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

Friday, January 31, 2020

Elections: Keep digging or try something new?

DNC Chair Tom Perez is stacking party committees to sideline Bernie Sanders and to push a corporate agenda that kills progressive ideas and campaigns.

The DNC is setting things up to make a sweep at their summer convention to ensure corporate domination of the party.

Nothing new here but consider the frustration & resignation of those who have wasted another election cycle chasing the elusive Democratic nomination.

Who comes to mind?  Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson and many more.  Have they changed the party?  Made it more progressive?

Imagine how all the money poured into those campaigns could have funded a well-organized national political party that could have stood for the very issues we all support?  And attracted a new generation of voters.

Should we keep digging the same hole or try something new?


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Russia bashing is 'good politics' in America.....

Pushback with Aaron Maté

At the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, chief Democratic prosecutor Adam Schiff has claimed that the US is arming Ukraine "so that we can fight Russia over there so we don’t have to fight Russia here" and called Russia a "wounded, dangerous animal."

During his presentation Rep. Schiff (D-CA) states that 15,000 people have been killed during the Ukrainian civil war that has largely been orchestrated by the US and NATO.  He strong infers that Russia killed those people.  In fact the vast majority of the victims are Ukrainian Russian-speaking citizens living in the Donbass (eastern Ukraine along the Russian border) who have been killed by the US supported Ukrainian army and Nazi death squads.

This is just one more glaring example of the corruption of the Democratic Party leadership.  It escapes me how so many American voters are tripping over themselves to sign up to vote for that party in the coming election.  The Democrats (especially people like Schiff) are doing more to create the possibility of nuclear war with Russia and China than I have ever seen in my life.

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University, says that Schiff's rhetoric is "ignorant and debased."

Bruce (parts reprinted from The Grayzone)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

U.S. demands Iraq join war against Iran or be destroyed

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

U.S. officials have now made clear that if U.S. forces become removed from Iraq as Iraq’s Parliament unanimously demanded and Iraq’s Prime Minister affirmed on January 5th, then the U.S. will try to break Iraq up into separate Sunni and Shia nations, and will also definitely impose sanctions against Iraq or (if Iraq becomes successfully broken up) against the Shia-governed portion of Iraq, in order to destroy Iraq (or the Shiite regions in Iraq) totally.

The U.S. is determined to separate both Lebanon and Syria (both of which are supported by Shia Iran) from Iran so that Iran will become internationally isolated unless and until Iran again becomes controlled by the U.S. Government as it was during the period from 1953 when U.S. imposed the Shah’s dictatorship there, till 1979, when Iranians finally took back control over their country and kicked out the U.S.-and-allied foreign oil companies.

By far the best international journalism about the situation today regarding Iraq has come from the Middle East Eye, which headlined on January 23rd, “US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes”, and sub-headed, “With Shia parties pressuring American troops to leave, Washington wants to create an autonomous region around Anbar to maintain its presence.” Their reporter in Baghdad, Suadad al-Salhy, stated that,

Backed into a corner and influence waning, the United States has in recent weeks been promoting a plan to create an autonomous Sunni region in western Iraq, officials from both countries told Middle East Eye.

The US efforts, the officials say, come in response to Shia Iraqi parties’ attempts to expel American troops from their country.

Iraq represents a strategic land bridge between Iran and its allies in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

Establishing a US-controlled Sunni buffer zone in western Iraq would deprive Iran of using land routes into Syria and prevent it from reaching the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.

For Washington, the idea of carving out a Sunni region dates back to a 2007 proposition by Joe Biden, who is now vying to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate. …

“The creation of a Sunni region has always been an option for the US. The Iranians cannot be allowed to reach the Mediterranean Sea or benefit from the land bridge connecting them to Hezbollah” in Lebanon, the former US official told MEE.

“The project is American, not Sunni. The presence of the American forces has been the guarantor for the Sunnis and the Kurds, so if the US has to leave Iraq, then establishing a Sunni region in western Iraq is its plan to curb Iran and its arms in the Middle East,” he added.

“We are talking about establishing a country, not an administrative region.” …

The Arab Gulf states allied to US, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, support and finance this project, Sunni and Shia leaders and officials told MEE.

“Funding is in place, international pressure is in place, and the necessary military strength is in place to create this region,” a prominent Sunni leader familiar with the talks said.

“Neither Iran nor the Shia forces will be able to stand against the project because the US and Gulf states back it,” the leader added.

“A huge amount of money and investment offered by the Sunni states is at stake, and these will turn the Anbar desert into green oases and rebuild the destroyed areas in Mosul and Salah al-Din. Who will care about oil?”

This is a war by U.S., Saudi Arabia, the other Arab oil monarchies, and Israel, against Iran, and it will become also a U.S.-v.-Russia war unless Russia complies with America’s demand to stay out, and not to defend Iran.

Anbar Province is one of two places where the fanatical Sunni ISIS was located in Iraq, the other being the city of Mosul directly to the north of Anbar. Both areas are so heavily Sunni so that in order for Iraq’s mainly Shiite government to become able to wage an effective war against ISIS in Iraq, it first had to convince Anbar’s residents that this would be something which would benefit all of Iraq and not only Shiites in Iraq. Fallujah and Ramadi, two cities where Iraq’s Government were especially trying to defeat ISIS   in 2014, are in Anbar Province. Until 2015, Iranian General Soleimani’s forces (all of them Shiites) were virtually the only effective forces trying to exterminate ISIS; and therefore, Iraq’s Government had to emphasize that killing ISIS was a patriotic, not a sectarian, matter.

On 17 September 2016 U.S. President Obama bombed Syria’s army in the heart of Syria’s oil-producing region, the city Deir Ezzor, for Syria’s ISIS to move in and take Syria’s oil. During October through December 2016, two of Syria’s main enemies, Obama, and Turkey’s leader Erdogan, established a system to reinforce ISIS in Deir Ezzor, by supplying them ISIS fighters fleeiing from Mosul in Iraq’s north. On 11 December 2016, I headlined “Obama & Erdogan Move ISIS from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad”, and reported that the U.S. and Turkey were offering a deal to fighters for ISIS in Mosul, a way to stay alive but not in Iraq. They would relocate west into Syria, so as to assist the U.S. and its allies to overthrow, or at least seize territory from, Syria’s Government. America’s war against Syria used basically three proxy-forces as boots-on-the-ground: Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Kurds — all three being Sunnis. The Sauds provided most of the funding for it, because the goal was to place Syria under the control of the Sauds. And the U.S. sticks by that goal. No matter how much the people in Syria oppose it. It’s not only Trump who is obsessed with this goal; Obama was, though he wasn’t as obsessed with destroying Iran as Trump is.

