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, October 31, 2020

We cheer our doctors


Belly of The Beast is a media outlet that counters parachute journalism by providing stories directly from the island. 

The documentary series, The War on Cuba, gives an inside look on the effects of U.S. sanctions on Cuban people. Episode 3 explores Cuba's healthcare program and medical brigades. We talk to doctors who served in Brazil, Bolivia and Italy, and of course the ones who held it down in Cuba during COVID-19.

Friday, October 30, 2020

American people have become numb, immune & distracted


Bring Our Troops Home is dedicated to ending American involvement in endless wars in the Middle East and bringing our troops home. Further, we are committed to advocating for a change in U.S. foreign policy that does not automatically default to military intervention. And finally, we insist that the Constitution of the United States be respected and enforced, requiring a formal Declaration of War by Congress — as mandated by Article I of the Constitution — before U.S. military forces may be legitimately deployed.

To achieve these goals we will focus overwhelming public support for these ideals on elected officials in Washington, D.C., using all proper levers at our disposal to accomplish our mission, including legislation, political action, and public education.

Sign our petition at

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Outside of the electoral $$$ game


Last night Lisa Savage tried her best to get into the final US Senate debate.  

Standing in the cold dark Maine night outside the WMTW studio, joined by 33 others, she tried to hand a station representative copies of 2,600 petition signatures calling on the station to allow her to debate.  The person refused to accept them so they were placed at the feet of the man sent out to push them away.

Alongside Lisa was 9-year old Fiona who came to stand with Lisa with her mother and younger brother.  Can you imagine the lesson young Fiona learned about so-called 'democracy' in America?

The slick debate, without both qualified Independent candidates, went on anyway.  During the brief intro the TV station debate moderator said that the legal team of the Hearst media corporation had determined that the two excluded candidates did not meet their criteria - one of which was specifically the amount of money raised.  

This is an important recognition of just how things truly work these days.  If you are running against corporate domination, and don't have a mega-million dollar war chest, then the corporate media masters can declare your candidacy null and void.  So much for free speech, free elections, and freedom to select your preferred candidate.  If you can't hear or see all the candidates how are you to truly participate as an informed citizen in a free and fair election?  The BS is unreal.

You can watch the Fazebook live streaming of Lisa attempting to get into the debate here

It is indeed a sad thing to witness this corporate corruption but it only makes me more determined to stand alongside good people like Lisa Savage and her many supporters. 

I voted for Lisa #1 yesterday here in Bath and it was my most proud vote since my first one against the Vietnam war in 1972 while in the Air Force.


A managed system.....



“No Conspiracy Required” 

Scene from Peter Joseph’s InterReflections

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Debate shenanigans in Maine



After being invited into four US Senate debates, the Portland TV station WMTW decided to exclude Independent candidates Lisa Savage and Max Linn from the final debate.  The reason?  The stations corporate legal counsel (based in North Carolina) stated that neither of the two were 'newsworthy'.

Most debate watchers felt that Lisa won most (if not all) of the previous debates because she: (1) answered the questions (2) didn't engage in blistering negative attacks throughout like the Republican Susan Collins and the Democrat Sara Gideon routinely did (3) had the courage to actually stand for something rather than beating around the edges (Medicare4All, demilitarized Green New Deal and much more).

My guess is that one of the major political parties (if not both) had someone make a call to the Hearst Corporation which owns WMTW-TV and urged them to dump Savage and Linn.  



One can only wonder.  Why kick them out of the last debate unless internal polling for the two major party candidates was showing that one or both of the Independents were cutting into their votes?  Could we call this corporate intrusion into the electoral process?  Forget about the Russians - this is home town election rigging!

I grew up on military bases going to schools run by the Pentagon.  I was spoon fed all the patriotic stuff about democracy, the sacredness of the vote, the value of an educated citizenry and more.  And I internalized all of it and now in my adult life I expect to have a fair and untampered with election for the US Senate in Maine.

I think of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858 that most of us were taught were the epitome of democracy in action. Today our nation bombs countries around the world to 'bring them this democracy and rule of law'.  

So I don't easily swallow this tampering with Maine's Senate debate just so they can ensure their two corporate backed candidates (Sara Gideon has now raised $69.5 million for this race) come out on top.

If you feel like calling WMTW to urge them to include Lisa in their US Senate debate tonight, here are their direct lines:
  • WMTW President and General Mgr. Dave Abel: (207) 835-3880
  • WMTW President's Assistant Stephanie Robinson:(207) 835-3771
  • WMTW News Director Amy Beveridge: (207) 835-3808

Lisa plans to attempt to enter the debate this evening (station located in Westbrook).  We'll see how the corporate masters handle this one.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Lockdown in Havana



Belly of The Beast is a media outlet that counters parachute journalism by providing stories directly from the island.

The documentary series, The War on Cuba, gives an inside look on the effects of U.S. sanctions on Cuban people. 

Episode 2 explores the impact of the US-imposed “oil blockade” on Cuba and the ways in which Cubans are finding alternatives to scarcities caused by US sanctions.

CORRECTION: John Bolton was named National Security Advisor in 2018.

Monday, October 26, 2020

What is going on here?


Here is the real version of the video. 

Just this week, President Putin sent a formal message to the US government to extend the New START Treaty without any preconditions. Unfortunately, America, the treaty breaker, demanded more concessions from the Russian Federation to which Russia said Nyet. 

America still thinks it can bully the world, but Russia and China are finally saying "no more." Important and timely interview because Trump is trying to pretend he has "a deal" for the sake of gaining political points with less than two weeks left before the US elections. 

The US is holding the whole world hostage, no wonder Russia has no faith or trust in America. 


The bomb has been banned!


