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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Monday, September 20, 2010

GAGA OVER GETTING IN THE MILITARY

Lady Gaga (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ) came to Portland, Maine today for a rally to put heat on our two Republican women senators as the vote to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) is fast approaching in the Senate.

Gaga, who is gay, told the thousands who appeared at the rally on very short notice, "Equality is the prime rib of America. Equality is the prime rib of what we stand for as a nation. And I don't get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat that my country has to offer."

As the large and diverse crowd was waiting for Lady Gaga to appear on stage a series of other speakers took to the podium. One speaker was Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) who voted for an amendment to kill DADT when it was tied to a military appropriations bill in the House of Representatives a few months ago. She told us later that she "had to" vote for the $159 billion war spending bill for 2011 in order to kill DADT.

The Democratic Party leadership is very slick about tying certain popular issues together with military spending packages.

"Our military is stretched very thin. The last thing we should be doing is kicking out skilled men and women who have volunteered to fight for their country. Last thing we should be doing, telling troops we've spent hundreds thousands to train, we just don't need you anymore," Pingree told the crowd.

"DADT threatens our national security ... It goes against the values our military embodies."

What values are those? Killing, torture, environmental destruction, illegal detention?

One other speaker told the throng of Gaga admirers that if he hadn't been kicked out of the military because he was gay, "I could have been flying planes over Iraq and Afghanistan."

There is the rub for me. I am opposed to kicking gays out of the military or any other place. Equality should be for everyone, sexual preference should not matter. Gays should be allowed to serve in the military like anyone else if they wish to do so.

But I am extremely uncomfortable with the dangerous trend to ignore the sordid reality of U.S. wars by those at this pep rally in Portland today. There was alot of over-the-top patriotic BS going on at that rally.

The comment by the man who claimed he could have been flying planes over Iraq and Afghanistan is but one example. One might want to ask him - just what are those planes doing? Delivering milk and bread?

I wonder if Lady Gaga has feelings about our war policy? I wonder if she feels at all conflicted about sending gay people to die in a resource war for the oligarchy? I wonder if the thousands who turned up in Portland today to catch a glimpse of Gaga ever wonder about that either?

Life can be so complicated.

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