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, February 14, 2015

TV Reruns: Saturday Night at the Funnies




German satire about double standards in international law and democracy as it relates to media coverage of Ukraine story ....

More on Corporate Media Deception



Patrick Lancaster, a freelance journalist on the front line in Ukraine, talks to Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi about the truth of what is happening there.

Footage he took of government forces shelling a soup kitchen was misrepresented by On Demand news, affiliated with ITN, as being rebel forces attacking. Even in the original video, he points out that one of the women in it is cursing Poroshenko, and it was clear that it was government forces making the attack, and it was 'definitely an attempt to twist the truth or outright lie.'

The Guardian Media Group picked up and ran the story, but did later apologise for their error. He says he sees civilians dying on a daily basis from artillery attacks and people 'despise' the Kiev government, seeing Poroshenko as a 'murderer of their children.' There is no way Lugansk or Donetsk will ever want to be part of Ukraine again, he says, they have lost the people.

He was in Kramatorsk when the government shelled for 5 days in a row, and the only things he saw hit were civilian homes, school, orphanages and gas stations. The people in eastern Ukraine want Russia to make a bigger stand to help stop civilians dying. He says the population think of ceasefire agreements as a 'joke' that 'never last more than 15 minutes.'

And if Kiev are armed by Britain or the U.S. it will move the situation further from peace, and the only way it will stop is if Ukraine will accept that people there want nothing to do with them and put up borders.

The Writing on the Wall


Confused About US Policy in Iraq?



Washington is working to install a new air base in Iraq’s Kurdistan to be used in a campaign against Islamic State (ISIS). This comes as the White House speaks of a ground operation in Iraq against the militants.

I thought Obama said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were over?

Corporate Watch: Privatize Education



This Republican Congressman from Virginia is the perfect example of the kind of challenge we face these days.  He wants to privatize education which means that the rich kids will have good foundational learning and the poor kids could be "trained on a rock" like Plato was.

Privatization of education, Social Security, health care, sewer and water systems, public transit, roads, bridges, etc are attempts to corporatize all aspects of our lives - turning every public service into a profit generator.  This is what the big $$$ is doing to politics today in the US.  The Congress is bought and sold - like slaves - by the corporations.  They don't give a damn about the people or the planet.  It's a sickness - only money matters.

Years ago while living in Florida I remember Jeb Bush's first inaugural speech in Tallahassee after he was elected governor.  He stood amongst the state government buildings and with sweeping arms declared that "My dream is that someday these buildings will be shut down."  Bush's dream was to turn the work of the public good over to the greedy land developers, agri-business interests, energy companies, and other assorted profiteers.

The reason humankind came up with the idea of government was to regulate the greedy and to ensure a fair distribution of resources amongst all the people.

A very "Christian" thing to do.

But even that basic truth of sharing and caring for others is under attack by the merchants of greed.  I once heard a minister ask this question:  "If Jesus came back today would he ride a bicycle or drive a Cadillac?"  For sure I thought he'd ride a bike.  But no, the minister claimed - he'd drive the Caddy.  When so-called Christian ministers endorse the prosperity, greed and selfishness ethic you know that we are in deep trouble.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nazi Crimes in Ukraine

 

Published today in Times Record:

Just a few miles outside of Kiev there is a ravine called Babi Yar where, between Sept. 29-30, 1941, 33,771 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis and their Ukrainian fascist collaborators during the Nazi campaign against the Soviet Union. By the summer of 1943, the ravine held as many as 100,000 corpses — Jews, Roma, prisoners of war and others.

How ironic. Recently, American General Ben Hodges, chief of the U.S. Army in Europe, awarded medals to a current group of Ukrainian fascists in Kiev’s Central Military Hospital. The medal, he said, is a symbol of the U.S. Army in Europe.

The Israeli government, much to its shame, is keeping its mouth shut. In the current scenario, Ukrainian separatists have become the Jews, the Ukrainian Fascists have remained unrepentant and the Nazis have morphed into Americans. We are indeed in the hands of historical ignoramuses.

Herschel Sternlieb
Brunswick, Maine

U.S. 'Missile Offense' Bases in Romania & Poland



The U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) headquarted in Stuttgart, Germany announces a second new "missile defense" (MD) base under construction.  These bases in Romania and Poland, and their interceptor missiles, will be aimed at Russia as part of the Pentagon-NATO military encirclement of that nation.

