Notebook Entries Ocotber 2007

Notebook entry, October 28, 2007

The City of Lakewood Colorado is creating a new ACIC -- Advisory Commission for an Inclusive Community. What happened was that several of their old commissions were not living up to their promise, so they cancelled four of them and decided to put them under one commission. The top three positions that I applied for are: 1) Diversity, 2) Neighborhoods, 3) Public Arts and Culture.

Notebook entry, October 20th, 2007

Things have slowed down a bit in my life when I have returned to writing part 2 of the essay mentioned in October 6th, 2007. In local politics here in Lakewood, everyone has decided to take the next several weeks off until the results of the elections are known. I did attend the local board meeting of my local neighborhood association and was voted in to join.

In going over The New Times article mention on Oct. 6th, I found it to be better than I had anticipated. I quote a few more paragraphs here:

"Col. Martin Schweitzer, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division unit working with the anthropologists here, said that the unit's combat operations had been reduced by 60 percent since the scientists arrived in February (2007), and that the soldiers were now able to focus more on improving security, health care and education for the population.
"We're looking at this from a human perspective, from a social scientist's perspective," he said. "We're not focused on the enemy. We're focused on bringing governance down to the people." (underlined emphasis mine).
"…the strategy has become the new mantra of the military."
"In interviews, American officers lavishly praised the anthropology program, saying that the scientists' advice has proved to be "brilliant," helping them see the situation from an Afghan perspective and allowing them to cut back on combat operations.
"The aim, they say, is to improve the performance of local government officials, persuade tribesmen to join the police, ease poverty and protect villagers from the Taliban and criminals.
""My feeling is that the military are going through an enormous change right now where they recognize they won't succeed militaryily," said Tom Gregg, the chief United Nations official in southeastern Afghanistan. "But they don't yet have the skill sets to implement" a coherent nonmilitary strategy, he added.
"Deploying small groups of soldiers into remote areas, Colonel Schweitzer's paratroopers orangized jirgas, or local councils, to resolve tribal disputes that have simmered for decades. Officers shrugged off questions about whether the military was comfortable with what David Kilcullen, and Australian anthropologist and an architect of the new strategy, call "armed social work." (underlined emphasis mine).
"Who else is going to do it?" asked Lt. Col. David Woods, commander of the Fourth Squadron, 73rd Cavalry. "You have to evolve. Otherwise you're useless." (underline emphasis mine).

You have to evolve? I love it, Col.Woods !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is hope for our species yet!!!

Notebook entry, October 6th, 2007

An extremely important article appeared in today's online edition of The New York Times. It's title: "Army Enlists Anthropology in War Zones," by David Rohde. I quote the first two paragraphs:

"Shabak Valley, Afghanistan - In this isolated Taliban stronghold in eastern Afghanistan, American paratroopers are fielding what they consider a crucial new weapon in counterinsurgency operations here: a soft-spoken civilian anthropologist named Tracy.
Tracy, who asked that her surname not be used for security reasons, is a member of the first Human Terrain Team, an experimental Pentagon program that assigns anthropologists and other social scientists to American combat units in Afghanistan and Iraq. Her team's ability to understand subtle points of tribal relations - in one case spotting a land dispute that allowed the Taliban to bully parts of a major tribe - has won the praise of officers who say they are seeing concrete results."

So, in preparation to the second part of my essay, Retinking Possee Comitatus in an Era of Muslim Suicide Bombers and the coming hoards of bachelor males from India and China: Are more and more signs pointing to the lack of marriage opportunities for these surplus males as fodder for future wars and a threat to our national security? Part I,

All that I can say is, thank you US Army! for giving my proposal a "leg-up." The proposal, of course, is to have the US military "occupy" a poor zip code in the USA, stabilize the territory, both economically and socially, and then inculcate, educate, and then draft into service, from the poorest zip codes upward (until the need is filled).

The main premise is that, since the US military has a history of getting all the money that it ever requested, then that is the source of the greatest mechanism of "tricking down" money to the lower classes, while fulfilling military requirements.

I will store the article away until I resume writing the second part of the essay. I think the resumption of the second half of the essay will start in Mid-November of this year, with uploading occurring in early December, 2007.

Notebook entry, October 5th, 2007

It's been a busy week. Not only am I attending my City of Lakewood's Civic 101 classes, but I also sat in what is called a "study session" held by the City Council. My attendance was prompted by the presentation of a police division chief on the first report of the Graffiti task force. I won't get into detail but the only that the police request was $5,000.00 in "reward" money to school children to "snitch" on fellow classmates who they know to be "taggers" of graffiti. I have nothing against the police in establishing a line in which no graffiti writer should cross, but once again, it's the same story: punish, punish, punish, and then throw away the key. More on this later. Earlier that morning, I attended a Morning Chat with my two Ward 2 Councilmembers, Bob Murphy and Debbie Koop and Bob Murphy. Bob is term limited after eight years and is running for mayor of the city. Who says that you can't get access to politician? I was sitting right next to the man at a pancake house while he eating his oatmeal. I had both the councilmembers undivided attention for over an hour; we discussed the future of Lakewood, and the dynamics of the current campaign. The whole scernio seemed, just right….in fact everything about this new direction that I am traveling on, seems to be the right path.

On Wednesday, the 3rd, I attended a forum of all city council candidates and mayoral candidates. It was put on by several business organizations. The public was not allowed to applaud or comment and I left after the forum - once again, because of my awkward social skills.