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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TRAVEL PTSD

The concert last night was wonderful. Ray Davies was really special. The first half of the show he played an acoustic set with his lead guitar player accompanying him. Then the second half they cranked it up and the theatre (nearly sold out with about 1,100 people) was rockin. I thought the second half was too loud but I am getting older now and my hearing is beginning to fade. His lyrics are so great that I'd prefer to hear them over the noise....but rock stars don't listen to me. (See The Kinks below doing their classic song "Low Budget".)

By the time the show was over we had missed our bus back to Maine so we took the subway to the home of Mary Beth's brother who lives in Boston. Then this morning we got on the bus but it broke down just after we crossed into Maine. So we sat on I-95 for an hour while the bus company sent another bus to pick us up. I told MB that I am now suffering from travel PTSD...every trip I have been on lately has been delayed due to maintenance problems.

This is a symbol to me of the broken nature of the physical and human infrastructure of America. The corporations are disinvesting in the country....the airlines are skimping on repairs (MB heard a story on the radio the other day how the airlines now fly their planes to El Salvador for their regular maintenance checks and a worker was saying they are short staffed and pushed hard to get the repairs done fast. They often fudge on the parts.)

Everywhere you go you these days you see disheveled workers who appear to be fed up and disinterested. The levels of exploitation of the workers and consumers is rising daily.

Reading the Boston Globe on the bus today a front page story entitled "Push to curb credit-card rates fades" reported, "Efforts in Congress to cap credit-card interest rates are faltering because of opposition from Democrats and a lack of specific support from the White House, despite growing consumer outrage over a rush by banks to impose rates as high as 30%.

"During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama vowed to back a strict limit on credit-card interest rates. But the White House is not yet behind any particular plan this year."

Don't hold your breath....V-P Joe Biden comes from Delaware which is HQ to many credit card companies....Biden refused to comment for the news story.

While at South Station in Boston I bought a new book called Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution by Woody Holton. The book outlines the basic story that the "founding fathers", all white men of wealth, wanted a federal government with the ability to impose taxes because at the time the 13-founding states were passing laws that favored small farmers and the poor. According to Holton, "What these men were saying was that the American Revolution had gone too far. Their great hope was that the federal convention would find a way to put the democratic genie back in the bottle. Alexander Hamilton, the most ostentatiously conservative of the convention delegates, affirmed that many Americans - not just himself - were growing 'tired of an excess of democracy.' "

There can be no doubt today that the corporate fat cats, the descendants of the "founding fathers" if you will, are doing all they can to drown "democracy" by controlling the media and the government. They are massively accumulating wealth and leaving the great unwashed public to fend for themselves as the economy collapses and basic services falter.

The song "Low Budget" really is the right metaphor for these present times.

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