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Tristan Lear



October 27th, 2010

(no subject)

IPv6 Certification Badge for rackremoval

September 6th, 2010

For my (Tristan) Theories of Personality Dynamics class, we have to analyze a character using one of the theorists in our text. I chose pee wee herman. I would appreciate anyones thoughts regarding Pee Wee Herman, Paul Reubens, his works, and how these can be related to gender and sexuality. I would also appreciate any contributions regarding the personality theorists (e.g. Freud, Jung, Erickson, Lacan / Zizek, Judith Butler, etc.) Here is our working list of research questions, feel free to add to them:

in what ways can we use freud's theories of personality development to describe paul reubens?

in what ways can we use freud's theories in "wit and its relation to the unconscious" to describe the pee wee herman character as an expression of paul reubens unconscious?

in what ways might the characters in pee wee's playhouse symbolize different elements of paul reubens or pee wee herman's personality?

in what ways might freud's theories about homosexuality apply to paul reubens and/or pee wee herman? how does pee wee's character challenge traditional gender roles and/or the hero archtype?

that is, assuming we use freud. which I lean towards because the analysis by bruce labruce uses freud. i haven't read the freud chapter yet but intend to do so before Tuesday. by that time the research questions might be more clear.

Bruce LaBruce - Pee-Wee Herman: The Homosexual Subtext
"The most exciting aspect of Pee Wee Herman, so far, remains his role as vindicator of the sissies, the reluctant hero who outsmarts bullies and worms his way out of impossible situations. In Big Adventure, the weird ritual of his "Tequila dance," perfomed in vintage camp seventies platform shoes, so impresses the surly bikers that they make him an honorary member of their gang. And in his most heroic act, the rescue of all the animals in the pet shop fire, he even saves the snakes that boys are supposed to like, but which Pee Wee finds loathsome and disgusting. That's exactly the kind of hero we need to see more of."

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure - script

Freud: Wit and it's Relation to the Unconscious

Our teacher's powerpoint for his lecture on Freud

IMDB on Paul Reubens

Related & Unrelated e-books | Pee-Wee Folder

August 18th, 2010

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Fall, 2010

Department: Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisite: Psy 110
General Education: Scientific Literacy
Learning Outcomes: 2a, 2b – Critical Thinking Ability and 7a, 7c, 7d - Scientific

Instructor: Dr. Larry Godfrey
E-mail: ldgodfrey@lourdes.edu

Office hours: by appointment

Office Phone: 419-575-8068

I. Course Description:
Survey of principles and theories dealing with the dynamics of human personality,
including the following theories: psychoanalytic, social, behavioral, humanistic,
existential, and cognitive, with a critical evaluation of each.

II. Purpose of the Course:
This course explores traditional personality theories, research methods in personality, the
methods of personality assessment, and current views on personality development.

College Learning Outcomes and Objectives:
(2a) Students can write a scholarly documented research paper that synthesizes
their own ideas with ideas and information from other sources.
(2b) Students can demonstrate the ability to reflect on issues and/or theories
(7a) Students can distinguish between qualitative and quantitative
characteristics or natural or behavioral phenomena.
(7c) Students can use theories to explain past observations and to predict
answers to new questions.
(7d) Student can understand the uses of scientific technology and their

Program Learning Outcomes:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding representing appropriate
breadth and depth in selected content areas of psychology.
Explain major perspectives of psychology (e.g. behavioral, biological,
cognitive, evolutionary, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural).
Explain different research methods and statistical analyses used by
Design and conduct basic studies to address psychological questions using
appropriate research methods and statistical analyses.
Use critical thinking effectively.

Demonstrate effective writing skills and oral communication skills in
various formats and for various purposes.
Course Objectives:
Students can provide an overview of the various theories of personality
development. (CLO 7c, 2a, 2b; PLO 1.3)
Students can investigate methods of personality assessment. (CLO 7a, 7d;
PLO 1.2)
To understand the various methods of research in the field of personality.
(CLO 2a, 7d; PLO 1.2, 2.1)
To explore the lives of the traditional personality theorists to assess the
affect of their personal life experiences on the development of their theory.
(CLO 2b, 7c; PLO 1.2, 1.3)
To develop a research hypothesis and design a plan for investigation. (LO
7a, 7b, 7c; PLO 2.2, 3.1, 3.2)
V. Policies:
1. Statement on Disabilities
If you have documented a disability with the Director of Academic
please discuss with me
the adaptations or the accommodations you have established with the

Director of Academic Services
emergency medical information, and/or
special arrangements to be implemented if the building must be


Policy on Academic Honesty
Any student who represents the work of another person as his or her own
on any paper or exam will receive zero (0) credit for that assignment. Any
student found cheating on a test will receive a grade of zero (0) for that
Please review this policy in the Student Handbook.

3. Recording Policy
Lourdes College prohibits the use of tape-recorders, video cameras, cell
phones, and all other devices by students to record class lectures or
meetings with the instructor or any staff member unless they have express
written consent of the professor or staff member. Before recording any
lecture, a student who wishes to record a lecture must sign a Lourdes
College Agreement Form and present this to the instructor for written

Students with disabilities who are unable to take or read notes may be able
to record class lectures for their academic study only if approved by the
Office of Accessibility Service

Academic Grievance Policy
Lourdes College has an established procedure for a fair resolution of
students' academic concerns. Following are the steps of the procedure.
Each step should be pursued within a reasonable length of time. An
Academic Grievance Tracking Form should be completed. These forms
are available from your instructor when you begin the grievance
Step 1 The student is to first attempt to resolve the problem directly with
the faculty member involved.
Step 2 If the student is not satisfied with the results of Step 1, the student
is to meet with the faculty member's department chairperson.
Step 3 If the student is not satisfied with the results of Step 2, the student
is to meet with the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
Step 4 If the student is not satisfied with the results of Steps 1,2, and 3,
the student is to make an appointment with the Vice President for
Academic Affairs, whose decision is final.
Attendance Policy
Each student is expected to attend every class. Due to the nature and
subject matter of the course, class discussion, participation, and exercises
will be a large source of the learning process. Points for attendance are
given. See Research Project information below. Arriving late to class and
exams is an attendance issue. Any student arriving more than 15 minutes
late for an exam will not be allowed to take the exam that day. The exam
will be rescheduled and 10% will be deducted from the final score.
Students are responsible for obtaining class notes from another
student when an absence is necessitated.

6. Evaluation Policy
Grades will be based on three examinations (300 points), the paraphrasing
assignment (50 points), the class assignments (50 points), and the research
project (100 points). Letter grades will be based on the percentage of total
possible points you have earned. The conversion system is as follows:
A 94-100% C 73-76%
93% C70-
B+ 87-89% D+ 67-69%
B 83-86% D 63-66%
82% D60-
C+ 77-79% F 59% or lower
Missed Exams:

1. If you miss an exam with an acceptable excuse, you must notify me
PRIOR to the exam.
2. Missed exams must be taken at the WIN Center. Students must call
the WIN Center at 419-824-3748 and schedule a time to take the exam.
3. Ten percent will be deducted from the final score unless the absence is
due to a death in the family or your hospitalization.
4. Any student arriving more than 15 minutes late for an exam will not be
allowed to take the exam that day. The above procedure will be followed
to schedule a time to take the exam at the WIN Center and 10% will be
deducted from the final score.
Late Assignments

All assignments handed in late will lose 5 points per day.

7. Safety Policy
Statement on Emergency Response:
In case of a Tornado, your instructor will direct you to the nearest shelter,
in accordance with Lourdes College’s Policy for Tornado Warnings and
Tornado Warning Procedures.
The nearest shelter for this course is the basement of CAH in an area that
is not exposed to windows
In case of a Fire, your instructor will help direct you to the nearest exit.
Please evacuate in a calm and efficient manner. Do not use the elevator.
Do not block building entrances once you are out.
VI. Course Requirements
Paraphrasing Assignment (50 points)

Each student will be required to complete this assignment. The assignment will be
handed out in class. See the class schedule for the due date.

In Class Participation (50 points)

You will be responsible for participating in class by asking questions, answering
questions, participating in class activities and, in general, being a contributing member of
a learning community. Participation will have a value of about 10% of your grade.

Missing class will count against you with regard to this portion of you grade.
Approximate loss is 1% per class missed.. The best way to prepare is to read the
scheduled material before class and participate in class discussions.

Research Project and Presentation (100 points)

Each student will participate in a group research project. A typed, written report will be
required of each research group in the form of a poster presentation. Class time will be
spent discussing the topic for the project and the development of a research design. Your
group will also be required to hand in a separate copy of all sections of your poster.

Breakdown of Points for this assignment

Paper and Class Poster presentation 50

Attendance 50

Your task will be to study the personality of an individual of your group’s choice. This
person should be a well-known public figure or a fictional character. You must present
your overall investigation strategy to the class for feedback using a power point
presentation (see weekly assignment list for the date). This strategy must include the
research questions you are pursuing and the methods you will use to obtain data about the
individual under investigation.

The following is an outline for the modified poster session. You must use the headings
indicated below in the structure of your report. Poster materials are best set up on a
tri-fold display board. No material can be placed on classroom walls. The poster should
be as self-explanatory as possible. Keep in mind that your text and illustrations will be

viewed from a distance of more than three feet. All lettering should be created with this
in mind.

Figures and tables should be kept as simple as possible, so that the viewer can readily
take away the main message. A brief, large type heading of no more than one or two lines
should be provided above each illustration, with more detailed information added in
smaller type beneath the illustration.

The report should include the following sections:


A title should summarize the main idea of the paper and should be
concise. The title page includes three pieces of information: title, author(s)
and affiliation.


A brief, comprehensive summary of the report (150 words).


Your study should be founded on several research questions. These
questions are stated at the end of this section. This section should start
with a brief introduction to the person you are studying (one paragraph,
with citations) and lead to your research questions.


Describe what method you used to analyze the personality of the
individual you have chosen. In this section be specific enough so that
another individual would be able to replicate your study.

Examples of Previously Used Methods:

Analyzing Salvadore Dali’s paintings using Jung’s dream symbols
Analyzing Courtney Love’s childhood fixations using Freud’s
Psychosexual stages
Analyzing Andy Kaufman’s characters using Jung’s psychological
Analyzing Garfield’s personality using Freud’s personality
structures of Id, Ego, or Superego
Analyzing Hitler’s ego development using Erikson’s first five
psychosocial stages of development
Results/Description of Personality Characteristics

Using the above method, describe and analyze the individual, making sure
you have the appropriate information to answer your research questions.
This section might include charts, tables, graphs, pictures, etc. Keep the
narrative to a minimum and use citations where required.


Summarize your paper in this section, incorporating information about the
answers to your research questions and your methodology.


The reference list can be placed on the back of the poster.
List all sources used in the writing of the paper. All works cited in your
paper should be on this list. Depending how much space you have on your
poster, you can just include this in the copy you hand in.

******This report should follow APA writing and reference style. Refer to the
"Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition".
Please place a staple or clip in the upper corner of the paper. Do not place the paper
in any kind of binder.

Possible Arrangement of a Poster

A note about using citations.

Using another author's material is common in any research paper. Citations give
authors credit for their information and allow the reader to reference this material if
needed. It is extremely important that, any time you use another author's material or
ideas, this information is cited. Citations are not just quotations, but any reference to
another author's material. Webster's (1959) definition of "plagiarize" is "to steal or
purloin and pass off as one's own the ideas, writings, etc. of another". Plagiarism may
also result from poor technique of the citation process. Although much material on the
internet is public domain, it is still considered the work of others and must be cited.

Lourdes College Research Symposium

Every Spring semester, the college hosts a research symposium of student work. I am
encouraging each group to submit a “Student Proposal” form to offer a poster session of
your research at this symposium. This form can be found at the college website. This is
the kind of experience graduate schools look for as they are making decisions about
admitting students.

