Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You Can Help Progressive and Moderate Matanuska Electrical Association Candidates

The Matanuska Electric Association's annual meeting for 2010 will be held on Tuesday, April 27th at Raven Hall at the Alaska State Fair grounds in Palmer.

Alaska progressive icon, Katie Hurley, is running to hold her seat representing Wasilla and the Susitna valley, for a second term. She is being opposed by former Mat-Sun Schools superintendent, Bob Doyle, who is being financed, in part, by the Republican Party, in this supposedly non-partisan race.

For the Palmer seat, incumbent Lazy Mountain carrot farmer Larry deVilbis is being challenged by Palmer attorney, Bill Tull. Tull is a moderate. DeVilbis has been and is very consevative when it comes to issues faced by MEA.

If you are interested in visibly supporting Katie and Bill, here's the present schedule for sign-waving for their campaigns:

Please join us Tuesday, 30 March, 4pm - 6pm.

Please come out to either the intersection of the Parks/Palmer-Wasilla Highway or the intersection by Carrs and the Palmer-Wasilla Highway in Palmer.

We'll continue next Tuesday and Friday, and every Tuesday and Friday thereafter till the election. The dates are as follows:

April 6 and 9 - Tues. & Fri.

April 13 and 16 - Tues. & Fri.

April 20 and 23 - Tues. & Fri.

Then, Monday, April 26, and

Tuesday, Election Day/Annual Meeting, April 27, from 4pm - 5:30pm

Katie Hurley, as MEA Board Member:

Exposed secrecy, special financial favors, and dirty tricks rampant in the previous administration

Successfully fought to clean house and bring about a new MEA administration

Did away with administration’s “Golden Parachute” and wasteful expenditures

Researched, selected, and encouraged hiring MEA’s new, effective general manager

Promotes openness, collaboration and accountability for the good of our co-op, without political agenda

Encourages mediation to solve problems, rather than expensive law suits

Actively works toward exploring all options, including local generation and proven renewable energy technologies, for providing low-cost, clean, and reliable power

Made MEA a willing participant in Railbelt issues and generation, a radical change from the way business was conducted the last 15 years.

Katie Hurley’s opponent is Bob Doyle, former Chief Financial Officer (aka Superintendent) for the Mat Su School District. Doyle’s administration brought about the damaging out-sourcing of our custodial staff, incurring costly legal battles.

Bill Tull

• Homesteaded in 1958.

• Practiced law for 38 years in Palmer.

• Served as Director of the Palmer Community College (which later became Mat Su College).

• First Director of Mat Su College.

• Board Member of Kiwanis, Lions, Palmer Chamber of Commerce.

• Organized the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce

• Founding Member of the Palmer Rotary Club

• Director of Bill Tull’s Big Band, routinely donating his musical talent to various charities.

• Organized the First Annual Mayors’ Charity Ball in 2010 to raise money for local food banks.

Bill Tull’s opponent is Larry Devilbiss, former School Board Member for the Mat Su School District. Devilbiss voted to support the damaging out-sourcing of our custodial staff. At MEA he has been a consistent anti-labor voice.

image - Katie Hurley

Gardening Prep Update

I've planted hundreds of plants for our 2010 greenhouse and garden. Some are up. Some are getting rather large. Here are some tomato and pepper plants:
Jeff Lowenfels wrote a column on growing tomatoes from seed for last week's Anchorage Daily News. I read it after mine were planted and already up. Going down the list of what he does and recommends, I'm pretty much in line with his methods.

Also, starting indoors, along with the peppers and tomatoes, are radicchio, English cucumbers and mint:

In the greenhouse, arugula, watermelon radish, romaine lettuce, Armenian cucumbers and buttercrunch lettuce are up. Also planted are cilantro, basil, chard, mesculin, tarragon, zucchini, oregano, and three kinds of beets. At night, a cover goes over the insulated basil box, and the trays go down under the plastic covering the table upon which they sit during the day. It gets up to above 90 degrees in the greenhouse on sunny afternoons:

Next week, I'll be planting cabbage, runner beans and some other stuff.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Anchorage Daily News Continues to Fail to Condemn Palin's Incitements to Hatred and Violence - Day One

These people may have hoped to kill our President. They failed. They don't exactly look like winners, do they?

But there are a lot more out there like them, and some might be more intelligent, more cunning. They are learning from this, and are reloading, so they can take aim at more targets, another time.

Some of those who have already gone over the edge, most notably the man who attacked guards at the NYC Holocaust Museum, killing one, were inspired by Sarah Palin.The next ones to want to do violence to our President, or to elected officials or party functions and functionaries from either major party, or to bloggers who stand up for the truth, and cite Palin as an inspiration, can thank the editors and the publisher of the Anchorage Daily News for totally failing to tell the full story of Palin's vindictiveness, racism and divisiveness over the years, thereby helping provide them their inspiration. Had the ADN editors or publisher done that, beginning back in 1996, Palin wouldn't be where she is right now, feeding this often vile hatred.

The negligence of the ADN editors and publisher over the years on this may end up costing somebody his or her life before this is over. In a sense, they already share a fraction of the responsibility in the Holocaust Museum shooting.

I'm going to write about this often.

Until the ADN finally honestly addresses this issue. It is important to Americans and to the world.

Saradise Found - Chapter 30 - Who's Up/Who's Down - The ADN - DOWN - for Once Again Failing to Observe the Obvious.... UPDATED - AK Dems Hit!

Progressive Alaska has observed a number of times since October 2008 that the Anchorage Daily News had - and has - a responsibility to write about the links between some of Sarah Palin's actions or words and the increasingly violent atmosphere projected by fringe right groups who often identify with her.

Rather than use this week's Who's Up - Who's Down? Sunday space to perhaps once criticize Palin for the violent subtext she frequently conjures, the ADN chose instead to write in the Bimboesque simplicity they often are forced to resort to when explaining the failed, unhinged quitter.

UP -- Sarah Palin: On TLC. On Fox. With McCain again. She's everywhere, she's everywhere!

The ADN uses the Who's Up-Who's Down? space to laud or chastise. Often, the comments to these Sunday entertainments add depth to the humor of the ADN's capsule descriptions of the week's personalities and events.

