Monday, June 30, 2003

department of peace

i really like this idea -- if anyone likes it, too, email me and maybe we can assist in the development of this - maybe even on a local level??

Sunday, June 29, 2003


okay, going to do the blogathon -- think about sponsoring me -- check out how to do it here. my site is on my links below, or here.
the myth of the individual continued...

okay, so you know what else? the language that you use, that is inherent to your knowledge of yourself, your world, all things, meaningful, is NOT yours. It does not belong to you, it is on loan from the culture(s) that you are embedded in. It does not go with you into the great beyond when your body stops breathing. it remains with the culture, as it should as it does belong to "them" to "us," but not to "me."

in fact, if there were no "them," there would be no "me." we need "them" to become "us," to become "me's

in short, it ain't about me (since me can only be known in relation to them, and has no inherent existnece), it is about us.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

atheists beware!!!!

How To Report Atheists to the FBI
wow, this church is tough!

Homosexual Deprogramming Ministry: "Group member Kenny Johnson speaks of the group as, 'A means to an end. If you are gay, and you think you are a Christian (of any denomination) you simply are not, according to my Bible.' Dan Pason added, 'We sometimes are forced to act in full accordance with Levitical Law, and this means torture and oftentimes certain death for anyone who refuses to give up the gay lifestyle"

Friday, June 27, 2003

sociology slam

had a cool idea tonight -- what about holding sociology slams? that would be a way to get the word out. my ideas are based on poetry slams -- here is how i think one might work (draft):

1) participants get a limited amount of time to provide a sociological analysis of some social phenomena. could be as mundane as mowing the yard or something as complex as social inequality.
2) they don't know what topic they will be given, but they do know what the time limit is.
3) they are given the topic, the time runs, they provide the analysis.
4) the analysis is judged by the audience, and by five judges. highest and lowest score of the judges are thrown out, the three remaining are kept.
5) next person goes, etc.

we could do it in categories like functionalist, conflict, post-modern, feminist, exchange, etc.

at the end, the judges (and or the audience) could provide feedback on how to improve the analyses.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

discourse analysis of the prez's rhetoric

this is a very nice analysis of Bush's rhetoric. great interpretation of his speech. a must read.
New Blog added

I like Doug Kellner -- have added his blog (BlogLeft) under "Sociological Blogs." Read him/it -- very good.
From Democracy Now!

"Two Georges, Orwell and Bush: Recent sound bites from President Bush
and others accompany a dramatic reading of George Orwell's classic novel, 1984.

100 years ago today, author and journalist George Orwell was born.
We'll spend the hour hearing excerpts from his classic work 1984.
The book introduced the terms "Big Brother," "thought police,"
"newspeak" and "doublethink." We'll also hear clips from President
Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of State Colin
Powell, Fox New's Bill O'Reilly, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
Sen. Robert Byrd and broadcast footage of Donald Rumsfeld meeting
with Saddam Hussein in 1983."

looks good.

btw, here is an online version of 1984.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

to each his own

hey, i made someone blink -- this person is apparently questioning the quality of my degree in sociology. YIKES! looks like it is time for a short essay on, "On lawn care and social identity" or some such thing..stay tuned.
2003 Blogathon

i am considering doing the 2003 Blogathon, if i can get permission from mi familia. i already have a site being developed if i get approved. it is on the permament link on the right.

if i am able to do it, i am going to start asking for $$, so get your pocket books ready.

Monday, June 23, 2003

drugs are bad...because they are so damn expensive!!!!

okay, i know that you are curious about what the virus is...suffice it to say that most people do not want to kiss me. yes, i know that not many want to any given day of the week, but even less so now. i called my doc and she presrcibed an anti-viral med called, "Valtrex." I got 4 of them for $30.00! Four!!! that is what, $7.50 each! and the $30.00 was with my co-pay, i have no idea how much they would be wihout the co-pay.

at that kind of price, i better experience self-realization.
Not in Service

been down with a virus -- creativity on hold -- i hate it -- thoughts backing up, getting intellectually impacted, not good...

i did add the "Got Fear" link below, though. thank God for Sesame Street in times of terror.