Psy 411 Personality Theories And Dynamics
Fall, 2009

Required Text: Schultz, D., & Schultz, S. E. (2008). Theories of Personality, 9th Edition
Recommended Text: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association,

Fifth Edition
Psychology resources website: http://www.psywww.com/
Date Topic
8-24 Introduction; Research Project
8-31 The Study of Personality
9-7 Freud

Propose Personality Study (PowerPoint)

9-14 Jung
9-21 Adler
9-28 Exam I
10-5 NO CLASS (College Night)
10-12 Horney, Fromm

Paraphrasing Assignment Due

10-19 Erikson
10-26 Cognitive Theories

(Displaying Results)
11-2 Exam II
11-9 Maslow, Rogers
11-16 Behaviorists
11-23 Social Learning Theory
11-30 Exam III
12-7 Class Poster Session

Research Project Due





Ch. 6

Ch.9; Ch.10


June 7th, 2010

(no subject)


May 18th, 2010

sad / unfortunate

unfortunate / sad:

it gets better:


May 17th, 2010

It is likely they will still search you (but often this will stop them, because they know the evidence would be worthless).

Maintain that you decline to let them (without threatening). In fact, all you have to do is simply tell the truth: you do not want anyone to search you (for the same reason they probably don't want you to search them!).

The evidence they find will almost certainly never make it to court.

Quoted from some law firms site (advertising primarily to DUI and domestic violence defendants)

10. What if I feel that the police violated my constitutional rights? A criminal defense attorney seeks to exclude evidence obtained as a result of police misconduct. At times, police misconduct occurs in searches that take place during ordinary traffic stops or in a suspect's home. Additionally, if law enforcement is too aggressive in trying to obtain an incriminating statement from a suspect, it may violate the suspect's Miranda rights. Litigation in the criminal court allows a defense lawyer to protect his client's rights by submitting motions to the judge seeking to exclude the recovered evidence or received statements from trial. Often a successful motion to suppress evidence cripples the prosecutor's case, causing the case to either be dismissed or substantially reduced in plea negotiations.

of course, you should throughly study http://www.flexyourrights.org

of course #2: if they do find something, and try to exploit your embarrassment and pounding heart rate, remember to exercise your right to remain silent and demand a lawyer. if you don't the cops will probably trick you into some kind of confession. even if you think you have the perfect lie, just shut the fuck up. you will win zero points for "cooperation." They are trained to lie and question and manipulate in such a way that "anything you say can and will be used against you." Also, they don't need to tell you that stuff anymore. You just have to know it. And know it so hard that, despite your body telling you to submit, use your brain to politely shut the fuck up and they will obviously "understand" why.

May 4th, 2010

http://lnk.ms/8fWx1 Keith Sadler Foreclosure Resistance LIVE

The number for the WOOD co. sheriff is 419 354 9008 call him and tell him what you think!

April 20th, 2010

(no subject)


April 18th, 2010

lets get their attention

we're in the middle of page 3! on google's results for "buckeye express" ... the more links pointing here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-hate-Buckeye-Express/111434358880647 (in other words, the more fans, or especially links titled "Buckeye Express" on other blogs ... the higher it will go)

Buckeye Express

Buckeye Express

March 12th, 2010

via http://www.nnsquad.org/archives/nnsquad/msg03077.html

How incumbents will try to block the Google Fiber project

http://bit.ly/9GpqbE  (MuniWireless)

http://bit.ly/caT4IJ  (AnnArbor.com)

 - - -

Clearly before a single foot of Google Fiber lights up to a single
home, there will likely be notable related regulatory and legal
dramas, and we can indeed bet that the dominant carriers won't just
sit quietly as their money machine is threatened by the mere
possibility of effective last mile Internet access competition, even
by a worthy experiment of limited scope.

Who knows, serious Google Haters may even enlist to their cause
unlikely allies such as "Billy the Puppet" from the "Saw" torture-porn
film franchise:

    "This is a message to Google.  You're asking for communities who
     want your high-speed broadband fiber.  The towns who have
     responded are unworthy.  Their citizens have no real needs for
     high-speed Internet.  What would they do with your fiber if they
     could get it?  Telecommuting to their worthless jobs.  Trying to
     save their own pitiful lives with tele-medicine projects.  And
     similar nonsense.  They don't even deserve dial-up.  

     On the other hand, I truly *need* your fiber.  I operate
     "re-education" experiments all over this city, requiring
     high-speed 2-way video feeds and remote control over complicated
     and unusual apparatus.  I could make real use of your gigabit
     service to help people understand and appreciate the value of
     being alive.

     I trust that I can be one of your project participants.  I've included 
     a shot of me from my webcam: http://bit.ly/dszrJt (Icons of Fright).

     It's up to you.  Make your choice."

 - - -

NNSquad Moderator

March 2nd, 2010

Transfer of file DSC01863.JPG complete
(07:42:06 PM) Dawn: shes always drunk
(07:42:09 PM) imnottristan: aw hahaaha
(07:42:22 PM) imnottristan: i miss direct connect
(07:42:26 PM) imnottristan: does digsby do direct connect
(07:42:34 PM) Dawn: let me look
(07:42:40 PM) imnottristan: did I ever invite you to google wave
(07:42:46 PM) Dawn: yes
(07:42:46 PM) imnottristan: you know thats why they canceleld hello right
(07:42:50 PM) imnottristan: wave is the replacement
(07:42:52 PM) Dawn: i got on it the other day
(07:42:55 PM) Dawn: it was lonley
(07:42:55 PM) imnottristan: you can just drag photos into it
(07:43:03 PM) imnottristan: ya it is , i only know how to use it for IMs
(07:43:13 PM) imnottristan: i guess its used for all kinds of shit but for IMs i like it
(07:43:16 PM) imnottristan: drag and drop
(07:43:24 PM) imnottristan: with not just pictures but anything
(07:43:24 PM) Dawn: you should invite jessica
(07:43:28 PM) imnottristan: and you can see eachother typing
(07:43:32 PM) Dawn: []
(07:44:36 PM) imnottristan: done. anyone else? they take a few days
(07:44:53 PM) imnottristan: i have 22 invites on my moms acct and another 22 on my dads so i got plenty

February 22nd, 2010

my article on dealing with authority figures @ work got published!

Read more...Collapse )

February 20th, 2010

So many times I see frustration on faces of people being interrupted.
I hear potentially useful channels of communication being shut down. All for the sake of getting a point across.

Don’t interrupt - again so simple and so obvious. We have all seen the couple who finish each others sentences because they are in tune. This is not what I am talking about.

Sometimes I hear people interrupt another’s sentence simply because the words sparked another thought which was so front of mind it just had to be spoken out loud. When we are truly listening to another person, we are showing so much interest in them that we only hear what they have to say, not the clamouring of our own over heated egos. We don’t interrupt.

Next time you are in a conversation and listening to someone, practise putting the tip of your tongue to the top of your mouth just where your front teeth meet the upper gum. Now hold your tongue there as if you are holding a crumb of bread in position until the other person has stopped talking. You won’t be able to interrupt. And in making sure your tongue is still, you will also quieten down the inner voice that is competing with the other person to be heard. Try it and let me know the difference it makes to your conversations

One of the biggest interruptions I hear is "yes BUT..."

Use AND instead of BUT.

(no subject)


December 21st, 2009

well this sucks

i just got an email saying that these things will happen with the current senate health care bill:

# Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won't see any benefits -- like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions -- until 2014 when the program begins.
# Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others
# Grants monopolies to to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market.
# No reimportation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years

December 11th, 2009

slut paste

(02:37:02 PM) operative me: im so sick of moveis about
(02:37:10 PM) operative me: the swinger freemosexual who finds true love
(02:37:13 PM) operative me: why dont they fucking make one
(02:37:23 PM) operative me: where the true love romantic moron turns into a slut and lives happily ever after

November 13th, 2009

(no subject)

You missed a My IP Relay call from 937-418-6072 at 10:42am EST on Friday, November 13, 2009. This person left you the following message:

My IP RO 70920F
i m calling a man named john begg my name is richard thompson i m just trying to locate john beggs and i m out of state and i was given this telephone number to call and i d like to know if he s there and if he is i will stop and see

October 31st, 2009

"The Heartland Institute"

Subject: [ NNSquad ] Big Tobacco and the Fight Against Net Neutrality: Smoke in the "Heartland"
From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 20:39:35 -0700
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org

Big Tobacco and the Fight Against Net Neutrality: Smoke in the "Heartland"


Greetings. Several years ago, at an Internet issues-related conference, I was pulled aside by an attendee who identified himself as being involved in high level lobbying "inside the Beltway" (Washington D.C. area). He offered me some free advice. In essence it was this:

"You guys are babes in the woods when it comes to the ways of Washington. If you don't learn how to play the game the way the big boys do, you're all going to be plowed under when it comes to the Internet issues that you care about."

He was right of course. Pro-Net-Neutrality Google has been around just more than a decade, but anti-Neutrality telephone companies have been playing the Washington game for a good century of so. And technologists (including myself) often tend to view issues in logical terms. After all, our stock in trade -- literally -- usually depends on logic. So we're not inherently prepared when opposing forces attack with an emotional kick to the groin.

This has all taken on renewed meaning in light of the recent attempts by some elements of the anti-Net Neutrality camp to portray Net Neutrality as some sort of "communist" plot and those persons and organizations who advocate Net Neutrality as Marxist inspired. This is red-baiting in the finest tradition of "Tricky" Dick Nixon, and the rise again of this despicable technique almost a full decade into the 21st century seems both remarkable and nauseating.

But perhaps it's not really surprising, especially in an age of Big Lie politics, particularly among some elements of the Far Right. "Health reform will create death panels!" "Obama wasn't born in the U.S.!" Now add to these false memes, created purposely to sucker in the right-wing political faithful, the new Big Lie: "Net Neutrality is a dangerous government takeover of the Internet and a communist plot by Marxist sympathizers!"

It was this latter nonsense that I was reacting to with my (apparently controversial) video satire that I released a couple of days ago: "Is Net Neutrality a Communist Plot?" ("Declassified DoD Film"): http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000627.html

But where are the accusations of communism and Marxist activities coming from in the first place? We know that "Mad Man" Glenn Beck (as "Time" called him) has picked up the refrain. But where did it all get started?

One source appears to be the "free market solutions" organization known as "The Heartland Institute." A recent Heartland paper by James G. Lakely, discussing Net Neutrality and the free software movement seems representative ( http://www.heartland.org/publications/policy%20studies/article/26061/ ).

The string "communist" appears in the paper no less than twelve times. Excerpts from that paper have appeared on various religious and right wing-oriented political sites around the Web.

It turns out that The Heartland Institute has been around for about 25 years, but only recently really aimed its guns at Internet issues. The write-up of the company at SourceWatch makes for fascinating reading ( http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute ).

According to SourceWatch, Heartland reportedly opposes the Kyoto Protocol to fight global warming, promotes privatization of public services and the deregulation of health care insurance, and perhaps most interestingly, has also apparently been heavily intertwined with the tobacco industry in various ways, including funding from Philip Morris for a number of years at least (more recently, Heartland's corporate funding has been very secretive and opaque): http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute#Tobacco_ties

I'm certainly not saying that Heartland is doing anything illegal. They're welcome to their opinions, and politics isn't for lightweights.

But I am saying that the attitude of some persons in the pro-Net-Neutrality camp -- that logic and reasoning alone will convince regulators, courts, and legislators of the righteousness of Net Neutrality -- is extremely naive.

To use a dreaded Star Wars analogy, such attitudes are like pulling up in a tiny ship between the Death Star and a target planet, and transmitting "Can't we all just get along?"

