Monday, May 28, 2007
I posted this image from my coverage of an Obama meet up on Flickr. One viewer liked it enough t comment but saw it as a statement against the Democrats.
Hardly so, I replied, These folks are actually three Republicans who, out of digust for what has happened to their Party, are backing Mr. Obama. I related this and the correspondent, Anthony Lachica, replied that it was sad that the American people did not support the commitment of their leaders when times got tough. Mr. Lachica then extolled Lincoln and Roosevelt, presumably as avatars for Mr. Bush. By comparison, he dissed the leadership of Mr. Carter. Holding up the Carer presidency as an example of couwardice, I suppose, in comparison to George II's record of courage.
Here is my reply, with some edits for SJ.
Dear Mr. Anthony Lachica,
If you are saying what I think you are saying, we could not disagree more.
First, Mr. Carter. Here are some facts.
Mr. Carter succeeded an administration , the Nixon administration, that literally tried to overthrow our system of government. Jimmy brought with him a level of integrity and idealism that was unrivaled.
He also told us the truth about many things we should have listened to:
1, the coming fall of the Soviet Empire as a a result of inevitable economic forces. The rport by Carter's CIA was accurate to the year when the USSR fell!
2. the coming energy crisis and our need to research alternative fuels (a program dumped by his successor!).
Imagine where we could be now if Reagan had not dunped Carter's energy policies.
3. The need to redesign the American military to deal with insurgent nations rather than with the two big wars model. (Carter's increases in Defence spending were larger than Reagan's. Reagan blew dollars on sillinesses like Battleships (quietly retired by Bush) and star wars toys.
The delta force, the small carrier group ... the kind of Army that invaded Afghanistan were the product of the Carter years.
4. Preached the need for a multinational alliance rather than the US as world cop.
If Bush had not dumped the alliances built by his Dad we would have "won" in Iraq. The USoA ain't powerful enough to rule the Earth on our own. We need allies.
Reagan gets a lot of credit for replacing Mr. Carter's dour do-goodism with patriotism. Rightly so. One reaosn I support Obama is the belief that we need a charismatic leader now. BUT, when Ronnie became senile, the then Publicans had the smarts ot put Howard Baker in the White House as a caretaker.
Did Jimmy fail as suggested by this cartoon? Or was he exactly the kind of hero you write about? This is, after all a cartoon, the following image of Bush hobnobbing with Prince Bandar is real. (Bandar offered Guiliani millions of dollars in the name of blame for Israel for 9/11, Rudi refused.).
The right enjoys painting Mr. Carter as an appeaser. But was he? Or was the appeasement more a matter of the image he (failed) to project to an American public looking for a cowboy? Was Reagan an appeaser for sending Ollie North to Iran to deal for the hostages? Was Carter an appeaser for convincing the N. Koreans that it was in their interest to delay development of missiles and bombs? Who was the bigger fool? Time will tell about these too, but we don't have the need or the luxury of waiting in respect to the current President.
Mr. Carter certainly lacked the charisma to lead the Americans. On the other hand, he also had the integrity, unlike Msrs. North and Reagan, NOT to bargain with the Iranian Islamo fascists over the hostages (or did you think the freeing of the hostages was not a bribe to Reagan?). Do you doubt that we would be better off today if Jimmy had the leadership skills to redirect us on a path of energy independence or do you REALLY like the involvement of the Bush family with Saudi oil men? Which do you suppose would have been more in the USoA's interest? investing 10 billion a month in our schools and infrastructure or siphoning it into Iraq?
Back to the present, Mr. Carter has become a welcome voice for peace. He is not always correct. Obviously his choice of words in relationship to Palestinians living in Apartheid was a loaded gun. Even here, however, he showed amazing courage and fore sight. Carter's goal was to do for the Palestinians what they can not do for themselves .. show their pain! I am a Zionist, but Israel can not survive until the Palestinians solve their problem. I say "their" intentionally because it will take their leadership to seek peace. Jimmy was wrong not to point this out.
Back at the trio in the picture. They are still, IMHO, good Republicans. Like me they are very patriotic, frightened by Islamofascism , wanting their kids to live in peace and opposed to a classist society. They were Bushies, I was not. They believed in the Invasion of Iraq, so did I. They beleived in the need to balance Iran, I still do.
