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, December 31, 2019

Space Force: A spiritual crisis in America

Please help us reach more of the public with our deep concerns about Space Force - the plan to move the arms race into the heavens.

In this video I urge people to watch the award winning documentary called Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space.  It is about the best resource yet on this important issue.  You can watch it from here.

I first learned about plans to move the arms race into space in 1982.  In the video I tell the story about that time.  The following year I went to work for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice where I organized opposition across that state and around the nation to the military take over of the space program.

Today every space mission by NASA is what they call 'dual use' - meaning that each so-called 'civilian' launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is in fact doing research and testing of Star Wars technologies.

In 1992 the Florida Coalition, along with New York-based journalist Karl Grossman and the Colorado-based group Citizens for Peace in Space, created the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.  For some years I coordinated both groups but in 1998 I left the Florida Coalition to devote myself full-time to the development of the Global Network because I saw plans accelerating to create Star Wars.

It's been a long hard road to try to build a global citizens movement to oppose this crazy idea to weaponize space.  But I could not have ever hoped to work with a finer bunch of people than those in the Global Network.  It has been a great blessing in my life - for sure.

In the end I see the plans to move the arms race into the heavens as a spiritual crisis.  The US has lost its collective soul as the quest for power and money has taken over the heart of our government in this nation.  It is a sickness, the bad seed I often call it, that the corporate controlled misleaders in Washington have become afflicted with.  They've lost touch with the sacredness of life and have fallen victim to the evil notion that they can control and dominate space and our beautiful planet.

Only an awakened people here on Mother Earth can stop this wasteful use of our collective resources on this dangerous and provocative notion of world domination.  History tells us these kinds of aspirations to dominate have never worked out well for any nation (Nazi Germany for instance) that aspires to rule the planet.  Similarly this contemporary version of 'Deutschland über alles' will inevitably turn out badly for the American corporate dominated government and the innocent people living on this tiny spinning orb.

Let's not let these maniacs get away with these horrid plans.


Video recorded on Christmas day by Regis Tremblay.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Highly recommend this film

We went to see this new film on Xmas day.  It is a great movie.  I can't recommend it enough.

I am not particularly fond of Clint Eastwood but I'd have to say it was the best film I've ever seen him make.  Surprisingly it was co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.  An unusual pair for sure.

The film is about the over reach of the FBI and how they set up security guard Richard Jewell to take the blame after the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta.

The actor that plays the accused Richard Jewell did a stunning performance.

It's an important film as we hear the current stories about FBI-CIA-NSA malfeasance in the so-called Russiagate scandal.


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday song

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Grossman & Gagnon discuss colonizing Mars & Space Force

Listen to "Saying NO to the militarization of space" on Spreaker.

See Karl Grossman's latest article on Space Force in Common Dreams here

Best wishes in the New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Do you really want to know how America operates?

This video gets most interesting at about the 2:00 minute mark.  We learn how the US imposed sanctions on a Swiss company laying underwater pipes that will transit Russian natural gas to Germany.

The US Congress wrote into the recently passed NDAA these sanctions which were put there by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.  The 'deal' as they say in Washington is that the Congress does not want Russians having a natural gas market in Europe (particularly in Germany).  Instead the US wants to ship Liquefied Natural Gas on big ships overseas to Europe at double the cost for European customers.

The Germans in particular are quite upset about these new sanctions and at the same time don't like US sanctions on Europeans doing business with Iran.  So the Texas-style hog tying is not going over well with the 'allies'.

Deals like this are why much of the world despises Washington.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Analysis: The Left's lesson in the UK

An ass against a good man...the ass wins.  Why?

If interested, read this 'top of the shelf' article by Jonathan Cook.  One of the best I've read in a long time.

What he describes happening in the UK is the same story in America - and many other places around the world where corporate feudalism has been ushered in.

Below are a few choice paragraphs from the article.

Corbyn’s Defeat Has Slain the Left’s Last Illusion

This was an election of two illusions.

The first helped persuade much of the British public to vote for the very epitome of an Eton toff, a man who not only has shown utter contempt for most of those who voted for him but has spent a lifetime barely bothering to conceal that contempt. For him, politics is an ego-trip, a game in which others always pay the price and suffer, a job he is entitled to through birth and superior breeding.

The extent to which such illusions now dominate our political life was highlighted two days ago with a jaw-dropping comment from a Grimsby fish market worker. He said he would vote Tory for the first time because “Boris seems like a normal working class guy.”

Johnson is precisely as working class, and “normal,” as the billionaire-owned Sunand the billionaire-owned Mail. The Sun isn’t produced by a bunch of working-class lads down the pub having a laugh, nor is the Mail produced by conscientious middle managers keen to uphold “British values” and a sense of fair play and decency. Like the rest of the British media, these outlets are machines, owned by globe-spanning corporations that sell us the illusions —carefully packaged and marketed to our sectoral interest — needed to make sure nothing impedes the corporate world’s ability to make enormous profits at our, and the planet’s, expense.

The media are there to support the candidate or candidates who agree to sell off more and more public services for short-term profit, allowing the corporate vultures to pick hungrily at their carcasses. The media’s job is to back the candidate who will prioritize the corporations’ interests over the public’s, quick profits over the future of the NHS, the self-destructive logic of capitalism over the idea – socialist or not – of a public realm, of the common good. The corporations behind the Sun or the Guardian can afford to make a loss as long as their other business interests are prospering.

It’s not the Sun wot won it, it’s the entire corporate media industry.

But the BBC always was the propaganda arm of the state, of the British establishment. Once, briefly, in the more politically divided times of my youth, the state’s interests were contested. There were intermittent Labour governments trying to represent workers’ interests and powerful trade unions that the British establishment dared not alienate too strongly. Then, countervailing popular interests could not be discounted entirely. The BBC did its best to look as if it was being even-handed, even if it wasn’t really. It played by the rules for fear of the backlash if it did not.

