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Showing posts from 2007

Jane Jacobs quote

From an interview published in by Jim KunstlerFor Metropolis Magazine, March 2001Extract:
JHK: Well, it's possible that my proposition is a fallacy. But what if it’s not?JJ: I basically don't think that the way we do things is that dependent on one resource, such as oil. There can be different kinds of engines for cars. I think that solar heating, wind heating can substitute for a lot of uses for oil. I’d like to see those things happen because they are more sustainable in any case. But I do not think that running out of oil is not going to bother us that much. I think we have got to be rescued by something or we really are going down a slippery slope.JHK: If its not petroleum then what is it that is putting us in peril?JJ: I don’t think probably any one thing. Nothing is so clear in history that is it happens for any one thing. It seems that a lot of things come together to make great changes. And I think th…

The referendum of Hugo Chávez

These are clearly all examples of foreign policy analysis of the issue. What if the people of Venezuela just did want to relinquish so much power to Chavez? What if the referendum was a set up for the possible successor? What if Chavez used it to suggest to the outside world that he will regain power again in the future but wants the Venezuelan people a space to develop its democratic culture.

I see the referendum's results as a positive outgrowth of democratic processes in Latin America. One that shows true strength for their future.

Comments to today's Miami Herald "Chávez's image, international ambitions take a blow"

"I Have a Dream" Speech

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
"I Have a Dream" Speech

Aug. 28, 1963
am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. …

Creative Class Reading Recommendation

Here is a reading recommendation that, if applied correctly, would put ideas of grassroots funding on its head! Placed on my Local Economic Development class syllabus, "The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida is quite a spectacular way to think of the “New Economy”.

Florida is a professor at George Mason and pulls data to form the emerging creative professionals. This includes "people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music and entertainment whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or new creative content. " Then he says they share a class, like the working class of the 1950s or the service class of the 1990s. He argues that both geography and non-traditional forms of social capital are important elements for this group to grow.

Basically he describes a new way to dissect today’s economy and provides evidence of how its effects social and cultural modalities. Of prominent importance is the ven…

Reduced to the Small Screen--A comment

Commentary to the Washington Post piece published 11/11/07 called
Reduced to the Small ScreenBy DeNeen L. Brown and Darryl Fears -
Great article; it was well-balanced and very descriptive/ substantiated. While I agree with many of the points in the piece, I disagree with the premises. People develop their perceptions not by what they watch in the public sphere, but rather their interactions with others in the private sphere. Personal interaction with your neighbors and colleagues, will define how you treat the subject of racism.

Most of the time, I think people (and specifically this comment is directed to white people) are just trying to get ahead in life and don't think about their race as an attribute or a deterrent factor. If there should be a debate in the public sphere, we should always label our race to who is “speaking in the media”. Why are white people not as predominately identified in the press as blacks, Hindu or Hispanics?

Keep up the great journalism.

Entre Rios--Si Hoy

' SI HOY '
Si hoy tal vez te sigo
con la misma anciedad que ayer,
es mejor, no sé,
despedirme de la propia mirada de mi
verso aquél.

Así todos los días
me dejarás de ayer,
que hoy no dirás: 'estoy extraño entre las paredes',
mi cielo de contraluz.

Destrozado ir dentro
de este lado que no rosa,
acostado donde cantan las espinas que ahora duelen.
Así todos los días,
me dejarás de ayer.

English Version

If today, perhaps I follow you with the same desire as yesterday, it is better, I do not know, to dismiss my own cautious look, from my own verses. Thus every day you will leave me from yesterday, so that today you will not say: ' I am strange between walls', my sky of backlighting. Destroyed within for the side that doesn't blossom, laid down where they sing the thorns now hurt. Thus every day, you will leave me from yesterday.