So, what is left of your (implicit) comparison of Bush to the courageous Presidents of the past? I believe that Bush and his then colleagues (most of whom have now fled the ship or been fired) believed in the invasion. Why have all of Bush's highest level confidants left? Because Bush is incompetent. That is the dire truth.
Let me tell you one last thing. I do not support a timetable. Why? Because the idea of this incompetent President with his utter lack of belief in the Constitution, leading a strategic retreat from the mess he created is simply beyond belief.
Should the moderates in the Congress unite and pass more restrictive war legislation, I am frightened that Bush will utterly mess up the retreat, endangering our men and women, abandoning the Kurds and other intra-Iraq allies, and leveling the playing field for the Islamofascistii not because Bush means badly but because, as Mr Carter said. Bush is the most incompetent leader the US has ever had.
Worst of all, an intransigent Bush, elected in the first place by a dubious decision of the Supreme Court, has shown that he all to willing to risk our Constitution in the pursuit of his goals. That attitude, combined with incompetence could have unimaginable consequences for my country.
If you want a huge scare in re our survival of the next 2 years, listen to this address by Joseph Cirincione, a respected non-proliferation expert. He has impressive things to say, even about Reagan's role in disarmament. But the comments on the retrograde and incompetent behavior of the current regime are scary. You might be interested that he endorses Republican AND Democratic leaders he fnds competent to succeed mr. Bush. Lets hope we survive Bush.
Tx for listening.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
WE could stay there
Not really. While General Petraeus is an impressive man, I suspect that his magic powers are limited and the chaos is simply too great for any clean solution within the patience of the electorate.
We could just withdraw.
If it were only that simple. The problem is WHO owuld manage the withdrawal?
At a minimum, in order to withdraw, we need a policy and the means to:
1. Secure the lives of those who have chosen to side with us. This means assuring the security of the Kurds and individuals in Shia and Sunni areas.
2, Prevent a takeover in the South by Iran OR a Shiite Islamic government that would ally itself with the IR of Iran. can you imagine a well governed Shia army on the Kuwaiti/Saudi border?
3. Have in place a plan to pacify the Israeli/Palestinian front.
All of these are doable, but probably NOT by the Bush regime. Their incompetence, moreover, would be blamed on the left while likely inciting a world wide energy crisis and possibly setting off a war of world wide significance.
So we have a catch 22.
Enforce a withdrawal to be run by the Bushies or play for enough time to get a responsible set of adults into power. The catch 22 is that time is our enemy. We have is an irredentist POSUS on one side and KOS, with his withdraw at all costs, mantra in the other. In the middle is a HUGE majority who would vote for withdrawal if there were a strategic plan for accomplishing this. But, if there is no obvious way, short of impeachment, to achieve a leader who could lead a withdrawal, the only alternative for the Democratic party is to prolong things and hope Bush does not further screw up BIM.
There is, however, a moderate Republican alternative. While the number of moderate Publicans is small, they are enough to be pivotal. If they were to go to Bush and demand a change, Bush ... one hopes .. could be forced to bring in some expertise ... like err someone with real foreign policy experience other than Dr. Rice, the mediocre Sovietologist?
Isn't this sort of like giving peace a real chance?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Take a look at the birth announcement and a video!
Darryl, a UW anthropologist, posted an item on HorsesAss asking whether Mary Cheney's new child was the result of a virgin birth. This upset some of the readers, but why? and why is anyone upset about what Darryl, the Anthropologist and Hominid in his own right, has to say about the virgin birth? If, as I read, 70% or so of American Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus, then why question the possibility that a second virgin birth has occurred? If once a miracle why not twice? and to a Miriam yet!
As a biologist, let me tell ya the ONLY remarkable thing about such an event is that both Marys apparently have had male children. Parthogeneic birth should produce only females because female cells lack a Y chromosome! At least that is how it has worked until Jesus.
Or is there a message here??? As a Jew it has always seemed odd to me that Jesus, the Jewish preacher, would somehow reach the ripe old age of 30 without a spouse. He claimed to be an observant Jew and under our Law, we are required to be married and productive long before the third decade!
Unless ... unless Joshua ben Josef and now Schmuel Dovid bat Miriam are both transexual females??? That would certainly make sense in Joshua's case! It would explain his lack of female partners and so much more of his err ahh oddness. Maybe the Holy Sirit did visit both Marys with some sort of testosterone producing tumor??
