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: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

History lesson: Black slaves and Seminoles

 



The Gullah Geechie/Black Seminole Wars were fought for over 100 years and they were very instrumental in helping to end slavery.

The Black freedom fighters who fought in these wars are all but over looked in history.

What about Julian Assange?

 

 

Clare Daly is an Irish politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland for the Dublin constituency since July 2019. She is a member of Independents 4 Change, part of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left. She served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 2011 to 2019.

Daly was elected as a Socialist Party TD for the Dublin North constituency at the 2011 general election. Previously a Socialist Party Councillor for the Swords electoral area on Fingal County Council, she resigned from the Socialist Party on 31 August 2012, redesignating herself as a United Left Alliance TD.

She was a co-defendant in an Irish trial of civil resistance to U.S. warplanes refueling at Shannon Airport.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Why no mention of 'plutonium' in media coverage of Mars rover?

 

 

I am disheartened that the media shows little inclination to mention the words 'plutonium' or 'probabilities of accidental release' in their so-called reporting of the Mars rover arrival. You have to question who they work for.

A '1 in 960 chance of a deadly plutonium release' is a real concern - most gamblers in Las Vegas would be happy with those odds.

We daily hear the excited anticipation of the nuclear industry as stories reveal the growing plans for hosts of launches of nuclear devices - more rovers on Mars, mining colonies on the moon, even nuclear reactors to power rockets bound for Mars. The nuclear industry is rolling the dice while people on Earth have their fingers crossed in the hope technology does not fail - as it often does.

 

 

But the media, while ignoring the Mars rover plutonium story, is also guilty of not reporting about the years of toxic contamination at the Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear labs where these space nuclear devices are produced.  The Idaho Nuclear lab or Los Alamos Nuclear lab in New Mexico have long track records of worker and environmental contamination during this dirty space nuke fabrication process.

The public will need to do more than cross their fingers in hopes that nothing goes wrong.  We need to speak out loudly so Congress, NASA and the DoE hear that we do not support the nuclearization of the heavens. 

Go solar or better yet - stay home and use our tax dollars to take care of the legions of people without jobs, health care, housing, food, or heat.  

Mars can wait.

Bruce

What some folks are saying.....


 
Some interesting responses to various posts I've been making on social media.  Always wonder what folks are thinking and what they want to do about what is happening around us.

  • America is the most cruel nation among its peers — even among most poor countries today. It is something like a new Rome. It has little, if any, functioning healthcare, education, transport, media, no safety nets, no stability, security. The middle class is collapsing, and life expectancy is falling. Young people die for a lack of insulin they cannot crowdfund. Elderly middle-class people live and die in their cars. Kids massacre each other in schools — when they’re not self-medicating the pain of it all away. The combination of these pathologies happens nowhere else — not a single place — in the world. Not even Pakistan, Costa Rica, or Rwanda. The world is aghast daily at the depths of American cruelty — yet somehow, they seem bottomless. 
  • , , , and so heartless. I really do want to believe that we can and will overcome , but it is up to all of us who care enough to stand up and be counted. In solidarity with your post.
  • oh for Christ's sake
  • US mind set still stuck in the old Cold War, product of even deeper arrogant white exceptionalism brewing for 400 years.
  • Every winter [US Marines do] training on Mt Washington, New Hampshire too
  • Yeah [US Marines] training in Norway so they can make way to invade Russia.
  • HOW ABOUT THEM RUSSIAN MARINES TRAINING IN MEXICO? [A joke of course]
  • Blimey!...Madness...boondoggle
  • Ww111 coming up

 

  • They launch these things over water. Worst case some fuel falls into the ocean. No mushroom clouds.
  • my grandpa: the best way to suicide is to trust an politican
  • Great! That article on the front of Space Alert #40 is brilliant too (although very disturbing) and should be spread far and wide. Thanks so much for it. You’re all brilliant. 
  • Use a nuclear reactor to generate heat for a reaction engine, or use a big aluminized mylar mirror to generate heat for a reaction engine: How to decide? Which one costs at least 100 times more, weighs at least 20 times more, and requires you to carry and look after a load of hot radioactive poison? No contest: The option that shovels tens to hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of "defense contractors" who reliably pay perfectly legal kickbacks wins every time.You can't change the laws of physics... or the perverse incentives driving fraud, waste and abuse in the military industrial complex. 
  • business and war is today the same 
 
 
  • Actually I think we should take more responsibility here in the US for our own inability to keep the class struggle moving in a positive direction....
  • Too much army period! Defund, disarm, discharge back to a real life and being human...
  • I thought that to threaten war was a war crime, of itself. It appears the biggest problem is the existence of militaries, no matter where they come from. The entire world needs to disarm while it still can.
  • I want World Peace. I am not crazy; warmongers are.
  • Having too much material wealth makes humans insane.
 
