Yes, another season of what it is.
Yes, another season of what it is.
As I write, the grand jury decision is being announced. I don’t need to watch. I have inside information. Disturbing information, from a disturbing person. The problem with Ferguson is twofold, the first is a national problem throughout all areas large and small, and the second is a product of the perverse urban development of most of our major cities (St. Louis just has more of that in play than most others). The first problem is that our law enforcement personnel are increasingly people who have no legitimate credentials or temperaments for doing public safety work. In one of my most depressing days in the last few months, I listened to a senior minority police officer rail against citizens to the point of justifying killing them because they had their pants too loose. It was shocking. I heard all of the tropes about how a drug fueled young “buck” couldn’t be stopped unless you unloaded on him. That people who don’t immediately obey the most minimal instructions from a cop deserve to be shot, and shot to kill. For cops, apparently even African American cops, there is a strong culture that believes that they are and should be the judge, jury, and executioner. And, they believe they are justified if any law is broken, and if they feel the slightest threat to their own safety. Michael Brown pushed a shopkeeper and stole a couple of cigars, so he deserved to be killed (of course, his murderer didn’t even know that).
Yesterday some prison industrial complex types murdered a 12 year old kid in Cleveland for having a BB gun. Their justification is always the claim that they were “afraid for their lives.” Why do we have cops running around with guns and batons and tazers and handcuffs if they’re such fucking pussies that they have to shoot first against 12 year olds? Much of the problem is that many of these people have no qualification except for military service—which should not be a qualification, and maybe should be a liability. So, we have people who suffer from PTSD brandishing weapons in public. AND, since the beginning of the War on Drugs (or Browns and Hippies), they have been trained to shoot first, and that every citizen they encounter is a mortal threat. So, shoot, shoot, shoot, then assess the situation. We need fewer cops, fewer guns, and a different way of engaging public safety.
The second issue with Ferguson is that towns like this should not even exist. Ferguson should die. All of it. All of the bullshit towns need to be incorporated into single metropolitan areas. There should not be a Ferguson Police Department. But, when I click off of this, I’ll see that one of their paranoid racist cops just got exonerated after murdering an 18 year old kid.
Going to the Non-Religion and Secularity Research Network conference later this month. Phil Zuckermann was kind enough to offer me to do a keynote. And, as I’ve been preparing for my talk, which will focus on believing and belonging following and extending many things I talk about in Changing Faith, I realized that Black Sabbath released a new album last year! Jesus Fuck! It’s actually good! Of course, god is not dead, since he never existed……
Dok Zoom was waxing poetic about the latest stupid article by pro-marriage activists, and it got me thinking, mostly because of an off the cuff comment made by the conservative pundit suggesting that gay marriage advocates could help their case by providing evidence that gay marriage makes you happier. Well, Here. It. Is. Above you can see the chart from the 1990-2012 General Social Surveys. Indeed, married people are happier than unmarried people—but the mostest happiest of all of the people are the married lesbians! 49% reported being “Very happy” compared to only 42% of married women who do not have sex with women. Married gay men are also substantially happier than married heterosexual men, with 47% of gay married men being “very happy”, compared to only 40% for married straight men. Bisexuality makes married men sad, but married bisexual women are more happy than unmarried bisexual women. But, for sure, this is scientific proof that all of those married heterosexuals need to get themselves gay married. Looking at the unmarrieds, the gays are also significantly happier—25% of gay men are very happy, compared to only 18% of straight unmarried men, and unmarried bisexual men are also happier than unmarried straight men (23% compared to 18%). Differences aren’t as large for unmarried women, but lesbians tout the highest score. So, if you can’t get gay marrired, at least get gay.
Notably, about 4.4% of GSS respondents report having had sex with someone of the same sex, and among those with exclusively same sex sexual ties, 18% of “gay” men and 28% of “lesbian” women identify themselves as “married” in the GSS. The results above are based on reasonably sized groups, with 54 married gay men and 60 married lesbians (total N for those groups are 294 and 214, respectively).
Over at TMP, Josh Marshall was waxing about how race and gender are used as foils to compare against “real voters”, who are white men. I’ve been playing around a bit with the election and gender variables in the GSS, mostly to get examples for my statistics class, but some of the findings don’t square well with the common narrative that women vote Democratic. The reason is the interaction with race—men are underrepresented among African Americans and Latinos in survey data, and since both groups side heavily with the Democrats it gives an appearance of a gender gap which may not exist. Second is the interaction with marital status, which presents a much more complicated picture than the Rush Limbaugh assertion that single women want to be taken care of by Sugar Daddy Barry. I can’t make much of the specifics of ethnicity, marital status, and voting along these lines, so I limit this to white voters. In line with much of the common narrative, Barack Obama lost the married white vote—and there is a more than five point gap between married men and married women in the expected direction. And, while less than half of divorced men voted for Obama, about 59% of divorced women voted for the Kenyan—a full ten point gap among the divorced.
