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

Saturday, May 10, 2014

NOW THEY WANT YOU TO PAY TO CLEAN UP SPACE JUNK



Presently there is no technological way to clean up the more than 30,000 pieces of space debris orbiting the earth traveling at more than 15,000 mph.  Some scientists have long predicted that the International Space Station (ISS) will be someday destroyed by space junk.  It cost $100 billion to build the ISS.

Imagine the cost of cleaning up space debris - the aerospace industry must be drooling over the thought.

SATURDAY HISTORY LESSON



Important episodes of Oliver Stone's Untold History of the US.  Covers end of WW II and the corporate takeover of the US government.  The second one below is the Bush II and Obama years. Worth watching...

So much of what is happening today is connected to these two periods covered by Stone.  Unresolved issues you might say.  The revelations about internal US right-wing forces taking power is fascinating.

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
- George Santayana (Spanish philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist)


MEET MR. BIG


  • When you mix corporate power with the government, and the military, you get the toxic mix of fascism.  Mussolini in Italy identified their WW II era fascist state that way - the wedding of corporations and the government.

As the global economic and environmental crisis worsens we will be constantly given the notion that a massive military intervention and occupation are absolutely necessary in some tragic place and circumstances.  The average person might wonder for a moment, but then they move on and accept what they hear from their government.  We humans are a bit lazy and most interested in the day-to-day grind of life.  Why bother getting involved?  After all, it is Mr. Big we are up against.

  • Yesterday I went to nearby Brunswick for the annual "All Species Day Parade" that drew several hundred parents and children dressed as their favorite species.  I held a homemade version of a sunflower and joined the parade.  Our former Addams-Melman House mate Maureen Block has been organizing the parade for the past several years.  She works at a place called Spindelworks that has a wonderful arts program for people with disabilities.  Maureen wanted to get kids and the public thinking more about our connection to nature.  A great vision.

  • I stuck around Brunswick on the cold and drizzly day so that I could attend the PeaceWorks vigil along Main Street by the town green.  The vigil, led by Christine DeTroy, has been going on since 9/11 trying to get the public to call on our government to stop its endless wars.  Through the rain, the cold, and deep snow, the vigil continues each Friday.  People respect the vigilers too and frequently honk when they drive by. 

  • My mind is on Ukraine so much these days as you can see on this blog.  I am reading so much and watching tons of videos.  I am trying to learn as much as possible.  The really compelling video for me was the one I put below showing US State Department official Victoria Nuland try to insult us by saying that grandmothers and children helped topple the recently past government of Ukraine.  It took a right-wing Republican congressman to get Nuland to 'sort of' acknowledge that we are supporting Nazi's in Kiev. 

I wish my 'liberal' Democratic Party congresswoman Chellie Pingree would raise the question of US support for the Nazi's in public.  But the Navy builds destroyers in her district and the warships are seeing increasing action in the Black Sea.  Outfitted with so-called 'missile defense' systems these Aegis destroyers are ready to fire SM-3 interceptor missiles at any Russian retaliatory nuclear strike after the Pentagon hit them first.  The US Space Command has been war gaming such an attack for years.

Oliver Stone’s recent TV series The Untold History of the US gave us the historical picture of how the US has been playing nuclear threat politics ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

My congresswoman's husband is a hedge fund $$$$$ man who owns the Portland Press Herald newspaper.  He heavily funds Democratic Party front groups around the state including some progressive organizations.  They become the grassroots door-to-door operation for the party on issues and campaigns that it wishes to focus on.  The Dems work the social and economic issues but steer clear of Maine's own role in the military industrial complex that is draining the national coffers which helps contribute to these social problems in the first place.

Everybody is chasing the dollar. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

OLIGARCHS RUN THE SHOW



Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making."

TIRED OF WAR


New poll by Zogby Analytics (893 likely voters, May 2-3) provides the latest war temperature test.

"Do you agree or disagree that the United States should use whatever means it can to prevent Russia from establishing control over eastern Ukraine?"

Agree - 29%
Disagree - 36%
Not Sure - 35%

The American people might not be able to find Ukraine on a map but they are smart enough to know that we don't need another war.