All that has changed, as this election exposed more starkly than ever before.

Hollowed-Out Society

The corporations used that unbroken rule to shore up their power. Public utilities were sold off, the building societies became corporate banks, the financial industries were deregulated to make profit the only measure of value, and the NHS was slowly cannibalized. The BBC too was affected. Successive governments more openly threatened its income from the license fee. Union representation, as elsewhere, was eroded and layoffs became much easier as new technology was introduced. The BBC’s managers were drawn ever more narrowly from the world of big business. And its news editors were increasingly interchangeable with the news editors of the billionaire-owned print media.

Shrunken Moral Horizons

The second illusion was held by the left. We clung to a dream, like a life-raft, that we still had a public space; that, however awful our electoral system was, however biased the red-tops were, we lived in a democracy where real, meaningful change was still possible; that the system wasn’t rigged to stop someone like Jeremy Corbyn from ever reaching power.

That illusion rested on a lot of false assumptions. That the BBC was still the institution of our youth, that it would play reasonably fair when it came to election time, giving Corbyn a level playing field with Johnson for the final few weeks of the campaign. That social media – despite the relentless efforts of these new media corporations to skew their algorithms to trap us in our own little echo chambers – would act as a counterweight to the traditional media.

But most importantly, we turned a blind eye to the social changes that 40 years of an unchallenged corporate-sponsored Thatcherism had wreaked on our imaginations, on our ideological lives, on our capacity for compassion.

As public institutions were broken apart and sold off, the public realm shrank dramatically, as did our moral horizons. We stopped caring about a society that Margaret Thatcher had told us didn’t exist anyway.

Rigged Political System

We on the left didn’t lose this election. We lost our last illusions. The system is rigged – as it always has been – to benefit those in power. It will never willingly allow a real socialist, or any politician deeply committed to the health of society and the planet, to take power away from the corporate class. That, after all, is the very definition of power. That is what the corporate media is there to uphold.

This is not about being a bad loser, or a case of sour grapes.

No, I’d have been warning that the real battle for power was only just beginning. That however bad the past four years had been, we had seen nothing yet. That those generals who threatened a mutiny as soon as Corbyn was elected Labour leader were still there in the shadows. That the media would not give up on their disinformation, they would intensify it. That the security services that have been trying to portray Corbyn as a Russian spy would move from insinuation into more explicit action.

Future on our Side

Nonetheless, we have the future on our side, dark as it may be. The planet isn’t going to heal itself with Johnson, Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro in charge. It’s going to get a lot sicker, a lot quicker. Our economy isn’t going to become more productive, or more stable, after Brexit. Britain’s economic fate is going to be tied even more tightly to the United States’, as resources run out and environmental and climate catastrophes (storms, rising seas levels, flooding, droughts, crop failures, energy shortages) mount. The contradictions between endless growth and a planet with finite resources will become even starker, the crashes of 2008 more familiar.

The corporate party Johnson’s victory has unleashed is going to lead, sooner or later, to a truly terrifying hangover.

The likelihood is that the Blairites will exploit this defeat to drag Labour back to being a party of neoliberal capital. We will once again be offered a “choice” between the blue and the red Tory parties. If they succeed, Labour’s mass membership will desert the party, and it will become once again an irrelevance, a hollow shell of a workers’ party, as empty ideologically and spiritually as it was until Corbyn sought to reinvent it.

It may be a good thing if this coup happens quickly rather than being dragged out over years, keeping us trapped longer in the illusion that we can fix the system using the tools the corporate class offers us.

We must head to the streets – as we have done before with Occupy, with Extinction Rebellion, with the schools strikes – to reclaim the public space, to reinvent and rediscover it. Society didn’t cease to exist. It wasn’t snuffed out by Thatcher. We just forgot what it looked like, that we are human, not machines. We forgot that we are all part of society, that we are precisely what it is.

Now is the time to put away childish things, and take the future back into our hands.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Happy holidays dear friends....

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Message from Santa (Pentagon version)

Video by Will Griffin

American internal collapse continues....

A freight train derailed on the bridge crossing the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on December 21.

No one was injured. Some cars went into the river, according to news reports.

The derailment damaged the bridge and a pedestrian walkway that is part of the Appalachian Trail.

America's roads, bridges, airports, water, sewer and transit systems are in bad shape, according to civil engineers. The report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers gives US infrastructure a D-plus grade.

The reason for this steady decay of course is disinvestment by the government.  Now ask yourself, why would a nation that claims it wishes to restore its economy allow its very expensive physical infrastructure to fall apart?

In addition mental health programs have seen disinvestment from our government at all levels.  Every town in America has daily front page stories about murders and other crimes by those who have been abandoned by the society and we wonder why they act out in destructive ways.  This frayed and neglected human infrastructure is unraveling the social fabric of the nation.

Could it be because the primary US role in the world in the coming period is to be for one thing only - security export?  In fact the worse the condition of the country, and economy, the more young people will be forced to join the military and fight to protect corporate resource extraction interests around the globe.

Thus it is viewed by the ruling elites that spending money to upgrade America's rotting human and physical infrastructure is unnecessary - so instead the money is pumped into the trillion dollar a year Pentagon budget and tax cuts for the very rich.  The oligarchies have decided to divert taxpayer funds into endless war rather than dealing with climate crisis and giving the public a safe, clean, and dependable environment to live in.  This is America today.

