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I haven’t read all of the entries yet to a discussion I find compelling, and I’ll have something to say once I have.  I fully expect maybe 10 of you to even hit the link, let alone actually read any of it.  But the 10 of us could have an interesting discussion.  The foundation for the discussion:

In our own uncertain era, it is useful for women and men with a reputation for thoughtfulness and creativity to reflect on issues that bear profoundly on both their craft and their country. We asked four questions:

1. What relationship should American intellectuals have toward mass culture: television, films, mass-market books, popular music, and the Internet?

2. Does the academy further or retard the engagement of intellectuals with American society?

3. How should American intellectuals participate in American politics?

4. Do you consider yourself a patriot, a world citizen, or do you have some other allegiance that helps shape your political opinions?

Each writer could choose to respond to one or all of them. We expect to run additional essays in a forthcoming issue.

E. J. Dionne, Jr., Alice Kessler-Harris, Jackson Lears, Martha Nussbaum, Katha Pollitt,Michael Tomasky, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Leon Wieseltier

I would add the question of whether the mere posing of the question is inherently elitist.  More later in the week.

Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass is calling for a ballot measure to determine whether the city should continue to pour half a million dollars into the zoo.  There is enormous concern for health and safety as departments are facing slashes in their already bare-bones budgets.  Obviously it’s not an easy choice .  But I hope Eurekans and their leadership think hard about it, because once it’s closed it probably can’t be reopened.  Revenues are obviously down due to the economy, and I hate to see permanent decisions made on the basis of short-term budget issues.  On the other hand, that’s a great deal of money for a city of Eureka’s size to put out.

The county is facing declining schools enrollment as it has less and less to offer families in terms of job opportunities and recreational offerings – the zoo’s potential demise following the closing of the Natural History Museum with HSU’s leadership apparently determined to kill it off no matter what anyone in the community says or offers to do.

I do think the county should share in some of the financial responsibility, though it’s obviously strapped as well.

Are there any applicable stimulus grants?  I hope the city is looking into the possibility.

Poor Bill is no doubt rolling in his grave.

For those considered that zoos are speciesist concentration camps, they do serve a conservation purpose.

The comments thread attached to the Times Standard article is the longest I’ve seen.  The issue obviously touches a nerve.


February 2010
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