 
  • Typical American Empire arrogance.....
  • Utter madness - how to get a message through to them [US government] to ask them if they have forgotten that.......Nuclear weapons are now illegal...... 
  • WOW! the Mars Perseverance Rover has landed on Mars! Incredible technology and as NASA called the landing...."Seven minutes of terror". I have to say that I can't see the point of this! (if anyone wants to comment - please - only polite, civil comments!). We have so much here to sort out and find solutions to benefit the human race.....DISCUSS!
  • Plutonium-powered Perseverance rover landed on Mars today. How much plutonium is there already either in the crashed landings or the successful-but-never-to-be-returned-to-Earth ones creating a nuclear waste dump? NASA cares nothing about the ecosystem of Mars. And who gave the U.S. or the other countries permission to land there?
  • Perseverance Mars rover has 10.6 pounds of plutonium dioxide onboard and the "Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Mars 2020 Mission" sets the odds of a release of the plutonium during the mission as having "a probability of 1 in 960."  

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Good news - bad news.....

 

 

  • Wall Street Journal (not something I often read) reports: China overtook the U.S. as the world's top destination for new foreign direct investment last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic amplifies an eastward shift in the center of gravity of the global economy. New investments by overseas businesses into the U.S., which for decades held the No. 1 spot, fell 49% in 2020, according to United Nations figures. The 2020 investment numbers underline China's move toward the center of a global economy long dominated by the U.S. -- a shift accelerated during the pandemic as China has cemented its position as the world's factory floor and expanded its share of global trade.   
  • Stars & Stripes reports:  About 1,000 U.S. Marines left in limbo in Norway after Arctic drills were canceled because of coronavirus concerns will now be staying on until spring. The Marines will carry out their field training in accordance with Norwegian and U.S. COVID safety protocols.  The Marines say they will now press ahead with their Arctic mission. The Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based Marines are part of a rotational force that trains with the Norwegian military and other NATO allies. The Marines have been a regular presence in Norway since the Cold War and continue to keep large stockpiles of weapons in Norwegian caves. [All of this training and weapons supply depots are aimed at Russia.]
  • Podcaster & libertarian Scott Horton talks to Lyle Goldstein about the U.S.-Russia relationship and the future of global nuclear arms negotiations. Goldstein says that after the Cold War, the world’s nuclear weapon situation was mostly under control – as a result, people today have forgotten how dangerous these weapons are, as evidenced by the American government’s willingness to let old treaties lapse. Goldstein is Research Professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Listen to this excellent interview here.
  • Journalist Karl Grossman (co-founder of the Global Network in 1992) has been on a writing spree in recent weeks about the plans of the nuclear industry to push their dirty product into space.  His latest article has been appearing in many different venues including today in the Independent Australia. I tried to share it on the Global Network's Fazebook page but it was rejected due to a current dispute between the Australian government and Fazebook over money (of course). So for now no articles from any Australian media are allowed to be posted on Fazebook.  
  • Another story from Stars & Stripes: More than a dozen military bases stretching from Fort Drum in New York to Fort Hood in Texas were closed Tuesday as large swaths of the country were gripped by freezing temperatures and dangerous weather conditions. I love it when Mother Nature (in her rage against her ignorant and disobedient children) shuts things down so that even the mega-powered Pentagon has to sit in the time-out corner for awhile.  Expect more of this as the climate crisis worsens in the coming years.  Much of the crisis is in fact caused by the record-setting carbon bootprint by the Pentagon.  Sadly most climate change organizations won't yet acknowledge this fact.

You develop to the extent of your curiosity and no further. Remain endlessly curious about the world and your understanding will keep developing. Remain endlessly curious about yourself and your maturity will keep developing. Decide you know and your growth immediately stops.

 

Bruce 

Get a new Global Network T-shirt

 





 

We've just created a new T-shirt campaign for the Global Network.  You can purchase them online at Bonfire for $20 (plus s/h).  They come in the above four colors and many different sizes.

Bonfire ships them directly to your home. International orders can be made as well with additional postage due.