Right here in the midcoast Maine the local news recently reported that two local bridges over rivers are in desperate need of repair.  They are unsafe.  But the money is not available unless the state of Maine is willing to borrow even more money from Wall Street and have the interest payments saddled onto the backs of the next generation who are already shackled with enormous student debt. Yes, we could call it indentured servitude or slavery.

We are returning to feudalism - a 21st century version where you get credit card debt, big screen TV, expensive cell phones, mindless entertainment, decaying environment, corrupt politics, and spineless leadership which forces many to give up on political action because of depression and/or rejection of the status quo.

By dumbing down and alienating the public, the ruling oligarchs (spread out in regions across the nation like Boston, New York, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, St Louis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle) have an open playing field to control the electoral process and ultimately politics in Washington DC.

All the while Washington's appointed representatives travel the world touting the glories of freedom (defined as 'the rich do what they want') and democracy ('make a good show of it on TV') and bludgeon any leader or nation abroad that might dare to question the US's 'exceptionalism' - fading as it is.

So for sure America is in collapse - internally and externally.  The vast US economic & military empire (more than 800 bases around the world) has a reckoning coming soon enough.

In the meantime hold your breath when your car or train passes over a bridge.  Hope that you get lucky.

PS  Beware of the water you drink.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Grossman on 'Space Force' getting traction

Journalist Karl Grossman has had much success in the last week or so getting his articles published about the Global Network's opposition to Congress passing Trump's Space Force proposal.

There have been more than a handful of articles in leading alternative media outlets.  In addition Karl and I have been interviewed on several progressive radio and podcasts from coast to coast.

In the old days (late 1980's to late 1990's) mainstream media would routinely cover most of our 'No nukes or weapons in space' efforts.  But not anymore. 

I'll never forget riding in my car in Orlando during one of our three campaigns (1989, 1990,1997) to oppose the launch of deadly plutonium-238 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  I was listening to ABC radio news and an interview with me came on the air.  I used to do a couple of radio talk shows a night from all over the country for weeks on end during these campaigns.

But corporate consolidation of the media (to just a handful of big wig owners) has virtually wiped that 'free media' off the map.  That's why we now rely so much on alternative media (and making our own videos) these days.  I fear they will take down YouTube next.

Think about it - what if the corporate masters completely (or even near completely) shut down Fazebook, YouTube, etc.  Most organizations would be hurting.  Information flow would halt virtually overnight. (Many groups have already been kicked off Fazebook and Twitter.  I have been put in Fazebook jail for weeks at a time, not allowed to post for 'violating community standards' - what ever that means.)  Very few groups still have street mailing lists and don't print newsletters anymore.  That might be a big mistake.

Anyway many thanks for Karl for keeping the story out there on space issues.  He was one of the founders of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space in 1992 along with Citizens for Peace in Space in Colorado and the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice where I worked from 1983-1998.

In his latest article published on Portside, entitled The Very Bad Space Force Deal, Karl ends the piece with these words:

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is gearing up for a selling campaign for a Space Force. On, a website called “Space War Your World At War”, Barbara Barrett, Air Force secretary, is quoted as saying that the Air Force has come up with a “strategy to find support among not just U.S. lawmakers, but also among the public for Trump’s new branch of the country’s armed forces, the Space Force. She opined that this could clarify to the broader public what the U.S. is doing in this domain and why exactly it needs a separate force for operations in space, as well as funding.

Karl Grossman is professor of journalism at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, and is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Karl is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Sunday song

Saturday, December 21, 2019

A rocket blast from the past: Understanding Space Force

Today the Military Industrial Complex is marching towards world dominance through Space technology on behalf of global corporate interest.

To understand how and why the space program will be used to fight all future wars on earth from space, it's important to understand how the public has been misled about the origins and true purpose of the Space Program.

History lesson: 'This is nuts and I want out'

This is a clip of poet and educator Bill Ehrhart - a very articulate Vietnam veteran who joined the military with patriotism in his heart.

Ehrhart served with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, from early February 1967 to late February 1968 in Vietnam..

Ehrhart became a well-known veteran poet.

Ehrhart began writing when he was 15 years old, and has been writing more or less continuously ever since. His first published work, a poem about Swarthmore College, appeared seven years later in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the following year eight of his poems were included in Winning Hearts and Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans. Exclusively a poet until he was almost 30, he has since written and published a wide variety of nonfiction prose from 400-word newspaper commentaries to 40-page scholarly essays to 400-page personal narratives.

The influence of Ehrhart's encounter with the Vietnam War can readily be seen in his writing, but though he is known primarily as a "Vietnam War poet," in fact his subject matter ranges widely.

His wife and daughter are major sources of inspiration for his poetry. His poems also reflect his respect for nature, his love of friends, his active engagement with the world around him, and his consternation at the human condition.

You can find more at his website

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Radical Underuse of Impeachment

By David Swanson

Al Capone wasn’t prosecuted for tax evasion because it’s cool or smart or strategic to prosecute murderers for lesser crimes, but because proving murder in court was going to be more difficult.

That’s not analogous to a Congressional impeachment, but the opposite of how Congress operates. Congress sits on indisputable evidence of the greatest crimes while impeaching presidents for lesser offenses that are harder to prove.

Andrew Johnson publicly did everything he could to limit “freedom” for African Americans to a meaningless word. He was impeached for firing the Secretary of War.

Richard Nixon had indisputably bombed Cambodia, a crime that one failed article of impeachment charged him with, not to mention Vietnam and Laos. In fact, he had sabotaged the peace process and kept a war going for years during which millions of people were killed. Lyndon Johnson (who had committed similar horrors) believed Nixon guilty of treason for the sabotage. When Nixon fled Washington, he was about to be impeached for employing a group of thugs to break into a Democratic Party office.