Miami Herald Decentralization in LAC

Argentina: Governors elected since 1912 and mayors since the 1950s, except during authoritarian periods. Both elected since 1983. Local governments have strong powers.• Bolivia: Governors first elected in 2005, mayors since 1985. Governors are fighting with President Evo Morales over spending authority.• Brazil: Governors directly elected since 1982, mayors since 1946 except in large cities during authoritarian government 1964-85. Local governments have strong taxing and spending authority.• Chile: Mayors elected since 1992. Regional governments are weak, while municipal governments have gained greater autonomy. But subnational share of total spending remains low.• Colombia: State and local governments have much autonomy over social and economic policies. Mayors elected after 1989 and governors after 1990.• Mexico: Local governments have strong powers.• Peru: Governors first elected in 2002.• Uruguay: Fiscal decentralization for municipalities began in 1985.• Venezuela: Governors f…

the decline of the state

The decline of the state, underway since the close of the Cold War, paired with the rise of participatory democracies and escalation of free-market policies, have created a world climate of exceptional encouragement for human initiative.

According to the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, "the nonproft sector outpaced the overall growth of employment [in the overall economy of the countries studied] by nearly 2.5 to 1... Even this does not capture the full scope of the nonprofit sector, for this sector also attracts a considerable amount of volunteer effort. Indeed, an average of 28 percent of the population in these countries contribute their time to nonprofit organizations."

In a December 1999 article in The Economist, the rapid growth of the citizen sector was expressed through the exponential rise of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The article reports that "One conservative yardstick of international NGOs (that is, groups with operations in mor…

If men were angels...

Madison is cited for saying the following:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. - Page 36 in
The Transformation of Governance: Public Administration for Twenty-First ...By Donald F. Kettl Appears in 1114 books from 1798-2007

Slip Away

What would I give for just a few moments
What would I give just to have you near
Tell me you would try to slip away somehow
Oh I need you darling I want to see you right now
Can you slip away, slip away
Slip away, oh I need you so
Oh love oh love, how sweet it is
When you still involve it
Let me tell you how sweet it is
Now I know it's wrong,
The things I ask you to do
But please believe me darling
I don't mean to hurt you
But can you slip away
Without him knowin you're gone
Baby we could meet somewhere,
Somewhere we both are not known
Can you slip away, slip away,
Slip away-ay-ay-ay I need you so
Oh can you slip away baby
I'd like to see you right now darling
Can you slip away baby
Cause I got to, got to see you
I feel a deep burning inside
Oh I wish you could slip away...

by Clarence Carter

the wind....

Cat Stevens - The Wind Lyrics

I listen to the wind
To the wind of my soul
Where I'll end up well I think,
Only God really knows
I've sat upon the setting sun
But never, never never never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never

I listen to my words but
They fall far below
I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go
I swam upon the devil's lake
But never, never never never
I'll never make the same mistake
No, never, never, never

tu boca es mia...

En la Habana quien ya no conoce
a un magnífico bailarín
anda siempre muy bien vestidito
que parece un maniqui
todos lo conocen por Panchito
por que baila el cha cha cha

Es la Boa
Es la Boa
Es la Boa
Es la Boa

Mi corazón es para tí
Mi corazón es para tí
Mi corazón es para ti
Mi corazón es para tí

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Hay Dias de Benedetti

Hay días en que siento una desganade mí, de ti, de todo lo que insiste en creersey me hallo solidariamente cretinoapto para que en mí vacilen los rencoresy nada me parezca un aceptable augurio.
Días en que abro el diario con el corazón en la bocacomo si aguardara de veras que mi nombrefuera a aparecer en los avisos fúnebresseguido de la nómina de parientes y amigosy de todo indócil personal a mis órdenes.
Hay días que ni siquiera son oscurosdías en que pierdo el rastro de mi penay resuelvo las palabras cruzadascon una rabia hecha para otra ocasióndigamos, por ejemplo, para noches de insomnio.
Días en que uno sabe que hace mucho era buenobah tal vez no hace tanto que salía la lunalimpia como después de jabón perfumadoy aquello si era auténtica melancolíay no este malsano, dulce aburrimiento.
Bueno, esta balada sólo es para avisarteque en esos pocos días no me tomes en cuenta.

