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, July 31, 2017

Report from U.S. Peace Delegation to South Korea

As Tensions Explode on Korean Peninsula, US Peace Delegation Calls for Immediate Response to North Korea’s Offer to Freeze Its Nuclear Program 

 Contact: Ramsay Liem, 617-777-5672 

The Solidarity Peace Delegation, concluding their July 23-28 visit to South Korea, calls for immediate US-South Korean action to deescalate growing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The delegation was composed of Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, Reece Chenault of US Labor Against the War, Will Griffin of Veterans for Peace, and recent Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. It was sponsored by The Channing and Popai Liem Education Foundation and the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia (STIK).

The delegation issued the following statement: The Korean Peninsula is rapidly approaching the boiling point. On the last day of our visit, July 28, North Korea conducted a missile test, and the US-South Korean governments launched another set of warning missiles. South Korean President Moon announced he would allow the United States to deploy  four additional launchers to complete the controversial THAAD anti-missile system unit, reversing his previous position. In light of these escalations and the likelihood of more aggressive measures, urgent actions are needed in order to deescalate tensions.

North Korea has repeatedly offered to suspend its nuclear weapons development in exchange for a freeze in US-South Korean joint war exercises. It’s time for the US and South Korea to respond to this offer as a jumping off point for definitive negotiations towards a peaceful, sovereign, nuclear-free Korean peninsula, free from the conflicts of competing global powers that have been so harmful to the region.

North and South Korea have lived in a perpetual wartime mobilization for decades, with the presence in the South of 83 US bases and nearly 30,000 US troops. Provocations are being made with increasing frequency by both North Korea and the United States. Each time North Korea conducts an additional nuclear or missile test, the potential severity of hostilities escalates, and the more difficult it becomes to defuse tensions and avert the outbreak of conflict on the Peninsula.

Given the proximity of North Korea to Seoul, a metropolitan area of 25 million people, any outbreak of hostilities would be devastating. In a North Korean attack with conventional weapons, it’s estimated that 64,000 South Koreans would be killed in the first day alone. Even a limited exchange using nuclear weapons risks causing “nuclear winter”, a disruption of the climate due to the reduction of sunlight from airborne dust and debris. This, in turn, could drastically reduce global agricultural production, leading to worldwide famine and hundreds of millions of deaths. Since Seoul would be caught in the crossfire of any hostilities, it is essential that the conflict be handled through diplomacy. The sooner diplomatic action is launched, the more likely it will succeed.

Therefore, we call for immediate diplomatic action to reduce threats that push North Korea towards the development of nuclear weapons. Foremost among these threats are the US-South Korean joint war exercises against North Korea, which include dropping mock nuclear bombs on North Korea. In addition, the United States has long held a “ nuclear first strike” policy towards North Korea. This frightening threat of a pre-emptive US nuclear attack gives North Korea good reason to want a nuclear arsenal as the sole means for deterring such an attack.   Fortunately, tensions can be defused through actions that are diplomatic, strategic, just and long overdue.

Specifically, the Peace Delegation calls for the following actions:  

• Declare an end to the unethical and hyper-aggressive, nuclear first strike position held by the US towards North Korea.
• Declare an immediate moratorium on US-South Korean war games, including the dropping of mock nuclear bombs on North Korea. This would be a first step towards a formal agreement ending US-South Korean war games in exchange for North Korea freezing its weapons and nuclear program. The US government should respond to North Korea’s long-standing offer by inviting North Korea to begin serious negotiations for such an agreement now.
• Withdraw THAAD, the misnamed missile “defense” system recently installed by the US in Seongju,South Korea despite vigorous and ongoing protests by local residents. THAAD is not actually capable of defending against incoming missiles under real world conditions with multiple missiles and decoys. Its powerful radar system is widely believed to have been deployed for the purpose of spying on China, provoking dangerous tensions in the region.
• Begin negotiating a peace treaty to finally bring closure to the Korean War. The Korean War, in which nearly 20% of North Korea’s population was killed, has never been formally ended with a peace treaty.
• The South Korean government should lift travel bans on peace activists, like the ban that prevented our Korean-American trip leader Juyeon Rhee from accompanying our tour.

Delegates also call for more peace delegations so that the US peace movement can build stronger solidarity with their counterparts in the South, and learn firsthand about the negative consequences of U.S. military bases on Korean soil.

In the coming weeks, the coalition will help launch a campaign to mobilize citizen pressure for a peaceful resolution of the volatile conflict on the Korean peninsula.

 Delegation contact information:

-Jill Stein, Green Party 2016 presidential candidate, 323-447-2702,
-Reece Chenault, US Labor Against War, 504-383-4746,
-Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK, 415-235-6517, 
-Will Griffin, Veterans for Peace, 912-441-8665,

Dark Side of Mr. Moon

Activists in South Korea were excited and fairly optimistic that the election of liberal President Moon Jae-in might help deescalate tensions on the peninsula.  They hoped that he would block further deployments of the provocative THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense system and even demand that the US pull back the two THAAD launch units that were rushed into Seongju (186 miles south of Seoul) during the middle of the night just prior to his recent election.

But it did not take long for the US to establish who is boss on the Korean peninsula as Moon last week ordered his aides to start discussions with their U.S. counterparts on deploying four additional mobile launchers for the THAAD, going back on his decision that the Korean government would delay additional deployment plans by 10 to 15 months.

Moon said South Korea and the US will engage in a “much stronger show of military force”.  On Moon’s decision to deploy four additional mobile launchers, his aides said it would be a “temporary deployment.”


It's rather difficult to see much difference between Moon's current collusion with the US and that of the previous right-wing President Park who was impeached just months ago.  The candlelight revolution in South Korea, which was the force that pushed Park out of the Blue House, has to be terribly disappointed in these recent pronouncements by Moon.

One person who is not disappointed about Moon's turn toward the dark side is Japanese Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe (the grandson of a former WW II fascist leader in the imperial Japanese war cabinet who China considered a “Class A war criminal.”) The Japanese peace movement today considers Abe a fascist.

Abe has reported that in a conversation with Donald Trump the US warmonger vowed to take “all necessary measures” to protect Japan and other US allies after last week's North Korean missile test.  The US and Japan are describing that missile as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) while Russia has said it was a mid-range missile that could not reach the US.

The test was reason enough for the US to send two nuclear B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula. The commander of the Pacific air forces, General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, warned his units were ready to hit North Korea with “rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force”.

In other words the US is ready to initiate nuclear war.

It's heart breaking to see Mr. Moon turn away so quickly from his earlier promises to reconsider THAAD and to so eagerly embrace the US incessant prodding of North Korea.  The US-South Korea war games right along the border of North Korea must always make Pyongyang wonder if this is the one - is this the time the US and South Korea will launch their often threatened 'decapitation' strike?

I can only hope that the activist community in South Korea and in the west will forget about giving Mr. Moon a honeymoon.  It's rather clear already that he intends to follow orders from Washington and continue the role of Seoul as a junior partner to the US imperial war project in the Asia-Pacific.

China, Russia and North Korea be warned and watch out....


