A Public Sphere Development Site
Volume 38, Issue No. 2, Week of April 24, 2011
Dear Habermas Sites:
Just Do Something
Remember that YOU CAN DO SOMETHING
University of Wisconsin, Parkside (UWP)
California State University, Dominguez Hills(CSUDH)
Created: April 12, 2011
Latest update: April 25, 2011
E-Mail to Jeanne in L.A.
E-Mail to Susan at UWP.
When we talk about things that really matter to us, whether we've learned anything in school, whether what we learned really matters, whether there will be a high school, a college, a job, a career waiting for us when we grow up, these are hard things to talk about. Many of us have learned not to talk about anything that people feel strongly about, like politics.
Today, there are lots of reasons we must learn to talk about what matters. Not talking about the terrible debt we were acquiring with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan means that today most of us adults are horrified at how much our nation borrowed from foreign countries, and whether those foreign countries represent and believe in all the things that we believe in and value.
How do we really feel about war? Is war a reasonable way to solve problems? Is it reasonable to spend so much on wars that we can't afford to put new computers and books in our schools? Maybe that depends on how important the war is for our future. Our future, and that of the world we live in. These things matter, to all of us.
How do we know what facts and truth are? What is evidence? How can you tell the truth from someone's opinion of the truth?
All of these questions matter. So when we come together to crochet, to make memories that will remind us of wonderful times, difficult times, and times when we discovered we really could make a difference, we offer the sources and summaries on the Dear Habermas site to help us answer these questions, from the perspective of all the different people to whom they matter.
War and budget are two of the most important things we have to worry about. So we're starting with them. But they're both kind of scary topics, especially because so many of our cities, states, and the federal government can't figure out how to tell the wrong answers from the right answers. The real world is complicated, lots more complicated than science. That's because we have to learn to work together, so that what I do doesn't cancel out what someone else does. That will take conversations. Lots of them. And you shouldn't be left out, none of you. Not your grandparents, your parents, you or your friends and neighbors.
The Cats who Crochet hope to give us all many opportunities to learn how to have the best conversations we can, and learn from each other. We can learn about facts and opinions, about persuasive arguments, and about complexity. Then we'll all be able to help all the communities we belong to to know more about what matters and DO something about helping to make this world better. For me and Susan, better means more equal, more just, more respectful of all living things, and ways to govern that will let them all live more happily and successfully.
- Remembering and Communicating Love
Memento of the Memory that Allan Knox Brought Home from Australia
Most children know that their grandparents love them. But when we live great distances apart that can be a very difficult idea to get across. This story is about how one grandfather found an unexpected way to send that message to his son and granddaughter and assure himself that she would remember that fact long after he was no longer around.
. . . More soon. jeanne
- Making the Hard Things Easier to Say - Love Is One of Them
- Running Butterfly?
When you're scared it's a good time to enter your imaginary and, call out your imaginary jaguars, or . . . How about sharing my imaginary? This butterfly just popped out of my free form work. Well, no, it doesn't look exactly like a butterfly, but that's part of the fun of abstract art. You get to play the game we often do with clouds, of seeing the pictures we can find in them. The ancients did the same thing with the stars in the sky. You know, like the Big Dipper? and the Little Dipper?
When I'm scared, or tired, or need to get my feet on the ground again, I knit or paint or crochet or make things. And what do I get by doing that? Well, besides whatever I've made, I gain a little distance from the thing that scared me. I can find my sense of humor again. And so when I saw this abstract butterfly appearing, and tried to scan it into my computer, and say the end pieces of yarn as they
When you're scared of a person who's menacing, you can imagine them looking silly, like getting out of the tub, dripping wet, with a big old bath towel wrapped around them. Hard to be scared of someone caught in that situation. Or you could think of them as a chimpanzee, or as a little dog yapping at you, the big monster. The imaginary is a great thing.
- Olly, olly, achten free - You Can't Touch Me, Once I'm Here
The Safe Place
When we were kids and played hide and go seek, we yelled "Olly, olly, achten free," when we reached a safe area, where no one could tag us and make us "IT". We have a couple of cats who chase each other and play together all over the house and garden. Would you believe one of them has found an "Olly, olly, achten free," space? In front of our TV Screen, way up high, on the top of my chest of drawers. For months, orange and white cat has left him in peace in that spot. The samller black and white cat waas safe, although the larger orange and white is quite content in very high places.
Curious I spelled "Olly, olly, achten free," as accurately as I could imagine what I called out all those years ago, and searched in Google to see if others had wondered about it, too.
Here's a new way to find answers to such questions. For this, you'll need access to a computer. But some people don't have a computer, don't know anyone who does, and don't have them at school. If you're working with us in Cats who Crochet, or any other of our Public Space Projects, make a copy of what you find on the computer, and share it with someone who doesn't have access. We'll do our best to see that there are always paper copies you can take with you, if it will be hard to get to a computer. That's one way that each of us can promote an understanding and caring community that gives everyone a chance.
The Straight Dope Fighting Ignorance Since 1973. It's taking them a little longer than they thought, they say.
- Natural Disasters
What I Imagine a Tsunami Must Feel Like
Topics for Discussion
- The Problem with Conclusions instead of Facts
Sound Bites - will look for or create an image for this. jeanne
Article by Nocera of the New York Times Business Section in which he discusses ideas like those of Hirschman, Albert O. 1991. The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy
- Jones and Gerard, Foundations of Social Pschology, fear studies,especially the dental studies. Will get this up as soon as I can. jeanne
- Hirschman, Albert O. 1991. The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy.
Range of Online News Resources for Issues on the Site
- Newspapers: Labeling here is based on an article by Ashley K. Vroman on the impossiibility of labeling newspapers by ideology. I personally go along with the conclusion of the conservative Media Research Center's L. Brent Bozell III: if the paper never met a conservative cause it didn't like, it's conservative, and if it never met a liberal cause it didn't like, it's liberal. But then, what about the Wall Street Journal whose news staff is considered liberal and its editorial staff considered conservative? jeanneLiberal Newspapers:
New York Times - Los Angeles Times - The Washington Post
The Boston Globe - The Chicago TribuneConservative Newspapers:
The Wall Street Journal - The Washington Times - The New York Post
Manchester (N.H.) UnionLeader - The Oklahoman
Dictionary, PolitiFact.com, and Google
- Farlex Free Online Dictionary:
PolitiFact.com - Tries to give balanced opinion of facts expressed in politics as to their truth value.