Bill Clinton had, like Nixon, launched a war in violation of not only laws but also of the will of Congress. Lesser charges could have included numerous disastrous policies that haunt us still from trade to banking to media to prisons to welfare. Congress impeached him for lying about sex.

Donald Trump came into office openly violating both emoluments clauses, threatening to wage wars to steal oil and kill people’s families, promising to discriminate in immigration on the basis of religion, inciting violence at events, fighting vote counting in courts, and committed to politicizing prosecutions. Republican Congress Members are upset that advocated impeachment on inauguration day. I hadn’t wanted to wait that long. Trump has publicly threatened nuclear war on two countries, waged and escalated numerous illegal wars, and dramatically increased the drone murder program. He’s abused the pardon power and the power to declare emergencies. He’s promoted racism and hatred. He’s separated children from their families. He’s illegally torn up treaties and proliferated weapons technology to brutal dictatorships. He’s intentionally exacerbated climate collapse. Congress has ignored indisputable public acts, and impeached Trump for demanding information about a political opponent while delaying a gift of money to Ukraine to buy U.S. weapons.

Of course in their rhetoric and through the media many Democrats have claimed that Trump secretly works against the United States on behalf of the Russian government and that Russia somehow elected him. If there were any evidence for such things, they would constitute a serious reason to impeach Trump and remove him from office. But there actually is evidence — unquestionable evidence — of numerous other outrages, and Congress isn’t interested.

In three presidential impeachments, Congress will achieve three somewhat intentional acquittals. Impeachment will be made to look weak and useless. People will be reluctant to give Congress a fourth swing at it.

But look at what’s been passed up without a word. Look what we’re supposed to imagine: that Barack Obama did nothing whatsoever that was impeachable, that George W. Bush committed no impeachable offenses, that every president going back through 45 of them — with these few exceptions — was undeserving of accusation.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush, not a one of which interested Nancy Pelosi, even though polls found a majority of the U.S. public in support of an impeachment that wasn’t even happening.

Launching the endless wars, imprisoning without trial, torturing, mass warrentless spying, secret laws, signing statements, domestic use of the military, and dozens of other outrages just don’t measure up to bribing Ukraine for dirt on Joe Biden (who himself publicly brags about bribing Ukraine for other purposes). Or so Congress would have us believe.

Impeachment has not been overused. It has been underused and misused. It and we are the worse off for it.

~ David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of and campaign coordinator for He has advocated breaking up the United States into smaller more manageable countries. Swanson believes this will make it easier to hold our politicians accountable and end the US empire. 

Holiday party time!

Announcing US Green Party senatorial candidate Lisa Savage's New Year's eve party, starting at 9:00 PM on December 31.

Come sign her ballot access petition after the stroke of midnight!

Will be held at the Portland Media Center, 516 Congress St., Portland, Maine.

Mary Beth and I will be there!

See more about Lisa here.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Maine artist tells the stories

TRUTH TELLERS: Robert Shetterly's Odyssey to Celebrate Great Americans from Richard Kane on Vimeo.

Truth Tellers is a film about American courage. Shortly after 9/11 and catalyzed by lies behind the US attack on Iraq, Maine artist Robert Shetterly, filled with angst, knew he had to act: leave behind the country he loved or find a way to rally fellow citizens against an unjust war. So he undertook a campaign to do what he knew best – paint -- and began surrounding himself with Americans whose honest voices courageously defend democracy.

Nearly 20 years and 250 portraits later, Americans Who Tell the Truth has become a widely shown exhibit depicting great Americans, their words scratched into each portrait.

Truth Tellers follows Shetterly as he travels across the nation, engaging children and adults in dialog about how we must live up to our ideals, the responsibility of citizenship, and the importance of truth in a democracy. Truth Tellers is itself a portrait – of the artist who continues to inspire all of us to become “models of courageous citizenship.”

You can help tell Shetterly’s story. Go to and click on DONATE NOW.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Pouring down in America

Last Saturday the annual Advent peace vigils were held at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in the cold pouring rain.  But 13 of us warmed one anothers hearts as we waited for the weekend shift workers to file out.  (click on the photos for a better view of the signs and rain drops)

Cynthia Howard was cozy inside her Polar Bear outfit that she uses in many places to challenge people to see their place inside nature's Sacred Hoop of life

Maureen Kehoe-Ostensen and Mary Beth Sullivan talk to a worker as he leaves the shipyard that builds Navy destroyers outfitted with so-called 'missile defense' systems that are being used to help NATO encircle China and Russia.  Those two countries don't take these deployments as a friendly act.  These provocative military moves could well be the triggers for a war we don't need.

The word pouring
is fitting here.
Pouring rain,
workers pouring out of the shipyard,
making more money
than they have likely
ever had before

Pouring the nation's
wealth down the rat
wasted hundreds
of billions
while students
are shackled
to college debt

We're told,
by misleaders,
there is no $$$$
to deal with
our many problems

Old folks without
health care,
Young moms
how they will
pay for the new baby,
born into the
of climate crisis
growing income
as the rich
get richer
while the banksters
and war mongers
run both
political parties.

The masses
get excited,
by impeachment
and candidates
who have already
pledged their support
for the chosen one.

The DNC's
Madison Avenue
will ceremoniously
the 'acceptable leader'
to those
'Battered Wife Syndrome'.

Don't worry though,
and the
NY Times
will protect us all,
as their executives
pour expensive
into golden cups
on Wall Street


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Aaron Maté on impeachment

The Democrats claim their articles of impeachment against Trump are a solid case. The Nation and Grayzone contributor Aaron Maté argues that they are actually quite weak, and only serve corporate Democrats' interest in feeding Russiagate paranoia.

Is this a modern example of 'bread and circus?

Take a peek under the tent and see for yourself....