Statement: On the Occasion of the 50th Ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Yasui Masakazu, Secretary General
Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo)

October 25, 2020 

1. Today, the 50th instrument of ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was deposited. The Treaty will enter into force 90 days later, i.e., on January 22, 2021. The entry-into-force of the Treaty will render nuclear weapons illegal, establishing a norm in the international community to prohibit their use and all other activities involving nuclear weapons. The TPNW marked a critical step towards achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is a significant accomplishment of the joint efforts of the Hibakusha, peace movements across the world and like-minded governments.  

2. The adoption and entry-into-force of the TPNW demonstrates the fact that main players of international politics are not a handful of superpowers but the governments and grass-roots civil society of majority of nations of the world. Nuclear-armed and nuclear-dependent states refuse to give up the fallacy of nuclear weapons as an ultimate guarantor of their national security. But the entry-into-force of the TPNW will illuminate the total illegitimacy of their logic. We call on all the anti-nuclear peace movements and civil society organizations in the nuclear-armed and nuclear-umbrella states to strengthen activities to urge their own governments to join the Treaty.

Building on the entry-into-force of the TPNW, we as the movement of the A-bombed country, are determined to do our utmost to develop international public opinion demanding the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  

3. The government of Japan, the only country to have suffered the atomic bombing, ought to stand in the forefront of the worldwide efforts to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons. While calling itself a “bridge-builder” between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, Japan has actually continued to rely on U.S. nuclear weapons, which has disappointed the Hibakusha and people around the world. We urge the Japanese government to sign and ratify the TPNW without delay.

We hereby express our determination to do everything in our power to develop a national movement across the spectrum of opinions and positions, based on one demand of having Japan join the TPNW.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday song


Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Maine Senate race: 'best politics $$$ can buy'


Politics can be at times dirty & nasty and likely a reason why many people don't want to get involved or even vote.  They are disillusioned and often depressed over the choices the ruling elites allow to pass before our ballots at election time.

I once heard a leading representative of the oligarchs say that their long-term goal was to keep voters away from the polls by making the process so ugly that people will not participate, thus making it easier for Mr. Big to control the government.  It's like professional wrestling - a show to divide and distract.

From this clear understanding I make note of the following:

The poster above was photographed in the window of the health food store in Brunswick in the last couple of days.  Lisa Savage had been shopping and was approached by a recruiter as she was leaving the store.  She was offered a job at $24.50 an hour to knock on doors to give 'information on voting' and to promote Sara Gideon's campaign.  She told the recruiter that she was Lisa Savage and is running for the US Senate and would not need the job.  "Oh, I like your program," he replied.

I called the number on the flyer and a woman's voice answered the phone and asked who I wanted to speak to.  I replied that I was inquiring about the canvassing job.  The phone switched to a man who I then spoke to for quite some time.

I asked who CADC, LLC was and he replied it stood for 'California to DC' and they are the ones paying the 'Canvassers'.  Where do they get their money I asked?  He responded that they get their money from a PAC called 'Family Friendly Maine'.  

One has to wonder if this is laundered corporate money.

I asked what the canvassers do for $24.50 an hour.  He told me they go house-to-house of registered Democrats to 'gather information' about how they intend to vote.  If they voted already for Gideon, you mark that down and move on.  If they have not voted yet the canvasser is to 'give them information about voting and to hand out info about Gideon'.  

I asked if the canvassers told the voters about Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).  He said no, but if the voter asked they could explain it to them.

I told the man that I had heard about CADC, LLC from Lisa Savage.  The man said, "I like Lisa."

I thanked him for the information and said good-bye.  He quickly added before I hung up, "Let me know if you want a job." He had previously mentioned that the only requirement for the job was that you had to have your own car.  (I guess that even with her $64 million in campaign donations Sara Gideon is not providing transportation for her crew to drive around the state.)

These canvassers are the paid (mostly young) supporters of Gideon that have been holding huge signs in droves before the past debates.  

We've learned that the last debate, to be held someday (still secret) next week on WMTW-TV in Portland, will not be inviting Lisa Savage or Max Linn - both Independents.  The debate will be restricted to Susan Collins and Sara Gideon.   The lawyer for the TV station has issued a statement that his client had determined that Savage and Linn were not 'news worthy'.

So the corporate masters have decided for the voters of Maine who is indeed worthy and who is not.

If you still suffer from the belief in democracy, the belief in an informed citizenry, the belief in public debates with all qualified candidates, then you might wish to call WMTW at 207-835-3888 or email at


Addendum: Just got this message from a reliable source.  The story speaks for itself and shows how corrupt the Democratic Party truly is:

A canvasser from the Maine Democratic Party recently told a well known former [Democrat primary Senate] candidate that Lisa was not in the same race as Gideon and Collins. And then argued with them when they tried to set the canvasser straight!

Clothespin on nose not needed in Maine



David Swanson of World Beyond War encourages voters to rank Lisa Savage first in Maine's ranked-choice voting US Senate race.

Friday, October 23, 2020

You must watch this film


Mary Beth and I just watched this great film on Netflix about the 1968 protests at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago and the resulting Chicago 7 trial.  I strongly suggest you watch it if at all possible.

To put it simply - it is a great film!


Thursday, October 22, 2020

What should our police be doing?

Defund Police is a collaboration with Project Nia & Blue Seat Studios.

We spend $100 billion a year on the police in the US.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

A Maine campaign story....


Early yesterday morning a workman came to our house in Bath.  I had found him online when I was looking for someone to replace an outer door on the back side of our house that we bought last July.  We are still fixing up some things, little-by-little, in this 100 year old place.

As soon as the workman came in he said, "Oh, I'm glad to see you have a Lisa Savage sign in your yard.  I am supporting her too."

I was stunned and at that very moment Lisa passed through our living room to run upstairs because she was still in her pajamas.  I turned to the man and said, "Well, that is Lisa right there."

He of course was shocked and said, "I'm going to vote for her - I love her."

While he was measuring our old worn out door I went up and told Lisa the full story and she came back down, still in her PJ's, to meet the worker.  They had a long conversation and we all had a good laugh.

