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

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.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

New Advice Column: 'Dear Commie'

A new feature here on Organizing Notes will be this periodic 'Advice Column' called 'Dear Commie' as suggested by a reader.  So feel free to send in your questions and they will be entered into the hopper and responded to as time and space permits.

  • Dear Commie: I’m depressed about the world and wonder what should I do?  

Dear Depressed: Take two aspirin and stick your head in the sand or try watching Fox News for awhile – that should help.  If not keep pushing the rock up the hill – at the very least it is good exercise.

  • Dear Commie: I’ve been arguing with my neighbor again about Obama – is he right when he says that our president is a socialist?  

Dear Obama Fan: No Obama is not a socialist - he is a corporatist. It's time we all learned the difference.

  • Dear Commie: Don’t you ever worry about what people think of you?  I mean you being a commie and all that…. aren’t you concerned that you will lose friends and not be invited to holiday parties?  

Dear Worried: My neighbor works for the military industrial complex but seems to watch my public access TV show and is always friendly.  Actually I’m glad I never get invited to any of the holiday parties - so boring, they rarely talk about anything interesting.

  • Dear Commie: I see you must like Putin because you are the only blogger I know who does not trash him all the time.  

Dear Putinized: The Indians said put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming.  In my reading of history when I see certain leaders get demonized the next step is a US sponsored invasion or a coup d'état .  Do the names Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Mohammad Mosaddegh, Patrice Lumumba, Jacobo Árbenz, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Bashar al-Assad mean anything to you?
  • Dear Commie: Look, if everything you say is true, then why should we bother fighting against a stacked deck?  I agree that the corporations run the show in Washington and around the world.  How can we compete with that?  My thinking is we go along and get along and enjoy the ride as long as we can.  Why do you keep messing with all this – its futile?  

Dear Give Up: One simple expression should explain it – I am stubborn as hell.

  • Dear Commie: I’m not much of a football fan, even though I did grow up thinking of my hometown Baltimore Colts as superheroes. It didn’t occur to me at the time how violent and warlike football was, not to mention how big a business it is on the backs of working slobs like me. But once I got hip to all that, I decided it wasn’t worth the assault on my peacenik sensibilities to take part in our mass cultural homage to the gridiron gladiators. But I recently moved to North Carolina and the Carolina Panthers are unavoidable now that they are going to the Super Bowl extravaganza. I wondered recently why they are named the Panthers, when there don’t seem to be any of those amazing creatures in the state. Here’s what I could find out online:

Panthers team president Mark Richardson, the son of team owner Jerry Richardson, chose the Panthers nickname because "it's a name our family thought signifies what we thought a team should be—powerful, sleek and strong." Richardson also chose the 1995 expansion team’s color scheme of black, blue, and silver, a choice that initially came under scrutiny from NFL Properties representatives. According to one newspaper report, the concern was raised at the 1993 NFL meetings that a team nicknamed the Panthers that featured black in its color scheme would appeal to street gangs and reflect poorly on the league.

So my question is, what the hell? Seems like there should have been some sort of rational or even democratic process in place (like there was for the Baltimore Ravens). And is the worry about the use of the color black just a little bit racist? I thought the Black Panthers were pretty cool really, though a little scary for a white boy like me. Am I some kind of commie for questioning all this?

Concerned in Carolina

Dear Carolina: It's a very long question...... surely you don't think that the NFL would worry that the public would respond poorly to a team being called the Black Panthers - especially with their current out spoken black quarterback taking them to the Super Bowl.... well on the other hand, maybe you are on to something..... watch the game anyway as much as you can. Just close your eyes when it gets too rough.
PS Enjoy the commercials, I'm sure there will be many of them.

  • Dear Commie: I want the system to fall, I really do. But I fear the violent reign of terror that is likely to ensue when the capitalist system collapses. History tends to suggest that phase is inevitable and causes even more suffering than the toppled regime did. Do you think it is inevitable? What is a realistic alternative?

Dear System Fail:  You are right - the capitalist system will fail, and is in fact now failing.  Think of the people in Flint, Michigan who have been drinking lead tainted water just so the corporate controlled government could shave a few bucks from the budget.  Think of the endless war$ now underway that benefit the bankers and weapons industry.  In the end what could be worse than drinking tainted water and being the recipients of US-NATO bombs?  Our job is to offer a positive transformative vision for the future - let's convert the military industrial complex and build solar, wind, rail, do more energy conservation and clean up the environment.  Imagine the jobs created and the peace that could come from such a new direction.  Now doesn't that already feel much better?  Sometimes collapse of the rotten is necessary and even positive.  So hold onto your hat and hang in there....change is on the way sooner than you might think.


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