The problem is with the other two groups—the widowed and the never married—which together constitute over 27% of white voters in the GSS. The widowed, of course, tend to be old, and tend to be female, yet there is no gender gap in Obama voting among the widowed, and just over 53% of widowed men and women sided with Obama. Similarly, among the never married (who tend to be young) there is no gender gap—with 69% of unmarried with women and men voting for Obama. Married white men are clearly the outlier, divorce or the death of a spouse improves their affinity for the Democratic Party. So no wonder Barack Hussein is pushing this gay marriage divorce down our throats along with the kill grandma Obamacare death panels!
A gaggle of dissident Syrian Sunni cab drivers kidnapped and murdered a couple of hipster journalists who were flouting travel precautions to uncivilized areas, so now it is imperative that we bomb the fuck out of everyone, or, at least someone. Barak Hussein Obama must prove that he isn’t an actual member of Al Quaida and the head of ISIS by just bombing someone. Anyone. It’ll help, right? It’ll help get him back in favor the the military industrial complex. It’ll help Hillary the Neocon in her bid to become the next Republican President. It’ll help everyone who wants permanent war in the Middle East. The reason why ISIS rose so quickly is because we funded it through secret Saudi funds to supposed “moderates” in Syria. This was because people thought Obama looked like a sissy compared to Putin, and they wanted him to “do something” about Assad. So, we had our theocratic “friends” who bombed us on 9-11 pick our “moderates” to give them arms. Way to go! Everyone at the CIA needs to be fired or placed into early retirement. They can move to Arizona. It’ll still wind up going “mexican” once “mexican” Americans finally become enfranchised.
One thing is clear, now is the time for an independent Kurdistan. They are the only nation in the area. All they lack is control over their lands. Turkey needs to be brought into the civilized world by relinquishing their ethnic and religious hatred and acknowledging that Kurdistan is an important and meaningful state, and that it is vital to the stability of the region. They can even profit from this. I hope Erdogan and the rest can swallow their ethnocentrism and see this. The ONLY actor in this conflict who we should be assisting with arms is Kurdistan, and only if they are moving to be a real state. Fuck Syrian terrorists. Fuck Iraq. Iraq needs to be encouraged to forge alliances with Iran if they can’t defeat Sunni terrorists. And, we should be facilitating this, not blocking it.
Today an upper class white guy who was really angry about being detained by a cyclist on his way home from church honked at me, buzzed me, and then slammed on his brakes and got out of his car to threaten me with bodily harm. He was a good Christian. Fat, ugly, white, old (about my age, but looking bad….) the whole package, with a cross on a chain, even! Driving a Lexus within 100 yard of his house (so I was costing him maybe 10 seconds of his life to wait and turn when it was safe). Obviously, once the fat fuck got closer he realized that I’d kick his fucking ass without raising my heart rate, but I’m sure he was packing a gun so he continued to try to escalate things until I took pictures of his license plate and said I was calling the pigs. I’m sure when he jumped out of his car he was having a hard-on about harassing some 20-year old, rather than wind up having someone older than him ask who the fuck he was and where he lived…..I had no intention of being civil to some motherfucker who literally risked my life and then threatened me. I told him I didn’t like him, and that he was a “fucking moron” and I meant it.
I”m supposed to be civil by not calling this guy a fucking fat ass moron dipfuck when he almost ran me over? To say such things is uncivil. He almost killed me, and then threatened me! It was all I could do not to beat the living fuck out of this moron. But, saying “fuck you” to him, is an incivility…..Kind of like the people in Gaza, whose children are being murdered, but it’s uncivil to call the murderers “asshoiles” or “fuckshits” or whatever.
Civility is a tool of conservatism. It is a normative crutch that constrains beliefs and behaviors about interactions with diverse others. It is potentially good, of course, since it specifies that we might try to be good to others. But, more often than not, it is a behavioral brake that insulates those who by virtue of their privileged position are able to dominate and abuse other citizens.
Recently, the far right has coopted many universities to once again attack free speech, on the grounds that saying fuck and shit like that is uncivil. This is exactly the same shit that went down in the 1960s with the free speech movement, which makes this some much more haunting, stupid, scary, and idiotic. Fuck you, you fucking fucks.