On January 24th, Middle East Eye’s Washington reporter Ali Harb headlined “At what point do US troops in Iraq become an occupation force?” and he took the most literalist approach possible to this question, in which the obvious answer should be “as soon as we invaded and occupied the country on 20 March 2003.” He got an answer from the U.S. Government, saying that “diplomatic notes, which are not public, remain the legal basis for the presence of about 5,000 American soldiers in Iraq today” and that “the letters contain a provision that gives US forces one year to withdraw after they are formally asked by Baghdad to leave.”

So: if this U.S. Government, which has become infamous for violating its contracts (such as the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris Climate Agreement), alleges that it can stay in Iraq for another year and yet still remain within the bounds of those “diplomatic notes, which are not public” — and which a supplicant Iraqi Government had allegedly consented to in 2014 — then Iraq’s Government will need to wait until 5 January 2021 before accusing the U.S. Government of violating that secret and coerced “1-year cancellation clause.” And, if Iraq’s Government is, at that time, still insisting that U.S. terminate its occupation of Iraq, then, Joe Biden’s 2007 plan will start being implemented, to break Iraq into its Shiite Arab southeast (friendly toward Iran), Sunni Kurd northeast (backed by U.S.), and Sunni Arab southwestern desert half of Iraq’s expanse (hostile toward Iran).

There would be no more land-connection between Iran to Iraq’s east and Syria to Iraq’s west. For Iran, that would be like cutting off its two arms. Furthermore, Ali Harb noted that the Obama-Trump Administrations’ Pentagon official Brett McGurk said that “If the U.S. leaves Iraq, it means NATO, 20 western partners also leave.” McGurk was suggesting that Iraq without U.S. would become then again a U.S. enemy. The U.S. regime is determined to destroy, one by one, each country that tries to block U.S.-and-allied billionaires from taking them over.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

What do we really know?

Michael Bloomberg was in Portland, Maine yesterday selling his multi-billion dollar campaign.

The media were giving him free media coverage and touting him as a 'centrist' who could unite the country.

If I had to predict at this point I'd say the Democrats will 'pick' Bloomberg as their presidential candidate and they will also choose Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) as the V-P.  Klobuchar is a corporate favorite who opposes Medicare for All and who is really bad on foreign policy.

So it could look like two New York city rich guys running against each other for president.  As I like to say the 'mob' against the 'mafia'.

We've been trained since we were in the crib to respond to the prompts from the corporate mind machine that uses every possible vehicle to turn us into consumers.  Consumers of products and also consumers of politics.  The corporate agenda leads us down the primrose path and tells us which candidates are acceptable and which are not.  All the while convincing us that we live in the 'greatest democracy in world history'!

Trump got a huge jump start from the media when he ran in 2016.  They essentially made him because the idea was to have him run against Hillary to ensure that she won.  She was so disliked by the public they needed someone hated even more than her and that is how we got Trump.  But then the disillusioned Democrats in the rust belt turned on their own party and voted for Trump because the Democrats in Washington did virtually nothing for them as millions of corporate industries moved jobs overseas.

If you make a study of it you will find that the media does in fact create the inevitable.  Read the mainstream media articles and see how they constantly use language that favors one candidate over the other.  Watch how they completely omit some candidates from their coverage (no mention of them, no photo of them, etc).  Watch how the media takes an unknown guy like Pete Butta-jig (a small city mayor with no national experience or constituency) and use words like 'strong 4th place in the polls' to create an impression that he is surging.  This is all mind manipulation.

They did the same thing in 1976 when they found an unknown peanut farmer and governor of Georgia and made Jimmy Carter president.  (Another guy with no national constituency.) They needed a 'fresh face' after the Vietnam War but his campaign was orchestrated by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his Wall Street boss David Rockefeller at the Trilateral Commission.

Brzezinski also bragged years later that he discovered Barack Obama when he was a student at Columbia University at a time when they were looking for ambitious people of color to develop as candidates whom the elite would control.  We all know how that one worked out in the end.  Hope and change.....Obama's campaign won an award for its great public relations gimmickry - the highest recognition one could ever wish for from Madison Avenue.

If we dare step outside of this corporate constructed electoral 'reality' even some of our own friends and associates on 'the left' will try to sheep dog us back into the corral by saying things like 'you are trying to make the perfect the enemy of the good'.

What that means to me is accept the imposed limitations from the start.  Accept that we will have to pick someone who will be a political 'half-stepper' because this is the best we can get under the circumstances. Leave your idealism and your vision at the door and step into the 'real world' of politics.

Sadly or not, I grew up on military bases attending schools run by the US military.  I was trained to be patriotic and to swallow the 'greatest democracy' pill.  Then when I was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War one day at lunch I was in the BX (base exchange store) and found a book on the rack entitled 'The Pentagon Papers'.  Reading this book changed my life as I learned how the media, the White House, Congress and the Pentagon all lied for years about the Vietnam War. (The same kind of lies that still sell us the war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.)

My problem is that I actually believe in the idea of democracy and I believe that each of us has the right (and the obligation) as citizens to strive to bring this vision of 'we the people' into focus.

I also believe in the idea of freedom - freedom of thought, of action, and when it comes to electoral strategies, freedom to choose your own course.  If that means supporting the Green Party then OK.  If it means supporting the Democrats then OK.  If it means not voting at all because you can't stand the process (and the pre-selected candidates) then that is OK as well.

The ultimate key is what one does the rest of the time when elections are not underway (although in America these days elections never seem to end).  We can't just think that voting is all one has to do to ensure 'democracy' works.  That is a very limited interpretation of citizenship.

So yeah let's debate which candidate is the 'best' and which party should be supported.  That should always be an acceptable topic for discussion.  But let's not declare that one party (Greens for example) is not to be considered because it might limit the ability of another party (the Democrats) to win.  That is a false construct as far as I am concerned.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Vote for Democrats? Don't waste my time......

An open letter by Noam Chomsky, Bill Fletcher, Barbara Ehrenreich, Kathy Kelly, Ron Daniels, Leslie Cagan, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters, and Michael Albert is being circulated calling on the Green Party not to run a candidate for president this year.

An excellent response was written, which I agree with, which you can find here.

I ain't voting for no corrupt, corporate Democrat if they get the nomination - Biden, Bloomberg, Butta-jig, Klobuchar, Warren, etc...

TWO new polls released today show Tulsi Gabbard's growing strength in New Hampshire, both counting as qualifying polls for the February debate.

