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Violence in America as seen yesterday

Troubled white male guns down 20 schoolchildren is a headline that shouldn't happen. But it does. I am truly sickened and exhausted by what happened yesterday in Connecticut. I plan on retiring to Ecuador and the commonality of gun violence in America is just one reason. Our foreign policy (which is also terribly violent) is another reason. The natural beauty and lower cost of living in the Andes are two more reasons. There are some more reasons for my Ecuador plans, but I digress. I want to deeply discuss and try and make some sort of sense out of this mass shooting of innocents by -- the first three words I wrote.

Troubled. White. Male. Adam Lanza a resident of Newtown, Connecticut, was quite young himself, 20, and lived with his mother who was a teacher. Not much else is known about him.
What is known though from the reports coming out now was that he was severely socially awkward, avoided eye contact, had been on medication for some time; many neighbors said he was a "wei…

Tired but writing...

Good evening one and all... I am at home writing for my Traveller campaign, and getting a start on a novella. This story will be dear to my heart.It is a look at a future where we have lost basically all of our civil liberties, and corporations control our food, our media, our politicians. Doesn't sound far off from what we have now!

But anyhow, I am re-committing myself to supporting local businesses. You will soon see more restaurant reviews/shout-outs here. Why am I excited about turning my back on some major corporations? Well, one is the recent expression of blatant and outrageous greediness of Papa John's owner and CEO. He refuses to raise the price of his pizza 11 to 14 cents in order to help cover his worker's health insurance. In fact, he is slashing all of their hours so there's no way they could qualify as full-time employees entitled to some important benefits in a civilized society that actually begins to care about its workers. This callous creature has b…

Political Abstractions and Good Food

Winter seems to be rolling in about a month early here in DC, and yesterday was the election. One wing of the corporate party won more electoral college points than the other. More drone wars killing thousands of civilians, more off-shore drilling furthering our fossil fuel addiction, and more jobs will now be shipped overseas with the soon-to-be signed Trans-Pacific Free Trade Pact. Sadly, the American people and the future of our planet is not benefiting from the destructive and exploitive nature of our current political system. As Americans, we are also harshly divided over vague and outdated ideologies, which are little more than abstract and little understood titles we hang on one another -- chief among these are capitalism and socialism. Neither in any of their original purity exist in reality today.

In better news, I have been enjoying some meals here in the Eastern Market neighborhood of DC. One of my favorite food haunts is Tortilla Cafe, 210 7th Street SE, Washington, DC. Own…

Less activism, more work!

Hello dear readers,

I am sorry that I have written so little on this blog during 2012. No, I am not going to comment on the presidential race between the two wings of the corporate party. I will say that Presidential Green candidate Jill Stein will of course get my vote, and I am pleased that she will appear on more state ballots than any other Green presidential candidate before (I think the number is above 40 now). I landed a much better paying job, which I enjoy. I am continuing to game. I am the GM of a cool Traveller campaign, which will have its first full-length session later today.

I guess you will now see more writings about role-playing games, movies, and restaurants here. But let me pull your attention toward the wonderful canoe trip I just came back from in Maine. I enjoyed canoeing down the Penobscot River with college buddy Matt, before enjoying two nights and three days on the Maine coast in and around Acadia National Park. If you have never been to Maine -- go! It'…

Visited Ecuadorian Embassy, expressed support for Julian Assange

Today was a very small protest at the Ecuadorian Embassy, as part of a campaign pleading with that country's president to grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange. Currently Assange is staying inside the London embassy waiting for a decision.


Here is an email, I sent out earlier this evening to other activists:


Hi all,
Well, despite the low numbers I consider it a success! Within the first 10 minutes David, Steve and myself were invited into the embassy where we met with the Deputy Chief of the Mission Efrain Baus Palacios. He listened to what each of us had to say, and was very sympathetic. He said the embassy is receiving thousands of e-mails every single day supporting Assange, and urging Ecuador to grant him asylum. He said Pres. Correa is presently reviewing all legal issues connected to the case, and is not sure when a decision will be announced. He also said Assange has his own bathroom with a shower and a bed, but it is indeed just an office building an…

Reflections on Reality and Fantasy

Super diva Donna Summer, 63, passed this week. I should have known I was gay when I enjoyed dancing to her inspirational and soulful singing when I was 10 years-old. Beyond her glorious days of disco, Ms. Summer never quite made a successful comeback, nor was she ultimately successful in battling cancer. That's the beautiful and sad reality of many lives; great but often unfulfilled and over far too soon.

On the activism front, I am still on my sabbatical, however, a few weeks ago a major highlight thus far this year for me was attending a pre-trial court hearing for Pvt. Bradley Manning, the greatest government whistle blower since Daniel Ellsberg. He is once again being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, although his own government is trying to put him away for life. I was overjoyed to see Bradley smiling in court and engaging in detailed conversations with his attorney. He seemed engaged and a bit hopeful during the proceedings.

At one point, Bradley entered the court from ne…

Trayvon Martin and Justice Denied....

I went to a rally for Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen who was murdered in late February by a violent racist for being himself, yesterday in front of DC City Hall. At the time, Martin was wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of skittles. 


Under the insanely fascist "Castle Law" in that state (and I believe a dozen others), his murderer, George Zimmerman, remains free. Carrying a gun, Zimmerman uttered a racial slur ("f#@king coons") and said "these assholes always get away" into his cell phone during his 911 call. You can listen to the recording


A 17 year-old walking home and chatting with his girlfriend on his cell phone should never be murdered. And yet it happens. What is so horribly wrong here is George Zimmerman has not been prosecuted. Shame on Florida. And shame on us if we let this stand.


My hope is that people will really be motivated to act. At the rally yesterday there was a lot of urging people to vote. That is not what we need. We need people to …

Tale of Two Occupations: Democracy is Not Tidy

At the beginning of October, I met a couple of the folks who were in their first week of occupying McPherson Square, located along the corporate lobbying corridor of K Street in my hometown of DC. They were determined to stay and spread a message about income inequality, crony capitalism, and the wrong direction our government was headed.

They stayed and they multiplied. At the time I was attending The Stop Machine multi-day rally at Freedom Plaza. I had earlier been associated with helping to organize this older, more strictly anti-war mobilization, but I had withdrawn from the steering committee both because of constraints on my time (busy work days and moving to a new apartment with my dog) and disagreements with the organizing style of others involved. I fell in love with Occupy DC at McPherson Square and even as I attended Stop the Machine at Freedom Plaza, I became even more disenchanted with them.

This is my story about the two occupations in DC, and how one has always been mor…