Friday, June 20, 2003

No WMD's

don't ya just hate it when people remember things? damn, liberal bastards.

Facts, Shmacts...We Don't Need No Stinking Facts!!!!

yet again, don't confuse me with the facts, damnit!
i like this. one of the interesting things about privilege is that you are not required to use facts to make your argument -- entitlement is enough. entitlement shuts down any questioning -- "how dare you question me?" or "that's ridiculous, only an idiot would think that." is this not the discourse that George and the Cabal engage in, all the time? we are right, not because we have the facts straight, but because we are entitled to be right.
free (junk) food!!!!

and we wonder why there are so many kids with ADHD.

a world run by women not a bad thing. why can't we try that? i bet that there would be a whole hell of a lot less violence, more compassion, more creativity, more abundance, more thriving, etc. why does it seem like such a weird thought? if you think it is weird, then you have been unduly influenced by something called, "male privilege." if you don't think it is a weird thought, then let's do it!

Here is a cool site that has some great info, one article in particular that appeals to me is about sexual violence and social narrative.

thank you, Deborah for this link.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

not only is thinking stressful, but it fuels desire for relief, which fuels behavior -- like the popular favorites of eating, shopping, watching TV, etc...
the myth of the individual

if you stop and think about it, you are really not unique. many, if not most of the things that you do, many, many other people do, too. I am not saying that you do not have worth. I just mean that because we are social beings, much of what we do, think, believe, etc., is not unique to us -- to "me."

If you were to study one person, in-depth, you would be able to get a pretty good idea of how other people (within a similar culture) are going to be. this is not to support the idea of stereotypes -- i am not saying that there is anything predictive about any of this, more observational. someone might do something fairly idiosyncratically, but the essence of what it is that s/he does is, in all likelihood, fairly common.

i used to work with individuals that fit the profile of "addicts." much of their behavior was considered "extreme" compared to non-addicts (not stating a "truth," more of a "flavor"). In that extreme behavior however, was the essence of other behaviors that are not considered to be extreme. the reason that they are considered extreme behavior implies that there is other, similar behavior that is NOT extreme. robbing a store to buy crack is at the extreme end of a contiuum that includes at the other end, taking someone's french (screw freedom) fry without asking. there's an idea -- whodathunkit?

a resource...and yet another...note that the latter was introduced BEFORE 9/11. I personally like this one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

not for prime time thought for the day

if you masturbate, does that mean you are homosexual?

you are having sex with a person of the same gender, ya know...
birthing the self

i have been reading a lot of Buddhism lately. wondrous, joyous, liberating. what insight, what wisdom, and what compassion that the Buddha had to share it all with us.

one of the things that i find really fascinating is that we really don't have a self. we do, but it is not real -- it is something that we create as each moment passes. liberation, freedom, heaven is realizing this and then once and for all, ridding ourselves of the illusion of self of the compulsion to birth one all the time.

self is not so much a thing as it is a habit. thinking is a habit -- a compulsive one at that. every time we think, we create a self -- why? Descartes said it best, "i think, therefore i am." what this means is that in order for thought to occur, there needs to be a self there to think it. so, when we have an opinion, or an assessment of something, someone, or we think about a desire that we have (and we identify with those things), we birth a self. think how many times a day we do this! over and over again...

this may not sound like a bad thing, but the downside is that we also birth a lot of suffering in the process. for suffering to exist, a self is needed as a pre-requisite. no self, no suffering. this does not mean that Buddhists do not experience pain, they do, but it is an experience like any other -- there is no "thought, assessment, identification" with it, so there is no suffering. it is an observation of a sensation. pain, happiness, jealousy, anger - these are all sensations in the body -- the arise, they fall -- they are not permanent. inasmuch as we identify with them, we create a self. "i am angry, i am jealous, i am happy, etc." the other option, the Buddhist option is to say, "there is anger, there is jealousy, there is happiness." this is not claiming ownership of any of these things -- it is not MY anger, jealousy, happiness, etc., they are just there.