The Global Network makes a couple bucks on each shirt thus helping our international campaign to prevent Star Wars from becoming a tragic reality.  And time is crucial as Washington makes its move for control and domination of space and the Earth below!

Help us spread the message - go here to order.

Thanks

Bruce

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

What is 'Missile Defense'?

 

 

The Pentagon is surrounding China and Russia with so-called 'missile defense' systems.

Just what is MD and why is it not defensive?

MD is the 'shield' to pick off Chinese or Russian retaliatory responses after a US first-strike attack.

The US refuses to renounce first-strike while China and Russia have done so many years ago.

MD used to be illegal under the US-Russia ABM Treaty (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) that George W. Bush pulled the US out of in 2002.

The US annually computer war games a first-strike attack against China and Russia at the Space Command.  They call it the 'Red team vs the Blue team'. In the initial attack the Pentagon attempts to take out as many of Russian and Chinese nuclear forces (air, land and sea-based) as possible. China and Russia then fire their remaining nuclear retaliatory capability and the US uses its MD layered system to pick-off as many retaliatory responses as possible giving the Pentagon what they call a 'successful' first-strike.  

Yes it is insane. These are the psychopaths now running the show in Washington.

During Obama's administration the Pentagon escalated deployment of MD on Navy Aegis destroyers (SM-3 interceptors) and Army ground-based launchers like THAAD and PAC-3. The plan is to also add orbiting MD battle stations some day. In addition the Pentagon is working on lasers to be part of the MD program.

 

MD is dangerous, provocative and destabilizing.

Video made by Global Network board member Will Griffin.

Bruce 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

It is women who bear the burden.....

 

This is the trailer for "Accidents Can Happen: The Women of Three Mile Island," a 90-minute documentary film about the nuclear meltdown that took place on March 28th, 1979 at Three Mile Island, in Middletown, PA. 

The film chronicles the story of four mothers who lived five miles from the nuclear power plant when the accident occurred. Accidents Can Happen investigates the story through a feminist lens. 

The mothers' story is buttressed with interviews with medical doctors, nuclear engineers, scientists, and nuclear scholars. 

The film includes interviews and archival footage with Jane Fonda, Bonnie Raitt, and Dr. Helen Caldicott, Mark Jacobson (Stanford), Greg Jaczko (Princeton), Kate Brown (MIT), and others. 

For more about the project (in production), please see the website: AccidentsCanHappenthefilm.com

Monday, February 15, 2021

Nasrallah on Capitol Riots: Trump revealed the true face of the U.S.

 

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah 

on January 9, 2021, three days after the Capitol riots.



Transcription :

[…] My first comment (concerns the Capitol Hill riot), because it would be unwise to ignore an event of such magnitude, namely the major incident that occurred in recent days in the United States, in Washington. Trump called for a protest in Washington, interrupting his New Year’s Holiday to come to Washington and call for a (big) protest, addressing protesters behind a bulletproof glass the same day, and urging them to march on the Congress, and on the Representatives and Senators assembled nearby to (officially) establish the result of the presidential elections.

Then, during the meeting of Representatives and Senators, the two Houses of Representatives and Senators, the demonstrators invaded the Congress building (the Capitol), in a scene [of a coup or “color revolution”] that the United States have the habit of fomenting in other countries of the world to bring down regimes. But now Trump has implemented it in his own country! This is the very thing they have perpetrated in many countries of the world, and which they have been trying to do for a year and a half in Lebanon! Either way, the protesters walked towards the building, passed through the security gates, and entered (the Capitol). There were a number of deaths, dozens of injured, dozens of arrests, bloody clashes… The Representatives and Senators fled, ending their meeting, hiding (where they could)… Then various measures were taken, and clamors (of condemnation) arose from all sides.

Of course, this is a very important and very dangerous event, which cannot be minimized or considered minor, despite the efforts of some. And its consequences are also (major and) dangerous. In Lebanon and in the Arab world, the darlings (vassals) of the United States have endeavored to downplay the significance of this event, to belittle and underestimate it. But (to know its real scope), it suffices to ask the inhabitants of Mecca, who are the most aware of what is happening at home (Arabic proverb inviting to question those first concerned). Let’s rely on what the people of the United States have said, what Biden said, what his vice-president (Harris) said, what top Democratic Party officials said, within the Republican Party, etc. How did all these people describe this event? What has been the reaction within the Trump administration itself, the resignations etc.? If it were only a minor and marginal incident, under control, it would not have had all of these consequences, which still continue, and can lead to impeachment proceedings against Trump by Congress.

