Woven Agendas
February 26, 2010 Volume 41, Number 46







At the midterm of the last trimester of our 41st Year, we focus on

Media—The fabric of our metaphor and narrative at US Awards time e.g. Academy Awards 3/ 7/’10
  Avatar, Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker all deal with the central place relationships hold for us.
  Another planet, changing one’s approach to work relations and the poignancy of war, all look at
  how we relate to one another in a new and difficult time.

Politics—The US Health Care Summit had some agreement, like 1/3rd of health dollars are poorly
  spent and 5/6th of persons have their health plan paid for automatically, so they do not visualize its
  impact as much as they might otherwise.  There continued to be basic differences on whether to
  start the planning process over or take advantage of almost a century of development,

Economics—Wealth and poverty still beset us, especially as the recessions technically winds down
  but almost 10 % of US who want to work cannot find a job.  The long term cost to family life and
  esteem make the matter very urgent.  The Pew Report on 18-29 year olds was particularly pointed
  in focusing on those who do not have any or enough work and poor prospects for the years ahead.

Workfare—Steven Hill’s Europe’s Promise makes it clear that the United States is unique among
  industrial democracies in not guaranteeing a minimal good life for all.  In the long pull of the next
  10,000 years it is hard to imagine how humans can afford to evade what Jeremy Rifkin in his
  Empathetic Civilization regards as a fundamental value for our species—taking care of each other.


Changchun China—From Ken Eustace
Sat 9 Jan 2010
-12 C

New year started like a ying/yang symbol by taking off to Melbourne AU for 3 nights with Kathy and our dog Priscilla (yes she is the Queen) as the ying. On the way back inspected the Marysville bushfire damage from last February and glad to see community back on track and green growth flourishing.

Then enter the yang.

Car broke down at Benalla and needed a $600 alternator, so new car is on the horizon soon. The dog travelled better than the car! Would you believe we found a dog-friendly motel (3.5 stars) near the bay? Normal standard double bed room but with tile flooring and no carpet the only difference... except $20 cheaper rate!

Then had lunch with my mum at Albury and back to Wagga Wagga. By the time we got back, she had a dizzy spell and was in hospital emergency and spent 3 days there. Seems fine now.

Global warming vs local warming vs Elvis birthday

I share the Copenhagen disappointment, made more lucid on this second annual trip to Changchun during a break between blizzards. As the cab from the airport passed by an enormous power plant, I asked my host Roy (my host from Changchun Taxation College) if it were nuclear? No burns coal! This connects with Australia trying to make a push for carbon trading scheme at Copenhagen while selling large amounts of coal to China....a Homer Simpson meltdown moment, perhaps!

and also connects to my Vietnam observation at Halong Bay, near Hanoi, two years ago when I asked the guide:

"What is that barge full of coal doing going through a shipping lane in the middle of this World Heritage environmental site?
He replied: Its Vietnamese coal off to China!

With a population over 9 million and a Siberian winter, Changchun churns the coal billowing smoke into the misty sky, 24 by 7. With two Disneylands in China - Hong Kong and soon number 2 in Shanghai, it seems that India and China left the rest of us in "Fantasyland" at Copenhagen.

Is it not a big ask for China and others to yearn for our western middle class lifestyle and achieve 8% economic growth needed to find jobs for 3 million school leavers each year?

It was a pleasant -9 C when I arrived here yesterday to be told it was Elvis Presley's 75th birthday. Seems Elvis was here long before Nixon or Whitlam and on Chinese TV there were 2 young boys doing their version of blue suede shoes. Symbols of middle-class Americans and others.

More on my China reporting in coming weeks over Jan-Feb. Coming soon: my experiences with Internet filtering.

Regards and happy new year.


Year of the Tiger - The many faces of the new China

This last week I have been working in Hong Kong SAR at +20C as the Yang where last month at -20C in Changchun was very much the Ying. Yesterday my 3-hour visit to Macau meant there was a third view (can that be a "yong"?). The Internet in HK is more open than on the mainland. The year of the Tiger begins on Valentine's Day so many Chinese here are pushing the love theme.
I leave tonight to avoid the lemming-like rush to go home to loved ones, like a very long Thanksgiving in some ways.

