Political Science

ICA Summer Film Festival: Feast to Famine: Global Politics of Food and Water

Gael Garcia Bernal in Even the Rain

Stanford's Division of International, Comparative and Area Studies (ICA) will present six films from around the world on Wednesday nights, beginning this week, from 7-9 P.M. in Room 002 of Building 200 (History Corner). The theme will be the politics of food and water, and will feature an introduction and post-show discussion. The first film, Today's Special, is a foodie comedy about a young Manhattan chef rediscovering his Indian heritage through food. This festival is free and open to the public.


Help save the American Community Survey (ACS)

The Free Government Information blog has been tracking on HR 5326 "Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013" and more specifically the Webster-Lankford amendment (which passed the House on May 9, 2012 by a vote of 232 - 190) which cuts funding for the American Community Survey. Data collected by the ACS are used by policy makers to determine the distribution of federal funding for everything from schools to roads and bridges, to emergency services and Medicaid benefits -- and is of vital interest to researchers, teachers, students and the public to learn more about and track on issues important to their communities. As the Sunday NY Times succinctly put it, in an article entitled "The Beginning of the End of the Census?":

This survey of American households has been around in some form since 1850, either as a longer version of or a richer supplement to the basic decennial census. It tells Americans how poor we are, how rich we are, who is suffering, who is thriving, where people work, what kind of training people need to get jobs, what languages people speak, who uses food stamps, who has access to health care, and so on.

It is, more or less, the country’s primary check for determining how well the government is doing — and in fact what the government will be doing. The survey’s findings help determine how over $400 billion in government funds is distributed each year.

But last week, the Republican-led House voted to eliminate the survey altogether, on the grounds that the government should not be butting its nose into Americans’ homes.

If you care about this vital program, please sign the Save the American Community Survey petition. It's crucial that our Federal lawmakers know about the public's concern, and understand why they need the ACS to do their very jobs!

[Note: this was originally posted on Free Government Information, the personal blog of James Jacobs, Stanford's US Government Information Librarian]


Michael Walzer lectures

Michael Walzer

This week Stanford is privileged to host Michael Walzer, the well-known political writer and longtime editor of the journal Dissent. We have many of his books in Green Library. He is currently working on international justice issues as well as the history of Jewish political thought. On Tuesday at 7:30 in Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center, he will speak on "Holy War in the Bible - and After." On Thursday at 5:30 in Annenberg Auditorium, his topic will be: "Can the Good Guys Win?: Moral Dilemmas in Asymmetric War." For more information, see Ethics in Society.


Philosophy Talk welcomes former Senator Russ Feingold tonight

Russ Feingold

Philosophy Talk—the Stanford-based "program that questions everything...except your intelligence"—welcomes former Senator Russ Feingold to Cubberley Auditorium this evening. Feingold will join hosts and Philosophy Professors John Perry and Ken Taylor in a discussion about corporations and the future of democracy.

From the Philosophy Talk site:

The US prides itself on the strength of its democratic institutions and considers itself a leader in the promotion of democratic values around the globe. But can we consistently maintain this self-image in the face of the growing power of corporations? How are capitalism and globalization subverting the interests of democracy at home and abroad? Does the problem stem from fundamental inconsistencies between global capitalism and national democracy? Can regulations provide a solution, and if so, who has the authority to create and enforce these regulations?

Russell Feingold, the former US senator from Wisconsin, is founder of Progressives United and author of While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era. He is also the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University.

The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 7:00 pm
Cubberley Auditorium


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