Organizing Notes

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

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

No 'Fleet Week' on Jeju Island

[July 19]

We denounce [South Korean President] Moon Jae-in government who instigates conflicts in the [Gangjeong] village by pushing for the international fleet review in Jeju! No fleet Review!

On July 18, an officer Lee Yong-seok from the Presidential House came to Jeju, asking villagers’ public opinion on fleet review again soon in 2-3 days and offering ‘deal’ that if fleet review is held in Jeju, President Moon would deliver the words of regret and consolation for the villagers’ inner-conflict and suffering caused from the Jeju navy base and that there would be government-supported projects to ‘recover’ community. His remark is total ignorance of villagers’ general meeting on March 30 when villagers expressed their opposition to fleet review by vote.

The village has its own rule including ‘prohibition against double jeopardy,’ and conditions to hold any general meeting. Moon government’s such policy is a forceful demand with sugar-coated lies which totally betray villagers’ democratic decision and ignore the real cause of villagers’ suffering-the Jeju navy base itself. The officer’s visit followed previous visits by a vice-chief of naval operation and another officers from the Presidential House. All such visits occurred within a week. And the next day of the officer Lee’s visit, the Island Council disappointingly postponed to submit resolution draft which opposes the fleet review. All the members had signed in opposition to the fleet review in Jeju.

We denounce Moon Jae-in government who tries to trash villagers’ general meeting vote against fleet review on March 30. The Moon government is instigating conflicts among villagers again rather than helping to ‘recover’ community. What an arrogance! If he truly respects Gangjeong villagers and is to truly apologize to villagers for his complicity in building Jeju navy base in 2007 (Moon was the Chief Presidential Secretary of ex-President Roh Moo-hyun whose government drove for the Jeju navy base in Gangjeong in 2007), he should not allow the fleet review in Jeju! He should also reconsider whether holding fleet review-regardless of venue- fits to the spirit of April 27 Inter-Korean Summit meeting.

Where is disarmament and peace? Why is the Moon government pushing for the international fleet review which would make the Jeju navy base as a strategic [target], not to mention environmental destruction and villagers' suffering!

Submitted by Choi Sung-Hee

Coming this week is the 2018 Grand March for the Life and Peace of Jeju from July 30 to August 4.  The walk will circle the entire island.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Great interview with Chomsky....

He covers many of the most important points including US interference with the Russian 1996 election (Yeltsen), the US violation of the post-Cold War promise not to expand NATO 'one inch' toward the Russian border, US deployments of so-called 'missile defense' near Russia, and the huge Democratic Party flip-flop on the Russian question after Hillary lost to Trump.

Sunday song

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Chomsky on Russiagate

 Noam Chomsky says on Democracy Now!

"Take the huge issue of interference in our pristine elections. Did the Russians interfere in our elections? An issue of overwhelming concern in the media. I mean, in most of the world, that’s almost a joke. First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support. Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies—what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015. Did Putin come to give an address to the joint sessions of Congress trying to—calling on them to reverse U.S. policy, without even informing the president? And that’s just a tiny bit of this overwhelming influence. So if you happen to be interested in influence of—foreign influence on elections, there are places to look. But even that is a joke."

"[Trump's] perfectly right when he says we should have better relations with Russia. Being dragged through the mud for that is outlandish, makes—Russia shouldn’t refuse to deal with the United States because the U.S. carried out the worst crime of the century in the invasion of Iraq, much worse than anything Russia has done. But they shouldn’t refuse to deal with us for that reason, and we shouldn’t refuse to deal with them for whatever infractions they may have carried out, which certainly exist. This is just absurd. We have to move towards better—right at the Russian border, there are very extreme tensions, that could blow up anytime and lead to what would in fact be a terminal nuclear war, terminal for the species and life on Earth. We’re very close to that. Now, we could ask why. First of all, we should do things to ameliorate it. Secondly, we should ask why. Well, it’s because NATO expanded after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in violation of verbal promises to Mikhail Gorbachev, mostly under Clinton, partly under first Bush, then Clinton expanded right to the Russian border, expanded further under Obama. The U.S. has offered to bring Ukraine into NATO. That’s the kind of a heartland of Russian geostrategic concerns. So, yes, there’s tensions at the Russian border—and not, notice, at the Mexican border. Well, those are all issues that should be of primary concern. The fate of—the fate of organized human society, even of the survival of the species, depends on this. How much attention is given to these things as compared with, you know, whether Trump lied about something? I think those seem to me the fundamental criticisms of the media. " 

Friday, July 27, 2018

How'd your Dem vote on Trump's war bill?

  • My Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (Maine District 1) was one of 139 Democrats in Congress who voted in favor of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The NDAA stipulated that Trump can't withdraw serious amounts of troops from the Korean peninsula without Congressional authorization.  That means the weapons corporations are calling these shots today in Washington.  Ike's warning to us has come true - democracy has been drowned in the tub.

"Of the total $717 billion, the bill would authorize $616.9 billion for the base Pentagon budget, $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Energy Department, and another $69 billion in war spending from the special Overseas Contingency Operations account," Politico reported following the 359-54 vote. View the full roll call here.

Pingree is one of those otherwise progressive Democrats who votes correctly on women's issues, the environment and other social issues.  But she loves destroyers being built at Bath Iron Works and like so many others in her party are just fine with the US-NATO encircling Russia and China in a military dragnet.

Most liberals say they want peace and want the military budget cut but they are historically unwilling to put real skin in the game when it comes to doing the organizing to stop the metastasizing Pentagon budget. One friend here in Maine wrote me the other day after attending an 'Indivisible' rally in Bangor.  A speaker, trying to gin up the crowd, yelled out, "Yes we are at war with Russia."  I guess when a Dem front group says we are at war with Russia, then the Dems in Washington are gonna vote that way.  The Hillary wing of the party is in firm control.

