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: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

MORE ON O'BUMMER - SOUND THE ALARM


Here is another comment, from a Maine CodePink activist this time, in response to my request for reflections on our new president.

The same day I clicked on your blog and saw Barack Obama in a USMC t-shirt playing some basketball, I saw the breaking news story that a Marine recruiter in San Pedro, CA (my old town) had been arrested for pimping a 14 year old girl to two teen aged potential recruits. Nice work, all at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

Obama had the following to say when appointing a new secretary of the Army yesterday: "... keeping the American people safe demands keeping our armed forces strong..."

Is this the change that many voted for? The third sentence in the quote is a boilerplate talking point that could just as easily have issued from the mouthpiece of Bush Jr., Bush Sr., Cheney, etc.

In America we avoid political discussions because if we don't, relationships with our family and friends may be rendered asunder. I have many well-meaning friends and family who consume mainstream media only. They think listening to NPR is better than listening to Fox News, but this false dichotomy is analogous to thinking that Barack Obama is better than John McCain as president. It may actually be worse, because it allows them to pretend that Afghanistan is "the good war," that they are progressive, against "bad" wars, in favor of universal health care, and so on. Especially, it allows them to ignore the robot drones that President Obama has ordered to bomb civilians, burning up children in their beds at night. It allows them to ignore the fact that single-payer health care advocates aren't allowed to testify during congressional hearings on health care reform. It allows them to ignore...anything that might cause them to rise up and educate themselves about what's really going on. While consuming headlines like "What Nancy Reagan has to say about Obama" and "Obama calls on Congress for swift action on health care."

Noam Chomsky said to hold our noses and vote for Obama, because the alternative could lead swiftly to WW III.

I sure hope he was right.
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So it appears that CodePink gets it....just wish that the MoveOn folks and the mainstream Democrats could develop the perspective that true citizenship is not just about being a "cheerleader" for the person in the White House. I saw an interview with Jesse Jackson yesterday where he was recalling that even though JFK had been elected president, Martin Luther King Jr. still expanded the civil rights movement protests, including the historic march on Washington, because he understood that you must create outside street pressure on the whole government if you wish to move things along.

But right now it's heading the other direction as "liberals" still give Obama a pass as the evidence mounts that he is clearly a captive of corporate interests. Another "brick in the wall" is the news that Obama gave the green light to 42 more mountaintop coal removal permits. So besides his betrayal of environmentalists on climate change his new EPA director is caving on coal strip mining that has catastrophic environmental consequences.

I am heading to a Portland Sea Dogs (farm team of Boston Red Sox) baseball game at noon today. Got free tickets from a friend and hope to distract myself for two hours from the sad state of affairs here in the America of my birth. Sadly though it won't completely work as my "sociological mind" will see something that will trigger me to reflect on the current oligarchy control in our country.

One positive thing I can leave you with though is news from England. They are having a huge scandal there about their elected officials taking all kinds of financial "benefits" and MP's are resigning left and right. European union elections are soon to be held and the public disgust is go great that the Green Party is up to 15% in the polls which would mean they could win seats in the EU parliament from the UK. So slowly the worm turns.

Until next time, get the lantern fired up - and remember - one if by land, two if by sea. Sound the alarm before it is too late.

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