Sad news. My sympathies to his family and friends. ~ Lo
Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:29am EDT Continue reading
by Bruce Gagnon
June 23, 2008
At 10:30 a.m. this morning I had a phone call from the base commander at Kirtland A.F.B. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And it’s a Sunday.
In my blog yesterday I quoted Col. Robert Suminsby, Jr. about his belief that we need to get our priorities straight here in the U.S. when it comes to funding things like Social Security and Medicare instead of “aircraft and satellites.”
“How could you know what I mean when I talk about our nations priorities?” the Colonel asked me in very unfriendly tones.
I tried explaining to him that I have a lifetime of experience listening to people in the military say that we should ramp up Pentagon spending. He was not in a mood to listen.
Instead the Colonel’s voice escalated, similar to his desire to see the military budget take ascendancy over social progress in America. “I can see that you are not one who should be involved in deciding on our nation’s priorities,” he yelled at me. Then he hung up.
Wow. A call from the base commander one day after my blog quoting him appears. I don’t get that kind of service very often.
Some background is in order here to help understand why the Colonel is hot under the collar.
A couple of months ago Colonel Suminsby made a speech to a group of community leaders in Albuquerque calling for a hard look at “entitlement programs” funding. His base paper reported on the event and that was supposed to be that. But Bob Anderson, Vietnam veteran and local organizer with Stop the War Machine, picked up the paper and was quick to notice the significance of the speech. Stop the War Machine went to the Albuquerque City Council and asked them to pass a resolution condemning the Colonel’s statement. Then on June 15 the local newspaper ran a story on the Colonel’s ideas called Kirtland Commander Fears for Air Force’s Future.
I believe that the Colonel’s statement is not just – how would the Air Force put it? – out of the blue. It is part of this recent larger public relations campaign the Air Force is calling – Air Force Above All.
You might have seen the TV commercials. High-tech space weapons images….you know USA über alles – that sort of thing. Watch this Air Force video to see for yourself.
The Air Force sees the writing on the wall. We can’t have social spending and pay for Star Wars and new generations of massively expensive war planes. So they are programming the minds of the American people.
I guess the best thing about his call is that once again it has been confirmed that Pentagon brass are reading my blog. And they are not happy about it.
The Colonel likely does not know that I too was in the Air Force – from 1971 to 1974. What he does not understand clearly enough is that I no longer have to take orders from officers. You see I am a free man now.
So thanks for the call Colonel but I don’t have to jump when you say jump. It’s what they call freedom of speech and democracy.
Hope you like this blog entry as well. It’s for you.
By the way, Colonel Suminsby is a native of Northeast Harbor, Maine.
Negotiations are underway to try to stop heavy fighting in northern Lebanon between government supporters and the Hezbollah-led opposition.
One month after the Doha peace agreement, there’s been machine gun fire and mortar explosions in the streets of Tripoli.
Our correspondent Zeina Khodr is there and sent this report.
NEW YORK – Remember the Fords of the Seventies? Author James Crandall does and finds them relevant today in his new book McCain Slew Able in which he says McCain is more like the Pinto than the Maverick. “A maverick is someone who stands out from the pack, is a leader and sticks to his position,” says Crandall, “McCain has flip-flopped more times than a pancake on steroids.”
Crandall notes that McCain’s similarities to the Ford Pinto are astonishing. The book points out that just like the Pinto, McCain’s campaign is underpowered, unremarkable and McCain will blow up at the slightest provocation. “He is effectively unable to do anything,” Crandall states, “hence the title of my book.” The upside for McCain, the author notes, is that McCain has changed positions so many times, that many votes may still think he favors their stand on the issues.
Matt Dowd: McCain Needs To Flip Flop Some More
During the panel discussion on This Week after saying how awful he thinks Obama’s campaign financing flip flop will be for him, Matt Dowd goes on to say that at this late stage in the game McCain now needs to “distance himself from Bush on every issue”. When asked if that is impossible now Dowd responds that he’s better off flip flopping again and that he should go on a speaking tour that says “I’m not the President”….lol. Yeah I’m sure that will go over really well Dowd….geez. Obama’s “brand” is ruined according to him over this campaign finance crap that they’re all crying about like a bunch of spoiled kids on every single show this morning, but after running straight to Bush for months on end now McCain could get away with another few hundred flip flops and that would just be okie dokie with Dowd.
Apologize to the World Mr. Wallace and Return that Emmy
President Ahmadinejad Calls for Democracy, Free and Fair Elections and a Durable Peace.
