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, September 27, 2014

I'll Make You Pancakes Obama....



A Russian babushka (grandma), gives Obama advice, in rhyme!, in the best Russian tradition.

She calls him Obamashka, an affectionate rendering of his name in Russian.

She offers to pray for him, to cook him blinis (pancakes), to take him to church to meet her priest so that they can all pray for America together, and advises against cozying up to Nazis, explaining that this always ends up badly.

Kiev Regime Violating Ceasefire



The US-NATO backed regime in Kiev is violating the cease fire in eastern Ukraine by shelling civilian homes.  It is clear that Kiev (and their western backers) are out to sabotage the ceasefire in order to keep the war going on Russia's border.  Just as the US-NATO are creating chaos and endless war in Syria and Iraq the plan calls for more of the same in Ukraine.


Friday, September 26, 2014

New Wars Mean New Profits


Defense Contractors Are Making a Killing

By Dan Froomkin

Stock prices for Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman set all-time record highs last week as it became increasingly clear that President Obama was committed to a massive, sustained air war in Iraq and Syria.

It’s nothing short of a windfall for these and other huge defense contractors, who’ve been getting itchy about federal budget pressures that threatened to slow the rate of increase in military spending.
Now, with U.S. forces literally blowing through tens of millions of dollars of munitions a day, the industry is not just counting on vast spending to replenish inventory, but hoping for a new era of reliance on supremely expensive military hardware.

“To the extent we can shift away from relying on troops and rely more heavily on equipment — that could present an opportunity,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, whose $66 billion portfolio includes Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. shares, told Bloomberg.

Defense contractor stocks have far exceeded the performance of the broader market. A Bloomberg index of four of the largest Pentagon contractors rose 19 percent this year, compared to 2.2 percent for the S&P 500.

It’s the munition makers who “stand to reap the biggest windfall, especially in the short term,” says Fortune magazine, citing Raytheon’s long-range Tomahawk missiles, and Lockheed Martin’s Hellfires, among others. “Small diameter bombs could be a huge winner, since aircraft can carry more of them in a single sortie,” one analyst tells the magazine.

U.S. forces used 47 Tomahawk missiles on Monday alone, at $1.5 million apiece.

Smart “small-diameter bombs” cost about $250,000 each.

Richard Clough writes for Bloomberg:
For defense companies, the offensive against Islamic State and al-Qaeda extremists is more than a showcase for big-ticket weapons such as Lockheed’s F-22 Raptor fighter, the stealth jet that debuted in combat this week.
In its first night of airstrikes into Syria, the U.S. dropped about 200 munitions and launched 47 Raytheon-made Tomahawk cruise missiles, according to U.S. Central Command. The military also deployed Boeing’s GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Hellfire missiles from Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, creating an opening for restocking U.S. arsenals.
Tory Newmyer’s article in Fortune does a great job of depicting the new giddiness in the defense industry:
New fights mean new stuff, after all. And following the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan—and the belt-tightening at the Pentagon imposed by steep budget cuts—military suppliers are lining up to meet a suddenly restored need for their wares….
[D]efense analysts are pointing to a pair of sure-bet paydays from the new campaign: for those making and maintaining the aircraft, manned and unmanned, that will swarm the skies over the region, and for those producing the missiles and munitions that will arm them.
“The drone builders are going to have a field day,” says Dov Zakheim, who served as Pentagon Comptroller during the George W. Bush administration….
Indeed, the widening conflict could even reverse the trend of tapering investments in the technology, says Mark Gunzinger, a retired Air Force colonel and former deputy assistant secretary of defense now at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “One of the things that can help a new capability break through is an operational stressor, like a major air campaign,” he says….
In the longer run, one defense appropriations lobbyist predicts—a hopeful note in his voice: “we’re going to have to bust through the budget caps” imposed on the military by the sequester cuts. “We can’t fight this on the cheap,” he says.
Zacks Investment Research urges investors to buy Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman:
It is likely that the conflict with ISIS will continue for a while. Such a campaign is likely to provide impetus for defense stocks in the days and weeks ahead. These stocks would make excellent additions to your portfolio.
The Pentagon recently estimated that military operations in Iraq were costing an average of $7.5 million a day between June and last week — an annual rate of about $2.7 billion. But even if costs ballooned to, say, $15 billion a year, the figure would still be dwarfed by the approximately $1.3 billion a week we’re still spending in Afghanistan.

