Sunday, February 08, 2009

Abstract(s) of the Week!

Green Theory and Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy:
It is bedtime, naptime, storytime, and I am reading picture books to my daughter, books that articulate in words and images the ecological values I hold as dear as my own child. After she falls asleep in my arms, I put the books away, lay her down on the bed and she murmurs, “Mosquitoes,” meaning that she lives in Minnesota and knows about West Nile virus carried by these little hummers, knows about deer ticks and lyme’s disease, frogs deformed from agricultural pesticides, turkey farms where real birds live in crowded filthy conditions until their deaths. If I choose her stories carefully, she will dream of birds escaping captivity, human communities supporting local organic farmers, caring for the earth, and listening to the animals. Her picture books can teach her this, and more. . . .
Theory in Action: The Journal of the Transformative Studies Institute:
Many are disappointed, perhaps surprised, that Democratic Party electoral success has not reversed the United States war policy. This expectation may have been based on the assumption that the US has a full-fledged modern democratic system. In theory (and sometimes in practice) political parties of democratic nations are supposed to receive mandates—to enact their promises or programs—when they win electoral majorities. That is how elections may translate into government by the people.

The US is only partially a modern democracy. Most notably, we have universal suffrage (except for the incarcerated, some former prisoners, immigrants, the institutionalized, migrant workers, homeless, and the many alienated—usually the poorest citizens--who do not vote). On the other hand, vigorous remnants of other political models mar our democratic pretensions.

The Constitution, although well-drafted considering its speedy production, has serious ambiguities and silences. Whether the president was to be “one who presides” or an elected king divided the drafters, and the wording that emerged does not resolve the issue. The trappings, retainers, yachts, first spouse status, royal audiences, and entertainments were neither specified nor prohibited. This arena has evolved into grandiosity quite unlike modern democratic chief executives elsewhere, and rather more like some constitutional monarchs (except for the constitutional part). . . .
Update: Commenter Mason imagines the poor brainwashed eco-kid's bookshelf:

Babar's Rampage
Frog and Toad are Sterile
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Rape the Earth
Horton Fears a Goon
The Polar Distress
Island of the Beached Dolphins

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