Monthly Archives: August 2003

a conservative critique of civics

Here are some thoughts prompted by Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong?, a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (edited by James Leming, Lucien Ellington and Kathleen Porter and with an introduction by Chester E. Finn, Jr.). This … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | Leave a comment

who are the anti-globalizers?

(posted on Friday morning) I am curious about the "transnational activists": those young people who organize movements and stage protests about global issues. In particular, I wonder about their knowledge levels. In the 1999 IEA Civic Education Study, American 14-year-olds … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education, revitalizing the left | Leave a comment

the 18th century comments on Campaign ’04

(Written while stuck in the Manchester, NH, airport, and posted on Thursday): Imagine that some of the major political philosophers of the eighteenth century are observing modern politics from their permanent perches in Limbo. What would they say? Edmund Burke: … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Leave a comment

newspapers vs. websites

(Still from Camden): If you compare a newspaper website to a conventional newspaper page, I think the results are a little surprising. We’re used to seeing the Internet as a great expansion of possibilities, compared to print. But news websites … Continue reading

Posted in Internet and public issues | Leave a comment

what’s wrong with the California recall

(Written in Camden, Maine) On August 16, the Washington lawyer Robert F. Bauer wrote an interesting opinion piece on the California Recall election. He noted that the recall is competitive, largely non-partisan, short, and intensely engaging to the public and … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | Leave a comment

state taxes and personal wealth

I was wondering whether the states that tax their residents at high rates tend to have higher or lower income levels. I suppose a crude form of free-market economics would predict that states with lower taxes would tend to generate … Continue reading

Posted in revitalizing the left | 1 Comment

Mei-Po Kwan

If you’re interested in how GIS (computer mapping) technology can help us understand human beings’ use of their physical environment, check out the 3-D GIS Gallery of Professor Mei-Po Kwan, a geographer at Ohio State. These are beautiful images, and … Continue reading

Posted in Internet and public issues | Leave a comment

my expectations were too low

On the day after the UN building in Baghdad was blown up, the US press is rushing to say that the occupation of Iraq is perilously close to failure. I am a card-carrying dove who opposed the war, as this … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East | Leave a comment

Miles Horton on improvisation

I came across a quote today by Myles Horton, the great founder of the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, which trained Rosa Parks and so many other heroes of the labor and civil rights movements. Horton said that he had … Continue reading

Posted in a high school civics class | 2 Comments

Dean vs. Gephardt

I was interviewed on New Hampshire Public Radio last Friday about the different styles of the Gephardt, Edwards, and Dean presidential campaigns (see an imperfect and incomplete text transcript or listen to the audio here.) Actually, the reporter, David Darman, … Continue reading

Posted in audio and video, revitalizing the left | Leave a comment