  • Today is my birthday and MB drove me to the VA for a knee check-up.  They took the bandage off, said it looks good, and urged me to keep trying to straighten my leg.  I go back again in a couple more weeks.  It's a bit boring being laid up - there is so much work I'd love to be doing now and I can't get at it.  So while walking today MB and I talked about how I need to get some patience and be present in this moment.  Rest and exercise (slowly but surely) is what will make it possible for me to do more later on.  The nice part is all the calls and visits from friends and relatives.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Space Mess

  • I've been working with the Global Network's two boards (directors and advisers) for the past week to come up with a final poster for our annual Keep Space for Peace Week which will run from October 6-13.  The theme this year will be 'No Space Force'.  We've held this week of local events around the world on the space issue since 2001.  We ask local folks to show a space film, hold an educational event with a speaker or organize a protest at a military base or production site that is involved with the Star Wars program.  Please feel welcome to organize something in your local community this year and be sure to let us know of your plans.

  • Once the poster is ready for print I'll be sure to post it here.  We are seeing alot of interest in Trump's proposed Space Force and it is reassuring that people appear to be getting the cost issue as well as the provocative nature of the plan.  Remember that the full Congress must approve of the Space Force - so far only the House of Representatives has done so (last session) while the Senate declined to act on it.  There is alot of regional competition going on as the Army Space Command (Huntsville, Alabama) is directly up against the Air Force Space Command (Colorado Springs, Colorado) for control of this new military service branch.  You can count on the fact that the aerospace industry is driving this thing as they know they stand to make massive profits if they can push the taxpayers into their waiting arms.

  • Both the US and Russia are finding that their once revered generations of rocket scientists that first took their respective nations into space are retiring and that issues of transferring knowledge and quality control are becoming problematic.  The US has in recent years had to rely on Russia to launch its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).  That is beginning to change now as the winds of privatization of the launch industry sweep more launch providers into the market.  

  • Russia’s Proton rocket has suffered more than half a dozen full or partial failures this decade, and was sidelined for much of 2016 and 2017 for an anomaly review and the subsequent unrelated discovery of incorrectly built engines. Proton’s launch troubles have caused International Launch Services, the U.S.-based commercial sales arm of rocket manufacturer Khrunichev, to lose business to European and American launch providers. According to the Kremlin’s published transcript of Putin’s remarks during a July 18 meeting with the state-run space corporation Roscosmos, Putin said it “is necessary to drastically improve the quality and reliability of space and launch vehicles” and to preserve Russia’s increasingly threatened leadership in space.
  • All of this is costing space-faring nations big money to build, launch and maintain satellites and rockets.  India, with more than 250 million people living in poverty, has become one of the world's leading space technology programs. And all of these programs for space - even if initially intended for peaceful space exploration - are becoming militarized.  That means great chances for conflict in space as nations attempt to 'control and dominate' the heavens for military and commercial (mining) operations.  Thus we need a global discussion (and movement) about the kind of seed we carry with us as we move off into space.  Let's don't carry the bad seed of greed, war and environmental degradation with us into space.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Trump says the Space Force will be "great not only in terms of jobs" but "great for the psyche of our country." At least 13,870 Puerto Ricans still don't have power.

Monday, July 23, 2018

It’s Time For A Little Perspective on Russia

Any Russian interference is only a small part of the “election meddling” we should care about…

by Lyle Jeremy Rubin
Current Affairs

I think we are due for a little perspective on Russia.

I was trained at NSA headquarters as a signals intelligence officer in the Marines. This was about a decade ago, and I was by no means an area specialist. That said, I was privy to relevant briefs. At the time I learned that U.S. cyber operations in Russia, across Russia’s periphery, and around the world already dwarfed Russian operations in size, capability, and frequency. It wasn’t even close, and the expectation was that the gap was about to grow a whole lot wider.

This should hardly come as a surprise. Just compare the defense budgets of the United States and Russia. The president recently signed a gargantuan $700 billion gift to the Pentagon, with marginal dissent from either party or their affiliated media outlets. The budget increase alone ($61 billion) exceeds Russia’s entire annual expenditure ($46). The U.S. military budget now equals more than the combined budgets of China, Russia, Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, and France. As Vice concluded, “it’s 14 times larger than the Kremlin’s budget.”

Furthermore, covert American operations are deeply invested in interrupting democratic processes not only in Russia, but everywhere else. This includes the heart of Europe, where corporate media is now pretending the United States has always respected happy norms and decorum. It is as if the Snowden leaks never happened. The Defense Department’s tapping of Angela Merkel’s phone never happened. The Obama administration’s spying on the German press, including Der Spiegel, never happened. The same administration’s outing of German government whistle-blowers never happened.

Electoral meddling in particular happens all the time, both to us and by us. The U.S. government rigged the Russian election for Yeltsin in 1996, and then they bragged about it in a cover story for Time. (The cover to that story is above.) This followed the disastrous capitalist “shock therapy” of the early nineties and preceded the rise of the Russian oligarchs. Putin’s brand of nationalist resentment grew out of this moment of extreme collective humiliation. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is happily on record pushing for the tampering of Palestinian elections in 2006.

As the political scientist Dov H. Levin has shown, between 1946 and 2000, the United States government conducted at least 81 electoral interventions in other countries, while Russia conducted at least 36. This does not include the U.S. government’s violent overthrow of dozens of governments during this same period, including democratic governments in places like Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), and Chile (1973). As recent as 2009, Hillary Clinton’s State Department played a complicit role in the brutal deposition of democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya’s government in Honduras. No other country, including Russia, even approaches this level of wanton disregard for the norms of sovereignty. Around the world, organizations that the U.S. “fund[s], support[s] and direct[s] are openly dedicated to manipulating foreign elections, creating U.S.-friendly opposition movements and even overthrowing governments that impede U.S. interests worldwide.” In 1999, President Clinton sent three advisers to Israel to try to swing the country’s elections for Ehud Barak. The New York Times reported that they were “writing advertisements, plotting strategy and taking polls” for the candidate. Imagine what the reaction would be if Putin had literally dispatched three top deputies to join the Trump campaign.

Of course, a few dozen wrongs don’t make a right, and the fact that U.S. outrage over Russian interference is comically hypocritical doesn’t make tampering with our elections unobjectionable. But anyone who sees the Russian activity as an antidemocratic outrage should be condemning the United States just as loudly, and treating the Russia story as some kind of unprecedented act of covert control is laughable.