Mike Wallace Interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 60 Minutes. At the request of the Iranian President Ahmadinejad, the FULL UNEDITED version was shown on C-SPAN. “The cable public affairs net will air the 60 Minutes edited version, followed by the full 90-minute interview, to give viewers a window on what is left on the cutting room floor.” – John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 8/11/2006
We can see what they cut out, a call for democracy. This is another example of Mainstream Media’s continuing suppression of basic facts concerning Israel and the Palestinians and other dramatic details related to the Middle East. It is a scandal for news editors to suppress the fact that democracy is being denied to people and that U.S. policy makers are behind the injustices. It is a scandal that the mainstream media suppresses the fact that the President of Iran is calling for democracy.
The text in red was edited out of the 60 Minutes broadcast:
MR. WALLACE: You are very good at filibustering. You still have not answered the question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be wiped off the map. Why?
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, don’t be hasty, sir. I’m going to get to that.
MR. WALLACE: I’m not hasty.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government and I have talked about the solution. The solution is democracy. We have said allow Palestinian people to participate in a free and fair referendum to express their views. What we are saying only serves the cause of durable peace. We want durable peace in that part of the world. A durable peace will only come about with once the views of the people are met.
So we said that allow the people of Palestine to participate in a referendum to choose their desired government, and of course, for the war to come an end as well. Why are they refusing to allow this to go ahead? Even the Palestinian administration and government which has been elected by the people is being attacked on a daily basis, and its high-ranking officials are assassinated and arrested. Yesterday, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament was arrested, elected by the people, mind you. So how long can this go on?
We believe that this problem has to be dealt with fundamentally. I believe that the American government is blindly supporting this government of occupation. It should lift its support, allow the people to participate in free and fair elections. Whatever happens let it be. We will accept and go along. The result will be as you said earlier, sir.
MR. WALLACE: Look, I mean no disrespect. Let’s make a deal. I will listen to your complete answers if you’ll stay for all of my questions. My concern is that we might run out of time.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, you’re free to ask me any questions you please, and I am hoping that I’m free to be able to say whatever is on my mind. You are free to put any question you want to me, and of course, please give me the right to respond fully to your questions to say what is on my mind.
Do you perhaps want me to say what you want me to say? Am I to understand —
MR. WALLACE: No.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: So if that is the case, then I ask you to please be patient.
MR. WALLACE: I said I’ll be very patient.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Maybe these are words that you don’t like to hear, Mr. Wallace.
MR. WALLACE: Why? What words do I not like to hear? [the words highlighted in red and edited out of the interview]
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Because I think that you’re getting angry.
MR. WALLACE: No, I couldn’t be happier for the privilege of sitting down with the president of Iran.
Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda says former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee should lead to impeachment hearings, the only way to force Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney to testify.
by Bruce Gagnon
June 21, 2008
It’s all about two things – power and money. Star Wars technology will give the U.S. “control and domination” of space and the Earth below as the Space Command planning document Vision for 2020 has outlined. On the second point the aerospace industry acknowledges that Star Wars will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth – necessitating near total control of the federal budget by the Pentagon.
Recently Col. Robert Suminsby Jr., commander of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico told community leaders that social spending is problematic because it is impacting the Air Force’s ability to buy new high-tech weapons systems.
“As a military officer, my big concern is fixing Social Security and Medicare,” Suminsby said. “If we don’t fix [defund] those things, there won’t be anything left for a defense budget.”
“There needs to be a national debate over what our priorities are,” Suminsby said.
On that last point Suminsby is correct – there needs to be a national debate. Except his vision of a national debate is different from ours. His vision is one where the military makes an order and the public and Congress snap to it and hand over the federal treasury to the Pentagon.
Our vision of a national debate is one that involves the grassroots citizens who talk about what real security means. Housing, food, education, energy, retirement, clean environment – these are the things that bring real security to the people. It’s like two trains heading for a collision course. One train is called Star Wars and the other is called social progress. Which do you pick?
The global day of fasting to Stop Star Wars on June 22 is one important way for the public to become involved in this debate. All over the world the U.S. is dragging the “allies” into Star Wars and active resistance to the insanity of an arms race in space is growing. But we must do more – and it must be done over and over again. [see video below]
Please don’t think for a minute that after June 22 we can pack up our protest signs and go home. This issue of space warfare will be the defining issue of our time. Will there be money for social progress all over the world or will our corporate dominated governments move our taxes into the hands of the global war machine?
We must call for the conversion of the military industrial complex. This campaign to keep space for peace also must become a campaign to end the madness of war – either on Earth or in the heavens.