Lisa told him that she is an Internet refugee because she lives in Maine's rural 2nd district where the broadband connection is very poor.  (It's a major issue in our state.) She moved in with Mary Beth and me in August and has been Zooming from here day and night ever since. Her husband Mark, also a woodworker by trade, comes to visit on the weekends.

This story is being repeated daily across the state as we hear from more and more people who we've never met but have heard about, or seen Lisa in the debates, and are quite impressed with her.  

Win or lose there can be no doubt that she has connected with many folks across Maine - largely because she is a real person and talks sense about the issues that voters care about.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Russian journalist interview


Regis Tremblay writes about this interview:

A critical discussion with Dimitry Babich, journalist, political analyst for TV, newspapers, and magazines in Russia for 30 years. In 30 minutes, Dmitry made clear America's role in the coup in Kiev in 2014, Joe Biden's involvement in managing Ukraine during those years, Hunter Biden's role with Burisma, and Joe Biden's quid pro quo with, at the time President Poroschenko, threatening to withhold a $1 Billion loan if Poroschenko didn't fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma.

Americans must know the truth about Joe Biden who is just a couple of weeks away from possibly becoming president of the US. What you hear on this show is what US mainstream media has been covering up and struggling with suppressing as these ugly facts are being brought to light with two weeks left until the election.

Dmitry concluded his remarks on the election, the role of "the globalists" world-wide and now in America, and that America is already in a civil war that is ripe for violence.

We will continue this discussion with Dmitry 2-3 days after the US election.

Monday, October 19, 2020

No nukes on the moon

Fly me to the moon, but don’t put reactors there

By Linda Pentz Gunter

Not content to desecrate our terrestrial landscape with hundreds of thousands of tons of nuclear waste — much piled up with nowhere to go, the rest released to contaminate our air, water and soil — humankind, in all its folly, now plans to do the same to the Moon. And, eventually to Mars.

While our species’ insatiable scientific curiosity has undoubtedly led to some beneficial inventions, it has also drawn us inexorably towards our own downfall. Our zeal to create the atomic bomb ignored logic, ethics, consequences and the fundamentals of human rights.

The bomb brought us so-called civil nuclear power reactors, the ugly and irresponsible spawn of a weapon that leaves us perched perpetually on the precipice of extinction. But there is nothing “civil” about nuclear power.

At the dawn of the nuclear energy age, not a thought was given to the legacy of deadly radioactive waste it would produce. That can was kicked summarily down the road. Now we are far down that road and no solution has been arrived at, while we ignore the one obvious one: stop making more of it!

So now comes the news that the US wants to put nuclear power reactors on the Moon.

In the news stories that followed the announcement, replete with the usual excitement about space exploration (never mind the cost and bellicose implications) there was not one single mention of the radioactive waste these reactors would produce.

The problem, like the waste itself, will simply be kicked into some invisible crater on the dark side of the Moon.

NASA, the US Department of Energy and assorted nuclear labs are pushing the small modular reactor for nuclear projects on the Moon and Mars. Desperate to stay relevant and to continue gobbling up taxpayer dollars, this is music to the failing nuclear industry’s ears. Financially disastrous and technically unresolved on Earth, the SMR, say these “experts”, is ideally suited to the needs of humans living for extensive periods in space.

Since each of these mini-reactors will likely have an uninterrupted output of only 10 kilowatts, it will take multiple reactors on the Moon or Mars to fulfill the necessary functions for their human inhabitants.


Needless to say, so far there is no certified design, no test reactor, no actual reactor, and no fool-proof way to send such a reactor to the Moon. (Rockets have an unfortunate habit of sometimes blowing up on — or shortly after — launch.) Nevertheless, the year 2026 is the ambitious target date for all systems go. In keeping with the theme, “pie in the sky” springs to mind.

While no reactor design has been identified, it will most likely need to use highly enriched uranium (HEU) which puts the reactor firmly in violation of non-proliferation standards. As Dr. Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists told PBS Newshour, “This may drive or start an international space race to build and deploy new types of reactors requiring highly enriched uranium.”

Given the utility of HEU for nuclear weapons use, and the probes currently being sent to the Moon and Mars by “unfriendly” countries such as China and the United Arab Emirates, it does not take much of an imagination to envisage the temptation for theft by force. Will the US deploy guards around its lunar reactors.? Will we see terrorism on the Moon, even war?

What is this really all about? Profit? Prestige? Proliferation? The Idaho National Laboratory, which is eager to develop the lunar SMR prototype, sees this as an opportunity to emphasize “the United States’ global leadership in nuclear innovation,” the lab’s John Wagner told Newshour.

This echoes the mantra parroted by almost every federal institution and corporation seeking to justify some new and exorbitant nuclear expense: we cannot let China and Russia take over; the US must retain — or regain — pre-eminence in the nuclear sector and in space. And so on. 

~  Linda Pentz Gunter is the curator and editor of Beyond Nuclear International and the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sunday song


Saturday, October 17, 2020

We have much to learn from Cuba


Cuba has one of Latin America's oldest populations, which means more people at risk of COVID-19. 

'Corona Voluntarios Cuba' is a group of young people dedicated to supporting Havana's elderly by delivering food.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Bill Gates' Global Agenda & How We Can Resist His War on Life


By Vandana Shiva

In March 2015, Bill Gates showed an image of the coronavirus during a TED Talk and told the audience that it was what the greatest catastrophe of our time would look like. The real threat to life, he said, is "not missiles, but microbes."

When the coronavirus pandemic swept over the earth like a tsunami five years later, he revived the war language, describing the pandemic as "a world war."

"The coronavirus pandemic pits all of humanity against the virus," he said.