Some of my Samsaric thinking

I dislike fear
I hate obsessions
I like feeling light, free, open
I dislike olive oil in jasmine rice and black-eyed peas
I crave meat, pasta, pretzels, java chip ice cream
I hate waking up tired in the mornings
I love to sleep - it is so delicious
I hate duplicity and power - together and separately
California is bliss
this is a nice browser add-on -- gotta give credit where credit is due
whew, i thought i had accidentally deleted my entire blog last night. i found out just how much i am attached to this thing -- i think i know why, but not enough time right now to explain.

anyway...much more later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

observation of the day

thinking is stressful
sacred/privileged status(es)

Why did it take so long for the truth about Tulia to come out?
Because we place an inordinate amount of trust in the position of law
enforcement officer - we give the occupier of that status tremendous leeway
in making assertions, presenting evidence, et. We do not, however provide
common citizens (especially minority citizens) with that same implicit trust
or leeway about making assertions, presenting evidence, etc. so, it is the
status that is the crucial factor in determining whom to believe.
social change idea of the day

"Okay, thinking a bit more on this "institutional change movement"(ICBM - not sure what the B stands for yet, but I like the acronym!). seems to me the first thing to do would be to identify those values that one would hope to see prevail in society perhaps humanist values, if not, certainly those that have been demonstrated to be life-affirming. Bill, I think you have the handle on this. Once those are identified (so they would represent an ideal-type of sorts), then one could begin to consider how to manifest them in the daily lives of people. The barriers to their current realization would also need to be identified so that one could consider what kind of institutional change is needed.

Other thought is doing a content analysis of the different movements that exist and see what the common values are. This would be another way of identifying common ground between the different movements. Again, I think one of the problems about most of the current social movements is that they are attempting to utilize existing institutions to effect the changes not realizing that it is the institutions themselves that are problematic.


Stopping the war by drawing attention through mass protests - the institution of the media is NOT deeply flawed???
Ridding Bush et al in the next election - the political institution is NOT deeply flawed???
Revoking charters of corporations through the courts - the legal system is NOT deeply flawed???
Educating the populace about democracy, social responsibilities, etc. - is NOT our educational system deeply flawed???
Forcing change by economic boycott (in the US) - is NOT the economic system deeply flawed???

You get the picture? we can't use a malfunctioning part of a system to fix the system - it will always result in maintaining the malfunction. Something new needs to be introduced - the system and its parts need to be replace, not just fixed"
for sociological geeks III

wow, are you all getting this? damn, somebody hold me back! where is that publisher when i need one???? oh, wait, that is what this is for...

"I think one of the downsides to a "movement" is the seeming lack of awareness that at some point the movement has to end, i.e., it if is truly successful, then society will have been transformed. With that in mind, that is what we ultimately needed -- social transformation. I think that we limit ourselves when we think that only a movement can do this.

Subsequently, one should not expect the movement to be the panacea for social change. College students and others in the movement should recognize that what they want to see is NOT the success or failure of people protesting, but the extent to which fundamental social processes are different/better/etc. As such, I think it is na?�ve to think that a movement alone is going to change social institutions.

The Levi corporation figured out a way to nicely profit from the "hippie uniform" as my dad used to call it. Not only did they make a tidy sum, but they managed to "mainstream" the movement, thus effectively diffusing it. In the end, some things are different, but the fundamental institutions of our society have really not changed. It is these institutions that drive the social ills.

So, what we need is not a movement, but a societal transformation. What we need is institutional change. Unfortunately, it seems as if all of our attempts to do this are "institutionalized attempts" and are thus subject to failure because they make use of existing institutions in their strategies. I think that one of the fascinating things about institutions is their unequaled ability to absorb and usurp change -- the do it so well, that fundamental change never really occurs."
for sociologial geeks II

damn, I am on a roll!

