January 2008

Hi folks,

If you’re struggling with finding us on the UMassWiki, go here:


Here are detailed directions for setting up your own blogs:

I’m going to give you a series of links, just so you can follow how to move from the wiki to other places, k?

Homework Assignments (due by Feb 3)

That’s our homework assignments, right? You see the first line “set up your anonymous WordPress weblog, (recommendation: do this tonight!)”? And the text in blue? It’s a link to WordPress, so if you click that you arrive here:


Reading through the “main” section, the third paragraph reads: “To get started with WordPress, set it up on a web host for the most flexibility or get a free blog on WordPress.com.”

You want to highlighted text to “get a free blog” – now, I’m not exactly sure that page looks like to you as I already have one, but I think you have to

  1. Fill out whatever they ask you about you – be sure to allow your blog to be searchable whenever that question comes up
  2. fill in the blogdomain – this becomes part of the address (URL) that makes your site unique.
  3. decide on your actual title (could be the same or different than the blogdomain name) – maybe the name you Really Want is already taken as URL, so you tweak it a bit, then go ahead and name your blog what you want. Make sense?
  4. pick English for your language
  5. click create ….

Then you can do the design choices and even go ahead and create the “category” of Small Group Communication. Just remember to select when you come back later to write your first entry!


The Christian Science Monitor has profiles on the faith and values of each major candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

This survey designed by Minnesota Public Radio will match your results with the candidate whose policy statements most matches your own.

Select Your Candidate


Here is another survey, I got similar results. Some of the questions overlap but some are different. This particular tool was created by ABC affiliate, tv channel WQAD in Illinois.

Selective election survey reporting by the major news media:

The Polls You Won’t Hear Much About

One Million People aim to mobilize and protest the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).  The event is being organized by colombiasoyyo

The pressure and visibility is necessary. I am now personally involved, because friends of a friend were kidnapped by FARC. Politically, we are all involved.  I am not sure, however, that protests against only one side will generate an answer.  It seems to me that equivalent pressure needs to be generated against the institutional forces that promote FARC’s continued existence.

I don’t think there any more one-sided solutions (short of annihilation) possible in our complex and contradictory global-social world.

The first sign I knew about was the SEVIS fee instituted by UMass against international students (only) to pay for their own (!) security monitoring. Successful organizing among graduate students, faculty, and others managed to force the University to retract on this; but international enrollment continues to drop. Even though the discriminatory fee was dropped, the surveillance continues:

Under the auspices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been keeping close tabs on foreign students and their dependents through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). As of October 2007, ICE reported that it was actively following 713,000 internationals on campuses, while keeping more than 4.7 million names in its database.


Seven Steps to a Homeland Security Campus

These dual-purpose officer-agents [of the Pentagon’s “Threat and Local Observation Notice” system (TALON)] have knocked on student activists’ doors from North Carolina State to the University of Colorado and, in one case, interrogated an Iraqi-born professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst about his antiwar views.

Seven Steps to a Homeland Security Campus

Not only are the UMass police armed, but surveillance is increasing on college campuses around the country. In other words, they’re not only watching international students, they’re watching US citizens, too:

The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators reports that surveillance cameras have now found their way onto at least half of all colleges, their numbers on any given campus doubling, tripling, and in a few cases, rising tenfold since September 11, 2001.

Seven Steps to a Homeland Security Campus


Surveillance in the US is for real; check us out compared with the rest of the world…

The 2007 International Privacy Ranking


McCain and Romney battle over jobs.

In New Hampshire, McCain responds to a question about his age.

I couldn’t locate a video on youtube that shows Romney in a positive light 😦 Here he is talking with an advocate for medical marijuana. (If someone does come across one, please post it!)

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