 



It was not the (intended) topic of my speech, but since this event has occurred, I will say two words about it.

First, this is obviously a (major) event that we must ponder and analyze carefully, and from which we should draw lessons. This event reveals to us the reality of the current (domestic) situation in the United States, and reveals the true face of this (so-called) democracy and its (vain) pretenses. But among the things to stress in this event is that the people of the United States themselves have tasted first-hand the consequences of Trump’s policies, and his willingness to kill even Americans –who he was already killing during the past year during demonstrations [against police brutality and institutional racism]– to stay in power. We have long warned of the dangers of the policies of this assassin, and what Americans and the world have seen is only a small glimpse of what Trump perpetrated over four years in many countries around the world, such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria, the siege imposed on Iran, Venezuela, etc., and his support for Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. The whole world has remained silent, as have many Americans, in the face of its atrocious crimes against other peoples, in particular its manifest, official and scandalous crime against the two Commanders (who defeated ISIS), Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis. And today, Trump’s criminal truth has been revealed to the eyes of his own people. Trump exemplifies the American political and military arrogance which has long imposed its hegemony on peoples, monopolized their choices and chained their sovereignty.

 

Yemen

 

What has happened in recent days is an example of the sterile and catastrophic nature of this (bogus) American democracy which has no real guarantees, and allows individuals like Trump to come to power. How could an election allow the rise to power of a figure so puffed up with arrogance, so criminal, so mad and so stupid, to rule not only the United States, but the whole world, holding the future of humanity in his hands?! (This experience at least) revealed the true face of this American (pseudo-)democracy that they wanted to impose on the world. And with his allies and accomplices in the Middle East, Trump exemplifies power-hungry tyrants, (ready for anything to cling to power), even at the cost of the blood of their own people. Of course, we must also mention Pompeo, who always urged us to preserve the popular vote, while he and his President did everything possible to impose themselves and alter the outcome of the elections, by force and threats. He was talking to us about the respect due to protesters, and we saw the (unarmed protesters) killed and wounded in the heart of Washington.

I will conclude on this point with two words.

(First, I want to say) that God the Most High and the Exalted has protected the peoples of the world and the whole Earth during these four years (of Trump’s presidency), and we must all pray to Him, invoke Him and intercede with Him so that He continues to preserve us during the days that remain before January 20, because the nuclear codes are still in the hands of this mad, stupid, racist and arrogant character that is Trump, a real tyrant who when he gets angry, he no longer knows what he is doing. May God continue to preserve the world for the few days remaining until January 20.

And my last point is this: when I saw Trump’s recorded speech yesterday (it was not broadcast live), and in which he condemned the protesters, those who had engaged in violence, vowing to abide by the law and calling everyone to respect the law, he reminded me of this Quranic verse which says: “They are like Satan when he lures someone to disbelieve. Then after they have done so, he will say ˹on Judgment Day˺, ‘I have absolutely nothing to do with you. I truly fear Allah—the Lord of all worlds.’ ” (Quran, 59, 16).

It was Trump who organized this demonstration, he is the one who incited them to march on Congress, it is he who sent them there, and when they took the Capitol, he disassociated himself from them, saying he had nothing to do with any of this and was abiding by the law. This is the real face of Trump, the way he behaves with those who support him, let alone his allies. 

In conclusion, this is a major event, and the developments underway in the United States are very important and will have consequences domestically but also on the whole world. We must follow all of this closely. […]

~ Hassan Nasrallah (born 1960, Beirut, Lebanon), Lebanese militia and political leader who served as leader (secretary-general) of Hezbollah  from 1992. Nasrallah was raised in the impoverished Karantina district of eastern Beirut, where his father ran a small grocery store. After the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon in 1975 caused the family to flee south from Beirut, Nasrallah joined Amal, a Lebanese Shiʿi paramilitary group allied with Iran and Syria. Soon afterward he left for Najaf, Iraq, to study at the Shiʿi seminary there. Following Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Nasrallah left Amal to join the Hezbollah movement, a more-radical force that was heavily influenced by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. In the late 1980s Nasrallah rose through Hezbollah’s ranks and became a leading figure. As his potential for leadership became clear, he went to Iran to further his religious education in Qom. He assumed leadership of Hezbollah in 1992 after his predecessor, Sheikh ʿAbbas al-Musawi, was killed by an Israeli missile.

'The whole thing is a GD circus'.....

 

 

Another great skit by Jimmy Dore....