And for now, there’s no cash flow problem: Obama can just dip into the “Overseas Contingency Operations” budget, the $85 billion ”all-purpose war funding credit card” Congress just gave him – $26 billion more than he had even asked for.

Inside Ukraine



A frank discussion with pensioners in Pervomaisk, Lugansk area of eastern Ukraine.

Global Cop Complex



As Congress skipped town and avoided a vote on war, President Obama announced this week that the US was taking the lead in bombing jihadists in Iraq and Syria, opening what is being widely interpreted as another long and costly American military campaign in the Middle East.

This week, Bill Moyers discusses the latest on the conflict with Jonathan Landay, a veteran national security reporter for McClatchy Newspapers and Matthew Hoh, a former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan.

“As much as President Obama wishes we weren’t the world’s policemen, perhaps we are,” Landay tells Moyers. “And there’s no escaping that curse.”

Hoh, who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over US strategic policy there, adds: “Is this really our model for the Middle East that we are going to bomb countries, continuously, take part in civil wars, sometimes supporting one side, maybe supporting the other, with no means or no real desire or effort to achieve a peace?”

The Nobel Peace Prize

  • I'm deeply struck by the suicide of Jacob David George (see below his video and moving story).  He was a brilliant kid.  I'd heard about his recent death but it was not until last night at our Maine Veterans For Peace meeting in Augusta that I really felt it.  Richard Clement, who chairs the group, asked that our chapter send $250 to a fund being raised to honor the life and work of Jacob.  I saw how deeply Richard was impacted by his death... his own son was in the Iraq war and he understands the anguish of a parent.  He took Jacob's passing hard.  It made me want to know more about Jacob... so I thank Richard for the chance to feel Jacob's soldiers heart.  I fucking hate war. And greed.  And bullshit.

  • It's sick to have to watch the war mongering run-a-way freight train blast through Washington and London (and Brussels & Riyadh) on its way to more war in Syria.  I saw yesterday that polls are showing high percentages of 'liberal Democrats' are supporting Obama's latest bombing campaign and his drone policy.  If the party says 'Seig' the grassroots Democrats say 'Heil'!  

  • Then I saw Jeb Bush (former governor of Florida) wants to run for president so we'll likely get the line-up of Clinton-Bush for the White House.  The CIA-backed dynasty. People love sequels... and hey, this is all a movie anyway.  Total theatrical production.  Just no popcorn for this showing.  I was still living in Florida when Jeb first became governor and I'll always remember what he said during his inauguration speech in Tallahassee as he stood between the various tall state capital buildings.  Bush pointed to the government offices and said, "My dream is that some day these buildings will all be gone."  Lots of cheers.  There are many oligarchs, feudal masters, pirates, and other such corporate criminals living in the sunshine state.

  • So on a global scale we are now heavy into the war for final control of what is left.  The US-NATO killing machine is cranking full speed ahead for resource and population control.  Who will stand against this criminal syndicate?  BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) seem ready to take it on.  I think Ukraine is the counter-move by US-UK chess players.  (One amongst many simultaneously being made.)  I read this morning at The Vineyard of the Saker this piece and wanted to share a bit of it.  Sergey Glazyev [Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences] writes for Russia in Global Affairs :

Summary: The world needs a coalition of sound forces advocating stability – a global anti-war coalition with a positive plan for rearranging the international financial and economic architecture on the principles of mutual benefit, fairness, and respect for national sovereignty.

U.S. actions in Ukraine should be classified not only as hostile with regard to Russia, but also as targeting global destabilization. The U.S. is essentially provoking an international conflict to salvage its geopolitical, financial, and economic authority. The response must be systemic and comprehensive, aimed at exposing and ending U.S. political domination, and, most importantly, at undermining U.S. military-political power based on the printing of dollars as a global currency.

The world needs a coalition of sound forces advocating stability —in essence, a global anti-war coalition with a positive plan for rearranging the international financial and economic architecture on the principles of mutual benefit, fairness, and respect for national sovereignty. 
  • In the end neither the Russians nor the Chinese will be able to save our necks.  Only we can do that by organizing locally, nationally and globally.  It's that moment in planetary history that each of us have been prepared for by our ancestors - the fight for human dignity and environmental justice is full on.  We can't miss the train.