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Trying to Kill Solar

Sunday Song

New Coalition: Close U.S. Foreign Military Bases

The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is a new campaign focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. We urge you to endorse this campaign.

On the occasion of its announcement, the coalition issued a unity statement, which describes its intent as “raising public awareness and organizing non-violent mass resistance against U.S. foreign military bases.” It further explains that US foreign military bases are “the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”

While the US sought to be an imperial force beginning just after the US Civil War and then escalated those efforts at the turn of the 20th Century, it became the dominant empire globally after World War II. This was during the time of de-colonization, when many traditional empires were forced to let their colonies become independent nations. So, while the US is the largest empire in world history, it is not a traditional empire in which nations are described as colonies of the US empire. Nations remain independent, at least in name, while allowing US bases on their soil and serving as a client state of the United States. They are controlled through the economic power of the US, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The US has used regime change tactics, including assassination and military force, to keep its empire intact.

Commentators have described the United States as an “empire of bases.” Chalmers Johnson wrote in 2004:

As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize — or do not want to recognize — that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire — an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can’t begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.

Our military deploys well over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, dependents, and civilian contractors in other nations. To dominate the oceans and seas of the world, we are creating some thirteen naval task forces built around aircraft carriers whose names sum up our martial heritage — Kitty Hawk, Constellation, Enterprise, John F. Kennedy, Nimitz, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carl Vinson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John C. Stennis, Harry S. Truman, and Ronald Reagan. We operate numerous secret bases outside our territory to monitor what the people of the world, including our own citizens, are saying, faxing, or e-mailing to one another.

We do not know the exact number of US military bases and outposts throughout the world. The Unity Statement says “the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1,000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). . . . In addition, the United States has 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft — each of which can be considered a floating military base.”

The annual Department of Defense (DoD) Base Structure Report says the DoD manages a massive “global real property portfolio that consists of nearly 562,000 facilities (buildings, structures, and linear structures), located on over 4,800 sites worldwide and covering over 24.9 million acres.” They value DoD property located in 42 nations at over $585 billion. It is difficult to tell from this report the number of bases and military outposts, which has led analysts like Tom Engelhardt to describe US empire as an “invisible” empire of bases. He points out the US military bases are rarely discussed in the media. It usually takes an incident, like US soldiers being attacked or a US aircraft being shot down, for them to get any mention in the media.

Many of the bases remain from previous wars, especially World War II and the Korean War:

According to official information provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) and its Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) there are still about 40,000 US troops, and 179 US bases in Germany, over 50,000 troops in Japan (and 109 bases), and tens of thousands of troops, with hundreds of bases, all over Europe. Over 28,000 US troops are present in 85 bases in South Korea, and have been since 1957.

The number of bases is always changing as the US seeks to continuously expand its empire of bases. Just this week the US is opening a military base in South Korea, which is described as a city of 25,000 people. The Washington Post reports:

“We built an entire city from scratch,” said Col. Scott W. Mueller, garrison commander of Camp Humphreys, one of the U.S. military’s largest overseas construction projects. If it were laid across Washington, the 3,454-acre base would stretch from Key Bridge to Nationals Park, from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol.

Now, the $11 billion base is beginning to look like the garrison that military planners envisaged decades ago.

The Eighth Army moved its headquarters here this month and there are about 25,000 people based here, including family members and contractors.

There are apartment buildings, sports fields, playgrounds and a water park, and an 18-hole golf course with the generals’ houses overlooking the greens. There is a “warrior zone” with Xboxes and Playstations, pool tables and dart boards, and a tavern for those old enough to drink.
Starting this August, there will be two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. A new, 68-bed military hospital to replace the one at Yongsan is close to completion.

Also this week, it was reported that the United States has created ten new military bases in Syria. This was done without permission of the Syrian government and was exposed by Turkey in protest against the United States.

There is a cost to these bases, not only the $156 billion in annual funds spent on them, but also the conflicts they create between the United States and people around the world. There have been protests against the presence or development of US bases in Okinawa, Italy, Jeju Island Korea, Diego Garcia, Cyprus, Greece, and Germany. Some of the bases are illegal, as the unity statement points out, “The base that the U.S. has illegally occupied the longest, for over a century, is Guantánamo Bay, whose existence constitutes an imposition of the empire and a violation of International Law.”  Cuba has called for the return of Guantánamo since 1959. David Vine, the author of Base Nation, describes how these bases, which seek to project US power around the globe, create political tensions, are a source for military attacks and create alliances with dictators. They breed sexual violence, displace indigenous peoples, and destroy the environment.

The unity statement of the Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases concludes by urging all of us to unite to close US bases around the world because:

U.S. foreign military bases are NOT in defense of U.S. national, or global security. They are the military expression of U.S. intrusion in the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite. Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to the national purpose.

Please endorse the statement and join the campaign to remove US military bases from foreign soil.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

More Democracy in Caracas than in Washington

Why does the U.S. and Venezuela's opposition feel so threatened by the National Constituent Assembly? Nothing has drawn more ire, condemnation and panic from imperial powers and the opposition than this proposal.

There can be no doubt that the CIA is behind this attempt for regime change in Caracas.

Have you noticed that we now have a retired Marine Corps General as Chief of Staff in the White House.  Could we call that a coup d'etat?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Korean Mothers to Lockheed Martin CEO - NO THAAD!

These women, mothers, and grandmothers have a special message for the Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, who is also a mother.  NO THAAD!

The Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in the Asia Pacific's (STIK) Solidarity Peace Delegation visited the village of Soseong-ri in Seongju County, South Korea to show support to the villagers who have been fighting to stop the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system just two miles away from where they live. 

This video features the voices of residents as well as Koreans from other parts of the country who are struggling for peace in Soseong-ri as well as the Korean Peninsula.

The residents had a message for the CEO of Lockheed Martin (manufacturer of the THAAD battery) -- "Stop making weapons of destruction like the THAAD and contribure to the work of peace!"

For more on STIK and the Solidarity Peace Delegation, please check us out at --
and on facebook --
Global Network Board member Will Griffin, a member of the Solidarity Peace Delegation, helped film and interview some of the local villagers who's lives have been turned upside due to this deployment.


Last One Standing.....

I've been calling the craziness in Washington the 'mob versus the mafia'

The mob is the down and dirty street crazies from the Trump syndicate

The mafia are the 'sophisticated' corporate Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Wall Street Hillary Clinton crew

The American people lose either way

The Democrats corporate mafia are working hard to bring the so-called 'progressive' community onto their side - aka the Pink Pussy hats which were likely made in China in advance thanks to a generous donation from George Soros and his Open Society Foundations.  How else could those 'knitted' pink hats just have appeared miraculously everywhere overnight?

When Hillary announces she is 'joining the resistance' you know you want to make tracks fast and get the hell out of there!

It's pox on both your houses!

Free your mind from the corrupt corporate tyranny

Don't buy the bullshit coming from any of them in Washington!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

What a Lovely Day....

A birthday present to myself - one of my all-time favorite Kinks songs....thanks for all the good wishes folks.