That said, just because the United States leads the world in meddling of all kinds, that doesn’t mean we are immune to it. In fact, meddling from abroad comes in many forms. Prominent think tanks in Washington are funded by the Gulf states. The United Arab Emirates contributes generously to the coffers of the Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Center for American Progress (CAP). The Brookings Institute graciously accepts millions from Qatar. The Atlantic Council and Center for Strategic and International Studies enjoy similar arrangements with other oppressive regimes like Saudi Arabia. The same can be said for numerous other repressive governments beyond the Gulf. And then there are the defense contractors, Wall Street banks, and Silicon Valley behemoths, all of which have joined such governments in capturing intellectual real estate in academia as well.

Our politicians, of course, are being flooded with cash from foreign-related interests. Pro-Israel billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban have bought themselves outsized influence in both parties, with Adelson successfully financing Trump’s rise to power and Saban effectively blocking Keith Ellison’s bid for Democratic National Committee chair. The Turkish lobby, likewise, continues to prove itself another bipartisan force, with everyone from former House leader Dick Gephardt to disgraced national security advisor Michael Flynn being enlisted to secure Ankara prerogatives while whitewashing various crimes against the Armenians and Kurds. As for explicit electoral interference, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been implicated in foul play in the 2016 election. Same goes for Ukraine. Same goes for Israel in 2012. And these are just the instances so brazen that they have made their way into Wikipedia.

Lastly, our entire corporate media is owned and run by a global capitalist elite who could care less about us and our schoolkid patriotism. There are essentially five multinational corporations that now own the news media. This is down from six just a few years ago. In 1983 it was 50. This rapid consolidation is thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, itself a bipartisan bill purchased by the donor class. The few dozen billionaires with the largest shares in these companies are almost all white men. They are also almost all tied up in business investments around the globe. And almost all their investments bear zero regard for the needs or desires of Americans or non-Americans alike.

For Russian interference to be a threat to our democracy, we would have to have a democracy to begin with. But our elections are already so heavily manipulated by corporations and foreign governments that it’s hard to take seriously anyone who sees Russia as a singular threat to our system of government. The issue needs to be kept in perspective, and seen in the context of both our country’s own actions and the other, even greater, barriers that prevent us from having a true democracy that reflects the will of the people rather than corporate and government interests.

Look, by all means, let’s protect the integrity of our voting systems. As Seth Ackerman just counseled in Jacobin, let’s follow Europe’s lead in a practical, guarded response to Putin’s authoritarian machinations, free of hysteria. Let’s keep pushing for independent investigations into Trump, his team, and their possibly criminal involvement with the Russian government and other unsavory entities. Let’s hold them accountable accordingly. But let’s also stop swallowing state and corporate propaganda hook, line, and sinker. Let’s stop being blind to military-industrial stakes in escalating U.S.-Russia tensions in Syria, Yemen, Iran, Ukraine, and the Russian periphery, never mind the cyber arena altogether. Let’s spend more time exposing the ways the conversation around Russia points to liberal and progressive acquiescence toward (one might say collusion with) imperialist narratives that only guarantee further death and destruction for poor and working people everywhere.

Beyond all that, let’s finally start doing the hard work of fleshing out a left foreign policy. Aziz Rana has an urgent piece in N+1 arguing that the left lacks a coherent approach to international affairs, and needs to spend its time articulating a clear response to the “bipartisan cold war ideology that has shaped American elite thinking since the 1940s, organized around the idea that the US rightly enjoys military and economic primacy because its interests are the world’s interests.” Rana lays out a set of principles that can guide the creation of an alternative approach and answer difficult practical questions like “If the US should not be the enforcer of Saudi and Israeli led dictates in the Middle East, what are alternative regional orderings?” and “What would demobilizing significant elements of the national security state look like?” We should do our best to make sure that everyone reads Rana’s piece, and faces up to the challenge he poses. Doing so will require us to be thoughtful and consistent, and to make sure that instead of following the corporate media’s lead on what to be outraged about, we work it out for ourselves and keep things in perspective.

~ Lyle Jeremy Rubin is a PhD student in history at the University of Rochester and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

The border crossed us

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Walking for relief

Walking in the neighborhood yesterday in Bath, Maine.

MB is taking great care of me - foot and leg massages, good food, wonderful company, and keeping the ice wrap going after my various exercises are done.

Laying in bed with laptop is giving me the chance to watch my Baltimore Orioles who are currently the worst team in major league baseball.  They are selling off many of their good players in hopes of rebuilding.  Might be a good idea to get rid of their lousy management too. 

The Orioles are my 'escape' from the harsh realities of the world - oops!

I start physical therapy on Tuesday here in Bath - that will be interesting and likely painful.  But I knew all that before I had the operation.

My five friends in Maine who have had knee replacement surgery during this past year are all doing quite well so that is an inspiration.

I'll keep giving it my best.


Sunday song

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Talk is better than nuclear war

President Trump's warm words for Vladimir Putin and his failure to endorse U.S. intelligence community claims about alleged Russian meddling have been called "treasonous" and the cause of a "national security crisis." There is a crisis, says Prof. Stephen F. Cohen, but one of our own making.

Stephen Cohen is an American scholar and professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University. His academic work concentrates on modern Russian history since the Bolshevik Revolution and the country's relationship with the United States. Cohen is married to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the progressive magazine The Nation, where he is also a contributing editor. Cohen is also the founding director of the reestablished American Committee for East–West Accord. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Two of the better interviews on the Trump-Putin meeting

Two very interesting interviews on the Trump-Putin meeting.

While in the hospital I was astounded at the non-stop rabid demonization on the TV news channels of the Helsinki meeting.  By now you'd think that I can't be surprised anymore.  The perpetrators of the corporate takeover in Washington fuzzy up their 'full spectrum dominance', 'peace thru strength', agenda by distracting the public using the current 'Russians are coming' campaign.

Trump acknowledged the slight of hand himself recently when he hollered at the media, 'It's all a show', in reference to his talks with Kim in North Korea..

Russia has huge borders (likely a gift and a curse at the same time) and are accused of being aggressive when they try to stabilize the chaotic situation as the US-NATO gobble up new 'members and partners' and complete the provocative encirclement of Russia and China.

