidification of the oceans due to global warming.  He intimately understands the close link between militarism and climate change as the Pentagon has the largest carbon bootprint on the planet.

Peter said again last night something I've heard him say often:  "Remember, there is not much time left."

We are literally holding the future generations in our hands.  What shall we offer them?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Reaching Out for Common Ground

Hong Kong Occupy: U.S. Hypocrisy

Congressional lawmakers are trying to push through a bill that would give Washington the all-clear to openly support protests in Hong Kong. China has already warned the US to stay out of the matter. RT's Gayane Chichakyan takes a closer look.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

US Prepares to Sell Saudi Arabia Warships to Help Take Down Iran

The American revolution was supposed to have happened because of the revulsion our 'founding fathers' had with the institution of 'divine right of kings' or monarchy.  Supposedly the new American nation went to war with England because a revolutionary 'democracy' was the preferred way of organizing our new nation.  (Of course the truth was that the American 'founding fathers' had their own dreams of empire which is just what has sadly turned out for this country.  But the mythology of America is all about our rejection of monarchy.)

Fast forward and we see the headlines in the Portland Press Herald newspaper: Bath Iron Works may get Saudi ship contract worth billions

The article reads in part:

Saudi Arabian officials say they are preparing to move forward with an upgrade to the country’s navy that could include a multibillion-dollar contract for Bath Iron Works, the Reuters news service reported Wednesday.

BIW’s DDG-51 destroyer is one of at least two ship designs being considered for the long-discussed Saudi Naval Expansion Program II, or SNEP, which has an estimated value of roughly $20 billion, Reuters said.

Dewar told Reuters that the Saudis are considering whether to buy up to a dozen of Lockheed’s steel monohull Littoral Combat Ship or the larger DDG-51 destroyer built by BIW, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp.

“We are aware of the ongoing discussions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia concerning modernization of the Saudi fleet,” said BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini.

“We are in the business of building naval surface combatants and should the two governments reach an agreement on a program, we would be highly interested in pursuing that opportunity.”

Looking at the map above we see the close proximity of Iran to Saudi Arabia.  We know that the Saudi monarchy wants to take down Iran (as does Israel and the US).  We know that the DDG-51 destroyer built by BIW is outfitted with so-called 'missile defense' systems that are key elements in US first-strike attack planning.  We know that these warships are heavily reliant on US military satellites to direct the on-board weapons systems to their targets.  Saudi Arabia does not have the military satellites nor the ground-based command and control systems to guide these weapons systems to their targets.  Thus any Saudi high-tech ships and weapons would be run through the Pentagon's warfighting satellite system.  In other words the Saudi monarchy would be paying for the ships that would essentially augment existing US military forces now surrounding Iran in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in the region.

Most interesting of all is that US shipyard workers would be building warships for a brutal and unforgiving monarchy that is known for making ISIS look like amateurs. Saudi Arabia is one of the last places on earth where capital punishment is a public spectacle - carried out in what is called Chop Chop Square in Riyadh.

Capital and physical punishments imposed by Saudi courts, such as beheading, stoning (to death), amputation and lashing, as well as the sheer number of executions have been strongly criticized. The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, stoning or firing squad, followed by crucifixion. The 345 reported executions between 2007 and 2010 were all carried out by public beheading. The last reported execution for sorcery took place in September 2014.

Interfaith Unity Against Terrorism reports:

Saudi Arabia has been the official sponsor of Wahabbism – the extremist thought from which all jihadist militancy now pours forth. Saudi Arabia and its Wahabbism’s militant Islamic doctrines constitute a clear and present danger to the Middle East and to the entire world. The house of Saud derives its legitimacy from religious credentials underwritten by Wahabbi clerics. Wahabbism is the creed that has fuelled all jihads –many with West’s blessings- in world’s recent memory.

You'd think that official circles in Washington would be up-in-arms about selling high-tech weapons of war to the brutal monarchy of Saudi Arabia.  But this suggested $20 billion weapons sale indicates just how corrupt and immoral the US 'experiment' in democracy has become.  The #1 industrial export product of the US today is weapons.  The US wants to take down Iran and has made a pact with the Saudi's to do just that.