My main mission was to teach my HKU SPACE students doing a CSU Masters of IT degree - see this link. This included orientation for new students and teaching those continuing as well as marking 22 seminars as part of a readings in ICT subject. I also attended a photo shoot with my Vice Chancellor and President of CSU Prof. Ian Goulter in signing a new agreement between HKU SPACE and CSU.

The gamblers Mecca - Macau
The vast array of opulence and questionable values of all those casinos, meant the stay was short. The Portuguese history, buildings and culture left behind in 1999, has been overwhelmed by the greedy magnates operating in this tax free haven. Still the experience was interesting. The Venetian casino/hotel has re-created Venice with canals, gondolas etc meandering through the indoor shopping malls with false sky overhead. The ferry ride from Hong Kong takes only an hour, so I was back in Hong Kong for a 4:30pm meeting with Philip Tsang.

Caritas Francis HSU College
Prof. Tsang has left the Open University of HK to take up his new position as Vice-President (Academic & Research) at this private Catholic university. This new university is in the New Territories and is a partnership between the government, that provides the land, and the Catholic church which finds the funds for buildings.

Collaboration with Caritas Francis HSU College - 2010
Philip has supported the Paideia/Border Studies associates initiatives for as long as I have been involved since 1994. He is keen to work on developing a three way model of Caritas Francis HSU College/HK Web Symposium and Charlse Sturt Univerity. One suggestion was that Border Studies develop a new website in front of the current MOODLE, as an improved "professional look" that he can promote. My initial thinking is that such development may be done by my new Web designer, Andrew and be part of the Web history project (Australian chapter).
Philip and I met for 2 hours and worked our an agenda for 2010 that includes Border Studies and follows up on the work done last October in SF.

Low cost affordable housing or degrees?
Ten years ago affordable housing in the Aspen area was one of our associates thesis topics. Now the Get educated site mentioned affordable Justice degrees and I noted that Michael Sandel's Harvard course is not there! See http://www.geteducated.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=210

One interested course is similar to our recent efforts is the cheap one! It is from Fort Hays State U and combines Masters of Liberal studies with Justice.
See this site examine the program curriculum:
http://www.fhsu.edu/mls/conc/conc-criminaljustice/ and the excerpt below:

I was amazed at how similar the core is to what we do!

Admittance Requirements

The applicant must also meet the admittance requirements for the MLS degree: at least a 2.50 GPA in the last 60 hours of a Bachelor's degree.

Program Curriculum

Students completing their MLS degree in this concentration will have the following notation on their transcripts: "Liberal Studies (Criminal Justice)"

Every student is required to take the 10 hours of Core Classes. These include:

    * IDS 801 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
    * IDS 802 Ways of Knowing in Comparative Perspective
    * IDS 803 Origins and Implications of the Knowledge Society
    * IDS 804 Information Literacy

Every student completing a concentration in Justice Studies will take 18 credit hours from the following list of courses (or other substitutions as deemed appropriate by advisor):

    * JUS 610 Criminal Justice Organizational Structures
    * JUS 615 Contemporary Criminological Theory
    * JUS 620 Advanced Criminal Justice Research Methods
    * JUS 640 Workplace Violence
    * JUS 670 Independent Study in Justice Studies
    * JUS 675 Seminar: Justice Leadership Pro-Seminar
    * JUS 675 Seminar: World Criminal Justice Systems
    * JUS 675 Seminar: Critical Issues in Justice Studies

Additionally, every student shall take a 3 hour culminating experience (one of the following):

    * JUS 600 Internship in Criminal Justice
    * JUS 675 Seminar: Advanced Research Project
    * IDS 899 Thesis in Liberal Studies

Finally, every student will complete a comprehensive examination in the final semester of his or her course of study. No attendance will be required for the examination. The examination will be given as an independent, comprehensive paper encompassing at least eight hours of study and writing on specific questions given to the student. These questions will cover the field of criminal justice.
That enough thinking for now.
Happy Chinese New Year to all!



Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2010, 11:22 PM