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

Friday, February 13, 2009

MISFITS & A DEBATE ON THE LEFT

Enjoy The Kinks.

I'm off to a meeting. More later.............................

I'm back and strongly suggest you read this article by John Judis called End The Honeymoon:
Why the left is to blame for the lackluster stimulus and bank bailout
.

He is editor of The New Republic which is a "liberal" publication that I usually would not give much time to. But in this instance he is right on. He makes a strong case that the "left" in the US is in the bag and should be pushing Obama hard on all the issues we face today. It's worth reading or watching below:



Here is another version of the same basic message written by Chris Floyd called Shock Absorbers: Progressives Stunned by Obama Non-Surprises.

And another point of view from Chris Bowers at Open Left with a piece called We are not a Movement.

This is a crucial debate starting up about how we should now be organizing and whether or not we should be critical or accommodationist with Obama. This debate needs to multiply rapidly amongst grassroots activists.

I read an article last night, written by old friend Tom Santoni from St. Augustine, Florida, that was a real personal testimony of a true activist. Tom called for the impeachment of Obama. This was not a light-headed rant but a real serious reflection on his own desire to be consistent. He said that if he was going to hold Bush to account for crimes against humanity, like killing innocent civilian people with US military drones, then he had to do the same with Obama who just a couple days into office sent the military drones into Pakistan (a sovereign nation). These unmanned aerial vehicles killed some number of children and other innocent folks.

I wrote Tom and told him that I totally supported his position. I was on the street when Clinton was killing people in Yugoslavia, in Iraq, in Haiti, and other places. Few other activists joined us during those days. They did not want to offend other Democrats or offend organizational donors who were Democratic party loyalists.

You can't have a movement that holds power accountable and be a party functionary at the same time. Sometimes you have to fish or cut bait.

What do you think?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Andy Caffrey the Virtual Candidate said...

It seems to me that because science shows us that we had to reduce our fossil fuel usage 80% below 1990 levels by 2005 (EPA, IPCC, Woods Hole according to David Suzuki in 1990) that a Green New Deal should be acceptable only if it gets us pack to 280 ppm ASAP (the normal interglacial high of the last 700,000 years–We're approaching 390 ppm.)

It's like the Asian tsunami: it doesn't matter if you were running in the right direction away from the beach. Your Brownie points wouldn't do you any good. If you didn't start to flee early enough and get far enough away in time, you were just as dead as those who stayed on the beach drinking beer.

Likewise with going solar, driving hybrids, and keeping within the constraints of some kind of green capitalism, if nature is telling us we have to turn away from global trade and create bioregional sustainability by four years ago because green capitalism can't run on 1/10 of our current consumption of fossil-fuel energy by, say, 2020.

We are prisoners of physics, after all.

2/13/09, 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Andy Caffrey the Virtual Candidate said...

A Battle Cry to my Fellow Activists to Focus on the Climate Crisis

We're now learning as a nation and as a species that we humans can't manage our money, our global economy.

Fifty percent of the Earth's biomass is tamed and dedicated to human consumption. How can anyone be considered credible who argues that we can run nature? Are we going to bet our lives and those of our children–and all future humanity, and all future evolution of life on Earth–on them being right?

Obviously we have to retract the entire overall impact of humans on the rest of nature. We can and must assist in restoring nature's capacity to run itself as wilderness. This is called restoration.

Most of us can't even manage the tiniest responsibilities for running our own bodies properly in wellness. In fact billions of us fail in doing so in major ways. That is called dishealth.

Most of the responsibility for running our bodies is entirely subsconscious and so "done for us." Just imagine if you had to consciously direct all of the systems of your body 24/7: immune system, reproductive system, tearing your eyes, clearing your throat, shedding off dying skin, growing your toe nails and all of your body hair, repairing DNA damage, getting over hangovers, creating and excreting your own crap.

Then magnify that massively complex responsibility to something the size and complexity of the earth.

Then picture Jesse Helms running it.

... then pick yourself up off the ground and collect your thoughts.

The only stimulus plan any nation can thus morally consider is one that redirects as much of our financial resources and humanized infrastructure–as fast as humanly possible–to creating bioregionally stable, locally directed, secure & sustainable economies everywhere.

That means in a matter of years, not decades. And the Climate Crisis offers us the opportunity, as a guide for us to see exactly how much of our societies we must change and how fast.

And that is to reduce our atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to 280 ppm.

As fast as humanly possible.

It's just like clearing a coastline when a tsunami is coming. It doesn't matter if you were evacuating in the right direction. If you don't get out and in time, you're just as dead as the guy who stayed in his beach chair to drink a beeer and watch the whole thing come down on him.

If we do not reach 280 PPM fast enough, the stability of Earth's human life-support systems will fail. If we do not reach 280 ppm, all of Earth's coastlines will be inundated and billions will die. If that happens, human civilization will fail.

That is the threshold that as an activist and organizer (and Congressional Candidate) I am fighting to keep us from crossing. It's what I've been fighting for my entire life. If civilization fails, all of our nukes will fail, and the survivors of humanity will rip the last patches of biodiversity to shreds.

We will probably have a greater destructive impact on the planet than an asteroid.

Especially if the energy systems of the biosphere feedback together to trigger a runaway greenhouse effect and the entire atmosphere loses the ability to support any life on land or surface waters. The Earth becomes the planet of the lonely deep sea vent creatures.

It's time to get focused. Do you want to help me?

Everything else now is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Everything else is keeping you a part of The Great Distraction.

Hey, it'll be a lot of fun to do this, too,


Andy Caffrey

2010 Candidate for Congress from Ecotopia (CA, 1st District)

http://www.myspace.com/virtualcandidate

http://www.youtube.com/VirtualCandidate

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/earthfirstalert

and you can look me up at Facebook

You can mail a contribution to:

P.O. Box 324
Redway, CA 95560

2/13/09, 9:44 PM  

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