Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Weeks of March 24 and March 31, 2003

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

Current Issue:
Volume 16, No. 5, Weeks of March 24 and March 31, 2003
New on the KIDS' Current Issue

jeanne's schedule - Susan's classes - KID's Version
Previous Issue: Volume 16, No. 4, Weeks of March 10 and March 17, 2003
Mirror Sites: CSUDH - Habermas - UWP - ARCHIVES
TOPICS INDEX - Concept Index - Vocabulary Index - SITE INDEX
Daily Site Additions - Site Map - PSN - The Nation
BBC News - MSNBC News - CNN News
Sky News - UK - Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Cursor
The Weekly Standard - News Max

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan, Transcend Art and Peace
Latest Update: March 29, 2003

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

The war scene on TV, as we waited for news.

War, Our Students, and
Illocutionary Understanding

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Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

"In Baghdad, Iraqis set fire to trenches full of heavy oil in an attempt to create a smoke screen to protect the city from another night of bombing." Later reports suggested that the objective of the smoke screens was to obscure damage. I wanted to share this photo with you because I'm having trouble understanding how anything so terrible as Baghdad under attack can be so beautiful. jeanne. jeanne

Gracious sakes, I can never get this right. My Corel Photohouse program somehow saved the painting of our students before I could color it. Nothing works. Black and white for now, kids. I've got theses to read with graduation dates approaching. I tried Paint which didn't work either. Maybe some of you have programs that will work. If you manage to get it painted, send it on e-mail.

This morning I awoke to the bombing of Baghdad. More of those green night-vision shots. And bombs going off at an unimaginable rate. Smart bombs, they say. I hope they're smart enough to not kill people. As I sat there incongruously with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you were all running through my mind. Tyron, with his determination to turn around the fate of so many poor kids. Tyron, who opens his mouth and calls it as he sees it, as I see it, too, come to think of it. And I guess I'd just like to talk to him, for I know he's in touch with lots of you. Wish we could share more of what we're all going through. So Tyron's down in the right corner, and kind of dominates my thoughts. Andre's over on the left side, looking off, wondering how he can locate Michael Briggs. Oh, that's Michael floating up there, temporarily lost to us. Last I heard he was in Japan. And down with Andre is his little brother. I know he's upside down. I'm not sure why. I think because the world feels a little upside down this morning. And right in the corner there below Andre and his little brother is his mother. She was sick a year ago, and Andre tried to help by taking more time for his little brother.

Behind Andre is Mac, who was just deployed. Her two little children stayed with her husband, who may be deployed. Topsy Turvy, how can all this be? And over a little to the right, behind Michael and Tyron, is Jolie, who may have been deployed by now, but I haven't heard yet.

They're on a checkerboard that was going to be maroon and white, when I thought I could paint it. That's because I was remembering Mac's poem about the Red Queen and the checkerboard. I'll go find it soon, and put it up for you.

Even though I couldn't finish it, this seemed to be the story that had to go up this morning. You're going to see a lot of "smart" bombing this week. It looks clean. You aren't seeing people die in front of you, as you did on September 11. I'm hoping that this will remind you that these are real people, some of whom we know, some of whom we don't, but they're all real; they're all scared; they're all sacrificing their own peace and security for us. War is not clean. War is not bloodless. War is not tearless. War is hell. But so also is there evil in the world, rarely exclusively on one side or the other. In the midst of all this craziness, please remember that when the bombing stops, illocutionary discourse must begin. We must start hearing one another, and loving one another, and working together to let peace happen.

March 21, jeanne


Sent in by Mandy Unversagt, CSUDH
From somewhere on the Internet I'd guess. Real? What's real in this new virtual world?


The Face of War (jeanne's title, not the artist's)

From the Mongrel Tate Collection. Link on Collections. " 'Uncomfortable Proximity' is the title of this on-line project created by Harwood, a member of the Mongrel collective. Commissioned by Tate National Programmes, it mirrors the Tate's own web-site, but offers new images and ideas, collaged from his own experiences, his readings of Tate works and publicity materials and his interest in the Tate Britain site. Related critical texts by Matthew Fuller are in the Connections section of the Tate web-site".

