Violence can be prevented

The most effective solutions are almost never the most dramatic.
They are usually the ones that are thought through in the most rational manner.

If parents never learn how to behave in a civil manner they canít teach it to their children.

Money isn't quite the root of all evil but it is in a three-way tie.
The other two contenders are child abuse and the culture of deception.

Contrary to common belief there is plenty of research that indicates what causes violence and how to prevent it. This essentially involves finding the contributing causes to violence and preventing them. There are many contributing causes and they all need to be addressed but none are more important than preventing child abuse and bullying. This is true whether it involves preventing school violence or stopping violent predators including serial killers. Most if not all serial killers suffered from serious abuse as a child. This is usually underrepresented when reporting them in the media because it is often considered a mitigating factor or and excuse. This is a very serious mistake when it comes to understanding and preventing violence. Preventing child abuse could also do an enormous amount to reduce global conflicts. Many of the countries that have the least stable societies also have the highest rates of child abuse although it may be very tough to measure this.

What the Mass Media often repeats over and over again is that the best way to address this is to focus on punishment as a deterrent. This is one aspect that should be used but it shouldn't be the only thing nor should it be the most important thing. If this was going to work it would have already worked. What they should be repeating is the focus on preventing child abuse with reasonable scrutiny to catch any mistakes that the public and experts may have made. The focus on punishment is being accepted with very little scrutiny. When the opposing views are presented they are often put in a bad light and the demagogues are often given much more airtime. The Mass Media could be doing a lot to prevent this problem instead they are making it worse.

Updates for this web page will be posted on blog page to read them click hear.

By editing Wikipedia you can help set a better example for the Mass Media if you are informed about the subject. For information about how Wikipedia can be used to set a better example for the Mass Media if they over come internal problems click here.

Hell is for Children

They cry in the dark, so you cant see their tears
They hide in the light, so you cant see their fears
Forgive and forget, all the while
Love and pain become one and the same
In the eyes of a wounded child
Because hell
Hell is for children
And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell
Hell is for children
And you shouldnt have to pay for your love with your bones and your flesh

Its all so confusing, this brutal abusing
They blacken your eyes, and then apologize
Youre daddys good girl, and dont tell mommy a thing
Be a good little boy, and youll get a new toy
Tell grandma you fell off the swing

Because hell
Hell is for children
And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell
Hell is for children
And you shouldnt have to pay for your love with your bones and your flesh

No, hell is for children

Hell
Hell is for hell
Hell is for hell
Hell is for children

Pat Benatar


(B)

U (B)

U (B)

(B)

(B)

(B)

U (B)

U (B)

U (B)

(B)

(B)

(B)

(B)

U (B)

Most recent entries

BP is just the tip of the iceberg

Literacy in America and abroad
There are still too many people who canít read or at least they canít or donít read very well and in some countries the illiteracy rate is much higher even for the most basic standards; therefore a large percentage of the public has to rely on those who can read and sort through many details to make many of the most important decisions for them.
This should be considered unacceptable in a sincere democracy and much more should be done to change it in a much more efficient way.

Copyright violators are thought criminals
Recent changes in the copy right laws in the United States have created laws so extreme that they should be considered a threat to the basic principles of Democracy.
In order to have a sincere democracy we need to have an informed public that understands the issues; if copy right laws are too extreme they will prevent a large percentage of the public from accessing the information and education they need to participate in a sincere democratic process.

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

JFK and McCarthyism

Are job losses good?
If theyíre productive jobs that help improve the lives of the majority of the public they certainly arenít.
If they donít benefit anyone except the business men that profit from them that may be a different story though.
Should we continue assuming that the Capitalist system is the most efficient when it eliminates teaching jobs that are needed for the lower and middle classes and creates advertising

Free Speech
Should everyone have equal rights to free speech or should those with more money have more rights to free speech as the Supreme Court seems to have decided?
What else should be considered when deciding these issues?

Election Reform
In a true democracy the election process should be controlled by the public not the candidates or a press that isnít accountable to the public.
No business would ever allow the job applicants to decide how the interview process should go and decide which questions they should answer; why should we continue doing this to elect our political representatives?
Election reform will also require media reform and education reform so the public knows how to make some of the most important decisions that control the country and the world.

Class Warfare
Are the lower and middle classes responsible for ďClass warfareĒ as many members of the Mass Media often claim or imply?

Rules of war on life support
The nature of war leads to desperation and disrespect for rules therefore there are only two ways to get the rules of war off life support.
Either you abandon any rules and allow the strongest to rule and dictate everything or you put an end to war and convert the rules of war to the rules of peace.

