Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Stan Goff: Bring 'Em on Home Now!

this man is a TRUE patriot. bless him and the organization that he has started.
the reality of war that no one wants to hear about

in other countries, suppression of these voices is called censorship. in this country, it is suppressed by appealing to some kind of military honor about not discrediting the uniform. either way it is still censorship.

from the travelling soldier site:

"You call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go
home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building." - Pfc. Matthew C.
ODell, Third Infantry Division.

"They're killing us. Enough is enough." - Staff Sgt. Ray B. Robinson, Third
Infantry Division.

"If you asked the soldiers, theyre ready to go home It was a very
emotional day for our guys. Theyre torn up over throwing old ladies and
kids out [of their houses]." - Maj. Brian Pearl, EO, 101st Airborne,
Northern Iraq.

"I don't see it getting better. We can't be everywhere, can we? I feel
like a cop, but I'm not a cop." - Pfc. Jacob Weber, 21.

"Every hour, this gets worse. Any foot-dragging on getting what we need
here means those people are responsible for me getting shot at." - Master
Sgt. Jerry Best, Army Corps.

"I think our welcomes worn out. We dont even get that fake wave anymore.
They just stare." - Lt. Tom Garner of the Fourth Infantry Division remarked
to his superior, Capt. Dave Gray, Tikrit.

"You are fighting a group that is in their home. If it was me and someone
was to come into my home, Id be throwing some lead downrange." - Sgt.
Joseph Denny, 25, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, Forward
Operating Base Exxon, Iraq.

"It's a little sobering. When you're training for this, you joke about,
you can't wait for the real thing. Then when you see it, when you see the
real thing, you never want to see it again." - Capt. Sal Aaguilar,

"I didn't want to get shot, so I shot him first. OK, I'm done. I'm ready
to go back to Kuwait now." - Cpl. Juan B. Elenes, 21, of Portland, Ore.,
15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

"I've seen a car blow up and then a guy run back and grab his wife from
the seat and we couldn't do anything about it. I saw people taking
pictures of dead people. I thought: That's disgusting. I asked my tank
commander, 'Why are you doing that?' He said, 'If my son says he wants to
join the Army, I'll show him this [photograph] and tell him this is what
the Army does.' " - Spc. Jarrid Lott, 28-year-old tank driver.

"Some of the people I killed who I didn't know if they were innocent or
not. That won't leave me." - Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lujan.

"Who picked them up? Who buried them? I've reconciled myself. We did the
right thing, even though it was wrong." - Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lujan again.

"Were more angry at the generals who are making these decisions and who
never hit the ground, and who dont get shot at or have to look at the
bloody bodies and the burnt-out bodies, and the dead babies and all that
kinda stuff." - Spc. Anthony Castillo, Third Infantry Divison.

"I had to look that woman right in the eyes and I felt so horrible for her.
Ive got a little girl. Im fucking constantly angry over what happened
with that family. [They were shot as they approached a checkpoint] ... Im
pissed off at my chain of command for not putting up signs in every
language, to warn em. Normally Im a talkative guy, a happy person, but
Ive been real quiet lately, because Im so pissed off. Im thinking more and
more Im so frustrated, so angry, I want to choke somebody ... constantly."
- Spc. 1st Class Bill Scates of Oklahoma City, stationed at a checkpoint
in Baghdad

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

reality and fantasy

why are our leaders more concerned about the threat of terrorism than they are about the reality of hunger, homelessness, poverty, unemployment, violence, and shitty education in our country?

and why are more people NOT asking this same question?

Monday, July 28, 2003

finally, it all becomes clear!

Herewith, definitions to keep on top of current events...

Saturday, July 26, 2003

i sleep easier because we have smart people like this in control of the world

apparently intelligence is not required when you have power, privilege, and unquestioned evidenced by this quote from Paul Wolfowitz (oh, and he does have a Ph.D., ya know):

"I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq"

really, ya, think so, Paul?????? what a fucking concept!

the next time i hear one of those yahoos from, "the wrong" talk about how great we are because we helped all of those innocent iraqi kids, i am going to remind them about this. we should care so much about "foreign" kids in our own country, let alone all of those "non-foreign" kids who don't have enough to eat every day.

