Monthly Archives: March 2013

on debating the 2nd amendment in the Senate

On March 14, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) clashed over the 2nd Amendment during a committee hearing. (Video here.) If you search the Web for the exchange, you’ll find headlines like this, “Senator [Cruz] Schools 6th Grade … Continue reading

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games, digital badges, and alternative assessments in civics

Badges are portable credentials that demonstrate that someone possesses a specific skill. They differ from diplomas, which signify the completion of a whole course of study. Critics worry that adopting badges widely would undermine the holistic value of a traditional … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education, Internet and public issues | 2 Comments

new information on youth voting in 2012

For national stats on the 2012 youth turnout, CIRCLE is a good place to start. But here are two important specialized studies by colleagues: 1. The California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis finds “dramatic disparities in voter turnout rates” … Continue reading

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a social media war room for civic renewal

Big companies track mentions of their brands and products in social media and interject rebuttals or enthusiastic responses that lead consumers to buy their stuff. Upwell is a great organization that uses exactly the same techniques to promote its “client”–the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

six-ten

I am not forty-six. It’s not six-ten. I have no appointments and no inbox. I am just a head pinned to a pillow, An eye watching the shade turn from black To a grey rectangle with pale white rims, The … Continue reading

Posted in verse and worse | Leave a comment

the limits of putting yourself in their shoes and looking with their eyes

Yesterday in Jerusalem, the president told the story of Israel, much as mainstream Israelis understand it, and then asked his audience to see the Palestinians’ side of the story. Those passages in his speech drew applause. I used to think … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East | 2 Comments

the Pledge of Allegiance

I will be talking to a reporter later about the Pledge of Allegiance, which is apparently disappearing from California schools. I recognize that this is a classic hot-button issue because deliberately removing the Pledge is seen as an attack on … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education, education policy | 1 Comment

bloggers remember what they wrote when the Iraq war started

Blogging was still pretty new in March 2003, but I was already at it. This week, on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, veteran bloggers have been reviewing their own opinions when it started. (See, e.g., contrasting posts by … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

young people most positive about the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam

This surprised me: Negative views of each of our recent wars rise with age. Under-30s are the least likely to say that Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam were mistakes. This surprises me because young people voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in … Continue reading

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the new manipulative politics: behavioral economics, microtargeting, and the choice confronting Organizing for Action

In the era of digital networks, you can enable waves of innovation and creativity by inviting people to form their own groups and contribute their own tools and culture. In the era of digital networks, you can also manipulate masses … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 election, Barack Obama | 1 Comment