Even today, in a permissive society, transexuals find it tough. Could it be that Pilate crucified the preacher because of fear that He was gay? Has Mary Cheney's son had a sex chromosome test???
Look at this from the point of view of the elder Cheneys. they are devout Christians. What more wonderful even than their virgin daughter giving birth to a "boy?" Isn't it also odd that young Schmuel was born just as the Prophet Falwell passed on?
As a Jew, I find this all VERY encouraging. For 2000 years we have been accused of being somehow different. If Samuel David is a parthogenic child of Mary Cheney, that we now know that goyem, not just Jews, have this biological potential! One more piece of evidence that Jews are like everyone else! Hashem* is wise and will always reveal the truth to those who seek it.
I just admit to being impressed that Miriam has named her "son" or daughter after a great Judge and a great King. Is Samuel David the second Jesus?
BTW, for those who don't know me well ... my name in Hebrew is Schmuel Mosheh (Samuel Moses). My mom, however was only a Mulkeh so I guess I am not a candidate for anointment?
Anyhow, from one Schmuel to another Schmuel, welcome to this messed up world!
More at HorsesAss
*Hashem ... Jews do not use a name for the Deity., Hashem means, "the Name."
Incredibly funny. Not to Apple.
What a gas!
Not too hard (please) to imagine a similar device for men!
Friday, May 18, 2007
"9/11.2″ Just weeks before the election of 2008, the Liberian registered cruiseship, Fanataseas, set off el Qaeda’s first atomic bomb beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. President Bush and Vice-President Pelosi were immediately rushed to Guantanamo to secure them from possible indigenous terrorists. In the now famous, “Dawn over Havana Meeting” they appeared with President Raul Castro, to announce that Western Hemisphere nations had united behind the staggered colossus of the north to prevent any wide spread violence and bring aid to the stricken regions of New York and New Jersey. Castro’s kind gesture would later lead to the Monrovian alliance and the formation of the Hemispheric Union (see Treaty of Bolivar).
Of course the immediate and intended effect was on the US election. As later revealed in the biography of Caliph Mouassa Ali, this was the intent of Osmar bin Laden,(see founder of el Qaeda, first president of Islamic Republic of Arabia). The American voters immediately turned away from the likely election of Mrs. Clinton (see William Clinton, Martha Stewart, Chief Justice Rodham) and vice Presidential candidate Stephen Jobs (see Apple-Sony) to the more militant Rudolph Giuliani and Thomas Franks(see war crimes trial, Montreal ).
The overwhelming election of November 2008, leading to the “permanent majority” is well described in the 2011 edition of “A Handmaid’s Tale, II” by Margaret Attwood. Senator Atwood, writing from her home in the breakaway province of Free Cascadia, tells how the believers of America and teh Islammic Umaya finally found common cause leading to the restoration of the Caliphate.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Ana Mari Cauci, a long time UW faculty member and activist, is now in the administration. Recently she wrote a response to faculty concerned that the Administration had mad salary decsiohnjs without the involvement of the faculty as required by the Faculty Code. Our School is fortunate in having a Faculty Code that is part of State Law/ The admin. says it tries to compby by a model they call shared governance and Dr. Cauci, now an admin. tries to explain the porcess in re the salary issue.
Her response (below) is well met. Her commitment is one of the best features of the new mood brought by President Emmert and Provost Wise. At the same time, her response illustrates the real complexity and the apparent reality of the inability of the faculty
to participate in the administrative process.
OOOPS ... did I say "apparent?"
The lack of authority of the Faculty in decision making is apparent, not just in this issue but in many other issues. The current administration, unlike some previous administrations, seems sincerely committed to communication and involvement of the faculty. However, the existing system, like the system of the soviets, effectively precludes faculty from real involvement in governance ... not only in regard to salaries but even in regard to such direct academic issues as the function of the branch campuses, graduation requirements, and student discipline.
Brad Holt, in his one year term as President of the Senate, tried hard to reform the system by insisting that the admin actually use faculty councils. From my limited perspective, Brad failed. Critical academic decisions are being made by committees where faculty may not even be present.
One step to the better has, I understand, been made by moving the Secretary of the Faculty's salary form the Provost's budget to the Senate's budget. Kudos for this step!
