Thursday, February 28
Wednesday, February 27
Tuesday, February 26
Monday, February 25
Saturday, February 23
For each act of gratuitous violence that is actually carried out, how many unconsummated dark fantasies are transmuted into depression, resignation, or a benumbed withdrawal from participation in civic society?
A frightening momentum has been building, and the qualities of generational understanding and assurance that once earned America a worldwide reputation as child-centered are fading fast. And yet despite a growing awareness of this fact, the public policy that we are developing to cope with troubled kids is only exacerbating the situation...the state's growing arrogation of power to punish rather than to rehabilitate. This is a policy that expresses both fear of and contempt for children.
We must face the fact that having ceased to exploit children as laborers, we now exploit them as consumers. RoperASW (with its Roper Youth Report), Teenage Research Unlimited, and similar organizations, using methods derived from the behavioral sciences, advise merchandisers and advertising companies on the latest semiotics of "cool" and consumer-friendly subversion. "We understand how teens think, what they want, what they like, what they aspire to be, what excites them, and what concerns them," the Teenage Research Unlimited Web site brags. What this understanding translates into in the marketplace is hypersexuality, aggression, addiction, coldness, and irony-laced civic disaffection—the very seed-bed of apocalyptic nihilism.
Friday, February 22
Thursday, February 21
Wednesday, February 20
Jim Hightower learns that progress crops up in the unexpected places and tells the story of the city that refused to be Wal-Marted.
Tuesday, February 19
Monday, February 18
Sunday, February 17
Saturday, February 16
Here’s my question: Doesn’t that fact that we (collectively) are even having a national discussion about affordable housing imply that we believe there are systemic problems in the American capitalist-democratic system that can never be cured? In other words, if laissez-faire capitalism works, then the invisible hand of the market would allocate scarce resources efficiently and all types of housing needs would be met, including affordable housing (because there is a demand for affordable housing). However, this does not happen. Therefore policy, a “band-aid,” becomes necessary to modify the natural behavior of the market.
In short, my assertion is that the mere existence of policy (of any sort) supports the notion that an unrestrained market doesn’t really allocate resources efficiently, or equitably.
Friday, February 15
Thursday, February 14
Wednesday, February 13
Thanks to John Alston for the Big Brother article. Here's the banned books list. And while you're at it, take this quiz about censorship. Did you know that Dr. Seuss had a banned book as well? Admittedly, it's a little scary...
"Help" is the key word there. A real end to soft money? Not likely. But definitely a step in the right direction.
Tuesday, February 12
Monday, February 11
We are in a sad state of affairs in this country, all wrapped in putrid patriotic sentimentalism now corrupting the American Games --err, I mean the Olympics. Yippee-Yah-Hay-Hoo!
(New York Times articles. Login: Opensewer/Password: iswatching)
Sunday, February 10
Rebuttal: Scientists are split over the theory that natural selection has come to a standstill in the West.
Saturday, February 9
Friday, February 8
A huge "consumption gap" exists between industrialized and developing countries. The world's richest countries, with 20 per cent of global population, account for 86 per cent of total private consumption, whereas the poorest 20 per cent of the world's people account for just 1.3 per cent.
Do yourself a favor and look over this report. It’s quite long, but the Overview is very manageable and gives a good summary of many of the findings.
It’s times like this that I’m unendingly thankful for the Internet (in fact I’m so happy that I spelled it with a capital “I” this time). How many world citizens are too poor to have access to this report?
Thursday, February 7
Wednesday, February 6
Tuesday, February 5
So it is with fierce agreement that I direct you to Christina Waters' article, Screaming Me-Me's and repeat: If your children aren't ready for prime time, keep them at home until they are.