There can be no doubt that the American dream of freedom, justice and real democracy is now no more than a hollow phrase.

Jeju Solidarity Forever

The nine person Washington state peace delegation to Jeju Island, South Korea is nearing the end of their solidarity visit.  Last night they held a meeting with villagers and supporters for extended sharing.  Here is a brief report from Emily Wang:

Yesterday night, we had a really inspiring sharing and dialogue with 9 foreigner visitors including Father Bix. With this chance, they shared their experiences and people here also expressed our thankfulness. We encourage each other in this long struggle and have question to each other. For instance, how to deal with anger, trauma...? What we gonna do if the [Navy] base construction is finally completed etc...?

This is a wonderful community time.

See more photos here

Mira Leslie, one of the delegation who lives in Seattle, writes from Jeju Island:

In less than 24 hours we will depart Gangjeong village. Jean left this morning. The goodbyes started yesterday. There is tremendous gratitude to us for coming here. In some ways I don't understand that - hosting and feeding ten people for 10 days is a tremendous task. We have had 'special meal' almost everyday - and the regular food at the communal kitchen is delicious - but not too varied. Kimchee varieties, rice and soup- yum. We have been taken to tourist spots including the amazing Buddhist temple grounds and there have been several meetings with key leaders of the movement - each imparting intense information.

The community of resistance receives support from visitors - it helps them to have people doing 100 bows and blocking the gate during mass-Eucharistic resistance. The sister nuns are a steady presence - rotating through here from diocese throughout Korea. Foreign visitors are embraced warmly. The community is tired, but still very together (from an outsider perspective). For me, this time will be impossible to forget - and I am sure I'll ruminate on it after leaving.

How can we to bring this back to our communities - and honor all we have learned?

The town is decorated with natural images - of peace. Peace Zone, dream catchers, sea creatures, Gureombi rock. We learned yesterday at the stone museum and grounds "the very deep meaning of stone here' - much of it volcanic. It is building material, fencing, tools, food prep, sinks, toys and games, water vessel, art, music....

Last night we sat at the peace center with the activists, priests, and a few towns people. Father Bix and I described some of our peace work in the US and then they asked questions to all of us. They had 2-3 sentence bios of each of us that had been translated and printed. At one moment an activist said - everyone sees the damage done to the environment here - but no one can see the deep anger and damage in our hearts. She asked Sonya who works with trauma teams internationally for advice. You could see the reactions - it wasn't expected - Korean people don't talk too much about their feelings.

The village produces lillies for Japan, a sister told me as we walked to the gate today - but many of the lilly greenhouses were destroyed when they started the base. There is still fishing - but it is diminishing as the sea is being altered with destruction of the fragile soft coral reefs, damage from concrete, blasting, construction toxins/waste and later with ship pollution - oil, fuel, human waste.

We were gifted t-shirts today by the international team. The image is of Jeju island with an open mouthed shark on one end - the shark is in US stars and stripes with the Korean script word 'Imperialism'.

What Do You Stand For?

‘I am a patriot,’ writes Tighe Barry, ‘serving my country the best that I know how.’ 
Barry is the art director for the peace group CODEPINK and a long time peace activist based in Washington DC.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Human Dilemma

George Monbiot writes
this is the age of loneliness

"We are shaped, to a greater extent
than almost any other species,
by contact with others.
The age we are entering,
in which we exist apart,
is unlike any that has gone before.
The war of every man against every man –
competition and individualism,
in other words –
is the religion of our time,
justified by a mythology of lone rangers,
sole traders, self-starters,
self-made men and women,
going it alone.
For the most social of creatures,
who cannot prosper without love,
there is no such thing as society,
only heroic individualism.
What counts is to win.
The rest is collateral damage."