Monday, December 16, 2019

Taking 'Leave of Absence' to work on Lisa Savage campaign for U.S. Senate

You might have already heard that I've asked the Global Network governing boards for permission to take a three-month 'unpaid leave of absence' from the organization. They agreed. I began on December 15 and return to work for the GN on March 16.  (During this period Will Griffin, our GN social media coordinator, will ensure the organization stays visible with help from other board members.)

I am doing this because we have a huge U.S. Senate race in Maine in November 2020.  Our current right-wing Republican Sen. Susan Collins is running for re-election.  The great thing is that Maine citizens, in a statewide referendum, voted to allow Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for Congressional races (House & Senate) which throws out the old 'spoiler' complaint about third-parties.

Thus my friend Lisa Savage, one of our leaders in the Maine peace & justice movement, has decided to throw her hat into the ring and is running for the Senate seat as the Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP) candidate.  In order to get on the ballot Lisa must gather petition signatures from 2,000 registered MGIP members.  This will be a tough process because we have a limited time to accomplish this goal - January 1 to March 15.  In other words, in the middle of winter in Maine.

Lisa has been a public school teacher in one of Maine's poorest counties for the last 25 years.  She's been a key figure in our Bath Iron Works conversion project due to her deep concern about the reality of the coming climate catastrophe.  She created the Maine Natural Guard to work on the climate issue some years ago and is a very dedicated, hard-working and articulate spokesperson.  She's been one of the leaders in the U.S. in exposing the connections between the Pentagon's massive carbon boot print and global warming.

Lisa was also very active in the Skowhegan High School controversy about retiring the racist Native American mascot at the school.  Her father attended that school and it is an issue close to her heart because she has many friends and neighbors who are indigenous people in our state.  After a long struggle the campaign was successful.

Barry Dana, former chief of the Penobscot Nation and Lisa Savage at a Skowhegan High School public meeting during the successful campaign to retire the racist school mascot.

So Lisa has paid her dues.  She has experience as a teacher's union leader and contract negotiator.  She is tough and gentle.  She suffers no fools. She would make an excellent senator for the people of our state.  You can see an interview I did with her some time ago on my public access TV show - click here.

My role in the campaign will be helping out in whatever way is most needed, such as scheduling, signature gathering, volunteer coordination, data entry, phone calling, and the like.

Green Party people across the nation are offering help and two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has brought much support already to Lisa.  Veterans For Peace friend Tarak Kauff from New York is reaching out nationally to veterans asking them to donate.

Our very active peace network across Maine has largely thrown in their support as well.  Lisa recently was the only candidate running for the U.S. Senate to appear in Lewiston to speak out against the proposed environmentally destructive CMP Power Line Corridor through our state.

Three people (two part-time and one full time signature coordinator) have already been hired by the campaign.  Happily people in Maine and beyond are donating to help make these hires possible but we have to sustain the effort through this crucial signature gathering period.  I hope you will consider making a much needed campaign contribution as well.  Please check out Lisa's web site here.

If we can get Lisa on the ballot she will be in the debates on TV and radio broadcast across Maine.  She will be invited to speak in communities across the state. Many people who are frustrated with the current corporate dominated political system already are excited and offering to help.  More will come onboard the Lisa for Maine team as they learn about her campaign.

The leading Democrat in the Senate race (Sara Gideon), like the Republican Susan Collins, is being heavily funded (well over $6 million each, a year before the election) by corporate interests from outside the state.  Already TV commercials and mailings to voters by the Republican and Democrat candidates are driving Maine voters nuts.  None of them are talking about the serious issues we face like endless regime change wars, climate catastrophe, Medicare for All, getting rid of student debt, ending tax cuts for the rich and corporations, halting the growing surveillance state, and much more.

VFP member Dud Hendrick hosted a house party for Lisa on Sunday in Deer Isle.  More than 40 folks turned out - some of whom were Democrats who pledged to re-register for Green Party so they can sign to get Lisa on the ballot.  The following photos are from the party - click on them for a better view.

Brooksville artist Rob Shetterly (Americans Who Tell the Truth) was at the party and volunteered to host the next one at his home.

Lisa (center right) listens to some of the house party participants. She got great reviews on her talk to the assembled from those attending

Even if a great progressive wins the Democratic Party nomination for president (not likely to be allowed by the corporate controlled DNC) and then beats Trump, they still would not be able to change much unless we get some really strong people into the Senate – people like Lisa Savage.  In this Ranked Choice Voting race Lisa stands a real chance to win.  But first we have to get her on the ballot with 2,000 registered Maine Green Independent voters.  

Let’s do that and help move the country in a better direction before it is too late!  You can help as well.

I hope to work with you along this important campaign trail.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday song

This song is in honor of my son Julian's birthday (December 13).  He was born five days after the killing of John Lennon in 1980.  His mom and I chose the name Julian to remember John who also had a son named Julian.

Paul McCartney wrote this song for Julian Lennon when as a young boy his parents got divorced.  Paul had taken Julian for a ride in the car and came up with this one.

My love to John Lennon and both Julian Gagnon and Julian Lennon


Saturday, December 14, 2019

What is MD?

Why is 'missile defense' misnamed?

Why is it provocative and dangerous as the Pentagon uses it to encircle China and Russia on Navy Aegis destroyers and Army ground-based launchers?

What is MD's military role?

Video by Will Griffin 

Friday, December 13, 2019

$4 billion a month wasted in Afghan war

The Afghanistan War has been a gravy train for military contractors, corrupt politicians & warlords.

Tulsi calls for a congressional investigation. It's time for accountability. As president, she pledges to commit to immediately bring our troops home, complete within a few months.

She was one of the few Dems in the House two days ago that voted against the outrageous NDAA for 2020.

