Lucky Me, Unlucky Oceans

Two lucky things happened yesterday at Koohan Paik-Mander’s talk in Brunswick: she presented me with a copy of Pentagon, Climate Change, and War by Neta Crawford, inscribed by the author who she had just been on retreat with and 2) a seaweed harvester I’ve corresponded with, Larch Hanson, showed up. His timing was impeccable as I’m just preparing for a talk next month against a proposed rocket launch site on the Maine coast adjacent to Acadia National Park. 

Larch and his partner Nina Crocker had come quite a ways to hear Koohan and they were not disappointed.

I suppose it was three lucky things, actually, because Koohan’s talk was so good. I’d heard a version of it before when we worked together on a COP26 People’s Forum webinar about climate and militarism, but the in-person wisdom and additional information were  tremendously though- provoking.

Militarization of the oceans is no joke, is well underway, and creates wholesale slaughter of life forms — like the ocean mammals who seem in many ways wiser than humans. By killing off whales or coral reefs, the war machine may actually kill off life on the planet by interfering with the ocean’s basic functions e.g. its ability to sequester large amounts of carbon dioxide. 

And as we know, the heavens are now full of the satellites that are integral to modern weapons systems. Koohan described how every archipelago in the Pacific is infested with U.S. military installations, many brand new, and how the Pentagon is rapidly filling the oceans with sonar devices that will link up to satellites in order to threaten nuclear war on China. (Check out this radio interview  Koohan did with anti-nuclear activist Bob Anderson in New Mexico recently.)

A slide she shared mapped corporate entities’ plans to put satellites overhead for the next five years:

What could go wrong?

As to why meeting Larch was so lucky, he’s someone I’ve been needing and wanting to work with because he’s from the town being targeted for a rocket launch site. As was discussed in the Q&A at Koohan’s talk, launch sites all over the planet are part of the Pentagon’s plan for full spectrum dominance. From New Zealand to Kodiak, Alaska residents experience the noise, pollution, and habitat destruction of rocket launches that were never going to be for military purposes but then somehow always are used for military purposes.

Here’s an excerpt from the handout Larch shared with us about Steuben, Maine:

I look forward to generating more resistance to using the Maine coast for rocket launches. Bruce Gagnon and I will be speaking at the Common Ground Fair on Sunday September 24 at 9am and we’ve invited Larch to consider joining us as a co-presenter.

With islands around the northern hemisphere burning in the hottest summer yet, rocket launches from the rapidly warming waters off Maine are the next-to-last thing we need. 

WW3 with a nuclear-armed nation is the literal last thing we need and the furthest thing from lucky that I can imagine.

Koohan left us with some relevant lines from Alan Ginsburg’s epic poem “Howl“:

Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments! 

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Ukraine Narrative Fraying, But Weapons Will Continue To Flow

My photo of our vigil in Portland, Maine January 19, 2022

Some truth from official sources has begun leaking out: Ukraine is losing in the NATO proxy war against Russia. Two Polish officials said so, Condoleeza Rice in the Washington Post said so, and the mainstream/lamestream press began admitting it as well. The wrong conclusion is that more weapons will ensure Ukrainian victory, but that did not stop the U.S. and NATO from pledging more weapons.

Ukraine’s government has come a bit unraveled this week with key advisor Oleksiy Arestovych resigning and then being arrested and put on the Mirotvorets kill list for (accidentally?) admitting that Ukraine caused a Russian missile to go off course and fall on an apartment building killing 44 civilians in Dnipro. 

Then there was the mysterious crash of a helicopter carrying all the top officials of the Ministry of the Interior, an accident which killed all aboard plus some children from the kindergarten it fell on.

Next, the president of Ukraine addressed the World Economic Forum at Davos looking pale and strained and claiming to be uncertain whether the president of Russia is actually alive. (Cue the Twitter cocaine addict jokes. Of course substance use disorder is no joke for its sufferers, nor do most of us have any way of knowing if Zelensky is among them.)

But some things remain unchanged. Western cheerleaders of the war effort are falling all over themselves to pledge their support for “democracy” in a country that banned opposition parties and “free speech” in a country that banned the use of Russian, the first language spoken by many of its citizens. Ajamu Baraka’s essay in Black Agenda Report, “The Ukrainian Solidarity Network: The Highest Stage of White Western Social Imperialism” is well worth a read for the context to understand why alleged leftists are siding with the fascists at this time.

My photo of our vigil in Portland, Maine January 19, 2022

So, as part of a week of anti-imperialist and anti-war actions organized by members of UNAC for Martin Luther King, Jr. week (see the full list here) a hardy band of the unconfused stood in Portland, Maine yesterday at the evening commute.

We were on the second shift after a mid-day vigil in nearby Brunswick that occurs weekly. At that event a surprising number of passersby had expressed agreement with our anti-NATO stance remarking “Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe” or “Ukraine is full of Nazis” before the light changed and they drove away. This felt like a shift in public opinion, barely discernible but distinct from our past experiences with the public around this issue.

My photo of our vigil in Portland, Maine January 19, 2022

A few positive reactions in Portland were offset by a woman who rolled down her window to claim unspecified atrocities were happening at the hands of the Russian military and then shouted, “You should be ashamed!” before zooming off in her Tesla. Note: we were not ashamed to speak up for the truth as we understand it, Western propaganda on Ukraine notwithstanding.

I’m not sure when we’ll be back in Portland, but the hour-long vigil at 11:30am in front of the Tontine Mall in Brunswick will continue weekly for now.