A lot more could and should be done, taking advantage of the legal precedent set by the Storti case and the apparent good will and sense of the Emmert administration.
1. Faculty Legal Advisor. The Senate should have the financial resources to employ an attorney to advise faculty on their rights. The usual argument has been that that the U can not pay for such a position because of the State constitutional prohibition of attorneys, other than the Attorney General, representing State units. This argument is specious. The Admin has a huge cohort of attorneys working in capacities that range from investigation of faculty misdeeds to IP. If this is allowed for one component of the UW, it must be allowed for all.
2. Faculty Councils. The Code is very clear that these councils must exist as part of governance of any UW activity that is academic. What is missing is an enforcement mechanism. The Senate should have the means to insist that such Councils work.
3. Senate Structure. The existing structure of the Senate, with leadership roating eveey year, guarantees an unequal relationship to the administration. Some way around this should be sought. Since changing the Code is onerous, it would be worth looking at ways the Senate can effect this within the existing structure. I see two ways this could be done. First, the Senate could create and the Admin could agree to fund, an Executive Director of the Senate. This would be a longer term position (like Secretary of the Faculty) and would have the resources to provide continuity. Again this would require that the Admin increase the Senate's budget. Alternatively, the admin itself, amidst the proliferation of Deans, vice Deans. assistant Deans, and similarly title Provosts, Directors etc, could create a position that would be responsible to the Senate.
Returning to my analogy to the soviets, consider the difference between WWLD? (What Would Lenin Do?) and WWJD? (What Would Jefferson Do?). Jefferson's life long insistence on the ideals of democracy, meeting up with the reality of the need to govern, led to the American system. The UW could learn from his example.
I have contributed to this list on and off over the years, but have been
mostly off in ths last couple as I am now one of those "administrators"
and have believed it is inappropriate for this list to become a
mouthpiece for administration. But, I have talked (in person or e-mail)
with a few frequent contributors who have urged me to give my
perspective, and have decided to at least try to address a few areas
touched upon recently.
ON BUDGET AND CONSULATION
There is no question in my mind that we (e.g. admin) could have done a
better job of consulting with the Senate Planning and Budget Committee
on budget allocations, especially in non-salary areas. By the end of
SCPB we were already working on setting a date for a subgroup of SCPB to
meet to begin those conversations. It is set for Friday of this week,
AFTER the Regents meeting -- which should make it clear that continuing
discussion on budget were already planned. The budget going to the
Regents this week is as an information item only, there was NEVER any
plan to vote on it or ratify it until the next meeting on June 17th. It
is not, and was never intended to be, a fait accompli. This is the very
first time the Regents will be seeing it, and I suspect they'd have a
few things to say about anyone thinking its final.
If folks don't feel there was enough consultation now, I can just begin
to imagine how they'd feel if a draft budget didn't go to the Regents
until June 17th when most faculty and students will be away. If the
budget were not made public until then, with a vote on ratification not
happening until the dead of summer in July -- folks would have much more
reason to be upset by process.
Please recall, the budget was only signed by the Governor on May 7th, we
saw it in final form on the 20 something of April, so we only had a few
weeks to turn things around to get something to the Regents before
summer. This leaves a very tight schedule for consultation on exact
What is clear to me now is that we need to talk about allocations before
we really know what the budget will be. Lesson learned. But, I do want
to say, and I do not think this will be disputed by anyone on SCPB --
there is no question that SCPB members have asked admin that has not
resulted in a direct answer or in further information.
ON FACULTY SALARIES
This year the total proposed increase in faculty salaries is about 6.7%.
(The actual allocation may vary from this depending on the unit
adjustment process and amount). 2 merit/no merit, 2.5 extra
meri/compression/inequities, 2 unit adjustments (1 of this from college
allocations), .2 for promotions. This is the best salary package the
faculty will have seen in over a decade (the best I can recall in my 21
years here, but my memory is imperfect. In 2000 we were almost 13%
behind the HECB-24 (our nominal peers) 75th percentile of faculty
salaries, at this point we are 4.7% behind. By the end of this salary
period we should be between 2 and 3% points behind the HECB 75th
percentile. Our catch-up on faculty salaries is moving faster than our
catch-up on per student funding.
