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

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Assange: Report on rigged court in London

 

Attorneys for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange are citing a 20-year-old extradition treaty between the US and UK at day four of the embattled journalist's extradition hearing. 

The treaty prohibits extradition for political offenses. 

Former UK MP and friend of Julian Assange George Galloway discusses the implications.

Bon Voyage Regis!

Embracing an old tree in Yalta, Crimea, Russia last fall (Photo by Regis Tremblay)

Our friend Regis Tremblay is moving to Yalta, Crimea.  He has decided to make a new life there and take his film making skills to Russia.  Part of his goal is to make films that reveal to Americans that Russians are just ordinary people - they love their children, they love to eat and drink, they love to laugh, they love their nation.

We will miss Regis.  He's done much to support our peace work over the years here in Maine by making films and helping us to expand our audience around our work at BIW and my space issues efforts.

He's also been a good friend - a big brother really.  He also makes very good pizza.


MB and I have already pledged to take a vacation next fall to visit him and our tour guide friend Tanya who lives in Crimea.

I am certain Regis will work hard to bring the culture and humanity of the Russian people to us back here in America.  God knows the people in the USA have been so brainwashed about Russia that we need all the help we can get.

So Bon Voyage dear friend Regis!  Take care of yourself.  Keep the good work flowing.

And let us both hug that tree next fall in Crimea!

Bruce

Friday, February 28, 2020

Ya'll come now, ya hear.....



I first learned about Operation Paperclip and the Nazi scientists creating the US space program when I read the book Secret Agenda by former CNN investigative reporter Linda Hunt. The book told in detail how 1,500 top Nazi scientists, engineers and intelligence operatives were smuggled into the U.S. through Boston and West Palm Beach, Florida. One hundred of them, along with 100 copies of Hitler's V-2 rocket, were brought to Huntsville, Alabama to create the U.S. space program. Wernher von Braun, the lead scientist of Hitler's team that built the V-1 and V-2 rockets was made the first director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.


In Germany the Nazis had a concentration camp called Dora where 40,000 Jews, Gypsies, French resistance fighters, homosexuals, communists and other prisoners of war (including a black American GI) were brought to build the V-1 and V-2 inside a mountain tunnel called Mittelwerk. By the time the slaves were liberated by the allies, over 25,000 had perished at the hands of the Nazi rocketeers.


Hitler's military liaison to von Braun's rocket team was Maj. Gen. Walter Dornberger. Several times Dornberger and von Braun met with Hitler requesting more money and more slaves so they could step up the rocket production effort. Hitler was anxious to use the rockets to terrorize European cities like London, Paris and Brussels toward the end of the war as the Nazi army began to lose. Dornberger and von Braun showed Hitler films of the V-2 rocket launches to prove they were making significant progress.

Kurt Debus, the chief of V-2 launch operations in Hitler's Germany, later became Chief of Operations for NASA at Cape Canaveral. When tourists converge on the Kennedy Space Center they pass by a portrait of the former German SS member that hangs in the entrance in honor of Debus's service as the center's first director.

In a book called The Hunt for Zero Point, respected military journalist Nick Cook talks much about the "black" (the Pentagon's secret) budget. For 15 years Cook had been a defense and aerospace writer for Jane's Defence Weekly, which some consider the bible of the international weapons community. Cook spent 10 years researching secret military programs in the U.S. and believed that well over $100 billion a year is spent on these programs outside the purview of Congress. Cook states, "It [black programs] has a vast and sprawling architecture funded by tens of billion of classified dollars every year. The height of its powers was probably in the Reagan era. But it has not stopped since then. In fact, under the Bush administration it [had] something of a resurgence. Stealth technology is a primary example...research into anti-gravity technology...has been going on for quite some time."

Cook traced the roots of the U.S.'s secret programs back to the Nazi scientists brought to the U.S. after WW II in Operation Paperclip. He states, "We know the size and scope of Operation Paperclip, which was huge. And we know that the U.S. operates a very deeply secret defense architecture for secret weapons programs...it is highly compartmentalized...and one of the things that's intrigued me over the years is, How did they develop it? What model did they base it on? It is remarkably similar to the system that was operated by the Germans - specifically the SS - for their top-secret weapons programs."


Wernher von Braun (center background in dark suit) was a Nazi SS member

"What I do mean," says Cook, "is that if you follow the trail of Nazi scientists and engineers who were recruited by America at the end of the second world war, the unfortunate corollary is that by taking on the science, you take on - unwittingly - some of the ideology...What do you lose along the way?"

Could this be what former President Dwight Eisenhower was talking about just a few years later when in 1961 he warned the American people to 'beware' of the power of the military industrial complex? Could Eisenhower's prophetic warning been that an ideological contamination had come from America's embracing of the Nazi operatives?

Today Huntsville is called 'The Pentagon of the South'.  More engineers live there than any other place in the US.  Currently there is a raging battle going on inside the aerospace industry between Huntsville and Colorado Springs, Colorado (long home of the Space Command) as they compete to see which location will be named national headquarters of Trump's new 'Space Force' command structure.

Bruce

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Lenten vigils begin at BIW


Eleven of us gathered at Bath Iron Works (BIW) at 7:00 yesterday morning on Ash Wednesday to begin the annual Lenten vigils at the shipyard that only builds destroyers for the Navy.

We greeted the executives who were entering the administration building and the rank-and-file workers as they passed us by.

Our message to the workers is two-fold.  First, we can't afford war any longer - it is destroying our environment. The Pentagon is the largest contributor of green house gases which causes climate crisis.  The massive military budget must be used for urgent human, environmental and infrastructure needs.  War is obsolete.

Our second message is conversion.  We must convert the shipyard to build commuter rail systems, offshore wind turbines, tidal power systems and other such technologies that help us begin the process of lessening our carbon footprint on Mother Earth.  It is a matter of survival for the future generations. 

Studies have long revealed that if we made such a transition we'd create more jobs as military spending is 'capital intensive', meaning it burns up funds while creating fewer jobs than if we invested in any other kind of production that would be 'labor intensive'.  See one of the recent studies here.

We will return to BIW every Saturday during Lent (until April 11) at 11:30 in front of the administration building on Washington Street in Bath.

During the Lenten season of self-examination and reflection, Christians who observe Lent typically make a commitment to fast, or to give up something.  We are calling on the US to give up war, arrogance, domination and the moral superiority that is rotting the soul of our nation.

The time has come to reflect on our evil killing ways around the world, to repent, to take responsibility for our actions and to change our hearts and our ways.

Bruce

~ Photo by Peter Woodruff - the sign I am holding was also made by Peter who worked at BIW for more than 30 years.  I carry it in his honor.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Pay to play alive and well in South Carolina



A room full of rich people in South Carolina who paid thousands of dollars to the DNC to get into the debate - poor and working class people be damned.....

They cheered the statements in favor of the rich and booed statements opposing the rule of the 1%.

