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....

My Photo
Name:
Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Saturday, June 28, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES



The shaky truce in East Ukraine has been extended with both the army and anti-government fighters promising to recognize it. The ceasefire, which has been in place for a week, is part of attempts to bring peace to the region. RT's Maria Finoshina saw first-hand what Eastern Ukraine is like amid the promised 'peace'.

FORUM IN BATH SUPPORTS REDIRECTION OF MILITARY SPENDING


We had 100 people turn out last night in Bath for the public forum on Maine's growing dependence on military spending.  A three-woman panel of speakers did a good job putting our present situation in context and offered ideas for ways we can begin to deal with our state's economic addiction to military spending.

The key take away was that we need more local discussion across the state about how military spending is capital intensive - meaning that federal spending on military production creates fewer jobs than any other kind of investment.  Studies have long revealed that if we put our tax dollars into building green technology, health care, education, rail systems,  road and bridge repair, etc we'd in every case get more jobs.  You can see the study here

You'd think elected officials would be all over this information since it would be a key way to create more jobs with existing levels of federal spending.  But the power of the military industrial complex neutralizes these "leaders".

Another important take-away from the meeting was the need to pass legislation at the state level to create a planning commission to begin the process of diversification of our military economy.  Last year the state of Connecticut passed such a law and other states are now moving to do the same.

In the audience last evening were religious leaders, a Bath city council member, leaders of the climate change movement, peace activists, people from the green energy field, union members, as well as interested people from the general public.

Our challenge now will be to bring together a diverse group of people from across Maine to get this planning commission legislation moving in the state legislature next year.

All in all it was a very successful event organized by Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies.

The event began with a pot luck supper and we got great reviews on the food.

Friday, June 27, 2014

INSIDER: RUSSIAN VIEW OF UKRAINE MESS



The Russians are taking a grave view of the US-NATO regime in Ukraine.

Putin's economic advisor reveals growing Russian fears about coming war with the US.

UKRAINE SURRENDERS TO IMF-WORLD BANK



Ukraine's President Poroshenko violates his own ceasefire by continuing to shell people living in the eastern part of the country.  Then as he signs the Ukraine-EU trade deal he says that people in all parts of the country support the controversial plan to turn his country over to the international IMF-World Bank cartel.  Did he forget that his army is shelling folks in the east who don't support the plan?

Everything is perception management.... Kiev calls for a ceasefire and then shells their own citizens in the east and blames them for defending themselves when 'Right Sector' fascists attack them.  Then he tells the western media that the whole country supports turning the Ukrainian economy over to corporate interests. 

Into Ukraine will come Monsanto with their GMO crops, in will come the western oil corporations, in will come the US military industrial complex, and in will come NATO bases and 'missile defense' systems right on Russia's border.

The US-NATO are calling the shots in this on-going drama but the people reading or watching mainstream media outlets won't really know what is going on at all.  Those managed media outlets are doing the spin work of the very corporations now turning Ukraine into a corporate client state.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

PERMANENT WAR ECONOMY



The idea that the Great Depression was finally brought to an end by the onset of WWII has been a staple of history textbooks, documentaries and various war propaganda for decades. This myth continues to be perpetuated to the present day.
The idea that war is good for the economy is, needless to say, a fallacious argument which itself is based on incorrect economic data.

HOW DO WE REACH A PEACEFUL & SUSTAINABLE FUTURE?


The peas are starting to bud in our back yard at the Addams-Melman House in Bath, Maine.  We named our house after WWI-era peace activist and social worker Jane Addams who won the Nobel Peace Prize back in the day when you really had to earn it.

The other half of our house name comes from Seymour Melman who was professor of economics at Columbia University in New York.  He is regarded as the father of economic conversion and during the late 80's to early 90's that issue of converting away from military production was driving the peace movement as the Cold War came to an end and we were promised a peace dividend.

But George H. W. Bush (the former director of the CIA and son of WWII era Nazi sympathizer Sen. Prescott Bush) got the minds of the American people redirected with the Panama invasion ('Operation Just Cause').  Soon after came the Persian Gulf War in 1990 and daddy Bush sent hundreds of thousands of US troops (and many National Guard units) to Iraq for the cakewalk it turned out to be. (During that time I drove across much of the US and virtually every small town had signs up cheering on their local sons who were sent to Iraq.  The mass war indoctrination was well organized.)

