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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The making of a U.S. puppet in Venezuela

Journalist and author Max Blumenthal joins Rick Sanchez to offer his analysis of Venezuela’s political crisis. He says Juan Guaido’s “real constituency is in Washington” and that he’s at the forefront of a years-long destabilization campaign orchestrated by the US.

Read much more on this story here

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wilkerson: Both parties support endless war

Some years ago, during the George W. Bush administration, I watched a three-hour program on C-SPAN where then Naval War college teacher and author (Pentagon's New Map) Thomas Barnett gave a presentation.  He was introduced as Donald Rumsfeld's strategy guy.

Barnett stated that America's role under corporate globalization would be 'security export'.  Other countries would make products using cheap labor and the US would fight wars to control the 'non-integrating gap' around the world in places where oil and other vital resources were available.  These places, where the particular nations were not 'fully integrated' into the US-controlled 'new world order', would be taken down and occupied.

This is what we see today in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America where the US-NATO are attempting to take full control of the planet on behalf of western corporate interests.

Empire means endless war to stay in control.  That means massive debt to pay for war and cutbacks in social and environmental spending.  It means withdrawing from treaties as a key step in this strategy - create chaos and claim the right to occupy and 'stabilize'.  They are only interested in stability when it means full corporate dominance.

In the short video clip above retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell) recounts attending a recent meeting of Democrat and Republican leaders who are totally committed to endless war.  The clip speaks for itself.


U.S. strategy for Venezuela - create chaos

In The Peace Report’s latest interview, Will Griffin sits down with Paul Dobson from to talk about the current struggle in the country. Paul gives us a very clear picture of the situation on the ground. He describes the forces on the left who support the Bolivarian Revolution and the Maduro government as well as the far-right forces from Washington, Venezuela, and Columbia who want to overthrow the government with coup attempts, street violence, and even assassination attempts. 

They also discuss how elections in Venezuela are a model for the world to follow, how the country has been the backbone of anti-imperialism for Latin America, and the support from the country’s rural countryside, specifically from Campesinos, who continue to fight for a sovereign and free Venezuela.

Gagnon on space force & need to convert MIC

Listen to "More Men to Mute and More 2020 Candidates" on Spreaker.

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon are joined by James Early, Former Director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution and board member of the Institute for Policy Studies, to talk about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and the return of the Monroe Doctrine, the rise of the political right in Latin America, if President Obrador can save progressivism in Mexico, and the lack of a Progressive Democratic voice against US interventionism.

In a special third segment (starts at 39:11 point) "By Any Means Necessary" is joined by Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator with Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, to talk about America's ongoing efforts to develop a nuclear space force, if Democrats will halt military spending in exchange for funding a Green New Deal, and the need for nonviolent civic interruption to slow the military industrial complex.

Later in the show, Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon are joined by Jacque Luqman of Luqman Nation to talk about former Starbuck's CEO Howard Schultz and Senator Bernie Sanders chances of running in the 2020 Presidential race, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries big talk and little action, Roger Stone lying to Congress, Tom Brokaw's racist comments on "Meet The Press", and new US sanctions aimed Venezuelan oils.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dems censor, demonize, slam critics of Venezuela coup

Yesterday I posted this article Congresswoman who fixed Democratic primary for Clinton now ‘fixing’ democracy in Venezuela from RT on several Fazebook pages.

At one of the pages a couple likely loyal Democrats asked the page moderators to remove the post because it was from RT.  One woman wrote: Admins please don't allow posts from RT. We don't need to feed the Russian propaganda machine that aims to divide us.

I responded by writing:  Why are some folks so afraid of some Russian media? Have people been brainwashed so effectively that it makes you shudder? We should be reading media from all over the world. Don't we know that most western media (NY Times, Wash Post, TV networks) are corporate controlled media? We have to piece the truth together from many sources.

Another woman answered me:   Who cares about truth. Let’s just give free rein to Russian propaganda. You don’t need to think, you can just ‘feel.’

There was more but I won't bore you with the illogical and mean-spirited drivel that came from these 'good Democrats' who claim they are part of the 'Resistance'.  With resistance like that how can we go wrong?  Ugh....

I actually came away pretty depressed realizing that these woman are out trying to censor information about what is going on in our world because they've been told by their party leadership that Russia is evil.  The article (which I urge you to read) actually quotes the Green Party candidate for president in 2018 Jill Stein (maybe that is in part why these Democratic Party women were upset) and journalist Glenn Greenwald.  RT was actually just giving voice to American activists who are virtually never heard on mainstream western media.

Needless to say it is quite alarming how quickly may so-called 'progressive' Democrats have swallowed the Russia demonization script and are quite ready to censor any media sources that don't give the party line that today is regularly heard on NPR, MSNBC, Washington Post and more.

Just because some Democratic Party leaders are backing the coup d'etat in Venezuela many of these non-critical party faithful are following like lemmings as US foreign policy takes another dive over the cliff.  They, who regularly hate Trump, are now supporting his coup attempt in Venezuela.  

Strange bedfellows for sure.


Balsonaro blues in Brazil

The US's favorite puppet in Brazil, recently elected president Jail Balsonaro, hardly had time to put family photos on his new desk when he and his sons got hit with major corruption accusations.