Welcome to democracy inside of the Democrat Party.

Understanding the mess in Syria




Pushback with Aaron Maté

Idlib is facing a humanitarian disaster as hundreds of thousands flee a Syrian and Russian military campaign to retake the province from militant rule. Overlooked in Western coverage of the crisis is that Idlib is mostly controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a rebranded affiliate of Al-Qaeda -- and that Turkey, with U.S. backing, has intervened to keep the extremist group in place.

Guest: Scott Ritter, former UN Weapons Inspector and Marine Corps Intelligence Officer.

See an illuminating discussion of the Syria situation by people from Russia, Iran and Turkey here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Lisa Savage to take independent route to ballot



Our deadline to reach 2,000 signatures of registered Green party members in Maine is fast approaching.  An honest evaluation of our situation indicates that we have no chance of getting the required signatures for Lisa Savage's US Senate race by the March 15 deadline.  The two-party control of Maine's state government has ensured that they have crafted a ballot access law that makes it virtually impossible for us to succeed.

Maine's Secretary of State Matt Dunlap told the Bangor Daily News last week that moving to presidential primaries (rather than the traditional caucus) produced an “unforeseen consequence” for third parties. “I think it’s just circumstantial, not intentional,” he said, “but it does make it much harder for a statewide third-party candidate.”

In the past month we've been hearing from several past and present leaders of the Maine Green Independent Party urging Lisa to switch to Independent (called 'unenrolled' in Maine) so that she could continue to run.  By making such a switch Lisa could gather signatures from any registered voter - Greens, Democrats, Republicans, or Independents.  We would have to gather 4,000 signatures by June 1 which everyone believes will be much easier.

Because we could previously only get registered Greens signatures in Maine we were collecting at the average rate of one signature per hour.  Maine is very rural and we had to take our Green lists and drive from here to there in the snow and ice hoping we found someone at home.  We got over 900 signatures basically doing that.

Under the new 'Independent' designation we can stand in front of the post office, library or at some spring festival and gather signatures by the scores as people pass by.  So that is what Lisa has decided to do.

Former two-time Maine Green Party candidate for governor Jonathan Carter was one of those who has been encouraging Lisa to switch to Independent.  After hearing the news he wrote:

Lisa's decision to run as an independent is a smart move. The system makes it next to impossible for a Green to get on a statewide ballot. Lisa's message for People, Planet , and Peace is far too important to not have it as part of the US Senate race. Lisa has laid the foundation for a fantastic campaign. Let's keep this campaign going all the way to victory on election day! Thank you Lisa.


As Lisa and others have been alerting volunteers to this new decision the vast majority have responded with understanding and pledges of continued support.  Here is one story Lisa shared with me about one of her hometown (Solon, Maine) friends who has been helping on the campaign.

Anecdote: Mark [Lisa's husband] spoke with Solon volunteer and very old friend Sarah when she returned my call. What she told Mark was that she was deeply moved by the conditions she witnessed while canvassing in our area. Extreme poverty beyond anything that she was really aware of. "I live in a castle" was her comment (she and her woodworker husband live in a nice yurt he built & she has a separate studio for her artwork). She is even more fired up to support our campaign now.

Lisa has decided to stay in this race because she feels that she must give voice to the many in our state who are forgotten by the system - and its two corporate-controlled political parties.  She often speaks about the young students at her K-5 school.  She talks about their poverty, one of their parents being locked up in jail, having no food or heat in their homes.  No medical care to speak of.  No future.

This past week Lisa spent most of her vacation week off from school driving all over the state to meet students at various colleges.  The other night at Unity College a group of students attended a talk by Lisa where among others things she called for the erasing of student debt.  In the Q & A a young man shared how he was 'scared' about his future because of huge college debt.  You could just see the experienced teacher in her as she calmly and confidently responded to him with love and compassion.

The campaign strategy now is to send volunteers to primary voter polling stations across the state on March 3 - Super Tuesday.  We will be asking people to sign her ballot access petition and any registered voter will be able to do so.  It is possible we could come away from that one day with nearly half of the needed signatures.

I will need to return to my job at the Global Network on March 16 but will continue to volunteer in this campaign during my free time.  I believe in Lisa - as a friend and as someone who cares deeply about the future generations and all life on our Mother Earth.  The message she is delivering is important for the public to hear.

It's an honor to be with her on this path.  We must all find ways to speak these needed truths - now more than ever.

See Lisa's campaign news release here

Bruce

Monday, February 24, 2020

U.S.-NATO make grab for Arctic region





US-NATO will hold war games in Norway's Arctic Circle in March, where it will be supporting climate change-induced resource extraction and increasing the military tension with Russia. 

Russia has the world's largest land border with the Arctic.

The RAND Corporation (based in Santa Barbara, California) has come out with a study calling for the break-up (Balkanization) of Russia into smaller countries.  This would make it easier for western oil corporations to make deals with these 'new nations' to have access to Arctic resources.  Find the study here.

Of course these moves by US-NATO are provocative, destabilizing and are further leading to tensions with Russia that could explode in a full scale war.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday song




Saturday, February 22, 2020

GN board member interview in Hawaii trying to stop space radar



Physics teacher Lynda Williams (California) has been doing alot of good work in Hawaii recently to help make people aware of growing Pentagon plans for a 'missile defense' radar that could be deployed on Oahu in the Hawaii islands.

Lynda is a long-time board member with the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Lynda is also an entertainer who mixes that skill with her teaching.


Friday, February 21, 2020

You gotta laugh....before you cry



Obama calls on Jimmy again

Jimmy Dore is a self-described 'jag-off comedian who does a show from his garage' in Los Angeles

He does politics on the side......

The real Joe Biden exposed



Certainly a must watch.

Biden is a corrupt corporate hack and does not deserve any consideration for president.

This excellent video lays it all out.

Biden will likely blame Russia for creating this video........

Bruce

Thursday, February 20, 2020

More for the Pentagon & less for workers and the poor


In the proposed 2021 budget the Pentagon would control 55% of the discretionary federal budget. By 2030, the Trump budget would give 62% of the discretionary budget to the Pentagon.

This budget takes aim at millions of Americans who have fallen through the cracks of our winner-take-all economy, slashing Medicaid and food stamps and eliminating low-income heating aid and other programs at the same time that it throws billions more into the pockets of powerful military contractors.

In proposing cuts to domestic spending paired with a growing Pentagon budget, the President’s budget disregards the will of the American people. A majority of Americans support shifting Pentagon spending to domestic priorities, yet the president’s budget does the opposite.

This should be called neo-feudalism.

Rattle your chains while you still can.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

War crimes by the 'exceptional nation'



This is the story about the man under the hood in Iraq being tortured by the US military.

Warning: Some viewers may find this content distressing

The bit at the end by Hollywood celebrity Ellen DeGeneres was after she caught lots of flak for hanging out with, and declaring her admiration for, George W. Bush who ordered this torture of Iraqi people.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A man that can't be forgotten



This super-rare conversation is between Ali and Irish broadcaster Cathal O'Sannon.

