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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


  • I took a heart stress test yesterday after a recent annual physical revealed a sketchy EKG.  My doc sent me to a cardiologist who ran the tests.  I seemed to do well on the treadmill (no chest pains or shortness of breath).  The disconcerting part was when they shot a radioactive solution into my veins so they could test my heart function.  I learn more next week when the cardiologist reviews the results with me.  I glowed in the dark all night - looked like a neon street sign.
  • I must begin in earnest today wrapping up our next Global Network Space Alert newsletter.  It's going to be more graphic and pictorial than past editions.  
  • I had a call last night from Mark Swaney in Arkansas.  We've been friends since the early 1980's in Orlando, Florida.  He was working as an engineer back then at Martin Marietta (before it merged into Lockheed Martin) and called me one day to say he wanted to quit and could I help him.  Having never met Mark I got right to the point and asked him if he'd like to hold a news conference and announce his resignation from the military industrial complex due to moral issues with building Patriot nuclear missiles.  He said yes so I organized the news conference and he spoke out publicly.  In those days the local media thought those kinds of stories were worthy of coverage - especially in a right-wing military town like Orlando.  Mark eventually moved to Arkansas where he became a key leader in the Green Party.  Last night he told me that the AFL-CIO endorsed him last time he ran for office.  He said that the Democrats are doing nothing for the progressive community anymore in his state.  Some of the constituency groups are finally waking up.
  • The Washington Post has an attack dog columnist that uses humor, razor blades, cynicism, and irony to beat up on his victims.  His name is Dana Milbank and he went to Yale University where he was a member of the Skull & Bones Secret Society (just like the Bush family and Sen. John Kerry among other notables).  In his latest piece he cuts up the left and Occupy declaring the end of the movement.  Milbank's job is to mock and humiliate his targets and he does a fine job of it.  The oligarchy places their operatives in all the right places and this Skull & Bones member knows his job.  The oligarchy has its boot on the necks of the 99% and mocks us for being slow to push the boot away.


Blogger Sophia Scholar said...

Keep the faith, Bruce. I was diagnosed with an aortic heart murmur requiring surgery but the cardiologist told me my heart was so weak (LV EF = 27%] that no surgeon would touch me. I went south, had a heart attack in 10 weeks, drove myself to the hospital with rapid-onset pleural edema, spent the weekend in an ICU, had a chemical stress test which "straight-lined" me, they revived me, and sent me to the OR the next morning for emergency aortic valve replacement. In the OR, they left a bleeder, and had to open me up again to sew me up again, and I had a nearly-complete left hemiplegic motor stroke: I could not move my left leg at all, and my left arm only 2". I went to the rehab unit for 8 weeks, recovered, had a pacemaker inserted, and four years later have totally recovered with an LV EF of 50%+ and no cognitive or non-motor deficits. I am fully ambulatory, active, typing, cooking, going out of the house, etc.

6/20/12, 12:59 AM  

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