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, March 27, 2021

Bang, zoom to the Moon

 

NASA reports:

NASA has selected 14 American companies as partners to develop a range of technologies that will help forge a path to sustainable Artemis operations on the Moon by the end of the decade.

U.S. industry submitted the proposals to NASA’s fifth competitive Tipping Point solicitation, and the selections have an expected combined award value of more than $370 million. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate will negotiate with the companies to issue milestone-based firm fixed-price contracts lasting for up to five years.

“NASA's significant investment in innovative technology demonstrations, led by small and large U.S. businesses across nine states, will expand what is possible in space and on the lunar surface,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Together, NASA and industry are building up an array of mission-ready capabilities to support a sustainable presence on the Moon and future human missions to Mars.”

The selections and approximate award values across the three solicitation topic areas of cryogenic fluid management, lunar surface, and closed-loop descent and landing capability demonstrations, are:

·      Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance of Houston, $22.1 million

·      Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh, $5.8 million

·      Eta Space of Merritt Island, Florida, $27 million

·      Intuitive Machines of Houston, $41.6 million

·      Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colorado, $89.7 million

·      Masten Space System of Mojave, California, $10 million, $2.8 million

·      Nokia of America Corporation of Sunnyvale, California, $14.1 million

·      pH Matter of Columbus, Ohio, $3.4 million

·      Precision Combustion Inc. of North Haven, Connecticut, $2.4 million

·      Sierra Nevada Corporation of Madison, Wisconsin, $2.4 million

·      SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, $53.2 million

·      SSL Robotics (Maxar Technologies) of Pasadena, California, $8.7 million

·      Teledyne Energy Systems of Hunt Valley, Maryland, $2.8 million

·      United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Centennial, Colorado, $86.2 million

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This all comes at a time when homelessness in the US is growing by leaps and bounds. More people are out of work than during the time on the Great Depression. How can the US (with its massive national debt - currently at $28 trillion) afford missions to the Moon and Mars as well as seven wars here on Earth?  The numbers just don't add up.

Notice above how they are shoveling money into various states in order to 'build a constituency' that will apply pressure to keep the gravy train flowing for the budding aerospace industry,

I'd venture to guess that most American citizens would prefer we spend our limited national resources first on taking care of the people, dealing with climate crisis, and of course ending all of the war$.

How about you?

Bruce

Friday, March 26, 2021

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Dollargrabber

 

 

A play about the 1% written by Bruce Gagnon, starring two Maine artists Natasha Mayers and Ed McCarten playing Constance and Herman Dollargrabber. 

Two snow birds who winter in Florida and summer in Maine.....

Recorded on Feb. 2012, in Harpswell, Maine Community TV station.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Off we go......

 


South Front


The brand-new space race is upon us.

It moves into two directions – who will reach Mars first, who will colonize the Moon, as it is nearby. Resources need to be extracted, and the US wants them to be available to it and its corporations.

The second aspect of the race comes down to who will be able to establish the most military and reconnaissance infrastructure in space to have the upper hand in harvesting resources.

Currently, if the United States is asked, Russia and Beijing are working rapidly to militarize the cosmos, while Washington is sitting idly.

After all, the first deployment of the US Space Force was to Qatar. The US is the party that keeps involving private companies in its space endeavors and changing its legislation to militarize formally ‘civil’ and ‘private’ space projects.

In order to compete, and live up to the constant accusations of Washington of “militarization of space”, Beijing and Moscow have joined forces to reach Mars.

Currently, the most reliable way of reaching space are Russian launch vehicles, and SpaceX is attempting to match it and provide its technology to the US government.

Elon Musk’s efforts are still short, as the latest test showed.

Another setback to US efforts is that as a result of the constant accusations and claims of militarization, Russia withdrew from the American lunar project Deep Space Gateway.

Washington has proven itself as a disloyal partner when it comes to sharing the glory and resources of space.

Shortly thereafter, Russia and China announced a project to create an international scientific lunar station. Not a Russian and Chinese one, but an international one – those who wish to cooperate are welcome.

Roskosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin has spent no effort mocking the landing of the Mars rover, saying that when Washington is ready to land humans on the red planet, they would be greeted by Russians there.

Other countries such as India, Israel and others also wish to partake in the space race, but they are still far behind in terms of their capability.

While spreading the loudest claims of its adversaries militarizing space, the United States is attempting to do specifically that. Even if the US statements regarding numerous Russian attack satellites in orbit were true, and every nation’s space infrastructure is under threat, how can it even be considered that Washington is not moving in the same direction?

The United states actively attempts to take control and impose its “democratic will” across the globe, in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. How unlikely is it that it attempts to do the same in space?

The space race is yet another field in which Washington’s sanctions, accusations and antagonism have forced its competitors into partnership and closer relations. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

More destroyers to defend America?

 

 

Bath Iron Works here in Maine presently is working on six new destroyers at the shipyard. They have put a call out for even more workers. In their call they say, "Shipfitters and Pipefitters! Pipefitters are responsible for installing the 30 miles of pipe it takes to build an Arleigh Burke [Aegis] destroyer. If you have plumbing knowledge, experience reading a tape measure and basic math skills, join our team as a Pipefitter and help us build the ships that defend America!"

That's quite interesting - the defend America bit. Once these warships are sent to sea they are no where near American shores.  Right now two of them are harassing Russia in the Black Sea and they've lately been repeatedly bumping up against the Chinese coastline 'defending the right of passage in international waters'.  Yeah right...

Can't we just admit the truth here?  It is about profit$ for General Dynamics (which owns BIW) and also about a forward deployed aggressive US naval strategy.  These destroyers carry first-strike attack nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missiles onboard.  They also have SM-3 interceptor missiles that are the shield to pick-off Chinese or Russian nuclear retaliatory responses after a Pentagon first-strike attack. (Something that is annually war-gamed at the Space Command in Colorado.)

These warships are about offense not defense!

 

 

Just last week the Maine and Mississippi congressional delegations sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks on Navy shipbuilding. (The two naval shipyards that build large surface warships are in Maine and Mississippi.)

In the letter the two congressional delegations said, "We write to express our strong support for a robust Navy shipbuilding budget, including funding for the continued procurement of Large Surface Combatants, and urge you to endorse unambiguously the long-standing and congressionally mandated requirement for a larger Navy fleet... China, which each of you identified during your recent Senate nomination hearings as the foremost national security challenge facing our nation, currently has the largest Navy in the world, including approximately 350 ships...  In the era of great-power competition, a stronger U.S. Navy capable of projecting power around the world [my emphasis] is necessary to ensure America’s national and economic security during peacetime as well as to defeat our adversaries should deterrence fail."

(At least they admit that the purpose of these warships is projecting power around the world and not the tired old excuse of 'defending America' as the young potential workers are misleadingly told by BIW.)

Among the signers of the letter was Maine's 'most liberal' representative in Washington, Rep. Chellie Pingree (Democrat from Maine's southern first district). Pingree claims to care about the poor and unemployed, climate crisis, and all the other hot-button issues that liberals usually demand more money to deal with.  But she always votes for more Pentagon spending and of course more warships for BIW.

Rep. Pingree is the classic liberal who talks a good game about the need for social spending but then turns around and ensures that there won't be enough money to deal with human, environmental and infrastructure needs because the Pentagon is sitting on the buried national treasure chest.  Typical pirate behavior.

Where do the Aegis go?

As the Pentagon accelerates deployment of US warships around the globe, they must have more ports to dock at for fuel and resupply.  So in places like the Philippines (where the US was kicked out of in 1992, but now back), South Korea (where a new Navy base was forced on Jeju Island that has ripped apart a 500-year old fishing and farming community), Japan, Guam, Australia, and Okinawa local residents oppose these increased deployments.  Why? Two basic reasons, first it makes them a prime target if a war starts and secondly, in every case, these toxic military bases destroy the local environment.