One of these polls was conducted by CNN. Yes, that’s correct; CNN’s OWN polling qualifies Tulsi for the debate in the same week as denying her a place in an upcoming presidential town hall — showing Tulsi 1 point behind Amy Klobuchar, tied with Andrew Yang, and 3-5 points AHEAD of Tom Steyer and Deval Patrick who were both invited instead of Tulsi.

So the Democrats are already rigging their primary races with the assistance of the corporate media.

Why? It's quite simple - Tulsi dares call out the warmongers in her own party.  That is a deadly sin in American politics thus she must be demonized as a Putin-lover, etc......

Don't tell me I have to vote for this corrupt corporate party! Don't try to blame the Greens (or anyone else) for the enormous failures of the Democrats.

I am not going to spend my entire adult life working to stop endless war$ and then turn around and vote for a political party that is complicit up to their eye-brows in approving massive military spending and promoting these wars.

If you want to vote for the ultimate 'nominee' of the Democrats you go right ahead.  But don't tell me I have to do so.  It's none of your damn business who I vote for.  I'm a free man.

I fell for Jimmy Carter's line when he said "The arms race is a disgrace to the human race" and then he went ahead and built the Trident nuclear submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia.  The last Democrat I voted for in a presidential election was Walter Mondale because he seemed like a nice man. (What does that actually mean?)  But I later regretted that decision once I learned more about his record in the Senate.

I lived in Florida during the Al Gore loss to George W. Bush.  I voted Green that year.  I was among those blamed for Gore losing.  But if there had been no Green on the ballot I'd have written in Joe Smooski.  I saw how in Florida the black vote was dramatically suppressed and didn't hear a mumbling word out of Gore's mouth in defense of those voters.  Never a word.  But I've been blamed countless times since 2000 for his loss.

Each time a corporate Democrat loses people like me get blamed.  In 2004 John Kerry lost to Bush and I, among others, got blamed.  I'll never forget Kerry in his debate with George W. Bush saying, "If elected I will spend $100 billion more on the military than President Bush will."  I was not going to vote for Kerry!

The fact is both Kerry and Bush went to Yale and were members of the elite Skull & Bones Club.  Both parties play good cop-bad cop and ensure the corrupt oligarchies win no matter what.

If you were paying attention you'd have noticed that the vast majority of the Democrats recently joined with the Republicans in Congress to pass the 2020 NDAA that gave the Pentagon even more money ($738 billion) than they requested.  Who says they never agree on anything?

I might be dumb but I'm not stupid.  I know how this game is played.  I've seen Democrats talk a good game for years about ending war$, doing something about climate change, dealing with poverty, fighting for health care and they never do.  I owe that corporate dominated party nothing.

So don't try to tell me who I should vote for - it's none of your damn business.  Sure I will argue the merits of one candidate or party verses another but on election day it is a personal choice.  It's the one time I get to say NO THANKS to those who pretend to stand with those who suffer but at the same time take campaign money from those causing the suffering.

My prediction is that the Democrats will screw Bernie Sanders this year the same way they did in 2016.  Already the media is demonizing him daily.  They've got their convention rigged so in the 2nd ballot the 'super delegates' swing back in to ensure an 'acceptable' corporate candidate gets the nomination.

Don't ask me to vote for that hack - the choice of the very corporations I've spent my life opposing.  Don't waste my time.


From the streets of Portland, Maine

A veteran tells his story in a poem.  Very true, real and moving.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sunday song

Saturday, January 25, 2020

People of Iraq tell U.S. to go home


PressTV reports:

Iraqis rallied on January 24 in Baghdad in massive numbers to call for an end to US military presence in the country following high-profile assassinations and airstrikes targeting anti-terror forces.

Sayed Sadiq al-Hashemi, the director of the Iraqi Center for Studies, said more than 2.5 million took part in the demonstrations on Friday.

Since the early hours on Friday, huge crowds of men, women and children of all ages converged on the Jadriyah neighborhood near Baghdad University.

The protesters were seen carrying banners and chanting slogans calling for the expulsion of US forces.

"Get out, get out, occupier!" some shouted, while others chanted, "Yes to sovereignty!"

Iraq's al-Ahd news network reported that Iraqis from all of the country's provinces had gathered in the city.

On January 5, the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all foreign forces after the US assassination of Iran's General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The massive rally came after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage "a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations".

Sadr issued a statement on Friday calling for US bases to be shut down and Iraqi airspace closed to US warplanes and surveillance aircraft.

He warned that US presence in the country will be dealt with as an occupying force if Washington does not agree with Iraqi demands to withdraw for the country.

American troops kick open a door to a home in Iraq

In a message delivered through a representative at Friday prayer in the holy city of Karbala, top cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also urged Iraqi political groups to do what is needed to the safeguard the country's sovereignty.

He called on Iraqi groups to stand united, far from any foreign influence in countering the dangers which threaten the country.

On Thursday ahead of the planned rallies, Sadr called on Iraqis to mobilize and defend the country's independence and sovereignty.

"Oh women, men and youth of the country, the time is now upon us to defend the country, its sovereignty and dependence," Sadr said in a tweet.

"Spread the word of an independent future Iraq that will be ruled by the righteous; an Iraq which will not know of corruption nor aggression" he added, calling on Iraqis to expel the "tyrants".

Various Iraqi resistance groups affiliated with the country's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have also backed the anti-American rally.

‘Zero hour in face-off with US’

Speaking to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel, Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the PMU-affiliated Kata'ib Hezbollah resistance group, said "other means" will be used against the Americans if they do not leave Iraq.

The American presence, he said, has led to corruption and instability in the country.

In an interview with Iran's Tasnim news agency, Firas al-Yasser, a member of the political bureau of Iraq's Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, said Friday's rallies marked "a new chapter" in the Arab country's relations with the US.

He said Iraqi resistance groups support the stance of the country's clerical leadership, which does not tolerate Washington's “theory of dependence and humiliation" of Iraq.

"We believe we have reached the zero hour in facing off with the US," he said.

Yasser added that Iran's missile attack on the Ain al-Assad base in the western Iraqi province of Anbar earlier this month was a "prelude" to the expulsion of US forces from the country.

Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, which is part of the PMU, described Friday's rallies as a "second revolution" a century after the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920 against British forces.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Slipping on ice and sore as hell

This is not actually a photo of me but is quite similar to the way I landed on Tuesday - except for the 10-gallon plastic bucket filled with sand that I descended on when I hit the ground.

On Tuesday I went out to knock on doors in Brunswick with Steve Carpenter who was driving/navigating our way through this cold and ice filled town.