I would venture to guess that many of the "Not Sure" have been frozen by the mainstream media's very effective campaign of the demonization of Russia.  

VETERANS FOR PEACE



Veterans for Peace members have been arrested a number of times in New York at a Vietnam War Memorial. They've they've been charged and been on trial. But they continue to stand their ground. Why continuously arrest veterans?

CELEBRATING ANYWAY



Update from Mariupol:  

On Friday residents marched to remember the anniversary of the defeat of Hitler near the end of WW II as he tried to invade the former Soviet Union.  The current "leadership" of Ukraine, put into power by the US-EU, declared that Ukraine would not have ceremonies on this historic Victory Day holiday.  

But the people around the country, especially in eastern Ukraine, turned out anyway.  Those in Kiev, owing their power to the US coup d'etat, are finding their grip on things to be slipping daily.

As I have said many times these folks know what fascism looks like and they are reacting with their bodies because they clearly see the Kiev bunch for what they are.  In the video below unarmed citizens of Mariupol try to stop a tank.  Reports are that several local residents were killed during the day by Kiev forces.


NULAND TRIES TO EVADE NAZI CONNECTION IN UKRAINE



Assistant Secretary of State was harshly questioned in Congress as she struggles to defend activists in Kiev who benefited from Washington's support.

It took a right-wing Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to get Nuland to reluctantly acknowledge that Nazi's were/are involved in the Ukraian coup d'etat.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

WHO ARE THE GUN SLINGERS?



Mariupol in eastern Ukraine... Fascist armed forces under Kiev junta are terrorizing unarmed citizens. The US-NATO are supporting this armed threat.

IT'S NOT BLACK OR WHITE



Watch the full interview here http://youtu.be/Dyj8BB1UpUA

NATO and Russia are back to square one after a decade of efforts to build a functional relationship. And with both sides flexing diplomatic and military muscle over Ukraine, the cycle of mutual misunderstanding is perpetuating. Is there a way forward through cooperation, or is open confrontation inevitable? Oksana is joined by Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, the former Deputy Secretary General of NATO, to tackle these issues.

ITALIAN STYLE



Italian activists in Vicenza opened the fences and sowed marijuana seeds at the US military base in their community.

The US base at Vicenza was deeply involved in Iraq and Afghanistan wars and more recently in operations on the African continent and leading the NATO charge into the Baltics. 

There has long been major non-violent resistance in Vicenza against the US base. 

LET IT BE REAL



The US media, and practically all western media, is under corporate control.  They play the same tune and then broadcast about the "international consensus" in order to make it appear that the whole world is on their side.  It's not.

The pirates are playing their cards in the saloon and using all the tools at their disposal to make 'Full Spectrum Dominance" a reality.  The Space Command was the first to use that mantra but now it has spread to cover the entirety of the agenda of Mr. Big and his groveling minions.

Rarely do we see or hear the words of alternative voices to global domination.  Mr. Big has all the bases covered.  In times like this I remember the weeds popping up through the cracks in the pavement.  I am one of those weeds, joyfully seeking the sun, and good water, to survive on our rich planet.  I don't want nobody dominating the Mother Earth.  It's not the right path to survival.

Many inside the White House criticize the Russian media.  Yes Russian media have an opinion but they are more open to outside and alternative thinking and it is often refreshing coverage.  I will share a couple here from Ria Novosti.

They quote Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent and US State Department employee, who is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).  This group recently sent a "memorandum" to Obama asking him to take immediate measures to de-escalate the Ukrainian conflict.

“Now there is a very strong element in the United States which is pushing for really almost a confrontation with Russia over Ukraine and they haven’t really thought through it,” said Johnson, a co-author of the memorandum to the president .

“When they talk about arming the dissidents or arming folks opposing Russia in the Ukraine, they don’t appreciate the possibility of the escalation that that can create,” Johnson said.

“We [the US] tend to try to portray these things in a way that doesn’t really take into account all the dynamics that are involved. And I think it’s really dangerous,” he said.
The Russian news source also shared the thinking of international law professor Francis Boyle, a US-based expert on Russia and lifetime member of the peace movement, who says:

NATO is using the Ukrainian crisis as a smoke screen for a war plan and the US has already decided to permanently station troops in Eastern Europe.