But this week the ADN seems to have disappeared or simply not allowed comments to their thumbs up-thumbs down entry. There are no comments, 36 hours after the piece was posted.

I find the ADN's inability to paint an accurate picture of what Palin is about to be one of the most disturbing stories in Alaska history. Many across the country are concerned that one or more of her ardent but unglued acolytes might yet do something really awful.

At least the ADN didn't come to Palin's defense by giving credence to the biggest pathological liar in America's political lexicon's lies at the teabaggers' version of Burning Man this past weekend in Nevada, where she blamed the "lamestream media" for accusing her of inciting hatred through her irresponsible imagery that implies violence.

Even right-wing shills found Palin's statements last week to be over-the-top or dangerous. Why not the ADN?

Update - Monday 4:00 p.m: The Anchorage Headquarters of the Alaska Democratic Party had a window broken by a rock this weekend. So far, the ADN and KTUU TV have covered it for the regular media. The Mudflats features an interview with Alaska Democratic Party chair, Patti Higgins.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Paul Jenkins, Bambi Tyree and Bill Allen - What a Sandwich!

Let's do a google search. I'll type in Paul Jenkins Bambi Tyree Bill Allen $192,000.

It appears that no articles come up. Just a bunch of gobbledeegook. No surprise there.

Paul Jenkins probably collected about $192,000 from Bill Allen in "well-earned" pay for writing gobbledegook and talking gobbledegook on right-wing AM talk radio while Bill Allen was banging Bambi and her friends, often using very illegal drugs, almost right in front of Paul Jenkins' face. For a long time.

Next time you get a chance, ask Paul how good he feels about that. I'd prefer he be asked targeted questions about Bill Allen and Bambi under oath, but that just isn't going to happen.

The only bigger joke on Alaska journalism over the years than Paul himself, is the plainly disgusting fact that organizations like the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Public Radio Network and right-wing talk radio continue to even give him space to express his patently dishonest rants. If our mainstream media spent as much time checking into the seamy undersides of our political icons as they do sucking up to useless mouthpieces like Paul, we might be getting somewhere in the battle to get the truth told.

That isn't going to happen either, though, is it?

Paul's most recent mission is to try to deflect criticism away from the man quickly becoming the ultimate poster boy for dishonesty in government in Alaska. Dapper Dan Sullivan. Jenkins' op-ed in the Sunday edition of the Anchorage Daily News, which criticizes progressive bloggers for paying a lot of attention to Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan's snowballing ethical and moral problems, is even more meretricious than 90% of his boilerplate "ca-whore-poreate"-speak crap. Among his many scattershot blasts is this one:

Beginning late last year, liberal bloggers and wannabe journalists started trying to peddle a tale about Sullivan to the mainstream media that was so smarmy I'm not going to dignify it here. The legitimate media, to their credit, ignored the story.

His attackers decided to take another whack at Sullivan with a story about his being trustee for his late father's trust and not disclosing that to the city. It had short news legs. Sullivan got zip from the trust. Who cares? It was time, the left decided, to drop the smarm bomb.

Wait a minute? If he's talking last year, I missed it. If he's talking about this blog covering the questionable party planner hire, I haven't covered it. And of the 58 progressive Alaskan blogs listed on this page, only two or three have touched this potential sex for pay scandal.

Jenkins' op-ed offers no quotes. Jenkins contradicts statements he made recently on KSKA/KASKM's weekly media roundup, where he honestly condemned Sullivan's acceptance of the trust money the way it went down.

I am impressed that of the 43 comments to Jenkins' screed, there are almost no backers to his stand on the issue. Some of the responses are hilarious. If only Paul had an inkling of such depth of humor. Even if he went to comedy op-ed school, he wouldn't be able to eke out 10% of the irony contained in some of these comments:

Jenkin's you are living proof as to why the Anchorage Times folded...

Mr. Jenkins, are you sure you are doing Sullivan a favor? Now, thousands of people who had no idea about "the Mayor and the Party Planner" rumor have been given a heads up. I would guess that I'm not the only one who googled the "lefty blogosphere". Apparently this rumor has already gotten on national blogs....

When I read Mr. Jenkin's article I felt like he was saying: " Pay no attention to the sole-source contractor hottie behind the curtain. The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken! Now go!....

Paul Jenkins has a very short memory. On the KAKM show "Anchorage Edition", he agreed that the the $193,000 payout was improper. I was surprised by his announcement, but agreed with him. I guess he's since been spoken to....

This is the second COMPLETELY over the top reaction to this story about Sullivan and the "party planner". First Dan Coffey did everything but spit when the issue was raised at the last Assembly meeting and now Jenkins is desperately trying to smear anybody who dares question the mayor's true fiscal bona fides. With apologies to The Bard "Thou doth protest too much, methinks"....

Oh...and Sullivan pulled a Palin and filed an ethics complaint against himself-which backfired because the ethics board found that Sullivan should have disclosed that HE WAS THE TRUSTEE!!! Dan Sullivan has spent $67,000 investigating Senator Mark Begich. Plus, his minions, like Bill Starr, hate Begich so much he tried to lower Anchorage's BOND RATING!!! Anything smell rotten yet???

Jenkins is playing the shill once again...just like he did for Bill Allen all those years...fits like an old leather shoe, huh Paul?....

Here's AKM on that particular Paul problem:

So, thanks Paul Jenkins for bringing this all up. You’ve undoubtedly made people Google all kinds of things like “Mayor Dan Sullivan ethics scandal,” and “Mayor Dan Sullivan takes the money and runs” and “Mayor Dan Sullivan found guilty by ethics board” and “Who’s that party planner anyway?” and thus have inadvertently spread this information to wider circles. And I’m all for people asking questions about their government. People not paying attention is the worst enemy of democracy.

If the “leftists” ever need a good PR guy, you should throw your resume on the stack. Just sayin.

And to find out how Mark Begich was found guilty of all sorts of wrongdoing, you can click…. um…. well…. you can just listen to the crickets.

Paul might think of retiring. Soon. Maybe Rick Rydell can help him find some property and a studio in Eastern Washington, eh?