June 22 Fast List – Not including the hundreds named at http://www.nonviolence.cz/
Beth Adams (Greenfield, Massachusetts)
Bittiandra Muddappa Aiyyappa (Mumbai, India)
Sven Andersen (Oviedo, Florida)
Bob Anderson (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Nancy Anderson (Las Cruces, New Mexico)
David Andersson (New York, New York)
Yolanda Andersson (New York, New York)
Dennis Apel (Guadalupe, California)
Eli Arlen (Brunswick, Maine)
Pat Arrowsmith (London, England)
Nancy Bartasavich (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Jean Basinger (Des Moines, Iowa)
John Baugher (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
Patricia Crawford Berg (Staten Island, New York)
Joan Saks Berman (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Pat Birnie (Tucson, Arizona)
Benay Blend (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Amaury Blondet (Mayagüez, Puerto Rico)
Rev. Bill Bliss (Bath, Maine)
Grace Braley (Portland, Maine)
Ivan Braun (New York, New York)
Sally Breen (Windham, Maine)
Kelli Brew (Gainesville, Florida)
Anna Maria Caldara (Bangor, Pennsylvania)
Maxine Caron (Byron Bay, Australia)
Sue Chase (Batesville, Virginia)
Aman Chauhan (India)
David W. Chipman (Harpswell, Maine)
Kathe Chipman (Harpswell, Maine)
Sung-Hee Choi (New York, New York)
Barbara Clancy (Stow, Massachusetts)
Lorna Clark (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Michael Connelly (Rochester, New York)
William Coop (Brunswick, Maine)
Jeremy Corbyn, MP (London, England)
Frank Cordaro (Des Moines, Iowa)
Margaret Willig Crane (New York, New York)
Nacyra Leila Gómez-Cruz (Veradera, Cuba)
Paul Cunningham (South Portland, Maine)
Hugh Curran (Surry, Maine)
Dave S. Cutler (Acton, Massachusetts)
Bob Dale (Brunswick, Maine)
Gail Daneker (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Robert Daniels II (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
Larry Dansinger (Monroe, Maine)
Lynn DeFilippo (Nome, Alaska)
Katy Delau (Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada)
Galina De Roeck (Tucson, Arizona)
Christine DeTroy (Brunswick, Maine)
Tony Dickinson (Leeds, England)
Mary Donnelly (Peaks Island, Maine)
Mike Donnelly (Peaks Island, Maine)
Chris Dove (Whitby, England)
Rev. Denis J. Dunn (Porter, Maine)
Aurel Duta (Bucharest, Romania)
MacGregor Eddy (Salinas, California)
Marjorie Swann Edwin (Santa Cruz, California)
Dan Ellis (Brunswick, Maine)
Lynn Ellis (Brunswick, Maine)
Corazon Valdez-Fabros (Manila, Philippines)
Dr Mrunalini Fadnavis (Nagpur, India)
Becky Farley (Damariscotta, Maine)
Jackie Fearnley (Goathland, England)
Yoriko Freed (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Sr. Barb Freemyer, RSM (Pueblo, Colorado)
Stacey Fritz (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Bruce Gagnon (Bath, Maine)
Lee Gagnon (Walpole, Massachusetts)
Sudhir Gandotra (India)
Joseph Gerson (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Anne Gibbons (New York, New York)
Sr. Carol Gilbert (Baltimore, Maryland)
Starr Gilmartin (Trenton, Maine)
Arlyne Goodwin (Naples, Florida)
Holly Gwinn Graham (Olympia, Washington)
Marc Grambert (New York, New York)
Matt Gregory (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Kevin Hall (Dunedin, Florida)
Maggie Hall (Dunedin, Florida)
Luke Hansen (Chicago, Illinois)
Amy Harlib (New York, New York)
Faith Harmony (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Kate Harris (Belfast, Maine)
Alanna Hartzok (Fayetteville, Pennsylvania)
Dorothy Hassfeld (Brunswick, Maine)
Tom Hastings (Portland, Oregon)
Suzanne Hedrick (Nobleboro, Maine)
Sr. Valerie Heinonen, O.S.U. (New York, New York)
Jenny Heinz (New York, New York)
Joann Henderson (Florence Oregon)
Stuart Henderson (Florence Oregon)
Dud Hendrick (Deer Isle, Maine)
Tensie Hernandez (Guadalupe, California)
Nancy Hill (Stonington, Maine) June 19-24
Amanda Hoag (Bath, Maine)
Mair Honan (Portland, Maine)
Jackie Hudson, OP (Bremerton, Washington)
Kate Hudson (London, England)
Connie Jenkins (Orono, Maine)
Molly Johnson (San Miguel, California)
Vicki Johnson (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Sally Jones (Staten Island, New York)