Truth and Education Commission

Human Research Subjects are being studied on a regular basis. In many cases the benefit of this research is being withheld from the majority of the public and in some cases the knowledge gained by this research is being used against the public.
This isnít necessarily a conspiracy since in many cases the information is available to the public if people know where to look for it and how to process the information.

Torture
If, as many people believe torture should be used only as a last resort, why is there so little discussion on the first resorts??

Cause and Effect of Hatred
Starting at the kindergarten level because that is where a surprising number of people make their mistakes
Why are so many people making so many mistakes about the basics of inciting hatred?

War Propaganda
And the lack of rational nonviolent solutions that work in the long run.

It's the Economy Stupid
Duh Whatís the economy?
Is it a democratic economy to pool our resources and labors to benefit the majority in the fairest way possible?
Or is it a corporate economy designed to benefit the rich in the most effective way possible at the expense of the majority, unless the majority unites for a token amount of benefit which will be lost the moment they stop paying attention?
Have the corporations created a capitalist cult?

Daddyís Hands
Hard as steel when Iíd done wrong.
Is there a way to educate and discipline children without physical violence?
Does this have an impact on other issues including war and democracy?

Cults of Espionage

The Social evolution of Tyranny

War on Terrorism
Or War on Citizenís Rights?
Or both?

Health Care Premiums and where they go

Manipulation Tactics

Reform School

Educational Revolution

Tyranny opponents or advocates?

Environmental Apocalypse

Apocalypse: a self fulfilling prophecy?


Preventing Violence

Organizational skills

Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence?
Why is this still in doubt?

Child care programs

How the system restricts education

The real victim rights advocates

Do advertisers and political strategists choose the agenda for the public?

Consistent punishment guidelines

How to create a monster

Richard Ramirez

Keith Hunter Jesperson

Rejoice We Have Justice Rejoice

Without Conscious

Mass Murderers are animals
So are other people; we have more in common with the animal kingdom in some way than most people realize.

Violent health care town hall meetings

These solutions are not new but they are still not getting across to the public.

Setting a better example for the Mass Media

Violence as entertainment

Obsession du jour

Public relation campaign for child abuse prevention

Abuse impairs creativity and can create indoctrination

Denial: Tell me something good I need to hear something good

Misplaced blame

War isn't the answer!!
Then what is??

Protect the Afghan Schools

Espionage isn't intelligent

Enemy Du Jour
Wouldnít it be a good idea to find out why we always have at least one enemy to guard against and address the situation even if it is entirely their fault?

External links

Bibliography


Preventing Violence

The Media often portrays violence as something that has mysterious causes that canít be prevented and the only thing we can do is to punish people after the fact. They imply that the solution is to rely primarily on punishment as a deterrent. They rarely if ever try to find out what the causes of violence are and often indicate that this is a mystery that can never be solved. This isnít true, there are many researchers who have studied the subject and discovered what some of the contributing causes to violence are and how to prevent them. Several authors have written books that describe effective ways to prevent violence. These mostly involve improved child care, preventing child abuse, bullying and improving social justice.

Many of the most violent felons have all come from abusive homes and suffered from trauma at an early age. This is often unnoticed when it happens since much of the abuse happens behind closed doors. In many cases if it is exposed after the victim becomes the abuser it is often portrayed as an excuse and disputed. This often happens at criminal trials where the objective of the defense is to get the defendant off as easy as possible, and the objective of the prosecutors is to get as harsh a punishment as possible. This is especially common in high profile cases where there is a lot of political pressure. For example In the Manson trial at one point the defendants were portrayed as coming from nice middle class homes. There was some acknowledgement that Charles Manson had a criminal past but it mostly focused on the crimes that he committed not on the abuse and neglect that happened to him before he committed these crimes. If more attention was paid to the abuse that he suffered before he became a cult leader who inspired mass murder than more could be done to prevent it in the future.

There are similar contributing causes to the School shootings that escalated in the late 90ís. Many of these school shootings were preceded by a lot of bullying and neglect from the administrators as well as the parents of the perpetrators. In some cases there was also a lot of abuse from the parents as well.

Whether it is school shootings or mass murder ore less serious crimes they are almost always preceded by abuse to the perpetrator that could have been prevented. If we can increase public awareness of this problem instead of seeking to cover up the causes then violence can be dramatically reduced.