Before the Persian Gulf slaughter began the US used satellites to pre-identify all of Iraq's military targets.  Then in the first 2-3 days of the war the Pentagon bombed 95% of those targets leaving just a tiny sliver of capability in place that the military played cat and mouse with during the remaining weeks of the war.  The bottom line is that the US Space Command called that 'war' the first space war and its primary purpose was to field test and show the world how the Pentagon could use space technology to direct the destruction of anyone that dares to stand up to corporate globalization.

During the years since the end of the Cold War we've seen the continuing escalation of US military development under the guise of fighting terrorism.  Massive amounts of tax dollars have been shoveled down the high tech spying and war making rat hole.  Social programs and the nation's physical infrastructure have been hollowed out - justified as debt reduction imperatives.

The corporate oligarchy doesn't need the US for manufacturing when much cheaper labor can be found overseas.  Instead our role has become 'security export' as we send our youth to fight resource battles that only benefit the 1%.  Our manufacturing sector only builds weapons for endless war.  It's gotten so bad that industry in the US hardly has the skill to make tools anymore and doesn't presently have the ability to build rail systems and the like.  This did not come to pass by chance.

The oligarchy leaves nothing to chance anymore.  And if the people can be kept docile the whole process can be accelerated.

Thus we come back to Jane Addams and Seymour Melman.  Their positive vision of a peaceful nation, caring society, and independently skilled work force is fading in memory by the day.  Unless we stand up and hold these images of a kinder and more sustainable society in a public way they will be lost to the future generations.

Nothing can be more important in our lives.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

EUROPEAN POLICY WAS HIJACKED



Are preliminary talks under way to avoid an all-out civil war or is it just a smokescreen? Are the Europeans pushing hardest for a peace deal? And does Putin's Russia have a long view of the Ukraine crisis? CrossTalking with Eric Kraus, Nebojsa Malic and John B. Quigley.

THE WAR GOES ON....



The Vineyard of the Saker reports today:

It appears that the ceasefire has had a bigger impact on the big cities of Lugansk and Donetsk than in the smaller cities on the frontline like Slaviansk or Kramatorsk were combat operations have apparently continued.  Furthermore, as Juan has reported, Ukrainian troops are further being resupplied and reinforced.  The junta's Minister of Defense has officially confirmed that the notorious "Battalion Aidar" death-squad, which had been wiped out by the NDF, was being re-formed and re-trained with new soldiers.  Igor Kolomoiski appears to be the person financing this effort.
There are now officially half a million refugees from the ex-Ukraine now in the Rostov-on-the-Don region alone.  400,000 refugee centers have now been created in Russia east of the Ural Mountains.  The US ambassador to the UNSC has denied that there is a refugee crisis.  To Uncle Sam half a million refugees are, apparently, invisible, just like the 275,000 Serbian refugees from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo are *still* invisible to the West.


Then the Ukranian insider (Juan) shared this latest news from the eastern battleground:

1. There was and is no 'cease fire' in Novorossiya. Right sector/nats guard never stopped their attacks and bombardments nor have units of Ukraine Army. We know what West Media is saying, blaming all incidents on us. They are liars. We can not stand down while under attack from the enemy.

2. Bombardments of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk City, Lugansk City and outlying towns and villages continues day and night. 

3. Smerch missile systems are now in the Lugansk and Donetsk City areas. Confirmed eyes on.

4. Ukraine is now deploying by artillery anti personnel mines. These mines have no 'inert date' in them. Confirmed, eyes on. We will be losing civilians for years after the fighting is over.

5. Reports of 400 soldiers of 25th Airborne Regiment leaving the combat area are not confirmed. 

6. Large areas of the Novorossiya/Russia border are under Novorossiya control. There have been scattered attacks by Ukr Army on some of our border posts. Attacks were not successful. No known civilian casualties in these attacks.

7. Many thousands of Novorossiya civilians are crossing the border with Russia to escape the bombardments and attacks on them. At some crossing points traffic is backed up for more than 5 kilometers. Confirmed, eyes on.

8. Krasni Limahn is still not secure. Our troops are involved in scattered fighting in the area. Novorossiya has made an effort to remove the many civilian bodies in the streets and buildings of Krasni Limahn in areas that we control.