We have deanlets and deanlings monitoring our correspondence, following us on blogs and facebook and twitter. That shit is illegal. They have no right or reason to search our non-university correspondence . Period. If they are doing so, they can be sued under federal law, I think.
Last time I heard, my contract is based on my peer-reviewed publications. You can refer to those,……
And, of course, some might wonder about my Illinois colleague who was just fired for not adhering to the Zionist line about child murder and ethnic cleansing in Gaza. So far, the fascists who fired Salaita haven’t tried to expand their campaign to professors in other parts of the system. But, I expect that we”ll see them try to enact “neutral” civility laws which prevent dissidents from expressing dissent in terms that deviate from third grade English. Anything truly visceral or critical will be deemed “uncivil.”
Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side……
Another year of school has begun, and all of the deanlings and deanlets are all aflutter about the latest quasi-academic fad bloating our already engorged administrations—the administration of sexual assault. This is a cold and calculated plot by for-profit consulting firms, in league with associations of deanlets to further squeeze money from actual academic operations into the administration. There is no sexual assault crisis on college campuses. Insofar as we can, we have successfully addressed sexual assault on campus and in American society in general. Sexual assault, along with all other crimes, has declined precipitously in the last fifteen years (or longer), and as you can see above from real data (not some on-line shit poll) from the BJS, total sexual assaults declined by more than 50% in the last fifteen years. So, why all of the fuss?
Well, here at my humble university, and many across the nation, I got to see up close and personal what the deanlings and deanlets and their for-profit consultants and parasitic megafirms have concocted to make sure that universities are chock full of administrators. Every single employee at our humble university–professors, TAs, work studies, grounds crews, administrative assistants—was herded in waves into our sex and crime “training” where some administrators with minimal competence told us outlandish stories about how if we failed to report the theft of a pencil all of our NSF grants would be frozen and the University would be fined millions of dollars. Bullshit. Penn State covered up child rape for decades, and their grants were not pulled. Nor should they have been. The coverup of child rape wasn’t the fault of professors who got NSF grants, it was the fault of the Athletic Department, the campus cops, and the upper administration. But, the outlandish claims made by our “Chief Clery Compliance Officer” fit the MO of deanlets and deanlings—they fuck things up, then blame it on the professors. Every single instance of the mishandling of crime on campus has taken place because of administrators not doing their job–Clery’s terrible example included.
We were told it is our job to report crimes we witness (well, duh, I guess, but in my 30 years in higher education the only “crimes” I’ve witnessed are underage drinking and marijuana smoking). But, in our 1.5 hour training session we were “educated” by a campus cop (who probably had a high school education) about the nature of crimes like murder, burglary, robbery, rape, and even incest—complete with a power point explaining each, including incest, just in case we didn’t know and happened to see some incest occurring near the copy machine or something.
We were also told how crimes on our perimeter didn’t have to be reported under “Clery”, so the three murders and two suspicious deaths that have happened in the thirteen years I’ve been here are not reported–because they happened “off campus.” Wow. I’m so glad we have a full blown “Clery Compliance Office” with six figure administrators and more staff than we have for our PhD granting academic department. And, of course, we were told that if there is a sexual assault in the athletics department or a fraternity, it could be handled “administratively” instead of through the real cops. Great. I’m so glad you wasted two hours of time from every single employee of the university. Better yet, all of this training will also go to the students in an online bullshit format contracted with Haven, a parasitic firm who along with others have been lobbying Congress and state legislatures to deal with the increasing problem of sexual assault and crime on campus….
Only crime and sexual assault on campus are declining, not increasing, and their bullshit products will have no effect beyond the continuing trend of decreasing crime in modern societies.
The radical apartheid Zionists (who are increasingly moving towards favoring genocide over apartheid) are not fond of academics who dare to call out their campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing in Gaza and Palestine. A couple of years ago, during another campaign of terror in Gaza, organized and heavily funded Zionist groups tried to have UCSB sociologist William Robinson fired for daring to liken Gaza to the ghettos of fascist Europe–fortunately, he had tenure and his administration EVENTUALLY did the right thing. This time, it was Steven Salaita, a cultural studies guy who does comparative work on the treatment of indigenous groups and was supposed to have a job next week at the University of Illinois. His situation represents the lowest of the low of behavior from organized Zionism and corrupt and callow administrators—including the dirtbag hypocrite fake liberal Carey Nelson (once president of the AAUP—I’m not sure why).