Carla Josephson (Rio Rancho, New Mexico)
Sr. Mary Jude Jun, OSU (St. Louis, Missouri)
Egbert Kankeleit (Darmstadt, Germany)
Nona Keel (Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada)
Ian Keith (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Natalie Kempner (Woolwich, Maine)
Bruce Kent (London, England)
Ron King (Penobscot, Maine)
Tom Kircher (Biddeford, Maine)
Eva Kratzert (Altamonte Springs, Florida)
Judy Kugler (Marietta, Georgia)
Dr. Dharmendra Kumar (India)
Dr. R. C. Kushwaha (India)
Steve Landon (Waldhof, ON, Canada)
Larry Landry (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Joanne Landy (New York, New York)
Steve Larrick (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Isolt Lea (Gainesville, Florida)
Louise Legun (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
Debbie Leighton (West Bath, Maine)
Jesse Lemisch (New York, New York)
Mary Dennis Lentsch (Oak Ridge, Tennessee)
Mark Lesseraux (New York, New York)
Dave Lewit (Boston, Massachusetts)
Bob Lezer (Freeport, Maine)
Mary Leonard, Mercy Associate (Pueblo, Colorado)
Suzanne Linton (White Bear Lake, Minnesota)
Gawain Little (Oxford, England)
Marie-Noel Lombard (Paris, France)
Matt Loosigian (Brunswick, Maine)
Tamara Lorincz (Halifax, NS, Canada)
Harry Loumeau (Tucson, Arizona)
Lew Lubka (Fargo, North Dakota)
Carla L. Rael-Luhman (Portales, New Mexico)
Eric Lynn (Walpole, Massachusetts)
Mahila Mahavidyalaya (Nagpur, India)
Deb Marshall (Little Dear Isle, Maine)
Rev. Sergio Samuel Arce-Martínez (Veradera, Cuba)
Helyne May (Windham, Maine)
Natasha Mayers (Whitefield, Maine)
Ed McCartan (Brunswick, Maine)
Geralyn McDowell (Troy, New York)
Laurie McGowan (Mochelle, NS, Canada)
Jane McKears (Birmingham, England)
Gloria McMillan (Tucson, Arizona)
Bernie Meyer (Olympia, Washington)
Karl Meyer (Nashville, Tennessee)
Carol Miller (Ojo Sarco, New Mexico)
John Miller (Blue Hill, Maine)
Peter Mitchell (Rochester, New York)
Damien Moran (Warsaw, Poland)
Ariana Mortello – 13 years old (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
Ellen Murphy (Bellingham, Washington)
Michael Murphy (Omaha, Nebraska)
Nicole Myers (New York, New York)
Emiko Nagano (New York, New York)
Laurie Shade-Neff (Las Cruces, New Mexico)
Doctress Neutopia (Tucson, Arizona)
Agneta Norberg (Stockholm, Sweden)
Nancy O’Byrne (St. Augustine, Florida)
Nancy Oden (Jonesboro, Maine)
Rev. Gerald Oleson (Bangor, Maine)
Jon Olsen (Jefferson, Maine)
Sr. Elaine Lopez Pacheco, RSM (Pueblo, Colorado)
Jeanne Pahls (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Nana Paldi (Fairbanks, Alaska)
James Palmer (Stetson, Maine)
W. B. Park (Altamonte Springs, Florida)
Rosalie Tyler Paul (Georgetown, Maine)
Terrence E. Paupp (San Diego, California)
Vincent Pawlowski (Tucson, Arizona)
Jewel Payne (Davis, California)
Lindis Percy (Harrogate, England)
Ricardo Peres (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Ilze Petersons (Orono, Maine)
Magda Philips (Whitby, England)
Tina Phillips (Brunswick, Maine)
Sr. Ardeth Platte (Baltimore, Maryland)
Laray Polk (Dallas, Texas)
Peter Pollard (York, England)
Bonnie Preston (Blue Hill, Maine)
Robert Rabin (Vieques, Puerto Rico)
Robert Randall (Brunswick, Georgia)
Susan Ravitz (Easton, Pennsylvania)
Phyllis Reames (Portland, Maine)
Kim Redigan (Dearborn Heights, Michigan)
Dennis Redmond (New York, New York)
Lilly Rendt (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Carla Rensenbrink (Topsham, Maine)
John Rensenbrink (Topsham, Maine)
Megan Rice (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Linda Richards (Corvallis, Oregon)
Emily Ricketts (Tucson, Arizona)
V. Bruce Rigdon (Chicago, Illinois)
Tim Rinne (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Bill Rixon (Freeport, Maine)
Judy Robbins (Sedgwick, Maine)
Peter Robbins (Sedgwick, Maine)
Chris Rooney (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Ellen Rowan (Deer Isle, Maine)
Jane Sanford (Belfast, Maine)
Deb Sawyer (Portland, Maine)
Janae Schewe (Orono, Maine)
Jason Schewe (Orono, Maine)
Nicole Scott (Shoreline, Washington)
Barbara Calvert Seifred (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Stan Serafin (Corrales, New Mexico)