Washington has hoped that the fascist Balsonaro government will help in the current effort to topple the Maduro government in Venezuela.  But now it appears that Balsonaro will be just a bit preoccupied with his own battle to remain in power.

The arrogance of the Balsonaro family could lead to their downfall much sooner than anyone had ever imagined.  Direct connections to murder, assassination and organized crime is not a great start.

Thanks to Glenn Greenwald for this update from Brazil.


Monday, January 28, 2019

All the news that is fit to ignore - Venezuela to Hawaii

  • Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the U.S. government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado - two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February (2014) – have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.
  • Self-proclaimed Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaido has praised the Bank of England's reported refusal to allow Caracas to repatriate $1.2 billion worth of gold bullion, branding the move a "protection of assets." Caracas has been waging a losing battle to get its gold back from the UK since late last year, with the Bank of England repeatedly refusing its repatriation requests, according to media reports. Last week, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt joined Britain's US allies in backing Juan Guaido, calling him "the right person to take Venezuela forward" and making the return of Venezuela's gold all the more unlikely. Over the weekend, as if on cue, Guaido praised London's decision not to return the gold.
  • The Israeli foreign ministry has reprimanded Ireland's ambassador Alison Kelly after the lower house of Irish parliament voted in favour of a bill that will ban the purchase of goods and services from the illegal Israeli settlements.  The bill, put forward by independent Irish Senator Frances Black, seeks to ban the import or sale of goods produced by settlements in the occupied West Bank.  In the aftermath, Senator Black tweeted, "Ireland will always stand for international law + human rights, & we're one step closer to making history. Onwards!" The bill would still go through several more stages of review and amendment before it is signed into law, but it is backed by all of Ireland's opposition groups, including the Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, Labour, the Green Party, the independents and the Socialist Democrats.
  • The US has helped 40 ISIS commanders escape from a Taliban prison in Badghis, in northwestern Afghanistan, the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported. The 40 inmates, all foreigners, were taken by helicopter to an unspecified location after US troops attacked the prison and killed all security guards two weeks ago. The agency, which plans to disclose more details of this operation soon, said the deputy head of the Badghis provincial council, Abdullah Afzali, confirmed the facts. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry....the US has links with ISIS. The Foreign Ministry also reported that US special forces may have participated in the seizure of prison documents to prevent leakage of information about the sponsors of the terrorists.
  • The Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) wants to develop a Pacific Spaceport Complex-Hawaii, and is currently assessing land in Hawaii as a possible location.  The corporation told a private meeting of selected residents in Hawaii that it does not plan on doing military contract work at the potential launch site. Instead, the focus will be on commercial satellite launches. This is the same thing that the AAC told people on Kodiak Island, Alaska some years ago when they built a launch site there.  In fact, every launch from Kodiak Island has been a military Star Wars test.  Folks in Hawaii had better watch out for the AAC's forked tongue.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday song

Saturday, January 26, 2019

U.S. coup in Venezuela is pure hypocrisy

Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks out against the Venezuelan coup, she is immediately smeared as a Russian.

According to the corporate controlled media in the US, Russia interfered in our last national election.  I don't believe it but how in the hell can the media complain about that alleged incident and then turn around and support a US coup d'etat in Venezuela?

Mainstream media and the Democrats hate everything Trump does and says - but then when he pushes a coup d'etat in Venezuela they clam up. 

It is nothing but hypocrisy - pure and simple.

Please read this very important article entitled Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money at Consortium News.  This media organization is one of my favorite news sites.

To see the majority of Democrats slavishly falling in line on this coup just makes the case - both major political parties in the US are corporate agents - bought and sold by Mr. Big.  It's that corporate campaign cash that buys subservience in Washington. 

As Jimmy Dore says in this video - we need a revolution here.  Yeah, the sooner the better.


Words of wisdom....


“Every time the US ‘saves’ a country, it turns it into an insane asylum or a cemetery."

Friday, January 25, 2019

No U.S. intervention in Venezuela!!

Medea Benjamin (CODEPINK) with a sign reading 'Don’t support a coup in Venezuela' interrupted an Organization of American States (OAS) meeting attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington DC on Thursday.

Many of those in attendance applauded the woman dressed in pink while Pompeo gave a wry smile.

Security eventually removed the woman from the meeting room as she shouted: 'Coups only create more violence.'

Push back against Trump's 'offensive' space proposal

Members of the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament hold signs at their recent annual conference

Trump boasts that his latest proposal to station orbiting battle stations in space would enable the Space Command to pick-off any nuclear missile attack against the US.  

The new Trump space proposal is a key element in Pentagon first-strike attack planning sold to the public as ‘missile defense’.  The system is not actually designed to protect the U.S. from every nuclear missile launched at us—that would be a mathematical impossibility. This Star Wars system would only work as the ‘shield’ to be used to pick off Russian or Chinese retaliatory responses after a U.S. first-strike sword is thrust.

We know this because the Space Command has been computer war gaming such a scenario for years—they call it the ‘Red team’ versus the ‘Blue team.

These words below give an indication that so-called 'missile defense' is in fact about developing a budget line that would enable the research, development, testing and deployment of offensive space systems.  See for yourself and you decide what the agenda really is:

We are not interested in keeping pace with the emerging threats. We want to outpace them. This requires not just defensive weapons, but a host of enabling technologies that will allow us to integrate the missile defense mission across our department." - Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, 01/17/2019

The kicker is that the costs would be colossal—what the aerospace industry has long said would be the largest industrial project in human history. The only way the U.S. can pay for it is by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and by twisting the arms of NATO members to pony up more money.  We've repeatedly heard the calls in Congress for cutting 'the entitlement programs' and we've seen Trump going to Europe demanding that NATO member states pay more to the 'alliance'.