 


Do you think the 'good liberal' Rep. Pingree cares about the environmental damage that accompanies these destroyers as they port in these various nations? Obviously not. During the Obama administration his ambassador to Japan was Carolyn Kennedy (daughter of JFK). For years the people of Okinawa begged that 'good liberal' to meet and hear their pleas about expanding US bases on their island. Her answer? No meeting. 

That's just in the Pacific.  The warships that are sent to poke Russia with the nuclear-stick are similarly ported at US bases throughout the Mediterranean region and in the Nordic region where they are making aggressive maneuvers in the Barents Sea. As I noted above, right now these destroyers are in the Black Sea.

 


If we are honest about this situation, it is quite apparent just who the aggressor really is.  If China or Russia had military bases in Mexico, Canada or Cuba then Washington would be going ballistic! But when Washington does it in reverse, it is always sold to the public as 'defending democracy' and other claptrap like that.

It's no wonder much of the world hates the USA today.  Our blind arrogance rankles the people in these nations that see how the US is provoking WW III which will reduce their homelands to radioactive dust.

Isn't it time for the American people to wake up and stop swallowing the 'liberal' line about 'projecting power to defend the freedom of navigation'?

Bruce

Fallout from China-U.S. Alaska 'summit'

 

By Pepe Escobar

An inevitable historical process

Pre-Alaska, the Americans went on a charming offensive in Japan and South Korea for “consultations”. That’s irrelevant. What matters is post-Alaska, and the crucial Sergey Lavrov-Wang Yi meeting of Foreign Ministers in Guilin.

Lavrov, always unflappable, clarified in an interview with Chinese media how the Russia-China strategic partnership sees the current US diplomatic train wreck:

As a matter of fact, they have largely lost the skill of classical diplomacy. Diplomacy is about relations between people, the ability to listen to each other, to hear one another and to strike a balance between competing interests. These are exactly the values ​​that Russia and China are promoting in diplomacy.

The inevitable consequence is that Russia-China must “consolidate our independence: “The United States has declared limiting the advance of technology in Russia and China as its goal. So, we must reduce our exposure to sanctions by strengthening our technological independence and switching to settlements in national and international currencies other than the dollar. We need to move away from using Western-controlled international payment systems.”

Russia-China have clearly identified, as Lavrov pointed out, how the “Western partners” are “promoting their ideology-driven agenda aimed at preserving their dominance by holding back progress in other countries. Their policies run counter to the objective international developments and, as they used to say at some point, are on the wrong side of history. The historical process will come into its own, no matter what happens.”

As a stark presentation of an inevitable “historical process”, it doesn’t get more crystal clear than that. And predictably, it didn’t take time for the “Western partners” to fall back into – what else – their same old sanction bag of tricks.

Here we go again: a US, UK, EU, Canada “alliance” sanctioning selected Chinese officials because, in Blinken’s words, “the PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.”

The EU, UK, and Canada didn’t have the guts to sanction a key player: Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo, who’s a Politburo member. The Chinese response would have been – economically – devastating.

Still, Beijing counterpunched with its own sanctions – targeting, crucially, the German far-right evangelical nut posing as “scholar” who produced the bulk of the completely debunked “proof” of a million Uighurs held in concentration camps.

Once again, the “Western partners” are impermeable to logic. Adding to the already appalling state of EU-Russia relations, Brussels chooses to also antagonize China based on a single fake dossier, playing right into the Hegemon’s not exactly secret Divide and Rule agenda.

Mission (nearly) accomplished: Brussels diplomats tell me the EU Parliament is all but set to refuse to ratify the China-EU trade deal painstakingly negotiated by Merkel and Macron. The consequences will be immense.

So Blinken will have reasons to be cheerful when he meets assorted eurocrats and NATO bureaucrats this week, ahead of the NATO summit.

One has to applaud the gall of the “Western partners”. It’s 18 years since Shock and Awe – the start of the bombing, invasion and destruction of Iraq. It’s 10 years since the start of the total destruction of Libya by NATO and its GCC minions, with Obama-Biden “leading from behind”. It’s 10 years since the start of the savage destruction of Syria by proxy – complete with jihadis disguised as “moderate rebels”.