Several authors including James Garbarino, Ellen deLara, Alice Miller, Joanne Scaglione, Arrica Rose Scaglione, Gavin de Becker and more have written about how violence can be reduced in a rational manner. Unfortunately the mass media isnít making much if any effort to present these ideas to the public. The mass media seems to be much more concerned about getting higher ratings and catering to the emotions of the public. They generally do this by presenting it as a great drama and demonizing the murderers. There is no need to make this more dramatic than it already is and this shouldnít mean overlooking the deeper causes to violence. Downplaying, denying or ignoring the abuse that precedes these murders makes it much more difficult if not impossible to recognize and prevent the causes of violence and eliminate them.

Comments?


Organizational skills

The organization of information is underestimated by the majority of the public. This includes simple things that many of us take for granted. This isn't just limited to this blog and the subject of preventing violence. One of the most important things is simple indexes which a surprising number of books don't even have. Summations with hard facts that can be confirmed are also helpful. Organized source notes are helpful but they are often not done in reader friendly way. Sometimes many books include notes that should be in the text in addition to sources so you have to go back and forth which makes it harder for the reader. Chronologies, Acronyms, bibliographies and casts of characters are also helpful. If the publishers wanted to educate the public in the most efficient way possible they should already know this and they should already be doing a much better job. Yet they aren't either because they aren't trying enough or something else. Wikipedia and some independent web pages actually do a better job organizing information than the professional scholars in many cases.

This blog is organized in two different ways so that the reader can find information easier. The first is chronologically as most blogs are the second is according to subject matter with a table of context so that the reader can look at the overall context in a more organized manner. Most of the entries were made so they can be read as an individual blog entry so there is a lot of redundancy. Some of this redundancy may be weeded out of the html version at some point but the blog entries will remain intact since some people may read single entries. To read new entries check the blog version.

Researching the subject of violence prevention takes organization just like anything else. One of the ways to do this is to make a list of violent events and look in to the causes leading up to the events. This could include lists of mass murderers and school shootings and other violent events. Then a look into the upbringing of the perpetrators could help understand how they became violent. This is what some researchers like James Garbarino, Dorothy Otnow Lewis and many other academics have done. This research has also been done by some people like John Douglas and Vincent Bugliosi who are much harder line when it comes to punishment but they still agree that abusive childhoods helped lead people into criminal behavior and therefore improved childcare will help solve the problem. Improved statistics will help understand the subject and there are many ways that the researchers and publishers can improve the education of the public about how to prevent violence.

Good organization of information comes in handy when there is a dispute with people who disagree about the cause of violence. This is especially important when dealing with demagogues who cater to peoples emotions. Demagogues often ignore inconvenient facts and present multiple contradictory versions of the truth. They are more likely to get away with it when there are few records of the contradictions and people move on before anyone notices the contradictions. In order for the organizational skills to help it is important for people to take the time to sort through the facts.

In a perfect world I wouldnít criticize other peopleís organizational skills and then use insufficient organizational skills myself, however this isnít a perfect world. I try to do the best I can but I donít believe I do as good a job as I could with more time. If you have any suggestions about how to better organize this blog feel free to post your suggestions. A close look at how a lot of books blogs, web sites etc. would help find ways to better organize information and develop recommended standards for everyone to use. This would dramatically improve the educations system.

Comments?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school-related_attacks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_murderers_and_spree_killers_by_number_of_victims


Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence?
Why is this still in doubt?

The following quote is from Dave Cullenís book ďColumbineĒ.

"There's no evidence that bullying led to murder, but considerable evidence it was a problem at Columbine High." (p.158)

This should raise the question what constitutes evidence that bullying could lead to murder or that it could be a contributing cause. I have concluded that I can state for a fact that there are multiple contributing causes to violence and that two of the strongest contributing causes are child abuse and bullying. I consider these two conclusions to be well proven by many academic researchers and it can be confirmed by most reasonable laypersons if they think it through. Just think about times that you may have endured bullying or abuse and wanted to get even. You may have gotten over it but if you had to put up with much more of it do you think you would have gotten over it so easy. The academic researchers who support these conclusions include James Garbarino, Ellen deLara, Alice Miller, Dorothy Otnow Lewis, Joanne Scaglione, Cornelia B. Wilbur, Lonnie Athens and many more. They have done extensive research to indicate that children who are abused as a child are much more likely to be violent as an adult. There is an enormous amount of data to back up these conclusions yet there are still many high profile people that raise doubts about these conclusions. There are some high profile people with degrees that have disputed this claim; however I have serious doubts about their credibility and I suspect the majority of academics that study the subject also do.