The battle for Net Neutrality has now entered the realm of hardball politics at the most extreme levels. It's time to fish or cut bait. Either we play the game the way the Big Boys do, or we'll just be spinning our wheels with endless verbiage that in the end will probably amount to little or nothing.

If we truly care about the future of the Internet and the need for Net Neutrality, playtime is over. The war truly starts now.

Lauren Weinstein
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR
- People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, NNSquad
- Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, GCTIP - Global Coalition
for Transparent Internet Performance - http://www.gctip.org
Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein

October 30th, 2009

i has 13 google wave invites

so far me and chris have been using it like how instant messaging should have been a long time ago ... with drag and drop pictures/files/videos/anything , and you can see each other typing, and bla bla bla, ... its like what picasa hello was but better ...

also its for a bunch of other stuff i guess

October 17th, 2009

3 google voice invites


October 2nd, 2009

ambient connectivity

Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: Wireless data a blessing (or curse) for carriers (what about "us"?) again
From: "Bob Frankston" <bob19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 10:00:04 -0400
To: "'Lauren Weinstein'" <lauren@vortex.com>, <nnsquad@nnsquad.org>

This is yet another example of the dynamic in http://frankston.com/?n=AssuringScarcity playing out. They told us they would do it, the told us they are doing it, and we see them doing it. (“them” being the “wireless” industry).

"We have had to be careful not to invest too much -- because the only thing that would happen if we did would be to increase in data traffic without an increase in our profits," he said

What about our “profits” in the economy, health, safety etc etc etc? And to add injury to injury they could invest far less and get more if they didn’t choose the highest cost (often self-dealing) approaches – but they have to do so so they could appear to spend a lot while still giving us so little.

This makes it very clear why the telecom industry is a problematic hangover from when we sold off our right to communicate to third parties because we thought it was our only option. It’s a repeat of the old modem crisis when they had to be banned lest they destroy the wired phone network. And again http://rmf.vc/?n=4GAgain.

I understand the desire for incremental neutrality rules but how many times do we need to go through the same thing again and again before it becomes obvious that we’re mired in repeating past mistakes again and again. At what point do we take responsibility and move ahead?

Can we shift from fighting over the dregs of telecom to looking towards ambient connectivity (http://rmf.vc/?n=IAC)?

(no subject)

ANYONE HAVE CYMBALTA? and/or wellbutrin, for cheap or free to last me until the 16th?

September 5th, 2009

(no subject)


September 4th, 2009

(no subject)

naptime ... making go beep-beeps; (Beep boop bop boop beep.) http://is.gd/2S8py

September 2nd, 2009

puppy faggot

(08:33:06 AM) Samantha Bo Chicago: my old roommate had this elaborate idea about naming her dog faggot someday.
(08:33:11 AM) operative me: hahahahhaa
(08:33:14 AM) operative me: tahts such a good idea

August 27th, 2009


... i haven't heard anything about any insurance companies stepping up to say something like, "okay, we're sorry, we'll be good from now on, we'll keep our promises, etc ..."

so, like, either (1) profit-hunger, at least in this case, has no self-preservation instinct... or (2) the insurance companies aren't scared ... and that scares me ...

congress is so bought & paid for, it's been said a thousand times, and like, its a joke already. kind of like how prison rape is a joke.

July 28th, 2009

speakin tounges

google voice tries to use their robots to transcribe your voicemail to you as text. i love how, even though it fucks the entire thing up, yous till get a jist of the message. you just get it from a

July 27th, 2009

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: aha, ahadly ha
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 14:55:23 -0400
From: Tristan Lear <trissypissy@gmail.com>
To: brett jan <brettrjan@yahoo.com>

ha ha my phone battery died exactly when you were about to initiate our 3way with ben

July 25th, 2009

My little sister loves the show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." I hate the show but felt too lazy to articulate why, especially to my mom (who hates the show I think for the opposite reason, she says "It's always talking about sex")

I looked up feminism "the secret life of the american teenager." Someone referenced "second-wave feminism."

So I went to Wikipedia's feminism and learned about the different waves of feminism:

Third-wave feminism began in the early 1990s, arising as a response to perceived failures of the second wave and also as a response to the backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second wave. Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave's essentialist definitions of femininity, which (according to them) over-emphasize the experiences of upper middle-class white women.

A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality is central to much of the third wave's ideology. Third-wave feminists often focus on "micro-politics" and challenge the second wave's paradigm as to what is, or is not, good for females.[24][36][37][38] The third wave has its origins in the mid-1980s. Feminist leaders rooted in the second wave like Gloria Anzaldua, bell hooks, Chela Sandoval, Cherrie Moraga, Audre Lorde, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many other black feminists, sought to negotiate a space within feminist thought for consideration of race-related subjectivities.[15][37][39]

Third-wave feminism also contains internal debates between difference feminists such as the psychologist Carol Gilligan (who believes that there are important differences between the sexes) and those who believe that there are no inherent differences between the sexes and contend that gender roles are due to social conditioning.[40]

Main article: Third-wave feminism

Third-wave feminism began in the early 1990s, arising as a response to perceived failures of the second wave and also as a response to the backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second wave. Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave's essentialist definitions of femininity, which (according to them) over-emphasize the experiences of upper middle-class white women.

A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality is central to much of the third wave's ideology. Third-wave feminists often focus on "micro-politics" and challenge the second wave's paradigm as to what is, or is not, good for females.[24][36][37][38] The third wave has its origins in the mid-1980s. Feminist leaders rooted in the second wave like Gloria Anzaldua, bell hooks, Chela Sandoval, Cherrie Moraga, Audre Lorde, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many other black feminists, sought to negotiate a space within feminist thought for consideration of race-related subjectivities.[15][37][39]

Third-wave feminism also contains internal debates between difference feminists such as the psychologist Carol Gilligan (who believes that there are important differences between the sexes) and those who believe that there are no inherent differences between the sexes and contend that gender roles are due to social conditioning.[40]

Post-structural and postmodern feminism

For more details on this topic, see Postmodern feminism.

Post-structural feminism, also referred to as French feminism, uses the insights of various epistemological movements, including psychoanalysis, linguistics, political theory (Marxist and post-Marxist theory), race theory, literary theory, and other intellectual currents for feminist concerns.[106] Many post-structural feminists maintain that difference is one of the most powerful tools that females possess in their struggle with patriarchal domination, and that to equate the feminist movement only with equality is to deny women a plethora of options because equality is still defined from the masculine or patriarchal perspective.[106][107]

Judith Butler at a lecture at the University of Hamburg.

Postmodern feminism is an approach to feminist theory that incorporates postmodern and post-structuralist theory. The largest departure from other branches of feminism is the argument that gender is constructed through language.[21] The most notable proponent of this argument is Judith Butler. In her 1990 book, Gender Trouble, she draws on and critiques the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan. Butler criticizes the distinction drawn by previous feminisms between biological sex and socially constructed gender. She says that this does not allow for a sufficient criticism of essentialism. For Butler "woman" is a debatable category, complicated by class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other facets of identity. She states that gender is performative. This argument leads to the conclusion that there is no single cause for women's subordination and no single approach towards dealing with the issue.[21]

Donna Haraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto, with her dog Cayenne.

In A Cyborg Manifesto Donna Haraway criticizes traditional notions of feminism, particularly its emphasis on identity, rather than affinity. She uses the metaphor of a cyborg in order to construct a postmodern feminism that moves beyond dualisms and the limitations of traditional gender, feminism, and politics.[108] Haraway's cyborg is an attempt to break away from Oedipal narratives and Christian origin-myths like Genesis. She writes: "The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family, this time without the oedipal project. The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust."[108]

A major branch in postmodern feminist thought has emerged from the contemporary psychoanalytic French feminism. Other postmodern feminist works highlight stereotypical gender roles, only to portray them as parodies of the original beliefs. The history of feminism is not important in these writings—only what is going to be done about it. The history is dismissed and used to depict how ridiculous past beliefs were. Modern feminist theory has been extensively criticized as being predominantly, though not exclusively, associated with Western middle class academia. Mary Joe Frug, a postmodernist feminist, criticized mainstream feminism as being too narrowly focused and inattentive to related issues of race and class.[109]

edit] Ecofeminism

Janet Biehl is one of the premier authors on social ecology
Main article: Ecofeminism

Ecofeminism links ecology with feminism. Ecofeminists see the domination of women as stemming from the same ideologies that bring about the domination of the environment. Patriarchal systems, where men own and control the land, are seen as responsible for the oppression of women and destruction of the natural environment. Ecofeminists argue that the men in power control the land, and therefore they are able to exploit it for their own profit and success. Ecofeminists argue that in this situation, women are exploited by men in power for their own profit, success, and pleasure. Ecofeminists argue that women and the environment are both exploited as passive pawns in the race to domination. Ecofeminists argue that those people in power are able to take advantage of them distinctly because they are seen as passive and rather helpless. Ecofeminism connects the exploitation and domination of women with that of the environment. As a way of repairing social and ecological injustices, ecofeminists feel that women must work towards creating a healthy environment and ending the destruction of the lands that most women rely on to provide for their families.[110]

Ecofeminism argues that there is a connection between women and nature that comes from their shared history of oppression by a patriarchal Western society. Vandana Shiva claims that women have a special connection to the environment through their daily interactions with it that has been ignored. She says that "women in subsistence economies, producing and reproducing wealth in partnership with nature, have been experts in their own right of holistic and ecological knowledge of nature’s processes. But these alternative modes of knowing, which are oriented to the social benefits and sustenance needs are not recognized by the capitalist reductionist paradigm, because it fails to perceive the interconnectedness of nature, or the connection of women’s lives, work and knowledge with the creation of wealth.”[111]

However, feminist and social ecologist Janet Biehl has criticized ecofeminism for focusing too much on a mystical connection between women and nature and not enough on the actual conditions of women.[112]

Berkeley Marine Corps Recruiting Center controversy

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Jump to: navigation, search
Code Pink demonstrators in front of Berkeley City Hall on February 12, 2008.

The Berkeley Marine Corps Recruiting Center Controversy began in September 2007 when a small group of protesters from Code Pink began periodically protesting in front of a United States Marine Corps Officer Selection Office located in Downtown Berkeley, California at 64 Shattuck Avenue by standing in front of the office holding banners and placing signs.[1][2] The recruiting center had been located in Berkeley since January 2007. The protesting has continued to the present. On October 17, 2007, the group Move America Forward held a counter protest.

On January 29, 2008, the Berkeley City Council passed a series of motions concerning the recruiting center. The most controversial motions ordered the city clerk to draft a letter calling the Berkeley Marines "unwelcome intruders" and another motion gave Code Pink a parking permit on Wednesdays and a noise permit. The motions drew national media coverage. Some veterans groups and conservatives were angered by the motions. National and state laws were drafted to remove funding for Berkeley. The Berkeley City Council changed the wording in the letter February 13, 2008 to remove the most controversial wording and communicate support for the troops but opposition to the war. On the previous day, 2000 protesters at its peak gathered outside city hall to protest against and in support of the motion. The national media coverage of the matter significantly declined following Berkeley's amended language. Legislation backed by Republican members of Congress concerning removing earmarks continued through the legislative process, though with little chance of passing, and Move America Forward launched a new advertisement criticizing the Berkeley City Council. Code Pink continues to collect signatures to put a measure on the ballot to remove the recruiting center.

