Sunday, May 17, 2009

Maureen Dowd on Cheney's Saturnine Policies

I don't ususally post on political events, leaving that task to my betters. Less frequently do I quote Maureen Dowd who I find generally writes snark without substance. However in today's New York Times Dowd has hit the nail on the head concerning Republican reactions to Nancy Pelosi's involvement in George Bush and Dick Cheney's lawbreaking:
Nancy Pelosi’s bad week of blithering responses about why she did nothing after being briefed on torture has given Republicans one of their happiest — and harpy-est — weeks in a long time. They relished casting Pelosi as contemptible for not fighting harder to stop their contemptible depredations against the Constitution. That’s Cheneyesque chutzpah.
Besides, the question of what Pelosi knew or didn’t, or when she did or didn’t know, is irrelevant to how W. and Cheney broke the law and authorized torture.
President Obama wants to avoid the national gut-wrenching that a full accounting (and the resulting prosecutions) would subject the country to. I submit that without a full accounting and without holding responsible those who committed these crimes in our names, there is no moving forward.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In Memoriam - Dr. Leonard Shlain

I've just learned that Leonard Shlain died yesterday after a long struggle with brain cancer. I was first introduced to Dr. Shlain at the 2002 Media Ecology Conference at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His talk on The Alphabet and the Goddess (website here) was remarkable and I immediately purchased both the book and a video of his lecture. Since that time Dr. Shlain has been a regular attendee at Media Ecology Association and related functions and his contributions to the field are substantial.

Here is a YouTube video of an interview with Dr. Shlain as part of the University of California "Conversations with History" series concerning Art and Science:

From his website:

A celebration of Leonard’s life will be held on Friday, May 15th at 1:00 PM at Sherith Israel Synagogue, 2266 California Street at Webster, San Francisco, CA 94115.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Leonard Shlain Scholarship Fund at The Saybrook Graduate School and mailed as follows:

Att: Ed Patuto, Shlain Scholarship Fund
Saybrook Graduate and Research Center
747 Front Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

My condolences to his family. His death is a great loss to us all.

Thursday, May 7, 2009