Tucker Carlson asks Russian expert Stephen Cohen if the US wants a war with Russia.  It sure looks that way to me.

The Democrats in the US are leading the wolf pack to war.  Why?

Both corrupt parties (it was the mob vs the mafia in the last election) are feuding for power - the Repubs and Dems represent various factions of the corporate oligarchy.  They will use any issue they can to try to retake power without ever 'fixing' our broken society because doing that would work against their dastardly plan to bring back feudalism.

Trump knows the TV wrestling working class crowd quite well.  He used them to ride into office (like the way Obama used the peace issue) and has convinced them he is on their side about the need for jobs, security and dignity.  The Repubs and Dems agree on the strategy to fleece the American people and massively increase military production which is being aimed at China and Russia.

The liberal politicians are fascinating to watch - they presume they are allies of people like me but are doing the very things we speak out against.... build for more war, allow Pentagon to eat the budget for human needs, ignore climate change and the toxic legacy of industrial capitalism).

The key things that I want to know include why are so many 'progressives' buying the hate Putin/Russia mantra?  Can't they see 2003 'shock and awe' all over again?

The US is desperate - is loosing it's control of the planet and is striking back with all it knows - its military bluster.  Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and others are demanding that the days of Pax Americana be over.
The worst of the bunch is Sen. Chuck Shumer (D-NY).  In one moment he defends a woman's right to choose and in the next breath is banging the war drum.

Both parties keep running their 'wait until the next election' carrot out to a frustrated public.

One shouldn't sit idly by in the face of corporate control.  Our biggest need right now is for people to show some courage and stand up against more US warmongering.  Endless war is the rotted root of American exceptionalism.


Back home

I got home today just before noon.  Seem to be doing quite well according to physical therapy and the doctors at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital here in Maine at Togus.  So far I'm not needing so many pain pills either.

The care I received at the VA was exceptional.  I had some great political discussions with various folks while there and the topic of 'privatization of the VA' repeatedly came up.  It is so unfair that everyone does not have access to such good quality health care.  We should each be demanding 'Medicare for all'.

Still much work to be done to get my 'new' knee into shape - it's going to take time and I am not the most patient person around.  This process will be humbling for me as my leg teaches me to slow down and do a bit more exercises everyday.

Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers and good wishes from so many.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Back in a few days

Early on Monday morning I will be put under sedation in order to have my knee replacement surgery.  The doctors say I would be in the hospital 2-3 days.  I've heard they get you up soon after the operation is over to begin the physical therapy process.  So they will want me to be pushing myself to move my leg.

I obviously won't be able to post here for awhile.  I'm posting a backlog of items in order to keep readers a bit busy until I return.

Please send me your healing vibes on Monday morning.  Pray for world peace and equality.  See if you can make it all happen before I return!


We need the 'Natural Guard'

If we are going to survive the ravages of climate change then all the world's militaries must be converted to do things like this.  It is our primary hope for survival of the future generations.

The military carbon bootprint is the biggest contributor to global warming.

Years ago at the time of the signing of the Kyoto Protocols in 1997 (Bill Clinton's time as president) the US refused to sign the accords unless the Pentagon's contribution to climate change was excluded and kept as a state secret.  In 2005 (during the reign of George W. Bush) the protocols became active.

Since that time the US continues to disallow its military environmental impact to be publicly known.

This kind of attitude of secrecy and determination to maintain the fossil fuel addiction in our country only hastens our collision with climate change.

Let's instead call for the conversion of the war machine.  Learn more about the issue, talk more about it, ensure that our local organizations connect all the dots between war and peace, climate change, growing global poverty and the surveillance society.  The corporations see the writing on the wall and they are grabbing everything they can with no concern for the public.  We have to demand fundamental systemic change.

I've long asked, "What is the #1 job of a human being on Earth today?"  My own answer to the question is that we must work to ensure the survival of the coming generations of humans, plants, animals, water, air and other life forms.

I have a poster on my wall from the 1980 Black Hills Survival Gathering in South Dakota.  My son Julian was in his mother's womb at the event.  The poster reads: 'Don't weep for the [mother] earth.  Fight to save her.'

Thanks to China for taking these steps toward the 'Natural Guard'.  Please keep showing this kind of leadership and illustrating how military resources, which are currently wasted, could be used in a better way.


Separating the colonizer from the colonized

What and who do U.S. military bases represent?
This video is by Iraq and Afghanistan wars veteran Will Griffin.  Besides doing great work on The Peace Report, Will also serves on the board of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Be sure to 'like' Will's video, share it, and consider supporting him on Patreon.

A deep look inside of the DPR

New York to Donetsk and back from Russian Hour on Vimeo.

This is a wonderful film about the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) ....which is being shelled daily by the neo-Nazi government in Kiev, Ukraine.

DPR is the Russian-speaking eastern region of Ukraine near the Russian border that has been continuously under attack since the 2014 US directed coup d' etat in Kiev.

At that time the first thing the new US puppet government in Kiev did was to ban the speaking of Russian in Ukraine.  Hello!

This film is a must watch for anyone with a sliver of objectivity left about all things Russian and Ukraine.

I promise you will learn a whole lot watching this good, and at times, heart breaking story.


Sunday song

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Should we trust the Mueller investigation?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 12 officials with the GRU, Russia’s main foreign intelligence agency, for allegedly meddling in the 2016 election, including hacking Democratic Party emails. Case closed? Author and investigative journalist Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News joins TRNN’s Aaron Mate to discuss.

Aaron Mate does a great job of raising key doubts about the Mueller investigation.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern writes about the alleged Russian hacking story:

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity — including two “alumni” who were former National Security Agency technical directors — have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the “emails related to Hillary Clinton” via a “hack” by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device — probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the “conclusions” of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were “inconclusive.” Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA “Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement.  That did not prevent the “handpicked” authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee … to WikiLeaks.”  Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

Aaron Mate mentions William Binney, a former NSA technical director for 36 years, during his interview above with Isikoff.  Binney and other members of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) have written several critiques of the Russian hacking story.  See some of them here

NATO protest in Brussels

There were more than 3,000 people at the NO to NATO protest during its recent meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

Just after the 4:40 mark in the video is Dave Webb, board convener of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.  He also chairs the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

The interviews are in English and German.