We got two early signatures of Maine Green Independents on the petition to help put Lisa Savage on the ballot in November.  After that we hit a patch of 'not home' and addresses where people had moved.  We had four more houses to visit when I had an accident on the back side of a house along Park Row in downtown Brunswick.

In Brunswick there are many large old houses that over the years have been converted into apartments.  Along Park Row many of them have been converted into offices but one place had a couple apartments on the back side.  Steve dropped me off and I went looking for the proper door to knock on.  Once I found it I discovered the occupant was not home and I began to descend from the stairs I had climbed in order to knock on the door.

Just as I was ready to walk back down the steps (4-5 steps) a man asked if he could help me.  I told him who I was looking for and he said I was in the right place.  A bit distracted I took my first step on the ice clogged top stair and went flying like superman onto the brick landing below.  Unfortunately for me a 10-gallon bucket with sand in it was in the middle of the landing and I hit it square on - my left side rib cage taking the brunt of the impact.  The bucket remained standing the entire time.

My clipboard and petition papers went flying into the air and I sat on the ground moaning and groaning in pain for some time.  The man (who turned out to be in charge of keeping the ice covered with sand) quickly got some sand and covered the patch I had slipped on - better late than never as they say.

Finally I got up and the man strangely didn't offer a word of concern or a helping hand to me.  Instead he began to tell me that his boss had recently had a similar accident (and was severely injured) in this same spot because he had failed to put sand on top of the ice.  I'm surprised the guy still has a job.

In addition to severe pain in my mid-section I scuffed up both knees as well.  I limped back to the car where Steve was waiting and we went to four more houses on our list.  Steve went to the doors in my place but we continued with our hard luck not finding anyone home.

I told Steve I thought I should go to the emergency room.  I asked him to take me home where our car was parked - MB had taken the bus to Portland that morning instead of driving to work.  But after hearing my tale and seeing my condition Steve insisted on driving me to the VA hospital (Togus) one hour away in Augusta.

So I spent five hours at Togus, first getting an x-ray which found no broken ribs but the doctor felt I likely had cracked one or more of them.  Then after complaining of a growing stomach ache the doctor determined that I needed a CAT scan to check if I had injured my spleen.  First though I had to drink a lemonade flavored jug of dye over the course of an hour.  Then we had to wait another hour or more for the spleen condition results which happily came back negative.

By this time I had sent Steve home and MB, once returning to Brunswick on the bus from work, jumped into our car and arrived at Togus just as I was released.

The nurse who cleaned up my knees, took blood tests, and cheered me up, told me I'd likely be pretty sore for the next several days.  That turned out to be the truth.  I'm having to sleep on my back and getting up from bed or a chair, and any bending over, is quite difficult.  Deep breaths are also quite painful.

Steve and I were to go out again today to knock on more doors but last night I called him and told him I was just too sore to go.  So he told me he'd go on his own which impressed me but caused some real feelings of sadness on my part.  We've been a good team.

I am hoping that on Saturday I can go out with MB (I'll do the driving and she will do the jumping in and out of the car and knocking on doors).  We've got a long way to go to hit our goal of 2,000 signatures of Green Independents across Maine.  This accident put a real crimp in my style.

The two mainstream political parties in Maine really make it hard for 3rd parties to get on the ballot.  Collecting signatures in the middle of the winter is a tough task.  It's amazing though that determined people across the state keep going out anyway, trying to give the voters in our state the opportunity to vote for the alternative voice of Lisa Savage who won't be bought and sold by the corporate money that runs the political system in this country.

Wish us all luck and safe door-knocking.


PS Steve got 9 signatures on Friday on his own.  Good going buddy!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Jesse supporting Lisa

Former Minnesota independent governor Jesse Ventura is supporting Lisa Savage in her attempt to get on the ballot in Maine for the November US Senate race against Susan Collins.

Ventura has a TV show on RT and has been a long time anti-war activist.  He's also one of the leading experts in the nation on the JFK assassination.

Jesse is a former Navy Seal and turned against US wars during Vietnam.

He's a very outspoken man and sets a good example for all of us.

I've read several of his books and was impressed with his positions on the key issues of our time.

One of my favorite stories about Jesse was one I saw him tell on C-SPAN TV.  He had just been elected governor of Minnesota in 1999 and got a call from the CIA.  They asked him for a meeting and he said sure, where are you?  They replied, "We are in the basement of the Minnesota capital building."

He reported that when he went into the meeting they had one question - "How did you do it?"  Meaning, how did you escape our radar and get elected by beating the two corporate mainstream political parties?

Jesse came away thinking that the CIA (which is supposed to work outside the nation, not inside it) runs the country (the Deep State) and tries to control everything.  In the case of his win in Minnesota the CIA was not pleased that they were not on top of that one.

Just goes to show how things actually work in the US of A.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Our sacred home

Viewed from space our Mother Earth has no border lines - no boundaries between nations and the people.  From space the people are all Earthlings.

But down here on terra firma it's another story.  We are divided by nation-state borders, by language, by religion and ethnicity - even by corporate brands.  Some people think they are better than others.  We kill one another.  We are destroying our tiny satellite home.

The question of loyalty comes to mind.....who should we be loyal to?  Country (an artificial construct), a president or a region?  Should we be loyal to a religion or a pope?  Should we be loyal to a corporation that pays our salary?  Should we be loyal to a corporate dominated political party?

Maybe it's because my family moved when I was young - from Maryland to Germany (twice), England, South Dakota, California, and Florida (several times) - that I came to see the world differently.....and I came to see 'country' very differently.  I came to define loyalty quite differently as well.

What I learned was that people are basically the same everywhere you go....they love their children, they love to laugh, to share food, to marvel at the night sky, and to complain about the weather.  For me it didn't matter which country you came from....we are all the children of our Mother Earth.

Like all mothers our Earth Mother tries not to favor any of her children.  She loves all the colors, all the languages....our mother just wants us to treat each other fairly and not harm one another...nor should we do harm to our good mother ship.

So my loyalties are clear.  I've no time for those in any country who are messing up the human family or our planet home.  In my mind and heart I am fighting for the future me that is the #1 job of a human being.....make sure the future generations (human, animal, plant, water, air, soil) can live.

I am here today because of the focused determination of those who came before me and got my family line through thousands and thousands of years of famines, ice ages, droughts, wars, cataclysms and more.