We have forgotten
maybe our present age
never knew
how to be human
to be companions
how to give
and receive love

Our Facebook
and email

We have become
socially awkward
out of tune
out of time
from reality
our hearts
and frozen
lost in the crowd
lost in space
lost without
a way home

must find
the way home
to be human

Monday, November 17, 2014

Great Article If You Want to Understand Ukraine & Russia Situation

Understanding what is really going on in Ukraine is not easy for most Americans and people living in the west due to constant corporate media trashing of Putin and the Russian government.  Below are a few excerpts from one of the best articles yet on this important subject.  It is written by James Petras retired Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  You can read the entire article entitled Russia’s Vulnerability to EU – US Sanctions and Military Encroachments here

From 1990 to 1999, over 6 million Russian citizens died prematurely as a result of the catastrophic collapse of the economy; life expectancy for males declined from 67 years during the Soviet era to 55 year during the Yeltsin period. Russia’s GNP declined sixty percent – a historic first for a country not at war. Following Yeltsin’s violent seizure of power and his bombing of the Russian parliament, the regime proceeded to ‘prioritize’ the privatization of the economy, selling off the energy, natural resources, banking, transport and communication sectors at one-tenth or less of their real value to well-connected cronies and foreign entities.

Of course, the respectable western media celebrated the pillage of Russia as the transition to “free elections and a free market economy”. They wrote glowing articles describing the political power and dominance of gangster oligarchs as the reflection of a rising “liberal democracy”. The Russian state was thus converted from a global superpower into an abject client regime penetrated by western intelligence agencies and unable to govern and enforce its treaties and agreements with Western powers. The US and EU rapidly displaced Russian influence in Eastern Europe and quickly snapped up former state-owned industries, the mass media and financial institutions. Communist and leftist and even nationalist officials were ousted and replaced by pliant and subservient ‘free market’ pro-NATO politicians. The US and EU violated every single agreement signed by Gorbachev and the West: Eastern European regimes became NATO members; West Germany annexed the East and military bases were expanded right up to Russia’s borders. Pro-NATO “think tanks” were established and supplied intelligence and anti-Russian propaganda. Hundreds of NGOs, funded by the US, operated within Russia as propaganda and organizing instruments for “subservient” neo-liberal politicians. In the former Soviet Caucuses and Far East, the West fomented separatist sectarian movements and armed uprisings, especially in Chechnya; the US sponsored dictators in the Caucuses and corrupt neo-liberal puppets in Georgia. The Russian state was colonized and its putative ruler, Boris Yeltsin, often in a drunken stupor, was propped up and manipulated to scratch out executive fiats . . . further disintegrating the state and society.

In 2014, the Western offensive to isolate, encircle and eventually undermine any possibility of an independent Russian state went into high gear. The US financed a civil-military coup ousting the elected regime of [Ukraine's] President Viktor Yanukovytch, who had opposed EU annexation and NATO affiliation. Washington imposed a puppet regime deeply hostile to Russia and ethnic Russian-Ukrainian citizens in the southeast and Crimea. Russian opposition to the coup and support for pro-democracy federalists in the south-east and Crimea served as a pretext for Western sanctions in an effort to undermine Russia’s oil, banking and manufacturing sectors and to cripple its economy.
Despite the short-term successes of the US-EU war against the Russian economy, the Putin Administration has remained extremely popular among the Russian electorate, with approval ratings exceeding 80%. This has relegated Putin’s pro-Western opposition to the dust bin of history. Nevertheless the Western sanctions policy and the aggressive political – NATO military encirclement of Russia, has exposed the vulnerabilities of Moscow.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

No Justice No Peace

Ferguson Speaks: A Communique From Ferguson from FitzGibbon Media on Vimeo.

As law enforcement officials and national media gear up for a St Louis County Grand Jury’s announcement as to whether it will levy charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown Jr., activists have issued a 9 minute video communiqué providing an intimate look at the climate on the ground.

Sign a petition here

People's Victory on Okinawa Against US Base

Voters elected Takeshi Onaga as the new governor of the southern island chain. Onaga defeated incumbent Governor Hairokazu Nakaima who was backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party. The premier wants the US military base to be relocated to another site within the prefecture. Onaga says he will veto the landfill work needed for the new base to be built and wants the base closed rather than moved.