$4 billion a month for 18 years in Afghanistan - do the math....

But we got no $$$ for Medicare for All.

How do you like being hoodwinked?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

'Complete capitulation' by Democrats on NDAA

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) (pointing finger) led the fight in the House to pass the NDAA.  He was a leading proponent of Trump's Space Force proposal that was included in the NDAA.

The House voted yesterday to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020 with the Senate expected to soon follow.  The final tally was 377-48 with 188 Democrats voting in favor of the massive military authorization.

See the final voting list here
What didn’t make it into the bill: Major Democratic provisions to block money for a border wall, require congressional approval for war with Iran, block the Pentagon from deploying low-yield nuclear warheads on submarines, overturn the Trump administration's transgender troop ban and withdraw U.S. support from Yemen's civil war were all left on the cutting room floor.

Blank check: Nearly three dozen progressive and anti-war groups railed against the NDAA for not doing enough to check Trump, arguing the final bill "no longer represents a compromise, but a near complete capitulation."

"This bill authorizes $738 billion in Pentagon dollars with almost nothing to constrain the Trump administration’s erratic and reckless foreign policy," the groups said in a statement. "It is a blank check for endless wars, fuel for the further militarization of U.S. foreign policy, and a gift to Donald Trump."

One with the force: Vice President Mike Pence said that the creation of the Space Force in the NDAA is a major victory.

“One administration after another have observed the lack of a coherent and unified command, and President Trump’s direction from early on was to establish the Space Force to bring together all those disparate interests," he said.

And while the new service will be under the Air Force, Pence said he believes it could grow to become its own independent service, like the Air Force did when it split from the Army.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) recently spoke at an American Enterprise Institute. When Smith took a question about US support for the Saudi led war in Yemen, he said, "There is nothing we are going to pass in Congress that’s going to stop the war in Yemen."

Smith called the NDAA legislation “the most progressive defense bill in the history of the country.”

"There are many things you can call the bill, but it's Orwellian to call it progressive," said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). "We can't just rhetorically give standing ovations when the president says we're going to end endless wars and continue to vote to fund them."

Many Democrats in Congress have been eager to claim that the Space Force was their own agenda.

“Trump’s belated support for a Space Force does not make this a Republican idea,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), who chairs the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

U.S. drones 'like a hunter hunting prey'

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Deja Vu (All Over Again)

An 18-year, trillion-dollar conflict was known to be failing from an early stage. This knowledge was concealed from the public and revealed in an article in the Washington Post on December 9.

The Post published more than 2,000 pages of secret notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the Afghanistan War, laying bare the failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. The interviews from more than 400 people show that U.S. officials didn’t tell the truth about the war, making positive statements they knew were wrong and concealing evidence that the war wasn’t winnable.

Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Will Griffin (also Global Network board member) reports on this hot and very sad story.

He rightly compares the story to the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers.

Will quotes Afghanistan veteran Matthew Hoh (Marine Captain and state department official who resigned over US policy in Afghanistan):

I’m choking on the hypocrisy of the Post. Find me a a media outlet that has banged the war drum louder, conducted less adversarial journalism, and ignored that everything in these lessons learned docs has been said ad nauseam by critics of the war going back to 2001 than the Post.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Understanding Ukraine (and the recent summit) with The Saker

The recent Germany, France, Ukraine & Russia summit in Paris - parts of a good review below by the Saker. If you don't understand the Ukraine situation, now is the time to learn - Saker is one of the best. Bruce

Making sense of the Paris summit: a quick analysis
By The Saker

The first thing we need to do is the remember what each participant wanted from this summit.  Here is a summary of what I think (not how they officially stated it) each starting position was:

Zelenskii: key notion “a flexible approach” to the Minsk Agreements

  •     No direct negotiations with the LDNR [Lugansk & Donetsk People's Republics]
  •     No special status
  •     Ukrainian control of the border with Russia
  •     Disarmament of the LDNR “militias”
  •     Removal of all foreign forces (he means Russian forces, nevermind that they don’t exist!)
  •     Creation of a “municipal police”
  •     Elections under Ukrainian control

Putin: key notion “Minsk Agreements cannot be changed”

  •     Kiev must negotiate with the LDNR
  •     A special status for the LDNR must be included in the Ukrainian Constitution
  •     The control of the border between the LDNR and Russia will be handed over only at the very end of the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements
  •     No Ukrainian forces inside the LDNR, even under the guise of a “municipal police”
  •     Completely free elections under international supervision

Merkel: key notion “Germany needs Russian gas and access to the Russian market”

  •     Economically, Germany needs this conflict solved
  •     Politically, Merkel personally needs to back the Ukrainian negotiating position and she agrees that the Minsk Agreements must be implemented “flexibly”

Macron: key notion “France as a whole and Macron personally need a deal with Russia”

  •     Macron is facing an extremely severe internal crisis; he needs to open the Russian markets to French products again and present that as an immense success.
  •     Macron sees that the US is losing Europe and he wants the personal credit for “solving” the conflict in the Ukraine to show that he and France, not Merkel and Germany, are the real leaders of Europe.

Finally, here is what was obviously agreed upon before the actual summit:

  •     A general ceasefire
  •     Exchange of prisoners

So what did NOT happen?

  •     No agreement on gas (officially not on the agenda, but present in everybody’s mind)
  •     No full withdrawal of forces on the line of contact

At the end, the West will have to give up its imperial ambitions.  Which is good for the planet, of course, but also for the people of the West who will, sooner or later, recover their status as one of the most important and powerful civilization in history (even without its imperialist inclinations!).  But, just as that was the case with all empires (including the Russian one!), this will only come when western imperialism finally follows all other imperialisms: it will die and toss its “imperial” illusions into the “trash bins of history” where it will join all other forms of imperialism in history.