In fact, the pandemic is not a war. The pandemic is a consequence of war. A war against life. The mechanical mind connected to the money machine of extraction has created the illusion of humans as separate from nature, and nature as dead, inert raw material to be exploited. But, in fact, we are part of the biome. And we are part of the virome. The biome and the virome are us. When we wage war on the biodiversity of our forests, our farms, and in our guts, we wage war on ourselves.

The health emergency of the coronavirus is inseparable from the health emergency of extinction, the health emergency of biodiversity loss, and the health emergency of the climate crisis. All of these emergencies are rooted in a mechanistic, militaristic, anthropocentric worldview that considers humans separate from—and superior to—other beings. Beings we can own, manipulate, and control. All of these emergencies are rooted in an economic model based on the illusion of limitless growth and limitless greed, which violate planetary boundaries, and destroy the integrity of ecosystems and individual species.

New diseases arise because a globalized, industrialized, inefficient agriculture invades habitats, destroys ecosystems, and manipulates animals, plants, and other organisms with no respect for their integrity or their health. We are linked worldwide through the spread of diseases like the coronavirus because we have invaded the homes of other species, manipulated plants and animals for commercial profits and greed, and cultivated monocultures.

As we clear-cut forests, as we turn farms into industrial monocultures that produce toxic, nutritionally empty commodities, as our diets become degraded through industrial processing with synthetic chemicals and genetic engineering, and as we perpetuate the illusion that earth and life are raw materials to be exploited for profits, we are indeed connecting. But instead of connecting on a continuum of health by protecting biodiversity, integrity, and self-organization of all living beings, including humans, we are connected through disease.

According to the International Labour Organization, "1.6 billion informal economy workers (representing the most vulnerable in the labour market), out of a worldwide total of two billion and a global workforce of 3.3 billion, have suffered massive damage to their capacity to earn a living. This is due to lockdown measures and/or because they work in the hardest-hit sectors." According to the World Food Programme, a quarter of a billion additional people will be pushed to hunger and 300,000 could die every day.

These, too, are pandemics that are killing people. Killing cannot be a prescription for saving lives.

Health is about life and living systems. There is no "life" in the paradigm of health that Bill Gates and his ilk are promoting and imposing on the entire world. Gates has created global alliances to impose top-down analysis and prescriptions for health problems. He gives money to define the problems, and then he uses his influence and money to impose the solutions. And in the process, he gets richer. His "funding" results in an erasure of democracy and biodiversity, of nature and culture. His "philanthropy" is not just philanthrocapitalism. It is philanthroimperialism.

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have revealed even more clearly how we are being reduced to objects to be controlled, with our bodies and minds as the new colonies to be invaded. Empires create colonies, colonies enclose the commons of the indigenous living communities and turn them into sources of raw material to be extracted for profits. This linear, extractive logic is unable to see the intimate relations that sustain life in the natural world. It is blind to diversity, cycles of renewal, values of giving and sharing, and the power and potential of self-organising and mutuality. It is blind to the waste it creates and to the violence it unleashes. The extended coronavirus lockdown has been a lab experiment for a future without humanity.

On March 26, 2020, at a peak of the coronavirus pandemic and in the midst of the lockdown, Microsoft was granted a patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Patent WO 060606 declares that "Human Body Activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system…."

The "body activity" that Microsoft wants to mine includes radiation emitted from the human body, brain activities, body fluid flow, blood flow, organ activity, body movement such as eye movement, facial movement, and muscle movement, as well as any other activities that can be sensed and represented by images, waves, signals, texts, numbers, degrees, or any other information or data.

The patent is an intellectual property claim over our bodies and minds. In colonialism, colonisers assign themselves the right to take the land and resources of indigenous people, extinguish their cultures and sovereignty, and in extreme cases exterminate them. Patent WO 060606 is a declaration by Microsoft that our bodies and minds are its new colonies. We are mines of "raw material"—the data extracted from our bodies. Rather than sovereign, spiritual, conscious, intelligent beings making decisions and choices with wisdom and ethical values about the impacts of our actions on the natural and social world of which we are a part, and to which we are inextricably related, we are "users." A "user" is a consumer without choice in the digital empire.

But that’s not the totality of Gates’ vision. In fact, it is even more sinister—to colonise the minds, bodies, and spirits of our children before they even have the opportunity to understand what freedom and sovereignty look and feel like, beginning with the most vulnerable.

In May 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced a partnership with the Gates Foundation to "reinvent education." Cuomo called Gates a visionary and argued that the pandemic has created "a moment in history when we can actually incorporate and advance [Gates’] ideas…all these buildings, all these physical classrooms—why with all the technology you have?"

In fact, Gates has been trying to dismantle the public education system of the United States for two decades. For him students are mines for data. That is why the indicators he promotes are attendance, college enrollment, and scores on a math and reading test, because these can be easily quantified and mined. In reimagining education, children will be monitored through surveillance systems to check if they are attentive while they are forced to take classes remotely, alone at home. The dystopia is one where children never return to schools, do not have a chance to play, do not have friends. It is a world without society, without relationships, without love and friendship.

As I look to the future in a world of Gates and Tech Barons, I see a humanity that is further polarized into large numbers of ‘throw away’ people who have no place in the new Empire. Those who are included in the new Empire will be little more than digital slaves.

Or, we can resist. We can seed another future, deepen our democracies, reclaim our commons, regenerate the earth as living members of a One Earth Family, rich in our diversity and freedom, one in our unity and interconnectedness. It is a healthier future. It is one we must fight for. It is one we must claim.

We stand at a precipice of extinction. Will we allow our humanity as living, conscious, intelligent, autonomous beings to be extinguished by a greed machine that does not know limits and is unable to put a break on its colonisation and destruction? Or will we stop the machine and defend our humanity, freedom, and autonomy to protect life on earth?

The above is excerpted from Vandana Shiva’s book Oneness vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom (Chelsea Green Publishing, August 2020).

~ Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and activist, a leader in the International Forum on Globalisation, and of the Slow Food Movement. Director of Navdanya and of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and a tireless crusader for farmers’, peasants’, and women’s rights, she is the author and editor of a score of influential books, among them Making Peace with the Earth; Soil Not Oil; Globalisation’s New Wars; Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard; and Who Really Feeds the World?. Her latest book is Oneness vs the 1% (Chelsea Green Publishing, August 2020).  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Imperial updates


  •  Responsible Statecraft reports: Think tanks shape discourse and policy through testimony and media coverage, and employ experts who claim to be unbiased — simply putting forth ideas to win out in the free market. This market, however, is rigged.

It’s well known that Pentagon contractors spend hundreds of millions each year on lobbying, but the other powerful weapon contractors wield to influence U.S. national security priorities — think tanks — is often ignored. A report released from the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative, or FITI, at the Center for International Policy reveals more than $1 billion in defense contractor and U.S. government funds flowing to the top 50 most influential U.S. think tanks from 2014-2019.

It is part of a think tank’s role to recommend policy, and putting ideas forth into debate can be a public good. However, when these ideas are linked to specific defense companies who stand to gain billions of dollars by promoting their systems — and play into the Pentagon’s narrative — think tanks have an obligation to let consumers of their work know if it is funded by those who will profit from their recommendations. Instead, in far too many cases, these funding links are obscured.  


Award notices indicate that SpaceX could receive more than $149 million and L3Harris could receive more than $193 million to produce capabilities for the Tracking Layer Program.

Through the broader program, SDA aims to implement a robust architecture made up of multiple layers of nearly 1,000 satellites that can provide unique military insights and capabilities such as spotting hypersonic weapons or potentially deterring potentially aggressive actions in cislunar space, or the area within the Moon’s orbit—by 2026.

  • J Sandy Davies (in Common Dreams)  provides an excellent summary of the violent conflict that has recently broken out between Armenia and Azerbaijan and what should be the stance of the U.S. in seeking peace for the region: 

As for the destructive and destabilizing role the United States habitually plays in the greater Middle East, Americans should beware of any U.S. effort to exploit this conflict for self-serving U.S. ends. That could include fueling the conflict to undermine Armenia’s confidence in its alliance with Russia, to draw Armenia into a more Western, pro-NATO alignment. Or the U.S. could exacerbate and exploit unrest in Iran’s Azeri community as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. 

At any suggestion that the U.S. is exploiting or planning to exploit this conflict for its own ends, Americans should remember the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan whose lives are being lost or destroyed every day that this war rages on, and should condemn and oppose any effort to prolong or worsen their pain and suffering for U.S. geopolitical advantage.

 Instead the U.S. should fully cooperate with its partners in the OSCE’s Minsk Group to support a ceasefire and a lasting and stable negotiated peace that respects the human rights and self-determination of all the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Standing in the rain


  • Yesterday Vera King and I were joined by three other volunteers for a two-hour bannering in the steady cold rain along US 1 in Wiscasset at the foot of the bridge just past one of Maine's iconic tourist traps called Red's Eats that has long been owned by a family named Gagnon.  No relation - except in the way distant past.

This is our second visit to this particular spot as US Hwy 1 is one of just a few direct north-south roads in Maine - this one hugs the Atlantic coastline.  So the traffic is always steady - even after summer is gone.  The leaf-peepers are here now visiting from 'away' as folks like to say in Maine.  But in no time flat the leaves will be gone and many of the tourists will be as well.

  • We are frequently hearing these days though that loads of people from big cities like New York and other such places who have the money or relatives in Maine are moving here because of the virus pandemic.  Maine has generally handled the situation well and with only 1.3 million people living here people from out-of-state see this place as a safer bet.
  • The US Senate candidates in Maine will have their third debate on October 15 (Thursday) at 8:00 pm and will be hosted by Maine Public Radio & TV.  Should be as interesting as the past two have been.
  • One of my favorite publications in Maine (called The Mainer, formerly The Bollard) has endorsed Lisa.  You can see it here. The Mainer is a popular monthly arts, cultural, politics magazine that is distributed in the greater Portland area and along the mid-coast where I live.  
  • Campaign donations have been coming in quite strong lately so there is enough money to do some TV, radio and newspaper advertising.  Lisa's donations are not at the level of the $63.6 million the Democrat candidate Sara Gideon has pulled in from many corporate sources. The incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins has received $25.2 million from her corporate donors.  As I like to say, the corporate oligarchies are running two horses in this race.  
  • Lisa is on the outside track with her $170,000 in non-corporate donations - setting a new record for Maine Green Party fundraising during a statewide campaign.  It's enough to get the word out to a public that always complains about big money taking over our elections.  I find it ironic that most Democrats routinely grouse about corporations and the rich buying our elections but in this case their Senate candidate is leading the $$$$$$ pack and the party faithful don't seem to mind a bit.

Such is life in American politics.  

On we go.....


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

End the blockade of Cuba


Belly of The Beast is a Havana-based project made up of Cubans and foreigners. It is unique in countering parachute journalism and providing stories directly from the island for a Western audience. 

The documentary series, The War on Cuba, gives an inside look on the effects of U.S. sanctions on Cuban people.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The drums are calling ....We need to do something


GATHER is the story of the rebuilding of Native food systems. This feature film is an intimate portrait tracing the intentional destruction of Native American foodways and our renaissance and resilience, our inherit right, to reclaim it.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

People want to vote for a real person


 Portland Press Herald 

Senate candidate Lisa Savage hopes ranked-choice will boost progressive campaign

The teacher and activist from Solon faces a steep challenge from the major party candidates, but is hoping ranked-choice voting will help pave the way for independents.

Read the full article here....  

Below are the last few paragraphs from the story that make the case for Lisa quite well.