MD systems are key elements in US first-strike attack planning.  Their job is to pick off any remaining retaliatory nuclear response after the Pentagon unleashes its sword.  MD thus become the shield that the US seeks in order to deliver a 'successful' first-strike attack.

Each year the US Space Command computer simulates such a first-strike attack against Russia and China - the war game is called 'blue team against red team'.

MD systems are being deployed on land and on Navy Aegis destroyers around the globe to surround Russia and China.

Here is part of the USEUCOM announcement about the new Poland base:


As a demonstration of our continued efforts to provide a ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability for U.S. and European NATO Allies against established and emergent threats, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. European Command (EUCOM), the U.S. Navy, and the Polish Ministry of Economy hosted U.S. Industry Day in Warsaw, Poland, on Feb. 11 and 12.

The two-day event was designed to help provide information on the general scope of work.... to support a planned U.S. missile defense asset deployment in Poland.

"Missile defense is a critically important part of NATO security, and the United States deeply appreciates Poland’s contributions to the NATO missile defense effort," said Ambassador Stephen Mull, U.S. Ambassador to Poland. "Poland plans to spend an estimated $10 billion USD on integrated air and missile defense systems over the next ten years. This is in addition to Poland’s decision to host an American missile defense base at Redzikowo."

As approved by the President in September 2009, the purpose of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to ballistic missile defense is to protect European NATO allies, and U.S. forces in the region.... This key event demonstrates that we are moving forward with deploying an Aegis Ashore site in Poland in the 2018 time frame and that the U.S. continues to work in close cooperation with NATO allies to integrate BMD capabilities into a NATO missile defense system.

Modus Operandi: Faking the Evidence to Justify a War



These pictures purported to show how Russia is intervening in Ukraine, and were used as evidence by US Senators who were pushing for lethal aid to be sent to Kiev. RT's Lizzie Phelan has the details of an incident which has left some red faces on Capitol Hill. RT is also joined by political writer John Wight.

Kiev: This So-Called Cease Fire



US puppet President Poroshenko reveals true nature of the ceasefire for Ukraine.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Speaking to the 'Non-Choir'



The UK arms industry's Annual Dinner took place on 3rd February 2015 at the London Hilton on Park Lane. The £246-a-head banquet was attended by arms industry executives and more than 40 MPs.

This industry, which profits from selling arms to repressive regimes and conflict zones including Saudi Arabia, Israel and Bahrain, is supported and subsidised by the UK government.

Activists from Campaign Against Arms Trade were there to greet the arriving arms dealers and deliver an impromptu speech asking them to reconsider their choice of career.

The Monied Interests


Chomsky on Ukraine & Iraq



Noam Chomsky interviewed by TV Channel4 host Jon Snow about Ukraine and ISIS. 

Shaky Ceasefire Declared


I've been reading this morning about the Minsk-2 negotiations on the civil war inside Ukraine.  A deal has been partially agreed upon - emphasis on the word partial.  What is most interesting is that Washington was excluded from the negotiations - it's a simple admission that the US has been a major instigator of this whole mess and the more they are kept out of the negotiations the better.

The primary aspect of the deal calls for a ceasefire to begin at midnight of February 15 and a pull back of heavy artillery from both sides.  (The last time a ceasefire was agreed upon at Minsk-1 the Kiev puppet government constantly violated the agreement by continuing to shell eastern Ukraine.)

The real sticking points in the negotiations are about autonomy for eastern Ukraine - some sort of federalization.  (It's real important to note here that Putin has said over and over again that Russia does not want to annex these break-a-way eastern provinces.  Putin has always maintained that they should be given more political and economic self-control within the framework of the Ukrainian state.  This is usually not reported in the western media because it runs counter to the US-NATO narrative that Russia is out to "expand their empire".)

Some agreements appear to have been made around more local self control such as local election of political leaders rather than appointment by Kiev.  (Local democracy, what a concept.)  But these ideas are still not yet firmly agreed upon and could fall by the wayside.

You can see the full text of the agreement here

In the end Ukraine's puppet President Poroshenko remains a key obstacle and the day before the Minsk-2 meeting he threw more red meat to the 'nationalists' in the western part of the county by declaring that they are the "true" Ukrainians.  (Ethnic/social purity kind of trash.) So even in the midst of negotiations Poroshenko (carrying water for US-NATO) still found a way to stir up hatred.

The only reason that Minsk-2 was happening at all is because of recent military progress by the self-defense forces in the east as they consolidate control over their own lands.  That, and the growing fierce opposition to the recent troop mobilization Poroshenko called throughout the country, indicates that Kiev's war project is in deep trouble.

