Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2013

End of 2013

2013 was not a great year, but there were a few exciting highlights, such as my great trip to Ecuador. As I expected, I loved this small South American republic. I stayed nearly the whole time in Cuenca (except for the first night in the capital city of Quito), which is rapidly becoming a major haven for ex-pats from the U.S. and Canada. It is a charming small city, about one-third the size of D.C. I can easily see myself retiring here in a city with several museums, where you can buy fresh produce from an amazing farmer's market, and have a three-course lunch for under $3. Where you can relax in a nice park next to a huge cathedral for hours and then wander the streets until you find a quaint cafe where you can have a cafe con tinto for $1.50.

2014 will be a better year. I am sure of it. After seven months of unemployment, next week I will begin a digital archives job in downtown D.C. I also plan to begin yoga regularly and continue to live frugally in order to save some money fo…

Anarchism vs. The Green Party

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." ~ Emma Goldman, anarchist leader and philosopher "It's time to bring the global pro-democracy movement into the belly of the beast." ~ Howie Hawkins, co-founder of the Green Party U.S.
During the last three years, I have on occasion described myself politically as an anarchist. And now I have a confession to make. I am not a very good anarchist. I write this now, as I believe there is still some utility to voting within the current capitalist-imperialist structure of the U.S. government. I vote for Green Party candidates. I have thought for a while now about this internal conflict of mine. I do believe that most humans have come to a point in their evolution where they don't really need a large centralized government managing their social customs, enacting laws over their lives. We certainly can now handle direct democracy and find it far more preferable over the corrupt and quite literally broken (we…

Turning over the autumn leaf, remembering Ecuador, and other ramblings...

OK, I desperately want to do some wildly creative things, as well as land a job that doesn't drive me insane, pays me a salary above the poverty line, and is at least someway related to an archives or a library's special collection. But more on the job hunt later. So with the long neglected creative side of my persona yearning to be unleashed, I decided I am going to write in this here blog a lot more frequently, and I am going to make a second attempt at working through my sci-fi, near-future dystopian novel. I might also try and get back into meditation and poetry. Meditation, I think I need to bring more peace and discipline into my life. And poetry just would help me express myself new ways, bringing me more joy; something I used to do more -- before I became obsessed with a quest to save the world, or at least the empire from itself. That struggle, I am convinced, slowly took over my life and enslaved me to my own hubris.

So, let me state quite clearly here: I will become…

Chelsea Manning and Ecuador

Three and a half days ago Col. Denise Lind sentenced Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to 35 years imprisonment for releasing information to the public, which exposed war crimes, massive wrongdoing and knowledge of deep-seated corruption of regimes our government long supported. There was of course the famous Apache Helicopter video from Baghdad, dubbed "Collateral Murder," but there was also State Department cables such as the one about the severely corrupt ruling family in Tunisia which helped spark the Arab Spring, as well as information on Guantanamo prisoners, most of whom are still being held in this gulag despite being cleared for release, and more accurate civilian casualty counts from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than had ever previously been released. Much of this information was indeed embarrassing to the U.S. government, but no one was directly harmed by the releases, despite the prosecution's best efforts (even in closed door sessions from what Manning&…

Unemployment and the Struggle to Save Manning

One week ago I was laid off from a job I did not enjoy. Yes, I loved the salary and was quite enthusiastic about landing this job nine and a half months ago. The pay was significantly greater than I had ever earned before. My friends and former co-workers seemed surprised when I started looking for a new job, and then my unmasked relief of actually being laid off and seizing the opportunity to collect unemployment. Yes, it was related to library science, but it was not in a library or an archives (my specialty). It was also boring, I did not like the unpredictability of contracts, and frankly didn't really care for some of the big name clients our firm had (and in fact a couple I worked on). I also felt a little out of place, and don't think I ever want to do private consultancy work again. Ever. Unless it's later in my career and I am providing some consulting work for an archives and historical collection.

That's enough about me. I am job searching for something in a…

Guantanamo and Manning

It has been far too long since last I wrote in my blog. I have been working very hard at a job for which I am now losing all enthusiasm. I also have little hope that living conditions will improve for most Americans within the existing paradigm, and that prospects appear dim for any sort of major shift away from the existing status quo. My friend Debbie and I will be scouting out our future home in Ecuador at the end of the summer.

However, I find myself compelled to write finally. This past week, the Washington Peace Center celebrated its 50th anniversary. I am proud to have been associated with this great small progressive org. There were times when it appears this org would not make it to 50 years of life, but it did. And I would say a lot of the credit goes to the activists associated with it for so long, its generous donors, and its past and present board members. They have never given up hope that positive social change could occur through the vision and organizational leadershi…