I figure it would be totally arrogant and pretentious of me to forget those sacrifices and get lost in distractions like materialism, patriotism, power and religion.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Getting to the bottom of U.S. aggression

Pompeo Says Gangland-Style Hit on Soleimani Was "Restoration of Deterrence"

By Mike Whitney

America’s “shadow president”, Mike Pompeo, has acknowledged that the assassination of Iran’s highest-ranking military general, Qassem Soleimani, was part of a broader strategy to restore “real deterrence” by eliminating presumed enemies of the United States. Pompeo’s comments at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute on January 13, put to rest earlier claims that the Iranian general had been killed to prevent “imminent attacks on U.S. targets.” Those claims have since been discredited by independent journalists and mainstream publications that have shown that the assassination was prepared months in advance. In truth, Soleimani was killed to roll back Iran’s influence in Iraq and to reverse the effects Washington’s catastrophic counterinsurgency operation that removed the mainly Sunni-Baathist party from power creating a vacuum that was filled by Iranian-backed militias. The Solemani assassination was just the latest transgression in a conflict that dates back 17 years.

Pompeo’s hand in the assassination is not really in doubt. As the New York Times noted in an article two weeks ago: “Pompeo was the loudest voice in the administration pushing President Trump to kill Iran’s most important general”. The Times also credits the blustery Pompeo as the “chief architect of the rising tensions between the United States and Iran”…”he is in the unusual role of shaping national security policy.”

Pompeo is the “chief architect” of the administration’s failed Iran policy. It was Pompeo who pushed Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and Pompeo who promoted the economic blockade that has strangled the Iranian economy. Pompeo has also been the biggest proponent of Trump’s extrajudicial assassination policy whose first notable trophy was Iran’s most decorated and revered general, Solemani. The incident has set the Middle East ablaze. Even so, Pompeo has never shown the slightest sign of remorse nor has he offered his condolences to the millions of people across the Middle East who poured out into the streets to mourn the passing of their beloved hero. Their anguish means nothing to Pompeo who believes he is carrying out “God’s work” by eliminating anyone who stands in the way US ambitions in the region.

At the Stanford confab, Pompeo announced that he intends to move ahead with his plan to reestablish “deterrence” to discourage Tehran’s “malign activity.” Regrettably, Pompeo’s grasp of deterrence bears no resemblance to the original political and military doctrine. Traditionally, deterrence is a strategy “under which one power uses the threat of reprisal effectively to preclude an attack from an adversary power.” In practice this means that Country A will build up its nuclear arsenal with the intention of “deterring” Country B from launching an attack. The strategy is aimed at preserving the peace and avoiding unnecessary bloodshed. Pompeo’s interpretation of deterrence is aimed at liquidating the enemy not deterring him. It is a form of aggression that bears no resemblance to the original military doctrine. Here’s more from Reuters:.

“President Trump and those of us in his national security team are re-establishing deterrence – real deterrence ‒ against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said. “Your adversary must understand not only that you have the capacity to impose cost but that you’re in fact willing to do so,” Pompeo added.” (“Pompeo says Soleimani killing part of new strategy to deter U.S. foes”, Reuters) 

Once again, Pompeo is twisting words to confuse his audience. Sure, it’s true that “Your adversary must understand not only that you have the capacity to impose cost but that you’re in fact willing to do so.” But it’s also true that the goal of deterrence is to deter the enemy from engaging in hostilities to begin with. That is the polar-opposite of killing the enemy. Pompeo appears to be stuck on this point.

In any event, a gangland-style hit –that is illegal under US statutes and international law– is not an example of deterrence. It’s barbarism masquerading as foreign policy doctrine. Pompeo knows that, just like he knows that targeted assassinations are powerful provocations that lead to over-reaction, tit-for-tat retaliation, and eventually a full-blown regionwide conflagration. Which seems to be the point. Pompeo wants to confront Iran in the one area in which the US excels, war. Why else would he kill Iran’s most admired leader?

Here’s more from Pompeo’s speech:

“We saw, not just in Iran, but in other places, too, where American deterrence was weak. We watched Russia’s 2014 occupation of the Crimea and support for aggression against Ukraine because deterrence had been undermined. We have resumed lethal support to the Ukrainian military.
China’s island building, too, in the South China Sea, and its brazen attempts to coerce American allies undermined deterrence. The Trump administration has ramped up naval exercises in the South China Sea, alongside our allies and friends and partners throughout the region.” (“The Restoration of Deterrence: The Iranian Example”, US Embassy and Consulates) 

Now we’re getting down to brass tacks. This isn’t about Soleimani at all. It’s about the long list of foreign policy challenges the US now faces as new centers of power emerge (primarily Russia and China) putting more pressure on the post-WW2 “liberal” world order and hastening the decline of an aging hegemon who is fast losing its grip on global power. That is why Pompeo is invoking a new and more vicious foreign policy. Washington powerbrokers seem to believe that they need to take more reckless and violent measures to reverse present trends that are steadily eroding US power clearing the way for an emerging multi-polar world order. Taking these things into account, the Soleimani assassination can be seen for what it really is, a desperate attempt to turn back the clock to the early 1990’s following the dissolution of the Soviet Union when America ruled supreme and think-tank pundits proudly boasted of the “end of history” and the beginning of a glorious “American Century”, none of which has worked out according to plan.

“The importance of deterrence isn’t confined to Iran,” Pompeo said. “In all cases, we must deter foes to defend freedom. That’s the whole point of President Trump’s work to make our military the strongest it’s ever been.” (Reuters)

Pompeo wants a stronger and most costly military. He wants to use all the tools at his disposal to maintain Washington’s dominant position in the world, especially the instruments of coercion that can used to force rivals to comply with Washington’s diktats. And, he has invoked a new doctrine, The Pompeo Doctrine, to provide ideological cover for the anticipated bloody assault on foreign leaders and dignitaries. So far, no one has challenged Pompeo’s alarming policy-shift. There appears to be consensus among elites that the only way to arrest America’s relentless decline is by escalating the hostilities, intensifying the violence and widening the wars.

Pompeo’s announcement puts the country on a path to bigger and bloodier confrontations but, as yet, no one has lifted their voice in opposition.

Monday, January 20, 2020

MLK: The assassination and the real story

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., took a public and unpopular stance against the Vietnam War, declaring it an enemy of the poor in the United States.

In his 1967 speech, Beyond Vietnam, King argued that young African American men were sent “to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia or East Harlem”.

MLK was killed exactly one year after making his controversial speech opposing the war.

I highly recommend this book 'The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.' by King-family lawyer William Pepper.