Jacob David George: Another Victim of Moral Injury



Last week “bicycle ridin, banjo pickin, peace rambling hillbilly from Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas” Jacob David George died as a result of moral injuries sustained in Afghanistan. Jacob joined the US Army before the attacks of 9/11. He served three tours of Afghanistan (2001, 2002, 2003/4) and came back a changed man. He said that after witnessing wholesale slaughter and picking through body parts he was affected by Post Traumatic Stress. He understood that to be profoundly affected by war was not a disorder. Jacob often talked about the moral component of PTS, the trauma caused by taking part in or witnessing events that are contrary to your very being. This is different to the PTSD of the military psychiatrist who is interested in events that put the individuals own life in danger. This is the opposite, it is trauma caused by harming others. Jacob advocated for healing rituals and ceremonies to come to terms with the trauma of war. He talked about the need to heal the soul as well as the brain. He described throwing his medals back to the US Government during the 2012 NATO protests in Chicago as the most therapeutic thing he had done. The following is a poem written by Jacob that he later turned into a song.

Support the Troops
“We just Need to support the troops” is what they tell me well,
This is from a troop so listen carefully,
What we Need are teachers who understand the history of this country,
What we Need is a decent living wage, so people ain’t cold and hungry,
What we Need is bicycle infrastructure spanning this beauteous nation.
What we Need are more trees and less play stations,
What we Need is a justice system that seeks the truth,
What we Need are more books and less boots,
What we Need is love for every woman and man,
From southern Louisiana to the mountains of Afghanistan.
Now, it’s true the troops need support,
The support to come home,
They need treatment and jobs and love for the soul,
See, war ain’t no good for the human condition,
I lost a piece of who I was on every single mission,
And I’m tellin’ you, don’t thank me for what I’ve done,
Give me a big hug and let me know we’re not gonna let this happen again,
Because we support the troops and we’re gonna bring these wars to an end.

In the USA 22 veterans kill themselves every day. In 2012 more UK soldiers and veterans killed themselves than were killed in Afghanistan. In the USA 30% of veterans have considered suicide. More veterans of the Falklands War have committed suicide than were killed in action. The suicide rate among veterans in the USA is double that of the civilian rate. These statements are controversial not because they overestimate the problem but because these figures do not include the veterans who drink themselves to death. The veterans who no longer care for their own well being and drive cars into trees or the veterans who die homeless on the streets. To admit the scale of the problem would be an admission that war is harmful to those who take part in it long after returning home.

In memory of Jacob David George and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the USA please consider donating to the Jacob George Celebration of Life Fund which will help pay for a celebration/memorial event on Sunday 5 October in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

RIP Brother.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Bitte Truth




"The information war for Ukraine" - Satirical German program "Die Anstalt" (Eng Subs)

Oil in the Amazon



This video comes from the folks at Amazon Watch. If you feel passionately about the Amazon and health of our climate, please take 30 seconds and sign this petition.

The Capitalism Machine is Killing Us

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Get Down on Your Knees



Written by: Ray Davies (The Kinks)

Lyrics:

You look like a real human being
But you don't have a mind of your own
Yeah, you can talk, you can breathe
You can work, you can stitch, you can sew
But you're brainwashed
Yes you are, yes you are
Get down on your knees

You've got a job and a house
And a wife, and your kids and a car
Yeah, you're conditioned to be
What they want you to be
And be happy to be where you are
Yes you are
Get down on your knees
Get down on your knees

The aristocrats and bureaucrats
Are dirty rats
For making you what you are
They're up there and you're down here
You're on the ground and they're up with the stars
All your life they've kicked you around and pushed you around
Till you can't take any more
To them you're just a speck of dirt
But you don't want to get up off the floor
Mister you're just brainwashed

They give you social security
Tax saving benefits that grow at maturity
Yeah, you're contented to be
What they want you to be
And to do what they want you to
Yes you are, yes you are
Get down on your knees

Your $$$$$ Pissed Away on More War


War by Way of Deception.....the 1967 Connection



I'm reading a fascinating and timely book called Guilt by Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War by Jeff Gates.  Noam Chomsky said about the book, "Breathless just reading it."

I want to share a bit from the book because of its direct relevance to the current US-Israel attack on Syria.  Gates writes:

[President] Lyndon Johnson was lobbied in 1967 by Arthur Goldberg [US Ambassador to UN] to protect the Jewish state in the lead-up to the Six-Day War.  When Goldberg deployed heart-rending rhetoric to portray Israeli vulnerability and the pending victimization of Jews at the hostile hands of an Arab "ring of steal," Johnson waved a Central Intelligence Agency report predicting Israel could win any war in the region in two weeks.  When Goldberg persisted, Johnson ordered the CIA to revisit their analysis.  The agency returned with a revised report concluding that Israel could win any war in the region in one week.