All of this of course punches huge holes in any hopes of negotiating the PAROS (Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space) Treaty at the United Nations.  For many years Russia, China and Canada have led efforts at the U.N. to bring forth such a new treaty - to close the door to the barn before the horse gets out.  But the US (through successive Republican and Democrat administrations) has blocked the development of such a treaty despite massive global support for a ban on a new arms race in space.

One must wonder what the Democrats (now in control of the House of Representatives) will do when Trump requests funding for these dangerous and destabilizing space warfare programs.  We all recognize the power of the aerospace industry in Congress. Most of the members of Congress from both parties get campaign donations from the space weapons corporations. 

It is high time for the American people to realize that this program, that I've long called Pyramids to the Heavens (see art below from Florida friend Will Park), can only be funded if all programs of social progress are defunded and the $$$$ gets moved into Pentagon coffers.

New York-based journalism professor Karl Grossman has been writing about the Star Wars program for many years.  See his latest article on Trump's proposal here.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Truth be told.....

Sign petition to oppose U.S. led coup in Venezuela

Yesterday US President Donald Trump took the extraordinary and illegal action to recognize the president of Venezuela’s legislature as the “interim president” of the country.

Sign the petition here to tell your elected officials NO US-ENGINEERED COUP In Venezuela!

It is clear that the US government and corporate media believe they have entered the final offensive to replace the elected Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro with one that will be subservient to US interests.

Tell your elected officials that you oppose foreign intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs. This action is counter to both the United Nations and Organization of American States Charters and thus illegal under international law.  

We know that President Trump met with Venezuelan coup plotters in 2017 and the Venezuelan opposition speaks openly of its coordination with the United States government. Officials in the U.S. and internationally have repeatedly called for the Venezuelan military and business people to take power, denouncing and refusing to recognize legitimate elections, and even having the audacity to "recognize" a "new president" in Venezuela who was not elected and who has no legitimate claim to office. Recent events have included the first ever attempted coup-by-drone, in August 2018; and the January 22nd coup attempt by 27 National Guard troops led by a sergeant. One might infer a sense of desperation among the enemies of the Bolivarian government.  
US National Security Advisor John Bolton called Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua a "Troika of Tyranny", but the real triple threat faced by Latin America is the alliance of ultra-right administrations from the United States, Colombia, and Brazil of Donald Trump, Iván Duque, and Jair Bolsonaro, respectively. These Oligarchs of Overthrow have Venezuela in their sites, and military intervention is clearly an option on the table where they are seated.
By James Jordan from the Alliance for Global Justice

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Global Network Membership Form 2019

Membership in the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is open to all organizations and individuals.

  • Please add_______________________________to the Global Network membership list.    (Organization/Individual Name)

  • Enclosed is our annual dues for 2019 in the amount of __________________ (pay what you can best afford on a sliding scale between $10 - $100).

Donations to the Global Network are tax deductible. (If you've already donated for this year we thank you very much.)

(One easy way to donate is using the internet.  Go to our web site at and look for the green Donate Now! button and contribute via your credit card.  This is a secure process.)




State______________  Zip____________


Phone (         )_______________


Thank you for your support.  Best wishes in the new year.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 607-4255

Vietnam Veteran: Americans Can't Handle the Truth

Mike Hastie’s father was a U.S. Army career officer. He moved from military base to military base as a child. When the Vietnam War escalated, Mike joined the army in 1969 and then deployed to Vietnam in 1970. Immediately upon arrival he witnessed suicides, homicides, and drug abuse. Mike also encountered a powerful resistance to the war: artwork against President Nixon, soldiers refusing to deploy and applying for conscientious objector status, and even mutiny.

Beginning in the 1980s, Mike has been speaking out against the American Empire. Since his deployment to Vietnam, he has witnessed the patterns of imperialism over his life span: Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and so much more.

One pattern he has noticed here at home is how Americans refuse to hear his stories. Mike often exposes the American Empire for the crimes it commits on a daily basis, but people just don’t want face the truth about empire. He says in order to accept his experiences as a U.S. Army soldier, Americans would have to change their core belief system. Americans often believe the United States is a force for good in the world, spreading freedom and democracy. But according to Mike, and many veterans like myself, we know this mythology of the American Empire is a flat out lie sold to the American public.

Mike and I spoke about his experiences in Vietnam and since then becoming an anti-war activist, or should I say an anti-empire whistleblower. From his generation of veterans to my generation of veterans there exists major differences but one familiar pattern reoccurs, the American Empire conducts itself has a force of evil around the world. The United States creates instability and insecurity everywhere it travels. The troops don’t serve the people of the United States, but the ruling class. And the American public is sold one myth after another to keep the empire rolling along.

Short excerpt from the interview with Will Griffin.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Defending sacred lands in Canada

Some of you may be thinking we've lost. That we've made an agreement with industry. That we are bending, conceding, giving up. This is not true. We will never give up. There will be no pipelines on our Yin'tah. The Unist'ot'en have never been defeated. We will win this fight, and we will do it with integrity and honour, as we have always done.