PA Arts Sunday - Program Notes for Hindu Kush

My longest orchestral work in 25 years, Hindu Kush, has now had three full or part rehearsals, as I prepare the Anchorage Civic Orchestra for its Spring Concert, to be presented on May 14th.

Hindu Kush is a set of impressions about war and strife in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir. It begins in anguish, ends in hope and prayer.

The concert will open with a work that hasn't been played by an orchestra in Alaska in decades - Franz Schubert's Rosamunde (or Die Zauberharfe) Overture, followed by Hindu Kush, which has never been played anywhere. The second half will feature the Alaska premieres of two masterpieces, Franz Liszt's richly lyrical tone poem, Orpheus, and Alexander Glazunov's Violin Concerto (with Dr. Walter Oliveros as soloist).

I've directed almost 100 performances of concert bands and wind ensembles, but this will be my debut as the conductor of an entire program of orchestral music. Even at 63 years old, this is pretty exciting.

Hindu Kush's four movements each examine an aspect of the ongoing conflicts in that part of the world. Below are program descriptions of each movement, and links to the MIDI realizations of them I've posted at my garageband web page. If you click on the title of each of the movements, you are directed to a garageband page. You can then click on the green forward arrow. A separate window opens, and you can come back to this post and read the program notes in the old window, while listening to the music.

Hindu Kush is designed to be accessible by non-professional orchestras, with fairly traditional orchestration. An English horn and a large percussion set of bells (chimes, glockenspiel and crotales) are the only notable additions to the ensemble's timbres.

I. Bamyan Voids: In March 2001, over a period of days, Taliban forces destroyed the two large 1,500 year-old statues of male (Salsal) and female (Shamama) aspects of the Buddha, carved into the sandstone cliffs at an edge of the Bamyan (or Bamiyan) Valley in the Bamyan Province of the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan. Since the advent of Islam in that region, the statues had been attacked before. This time, however, the destruction was extensive.

My orchestral essay begins with the valley on a quiet, peaceful morning, The statues repose in their niches. Taliban arrive in trucks filled with explosives. They set the charges and blow the monuments. The music depicts their arrival, the rigging, the explosions, and the excitement of the Taliban in the dusty aftermath. After the men leave and the dust clears, the voids where the statues had been seem empty to some. I envision it as the completion of the mission of those whose devotion had created the monuments centuries and centuries ago.

Two recurring ideas appear in Bamyan Voids. The first is a sort of chant melody, initially played by the French Horns. The second is a variation on an ancient Buddhist hymn about impermanence. Each time the hymn returns, it is transformed somewhat. When the horn chant returns near the end of the movement, it is in A major, instead of its original A minor.

II. Women's Ghazal: The ghazal is a longstanding poetic form in many languages of central Asia. The form, probably initially exposed in pre-Islamic Arabian cultures, is in five or more couplets with the same or very similar meter. The general theme is of unrequited love. Through metaphor, this theme can be seen as carnal, or as a higher love for an idea or condition of being. Hundreds of ghazals have been set to song over the centuries.The most famous writer of ghazals and the artist who most fully realized the higher aspects of the use of metaphor in the form, was the 19th century Urdu poet, Ghalib.

In contemporary central Asian culture, one merely has to type the term "ghazals" at youtube to see examples of the continuity of this vibrant art.

Women's Ghazal is about the unrequited love many Afghan women, particularly Afghan women artists must feel, as they long for a society in which they may freely sing. It uses my own melodies inspired by three contemporary popular Afghan ghazals, sung by women singers on youtube, as its material. The movement is in five stanzas (A[aaba]B[aaba]C[aaba]B[aaba]A[aaba]), reminiscent of the structure of these poems.

III. War Dirge: The theme for War Dirge is based on the first twelve bars of the opening melody in Women's Ghazal. In this movement, it is transformed into the stark motto for a passacaglia. After the introduction of the passacaglia theme, it goes through seven reiterations, the fourth of which is a modulated, expanded version.

I wanted to write a stronger anti-war statement in this movement, and my wife was hoping I would. But the commissioning ensemble - the ACO - has members with sons or daughters currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I felt it most appropriate to condemn war on a level on which we could all find common ground.

IV. Peace Prayer: Back in the years 1970 to 1973, I often opened ethnic music segments of my daily morning program on KRAB radio in Seattle with a wordless song collected by a French ethnomusicologist in Kashmir in the 1950s. It is a simple shepherd's tune, accompanied by tablas. Each time the singer repeats his tune, it goes a bit faster. Since then I have used the theme at the conclusion of my 1972 radio work, Between the Lines, and as the subject for the final movement of my 2000 Tuba Sonata. It is a straightforward, major mode melody, a bit reminiscent of the American Shaker song, 'Tis a Gift to Be Simple.

As in the shepherd's version, my setting goes a bit faster as it spins its way forward. And, like his, the composition is totally diatonic (there are no non-scale tones played), without modulation. This peace prayer ends with the same bell sounds that opened Hindu Kush.

Hindu Kush will receive its premiere on Friday May 14th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Sydney Laurence Theatre at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage.

image - the Hindu Kush range from space

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When Will We Grow Up?

Five issues have made southcentral Alaska news over the past few days that, tied together, paint a picture of a people in total denial: A seeming unwillingness by Alaskans and their lawmakers to adequately fund higher education in the sciences; the promotion to the job of Alaska's wildlife director of a man deemed by dozens of wildlife management professionals to be unqualified; the selection of an unimaginative military functionary to guide our universities through trying times; the continuing and deepening commitment by Alaska's national delegation, including Sen. Mark Begich, to fight off scientists who seek to find long-term solutions for survival of the Cook Inlet Belugas; and the announcement that the company proposing development of the Chuitna coal fields just doesn't give a damn if they destroy prime salmon streams and habitat for the next 35,000 years.

So many scenarios, playing out simultaneously, I can imagine us - Alaskans - as inhabiting a huge theme park, managed by people who listen to Anchorage right-wing talk radio, and paid for by corporations who feel it is in their interests to manage not just the animals, but the people too, for maximum yield. The people, just like the moose and caribou, are here for maximum sustainable yield of corporate profits by foreign-owned cruise ship companies, foreign-owned oil conglomerates, foreign-owned mining companies, foreign-owned mega-fishing fleets, and - soon - foreign-controlled gas pipelines and LNG plants.