Report from Korea on 'No THAAD' Delegation from U.S.

A four-person US peace delegation is now wrapping up their trip to South Korea.  The event was organized by the U.S. Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea which I am proudly a part of.  (Delegation includes Medea Benjamin from Code Pink; Jill Stein of the Green Party; Will Griffin of Veterans for Peace & Global Network; and Reece Chenault of U.S. Labor Against War.)

In the photo they are holding the 2017 Global Network poster for Keep Space for Peace Week that this year has a No THAAD in South Korea theme. In the front row on the left is Buddhist Won Rev. Seonghye Kim who serves as Co-Chair of the Seongju Struggle Committee to Stop THAAD Deployment.  She along with Will Griffin and Reece Chenault were speakers at our 25th annual space organizing conference in Huntsville, Alabama last spring.  (Thanks to Will for bringing along the posters.)

Sixty-four years ago a cease fire ended fighting in the Korean War when the United States, China and North Korea signed an armistice.  South Korean President Syngman Rhee refused but observed the armistice.  The three-year Korean War that cost 3.5 million lives has not ended.  Millions of Koreans—including South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s family-- have been separated for more than 65 years. The time has come to end the Korean War and sign a real Peace Treaty Now!

Will Griffin writes:

    At our meeting for a "Strategic Discussion on US-Korea antiwar movement", we exchanged thoughts on how we can work together.

    I mentioned that our Stop THAAD in Korea task force will be planning to protest a weapons expo in DC this October called AUSA. Lockheed Martin will be displaying the THAAD missile system there. In return, a South Korean member of People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy said they too are planning to protest a weapons expo here in Seoul. She said it was the largest weapons expo in the region and held every year. We plan to communicate with each, share information, and plan ahead.

    I also feel our delegates are becoming more invested in Korean struggles. Jill Stein already understands the devastating consequences that are happening here. Medea Benjamin is bringing a lot of knowledge from her experience with Women Cross the DMZ in 2015. Reece Chenault is the main event because so many labor organizers here in Korea have heard a lot about US Labor Against the War. And I'm meeting many activists that I met on previous delegations, strengthening our relationships.

    Our delegation met with Representative Jae Kwon Shim at South Korea's National Assembly, who is chairman of the foreign affairs and unification committee to talk about our opposition to deployment of THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. He was surprisingly rational. To sum up, he said we need to change public opinion and force him and the government to remove THAAD. Also, he mentioned that we need to work together to create an environment in which we don't need THAAD. We plan to do that. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Israel Tries to Destroy Boycott Rights in U.S.

Philip Giraldi is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a columnist and television commentator who is the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a group that advocates for more even-handed policies by the U.S. government in the Middle East.

Today I sent letters to our Maine congressional delegation opposing the totally undemocratic bill to make it illegal to boycott Israel's apartheid.  Years ago when we were involved in boycotting South African apartheid no one introduced legislation like this in Washington.  Why does Israel think they can control our rights here in the US?

Jewish Voice for Peace, the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, the ACLU and J-Street oppose the legislation. On July 18, the American Civil Liberties Union released a letter to the Senate and a letter to the House, urging them not to co-sponsor the bill because it unconstitutionally discriminates against people "for no reason other than their political beliefs".

What does the bill actually do?

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720/ H.R. 1697) is the latest, and most extreme, of a series of unconstitutional anti-boycott legislation at both the federal and state level. The law aims to quell the movement for Palestinian rights by penalizing companies and individuals engaged in commerce for using the nonviolent tactics of boycott, divestment and sanctions to hold Israel accountable for violations of Palestinian rights.

First introduced in March, this bill seeks to amend two laws – the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 – to penalize companies that participate in boycotts, and to preempt efforts by international governmental organizations from complying with international law and calling for an end to trade with Israel’s settlements or companies that operate in the settlements.

The bill opposes the creation of a database of Israeli settlement companies by the UN Human Rights Council and any efforts to boycott those companies’ products. The bill categorizes violations as felonies, and the potential penalties are steep: a minimum $250,000 civil penalty and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years imprisonment.

You can learn more and take action here

Airshows Recruit Our Kids for Endless War

The U.S. government is using airshows to manipulate children to think that war and violence is fun and glorious.

In this video see Iraq war veteran Michael Hanes who enters a San Diego airshow and reveals the extent of indoctrination of the kids by the military.

This story makes me remember Tom Sturtevant from Maine who passed away some years ago.  He was a leader in Maine Veterans For Peace and had been a former high school teacher.  Tom's top issue was military recruitment so when these airshows came to the former Brunswick Naval Air Station Tom was always involved in the organizing of protests at the base.

Since the 'Great Maine Air Show' is coming to Brunswick in August we urge you to share this video widely.

We will be holding a protest at the airshow in Brunswick, Maine on Saturday, August 26 from 9:00 am to noon.

Sponsored by Global Network, Maine Veterans for Peace and PeaceWorks

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'That's the Challenge'

In early July Roy Pingel and his son visited our house here in Bath.  Artist and housemate Brown Lethem lived in New York City for many years and often gets visitors from the city.  This summer has been pure joy as we've seen a poet, author, painter and friends visit Brown from New York.

I'd never met Roy Pingel before but he was very interested in talking and I showed him and his son the short video about our April 1 arrests at BIW during a destroyer 'christening' ceremony.  I handed him one of the Global Network newspapers and he promised to stay in touch.

A week or two later I received a letter in the mail with a donation from Roy.  But most importantly, and exciting for me, was to see his words describing his clear understanding about the need for 'defense' conversion.  I'd like to share his good thoughts on the subject.  We need more folks to be talking about (and demanding) conversion of the war machine.

A very good friend of ours has also mentioned to me your work and interest around the retooling, converting, weapons industries into production that supports and improves life, not destroying it, and ultimately creates more jobs.

'Retooling America for Peace' (hey, maybe that can be used as a slogan for a campaign for industrial conversion, maybe it already is) stimulates a lot of interest but the conversion process to a peacetime economy - how does that start and move forward without major labor dislocation, especially at the initial stages?  How to confront the massive counter reaction by 'defense' contractors and financial elites, causes abundant fear, hesitancy, resistance, among labor leaders, workers and, of course, the politicians?  I guess that's the challenge, how to increasingly win over more of a US populace to Retooling America for Peace when much of the people seem disengaged from the reality that their country is an empire unmatched in history.

Good luck in your trial and all your work for demilitarizing space!

Roy Pingel

My only real response to Roy would be thanks for the great letter and thanks for seeing this big picture that is not adequately being addressed by the peace and environmental movements, the media, Congress nor the so-called 'Democratic Party' which says it is for peace and prosperity for the workers.  They ain't....

So folks that really understand this issue need to put our heads together and organize more discussion and action - everywhere.  The other necessary message, which is getting more play, is the devastating carbon bootprint of the Pentagon and its endless wars.  Climate change is worsened by the ever cancerous US military empire that impacts the environment and cultures of people in places like Guam, Jeju Island, Philippines, Australia, and Okinawa.

