Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Weeks of January 6 and January 13, 2003

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Dear Habermas
Current Issue

A Journal of Postmodern and Critical Thought
Devoted to Academic Discourse on Peace and Justice

Volume 15, No. 3, Weeks of January 6 and January 13, 2003

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Previous Issue: Volume 15, No. 2, Weeks of December 23 and December 30, 2002
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Making Choices in a Dichotomous World

jeanne's first version of The Pollock line, drawn, not poured, and with attention to iconology, after Michael Salerno.

They're Both Right! And They're Both Wrong!

I am enough of a postmodernist, following my own definitions, that there just isn't "a right" or "a wrong" anymore. I guess that means there simply are no multiple choice answers to any of the complex social fact issues we're faced with. It would be nice to pick one and to know that you were right in doing so, but every time you pick one, another takes the social fact that made you choose the first and reinterprets it to fit their agenda. Now what to you do?

These really are social fact issues in addition to theoretical issues, because we the people are the ones who create social facts and who alter them when they don't fit. (Durkheim). And in the drawing above I am trying out Michael Salerno's technique of letting the line flow automatically, while interrupting it as icons that matter appear. What can you find in it? (There's an elephant in the lower half, a little to the left of center, and an interesting bird-like creature over on the left, much larger than the elephant. Don't ask me what they mean. I don't think I got that far. jeanne) Michael Salerno wouldn't care, and neither do I. I have captured in his footsteps a visual play of the interdependence of abstraction, automation, and conscious manipulation. I couldn't have known how the painting would turn out. But it doesn't matter. I begin to sense the interdependence of many approaches. Try it.

For Michael Salerno's work, please read Artists Struggling with Social Issues.

jeanne's first version of King Tut, Racer, and Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea with Antics
by jeanne

Never mind what I say. I do want you to recognize some of the figurative elements I put in. I just drew King Tut, our little Gray Korat cat rescued from a vet's office, and Racer, our neighbor's cat. Yes, all their movements are interdependent, with Little Tut trying to assert his teenage authority over the three-year-old Racer. Since I'm not a certified art critic, I can't tell you how Michael Salerno would feel about my playing with his style, but for me, the automatic line is catching time and space in, over, and around Tut and Racer. But I still want you to see the figurative rendering of the two at hierarchical play, which is just what it felt like Tut was doing. He couldn't best Racer, who's twice his size, but he could leap up in that dramatic pounce, and claim some status in his own right. It all ended well. They both ate their dinner. Yes, even the neighbor's cat. He visits for late breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner. This, I think, was afternoon tea.

New This Week NEW for the Weeks of January 6 and 13, 2003


I'm feeling much better and will get back to posting comments and answering e-mail soon. Probably next week. But I can walk again! Hooray! Just don't want to bounce up too quickly. jeanne - January 8, 2003.

Updating weekly issue; changing format for article essays and exercises. Still moving slowly. Patience, please. Will hed back to school in a week or so. jeanne - January 12, 2003 .

Making Choices in a Dichotomous World

    Because this is Winter Session Break, I'm not going to be as consistent as posting as I'll try to be once the Spring Semester begins. But there is much I'm covering that I'd like to share with you in anticipation.

    Issues and articles up this issue:

    1. Environmental Hazards

      Wall Street Journal Article on Mr. Yosuf, a proposed suicide bomber. Will post shortly, along with perceptions on left/right and how we draw them today. jeanne. December 30, 2002.

      This article is lost somewhere on my desk. I'll hunt for it; I promise. jeanne

      But you might consider reading stories from the lived experience of both sides. War sucks. Especially on the individual level. And it tends to get weighed in and measured on the political/economic level. I don't know anyone who thinks war is good on a personal level. And I'd probably call them a sociopath if I did. In a way, that's what suicide bombers are, people who are not responding to the socialization system in which we live. Punishment, like dying themselves in the process, doesn't work, because they are not responding to life itself as a "value," they are responding to something else, often love, of a person or leader or god that replaces the values in our everyday lives. Sometimes there really are no answers for these people, because their belief system at the point of suicide is not negotiable. They don't "want to die." They see no alternative means of achieving the life they want to live. They may not even be able to describe effectively that life they want to live; they just want "not to live like this." And that is the result of a long-term process.

      Go back to Robert K. Merton's means/ends analysis in which he relates deviant behavior to lack of access to the desired ends by the traditional means. How could we interpret that theory today, with gangs, with the Palestine-Isaraeli conflict, with the Middle East? Try to be clear and detailed in thinking through both the means and the ends. And don't forget that "oil" is one of the ends, right along with respect and freedom for women, and democracy.

    2. Domestic Violence Amongst Youth

      Break the Cycle: Empowering Youth to End Domestic Violence Essay up soon. jeanne. December 30, 2002.

    Thesis Materials:

      Book cover for Mirko Ilic for Fat Land.

      Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser

      Jessica Yu/Houghton Mifflin
      Greg Critser

      FAT LAND: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World. By Greg Critser.
      232 pp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $24.
      NY Times review by Michael PollanBackup of Review.

      "Just since 1970 the proportion of American children who are overweight has doubled, a rate of increase that suggests the fattening of America has a specific history as well as a biology. 'Fat Land,' a skinny book about this big subject, is the journalist Greg Critser's highly readable attempt to reconstruct that history."
      Millie, I'd like you to get a copy of Fat Land, and begin to draw comparisons of what Critser has to say to lines and phrases from your stories. I'll try to get to this with you next week. jeanne January 12, 2003.