City Council response

On January 29, 2008 the Berkeley City Council passed two motions regarding the controversy.[10] The first motion, passed 8-1, gave anti-war protesters Code Pink a reserved parking space in front of the recruitment and waiving the normally required noise permits so they could operate their loud speaker. Since passing this motion, Code Pink has had an almost daily presence outside the recruiting office.[10][11]

The Berkeley City Council 6-3, passed a motion to have the city clerk write a letter to the U.S. Marine Corps to inform them that they were "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" in the city of Berkeley.[12][13][11] The motion stated that the United States had a history of "launching illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression" and that "military recruiters are salespeople known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults into contracting themselves into military service with false promises regarding jobs, job training, education and other benefits."[14] The Berkeley City Council also asked the city attorney to investigate the possibility of fining the Marines for violating the city's ordinance requiring equal-opportunity hiring without regard to sexual orientation because of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy.[14][10]

The Beauty Myth

In the early 1990s, Wolf garnered international public notoriety as a spokesperson of third-wave feminism[11][12] as a result of the tremendous success of her first book The Beauty Myth, which became an international bestseller.[13] In the book, she argues that "beauty" as a normative value is entirely socially constructed, and that the patriarchy determines the content of that construction with the goal of reproducing its own hegemony. Wolf posits the idea of an "iron-maiden," an intrinsically unattainable standard that is then used to punish women physically and psychologically for their failure to achieve and conform to it. Wolf criticized the fashion and beauty industries as exploitative of women, but claimed the beauty myth extended into all areas of human functioning. Wolf writes that women should have "the choice to do whatever we want with our faces and bodies without being punished by an ideology that is using attitudes, economic pressure, and even legal judgments regarding women's appearance to undermine us psychologically and politically." Wolf argues that women were under assault by the "beauty myth" in five areas: work, religion, sex, violence, and hunger. Ultimately, Wolf argues for a relaxation of normative standards of beauty.[14]

In her introduction, Wolf positioned her argument against the concerns of second-wave feminists and offered the following analysis:

The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us...During the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing specialty...pornography became the main media category, ahead of legitimate films and records combined, and thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal...More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers.[15]

The Beauty Myth   · Beauty

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Jump to: navigation, search

The Beauty Myth, published in 1991, is a book by Naomi Wolf. It examines beauty as a demand and as a judgment upon women. Subtitled How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women, Wolf examines how modern conceptions of women's beauty impact the spheres of employment, culture, religion, sexuality, eating disorders, and cosmetic surgery.

Wolf argues that women in Western culture are damaged by the pressure to conform to an idealized concept of female beauty—the Iron Maiden throughout modern society, from Victorian Times to today. She argues that the beauty myth is political, a way of maintaining the patriarchal system. It allows women to enter the labour force, but under controlled conditions. She also claims that this system keeps women under control by the weight of their own insecurities. The beauty myth is sometimes viewed as succeeding The Feminine Mystique, which relegated women to the position of housewife, as the social guard over women. In this sense, Wolf claims that public interest in a woman's virginity has been replaced by public interest in the shape of her body.

It was republished in 2002 with a new introduction by Wolf.

Christina Hoff Sommers criticized Wolf for publishing the claim that 150,000 women were dying every year from anorexia.[1] Sommers claimed that the actual number is closer to 100, a figure which others, such as Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, claimed to be much too low. In the same interview, Sommers stated that Wolf had retracted the figure.

Wikipedia on sex-positive feminism

a full pdf of The Ethical Slut: http://happybadger.com/t/ethicalslut.pdf

Sex-positive movement

Main article: Sex-positive feminism

Sex-positive feminism is a movement that was formed in order to address issues of women's sexual pleasure, freedom of expression, sex work, and inclusive gender identities. Ellen Willis' 1981 essay, "Lust Horizons: Is the Women's Movement Pro-Sex?" is the origin of the term, "pro-sex feminism"; the more commonly-used variant, "sex positive feminism" arose soon after.[159]

Although some sex-positive feminists, such as Betty Dodson, were active in the early 1970s, much of sex-positive feminism largely began in the late 1970s and 1980s as a response to the increasing emphasis in radical feminism on anti-pornography activism.

Sex-positive feminists are also strongly opposed to radical feminist calls for legislation against pornography, a strategy they decried as censorship, and something that could, they argued, be used by social conservatives to censor the sexual expression of women, gay people, and other sexual minorities. The initial period of intense debate and acrimony between sex-positive and anti-pornography feminists during the early 1980s is often referred to as the Feminist Sex Wars. Other sex-positive feminists became involved not in opposition to other feminists, but in direct response to what they saw as patriarchal control of sexuality.[citation needed]

Scientific discourse

Some feminists are critical of traditional scientific discourse, arguing that the field has historically been biased towards a masculine perspective.[12] Evelyn Fox Keller argues that the rhetoric of science reflects a masculine perspective, and she questions the idea of scientific objectivity.

Many feminist scholars rely on qualitative research methods that emphasize women’s subjective, individual experiences. According to communication scholars Thomas R. Lindlof and Bryan C. Taylor, incorporating a feminist approach to qualitative research involves treating research participants as equals who are just as much an authority as the researcher. Objectivity is eschewed in favor of open self-reflexivity and the agenda of helping women. Also part of the feminist research agenda is uncovering ways that power inequities are created and/or reinforced in society and/or in scientific and academic institutions. Lindlof and Taylor also explain that a feminist approach to research often involves nontraditional forms of presentation. .[163]

Primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy notes the prevalence of masculine-coined stereotypes and theories, such as the non-sexual female, despite "the accumulation of abundant openly available evidence contradicting it".[168] Some natural and social scientists have examined feminist ideas using scientific methods.

Feminist Sex Wars    · Sexuality

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This article is about Feminist Sex Wars. For the adult movie, see Porn Wars. For the Frank Zappa song of the same name, see Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention.

The Feminist Sex Wars and Lesbian Sex Wars, or simply the Sex Wars or Porn Wars, were the acrimonious debates within the feminist movement and lesbian community in the late 1970s through the 1980s around the issues of feminist strategies regarding sexuality, sexual representation, pornography, sadomasochism, the role of transwomen in the lesbian community, and other sexual issues. The debate pitted anti-pornography feminism against sex-positive feminism, and the feminist movement ended up deeply divided as a result.[1][2][3][4][5]

The Feminist Sex Wars are sometimes viewed as part of the division that helped end the second-wave feminist era.

Recently I argued with a douchebag on Crystal's facebook. In it I referred to myself as a "feminist." (he told me that I probably had a bad relationship with my father and I said that my relationship with him was great and that 'he was a feminist too.'"

I think people that make a stink about men identifying as feminists because "they can't fully understand the plight of women" do that thing that I hate that academics always do: they universalize or inflate claims in order to oppose something.

Of course I can't understand from a women's point of view. For example, in western religions class Heather noticed that our teacher (incidentally, female) always used male pronouns to describe positions of authority. I didn't notice this until Heather pointed it out.

I should still be able to refer to myself as a feminist while telling a douchebag to fuck off on facebook. Categories are pretend.

Speaking of fuck off, Bridgette just reminded me of this one time we were on mescaline in bowling green, and i was yelling at the cops and telling them to fuck off! I don't even remember this, except I just remembered it a little. I'm so proud of myself!

Pro-feminism compared to feminism

Some feminists and pro-feminists believe that it is inappropriate for men to call themselves "feminists". This argument takes a variety of forms, including the following: Feminism is a movement and a body of ideas developed by, for, and about women. Men can never fully know what it is like to be a woman. By calling themselves feminists, men could preempt and take over the feminist movement, thus stifling women's concerns and voices.[citation needed] There is also internal disagreement within this "movement", for example with pro-feminist me-wing and socialist movements, anti-racist struggles, and so on. Those who claim that "feminist" can apply equally to men and women often point out that the arguments made by advocates of the term "pro-feminist" are based in notions of biological determinism and essentialism, and are actually contrary to feminist principles. A clear distinction between "feminist" and "pro-feminist" is also troubled by transsexual and transgender people, whose bodies and performance of a gendered body (in the sense that Judith Butler defines performance) make even the most basic biological distinction between categories of men and women a difficult task.

Pro-feminists claim to be anti-sexist, and anti-patriarchal, but they argue that they are not anti-male. Some pro-feminist men believe that men have potential for good and believe that there is a potential for "backlash" within the men's movement, a potential for the movement to turn towards the defence of what they see as men's privilege and position, and some would say that this has already occurred.[7] While all pro-feminist men assume that men must act to dismantle gender injustice, some argue that a men's movement is not the way to do this.[8] They advocate instead that pro-feminists build alliances and coalitions with other progressive groups and movements (such as feminism, gay and lesbian liberation, left-wing and socialist movements, anti-racist struggles, and so on).

Atheist feminism asserts the equality of men and women in a faithless society. It cites organized religion as a main source of female oppression, gender inequality, and overall suppression of sexual freedom and basic human rights. For atheist feminists, joining a faith is a submission to patriarchy and an acceptance of the anti-female actions condoned by the organized religions.

Principles of Feminist Therapy

1) Egalitarian relationships (a relationship which is based on equals) between therapist and client are key in therapy, utilizing the therapist’s psychological knowledge and the client’s knowledge of herself. The inherent power differentials between therapist and client are addressed, and the client must realize that the therapist is not giving her power, but power comes from within herself. This relationship provides a model for women to take responsibility in making all of their relationships egalitarian.Feminist therapists focus on embracing the client’s strengths rather than fixing their weaknesses and accept and validate the client’s feelings.[6]

2) Feminist Therapy Theory is always being revised and added to as social contexts change and the discourse develops. The client’s well-being is the leading principle in all aspects of therapy.[7]

3) The therapist always retains accountability.[8]

4) The feminist therapy model is non-victim blaming.[9]

5) The client’s well-being is the leading principle in all aspects of therapy.[10]

edit] Feminist Therapists' Responsibilities

1) Feminist Therapists must integrate feminist analysis in all spheres of their work.[11]

2) Feminist Therapists must recognize the client’s socioeconomic and political circumstances, especially with issues in access to mental health care.[12]

3) Feminist therapists must be actively involved in ending oppression, empowering women and girls, respecting differences, and social change.[13]

4) Feminist Therapists must be aware of their own situated experience (their own socioeconomic and political situations as well as sex, gender, race, sexuality, etc.) and is constantly self-evaluating and remedying their own biases and oppressive actions. As well as must be learning about other dominant and non-dominant cultural and ethnic experiences.[14]

5) A feminist therapist must accept and validate their client’s experiences and feelings.[15]

Radical feminism is a "current"[1] within feminism that focuses on the theory of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships producing what radical feminists claim is a "male supremacy"[1] that oppresses women. Radical feminism aims to challenge and to overthrow patriarchy by opposing standard gender roles and what they see as male oppression of women, and calls for a radical reordering of society. Early radical feminism, arising within second-wave feminism in the 1960s,[2] typically viewed patriarchy as a "transhistorical phenomenon"[3] prior to or deeper than other sources of oppression, "not only the oldest and most universal form of domination but the primary form" and the model for all others.[4] Later politics derived from radical feminism ranged from cultural feminism[1] to more syncretic politics that placed issues of class, economics, etc. on a par with patriarchy as sources of oppression.[5]

The term radical in radical feminism (from Latin rādīx, rādīc-, root) is used as an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the root or going to the root. Radical feminists locate the root cause of women's oppression in patriarchal gender relations, as opposed to legal systems (liberal feminism) or class conflict (socialist feminism and Marxist feminism).

The term militant feminism is a pejorative term which is often applied to radical feminism, but also to other currents within feminism.

(no subject)


(no subject)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Urgent: The Single Payer Moment Is NOW, If Only We Will Speak Out
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2006 01:25:33 -0800
From: The Pen <activist.thepen@gmail.com>
To: lilt@bex.net

We have a new "Single Payer Health Care" cap to mobilize the final
push for real health care reform. But first ...

Last night at his prime time health care news conference, President
Obama finally admitted what we have known all along.