William Pepper was James Earl Ray’s lawyer in the trial for the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., and even after Ray’s conviction and death, Pepper continues to adamantly argue Ray’s innocence. This myth-shattering exposé is a revised, updated, and heavily expanded volume of Pepper’s original bestselling and critically acclaimed book Orders to Kill, with twenty-six years of additional research included. The result reveals dramatic new details of the night of the murder, the trial, and why Ray was chosen to take the fall for an evil conspiracy—a government-sanctioned assassination of our nation’s greatest leader. The plan, according to Pepper, was for a team of United States Army Special Forces snipers to kill King, but just as they were taking aim, a backup civilian assassin pulled the trigger.

In The Plot to Kill King, Pepper shares the evidence and testimonies that prove that Ray was a fall guy chosen by those who viewed King as a dangerous revolutionary. His findings make the book one of the most important of our time—the uncensored story of the murder of an American hero that contains disturbing revelations about the obscure inner-workings of our government and how it continues, even today, to obscure the truth.

Pepper would later represent the King-family in a 1999 civil trial in Memphis where a jury found MLK was the victim of a conspiracy, not a lone assassin, and said it is the duty of the Justice Department to look at the information presented in the Memphis case.  The Justice Department of course never acted since they were deeply involved in the cover-up. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday song

Saturday, January 18, 2020

What can be done about climate crisis?

Bruce Gagnon and Lisa Savage discuss climate crisis and what can be done about it.

This show ran in August of this year - a much warmer time in Maine than the present moment.

Lisa is now running for the US Senate seat in Maine currently held by right-wing Republican Susan Collins.  Lisa is running as a member of the Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP) in what will be a first in the nation for a US Senate seat - a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) race.  That means there will be no spoiler and that voters can rank their true preferences.

These kinds of RCV races tend to draw more people to the polls because now they feel they can for the first time vote their conscience and not fear they will 'split' the vote.

But first Lisa's team has to gather 2,000 registered Green Independent signatures between January 1 and March 15 which will be a challenge in the middle of a Maine winter.

I spent much of the day yesterday working with a friend in what might have been the coldest day of the year gathering signatures in neighborhoods throughout the southeast part of the town of Brunswick.  We got 13 signatures of Green Independent voters - like looking for a needle in a haystack.  This is our challenge in Maine.  Going back out with MB to do more of the same today.

You can learn more about Lisa here.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Climate change report

The devastating bushfires in Australia have raged on for months, destroying 16 million acres of land and killing an estimated one billion animals.

Resident vet Dr Scott Miller is live from Australia, where he’s been lending a helping hand at the Koala Hospital in New South Wales.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

View out my office window

It has snowed all day today - really beautiful watching it from my office window as a couple of inches worth collected in the trees and on the ground.

I went outside midday and did some shoveling and cleaning off the car.  My plans to go to the grocery store were set aside as it made no sense to try to dig out the driveway before the plow truck came to do that job.

Days like this are why I wanted to move to Maine back in 2003.  The snow makes the whole world slow down.  The technological world has to surrender for a few minutes to nature.  That is good.

It makes doing door-to-door work hard for Lisa's campaign but that comes with the territory.


I Was Treated by a Donetsk Doctor

Mum, I’m a prisoner, but you don’t cry.
I was darned, now like new.
I was treated by a Donetsk doctor,
Tired, dour, and harsh.

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

He treated me. Do you hear mother:
I hit the city from “Grad”,
And half the hospital was simply trashed
But he was treating me: “It is so necessary.”

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

Mum, I’m a monster, I’m sorry.
We got lost in the floods of lies.
All my life I have to bear this cross.
Now my eyes have opened.

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

We were taken to the places
Where the shells hit.
And we did not believe our eyes:
What have we done to Donbass!

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

The hospitals are full of the wounded.
Everyone curses Kiev here.
Father, whiter than the canvas,
Shakes the dead child

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

Mother, I am a monster and executioner.
And there is no terrorist here, mum.
There is only a human groan and cry,
And for them we are worse than the Nazis.

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

We, mum, were sent for slaughter,
The battalion commander had no pity for us.
The militia shouted at me: “Wait!
On the floor, milksop!”, and then foul language.

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

He did not want to shoot me.
He is a Man, and I am a killer.
He brought me out from the battle! Do you hear,
mother, me – the cruel blood drinker of Donbass!

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

Mum, I’m a prisoner, but you don’t cry.
I was darned, now like new.
I was treated by a Donetsk doctor,
Tired, dour, and harsh.

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

He was fulfilling a medical duty,
While I, burning from shame,
Was able to think for the first time:
Who needs a war like this?

God, have mercy on me; God, forgive me

Song performed by Yuliya Slavyanskaya

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My latest show

Richard Rhames discusses the current crisis situation with Iran after the US assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Richard is from Biddeford, Maine and is a multi-generational vegetable farmer on land in family hands.  He is also a public access TV show host (maybe one the longest running hosts in Maine) and a rock and roll band member.

Richard and I have been trading doing interviews on each others shows for many years.  He's a very smart and direct person who is not afraid to say what he thinks.

He's also alot of fun to be around.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Blessing the 'Space Force' bible.....

"The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) condemns, in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy," MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein wrote in a statement denouncing the Bible blessing. "The utilization of a Christian bible to 'swear in' commanders of the new Space Force or any other [Department of Defense] branch at ANY level is completely violative of the bedrock separation of church and state mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

In a tweet on Sunday, the Washington National Cathedral posted a statement describing the Bible that was blessed during a morning service as a Space Force official Bible "which will be used to swear in all commanders of America's newest military branch."

See the full article from NPR here

Still protesting on Jeju Island

The daily protest outside the U.S. forced Navy base in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea continues.  It has now been over 12 and one-half years of unrelenting struggle.  Currently the activists there are additionally opposing the construction of a second airport and Air Force base near the naval base.

The Catholic mass continues each day just across from the navy base.

Sacred Mount Halla in the distance viewed from Gangjeong village

After the Catholic mass participants march to the front gate of the Navy base to hold signs/banners, sing and dance.  Some days just a few are there.  Other days many come to join in.  The determination to reject U.S. provocative use of Jeju Island as a military platform for domination of China, North Korea and Russia remains strong. 

Lisa Savage issues statement on BIW $45 million tax break

In response to reports last week that top Democratic lawmakers in Maine are questioning a $45 million tax break for Bath Iron Works (BIW), US Senate candidate Lisa Savage issued the following statement:

“Why would our state give BIW/General Dynamics Corporation a $45 million tax cut in the first place? Owner General Dynamics is one of the wealthiest weapons manufacturers in the world and does not need corporate welfare. I worked hard to block this bill in 2018 and was part of a group that succeeded in reducing the tax giveaway amount from the $60 million originally put in the bill sponsored by Democrats Rep. Jennifer DeChant and Sen. Eloise Vitelli. A bill that both House Speaker Gideon and Senate President Jackson voted for, incidentally.”