Our hereditary chiefs witnessed the brutality of the RCMP at 44. The militarized police force. The snipers and automatic weapons. Canada came to our territories poised for battle. They came to invade us for industry.

Unist'ot'en yin'tah is a place of healing. It is home to Wet'suwet'en people seeking refuge from colonial trauma. People recovering from addiction. People reconnecting with the land. Our chiefs love our people and want them to thrive. We would not send our ill and healing people to war. We would not tell our people to fight on a day of mourning.

CGL and RCMP have twisted our words and misrepresented our intentions. They raided our land one day and showed up offering protection the next. We do not trust them. They are liars, and bullies, and colonizers, and thieves. But we are not like them. We know what we are doing is right.

We follow our laws and protocols. We respect each other. We are up against a heartless company and a faceless state. CGL dismantled the gate on a funeral day. RCMP blocked the road so we could not attend the funeral or feast. We gathered together, held each other up. This is what we do in the face of violence and oppression. We remember our teachings. This is why we are still here, still strong, still fighting. We learn from the land how to be resilient, how to grow. We turn to our story as Wet'suwet'en people, we turn to our culture and our laws. We know that is where our power lies.

We don't need their guns or their money. We have the land and the water and the animals and all our relations. We don't need their court orders and police enforcement. We have our Indigenous neighbours and relatives standing beside us. We don't need their threats and intimidation. We have the strength of our ancestors within us. We don't need their force and their violence. We have governed ourselves sustainably since time immemorial. We are still here. We are still fighting. This is not over.

We trust our hereditary chiefs. We trust our elders. We listen to them. We trust our systems of governance, which have lasted thousands of years and will last for thousands more. We respect the land.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Snow, 'good vs evil' and MLK

  • The snow storm was not as bad as had been expected - the 18 inches along the Midcoast of Maine turned out to be more like 5-8 inches.  I got out and did my cleaning up of various places around the apartment.  MB took a photo of me from our upstairs window. It was very cold and the snow turned to an icy sleet early on. So the ground will be a slick mess.

  • At 4:30 pm I put on all my cold weather gear and walked about a mile to friend Regis Tremblay's home.  It took me 30 minutes to make the walk which I was fortunately able to do because the city had run a plow that cleared most of the sidewalks along the way.  But under that new snow was still a sheet of ice so I had to watch my step.  

  • Regis and I spent alot of time talking about 'good and evil' in our world.  It's a classic struggle and we both know that there is little more important to do in life than to step up to the plate and take a stand on this one.  The global ruling elites are re-introducing feudalism and want to turn our current credit card debt culture into full blown slavery.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. called upon us to be engaged in this epic fight by defending justice, peace and promoting love.  King was certainly killed because of his opposition to the Vietnam War and his efforts to unite the civil rights movement and the peace movement. It was rumored that before he was killed King was talking to Dr. Benjamin Spock (a leader of the peace movement) about running for president with the famous baby doctor as his running mate.  Neither of the two corporate political parties would have liked that one bit.

In his famous Riverside Church speech in New York City in 1967, King called the US government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today", as well as the leading exponent of "the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long". He emphasized that his condemnations extended far beyond the conflict in Southeast Asia: "the war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit." He insisted that no significant social problem could be resolved while the US remains "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift" - a recipe, he said, for certain "spiritual death". For that reason, he argued, "it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war."


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sunday song

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Our new home in Brunswick

We are making good progress getting things set up in our apartment on McKeen Street in Brunswick. 

The apartment is in an old converted farm house that in classic Maine style was added onto over the years as the families in it grew.

We are living upstairs.  MB and I are quite happy with the place and the two-week wait to get in here due to renovations turned out to be worth it.  I spent yesterday hanging things in my office (below) which comes with a big closet and shelves.  Perfect.

Everyone is talking about the coming snow storm which is expected to dump up to 18 inches here along the Midcoast.  Our very thoughtful and kind landlady (who lives in another place) asked me to shovel out the doorway and path to the car of an older woman in the apartments.  I love the snow and gladly accepted the assignment.  In Bath we had five doorways to clear plus paths to the shed and woodpile.  I am happy to have an excuse to play in the snow.  I told the landlady (who has already asked me about Putin) that having lived in hot and humid Florida for 30 years I still have lots of snow energy stored up in my body.

From here it takes at most five minutes to walk downtown.  Bowdoin College men and women basketball is in season which I love to watch.  There is much to do around town.

Every Friday at 5:00 pm a peace vigil is held along the town green.  (Last night we had six folks there.) It has been going on since 9-11, every week.

When MB and I first came to Maine in 2003 we lived here in Brunswick four years before moving to the big intentional community house in Bath that we called the Addams-Melman House.  We had a sign on the front of that house with the AMH name painted on it.  An artist friend is adding the word 'annex' to the sign which we will display here at the new apartment.  The heart of the AMH lives in all of those who graced that wonderful community for 12 years.  We will miss that great gathering place.

All during this transition time of moving I've been working on the Russia Study Tour the Global Network is sponsoring for next spring.  The key tasks currently are keeping the 25 folks going with us informed about Visa and airline options.  I've been regularly communicating with Russia Veterans For Peace about our joint meeting in St. Petersburg.  Arranging hotels in the three places we will visit (Moscow, Crimea and St. Petersburg) is nearly complete.  It's alot of dots to connect to pull off a trip like this which in the end will be a life changing experience for all of us.


