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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Clinton is a Corporate Agent

Judge for yourself

Judge For Yourself. Stand for something or you will Fall for anything!

Posted by Bernie Sanders' Supporters on Thursday, February 4, 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

A Reminder


I traveled three hours north to Blue Hill, Maine on Thursday along with VFP national board member Tarak Kauff who co-led our delegation to Jeju Island and Okinawa last December.  We were invited to speak at an event there that also featured fellow VFP members Dud Hendrick and Russell Wray - both of whom came on that same trip to Asia.

It was exciting to see the others again and our collective presentations came across well - we got good reviews from those in attendance.  In a small way it helped us honor our promises on Jeju and Okinawa that we would go home and spread the word.  God knows we need to do more as the US clearly is moving toward war with China and Russia.

Tarak and I had to drive back to Bath in a snow storm taking us 4 1/2 hours to make the return trip.  The roads were so bad that he delayed his return home to Woodstock, New York and stayed the night here.

Fortunately for me Tarak come outside and helped me shovel the mounds of snow, twice, having bragged that he had a great shoveling technique.  I didn't see alot of impressive technique but he did help move the snow out of the way and that is all that counts in the end.

Then on top of all that Tarak got up early this morning and made breakfast for everyone at our house.  All-in-all Tarak is a great guy and we told him he could come visit anytime......

We are now beginning planning to take another group of veterans and other activists to South Korea next summer.  At the end of July we plan to join the annual peace walk all around Jeju Island and then we'll go to the mainland for meetings with South Korean activists, protests at other US bases, as well as other exciting events.  Let me know if you would be interested and I will send you more information.

Message from the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers



"As you move through these changing times... be easy on yourself and be easy on one another. You are at the beginning of something new. You are learning a new way of being. You will find that you are working less in the yang modes that you are used to.

"You will stop working so hard at getting from point A to point B the way you have in the past, but instead, will spend more time experiencing yourself in the whole, and your place in it.

"Instead of traveling to a goal out there, you will voyage deeper into yourself. Your mother's grandmother knew how to do this. Your ancestors from long ago knew how to do this. They knew the power of the feminine principle... and because you carry their DNA in your body, this wisdom and this way of being is within you.

"Call on it. Call it up. Invite your ancestors in. As the yang based habits and the decaying institutions on our planet begin to crumble, look up. A breeze is stirring. Feel the sun on your wings."

Missile Defense - Part Two



US missile defense systems in Europe (with NATO) and the Pacific are dangerous!

This video made by Global Network board convener Dave Webb from Leeds, England.  He also chairs the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

The US is encircling Russia and China with so-called 'missile defense'.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Dangerous Nukes in Space Push Returns

A plutonium-238 pellet at the US Department of Energy labs being readied for space missions


The U.S. push for nukes in space continues.

Thanks to the sharp eyes of Linda Pentz Gunter of Beyond Nuclear comes the news that the appropriately named U.S. Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho has slipped this passage into the “Energy Policy Modernization Act” (S 2012) 

“i) Using expertise from the private sector, institutions of higher education, and National Laboratories to develop computational software and capabilities that prospective users may access to accelerate research and development of advanced fission reactor systems, nuclear fusion systems, and reactor systems for space exploration.” 

What is now Idaho National Laboratory has a long history involving the use of nuclear power in space, including plutonium systems. This has been going on despite accidents involving the use of nuclear power overhead.  

See more here

Knoxville News Sentinel reported in late 2015 that Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee has achieved production of 50 grams of plutonium-238. That's roughly the mass of a golf ball, but it's considered a milestone in re-establishing a U.S. stockpile of Pu-238 for use as a power source on deep-space missions. ORNL has been developing the capability over the past couple of years with funding that NASA provided via the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. 

Pu-238, a different isotope from the plutonium-239 used in nuclear weapons, is used as fuel in space power systems known as radioisotope thermoelectric generators or RTGs. The radioactive material produces heat as it decays, and that heat is converted to electricity for vital tasks on spacecraft. ORNL said the infrastructure is now in place to provide a steady and growing supply of plutonium-238 for future space missions. 

According to NASA, the next space mission with plans for using an RTG is the Mars 2020 Rover, which is tentatively scheduled for launch in July 2020.

Not only are we concerned about a launch accident with deadly plutonium onboard - but the entire space nuclear production process at the Department of Energy string of labs around the country has a very bad track record.  

