Monthly Archives: June 2003

have we lost public liberty?

Even living under the USA Patriots Act and in a state of semi-permanent war, I am not worried about what Benjamin Constant called the “liberty of the moderns.” Indeed, after last week’s expansion of privacy rights by the Supreme Court, … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East | 1 Comment

asset-based development

Terms like "Asset Based Community Development" and the "developmental assets" approach to working with adolescents are extremely popular today in foundations, schools, and social service agencies. One could dismiss such language as a mere effort to sound positive and uplifting, … Continue reading

Posted in revitalizing the left | Leave a comment

CEOs for Americorps

I’m one of about 200 people—mostly corporate executives—who signed an open letter to President Bush that’s printed as a full-page ad in today’s New York Times. It reads, in part: "AmeriCorps programs are closing. Young people who want to serve … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | Leave a comment

Was Saddam bluffing about wmd’s?

Those who believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (wmd’s) before the 2003 invasion are now citing the host of Western leaders from various parties and countries who publicly charged Iraq with possessing chemical and biological weapons and … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East | Leave a comment

freedom of speech for universities

For me, one of the most interesting aspects of Monday’s Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action was Justice O’Connor’s deference to universities. In her majority opinion, she writes: The Law School’s educational judgment that such diversity is essential to its … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Leave a comment

the Alexander bill

Last Friday, the Senate passed, by a 90-0 vote, the "American History and Civics Education Act” (S. 504), that had been introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). The bill would create summer institutes for k-12 teachers in college settings, where … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | Leave a comment

a community blog

I just realized that for the last two weeks I have been absent-mindedly dating my blog entries in May instead of June. The blog has been up-to-date, but it has appeared to be month old. I suppose that the people … Continue reading

Posted in Internet and public issues | Leave a comment

obesity research

Here’s my latest scheme for local civic work, connected to the Prince George’s Information Commons. We would train young people to rate local food sources (both shops and restaurants) for healthiness. We would then generate an online map of the … Continue reading

Posted in a high school civics class | Leave a comment

why distinguish weapons of mass destruction?

Why distinguish between weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons, since the latter can be much more destructive? (Compare a modern air bombing campaign with the use of sarin in the Tokyo Metro system, which killed just a handful of … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East | Leave a comment

educational standards and deliberation

Standards and testing are hugely important in k-12 education these days. Meanwhile, many people who are interested in improving American democracy would like to make it more "deliberative." In a deliberative democracy, the public would rule on the basis of … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | 1 Comment