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:

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New This Issue NEW for the Weeks of March 24 and March 31, 2003
Previous Issue: Weeks March 10 and March 17, 2003

Announcements:

  • Update on News for War on Iraq: An Illocutionary Perspective

    As the war continues, and we meet unanticipated challenges, we need access to many perspectives. BBC and Sky News are primarily UK sources. Al Jazeera is not now available in English because of US hackers. But Cursor is publishing an archive of Al Jazeera News. In the interim that will have to do. And Cursor itself is publishing a comparative news source. Cursor reports from a left perspective. The Weekly Standard reports from the right perspective. And a very right perspective is offered at News Max , whose Melrose Larry Green reports that "[t]he mainstream media (ABC, NBC, CBS, N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, etc.) are so liberal . . ." Michael Savage is one of their columnists. For your convenience, all these news sources are linked on the main page of Dear Habermas and on the Current Issue page. I also updated the Progressive Sociologists Network (PSN) link to 2003, for the very left perspective. Please use them.

    Bear in mind that illocutionary discourse is perhaps more important now than ever before. We must not hide behind rhetoric and shout at each other. We need to try to understand the Other, whether we agree with her or not. I'll soon put up a piece on one-sided and two-sided arguments that will give you a more in depth explanation for this need. jeanne

    BBC News - MSNBC News - CNN News
    Sky News - UK - Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Cursor
    The Weekly Standard - News Max.

    I added The Nation for left perspective news. I was also able to access, but did not provide links to Electronic Iraq.net This site has a sister site with Palestine. Both these sites will give you information from the Iraqi and the Palestinian perspectives. Bookmark this page, if you want the links.

  • Class page for Sociology of Reality.

    March 24, 2003: In trying to keep abreast of the war news, and trying to apply social theory to this lived reality, I'm putting up readings as quickly as I can. We'll be looking at issues of evil, of religion, of loving respect, of social and criminal justice, and of the economics and politics of war and of dominance. I'll try to get detailed discussions questions and conceptual links up on the essays that are already up for sugggested submissions. Remember that the submissions are only suggested, and that you are welcome to bring your own theoretical concepts and ideas to these issues of war and peace and social justice. Please remember that our discussions are illocutionary. We are not engaged in instrumental discourse to persuade anyone that we have the "right" answer, but we are engaged in hearing all validity claims in good faith, so that we can learn to respect one another's differences and respect each other as humans.

    You'll find suggested issues and essays for submissions on the class page.

    April 3, 2003: I finally broke down the file on Daily Site Additions and put the older files into Site History. If you're looking for a file earlier than April 1, 2003, you'll find it under Site History Link on a range of dates that fits the time period you're looking for, and you'll find that the Daily Site Additions from that period will come up just as it was originally on the site. jeanne

  • Theses:

    TOPIC OF THE WEEK:
    The Art of Persuasion

    March 27, 2003: Today, one week into the war with Iraq, we are beginning to understand that some of our attempts to persuade have failed. The irregulars are fighting, in civilian clothes, in US uniforms, under the guise of welcoming Iraquis. Our troops at least, did not expect that. Pat and I will be at school today, Thursday, but during the rest of the week, I'll try to analyze with you what went wrong in our communication strategy, with our home front, with the Arab world, with the Western world.

    Meanwhile, read Thomas Hicks' article in the Washington Post: War Could Last Months, Officers Say By Thomas E. Ricks. Washington Post Staff Writer. Thursday, March 27, 2003; Page A01. Backup.

    March 24, 2003: The war is being conducted in a manner planned to persuade Iraqis not to fight under Hussein, but to spend their energies on building a new regime with Hussein gone. This would seem reasonable and peaceable, as long as we view it from the American perspective. But since the Americans are, in reality, occupying Iraq, that leaves many questions about the freedom and democracy of any new regime.