We have many urgent needs in Maine: crumbling infrastructure, underfunded public education, and many people struggling without adequate health care.

General Dynamics pays its top executives multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses, and uses its enormous profits to buy back its own stock. Meanwhile, BIW forces workers to accept multi-year contracts with no pay raises and with cuts to benefits.

BIW workers are understandably angry about the unkept promises to improve conditions for the existing workforce, and to create additional good union jobs, that this tax giveaway bill was based on.
Saddest of all is the fact that elected officials know that building weapons systems like warships is not actually a good job creation program. Do Democratic and Republican leaders in the Maine legislature realize that converting BIW to building clean energy systems would generate up to 50% more jobs according to research by leading economists? I know that Maine’s Congressional delegation knows about this research, because I have shared it and discussed it with them.

Maine could be leading the way to a sustainable, green economy by converting BIW using federal contracts under a Green New Deal. I am running for the U.S. Senate on a platform advocating just such a change, which would be a win for the climate and a win for both workers and taxpayers in Maine.

As long as a big part of our economy is dependent on endless war, these issues will not go away; as long we continue to hope that war-profiteering companies like General Dynamics are going to "do the right thing," these issues will not go away. We need to promote a local economy and a strong union workforce, and end once and for all our country's dependence on endless world conflict to fuel the endless desire for economic growth.”

Find information about Lisa’s background, her policy positions, and where to donate to her people-powered campaign at

Julian Assange sighting & his punitive lockdown

  • The 48-year-old Australian-born activist made a brief appearance at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Monday, with his lawyers seeking to prevent his extradition to the United States. At the hearing, Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange’s next hearing would take place on January 23. Assange is to take part in that hearing by video linkup.

Assange's friends and fellow journalists have repeatedly expressed concerns over a 'rapid decline' in the WikiLeaks founder's health since his imprisonment. Assange's health is believed to have deteriorated steadily since his confinement to the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012, getting worse after he was jailed.

Julian Assange might feel forgotten but he is not.  None of us should ever forget him.  He took a bullet for all of us.  It's a monumental crime that he is locked down - particularly in solitary confinement with little access to family, friends, legal assistance and the freedom to take in fresh air and materials to help prepare his case.

The US & UK corporate regimes are trying to destroy him as a clear warning to others who might dare to blow the whistle on the corrupt capitalist system that now rules much of the world.

I look for every opportunity to pass on news about Assange.  It is a small thing to do but we must all do more to keep his case in the public eye.

  • When I lived in Florida we used to visit the historic city of St. Augustine frequently.  Our dear friend Peg McIntire (one of the key leaders in the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice) lived there on the beach.  When I couldn't afford to take my son Julian on a 'traditional' summer vacation Peg would invite us to her place for a week at a time so we could swim in the Atlantic and visit the local sites. 

St. Augustine is one of the few places in Florida that has some historical character.  Most of the state is highways, traffic, strip-malls, and tourist traps.  But St. Augustine (the oldest city in the US, a former Spanish colony during the 16th century) also has something very important - a very old fort that should be remembered for one primary reason - it served as a prison for Native Americans who were fighting the US Army for their very survival.

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States; it is located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine. During the 1800's the fort was renamed Fort Marion.

The fort was used as a military prison to incarcerate Native American tribes starting with the Seminole—including the famous war chief, Osceola, in the Second Seminole War—and members of western tribes, including Geronimo and others of the Chiricahua Apache.

Apache prisoners at Fort Marion

In October 1837 Seminole chief Osceola was deceitfully taken prisoner by the Americans while attending a peace conference near Fort Peyton under a flag of truce. He was imprisoned in Fort Marion along with his followers, including Uchee Billy, King Philip and his son Coacoochee (Wild Cat).

The Native American art form known as Ledger Art had its origins at the fort during the imprisonment of members of the Plains tribes such as Howling Wolf of the southern Cheyenne.

In 1874, in what became known as the Red River War or Buffalo War, a group of Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho, and Caddo warriors fought the US Army to protect the last free herd of buffalo and to assert their autonomy. In the harsh winter of 1874 to 1875, many tribal camps were forced to surrender to various Indian agencies, and the presumed leaders of the Red River War were rounded up and sent to Fort Marion. From 1875 to 1878, 71 native men and one woman were imprisoned there.

  • My point here is that the US government has been punitive toward those who rightly oppose its evil deeds even before the official founding of the nation in 1776.  Being locked up until death was the long-standing modus operandi of the 'Great White Father' in Washington.  It appears to be the current strategy when it comes to Julian Assange as well.  Destroy your worst critics and enemies.  Show no human kindness or mercy.  This is the tactic of a ruling elite that has long ago lost its connection to nature and the spirit world.  It reveals a deep sickness in this nation.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Working the doors across Maine for Lisa

Lisa Savage going door-to-door in Portland asking people to sign her petition to get on the ballot.  She needs 2,000 signatures of registered Maine Green Independent party members.

  • Mary Beth and I went door-to-door in Brunswick over the weekend.  We had to dodge some rain and ice but managed to have a good experience.  Folks in other parts of the state were also out gathering signatures for Lisa Savage to get on the ballot for the US Senate race in November as we step up our efforts to get the required 2,000 signatures by March 15.  We hit over 100 doors on Saturday and Sunday in Brunswick and got 27 signatures of registered Maine Green Independent voters.  People who are more experienced than us at this kind of campaigning tell us we did quite well.
  • Along the way I had some interesting conversations with some folks. Here are a couple remarks to share: One woman said she was concerned about her children's future; A senior couple said constantly rising prices are making it hard for them to live; Another older woman said she "Changed from Green to Democrat when that woman from California (Jill Stein who is actually from Massachusetts) sat down with Putin at the table"; and quite a few said they don't like the Democrats.
  • It's interesting to see the different kinds of people and types of housing that Green members live in.  We went from trailer parks to quite wealthy neighborhoods to find registered Greens.  Actually we had the best luck getting signatures in the trailer parks.  Largely because of the density of these places, trailers are close to one another.  Wealthier neighborhoods have large forested lots so you have to drive from one house to the next while in trailer parks you can often just walk from one place to the next.
  • The trailer parks defy the stereotypes of the kind of people living in them.  While indeed there are certainly some poor and working class people living in trailers there are also some very middle class folks inside these trailer parks.  It becomes apparent that the housing market has gotten so damn expensive that many people, even apparently middle class, have chosen trailer living as the more affordable way to go.  Who can blame them when a standard, no frills, three-bedroom house in Brunswick is selling for $250,000 or more.  It's outrageous.
  • Last evening Regis Tremblay and I gave a presentation at the library in Brunswick about our recent trips to Russia.  We both were in the Donbass (the war zone in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border) at separate times.  Then we were in Crimea at the same time in November.  Eighteen people showed up (including the former editor of the local newspaper) and we had a great discussion after my PowerPoint presentation and Regis showing a short video from one neighborhood in Donetsk that has been repeatedly bombed since 2014 by the Ukrainian military and their Nazi allies.  See that video here.
  • Two people who attended the event last night at the library decided to switch from Democrat to Green after the meeting and one person in the audience came up to me and said he wants to help do door-knocking to get signatures here in town.  So all in all it was a very successful day for us here in Brunswick.
  • I should also say that fellow Green Party member Rosalie Paul here in Brunswick has also collected about 25 signatures as well.  So our town is stepping up and doing our bit for the cause. 
  • We have a long way to go and still need lots of help.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Battle damage at U.S. base in Iraq after Iran's missile attack

