Big congratulations to Sherman Alexie, who won the prestigious National Book Award last night for his children’s book The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. Alexie, a Seattle resident, is (in addition to being an amazingly talented artist) a good guy who lends himself to innumerable worthy causes. It’s nice to see him get the recognition. (This is the second year in a row that a Seattle resident has won the National Book Award; former New York Times correspondent Timothy Egan won it last year.)
As for serious hype, the Dalai Lama will visit Seattle next April. Let the human interest stories begin.
I highlighted it yesterday when they lost, so fair’s fair: last night
your their Oklahoma City Sonics (0-8) clashed with the Miami Heat (1-6) in an alleged NBA game: the resistable object meeting the movable force. (When these two teams meet, you can throw out the records…and everything else…) Someone had to win (I guess), and it was your their Sonics, 104-95, breaking a 13-game losing streak and ensuring at least one win for the month of November. Next up: the underwhelming Atlanta Hawks, Friday. Oh, and UW beat Utah Wednesday night, 83-77, sending the 2-0 Huskies to New York for the final round of the preseason NIT next week.
One last election tidbit: the school levy simple majority measure (EJHR 4204) is now up by 11,000 votes and certain to win. But you knew that.
Elsewhere in the news, 50 or so more people were arrested at the Port of Olympia yesterday trying to block shipments of military gear coming in to a Stryker brigade at Fort Lewis. This has been going on for a week now, and why both the P-I and our state’s supposed newspaper of record (the Seattle Times) have been relying on wire reports for what is by any reckoning a major local story escapes me. The Iraq war is something a lot of people are interested in, and so, whether you agree with or loathe the Olympia folks, it’s hard to read the essential ignoring of this story as anything other than a political choice by our allegedly objective local media.
(Personally, I sympathize with both the aims of the Olympia protesters and their apparent frustration at their seeming powerlessness, but their tactics mystify me. When they were trying to block shipments of gear going out to Iraq earlier this year — in advance of the troops themselves, so it wasn’t endangering anyone — there was a certain logic to their protest. But this comes off more like a tantrum.)
This tidbit, meanwhile, concerning an actual national security threat, should piss anyone off: a new GAO report reveals that while you were getting cavity-searched for rogue toothpaste tubes at the airport, and three-year-olds were being kept off flights by the no-fly list,
Undercover investigators carried all the bomb components needed to cause “severe damage” to airliners and passengers through U.S. airport screening checkpoints several times this year, despite security measures adopted in August 2006 to stop such explosive devices…Agents were able to smuggle aboard a detonator, liquid explosives and liquid incendiary components costing less than $150, even though screening officers in most cases appeared to follow proper procedures and use appropriate screening technology…
Your tax dollars at work. At least the Saudis are getting a bunch of nice new jet fighters from us, right?
Oh, and even though he hasn’t been charged with anything (yet), a new defense fund has been set up for former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Send your sacks full of small, unmarked bills to…