Our politicians and corporate leaders have no intention of turning southcentral Alaska into anything more modern than it has to be to serve their corporate interests. Aging, visionary leaders like Wally Hickel and Vic Fischer are marginalized by our current political leadership.

Watching the 2010 gubernatorial campaigns shape up, the flight of funding to those most in favor of managing Alaska's human population for the abundance of profits by foreign-owned companies isn't very startling. Nor have been the moves by Alaska's right-wing elected legislators in Juneau to keep oversight over corporate contributions in the post Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission world from occurring in a rational way. It is frustrating, though, to see so few Alaskans willing to stand up and fight for our rights to not be treated as if we were so many moose and caribou, being unscientifically managed, and being skinned and mounted on the walls of corporate offices in Tokyo, Oslo, Vancouver, London, Hong Kong or the Caymen Islands.

Meanwhile, here's a song for our newest improbable State Director, Corey Rossi:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ten [Almost] Immediate Benefits of Health Care Reform

Here are ten benefits which come online within six months of the President's signature on the health care bill:

1.) Adult children may remain as dependents on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday

2.) Children under age 19 may not be excluded for pre-existing conditions

3.) No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage

4.) Free preventative care for all

5.) Adults with pre-existing conditions may buy into a national high-risk pool until the exchanges come online. While these will not be cheap, they’re still better than total exclusion and get some benefit from a wider pool of insureds.

6.) Small businesses will be entitled to a tax credit for 2009 and 2010, which could be as much as 50% of what they pay for employees’ health insurance.

7.) The “donut hole” closes for Medicare patients, making prescription medications more affordable for seniors.

8.) Requirement that all insurers must post their balance sheets on the Internet and fully disclose administrative costs, executive compensation packages, and benefit payments.

9.) Authorizes early funding of community health centers in all 50 states (Bernie Sanders’ amendment). Community health centers provide primary, dental and vision services to people in the community, based on a sliding scale for payment according to ability to pay.

10.) AND no more rescissions. Effective immediately, you can't lose your insurance because you get sick.

---- from Crooks & Liars

Also, AKM at The Mudflats has more on benefits of this legislation.

I can see our family benefitting from #s 1, 3, 4, 7 & 10.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

PA Arts Sunday - A Reply to a Young Musician re the Importance of Rachel Corrie

A young man asked me some very good questions in the comments of my commemorative post on the 7th anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie. He deserves a full, more open answer than a reply in the comments would have given him. Here is his comment, and my reply:

Dear Mr. Munger,

I agree that Israel commits atrocious human rights abuses against Palestinians in the occupied territory. I agree that their settlement program is nothing short of colonialist. However, I'm afraid I see little constructive criticism on your part in this matter. As a left-wing Zionist, I feel it is fine to criticise Israel as long as its interests are taken into consideration, as well as those of the Palestinians. Perhaps you would find less antagonism from the Jewish community and others if you focused more on what you think should be done to resolve the issues in the Near East. For example, advocating the two-state solution, demanding a halt in settlement construction, and condemning Palestinian terrorist organizations intent on destroying Israel.

My warmest regards, and I enjoyed playing your music last year [Lamentations and Gordon's Last Ride Rag] in the Anchorage Youth Symphony.

Josh Cravez

Dear Josh,

Thanks for your earnest questions. I’ll try to answer them very specifically first, then in a more general way. It is especially gratifying that a young person has asked these questions. My commemorative post about Rachel Corrie cites the hopes that young people always have, and you show such hope in your questions.

I. I’m not sure what “Israel’s interests are,” when viewed overall. I accept the status quo of territorial expansion by Zionist settlers in the West Bank, unsustainable blockade of Gaza, ongoing diminution of the rights of Arab Israelis within the national boundaries, and intensification of racism as so markedly portrayed by the videography of Max Blumenthal and the Israeli media, as all being representative of part of what Israel actually is. In my mind, none of these are in anyone’s “best” interests.

Likewise, some Palestinians act out in awful ways. For instance, just this past week, on the 1,000th day of the Gaza siege, another rocket from northeastern Gaza killed somebody in Israel. I fully condemn terror wherever and however it occurs. The stance by some militant groups, and the overall stances of Hezbollah and Hamas, in regard to Israel’s “right to exist” are condemnable, and I have done that, in writings here and elsewhere.

Although I have condemned illegal settlement construction and land confiscation by Zionists in the West Bank, I can’t “demand a halt” any more than you can. Nor can I stop the hideous rocket attacks. Nor can I keep drunk drivers in Israel or Gaza or the West Bank from killing far more people than do these rocket attacks.

I think it is too late for the “two-state solution,” as its honest implementation would require almost complete withdrawal from the territories occupied in June 1967, which would result in an Israeli civil war. It is too late to address compensation for Palestinians forcibly removed from what is now Israel during the 1940s and 1950s, as it is too late to address compensation for Jews forcibly removed during that same period from Arab countries.

You cite "antagonism from the Jewish community" toward me or my work. I trust you mean my work about Rachel Corrie. Although I have endured antagonism from some within the Alaska Jewish community, and some from other parts of the world, this has been more than made good by the amazing friendships I have developed since late 2003 with many Jews around the world, most of whom are not Zionist per se, even if they feel compelled to sometimes support the various Israeli governments more than they would like. Locally, from day one of the controversy surrounding The Skies are Weeping, a few Anchorage and Alaska Jews have sought me out to let me know that they support me, but cannot say this publicly. During the most recent conversation I had with Rabbi Yossi Greenburg, in March 2008, I thanked him for what I had been able to learn because of the forum he and I had put on at UAA on April 8, 2004. Please ask him about this, should you have the opportunity.

Outside of Alaska and the U.S, I’ve worked a lot with groups composed of both Israelis or former Israelis and former Palestinians. There isn’t much of an infrastructure in that realm here in Alaska. If there were, I would enjoy helping bring about comity. Bridge Builders has done remarkable work in Anchorage, somewhat along those lines.