Thus we need conversion, and conversion campaigners, to be organizing particularly in communities where manifestations of the military production system are located.  We've got to keep looking for local people who will help us connect to labor unions that represent the workers at these production sites.

It would be helpful if labor would recall the words of William Wimpisinger (1924-1997) the 11th International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.  During the early 1980's 'Wimpy' (as he was called) became a national leader in the united effort by his union and the peace movement to promote conversion.  In a speech at a conference in 1980 Wimpy spoke in favor of disarmament saying economic conversion of the weapons industry was key to economic stability in the US.  He maintained that weapons production is a capital intensive industry that doesn't do much in creating additional jobs. Instead it causes inflation and unemployment.  You can hear Wimpy's talk here

Most 'defense' workers just want a decent job with healthcare.  They'd be happy with conversion to building commuter rail, solar, wind, and tidal power systems. If we actually went that direction we'd also not have to go to war for oil.

That would make the local workers happy too because in the end it is often the case that their children are the ones dying in US wars for the oil corporations. 

Build it and they will come.


Monday, July 24, 2017

To Serve the Present Age

Late Sunday afternoon Mary Beth and I drove with Regis Tremblay about 15 miles from our house to Reid State Park for a picnic along the ocean.  This beautiful place happens to be a sacred spot for Regis who began coming here as an eight-year old Catholic alter boy when his Waterville, Maine parish would sponsor annual trips for the kids and their parents.

I met Regis some years back at a protest event and immediately saw strong similarities between him and my step-dad who my mom married when I was about three years old.  My step-father Wes was from Rumford, in western Maine, and was the son of a paper mill worker.  Wes was wild and independent minded and joined the Air Force in order to escape Rumford and we spent our life moving around the world to various Air Force bases.

Regis is friendly, smart, direct, and does not suffer fools lightly.  It's been quite amazing to watch him travel to South Korea and make the excellent documentary called Ghosts of Jeju and then follow that up with his new truth telling film called Thirty Seconds to Midnight.  In between these films he's traveled the world and made many shorter videos on various subjects including the one from Odessa, Ukraine when we both went there for the May 2, 2016 event to stand with the mothers of those massacred by the Nazis two years before at the Trades Union Hall.

He's got quite an amazing back catalog - see it here.

Here is Regis standing in front of the spot where as a kid he and other alter boys would catch crabs under the bridge.  He says it has not changed one bit in the last 60 years.

MB and I always love to go to this state park either to walk along the beach or sit upon the rocks where we can lose ourselves as the waves crash up against the shore line. So when Regis invited us to join him in a picnic at his favorite spot we jumped at the chance.

We brought along our little propane grill to do some cooking and ate way more than we should have but enjoyed every moment.  We always have very stimulating conversations when the three of us get together about politics, sports, people, the 'movement' (or lack of one), our personal futures and the futures for our own children.  Like most parents these days we worry about how our kids will fare in this world as we all face climate change and the growing economic divide between the rich and the poor.  We struggle with the question what more should we each be doing?

Being around nature helps us keep things in perspective as we know that humans are just one of many life forms on this beautiful planet and certainly not the most important.  But we agree that humans have to take responsibility for the mess we've made here on Mother Earth and we are frustrated that people are not more engaged in pushing for fundamental and needed change.  We have lots of theories why people don't do more to help but have fewer ideas how to get them to wake up and act.

Regis is working on some exciting upcoming travel and film projects while MB and I lately have been doing alot to help friends who have lost love ones.  MB is a social worker with a homeless agency in Portland (now just working three days a week) but her four days off are nearly always spent doing volunteer social work in our local community with various folks who are in need of a caring and devoted listener, companion and helper.

My vegetable gardening keeps me occupied when I am not on the computer doing organizing work or traveling.  I love nothing more than playing with my tomato plants and trying to get stubborn pole beans to climb their appointed paths.

In the end we each agreed last evening that we are lucky to live in this beautiful part of Maine and to have found the good work we are each doing. 

Years ago while working in Florida I used to organize an annual peace retreat at a camp that had a slogan painted on the wall that read 'To serve the present age'. I'd say that in the end each of the three of us are doing our best to remain faithful to that sacred calling.


Hear the Forbidden Story

Just had lunch with New York City friends artist Anne Gibbons and her husband Ivan who've been on vacation in Maine during the past week.

We frequently use Anne's cartoons (syndicated as Six Chix) in our Space Alert newspaper.  Much of our conversation was about this whole 'Russia election hack' being run by the Democrats.  It's good to know someone else who is not buying this dead fish story.

Comedian and activist Jimmy Dore does a nice job sinking this big lie in this short video.

It's all about distraction and mind manipulation to keep the public away from the real stories of endless war and complete destruction of social progress in America by both corrupt political parties.

Think good cop-bad cop or professional wrestling.  Think of a magician - you've got to watch both hands.

In the old days there was a saying in the former Soviet Union that people had to learn to read the Pravda newspaper upside down.  I'd strongly recommend that people today need to learn how to read the New York Times or Washington Post upside down - or watch CNN or MSNBC with the sound turned off.

During lunch we asked each other this question:  Why do so many liberals buy this BS recycled red-baiting story from the Democrats?

Our conclusion:  Most liberals are 'educated and comfortably middle class' and they don't really want to confront the corrupt corporate oligarchies that run this country and much of the world.  It would cause them to fall out of favor in their middle class social circles.  So comfort and social standing trump the god awful truth of our current moment....


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Song

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Why Does Seoul Ban Another Korean-American Trying to Come Home?

ACTION ALERT: Email South Korean President Moon Jae-in to lift the ban on Korean-American peace activist Juyeon Rhee from entering the country

Juyeon Rhee, a member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea’s (STIK) peace delegation to South Korea was blocked from boarding a Delta Airlines flight today on her way to South Korea.

At approximately 9:00 AM at the LaGuardia Airport in New York City, Rhee, the STIK peace delegation coordinator, was told by Delta Airlines that she could not board the plane. Last year, Rhee was blocked from entering South Korea by the previous right-wing administration of recently impeached and jailed Park Geun-hye. With the newly elected Moon Jae-in in office, Rhee and members of the peace delegation expected her ban to have been lifted.

Rhee said in response to being blocked from boarding the plane to South Korea:

This is how Korea's division impacts overseas Koreans. I was wrongly labeled as a 'threat to national security' by the previous Park Geun-hye administration with no explanation. The burden is now on me to prove that I pose no harm to South Korean society. I refuse to accept that as a democratic and fair process. The ban was wrongly imposed on me without any warning or explanation.

The STIK task force is calling for a rapid response by way of sending an email to current President Moon Jae-in to demand the ban on Korean American peace activist Juyeon Rhee be lifted immediately. 

Below is a sample email to the South Korean President and the Blue House composed by STIK. Feel free to modify according to your own views.