The World System of Locally Driven Politics

As I jumped out of the shower and was toweling off one morning last week, an epiphany came to me: I realized DC isn’t where the action is. After living in Washington for six years, I have met some of the most amazing, inspiring, life-changing individuals who desire the best for the US government and the world. Diehard liberals, hardworking bureaucrats and deep pocketed conservatives are my neighbors who live doors down in the two by two mile radius of our nation’s capital. Yet, it’s not just those amazing bright individuals who will change the world, but instead the average American Bob, John and Barbara who will ultimately make the difference.

DC reflects some of the greatest paradoxes of our global village. While its population is diverse—the policies that come from it are not. Washington hosts extremely impoverish inter-city bums, ambassadors from around the world, veterans, the rich American elite, recent immigrants from El Salvador and Ethiopia and an active contingent of vocal g…

Institional Economics on People's Choices

In Structure and Change in Economic History (1981) I abandoned the notion that institutions were efficient and attempted to explain why "inefficient" rules would tend to exist and be perpetuated. This was tied to a very simple and still neo-classical theory of the state which could explain why the state could produce rules that did not encourage economic growth. I was still dissatisfied with our understanding of the political process, and indeed searched for colleagues who were interested in developing political-economic models. This led me to leave the University of Washington in 1983 after being there for 33 years, and to move to Washington University in St. Louis, where there was an exciting group of young political scientists and economists who were attempting to develop new models of political economy. This proved to be a felicitous move. I created the Center in Political Economy, which continues to be a creative research center.

The develop…

Decision making

Do individuals make decisions in institutions?
How do grassroots organization arrange to make better decisions?
Are they influenced by external forces (funds)?

Decision making
1. anthropological role of participation
2. organizational theory and group theory
3. institutionalized economics exchange/information asymmetries
4. social political power relationships
5. geography, political and historical influences

Quotes on Love for VD

Stendhal was onto something in the 19th century when he observed that "The pleasures of love are always in proportion to our fears," because passionate love is also partly about terror.

Bill Shakespeare had it down cold, when he had Friar Laurence warn young Romeo of the perils of passion: "These violent delights have violent ends."


"Planning is the pretentious effort to shape human events with deliberate concern about the future. It is an attempt to impose a rationality of choices upon the turbulent sea of human activities."

Fresh food in Schools

Farm-to-school purchasing

FTS programs refer to school food purchasing programs that emphasize bringing fresh, regionally sourced foods onto school menus. The programs enhance markets for local farmers and improve the nutritional quality of school meals. They also often incorporate educational programming to increase student understanding of the food sources and the importance of proper nutrition.

Both the nutritional and the educational components of FTS are seen as strategies to combat obesity in the schools. This is especially important since schools receiving federal lunch program assistance are now mandated to develop local wellness policies promoting nutrition, physical activity, and overweight prevention in compliance with the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.

CREC sees farm-to-school programs as one potential school-based approach to help combat obesity. Schafft has been working with two other Penn State researchers—Jessica Bagdonis, graduate student in…


I have a random and off the wall sort of question. Rather appropriate if you have time on your hands to relax and think. How does one define elitism? Or decide what is of suburb excellence. Who makes that distinction and when is it truly relevant or just a farce to another ones mind? I ask you this because I believe you also look at these sorts of issues and questions. I see them as a sort of societal criticism.

Who or what defines what is pure and correct over another’s work? Today, I would believe the deciding factor for publications is peer review but most often time’s individuals in a set class set the bar for something to be adequate or of their quality or standard. How is an authentic idea born, produced, and publicized?

Another idea is it that an idea comes from an expert, but who is an expert in an anything today? If not, there are many amateur with specialize experience in many particular hobby.

What is your impression on the subject?