ON SALARY ALLOCATIONS
If you look up the budget given to the Regents, you will see salary
allocation listed as 2% regular merit (which is the minimum mandated by
faculty code) and 2.5% for extra merit/inequities/compressioin. This
allocation was meant to provide the type of "flexible pool" talked about
on this listserve. We got voluminous information from SCPB about
compression and how it varied widely from unit to unit. Since faculty
distributions vary so widely from unit to unit, the only way to make any
real progress is to deal with some of this at the unit level. This can
only be done with a flexible pot as some here have noted. An allocation
of 2.5% as extra merit/compression/inequities does not mean that a unit
can't make the decision that their meritorious faculty will see 3% as
merit. In fact, at a Board of Deans meeting before SCPB and at the SCPB
meeting itself, the Provost made it clear that her expectation is that
unless there is good reason for why this is not the case, all
meritorious faculty should be seeing at least 3% increases. I would not
be surprised if something of this sort weren't in the directives to
Deans about salary allocations.
Another aspect of this budget is the proviso for unit adjustments. We
have heard a great deal on this list not only about compression between
faculty members, but about how some units are much further behind that
others. For the first time since I've been here, we have a plan to
ensure that not only will the faculty, as a whole, reach the HECB 75th
percentile, but that no individual unit will be appreciably behind the
HECB 50th, which we view as a floor. In the past there have been some
allocations to make sure that no unit is more than 20% behind the HECB
50th, but our present goal is to get us to a point where all units are
no different (statistically speaking) from that mark.
Thus, we are trying to deal with two of our salary problems
simultaneously --- getting the full faculty average to the HECB 75th (we
are projected to be within 2 percentage points away, if not closer, by
the end of the biennium) and to get ALL units to the HECB 50th (it
should take a couple of biennium to get there). In addition, by
providing salary allocation in as flexible a way as allowed, we provide
units the best tool possible to deal with internal inequities between
highy meritorious faculty.
We can, and should, continue to debate whether this is the best
allocation strategy. We can, and should, continue to debate and have
conversations about other areas of budget allocations. (For example,
with rising tuition, it is imperative that we do something significant
for our students, and we must do something about our crumbling
infrastructure, and for areas related to compliance and human resources
-- remember the pleas on this list about safety, about human subjects,
about our information technology?) The next few weeks will surely be
busy ones as we begin to move toward a budget ratification. We can, and
will, utilize SCPB better, and earlier, in the process in the future.
But, let's not lose sight of the fact that the overall budget picture,
and the overall salary picture, is one of good news. There is a great
deal of research (psychological and historical --remember Hobsbawm?)
that discontent peaks during times of rising expectations. And, having
lived through the McCormick years, I understand the distrust of admin.
Even under the best of circumstance, some tension there is healthy and
needed. But, as I've told a few colleagues, I fear we are on the brink
of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
The opinions expressed here are mine and only mine. But, thought another
persepctive (albeit from the darkside) might be useful
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Skip Bacevich, son of Boston University professor Andrew J. Bacevich. has died after a bomb burst in Iraq. "Service to country was obviously a family trait," a General who knew him said. "Skip was a great role model for young officers."
The senior Bacevich, is a major critic of the war. he is also a retired Army Colonel with service in 'Nam and Iraq 1.0. The contrast with the typical Bushie is very disturbing. Can there be a just war when our President insists that war is fought without personal sacrifice?
Monday, May 14, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Sad afternoon. It was Mother's Day but Barb and I attended an open house to remember the death of Paul Raymond, a friend we met through our Temple.
Paul's life was memorialized by his wife Ellen Taussig in an hour long story telling. Weirdly, Ellen's oration explained something very important to me. How was Paul a Jew?
Paul, was born a Methodist, practiced as a Presbyterian Elder, and converted to Judaism as part of his life with Ellen. When we met, it seemed to me that Paul lived without religious conviction. I was blind. Paul lived a Jewish life even before becoming one of us. Judaism must have seemed normal to someone who grew up as a rebel in a Kansas farm town where liberalism and learning were equally irrelevant to most people's lives. Like Maya Angelou, from a young age, Paul had a drive to read and learn. His drive that was itself a form of rebellion, a rebellion familiar to every young Jew who has rebelled atg the Talmud by turning to science or law. Paul's rebellion grew to become a need, a need to learn as much as he could about history, a drive to support fairness by marching for civil rights and, later, working for voting rights.