That doesnít mean the experts are in agreement about all the specifics of psychology. This clearly isnít true but when it comes to the simple question does violence lead to violence the answer should be yes. When it comes to more specific conclusions about psychological conditions there seems to be a lot of disagreement about various psychoses like psychopaths, Schizophrenia, multi-personality disorder, road rage, roid rage and many other conditions; however if you read some of the material about most if not all these subjects they wonít contradict the conclusions I have stated above. This indicates that even though there is still further research that needs to be done about some of the specifics there is enough information available to know that by preventing child abuse and bullying there can be an enormous amount of progress made to reduce other violence that follow after small problems escalate to big ones.

Ironically Dave Cullen provides some information that contradicts his claims that there is no evidence that bullying led to murder. This may involve looking at the work of some other sources other than the ones he cited though. Dave Cullen cited some work by Dr. Robert Hare that abusive upbringing doesn't create psychopaths but it does make it worse. Dr. Hare also indicated that Psychopaths never develop empathy in the first place. (p.241-2) If this is true then the violence from bullying could have also been a contributing factor and almost certainly was; however it may also indicate that a closer look at the early care that Eric Harris received as an infant and toddler may have some influence on the subject. There was insufficient information in his book to confirm or refute this but it is implied. Dave Cullenís book has been portrayed as the most credible and comprehensive book on columbine debunking many myths about Columbine. For the most part this is accurate he does a very good job debunking a lot of the false assumptions about Columbine; However this one exception is an important one. There have been a lot of stories about wide spread bullying at Columbine and there has also been a lot of stories about denial of this and Cullen is only making the denial worse. Cullen backs up the downplaying of bullying as a contributing cause by pointing out that in the tapes made by Klebold and Harris they donít complain about being bullied quite the opposite they bragged about doing the bullying. This is not surprising but if he checked with better psychologists like Garbarino he might have found that denial of abuse isnít uncommon. The victims of Bullying prefer not to think of themselves as being victims therefore they deny it and resort to bullying other to prove something to themselves. In fact they do talk about being angry at the world, if their not angry about bullying then what are they angry about. The tapes do seem to state they are angry about a lot of trivial things but I suspect that is just because they canít express themselves very well. This could result from denial and other emotional problems which they obviously had. The fact that Cullen does such a good job debunking many of the myths at Columbine is what makes him seem more credible and for this reason it is more important to correct the mistakes he made. In many cases first hand points of views tend to be more biased since the person may have a interest to protect but in this case I think Brooks Brown may have done a better job than Cullen. Perhaps it would be better to look at ďNo easy answers: The truth behind death at ColumbineĒ as the comprehensive look at Columbine.

I suspect that if I checked with other experts I might find that many believe that psychopaths are created more by nurture than nature. In fact I suspect many researchers will say that most of these disorders including Schizophrenia, multi-personality disorder are created partly as a result of abuse as a child and exasperated in many cases by bullying. I suspect this is also true for road rage or roid rage. Road rage is just like any other kind of anger in a stressful situation and people who do a better job dealing with their anger are much less likely to succumb to road rage. Roid rage is the result of steroids. This means in order to have it you have to start by taking illegal drugs. This is almost certainly much more common among people who have to prove themselves perhaps in many cases because they are reacting to a history of child abuse and bullying. Then they respond by deciding they arenít going to take it any more and they start muscling up. Michael Kay Green may be a clear example of this. He had a troubled relation ship with his father first and then he may have become a paranoid schizophrenic who used steroids before he became a rapist and killer. This is just one of many cases where the child abuse and bullying came first then came one psychosis or another.

Declining to put more emphasis on this is like trying to teach calculus without going through basic arithmetic first; however that is what many people from the Mass Media do anyway. The Mass Media often portrays any one of these causes of violence as the one and only cause and often ignores the most important contributing causes. Many researchers may realize that child abuse and bullying are leading causes of violence later in life but when the subject is explained to the public it is rarely ever made as clear as it should be. In some cases it is actually refuted. In order to get this point through to the public it needs to be repeated on a regular basis the same way they now repeat the quest for justice by punishing people on a regular basis. In fact this is actually more important since it could do a lot more to prevent violence. If punishment as a deterrent worked half as good as the advocates of this solution claim it would have worked much better by now since they have been doing it for a long time. That doesnít mean they have been doing it consistently for a long time that is also a problem that needs to be addressed. Punishment in the past has often been politically motivated.