You address music and the joy that can bring. I don’t know whether or not you are aware of Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Founded in 1999, its aim is to “promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians and pave the way for a peaceful and fair solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Barenboim himself has spoken of the ensemble as follows:

"The Divan is not a love story, and it is not a peace story. It has very flatteringly been described as a project for peace. It isn't. It's not going to bring peace, whether you play well or not so well. The Divan was conceived as a project against ignorance. A project against the fact that it is absolutely essential for people to get to know the other, to understand what the other thinks and feels, without necessarily agreeing with it. I'm not trying to convert the Arab members of the Divan to the Israeli point of view, and [I'm] not trying to convince the Israelis to the Arab point of view. But I want to - and unfortunately I am alone in this now that Edward died a few years ago - ...create a platform where the two sides can disagree and not resort to knives."

Here’s the maestro, describing the mission on which he and Dr. Edward Said embarked:

And here is the ensemble of hopeful, young people, performing Franz Liszt’s Les Preludes in August 2009:

Part One:

Part Two:

You might consider looking into participating in this orchestra’s summer programs in the future. If there are fellowships for young Americans available, I would be happy to help you prepare your application. The director of the Anchorage Youth Symphony, Linn Weeda, is a big fan of Maestro Barenboim's efforts in this regard.

II. More generally, Josh, I draw inspiration from what Dr. Albert Einstein expressed in his once famous, but now hard to obtain speech on April 17, 1938, at the Commodore Hotel in New York City:

I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish State. We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in the political sense of the word would be equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of our community, which we owe to the genius of our prophets.

When I covered Alison Weir’s appearances in Anchorage last fall, what bothered me most about her approach was her lack of recognition – at least in my take on what she has to offer – of how important the role of young people like you, or the kids in maestro Barenboim’s orchestra have in this future, and how limited the visions of older people like me, or Weir, or the representatives of various governments, political authorities, political parties, coalitions and major religious entities, actually are.

As far as the roles of the three Abrahamic faiths in this process are concerned, I see hope in the long term, but not in the short term. The rise of fundamentalisms in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism are quite troubling. It is even more troubling from the perspective of women’s rights. I can see a lot of hope for commonality among young people from all these faiths, through seeking to help women around the entire world obtain equal opportunities in every realm, particularly in decisions about their education and family planning.

Back at the beginning of our present set of wars, I turned to the words of young Rachel Corrie, hoping that involving young people in performances of work commemorating her, a dialogue that gave higher visibility to Palestinian rights than one normally sees presented in American fine art, might provoke a different kind of discussion than what occurred locally in April 2004. I learned from that, and am constantly looking to find young people out there who express hope, yet ask provocative questions:

My most recent work to address ongoing violence, war and hopes for peace, ends in a simple, fully diatonic prayer.

It is directed sincerely toward all who might seek peace. Especially young people. Hopefully, Josh, we can perform it together some day.

top image - Israeli and Palestinian kids at a summer camp together, July 17, 2001 Quique Kierszenbaum/Getty Images

2010 Mat-Su Democratic Party Caucus in Wasilla

Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m, the Mat-Su Democratic Party District caucused at the meeting rooms and dining room of the Glacier Canyon Grill, by the Parks Highway, in Wasilla.

Registration was in full swing by 9:00 a.m. About 65 people from legislative districts 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 participated.

Mat-Su Democrats' Chair Pat Chesbro conducted the business aspects of the overall meetings. In both the morning and afternoon sessions, we broke into work groups by legislative district. I chaired District 13, with the addition of some precincts from District 12, which stretches from Valdez to North Pole to north Palmer.

During our luncheon break, Sen. Begich called our caucus, as he had called others in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Kenai. After his pep talk, he accepted questions. When Sen. Begich stated that "single payer is off the table during 'reconciliation,'" some in the crowd began chanting "Single payer Now!"

After Sen. Begich rang off, Alaska radio, TV and internet commentator, Shannyn Moore spoke for about 25 minutes on what makes it difficult for Sen. Begich to be able to be flexible as a politician in Alaska, and about building a movement in the Valley around issues that ring with commonality across party lines.

Shannyn was at her humorous best, throughout. I'm fascinated by the knowledge she keeps on accumulating about so many important issues in Alaska. She also seems to have an anecdote from her life or from the lives of people she knows that can illustrate the problems brought out by any issue, almost any question. She is becoming one of Alaska's great story tellers.

Here we are hashing out resolutions and proposed changes to our local bylaws and to the Alaska Democratic Party Plan, for consideration at the upcoming (May 7, 8 and 9) Alaska Democratic Party Convention in Sitka.

Not the 1,000 people we had at our last caucus in February 2008, but a very good showing, with at least a few people from each district.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mat-Su Democrats Caucus Saturday Will Feature Sen. Mark Begich & Shannyn Moore

The Mat-Su District of the Alaska Democratic Party hosted the 2008 State Convention at the State Fair grounds in Palmer. The event ran so smoothly, people forgot we were Democrats.

This Saturday morning, the same group of hardworking moderates, liberals and progressives, will be hosting the 2010 Mat-Su District Caucus.

Sen. Begich will be calling in just prior to lunch. Shannyn Moore will be the lunch-hour speaker.

If you are a Mat-Su Democrat - which includes parts of Chugiak, Birchwood and Peter's Creek, as well as Sutton and parts of the Glenn and Richardson Highways, come on in!

Here's the agenda:

Mat Su Democratic Party Caucus Agenda
House Districts 13, 14, 15, 16 & three District 12 Precincts:
(Farm Loop, Sutton & Sheep Mountain Precincts)
March 20th, Glacier Canyon Grill
2900 Parks Highway, Wasilla

9:00-9:30 Registration

9:30-10:00 Welcome by Pat Chesbro, Chair, Mat-Su Democrats

· Introductions and Recognitions

· Review of Day's Activities

10:30-11:15 House District Caucus Meetings

· Elect Officers: Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary

· Elect State Central Committee Man and Woman
· Elect Delegates to State Convention, May 7-9, 2010 Sitka
· Select State Convention Committee members:

Credentials, Party Plan, Platform, Resolutions
(Committees will meet Friday, May 7, in Sitka.)

