Tag Archives | Sociology

Why Legalizing Drugs — All of Them — Is the Only Forward Path For Black America

Prohibition EndsInteresting article from John McWhorter in the New Republic:

This should change, as I have argued frequently over the past year (listen to part of a speech I did on this here). Of the countless reasons why this revival of this Prohibition that looks so quaint in Boardwalk Empire should be erased with all deliberate speed, one is that with no War on Drugs there would be, within one generation, no “black problem” in the United States. Poverty in general, yes. An education problem in general — probably. But the idea that black America had a particular crisis would rapidly become history, requiring explanation to young people. The end of the War on Drugs is, in fact, what all people genuinely concerned with black uplift should be focused on, which is why I am devoting my last TNR post of 2010 to the issue. The black malaise in the U.S.

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Remembering JFK’s Assasination As A Death of Democracy

KennedySite editor’s note: This post from DJ Pangburn originally appeared on death + taxes:

The Kennedy assassination and the conspiracies surrounding it are imbued with such meaning for Americans because the distortion radiating in waves almost immediately following the spectacle was the aftershock of a system convulsing in its own death.

I do not use the “death” metaphor in regards to the JFK assassination lightly, for death is no light matter. Follow me through the looking glass.

Oliver Stone taught an entire generation to invoke Cicero’s Senate speech when thinking about any event and the official version of such events, through the voice of the character X (based on Fletcher Prouty) in the movie “JFK.” He taught people that the “how and the who” is all scenery for the public, and the real questions are: why?, who benefits?, and who has the power to cover it up? ”Cui bono?” The greatest thing the filmmaker ever did was to question the motives of the men to whom Americans willingly relinquish power.… Read the rest

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Reality TV in the Age of Credulity

Joseph Allen writes on Confessions of a CyberCasualty:

kill your tvI recently got my foot smashed to hell while doing something stupid. Crippled and couchbound, I indulged the great American painkiller: Reality Television. That just made me more stupid.

We all know the Idiot Box is an insidious device. The TV snares your attention and lulls you into a passive stupor, polluting the subconscious with compulsive memes and corporate logos. It’s like getting blown by an android in a Wal-Mart stockroom. Yet there I was, swilling beers and letting Jersey Shore, American Idol, and truTV’s All Worked Up drown me under electromagnetic waves of human detritus.

Reverend Ron is a redneck repo man with a bleached flattop and cameras in his face. Ron cruises Lizard Lick, NC with Bobby the badass sidekick, reclaiming unpaid vehicles from ignorant white trash and whippin’ ass when necessary. That’s what All Worked Up is all about.… Read the rest

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Controversial Charity Paying U.K. Drug Addicts £200 To Be Sterilized

project_preventionIs it eugenics, bribery, or a clever way of fixing social dysfunction? A North Carolina-based charity is paying U.K. drug addicts to be sterilized, with the hope being that it will save money for the taxpayer in the long run. The idea went over swimmingly in the United States but is encountering resistance in Britain. BBC News reports:

The first person in the UK to accept the cash is drug addict “John” from Leicester who says he “should never be a father”.

The move has been criticised by some drug charities who work with addicts. Project Prevention founder Barbara Harris admitted her methods amounted to “bribery”, but said it was the only way to stop babies being physically and mentally damaged by drugs during pregnancy.

Mrs Harris set up her charity in North Carolina after adopting the children of a crack addict. Speaking to the BBC’s Inside Out programme, she said: “The birth mother of my children obviously dabbled in all drugs and alcohol – she literally had a baby every year for eight years…I get very angry about the damage that drugs do to these children.”

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Obama Derangement Syndrome: Yes It’s Racist

ObamaDevilHere’s a sort of follow up to two earlier posts about subconscious racism and Obama Derangement Syndrome. Ira Rosofsky writes in Psychology Today:

Pollster Stanley Greenberg and political operative James Carville, last year, reported on a series of focus groups with older, white Republicans in Georgia. They were on a quest to understand the hardcore opposition to Obama. Is it racist?

They concluded no. They admonished us to “Get over it.” The animus to Obama, they claimed, is “based in the same unwavering, bedrock conservative principles that have always led them to oppose liberal policies. Some of their subjects even claim to be post racial-“proud” there is an African-American president.

I have my own informal focus group, and I’m not buying it.

I work as a psychologist in nursing homes, and I talk daily to the older salt of the earth. The other day I assessed the cognitive status of an 87-year-old male member of the Greatest Generation, and realized yet again how enmeshed racism is in our cultural DNA.

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I’m Homeless and This Is Why I Have an iPad

Image: Sam Spratt / Gizmodo

Image: Sam Spratt / Gizmodo

This is really interesting, it’s not what you’d expect. Homeless in Paris writes on Gizmodo:

I’m homeless, very homeless, dirt broke and all, but I still own an iPad and a MSI Wind u130 netbook. These, I feel, are essential tools … Being without a home is not that big a deal in today’s world, but having connections to the rest of the world is pretty important.

Choice: I am homeless by choice, I gave away and sold all my belongings in Los Angeles and moved to Paris. My tourist visa is expired. I’m definitely not allowed to be here, but I still work when I want, and tend to pretty much live the life of Riley. But when I need to get in contact with someone, from a friend to the Paris transportation authority to complain about a misfared ticket, it’s hard to work without McDonald’s Wi-Fi.

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You Might Be Racist and Not Even Know It

From ScienceDaily:

A new study from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis looks at how much African Americans and whites favor or prefer their own racial group over the other, how much they identify with their own racial group, and how positively they feel about themselves.

The work, by Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the School of Science at IUPUI, looked at both consciously controllable sentiments and gut feelings about social stigma and found a significant difference in both groups between what people say they feel and their less controllable “gut feelings.”

“The Importance of Implicit and Explicit Measures for Understanding Social Stigma” appears in the current (September 2010) issue of the Journal of Social Issues.

Many studies of stigma have been conducted since the end of World War II but until recently they have looked primarily at explicit (recently learned) attitudes and did not include implicit measures of deep seated feelings acquired earlier in life and not consciously accessible.

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The Short-Lived Glory Days of Nude Psychotherapy

Another great find from Cyriaque Lamar over at io9.com. How times have changed: Freedom
In 1967, psychologist Paul Bindrim introduced the world to the salubrious properties of naked psychotherapy. Despite the treatment's somewhat lurid connotations and relative obscurity nowadays, nude psychotherapy did garner its share of press attention, professional consideration, and happy, naked adherents.
Bindrim's theories were inspired by the famed psychologist Abraham Maslow (you know, the fellow with the hierarchy of needs) and focused on the acceptance of the naked body as a whole. This message wasn't particularly unorthodox even if his methodology was. Historian Ian Nicholson describes Bindrim's birthday suit treatments in his eminently readable paper "Baring the soul: Paul Bindrim, Abraham Maslow and ‘Nude psychotherapy"
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Does Sexual Dysfunction in America Require Divine Intervention?

Nun Sex?Via the First Church of Mutterhals:

I’m not very altruistic, as most of you already know. I’m of the opinion that it’s every man for himself, whether you like it or not. You can’t really expect other people to take care of you and security is just coping mechanism. No one is really secure.

However, I do find the sexual dysfunction of many Americans troubling enough to warrant intervention. You have a vast number of women who are downright latently asexual, you have shit-load of straight men who are terrified of the implication that they might be gay, you have teens and young adults being told in one ear that abstinence and chastity are the only way, while in the other ear streams the most vulgar and perverse sexuality in the form of festering silicone tits and hooker culture, which celebrates coldly detached sex acts but shies away from real sensuality and pleasure.

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