Send to:

In Subject Line put – Lift the Entry Ban on Juyeon Rhee Immediately

Sample Text

President Moon Jae-in
Blue House
Seoul, ROK

Re: Lift the Entry Ban on Juyeon Rhee Immediately

Dear President Moon Jae-in:

I am writing to strongly protest the ban imposed this morning on Ms Juyeon Rhee today at LaGuardia Airport, New York, preventing her from boarding her Delta flight to Incheon. The ban was imposed by South Korean officials. Juyeon Rhee is the coordinator for the Stop THAAD in Korea (STIK) peace delegation visiting your country and hosted by the National People’s Action to Stop the Deployment of THAAD in South Korea (NPA). The STIK delegation includes prominent peace activists Jill Stein, 2016 U.S. presidential candidate for the Green Party, USA, Medea Benjamin, founder of CODEPINK, Reece Chenault, National Coordinator for U.S. Labor Against the War, and Will Griffin, Veterans for Peace and STIK.

The delegation arrives with the endorsement of more than 80 U.S. and international organizations and 270 individuals including such widely respected peace advocates as Professor Noam Chomsky, author and social critic, Daniel Ellsberg, Women for Genuine Security member, Gwyn Kirk, Academy Award-winning director, Oliver Stone, religious scholar and public intellectual, Cornel West, and former U.S. State Department official and Army colonel, Ann Wright.

I am deeply troubled by the actions of your authorities to prevent Juyeon Rhee from entering your country especially in view of the welcome promise of your administration to seek peaceful and negotiated settlements to longstanding conflicts and to recommit the nation to open dialogue and respect for democratic processes. Ms Rhee has demonstrated a life-long commitment to the desire of all Koreans for a peaceful resolution to decades of conflict and to U.S. policies that respect the sovereignty of the Korean people and value equally the human needs of all Americans.

In the spirit of the candlelight revolution I urge you to fulfill your pledge to eradicate problems left over from the previous administration, champion democratic rights including freedom of expression without fear of reprisal, and immediately lift the travel ban imposed on Juyeon Rhee by the previous administration.


Please be sure to include your affiliation with your signature and your email address, if possible.

Afghans Don't Know Why U.S. is at War with Them

And neither do most of the American GI's deployed in Afghanistan.....

Friday, July 21, 2017

Guest on My Own Show

The latest edition of This Issue features Maine high school teacher and activist Lisa Savage who turns the table and interviews me about US foreign policy.

Lisa is the founder and coordinator of the Maine Natural Guard and lives in Solon with her husband Mark Roman.  Lisa and Mark were arrested last April 1 while doing civil disobedience at Bath Iron Works during a ‘christening’ ceremony of another Navy Aegis destroyer.

This Issue has been on public access TV in Maine since December 2003 and is produced by Eric Herter.  Camera work for this edition of This Issue was done by Peter Woodruff while Dan Ellis worked in the control booth.

This Issue runs on Brunswick, Bath, Harpswell, Portland, Phippsburg, Freeport, Madison, Skowhegan, Anson, North Anson, Solon, Belfast, South Portland, New Castle, and Biddeford public access cable TV at random times.  Check local listings. 

Space Alert! Newsletter Now Available Online

We've got our Space Alert! newsletter up on our web site now for public viewing.  You can find it here

If you’d like to help us distribute printed copies please let us know how many you want and we will mail them to you – all we ask is that your reimburse us for postage once they arrive at your door.  Just call us at 207-443-9502 or drop us a line at


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Village versus Empire

I had an email this morning from a South African filmmaker by the name of Mark Kaplan who has created a masterpiece called 'Village versus Empire'.  The film is just recently out and Kaplan is working hard to increase international viewership of his important story about Jeju Island, South Korea. He's happy to hear that anyone in Bath, Maine is interested since the ships built here are being ported in the place that inspired him to create this film.

Jeju Island born shaman, artist, and performer Dohee Lee now lives in the San Francisco-Bay area.  Kaplan has Lee take us deeply into the undercurrents, suffering, history, culture, and determination of the people as they face the results of Washington's demand that South Korea build a Navy base in Gangjeong village.

We are going to show this artistic documentary on Friday, October 20 here in the Midcoast as part of our annual Maine Peace Walk.  I'm now exploring where it can be shown - ideally it should be viewed on a big screen.  We'll see what comes up.

Anyone that watches this film will have a very different picture of the Korean people and the US arrogant destruction of a village for its own aggressive Naval outpost.

The people of Gangjeong village have been struggling for over 10 years to stop the base and now that it is built, and receiving Pentagon warships, they remain determined to fight against any war with China or Russia and to resolutely defend their culture in the presence of this manifestation of the war machine.

Dohee Lee's sharing of the story of Jeju is both sorrowful and liberating.  She cuts to the bone and then helps us find our souls by looking at the past, the present and the future.

The struggle in the village won't die - anyone coming to the Navy base will be touched by the power of the peaceful and joyful people who defend nature and their independence.  Their ceremony is living and protecting life.


Remember the Afghanistan War?

On this episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges takes an in-depth look at the 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan with Matthew Hoh, a Marine Corps veteran and diplomat who resigned his State Department post in Afghanistan in protest over the war.

Hoh is also today an active member of Veterans For Peace.

RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the decades of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

The Ugly Alliance

With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons

 By Glenn Greenwald

One of the most under-discussed yet consequential changes in the American political landscape is the reunion between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons. While the rise of Donald Trump, whom neocons loathe, has accelerated this realignment, it began long before the ascension of Trump and is driven by far more common beliefs than contempt for the current president.

A newly formed and, by all appearances, well-funded national security advocacy group, devoted to more hawkish U.S. policies toward Russia and other adversaries, provides the most vivid evidence yet of this alliance. Calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the group describes itself as “a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative” that “will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions,” and also “will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.”

It is, in fact, the ultimate union of mainstream Democratic foreign policy officials and the world’s most militant, and militaristic, neocons. The group is led by two longtime Washington foreign policy hands, one from the establishment Democratic wing and the other a key figure among leading GOP neocons.

The Democrat, Laura Rosenberger, served as a foreign policy adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and chief of staff to two Obama national security officials. The Republican is Jamie Fly, who spent the last four years as counselor for foreign and national security affairs to one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, Marco Rubio; prior to that, he served in various capacities in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council.

Fly’s neocon pedigree is impressive indeed. During the Obama years, he wrote dozens of articles for the Weekly Standard — some co-authored with Bill Kristol himself — attacking Obama for insufficient belligerence toward Iran and terrorists generally, pronouncing Obama “increasingly ill suited to the world he faces as president” by virtue of his supposed refusal to use military force frequently enough (Obama bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries during his time in office, including an average of 72 bombs dropped per day in 2016 alone).

The Democrats’ new partner Jamie Fly spent 2010 working in tandem with Bill Kristol urging military action — i.e., aggressive war — against Iran. In a 2010 Weekly Standard article co-written with Kristol, Fly argued that “the key to changing [Iran’s thinking about its nuclear program] is a serious debate about the military option,” adding: “It’s time for Congress to seriously explore an Authorization of Military Force to halt Iran’s nuclear program.”

Fly then went around the D.C. think tank circuit, under the guise of advocating “debate,” espousing the need to use military force against Iran, spouting standing neocon innuendo such as “we need to be wary of the Obama administration’s intentions” toward Iran. He mocked Obama officials, and Bush officials before them, for their “obsession with diplomatic options” to resolve tensions with Iran short of war. The Kristol/Fly duo returned in 2012 to more explicitly argue: “Isn’t it time for the president to ask Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iran’s nuclear program?”