“I think a lot of people are in the mode of, ‘We need to get Trump or maybe we need to get Susan Collins out,’ so you have to vote for whoever you think is going to beat them, but with ranked-choice voting that kind of changes everything and I think that’s really exciting,” said Tamara Hunt, a 24-year-old volunteer who wore a “Lisa for Maine” mask as she handed out campaign literature at the farmers market.

A student at the University of Southern Maine, Hunt first met Savage at a candidates’ forum hosted by USM students last spring. She said she was struck by her authenticity and ended up getting a paid internship with Savage’s campaign over the summer. Her partner works at a car dealership “with a lot of Trumpers and Libertarians,” and many of them are also voting for Savage, Hunt said.

“Even though they might not agree with her on some policy, she’s a real person and they want to vote for a real person,” she said.

Sunday Song


Saturday, October 10, 2020

AFRICOM: Deadly Deception


By Friends of Congo  

On October 1, 2007, the United States under the presidency of George W. Bush and the military leadership of the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, launched the Africa Command (AFRICOM). The command was based in Stuttgart, Germany. In the same vein as the 1884/85 Berlin Conference, AFRICOM was a wholly external concoction to be imposed on Africans without their input or consent. In fact, when African leaders first heard of the establishment of an African command, they overwhelmingly rejected its intent to expand U.S. military presence on the African continent. Even during President Bush's trip to the continent in 2008, African leaders roundly rejected US military expansion on the continent. The only country that was amenable to the presence of AFRICOM on African soil was Liberia under the leadership of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Although Bush appointed Morgan State University graduate, Kip Ward, an African American four-star general to head up AFRICOM and continued to claim that the intent of AFRICOM was not to establish US military bases in Africa, he still faced stiff resistance. Kip Ward waxed eloquently about AFRICOM being established to support humanitarian assistance efforts in Africa, build wells and prevent conflict.

In order for otherwise reasonable and critical people to buy the deception of the US military having as its main aim, humanitarian assistance support and peace and stability in Africa, they have to already subscribe to certain preconceived notions about Africa and Africans. In essence, the US military has traded in the notion that Africa is a poor continent in need of charity. Although the opposite is true - that Africa is a rich continent, in fact the richest continent on the planet in natural resources that has been plundered for the past 500 years, starting with the trafficking in African bodies and today with the super exploitation of oil, copper, cobalt, coltan, diamonds, gold, bauxite, timber and myriad other natural riches. 

The charity propaganda combined with the command being led by a Black man and then to be championed by a Black president with the election of Barack Obama in 2008, the resistance to AFRICOM became exceedingly difficult. The path was cleared under the Obama presidency to the point where the US military presence on the African continent expanded nearly 2,000 percent under his presidency. In addition, under the Obama administration with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Susan Rice as US Ambassador to the United Nations, AFRICOM led the bombing of Libya in cahoots with NATO to effect "regime change" in Libya by removing Muammar Gaddafi from power. Hillary Clinton infamously stated on her visit to Libya after the murder of Gaddafi "We came, we saw, he died"

Today, Libya and the surrounding countries in the Sahel, particularly Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali are a living hell due to the fall out from the NATO/AFRICOM bombing campaign and subsequent government overthrow in Libya.


Should one make an objective assessment of one of AFRICOM's signature claims at its inception - to bring stability and assist in advancing peace and stability in Africa - one would have to conclude that AFRICOM has been an abject failure. However, knowledgeable people know that AFRICOM's real aim was never peace nor stability but rather strategic interests. 

The United States uses its military throughout the globe to bring about full spectrum domination and Africa is no exception. A case in point is the United States' recent push to acquire permission from Kenya to conduct drone strikes in its territory. Should Somalia serve as an example or model where US drone strikes have killed civilians, Kenyans would be forewarned to categorically reject this request from the US. 

Friday, October 09, 2020

Keep Space for Peace Week webinar


 How can we confront the rapidly increasing militarisation and possible weaponization of space?
When the US Space Force was established last year, President Trump said that it marked “a big moment” and that there was “going to be a lot of things happening in space. Because space is the world’s newest war-fighting domain.”
A new generation of space weapons – episode 2 of Reagan’s Star Wars – is In the cards. The U.S., Russia, China and India have extensive military space programmes and tested ASATs and the UK, France, NATO, Japan and South Korea have either established or are working towards their own military Space Forces.
This webinar produced by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (GN)

Keep Space for Peace Week gives us an opportunity to focus on the challenges presented by the rush to exploit space.
GN Convenor Professor Dave Webb introduces a panel of GN experts: Professor Karl Grossman (U.S.), Tamara Lorincz (Canada), Sung-Hee Choi (South Korea), Denis Doherty (Australia) and GN Coordinator Bruce Gagnon (U.S.) to discuss ways in which we can face these challenges.  

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Where do U.S. warships port in the Asia-Pacific?



By Will Griffin (Afghan & Iraq wars veteran and Global Network board member)

The Global Network's latest video focuses on the continuing struggle from Jeju Island, South Korea against the militarization of the island as well as US imperialism on the peninsula.

The Global Network was invited to hold our annual conference in Gangjeong Village in 2012. The village is where a naval base has been constructed, destroying fishing and farming lands which has been a fundamental source of life for the local villagers for hundreds of years. 

In addition a 2nd airport is being constructed in the name of tourism but will actually be used by the military's of both South Korea and the US, and many islanders see it has a continuation of the militarization of their home lands. The naval base and the 2nd Airport are being pushed forward in undemocratic ways where local villagers have not given their consent for such exploitation. 

Jeju's struggle is a perpetuation of foreign powers imposing militarization and imperialism onto the local people since the 1948 April 3rd Uprising and Massacre, where 30,000-60,000 people were killed and further dividing the Korean Peninsula.

The Global Network stands in solidarity with the people of Jeju and Korea who oppose militarization and stand for peace and justice.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

What actually happened in Syria?



