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!