· Review & Adopt By-Laws, Platform, Party Plan & Resolutions*

11:15-11:30 Mat-Su Democrats' Caucus

· Elect Mat Su Democrats' Officers: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer

· Nominate ADP Vice-Chairs: Currently Katie Hurley and Blake Johnson
· Select Grievance Committee members: 3-5 who are not MSD officers.

11:30-1:00 Lunch - Painting a Red State Blue, One Stroke at a Time

Luncheon Speaker: Blogger, Radio & TV Hostess Shannyn Moore
Please contribute to the luncheon fund, if you can.

1:00-2:00 Committee Meetings:

By-Laws, Credentials, Party Plan, Platform, Resolutions

2:00-2:45 Reconvene to Review & Adopt Committee Reports*

3:00 Adjourn

* Planks for the Platform, changes to the Party Plan and proposed Resolutions will NOT be considered at the State Convention unless approved by a House District Caucus. If the Mat Su Democrats do not endorse a District Caucus approved proposal, the District retains the right to submit it to the appropriate State Convention committee.

You must be a registered Democrat to participate in the Caucus. Voter Registration will be available at the Caucus.

Our Caucuses provide the building blocks from which our National Democratic Party's principles, policies and platforms are molded. Let's create a strong foundation together.

Pat Chesbro, Chair
Sid McCausland, Vice Chair
Phil Munger, Secretary
Carolyn Covington, Treasurer
Mat Su Democrats

P.S.: There will not be an Egan Dinner in March, so that we can focus on the Caucus. Please plan to attend our Egan Dinner on April 16th to meet the candidates for the Matanuska Electric Association Board. MEA ballots are due April 26th. Please vote and please try to attend the MEA Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 27th at 7 pm in Raven Hall.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Post-Iditarod Tribute to Joe Redington, Sr.

Back in the very early 90s, I got to know Joe Redington, Sr. who would sometimes read to the kids at Tanaina Elementary in Wasilla, where my wife taught. In 1992, to commemorate and honor Joe's last Iditarod race, I wrote Fanfare and Capriccio, and dedicated it to Joe. He came to the premiere, and asked that the Anchorage Symphony "play it real loud, 'cause I'm as deaf as a post."

They did. The members also gave Joe a poster, signed by each person in the orchestra, and by Director Stephen Stein, who conducted the work.

Here's Fanfare and Capriccio as we played it for Joe.

The story line is this:

The work opens and closes with a fanfare, saluting Alaska's winter festivals and those who participate in them. The main musher's theme is introduced after the opening fanfare. A series of episodes, using this theme as their base describe:

The beginning of the trail
Hardships of severe weather
Celebrations in towns along the way
The magnificent vistas of the Alaska Range
An eery night scene with the Northern Lights, accompanied by Athabaskan fiddling
The race along the coast
And - finally - triumph in Nome

image - Joe Redington Sr. - by Joan Bugbee Jackson

Failed Alaska Railroad Director Chosen to Lead the University of Alaska into the Future

The guy who, at the ARR, just presided over:

1) The layoffs of about 20% of its workforce

2) Dwindling freight and tourism operations

3) A decade without any significant capital project fulfillment

4) The biggest drop in morale among employees in the organization's 80-year-plus history

5) The building of the infamous railroad terminal to nowhere that may be the best example in Alaska history of mis-spent federal and state funds

6) Possible bankruptcy [hat tip to FNM commenter joeslankas]

has been chosen by the University of Alaska regents to succeed Gen. Mark Hamilton. Gen. Patrick Gamble has been announced to take Hamilton's place late this spring, as President of the University of Alaska system.

Reaching "for the stars" once to pick a general to head a university system may have been thinking "outside the box." Doing that twice in a row, though, isn't. The regents may have become prisoners of their schtick. Or worse. Passing over Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, President of Southern Polytechnic State University may have been one of the worst recent administrative decisions in Alaska history.

And if they knew something positive about Gamble, whose tenure as Air Force Academy Commandant was lackluster at best, the regents seem to have failed to convey that to students, faculty or the public at large.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Daily News Sells Out Once Again - When Will We Learn?

It isn't surprising that the Anchorage Daily News editorial staff published an "Our View" editorial today that mildly, almost meekly chided Anchorage Mayor Sullivan for the obvious conflict of interest in regard to his collecting a check for $193,000.00 for the Sullivan Family Trust, without informing the body voting on the disbursal - the Anchorage Assembly - that he was and is the trust's executive authority.

It isn't surprising that the editorial makes no mention of the facts that:

1.) The Municipality of Anchorage is not authorized by state law to have disbursed the "insurance" payout the way they did.

2.) There are serious questions emerging about whether or not City Attorney Dennis Weaver may have defrauded and extorted the people of Anchorage, by portraying a contractual relationship to have existed between the MOA and the SFT in ways that wouldn't have been legal, even if something that might be construed as a "contract" actually does exist.

3.) There are serious questions emerging about who knew what when over the course of this illegal agreement that are beginning to indicate that the current Mayor Sullivan has been aware for some time that the deal was questionable, and may have sought to hide that while serving on the assembly.

I'm vexed, though, that some have chosen to laud the ADN for essentially hanging Sean Cockerham, Mel Green, KSKA's Len Anderson, Harriet Drummond and the preople of Anchorage out to dry. The fact that these usually solidarity-prone writers know that Mel is currently working on a deep investigative article regarding some of the missing pieces of the puzzle, makes this praise of the ADN's small-minded, perhaps intentionally misleading editorial even more disconcerting. These endorsements of one more ADN sellout by people who had been strongly supporting Cockerham at a time when he's probably being pressured to drop the story (that is why the editorial was printed, my friends), are disturbing, to say the least, mostly because we've seen the ADN do this before, and should have learned.

The ADN promised to allow Cockerham to stay on important stories that he was then forced to walk away from before. For instance, on July 10th, Cockerham promised further stories on the depth of lies coming out of the Palin governor's office regarding where and how much state money was being spent on ethics complaints.

