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, March 17, 2005

STRONG ROOTS IN NATURE

Three peace activists I spoke with today were depressed. Seriously depressed. Bush victories on virtually every front are wearing people down. Black activist and author Cornell West talks about it in his recent book, Democracy Matters, and suggests that white folks are going to have to learn to deal with the blues. Blacks have been dealing with the disappointment and betrayal of a rotten system for hundreds of years. Black folks know disillusionment. That's why they sing the blues. Sing 'em and keep on pushing. In the book West talks about the shallow materialism at home and racist militarism abroad but still finds hope in all the activity that is happening around the country to resist these sad realities.

I went snow shoeing today in the woods behind my house with my co-worker Jessica Eller. It was a cool sunny day and the snow is so clean and wonderful. Without snow shoes yesterday, when I tried to take the dogs for a walk, I was up to my knees in the snow and could not keep going. I borrowed the snow shoes from a neighbor today so we could go enjoy the power and beauty of the woods.

In my moments of despair I find relief in nature. It is my church. The old trees know the stories of harsh winter and bending winds. They have learned to find the light in a crowded woods which chokes out the saplings that can not find the sun. Nearby at the ocean I know the tide will go out but nature tells me it will also come back in again.

The news is mostly bad these days. The winter is harsh and the tide is out. It feels like the world will never change, there is little hope. But when I really quiet myself down I can see the signs of spring coming. Slowly the snow is melting and the tide will come thundering in again.
If I just remember that, I can do my work and not let the bad news take me down. I can't let myself go down now. I need to be standing at this important time. My deep roots must cling to the Earth to ensure survival for another season of living.

2 Comments:

Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

The always interesting VDH weighs in ..
http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200503180754.asp

At first glance, all this wild rhetoric is preposterous. Hitler hijacked an elected government and turned it into a fascist tyranny. He destroyed European democracy. His minions persecuted Christians, gassed over six million Jews, and created an entire fascistic creed predicated on anti-Semitism and the myth of a superior Aryan race.

Whatever one thinks of Bush’s Iraqi campaign, the president obtained congressional approval to invade and pledged $87 billion to rebuild the country. He freely weathered mass street demonstrations and a hostile global media, successfully defended his Afghan and Iraq reconstructions through a grueling campaign and three presidential debates, and won a national plebiscite on his tenure.

In a world that is almost uniformly opposed to the democratic Jewish state, Israel has no better friend than Bush, who in turn is a believer in, not a tormentor of, Christianity. Afghanistan and Iraq, with 50 million freed, have elected governments, not American proconsuls, and there is a movement in the Middle East toward greater democratization — with no guarantee that such elected governments will not be anti-American. No president has been more adamantly against cloning, euthanasia, abortion, or anything that smacks of the use of science to predetermine super-genes or to do away with the elderly, feeble, or unborn.

in such a debased climate, it was no accident that Alfred A. Knopf published a novel, Checkpoint, about musing how to kill Bush. Nor was it odd to hear of a New York play, “I’m Gonna Kill the President,” apparently centered around killing Bush. Late last year, a columnist in the Guardian, Charles Brooker, wrote to his British readers on the eve of the election :

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?

All this venom is not so funny when we now witness a Saudi American young man, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, currently under indictment for allegedly planning just such a murder. After all, when it becomes a cheap and easy thing to compare a president to a century’s great criminal, then it becomes even cheaper and easier to dream — or plan — to kill him.

At some point a Gore, Byrd, or Soros has a moral responsibility not to employ [the] Nazi analogy, if for no other reason than to prevent unleashing even greater extremism by the unhinged.

3/18/05, 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For years, I could not understand why the German people, or any people for that matter, could fall for the propaganda and support the III Reich and its ultimate devastion of Europe. I read the history of that era and its leaders attempting to learn how seemingly normal human beings could be reduced to such barbarism. Seeing the rise to power of the Neo Conservatives and the acceptance, as a matter of patriotic duty, their misbegotten program which masquerades as statesmanship, leaves me with no doubts at all how Hitler sized power and fomented the disaster of WWII.

Our government, at any level, down to the local school board, has no meaningful accountability for its acts; no redress of grievances as gauranteed by our Consitution. We have secret police, loyalty oaths, and even a Schutz Staffel. We are stopped at check points and asked for our papers. I pray that people of good will can see that the elements of fascism are firmly in place in our once free America.

Millions of people profess the Christian faith, but do not practice its tenets. One cannot support violence and war as a policy and claim to be behaving in accordance with the teachings of Christ. Using Jesus as an example, we see clearly that to take a stand against the status quo results in rejection and death administered by those whose interests are thereby called into question.

Thus spake Zarathustra

3/21/05, 5:25 PM  

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