Friday, July 25, 2003

there's no stopping me!!!

post to AHS and SAS:

I mentioned that I contribute to other lists -- namely, AHS-Talk
(Association for Humanistic Sociology) and the SAS list (Society for
Applied Sociology). Two, action-oriented sociological lists and subsequent
associations. I also contribute to TEACHSOC. To contribute to the discussion you have now started, here is a post I
sent to the SAS list this morning in response to a question about the
"politics of sociology" "I agree with most of the thoughts on this issue -- I definitely think
that sociology is inherently political as is eating, breathing, and
sleeping. Saying that it is not (or they are not), IMO, is an untenable position.
Again, I refer back to my comments about IRB's, human subjects'
protection, etc. These require an inherently humanistic science. This means that we
value human life, alleviation of human suffering, etc. These are
inherently political positions and they really have NOTHING to do with some kind
of mythical (and decidedly political itself) thing called, "objectivity."
The fact that one would argue for objectivity is a value-laden and
political position. It is a recursive argument that most who argue for it are
unaware of (apparently some other person cleared their argument before they
made it, thus relieving the person making the argument from any responsibility
for any part of the argument that s/he actually utters. Note, that in
another context this is known as ventriloquism and the object whose lips are
moving is called a DUMMY...but, I digress.) f one has any doubts about whether or not sociology and other social
sciences are inherently humanistic, political, etc., just ask yourself
this question: Does one have to get approval from an IRB before declaring
war? Lastly, there is no way to divorce oneself from oneself -- I can't be a
sociologist when I am at work and then be a public citizen at home -- I
have tried mental illness and it is not fun (although the medications can be
entertaining until the side effects set in). It is the same body that
performs both roles. The mere fact that I take up space, have values,
and am recognized as a gendered person, results in me being a political

What I eat results in another having less to eat and yet we both suffer
from hunger. So, who gets what? The fact that we even have institutions
called IRB's so we can do something called research reflects our undeniably
privileged (Read, political) status. Hunger, though, and deciding who gets what is politics at its most
basic. And don't we eat at others' expense everyday? If you think not, then
you need to bond up on the data on how much of the world's resources the US

Preaching concluded here."

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Department of Homeland Security

thank God, there are good Americans out there who are looking out for us. i know that i sleep easier at night because of them. i just wish i could add their alert status system to my two over there ->

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

save sociology!

one of my posts to TEACHSOC, AHA, and SSSI:


1) The discipline itself is potentially liberating for both individuals and groups (i.e., it is inherently humanistic)
2) it covers "all things human" and subsequently, all things "meaningful"
3) there is nothing that we "know" of that outside of the realm of the discipline
4) the sociological imagination is brilliant


1) not respected within the realm of social science disciplines
2) sociologists have "dropped the ball" in getting the discipline into the forefront of mainstream (i.e., public) thought
3) the essence is being usurped by other disciplines: economics, political science, "socio-historical psych," etc.

In short, the discipline is wonderful, perfect, transformational. If there is any weakness to it, it is that sociologists have failed in getting it to where it needs to be within the general public, but there is absolutely nothing "weak" about the discipline itself.

Monday, July 21, 2003

be a republican, blame someone else for your lack of accountability and responsibility

for the party that uses the concept of a "personal responsibility" as a bludgeon whenever it suits their purpose, it never ceases to amaze me how quick they are to blame others and NOT take any responsibility for their failings. Just like george took NO responsibility for those “16 words” that came out of his mouth (apparently he REALLY is a dummy that is controlled by someone else) dennis hastert on "Fox News Sunday" blames Clinton for the intelligence problems in the Bush administration!!!!!!!

but, hey, when you got bill "i gamble responsibly" bennett as your poster-boy for values and morality, it really isn't much of a wonder, i suppose.

I just wish these jerks would come out and say, “we hate anyone not like us, don’t give a damn about anything but money and power, KNOW that we are fundamentally better than any of you, and only do something seemingly noble when it benefits us.” Oh, but that would expose them as the selfish, self-centered bastards that they really are…I forgot that. I have to rid myself of these stupid “liberal” values like honesty, integrity, etc.

Are there any repubs reading this who can teach me how to be an asshole?

Friday, July 18, 2003

when will they learn?

when will those reporters learn the proper followup? "Tom," for example, asks the Prez the following:

Q Mr. President, others in your administration have said your words on Iraq and Africa did not belong in your State of the Union address. Will you take personal responsibility for those words? And to both of you, how is it that two major world leaders such as yourselves have had such a hard time persuading other major powers to help stabilize Iraq?

the Prez dodges the question, blathers on about how responsible a guy he is, acts kind of pissy in an entitled sort of way (surprise, surprise), and then passes to Tony, the boy wonder...

THE PRESIDENT: First, I take responsibility for putting our troops into action. And I made that decision because Saddam Hussein was a threat to our security and a threat to the security of other nations.