Before the 1997 launch of the Cassini space probe (with 72 pounds of plutonium-238) at Cape Canaveral it was reported that previously at the Los Alamos lab in New Mexico, where the plutonium generators for that mission were fabricated, there were 244 cases of worker contamination.  The nuclear labs have a long history of contaminating local water systems with these highly-toxic substances as well.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Interview with Dulles Book Author


It’s been more than 50 years since Allen Dulles was removed by JFK as director of the CIA, but his legacy lives on. Between 1953 and 1961, under his watch, the CIA overthrew the governments of Iran and Guatemala, invaded Cuba, and was tied to the killing of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected leader.

Democracy Now speaks with David Talbot, author of "The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government," about how Dulles’ time at the CIA helped shape the current national security state.

Everyone should read this book.....

Impacts of Flint Lead Story

 
Erin Brockovich stops by to explain the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which she has been investigating for over a year.
 
She says that Flint is only the tip of the iceberg as communities across the nation have water infested with lead and other toxic chemicals.
 
This would not be happening in a wealthy white community.
 
Rise up and protect your children and grandchildren.

Why Are You Declaring Us Subhumans?

A passionate voice of an aid worker in eastern Ukraine who shares the human impacts of the US-Kiev war on the Russian speaking populations in the Donbass. 

What is this war against the civilian population of eastern Ukraine really about?

Monday, February 01, 2016

Satire for $ale

 
Univision Communications just bought a 40 percent controlling interest in The Onion. They also acquired the option to buy the remainder of The Onion in the future. The Onion is now controlled by Univision, whose co-owner, chairman, and CEO is Haim Saban, close friend to Hillary Clinton. He is also Hillary Clinton’s singular, biggest financial supporter. He’s given Hillary more than two million dollars for political campaigns, and at least another 10 million to her Foundation. His wife sits on the board of Clinton’s Foundation. The Resident breaks down the state of comedy in the world today.

Jeju Island - Now it Gets Real


Armed South Korean military forces arrived yesterday in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island.  The Navy base there is nearly complete and it is just a matter of time before US-South Korean military operations begin from what is known as the "Island of Peace".

There can be no doubt that the growing US-South Korea-Japan military alliance is aimed at China.  The US Navy just last week was provocatively sailing Aegis destroyers inside China's exclusion zone.  US Air Force spy planes are continually bumping up against the Chinese coast trying to get a reaction and thus create a pretext for battle.

At the same time the US and South Korean armed forces are moving toward deployment of the THAAD (Theatre High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense (MD) system. The US has several types of MD systems - each for a particular layer of space to intercept retaliatory strikes after a Pentagon (and allies) first-strike attack.  Different MD systems have varying success rates in their testing phase.  Added all together they are key elements in Pentagon war planning.

The Navy Aegis destroyers that will be ported on Jeju Island are also outfitted with MD systems (which have the best testing rate of any of the MD systems now being deployed).

China warns of consequences should South Korea go ahead with THAAD deployment, the Hankyoreh reports:

China believes that THAAD would be targeted not at North Korea but at itself. Since the X-band radar, which is a key component of the THAAD system, has a detection radius of more than 3,000 kilometers, China considers it a major threat to its security. The prevailing view is that deploying THAAD on the Korean Peninsula is part of the US’s strategy of pivoting to Asia.
“No matter how good the excuse, China probably won’t relent in its opposition to deploying THAAD on the Korean Peninsula,” said Cheng Xiaohe, a professor at Renmin University of China.

“THAAD’s detection radius goes beyond North Korea into China and Russia,” said Lu Chao, a researcher at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences. “China and South Korea may be good friends, but how smooth can a relationship be when one party [South Korea] is holding a machine gun under the table? The US may be behind the THAAD issue, but South Korea gets to decide whether or not to deploy it.”
Also commenting on the US-South Korea-Japan military buildup aimed at China is Francis A. Boyle, professor of International Law and long-time peace activist.  He wrote today:

When we provoke a war against China, Japan will be right there with us. Or maybe [Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe will provoke the  war with China and bring us along with him. Either way, under Abe the Showa Constitution [that outlawed offensive operations since WW II] has become the Proverbial Mere Scrap of Paper.  Seventy years after World War 2, the Japanese Empire is back!

The US and its NATO allies (South Korea, Japan, Australia, Mongolia and New Zealand have been made NATO "partners" in the Asia-Pacific in order to extend the military bloc's power) are playing a dangerous game that many knowledgeable experts are predicting could lead to WW III.

The corporate dominated US-NATO war machine wants to rule the world and they see Russia and China as obstacles to their global domination.   

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Song