9. Neither Donetsk Airport nor Lugansk Airports are totally under control of Novorossiya. Scattered fighting is ongoing in both areas.

10. The Mi24 shoot down yesterday is confirmed. The helicopter was not full of 'cease fire monitors' as Kiev says. It is confirmed the now deceased occupants were all combat armed Ukr soldiers.  

11. Slavyansk and outlying towns and villages are completely cut off from water, gas, electric and sewer systems. The only water available is from wells and streams. Food supplies are dwindling rapidly. Novorossiya Army is making efforts to get food in to the areas. These efforts are contested by the enemy even though clearly marked as to their purpose. Confirmed. 

12. The systematic bombardments by Ukr Army of Novorossiya cities, towns and villages has several purposes. One is to terrorize and drive out as many civilians as possible, leading to the death and wounding of many innocent civilians. Second is to cut off water and electric to all civilian areas possible. Third is to destroy as much of the physical plant and industry including mines as possible.

13. Ukraine Army is laying minefields in civilian and uncontested areas. These fields are unmarked. Confirmed loses of civilians and livestock in the minefields.

14. Two carelessly driven Ukr Army trucks became mired in mud near one of our outposts. We are in possession of the contents and drivers of both. Drivers are now members of Novorossiya Army at their request. Contents of both trucks are a welcome addition to our supply train and were quite interesting. 

15. 07:17 25 June fierce fighting ongoing in Slavyansk area near foot of Karachuk Mountain. Mountain is bombarding Slavyansk and under bombardment from our mortars. We do not have long range artillery to bombard all of Karachuk. Casualties are unknown at this time.

16. 24 June and 25 June, confirmed eyes on strong armor columns of Ukr Army including main battle tanks and light tanks are moving and deploying in the Donetsk City and Lugansk City areas. 

17. Partisan activities in Kharkov area are ongoing. Confirmed a large column of fresh right sector/nats guard replacements was ambushed and suffered significant casualties and vehicle losses. No known casualties for the partisans. 

18. без комментариев.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOHNVzXGOEE
 
19. My evaluation of your Watershed Moment analysis:  Shows and tells pretty much everything in the overall view with most the players and actors mentioned. The only problem is the situation is so fluid what is true this morning may not be true at noon. As I said some time ago, you and a lot of the posters on blog are intellectually so far above this poor old grunt I've got to look up to see your feet. That being said, the post was pretty complete and well laid out in the analysis of the options and actions of both sides of this war. Easily understandable even for my poor tired brain.  The moral of our boys is extremely high. Those I talked to Sunday were tired but very upbeat and that's putting it mildly. There has indeed been a sea change in the last week or 10 days.  A massive attack on Lugansk City and Donetsk City proper is expected by Friday at the latest. There are again rumblings of a concerted gas attack in the opening bombardment. Kiev is desperate to force VV to intervene. He won't unless civilian casualties from a gas attack are huge. And they will be and will be blamed on our boys if the gas attack is done. Casualties will be bad enough from the preliminary bombardment. Kiev is massing everything they have for the bombardment right down to slingshots.  I know the downed chopper is being ID'd as an Mi8. My sources are pretty adamant the one they saw go down was an Mi24, in the same general area and with roughly the same soldier load. If it's an Mi24, why so few soldiers? Full of some kind of special cargo? Perhaps two birds got waxed?

FOR LIFE AND PEACE


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

WATER...A HUMAN RIGHT OR NOT?



Is water a free and basic human right, or should all the water on the planet belong to major corporations and be treated as a product?

How about our air?  Should we next put a meter on every human and charge then for every breath?


JULY 4 PARADE IN BATH


We got our confirmation from city of Bath today and the PeaceWorks entry will be #67 in the July 4 parade.
 
We are looking for helpers to carry signs, banners and props for our climate change & conversion/diversification entry in the parade.
 
We’ll begin gathering just after 9:00 am on Friday, July 4 on the corner of Congress & Lincoln Streets just by the cemetery.
 
You are also invited to the Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) for a pot luck lunch afterwards.
 
For our children’s future....