"XXX notes (IMO, too) that the distinguishing factor of our discipline is that we consider the totality -- structure and individual or culture and individual. I believe that this is the heart of sociology.

Gerth and Mills in Character and Social Structure (think that is the title) have a nice diagram that displays this interplay. I do think that this is what sets us apart from other behavioral sciences.

IMO, the structure/individual is inescapable, although it is almost entirely ignored in our (US) culture. We are deluded by the notion that the "individual" is a discrete, fixed entity that is free to do as s/he chooses. What sociology informs me is that this is not accurate at all. We are all bound by structure/culture. True, we may be free to choose among several options, but ultimately, the options available to us are, for all intents limited, so by default, our choices are limited, too. Yet, we blithely go around thinking such odd things that "anyone can be President in the US." Yes, that it is indeed a possibility, but it is highly unlikely (i.e., NOT probable). This understanding is NOT the current weltanschauung among our citizens.

My contribution to the list of "required" texts for any sociological practitioner (in academia or otherwise) is Harry Cohen's wonderful text, "Connections, Understanding Social Relations," Ames, IA, U. S. A.: Iowa State University Press, 1990, ISBN 0813817447. I think it is out of print, but it can be found here.

Harry does an incredible job of getting the reader to think outside of the box when it comes to applying sociological theory in our daily lives -- just wonderful.
for sociological geeks only

damn, i am good! check out my response to a post about working with a population with a small N. the person was concerned about utilizing an action research approach with a group of 20 people and having their participation in the process contaminate the data. they were not only going to assist in the research design, but were also going to be the "subjects"

"I don't think the issue is with the size of the population. I think is with the notion that by following certain procedures (not including "subjects" in the design), bounded by certain parameters (populations need to be larger than "X" or the results are not generalizable) that one arrives at something called, "knowledge" or "truth."

Another way to approach it would be to consider the entire endeavor to be the inquiry. I suspect you could learn a whole heck of a lot about this population by having them participate in the design. I try and work from the perspective that "everything is data." The question is, "when do I recognize that some phenomena are data?" This is a decision I have to make. So, does the data collection begin when I administer the survey? Or does it begin when I say, "let's work on this together?" The data are there all the time
-- it is NOT the methodology that captures the data. As such, how can it ever be "contaminated?" "Contamination" is just data that is not deemed to be relevant to the researcher.

I bet you would get much more out of it by simply being curious about these folks. Invite them to participate from day one, watch what they do, the decisions they make, the questions that they choose as best, etc. You can still administer the survey (or whatever) after it is completed. This will provide you with far more information in the long run.

p.s. in the event that you find the above utter nonsense, check out the comparative qualitative analysis, small N site .

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Father's Day

happy father's day to all who deserve the status. one of the best things about being a father for me is that when my first daughter was born, it was the first time in my life that i had to think about someone else besides myself. I was forced to be less has been a battle ever since. putting others first is still a struggle. the thing about my kids is that it leaves me no choice -- in order to take care of them they way they need to be taken care of requires that i do things that i really don't "want" to do. things that are inconvenient, things when i am tired, things when i really feel particularly selfish, etc.

i hope that, through my kids, i am able to see all people as my children -- doing for them before doing for myself.

big hug to all

Saturday, June 14, 2003

sumbastard it does! okay, you can get it from here.

what will they think of next???

hey, just got this new thing called, "blogbuddy" that allows me to post from the pc -- let's see if it works

Challenging the Right

here is some good advice.

just nobody tell my dad, okay?

the new H2 -- Gated Community on Wheels

came to a stop sign the other day and one of the new H2's passed in front of me. something about the way the sun glinted off of the back passenger window that caught my attention. i wasn't sure at first what it was, but then i realized that it looked like bullet-proof glass. i am sure it wasn't, but it looked that way.