The ADN failed Alaskans on Wayne Anthony Ross. They failed Alaskans on the degree that Palin lied about ethics complaint expenses. And they are failing Alaskans now by putting Sean Cockerham under pressure to move on.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Importance of Rachel Corrie

I. Some of the best parts of Katherine Viner's 2003 play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, have to do with how this vibrant 11-year-old spent the first half of the second half of her short life. In the play, the actress acts out a kid growing into adolescence and young adulthood. The scenes are based on diaries and correspondence Rachel's parents shared with the playwright. Watching the monodrama, one can sense, through the diaries being declaimed, a powerful, rich, resonant feminist voice beginning to emerge.

The optimistic kid we see in the video above never lost that hope.

There's always an abundance of hopeful kids. Not all of them are attractive young white Americans, though.

All around the world, whether it is in Darfur, East Timor, Juarez, Anchorage, Tehran or Hebron, some young optimistic kid in the 5th grade has an abundance of hope. There are scores of millions of hopeful kids like Rachel Corrie. Many will get eaten by the machine before they reach adulthood. 99 point something of these kids aren't white, so we'll probably never know whether or not the way the machine ate them was significant.

When Corrie was killed, seven years ago today, it was the eve of our Iraqi invasion and occupation. We'll never know whether or not the war's outbreak attenuated coverage of her death. It wasn't covered, though.

The only extensive article on her death appeared in the September-October 2003 edition of Mother Jones magazine. The article's author, Joshua Hammer, concluded:

Five days after her death, Rachel Corrie’s body was shipped home to Olympia. The [IDF] has since pulled out of the northern part of Gaza, but demolitions along the Pink Line continue. The inquiry promised by Ariel Sharon cleared the soldiers of any wrongdoing, and momentum has faded for a U.S. congressional investigation. A skeleton staff at the ISM Rafah office spends most of its time attempting to revitalize Corrie’s sister-city project. And Corrie herself has faded into obscurity, a subject of debate in Internet chat rooms and practically nowhere else. [emphasis added]

He was wrong. Why?

Around the same time, other remarkable young American women had their lives swept up or away in the growing conflagration of multiple wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Exactly one week after Rachel Corrie was killed in Gaza, U.S. Army SPC Lori Piestewa was severely injured, when vehicles in her unit made a wrong turn and ended up being ambushed in the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, a town the unit was supposed to bypass. According to another woman in Piestewa's unit, Jessica Lynch, "Piestewa was wounded in the head, and it was impossible to perform delicate neurosurgery in an Iraqi civilian hospital in wartime conditions (such as intermittent electric power). In a U.S. military hospital with reliable power and neurosurgeons available around the clock, she might have survived.)."

Lynch was also seriously wounded, and Iraqi medical personnel managed to stabilize and save her, even as American Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's fantasy machine began creating a labyrinth of myths about the incident. Shoshana Johnson, another member of the unit in which Piestewa and Lynch served, was also captured, and shown alive on Iraqi television.

Just over two years later, on April 16, 2005, American peace activist Marla Ruzicka, who was working in Iraq on a project that sought to reliably account for the number of civilian deaths caused by the deteriorating occupation war there, was killed by a roadside bomb on the Baghdad Airport road. Ruzicka, like Corrie, was assisting a non-governmental organization when she perished. Unlike Corrie, Ruzicka had been able to see some of her notable efforts come to fruition, both in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rolling Stone noted
, "Ruzicka is perhaps the most famous American aid worker to die in any conflict of the past ten or twenty years. Though a novice in life — she had less than four years of professional humanitarian experience — her death resonated far beyond the tightly knit group of war junkies and policymakers who knew her. She stands as a youthful representative of a certain kind of not-yet-lost American idealism, and darkly symbolic of what has gone so tragically wrong in Iraq."

A movie about Ruzicka
, titled Sweet Relief, and starring Kirsten Dunst, has been in "development" by Paramount since before her death, but as yet, there is no movie. The current projected release year is 2011.

Though the powerful play about Rachel Corrie had difficulties getting a premiere performance in the United States, once the ice jam broke, there have been a number of productions, and perhaps hundreds of readings. In the past few months, My Name is Rachel Corrie has been produced in Spanish in Buenos Aires, in Greek in Athens, and in Arabic in Haifa.

The documentary, Rachel, by Simone Bitton, has caused controversy, most notably when it was shown as part of the 2009 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (Bitton is Israeli).

New productions of Viner's play and showings of Bitton's documentary often spark dialogue in the communities or at the larger events in which they are shown. From the beginning of Viner's play's runs, there have been requests or demands from segments of the local Jewish communities that the play or documentary be given "context." That has often meant discussion groups, lectures, distribution of written materials and debates. It has also often meant angry op-eds in the local papers and demonstrations outside of the productions. Media coverage of the play and the documentary has often centered as much on the demonstrations as it has on the play or movie.

And, like media coverage of the Tea Party, for instance, the image presented from the news isn't always accurate. A good example of that might be BBC coverage of the London premiere of my own art about Rachel Corrie, the cantata The Skies are Weeping, in November, 2005. On the evening of the performance, outside of the Hackney Empire Theatre, where the work was presented, there were three demonstrations about the performance. There were rows of signs, with images of The Forgotten Rachels, and scores of demonstrators with graphic signs. All three of the protesting groups were Jewish, the BBC TV report announced. What they failed to disclose though, was that two of the demonstrating groups were protesting in favor of the performance. Eventually, BBC apologized to the concert organizers (another Jewish group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians) for their inaccurate coverage.

II. In the seven years since Rachel Corrie's death, some of the causes in which she believed have been transformed. Some of the transformations have been positive. Others have been awful.

She died defending the house of a family she had come to know. It was one of many hundreds of houses the Israelis were demolishing in Rafah. Eventually, the IDF destroyed Samir Nasralla's house. But the house has since been rebuilt, and Israeli military operations in Rafah are now limited to totally outrageous invasions, rather than day-to-day casual destruction of a city of 71,000.

Since Rachel Corrie perished, the Israel Defense Forces have killed almost 2,000 Lebanese civilians, almost 1,500 Palestinians in Gaza, and many Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories of the West Bank. They have gratuitously caused the largest oil spill in the history of the Mediterranean, and immense destruction of antiquities and archeological sites in Lebanon.

