Card catalog

Libraries formerly used card catalogs to keep track of their books. I am not aware of what they use now, if anything, beside computerized indices which I now access online, rather than in the library itself. Until recently, I have used the memory cathedral method of keeping track of my own growing library. I file my books alphabetically by author’s last name, and I remember where it is by its location in a memory cathedral and what its neighbors look like. Now the library has grown to the point where it is difficult to remember all my books. So now I supplement my memory cathedral method with Amazon.com. If I can’t recall a book’s location, I will do a search on Amazon.com. If I don’t own the book and the local library does not have it, I can order a copy cheaply and conveniently. That is my card catalog and how I keep my library in order.

Vast, right-wing conspiracy

When Hillary Clinton first mentioned a vast, right-wing conspiracy against Bill and her, I was skeptical. On inauguration night in January 2009, when Republicans in and out of government gathered in secret and decided to deny any and all legislative victories to President Barack Obama, does that not meet the definition of a vast right-wing conspiracy? Especially when it and they are financed by Koch billions. It definitely meets my definition of a vast, right-wing conspiracy.

The Island that Dared

The Island that Dared, Journeys in Cuba by Dervla Murphy. Murphy is an Irish grandmother who travels the world mostly by bicycle, sometimes by mule, train or by foot, and then writes fascinating books about her travels. For those wanting to learn more about Cuba, I can think of no better book about Cuba, a book untainted by US prejudice about the island. This is what I had to say in a previous post:

To Cuba and Back by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. of a visit in 1859 and The Island That Dared, Journeys in Cuba by Dervla Murphy published in 2008. The US has been interested in acquiring Cuba almost from the very birth of the Republic. Spain refused to sell, and the Spanish-American War in 1898 allowed the US to acquire the island as well as other Spanish possessions including the Philippines. We occupied Cuba on and off during the early 1900s. When we weren’t there as occupiers, we controlled much of the island’s economy and politics remotely. Finally in 1959, Fidel Castro led a successful revolution to change the status quo. Castro visited Washington, DC, seeking assistance and was given a cold shoulder. He then turned to the Soviet Union for assistance. JFK was attempting to better relations with Castro just before his death.

The US imposed an embargo on Cuba shortly after Castro came to power and maintains it still today. The embargo may have been justified when Castro was attempting to export his revolution to other countries by military force, but that is no longer the case. The vast majority of the Cuban people support their present form of government. Those who oppose it have emigrated to the US.

I suggest that the embargo has passed its use-by date and should be ended. Let us re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and end our hostility to the Cuban experiment. They have the right to choose their form of government and economic system. If we think our way of life is better (and they think that their’s is better), let us compete openly without any coercion. They and we will be better off with a free competition of ideas.