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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Battles of Corporate Empire


  • The Mayor De Blasio in New York City is asking the federal Circuit Court for the authority to engage in the mass arrest of protesters when they take to the streets peacefully, just as they have been doing recently against police brutality. This request for the legal authority to engage in wholesale mass sweeps of demonstrators would allow the police to do so without any notice or warning to them that they are even allegedly in violation of any law. In the Occupy Wall Street case at issue the NYPD trapped and mass arrested 700 people after police commanders led and escorted them onto the Brooklyn Bridge.  "This is the most significant and most defining legal case on protesters' rights in the last 40 years, since the mass arrests of May Day 1970," said Carl Messineo, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Legal Director. "Mayor De Blasio seeks the authority to arrest today's protesters in the same manner Mayor Bloomberg falsely arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters by the hundreds."
  •  Peter Koenig writes:
The world is still hell-bent for hydrocarbon-based energy. Russia is the world’s largest producer of energy. Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the West. To confirm this decision, in July 2014 Russia’s Gazprom concluded a 400 billion gas deal with China, and in November this year they signed an additional slightly smaller contract – all to be nominated in rubles and yuan.

The remaining BRICS – Brazil, India and South Africa – plus the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan and considered for membership since September 2014 are also India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia, with Turkey also waiting in the wings – will also trade in their local currencies, detached from the dollar-based western casino scheme. A host of other nations increasingly weary of the decay of the western financial system which they are locked into are just waiting for a new monetary scheme to emerge. So far their governments may have been afraid of the emperor’s wrath – but gradually they are seeing the light. They are sensing the sham and weakness behind Obama’s boisterous noise. They don’t want to be sucked into the black hole, when the casino goes down the drain.

To punish Russia for Ukraine, Obama is about to sign into law major new sanctions against Russia, following Congress’s unanimous passing of a recent motion to this effect. – That is what the MSM [mainstream media] would like you to believe. 


Now – as a consequence of declining oil prices and of western ‘sanctions’ – of course, what else? - Russia’s economy is suffering and the ruble is in free fall. Since the beginning of the year it lost about 60%; last week alone 20%. As a result and after serious consideration, says MSM, the Russian Central Bank decided a few days ago to increase the interest of reference from 10.5% to 17% to make the ruble more attractive for foreign investors. It worked only for a few hours. Raising the interbank interest was Putin’s reply to Obama’s bluff – feeding at the same time western illusion about Russia’s decline. 

Lockheed Martin Corp , the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier, has rarely felt the need to blow its horn about its secrecy-shrouded crown jewel - until now.

"Skunk Works," Lockheed's business for developing weapons outside the company's main chain of command, is starting to lift the veil in a sign of fierce pressure to win new orders and protect its brand as military budgets shrink.

The pride of Lockheed, Skunk Works has been celebrated since it developed the first jet fighter in 143 days during World War Two to battle the Nazis. But its logo was kept off buildings and employees were barred from saying where they worked.

Now, the company has published a glossy brochure with a 10-point "Skunk Works 2015" agenda focused on keeping costs down, working closely with government, and building prototypes. Its officials are meeting in small groups with all 3,300 employees, or "Skunks" as they are known, to underscore the importance of staying competitive.

Challenging Skunk Works are such newcomers as Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, which operate more like commercial firms than legacy weapons makers. Their costs are lower due to a younger staff - the average age of SpaceX's engineers is 27, while Lockheed expects half its employees to retire in the next five years - and their ability to leverage commercial orders.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

America: An Imaginary Place

Football Player Stands Up



Cleveland Browns football receiver Andrew Hawkins says he should not have to apologize for wearing a T-shirt that called for "Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford," two Ohio victims of recent police killings.

Hawkins' shirt, which he sported while walking onto the field before Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, spurred ire from the head of the Cleveland Police Union, who called the statement "pathetic" and demanded an apology from the Browns organization.

The numbers of professional athletes speaking out against police violence continues to grow and spurs positive debate across the land.

