Big Bash Colloquia Range from Politics to Wine

June 2, 2006

<p><strong>44 Years of Washington Watching</strong></p> <p>David Kendall ’66 has followed a rather remarkable life path after graduating from Wabash College.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" border="0" align="right" />The man best known as President Clinton’s attorney has been a civil rights activist, clerk for Supreme Court justice Byron White, litigant before the Supreme Court, influential attorney for intellectual property rights law, and Washington D. C. observer.</p> <p>Kendall is also a Rhodes Scholar, Yale law school graduate, and a partner in one of D.C.’s most influential law firms.</p> <p>He entertained a packed Hays Hall lecture room for nearly an hour with funny stories observed first hand in our nation’s capital.</p> <p>Reflecting on what he calls the four branches of government, the administrative being the fourth, Kendall provided insight and humor only an insider could share. He spoke glowingly of his time as a clerk with the U.S. Supreme Court, noting it’s really not important to have nine justices agree on anything because five can do anything they want.</p> <p>He had few good things to say about the Congressional branch, sharing stories of<span>&nbsp;</span> bipartisanship. He said events of 9-11 and the recent debate over immigration issues are examples of Congress working in a bipartisan fashion.</p> <p>But he railed about the House or Representative’s role in Clinton’s impeachment while still noting House Republicans could have garnered unanimous support if they had shot lower and just censured the President instead of seeking impeachment.</p> <p>He talked about President Clinton’s widely lauded political skills and shared funny stories of meetings with the President and his political talents.</p> <p>The packed crowd got a rare look behind the scenes and stories behind the headlines from one of Wabash’s most prominent graduates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Food for Thought</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="" border="0" align="left" />Stephen Pavy ’81 may have had the happiest audience of any Big Bash weekend colloquium. The participants had the chance to really stretch their taste buds with bitter and sweet foods and four different wine pairings.</p> <p>Pavy, of Star Ridge Farms in Sonoma, Ca., is a wine educator. He recently worked for St. Francis winery and is just beginning a similar position with Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa Valley. Phelps makes the critically acclaimed ‘Insignia&quot; wines which have consistently scored more than 90 points in <em>Wine Spectator</em> Magazine.</p> <p>Pavy led the gathering through bitter and sweet. The group took tastes of lemon, apples, steak, salmon, cheeses, and even bitter radicchio to contrast what happens with a wine when paired with strong flavored foods.</p> <p>The tasting paired a German Riesling and American Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and a highly-acclaimed St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon.</p> <p>Pavy takes wine tasting to a level of education so the average consumer can pair wine and food for a delectable home meal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The Challenges of State Building in Afghanistan</b><br /> Ashraf Haidari ’01 came to Wabash in 1997 as an Afghan refugee fleeing the Taliban. He returned to campus Saturday as First Secretary of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.</p> <p><img src="" width="265" height="207" align="right" alt="" />&quot;Thanks to my Wabash education, I am now a diplomat in a free and democratic Afghanistan,&quot; Haidari told alumni and faculty during a session entitled &quot;The Challenges of State Building in Afghanistan.&quot; But in the wake of increased violence in his country, he also sounded a note of urgency, calling&nbsp;for the international community to do more to help Afghanistan economically and militarily.</p> <p>&quot;The threat is very clear,&quot; Haidari said as he described increased attacks in the nation's southern provinces. With Afghan troops and police undermanned and poorly equipped, newly deployed NATO troops limited in their role, and terrorists pouring over the border from camps in neighboring Afghanistan, a security vacuum is developing. The Taliban are filling the gap.</p> <p>&quot;The Taliban were not captured or killed one-by-one,&quot; Haidari said of the U.S. efforts to drive the regime from Afghanistan. &quot;They were dispersed into Pakistan. Now the Taliban and Al-Quaida, composed mostly of non-Afghan extremists, are joining with terrorists from other countries to fight coalition forces.</p> <p>&quot;In fighting Afghan troops and police, the Taliban have a great advantage,&quot; Haidari said. &quot;Government troops have old weapons, and are no match for well-equipped terrorists, who are acquiring advanced weapons and better communications systems from abroad. They are attacking soft targets, but they also do not fear the NATO troops the way they fearing the United States military.&quot;</p> <p>A thriving drug trade also is fueling Taliban efforts.</p> <p>&quot;Afghanistan is the largest drug producer in the world, about $30 billion, and a lot of that money is going to terrorists,&quot; Haidari said. &quot;Terrorists thrive when there is no security in a country, and so do drug traffickers. Now the two are joining hands.&quot;</p> <p>The Afghan government's efforts to eradicate the opium poppy crop through alternative assistance has met with limited success. Haidari said the effort has been under-funded, which undermines the credibility President Hamad Karzai's government.