I would be remiss if I allowed another month to go by without mentioning one of life's milestones here in Stately Dog Manor, specifically, the college graduation (with high honors, no less!) of the Loquacious Pup. Proud Mom and Dad were privileged to have the opportunity to actually attend a physical graduation, conducted a little over a week ago, in two parts to enable social distancing among parents, on the football field of the small-ish liberal arts college that the LP attended.
As some of you will recall, the Plague Year began for Familia Talking Dog in Merry Old Spain, from which we were expelled in March of 2020 by misread Presidential fiat. This led to perhaps the longest period of continued family-togetherness of our lives, which came to an end when I returned LP to college last August. Just as I helped LP acquire furnishings for her off-campus house in the second-hand and "free-share market," I will doubtless have to assist in the deaccessioning of same when I return to retrieve her next weekend, probably to some of the very same charitable store-fronts from which it was obtained in the first place.
And so, we stop to take just a moment to observe that at the commencement of this blog in September of 2001 (a week after September 11th that year), the Loquacious Pup was not quite two years old, and now, she has completed college. Yes, the rest of us are more than 19 years older as well, assuming we're still around (which, sadly, many of us are not, such as TD Dad of blessed memory).
LP was born at the tail end (as it were) of the Clinton Administration, and since then, we have gone through the Dubya, Obama, Trump (PTOOEY!) and now, Biden Administrations. One hopes that we have made progress in that time, and fears that we haven't made nearly enough. As one commencement speaker noted, just as the class of 2020 missed out on a physical graduation altogether, the class of 2021 had a socially distant and constrained senior year like no other, and learned just how much the pandemic had changed things, and at the same time, perhaps terrifyingly, how little it really changed things. As another speaker noted, we are in an era where the truth itself is becoming an ever scarcer commodity.
From my perspective, I just try to cling to my own corner of truth [as well as justice and, to the extent consistent with those, which isn't often enough IMHO, the American way] for whomever is still interested in reading about it. And along the way, we can look at some other milestones. Next January, the military prison for Muslim men and boys at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will have been open for twenty years, even as speculation remains that the Biden administration might be considering finally closing it. Interestingly, the "Periodic Review Board" added three names to the "cleared for release" group, bringing that number up to nine out of the forty remaining prisoners.
For the record, those prisoners are Saifullah Paracha, 73, of Pakistan; Abdul Rabbani, 54, of Pakistan; and Uthman Abdul al-Rahim Uthman, 40, of Yemen. Over the years, I interviewed one of Paracha's attorneys, Gaillard Hunt, and I interviewed one of Uthman's attorneys, Marc Falkoff. I'm pretty sure that Cori Crider, then of Reprieve when I interviewed her, also represented Rabbani, as did Jon Eisenberg, who I also interviewed. Hope springs eternal, though I suspect that come next January, my friend Candace's client Saeed Bakouche a/k/a Razak Ali of Algeria will probably still be held at GTMO (particularly in light of recent legal developements in his case), and I expect my friend Andy to resume his annual visits [as the pandemic dies down, please God] so we can all go down to D.C. to protest GTMO on what I fear will be its 20th anniversary.
And I hope another annual tradition-- my first participation being in that pivotal year of 2001-- will continue, in this case, I look forward to my 19th consecutive appearance, and hopefully finish, in the TCS New York City Marathon, which will be run this year at a capacity of 60% (or 33,000 runners).
And later this year, Mrs. TD and I will, God willing, celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.
I assume there are lots of milestones taking place in your life as well, for which I congratulate you and yours. I am hoping that one of the milestones of the plague year is the end of the plague year (even as Team Biden announces that it expects 70% of US adults to receive at least one COVID vaccination by the beginning of July). Hope springs eternal.
This has been... Milestones of the plague year.