In remarks to the UN Security Council, The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté details the OPCW’s Douma cover-up scandal and urges UN members to support the chemical watchdog’s inspectors whose evidence was suppressed.

Veteran OPCW inspectors who investigated an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018 say that their probe was censored and manipulated. Under direct US government pressure, the OPCW concealed evidence that pointed to the incident being staged on the ground, and instead released a report that suggested Syrian government culpability. The allegation against Syria led to the bombing of Syria by the US, France, and UK just days after the alleged Douma incident. In his remarks, Aaron calls this “one of the most important, and overlooked, global stories in recent memory” and urges the UN and OPCW to let the OPCW inspectors air their concerns, and present the evidence that was suppressed.

Other briefers participating in the UN session were former OPCW inspector Ian Henderson, a member of the Douma team; and award-winning physicist Ted Postol, MIT professor emeritus and former Pentagon adviser.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

US-UK violating international law at USAF Croughton near Oxford



Paul Mobbs organizes around the US space warfare base called Croughton near Oxford, England.

Paul writes: 

Just finished uploading two videos on USAF Croughton as part of the Global Network's Keep Space for Peace Week 2020

This video explores the long-standing issues of USAF Croughton  and the break-down of the international prohibitions on civilian killings and torture. Recently the media have been
complaining that the British Government intends to “break international law” as part of Brexit. In practise these complaints highlight the media’s historic silence when the British Government has routinely broken international humanitarian law before; in particular, our involvement in
foreign conflicts involving the USA and ‘Western’ interests.

[Near the end the video features footage from past protests at the base - but with the virus events this year have gone online.]

The script of the video, with extensive links to background reports features in the video, is available here --

Monday, October 05, 2020

Hearing from the Russian side


Dr. Vladimir Kozin, Special Advisor to the Russian Presidential Administration and leading expert at the Center for Military-Political Studies, Moscow State Institute for International Relations, and the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

He and Regis Tremblay discuss the US unwillingness to continue the New START treaty set to expire in February 2021 and Lt. Colonel Vladislav Petrov, the man who in September 1983 made the decision not to launch Russian retaliatory missiles when five US missiles were mistakenly identified on the Soviet Early Warning System. 

Below is the link to the 2016 movie, The Man Who Saved The World. It is a riveting, emotional, and terrifying film that everyone should see. 

(1) True story and everyone on the planet can be thankful we are still alive for his decision. (2) You really should be very afraid that a nuclear holocaust could happen today.


I know Vladimir Kozin.  He came to speak at our Global Network space organizing conference in Kiruna, Sweden in 2013. I was very impressed with him and like him very much.  

When the Global Network organized our Russia study tour in 2019 (Moscow, Crimea, St. Petersburg) Kozin came to speak with our group at our hotel in Moscow.  

I am tired of all the demonization of Russia.  Think of it this way - when George W. Bush & Tony Blair lied to the world in 2003 about Iraq's 'weapons of mass destruction' it was the western media that joined the war-mongering crusade and promoted the eventual illegal and immoral 'shock and awe' attack.  These same corporate owned media today are the ones leading the demonizing Russia and China non-stop. Fool me once.....

But the numbers don't lie.  Check out this graphic and see the military spending of Russia in comparison to the US.  Then add the NATO allies to the US total - it's more than 60% of the global total.  Now tell me that Russia is a real threat to the west.  It's all BS.

The Russians love their children, love to eat, love to laugh and are not interested in taking over the world.  They just refuse to get on their knees and submit to US authority.  Who could blame them?

Thanks to our friend Regis Tremblay (from Maine) who now lives in Crimea and is doing his best to help humanize the Russian people with us hard-hearted Americans who have been fed many years of Russian red baiting.


Sunday, October 04, 2020

Sunday song

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Mainers are not stupid - they know authentic when they see it....



My volunteer work on Lisa Savage's US Senate campaign (a Ranked Choice Voting - RCV race) basically consists of two things.

First, I've been helping to hold banners in various communities across Maine.  So far a statewide team of extraordinary volunteers has visited more than 25 towns.  Some folks have come repeatedly and have developed a good sense of how one location might compare with others.  The response in some communities has been so good that we go back more than once.

My other task is to track Maine donors and send them a bumper sticker and frig magnet.  Along with that I fill orders people have made at the campaign store - buttons, yard signs, and other baubles.

Just like from the bannering experiences, by doing 'merch' I'm witnessing the statewide geographic expansion of Lisa's base of support.

I've heard this from people on the street and via social media:

  • 'I like Lisa - she comes across as real.  I like that she was a teacher for 25 years.'
  • 'RCV allows me for the first time in my voting life to be able to vote my heart & soul....and then rank the corporate 'safe' choice 2nd.'
  • 'I don't trust Gideon.' [the Democrat running for the same US Senate seat]
  • 'Lisa takes stronger and more principled positions on key issues like Medicare4All, Green New Deal and the like.'
  • 'I liked it when Lisa said in the debates that she was the only non-millionaire in the race.'
  • 'I never heard of Lisa before the debates.  She answered questions in a direct way and she also explained things in an easy to understand manner.'
  • 'Thank you for coming so far south to Wells to hold these banners.  I'm going to rank Lisa first.'
  • 'The Collins-Gideon attack ads are everywhere and I just turn them off.'

We believe the corporate-owned media and the polling companies work to downplay the growing strength of independent candidates like Lisa who stand against the ruling oligarchies. This is done to create the impression in the public's mind that 'Lisa can't win, don't waste your vote'.  They often refuse to even mention the existence of RCV in this race.

Maine has long been a resource extraction colony for the elites.  (Timber, fish, farming, minerals, Nestle bottled water - sold as 'Poland Springs' -  and vacation labor for the rich who luxuriate in the beauty and cool of a Maine summer.) Mainers work hard and have little job/retirement security after hundreds of years of 'service to the nation'.  The beaten down working class and growing numbers of poor people here are angry.  They are calling out for help and few are listening.  It's pretty sad when one of the only 'leaders' that 'appears' to speak for them is Donald Trump - who uses white working class anger as a play toy.

