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Normal Discrimination and Average Power

Michel Foucault is one of those certain talents where a quirky mix of genius, talent and savantism all congeal in the mind of one person to shed the powerful glow of meaning and context on the rest of us One of Foucault’s passions in life was his love of words and his research into the power of labels.

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CBS News Links Urban Semiotic

When you write a blog you always wonder who is reading you and why and if what you create is making a difference or not. Here in your favorite Urban Semiotic we work hard to provide you new thoughts in the form of fresh articles seven days a week. We average between 5,000 and 7,000 new words for your eyes and mind every week.

That’s a lot of original writing you get for free and it takes a massive effort to produce. Yesterday the following comment was published in our Info Area:

CBS News linked Urban Semiotic? What fantastic news! We live for links. We crave links. We are whores for links. Links provide relevance.

Links are validation that your thoughts and wonderings are shared by others with like minds or minds that enjoy challenging you on their site with their own musings.

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Pretend Police: NYPD Auxiliary Officers

On March 14, 2007 two, young, volunteer, NYPD Auxiliary police officers were murdered gangland style in Greenwich Village, by a crazy guy with a gun. Both volunteers were in pursuit of the killer who had just gunned down a pizzeria worker. Here’s the execution of one Auxiliary officer caught on tape. The killer crosses the street to shoot the Auxiliary officer crouching for cover behind a car:

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Incarceration Nation and the Carceral Citizen

According to the annual report from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in every 32 American adults were doing hard time, were on probation or on parole last year.  2.2 million were incarcerated; 4.1 million were on probation; nearly 800,000 were on parole.

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The Myth of Racial Harmony: Dumb and Dangerous

I recently heard on the radio 45% of American Black males do not graduate from high school. Why does their education end before their 18th birthday? Is there something culturally askew where education has no value? Are they born not to succeed in life? Is there a genetic code that denies them fruitful opportunity for living? The answer to those questions is a resounding: No!

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The NYPD Panopticon Imprisons Harlem

The Panopticon — a prison so built radially that a guard at a central position can see all the prisoners — is also known as the infamous and ever-vigilant Foucauldian unblinking eye of authority watching every move a prisoner makes while remaining rough and ready to strike punishment as often as needed, has come to the streets of Harlem as “Sky Watch.”

The Sky Watch, about two stories tall, consists of a booth for a cop that stands atop a tower that collapses when the officer is ready to leave. The booth, which gives the cop a line of sight from 20 feet up, has four cameras, a high-powered spotlight and various sensors. The digital cameras, which continue recording when the booth is unstaffed, save the video to a hard drive.The units, which cost from $40,000 to $100,000 apiece, are also being used by the U.S. Border Patrol and cops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas and Fort Worth. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the department has leased one or two of the devices and hopes to eventually have five. Since they’re moveable, they’re more flexible than fixed cameras. One tower was installed about three weeks ago at 129th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem – drawing cheers and jeers.

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Uniform Urination: Analysis of Peeing Postures

There is nothing funnier or worse than wandering into a packed men’s room in New York City at a large venue and being forced to stand in line holding your water. When I first moved to New York City I was going crazy while the tide rose within me as I was forced to eternally wait my turn.

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