On June 4, as the Abe Fortas [appointed to replace Arthur Goldberg on US Supreme Court] dinner was winding down, Fortas cautioned Johnson that war might soon erupt in the Middle East.  When LBJ turned to Defense Secretary McNamara for his opinion, the Pentagon chief said there would be no war.  Johnson confirmed that US intelligence agencies agreed with McNamara's assessment.  Johnson left for the White House at 10:58 pm.

At 4:30 am on June 5, Walt Rostow [Special Assistant for National Security Affairs] called LBJ to inform him that Israel had attacked Egypt.  Mathilde Krim, the former Irgun [Zionist paramilitary group that operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948] operative, was Johnson's guest at the White House that night.  Before informing anyone else, LBJ stopped by the blond beauty's bedroom to tell her, "The war has started."  Not until more than three hours later, at 7:45 am, did Johnson speak with Soviet Premier Kosygin who expressed his hope and expectation that the US, as Israel's closely ally, would restrain Tel Aviv.

In the war's first few hours, the "victimized" Israelis destroyed the Egyptian Air Force while its aircraft were still on the ground.  By evening, the Jordanian Air Force was also largely destroyed.  Walt Rostow sent Johnson a memo describing Tel Aviv's military success as "the first day's turkey shoot."  LBJ also received a memo that day from Arthur Krim that read, "Many arms shipments are packed and ready to go to Israel, but are being held up.  It would be helpful if these could be released."  Johnson ordered the arms shipped.  By the evening of the second day, two-thirds of Syria's air force had been destroyed.

According to Grace Halsell [speechwriter for LBJ] the glee in the State Department Operations Room was palpable, leading Eugene Rostow [Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs] to caution, "Gentlemen, gentlemen, do not forget that we are neutral in word, thought and deed."  At the State Department's mid-day press briefing, spokesman Robert McCloskey repeated Rostow's official "neutrality" lie.

White House counsel Harry McPherson arrived in Tel Aviv enroute to the US from Vietnam the night before the war broke out.  In 'A Political Education', he describes arriving at the foreign ministry for a brief meeting with Abba Eban [Israel's foreign minister] the first day of the war before conferring with Israel's chief of military intelligence.  In response to the repeated question: "Did the Egyptians attack?" McPherson and US Ambassador Walworth Barbour received only evasive answers.  As air raid sirens wiled, McPherson recalls:

"Barbour suggested that we might continue the discussion in the underground bunker.  The general studied his watch.  'No, that won't be necessary.  We can stay here.' Barbour and I looked at each other.  If it wasn't necessary, the Egyptian air force had been destroyed.  That could only have happened so quickly if it had been surprised on the ground.  We did not need to ask for confirmation, but left at once to cable the news to Washington."

Israel was neither under attack nor under threat of attack as Israeli commanders later conceded.  The air raid sirens were props in the stagecraft of waging war by way of deception. The circumstances were stage-managed to make both Israelis and foreign observers believe the Jewish state was endangered while Tel Aviv annexed land belonging to its neighbors that it still occupies four decades later.

Update: My friend Herschel Sternlieb from Brunswick, Maine sent me the following about this period in history.

Dear Bruce -  In keeping with your references today to the 6-day war between Israel and the Arabs I would like to add to your assessment:

A few weeks before the 6-day war, I was on a business trip to New York and spending the night with my In-Laws.  Living with them at the time, was Selma’s Israeli Uncle Aaron.  After supper Aaron retired to a comfortable chair in the living  room and was calmly reading a newspaper when, my father-in-law started on him.

“The Arabs  are going to destroy your family, your wife and children, and you just sit there calmly. What sort of a man are you?” And so it went until Aaron put down his paper and replied.

“I am not concerned because I know we will be victorious. I know that we have plans to defeat the Arabs, all of them... the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Jordanians, all of them in a total of 8 days.  Now leave me in peace to read my paper.”

Morales: U.S. is after our Natural Resources



Bolivian President Evo Morales harshly criticized US President Barack Obama in an interview with RT Spanish, calling him a war criminal who should be tried in international court. The outspoken critic of US policy did not mince words in the interview, lashing out at capitalism, the UN Security Council and America’s “imperialist” foreign policy. RT’s Marina Portnaya has more of the president’s statements.