Gaza's infrastructure is in ruins and the 1.5 million civilians there have been compared to the Soviet citizens of Leningrad during that city's besiegement in World War II, to people in a vast, open-air prison, and to the Na'vi, in the movie Avatar.

Israeli encroachments on Palestinian land in the West Bank relentlessly continue. Destruction of archeological sites in the West Bank and East Jerusalem happen on a weekly basis.

So why is this "transformed"? This level of destruction of Lebanon by the IDF isn't as horrific as was that during the earlier war against that country, but it is more of the same. And the Israelis have been slowly stealing and appropriating Palestinian lands on the West Bank for almost 43 years.

The transformation has been apparent mostly since the 2009 Gaza War. As the title of Norman Finkelstein's new book, This Time We Went Too Far - Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion, implies, many people in Europe and North America who had previously supported IDF incursions, invasions, occupations and so on, reached their limit in early 2009, as they witnessed what is very difficult not to characterize as an atrocious war crime.

An earlier watershed was the August 2007 publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, written by John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt. The book's almost encyclopedic coverage of how this lobby often inhibits two of the three branches of American government from crafting policies that suit our own long-term interests rather than those of Israel, has had a profound impact. Particularly, the book's conclusion "that when the Lobby succeeds in shaping U.S. policy in the Middle East, then "Israel's enemies get weakened or overthrown, Israel gets a free hand with the Palestinians, and the United States does most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding, and paying," is again and again resonating in sometimes startling ways.

The most recent example has been the leaked powerpoint presentation given on January 16 by CENTCOM's commander, Gen. Petraeus, and the context that presentation's announcement has had this past few days. Petraeus, echoing Mearsheimer and Walt, proposed moving jurisdiction over Israel and Palestine to CENTCOM (the Central Command, which oversees our ongoing wars) from EUCOM (European Command). The argument's central point has been distilled in an article for Foreign Policy, by Mark Perry:

David Petraeus sent a briefing team to the Pentagon with a stark warning: America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers. Maybe Israel gets the message now.

III. This past week, we've had the purposefully stunning public humiliation of the Vice President of the United States by the Israeli Prime Minister, a detailed and harsh response to that humiliation from our Secretary of State, increasingly successful boycotts of Israeli products created on lands in the West Bank stolen from Palestinians, the opening of the Rachel Corrie civil suit in Haifa, and the possibility of the reopening of investigations into the severe injury of American Tristan Anderson by IDF forces in the West Bank.

These mostly unconnected events are not being greeted in a vacuum. Typically, as Mearsheimer and Walt documented so thoroughly in their book, and was amply shown by the pushback against its publication and dissemination - Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, President Obama, Gen. Petraeus, the supporters of Corrie's trial, the supporters of Tristan Andeson's vindication, and the hundreds of people writing about these items of interest, have all been branded as anti-Semites, in articles, press releases, statements and blog posts. Polemicist John Podhoretz is calling for American Jews to abandon the anti-Semitic Democratic Party.

Writer-blogger Philip Weiss may have best summed up the sea change we're currently undergoing in an article yesterday at Mondoweiss:

When both Joe Biden and General David Petraeus are reported to say that the special relationship is endangering American soldiers, they are only saying what Walt and Mearsheimer said in their historic paper four years ago, and what Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, described as the blinding flash of the obvious. But remember, Walt and Mearsheimer could not publish their paper in the United States, and when their book came out, the joke was that a lot of people in D.C. were reading it in brown paper covers, lest they be called anti-Semites.

You could not say that Israel was hurting our interests because Abrams, Libby, Wurmser, Feith, Frum, and Wolfowitz were helping guide the ship of state through the seas of Islamophobia. And intellectuals were just as afraid of the policers of official understanding, of Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Goldberg, Larry Summers, Richard Haass, and David Remnick and Bob Silvers too–Silvers who has never run a review of The Israel Lobby.

Now that atmosphere is changing, even in power circles. Of course, the best reflection of the change is Andrew Sullivan’s remarkable shift. Sullivan was not deterred by Leon Wieseltier’s calling him an anti-Semite, because he knows, the issue is just too important to world peace not to keep talking.

I don’t think you can say enough about Gaza, Goldstone, and the grassroots. Gaza vindicated those of us on the left who said that Israel was treating Palestinians like animals; and instead of understanding the moment and engaging the critics honestly, Israel hunkered down and smeared the critics, thereby discrediting itself in Europe and among young American peace types. I can point to many important moments over the last year: we have the crazy video from Judaized East Jerusalem to thank, the young bloggers of the Gaza war, the suppressed Max Blumenthal video from Jerusalem, and the silent demonstration outside the Waldorf last week with its swarming pro-Israel loonies.

IV. Back in 2003, 2004 and 2005, when tributes to Rachel Corrie were being suppressed, canceled or "postponed," courageous supporters of her idealism kept pushing, even in the face of threats, personal attacks and shunning from within their professional communities. Even as one Joshua Hammer after another wrote that she" ha[d] faded into obscurity," the relentless progress of projects seeking to portray her idealism for what it truly was and is, went on. And still goes on.

The comparisons between what Corrie sought to achieve, people drawn toward her story have hoped to show, and what policy makers on high levels are now attempting to bring to public attention all fall back onto what General Petraeus' January briefing illustrated: That lack of peace and justice toward the Palestinian people by the Israeli government and armed forces hurts America and our fighting forces in serious ways, and the simplest remedy might be to seriously consider advancing peace and justice for those very people.

Even though the civil trial over the circumstances of Rachel Corrie's death is getting scant coverage in the American media, the ideas she stood for, and for which her parents have been such powerful advocates are now unavoidably coming through in many arenas simultaneously.

Next week, the 2010 AIPAC Conference will occur. Most likely, the keynote address speaker, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will once again repeat the mantras about "our closest ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, whose interests and ours are irrevocably linked," etc. But there will probably be an edge to her remarks that, though invisible to some, will show to people aware of this sea change, where the Obama administration might take this evolving relationship next.