Required Reading


The Mismeasure of Man – Stephen Jay Gould This may not have been written by a sociologist, but Gould’s insights are certainly sociological and continue to be resonant in society perpetually wrestling with bigotry and discourses of group superiority.

Regular readers of this blog, especially those with a background in sociology and/or philosophy, will recognize that a great deal of my sociological imagination is informed by Michel Foucault’s theory of Power/Knowledge. Foucault_Michel_Power_Knowledge_Selected_Interviews_and_Other_Writings_1972-1977.


Image result for global warmingNEW The latest IPCC Report is an eyeopener. If you think climate change is bad, you’re only scratching the surface. It’s actually worse than you think, requiring radical changes to our political-economy. Noam Chomsky claims that the Republican Party is the single most dangerous institution in the history of the world. This report explains why.

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change: I don’t think I’ve read anything quite as informative and maddening in my entire life. We’ve known about the greenhouse effect since the same year On the Origin of Species was published in 1859. We’ve known that industrial use of fossil fuels was warming the Earth’s atmosphere since William McKinley defeated William Jennings Bryan in 1896. By 1979, the science was settled. Burning fossil fuels was causing the Earth to heat up, and if this were allowed to continue, the consequences would be catastrophic, even to the point of ending human civilization. Instead of taking reasonable steps to solve a human-made problem we did nothing. Now we have to deal with the consequences, and they are coming upon us quickly. Our children and grandchildren will curse us forever. Of equal value is this pointed rebuttal by Naomi Klein. Also associated is the Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene, otherwise known as the “Hothouse Earth Paper.”

Net Neutrality Under Attack Again: And the only people who want to end net neutrality are the greedy corporations who stand to profit from doing so. Look, we are all networked. The internet is now a necessary part of everyone’s life. So now is the perfect time to change the rules to make a fundamental cultural element and public good feed the troughs of the corporate pen. Ajit Pai and his curly tailed ilk are there for one thing and one thing only. You can contact the Corporate Fifth Column FCC Chairman HERE and let him know how you feel about his agenda. You can sign a petition HERE. and HERE. It’s also a really good idea to contact your legislator and let them know that you hold them personally accountable if net neutrality comes to an end without a legislative response. The bottom line is that so long as net neutrality is nothing more than a cabinet-level policy decision it is always going to be under attack. We need strong legislation protecting net neutrality if we are really going to fight this battle. 

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump AgendaIndivisibleGuide_2017-03-09_v10 This is an invaluable guide for all of the new activists joining the growing movement against the dehumanizing agenda that Trump and the corporate conservatives of the Republican Party are bringing to the table.

For more information, go to the Indivisible Webpage.

The Citibank Plutonomy Report Over ten years ago, Citibank issued a report in which it openly discussed its plutocratic goals and those democratic processes that might interfere with their class interests. See, here’s the thing. The corporatists understand that we are in a class war. It’s working Americans who don’t see it. Consequently, we don’t realize that we really are in a war…and it’s a war for our very lives–and we are losing. Don’t believe me. Read it for yourself. Citibank Plutonomy Report

Black Lives Matter: Probably one of the most important organizational endeavors to happen to the Civil Rights Movement in more than a generation. Click Here to go to the website. Click Here for the Twitter Feed.

The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty: We really should evaluate the values of a society that targets and exploits its most marginalized citizens. Poverty itself should be treated as a crime. Instead, we criminalize the poor. In essence, we criminalize the victims of our exploitative political economy. Click Here for the report. Click Here to see the related DOJ report on police conduct in Ferguson, Missouri.

Mad Sociologist Features


On Obama’s Farewell AddressAnd a New Direction for American Liberalism: Did President Obama’s Farewell Address open the door for the possibility of a more progressive, left-wing, even “democratic” Democratic Party?

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