"I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is that unless you have a
-- what's called a single-payer system, in which everybody's
automatically covered, then you're probably not going to reach every
single individual."

There it is folks. Only single payer can fix the ills with our health
care system. He also talked about the critical importance of
"eliminating waste". Only single payer effectively does that, by
cutting out the massive overhead waste (31%) by paper churning
insurance industry bureaucrats, who line their own pockets to provide
LESS health care with the available resources.

Single Payer Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum998.php

This is the single payer moment. We have enough Democrats alone to
pass it. So why hasn't it been signed into law yet?

Why not a single payer system? Because the big insurance and drug
companies don't want that? Oh, really?? What about what we the people
want? What about what would be best for America? We need to tell our
members of Congress what we want, keep telling them, and remind them
that we told them.

So please submit the action page above. And when do you will have an
opportunity from the return page to get one of the NEW "Single Payer
Health Care" caps, touting the concept with the PEOPLE's talking
points, that it is the "economical and efficient" way to go.

It is time for us to seize control of the media marketing of
political policy. And with this new cap you can spread the meme that
single payer is not a "risky experiment" or "socialized medicine" or
"rationing care" or any of the other cheap shot smears that the right
wing has tried to pass off lately as a policy debate. No, the words
that need to come out of our mouth are "economical and efficient" and
then all will know what single payer is REALLY about.

July 24th, 2009

The Revolution will be Read Out Loud

This past Sunday, an unusual prank happened at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York: a large crowd arrived for a book signing and reading that the bookstore had not scheduled. The Coming Insurrection was the text. The New York Times picked up the story:

By 5 o’clock a crowd of more than 100 had gathered. Their purpose: to celebrate the publication of an English translation of a book called “The Coming Insurrection,” which was written two years ago by an anonymous group of French authors who call themselves the Invisible Committee. More recently, the volume has been at the center of an unusual criminal investigation in France that has become something of a cause célèbre among leftists and civil libertarians.

The book, which predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture, was inspired by disruptive demonstrations that took place over the last few years in France and Greece. It was influenced stylistically by Guy Debord, a French writer and filmmaker who was a leader of the Situationist International, a group of intellectuals and artists who encouraged the Paris protests of 1968.

In keeping with the anarchistic spirit of the text, the bookstore event was organized without the knowledge or permission of Barnes & Noble. The gathering was intended partly as a show of solidarity with nine young people — including one suspected of writing “The Coming Insurrection” —whom in November the French police accused of forming a dangerous “ultraleftist” group and sabotaging train lines.

The Coming Insurrection has been published by Semiotext(e). Semiotext(e) editor Hedi El Kholti was interviewed for the article:

Semiotext(e), a Los Angeles publisher that specializes in works by French theorists like Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault, published an English-language edition of the book at the end of last month with a print run of 3,000. Hedi El Kholti, an editor at Semiotext(e), said that the book’s winding up as a key part of a controversial case added to the historical value of its message.“Everyone is dancing around this notion that publishing a book can take you to jail,” he said recently by telephone. “That a book is an element that can involve you in a trial.”

June 16, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink

June 23rd, 2009


















June 22nd, 2009



June 19th, 2009

(no subject)


from http://www.aclu.org/police/gen/14614pub19971201.html

Abuse by police continues to be a major civil liberties problem in the U.S., particularly for the poor and for people of color. Everyone needs and deserves effective and humane law enforcement in communities and courtrooms.

Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual (12/1/1997)
Build Coalitions
Monitor the Police
Use Open Records Laws
Educate the Public
Use the Political Process to Win Reforms
Lobby For State Legislation


ACLU Affiliates


In the early hours of March 3, 1991, a police chase in Los Angeles ended in an incident that would become synonymous with police brutality: the beating of a young man named Rodney King by members of the Los Angeles Police Department. An amateur video, televised nationwide, showed King lying on the ground while three officers kicked him and struck him repeatedly with their nightsticks. No one who viewed that beating will ever forget its viciousness.

The Rodney King incident projected the brutal reality of police abuse into living rooms across the nation, and for a while, the problem was front page news. Political leaders condemned police use of excessive force and appointed special commissions to investigate incidents of brutality. The media covered the issue extensively, calling particular attention to the fact that police abuse was not evenly distributed throughout American society, but disproportionately victimized people of color.

But six years later, police abuse is still very much an American problem, as the following examples from three recent months demonstrate:

* In December 1996, two men in two weeks died in handcuffs at the hands of the Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies in Florida. Lyndon Stark, 48, died of asphyxia in a cloud of pepper spray while handcuffed behind the back in a prone position. Several days earlier, Kevin Pruiksma, 27, died after being restrained by a sheriff's deputy.

* In January 1997, Kurt DeSilva, 34, was shot and killed by a Pawtucket, Rhode Island police officer after a low-speed car chase. DeSilva, who was unarmed, was suspected of driving a stolen car.

* In February 1997, James Wilson, 37, an unarmed motorist, was kicked and punched by three Hartford, Connecticut police officers after a brief chase which ended in front of a Bloomfield, Connecticut police station. The beating was so severe that a group of Bloomfield police intervened to stop it. "They saw activity that appeared inappropriate," the Bloomfield Police Chief stated. "He didn't resist officers... He was struck."

The fact that police abuse remains a significant problem does not mean there has been no progress. In communities all across the United States people have organized to bring about change, and some of the most successful strategies are described in this manual, now in its 3rd printing.

This manual was not inspired by, nor is it intended to generate, animosity toward the police, or to promote the perception that all police officers are prone to abuse. They are not.

Rather, it arose out of our realization that, ultimately, it will take a strong and sustained effort by community groups to bring about real and lasting reform. And it is to those efforts that this manual is dedicated.

Ira Glasser
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union

August 1997

police abuse is a serious problem. It has a long history, and it seems to defy all attempts at eradication.

The problem is national: no police department in the country is known to be completely free of misconduct. Yet it must be fought locally: the nation's 19,000 law enforcement agencies are essentially independent. While some federal statutes specify criminal penalties for willful violations of civil rights and conspiracies to violate civil rights, the United States Department of Justice has been insufficiently aggressive in prosecuting cases of police abuse. There are shortcomings, too, in federal law itself, which does not permit "pattern and practice" lawsuits. The battle against police abuse must, therefore, be fought primarily on the local level.

the situation is not hopeless. Policing has seen much progress. Some reforms do work, and some types of abuse have been reduced. Today, among both police officials and rank and file officers, it is widely recognized that police brutality hinders good law enforcement.

To fight police abuse effectively, you must have realistic expectations. You must not expect too much of any one remedy because no single remedy will cure the problem. A "mix" of reforms is required. And even after citizen action has won reforms, your community must keep the pressure on through monitoring and oversight to ensure that the reforms are actually implemented.

Nonetheless, even one person, or a small group of persistent people, can make a big difference. Sometimes outmoded and abusive police practices prevail largely because no one has ever questioned them. In such cases, the simple act of spotlighting a problem can have a powerful effect that leads to reform. Just by raising questions, one person or a few people — who need not be experts — can open up some corner of the all-too-secretive and insular world of policing to public scrutiny. Depending on what is revealed, their inquiries can snowball into a full blown examination by the media, the public and politicians.

You've got to address specific problems. The first step, then, is to identify exactly what the police problems are in your city. What's wrong with your police department is not necessarily the same as what's wrong in that of another city. Police departments differ in size, quality of management, local traditions and the severity of their problems. Some departments are gravely corrupt; others are relatively "clean" but have poor relations with community residents. Also, a city's political environment, which affects both how the police operate and the possibilites for achieving reform, is different in every city. For example, it is often easier to reform police procedures in cities that have a tradition of "good government," or in cities where racial minorities are well organized politically.

The range of police problems includes —

1) Excessive use of deadly force.

2) Excessive use of physical force.

3) Discriminatory patterns of arrest.

4) Patterns of harassment of the homeless, youth, racial minorities and gays, including aggressive and discriminatory use of the "stop-and-frisk" and overly harsh enforcement of petty offenses.

5) Chronic verbal abuse of citizens, including racist, sexist and homophobic slurs.

6) Discriminatory non-enforcement of the law, such as the failure to respond quickly to calls in low-income areas and half-hearted investigations of domestic violence, rape or hate crimes.

7) Spying on political activists.

8) Employment discrimination — in hiring, promotion and assignments, and internal harassment of minority, women and gay or lesbian police personnel.

9) The "code of silence" and retaliation against officers who report abuse and/or support reforms.

10) Overreaction to gang problems, which is driven by the assumption that those who associate with known gang members must be involved in criminal activity, even in the absence of concrete evidence that this is the case. This includes illegal mass stops and arrests, and demanding photo IDs from young men based on their race and dress instead of on their criminal conduct.

11) The "war on drugs," with its overbroad searches and other tactics that endanger innocent bystanders. This "war" wastes scarce resources on unproductive "buy and bust" operations to the neglect of more promising community-based approaches.

12) Lack of accountability, such as the failure to discipline or prosecute abusive officers, and the failure to deter abuse by denying promotions and/or particular assignments because of prior abusive behavior.

13) Crowd control tactics that infringe on free expression rights and lead to unnecessary use of physical force.


How common is police brutality? Unfortunately, measuring this problem in a scientific fashion has always been very difficult. In the first systematic study, The Police and the Public (1971), Albert Reiss found the overall rate of unwarranted force to be low — only about one percent of all encounters with citizens; even less than that by another calculation. But Reiss hastened to point out that individual incidents accumulate over time, and since poor men are the most frequent victims of police abuse, they experience both real and perceived harassment by the police.

In 1982, the federal government funded a "Police Services Study," in which 12,022 randomly selected citizens were interviewed in three metropolitan areas. The study found that 13.6 percent of those surveyed had cause to complain about police service in the previous year (this included verbal abuse and discourtesy, as well as physical force). Yet, only 30 percent of the people filed formal complaints. In other words, most instances of police abuse go unreported.

Community activists, take note: Your local police department or local news media may produce official figures showing a low rate of alleged abuse, but those figures do not reflect unreported incidents. Moreover, a low overall rate masks the higher rate of abuse suffered by poor men — poor men of color in particular.


Obtaining the most relevant information on the activities of your police department can be a tough task. That's the first thing to bear in mind about the "homework" community residents have to do in order to build a strong case for reform. In answer to critics, police chiefs often cite various official data to support their claim that they are really doing a great job. "Look at the crime rate," they say. "It's lower than in other cities." Or: "My department's arrest rate is much higher than elsewhere." The catch is that these data, though readily available to citizens, are deeply flawed, while the most important information is not always easy to get.

Forget the "crime rate." The "crime rate" figures cited by government officials are based on the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) system, which has several serious flaws. To name only a few: First, the UCR only measures reported crime. Second, since the system is not independently audited there are no meaningful controls over how police departments use their crime data. Police officers can and do "unfound" crimes, meaning they decide that no crime occurred. They also "downgrade" crimes — for example, by officially classifying a rape as an assault. Third, reports can get "lost," either deliberately or inadvertently. There are many other technical problems that make the UCR a dubious measure of the extent of crime problems.

The National Crime Survey (NCS), published by another part of the U.S. Justice Department, provides a far more accurate estimate of the national crime rate and of long-term trends in crime. But it is a national-level estimate and does not provide data on individual cities. So the NCS isn't much help on the local level.

Forget the "clearance rate." A police department's official data on its "clearance rate," which refers to the percentage of crimes solved, do not accurately reflect that department's performance. The fact that one department "clears" 40 percent of all robberies, compared with 25 percent by another department, doesn't necessarily mean it is more effective. There are too many ways to manipulate the data, either by claiming a larger number of crimes "cleared" (inflating the numerator), or by artificially lowering the number of reported crimes (lowering the denominator).