And it has never been broadcast on American TV.

Originally shared on the RTE Television Archive website.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Climate change update


Just a small sampling of the weather changes this winter in Maine.

Not as cold - not as many below zero temps.

The best way to characterize this winter is 'up and down'.

One day it is quite cold and the next will be quite warm.  This is likely why so many Mainers have been sick this winter for longer times.

Our bodies can't adjust to the weather which jeopardizes our immune systems.  Everything is out of whack.

Expect more of this in the coming years.  That means more illness, ticks not dying off in the winter due to insufficient freezes which adds up to more Lyme Disease and the like.

It also means bugs from the south that attack the trees won't be killed off in the winter and our forests in Maine will be severely impacted.

And what are the politicians doing about all this?  Little to nothing.

What should they be doing?  Here is a short list:

  • Convert the war machine, which is the biggest industrial polluter on earth, to build sustainable technologies.  This process would actually create more jobs.
  • Build a commuter rail system reaching every corner of Maine getting us out of our fossil fuel burning cars.  This process would also create more jobs.  Old-timers in Maine remember when there was once a passenger rail system throughout the state.
  • Put solar every place possible in Maine instead of continued emphasis on industrial centralized electrical production.
  • Quickly develop the offshore wind power program (it's being done in many places around the world).  The Gulf of Maine has the most wind capacity of any place in the continental US.
  • Cancel one expensive destroyer at Bath Iron Works and use the money to weatherize homes all over the state.  Another job producer
I'm sure you could offer many suggestions as well - I'd love to hear them.  The point is that we are facing a climate crisis - a climate catastrophe - and we need action and leadership now!

Demand it for the sake of the future generations.

Bruce 

Great new Lisa Savage for Senate campaign video



Video by Brian Leonard and Eric Herter

Check out Lisa's web site at  www.lisaformaine.org

Please help us share this video widely.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday song





Saturday, February 15, 2020

Erdogan’s Long-Coming Reality Check

 


by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

It is hard to say if Erdogan is running out of choices, friends, time, or all of the above; and his stands on various issues and the contradictions he ploughs through are making his situation increasingly untenable.

For the benefit of readers who haven’t heard this before; Erdogan is juggling being a Turkish Muslim reformer who parades under the photos of Turkish secular anti-Muslim nation-builder Mustafa Kemal; an EU-aspiring member and also an aspiring global Sunni leader; an ally of Israel as well as Hamas; an Islamist who is also at odds with the Wahhabi Islamists; a nationalist Turk who wants to curb Kurdish aspirations not only in Syria and Iraq but also in Turkey; a Sunni leader who wants to restore the Sultanate and Caliphate and the fundamentalist Sunni version of anti-Shiite Islam but is also a friend of Shiite Iran; a NATO member with a special relationship with America, and a special friend and ally of Russia.

Ironically, despite all the contradictions and conflicts of interest, he has thus far managed to get away with wearing not only all those hats, but also turbans and fezzes in between. Clearly however, this maneuvering cannot last forever and, sooner or later, he is going to end up painted into a tight corner. I certainly would like to believe that he is already in this space.

Erdogan however believes that he has a mandate from God. Following his November 2015 election win, in an article titled “Erdogan the Trojan Horse of Terror” (https://thesaker.is/erdogan-the-trojan-horse-of-terror/), I wrote: “With this win, Erdogan felt invincible. For an Islamist, and this is what Erdogan is, feeling invincible takes on a whole new meaning.

This is a simplistic translation of a Quranic verse: “If God is by your side, no one can defeat you” (Quran 3:160).

Erdogan believes he is invincible because he believes that he is on a mission and that God is by his side. If he had any reason to doubt this divine role he believes he has, the November election results put that doubt to rest.”


Ironically, Erdogan is able to comprehend the contradictions of others. Whilst America for example does not give two hoots about the Syrian Kurds and is only using some vulnerable leaders to dig a wedge between the Syrian Government and the Syrian Kurdish population, Erdogan has most vehemently stated to both the Obama and Trump administrations that America cannot be an ally of Turkey and the Kurds at the same time.

Yet, this same Erdogan justifies for himself the supplying of Idlib terrorists with state-of-the-art weaponry to attack not only Syrian Army units with, but also the Russian Hmeimim Air Base. The Russians have thus far thwarted countless attempted drone attacks on the base, and if Turkey did not directly supply the weapons, it definitely facilitated their transport.

Remember that the Idlib area that is controlled by Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra) lies between the Syrian-Army controlled area and the Turkish border. It has an open highway to Turkey where all arms and fighters move freely from Turkey into Syria.

And even though Erdogan has signed an agreement with Russia to end the terrorist presence in Idlib, according to veteran Palestinian journalist Abdul Bari Atwan, he does not want to understand why Russia is fed up with him and his antics and why President Putin is refusing to meet with him. In his article written in Raialyoum https://www.raialyoum.com/index.php/لماذا-يرفض-بوتين-لقاء-قمة-مع-اردوغان-لح/, Atwan argues that the Russians refuse Erdogan’s call for a new disengagement negotiation meeting and that Turkey must adhere to the existing Sochi agreement; which it has broken on several occasions by Erdogan.

Atwan adds that:

Firstly: “the Turkish gamble and reliance on Syrian opposition and the Free Syria Army in particular have failed because those forces abandoned their positions and the Syrian Army entered the towns of Khan Sheikhoun and Maarra Al-Numan unopposed without suffering a single casualty

Secondly: The 12 Turkish surveillance posts that were established in the Idlib district have turned into a liability because seven of them are under siege by the Syrian Army with a hundred Turkish soldiers trapped in each and can easily be destroyed by the Syrian Army in case Turkey launches a major offensive against Syria.

Thirdly: Russian support to the Syrian Army has reached an unprecedented level after the Russians shot down two drones launched by Tahrir Al-Sham yesterday” (ie the 10th of February 2020).


In addition, according to Atwan, “Erdogan missed a golden opportunity when he refused the (recent) Iranian initiative proposed to him by Iranian FM, Zarif, to find a political resolution for the impasse with Syria, and this was perhaps the last opportunity to reach a diplomatic resolution before a direct open confrontation with Syria”

In a Financial Times article titled “Testing Times for Erdogan and Putin” the author is a tad short of saying that the relationship between Erdogan and Putin is irreconcilable. According to him, “If Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was looking for a way to convey his anger at Russia over the death of eight of his country’s troops in Syria, a visit to Ukraine provided the perfect opportunity.

At a guard of honour at the presidential palace in Kyiv on Monday, Mr Erdogan shouted “Glory to Ukraine”, a nationalist slogan deeply associated with anti-Russia sentiment and the country’s fight for independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

His carefully chosen words — to an army battling Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine — were a clear rebuke to President Vladimir Putin”.