</p> <p>&quot;The people are still hoping, still waiting,&quot; Haidari said, referring to an October 2005 ABC News poll that found &nbsp;91 percent of Afghans preferred the current government over the Taliban.&nbsp;&quot;Unlike in Iraq, we have the support of the people. That's our greatest asset.&quot;</p> <p>But Haidari is concerned that hope could turn to bitterness if improvements in the economic and security situation don't come soon.</p> <p>&quot;Abandoning Afghanistan again would be disastrous for global security,&quot; Haidari said.</p> <p>&quot;There can be no justice without human capital, and Afghanistan is lacking in that,&quot; Haidari added. &quot;The education I received here at Wabash equipped me to help my country, and I urge Wabash to continue to admit international student to make a difference in the world.&quot;</p> <p>The First Secretary was especially pleased to hear that a student from Afghanistan will join this year's freshman class.</p> <p>&quot;With what he learns here, that student will have an immediate impact on the future of Afghanistan.&quot;<br /> <br /> Read <a href="">more about Haidari</a> at WM Online.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Choosing a New Pope</strong><br /> Jeff Marlett ’91 covered everything in his Saturday morning colloquium from his days as a media expert during the death of Pope John Paul II and election of Pope Benedict XVI to the unlikelihood of an American Pope.</p> <p><a href="" target="profile" class=""><img src="" align="left" border="0" alt="" />Marlett is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies</a> at St. Rose at Albany, New York, College. During the 2005 death of John Paul and subsequent Papal Conclave, Marlett was in demand to comment on the world events.</p> <p>&quot;I was on TV more than the Bishop of Albany or the President of Sienna College,&quot; Marlett said, still expressing some degree of incredulousness over the turn of events. &quot;Some people’s unwillingness to talk about this event is as interesting as the international event itself.&quot;</p> <p>Marlett talked about Pope John Paul’s incredible impact, noting his college students have never known another pope. He shared with the alums, wives and friends that any Pope must really speak four languages – eliminating many candidates.</p> <p>He explained a Pope must speak Italian, living at the Vatican. He said French is important because the large Catholic population in Africa. Spanish is the language of the greatest number of Catholics and English is the language of the world.</p> <p>As far as the chance of there ever being an American Pope, Marlett says don’t count on it. He said the Vatican holds American cardinals in high regard for their problem-solving ability. &quot;But you’ll never see an American Pope because the cardinal electors will never elect a Pope from the world’s last super power.&quot;<br /> <br /> <b>The Gift of Life… and Hope</b><br /> Larry Slagle ’56&nbsp;said that in 11 years of wonderful health since his heart transplant, the biggest change hasn't been a physical one.</p> <p><img src="" width="315" height="273" align="right" alt="" />&quot;I find my emotions much nearer the surface; even singing 'Old Wabash' today on the Chapel steps this morning, I cried,&nbsp;&nbsp;&quot; Slagle said. &quot;I realize how much I have to be grateful for, even to many people I don't even know, and every day I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude.&quot;</p> <p>Slagle received his new heart from a 33-year-old who was a victim in a motorcycle accident. Fred Haase ’71 <i>(pictured)</i>&nbsp;received his new kidney in 2004 from a friend who has since become like a member of the family. When the man initially rejected because of high blood pressure, he lost 27 pounds so that he could donate his kidney.</p> <p>&quot;To have a friend who would do that for you, well, what a blessing,&quot; Haase said.</p> <p>Jarold Anderson ’71, President and CEO of Gift of Life, an organ procurement organization, said there are currently more than 90,000 people in the United States in need of an organ.</p> <p>&quot;The demand far outstrips the supply,&quot; Anderson said. When asked by an audience member the best way to ensure&nbsp; one's wishes to be an organ donor are granted, Anderson noted that many states&nbsp;have driver's license designation programs.</p> <p>&quot;But the most important thing you can do is to tell your family,&quot; Anderson said. &quot;Make&nbsp;clear to your next of kin exactly what your wishes are.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p align="left"><b>From Age-ing to Sage-ing</b><br /> <img src="" width="329" height="271" align="right" alt="" />&quot;Just playing softball, keeping your aerobic fitness, and pushing your same middle-aged activities and values&nbsp;into old age ain't gonna cut it for many of us,&quot; said clinical psychologist Michael Hughes ’61, who has found an interesting approach to growing older in Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's book&nbsp;&quot;From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision for Growing Older.&quot;</p> <p>Hughes described three&nbsp;approaches&nbsp;people tend to follow as they age.</p> <p>&quot;There's the survival model, the 'all I've got to do is live through the day' approach;&nbsp;the producer model, where you see yourself valued and defined&nbsp;what you are doing; and there's the consumer model, where we kick back, relax, travel, and consume,&quot; Hughes said. &quot;But none of these tend to satisfy over time. We need to add something that nurtures the spirit.