Read the rest of this article here

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Catching Up & Next Steps

I am getting caught up today.  Our newspaper Space Alert has been sent to the printer and the mailing should go out on August 1.  I am grateful that Mary Beth did an edit of Space Alert while I was gone to Minnesota.  Also grateful to Nancy Randolph who does an excellent job of layout of the newspaper and our annual Keep Space for Peace week poster.

During my trip I was repeatedly asked where I go next to speak.  I was surprised that folks were interested in that.  So I told them that fellow VFP member Dud Hendrick is having me come speak in Deer Isle, Maine on August 3.  Then on August 5 I will speak at the Peace Fair in Brunswick organized annually by our local group called PeaceWorks.

On Saturday, August 26 we will hold a three-hour protest at the Blue Angels Air Show at the former Naval air station in Brunswick - from 9:00 am to noon.   This event is being sponsored by the Global Network, Maine Veterans For Peace and PeaceWorks.

Our April 1 civil disobedience at Bath Iron Works during the 'christening' of another Aegis destroyer has set in motion a series of court appearances for our group which we are calling the Aegis 9.  So our next court appearance will be on August 29 at the West Bath District Court at 11:30 am.

In between all these events during August Mary Bath and I will take a couple day trip to California to visit with my son and his new wife who are in the US for awhile before returning to their home in Taiwan.  My son Julian is a debate coach in Taiwan and during the summer he works at high school debate camps in the US.  MB and I went to their wedding in Taiwan last January so it will be a treat to see them both again.

The other thing I was eager to do since returning home late last night was to check out our garden - especially the tomato plants.  So under our car headlights I took a quick peek but couldn't see much in the dark.  This morning I went outside to have a look and much to my delight all the plants are flourishing and many little tomatoes are sprouting.

The only problem is that our local wildlife (probably woodchucks) have been nipping off the tops of many carrot, beet, and kale plants.  I've called a professional animal trapper who will catch it (them) live and move the critters out to a western Maine state wildlife reserve.  I just hope they don't try to hitchhike back to our place.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Netanyahu Pushes Trump Toward Wider Wars

By Robert Parry

A weakened, even desperate President Donald Trump must decide whether to stand up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or to repudiate the Syrian partial ceasefire, which Trump hammered out with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7.

Whether intentionally or not, this crossroads is where the months of Russia-gate hysteria have led the United States, making Trump even more vulnerable to Israeli and neoconservative pressure and making any cooperation with Russia more dangerous for him politically.

After meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday, Netanyahu declared that Israel was totally opposed to the Trump-Putin cease-fire deal in southern Syria because it perpetuates Iranian presence in Syria in support of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Netanyahu’s position increases pressure on Trump to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria and possibly move toward war against Iran and even Russia. The American neocons, who generally move in sync with Netanyahu’s wishes, already have as their list of current goals “regime changes” in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow – regardless of the dangers to the Middle East and indeed the world.

At the G-20 summit on July 7, Trump met for several hours with Putin coming away with an agreed-upon cease-fire for southwestern Syria, an accord that has proven more successful than previous efforts to reduce the violence that has torn the country apart since 2011.

But that limited peace could mean failure for the proxy war that Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other regional players helped launch six years ago with the goal of removing Assad from power and shattering the so-called “Shiite crescent” from Tehran through Damascus to Beirut. Instead, that “crescent” appears more firmly in place, with Assad’s military bolstered by Shiite militia forces from Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

In other words, the “regime change” gambit against Assad’s government would have backfired, with Iranian and Hezbollah forces arrayed along Israel’s border with Syria. And instead of accepting that reversal and seeking some modus vivendi with Iran, Netanyahu and his Sunni-Arab allies (most notably the Saudi monarchy) have decided to go in the other direction (a wider war) and to bring President Trump along with them.

Neophyte Trump

Trump – a relative neophyte in global intrigue – has been slow to comprehend how his outreach to Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman runs counter to his collaboration with Putin on efforts to defeat the Sunni jihadist groups, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State, which have served as the point of the spear in the war to overthrow Assad.

Al Qaeda and Islamic State have received direct and indirect support from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Turkey, Israel and even the Obama administration, albeit sometimes unwittingly. To block Assad’s overthrow – and the likely victory by these terror groups – Russia, Iran and Hezbollah came to Assad’s defense, helping to turn the tide of the war since 2015.

In his nearly half year in office, Trump has maintained an open hostility toward Iran – sharing a position held by Washington’s neocons as well as Netanyahu and Salman – but the U.S. President also has advocated cooperation with Russia to crush Islamic State and Al Qaeda inside Syria.

Collaboration with Russia – and indirectly with Iran and the Syrian military – makes sense for most U.S. interests, i.e., stabilizing Syria, reversing the refugee flow that has destabilized Europe, and denying Al Qaeda and Islamic State a base for launching terror strikes against Western targets.

But the same collaboration would be a bitter defeat for Netanyahu and Salman who have invested heavily in this and other “regime change” projects that require major U.S. investments in terms of diplomacy, money and military manpower.

So, in last weekend’s trip to Paris, Netanyahu chose to raise the stakes on Trump at a time when Democrats and the U.S. mainstream media are pounding him daily with the Russia-gate scandal, even raising the possibility that his son, Donald Trump Jr., might be prosecuted and imprisoned for having a meeting in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer.

If Trump wants the Russia-gate pain to lessen, he will be tempted to give Netanyahu what he wants and count on the savvy Israeli leader to intervene with the influential neocons of Official Washington to pull back on the scandal-mongering.

The problem, however, would be that Netanyahu really wants the U.S. military to complete the “regime change” project in Syria – much as it did in Iraq and Libya – meaning more American dead, more American treasure expended and a likely wider war, extending to Iran and possibly nuclear-armed Russia.

That might fulfill the neocon current menu of “regime change” schemes but it runs the risk of unleashing a nuclear conflagration on the world. In that way, liberals and even some progressives – who have embraced Russia-gate as a way to remove the hated Donald Trump from office – may end up contributing to the end of human civilization as well.

~ Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

My Talk in Red Wing

Here is my talk at the statewide Veterans For Peace event called Peacestock in Red Wing, Minnesota last Saturday.  The progressive radio station in Minneapolis also recorded the talk and plans to put it on the air.

I am heading back to Maine now and want to give thanks to all my hosts in Minnesota for several great days of events and hospitality.  Last night's presentation in Minneapolis to the group called 'Every church is a peace church' went really well with a group of just over 50 people.

Afterwards a bunch of the folks took me to an Irish bar for a couple of beers and some great political discussion.  Really wonderful folks in Minnesota.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Palestine in America

After lunch today Craig Wood drove us over to the neighborhood where the 40 year old Australian meditation teacher Justine Damon was shot to death late Saturday night after she called police to report some noise in her back yard. 

As we drove up to her home a large scrum of media folks were outside the house waiting for some family member to come out and make a statement.  Several of the media people were from Australia.