I take responsibility for making the decision, the tough decision, to put together a coalition to remove Saddam Hussein. Because the intelligence -- not only our intelligence, but the intelligence of this great country -- made a clear and compelling case that Saddam Hussein was a threat to security and peace.

I say that because he possessed chemical weapons and biological weapons. I strongly believe he was trying to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program. And I will remind the skeptics that in 1991, it became clear that Saddam Hussein was much closer to developing a nuclear weapon than anybody ever imagined. He was a threat. I take responsibility for dealing with that threat.

We are in a war against terror. And we will continue to fight that war against terror. We're after al Qaeda, as the Prime Minister accurately noted, and we're dismantling al Qaeda. The removal of Saddam Hussein is an integral part of winning the war against terror. A free Iraq will make it much less likely that we'll find violence in that immediate neighborhood. A free Iraq will make it more likely we'll get a Middle Eastern peace. A free Iraq will have incredible influence on the states that could potentially unleash terrorist activities on us. And, yeah, I take responsibility for making the decisions I made.

Q Mr. President --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Hold on for a second, please.

what Tom then should have asked, but didn't, was, "So, that is a no? You won't take responsibility for those words?"

why is that so hard??????

Wired News: Roll-Your-Own Net TV Takes Off

maybe a shot at plurality and democracy -- power to the people.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

decoding compassionate conservatism

i think i have this concept figured out. the essence of "compassionate conservatism" is "once, i get mine, i'll give you some. I won't give you much, but i'll give you some and you should be grateful that i have given you anything." the intent behind the giving is not compassion in the sense of a desire to assist others without any expectation in return. This is decidedly different than say, "regular" compassion as it is predicated on entitlement and privilege. "I ain't giving you squat until i am sure that i am going to have a lot." It is not, "we're all in this together and need to work together so that we can all benefit. You are not better than I am and my giving to you is beneficial to both of us." Rather, it is deceptively, yet definitively selfish at its core. The compassion that emerges from it is an after-thought, not the starting point. "Once i am fixed for life, then i can be compassionate, but before that, you are on your own, buddy and don't come looking to me for anything."

and war is peace, oppression is freedom, and there were WMD's and i believe with every fiber of my being that they will be found. hold your breath on that last one, baby -- that would be the compassionate conservative thing to do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

saddam ain't dumb

i would like to think that someone in the intelligence community or elsewhere in the current administration would have thought of this, but in light of all that is coming out about their collective lack of intelligence, perhaps no one has.

what if we are playing right into Saddam's hand? Think about it -- he has had plenty of time to prepare for an invasion. he has had plenty of time to strategize how best to respond to overwhelming military force and the subsequent expected occupation of the country. in short, he has prepared to do exactly what is happening right now -- guerilla war with the US.

here is how i am figuring this...

1) take all of the above into consideration
2) consider that the iraqi army really didn't put up that much of a fight
3) the cities that were expected to put up the most resistance (Tikrit et al) did not
4) Saddam is gone -- surely he is not dead -- we have no body nor any other evidence to support a claim of his death
5) he has been considered for some time to be a "survivor" -- i think that this means that he plans for all contingencies -- why not "allowing" his country to be taken over so he can then wage the kind of war that he knows he has the best chance of winning
6) the US underestimated all kinds of things about the invasion of Iraq (manpower, reaction from the citizens, the actual resistance that they did encounter, etc.), why not Saddam's intelligence?
7) it would be the best way to win because Saddam knows that the US does not want a repeat of Viet Nam

Hey, if i can think all of this stuff up and i am not a "tin horn dictator," surely a real tin-horn dictator can.

Masturbating Lowers Prostate Cancer Risk

hey, all that stuff that we learned in Catholic school was wrong!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

hunting for bambi

Sex, violence, capitalism and male dominance – about sums up the state of things in the world today, yes?
five evasive maneuvers

I thought this was interesting in how Dana Milbank documents five techniques
that Ari used to not answer questions - I think these are the kinds of
things that we need to educate folks about when "questioning authority."
People need not to settle for the brush off, but the first task is
identifying the brush off - Ari et al, because of their statuses and their
sociopathic ability to lie with no shame are especially convincing in their
ability to make the brush off sound so reasonable

Sunday, July 13, 2003

hmmm, sometimes i surprise myself

a post to AHS-Talk awhile back:

Hi, Michelle

> regime is better than theirs. Is it possible that we're not being
> clear in distinguishing between moralistic and moral (meaning
> something more like ethos rather than just another rule regime)? Are
> people so used to

I think it has to do with values. I would imagine that at some level, many people DO embrace humanist values, if for no other reason than self-preservation. Unfortunately, the exalting of these values in our culture seems to be restricted to certain unpopular forums -- church, humanist list-servs, etc. They really aren't that "sexy," yes? They are boring. They are not "extreme" nor just plan, old "exciting." We don't see humanist values emblazoned in the latest sequel of "Lethal Weapon IX" nor do we hear about them in Congress -- lip-service yes, but actual action taken along humanistic lines, no. I don't think that capitalist society can "afford" to promote those values, hence they are sidelined. In fact, humanist values are anathema to capitalism.