Most commentators I read this morning are skeptical that Washington will allow this ceasefire to really work.  Time will tell. The way the EU goes on this will be important to follow.

In video below the two leaders of the eastern self-defense forces react to the ceasefire agreement.

Looking Back to the February 2014 "Maidan"



A German TV investigation disproved the West's claim that former Ukrainian President Yanukovych was responsible for killing of dozens of Ukrainian protesters in February 2014 during the "Maidan" that toppled the elected government in that country.  This act was one of the primary justifications for the US-NATO directed coup d'etat.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Say a Prayer

 
Say a prayer
for the Mother Earth
getting pounded
by endless war

and say a prayer
for the mothers
and fathers
who lose
a child
to this insane
death march

Even though
I hate war
I do believe
people
have the right
to defend
themselves
when fascists
come calling
backed up
by the might
and $$$$$
of the
USA

It still
breaks my heart
and I pray
for the day
when it all
ends

that day
will come sooner
with my help

The Mobster Credo



  • And bust a few knee caps...... (Click on it to start or stop otherwise it will keep playing....)

  • Some of you might think I'm obsessed with Ukraine.... well I am in the sense that it is the place in the world today where major superpower conflict is happening and could lead to a devastating European war.  And after all, I am a peacenik!  What else should I be doing?

  • Just this morning I read on RT:


The US Air Force dispatched a dozen A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jets and about 300 airmen to Germany as part of a military exercise, which is expected to involve NATO allies in Eastern Europe amid simmering tensions over Ukraine.

The Cold War-era aircraft, nicknamed the Warthog, on Monday departed Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona for Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
 Lt. Col. Christopher Karns, a spokesman for the Air Force at the Pentagon, said the aircraft would “forward-deploy” to sites in Eastern European NATO states, where the units will participate in training with allied forces to “strengthen interoperability and…demonstrate US commitment to the security and stability of Europe," he told military.com.

The highly reliable A-10 carries a seven-barrel GAU-8/A Avenger Gatling gun that fires 30mm rounds designed to destroy tanks and other armored combat vehicles.

  • Now is this just a shot across Russia's bow as the Minsk negotiations are to begin today?  Is this a bit of Obama's 'arm twisting' of Russia - sort of tightening the screws?  Anyway you cut it Russia has to make some military counter-adjustment.  The US would make a military counter-move if Moscow was deploying attack warplanes in Toronto and Mexico City.

  • It's all very dangerous and I am hanging on by my nails as I watch legions of innocent people die in eastern Ukraine just because they happen to live near the Russian border.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Project 'Regime Change'



Here we see FOX News whipping up the Putin hysteria which is prevalent in the western corporate run media.  Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the 'regime change' train coming....notice the reference to Qaddafi in Libya?

Now just imagine for a moment that this is indeed the real agenda of US-NATO - take Putin down.  Talk about starting a major f _ _ king nuclear war.  Don't you just imagine it is beyond time for people to climb out of their cocoons of fear, resignation, or indifference and swing their rear ends into some action?

By the way....yes Putin is ex-KGB.  You ever hear any media though say similar things about daddy Bush having been ex-CIA director?

America drips with arrogant hypocrisy at the top and far too much submissiveness at the bottom of the pyramid.

This whole Putin demonization trip has two purposes.  First, to create the public justification for continued military ops aimed at Russia.  Secondly, to make people in the US afraid to speak out against Washington's war-mongering for fear of being called "Putin lovers".... sort of a recycled Red baiting from the 1950's with just a twist of pop psychology and other such slags thrown in for good measure.

It's a very well designed and implemented public relations strategy under the direction of Madison Avenue's finest agencies.

It appears to be working quite well.

These are the People Kiev & Washington Call Terrorists



A journalist visiting a community soup kitchen in the city of Pervomaisk, Lugansk Region [in eastern Ukraine], caught the exact moment a shell struck the building.  People ran for cover to a nearby basement.

These are the people that US-NATO's vile regime in Kiev are shelling.....Kiev, Brussels, and Washington call them 'terrorists'.  But in fact the real terrorists are the US-NATO and their puppet proxy Army in Kiev.  They make me sick.

And when they try to defend themselves against this barbarous attack by the US-NATO corporate pirates they are called terrorists once again.  

