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. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Cops Ran Us Over

Vietnam veteran Mike Hastie (photographer) in Portland, Oregon in recent days after cops knocked him to the ground.

By Mike Hastie

I was involved in another demonstration downtown Portland, when the police declared it a riot, which it was not. But, out they came in full force. At first they walk us backward down the street, and then they ran at us, and then they slowed down and then they ran at us again. Some people were knocked down. I was taking pictures in the middle of the street, because the cops slowed down to a fast walk, which gave me time to take the pictures I wanted.

Then, all of a sudden, a group of cops charged us and I couldn't get out of the way, so they knocked me down to the street, and stepped over me. When I hit the street my face did also, cutting me on the right cheek. As in any facial cut, the blood covered my face, making it look worse than it was. I was treated immediately by a woman medic, who was so incredibly kind to me. I had no other injuries, except for a scrapped elbow.

I wanted to get this out to let people know I am fine, because a video of what happened may go viral, as it was put out immediately after it happened. The [photo above] has two pictures. The top picture was the last picture I took just before the cops ran me over. The bottom picture was taken minutes later of the blood on my face. I have other pictures I took that I may put out, because they are more story telling of what happens when the cops inflict more punishment when it does not fit the crime.

It is hard to tell where this is all going, as Portland is constantly forcing the issue of police violence across America. There was great African-American leadership at this demonstration. Their stories continue to educate every white person who I believe is honestly supporting Black Lives Matter.

The greatest protection we have is the camera, and that is why all photographers are there. Pictures record the personality and nature of Empire.

Mike Hastie
Portland, Oregon
August 13, 2020
Resident for 44 years
Vietnam war medic

In a related story from Austin, Texas:

"The Austin City Council has voted to make one of the most substantial cuts to a major city’s police budget since George Floyd’s death, which sparked calls across the country to defund police. In a unanimous vote, the council passed a joint proposal to shrink the police department’s budget by nearly $150 million and reinvest a portion of those funds in services for the community."

“Today’s budget vote is unprecedented in Texas. We’ve begun a transformational change away from mass incarceration and toward real community safety,” said Councilmember Gregorio Casar in a statement shared with The Appeal. “Today, we chose to create a safer city. We’re opening a new family violence shelter; we’re hiring mental health crisis teams; we voted to get hundreds more people out of homelessness; we funded gun violence prevention programs.”

See the whole story here

Friday, August 14, 2020

What is this deal?

The Middle East is on the brink of the new tectonic shift in the regional balance of power. The previous years were marked by the growth of the Iranian and Hezbollah influence and the decrease of the US grip on the region.  January 2020 started with the new Iranian-US confrontation that had all chances to turn into an open war. August 2020 appeared to mark the first peace agreement between an Arab state and Israel in more than 25 years. 

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a historical peace agreement. US President Donald Trump announced the breakthrough agreement on August 13, calling Israel and the UAE “great friends” of his country. In a joint statement, Israel, the UAE and the U.S. said the agreement will advance peace in the Middle East. The statement praised the “bold diplomacy” and “vision” of the three country’s leaders. 

Delegations from Israel and the UAE are expected to meet within a few weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.

Back on the radio

Listen to "Saying NO to the Militarization of Space" on Spreaker.

I've missed my weekly interview this past month on Loud & Clear.  Because of our move to Bath I had to leave it to Karl Grossman to carry the load on this show that airs across the nation and beyond.

Karl and I are interviewed by John Kiriakou and Brian Becker.  Two real pros who know their stuff.  It's an honor for the Global Network to be given this excellent way to reach people on a regular basis for the past year or so.

This week Karl and I mostly talk about the new Space Force's official 'doctrine' that lays out their mission to control space, dominate space, and deny other nations access to space if Washington declares the need.  You can check out the new doctrine here.

It's arrogant, dangerous, provocative and expensive.  This 'Master of Space' BS was declared by the US Space Command in 1997 in a similar document called Vision for 2020.  Now that we are in 2020 the space pirates are updating their ideological bible for the next period.

This idea of US domination of the heavens indicates a deep sickness - a spiritual sickness - a cancer of the heart and soul of the nation.

I cannot let it pass without my life's resistance to this insanity.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

History lesson: Clinton was a terrible president for black people

Pushback with Aaron Maté

At the funeral for John Lewis, former president Bill Clinton disparaged Stokely Carmichael's (later Kwame Ture) leadership role in the black freedom struggle of the 1960s. "There were two or three years there where the movement went a little bit too far towards Stokely," Clinton said, "But in the end, John Lewis prevailed."

Dr. Peniel Joseph, professor at University of Texas at Austin and author of "Stokely: A Life", responds to Clinton's comments and discusses Carmichael/Ture's legacy as a black power revolutionary.

"Bill Clinton was a terrible president for black people," Dr. Jospeh says. "So the disparaging of Kwame Ture/Stokely Carmichael is really just another example of this kind of racism and patronizing attitude coming from the forces of political reaction that people like Bill Clinton represent." Carmichael meanwhile "exposed the depths of state-sanctioned violence against black bodies in the context of the 1960s, and exposed the moral and political hypocrisy of American democracy and fantasies of  American exceptionalism."