As such, I would think that humanist values would fall more along the line of ethos as you mention. Your question of how to distinguish is a good one. I see it as how to we get people to understand our commonality? The empirical fact that we are indeed ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. What affects NY DOES affect Buenos Aires. I don't think humanist values are that hard to "get" -- I actually think that many religions promote these -- if you burn off the beliefs that surround them, that is.

I also think that Bill's point about breaking through the image is critical. I know that when I see an injured Iraqi child, it breaks my heart -- I have children, and when I see an injured child, I automatically see that child as my own. I think that other parents do this, too.

It is just that we are conditioned to NOT want to see this. We switch the channel to MTV or whatever, when any disturbing images come on the set. I think that we need to stay with the images -- let them wash over us, let us feel the pain that arises, let us get a sense of our responsibility in all of this, DON'T switch the channel. Because of our tremendous privileges here in the US, though, we CAN and DO switch the channel -- "too painful, not fun," click. Our switching comes at NO immediate cost to us. Granted, we lose our sense of humanity, but did we ever really have it in the first place? Since the culture really doesn't care that we have a fuller sense of our humanity, then it is perfectly acceptable to switch, even promoted to switch. We are reminded of "all of those who gave their lives so that we can switch channels, eat fast food, get the largest penis in the world, etc."

We are taught that we DON'T have to suffer -- "get an adjustable bed, get a remote for the TV, get a friggin robot that will bring you drinks, wipe your butt, etc." Right? This is where capitalism controls us -- buy "something" to relieve your discomfort. "Don't want to see dead Iraqi children, hell, switch the channel, and now that the FCC has relaxed federal regulations, you have even more channels to choose from! Isn't that great? Goddamn, America is the greatest country in the world! Look at all the choices that we have! And remember all those patriots who died so that you could have these choices."

Once the switch is made, then the image is gone, the pain is gone, the thought of having to do something about it is gone -- like Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. Life goes on, capitalism breathes a sigh of relief, we walk around numb, one more time.

> to follow rules and another thing to practice conscious awareness (not
> exactly the best way to describe to what I mean, but maybe there's
> enough of a glimmer that someone can help me out!)?

I don't know if this helpful, but I am convinced that capitalism and the manifestation of its accompanying values in this country, demands that we are NOT conscious! Numb, conditioned to buy, conditioned to NOT question, conditioned to change the channel, see a commercial and then buy whatever the hell it is advertising so that we can relieve that sense of discomfort that we had leftover from watching the dead Iraqi children. Shit, if we were conscious, saw all the BS that is being fed to us so that some SOB can have one more Bentley, and we get "freedom fries for the guaranteed low price of $1.99," then people would freak out. Capitalism demands un-consciousness.

Whew, that got me going, Michelle, thanks! Better than caffeine!



Saturday, July 12, 2003

more adolescent total institutions

"Have you read of young Adam Asch? Here's an Alternet
story about him...followed by links to where he WAS
and where they SENT him...Utah is such a lovely place.

Just Call Them Crazy
Alex Asch..."diagnosed" with "Oppositional Defiance

Here's where he WAS: Institute for Social Ecology

Here's where he's at now: Turnabout: Stillwater

The language Turnabout uses is pleasant sounding..."

Thanks, David.

indeed, the best things in life ARE free. nice open source, pseudo MS Office Suite -- looks a lot like Star Office. I got it for our home PC.

Friday, July 11, 2003

sociology is perfect, now spread the word

just posted the following to the TEACHSOC list. It was in response to a question about the strengths and weaknesses of the discipline of sociology. I believe every word of it...


1) The discipline itself is potentially liberating for both individuals and groups (i.e., it is inherently humanistic)
2) it covers "all things human" and subsequently, all things "meaningful"
3) there is nothing that we "know" of that is that is not outside of the realm of the discipline
4) the sociological imagination is brilliant


1) not respected within the realm of social science disciplines
2) sociologists have "dropped the ball" in getting the discipline into the forefront of mainstream (i.e., public) thought
3) the essence is being usurped by other disciplines: economics, political science, "socio-historical psych," etc.

