The Blog and Me

Red-chested Sunbird, Njeru, Uganda - Photo by JEL

Dear Reader,

This is an open forum blog on topics in anthropology, science, philosophy, religion, and African studies. The purpose of the blog is to promote thought and increase and improve knowledge. Civil dialog/discussion with anyone on these topics is welcome, as is a sense of humor.

Peace, Jim

EMAIL CONTACT  lassiterje@hotmail.coml.co

BIO

Born in Virginia, USA, 1947, Jim now lives with his wife, the former Miss Immy Rose Namutosi of Mbale, Uganda near Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  Jim enjoys watching and photographing birds, bass fishing, watching baseball, playing table tennis, walking, and preparing and eating Southern-style barbecue.  Jim & Immy Rose divide their time each year between their home in the US and another in Uganda.

BACKGROUND


• University of Oregon - Cultural Anthropology, Peoples of Africa, PhD '83, MS '75 • California State University, Sacramento - Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology, BA (Honors) '74 • Director, Migration Anthropology Consultants (MAC), LLC, May '09 - Present • Retired US Government, Nov '07 • Chief, Refugee Officer Training and Program Integrity, Dept of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Washington '05-'07. • Refugee Program Manager for Africa and Moscow, Dept of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington '98-'05. • Asst Immigration Attaché, US Embassy Nairobi, Kenya '96-'98. • Senior Desk Officer for Africa and Europe, DOJ/INS, Washington '92-'96. • Peace Corps Country Director, Tanzania '85-'88, Ghana '88-'91. • Desk Officer & Resident Expert for Southern African Affairs, Peace Corps Hq, Washington '83-'85. • Peace Corps Volunteer Science Teacher, Swaziland '80-'83. • Research Analyst, State of California, Center for Health Statistics; Part-time Anthropology Instructor, American River College, Sacramento, CA '76-'78 • US Air Force, Staff Sergeant, Command and Control Emergency Actions NCO, Japan and New York '66-'70. Folsom High School, California '63-'65. Extensive travel, residence and work in Africa, Europe, Japan, Alaska.


ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS, PRESENTATIONS, PANELS


2. Lassiter: An American-African Life, in progress.

3. Kiondo: A Family in Uganda and Beyond, in progress.

4. From the Unknown Into Uncertainty: The Origin, Evolution, and Future of Humankind, in progress.

5. “African Culture and Its Influence on the Continent’s Internal Initiatives and External Relations,” presented at the Society of Research on African Cultures (SORAC) Conference on Internalist and Externalist Interpretations of African Culture and History, Montclair State University, New Jersey, November 2002. Keynote Speakers included Professors Ali Mazrui and George B. N. Ayittey

6. “African Culture and Personality: A Reply to D. A. Masolo,” African Studies Quarterly: The Online Journal of African Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2000, http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v4/v4i1a3.htm

7. “African Culture and Personality: Bad Social Science, Effective Social Activism or a Call to Reinvent Ethnology?,” African Studies Quarterly: The Online Journal of African Studies, Volume 3, Issue 3, 1999, http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v3/v3i3a1.htm

8. "The United States Peace Corps and Social Development in Africa,” a paper read by invitation at the Department of Sociology, University of Ghana - Legon, Accra, April 27, 1990

9. Peace Corps Headquarters Representative on panel “Anthropology and the Peace Corps: A Twenty Year Perspective,” Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Washington, DC, 1985

10. "Participant Observation in the Peace Corps,” Practicing Anthropology, 1983, Volume 5(2):11

11. "The Relevance of Sociocultural Theory for Practicing Anthropology,", Practicing  Anthropology, 1980, Volume 2(4):9, 23-25

12. "Perspectives on Worldwide Development and the Role of Social Scientists," awarded the Luther S. Cressman Prize for Outstanding Anthropology Graduate Student Paper 1980, University of Oregon, Eugene, 68 pages

13. "Meta-Anthropology, Normative Culture and the Anthropology of Development," a paper read at the 1979 Annual Meeting of the Northwest Anthropological Conference, Eugene, Oregon, March 23, 1979

14. "Audio-Tutorial Slides and Cassette Recordings in the History of Physical Anthropology, Human Paleontology and Primatology," American River College, Anthropology Department, Sacramento, California, 1977

OTHER PAPERS AND REPORTS

1. “Fair Refuge: A Global Strategy and Plan for Maintaining Refugee Program Integrity,” USCIS Concept Paper, 2001

2. “Global Reach: A Multi-Year Initiative for the Overseas Deterrence of Human Trafficking,” INS Concept Paper, 1994

3. “Country Program and Project Plans and Budgets for Peace Corps Technical Assistance to Ghana,” 1989 – 1991

4. “Country Program and Project Plans and Budgets for Peace Corps Technical Assistance to Tanzania,” 1986 – 1988

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Migration Anthropology Consultants (MAC), LLC

   Shelter, Sustenance, Survival


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Meta 

Q: Jim, your posts about US foreign policy are almost always critical of US approaches. Why?

A: I'm only constructively critical of policies that place the interests of nation-states above the needs of the emerging global civilization, the expansion of human freedom, or above reducing or eliminating human suffering. Besides, the US Dept of State has its own well-funded US Information Agency to praise its efforts and do other things through "public diplomacy." You will never hear a sitting president, State or USIA admit that their, the current US's, foreign policies are bad for global needs, restrict freedom, or tolerate suffering. You only hear such during election campaigns or after a new regime enters the White House when speaking about their predecessors. By then it's too late because damage has already been done. It's easier, more cost effective, and less painful to do things right the first time than re-do them. I believe critical voices in the present are essential for democracy and for behaving humanely, locally and globally.

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