    There are also some unstated underlying assumptions there that all nations should adopt democracy, starting with the ballot box. Many countries are asking what's so democratic about elections that are distorted by money and power in more subtle ways. If we were to manage an election within weeks now in Iraq, consider how the auxiliary power of many who were closely related to the regime of Saddam Hussein could be manipulated to control that election. The assumption that democracy involves no more than a ballot box is simplistic to the extent of being criminal. (jeanne's opinion - NOT fact) FACT: the appearance of a neutral ballot situation can and has been bought by money and by power. If people are afraid of the consequences, those consequences are real in their effect. (W. I. Thomas).

    Democracy does not consist of elections. It consists of free elections in which the majority respects the validity claims and needs and wants of the minority, in which no group seeks to dominate and exploit the other, in which all liberty is respected, and in which safety nets are provided for those unfortunates who need them. Just now the war is terrible enough to command our entire focus, but soon, when the fighting ends and the real work of peace begins, these issues of democracy will loom large.

    Tro the end of understandng what will have to be done when the fighting gives way to reconstruction, we will focus in the next few weeks o>n attitude persuasion theory. In order to get anything done, we have to make decisions, and those decisions affect all who will be governed by them. Our theory this week is about how leaders will emerge, and how those leaders persuade those who elect them, or follow their lead, to accept their perspective as one that is best for their country. How effectively they persuade will determine the extent of their power, and in many ways, the future of their country.

    Oh, and by the way, all these same lessons apply to us. Our leaders are engaged in the same process of persuading us to follow and accept their perspective. So this is still our lived experience.

    jeanne

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    Theoretical Musings for Us by Us

    • Classical Theory: General

    • March 29, 2003:Photos of famous sociologists Soutwest college in Texas, site of Dr. Luis Slinas.
    • March 29, 2003: The Dead Sociologists' Society New location. Good site for quick review, and for basic introduction to social theory.
    • March 29, 2003: Georg Simmel On the Dead Sociologists' Site. This essay refers to the American Soldier, a reference you should recognize.
    • March 29, 2003: Bibliography: 50 Classics Advanced theory. In German.
    • March 29, 2003: Middle Range Theory Robert K. Merton: Social Theory and Social Structure. Chapter 2: Sociological Theories of the Middle Range. On the University of Chicago's Site for studying for preliminary Ph.D. exams. Advanced.

    • Classical Theory: Attitude Change and Persuasion

      • March 29, 2003: Robert K. Merton and Mass Communication Student prepared biography of Merton for class in journalism at the University of Texas. Note particluarly the "narcotizing dysfunction". Does this effect fit descriptions of what is happening currently with the war with Iraq? By the way, who is the modern sociologist whose name we associate with "surveillance?" Foucault.
        "Merton and Lazarsfeld have also theorized about the effects of the mass media and propaganda. They have pointed out that mass communication tends to reinforce social norms and the economic status quo. The mass media may function as surveillance, informing individuals with news. Surveillance informs society about the economy, stock market, traffic, weather, and the public. This function of the media may also cause panic and unrest as the news warns of threatening situations and dangers. As individuals develop indifference or disregard for media because of an abundance of information, Merton and Lazarsfeld note this effect is a "narcotizing" dysfunction."
      • March 22, 2003: Attitude Persuasion: What Do We Do Now That We're at War?
      • March 22, 2003: The Trusted Representative of a Shared Value, Colin Powell. Summary of some of the social-psychological theories on which we rely to understand human discourse.
      • March 22, 2003: Classical Theory: Attitude Change and Persuasion. These are some of the concepts on which you'll want to rely as you comment on the war.
      • March 22, 2003: "Where has all the reason gone? Long time passing." Application of attitude persuasion theory to Powell's role in war with Iraq.

