2024 Keeps Giving

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve posted anything. So we’ll post today, on this, what would be the 87th birthday of TD Dad of blessed memory. Of course, there’s an explanation for the long reticence, besides overall existential angst associated with a planet insanely and dangerously out of balance and, despite his “legal troubles,” the probable coming restoration of Mafia Grover Cleveland, which is of a very personal nature. Unfortunately, the Loquacious Pup is suffering from a rather serious illness, from which we have every confidence that, surrounded with unbelievably wonderful and generous friends and her loved ones and with her own resilience, she will make a full recovery, but we expect her battle with this illness to take most of the rest of 2024. Along the way, by which I mean last weekend, we lost one of our two beloved cats, who finally succumbed to his own longstanding battle with an ironically similar illness, just after his own 15th birthday. That this painful event happened during the Loquacious Pup’s illness is just part of the ongoing horror show that I’ve certainly come to associate with 2024.

From our usual beat, Candace gives us depressing news coming out of North Africa, to wit, that her longstanding client, Saeed Bakhouche of Algeria and formerly of 20 plus years at GTMO, will be put on trial on murky “terrorism” charges in Algeria this Sunday May 12th (Mothers Day in the USA, FWIW). To say that this man has been traumatized under US indefinite detention, and yes, decades of torture, is a gross understatement. But some dick in the US military (that’s the nicest word I can use) saw fit to insert material in Bakhouche’s file [that he had never even been accused of while he was at GTMO, btw] that the Algerians seized upon as an excuse to accuse him of terrorism (like they needed an excuse). This of course somewhat undermined the “diplomatic assurances of humane treatment,” or whatever nonsense the USA accepts as an excuse to repatriate men to places where they would [also] likely be tortured.

What can you say anymore? Thirty men remain at Guantanamo Bay, with no particular assurance that any of them will be released alive. Perhaps these men, only one of whom has actually been “tried” for terrorism (and in his case, he stood mute at his “trial” and was sentenced to life imprisonment for essentially being an al Qaeda propagandist), though others have pleaded guilty to something or other, generally the only way (short of death) to be assured of getting out of GTMO. Anyway… just a tiny part of the overall American war machine. But look: we can have “bipartisan agreement” (I despise the word “bipartisan”… what is the point of having contested elections if the two “parties” actually agree… and while they certainly can agree on certain items as a matter of expedience, why is bipartisanship “a value” to be commended? But I digress…) to fund ongoing wars (or at least, hoped-for wars) in Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

I don’t even know what to say about protests raging on the campus of my own alma mater that have now resulted in the cancellation of this year’s university-wide graduation. Just seems to me that something is… out of balance.

I don’t know anything anymore. I have taken to trying to practice meditation on gratitude; I am grateful that we live in a city with the greatest medical facilities on Earth so that the Loquacious Pup has the best possible odds of beating her disease, and to have a job with good health insurance. I am grateful that we still have choices and the ability to express ourselves (albeit “for now.”) I am grateful to be surrounded by loved ones. I am grateful that some of you are still paying attention. Because we are going to need focus, good will, and an unbelievable amount of good luck to get through the rest of this year at all, let alone with our lives not facing the disaster of a return of the Orange Oligarch as well as the numerous predicaments we are staring at.

Keep your passports valid.