Forget the arrest rate. Police officers have broad discretion in making and recording arrests. The Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., which conducts research on policing issues, has found great variations among police departments in their recording of arrests. In many departments, police officers take people into custody, hold them at the station, question and then release them without filling out an arrest report. For all practical purposes, these people were arrested, but their arrests don't show up in the official data. Other departments record such arrests. Thus, the department that reports a lower number of arrests may actually be taking more people into custody than the department that reports more arrests.

Forget the citizen complaint rate. Official data on the complaints filed by citizens regarding police conduct are important but present a number of problems. Many departments do not release any information on this subject. Some publish a smattering of information on complaints and the percentage of complaints sustained by the department. In more and more cities, a civilian review agency publishes this data.

Data on citizen complaints are difficult to interpret.

Some examples —

* In 1990, it was widely reported that San Francisco, with less than 2,000 police officers, had more citizen complaints than Los Angeles, which has more than 8,000 officers. What that may mean, however, is that Los Angeles residents are afraid to file reports or don't believe it would do any good. San Francisco has a relatively independent civilian review process, which may encourage the filing of more complaints. Also in 1990, New York City reported a decline from previous years in the number of citizen complaints filed. But many analysts believe that simply reflected New Yorkers' widespread disillusionment with their civilian review board. Citizen complaints filed in Omaha, Nebraska doubled after the mayor allowed people to file their complaints at City Hall, as well as at the police department.

* Another problem is that in some police departments with internal affairs systems, officers often try to dissuade people from filing formal complaints that will later become part of an officer's file. And the number of complaints counted is also affected by whether or not the internal affairs system accepts anonymous complaints and complaints by phone or mail, or requires in-person, sworn statements.

Thus, the official "complaint rate" (complaints per 1,000 citizens), rather than being a reliable measure of police performance, more than likely reflects the administrative customs of a particular police department.


A. Police shootings. You need to know about police firearm discharges, which refer to the number of times a police weapon has been fired. This information is more complete than statistics on the number of persons shot and wounded or killed. (However, information on the race of persons shot and wounded or killed is important.) Particularly important is data on repeat shooters, which can tell you whether some officers fire their weapons at a suspiciously high rate.


* Do some officers shoot more often than others?
* Do white officers shoot more often that black officers?
* Do young officers shoot more often than veteran officers?

The most detailed analysis of police shootings was produced by James Fyfe, a former police officer who is now a criminologist and expert on police practices. He concluded that the single most important factor determining patterns of shooting is place of assignment.

Fyfe's findings showed that: Black and white officers assigned to similar precincts fired their weapons at essentially the same rate; since new officers are assigned to less desirable, high crime precincts based on the seniority system, younger officers shoot more often than older officers; and since a disproportionate number of black officers are young due to recent affirmative action programs, black officers shoot more often than white officers — but as a function of assignment, not race.

Fyfe found significant differences in shooting patterns between police departments. The overall shooting rate in some departments was significantly higher than in others, a disparity that he attributed to differences in department policy.

SOURCE: James J. Fyfe, "Who Shoots? - - A Look At Officer, Race And Police Shooting." Journal of Police Science And Administration; Volume 9, December 1981; pp. 367-382.

With this information, you can evaluate the use of deadly force in your department. You can also evaluate the long-term trends in shootings. Are shootings increasing or decreasing? Has there been a recent upsurge? How does the department compare with other departments — are officers shooting at a significantly higher rate in your department than elsewhere?

B. Use of physical force. You need to know how frequently police officers in your city use physical force in the day-to-day course of their encounters with citizens. Do officers try to refrain from using such force against citizens, or do they quickly and casually resort to force?

In its report on the Los Angeles Police Department in the aftermath of the March 1991 beating of Rodney King, the Christopher Commission confirmed a long held suspicion: A small number of officers were involved in an extraordinarily high percentage of use-of-force incidents. Ten percent of the officers accounted for 33.2 percent of all use-of-force incidents. The Commission was able to identify 44 such officers who were not disciplined despite the fact that they were the subjects of numerous citizen complaints.

In 1981, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission found a similar pattern in Houston and recommended, as a remedy, that police departments establish "early warning systems" to identify officers with high rates of citizen complaints. Patterns in the use of physical force reveal a lot about the "culture" of a particular police department. Clearly, a department whose officers repeatedly engage in physically coercive conduct needs reform. Police officials often deny that their personnel are prone to using force inappropriately, so if your community believes it has a problem in this area citizens must be able to support their claims with existing data, or data they have gathered themselves.

C. Official policies. You need to know what your local police department's formal, written policies are on how officers are supposed to behave in particular situations. How does the department treat domestic violence complaints? What is the policy on how officers are supposed to deal with homeless people? Does the department use canine patrols and, if so, under what circumstances?

In examining official policies, you need to evaluate them in comparison to recommended standards.

D. Lawsuits. You need to know how many lawsuits citizens have filed against your local police department. You'll want to know what the charges were, the number of officers involved, whether certain officers are named repeatedly in suits, what was the outcome and, in the case of successful suits, how much the city paid in damages.

The number of lawsuits filed against a police department can be very revealing. For example, according to the Christopher Commission the taxpayers of Los Angeles spent $67.5 million between 1991 and 1995 to resolve lawsuits brought by victims of police abuse. In 1990 alone, New York City paid victims of police misconduct a record high of more than $13 million. This kind of information can be used to mobilize middle-class taxpayers and "good-government" activists, who can then be brought into a community coalition against police abuse.


These data indicate a clear pattern of racial discrimination. The disparity between whites and blacks shot and killed is extreme in the category of persons "unarmed and not assaultive."

Person Shot and Killed Number Shot and Killed
White Black
Armed and Assaultive 5 7
Unarmed and Assaultive 2 6
Unarmed and Not Assaultive 1 13

These are classic "fleeing felon" situations in which, prior to 1985, Memphis Police Department policy and the common law of many states permitted officers to use deadly force. In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for a police officer to shoot a suspected felon in flight who does not pose an immediate danger to the officer or public. The case — Tennessee v. Garner— involved Edward Garner, a 15 year-old black youth who, though unarmed, was shot and killed while trying to flee the scene of a suspected burglary.

SOURCE: James J. Fyfe, "Blind Justice: Police Shootings in Memphis," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 73 (1982, No. 2); pp. 707-722.

E. Minority employment. You'll need to know how many African Americans, Latinos, Asians, other minorities and women are employed by your police department and their distribution throughout the department's ranks. This information is useful in assessing, again, the "culture" of your local police department — is it internally diverse, fair and equitable? It also suggests how much value the department places on the "human relations" aspects of its work, and how responsive it is to community concerns.


Police business is generally shrouded in secrecy, which conceals outdated policies and departmental inertia, encourages cover-ups and, of course, breeds public suspicion. But remember: Police departments are an arm of government, and the government's business is your business. Police policies, procedures, memoranda, records, reports, tape recordings, etc. should not be withheld from public view unless their release would threaten ongoing investigations, endanger officers or others, or invade someone's personal privacy.

Demanding information about police practices is an important part of the struggle to establish police accountability. Indeed, a campaign focused solely on getting information from the police can serve as a vehicle for organizing a community to tackle police abuse. Regarding all of the following categories, one of the tactics your community could employ is to interest a local investigative journalist in seeking information from the police for a series of articles. Once in hand, the information your community has collected or helped to expose is a tool for holding the police accountable for their actions.


Police work remains dangerous, and many police officers contend that they need greater freedom to use deadly force today because of the increase in heavily armed drug gangs.

But in fact, police work is much less dangerous than it used to be. The number of officers killed in the line of duty is half of what it was nearly 20 years ago. According to the FBI, the number of officers killed dropped from 134 in 1973 to 67 in 1990. That reduced death rate is even more dramatic considering the increase in the number of police officers on duty in the field.

Police officers are rarely the victims of "drive-by" gang shootings. Innocent by-standers and rival gang members have been the victims.

The police don't need more firepower.

A. Police Shootings. Virtually every big city police department has this information on hand, since officers are required to file a report after every firearms discharge. However, departments don't usually release the information voluntarily. Strong civilian review boards in a few cities now publish the information. As for repeat shooters, this information exists in police reports, but police departments vigorously resist identifying repeat shooters. There are several ways to proceed —

* As an organizing strategy, demand that the police department publish this data, identify repeat shooters and take appropriate remedial action (counseling, retraining, formal discipline, transfer, etc.)

* Alternatively, since it isn't essential that officers be identified by name, demand that they be identified simply by a code number, which can focus public attention on the problem of excessive shooters.

* Visit your local civilian review agency, if one exists. These agencies often have the authority to collect and release a range of information about local police conduct.

B. Physical Force. There are three potential sources of data on police use of physical force —

* Data developed by community residents.Community residents can make a significant contribution to documenting physical force abuses and, in the process, organize. They can bear witness to, and record, abuse incidents, take information from others who have witnessed incidents, refute police department arguments that there is no problem and help document the inadequacies of the police department's official complaint review process. Police Watch in Los Angeles compiles such data. Police Watch can be contacted at 611 South Catalina, Suite 409, Los Angeles, CA 90005; (213) 387-3325. Check with your local ACLU to see if an organization in your community does the same.

* Formal complaints filed by citizens. Most police departments do not make this information public. Some publish summary data in their annual report, so consult that document. In a number of cities, civilian review agencies publish it, so check with that agency in your city. The annual reports of the New York City Citizen Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and San Francisco's Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) provide fairly detailed summaries.

* Internal police reports. An increasing number of police departments require officers to fill out reports after any use of physical force. This is a larger set of data than the citizen complaints would provide, since many citizens don't file complaints even when they have cause to do so. Ask to see physical force reports.

C. Official Policies. Your police department has a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual (it may have another title) that contains the official policies of the department. The SOP manual is a public document and should be readily available. Some departments place current copies in local libraries.

Others treat it as an internal document not available to the public — a practice which is unacceptable. Demand to see the manual, if your department withholds it. As a last resort, you may be able to file suit under your state's open records law to obtain the SOP manual.

D. Lawsuits. Lawsuits brought against police departments are matters of public record. Records of suits brought in state courts reside at your local state courthouse; of suits brought in federal district court, at the nearest federal courthouse. The Lexis computer database is a source of published opinions in civilian suits brought against the police. However, collecting information from any of these sources is a very laborious task. It's better to contact your local ACLU affiliate and/or other relevant public interest groups, which may have done most of the work for you. In the back of this manual, find the name and address of your local ACLU and other organizations.

E. Minority Employment. Official data on this issue are generally available from your local police department. If the police stonewall, you can get the information from the city's personnel division. The point is to evaluate the police department's minority employment record relative to local conditions. Using current data, compare the percentage of a particular group of people in the local population with that group's representation on the police force. If, for example, Latinos are 30 percent of the population but only 15 percent of the sworn officers, then your police department is only half way toward achieving an ideal level of diversity.

Civilian review of police activity was first proposed in the 1950s because of widespread dissatisfaction with the internal disciplinary procedures of police departments. Many citizens didn't believe that police officials took their complaints seriously. They suspected officials of investigating allegations of abuse superficially at best, and of covering up misconduct. The theory underlying the concept of civilian review is that civilian investigations of citizen complaints are more independent because they are conducted by people who are not sworn officers.

At first, civilian review was a dream few thought would ever be fulfilled. But slow, steady progress has been made, indicating that it's an idea whose time has come. By the end of 1997, more than 75 percent of the nation's largest cities (more than 80 cities across the country) had civilian review systems.

Civilian review advocates in every city have had to overcome substantial resistance from local police departments. One veteran of the struggle for civilian review has chronicled the stages of police opposition as follows —

* The "over our dead bodies" stage, during which the police proclaim that they will never accept any type of civilian oversight under any circumstances;

* The "magical conversion" stage, when it becomes politically inevitable that civilian review will be adopted. At this point, former police opponents suddenly become civilian review experts and propose the weakest possible models;

* The "post-partum resistance" stage, when the newly established civilian review board must fight police opposition to its budget, authority, access to information, etc.