NATO is the offensive military arm of corporate capital.  It is repeatedly being used to take down nations that won't comply with corporate dictates.  NATO is also expanding into the Asia-Pacific by setting up 'Partnership' relationships with Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and more.

See the full list of 'Partners' here

It was during the presidency of Bill Clinton that the US violated its promise not to expand NATO toward the east.  Today NATO has set up military operations all along the Russian border and has turned Norway and Poland into major weapons depots.  US-NATO war games are regularly held throughout the Nordic region, eastern Europe and the Baltics.  US 'missile defense' launch facilities aimed at Russia have been deployed in Romania, Poland and Turkey.  US Navy Aegis destroyers, outfitted with 'missile defense' systems, are regularly cruising in the Black Sea.

When Russia responds with military exercises inside their own country they are accused by NATO of being aggressive.

While having been created as a 'North Atlantic' alliance aimed at the then former Soviet Union, NATO has now become a global military alliance and is trying to essentially replace the United Nations as the leading international organization that deals with conflicts.

The US controls NATO and uses it as a bludgeon to get its way where it wishes.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Trump versus NATO is a false narrative: The U.S. will always fund Europe’s defense

The United States will continue to use NATO as much as possible to drive the agenda of Western-led imperialism

By Vijay Prashad

Donald Trump has leapt across the Atlantic Ocean to bring America’s European allies to heel. Or so his Twitter account suggests. In London, an orange effigy will fly above the city in welcome. Massive crowds will gather on Friday to greet him with jeers and boos. Trump has the ability to translate dissent into praise. He will see the crowds and preen. Surely, he is the most important American to set foot in the British Isles.

He will walk through the streets of Brussels, pretending to attack America’s NATO allies. He will wink to his base — telling them that he is being tough on everyone, not just China, but also Germany and France. His base will think that he is their champion, speaking for them in a voice that has not been heard before.

Others will be hoodwinked into the belief that Trump — yes, Trump alone — is somehow changing the terms of the great Atlantic relationship.

But this is all bunk. Trump is a deception. There is no change afoot. The United States will continue to fund European ‘defense,’ which is more accurately characterized as the U.S.-driven attempt to dominate Eurasia (Russia and China). The United States will continue to use NATO as much as possible to drive the agenda of Western-led imperialism. All this, the facts of the matter, will be set aside as the liberals cry out in horror about Trump’s political infidelities. How dare The Donald poke a finger in the ‘special relationship’ with the other colonizers, they say! They are outraged. The colonizers must stay together.

Two Donalds

Trump travels with his bludgeon — his Twitter account. He warned before he left for Europe that the Europeans must lift their military spending. This comes before the NATO summit, where Trump is expected to be as testy as he was in the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada. Then, Trump provoked a war of words with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Now, he seems to want to get into a war of words with all of Europe.

The Europeans (and the American establishment liberals) fear that Trump will break the Atlantic alliance — the linkage between Western Europe (substantially) and the United States. Old colonial ties and ties reaffirmed through the Group of Seven (G7) process brought the United States into a very tight embrace with France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Much was made during the Bush years of the New Europe (namely, Eastern Europe), but this was not serious. The real Atlantic alliance is between the U.S. (with Canada) and these three major European powers.

It is to this that European Council President Donald Tusk gestured when he said, “Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don’t have that many.” This was a bitter statement. It comes from a former Prime Minister of Poland, who is now disliked in his own country. Tusk has thrown his fortunes into the European project. He worries on behalf of Berlin, London and Paris.

Donald Trump responded lightly. “We have many allies,” he said, brushing off the other Donald’s warning.

2 Percent Threshold

The United States — before Trump — and NATO itself had made low military spending in Europe an issue. It was NATO that agreed to the 2 percent of GDP threshold, arguing that each of the NATO member-states must lift their military spending to above 2 percent of GDP. The majority of European countries in NATO — 24 of 28 — spend well below that threshold. They have no real plans to lift their military obligations.

The 2 percent threshold provides Trump a Twitter-worthy argument. He knows that the U.S. is the largest spender on the military on the planet, and he knows that U.S. allies such as the European states, but also Japan and South Korea, have relied upon the U.S. military umbrella to protect them from threats. The United States spends close to 40 percent of all military spending on the planet. No country in Europe spends near U.S. levels. The United States and the European Union have a comparable GDP. The U.S. spends over 3 percent of its GDP on the military, whereas the European Union spends half that amount.

It is the United States that acts as the gendarme of the world’s monied. That has become its role. It is not the military of the people of the United States.

Trump’s deceptions

While Trump fulminates about European military spending, the United States’ overall policy direction and contribution to European warfare has not diminished. It is one thing to go on Twitter to titillate one’s base and quite another to shift the policy.

All U.S. government strategic documents reaffirm the U.S.-European alliance and confirm that the main threats to this alliance are from China and Russia. This is the old game, the attempt to prevent the emergence of any challenges to the Atlantic alliance and the attempt to maintain Atlantic hegemony over decision making on issues of importance, namely trade and development. The most recent such document—the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s National Defense Strategy (February 2018) — makes just these points. The crucial sentence is this: “A strong and free Europe, bound by shared principles of democracy, national sovereignty and commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is vital to our security.” Article 5 is the commitment made by all NATO members for collective defense.

But is Trump really going to starve NATO and the European alliance? There is no evidence of this. Trump has increased the U.S. military budget by gargantuan amounts—to the near astronomic levels of close to $800 billion (China, the second largest military spender, is at $230 billion). The numbers are at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and International Institute for Strategic Studies. Trump increased military spending by close to 10 percent. There is no hesitancy to spend money on the military, no desire to shift some of that treasure toward those who are out of work and desperate. None of that.

Part of this massive military budget — admittedly a small part — has gone toward the U.S.-European Defense Initiative. Trump has raised that amount from $3.4 billion to $6.5 billion. This Initiative is designed as a European and American response to “threats from Russia.” One of the key elements of this Initiative is, as the Comptroller of the U.S. Defense Department notesin February 2018, to “assure our NATO allies and partners of the United States’ commitment to Article 5 and the territorial integrity of all 28 NATO nations.” The next point is more sinister. It speaks of increasing the “capability and readiness of U.S. Forces, NATO allies and regional partners” to swiftly deal with any “regional adversary.” The finger is pointed at Russia. This has been U.S. policy since the unification of Germany, since the desire to move NATO eastwards and since the general consensus in the West to box in both Russia and China to prevent the development of any challenge to Western power.