When we first met Paul, his liberalism seemed contradictory. As a teacher in private schools, and founder of the Northwest School, Paul fought a quixotic battle .. the battle for private schools to share their excellence with all kids. Isn't this a contradiction? How can one work in a private school while serving the goals of Dr. King? While wanting all kids to have opportunities to learn, how can one teach in a school dependent on the wealthy? The Northwest School depends on the children of Seattle's wealthy for its very existence.
The NW School may well be a contradiction in a Christian sense. Would Jesus have been successful if he dined with Pilate on fine foods and taught ethics in a Roman School? St. Augustine would not have considered such a life as an act of charity. Look at the candidacy of John Edwards for President. Senator Edwards is truly devoted, I believe, to helping the poor. BUT Attorney Edward's good deeds are hurt by the millions of dollars this poverty lawyer made in class action suits . Would Jesus be Jesus without sacrifice? Listening to Ellen, I began to think more of Mr. Edwards.
In Judaism, a good deed justifies itself. We are taught to do good NOT in praise of the Deity, but because doing good is the law. In Judaism, the law exists just as the Deity exists. The law is real. The Law is the Torah and the Torah teaches good deeds, laws called Mitvot. The mitzvot exist eternally. There is no requirement for Jews to proclaim a belief in the Deity, but Jews must follow the Mitzvot. Judaism is built on the same natural law that Jefferson used as the foundation of the American system of laws. Jews hold the mitzvot to be innately true.
Christians often ask, WWJD? One reason I am NOT a Christian in that I suspect Jesus would give charity with the blessings of his religion. Isn't the essence of Christianity the self sacrifice to appease the Deity's ire for man's sins? Charity should not be adulterated by the Deity.Who do YOU admire more Medecin sans Fronteir (an organization founded by French Jews) or World Vision? Both do good but MSF does this good simply to help others!Bye Paul, we will miss you at Seder.
Based on a discussion from the HorsesAss.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Scotty, the actor who played the grumpy engineer on Startrek, has failed at his last mission.
The actor paid to be blasted into space .. or at least for his ashes to get launched in orbit. Unfortunately and really sadly the rocket failed, went of course, and Scotty;s ashes now adorn a mountain top someplace in New Mexico. Two weeks after the launch, the rocket containing the ashes of Star Trek actor James Doohan has not yet been found.
This is a hilarious video from the Colbert Report. What happens when Stephen Colbert meets Barbarella?
Monday, May 07, 2007
Some folks are seeing a portent of the 2008 election in the defeat of a the French socialist with their single mom female candidate.
This is another illustration of the fantasy world the right lives in. Royal is to Hillary as Bush is to Jefferson. She could never run for President here. On the other hand, by US standards Sarkozy is somewhat to the left of Mao. He is no more a rightist than James Webb or Obama or .. Hillary.
What he DOES represent is a reaction to France;s Muslim issues. The elcetion shows a belief by the French that they are a distinct people, albeit one that others can JOIN if they are willing to become French. If there is a lesson here it is to the irredentist liberals who see nothing anomalous in 12 to 60 million new Chicanos suddenly becoming American with out a profound effect on our shared, if confusing "American" culture.
Probably good news for Israel AND the Palestinians too. A constructive France could do a lot of good!
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Well, I was wrong. The new SAM is a big improvement and now deserves to be called an Art Museum. The new space is simple and unobtrusive and meanders. meanders is the important word for me. I like the sense of disorder in a museum much ore than the kind of regimented flow patterns a lot of new spaces have, esp. the National Gallery in DC (by IM Pei).
I can not remember ever seeing such an unobtrusive museum. The space is pretty much neutral, as if one took a large office building and retasked it as a museum. Of course this is also the Washington Mutual Bank building, but few banks would have the high ceilings and grand spaces needed to be a museum. The outside is, with the exception of the old Venturi Museum's entrance, one more glass sided downtown Seattle nondescript office building. Without signs you would not know that this was an Art Museum rather than the home of various corporate entities, a lawyer or two and a food court.
The best part of the museum is that it has a lot of art, a lot. Wandering through is like visiting a wealthy person's home .. lots of flotsam and jetsam and then .. wow! a Rothkow or Motherwell, or Pollack! The highlights for me were the Northwest art .. a lot of Tobey, some Graves (two really bad ones), didn't see any Callahan or Cage. Still, I have already decided that several of the Tobies are "mine." One made me cry!