Friday, January 18, 2019

History lesson: Haitian revolution

PBS Documentary Titled - Egalite for All: Toussaint Louverture & The Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution (French: Révolution haïtienne [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ ajisjɛ̃n]), was a successful anti-slavery and anti-colonial insurrection that took place in the former French colony of Saint-Domingue that lasted from 1791 until 1804. It affected the institution of slavery throughout the Americas. Self-liberated slaves destroyed slavery at home, fought to preserve their freedom, and with the collaboration of mulattoes, founded the sovereign state of Haiti. It led to the greatest slave uprising since Spartacus's unsuccessful revolt against the Roman Republic nearly 1,900 years prior.

The Haitian Revolution was the only slave uprising that led to the founding of a state free from slavery and ruled by non-whites and former captives. With the increasing number of Haitian Revolutionary Studies in the last few decades, it has become clear that the event was a defining moment in the racial histories of the Atlantic World. The legacy of the Revolution was that it challenged long-held beliefs about black inferiority and of the enslaved person's capacity to achieve and maintain freedom. The rebels' organizational capacity and tenacity under pressure became the source of stories that shocked and frightened slave owners.

 François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture (French: [fʁɑ̃swa dɔminik tusɛ̃ luvɛʁtyʁ] 20 May 1743 – 7 April 1803), also known as Toussaint L'Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda, was the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution. His military and political acumen saved the gains of the first Black insurrection in November 1791. He first fought for the Spanish against the French; then for France against Spain and Britain; and finally, for Saint-Domingue (modern Haiti)'s colonial sovereignty against Napoleonic France. He then helped transform the insurgency into a revolutionary movement, which by 1800 had turned Saint-Domingue, the most prosperous slave colony of the time, into the first free colonial society to have explicitly rejected race as the basis of social ranking.

Though Toussaint did not sever ties with France, his actions in 1800 constituted a de facto autonomous colony. The colony's constitution proclaimed him governor for life even against Napoleon Bonaparte's wishes. He died betrayed before the final and most violent stage of the armed conflict. However, his achievements set the grounds for the Black army's absolute victory and for Jean-Jacques Dessalines to declare the sovereign state of Haiti in January 1804. Toussaint's prominent role in the Haitian success over colonialism and slavery had earned him the admiration of friends and detractors alike.

Toussaint Louverture began his military career as a leader of the 1791 slave rebellion in the French colony of Saint-Domingue; he was by then a free black man and a Jacobin. Initially allied with the Spaniards of neighboring Santo Domingo (modern Dominican Republic), Toussaint switched allegiance to the French when they abolished slavery. He gradually established control over the whole island and used political and military tactics to gain dominance over his rivals. Throughout his years in power, he worked to improve the economy and security of Saint-Domingue. He restored the plantation system using paid labour, negotiated trade treaties with Britain and the United States, and maintained a large and well-disciplined army.

 In 1801, he promulgated an autonomist constitution for the colony, with himself as Governor-General for Life. In 1802 he was forced to resign by forces sent by Napoleon Bonaparte to restore French authority in the former colony. He was deported to France, where he died in 1803. The Haitian Revolution continued under his lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared independence on January 1, 1804. The French had lost two-thirds of forces sent to the island in an attempt to suppress the revolution; most died of yellow fever.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Trump on NATO

By Will Griffin

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Our priorities are screwed up!

In addition, cut the military budget dramatically and tax the super rich and corporations at a 70% rate (during the Eisenhower administration the top marginal tax rate was 91%). Use the otherwise wasted $$$$ for the following which will ensure that we have full employment and a truly fair and sustainable society.  Call it Socialism, Communism, economic democracy or a Christian-based economy.  I don't care what it is called.  Just do it.  Share the loaves and fishes.

  • End homelessness
  • Full free health care for everyone
  • Free education for all
  • Fix the crumbling American infrastructure - roads, bridges, sidewalks, water & sewer systems, repair schools and more
  • Train and hire nurses, doctors, and other medical technicians
  • Train and hire legions of home care workers to help take care of the growing numbers of aging citizens
  • Retro-fit all buildings across the nation with solar power
  • Convert the military production system to build offshore wind turbines, commuter rail systems, solar and tidal power systems
  • Weatherize every house and business across the nation
  • Transform run down urban centers into parks and organic gardens.  Hire unemployed people to do the work.  Plant a ga-zillion trees across America
  • Change the Pentagon into the 'Natural Guard' and have them help communities that are hit by big storms which are more frequent and more severe due to global warming
  • Train and hire more teachers, counselors and teacher aides
  • Make mental health care free for anyone who needs it.  Train and hire more mental health and addiction services workers
  • Free day care for all - train and hire more day care workers
  • Train and hire a new generation of skilled carpenters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, engineers, etc
  • Create a world-class national public mass transit system
  • Build affordable housing for everyone
  • De-militarize the police and have them retrained to be true peace keepers
  • Transform the prison system from punishment to restorative justice
  • Pay reparations for slavery and land confiscation from Native Americans
  • Pay every worker a living wage and empower unions to represent all workers in making decisions at their workplaces
  • Create more cooperatives
  • Dump the Federal Reserve Bank and create state banks (like in North Dakota) that are owned by the public
  • Make all public spaces accessible to the handicapped
  • Build and staff more museums and art spaces for everyone - not just for the rich
  • Create more and wider bicycle lanes throughout the nation
  • Revoke corporate personhood by amending our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech
  • Give every citizen the right to vote without any impediments
  • Repeal the Patriot Act and shut down the surveillance state
  • Free popcorn at all movie theaters 


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Troops really coming home?