Trump will make a great deal of noise about the 2 percent threshold and he will be aggressive in public against his European partners. The other Donald, Tusk of the European Council, will take the bait and the media will have a field day. But few will report that beneath this sturm und drang, this tempest, will be the normal, but deeply troubling military alliance of the Atlantic world.

Militaries will be heavily funded, arms dealers will preen, threats will be made to weaker powers, trade treaties will be forced on them, poverty will increase, rhetoric of hate will be normal, and the world will slip into the dark night of barbarism.

Trump will gradually disappear from the stage. So will Tusk. So will Merkel. But other names will remain intact: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Airbus, United Technologies, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Thales Group, L-3 Communications, Rolls Royce. . .  the smell of war, the putrid smell of a world of war.

~ Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Relations with Russia?

Russia expert Professor Stephen Cohen: “I am deeply alarmed… I think that our relationship with Russia today… is worse than its ever been… fraught with the possibility of war… even more than the Cuban Missile Crisis… its an extremely serious moment.”

Stephen Cohen writes:

"NATO’s only real mission since the 1990s has been expanding to Russia’s borders, and that has resulted in less, not more, security for all concerned, as is evident today. The only 'Russian threat' since the end of the Soviet Union is one provoked by the US-led NATO itself, from Georgia and Ukraine to the Baltic states. And only NATO’s vast corporate bureaucracy, its some 4,000 employees housed in its new $1.2 billion headquarters in Brussels, and US and other weapons manufacturers who gain from each new member state, have profited. But none of this can be discussed in the mainstream, because Trump uttered a few words questioning NATO’s role and funding, even though the subject has been on the agenda of several think tanks since the 1990s."

"Considering today’s perilous geopolitical situation, it is hard not to conclude that much of the American political establishment, particularly the Democratic Party, would prefer trying to impeach Trump to averting war with Russia, the other nuclear superpower. For this too, there is no precedent in American history.” 

~ Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What's the message?

  • The New York Times and Washington Post are leading the charge to dynamite the Trump-Kim talks.  The Democrats carry the rally flag for the military industrial complex.  The party that presumes to speak for the left (and even peace people) is working hard to ensure we keep a stable full of enemies that can continuously be trotted out to frighten the public.  And the more frightened people get the more money they will allow the corporations to steal to prepare for war.
  • The US is not worried about the military capability of North Korea.  It is being used as a foil to justify expanding Pentagon operations in the Asia-Pacific region to encircle China and Russia. 
  • I know a Korean woman who lives in Canada and is a professor there.  She wrote that the western media translation of North Korea saying Secretary of State Pompeo recently treated them like 'gangsters' actually translated to 'forceful'.  The day after reading this I was on a radio interview talking about Korea. The show host asked me about North Korea saying Pompeo treated them like a 'gangster'.  I explained that the word was mistranslated for a reason.  The media's job is to frame the reality the corporate masters want to project to the 'citizens'.  Trump recently acknowledged this when he responded to a question about Korea.  He said, "It's all a show."  He's taken his act to the global stage and he loves it.  Despite the Democrats complaints about Trump he is faithfully serving the interests of Wall Street - and he helps keep the people divided against one another at home.
  • Watching Trump on his current European tour continues to reveal that the man has no core values except making money and self-promotion.  The world gets to see the real face of America - these are the values that we've been taught here in this capitalist society - $$$$ comes first, everyone and everything else around you should be subordinated in order for you to make even more $$$$.  It's a sickness and most of us have some level of contamination inside us.
  • Trump is calling out Germany for buying fossil fuels from Russia.  The US oil companies want Europe to buy more expensive fuels from them. (Imagine the cost of shipping fracked gas from America to Berlin.)  In addition is the fervent wish of these oil mobsters to force regime change in Moscow.  They want to break Russia up into constituent pieces just like the US-NATO did to Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and tried to do in Syria.   Those that border the Arctic Ocean are going to have prime access to vast supplies of fossil fuels as the ice melts due to climate change.  Check out a map - it's amazing how long Russia's Arctic border is.  This is also why Putin is being demonized. 
  • I've been working on getting caught up with all my administrative tasks before my surgery next Monday.  I've asked that people send me healing thoughts at 8:00 am.  I will likely be in the hospital 2-3 days and then home.  A half-dozen friends have recently had similar knee surgery and have given me much appreciated advice - mostly about staying committed to the exercises that are required to regain mobility.  I'm ready to go.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ed Schultz - Presente!

MSNBC won’t tell you that they fired Ed Schultz for wanting to cover Bernie Sanders & tell the truth about the TPP.

You can hear Ed himself talk about why he was fired by MSNBC at 7:14 into the video.  It's quite illuminating to hear.

Guam: a U.S. colony

Guam has the largest percentage of people that serve in the U.S. military, but they can't even vote for president. That's messed up! Many people on Guam say their days as a U.S. territory need to end.

The US has several bases on Guam and is demanding even more island land for expansion of bases and also areas for war exercises which is helping to inflame anger toward the military.

Guam is called the 'tip of the spear' by the Pentagon as they use North Korea to justify their aggressive military encirclement of China and Russia in the region.

Guam would be a prime target in any war with China and Russia.  The people there are aware of that reality as well. 

Monday, July 09, 2018

Israel must be sanctioned for its illegal acts

It's pure evil - mean spiritedness - and to think U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing this 'crap' while our schools, roads, bridges, mental health programs, sewer & water systems, and much more are collapsing here at home.....

Israel sells weapons to Nazis in Ukraine, kills Palestinians like they are flies, truly interferes in U.S. elections (just ask former Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney) and nobody says a mumbling word!

How about that they steal land from the Palestinians and Syrians and routinely attack Syria violating international law?

Now why is that?  Why does the corporate media not report stories like these?  Why does Congress not hold hearings about how our tax dollars are being spent by Israel for illegal and immoral purposes?