CANARY IN THE MINES


  • The state of Michigan has turned the city of Detroit over to corporations.  The once vibrant auto manufacturing metropolis is now in haggars and is being privatized.  This will soon enough be the 'perscription' for most struggling cities across the nation.  The recent Veteran's Administration (VA) scandal is being used to push for privatization of the VA.  Some politicians are already suggesting that very thing....right on schedule.

News reports reveal that the corporate-run city of Detroit is preparing a campaign to shut off water service to 1,500 to 3,000 customers a week who are delinquent on bills. There are also more than 296,000 residential accounts – more than 154,000 of which are delinquent.

"We’re trying to shift the behavioral payment patterns of our customer base right now,” said Constance Williams-Levye, water department commercial operations specialist.

Love that phrase.... "commercial operations specialist".  The greed of Wall Street has taken over Detroit and water is being privatized.  There are no jobs there and where can people move?  If you can't afford to pay - tough luck.  Get on your knees and beg and maybe we'll give you a few plastic bottles of war at a discount.  The cynicism of these 'leaders' disgusts me.

  • In Ukraine word comes that more than 400 members of Kiev's Army Airborne Division have given their letter of resignation saying they don't want to kill their fellow citizens.  Very inspiring, particularly since I'd previously heard that the Kiev military junta had been threatening conscripts with 15 years in jail if they didn't go to war.  It appears obvious to me that Poroshenko's some what disingenuous 'cease fire' proposal on some level must be connected to the constant mutineering of the pirate's crew.

Russia's Putin, wanting to show maximum cooperation, has requested that the upper house call off the March 1 resolution allowing the Russian head of state to use the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine.  Actually many inside Russia, and many outside, have been critical of Putin for not using military force to protect the citizens in eastern Ukraine who have been under fierce attack by the US-NATO regime in Kiev.  But clearly Putin has seen that war with the west would not be good for the world.  On the other hand there are many Russian oligarchs (just like in Detroit) that are eager to get along with the west and make money in the process.  Russia is a capatalist system and intends to milk its natural gas and oil reserves as long as possible. 

  • My favorite blog on Ukraine is The Vineyard of the Saker.  He writes about the latest twist in the Ukraine-Russia-US-NATO chess game:

 I will therefore limit my analyses to credible options:

  1. Russia has concluded that the Ukrainians simply do not have the means to take over and ethnically/politically cleanse Novorussia and that covert aid is enough to secure the future survival of Novorussia.
  2. The EU and Russia have successfully bought Poroshenko away from US supervision and are now trying to take control of the situation.
  3. Russia is trying to offer the most symbolic concessions in preparation for an inevitable breakdown of the negotiations and a subsequent Russian intervention.
  4. Russia is buying time, just enough to have the Ukie economy collapse and the resulting social explosion to overwhelm the junta.
  5. Russia is offering a symbolic concession which more or less guarantees that the Europeans will not have to crash their own economy in further US-demanded sanctions.
Of those options which is the best?  In my opinion the most credible one is the one which combines them all: I think that they are all true.

  • I just got back last night after spending several days with my son in Kansas City.  He brought 17 kids (and many parents as well) from Taiwan to Kansas City for a national middle/high school debate tournament.  Despite being new to debate, and somewhat language impaired, six of the kids made it to quarter-finals and were given awards in the final ceremony.  You could tell it meant alot to the kids and the parents.  We had lunch with some of the parents and kids at a Chinese restaurant and they were effusive about Julian being in Taiwan coaching their kids.  I was very impressed with the parents that I met and saw that they valued family and cooperation in a big way.  Makes me happy that Julian is in good hands there.

Monday, June 23, 2014

HOW DO WE EVER END WAR?




You can learn more about the sponsoring group for this event - Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies here

Sunday, June 22, 2014

NAZI'S CONTINUE TO RAMPAGE IN UKRAINE



US supported fascists in Kiev tried to attack a religious anti-war service being held inside a monastery.  The church activists planned a procession against Ukraine signing the EU Association Agreement and the "anti-terrorist" operation in the eastern part of the country.

After they were done at the church the Nazi's turned and trashed Russian banks.

It is obvious that the US-NATO installed regime is using the Nazi Right Sector to intimidate and help suppress any real opposition to the government throughout the nation.

One blogger ironically says, "In Western Europe Nazism is banned.  In Eastern Europe it is sponsored.  By the West Europeans. Go figure..."

THE GOLDEN CUP


SUNDAY SONG