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, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SPRING HAS SPRUNG - AT LEAST IN FLORIDA

The Baltimore Orioles at "spring training" in 1944

I made it to Florida and went to see the Orioles play the Minnesota Twins today. The O's lost 4-3 but it was a good game and I got to see alot of the new young guys play. I had a great seat under a large overhang in the stadium so I was in the shade which will help reduce my exposure to skin cancer. There was a nice breeze blowing - it actually kept one possible Oriole home run ball in the park. The game was attended by mostly aging men. Many of them could barely make it up to the top of the steps in section 13 where I was sitting. One old guy got to the top and started to fall backwards right in front of me but recovered just in time.

I got there two hours before the game started so I could see batting practice. Watching some of the old timers trying to get autographs from the players was as enjoyable as watching the game. Many of them still have that "little boy" look in their eyes. I had it too when I saw Mike Cuellar (the Cuban lefty), who is now probably in his late 60's, but at one time years ago was a great Orioles pitcher. He was in uniform today, brought to spring training to help the younger pitchers learn from one of the best.

My local hosts took me to a wonderful Indian restaurant for dinner this evening before we headed to a local Catholic church where I spoke to 25 people. The talk was filmed by Jeff Keating who I've known for many years and he intends to get it on Free Speech TV which airs nationally on the satellite dish channels. I also ran into a couple of other friends from long ago including Jim Worl who is about 86 years old but still goes to Haiti a couple times a year to help the people there.

I'm staying at the home of Linda Raymer, one of the great activists I worked with at the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice. I used to frequently organize peace walks up and down the state and Linda would always be there to join the walks. When we got home tonight after my talk I was looking through her photo album that recorded the Walk for the Earth that I organized some years ago. The 700-mile walk wangled its from the Everglades in South Florida all the way to Tallahassee in the north. It took seven weeks and Linda said she will always remember it as a highlight in her life. That is a beautiful thing to hear.

At 3:00 pm tomorrow I head for Portugal. No snow is expected there and I doubt I will see any baseball either. I do expect quite an interesting trip and in an email from folks there they said they have arranged to send me north and south of Lisbon to meet with activists who will show me around and also arrange for meeting with local media. I'll keep you posted.

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