In all of this, what Erdogan needs more than anything, is a long-coming reality check, and it seems more forthcoming than ever.


He may believe that he is a president for life who deserves the purportedly one thousand room palace he built for himself. He may hope to rebuild the Ottoman Empire and resurrect the Caliphate. He may imagine that, having been able to build up the Turkish economy to a level that has earnt a position in the G20, he has become the leader of a super power; but he has not. Turkey is at best a regional power, but it is only powerful if it has more powerful friends and allies to back it up. For as long as Turkey has to literally beg the Russians and/or the Americans to buy state-of-the-art weapons to defend itself with, then it is not in a position that allows it to stand on its own feet; not in the manner that Erdogan wishes it to stand. He should take heed and look at history. Mehmet Al-Fatih built his own guns to breakdown the defence walls of Constantinople. Even though the engineer who built them was from the Balkans, but they were Mehmet’s guns and they were the biggest in the world at the time.

I am not advocating that Erdogan should build his own nuclear arsenal, fighter jets and defence and attack missiles. In the ideal world, no one should. But to add to his list of contradictions, if Erdogan wants to wear the Turban of the Sultan, huff and puff at Russia, he cannot be riding Don Quixote’s donkey at the same time.

And if he thinks that he can now make a U-turn and be the loyal NATO leader and dump Russia, he will find himself again facing the same impasse he had with the Americans over the Kurdish issue. Furthermore, what will this do to his trade deals with Russia and his gas supplies?

And if Erdogan also thinks that America would come forward to save him in Idlib, one would have to remember that the illegal American presence in North East Syria is hundreds of kilometres away from Idlib and separated by the Russian-backed Syrian Army. Why would America, even Trump’s America, risk a confrontation with Russia to save his hide?

Erdogan has thus far evaded Karma because he has been hedging his bets in all directions, working up his enemies and allies against each other. But unless one is powerful enough to stand on his own feet when he needs to, then such a strategy in the long run can only leave one with no friends, a long list of enemies and a hoard of untrusting onlookers.

Above all, what do Turkish people want from the Turkish presence in Syria? Turkey hasn’t been at war for a whole century. The leader that once promised “zero problems” with neighbours is digging in his heels and seems determined to engage in an all-out war with Syria. The average Turkish citizen may ask why and to what end?

Erdogan has hopefully finally wedged himself into a corner that he cannot weasel his way out of without losing face. He will either have to bolster his military presence in Syria and fight the Syrian Army and Russia, or back off. If he takes the former option, he will not find any international supporters, and possibly the support of his own people will become questionable. But if the psychopathic, megalomaniac feels that he has to retreat, he will be scrambling for a face-saving exit, and the options are running out.

Russia was prepared to put the deliberate Turkish downing of the Su-24 in November 2015 behind and move forward. A lifeline was given to Erdogan back then, based on the promises he made and the later agreements he signed. But time proved that he was only looking for buying time, and that window with Russia is up.

Body bags have already been sent to Turkey and there are unconfirmed figures of how many Turkish soldiers have been killed defending Al-Nusra fighters. What is pertinent here is that, in the event of an all-out war with Syria, Syrians will be fighting an existential battle, aided by Russia and regional allies. Turkey however, will be fighting a different type of existential battle; one for Erdogan, not for Turkey itself.

Turkey has no reason for having a military presence and fight in Syria. It is only Erdogan’s ego and dreams that do.

Freedom Rider: Trump Has No Opposition


By Margaret Kimberley
Black Agenda Report

The Bloomberg cash onslaught and the anti-Bernie conspiracy have laid bare the degree of collusion among the rulers.

“The blatant war crimes committed against Venezuela elicit either nonchalance or outright support from the so-called resistance.”

The Democratic Party is every bit as corrupt as its pretend rival, the Republican Party. The theatrics of phony opposition have been on full display in recent days but no one should be fooled by the cheap theatrics. The impeachment show, Iowa caucuses, and State of the Union address all put a spotlight on the fraud of democracy in this country. 

Among other crimes, Donald Trump uses the presidency to enrich himself, and assassinated an Iranian general in violation of United States and international law. But the only article of impeachment the Democrats were willing to put forward focused on Trump’s foolish effort to involve the Ukrainian President in an investigation of Joe Biden.

This gift to the Democrats was milked for all that it was worth but not before the Democrats gave Trump everything he wanted. Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats gave Trump a border wall, a trade bill, a new branch of the military known as the Space Force, and a more than $700 billion military budget.

“The Democrats gave Trump everything he wanted.”

One wouldn’t know about any of these capitulations and collusions after listening to Democrats wax poetically during the impeachment debate. They droned on endlessly about the founding fathers and the greatness of a democracy that doesn’t really exist. Even members of the Congressional Black Caucus joined in the charade of praising people who enslaved their ancestors.

The farce continued at the State of the Union address. Pelosi and Trump behaved like enemies and he refused to shake her hand. She did him one better in the publicity stunt department by ripping up his speech.

But the torn pages were not the highlight of Democratic Party treachery. The Trump administration is still trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government and invited their hand picked pretend president Juan Guaido to attend the SOTU spectacle.

Pelosi jumped to her feet when Guaido was introduced, proving that disagreements over anything substantive are practically non-existent. Not only did Pelosi give Guaido the stamp of approval but Bernie Sanders used the most recent debate to continue his tirades against Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping too. He went right along with the imperialist narrative.

“Disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over anything substantive are practically non-existent.”

The manufactured impeachment drama even turned Mitt Romney into a hero for liberals. The man rightly despised as a hedge fund chieftain who condemned half of the population -- the 47% who receive some public benefit -- is now revered after voting to convict Trump in the senate trial. The fact that one-time villains can become heroes is proof that the differences in the duopoly are small and getting smaller. Image making and public relations count for more than any policy differences.

The rank and file are largely taken in by the nonsense. Any semblance of ideological difference occurred so long ago that there is little expectation of real change. The sight of Rush Limbaugh receiving the meaningless Presidential Medal of Freedom may raise ire but the blatant war crimes committed against Venezuela elicit either nonchalance or outright support from the so-called resistance. 

The impeachment farce and State of the Union capped a week of comedy and criminality from the duopoly. The seeming incompetence in declaring a winner in the Iowa caucuses proved just one thing. Bernie Sanders won that contest but the party establishment has already decided that he won’t be allowed to get the nomination. The Democratic National Committee changed debate rules to allow Michael Bloomberg to take part even though he is his only donor. One is expected to ignore the fact that he also made a $300,000 donation to the DNC. Bloomberg paid good money to get his way but it is unlikely that the DNC had their collective arms twisted. They are in sync with the billionaire and are glad to get paid to do what they already intended.

“The differences in the duopoly are small and getting smaller.”

The cheating has begun in earnest, and the only thing Democrats are resisting is any turn to the left. Even a little bit of reformism is off limits for the supposed leaders who are little more than errand boys and girls for the billionaires. The Bloomberg cash onslaught and the anti-Bernie conspiracy have laid bare the degree of collusion among the rulers.