Another favorite is a Korean piece of modern sculpture by Doh Ho Suh. .. a Korean dress grown huge and made out of dogtags. I remember when this piece was first shown in Seattle .. I loved it then and still do now. Glad to find that we own it now.
The worst is what is left of the original Venturi building. Fortunately there is no much left other than the stupid hammering man statue and Venturi's grand staircase. This stupidity still goes from nowhere to nowhere. Actually, the grandiose stairs now seem utterly irrelevant to the rest of the building... more or less like an odd set of overbuilt back stairs.
There is also still a sense of nouveau richeness to the place. The entry galleries had a a car show rool flavor with ugly cars turned into chandeliers for no obvious reason. And there were a miscellaneous collection of Warhols and Oldeburgs pop art. Passe, so Passe. Same for a lot of the older European and American art. One good sarget, but the rest were embarrassing .. examples of what happens when folks get rich too late to buy up the good stuff.
Aw hell .. so what? Walk around and there is a lot of good stuff t see. The Coastal Art finally has a decent spade, the African Art is .. well I need to g back. My fave? The Jacob Lawrence gallery!
This tribute to Mr. Lawrence works because it IS a tribute to a great Northwest artist rather than a tribute to a donor. Why couldn't the museum do more of this? One of the greatest art shows I ever saw was an exhibit of the Seattle School at the Tacoma Glass Museum. This was during the opening of this museum, itself a paen to Chihuly, and the curator must have wanted to connect the glass art movement to the hyistory of art i9n the Northwest. That history is unique. The settlers who came here encountered a high artistic culture. Art was an omnipresent integral part of the coastal people's culture. Raven the carving was a way of expressing the reality of raven the deity AND the unity of man and nature. It is difficult not to imagine that this spirit did not osmose into the later nature art tradition of the Seattle School.
Sorry, I have not identified the Seattle School with its most prominent artists . Graves, Tobey, Callahan, and Cage. Their joint work celebrated the same unity of nature, art as well as poetry, music as one sees in the traditional paintings of a bentwood box. The paintings at first seem to be pure geometry, but the geometry resolves itself into animal parts .. eyes, joints, feathers, and fins. Then, these same part metamorphose into people. Graves and Tobey .. consciously or not, continue this amazing tradition. Grave,s "Folded Wing" (left) is one examle .. unfortunately it really does not work online. Thats is why we need a museum!
Maybe I am imagining all this, but it would be a wonderful step if the SAM brought its Northwest school works together! If the curators are reading what I write, please look at it this way ... visitors to Seattle come form Paris and Tokyo, London and Boston. Every city has a museum, some greater than others. With all due respect to Warhol, Lichenstein, Oldenburg . pop art can be seen anywhere. It is a generic form, a generic idea. Moreover, much of this work is easily duplicated. I have seen Warhol's Marilyn as an original (I think) and as a print .. which is real? Exposing these generic pieces, including the Hammering Man sculpture at the front entrance of OUR museum, implies that Seattle is no more than a lately rich community.
So, I will retract my terminology. I will accept SAM as the Seattle Art Museum rather than its former name, the Seattle Aren't Art Museum, because there are so many wonderful thngs to see. I hope thoough, SAM will begin to see itself as more of a stimulus to Art itslef, that we will see a lot more creativity and celebration of artists as opposed to collectors.
The Washington Post | Karin Brulliard | May 5, 2007 07:53 AM
Iraq is hemorrhaging doctors as violence racks the nation. To stem the flow, the Iraqi government has recently taken a cue from Saddam Hussein: Medical schools are once again forbidden to issue diplomas and transcripts to new graduates.
Hussein built a fine medical system in part by withholding doctors' passports and diplomas. Although physicians can work in Iraq with a letter from a medical school verifying their graduation, they say they need certificates and transcripts to work abroad.This reminds me, I have wanted to post a question: Why, if we are defending Iraq have we seen so few Iraqis coming to the US? Wouldn't it make sens eif we are trying to Americanize the place to have a LOT of Iraqi students coming here on exchange? That certainly has happeend with other countries we have invaded.
I suspect the Bushies are blocking Iraqi immigration or even exchange programs for security reasons.