Ukrainian Nazis & Chechen Wahabis Linked in US-NATO War on Russia

Chechen fundamentalist terrorist Khasan Zakaev
Big story at The Vineyard of the Saker today.  While most of the western media sleeps under the watchful eyes of Mr. Big, the US-NATO are expanding their economic war on Russia and slowly introducing more internal destabilization terror tactics.

Interesting news this morning: Khasan Zakaev, one of the terrorist which organized and executed the 2002 attack against the Dubrovka theater in Moscow and an aid to Shamil Basaev was arrested in Crimea when he tried to enter from the Ukraine with false documents.

I very much doubt that Zakaev wanted to visit Crimea to enjoy the beautiful sights, sample the local cuisine or to relax on the seashore.  Not coming from the Ukraine.  Not with fake documents.  In fact, I would argue that it is pretty darn obvious that if he took the huge risk of entering not just any Russian territory, but a highly monitored and secured one, he was there on a mission.

Considering the quasi-official Ukrainian support for Wahabism in Chechnia, it is also superlatively likely that the SBU knew about this mission and, at the very least, gave its tacit support for it.  After all, since members of the Ukrainian Rada did openly support the recent terrorist operation in Grozny, and since a former commander of the Azov death squad and now Member of the Rada openly called for the murder of Ramzan Kadyrov, it only makes sense for the Ukrainian Nazis to be sending Chechen Wahabis into Russia to commit more terrorist attacks.
Beautiful, no?  The US, the EU, NATO and their allies are now openly supporting a Nazi-Wahabi alliance against Russia.
Ramzan Kadyrov [Head of the Chechen Republic and a former Chechen rebel] always calls the Wahabi terrorists "shaitans", or devils.  I think that this also fully applies to the rabid Ukrainian Nazis.  But if we want to be logical here, shouldn't this apply first and foremost to their masters?

Was the late Ayatollah Khomeini not absolutely spot-on when he spoke of the "shaitan-e bozorg", the "Great Satan"?

Would "Hizb-Shaitan" (Party of the Devil) not be an accurate descriptor for the AngloZionist Empire today?

The Saker


Obama Must Give Peltier Clemency



Please watch this short video regarding clemency for Leonard Peltier and then call the White House at:

Comments: 202-456-1111

Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Release the Full CIA Report to the Public



On the Senate floor last week, outgoing Democratic Sen. Mark Udall called for a purge of top CIA officials implicated in the torture program and cover-up, including current Director John Brennan. But as he enters the final days of his Senate term, Udall is facing calls to take action of his own. The Senate findings released last week amount to only a fraction of the full report — 480 heavily redacted pages out of more than 6,000 pages total. The White House has blocked the report’s full release in deference to the CIA’s wishes. That’s sparked demands that Udall invoke a rarely used congressional privilege and make the report public.

There is precedent for him to follow: In 1971, then-Alaska Senator Mike Gravel entered more than 4,000 pages of the 7,000-page Pentagon Papers into the Senate record, insisting the public had a right to know the truth behind the Vietnam War. More than four decades later, Gravel joins Democracy Now to talk about his historic action and why he is now calling on Udall to follow in his footsteps with the full Senate report on CIA torture.

You can call the office of Sen. Udall in Colorado and urge him to make the CIA report public.  Dial  303-650-7820.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This is What Solidarity Looks Like



Yesterday, we, a coalition of Black folks+Asian Allies+White Allies shutdown the Oakland Police Headquarters. Allies locked themselves to multiple entrances, blocked off all surrounding intersections, and raised a "Black Lives Matter" flag, while Black folk held space to honor the lives that have been stolen from us.

We shut it down for over 4hrs 28min. 4 hours is the time that Mike Brown's body was left on the ground after being murdered by Ferguson PD, and 28 mins symbolizes that every 28 hrs a black person is murdered by polices, security officers, or vigilantes.

We will continue shutting it ALL down, until we get justice. Until we get our freedom. So much LOVE to all the allies who threw down with Black Liberation today. this is what solidarity looks like. This is what resistance looks like.

