Tuesday, May 26, 2015



Though sorrow lay deep on our souls
Though tears welled in our eyes
We gathered new courage from the grave
Where our brave comrade lies

Recently we went to the San Francisco Ballet performing a Shostakovich Trilogy. Gail had thrilled to this program a year ago and made sure I wouldn’t miss the repeat.

At one point in the marvelous performance, my tears poured out. At intermission, I tried to sing to Gail the words of a song that Shostakovich used as a theme in the Chamber Symphony. I couldn’t because sobs choked me again and again. The Chamber Symphony is based on his Quartet No. 8, dedicated to his friends who died in World War II and to all the lives lost in the Nazi holocaust. The theme (words above) was a workers’ funeral dirge dating back to revolutionary struggles in Czarist Russia.

Can I understand the tears? Can I explain the unquenchable emotion that still beats inside me from a childhood and youth such a long, long time ago?.....

(To read more, click here)

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Duncan’s here!

This is more suited to Facebook, but with all the heavy news these days, this space badly needs a change of pace. I thought I might write a review of Candide, which we saw last night at Oakland’s Paramount in a marvelously spirited performance conducted by Michael Morgan. But it’s not every day that youngest granddaughter, Grace, gets to introduce a new family member!

Grace with Duncan


Thursday, May 7, 2015


Can US Foreign Policy Be Turned Away From Perpetual War?

It’s not going to be easy, but it’s past time to change the course of US foreign policy.

Mountains of experience — of repeated failures and unending engagement in warfare — prove that something really fundamental is wrong. We are locked into seemingly unresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world, erupting into widespread acts of war and even renewed fears of another war between major powers.

Why is US foreign policy mired in failure? 

We are undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is not acknowledged, let alone reflected in US foreign policy. We still act as if our exceptional military power, far flung imperial alliances and involvements, and our self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order”.   That assumption was always questionable, but it certainly doesn’t square with reality in today’s world....

(This article is longer than a blog, so I've put it on a page set up for longer articles. Click here if you choose to continue reading.)