Strong community advocacy is necessary to overcome resistance, even after civilian review is established.


Civilian review systems create a lot a confusion because they vary tremendously. Some are more "civilian" than others. Some are not boards but municipal agencies headed by an executive director (who has been appointed by, and is accountable to, the mayor).

The three basic types of civilian review systems are —

* Type I. Persons who are not sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding. They submit an investigative report to a non-officer or board of non-officers, who then make a recommendation for action to the police chief. This process is the most independent and most "civilian."

* Type II. Sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding. They submit an investigative report to a non-officer or board of non-officers for a recommendation.

* Type III. Sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding and make a recommendation to the police chief. If the aggrieved citizen is not satisfied with the chief's action on the complaint, he or she may appeal to a board that includes non-officers. Obviously, this process is the least independent.

Although the above are the most common, other types of civilian review systems also exist.


* Civilian review establishes the principle of police accountability. Strong evidence exists to show that a complaint review system encourages citizens to act on their grievances. Even a weak civilian review process is far better than none at all.

* A civilian review agency can be an important source of information about police misconduct. A civilian agency is more likely to compile and publish data on patterns of misconduct, especially on officers with chronic problems, than is a police internal affairs agency.

* Civilian review can alert police administrators to the steps they must take to curb abuse in their departments. Many well-intentioned police officials have failed to act decisively against police brutality because internal investigations didn't provide them with the facts.


1. Independence. The power to conduct hearings, subpoena witnesses and report findings and recommendations to the public.

2. Investigatory Power. The authority to independently investigate incidents and issue findings on complaints.

3. Mandatory Police Cooperation. Complete access to police witnesses and documents through legal mandate or subpoena power.

4. Adequate Funding. Should not be a lower budget priority than police internal affairs systems.

5. Hearings. Essential for solving credibility questions and enhancing public confidence in process.

6. Reflect Community Diversity. Board and staff should be broadly representative of the community it serves.

7. Policy Recommendations. Civilian oversight can spot problem policies and provide a forum for developing reforms.

8. Statistical Analysis. Public statistical reports can detail trends in allegations, and early warning systems can identify officers who are subjects of unusually numerous complaints.

9. Separate Offices. Should be housed away from police headquarters to maintain independence and credibility with public.

10. Disciplinary Role. Board findings should be considered in determining appropriate disciplinary action.

* The existence of a civilian review agency, a reform in itself, can help ensure that other needed reforms are implemented. A police department can formulate model policies aimed at deterring and punishing misconduct, but those policies will be meaningless unless a system is in place to guarantee that the policies are aggressively enforced.

* Civilian review works, if only because it's at least a vast improvement over the police policing themselves. Nearly all existing civilian review systems —
o reduce public reluctance to file complaints
o reduce procedural barriers to filing complaints
o enhance the likelihood that statistical reporting on complaints will be more complete
o enhance the likelihood of an independent review of abuse allegations
o foster confidence in complainants that they will get their "day in court" through the hearing process
o increase scrutiny of police policies that lead to citizen complaints
o increase opportunities for other reform efforts.

* A campaign to establish a civilian review agency, or to strengthen an already existing agency, is an excellent vehicle for community organizing. In Indianapolis, for example, a civilian review campaign brought about not only the establishment of a civilian review agency, but an effective coalition between the Indiana ACLU, the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other community groups that could take future action on other issues.

Your community's campaign should seek a strong, fully-independent and accessible civilian review system. But even with a weak system, you can press for changes to make it more independent and effective.


Considerable progress has been made in the area of police misconduct in the use of deadly force. Although the rate of deadly force abuse is still intolerably high, national data reveal reductions in the number of persons shot and killed by the police since the mid-1970s — as much as 35-to 40 percent in our 50 largest cities. This has been accompanied by a significant reduction in the racial disparities among persons shot and killed: since the 1970s, from about six people of color to one white person, down to three people of color to one white.

This progress serves as a model for controlling other forms of police behavior. And was achieved though hard work and perseverance. In the mid-1970s, police departments began developing restrictive internal policies on the use of deadly force. They adopted the "defense of life" standard: the use of deadly force only when the life of an officer or some other person is in danger. In 1985, the Supreme Court finally upheld this standard in the case of Tennessee v. Garner (see table). However, the majority of policies adopted by police departments go beyond the Court's Garner decision, prohibiting warning shots, shots to wound and other reckless actions. Most important, these policies require officers to file written reports after each firearm discharge, and require that those reports be reviewed by higher-ranking officers.

To meet goal #2, your community must —

* Ensure that the police department has a highly restrictive deadly force policy (see sample policy). Most big city departments do. But the national trend data on shootings suggest that medium-sized and small departments have not caught up with the big cities, so much remains to be done there. Much remains to be done as well in county sheriff and state police agencies, which have not been subject to the same scrutiny as big city police departments.

* Ensure enforcement of the deadly force policy through community monitoring. To be accountable, the police department and/or the local civilian review agency should publish summary data on shooting incidents.

Citizens should also be able to find out whether the department disciplines officers who violate its policy, and whether certain officers are repeatedly involved in questionable incidents.


POLICY — The Houston Police Department places its highest value on the life and safety of its officers and the public. The department's policies, rules and procedures are designed to ensure that this value guides police officers' use of firearms.

RULES — The policy stated above is the basis of the following set of rules that have been designed to guide officers in all cases involving the use of firearms –

RULE 1 — Police officers shall not discharge their firearms except to protect themselves or another person from imminent death or serious bodily injury.

RULE 2 — Police officers shall discharge their firearms only when doing so will not endanger innocent persons.

RULE 3 — Police officers shall not discharge their firearms to threaten or subdue persons whose actions are destructive to property or injurious to themselves but which do not represent an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or others.

RULE 4 — Police officers shall not discharge their firearms to subdue an escaping suspect who presents no imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.

RULE 5 — Police officers shall not discharge their weapons at a moving vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary to do so to protect against an imminent threat to the life of the officer or others.

RULE 6 — Police officers when confronting an oncoming vehicle shall attempt to move out of the path, if possible, rather than discharge their firearms at the oncoming vehicle.

RULE 7 — Police officers shall not intentionally place themselves in the path of an oncoming vehicle and attempt to disable the vehicle by discharging their firearms.

RULE 8 — Police officers shall not discharge their firearms at a fleeing vehicle or its driver.

RULE 9 — Police officers shall not fire warning shots.

RULE 10 — Police officers shall not draw or display their firearms unless there is a threat or probable cause to believe there is a threat to life, or for inspection.

* The citizens of Houston have vested in their police officers the power to carry and use firearms in the exercise of their service to society. This power is based on trust and, therefore, must be balanced by a system of accountability. The serious consequences of the use of firearms by police officers necessitate the specification of limits for officers' discretion; there is often no appeal from an officer's decision to use a firearm. Therefore, it is imperative that every effort be made to ensure that such use is not only legally warranted but also rational and humane.

* The basic responsibility of police officers to protect life also requires that they exhaust all other reasonable means for apprehension and control before resorting to the use of firearms. Police officers are equipped with firearms as a means of last resort to protect themselves and others from the immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury.

* Even though all officers must be prepared to use their firearms when necessary, the utmost restraint must be exercised in their use. Consequently, no officer will be disciplined for discharging a firearm in self-defense or in defense of another when faced with a situation that immediately threatens life or serious bodily injury. Just as important, no officer will be disciplined for not discharging a firearm if that discharge might threaten the life or safety of an innocent person, or if the discharge is not clearly warranted by the policy and rules of the department.

* Above all, this department values the safety of its employees and the public. Likewise it believes that police officers should use firearms with a high degree of restraint. Officers' use of firearms, therefore, shall never be considered routine and is permissible only in defense of life and then only after all alternative means have been exhausted.


Your community's principal aim here should be to get the police department to adopt and enforce a written policy governing the use of physical force. This policy should have two parts —

* It should explicitly restrict physical force to the narrowest possible range of specific situations. For example, a policy on the use of batons should forbid police officers from striking citizens in "non-target" areas, such as the head and spine, where permanent injuries can result. Mace should be used defensively, not offensively. The use of electronic stun guns should be strictly controlled and reviewed, since they have great potential for abuse because they don't leave scars or bruises.

* The policy should require that a police officer file a written report after any use of physical force, and that report should be automatically reviewed by high ranking officers.

Your community's second objective should be to get the police department to establish an early warning system to identify officers who are involved in an inordinate number of inappropriate physical force incidents. The incidents should then be investigated and, if verified, the officers involved should be charged, disciplined, transferred, retrained or offered counseling, depending on the severity of their misconduct. The Christopher Commission's report on the Rodney King beating ascertained that L.A. police leadership typically looked the other way when officers were involved in questionable incidents, a tolerance of brutality that helped create an atmosphere conducive to police abuses.

Police spying or intelligence gathering on legal but politically unpopular activities is a problem. And it's particularly difficult to deal with because spying, by definition, is a covert activity, unknown to either the victim or other witnesses.

During the 1970s, the ACLU and other organizations brought lawsuits against unconstitutional police surveillance in several cities around the country, including New York City, Chicago, Memphis and Los Angeles. The result was increased controls on police spying.

In 1976, Seattle residents discovered local police were spying on organizations of black construction workers, local Republican Party operatives, Native Americans, advocates for low-income housing and other activists whose conduct was perfectly lawful. In response to the revelations, the ACLU, along with the American Friends Service Committee and the National Lawyers Guild, formed the Coalition on Government Spying. After several years of hard work and lobbying, the coalition succeeded in bringing about passage of a comprehensive municipal law — the first of its kind in the country — that governs all police investigations and restricts the collection of political, religious and sexual information.

Called the Seattle Police Intelligence Ordinance, this law is a model for responsible police intelligence operations —

* "Restricted" information (i.e., about religious, political or sexual activity) can be collected only if a person is reasonably suspected of having committed a crime, and the information must be relevant to that crime.

* An independent civilian "auditor," appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council, must review all police authorizations to collect restricted information and have access to all other police files. The auditor must notify the police officers who are the subjects of the unlawful investigations if violations are found.

* Any individual subjected to unlawful surveillance can bring a civil action in court to stop the surveillance, and to collect damages from the city.


Police policies should be subject to public review and debate instead of being viewed as the sole province of police insiders. Open policy-making not only allows police officials to benefit from community input, but it also provides an opportunity for police officials to explain to the public why certain tactics or procedures may be necessary. This kind of communication can help anticipate problems and avert crises before they occur.

The Police Review Commission (a civilian review body) of Berkeley, California, holds regular, bi-monthly meetings that are open to the public where representatives of community organizations can voice criticisms, make proposals and introduce resolutions to review or reform specific police policies.

The Police Practices Project of the ACLU of Northern California successfully pressured the San Francisco Police Department to adopt enlightened policies regarding the treatment of the homeless; the use of pain-holds and batons; the deployment of plainclothes officers at protests and demonstrations; intelligence gathering; the selection of field training officers, and AIDS/HIV education for police officers. The Project has also prevented the adoption of an anti-loitering rule, a policy that would have made demonstrators financially liable for police costs, and other bad policies.

In Tucson, Arizona, a Citizens' Police Advisory Committee was incorporated into the city's municipal code in July 1990. Composed of both civilian and police representatives, it has the authority to initiate investigations of controversial incidents or questionable policies, and other oversight functions.

(Created by the Tucson Code, Sec. 10A-86)


1 — Consult with the governing body from time to time as may be required by the Mayor and [City] Council.