Ironically, Salaita was moving to Illinois because a previous public controversy over his work was met with a lukewarm level of support (if you can call it that) from the administration at Virginia Tech. It’s not like anyone who read this guy’s vita, much less his work, would think he was some kind of an ass-kissing moderate. But, he’s a genuine big-timer and very strong mid-career hire for Illinois. That, at least, is what the American Indian Studies program thought. He would have enabled them to branch out and become more global, and he has the cred in both American indigenous and elsewhere….unfortunately including Palestine. If only he had studied Australia! The AIS department—and Salaita—believed that they had scored his hire last October, and Salaita reportedly has a signed contract that had gone all the way up the administration, past the Dean of the College and the Provost of the University—and that all that was needed was the Board of Trustees rubber stamp. Only, somewhere along the line the Chancellor and one of her goons sat on the contract. Starting in November, I’d estimate that the University of Illinois board met at least six times before August 1, when Salaita was told that the horrible Chancellor never put his contract through and he didn’t have a job. So, for nine months she sat on his contract. Like a good scholar and professional, as soon as Salaita had a contract, he told his department chair and tendered his resignation to Virginia Tech. Salaita was essentially fired two weeks before classes start, and he has no job after having moved his family half way across the country to gods forsaken Champaign, Illinois. I hope he has a good lawyer, and I hope he names that hypocrite bastard Carey Nelson in the suit.
Which brings us to my incivility against Mr. Nelson, the fake hippy. He’s what that wonderful young Katie Halper calls a PEP—Progressive Except on Palestine. It’s a common affliction in some quarters. The supposed defender of academic freedom believes that this backhanded firing, designed to maximize damage against Salaita–was justified because Professor Salaita might harm the children and make their feelings hurt if they have to think about the poor people in Gaza instead of only thinking about the Zionists. First, there is no basis for this claim. Professor Salaita has had tenure for a while, he’s taught for a long time, and I’m pretty sure he does just fine and dandy with the “children.” Second, it is a bit funny that after taking opprobrium at comments suggesting that Zionism contributes to anti-Semitism by equating Judaism with Israel (Nathan Glazer said the same thing, only not in a 140 character twat and he didn’t say “fuck”), Nelson and his sidekick Wise claim that “Jewish” students will be uncomfortable with someone like Salaita. Funny, my research shows that Jews are the most critical of Israel among all religious groups—and the good people at J-Street are probably the best and most consistent voice for peace and justice. Unlike that hypocrite Nelson, most younger Jews are sick of this shit, and they’re ready to learn from someone like Salaita about what has really been going on and how they might stop it.
Of course, let’s just imagine that Nelson’s fantasy is true, and that U of I is just teaming with young Zionists who didn’t get in to Northwestern or Chicago yearning for their political fantasies to be nurtured. Oh, wait. End of fantasy. The fact is that concern about this small minority is rather overblown. Most young Jewish people don’t want to see Israel bombing schools full of children, and Jews now represent a very small minority of our student population. GSS data since 2006 show that about 1.1% of Americans under 30 are Jewish—about .8% of that same group are Muslim. What about those kids? What about our large and growing Muslim population? Should we only have professors who support Zionism and spew the vile racist “life is cheap for Arabs” shit that our dear neo-conservative professors spew in their classes every day? What about our Presbyterian USA students? Their denomination just said that they support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement because they believe what the Zionists are doing is immoral! That was before the latest round of child-bombing. Basically, they voted as a denomination to say what Salaita said in one of his twats, only in more than 140 characters and without saying “fuck.”
Fuck you Carey Nelson. Fuck you Phylis Wise. I hope you pay dearly for your immoral actions, you pieces of shit.
One of the latest management fads in higher education is to tout “leadership” as a guiding principle. Basically, this affirms the fact that our corporate administrators don’t want to benefit from the advice and counsel of their experienced, professional faculty. Instead, they want to shove a bunch of crap down our throats, in everything from book buying to online courses to athletic escalation to curriculum and grades. So, in order to try to sell their bullshit bill of goods, these losers have been conducting “leadership development” workshops where they try to identify the worthless loser shithook faculty members who are willing to sell their souls to make $20k more. Of course, if these worthless loser faculty members would have known they were such worthless loser whores when they were 25, they could have gotten MBA’s or JD’s. But, now we get them pulling this shit for their mid-life crisis. Anyone who has ever attended such a workshop should feel ashamed and dirty. I think you are a loser and a worthless piece of shit. If you want to make more money, wait tables in summer. Teach an extra course. Or, better yet, pack your lunch to school and bring some ground coffee for a $10 coffee maker instead of buying Starbucks for $5 a day. Higher education doesn’t need leadership, and certainly not the kind of leadership that has to be cultivated by some corporatist cult.