In short, the discipline is wonderful, perfect, transformational. If there is any weakness to it, it is that sociologists have failed in getting it to where it needs to be within the general public, but there is absolutely nothing "weak" about the discipline itself."

Thursday, July 10, 2003's addicting

we seem to be so wired for pleasure, that all we need to do is think pleasurable thoughts and we feel good. pay attention to how much of your day is seeking pleasure -- even if it is just thinking about something that is pleasurable
turn about is fair play?

MIT Media Lab has developed a website to keet an eye on the gov -- appropriately titled, "Government Information Awareness."
Military-academia complex?

DARPA is developing a new tracking system -- sort of like 24-7 Big Brother - captures everything a person does, sees, emails, says, etc. Imagine how many researchers would drool for these kinds of data?

Makes me wonder how many social scientists will inadvertently support such a thing as a way to get great data?

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

my mother...

my Mother was in town this past weekend. my family and i spent time with Her and hundreds of other folk. It was very subtly enjoyable.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

straight from the horse's mouth...

wow, how much more evidence do we need to get rid of this guy???? Here is David Rubinstein, founder of the Carlysle Group (yes, THAT Carlysle Group, with ties to the bin-Laden and Bush families) telling it like it is about George W.

total, adolescent institution...Jamaica style

If your kid (11-17) misbehaves and you got the $$, send him/her to "Tranquility Bay" for some rehab. From the Guardian UK article:

"When you have a teenager on the rampage, who are you going to turn to? In America, parents send their troubled offspring to Jamaica's Tranquility Bay
- a 'behaviour-modification centre' which charges $40,000 a year to 'cure' them. Decca Aitkenhead, the first journalist to gain access to the centre in five years, wonders if there isn't too high a price to pay.
google speaks the truth

if you go to google and enter the search term, "weapons of mass destruction," and then click "I'm feeling lucky" you get this.

This one is a keeper.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

more brilliance...

sorry, not feeling all that humble today. what i just posted to AHS list:

"Yeah, I have already checked into it and depending upon how many, you can get mini-cd's for about .35 or .40 cents per cd (orders of 10,000 or 5,000). If someone can find a grant, it could be done fairly inexpensively.

I think hooking up with a band is a good idea, too (not sure this is what you were suggesting, but it is what I was thinking earlier). There are quite a few internet/new media/progressive bands that I could imagine might be open to passing some discs out at their concerts -- especially if they included a copy of one of their songs or video, etc. the mini-cd's can hold up to 50 megs of data, so there is no problem with space.

I don't know if Glenn Goodwin is still subscribed to the list or not -- if so, he might want to add to this, or not -- but one of the things that hooked me as an undergraduate was his association with CSNY. If you look on some of their album covers from the late sixties and seventies, he is included in their list of people to thank.

So, thirty years later, a new group of bands, a new group of sociologists looking to influence mass society, some new media? It has been done before, no reason to think that it can't now..."
How To Win: A Practical Guide to Defeating The Radical Right

this is a keeper.
still trying to change the world

from a post i sent to SAS and AHS list:

Hey, here’s an idea for getting soc info out to the mainstream! Can you imagine having selected texts on things like the soc imagination, et al on something like this??? Little soc lectures, vignettes, etc? Check this out:

"Soft drink lids are the new flexidiscs? An indie artist called Rachel Farris is embedding her promo mini-CD in the lids of soft-drink cups at movie theaters. Her independent record label is embedding mini-CDs in the lids of soft drink cups at movie theaters nationwide and a few theme parks. Featuring not just a pair of songs that can be heard on regular CD players but also video clips and other content viewable on computers, the so-called enhanced CDs make TV and radio seem passé"
big brother's new electronic surveillance tools

straight from NIJ (National Institute of Justice):

P - Computer Forensic Software Tool Evaluated.
"Test Results for Disk Imaging Tools: EnCase 3.20" (100 pp.) (NCJ 200031) presents test results of EnCase 3.20, a computer forensic software tool that allows investigators to examine hard drives and disks for deleted, hidden, and/or renamed computer files. It describes the testing environment, 3 anomalies, documents test results against 22 test assertions, and includes a summary log. (NIJ) Access full text

P - Electronic Evidence Preservation Tool Evaluated.
"Test Results for Disk Imaging Tools: SafeBack 2.18" (221
pp.) (NCJ 200032) presents test results of SafeBack 2.18, an electronic evidence preservation tool that creates mirror- image backups of computer hard disk drives. It describes the testing environment and 4 anomalies detected among the test cases; documents test results against 22 test assertions; and includes summary log files of 112 test cases. (NIJ) Access full text