Congratulations to Jeff Wilson for his first day at his new job (with Joe Turner's law office), and congratulations also to Jennifer Kraber for coming in 7th/8th (I think) at her pool tournament in Vegas and for qualifying to become a Master (apparently this is a title not dissimilar to being a Master of Kung Fu or a Master of Ninjitsu- anyway, she can't play in the "Open" tournaments anymore because she's too much of an ass kicker).
Driving down Congress yesterday, I saw the marquee on the old Will Wynn campaign headquarters (which was, before that, a porn theater) adroned with the phrase "Let Qui-Gons be Qui-Gons" and on the other side, "Sith Happens". I'm glad I live in a town where people are happy to let their freak flags fly. I'm also happy to see people enjoying the conclusion of the Star Wars saga, even if the last three movies weren't quite up to the standards of the original three.
What else? Hi Rami! I understand you have been secretly reading my blog, but rarely if ever making a post. This is unacceptable. For those of you who don't know Rami, she is a tiny, elf-life person who cackles a lot and can drink like nobody's business. She is prone to telling somewhat embarrassing stories about herself and then claiming that either A) they never happened or B) she never told us that. If you're wondering why someone would do such a thing, see my sentence above about Rami's love of the booze. Rami also has a talent and a propensity for doing interpretive dances, typically of eighties songs, at unexpected moments. I have found these dances to be fascinating, entertaining, funny, and a wee bit disturbing, all at the same time. If you've never seen her do one, you must insist upon it next time you see her. Rami is also the person who first introduced phrases such as "The Rusty Trombone", "The Eelskin Watch", and the "Little Hitler" into the Steanso/Wilson lexicon. For this, we are endlessly grateful. Rami is a compulsive cleaner and organizer, and she has sat in on drums with the Mono Ensemble at least twice.
Record number of millionaires? It's good to know that Bush is keeping some people happy. As Bush said in Farenheit 911, these people make up his base. The rich keep getting richer while the middle class struggle to maintain their current jobs and income levels as their jobs are outsourced overseas. So people who are already very wealthy are getting wealthier. Kickass. Now if we could just healthcare coverage for senior citizens who are living on fixed incomes...
And last, but definitely not least:
Big surprise. Amnesty International isn't crazy about Guantanamo Bay. What's not to like?
The fact that hundreds of people are being held in custody without a right to fair trial or legal counsel is a good place to start, but probably the more alarming issue is the U.S.'s endorsement of torture, albeit in a somewhat bureaucratically disguised form (i.e., stress positions and enviromental and sensory manipulation). By violating our traditional ban on torture and saying that it's ok to use torture whenever we think we have good cause (and we haven't even see fit to demonstrate what a showing of good cause amounts to in Guantanamo Bay- surely the torture being used there is not effecting the immediate safety of U.S. citizens, because the captives at Guantanamo are not in contact with external forces because of their very incarceration), we have not only shown ourselves to be a nation which is perfectly willing to violate human rights in order to achieve its own ends, but we have also given other nations the go-ahead to use torture against Americans whenever they believe it to be appropriate. I see this as a huge step backward in the advancement of human rights world wide, and an unbelievably short-sighted and arrogant act on the part of the federal government.