The Democratic rank and file do hate Donald Trump but the machinations of the DNC and others may well put him back in office for a second term. Any real change is off limits for them. They hope to skirt around the issues of low wages and health care and all of the ills that create so much suffering. They hope that some nibbling around the edges with denunciation of Trump’s open racism will be enough to win. But if they are wrong they prefer Trump 2.0 to allowing millions of people to think they will be allowed to enjoy a resuscitated welfare state. There is more misery ahead regardless of who wins in November. Thanks to the Democrats’ treachery, that person may well be Donald Trump.

~ Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Karl Grossman space video



Enviro Closeup #642

Unless it’s stopped, Donald Trump will have opened space to war. Trump’s establishment of a U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of U.S. armed forces has come despite the landmark Outer Space Treaty that designates space as a global commons to be used for peaceful purposes.

Trump and the U.S. military claim a Space Force is needed because China and Russia have been moving into space militarily. But, in fact, China and Russia—along with U.S. neighbor Canada—have for decades been seeking to expand the Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits weapons of mass destruction in space, to banning all weapons in space. The U.S. has repeatedly voted against this, the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, or PAROS treaty, essentially vetoing it at the UN.

And despite their efforts to expand the Outer Space Treaty, China and Russia—with the U.S. moving ahead to achieve what Trump calls “American dominance in space”—will meet the U.S. in kind. They’d be followed by other nations. And the heavens will be turned into a war zone.

The program features Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

~ Karl Grossman is a life-long journalist and professor at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury on Long Island.  He began working on space issues in the late 1980's when he wrote an article for The Nation alerting the world that the ill-fated Challenger space shuttle's next mission was to carry a plutonium-238 payload on-board.  It was that article that got Karl linked to the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice - a connection that in 1992 helped establish the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Judge Field again supports non-violent protesters at BIW

Phil Berrigan being arrested at the Pentagon after one of his many actions. In 1997 he led a plowshares action at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine and was called "a moral giant, the conscience of a generation" by Judge Joseph Field.  (Etching by Tom Lewis)


On June 24, 2019, 22 non-violent peace activists were arrested at BIW during another destroyer 'christening' as they blocked buses and cars full of people trying to enter the shipyard for the event.

On that day nine in the group refused to pay the $60 bail commissioner fee and spent two nights in jail.  In the end some of those arrested paid a $152 fine (being told they would lose their drivers license if they did not pay the fine), some had their charges dropped (after a screw up at the DA's office) and seven decided to take their case before the West Bath District Court in a bench trial.

(The entire group had wanted a jury trial but the state reduced the charges to a 'jay walking infraction' that was not severe enough to warrant a jury trial.  Thus a bench trial, before a judge only, was in order.)

This morning four of the remaining defendants (Brown Lethem, Natasha Mayers, Ridgely Fuller & Ashley Bahlkow) appeared before Judge Joseph Field for the bench trial. After a long period of sitting around the court house the case was finally called before Judge Field around 11:00 am.

Judge Field is known in peace movement circles as the presiding judge in 1997 following a plowshares action at BIW.

Before dawn on February 12, 1997, Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, six religious peace activists, Steve Baggarly from Norfolk, VA, Philip Berrigan, a former Josephite priest from Baltimore, Mark Colville of New Haven, CT, Susan Crane, from Baltimore, Tom Lewis-Borbely of Worcester, MA and the Rev. Steve Kelly, a Jesuit priest from San Jose, CA, calling themselves Prince of Peace Plowshares, boarded the USS The Sullivans, an Aegis destroyer, at BIW. Inspired by Isaiah’s prophecy to turn swords into plowshares, they poured their own blood and used hammers to beat on the hatches covering the tubes from which nuclear missiles can be fired and unfurled a banner which read Prince of Peace Plowshares, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks…Isaiah 2:4.”

On that same day in 1997 in Sagadahoc County District Court, when the Prince of Peace Plowshares were brought to arraignment, Judge Joseph Field felt impassioned enough to say, “Anyone of my generation knows Philip Berrigan. He is a moral giant, the conscience of a generation.”

When we entered the court room today we didn't know who the presiding judge would be.  It wasn't until the proceedings were over that we realized that Judge Field had once again made an impassioned statement for peace and our constitutional rights.

When the judge began this morning he said the following:

I personally agree with what you are doing.  I support your right to speak out.  No damages occurred by your action.  I am horrified about our rights being taken away these days.

I want you to know this. We are not seeing any [positive] leadership out of Washington DC.
Judge Field went on to cancel the $152 fine the District Attorney's office was requesting.  Instead he gave the four activists 20 hours of community service at a place "where real people are being touched".

He then sent his clerk back into his office to retrieve his laptop which he used to search for something that he tearfully read in full before the courtroom.  It was a quote by former President Eisenhower:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Judge Field asked each of the four defendants if they wished to make a statement.  Natasha Mayers told the story about a Labor Day rally at BIW in 1994 joined by President Bill Clinton, Sen. George Mitchell, Rep. Tom Andrews, BIW President Buzz Fitzgerald and other national and local labor leaders. They all called for the conversion of the shipyard to civilian production so there is indeed a tradition in Bath along these lines to ensure job and community stability.

The judge responded by asking what kinds of products could be built at the shipyard?  Attorney Logan Perkins (Belfast), representing the four, replied, "These are people of conscience who risked their freedom to take a stand against climate change by peaceful assembly.  They are not anti-worker, not anti-BIW.  They insist we convert the Pentagon - the world's biggest polluter which is on a death march of producing destroyers at BIW. They have a bold and creative vision to transform our economy to sun, wind, and rail systems."

Judge Field closed the legal proceedings with these words, "Go ye hence and continue to do good work.  Keep it non-violent without property damage."

As the judge rose those in attendance applauded this remarkable man and this incredible experience - unlike any we've ever experienced in an American courtroom.

Bruce

History lesson: Come together



In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party formed alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city, including Latino group the Young Lords and the southern whites of the Young Patriots. 

Banding together in one of the most segregated cities in postwar America to confront issues like police brutality and substandard housing, they called themselves the Rainbow Coalition.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

People were nicer - there used to be a collective feeling



Has a boomer ever told you that everyone who ever lived under socialism hated it and was trying to escape? Have you ever met a defector who has nothing but terrible things to say about the land they traded for a life in the West? Well, it's time to meet the silent majority of those who stuck around under socialism! 

The Revolution Report presents Donald Courter: Donald is an American journalist, political analyst, & historian living and working in Moscow. 

He is an avid anti-imperialist, internationalist, an advocate for friendship between peoples, and a supporter of socialism in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Collecting signatures for Lisa Savage



I hit a rough patch - my ice caused flying fall onto my ribs was followed by a several day bout of the bug with sneezing, runny nose and coughing. 