Could the power of AIPAC be so great that Congress is intimidated by the Israeli lobby?

When the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement got so strong some states even passed laws trying to make it illegal to criticize Israel?  How could that happen in a so-called 'free nation'?

Israel is a pirate, renegade nation that has forgotten its own tragic history of the Holocaust.  Israel treats the Palestinians similar to how the Nazis treated the Jews during WW II.  Israel is clearly committing genocide against the Palestinian people. (There are many ways to commit genocide. My dictionary defines the word as: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group.)

Israel must be condemned and economically sanctioned by the United Nations for their outrageous and illegal behaviors.


Sunday, July 08, 2018

Finally word is spreading about Nazi death squads in Ukraine

A shocking new report in the Electronic Intifada reveals that Ukrainian neo-Nazis are using Israeli weapons to fight Russia. Journalist Max Blumenthal discusses the SS-wearing Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that uses Hitlerian symbols and is embedded in the National Guard of Ukraine, which also receives support from the US and Canada.

See an article on this subject in the Israeli newspaper HAARETZ here  

Sunday song

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Saturday movie - a look back at 'shock & awe' in Iraq

Seven months after the end of the war, acclaimed BBC journalist and filmmaker Sean Langan (BEHIND THE LINES, TRAVELS OF A GRINGO) takes a brave and eventful trip through Iraq, seeking to shed light on the current situation.

Armed with just a camera, Langan witnesses insurgent attacks first-hand, survives a mob frenzy, secures secret meetings with hooded "resistance fighters," and obtains chilling footage of a suicide bomber's preparations and attack on a bridge manned by US soldiers.

The result is a stirring account of just how far we are from a true proclamation in Iraq of "Mission Accomplished."

This is a very compelling film.

Friday, July 06, 2018

U.S. puppet project in Ukraine literally falling apart

The US goal was always to create chaos and instability in Ukraine - along the Russian border.

The project appears to be working right on schedule.

Likely the US-NATO (who are happy to supply weapons and military advisers to Kiev) will not be bailing the country out and helping to repair their disastrous economy and infrastructure.

Don't forget there are several nuclear power stations in Ukraine.

(Click on the 'cc' in lower right hand corner for English subtitles if they don't appear when you start the video)


Next BIW Civil Disobedience list

Below is the latest list we have of those seriously considering joining the civil disobedience (CD) action at Bath Iron Works in Maine during the next ‘christening’ of either a Zumwalt stealth destroyer or an Aegis destroyer.

At this time, we don’t have the date for the next ‘christening’.  We will spread word as soon as we hear something.

With the current Poor People’s Campaign attempting to connect militarism, growing poverty, climate change and the surveillance society we think this action fits quite well in that context.

The destroyers at BIW cost billions each, are provocative as they are deployed with ‘missile defense’ systems to encircle China and Russia, and contribute significantly to the US military carbon boot print.

Instead of building these warships we should be calling for the conversion of BIW to build commuter rail systems, tidal power systems, offshore wind turbines and other ways to help us deal with climate change. Studies show that peaceful conversion actually creates more jobs than military production does.

Please stay tuned and join us in Bath for the next protest at a ‘christening’ of another Navy destroyer.

Help us call for a conversion of our hearts and the military industrial complex.

Peggy Akers Portland, Maine
Peter Baldwin Brooks, Maine
Ellen Barfield Baltimore, MD
Lynn Bradbury Lubec, Maine
Meredith Bruskin Swanville, Maine
Nancy Button, Warren, Maine
Kathe Chipman Brunswick, Maine
Ann Cooper Freeport, Maine
Christine DeTroy Brunswick, Maine
Mike Donnelly Brunswick, Maine
Mary Donnelly Brunswick, Maine
Dan Ellis Brunswick, Maine
Jim Freeman Verona Island, Maine
Ridgely Fuller Belfast, Maine
Michael Gibson Lewiston, Maine
Nate Goldshlag Arlington, MA
Scott Hamann South Portland, Maine
Cynthia Howard Biddeford Pool, Maine
Suzanne Hedrick Nobleboro, Maine
Dud Hendrick Deer Isle, Maine
Rev. Mair Honan Freeport, Maine
Connie Jenkins Orono, Maine
Ken Jones Asheville, NC
Tarak Kauff Woodstock, NY
Bob Klotz South Portland, Maine
Carmen Lavertu Thomaston, Maine
Brown Lethem Bath, Maine
Rev. Leroy Lowell Casco, Maine
Kenneth Mayers Santa Fe, NM
Natasha Mayers Whitefield, Maine
John Morris New Gloucester, Maine
Jane Newton Georgetown, Maine
Jules Orkin Bergenfield, NJ
Rosalie Paul Brunswick, Maine
Roy Pingel Queens, NY
Doug Rawlings Farmington, Maine
Jason Rawn Hope, Maine
Bill Rixon Freeport, Maine
Lisa Savage Solon, Maine
Ginny Schneider Portland, Maine
Dixie Searway Vermont
Rob Shetterly Brooksville, Maine
Lora Somlyo Portland, Maine
Mary Beth Sullivan Bath, Maine
Will Thomas New Hampshire
Mike Tork Falmouth, MA
Karen Wainberg Bath, Maine
Russell Wray Hancock, Maine
Crystal Zevon Vermont

 For more information contact     

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Why the demonization of Russia?

There are peaceniks out there who are internalizing much of the western media demonization of Russia and Putin.  I run into them all the time.

My basic response starts with the fact/question: What mainstream western media sold the WMD story in Iraq that justified Bush's 2003 'shock and awe'?  Did you believe the media?  What resulted from 'shock and awe'?  Did you see it repeated in Libya, Syria, and now Yemen (and Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and many, many more before)?

Most people by now have acknowledged that the corporate-owned media feed us the opposite of the truth in 2003 - in order to steer, intimidate and neuralize the public into supporting the war and the never ending 'war on terror' since then.

But what I don't understand is why some activists turn around today and believe the CIA, FBI, DIA, Clapper's clap-trap, Brennan, MSNBC and the Democrats.  When you have all those agents of doom pushing a story in the media my experience tells me to look the hell out.  Some shit is coming.