NATO has repeatedly blamed Russia for the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and building up arms and troops on the country’s border. The alliance has already used the crisis to justify an expansion of its military forces near Russian borders, bumping up the number of air patrol missions in Eastern Europe.
These words are fundamental to the kind of public debate that should now be happening in the US but all possible media doors are closed - except those few tiny cracks in the cement.  But when people turn to listen to the voices provided by Russian media we are verbally whiplashed by John Kerry as he denounces RT.  Kerry's masters know by seeding the public fear of being branded a "commie" or a "subversive sympathizer" many will be disinclined to stick their necks out into such a cold climate.

Not all weeds make it through the cement cracks....mostly those who desire life so much that they keep growing and reaching out.  We call it hope... the truth ... and life.

Let it be.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

SUPPORT LOW WAGE WORKERS


SOUNDS OF JEJU



I'm Jun Ashikari, Japanese contrabass player. I'm traveling with my contrabass from Japan to Iceland. And I make short movies about the places where I visited. 

Here is Jeju Island, South Korea where a Navy base is being built for US warships to surround China.  The 450 year old Gangjeong village struggles to stop the base and preserve nature.

INSIDE STORY



Odessa police were complicit in the horrific killings the port city saw last week. That's according to Kiev's interim prosecutor general, speaking to Ukrainian media about an on-going investigation. Last Friday, dozens of anti-government activists died in a building, besieged and set ablaze by extremists. But as an eyewitness told RT, those who weren't killed by the smoke and fire were soon finished off by the mob.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

COPS GONE TOO FAR



A meeting of the Albuquerque (New Mexico) City Council was disrupted and was ultimately canceled Monday night, prompting the police chief and council members to walk out. Protesters took over the meeting, still furious over a series of incidents involving the city's police department in which people were killed or excessive force was used.

The Albuquerque Police Department has faced intense criticism for 37 shootings by officers since 2010 -- more than 20 of them deadly. Critics say that's far too many for a department serving a city of about 555,000. Complaints from local advocacy groups helped launch a federal Justice Department inquiry earlier this year that ultimately agreed the APD has too often gone too far.

IT WAS JUST A WEDDING...



Get involved. Take action. Sign up at www.codepink.org

THE AMORAL CLAIM


The Amoral Claim

I was in the bank today
the TV on the wall
carried the stock market channel
three guys talking about possible
war with Russia

One claimed
Putin is amoral
(Miriam Webster: being outside the sphere
to which moral judgements apply)
he was saying
that Putin is crazy
it was fitting to hear this
from stock market cats

The moral Wall Streeters
kick folks
out into the street
foreclosed on
legions now homeless

How about Obama's moral
drones in Pakistan
and Yemen
killing innocents?
how many died in Iraq
from the moral US bombs?

How many died in Libya
from NATO's moral
"responsibility to protect"
attack?

Food stamps are cut
by the moral rich men
and women
who occupy
the halls of Congress
children go hungry

Health care is carefully
ladled out
by the moral insurance
corporations
who care so deeply
about the millions
who have been thrown
under the bus

A holy book once
warned
beware of judging...
You hypocrite,
first take the log out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly
to take the speck out of your brother’s eye

Beware,
the rich
righteous
moral
wise men 
are here
to save us
from the amoral
Putin who rides 
the bear

CLIMATE CHANGE UPDATE


Today in Washington the third National Climate Assessment was released, a landmark report detailing the huge impacts of climate change in the US.

Compiled by more than 300 authors, the report covers past and projected impacts to conclude that climate change is already affecting every American region and many sectors of its economy and society, warning urgent action must be taken to curb further disruption.

The report, which the government calls the ‘the most comprehensive, authoritative, transparent scientific report on US climate change impacts ever generated’, is expected to steer US environment and climate policy during President Obama’s next two years in office, as part of his Climate Action Plan.

Outlining the growing body of climate science and increasing climate change-induced extreme weather events affecting communities and businesses across America, authors explain how 'climate change' means more than just hotter weather. For example they outline the large increases in heavy rainfall seen in the Northeast, Midwest and Great Plains between 1958 and 2012, as shown in the report’s graph above.

