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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


MB and I with our favorite gals at the Addams-Melman House yesterday.  We were looking at the new book called "Even Aliens Need Snacks"

Our neighbors house grows icicles

  • MB works for an organization that runs a homeless shelter/soup kitchen in Portland.  It's a 45-minute drive from here.  In Maine jobs are few and far between so people have to move around to work.  She must be "on call" during the holidays because her turn came up in the supervisor’s rotation.  So last night, Christmas night, at 12:30 she was woken by the beeper signaling her that she had to respond to a situation.  Someone in one of the programs didn't show up for the late shift.  So MB drove to Portland, worked all night, and then came home about 7:00 am to sleep before leaving again just after noon to go back to work today on her own job.  This is the kind of life that social workers are being hammered with as cutbacks in jobs and social program funding is flooding the homeless shelter with new desperate folks.  Not many people want to, or can, handle working in that environment. I wish the social workers national association was stronger in publicly defending their members and the people they struggle to serve.
  • One reason that there is no money around is because of all the corruption going on in Washington and at the state capitals.  Both Republicans and Democrats are so indebted for the campaign donations given by Mr. Big that they must in return hand back massive funds to the corporate oligarchy.  They rob Peter to pay Paul.  And how do those "leaders" fight for the people who are being robbed?  Meekly and miserably....... and of course they keep the military production lines humming at all cost.  Even the liberals in Congress are on their knees before the mighty sword and crown.  The peasants are left to fend for themselves in their crumbling communities. 
  • Our friend Selma Sternlieb (a wonderful editor) lives in nearby Brunswick and sent an email around this morning illustrating one version of corporate welfare.  Here it is:
The federal government paid millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies to 50 billionaires who had interests in megafarms*** at the same time that Congress cut 5 million people off of food stamps.
  • Welfare doesn't have a bad name when Mr. Big grabs his bling.  They even dare say they are creating jobs for the people.  It's all a hoax and the word is out - Mr. Big is done - but it only happens if we all do it together. Each using their particular skills and contacts to bring on the non-violent revolution. It's the 3rd way we've all been looking for - power to the people from home to the top of the hill.  Call it socialism, communism, anarchy, christianity, feudal cooperative culture - it doesn't really matter to me.  Capitalism doesn't work for the people and the current mess, is to a large extent, a result of spiritual breakdown - our connection to Mother Earth has been severed by the bulldozers and the addiction to the green frog skins.  We've got to repair the sacred web.
  • I continue to be intrigued by the new pope story.  I posted one video below about the bling priest in Germany who just got fired (or relocated) due to spending $40 million on his private palace.  Not the kind of story you necessarily want to come out at Christmas time.  After all Jesus got nailed to the cross for taking on the empire and Rome's now got priests and bishops on the loose.  Maybe if nuns could share power with men in the church there might be a faster consciousness raising within the flock and the hierarchy.  Until they get rid of all the gold, jewels, and cash they are holding and do more for the poor I've got little patience for the institution.  One local perennial Republican candidate for Congress (who never wins) wrote an interesting Op-Ed the other day defending the pope's recent critiques of capitalism.  The conservative maintained that the pope has a long record of opposing the left wing.  He's merely helping capitalism survive by forcing them to deal with their greedy warts and such.  Kind of a globalized version of FDR saving his greedy capitalist peers during the Great Depression here in the USA. On it goes.  The great unraveling......all things must pass.


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