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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

HIKING THE WILD AND TAMED COAST

Mary Beth and I just returned from a weekend visiting friends in Deer Isle, about three hours north. They have a nice cottage next to their home and we arrived on Friday evening just in time for a dinner party they were hosting. The weather turned fierce just 10 minutes from their home as the wind dramatically picked up and a freezing rain turned the roads into a sheet of ice. All night long the wind and cold rain continued to lash the windows with their angry howls.

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day and we went for an hour long walk along the woody and rocky coastline of Deer Isle. Many very wealthy people have summer homes on Deer Isle and come to Maine for one or two months in the summer. The rest of the year people who live there year-round go for walks along their well manicured hiking trails on the large land holdings. The spot our hosts, Dud and Jean Hendrick, picked for us was one remarkable place. The owners, wealthy people from the west coast, have literally paid to have their woods cleaned out to the point that acres and acres look like a city park. Long stone walls have been built, a huge swimming pond created, large tracts of trees cut down and pastures for sheep created. It was staggering to contemplate the sheer cost of doing this cosmetic turning of the wild coast of Maine into such a tamed place. It made me think hard about the fact that some people have way too much money on their hands.

Following the walk MB and I took took a very hot sauna at the cottage where we were staying. I can't remember being so relaxed after the warm shower taken in the cold air outside of the sauna. It was easy to fall asleep once dried off and laying down.

On Saturday evening we all went to the the film Kite Runner at a historic theatre in nearby Stonington. The film, which I was told closely follows the book, was very heart wrenching for me as I witnessed the total destruction of the Afghanistan nation and culture. The "oil" word was never mentioned in the film but anyone who closely follows the issues in the region knows that the invasion by the former Soviet Union and the current U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is all about securing the country so that pipelines can move Caspian Sea oil south to ships in the Arabian Sea.

Just days ago we were all made aware of the latest death toll figures for Iraq since 2003, over one million now dead, and last night the emotion of this genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan so oil can be controlled and shipped washed over me with the intensity of the howling freezing wind and rain the night before.

Following the film we all stopped by the local American Legion hall for a fundraising dance that was to benefit a local fishing conservation organization but the crowd was sparse and we left after a couple spins on the dance floor. I was in no mood to dance. A beer? Yes, I could handle that. It helped loosen the knot in my throat.

This morning, after breakfast, Jean and Dud told wonderful stories about their days as Bed and Breakfast Inn operators on Deer Isle. Jean also played music by Dan Fogelberg who was a longtime customer at their Inn and who had a summer house on Deer Isle. Fogelberg recently died at home from prostate cancer and Jean helped his wife in the moments immediately after his death.

We took one last long walk this morning, along the coastline of another wealthy summer residents hiking trail, and then headed back home to Bath.

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