Importantly, the report points out how these regional impacts are expected to affect America's key sectors economically as well as socially - especially areas such as agriculture, energy, transportation, water, human health, forests and ecosystems - with the estimated costs of flooding alone amounting to $325 billion by 2100.

But the authors say there is still time to limit the extent of climate change’s damaging impacts: “Using scientific information to prepare for climate changes in advance can provide economic opportunities, and proactively managing the risks can reduce impacts and costs over time.”

Monday, May 05, 2014

EVIDENCE IS THERE

Members of ultra-nationalist Right Sector make Molotov cocktails that were hurled into Trade Union hall in Odessa where anti-Kiev protesters were finding refuge

Some of the 46 who were burned alive inside the Odessa Trade Union hall

Yahoo News shared a story last night that came from German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that reported US CIA and FBI agents were in Kiev helping to end the rebellion in the east of Ukraine and set up a 'functioning security structure'.

In addition there were photos on the Internet last night of NATO troops from the US, Canada, Italy and other countries inside Ukraine.  It seems rather obvious that since the recent visit of CIA chief Brennan and V-P Joe Biden to Kiev the US-NATO has likely taken over direction of the military operation in eastern Ukraine.

The US-NATO divert talk about their involvement in Ukraine by constantly accusing Russia of instigating the conflict and marshaling troops on its own border.  The US psy-ops strategy is to repeatedly put Russia on the defensive in western media while simultaneously expanding NATO and  inserting its own agents inside the Kiev 'security structure'.  When Russia claims that the US-NATO are running this show they happen to be telling the truth.

Western media still claims that it is unclear who set fire to the Trades Union hall in Odessa while the evidence overwhelmingly shows that the unarmed citizens inside the building were set upon by Right Sector fascists who threw Molotov cocktails and shot at them.  And then when a few crawled out of the fire they were beaten by the far-right nationalists.

I've learned that it took one whole hour for the fire department to finally make it to the burning building.  By that time it was getting dark and many inside had already died.  About 67 of those who were inside and lived were quickly arrested by the city police. (It's important to remember that in Ukraine the new federal government appoints the regional governors and mayors.)

This morning 1,000 Odessa citizens surrounded the police center and forced their way inside the building.  They released the 67 who had been arrested.  Rick Rozoff, who runs the Stop NATO website from Chicago, writes:

The latest report from the Odessa native currently living in the Chicago area is that her friend and his son, the first the victim of smoke inhalation, the second bludgeoned by Right Sector and allied forces outside the trade union headquarters in Odessa, have been released from police detention, but have not returned home for fear of being pursued by the extremist bands that attacked them on May 2. They are being hidden by friends. 

Reports circulating on international Russian-language websites, chat rooms and e-mail groups include the fact that Odessa law enforcement officials, beholden to the city's mayor, himself appointed by Kiev, released the names and addresses of those released to Right Sector and other neo-Nazi forces.

The pogroms have begun inside the Ukraine and the US-NATO are directing the operation.  This was similarly done by the US in Iraq, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam and more.  But who would have imagined that our government would be crazy enough to pull this stunt on the Russian border?

The reason why the US thinks it can get away with it is a simple one - corporate consolidation of the world's media.  Once Mr. Big controls the message the corporate oil-i-garchy can do anything they want and get away with it.

But oh that pesky Internet ... wait, with the killing off of net neutrality the corporations hope to disable that vehicle as well.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

KNOWING THE PLAYERS IN UKRAINE



In this video former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko says, "I want to say big thanks to all who came and fight in Odessa for our Ukraine. Also I want to tell that all military action that will be released in nearest future will be against any mass meeting of people."

In a leaked phone call on March 18 with Nestor Shufrych, former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Tymoshenko said, "It's about time we grabbed our guns and killed those damn Russians together with their leader."

"I hope I will be able to get all my connections involved. And I will use all my means to make the entire world rise up, so that there wouldn't be even a scorched field left in Russia," she added.

Tymoshenko was hailed as a hero of the 2004 Orange Revolution before she spent three years in jail for criminal embezzlement of state property. Now, Tymoshenko is running again for president of Ukraine.

She has recently said that Ukraine "must be a member of NATO".

BAITING THE RUSSIAN BEAR (CONTINUED...)