In Part II of the series Trump Expanding the Empire, Abby Martin addresses the surprise order from Trump that he was 'ending the war' in Syria.

On another foreign policy front (NATO) the New York Times today reports:

NATO had planned to hold a leaders meeting in Washington to mark its 70th anniversary in April, akin to the 50-year celebration that was hosted by President Bill Clinton in 1999. But this year’s meeting has been downgraded to a foreign ministers gathering, as some diplomats feared that Mr. Trump could use a Washington summit meeting to renew his attacks on the alliance.

Leaders are now scheduled to meet at the end of 2019, but not in Washington.
The mainstream media, the Democrats, and the military industrial complex are in full internal battle mode as they clamor about Trump 'maybe or possibly' pulling the US out of NATO.

The NATO alliance has been looking for a purpose to exist ever since the former Soviet Union fell apart in 1991.  Now that Russia has been identified by the national security state as enemy #1 it appears that NATO has a future.  The alliance, violating promises by President George H. W. Bush's administration to Russia in 1991 that NATO would not expand 'one centimeter' eastward, now sits on Moscow's doorstep and is going global with 'partnerships' that allow the alliance to also encircle China.

NATO has become the military arm of corporate capital.

The fact that Trump, has at times, expressed that NATO is a waste of money is a good thing because it is true.  And NATO is provocative and destabilizing though no one in Washington would dare utter those words.

The really crazy thing is how 'liberal Democrats' are currently the biggest cheerleaders around for NATO, the CIA, the FBI and the rest of the national security state.  In order to trash Trump, and retake control of government, the liberals have linked arms with the worst warlike, repressive, surveillance state elements in the world.

I am not a Trump fan but you know what they say about a broken clock - it still shows the correct time twice a day.  For whatever reason Trump now and then stumbles onto a decent idea and should be encouraged - no matter how convoluted his thinking can be.

Things are such a mess in Washington, London, Brussels, Bonn and Paris (The Axis of Medieval) it is hard for most people to get a handle on any truth.  But most disappointing is to see many so-called 'progressives' becoming champions of the war machine out of their hatred for The Donald.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Once confused - now just outraged....

I was once one of those confused by the rhetoric coming out of Washington DC.  In 1968 I was Vice-President of the Okaloosa County, Florida Young Republican Club working on the Nixon for President campaign.

Then in January 1971 I tried to join the US Air Force like my step-dad and failed my induction physical because of an old high school football injury.  I had to get a waiver to get into the military when most guys my age were trying to get waivers to avoid the war in Vietnam.

Having grown up on military bases around the world I had swallowed the patriotic pills handed out in the military-run schools on the bases and all the other indoctrination that comes along with such a sheltered life.

It wasn't until I had my own experiences running up against the many glaring contradictions surrounding the Vietnam war that my eyes began to open to the lies and manipulations of our government and media that sold and perpetuated that war and all the rest of them since.

Lucky for me my first roommate in the barracks at Travis AFB in California (my first permanent base assignment after my training was over) was an organizer in the GI Resistance movement.  Meetings were often held in our room at night with me at first sitting in the corner and after a few months moving my chair into the circle.  See a great documentary on this GI anti-war movement here

Travis was an airlift base for the war - GI's would come to our base to fly to Vietnam.  When the planes returned they carried body bags of the dead soldiers and were lined up on the runway just across the street from my office.  Protests were frequently held outside the base on weekends and we'd talk about these events in the barracks, the chow hall and on the job.  My life was changed by these remarkable experiences - it is at Travis that I became a peacenik.

Some nights GI's who were Black Panthers from the big cities came to our room and talked about racism in the military and across the nation.  There was a race riot in the barracks courtyard one night and the black GI leaders came to our room before it began to give a warning to my roommate and me so we'd not get caught up in the melee.  Many black GI's on our base were unfairly treated and had been arrested and thrown into the brig.  The riot was in response to the racism inter-woven into the military.

All throughout my adult life I've been on the streets to protest one US war or 'military action' after the other.  Each time the media portrayed these events as great patriotic battles to liberate a certain people (Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Libya, Syria, Yemen and more) and bring them freedom and democracy.  Most of the public would fall for these moves on the Grand Chessboard but thanks to my awakening experiences during Vietnam I was able to cut through the bullshit and get to the core of the corporate manipulation.

Sadly, far too many American people still fall for the waving flag, the national anthem and the media lies that accompany the US military empire and endless war.

Since late 1971 I've been trying to do my own thinking in order to take back control of my heart and mind.  I am grateful to the legions of peace people who came before me and helped pull the cover off the deception coming from our war hungry nation.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sunday song

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Year's bonus

Just gimme some truth!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Jeju Island protests continue each day

The daily counter indicating how long protests have been going on outside new Navy base in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea.  Imagine a protest every day for the last 11 years.  If the US starts war with China this base, and the village, are now prime targets.  People protest knowing that they are preventing war.