    • Classical Theory: Psychoanalysis

    • Education

      • March 25, 2003: Pedagogy: Lifelong Learning There's a lot of interesting material here. If you are planning to teach, you should surely read it. But it's a lot. I'll get up an essay and discussion questions soon. jeanne

      • March 25, 2003: julius nyerere, lifelong learning and informal education A file just started on Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanzania, and a very good ( In the sense the Torah uses good = tzedeke. Noah was tzedeke. ) and well-educated man. His name I did not know when I first approached the Informal Lifelong Learning site, and of that I am ashamed. I should have known it. So should you.

    • Health
        March 28, 2003: Aesthetic Realism vs. Eating Disorders Backup of an article by Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman on recovery from anorexia. I haven't put up discussion questions yet, but note that the orientation of the article is towards the problem as being in the person, and we try to fix the person. There is no recognition of the interdependence of the person within the infrastructure.

      • March 25, 2003: Wall Street Journal article on March 24, 2003, in the Health Section: Health Matters:Though doctors may balk, stress tests are vital for women by Tara Parker Pope. At p. R 6. Women who express signs of heart problems to doctors are often treated as though "it's just growing old - nothing wrong with you." Not so. Check out the warning signals and demand the medical attention you need. Backup

      • March 25, 2003: Wall Street Journal article on March 25, 2003, in the Health Section: Health Risks of Watching the War based on the WSJ article. Backup.

      • March 22, 2003: Stress and Control Looking at anorexia, as it develops in older women, and recognizing that the problem may lie in the culture instead of in the individual.

    • Praxis: Applying Theory to the Real World

    • Private Property and Social Justice

      • March 30, 2003: The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain James Boyle. I hope the poem with which Professor Boyle, Duke Law, starts his paper, will tempt you to read it:
        The law locks up the man or woman
        Who steals the goose from off the common
        But leaves the greater villain loose
        Who steals the common from off the goose.

        The law demands that we atone
        When we take things we do not own
        But leaves the lords and ladies fine
        Who take things that are yours and mine.

        The poor and wretched don’t escape
        If they conspire the law to break;
        This must be so but they endure
        Those who conspire to make the law.

        The law locks up the man or woman
        Who steals the goose from off the common
        And geese will still a common lack
        Till they go and steal it back.

        Anonymous

        It's not really about ducks and geese, but about intellectual property and the Internet. Advanced. "Like most of the criticisms of the enclosure movement, the poem depicts a world of rapacious, state-aided “privatization,” a conversion into private property of something that had formerly been common property or, perhaps, had been outside of the property system altogether."

        This piece could help you understand some of the concerns and criticism over privatization. Recall that in Africa, and in America, with indigenous peoples, land was held communally. Ducks and geese, folks.

    KIDS' Stuff

    New for Kids

      • March 28, 2003: Fences is South Africa Includes a coloring page of fences with barbed wire for Kids to interpret themselves as they color and change the drawing itself. Three samples on the file.

      • March 28, 2003: Copy of Guernica by Pablo Picasso, along with a collaborative painting done by groups of children on the same size as the Guernica painting, and with the theme of peace, reflecting Picasso's concerns. The painting done at a workshop in Chile is pictured, but the KIDS Guernica Site has many more examples to offer, from all over the world.

      • March 22, 2003: What's New for KIDS? For Weeks of March 24 and March 31, 2003 Started a new page for our kids to follow along with some of these discussions. Started it this week with a Jewish Museum of New York page on Camels and Caravans in Ancient Jerusalem. From there, I found sites that would let our kids have some of the fun, even if they can't make it to New York right now. More to come. jeanne

    Art Shenanigans


    What's New for KIDS? For Weeks of March 24 and March 31, 2003 Started a new page for our kids to follow along with some of these discussions. Started it this week with a Jewish Museum of New York page on Camels and Caravans in Ancient Jerusalem. From there, I found sites that would let our kids have some of the fun, even if they can't make it to New York right now. More to come. jeanne

Art Shenanigans