Yet now the “Western partners” are so mortified by the plight of Muslims in Western China.

At least there are some cracks within the EU illusionist circus. Last week, the French Armed Forces Joint Reflection Circle (CRI) – in fact an independent think tank of former high officers – wrote a startling open letter to cardboard NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg de facto accusing him of behaving as an American stooge with the implementation of NATO 2030 plan. The French officers drew the correct conclusion: the US/NATO combo is the main cause of appalling relations with Russia.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Cold War on Trial

 

 

COLD WAR TRUTH COMMISSION -  A Day of Education, Testimonials & Action

“THE COLD WAR ON TRIAL” 

Held on March 21, 2021

Bruce Gagnon's words begin at 4:34:20

There were many really great and interesting presentations during this long day of wisdom sharing.

U.S. Aggressiveness Will Accelerate Its Demise

 


 Moon of Alabama

The hostility the U.S., by its behavior and words, creates against itself is not restricted to Russia and China.

Last week the French "Armed Forces Joint Reflection Circle" CRI, an independent think tank of former generals and high officers of the French forces, issued an open letter to NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in which it accused him of having acting solely in the interest of the U.S. during the development of his NATO 2030 plan.

The letter details how Stoltenberg, NATO and the U.S. have caused the bad relations with Russia. It says that the U.S. is trying to use a fictional 'Russian threat' to pressure NATO countries into morphing into a global force, under U.S. command and independent of the United Nations, to then use it against China. This while the real threat to Europe is Islamic terrorism caused by the U.S. interferences in the Middle East and north Africa. The U.S. led NATO is thereby becoming a danger for Europe.

The accusations the French generals are launching against the U.S. go beyond anything one might hear from Moscow or Beijing.

The next 'allied' nation that will have sound reason to turn hostile towards the U.S. might well be Germany:

    The Biden administration Thursday stepped up its rhetoric against a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, calling on all those involved in the project to “immediately abandon” their work.

    “The Department reiterates its warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.


Nord Stream 2 is of vital importance to Germany's energy security. The German public was rather hostile to President Trump and Biden's victory was seen with relief. But when it sees how Biden pursues the same policies, and with a similar tone, it will turn on him. A more general 'anti-Americanism' would then arise.

The uncompromising and ever aggressive behavior the U.S. shows towards competitors as well as friends will not lead to a stronger U.S. position in the world. People and nations will learn to work around it. [Or oppose it.]

These rushed attempts to prevent the ending of its unipolar moment will only accelerate the move towards a new multilateral global system.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Techno-feudal


 

Techno says
We create jobs
 
Techno says
We make life easier
 
Techno says 
We protect you
 
Techno says
We know best,
trust us 

Techno says
Ignore the critics
 
Techno says
We don't need you anymore

Techno lies 
 
Bruce

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Today (Sunday) at 7:00 pm EST

 


COLD WAR TRUTH COMMISSION

A Day of Education, Testimonials & Action

Approximate Time - 4:00 PM PST (7:00 EST)

Chris Venn         The Housing Crisis, Land Accumulation and Cold War Ideology              
Carley Towne     The Co$t of U.S. Militarism in The U.S. Cold War to Today            
Bruce Gagnon    Weaponizing Space in The U.S. Cold War to Today                     
David Vine          There Was Nothing “COLD” about The Cold War                   
Kathy Kelly         War Resistance in the 1980’s as Foundation for 1991 Iraq War Resistance   
David Swanson    Combating The Lies of The U.S. Cold War Today                    
Jeff Cohen            U.S. News Media: The Enduring Cold War Legacy                
Ed Rampell           HUAC, The Hollywood Blacklist and McCarthyism: Cold War Cancel Culture    
Peter McLaren     The U.S. Cold War against Liberation Theology and the Ascendance of the Religious Right             

Get the Zoom code by registering here: https://www.codepink.org/03212021 

I think it’s a great idea! Ideologically, it's right on.”
–Oliver Stone on the Cold War Truth Commission 

Sunday song