      There's a new article on school lunches, foods available in K - 12, and the problems with that diet. Also reports that Congress is going to address this question of school lunches and nutrition again soon. New York Times. Monday, January 13, 2003. At p. A 12: Eat Your Vegetables? Only at a Few SchoolsBy Elizabeth Becker and Marian Burros. Backup. See: Nutrition: Food as a Commodity in Our Schools. jeanne January 13, 2003.

    Reinterpretation of Theory:

    Education and Its Discontents

    1. More Schools Rely on Tests, but Study Raises Doubts By Greg Winter. New York times. December 28, 2002. At p. A 1. Backup. In included ths article so that you will notice the extent to which the issue is covered by widely different papers, and all over the country. Such frequency of coverage and diversity of area suggest that the issue is growing in importance. It's a little like keeping an eye on the dissenting opinions as a gauge of when the law on a given issue is about to change.

    2. This piece is based on a review of the Wall Street Journal Article - front page - December 24, 2002: Standard Deviation: Student's Dream, Principal's Dread; The Test Not Taken. By Daniel Golden.

      The article is about the parents' right to opt out of the federally-mandated testing for "accountability." We don't need to remind you of our opposition to testing as a single overall measure of learning, which is the way it is most often used in today's conservative educational environment. Many of us, on many levels are opposed to testing, particularly to the extent that we understand the concept of measurement. Steve O'Donnell. California State University, San Marcos. Kids who are overtested. Teachers who are outraged by the time lost to "teaching to the test." I'll summarize and comment on the article soon - maybe tonight. But we need to include it in our references on evidence of learning. jeanne. December 24, 2002.

    3. Making It Better: The Cost of Repairing and Maintaining A Just Educational Infrastructure This essay is based on an New York Times article by Jacques Steinberg in the National section on December 25, 2002: Comeback School Holds Its Breath By Jacques Steinberg. Backup. Discussion issues included in essay. Link added December 25, 2002.

    Grades and End of Semester:

    I'm feeling much better and will get back to posting comments and answering e-mail soon. Probably next week. But I can walk again! Hooray! Just don't want to bounce up too quickly. jeanne - January 8, 2003.

    Started finishing up comments I didn't get a chance to put up last semester. I'll be available at school for discussion in a week or so. January 16, 2003.

    Records of Learning: Comments

    January 16, 2003: Asking the Wrong Question By Anitra Shields (CSUDH). This comment offers some good insight into techniques of writing comments for a grade. Avoid big issue questions for which there is no conceptual link to your course. This particular comment is on the War with Iraq.


      January 14, 2002. Gene Therapy Trials Halted By Andrew Pollack. New York Times. At p. A 1.

    1. Nutrition: Food as a Commodity in Our Schools Backup of article in New York Times.

      Depression and Understanding It

    2. Who's Afraid Like Virginia Woolf? By Stephen Holden. Review of movie "The Hours," with Nicole Kidman. Backup. Review up soon. jeanne

    Theoretical Musings for Us by Us

    • Criminal Justice

      Death Penalty: January 13, 2003. Governor Empties Illinois Death Row By Jodi Wilgoren. New York Times. At p. A1. Sunday, January 12, 2003. Backup.

      White Collar Crime: January 14, 2003. Analyst and Her Husband Under ScrutinyBy Gretchen Morgenson. New York Times. At p. C 1. Backup.

      "Holly B. Becker, a Lehman Brothers stock analyst, has reportedly been notified she may face enforcement action." Upclose look at white collar crime is like at the investigation stage. I posted this for you because I was taken aback by the lovely photo of the young woman involved. Could have been any one of us. And then I thought how odd it seems that someone under investigation of financial crime could look just like one of us. No tell-tale horns or tails, no scroungy, harsh looks. Perhaps this is one reason we've had such difficulty coming to terms with Enron and its aftermath. Everybody was "doing it," even people like us. jeanne

      Discussion in A Case of Alleged White Collar Crime.

    • Health

      January 14, 2002. New York Times Article. At p. A 1.Backup.

    • Religion and War

      Meditating on War and Guilt, Zen Says It's Sorry By Allan M. Jalon. Backup.

    • Social Class in the United States

      Upward Mobility and Downright Lies By Caryn James. Backup.

    Stories of Lived Experience Lived Experience: Emancipatory Narratives

    New York Times Special Series on Safety Violations in the Workplace


    At a Texas Foundry, an Indifference to Life By David Barstow and Lowell Bergman


    Family's Profits, Wrung From Blood and Sweat By David Barstow and Lowell Bergman Backup


    Deaths on the Job, Slaps on the Wrist By David Barstow and Lowell Bergman. Backup

    Art Shenanigans

      Thumbnail of Katherine Grahl-MacCall's painting in Christian Schnyder's class, UC Irvine Extension. Course title: Color: History, Theory & Applications. Fall 2001 Quarter, Digital Design Department.

      From Transcend Art and Peace Site:

    1. Thumbnail of Katherine Grahl-MacCall's painting in Christian Schnyder's class, UC Irvine Extension. Course title: Color: History, Theory & Applications. Fall 2001 Quarter, Digital Design Department

      Postcards for Peace. by Christian Schnyder, on the Transcend Art and Peace Site. Katherine Grahl-MacCall's painting is the first link to the postcards.

    2. For Michael Salerno's work, please read Artists Struggling with Social Issues. More on this later.

    3. Sam Mockbee, Dream Builder By By Karen Houppert. On the AARP site. "Let us now praise a visionary architect who borrowed from the earth and built for the poor."

      Link to the Mockbee Photo Gallery for photos:

      One of the houses built by Mockbee's Rural Studio.

    4. Morning by jeanne, January 13, 2003.

    5. The Art of three Chinese Women, on Exhibition at Art Scene: China.

      Wang Jing

      Lin Jingjing

      Yu Chen