Catholic mass is held each day outside the Navy base

Following the mass people head to the Navy base gate for a protest, singing and dancing.  (New Navy base personnel barracks on the right side of the photo sits where famous Jeju tangerine trees used to grow.) 

Trump gets trumped in Mexico

M.A.M.O.N. (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide) is a satirical fantasy sci-fi shortfilm that explores with black humor and lots of VFX the outrageous consequences of Donald Trump´s plan of banning immigration and building an enormous wall on the Mexico - US border.

The dark comedy showcases a spectacular fight involving bizarre weapons, and numerous dark jokes about the cliches and stereotypical antics of the Mexican and Latino community, as the quinceañera, the quetzalcoatl, the lucha libre, the mariachi, the chapulín colorado, etc.

 M.A.M.O.N. is part of the Wecanfxit project, powered by Uruguayan production house Aparato. Our mission is to change the world using our geeky weapons: cinematography, visual effects and CGI.

Our motto: Making the world a better place, one pixel at a time.

No, Mexico is not going to pay for the wall....

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Arkin on media's slavish support for endless war

Longtime NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin announced he was leaving the network last week in a blistering letter that took aim at the mainstream media for encouraging perpetual warfare and bolstering the national security state.

In his letter, Arkin writes of Trump, “Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?”

Arkin is the author of many books, including “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.”

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Bi-Partisan crusade in Latin America created the immigration crisis

Professor Gerald Horne (University of Houston) and Paul Jay discuss Donald Trump's address to the nation on the wall and border security.

Horne shares the history of US intervention, propping up dictators and suppressing redistribution of wealth, as the root cause of immigration flows toward the US.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The eternal struggle

“Things change but one thing does not change,
The battle between Good and Evil does not change”.

~ TS Eliot

While in the car this morning, driving through a wet snow, I was listening to a program on NPR (National Public Radio) about the national debt and the operative question was, "Should the rich be taxed more to help pay for the debt?"

One of the guests on the show was adamant that no taxes should be raised on the wealthy.  In fact his prescription for dealing with the debt problem is to cut Social Security and Medicare.  Of course Social Security is a pension that workers pay into and is not responsible for the debt.  But facts like that are incidental to those who intend to finish off what little bit of social progress we have left in this country.  Their goal is to create a neo-feudal society - we are damn close to it now with the ever widening gap between the rich and practically everyone else.

Amazing to me was that the NPR radio show host never mentioned the colossally expensive endless wars that have been instrumental in creating much of America's debt.  After 18 years in Afghanistan and the wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria, with only chaos created, one would think that any intellectually honest person would proclaim that it is 'these damn wars' that are busting the budget!  But people who would say that are never invited on NPR.

The pissing away of more than $4 trillion on the wars insured that there would be no money available to fix roads, bridges, schools, water and sewer systems, nor fund alternative energy development.  The fossil fuel corporations have successfully drowned the country in debt and now (in the best tradition of neo-liberalism) claim that the only way out was to finish off what little social funding is still in the budget.

With all of this in mind I'd highly recommend you go see the new movie Vice.  It's tells the story about how V-P Dick Cheney locked all of this into motion.  We need to get folks to see this film.

The decision had been made during the George W. Bush administration that America's role in the global capitalist system would be 'security export'.  We would not have decent jobs in America anymore because it was cheaper for Mr. Big to go overseas where wages were minimal.  Profit swelled.

For the kids back home that meant few if any jobs in their communities so they join the military and the 9-11 false flag made sure they felt a swell of nationalist pride as they went overseas to fight fossil fuel wars.  After repeated deployments they came home with a psyche stretched like a rubber band that has to eventually break.  They become largely forgotten - GI suicides are now at 22 per day.

So the plan is to take America down - break it emotionally, intellectually, culturally, spiritually, economically, environmentally, and politically.  Every social institution is being destabilized.  That is how feudalism works.  The American people are in for a rough ride ahead - Trump is the perfect man to put at the helm.  He won't be impeached because he is delivering the goods for Mr. Big who owns both major political parties. Trump keeps the citizens snarling at each other so they miss all that is going on behind the scenes to lock their fate.

The current Democratic party leadership in Washington this week supported the fossil fuel corporate agenda when they smashed the effort to put forward the 'Green New Deal' that would begin the conversion process to redirect monies for sustainable production.  But the 'new and improved' House of Representatives will largely stay in their 'political operating zones' which are assigned by Mr. Big's handlers.  The handlers are put in place with corporate money and their role is to control all levels of government in Washington and in state legislatures across the county.

The job of Congress is to debate various inflammatory domestic issues like immigration, religion, sexual orientation, gun control, abortion and more.  The handlers (bag men really) ensure that no links are made between these 'important domestic issues' and foreign policy.  This denial of real public debate about the wars (and costs of the wars) is key because Mr. Big's strategy is to control the whole world.  It's a war between regional global oligarchies. Most nations want to be left alone but Washington (and its underlings like the UK, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia) are rolling the dice and going for the whole ball of wax.  Mr. Big figures it's best if the American people don't pay attention to this costly corporate gamble.

It's a very risky, dangerous and provocative drive for total control.  It is the epitome of evil and the opposite of what we truly need here on Earth.