Due to these temporary disabling maladies I have missed the last two weeks of productive door-to-door work on behalf of Lisa.  I probably lost out on at least 50 signatures and every one of them are needed badly for us to hit our goal of 2,000 by March 15.

Fortunately there have been other things I could do such as mailing materials to others around Maine who are helping and working with our signature coordinator Isaac to package and mail voter registration cards and completed petitions to various towns for their verification.

Working on a campaign is quite detail oriented and a complex process.  I've worked on campaigns a couple times in the past but never to this level of involvement.  It's been a real learning process.

Amazingly our great candidate Lisa Savage has stayed well (although I am sure tired as hell).  She has kept up a blistering pace with her devoted husband Mark driving her from one end of the state to the other.  She is representing the issues dear to our heart in a good way and we are proud to stand with her.

This coming Saturday many of us are going north to Belfast, Maine to hit doors there and Lisa will work the downtown area around the shops to talk with people.  So we should have a good presence there for the day.

Next week we will be doing a tour of four colleges across the state - spending an entire day at each one in Orono, Unity, Farmington and Portland.  Arrangements have been made at most of the schools to invite students to hear Lisa speak.  Should be an exciting time.

People often complain that our movements are only talking to the choir and we rarely have interactions with young people.  So far this campaign has proven to be a blessing in that we are reaching out way beyond our normal boundaries.

The primary issues Lisa is talking with students about include erasing student debt, dealing with climate crisis (Green New Deal), stopping endless war$ and conversion of the military industrial complex to sustainable technology development.


Lately the Lisa for Maine team has been working hard to register voters (with the green cards pictured above) as new Green Independent Party members so they can sign her ballot access petition.  In this current environment, where all the media is focused on the Democratic Party primaries, let me say it is a real challenge but we are doing our best.

Fortunately the donations have been coming in real strong from Green Party members across the nation during the past month (thanks to fundraising calls by Jill Stein and Lisa) so we've been able to hire some people to help gather signatures.  Even these professional signature gatherers say that finding Greens is the hardest signature collecting they have ever done since there are so few of them in comparison to the major corporate parties and the unenrolled (independents).  Right now we have almost 900 signatures in hand.

Today I am heading out with a local friend to get back to doors in the nearby town of Topsham.  Wish us luck and keep our struggle to give the people of Maine a real choice in the next election close to your heart!

Bruce

Monday, February 10, 2020

Permanent greed & endless war$



Abby Martin sits down with Peter Phillips, former director of Project Censored and professor of Political Sociology at Sonoma State University. 

His book “Giants: The Global Power Elite” details the 17 transnational investment firms which control over $50 trillion in wealth—and how they are kept in power by their activists, facilitators and protectors.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Weekend movie feature: Dalton Trumbo's last stand



Ten years after John F. Kennedy's murder, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Lewis, David Miller, Mark Lane and Garry Horrowitz created a film which could be dubbed “Trumbo’s last stand”.

Scripted by one of the infamous "Hollywood Ten," blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo ("Johnny Got His Gun").

This film was called Executive Action (1973) and starred Kirk Douglas’ long-time collaborator Burt Lancaster as a leading coordinator of the plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.

Edward Lewis, who had also produced Spartacus with Douglas earlier, spearheaded this film which tells the story of a cabal of oligarchs who arrange the murder of John Kennedy using three teams of professional mercenaries (former CIA men fired after the Bay of Pigs fiasco).

This incredibly well-researched story-line infused fiction with powerful facts and was based upon the work of Mark Lane - a close friend of the Kennedy family, NY State Attorney, and civil rights activist (the only legislator to be arrested as a Freedom rider fighting segregation).

Although the film was pulled from most American theaters, it still stands as one of the most direct and chilling refutations of the lone-gunman narrative and introduces other important reasons for the killing of JFK.

~ By Matthew Ehret

Sunday song



Saturday, February 08, 2020

In Facebook jail again


I am in Facebook jail again.  During the past several months I've repeatedly been put on 'time out' for a week or so at a time.  In the past two weeks FB has decided to shut my account down twice without any explanation other than that I have 'violated community standards'.

This time my sin was to share this article from the Grayzone entitled The spooks’ choice: Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Pete Buttigieg’s list of national security endorsers.

The offending article says this in part:


Why are so many intelligence veterans throwing their weight behind a young Indiana mayor with such a thin foreign policy resume?

By Samuel D. Finkelstein

These questions continue to loom large over the 2020 Democratic primary field: Who is Pete Buttigieg? And what is he doing here?

Seemingly overnight, the once obscure mayor of Indiana’s fourth-largest city was vaulted to national prominence, with his campaign coffers stuffed with big checks from billionaire benefactors.

The publication of a list of 218 endorsements from “foreign policy and national security professionals” by Buttigieg’s campaign deepened the mystery of the mayor’s rise.

Some observers have raised questions about Pete Buttigieg’s intimate relationship with the national security state, after it was revealed that his campaign had paid nearly $600,000 for “security” to a Blackwater-style military contractor.

Buttigieg’s new roster of endorsements from former high-ranking CIA officials, regime-change architects, and global financiers should raise more questions about the real forces propelling his campaign.

Buttigieg has offered precious few details about his policy plans, and foreign policy is no exception. His campaign website dedicates just five sentences to international affairs, none of which offers any substantive details.

Beyond a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan as a Naval Reservist in 2010, the 37 year-old mayor has no first-hand foreign policy experience to speak of.

As The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal reported, Buttigieg’s enjoys a long relationship with the Truman National Security Project, a foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC that advocates for “muscular liberalism.” He has also taken a short, strange trip to Somaliland with a Harvard buddy, Nathaniel Myers, who ultimately became a senior advisor to USAID’s Office of Transitional Initiatives. Otherwise, Buttigieg’s foreign policy credentials are nil.

Buttigieg’s lack of core principles are what might make him so attractive to military contractors and financial institutions, two of the status quo’s biggest beneficiaries.

Mayor Pete has effectively positioned himself as a Trojan Horse for the establishment, offering “generational change” that doesn’t challenge existing power structures in any concrete way.


How in the world does sharing an article about a candidate who is running for president violate community standards?  Of course I am not naive, I understand that the community I have violated is called 'the Deep State' that does not appreciate any questioning of how they go about 'selecting' the leaders of this corporate colony called the USA.

One of my last infractions on FB was sharing an article about the fairly recent state elections in Germany where Angela Merkel's party got beat badly in her home state.  That one in particular puzzled me - what community standards did I violate by sharing it?

At some point FB will likely decide that I am more trouble than I am worth and give me a lifetime ban.  Considering that was a possibility I long ago created an account on MeWe

But that social media platform is small in comparison to FB.

It really is just a matter of time before the ruling oligarchies try to shut down much of social media because it is being used to keep the rays of truth and light coming through the darkness.

In the meantime I'll do what I can to keep my candle from being blown out.