I am as distressed as I’ve ever been having watched a 24 minute video yesterday from Odessa, Ukraine as fascist Right Sector thugs set fire to a union hall where unarmed anti-Kiev protesters had taken refuge.
You have to be patient watching the video because it is obvious that a lot of the time the photographer was trying to be discreet as he filmed the pro-western nationalists attacking the people inside the union hall. At one point the photographer runs around to the backside of the building and films police authorities standing around talking but taking no action to stop the carnage that killed more than 40 people.
What struck me the most was that during the entire 24 minutes of watching this video I never heard or saw any signs of fire trucks. Odessa is a big city and surely must have fire departments. Only near the end of the video did we finally see some police begin to move in but by then the fire was well under way and people were leaping out of windows. Who had the power to stop fire trucks from responding?
What we know is that Right Sector fascist thugs were bussed in from around Kiev and they marched through the streets of Odessa. There was a protest camp set up outside of the union hall where anti-Kiev protests were happening. As the fascists descended on the union hall many of the anti-Kiev protesters ran inside the building for safety. The pro-Kiev nationalists, supported by the US-EU, then began throwing Molotov cocktails into the building.
Never during the 24-minute video did I see any of the nationalists outside the union hall taking cover. Clearly they were not being shot at. But you do see at least one man on the ground firing his gun at those inside the building.
The news media in the US have responded by saying it is “unclear” who caused the fire. You can see a short video about media whitewashing this story at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1tykLCTVlw
I read one testimony this morning from someone who tried to help rescue those burned inside the building. He wrote:
Hello, my name is Igor R., I am 39, I live in town of Odessa. During 15 years I work as a doctor on the ambulance.
Yesterday, as you know, a frightful tragedy happened in our cities, one people put to death other. Put to death cruelly - burned living. Not because they were drunk, not for the inheritance of grandmother, but because they do not divide the political looks of nationalists. First they were beating people unmercifully, cruelly, and burned them alive after.
As a doctor I rushed to give help to the one who could be rescued, but I was stopped by pro Ukrainian Nazi radicals, who did not let me walk up to the injured. One of them pushed away me rudely, promising, that soon me and other Jews of Odessa are going to meet the same fate.
I saw a fellow which could be rescued, if I was able to take him away to the hospital, but all persuasions ended with me getting hit in the face so hard that I lost my glasses.
For 15 years I saw a great deal very much, but yesterday I wanted to cry, not from pain not from humiliation, but from a weakness. What occurred yesterday didn't even have place during fascist occupation in my town in WWII. I wonder, why the whole world is keeping silent?
The US backed ‘government’ in Kiev largely came to power because the Right Sector fascists used these same violent tactics in the coup d’état a couple of months ago. The now famous "Fuck the EU" quote from US State Department operative Victoria Nuland (wife of Bush-Cheney era neocon Robert Kagan) was direct evidence of the deep involvement and interference of the US in Ukraine. This whole story just reeks of hypocrisy and arrogance on the part of the US.
Victoria Nuland was also caught last December saying "we've invested $5 billion" in the Ukraine project.... that part picks up at the 7:25 mark in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y0y-JUsPTU

Note the ExxonMobil and Chevron logos on the stage next to Nuland ... and remember that the oil-i-garchy wants Russian natural gas and oil supplies. Add it up, mix in the usual modus operandi, stir and what you get is chaos, instability and regime change.

What is Russia to do? Roll over and watch themselves get more NATO ‘missile defense’ bases on their borders and fascists appointed to the 'new government' cabinet in Ukraine? More than 27 million people were killed during Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union during WW II. The Russians are hyper-sensitive to fascists coming to power on their immediate borders - especially when the US-NATO are calling the shots.
In recent days there have been reports from eastern Ukraine that not only Right Sector fascists have been attacking unarmed protesters but also that black-clad mercenaries (Blackwater?) have been filmed chasing down the anti-fascist protesters.
The US knew that Russia would have to react, that is why we've witnessed massive corporate media demonization of Putin during the past year or so. It helps make it easier for the American people to swallow another one of our interventions.
This intervention though could lead to nuclear war.
The time is long past for peace activists to speak out opposing the Obama administration and NATO baiting the Russian bear.

SUNDAY SONG