The US and NATO (the international armed force of corporate power - led by Washington) want regime change in Moscow.  Putin is on the shit list.  Why?  Because they won't get in line behind the 'most exceptional nation' on Earth - the USA.  Plus they have resources and the largest land border along the melting Arctic Sea where much oil and natural gas will be accessible. And they can fight back.

I look for possible reasons why a peace activist would join the demonization crowd.  Maybe, first, they like being with the crowd and the peace 'biz' ain't hot right now in the social world?

Maybe folks carry around the fear of previous episodes of red-baiting in this country - it stings hard for many and memories of pain are tough to shake.

It could also be some laziness - where people don't want to put in time reading real alternative media from other parts of the world.  Even if you are reading 'alternative' media in the US you are still reading 'filtered' news.  Yeah it takes effort, imagination and inquisitiveness to search for more opinions.

I accept that some don't want to bother with it at all....there are many complex reasons of course but indeed there are those who just want to avoid spats - and global domination is a big one.

But the worst case as far as I am concerned is when those who don't really know much about what is going on with Russia try to muscle others by defending the current status quo American brainwashing on Putin. 

As a last ditch argument people often throw 'Well the Russians and Putin are oligarchs' into the fire.  That short statement is so complex that all I can do is recommend you read the recent Saker thinking on this subject here.  I've learned so much from him since 2014 when I began following the US-directed Ukraine coup d' etat and needed some reliable and trustworthy information sources.  It is then that I stumbled on The Saker web site.

I hope that people will come around once they see others stepping forward and speaking out for reason and justice on the Russia issue (same as we would for any other country we are surrounding).

The first Russian I ever met was in 1984 when I was asked to represent Mobilization for Survival at the annual Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemoration events in Japan.  I was coordinating the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice at the time and had been working on space issues for about two years.

I arrived a day late in Tokyo for a three-day opening conference of anti-nuclear activists from around the world.  When I walked into the meeting hall many were yelling at the man at the microphone stand.  I sat down and tried to figure out what the hell was going on inside this 'peace meeting' - it felt like a war zone to me.

The guy at the microphone was Russian from a 'government sponsored' peace group.  People were demanding that he tell his country to get rid of nuclear weapons.  He tried to reason with the audience but few were listening and no one defended him in the room of a couple hundred folks.

Two days later I noticed him sitting alone in the hotel lobby.  I approached him and said that I had been deeply touched with sadness about the way he was treated when I had arrived at the conference.

He quickly poured out his heart and said, "When we go talk with our generals about disarmament they remind us that the US recently called us 'the epitome of evil' in the world."

He was referring to then President Ronald Reagan's famous 'Russians are the evil people' speech at a right-wing evangelical church convention in Orlando, Florida.  I remember this one well - in the spring of 1983 I organized a protest outside of the hotel where the convention and speech took place.

The New York Times covered the speech and mentioned our protest and even carried a photo of me in a Reagan mask with a bullhorn in my hand.  Back then the Times covered protests like these now and then.  These days the NY Times is too busy helping to sell the encirclement and possible war with the 'evil demons' in Russia.  It's dangerous, provocative and very unstable thinking.  It is also cruel and sadistic.  Ask the American Indians....

My first Russian friend was moved that I took the time to hear his strong desire for peace but he also wanted those in the west to look inside their own hearts and policies.  He gave me two wooden hand carved souvenirs from his native Soviet Georgia.  They hang in our house to this day and I remain committed to trying to build peaceful bridges where and when I can.

I've met a few other Russians since and always felt close to them and impressed with their thinking and hearts.  The US has done the world a great disservice in the way we have vilified Russia over my lifetime and beyond.

I want to help repair that divide - even if it only helps a little bit.


Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Hear the warning

And remember that both Republicans and Democrats play good cop-bad cop in pursuit of the interests of the corporate oligarchy that controls the US.

I define corporate oligarchy as Wall Street bankers and investment firms, insurance companies, military industrial complex, pharmaceutical companies, fossil fuel corporations and high-tech firms among others.


You are invited

I have knee replacement surgery on July 16 (please send me healing vibes).

Friend and excellent folk musician Tom Neilson had the idea to do a recovery concert for me a month later along with his partner Lynn Waldron.  I loved the idea and agreed.

Dan Ellis made the flyer and please note the change of venue.  (Click on the photo for a better view)

I'll put one of Tom's songs on my next Sunday Song.  He's a great writer of songs about the important movements of our time.


Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Moral injury - it happens to most of us

You asked,
How do we sustain and enhance our highest values at a time when lies,
violence and cruelty seem to underlie most short and long-term
policy decisions that impact our lives?

In other words
How do we live in a fascist state?

Do we remain silent?
in the shadows?

Counting our pennies
hoping for a jackpot
a lottery win
so we can escape
to a Pacific island
(forget that,
they're going underwater)

Those harsh words
cutting us deeply
as children
were laying
the groundwork
for the brown shirts,
this time
they wear custom made
suits on Wall Street
they hire the unemployed
to do the killing
for them

We look for healing
not easy to find
in a capitalist 'paradise'
where hearts slam shut
at an early age
blistered and battered
by the dog eat dog
culture called 'freedom'

It's a fantasy

So we must fly
on the wings of truth
into the arms
of those who love
with warm hearts
and kind smiles

a strength that
we've seldom seen
in our days

We must embrace
an active love
and justice
to defeat
the bitter present


Monday, July 02, 2018

Opening GN Oxford conference video

This video by GN board convener Dave Webb (Leeds, England) opened our conference in Oxford on June 22-24 with an illustration of the militarization of space and the growing international resistance.

Reporter's notebook: Inside story of U.S. war making

Featured in this episode is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sy Hersh who has exposed many war crimes of the military-industrial complex during his career.

From Abu Ghraib prison in the Anglo-American war on Iraq to the My Lai Massacre, Sy Hersh has exerted a damning skepticism of the official line.

His new book "Reporter - A Memoir" is out now.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

GN Outside Croughton AFB

Reece Chenault from US Labor Against War (USLAW) says, "This is a place where our movements are connected....from this ramped up surveillance outside of the law."

Sunday song

After a 20 year separation The Kinks are reuniting and in the studio making a new album.  Great news.