More on Ukraine GMO Story



German Lawmakers Claim Ukraine Conflict Covers Up Massive Cropland Seizures


MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The armed conflict in Ukraine is a smokescreen for the seizure of high-quality cropland by foreign firms funded by the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the office of a German parliament member said on Thursday.

"The conflict in Ukraine is used to cover up a sale of farmlands in the interest of major corporations," Birgit Bock-Luna, who heads the office of Niema Movassat, a deputy for the opposition Left faction in the German parliament, told RIA Novosti.

Bock-Luna told RIA Novosti a group of faction representatives had officially inquired with the German government on the actions of the country's state-run banking group Bankengruppe KfW that they said is behind the seizure of Ukraine's arable lands, some of the best in Europe.

Ukraine has a temporary ban prohibiting the sale of farmlands to foreign entities until January 2016. But German agricultural concerns – AGRARIUS AG, germanagrar CEE GmbH, KTG Agrar SE, Agroton and Alfred C. Toepfer International (ADM) – seize land using leasing schemes and generous loans from German and global money lenders.

According to data obtained by German lawmakers, Alfred C. Toepfer International was given a $60 million loan to buy an additional 50,000 hectares in Ukraine, alongside 50,000 it already owns.

German lawmakers suggest that large areas of Ukraine's arable lands could be used to grow genetically modified crops, away from the watchful eye of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is EU's agricultural regulator.

Lawmakers say they have reasons to believe that the German government has been involved in funding farmland grabs in Ukraine through its ministries, providing assistance to joint EU and German agricultural projects with Kiev.

The Ukraine Investment Climate Advisory Services Project, Germany's agricultural center Deutsche Agrarzentrum (DAZ), and the German Advisory Group on Economic Reforms in Ukraine are some of the projects that helped to negotiate land grabs with Ukrainian government officials, lawmakers said.

Bock-Luna said the Ukrainian government that came to power in Kiev after last year's coup has been actively giving away farmland in return for loans from international creditors.

"The previous Ukrainian administration was opposed to further relaxation of agricultural laws, but this changed after the coup, with the help of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development," she added.

Ukraine is a major crop producer in the European market. It commands over 32 million hectares of farmland, equivalent to around one third of the arable land in the entire European Union.

Ferguson's Jim Crowe System



Civil rights lawyers are taking the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri to court over what they are calling unconstitutional “debtors prisons.” Claiming that city officials routinely burden low-income individuals with outrageous fines before proceeding to throw them in jail for failure to pay these penalties, the group of attorneys is targeting the largely African-American city’s second largest source of income. RT’s Marina Portnaya has more.

Monday, February 09, 2015

As the World Burns



Swirling snow
swirling politicians
to Kiev, Moscow
now Washington

The Merkel Express
question is
who is she working for?
which side?

It's the sides
that count
it helps to know
who is aiming
their gun at you

Citizens Revolt in Ukraine



A woman from Zaporozhia region of south-eastern Ukraine delivers a spirited attack against the war to Kiev military recruiters.

If peace is indeed negotiated in Ukraine it will to a large extent be because of the citizens revolt now happening against this US-NATO war project along Russia's border.

(Make sure you click on 'CC' in lower right hand corner of the video to get English subtitles.)

In a related note:  

Ukrainian blogger Oleh Kutseryb describes the course of the so-called mobilization in Ukraine in the Lviv region, where he lives: “I do not know the situation in other regions, but here in the Lviv region road police, policemen and Security Service agents are engaged in mobilization. They operate in brigades consisting of two or three road police cars, a car or a van with a team of Security Service agent and enlistment officers. They stop cars on the roads, demand that men identify themselves and on the spot feed the data to the system with the help of the SS agent’s laptop. If they find the name in the lists, they fill out a draft note at once and hand it in against written acknowledgement. And now – to the most interesting point! The Security Service has got TWO databases, which are cross-checked. The first database contains the list of enlistment offices and all the absconders (those who failed to receive the draft notice), and the second database was compiled by the Security Service of Ukraine (!!!). The brigades operate on highways (such as Kiev-Uzhgorod) as well as on field roads in the smallest villages; they even stop scooter drivers. Knowing the facts, I am sure that Poroshenko has switched on the repressive machine against all the protesters. Dissenters, bloggers, even those who cannot stay indifferent and their relatives are added to the lists of potential rebels and at the same times in the draft lists. Such is our reality”.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Voice for Fair Negotiations



A voice for serious and fair negotiations over future of Ukraine.

 For analysis RT talks to Lode Vanoost, the former deputy speaker of Belgian parliament.

Sunday Song