2 — Assist the police in achieving a greater understanding of the nature and causes of complex community problems in the area of human relations, with special emphasis on the advancement and improvement of relations between police and community minority groups.

3 — Study, examine and recommend methods, approaches and techniques to encourage and develop an active citizen-police partnership in the prevention of crime.

4 — Promote cooperative citizen-police programs and approaches to the solutions of community crime problems, emphasizing the principal that the administration of justice is a responsibility which requires total community involvement.

5 — Recommend procedures, programs and/or legislation to enhance cooperation among citizens of the community and police.

6 — Strive to strengthen and ensure throughout the community the application of the principle of equal protection under the law for all persons.

7 — Consult and cooperate with federal, state, city and other public agencies, commissions and committees on matters within the committee's charge.

8 — The committee may ask for and shall receive from the Police Department, a review of action taken by the Department in incidents which create community concern or controversy.

9 — The committee shall have the authority, should it so desire, to use a specific incident as a vehicle for the examination of police policies, procedures and priorities.

10 — At the discretion and express direction of the Mayor and Council, assume and undertake such other tasks or duties as will facilitate the accomplishment of these goals and objectives.


Citizens' groups in some communities have historically demanded more education and training for police officers as part of their efforts to solve the problem of police abuse. But today, this seems a less crucial issue in many police departments because the educational levels of American police officers have risen dramatically in recent years. In 1970, only 3.7 percent of the nation's police officers had four or more years of college. By 1989 that figure had risen to 22.6 percent, and a whopping 65 percent had at least some college experience. The levels of education are highest among new recruits, who in many departments have about two years of college.

The training of police personnel has also improved significantly in recent years. The average length of police academy programs has more than doubled, from about 300 to over 600 hours; in some cities, 900 or even 1200 hours are the rule. As the time devoted to training has increased, the academies have added a number of important subjects to their curricula: race relations, domestic violence, handling the mentally ill, and so on.

Unquestionably, a rigorously trained, professional police force is a desirable goal that should be pursued depending on local conditions. If citizens in your community feel that this is an important issue —

* You should aim for a first-rate police academy curriculum. The curriculum should be near the high end of the current scale — 800 hours or more. It should include a mix of classroom and supervised field training.

* It should include training in violence reduction techniques. In addition to being given weapons and taught how to use them, police recruits should also learn special skills — especially communications skills — to help them defuse and avert situations that might lead to the necessary use of force.

* It should include community sensitivity training. Training recruits to handle issues of special significance in particular communities can lead to a reduction in community-police tensions.
o In the early 1990s, the ACLU of Georgia, after a series of incidents occurred in Atlanta involving police harassment of gays, helped provide regular training at the local police academy to sensitize new recruits on gay and lesbian concerns.

o During the same period, the Police Practices Project of the ACLU of Northern California, working with other groups, organized a group of homeless people to create a video for use in sensitivity training at the San Francisco police academy.

o In response to complaints that state police were harassing minority motorists and entrapping gay men during an undercover operation in the men's room of a highway service area, in the late 1980s the ACLU of New Jersey joined the NAACP and the Lesbian and Gay Coalition in initiating a series of meetings with the new superintendent of the Division of State Police. The three groups now participate in a two-day seminar on "Cultural Diversity and Professionalism" introduced by the superintendent's office. Attendance is required by all employees of the Division.

Unfortunately, even the most enlightened training programs can be undermined by veteran officers, who traditionally tell recruits out in the field to "forget all that crap they taught you in the academy."

In San Francisco some years ago, men selected as field training officers (FTOs) were found to have some of the worst complaint and litigation records in the department. The evaluation scores they gave recruits revealed their systematic attempts to weed out minority and women officers. They labeled women recruits "bad drivers," gave Asians low scores in radio communication and unfairly criticized African Americans for their report-writing. The Northern California ACLU's Police Practices Project joined other community groups in successfully pressuring the police department to adopt stricter selection criteria for FTOs to ensure greater racial and gender integration, fairer evaluations of recruits and higher quality training.

Historically, police departments, like other government agencies, have engaged in employment discrimination. People of color have been grossly underrepresented, and women were not even accepted as full-fledged officers until the 1970s.

Some progress has been made in the last 20 years or so. Police departments in several cities now have significant numbers of officers who are people of color. A few departments even approach the theoretically ideal level of maintaining forces that reflect the racial composition of the communities they serve. Most departments now recruit and assign women on an equal basis with men.

Improvements in police employment practices have come about largely as the result of litigation under existing civil rights laws. However, the courts may not be hospitable to employment discrimination claims in the future. Therefore, community groups and civil rights organizations should prepare to fight in the political arena for the integration of police departments.

In the short term, the recruitment of more women and minority officers may not result in less police abuse. Several social science studies suggest that minority and white officers do not differ greatly in their use of physical or deadly force, or in their arrest practices. (Female officers, on the other hand, are involved in citizen complaints at about half the rate of male officers, according to the New York City CCRB.) Still, in the long term, an integrated police force is a very important goal for these reasons —

* Integration will break down the isolation of police departments, as they reflect more and more the composition of the communities they serve. A representative police force will probably be less likely to behave like an alien, occupying army. The visible presence of officers of color in high-ranking command positions engenders public confidence in the ability of police department personnel to identify, on human terms, with community residents.

* Integration demonstrates a commitment to the principles of equal opportunity and equal protection of the law. This is a crucial message for the primary enforcement arm of "the law" to send.

* Integration might, over time, reduce overtly racist/sexist activities such as brutality, harassment, and other discriminatory tactics.


Every state now has procedures for certifying or licensing police officers. These require all sworn officers to have some minimum level of training. This was one of the advances of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

An important new development is the advent of procedures for decertifying officers. Traditionally, a police officer could be fired from one department but then hired by another. As a result, persons guilty of gross misconduct could continue to work as police officers. Decertification bars a dismissed officer from further police employment in that state (though not necessarily in some other state). Between 1976 and 1983, the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission decertified 132 police officers.

Standardized procedures for state-level certification/decertification are a worthy goal to pursue. Be aware, however, that the state commission must have sufficient power and resources to investigate misconduct complaints, and must vigorously exercise its authority. And even if it has such power, certification/decertification is only one part of the comprehensive approach that's needed to achieve meaningful police discipline.

One result of the increasing number of lawsuits brought against police departments by victims of abuse over the past 20 years came from within the police profession. It was a movement for an accreditation process, similar to that in education and other fields, whereby the police would establish and enforce their own professional standards.

In 1979, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (COALEA) was established as a joint undertaking of several major professional associations. COALEA published its first set of Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies in 1985 and issues new standards periodically.

In deciding whether your community should press for accreditation of its local police department, keep in mind these basic points —

* Accreditation is a voluntary process. A police department suffers no penalty for not being accredited. (In contrast, lack of accreditation in higher education carries penalties that include an institution's ineligibility for student financial aid programs and non-recognition of its awarded credits or degrees.)

* Current accreditation standards represent minimum, rather than optimum, goals. They are very good in some respects but do not go far enough in covering the critical uses of law enforcement powers.

* Accreditation might make a difference in the case of a truly backward, unprofessional and poorly managed police department in that it could help stimulate much needed and long overdue changes.On the other hand, a police department can easily comply with all of the current standards and still tolerate rampant brutality, spying and other abuses.

Citizens in your particular community must decide whether, taking all of the above into account, accreditation would serve as an effective mobilization tool.

Once your community has identified its police problems and decided what solutions to pursue, an organizing strategy for securing the desired reform must be developed.

In the 1960s and `70s, the most successful method of attacking police abuse was the lawsuit. During the tenure of Chief Justice Earl Warren, landmark Supreme Court decisions that imposed nationally uniform limits on police behavior were handed down in the cases of Mapp v. Ohio, Escobedo v. Illinois and Miranda v. Arizona. Respectively, those decisions extended Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures to the states, established the Sixth Amendment right to a lawyer during police interrogations and required the police to inform persons taken into custody of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Today, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist demonstrates repeated hostility to individual rights. Many lower federal courts, the majority of whose presiding judges were appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, follow this trend. More and more, therefore, the task of opposing police abuse falls not to lawyers, but to the citizens in the communities.

The following profiles of successful organizing strategies can guide your community's attempts to effectively challenge police abuse.

PROFILE: The Indianapolis Law Enforcement and Community Relations Coalition

The year is 1984. Galvanized by a series of brutal and unjustified police killings that have sparked tensions between the police department and the African American community, 19 civil rights, religious, professional and civic organizations form the Indianapolis Law Enforcement/Community Relations Coalition. Coalition members include the Urban League, Baptist Ministerial Alliance, Community Centers of Indianapolis, Hispano-American Center, Indiana Council of Churches, Jewish Community Relations Council, Mental Health Association, NAACP and the United Methodist Church.

The coalition, co-chaired by the Executive Director of the Urban League and a designee of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, was instrumental in the establishment of a civilian review board in 1989, despite considerable political opposition. Since that time, it has worked to strengthen the authority of that body, which still lacks jurisdiction over police shooting fatalities.

A recent series of highly publicized episodes of police misconduct, culminating in an incident in August, 1996, which newspapers dubbed "the police brawl" lent new urgency to the Coalition's efforts. Representatives of the Coalition were tapped by the Greater Indianapolis Process Committee to serve on a Working Group of citizens charged with reviewing the Civilian Review Process and recommending changes in jurisdiction and composition. A co-chair of the Coalition served as co-chair of the Working Group.

The broad-based Coalition is credited by many for drawing attention to management problems within the Indianapolis Police Department in addition to the tensions between officers and minority communities. The Coalition's research provided the basis for the deliberations of the Working Group; even more important, once the Working Group has delivered its recommendations, monitoring the resulting process will be the responsibility of the Coalition.

Key to the Coalition's success has been its broadbased composition and its commitment to participatory decision-making.

PROFILE: Copwatch, Berkeley, California

Copwatch is a community organization whose stated purpose is "to reduce police harassment and brutality," and "to uphold Berkeley's tradition of tolerance and diversity." Its main activities are monitoring police conduct through personal observation, recording and publicizing incidents of abuse and harassment, and working with Berkeley's civilian review board — the Police Review Commission.

Copwatch sends teams of volunteers into the community on three-hour shifts. Each team is equipped with a flashlight, tape recorder, camera, "incident" forms (see sample form) and Copwatch Handbooks that describe the organization's non-violent tactics, relevant laws, court decisions, police policies and what citizens should do in an emergency. At the end of a shift, the volunteers return their completed forms to the COPWATCH office. If they have witnessed an harassment incident, they call one of the organization's cooperating lawyers, who follows up on the incident.

Copwatch holds weekly meetings, and its activists attend public meetings of the Police Review Commission. It publishes a quarterly newsletter, Copwatch Report, which features a "Cop Blotter" column that describes examples of police misconduct "gleaned from Copwatch incident reports."

Although the group's impact has not been studied, Copwatch activists are convinced that their monitoring activities deter and, thus, reduce harassment and abuse.


Date Time Place

Officers (names & numbers)

Police Car License No.

Arrestee/Victim's Name

Other information

Suspected charge

Witnesses (names & phone numbers)

Injuries? If yes, describe

Photos or tapes?

Does arrestee need a lawyer?

Description of incident

Name of Copwatcher


PROFILE: The Seattle Coalition on Government Spying

The year is 1976. During confirmation hearings for a new Seattle police chief, it comes to light that the city's police department maintains political intelligence files on citizens who are not suspected of any criminal activity. Some time later, a local newspaper prints the names of 150 individuals that were found in police files.

A group of citizens, concerned about this clear violation of First Amendment and privacy rights, forms the Coalition on Government Spying.

-- continued @: http://www.aclu.org/police/gen/14614pub19971201.html

June 18th, 2009

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