Dr. Rajesh Sharma (India)
Robert Shetterly (Brooksville, Maine)
Ymani Simmons (Leicester, North Carolina)
Ms. Samm Simpson (Dunedin, Florida)
Father River Sims (San Francisco, California)
Robert M. Smith (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania)
Gareth Smith (Byron Bay, Australia)
Cathy Stanton (Melbourne, Florida)
Janie Stein (Salina, Kansas)
Melissa D. Stewart (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Tom Sturtevant (Winthrop, Maine)
Dr. Pawan Sudhir (India)
Mary Beth Sullivan (Bath, Maine)
Wayne Sumstine (Tucson, Arizona)
Silvia Swinden (London, England)
Arun Thankur (India)
Rev. Dr. Donald C. Thompson (Bradenton, Florida)
Don Thompson (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Sally-Alice Thompson (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Cynthia Tiedeman (Omaha, Nebraska)
John Tiedeman (Omaha, Nebraska)
Don Timmerman (Park Falls, Wisconsin)
Fran Truitt (Blue Hill, Maine)
Steve Tumolo (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Meredith Tupper (Springfield, Virginia)
Carol Urner (Portland, Oregon)
Juha Uski (Roskilde, Denmark)
Eric Verlo (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Karen Wainberg (Bath, Maine)
William Watts (San Francisco, California)
Dave Webb (Leeds, England)
Sytske Weidema (New York, New York)
Margaret Weitzmann (Potsdam, New York)
Chris Wells (New York, New York)
Elaine Wells (Omaha, Nebraska)
Mark Welsch (Omaha, Nebraska)
Jeanne Wheeler (Oahu, Hawaii)
Pat Wheeler (Deer Isle, Maine)
Molly Willcox (Westport, Maine)
Keith K. Williams (Windham, Maine)
Lynda Williams (Santa Rosa, California)
Mariah Williams (Liberty, Maine)
Loring Wirbel (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Michael Wisniewski (Los Angeles, California)
Peter Woodruff (Arrowsic, Maine)
Dr. Yogender Yadav (India)
Jerry Zawada, OFM (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Carolyn Ziffer (Bangor, Maine)
John Zokovitch (Gainesville, Florida)
Laurie Zolas (Bronx, New York)
Please sign the petition at www.nonviolence.cz
Video is no longer available.
April 12, 2008
This video was presented at the Global Network Annual Space Organizing Conference & Protest held April 11-13, 2008 in Omaha, Nebraska. Author: Dave Webb.
June 20, 2008
Unity on Immunity
Keith reports on the Democrats caving on the FISA bill today. John Dean weighs in.
The McClellan Testimony
Keith reports on Scott McClellan’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today. Dana Milbank weighs in.
John Cusack Interview
Keith talks to John Cusack about his McCain ads for MoveOn and his movie War Inc.
And the winner is….Paula Froelich. Runners up John Bolton and Chris Wallace.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
“Israel-Hamas Truce Takes Effect; Olmert Calls it ‘Fragile'” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Shalit’s Father: ‘Olmert Deceived Me'” IBA TV, Israel
“Israel’s Military Option Will Not Work in Gaza,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Congress Criticizes the Readniess of Afghan Forces,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Iraqi Forces Take Control in Amara,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Top US Diplomat Stoned in Lebanon,” NBN TV, Lebanon
“Lebanese Government in Limbo,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
Wexler Questions former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan in House Judiciary Committee on June 20, 2008.
Dennis Kucinich on the House floor arguing against the changes to FISA.
Sheila Jackson Lee Arguing Against Changes to FISA
Sheila Jackson Lee on the House floor arguing against the changes to FISA.
Jay Inslee Arguing Against Changes to FISA
Jay Inslee on the House floor arguing against the changes to FISA.
Nancy Pelosi Explaining Her Support of FISA Bill
Nancy Pelosi on the House floor explaining to the American public why we should now be using our Constitution as a piece of toilet paper.
June 20, 2008
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Rep. Conyers (D-MI) opening statement at the testimony of Scott McClellan
Rep. Nadler’s Questions for Scott McClellan
Rep. Conyers’ Questions to Scott McClellan