The Democrats are possibly even more insidious.  They proclaim love for the unions and other such interests and then ultimately betray the people before the wheels of corporate power.  They first serve Mr. Big and the people come second - or usually last.

And now comes our current climate crisis.  Maine's summers the last couple of years have been the hottest ever recorded.  The Gulf of Maine (historic fishing grounds) is warming faster than 99% of the world’s large bodies of saltwater, scientists say. The rest of the world’s large bodies of saltwater are also warming, although not as fast.  The lobsters are crawling north looking for cooler temperatures.  Lobstering as a way of life is in danger. Whales are also leaving the Gulf of Maine. Both mainline political parties are doing little to actually deal with the climate issue.  They can't - they have already been bought out.

We heard from one volunteer that a 'buzz' was happening across his community about Lisa.  His source is a person deeply involved in local town politics.  A couple of former mayors, from significant Maine cities, are supporting Lisa.  The Maine media is not interested in such trivialities.

The corporate elites and others have poured more than $20 million into the campaign coffers of the Democrat, Sara Gideon.  The current, increasingly unpopular, Republican Senator Susan Collins is not far behind in the money game.  The corporate interests, like in most American elections, are running two horses in every race.

This is what Lisa Savage is facing.  She is speaking for the interests of working, poor and marginalized people.  Just yesterday a request came from a disabled man in Maine for a yard sign.  His caregiver said he couldn't afford to pay for it but we gladly sent it anyway.  

I am proud to be using my free time to help build this campaign which is much bigger than just Lisa Savage.  It is an extension of the kind of political work many of us have been doing our entire adult lives.  We are connecting the dots between the various issues - showing how health care, education, environment and other concerns can't be effectively dealt with as long as we continue to waste 60% of every federal discretionary tax dollar on endless war$ that only benefit Wall Street.

We have one month to go before election day.  Some people will begin early voting by mail very soon. As Hall of Fame baseball player Yogi Berra once said, "You can take 'em to the ball game, but you can't make them go in."  We do our best to reach the people in hopes they will politically come alive and end the corporate colonization of our minds, our planet, and our body politic.

On we go...


Friday, October 02, 2020

Krystal Ball tells the truth.....


Krystal Ball breaks down Joe Biden's debate performance, and how he disavowed certain progressive platforms on live TV.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Sr. Ardeth Platte Presente!


Sr. Ardeth Platte (right) with long time friend and co-organizer Sr. Carol Gilbert


   Ardeth Platte, Dominican nun dedicated to no-nukes cause, dies at 84

(RNS) — Sister Ardeth Platte, a Dominican order nun who fought for nuclear disarmament and later served as an inspiration for a character on the popular Netflix show “Orange Is the New Black,” died in her sleep at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday (Sept. 30).

Platte, 84, who often worked in tandem with her best friend and frequent collaborator, Sister Carol Gilbert, spent years in prison for nonviolent civil disobedience in opposition to nuclear weapons and war.
It was Gilbert who discovered Platte on Wednesday morning. She had apparently been listening to the radio, as she was still wearing headphones when Gilbert found her. Gilbert said Platte had listened to the presidential debate Tuesday night.
In recent years, the duo spent the brunt of their work speaking in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Gilbert said she had been excited Wednesday morning at the prospect of telling Platte that Malaysia had become the 46th nation to ratify the treaty.
Malaysia’s decision means just four additional ratifications are needed for the landmark disarmament treaty to be brought into force, Gilbert said.
Gilbert said Platte did her final Zoom presentation in support of the treaty on Saturday to the Boston University School of Theology.
“I’m numb,” Gilbert said in a telephone interview. “She was fine yesterday. We did work. I guess you just don’t think death can come that quickly.”
Platte was born in Lansing, Michigan, and began her work for the Dominicans as a teacher. In the 1960s and ’70s, she served as principal and director of alternative education at the former St. Joseph’s Educational Center in Saginaw, Michigan. Her work as an educator impressed many in the community, and Platte was urged to run for the Saginaw City Council. She won, serving as councilwoman from 1973-1985. 

She also served as coordinator of Saginaw’s Home for Peace and Justice for more than a decade.
It was in Michigan that Platte began her anti-nuclear work, and where Gilbert joined her. Later, the pair moved to Baltimore to join the Jonah House resistance community with Elizabeth McAlister and Philip Berrigan.
In 2002, Platte, Gilbert and Sister Jackie Hudson gained international attention when they dressed as weapons inspectors, entered and were arrested at a Minuteman III nuclear missile site in Colorado. Convicted of federal felony charges, the three nuns were sentenced to prison. Hudson died in 2011.
When Platte and Gilbert returned to Colorado in 2017 for a rally, a story in The Denver Post stated: “In the years since they served their sentences in federal prison, the Dominican sisters, hardly deterred by the threat of future incarceration, have become pop culture icons.”
A character on the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” was based on Platte, who practiced yoga at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution with Piper Kerman, author of the book on which the series about a group of women serving time in a minimum-security women’s prison is based.
A documentary film about the sisters, called “Conviction,” led to stories about the trio being published in The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as some international publications.
In recent months, Platte and Gilbert joined actress Jane Fonda for large protests at the White House.
Gilbert, who called 911 when she realized Platte had died, said the Catholic Worker house was soon crawling with D.C. police.
“I wanted to tell Ardeth that even in death you have to make a scene, made our bedroom here into a crime scene.”
In an email announcement of Platte’s sudden death sent to many of her friends, Catholic activist Paul Magno of Jonah House wrote: “Deep shock to hear this but grateful for all that Ardeth has given to making the peace of Christ radiate through our world.”
In 2017, Platte told The Denver Post: “I refuse to have an enemy. I simply won’t.”