One media person told us that the story circulating is that she was shot dead by a policeman sitting in the passenger side of their cop car while she leaned on the car talking to the cop who was driving.  She was in her pajamas.  The officer in the passenger seat shot past his partner in the drivers seat.

No one knows why the shots were fired and the body cameras on the police were turned off.

Craig and I went over the the spot where it all came down and I added a message in chalk along with other messages on the sidewalk and in a driveway.  I wrote 'Palestine in America' - something I now put in Facebook comments every day when I see another story about police beating or killing people across the country.


Speaking Tour in Minnesota

I arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Friday and was taken to the community of Red Wing early Saturday morning to attend the 17th annual Peacestock day-long gathering sponsored by a couple different Veterans For Peace chapters in the state.  Over 100 people turned out and my presentation entitled 'US First-Strike & NATO Expansion: Preparing for War with Russia and China' went over well.  The hour-long question and answer period following my Powerpoint was quite stimulating as the very sharp audience came up with many great comments and inquiries.

My host Craig Wood took me for a 2 1/2 hour walk Sunday morning along the Mississippi River and we then headed toward the Dowling Community Gardens (one of two remaining WW II 'Victory Gardens' created in 1943) where local residents get 20 by 20 foot plots.  Craig is a gardener with 37 tomato plants in his back yard (and I now have about 25 of them) so we both spent a good bit of time checking out the various stages of growth of the tomato plants and other plants in these lovely gardens.  The place is quite impressive and we enjoyed talking with various folks who were working in their garden patch.  What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning it was - in our own kind of church.

In the early afternoon I was taken by VFP member Steve McKeown to Mankato which is about an hour drive from Minneapolis where I was scheduled to speak at 4:30 pm.  I was frankly a bit skeptical that anyone would show up on a Sunday at that late hour but was pleasantly surprised when over 30 people walked through the door, including much to my total delight Sr. Gladys Schmitz who frequently writes to me and tells me how much she appreciates my work.  Sr. Gladys turns 92 on Aug 4 and introduced me to the assembled.  She even got the local TV station to come and they interviewed me before we started and then stayed for the entire event filming even more throughout my talk.  In all my years of being an activist I can't ever remember a time when a mainstream TV station came to an event and stayed the whole time (in this case nearly two hours). 

Sr. Gladys became aware of the Global Network in 2008 when she came to our annual space organizing conference in Omaha, Nebraska near Offut AFB where STRATCOM (Strategic Command) has its headquarters.

Steve McKeown and I had some great conversations during the ride to and from Mankato.  He is known as VFP's super petition gathering volunteer and he really impressed me with his tales of traveling across the state to get signatures.  He's even stopped at American Legion halls across Minnesota to ask the guys inside to sign his petitions against nuclear weapons.  Steve was one of the Minneapolis VFP guys that came to our first Huntsville, Alabama space conference in 2001.   He is a farm boy from South Dakota so I enjoyed hearing him talk about my favorite state where I lived for three years as a boy while my dad was stationed at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City.

This past weekend a 40 year old white woman was gunned down here in Minneapolis by the police.  She had called the cops when she heard something outside her house.  When the cops arrived they shot her.  She is known in the community as a spiritual healer so this is not going down real well here.  This current epidemic of police violence across the nation (mostly targeted against black people) always makes me think that we now have become 'Palestine in America'.

I speak for the last time tonight in Minneapolis at the 'Every church is a peace church' monthly meeting.  I leave for home tomorrow.  It's been a great trip here - about my 4th time in Minneapolis - and I am so grateful to all my kind hosts.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Song

Friday, July 14, 2017

Capitalism is God....

The truth has been spoken in the halls of Congress where the green frog skin (dollar bill) is worshiped by those who carry water for the corporate interests.

Native Americans said that when the white people came to this continent they noticed that they were blinded by their love for the green frog skin.  They could not see beyond their paper money and recognize their relationship with nature.  Thus early on the Indians knew that the white folks would destroy the water, the land, the air and they tried to warn the invaders but they were far too busy 'making $$$' to listen.

So today we have massive ecological problems and the talking heads in Washington still have their hearts and minds buried in their paper money.  Trump's walk away from dealing with climate change is just the latest example.

So Rev. Blackmon above gets it right - capitalism has become God for those who 'run' this country and much of the planet.

I am at the Portland airport now heading to Minnesota where I will speak this weekend at Peacestock (a Veterans For Peace event) and then two churches during the coming days.

I've spoken at Peacestock once before (can't remember when, it was some time ago) so it will be fun to be back there again.  I have fond memories of VFP members from Minnesota.  The first time the Global Network held a conference in Huntsville, Alabama in 2001 a big group of Minnesota VFP guys drove down to be with us.

One more thing, last night I ran across an article that reported the US was deploying a 'missile defense' system in Lithuania.  That now makes three nations up close to the Russian border that are hosting US MD systems.  The others are Poland and Romania.  What if Russia was basing its military in Canada or Mexico?  Hello!  See the article here


Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Story Behind the US 'Color Revolution' in Venezuela

Good expose by Abby Martin as she punches holes in US lies about Venezuela.

It should be remembered that Venezuela has the largest oil deposits on the planet.  Usually that is all the evidence necessary to prove the US wants regime change.

The crime of the Maduro government in Caracas?  Using the profits from oil sales to help the poor. Guilty as charged.....

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

People Know Nothing About Odessa Tragedy

Sergey M., an Odessa, Ukraine anti-maidan activist and eye-witness of May 2nd 2014 tragedy, came to the Hague to take part in memorial event and to tell Dutch people the truth about that day.

Luckily for him, he decided not to go inside the Trade Union House on May 2 but remained on the square, taking pictures of the events.

According to Sergey, the massacre in the Trade Unions House was carefully planned before hand and a group of Ukrainian nationalists sneaked into the building on April 30th. Kulikovo Field activists made their own investigation of what has happened there.

The Ukrainian government has made no effort to prosecute any of those who were responsible for the massacre on May 2, 2014,  In fact the only people in Odessa who have been arrested are the family members of those who were killed by the Nazis that day.

Russia Did It.......

'Connect the dots' and follow the script right back to a Madison Avenue public relations department that is running this 'Russia did it' fantasy.

The goal is to demonize Russia so the American people, and those throughout the west, will roll over like lemmings and allow the Pentagon and NATO to militarily encircle Russia as they work toward 'regime change' in Moscow.

It's a daily thing now that I witness 'progressive' activists spouting the corporate oligarchy line that Russia did it.  It reminds me of 2003 when so many people swallowed the blue pill of 'WMD' being in Iraq which led to 'shock and awe'.  It's sad that so many people allow themselves to be led by their nose right into another war.  This time it would be a war with a nuclear armed global power that has a strong alliance with another nuclear power called China.

Live and learn they say - but this time we might not live long enough if this Russia demonization game continues on its present course.

Might be better if we said, "Wake the hell up and see the writing on the wall!  Quit believing the recycled red baiting drivel that is coming from the corporate funded and directed media."


Aussies Take on America......