The U.S. Gambit in Syria




Paper Enemy & Alliance of Monarchies



Obama launched his attack on Syria using F-22 Raptor warplanes — employed in combat for the first time — from a base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and by firing around 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles from US Navy Aegis destroyers.  The cruise missiles cost more than $1 million each.  Imagine the money burned during this attack.

The Washington Post reported the attacks "have flattened targets in ways destined to test Obama’s doctrine requiring 'near certainty' that no civilians be killed." 

The Obama war team boasts that their allies in this affair make up a US-Arab alliance that provides political cover for another Washington attack on Muslim people.  Let's review this alliance of Gulf petrodollar dictatorships:

Saudi Arabia (Absolute monarchy), Jordan (Constitutional monarchy), the United Arab Emirates (Federation of Emirates), Bahrain (Constitutional monarchy) and Qatar (Absolute monarchy).  Most Americans will have no clue about these governments but it is safe to say that the US has united with the most reactionary forces in the Middle East in this operation.

The US was created after a revolution against the monarchy in Britain.  Isn't it just a bit ironic that as Obama claims to be bombing for freedom, democracy and peace he is in fact in alliance with repressive monarchies (like Saudi Arabia which beheads its citizens)? It has been repeatedly proven that these monarchies fund and direct many of the fundamentalist Islamicist terrorists in the region.

Basically its a war between various Arab tribes for control of the region and its oil and the US has chosen the side of the worst elements.  

Of course Mr. & Mrs. Average will have little to no understanding about these complexities and contradictions in US Middle East policy.  They will not get any of this kind of analysis from the mainstream media nor will they get it from our 'selected officials' in Washington.  Instead the American people are left adrift to deal with the propaganda that emanates from the White House and the Pentagon. The fear and smear tactics are used to ensure easy access to the national treasury by the military industrial complex and their partners in the board rooms of the multi-national oil corporations.

The corporate media has reported that this operation against ISIS will likely last several years... no surprise there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Inter-Island Solidarity Growing in Pacific



Catholic Bishop Kang on Jeju Island, South Korea thanks activists from other Pacific Islands for coming to the recent peace camp in Gangjeong village. (Video has English sub-titles)

$elling Global Corporate Dominance



Note how this Raytheon video exaggerates the so-called missile threat from North Korea, Iran and Syria.

Raytheon is the weapons corporation based in Massachusetts.  If you can imagine regional family oligarchies across the US.... the Boston-regional oligarchy gets a piece of the action from Pentagon spending with Raytheon.  The Crown family in Chicago has majority stock in General Dynamics.  It's this way all over the country.

The goal of the aerospace industry is to turn the majority of domestic production toward space technology.  Local labor and investment goes into building this "golden dome" of war making - Full Spectrum Dominance - for the corporations as they make their move to bring the planet under full control.

That's why the  industry proudly brags that space domination will be the largest industrial project in the Earth's history.

US Attacks on Syria


Journalist Stephen Lendman writes about Obama's attacks on Syria and his ploy to finagle UN support for the bombing:


International law professor Francis Boyle said he expects it [UN resolution] to be adopted. It's a Chapter VII resolution. It "arguably establishes the predicate for (using) force," said Boyle.

It should have been a UN Charter Chapter VI resolution. It rules out using force.

Security Council resolutions "are binding under either Chapter VI or VII according to an International Court of Justice (ICJ) Namibia Advisory opinion," Boyle explained.

"So obviously, Obama wants to set the predicate here for using force against ISIS in Syria…"

Doing so will "ultimately lead to (ousting) the Assad government, the crack up of Syria, and genocide against the Alawites and the Christians," Boyle added.

Obama's puppet Iraq government "could be the basis for this resolution." It could use UN Charter Article 51's collective self-defense right as alleged justification.

Boyle calls it "the bogus doctrine of hot pursuit." The scheme involves bombing Syrian targets.

Allegedly it's "to prevent (IS) cross-border movement(s) from Syria into Iraq and back."

"Under international law there is no doctrine of hot pursuit on land…" It's lawful "only at sea."

Obama's scheme is clear. He's "trying to create a right of hot pursuit across land borders where it did not previously exist…"

"(A)t least (he'll) interpret it that way…(T)o justify bombing ISIS in Syria…Allegedly at the request of (its puppet) Iraq(i)" government.

Nothing rules out this scenario, said Boyle. He believes this resolution was "drafted for precisely that purpose."

It's Obama's pseudo-legal fig-leaf. He intends for Syria what he did to Libya.