Guest: Dr. Peniel Joseph, Barbara Jordan chair in ethics and political values at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Author of "Stokely: A Life" and his latest, "The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr."

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Welcome to America - out on the street!

Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti react to new numbers revealing an estimated 27% of adults in the U.S. missed their rent or mortgage payment for July and the eviction of an elderly woman with Coronavirus who was recently released from the hospital.

There will be much more of this in the months ahead.  This is what dog-eat-dog capitalist culture gives us.

No humanity left in this country.  No sharing hearts.   No concern for the sick and the elderly.  No concern for the poor.

This makes me furious and heart sick. 

Thanks to Krystal and Saagar for speaking out. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

U.S. War Department Secretary: "Deter Russia & avoid peace in Europe"

EU SITREP: U.S. Defense Sec’y. Tells EU: “Deter Peace,” Confront Russia & China

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Europeans, in statements on July 29th and August 9th,

“I’ve said that very publicly, I’ve said that very privately to my counterparts as well, about the importance of NATO, any alliance, sharing the burden so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe.’”

“We are moving many troops further east, closer to Russia’s border, to deter them.”

The U.S. Department of Defense’s website, when it issued the transcript of Esper’s statement “so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe,” added in brackets, “[editor’s note. Secretary Esper intended to say ‘avoid conflict in Europe’]”; however, that does not appear to reflect Esper’s statement, for the following reasons:

1. The assertion “so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe” was so inflammatory as to demand a ‘correction’ regardless of whether that statement was consistent with everything else that he has been saying, and it is consistent with everything else that he has been saying.

2. Esper’s 4,800-word speech on that occasion did not use the word “conflict” even once. It is not a word that he typically uses. By contrast, against that zero frequency for “conflict,” he used there “deter” 21 times. He used “peace” three times. Each of those was in a hostile context: First, “One of our primary missions is to prevent another great power war, and to maintain great power peace. The National Defense Strategy, the NDS, guides our efforts to adapt the force, and the EUCOM plan optimizes our force posture in Europe as we seek to deter malign actors there.” Second, “These efforts all increase our opportunity to generate greater peace in Europe and enhance the U.S.’s effectiveness in great power competition.” Third, “And I’ve said that very publicly, I’ve said that very privately to my counterparts as well, about the importance of NATO, any alliance, sharing the burden so that we can all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe.”

He used the phrase “great power competition” five times: First, “Today, we want to update you on the status of our U.S. European Command review, which was accelerated with the president’s decision in early June to reduce our footprint in Germany, and our plans to reposition our forces in Europe to be better-situated for great power competition.” Second, “As we’ve entered a new era of great power competition, we are now at another one of those inflection points in NATO’s history.” Third, “One of our primary missions is to prevent another great power war, and to maintain great power peace.” (“Great power peace” did not mean “peace” in any broader sense but only that the U.S. does not want to become a battlefield in World War III — that’s for Europe, etc., not for the U.S., to serve as the war-fields; it would be like happened during WW II. This was a very careful usage of words.)  Fourth, “We focus on actions inside and outside our area of responsibility, and vigilance with respect to great power competition is an absolute imperative.” (That reaffirms Esper’s focus on “great power competition.” Europe’s nations are vassal-states. They are expendable. The way that Barack Obama said this was “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” Every other nation is “dispensable.” How much clearer can it be? Furthermore: Esper explicitly asserts there that “We focus on actions inside and outside our area of responsibility,” which means that the U.S. military imposes its will “outside our area of responsibility” — anywhere in the world — meaning against any real or imagined “great power competitor,” which refers specifically to both Russia and China. Consequently, the U.S. regime demands that Europe get in line with the U.S. Government’s objective to defeat both Russia and China. He says that this is “an absolute imperative.”) Fifth, “These efforts all increase our opportunity to generate greater peace in Europe and enhance the U.S.’s effectiveness in great power competition.” (“Greater peace in Europe” implies that European nations are at war. It’s a lie. Esper has made clear that “great power competition” is the U.S. regime’s obsessive focus.)

The other assertion, that “We are moving many troops further east, closer to Russia’s border, to deter them,” is a clear affirmation of the U.S. regime’s lie to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 when he was ending the Cold War on Russia’s side — ending its communism, ending its Warsaw Pact military alliance, ending the Soviet Union — and George Herbert Walker Bush deceived him into believing that NATO would not move “one inch to the east.” The sheer evilness of that man and of all subsequent U.S. Presidents, for their ceaseless efforts ultimately to conquer Russia, and now with Trump also to conquer China, is perhaps unsurpassed in human history, competing even with Adolf Hitler. It’s what happens when a country — in this instance the United States — gets taken over by its aristocracy, its billionaires.

Europe is to serve, along with the Middle East and elsewhere, as America’s battlefields to conquer Russia and China. That’s the plan.

~ Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Defending the sacred place

The indigenous Hawaiian people probably do 'protesting' as well as anyone I've seen.

They connect the issues to the spirit world and use traditional dance and song as a key part of their expression.  It helps unify and inspire one another in a good way.

I lived in Hawaii for 18 months while in the Air Force and got a tiny bit of exposure to the traditional people so when I watch videos like this one it touches me to my core.


Sunday, August 09, 2020

Sunday song