The West has been in shock for the past week as news of the tragic death of Otto Warmbier spreads.

A young, unfortunate American who was murdered by a brutal regime... just like the 10 others that die in police custody every day in America. But it turns out brutalizing your own people isn't newsworthy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

War Games Planned for East Coast and Local Waters

By Tim Faulkner
ecoRI News staff

The Navy intends to fire missiles, rockets, lasers, grenades and torpedoes, detonate mines and explosive buoys, and use all types of sonar in a series of live war exercises in inland and offshore waters along the East Coast.

In New England, the areas where the weapons and sonar may be deployed encompass the entire coastline, as well as Navy pier-side locations, port transit channels, civilian ports, bays, harbors, airports and inland waterways.

“The Navy must train the way we fight,” according to a promotional video for what is called "Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Phase III."

An environmental impact study of the war games was released June 30. Public comment is open until Aug. 29. Comments can be submitted online and in writing.

The dates and exact locations of the live weapon and sonar exercises haven't yet been released. In all, 2.6 million square miles of land and sea along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico will be part of the aerial and underwater weapons firing.

The Navy describes the weapons exercise as a “major action.” The live ammunition training includes the use of long-range gunnery, mine training, air warfare, amphibious warfare, and anti-submarine warfare. The Navy says weapons use near civilian locations is consistent with training that has been done for decades.

The Navy, in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service, will announce one of three options for the battle exercises by fall 2018. One of the options is a “no-action alternative.”

The Office of the Secretary of the Navy has full authority to approve or deny the live war games. President Trump, however, has had difficulties finding a new Navy secretary. Venture capitalist Richard V. Spencer is expected to face a Senate confirmation hearing this month. Previous nominee Philip Bilden withdrew from consideration in February over financial disclosure requirements.

The Navy says an environmental review for the excises was conducted between 2009 and 2011. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also prepared an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the potential environmental effects associated with the use of active sonar technology and the improved extended echo ranging system during Atlantic Fleet training exercises.

The live war games would deploy passive and active sonar systems. The Navy said it will use mid-frequency active acoustic sonar systems to track mines and torpedoes. Air guns, pile driving, transducers, explosive boxes and towed explosive devises may be used offshore and inland.
Risks to sea life include entanglements, vessel strikes, ingesting of harmful materials, hearing loss, physiological stress, and changes in behavior.

The Navy says it is using acoustic modeling done by NOAA to minimize impacts to marine mammals such as whales and porpoises. NOAA, however, isn't involved with efforts to mitigate environmental impacts during the war games. Spotters on naval vessels will search for mammals during the exercises. The Navy said it will partner with the scientific community to lessen impacts on birds, whales, turtles, fish and reefs.

While some sea life is expected to be harmed by the explosives and sonar, the Navy says it doesn't expect to threaten an entire population of a species.

Alternative voice:  See Scientific American article on Navy sonar here

Air Show Protest in Maine

Monday, July 10, 2017

Next Peace Walk in Maine

Maine Peace Walk in Brunswick last October

Maine Peace Walk for Conversion, Community and Climate
October 13-21
Bath, Maine

Attending: John Morris, Russell Wray, Martha Spiess, Tom Kircher, Jason Rawn, Bruce Gagnon.

Walk Vision:  The idea of this year’s peace walk will be to stay in Bath the majority of the time and hold vigils twice a day at BIW (morning and afternoon). The middle part of the day we will go door-to-door to drop flyers at every house and business in the city about the conversion of the shipyard to sustainable technologies to help deal with global warming.  One day we will walk to Brunswick and hold a pot luck and program there.

Name of Walk:  Martha came up with a snappy title for the walk – 3 C’s Walk – Maine Peace Walk for Conversion, Community and Climate.  The promotion materials for the walk will emphasize the spiritual nature of the walk, our hearts, climate change, cut backs in social spending, education and environmental care as we blow the kitty on endless war.

Walk Dates:  The walk will run from Oct 13-21. There will be one day off (Oct 18) and we will take the group to Five Islands for a site see and Reed State Park for a cook out.

Jeju Speaker:  We’d like to invite an English speaker from Jeju Island, South Korea to be with us for the whole walk and we’d offer to pay for travel.  Bruce will contact the folks in Gangjeong village.

Daily Vigils:  Jason suggested we also hold vigils at the two BIW locations on Old Bath Road.  All agreed.

Request Co-Sponsoring Groups:  We invite groups to join as a co-sponsor and donate toward walk costs.  So far we have Global Network (that will supply Bruce’s staff time); PeaceWorks $100; Peace Action Maine $50; COAST (provide artwork).  Maine VFP and Boston-area Smedley Butler VFP chapter will also be signing on and providing some level of support.  Checks can be made out to GN and sent to PO Box 652, Brunswick 04011.

Logo, Banner & Sweat Shirts: Russell will design a logo and make a banner.  We’ll also order sweatshirts and put the walk logo on the back with VFP logo on front – we will sell them at cost.

Van:  We will rent a 15-passenger van as in the past.  Russell will make reservation and mount Maka the dolphin on top with banner on side.

Flyer:  We will make a pizza-style door hanger flyer.  Bruce will draft the copy and send to committee. Will emphasize the goal to convert BIW to environmentally sound renewable energy systems.

Brunswick Program:  Jason suggested we hold a panel discussion after the Brunswick pot luck supper.  He envisions people talking about Jeju (Where do these warships go when they leave BIW?); How the river is contaminated by BIW operations; Conversion of the shipyard; Invite BIW and union reps to speak, etc.

Key Dates:  We’ve already sketched out some of the key dates for events during the walk.  They include:

* Oct 13 - Orientation, sharing tasks, dinner together, one vigil at BIW
* Oct 14 – Begin door-to-door work across Bath
* Oct 17 – Walk to Brunswick for potluck supper and program
* Oct 18 -  Day off and visit to Five Islands & cookout at Reed State Park
* Oct 20 -  Jeju film showing in Bath
* Oct 21 -  Grand Finale event in Bath
** Each day will also include morning and afternoon vigils at various BIW entry points

Tasks & Committees:  We outlined some jobs and committees that will be necessary.  Please keep them in mind and feel welcome to pick something to help out with.

* Fundraising – Al Johnson, Bruce (Funds needed for van rental & gas, Jeju airfare, flyer printing, food, art supplies)
* Door-to-door coordination – Bruce
* Van driver
* Food plan & prep
* Outreach – Tom Kircher, Leslie Manning
* Flyer draft – Bruce & committee
* Panel – Jason
* Media/Video
* Finale planning

Nipponzan Myohoji:  We will be inviting Buddhist monks/nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order to join us for the peace walk again this year.

Next meeting:  We will hold our next planning meeting in conjunction with the Brunswick Blue Angels airshow protest on Saturday, August 26.  (Airshow protest at former Naval air station will be from 9am to noon).  After airshow we will come to Bath and have lunch at the Galley restaurant on Centre Street across from the Addams-Melman House.  Then we will meet at the AMH until 3:00 pm-ish.  All are invited to either or both events.

Thanks to a great committee and a fun meeting.