kanda matsuri!

Originally uploaded by renfield.

Twas time for the yearly festival. Down in Nihonbashi in the area around Honbu Dojo, the festival is THE event of the year. There are several mikoshi that get carried around the various neighborhoods for three days straight. Our local route goes right past Honbu. This year we had over 20 people from the dojo helping to carry the mikoshi, and even Tonchan got into the mood, though I think the crowds kind of freaked her out a bit.

sleepy x2

Thursday evening was big night out. Friday turned out to as well. Didn't leave work until well after 8, and got to Honbu just as the monthly Friday meeting was ending. Had a quick chat with some of the guys, and then Gosoke wanted dinner so we headed down to the local grubbery and I didn't end up getting into bed until 1am again. Slept well into the morning today though, so methinks I'm all caught up on sleep.
Tonchan, however, doesn't seem to recognize me as she hasn't really seen me in a couple days, so she's just giving me the glassy eyeball stare.

habeas corpus 2

As has been pointed out in the comments, America is not the only country without habeas corpus. My current country of residence, Japan, is a fine example of this, as written in this NYTimes article (free registration required) about how it's common practice for the police to imprison suspects for weeks on end and torture them until they give confessions, even when they are innocent.
However, I resubmit my point: it is not the current lack of habeas corpus in the US that I bemoan. It is the fact that habeas corpus has been effectively repealed through a combination of a deceitful, power-hungry government, a failure of the inherent checks and balances, and a sheep-like populace too busy reading bibles and watching American Idol to care.
Japan, on the other hand, never had a history of habeas corpus, so it was not taken away in a tragic bait-and-switch of political fear mongering and power grabbing.
I came to Japan 14 years ago knowing full well that I could be put in jail indefinitely for no reason. Hell, I was finger-printed like a criminal that day I arrived, and I am required by law to carry my Alien Resident Registration Card at all times. Failure to do so and produce such ID to the relevant authorities is cause enough for imprisonment and deportation. But I knew this coming here. I had no expectations of anything better.
Yet compare the current state of citizens' rights in the US now to 1994. You can be arrested for recording your precious American Idol so that you can watch it later at your convenience. You are breaking the law if you critique a news story in the context of journalism. You can be deemed an "enemy combatant" and held in a secret prison indefinitely, with no rights.
The consistent erosion of US citizens' rights through the Patriot Act, the DMCA, a co-opted Supreme Court, the "War on Terror" (whatever the hell that means) and an impotent Congress is a said situation indeed. And I have little hope that the next generation of politicians can or will do anything about it.

big night out

Celebrating an excellent outcome to a potential mess at work, so we got a couple of private rooms at the swanky Citabria. I left before the second bar and got home at 1:30...

habeas corpus

Say all you want about the "war on terrorism" (sorry, at which point did Congress actually declare war? And against whom? But I digress), the fundamental issue is that habeas corpus in the USA no longer exists. It it now totally and completely LEGAL for the US government to arrest you, declare you a military combatant, put you in a military prison, not charge you with any crimes, and deny you access to: legal counsel, the evidence against you, a judge or jury. Oh yes and you can be held indefinitely. That means forever.
So, this is the great bastion of freedom and democracy?

gorilla biscuits

Random walk down memory lane: I spent many a weekend evening checking out punk and hardcore shows at The Anthrax in Norwalk, CT. I am pretty sure I'm in the audience at this GB show, probably in the back as in '88 I was a mere sophomore and not stupid enough to risk death near the front in the pit.
When my daughter grows up and listens to whatever crap music she'll be into 15 years from now, I'll show her this and tell her to get over it, because her dad was straight up old school no foolin' sk8trBoi straight-edge hardcore back in the day.


Originally uploaded by renfield.

Kairi and Daisuke brought their parents over for some good old fashioned meat eating. Of course on the last day of a beautiful and sunny Golden Week, it rains. But fear not! We still fired up the BBQ and cooked far too much dead flesh. Sadly, the toilet's vent exhaust was right above the BBQ grill out on the deck, so the toilet is now infused with the pleasant odor of cooked meat.
Daisuke napped and then decided that a fun game is to press all the buttons on the stereo and DVD player. Kairi ran around, played various card games with ever-changing rules (ensuring that she was always just winning), fell over the couch a few times, and drew with my colored pencils. Mom and Dad and P took turns eating, holding Tonchan, and watching me run around with the other kids.