Our opposition grows: Dangers of launching nukes into space

 

 

The US began launching space probes with nuclear power in the early 1960's.  One of these military satellites powered with a nuclear reactor fell back to Earth in April of 1964. 

It was called SNAP 9-A and was launched aboard a Department of Defense weather satellite that failed to reach orbit. The nuclear reactor, as designed, released radioactive debris in our upper atmosphere during reentry and then burned up. Remnants struck the Indian Ocean. A total of 2.1 pounds of plutonium-238 vaporized in the atmosphere and spread worldwide.

Over the years there have been a host of space nuclear accidents by the US and former Soviet Union/Russia.  See more here

Dr. John Goffman studied the SNAP 9-A accident and concluded that the dispersed deadly plutonium-238 was a leading cause of the increase in cancers around the world today. During our 1997 Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and Global Network campaign to stop the launch of the Cassini space probe, with 72 pounds of plutonium-238 onboard, Goffman was a huge help to us doing frequent media interviews where he warned of the dangers of global contamination if there was to be a launch accident.

(Goffman's earliest research was in nuclear physics and chemistry, in close connection to the Manhattan Project. He co-discovered several radioisotopes, notably uranium-233; he was the third person ever to work with plutonium. Later in life, Gofman took on a role as an advocate warning of dangers involved with nuclear power.) 

The nuclear industry currently views space as a new (and wide open) market for their toxic product that has run its dirty course on Mother Earth.

During our campaigns in 1989, 1990, and 1997 to stop NASA's Galileo, Ulysses and Cassini plutonium launches, we learned that the nuclear industry positioned their agents inside NASA committees that made the decisions on what kinds of power sources would be placed on those deep space missions.  Similarly, it now appears that the nuclear industry has also infiltrated the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that has been studying missions to Mars.  The recommendation, not any surprise, is that nuclear reactors are the best way to power a Mars mission.

 



But nukes are not the best for us Earthlings because the Department of Energy (DoE) has a bad track record of human and environmental contamination as they fabricate space nuclear devices. An accident at launch could have catastrophic consequences.

In 1996, just prior to the launch of Cassini, it was reported that while fabricating the plutonium generators for the Cassini space probe, 244 cases of worker contamination occurred at DoE's Los Alamos lab in New Mexico. So it is not just a launch pad explosion that we worry about. 

 



We fought the DoE and NASA on those previous nuclear launches and are entering the struggle again.  

The nuclear industry has its sights set on nuclear-powered mining colonies on an assortment of planetary bodies - all necessitating legions of nuclear devices being produced at DoE and then launched on rockets that blow up from time to time. They are also now promoting a nuclear rocket to Mars - with reactors for engines. The Pentagon has long claimed that they need nuclear reactors to power space-based weapons.

We urge the public to help us pressure Congress, NASA and DoE to 'say no' to nukes in space. We've got to protect life here on this planet. The best way you can help is to share this information with others so that we can build an international base of awareness and action around this issue.

We are in the middle of a pandemic and people have lost jobs, homes, health care and even food on their table.

Trips to Mars (without nuclear devices) can wait.

Bruce

Culture review: 'Brutal world of competition'

 


Journalist Chris Hedges reflects on Michael Jackson's death and the commodification of his life. 

Recorded in 2009.

Many lessons to be learned in this video. 

The message resonates more each day. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Fighting for freedom & justice in Mississippi

 


Fannie Lou Hamer was a force to be reckoned with. Enduring intractable racism, police beatings, and even forced sterilization, she never stopped working for equal voting rights for all. 
 

Born on October 6, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi, Fannie Lou, was the 20th and youngest child of Lou Ella and James Townsend. Both Lou Ella and James worked as sharecroppers their entire lives; when Fannie Lou was just six years old, she joined them, despite having endured a bout of polio just a year earlier. 

Hamer was eight years old in 1925 when she saw Joe Pullam, a local sharecropper, lynched. In an interview with Jack O'Dell in 1965, she said, "I remember that until this day and I won't forget it." 

Poverty forced Hamer to drop out of school at the age of 12, and by the age of 13, she was picking as much as 400 pounds of cotton in a day and receiving $1 for her work. Since Hamer had learned how to read and write during her brief time in school, she also worked as a record keeper on the plantation, and soon discovered just how the owners would cook the books to cheat the poor sharecroppers out of their fair wages. 

To offset this, Hamer began secretly tilting the scales to ensure people weren't cheated. She later recalled, "I didn't know what to do and all I could do is rebel in the only way I could rebel."

Sunday song