And that is very, very good result.

The Saker
See the entire article here 

Find more articles on this story here and here and here

Another truth teller....

The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal explains the history of the new American cold war with Russia in 13 minutes, from the overthrow of the USSR to CIA-backed color revolutions, from Yeltsin to Putin, from Ukraine to Russiagate.

This is from a panel on Russiagate and Wikileaks, at the Left Forum in New York City.

Max is another great activist making clear connections between issues.

Max is a well-known investigative journalist within the Alt-Media Community who earned his respect by challenging the narratives of his former Mainstream Media partners after traveling to Syria, Venezuela, and elsewhere to report the truth about how those countries have become victims of American foreign policy. Blumenthal has also actively campaigned against “Israel‘s” occupation of Palestine and is an outspoken anti-Zionist. It’s already commendable enough that he’s bravely challenging the establishment, but it’s even more worthy of respect that he comes from a famous family and therefore never had to do any of this unless he truly believed in it. His father is Sidney Blumenthal, former confidant of Hillary Clinton, and Max could have easily relied on his father’s connections to live a comfortable life free from controversy or strife, but he instead chose to stand up for the ideals that he truly believes in with the hope that his work could eventually have a positive impact on everyone who comes across it.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Mayor Pete is a front-man

Butta-jig-jug is a front man
for corporate interests

He is a phony baloney

He is a hoax

an imitation
posing as a sincere
elected official
who has the people's
interests at heart.

Ask yourself....

How did a small town
mid-west mayor
with no real
no national base,
get all this $$$$
to run for prez?

How did he
finagle great media,
get headlines that read
'Mayor Pete solidly in 4th place'?

Come on now
do you take us for fools?

This is the way
corporate candidates
are made,
front men-women
who do the bidding
for Mr. Big.

Empty suits
who have proven
only one thing,
they have no core beliefs,
except blind

The Wall Street
and military industrial
scour the country
looking for good
hacks who take orders,
can smile on cue,
and will stab anyone
in the back
if necessary
in order to do as they
are told.

In return
get fortune and fame,
just ask
Gerald Ford,
Clinton (Bill
and Hillary),
Bush (I & II),
Obama, Biden,

the beat
just keeps
going on.....


Sunday, December 08, 2019

A few bad apples....???

An entire training class of "correctional officers" are exposed in West Virginia when using the Nazi salute. 

How much evidence do we need to understand that the US is a white supremacist settler-colonial capitalist and imperialist nation-state? 

Imagine what life must be like for prisoners of color in these West Virginia dungeons.

Do you really believe that a corporate Democrat Party is going to really change things in this country?

Sunday song

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Turley: 'This impeachment creates a dangerous precedent'

Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, cautioned House lawmakers on Dec. 4 against impeaching President Donald Trump.

Speaking during the first day of public hearings by the Judiciary Committee in the impeachment inquiry into Trump, Turley said that to impeach Trump based on the current evidence “would be to expose every future president to the same type of inchoate impeachment.”

The focus of the Judiciary hearing, which came after the House Intelligence Committee held hearings in late November, is to define the grounds for a presidential impeachment.

The impeachment inquiry has revolved around a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Grossman & Gagnon on NATO's claim it will now 'dominate' space

Listen to "Saying NO to the militarization of space" on Spreaker.

Our weekly space segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe?

This segment concentrates on the recent statement from NATO's London meeting that the 'alliance' will now be upgraded to 'control and dominate' space.

Hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Public hearing & news conference to oppose CMP corridor thru Maine

I attended the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers public hearing yesterday in Lewiston, Maine where well over 300 people turned out to testify and protest against Central Maine Power’s (CMP) proposed $1 billion transmission project that would bring Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid.  The 145-mile power transmission project would serve as a conduit for 1,200 megawatts of electricity from Hydro Quebec.

Prior to the start of the public hearing Lisa Savage, Maine Green Independent Candidate for the U.S. Senate, held a news conference to declare her opposition to the controversial project.  Speakers at the event (see above video) included Indigenous representatives from Maine and Canada, Jill Stein, Jonathan Carter (two-time MGIP candidate for governor and long-time forest preservation activist) and others.

Bob Klotz, Jill Stein and Jonathan Carter saying 'Stop CMP corridor' at hearing in Lewiston.  Eric Herter with camera on the left looking on.

Much of the testimony during the public hearing centered on Hydro Quebec's dramatic devastation of indigenous lands.  Hydro Quebec is among the top greenhouse gas emitters in the world. The new mega-energy installation they have created is not a source of green power - in fact it is among the dirtiest in the world.  Hydro Quebec's reservoir is the size of the state of Vermont which has destroyed human, animal, and plant habitats.  Many animal species, like the caribou, have disappeared from the region.

The transmission line proposed by CMP would move the dirty power from Hydro Quebec through Maine down to Massachusetts who would use the power to cover that state's promise to go green.  This transmission through Maine would require a 145-mile clearing of forests and heavily impact water, wetlands, wildlife and fisheries.

The transmission line would cross the famed Appalachian Trail at three different points.  Once these 100 foot high steel transmission towers are built, CMP will continually spray highly toxic herbicides to keep the vegetation away.  This will run off into the water and many fear the fishing in lakes, rivers and streams that brings many tourists to Maine will be devastated.

CMP lobbied the legislature in Augusta to prevent full discloser of the impacts of the power line through Maine.  They have resisted doing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and have repeatedly given false information to the media and the public about the controversial project.

Many of the speakers at the event appealed to the Army Corp of Engineers to use their influence to require an EIS or even reject the project.  People repeated spoke about the current climate catastrophe that we face and the need to protect the future generations by halting these kinds of mega-corporate power projects that are more about profits than green energy.  Instead people called for decentralized renewable energy in Maine and beyond.