</p> <p>&quot;There just aren't many models out there for becoming spiritual elders,&quot; Hughes said before leading the group in a discussion of how aging adults&nbsp;can find &quot;something for your spirit, something outside of yourself and outside of your family, to be committed to.&quot;</p> <p><br /> <strong>A Semi-Random Walk Through a Career in Space Science</strong><br /> Dr. J. David Bohlin '61 talked about his career in science with NASA during a Friday afternoon colloquium.</p> <p><img src="'61.jpg" width="253" height="343" align="right" border="0" alt="" />Bohlin, quoting legendary Wabash professors and noting landmarks, mixed science and a light-hearted approach to his presentation. His career took off when he worked at the Naval Research Lab. The key program that most U.S. Citizens would remember is the Skylab project. Considerable solar research resulted from the Skylab's ground-breaking mission.</p> <p>He spent most of his career at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. in charge of space and solar physics. He oversaw a joint&nbsp;mission studying solar physics with Japan. He's had an eye and sometimes a hand involved in missions including the Hubble telescope, the manned space missions and a front seat from Washington D.C.</p> <p>That front seat included the events of 9-11. He was at work and got a call from his wife when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Later that day on his way home through horrific traffic jams, he was on an off-ramp when he say where the Pentagon had been hit by a hijacked plane.</p> <p>&quot;That was a very emotional day,&quot; he said with obvious emotion, then turned back to his planned thoughts. He described himself as an ardent conservationalist and wrapped up his presentation reading thoughts from Carl Sagan.<br /> </p> <p><br /> <br /> <b>A Time to Speak Out: The Day the Constitution was Ignored</b><br /> When he was a student, Tom Kometani ’56 never told his classmates that he and his family had been forcibly removed from their home in Auburn, Washington and taken to an internment camp because of their Japanese ancestry.</p> <p>Yet Wabash helped him to come to terms with that ordeal.</p> <p><img src="" width="263" height="290" align="right" alt="" />A paper he wrote for class here about the internment of Japanese Americans was his initial attempt to understand the historical and political context behind what had happened to his family between 1942 and 1944. &quot;Writing that paper was&nbsp;one of the most enlightening experiences of my life,&quot; Kometani told more than 100 alumni and friends attending his colloquium on the first day of the Big Bash Reunion weekend.</p> <p>And, in 1981,&nbsp;when trying to decide whether or not to speak out about the injustice to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Kometani drew on the words&nbsp;of Wabash Professor of Chemistry Ed Haenisch for inspiration.</p> <p>&quot;I've always been a quiet person, and one day Professor Haenisch told me, 'Tom, you're too quiet; you need to learn to speak up,'&quot; Kometani said. &quot;When I was much older and this issue arose, I felt I had an obligation to speak out. If those of us who'd been through it didn't speak up, who would?&quot;</p> <p>&quot;When I hear the word 'Jap,' I cringe,&quot; the retired chemist said as he showed photos from the early 1940s depicting signs hanging from porches bearing the&nbsp;words &quot;Japs Keep Moving: We Don't Want You Here&quot;; &quot;We don't want any Japs here&quot; placards&nbsp;at places of business; headlines equating Japanese-Americans with the Japanese nation the United States was fighting; and campaign ads from the era promising to erase &quot;the Yellow Peril.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I grew up thinking I was an ordinary American,&quot; Kometani said. &quot;But on February 19, 1942, the world fell apart for us.&quot; That was the day President Franklin Roosevelt signed the order that led to the removal of more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them American citizens, from the West Coast to camps in central California and the mountain West. Then seven years old, Kometani and his family were taken to Tule Valley, California.</p> <p>&quot;It was a barbed wire compound with wooden barracks, and guard towers with machine guns,&quot; Kometani said. &quot;It was a time of hysteria after Pearl Harbor; they thought the West Coast was next.&quot;</p> <p>A similar hysteria arose toward Muslim families after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Kometani said, the difference being no removal and internment of families.</p> <p>&quot;But we need to remember that it can happen here; it can happen in our country.&quot;</p> <p>Yet Kometani was encouraged by his time testifying&nbsp;before the Commission and Congress's passage of the laws granting $20,000 to each person displaced by the internment.</p> <p>&quot;Only in America could something like our efforts for redress come about—that after 50 years a wrong can be righted, that's something to admire,&quot; Kometani said. &quot;That's the strength of our Constitution. I'm proud to be an American, and we must remember that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.&quot;</p> <p><b>Professors, Alumni Enjoy Sharing Memories<br /> </b>For a photo album, <a href="">click here.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>


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