They Want It All


Military madness
wants it all
Pentagon complaining
'ain't got enough'

Nuclear subs
going to cost
17% more
12 new ones
(why you say?)
going to cost $92 billion

$$$ is extracted
from the hides
of the people

be sure
that collapsing
infrastructure
won't get funded
nor the unraveling
web of
human life

War is a sickness
a sign of the
dark and broken
hearts

Cleanse my heart
heal my soul
douse my fire
and rage
in the healing
waters of justice
and true peace

Oh great spirit
please give me
strength
to keep
bearing witness
to my own
frailty
and to the
humanity
of us all

let us retreat
into the arms
of our trembling
mother earth

More Machine Than Man

Iris Scans at Syrian Refugee Camps: A Brave New World?

Syrian refugees in Jordan get cash payments from the UN Refugee Agency through an eye scan

The Daily Star (Lebanon) reports:

Biometric scanning: Earlier this year, aid workers started adding all Syrian refugees arriving in Jordan to a biometric database upon registration. As well as improving the accuracy and efficiency of records and avoiding duplication, the biometric system has enabled cash payments to be issued through Hollywood-movie-style iris scans. It is the first time UNHCR has distributed cash this way.

In partnership with Cairo Amman Bank, refugees eligible for cash handouts from UNHCR can collect their money from over 100 locations in Jordan. Instead of using a debit card, they simply have their eye scanned at the ATM machine.

That allows aid agencies to map where refugees are and assess how long they have to travel to access the banking services. One of the biggest problems for refugees in Jordan in need of assistance was the cost of transport.

UNHCR plans to use biometric refugee registration at sites throughout the region. For example, it will start applying iris scan and fingerprinting during registration in Iraq early next year.
While I would acknowledge that this eye scanning process is likely highly efficient in dealing with refugees it is also a very troubling introduction of a new technology that we should all be deeply concerned about.  Imagine just for a moment that people across the US who get government assistance had to use this technology to get their monthly support.  In these days of mass protest against police abuse the government could use iris scan technology to quickly identify legions of protesters and just shut off their ability to get their assistance.  Talk about crowd control......

Or maybe some very wealthy person is part of the protests and the government could use the iris scan technology to shut off their access to their bank accounts because they had been "bad".  Who knows where this could all go?

Who would be next?  This whole thing needs much debate before it gets any bigger.  Are the desperate refugees no more than guinea pigs? What do you think?

War by Media Propaganda Machine

From John Pilger’s address to the Logan Symposium, "Building an Alliance Against Secrecy, Surveillance & Censorship," organized by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, London, December, 2014.


“The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since World War II is blacked out. Washington's secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades, responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine, is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.

And again, supposedly liberal media are the censors. Citing no facts, no evidence, one journalist identified a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine as the man who shot down the airliner. This man, he wrote, was known as The Demon. He was a scary man who frightened the journalist. That was the evidence.

Many in the western media haves worked hard to present the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

What the Russian president has to say is of no consequence; he is a pantomime villain who can be abused with impunity. An American general who heads NATO and is straight out of Dr. Strangelove - one General Breedlove - routinely claims Russian invasions without a shred of visual evidence. His impersonation of Stanley Kubrick's General Jack D. Ripper is pitch perfect.

Forty thousand Ruskies were massing on the border, according to Breedlove. That was good enough for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Observer - the latter having previously distinguished itself with lies and fabrications that backed Blair's invasion of Iraq, as its former reporter, David Rose, revealed.”

Read it all at here

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wall Street Loves Cheap Labor



John R. MacArthur of Harper’s Magazine says that Republicans and Democrats alike are abandoning the republic in pursuit of big bucks.

Great Film



Mary Beth and I went to see the new film about Edward Snowden this past weekend and it was fantastic.  Filmmaker Laura Poitras did a great job of telling the story about the incredible bravery of Snowden (who is a very humble guy and did his act of NSA whistleblowing for all the right reasons).

The behind the scenes media scrambling to deal with the story that was dumped into their laps makes the film even more valuable and interesting,  The role that Glenn Greenwald played in the whole release of information was instrumental and moving as well.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Best Sign of the Weekend



This sign from a protest this weekend in Boston is the best one I've seen yet from the various events that were held across the nation.

See a good news round-up about the police militarization protests here

Sunday Song