It's a sad story that in election year we can't have an open and honest debate about the various candidates without being put in the clinger.

Oh, the modern world......

Bruce

Update: As of Sunday morning I am back on FB (But, I quickly discovered that I can go onto FB, I can 'like' a post, but when I tried to share it I got this message: You're temporarily restricted from sharing links until February 14 at 9:30 PM. If you think this doesn't go against our Community Standards let us know.)



Big Pharma is a drug dealer



Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of Children's Health Defense joins to discuss the much-touted HPV vaccine, which new evidence shows may be ineffective and why it has done tremendous harm. He also explains how legal loopholes exempt vaccine makers from rigorous testing.

RFK Jr. goes on to discuss the revolving door between Big Pharma and the bodies that are supposed to oversee it and curtail its abuses. He argues that regulatory capture has turned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into "a vaccine company."

Friday, February 07, 2020

This is what 'Democracy' looks like



The grand democracy in action in the 2020 Iowa caucus.

The flip of a coin?

You decide......

Why NATO war games along Russian border?



NATO Chief, Jens Stoltenberg, says a massive and destabilizing deployment of troops to Eastern Europe will not be aimed at Russia.

About 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries are to participate in the US-run war exercises dubbed 'Defender Europe 2020' in the coming months.

This is “the largest deployment of US troops to Europe in more than 25 years,” NATO’s Secretary-General, Stoltenberg tells us.

Jan Oberg, director of Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research in Lund, Sweden critically responds in the video.

Germany will be the logistics center for the Defender Europe 2020 exercise. The military drill will take place in Germany, Poland, Georgia and the Baltic States and cover 4,000 kilometers of convoy routes and rely on 10 European countries to host exercise activities.


In the spring of 2020, more than 20,000 US troops will be deployed across the Atlantic to NATO’s eastern flank. Thus, within the framework of the Defender Europe 20 maneuvers, the largest deployment of American troops on the European continent since the end of the Cold War will take place.

That is in addition to the 17,000 NATO troops that are already in Europe and will take part in the war games.

The movement of the main US forces to Europe is planned for April – May next year, but taking into account the scope of the event, troops and equipment will begin to arrive in February.

Most of the American forces will arrive by civilian passenger planes, and almost 13,000 units of military equipment and weapons will be delivered by sea.

Notably, one armored brigade of the US National Guard from Idaho will arrive without weapons and equipment and use the hardware previously stored in American hub facilities in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

The 20,000-strong deployment includes 7,000 National Guard personnel, from 12 states and approximately 750 people from the US Armed Forces reserve.

How is Russia expected to respond as they see this massive military mobilization essentially encircling their eastern and central borders?

How would Washington respond if another nation was holding similar war games in Canada and Mexico aimed at the United States?

Will the American people even know that such a provocative military operation is underway?  How much will this mobilization cost US and European taxpayers?  

Thursday, February 06, 2020

More on Shadowy Pete.....



Voters are still reeling from the disastrous 2020 Iowa Caucus, which has been blamed on a malfunctioning vote-counting app. 

How did Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana come from fourth place to become frontrunner of the 2020 Iowa Caucus? 

RT America's Michele Greenstein joins Rick Sanchez to examine the rise of Pete Buttigieg and his ominous connections to the Defense Dept. and US intelligence community. 

They also discuss evidence of voter suppression in the Iowa Caucus.

My generation has failed you, but we can still fix it


The Bowdoin College Orient

Opinion

By Lisa Savage (Solon, Maine)

Dear young people: my generation owes your generation an apology.

We have failed to make urgently needed changes to an economic system that ravages the planet we all depend upon for life. Many of us have been actively involved with, or at least silently complicit in damaging the ecosystem.

It can sometimes seem inexplicable that older folks seem indifferent or resigned to ecological destruction. With wildfires burning out of control around the planet, we continue to invest in and subsidize fossil fuel extraction. The Gulf of Maine and other ocean waters are warming so quickly that centuries-old fishing grounds are disappearing. Yet we continue to barely give lip service to solutions like renewable energy, public transportation and regenerative agriculture.

With multiple species on the brink of extinction due to climate change, we continue to fund an enormous budget every year for the Pentagon, which has the biggest carbon footprint on the planet—bigger than 140 nations—waging endless wars. This addiction to militarism and war, and its many downstream effects, is another woeful legacy of the Boomer generation’s failures.

Our planet’s atmosphere counts military emissions, and so should we. I founded the Maine Natural Guard to help people connect the dots between militarism and its harm to our climate.

The recent assassination of Iranian officials was especially alarming, seen by many in the U.S. as bringing us one step closer to the possibility of a worldwide nuclear war, and is almost certain to perpetrate ever more military build-up and waste.

Imagine if our government spent as much time, energy and money on solving the climate crisis as it does patrolling the world for enemies to kill. My generation hears but does not heed, young voices pleading—demanding—that climate change is treated as the emergency it is.

You need more than apologies, though. You need bold action. So here are some of the solutions I’m offering in my run for U.S. Senate:

A real Green New Deal to create good jobs, tackle the climate crisis by building clean energy solutions like solar, wind and public transportation—by converting the industrial capacity that now churns out weapon systems that make climate change worse.

A Medicare for All health care that will cover everyone, provide better care, and cost less, instead of a system that drives sick people into bankruptcy.

Fully funded public education, including public higher education without student debt. Forgiveness of student loans so that young people can begin their adult lives with the freedom to realize their potential and contribute to the common good.

A living wage for all, including housekeepers, food servers and other service workers.

Affordable housing as a human right.

A progressive tax code that requires everyone to pay their fair share, and eliminates loopholes that have billionaires and wealthy corporations paying a lower rate than working people, or even nothing.

Humane treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, with no concentration camps for refugees, no family separations and a renewed respect for immigrants’ rights under international law.

Harm reduction measures for opioid addiction, and addressing this crisis (and drug use in general) as a mental health care issue rather than as a crime.

An end to the mass incarceration of people of color (POC), including children, and accountability for police violence against POC.

My generation should have done better. Yours surely will. There is no limit to what a group of dedicated human beings can accomplish working together for the common good. We must do so now, urgently. The future of life on Earth may depend on it.

~ Lisa Savage is a member of the Bowdoin College (Brunswick) Class of 1977. She is running for the US Senate seat currently occupied by Susan Collins. Lisa will visit Bowdoin on February 14 to speak with students.

Art work by Holly Harris

https://www.lisaformaine.org

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Playing games in Iowa




Krystal Ball criticizes the behavior of the Iowa Democratic party in releasing partial results.

The media was complicit in this charade.

Look for more of these shenanigans in other upcoming state primary elections.

If There Is A War In Space, Everybody Loses





Last December, the National Defense Authorization Act that was renewed with bipartisan support in Congress authorized the creation of a new branch of the military, a space force. In January, President Trump appointed the head of that new force, General John Jay Raymond. The US military plans to move 16,000 military and civilian personnel into that space force.