News Update

  • Vandenberg AFB in California was the landing place for the Pentagon's new military space plane last month after a 22-month mission orbiting the Earth. It's part of Strategic Command's "prompt global strike" program suggesting to Russia and China that they could be quickly hit from space.  After the shuttle was retired we were told that the X-37 (and other similar programs now under development) would be the successor to the shuttle.  But the X-37 has nothing to do with peaceful space exploration or NASA.  It's being developed for surveillance and to give the US first-strike capability.  Important issue to follow.  Very expensive and destabilizing program. See more here
  • NASA moved the International Space Station (ISS) to another position in orbit last Wednesday in order to reportedly avoid space junk coming dangerously close.  NASA said it was a small piece of an old Chinese satellite.  Seems a bit far fetched to me that NASA can differentiate every bit of the more than 25,000 pieces of debris in space.  Many believe that because of the vast amount of space junk up there some day the $100 billion ISS will be hit.  Could the US being setting the stage to blame China?  God only knows how much of the space junk up there comes from the most dominate space power on Earth - the USA.
  • I did two interviews with PressTV today.  One over the phone about US-Russian relations taking another nose dive and the other via Skype on the election in Okinawa for governor which was won by a candidate who is opposed to US bases on the island and pledges to stop expansion of new bases.  The US is pressuring the right-wing Abe government to force 'compliance' on the people of Okinawa.  The Abe government offered bribes to Okinawa that they would get more money if they agreed to support the pro-base candidate for governor.  Still the people said no.  The interview on Russian relations is here

Koohan Paik at the Techno-Utopianism Confab

Koohan Paik was one of 45 leading scholars, authors and activists who convened at The Great Hall of Cooper Union, New York City, on October 25-26, 2014, for the public presentation: "Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth." Speakers discussed the profound impacts—environmental, economic and social—of runaway technological expansionism and cyber immersion; the tendency to see technology as the savior for all problems. For more info, see

Raised in Korea and Guam, Koohan Paik is Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific program at the International Forum on Globalization. She is also a journalist, media-literacy educator, and award-winning filmmaker. She has degrees in media studies from the University of Southern California and NYU, and has also written extensively about the social and environmental impacts of militarism. Recent articles concerned with Pacific issues have appeared in The Progressive, and in The Nation. She is based in Hawai’i and is co-author of "The Superferry Chronicles: Hawaii’s Uprising Against Militarism, Commercialism and the Desecration of the Earth" (2008), with Jerry Mander.

Sunday Song

Saturday, November 15, 2014

No Just About Privacy - It's About Freedom

Where are all the conservatives who say they love freedom and liberty?

Techno-Utopianism Panel on Militarism

Here is video from our panel entitled "For the Good of Mankind: Nukes, Drones and Robots" at the Teach-In called Techno-Utopianism & the Fate of the Earth held on October 25-26 inside the Great Hall of the Cooper Union in New York City.

Also on the panel were Koohan Paik, Helen Caldicott, Gar Smith, and Neisen Laukon from the Marshall Islands.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Debate on Ukraine

I'm a big fan of Rick Rozoff from StopNATO based in Chicago.  He has an incredible mind and is a fan of The Kinks.  A good man.

On the Line With a High-Tech Twist

I'm on the line
hoping for a
human connection
press 1 for english
press 2 for spanish
press 3 if you
wanna hang up

this call is being
monitored for
security and
training purposes

electrical wires
and signals
via huge antennas
possible carcinogen
radiofrequency [RF] radiation
smart meters
cell phones
endless barrage
penetrating our bodies
our minds

the surveillance
the fear society
run amok
brought home
to you

it's the cigarette scandal
with a high-tech

We Need New Leadership That Changes This War Mentality

Abby Martin features an exclusive interview with former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura, covering everything from the myth of voter fraud to endless war in the Middle East.

Ventura was a professional wrestler before becoming the governor of Minnesota.  I once heard him on C-SPAN tell the story that soon after he was elected he got a call from the CIA.  They wanted to meet with him.  Should I come to Washington, Ventura asked?  No, we are in the basement of the state capital he was told.  He met with them and their question was:  How did you get elected?

Ventura maintained that the ruling elite control everything and when he won it was an outside-the-box move and they were taken off guard.

In that same C-SPAN interview Ventura called politics in America similar to professional wrestling.  Before the scripted match the wrestlers snarl at one another and then go out for a drink afterwards.  The two party system in the US is equally scripted.