then, it hit me, this is the ideal american car -- a friggin armored vehicle -- complete with bullet-proof glass. isn't that the next step? we went from SUV's to Hummers, now to armored cars. makes sense, yes? damn, that ought to keep those terrorists and all of the other baddies we are trying to hide from away. see that bad boy barrelling down the street, you might think twice about tossing a WMD at it. bullet-proof glass, after all. hell it is that kind of technological protection that is going to keep 'merica safe. the stonger, bigger, steelier, the better. impregnable.

yup, gated community on wheels.

lawn care

i just don't get this men and lawn care thing. it is some kind of Saturday morning ritual? men, out in their yards, looking serious, mowing, hedging, pulling weeds...why? i understand the part about having a lawn that is mowed, clean, etc., but these guys look really serious, like this is important work (see my earlier observation about importance and mundane things with our prez and golf, below). mowing is serious, important work? wow, am i out of touch.

I guess it has something to do with asserting one's sense of self or something. doing the familiar in uncertain times or some kind of similar psycho-babble nonsense. "i am man, see me mow!"

anyway, a neighbor of ours left her husband because he was being a jerk. he was out of town when she left -- he had told her that this might be a good time for her to get the **** out, so she did. my wife said, "watch, when he gets back into town, he is going to mow his lawn." sure enough, saturday morning, there he is, out mowing, like life was wonderful.

guess if your lawn is neat and tidy, you can handle anything.


clearly, the word, "clearly" is clearly the most overused word currently.

anyone else notice this?

clearly, it is.

this is a great article on metaphor and behavior -- as George Lakoff notes at the beginning of the piece, "metaphors can kill." this is not something that we think about much, but it is indeed quite true. we live in a symbolic world and act based on our understanding of things. we act based on the sense we make of things. this sense that we make emerges from the words, ideas, beliefs that we use to understand the world. these "symbolic" materials are not fixed things, although we treat them as such. so, we do, indeed base our "reasons" for killing on such things as metaphors.

moral of that attention to what and how you think and know that it is just that, "thinking" -- manipulation of symbols that takes place in your mind -- nothing more, nothing less.

Friday, June 13, 2003

in case any of those folks in power have a memory lapse about why they started that damn war.

i thought this was a neat idea, from MoveOn:

"George W. Bush and some radical right-wing Republicans have stolen our country. We asked you last month if you were willing to fight to take it back. Hundreds of thousands of you answered with a resounding "Yes!" Now it's time to make some decisions about how to proceed.

In most presidential primary processes, pundits, pollsters and wealthy donors determine the outcome long before the actual primaries. By the time the rest of us cast our ballots, the nomination is typically a done deal. As we build our movement to defeat Bush, we could let that happen again. Or, we could engage in the primaries as a coordinated grassroots base. Should we?

We would like to start a candidate engagement process in which:

1) MoveOn members hear from candidates through email and our website.
2) We engage the campaigns on issues through an online interview.
3) MoveOn members vote online in a "MoveOn Primary."

If a candidate wins a majority in the primary, we endorse him or her.

Would you support this process? Tell us what you think"

i live in texas. thought you might like to know how we fare here, after the prez left us to conquer the world. i don't think that you'll see this in the mainstream news, so here is a report entitled, "texas on the brink" about our standing nationally in many different areas. if you live here, like i do, read it and weep
i was watching cnn today. they had a spot about the prez playing golf. i looked at his face after he teed off. he was looking down the fairway. he looked like what he was looking at was important. a ball flying in the air, down a grassy avenue. i felt scared. here is the leader of the world (for better or worse) and he looks at a ball flying down a grassy lane as seriously as he looks when he is addressing Congress. i don't think that this is a good thing. i actually think that his playing golf as a form of relaxation is not a good thing, either. imgaine, if you will, Mother Theresa playing golf, or MLK, or Gandhi. non sequitor, yes? not unlike asking Mother Theresa, "now that you have finished working with lepers in Calcutta, what are you going to do? well, jim, i'm going to disneyland."

yeah, buddy, scary times, indeed...
i have decided it is finally time to unleash my thinking on the world. God help us...