We speak with Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space about what this space force means. He describes how space technology is already being used in warfare, how this area is a new profit center for the aerospace industry and how it is draining critical resources from necessary programs.

He also explains that a war in space will create so many problems that everyone on the planet will be impacted in a negative way.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Busted in Iowa: Setting up the corporate 'selection' of the Democrats 'presidential nominee'



The video speaks for itself.  Cheating was rampant in Iowa.

What more needs to be said?

The Washington Post ran a story entitled Shadow Inc., which built the Iowa caucus app, received money from Buttigieg and Biden campaigns 

The New York Post has a similar story about Shadow, Inc (what a name) here 

Max Blumenthal (The Grayzone) has an article on this as well called Pro-Israel Buttigieg backer Seth Klarman is top funder of group behind Iowa’s disastrous voting app

Max writes:

[Shadow, Inc] was staffed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaign veterans and created by a Democratic dark money nonprofit backed by hedge fund billionaires including Seth Klarman. A prolific funder of pro-settler Israel lobby organizations, Klarman has also contributed directly to Pete Buttigieg’s campaign.

The delay in the vote reporting denied a victory speech to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the presumptive winner of the opening contest in the Democratic presidential primary. Though not one exit poll indicated that Buttigieg would have won, the South Bend, Indiana mayor took to Twitter to confidently proclaim himself the victor.


Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming......

Bruce



Our 'modern' way of life is soulless



CBS surprisingly covers one of the most neglected stories in this worn out country.  Wealth disparity.

The first part of the story was instructive as the reporter shows a group of folks walking around in some mall the real wealth numbers - today's version of feudalism.

Near they end of the coverage CBS goes to a fancy yacht sales bazaar where those making money selling expensive boats (to fat cats who want to impress their family, friends and neighbors) understand that any 'wealth taxes' would cut into their ability to make lots of money.

Instead of talking about the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the elite who are hoarding enormous wealth, while the masses increasingly pile onto the streets to sleep, CBS falls flat - punks out - takes a dive to protect the interests of the ruling class.

CBS sticks in a clip of Trump trashing 'socialism' with angry white working class people standing behind him at a political rally.  Trump uses these marginalized white folks as props and turns their outrage into a tool to divide and conquer the country.  In this case frustrated whites are being pitted against people of color and what remains of the left.

The big mistake of the Trump supporters is that they are don't seem to realize that they are cheering for the same people who have decided they are superfluous human beings.  Trump is a 3rd rate actor but doing an effective job on behalf of Mr. Big's corporate interests.

In playing this role the ambitious and arrogant Donald Trump reveals he has no soul.

My political sense of this particular report was that it is election year and the Democrats must at the least 'make a nod' toward the issue of income inequality.  In the end though the liberals are not particularly dedicated to doing much about it because their party has been bought and sold by Wall Street which is not interested in 'revolution' or socialism.   The job of the Democrats is to let steam out of the valve - when the people get too angry throw out some 'hope and change' that will shut down the organizing in the black community and other significant movements - like the peace movement during the eight years of Obama-Biden.  The Dems have clearly proven their loyalty to the banksters and the military industrial complex.

Damn right we need a revolution but it won't come from the Democrats.  The DNC is in the middle of rigging the game to dump Bernie Sanders and shift power in the party back into the hands of the oligarchies who intend to have someone like the rich-man Bloomberg or the weak-kneed Mayor Pete Butta-jigg or Sen. Amy Klobacher from Minnesota.  (I'll write more on Klobacher when I get time - I've got a photo of her with Sen. John McCain in Ukraine standing with the Nazi Ukrainian Army who have been killing their fellow citizens by the thousands in the Donbass - eastern Ukraine along the Russian border.)

The Democrats are a war ship filled with rats, dirty money, and ambitious hacks. There are millions of good-hearted citizens supporting Birnie and Tulsi but they will soon enough be kicked to the curb with the declaration - 'Who else you gonna vote for?  Trump?'

The time is here to stop playing by the rules of Wall Street which cares nothing about Mother Earth nor the great unwashed.  It is time to fight for our lives, the future generations and for our relatives in the plant and animal world - along with the air, water, rocks, soil.

Our 'modern' way of life is soulless and very sick.

Bruce

Monday, February 03, 2020

Monthly GN video



Our Global Network social media coordinator Will Griffin does a monthly video for the organization.

Here is his latest contribution.

The link between the Pentagon and climate crisis.

A subject that does not get enough attention.

Since 2001, the US military emitted over 1.2 billion metric tons of greenshouse gases into the atmosphere. 400 million metric tons of that figure is directly related to the wars.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Sunday song




Pu'uanuhulu from Makana on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Signature gathering for Lisa picking up across Maine

Lisa Savage and Kelly Merrill today in Portland, along with other volunteers, gathered many signatures to get Lisa on the ballot for her U.S. Senate run.

Mary Beth and I went to nearby Bath today to gather signatures and in five hours of door-to-door work we got 17 members of the Maine Green Independent Party to give their permission for Lisa Savage to be on the ballot. It was our best personal day ever.  It takes alot of work to find people at home - once you find them they are usually quite willing to sign.  Only registered members of the Maine Green Independent Party can sign Lisa's ballot access petition.

Lisa was down in the Portland area today helping volunteers from that part of the state who were joined by several Green Party members who came up from Connecticut to help out.

In all I'm told the campaign pulled in 100 signatures which puts our total at about 600 in our quest for the 2,000 that it will take to gain ballot access in the November election.

Yesterday five of us went to the University of Maine-Orono where we spent the day talking with students and gathering signatures.  So its been a busy couple of days.

Lisa unwinding with Green party members from Connecticut who came to Maine to help

We've really got to turn up the heat in February so today was a good start for what will be an intense month of activity.

Lisa will be doing house meetings near Belfast and Norway in the coming days.  In addition Saturday, February 15 has been set as a big signature collection day in Belfast which Lisa will be attending.  We are organizing to get a sizeable group in Belfast on that day in the hope we can cover most of the doors in that town all at once.

In addition plans are underway for Lisa to visit Bowdoin College (her Alma mater), University of Maine-Orono, Unity College, University of Maine-Farmington, and University of Southern Maine to do all-day tabling and speaking to students during the coming weeks.

In addition Lisa will be hitting the streets of downtown Portland several times in the coming month during Art Walk evenings and other special times.

Lisa and her team can't be criticized for being lazy as they are working from one end of the state to the other to make this run for the U.S. Senate possible. It's a Ranked Choice Voting election against Republican Sen. Susan Collins which means there will be no 'spoiler' in the race.

We have been seeing a steady flow of disillusioned Democrats signing up as Green Independents so they can sign for Lisa.  Democrats have until February 11 to switch to Green if they want to help Lisa get on the ballot.

Anyone in Maine who wishes to support Lisa can go to her web site and sign up and the campaign will contact you about how to sign her qualifying petition.  The web site link is here.

Bruce