You can see one article from the Lewiston Sun Journal that reported on the event here.


Thursday, December 05, 2019

Tensions inside NATO

Talks were held in Paris between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and French President Emmanuel Macron before the recent NATO summit in London.

They discussed the issue of arms control in Europe as well as whether it can be said that there's a crisis inside the Alliance.

These are interesting developments inside NATO - growing pressures by the European business community on the US to end sanctions against Russia and to get the US-NATO war machine to talk with Russia about arms control - something Washington now refuses to do.....

Next year NATO will be carrying out what are now annual huge military war games, entitled 'Defender' across eastern Europe, to be aimed at Russia.  None of this is likely to bring peace and security to citizens in the NATO states nor across the globe.

I've never been impressed by Macron but glad he is showing some movement toward more dialogue with Russia.  What could be wrong with talking?  FDR, Nixon, Reagan all talked with Soviet Union leadership during the height of the Cold War.

Isn't negotiation better than war?  Why are the Democrats in Washington today so strongly opposed to talking with Moscow?  Makes no damn sense - unless of course one dreams of 'control and domination' of the world.  How is that likely to turn out for a bankrupt America?


Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Washington Post quotes Global Network in pro-Space Force article

I got an email yesterday from Washington Post reporter David Montgomery with an advance link to his coming Sunday Magazine story on Trump's Space Force proposal.  You can find it here.

He had called the office while I was on my recent month-long trip overseas and Mary Beth had him reach me by email.  We went back in forth several times with me answering his questions about the Global Network and our position on Trump's proposal to further enable U.S. 'domination of space'.

Over the years I've been through this kind of drill many times with major corporate media outlets.  I never expect anything from the exchange with such a reporter.  Usually they just are mining to see what we think but hardly ever use any of our words.  When my words are used they are often placed into an article out of context.  So just say I was not holding my breath.

Let's remember that the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.  He has big aspirations to help 'privatize' space in order to turn it into the next 'high ground' for maximum profits.  Thus the U.S. sees the Space Force as a military unit to control the path way on and off Earth on behalf of corporate interests.

The United Nations Outer Space Treaty of 1967 says that space, and the celestial bodies, are the province of humankind and that no nation, no company, nor any individual can claim ownership of them.  But the  rich guys who are dreaming of fortunes from space - Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and others - don't care about space law.  In fact they are spending big money now to attempt to rewrite U.N. space law in order to neuter the treaty and usher in space privatization.

So it was no real surprise to get the link to David Montgomery's article today and find it was a huge pro-Space Force puff piece - a cheerleading article.  But the astounding thing is that he gave the Global Network's position on this madness quite a bit of space in a very 'prestigious' corporate publication.  More than I would have ever expected.  For that we are pleased to say the least.

I do think though that most good-hearted people will see right through all the blather about the Pentagon preparing to 'protect space and ensure that no war is fought in space'.  That is all just pure public relations.

The Pentagon has been saying since Ronald Reagan introduced 'Star Wars' in the early 1980's that the US will 'control space, dominate space, and deny other countries access to space'.  It was all spelled out early on in the Space Command's Vision for 2020.  See it here.

But I am grateful that my words made it into the article.  See just below and decide for yourself if what the Global Network has been saying since our founding in 1992 makes any sense.

If you'd like to learn more about all of this I highly recommend this award-winning documentary Pax Americana & the Weaponization of Space.


Of course, if you’re generally skeptical of the military, even blue-water optimism about the Space Force may not sound particularly idealistic or appealing. That’s the view of Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Based in Brunswick, Maine, the network of about 150 affiliated groups was founded in 1992, just when military space power was taking off after the first Gulf War. It organizes international conferences and protests against the militarization of space.

“As the day comes near where it will be possible to ‘mine the sky’ for profitable resources, the Pentagon long has planned to develop the capability to control who gets on and off the Earth,” he wrote to me in an email. “So the Space Force is part of an effort to create a ‘military front gate’ allowing the U.S. to determine which nations, which corporations, which wealthy individuals are allowed to go out and mine the sky. This is part of the ‘privatization’ of space.” He continued: “So the U.S. is moving to re-create [the] 15th-century global war system where the European powers were sending their ships around the world to secure resources and markets in the New World. Before long they were fighting one another, and we live today with the legacy of that reality. I call this the ‘bad seed’ of war, greed and environmental degradation that has been planted into the depths of the soil and consciousness of the Earth. The Space Force would be the planting of the bad seed in the heavens.”

I pressed Gagnon on the Air Force’s contention that civilians and the military depend on space, that our space assets are vulnerable, and that China and Russia are already moving ahead with exploiting and weaponizing space. He responded in part: “The China threat is the new fear-making strategy to justify massive U.S. funding for ‘domination’ of space. ... China and Russia have warned for years that they will not allow the U.S. to be the ‘Master of Space.’ Thus we are off to a new expensive, dangerous and destabilizing arms race in the heavens. But let’s not let Washington put the blame on China. Any objective analysis of the space militarization issue since the Reagan years has to note that the U.S. has been, and still, leads the pack.”

Gagnon also suggested that the United States should take seriously proposals by China and Russia to ban the weaponization of space. Currently, the only treaty on the subject goes back to 1967 — the Outer Space Treaty, adopted by about 100 countries, including the United States, China and the then-Soviet Union. It forbids the placement of nuclear weapons in space but is silent on other types of weapons. China and Russia have proposed banning the placement of any weapon in space. The United States has rejected their approach, saying that there is no verification mechanism and that it would not forbid the stockpiling of antisatellite weapons on Earth.