Year: 2010 Page 1 of 2

The leaders of Myanmar and Belarus, or Thailand and Russia, can now rightly say to us “You went after Wikileaks’ domain name, their hosting provider, and even denied your citizens the ability to register protest through donations, all without a warrant and all targeting overseas entities, simply because you decided you don’t like the site. […]

Hypocrisy? What’s that?

The leaders of Myanmar and Belarus, or Thailand and Russia, can now rightly say to us “You went after Wikileaks’ domain name, their hosting provider, and even denied your citizens the ability to register protest through donations, all without a warrant and all targeting overseas entities, simply because you decided you don’t like the site. If that’s the way governments get to behave, we can live with that.”

Clay Shirky, “Wikileaks and the Long Haul

Similarly, whatever a ‘talking’ wishing well may be, it obviously was a center of attention separate from the crèche. Justice Blackmun, County of Allegheney v. American Civil Liberties Union (1989)

Whatever it may be

Similarly, whatever a ‘talking’ wishing well may be, it obviously was a center of attention separate from the crèche.
Justice Blackmun, County of Allegheney v. American Civil Liberties Union (1989)

The growing power of the angry mob

According to numerous sources, last night, outside a political debate in Kentucky, a group of Rand Paul supporters threw a MoveOn member to the ground, incapacitated her, and one person stomped on the back of her head.

You read that right. Stomped on her head.Political activist being stomped upon

So, let’s be clear here, America. Maybe there’s been some confusion as of late. Not many people have stood up and opposed this sort of behavior. We’ve kind of let it slide.

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“In case you get the random urge to do laundry?”

A housemate of mine is coming down the stairs with something in her hand.

“Ah, you going back to the library?” I ask.

She looks at me funny.

Then I realize she’s not holding a backpack– she’s holding a pair of jeans.

F***

Reclaiming my blog

For a while, I’ve tried to keep my blog relatively family-friendly. I’ve hidden more vulgar or objectionable things behind “Read More” links, and I avoid swearing. I’ve also, in the past, decided not to post about some things I find really interesting because they deal with culturally taboo subjects, like sexuality.

While I appreciate not trying to offend others, I feel like my blog is my space, and if I feel hampered in what I can post because I’m afraid I’ll tick some people off or disturb their sensibilities, I think I’m ultimately dealing myself a disservice. A blog exists to be written in, and though there are many excuses as to why I haven’t posted much lately, one of them–the question of content–is easily dealt with.

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Applying sociology on Facebook

Every day I find new reasons to love sociology, and new places to apply it.

(There’s language in here that some might find objectionable, but at this point, I figure everyone’s mature enough to handle seeing a few naughty words. More on that here.)

It started with this post:

A Facebook conversation regarding the suicides of gay individuals

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Late-Night Comic


I really, really shouldn’t draw when I’m tired. When I do, I get stupid things like this.

Ah well. It was a nice outlet for the creative juices. And y’know, I’m kind of fond of that first panel.

Jeff Merkley on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

A week or so ago, I sent an e-mail to Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley asking him to do what he could to oppose the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Today, I got a response!

Dear Spencer,

Thank you for contacting me to share your support for repealing the military’s current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. It is an honor to serve as your Senator, and I appreciate hearing from you.

Like you, I strongly support repealing this misdirected policy that prevents openly gay Americans from serving in the United States Armed Forces. I believe every American should have the opportunity to serve this country, and for too long, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has undermined that fundamental right. For this reason, I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (S. 3065), which would repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the armed forces.

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy not only compromises equal rights, but it unnecessarily limits the capacity of our military to draw upon America’s best and brightest. For the United States to have the strongest armed forces in the world, we must recruit and retain those who have the knowledge and skills necessary to enhance military effectiveness. The private lives of our troops should have no bearing on their willingness or ability to serve. This legislation would overturn an injustice that has kept far too many Americans from serving our country.

This bill is currently pending in the Senate Armed Services Committee. While I am not a member of that Committee, I want to assure you that I will be closely following the progress of this bill. Please know I will continue to fight for the equal rights of all Americans on this issue and others.

All my best,

Jeff Merkley
United States Senate

While it sounds a little like a form letter, I greatly appreciate his response and his opposition to the policy. It’s good to see a clear perspective on this issue.

Three cheers for partaking in the democratic process!

Actually, there are atheists in foxholes

Portrait of Corporal Patrick TillmanThis is Corporal Patrick Tillman. The name might seem familiar to you. This man ranks up there in the list of modern American heroes. He was a football player and a successful student of marketing, graduating from Arizona State in three and a half years with a 3.84 GPA. He played for the Cardinals, but in the wake of September 11th, Pat Tillman turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million in order to enlist in the U.S. Army. He served in Afghanistan, where he was killed by friendly fire in 2004.

Pat Tillman was smart and had a wildly successful future in front of him, but he gave it up to defend the country. Like so many others before him, he deserves our respect and our gratitude.

I bring Pat Tillman up because there’s a pernicious claim that’s been going around for years, and I think it’s high time to raise awareness about it, to shed light on how wrong it is– and show why it’s important to take a stand against the stereotype it engenders.

See, Pat Tillman was an atheist. He was an atheist when he was in Afghanistan, he was an atheist right up to the moment of his unfortunate death.

And yet there are still people who claim, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

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Lizards

I officially finished my first year of college today.

How did I celebrate? By buying two Sobes from Safeway for less than a dollar total (yeeeeaaaahhh coupons!), and by drawing lizards.

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