In less than 11 hours it will be 2011. I am convinced 2011 will be better than 2010 for progressives and Americans in general. The economy will not fully recover, but more and more people will begin to realize they are being lied to by many powerful folks in government and in multi-national corporations. This increased awareness is healthy and greatly needed.
I am hopeful because more people realize the current mainstream lifestyle of outrageous oil consumption is unsustainable and that this will require a major shift of resources and a complete redesigning of the way we live our lives.
Many newspapers, magazines, broadcast outlets at this time of year review the top three stories or trends that marked 2010 and a preview of the coming year... So, I've got three lists of my own.
Top 3 Local Stories for progressive activists
1. 135, mostly veterans (including Daniel Ellsberg), arrested at White House fence demanding end to wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq
AFP article on arrests during a wintry day
2. James Lee who I had an acrimonous interaction with during my time as a WPC board member takes hostages at Discovery Building, has homemade bomb, killed by police
More details on Lee
3. Bradley Manning, alleged source of WikiLeaks' biggest exposure of government malfeasance ever, brought to Quantico, Va. and held in solitary confinement
Inhumane conditions Manning must endure
My 3 New Year's Resolutions:
1. More than 60% of my food purchased will be local or at least regional (Maryland, DC, Virginia, Delaware, SE Pennsylvania)
2. Buy organic seeds and reacquaint myself with gardening
3. Save $ for a comfortable bed...
(runner ups are practicing mindfulness, focusing on community building and avoiding being arrested)
3 Places I plan on going in 2011:
1. GenCon in Indianapolis! (and I get to visit my buddy Rangan while there)
2. New Mexico (Taos, Santa Fe)
3. Vermont (Long Trail, Shelburne Farms)
I hope to also write more in my blog next year. A lot happened this year, much of it difficult and not very pleasant. But, again, I believe next year will be a much better one -- thanks to having a job, good friends, and the best dog in the world!
Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Sometimes you just need to escape reality, and sometimes you have a hankering for a good game. It's great when these two wants collide. For me that's been fantasy role-playing. My Pathfinder (sometimes called D&D 3.75) campaign has had more than two dozen sessions, and that's what I would consider a long-running campaign. The makeup of the game has changed a couple times, and I think we are settling down to the five players we have now. I am pleased with the gaming troupe we have.
I mentioned in a previous blog posting about Mike and how he came late into the campaign and was playing a disruptive character. Honestly I think it was more Mike as a player. I have played several fantasy role-playing games with him in the past -- and as a player he is usually very impulsive and makes poor decisions. Overall, he's a better DM, but even that is not saying much... But anyhow, yes, he was asked not to return to the group. And this last session just had a better feel to it. He did not take the news well, and I am sort of done dealing with his own drama (which has a lot more to do with other things in his life than gaming).
The other part (the flip side?) of this posting -- reality and telling the truth. WikiLeaks, which I have also written about previously, has now released the more than a quarter million State Dept. cables (that Pfc. Bradley Manning allegedly burned onto a CD and turned over to WikiLeaks). Many of them are embarrassing, some showing routine corruption and deception. I think the American people have the right to know what is being done in their name and with their tax dollars. I also feel that diplomats should be engaged in diplomacy, not espionage. So, I again thank WikiLeaks for helping to enlighten the American citizenry. For if we truly live in a democracy we need this knowledge to help make informed decisions. It also sparks needed dialogue on the overall direction and long-term goals of the U.S. in the world. Do we want to be actively talking about attacking Iran with Saudi Arabia and Israel (both have been pushing for this)? Do we want to be directing career diplomats to collect DNA samples from United Nations officials? Or do we want to work in more collaborative ways to bring more peace and justice to the world, not only unilateral empire-building ones?
Unfortunately, the Obama administration is beginning to act like the Nixon administration (Daniel Ellsberg went through a lot of the same drama after he released the Pentagon Papers). Attorney General Eric Holder is looking for a way to prosecute Julian Assange of WikiLeaks for simply doing what most journalists do, which is protected under the First Amendment. Also, there is no specific law saying that you can't release these confidential papers (if you are a non-federal employee). I am not sure how this will turn out in the end, but it's clear the government is going out of its way to prevent the public from learning the truth about how American diplomacy functions.
One of the journalists I most admire, Glenn Greenwald (also a constitutional attorney), has again written eloquently about Wikileaks. Please read the the recent article, as it reflects some of my same thoughts. So why is the government so intent on prosecuting a truth-teller when there are plenty of folks running around in government committing real crimes?
Next release coming from WikiLeaks: Damaging internal documents from one of the nation's largest banks (rumor is that it is Bank of America). This should be very interesting, indeed!