So the struggle goes on - daily facing the little devil inside each of us and all that which permeates our lives.  Best wishes to all who are on such paths.

God bless the French people for showing their spirit is not dead.


Monday, January 07, 2019

Empire of chaos - Iran up next?

This former chief of staff for Colin Powell says the Trump administration is priming Americans for war with Iran — and he would know, since he helped George W. Bush do the same for Iraq.

If you've not yet seen the new film called 'Vice' about Dick Cheney be sure to go see it.  It's an important and well made movie.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Sunday song

Saturday, January 05, 2019

StratCom blows it.....

U.S. Strategic Command (or “Stratcom” if you’re trying to make a nuclear-capable arm of the U.S. Defense Department sound cool) has issued an apology for a poorly received New Year’s Eve tweet which has since been deleted.

StratCom is headquartered at Offut AFB in Nebraska and is these days in charge of almost all of the Pentagon's offensive military operations - including the Space Command.

One must question who is running the show these days at StratCom?  Do they think it is cute to threaten to end the world on New Years Day?  Just what are their values anyway?

Talk about a sick arrogant crew there in Nebraska.  You wonder why most of the world hates the United States?  This tweet just might give a clue....

Do you think Twitter will shut down StratCom's account for having violated 'community standards and advocating violence'?  Somehow I doubt it....


Military deception on Jeju Island

South Korean navy on Jeju Island throw trash around at Gangjeong village, in order to later film themselves as responsible community partners cleaning up litter.

This is about the most cynical and reprehensible thing I've ever watched.  If the leaders of South Korea had any sense of justice at all they'd fire the commander of the navy base and shut it down.

The people of Gangjeong village have been non-violently protesting this base (and the destruction of their 500-year old fishing and farming community) for more than 4,250 straight days.

This base (really for American warships and the Pentagon's effort to control China) was built on a lie from the beginning and obviously is being maintained by the same strategy - selling a pack of lies.

This is shameful.


Friday, January 04, 2019

More from the streets of Asheville

 Yemen’s Ministry of Education, based in Sanaa, estimates that the Saudi-led coalition (which includes the U.S.) has destroyed  at  least 3,000 schools and partially damaged 1,300 others. Yemen once boasted 9,517 primary schools and 2,811 high schools.  Today, the  inability to pay teachers and staff combined with the systematic destruction of  Yemen’s civilian infrastructure may lead to the shutdown of the country’s remaining schools.

My friend Ken Jones again reporting during his two-week fast and vigil on the streets of Asheville trying to expand consciousness and concern about the war in Yemen.

I am standing on the corner with my sign and up comes a beautiful young man with sparkling eyes and a bright smile. He is holding pamphlets about Lord Krishna and is working the downtown area to pass the peace to the crowds of tourists.

“So what is going on with Yemen?” he asks. I don’t know a thing about it.”
I start with my usual spiel, citing the genocide facts: 57,000 killed so far from the war, 85,000 children under five years of age starved to death, 14 million at risk of famine (in a country of 28 million, that’s half the population), the largest cholera epidemic in the world. Especially horrific was the bombing of a school bus that killed 40 kids. The UN calls it the worst humanitarian crisis on earth.
“But why is all this happening?” he asks, showing real concern. This is the first time in my vigil that someone has truly wanted to learn about all this and I pause in gratitude.

I try to keep it simple. I say there is a kind of complicated civil war going on between tribal rebels and an illegitimate government and that the “internationally recognized” government is basically a puppet of Saudi Arabia. There is a colonial relationship between rich Saudi Arabia and poor Yemen that goes back to the time of the Ottoman Empire. There is also oil and a pipeline at stake, religious differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims are exploited, and the manufactured pretext of an evil and and expansionist Iran is given as a public rationale.

I say that the U.S. is the force behind the Saudi bombings, supplying weapons, logistical support and intelligence. That this is our war, we keep it going, and we urgently need to end it.

All the while, my friend in Krishna is nodding his head and making the kindest eye contact. He quietly comments, “The world is a place of suffering and we have to seek a spiritual solution. Mine is the love of Krishna.” He tells me it makes him happy that I am here with my message and that my presence exudes light in more ways than one. He thanks me for my explanation. Then off he goes, with no proselytizing, just a loving smile. I feel blessed.

As he continued with his calling, I thought about the healing power of spiritual consciousness. I understand the importance of finding the Great Spirit within ourselves and in the world at large. And also living a life of love and compassion for others. But I also believe that we all need to move beyond our own personal salvation to work on healing the world. We can’t be satisfied with just being happy, we have to care enough for others to work for their happiness as well.

For me, that means political action, in the streets, on the side of the oppressed and the victims of racism, capitalism, militarism, and environmental destruction. Yes, it’s hard to keep a balance between the pain that comes from knowing and caring about all the world’s injustices and my own emotional well-being. But I can’t not look and I can’t not care. Can’t be silent or just go about my own privileged business.

Someone passing by last night asked me, “Why Yemen? Why not all the wars?”

“Right on,” I said. “Yemen is just one among many. But such a terrible one. And so ignored.”
And I thought of the story about the child tossing a beached starfish back into the ocean. An adult comes by and says, “Why are you wasting your energy on that? You can’t save all the starfish in the world.”And the child says, “Yes, but I saved that one.”

Jesus said we have to be like children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

~ Ken Jones
Asheville, North Carolina