In an exclusive report from an airbase where the US soldiers are based in Iraq, CNN described the extent of the damage to the base from Iran's missiles as unimaginable.

The US claimed that no one was killed which is a bit hard to imagine considering the battle damage.

An Iranian military report suggested that nine planes were needed to transfer the dead and wounded to hospitals in Israel.  If this was true then it is clear that the Pentagon did not want to transport the dead and wounded back to the US.  I've seen a couple of reports indicating that 80 were killed and about 200 wounded.

Do we really expect the US military to tell us the truth?  

Who knows for sure - time will tell?  Eventually someone will talk and we will learn more about this whole tragic incident that was brought on by the needless and provocative US assassination of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani who was sent to Iraq on a diplomatic mission.


Sunday song

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Lisa on popular comedian's show

Progressive comedian Graham Elwood talks with Lisa Savage, a Green Independent running for US Senate in Maine. Graham is based in Los Angeles.

There were lots of great comments after the video.  Here are a few of them:

  • That analogy about spending 70% of your money on security is brilliant!

  • Green jobs "for our climate, our economy and for our souls" Tell it Lisa!

  • I didn't think I'd see a Green in the Senate in my lifetime.. I'm 62, it's looking like I might.

  • Hopefully everyone watching this would give Lisa their #1 vote and the corporate Dem their #2 vote. The beautiful thing about RCV, is that it eliminates the "Voting for the Lesser Evil" strategy. I'm voting Lisa #1, without a doubt! 

  • I like the picture. She looks steady and honest. I feel weird when politicians color their gray hair. Gray hair is like a quickie Mart sign for wisdom. Her cut is no nonsense, easily maintenance. Definitely feminine without frills. She looks like someone I'd want to hire. In interview she's well identified problems and priorities. Would like to hear more about bills she want to introduce and how she'll carry out the job responsibility but I like her. Makes me more certain I don't do yang because I've researched him for hours with less information. Wish I had more money to contribute.

  • Thanks Graham for introducing Lisa to your audience. She has the 'vibe' of Dr Jill Stein - intelligent, easy to understand and all for the people. Those living in Maine and supporting Bernie - vote for Lisa. Bernie will need people like her in the congress. If you are not from Maine then think about election with more choices for candidates. That would be a truly democratic election system. Bernie will bring it in. Go Bernie!

  • I love it. This is exciting. I was likely going with Betsy Sweet but I didn't know about Lisa; and she covers real issues with real solutions. I will check out her website now. Thank you Graham for giving us all the important interviews and reporting on what matters. You make a good difference.  -A Mainer

  • You can donate at - I wonder who is the better option, Betsy Sweet or Lisa? I've donated to Betsy but that was before I knew a green was running. Id be happy with either based on a quick skim of her site

Friday, January 10, 2020

Not just cheap talk but the real deal for once

Dear Bruce,
I’m Lisa Savage, and I’m running for the US Senate seat currently held by Susan Collins. I’m a teacher, an organizer, and a grandmother, and I want to give Mainers a Senator who works for the people, not the powerful.
I teach in a low-income area, and I've been concerned for years about the well-being of the families in my area. They’re really struggling to survive. They don’t have adequate health care or jobs. Washington DC is failing them. They need real change.

As your voice in the Senate, I’ll do what it takes to protect our children’s future and create a better world for all of us.
But first we need to get on the ballot, meaning we need to collect at least 2,000 signatures from registered voters in the Maine Green Independent Party between January 1st and March 15th. 
Will you help by pledging your signature for our ballot petition - and pitching in to our ballot fund?

We deserve a government that works for us, not the big banks, weapons manufacturers, fossil fuel giants and corporate lobbyists who are calling the shots in Congress. That’s why my campaign won’t take money or support from corporate lobbyists, CEOs, or super PACs.

I believe, as residents of the richest country in the world, we all deserve the fundamentals of a secure life: good union jobs through a Green New Deal that will put millions to work tackling the climate crisis; a Medicare for All healthcare system that will work for everyone - unlike today’s broken system that drives sick people into bankruptcy; and quality education for all, including debt-free public higher education.
We’re facing a climate crisis that’s already harming our farms, fisheries, and coast. Our children are asking if they’ll have a planet they can live on.

Yet with all the urgent needs we face, Congress is making things worse by giving almost 60% of our federal discretionary budget to the Pentagon for endless, unwinnable wars that are making the world less safe.
It’s time to say no to politics as usual, and join together to work for a new system that puts people, planet and peace over profit. 
We have a historic opportunity in this race now that Maine has adopted Ranked Choice Voting. Our new and improved voting system gives everyone the freedom to vote their values, not their fears. 
A recent national poll found a staggering 70% of Americans are fed up with our political system that only works for insiders with money and power. Together we can seize this moment to build a people-powered campaign that will make history. All we have to do is let our neighbors know that they have a real choice.
We’ve never had a better opportunity - or a more urgent need - to come together for the greater good. I hope you’ll consider supporting my campaign to give Mainers a Senator for the people. 
Please help our grassroots campaign get on the ballot by pledging to sign our ballot petition and donating to our ballot fund!

We’re running a people-powered campaign without corporate money, which means we rely on support from real people like you and me.
We also have many ways to volunteer, depending on where you live and the time, talents and energy you have to offer. We need your help to build a grassroots movement that can make history.
Together, we can create a Maine and a nation that works for all of us!
Lisa Savage
Solon, Maine