He wants Assad eliminated like Gaddafi and Saddam. Most likely murder in cold blood is planned.

Boyle expects resolution adoption on Wednesday. He believes Russia and China "signed on to it."

He said "massive bombing" will begin after the Security Council acts. Obama didn't wait.

The US-Israel Take Down List


US air strikes against Syria
are illegal
under international law
but Washington and
Tel Aviv
'don't do treaties no more'

The US-Israel-NATO
corporate criminal syndicate
is out to rule the planet
no one gets in the way

Syria is to be taken down
Iran is near the
top of the list
Russia and China
are on the list
anyone who gets
in the way
gets taken down

The American people
are on the list
not needed
superfluous population
look around
smell the coffee
hear the train coming
you are on the list

Your choices?
Roll over or resist

clear choice
one our ancestors
made many times
as they stood
in the face of feudalism
this time,
your time,
high-tech style

Greastest Crisis in Planetary Civilization



On the eve of the historic People's Climate March, authors Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, and Seattle councilperson Kshama Sawant discussed the urgency of radical action on climate change. The event was moderated by WNYC's Brian Lehrer, and Senator Bernie Sanders was the keynote speaker.

Monday, September 22, 2014

PEACE WALK MAGIC ALREADY WORKING

Buddhist monk Senji Kanaeda singing negro spirituals last year in Bangor during our drone walk though Maine.  He will lead our walk again this Oct 11-20 from Rangeley to Berwick, Maine.


I've learned that when you get into a bind while organizing something it is best to share the worry with others because often a solution will quickly come.

During the weekend at the Common Ground Fair I shared with a couple people that we have been having a hard time finding places to stay in Livermore Falls and Gray during our up-coming Maine Walk for Peace & A Sustainable Future.  No sooner than I did that Lisa Savage from CodePink sent out an email to her Maine activist list and Ken Jones from Portland forwarded it to a friend of his in Gray and suddenly we've solved that one.  Home stays and supper taken care of. The power of the walk in action once again.

Now that the Common Ground Fair is over, and the People's Climate March is done, I think we'll see alot more focus on the walk by activists across Maine.  Already in the last two days the emails and phone calls have increased.  Even had a call from a newspaper in Gray wondering why we decided to pass through their town.

So all we have to do now is solve the Livermore Falls need and we'll be rolling.

Walks are magical experiences - spiritual experiences - where the beating of the drum and chanting draw people's attention and human warmth.  We'll be carrying signs and banners along the way and we'll hand out flyers to people along the route of the walk.  Our goal is to reach out to people about Maine's growing economic addiction to military production.  We want to create more reflection and discussion about this issue across the state.

During the Common Ground Fair a woman who lives in Rangeley (the town where the walk starts) took a handful of flyers to hand out in her community.  Another woman told me she is organizing a bunch of people to join us the last day when we walk to the Pratt-Whitney F-35 jet engine factory in Berwick.  All along the way there will be many generous and uplifting expressions of kindness that will warm our hearts and give us the inspiration and energy to keep walking.

Walks take alot of organizing but they always create magic and touch the hearts of the public.  Here we are a month away and already the walk is doing its job of reaching out to good hearted people.

VFP AT NYC CLIMATE MARCH



Veterans for Peace had a large delegation in the People's Climate March yesterday in New York City.  I heard there were 400,000 people there.  I am sure the big silver bomb was a hit with the crowd.  The message is clear - the Pentagon has the largest carbon bootprint on the planet.

You can see more pictures by Ellen Davidson here


Sunday, September 21, 2014

AID NOT WAR IN UKRAINE



The third convoy of Russian humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine has arrived in the war-torn city of Donetsk. Earlier, Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk.

While the US-NATO keep saying that Russia has invaded Ukraine what has really been happening is that these shipments of humanitarian aid have been delivered to the smashed cities in eastern Ukraine.

ETHICAL CONCERNS?


BACK HOME FROM FAIR


Just back from a weekend at the Common Ground Fair where I volunteered at our Maine Veterans for Peace table.  Twenty thousand folks came to the fair on Friday and 23,000 came on Saturday.  Sunday's crowd was less as it rained for awhile.  I am quite tired, sleeping in the car was a challenge but I pulled it off.

Always great to see old friends and meet new people.  Had many great political discussions as you can imagine.  I'll write more about it tomorrow.  Right now I need a shower and some good sleep in a real bed.

Was able to do alot to promote our upcoming Walk for Peace with folks.  Something good will come from all that interaction throughout the weekend.