Friday, January 31, 2020

Freda Bernstein Langbert, RIP

My wife of almost 24 years, Freda, died on January 26. My love for her will never die. The funeral will be today, Friday, January 31, at the Gromley Funeral Home in Phoenicia, NY.  Her obituary appears in the Kingston Daily Freeman. A number of local poets and one of her family members have expressed an interest in  collecting her poems and turning them into a book. I have begun putting them in touch with each other and planning the project.

There are stars whose light reaches the earth only after they themselves have disintegrated and are no more. And there are people whose scintillating memory lights the world after they have passed from it.  These lights--which shine in the darkest night--are those which illuminate for us the path.

--Hannah Senesh

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Shakespeare on Dershowitz

Toward the end of  Shakespeare's Henry V, Fluellen, King Harry's self-appointed mentor, remarks on the king's glorious victory at Agincourt:

By Jeshu, I am your majesty's countryman, I care not
who know it; I will confess it to all the 'orld:  I
need not to be ashamed of your majesty, praised be
God, so long as your majesty is an honest man.
What Dershowitz did in his speech yesterday is outline in vivid terms the contours of duties of public officials to the public and to the nation, both in economic and in democratic terms.  No one has fashioned a regime of fiduciary duty of elected officials, but it needs to balance these concerns.  Dershowitz is not only resolving the impeachment debate but also outlining a doctrine of what the public ought to require of democratically elected politicians.

Dershowitz is now the most illustrious alum of Brooklyn College. I need not be ashamed, praised be G-d.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Didion on Conformity

"I am still committed to the idea that the ability to think for one's self depends on one's mastery of the language."

--Joan Didion