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

Saturday, December 01, 2007

HEADING WEST INTO SETTING SUN

Mary Beth was released from the hospital today in Orlando about 4:00 pm and after a short visit with my sister Laura, who will remain in the hospital until early next week, we made our way west on I-4 to Sarasota.

As I drove west, with MB laying down in the back seat, the setting sun put on quite a show. The full orange sun, looking so big and brilliant, was right in front of us as if showing us the way. My first reaction was to remember that our Mother Earth is just a tiny orb flying through space. I tried to look past all the rushing cars, the big highways, the neon lights, and the buildings on either side of the road. All I wanted to think about was that I am just another person in the great span of time living here on our planet. I am just a speck in time, a grain of sand on the ocean floor, and what an incredible gift our short lives really are. Long before the modern distractions the people spent much time reflecting on their place in the universe. We do little of that today.

We are staying at the home of MB's brother Jimmy in Sarasota. He owns two restaurants in the community and spends much time dealing with keeping them running. We will largely have the house to ourselves as MB's sister-in-law Anna moved to Arizona to help create a health spa with her sisters near the Mexico border. Jimmy is now trying to sell their house in Sarasota but the housing market is slow these days.

Our time here will be spent with MB resting and taking short walks trying to rebuild her stamina after the operation. The weather is in the low 80's here and we heard today that snow is expected back in Maine this weekend. After having lived for 30 years in Florida I can say with all sincerity that I'd rather be in Maine shoveling snow but here is where we are for now.

We will stay here until the end of next week when we have to return to Orlando for MB's final check up before we can return to Maine.

Laura is doing very well, it appears that the new kidney is working quite nicely, and her spirits are high. Her room is filled with visitors and today our cousin Claudia who lives on Florida's east coast was visiting so it was nice to briefly see her before we left.

I will spend my time keeping up with my emails and working on doing an update to my book that was published in 2005. I've already identified some of my writings from the past two years that I want to put in the book and will need to edit them. I've run out of books, having sold 1,000 so far, and thought it made sense to bring the book up-to-date before getting more copies printed. All proceeds from the book go to the Global Network.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

OBSERVATIONS FROM INSIDE FLORIDA HOSPITAL

I am writing from Mary Beth's room in Florida Hospital in Orlando using my sister Laura's laptop. The kidney operations went very well yesterday and both patients are doing very well today.

Mary Beth is up and walking around a bit and just ate a regular meal. I would say she will be out of here in 24-36 hours and then we will go to her brother's house in Sarasota, Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. We have to hang around Florida for 9 more days as the doctors want her close so they can check her out before we return home on Dec 9. Obviously she is still very sore and has a way to go.

My sister Laura, now in the Intensive care ward, is doing very well with her new healthy kidney. Doctors are already saying she is ahead of schedule and she is showing signs of her old happy and playful self. Many of her friends were in the waiting room during her surgery and on Saturday they are playing a party of sorts for her in her hospital room.

The hospital is totally on wifi so have been able to keep up with email while here.

Last night MB and I watched the Republican debate from Florida. This evening we've been watching news coverage of that debate. The most memorable moment in the debate for me was when Rudy Giuliani said that he'd deal with America's massive debt by doing across the board cuts in all government agencies. He also said he'd enact a hiring freeze and not replace retiring workers. "One worker could then do the job of two or three people, just like the corporate world is doing," he said. That one got my attention. Wage slavery I think they call it.

The experience here of seeing MB get incredible care reinforces my belief in the need for national health care for all - single payer health care. MB has a very bad and expensive health care plan in Maine. Luckily Laura's health coverage is paying for the entire kidney transplant. But it makes me think of all the poor and working people out there with no medical coverage. (People like me for example. I've had to drop my health insurance because it has gone up 20% each year for the past 4 years and why pay so much for a $15,000 deductible? It was basically worthless to me.)

We now have 48 million people in the country without any health care today. That is totally unacceptable. Sadly, no one outside of Dennis Kucinich in the presidential horse race is talking about true national health care.

The public must come alive and rattle their chains while they still can. The sheep must come alive.

Monday, November 26, 2007

BUSH COMPOUND GOES WITH WIND

The Bush family compound at Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine now has a windmill. They expect to provide all their electricity needs with the windmill and sell excess generating capacity back to the power company.

My first reaction when I heard of this is that the Bush crew knows that the crash is coming and are preparing for it. They know that oil prices are going to skyrocket and that there are going to be more and more electrical power interruptions. Maybe their plan to attack Iran has motivated them to put the windmill in as many people are predicting that the attack would lead to severe disruptions of oil flow to the U.S.

Anyway you cut it the truth is that the rich are preparing themselves for the coming economic hard times. They can afford to make these changes while most working class and poor people will be left to their own devices.

We all need to be calling on our state and local governments today to invest in alternative power technologies now while they can. If they have any questions about the practicality, just have them check with the Bush family in Maine.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

GIFT GIVING

Mary Beth (left) took off for Florida today where she is scheduled, on Nov 28, to give my sister Laura (right) a kidney. Laura has been suffering from kidney disease for many years and was told last year that she needed to find a donor or face a future of living on dialysis machines.

Laura asked me if I'd consider giving her a kidney and I immediately said yes. We discovered that our blood would not be compatible. Then Mary Beth thought it over and offered to be checked out as a suitable donor. Amazingly she turned out to be a perfect match for Laura. After extensive tests, which all came back positive, the operation was set.

I will head to Florida on Nov 27 to be there in time for the operation. After a couple days in the Orlando hospital for recovery Mary Beth and I will travel further south to Sarasota to stay at the home of her brother for more recovery time. The doctors need to see Mary Beth 10 days after the operation to ensure that everything is in working order. We expect to be back to Maine again on December 9.

It's a big deal to give someone one of your organs while you are still alive. Mary Beth has done an extraordinary job of preparing herself mentally and spiritually for this gift giving. Being that she is doing it in order to literally save my sister's life makes it even more special.

I should be able to post on the blog while down in Florida. My role will of course be one of nurturing and supportive after care.

Keep Mary Beth and Laura in your prayers.