Comments?


Child care programs

Programs that address social problems at a young age are the most effective ways of preventing violence. There has been some talk about warning signs weeks or months before the school shooters committed their crimes. These shou8ldnít be ignored of course but the most effective solutions should come months or years before the warning signs happen.

This means addressing problems from early childhood before they get as bad. Programs like Head Start, daycare, PTA etc. are the most effective ways to address these problems. The best time to teach conflict resolution is at an early age with simple things that many adults may consider trivial or childish. Of course itís trivial or childish theyíre children! The important thing is that the example set at an early age is what they learn throughout life. In many cases if the parents comes from a troubled home they may not know how to raise their children themselves since what they know about childhood is what they learned when they were young. If they were abused when they were young then that may be the only way they know how to raise their children. This is why programs like the Home Visiting Program for at risk mothers can be so helpful. This program which originated in Hawaii offers assistance to at risk mothers. They send a home visitor to provide some help with chores and advise on how to raise children. The children who benefit from this program are much less likely to get in trouble later in life than at risk children who donít receive this assistance.

Other programs like AmeriCorps can help later in life. If children do get into trouble the sooner it is addressed them more likely it is that they will be successfully rehabilitated. The most successful progrmams to prevent crimes are not the ones that wait for the last minute they are the ones that address the problems as soon as possible. The solutions that the public often spend the most time discussing are the ones that stop problems just barely before they happen if at all. More often than not they donít work so they wind up punishing people after the fact instead of preventing crime. This often results in massive security that hampers everyone guilty or not and a massive prison system. Many of the people who balk at programs that help children donít hesitate to advocate massive prison expansion. This is pennywise and poundfoolish. Child care programs are much cheaper and more effective than prison programs. The problem is instead of thinking this through many people rush to judgement with their emotions especialy if it right after a disaster like Columbine. This is made wo9rse by demagogues and politicians that are constantly praying on peoples emotions. The media gives much more air time to these demagogues and no more than a token amount to people like James Garbarino. What we need is also media reform where there is some accountability for those that control the media.

Comments?


How the system restricts education

By the system I mean mainly the political system, the justice system, the media system, the education system and any other major institution that influences the public as well as the public themselves. Society as a whole tends to be more interested in finding someone to blame than to find out what the cause of violence is and how to prevent it. Most people spend too much time looking for quick answers and fail to look deeper. This leads to efforts to try to prevent violence just barely before it happens.

Whether it is the prosecutors, victim rights advocates, media demagogues or anyone else many people often try to avoid any consideration of what could be considered mitigating circumstances. This usually involves any thing that could elicit sympathy for the defendant like a rough upbringing. In many cases all this involves is simply failing to investigate the background but in some cases it involves disputing it even when abuse is exposed. This could involve someone who wants a quick answer and wants to put all the blame on one the person who committed the most recent act of violence. If a researcher discovers testimony of abuse opponents might say they are just trying to excuse the crime and the abuse didnít happen. Then in some cases if there is corroborating evidence they might recognize the abuse but then they may later put the emphasis on the testimony and forget the corroborating evidence. Unfortunately this leads to overlooking the long term causes to violence and prevents people from understanding how to find the most effective way to prevent violence in the long run. The emotional desire to meet certain preconceived ideas may cause some people to overlook any thing that disagrees with these preconceived ideas even after there is evidence to prove otherwise. In some cases they may acknowledge the evidence only as long and it is right in front of them then later forgets it and reinforces their preconceived ideas.

The Mass Media is in a position to educate the public but instead it routinely prays on their emotions and tries to use them to boost their ratings. Shows like Nancy Grace and Jean Valez Mitchell are among the worst. So called victim rights advocates often act with self righteous indignation and condemn and demonize a particular perpetrator. They constantly look for more reasons to make the villain look bad and ridicule anything that refutes this. Whenever someone tries to bring up abuse as a child as mitigating circumstances they act as if this is intended as an excuse. They may deny the abuse or they may claim that others have gone through rough childhood without killing, which is true but the rough childhoods of killers are usually much worse than what others go through. This also passes up on the opportunity to recognize how serious child abuse is when it comes to contributing to crime. By overlooking this they fail to point out how programs that prevent child abuse could prevent much more crime as well. They incite more anger which often leads to even more violence. By putting so much emphasis on punishment as a deterrent they convince a large percentage of the public that punishment actually works as a deterrent which is not true, or it least it isnít true if we rely solely on punishment as a deterrent. If there is some reliance on punishment backed up by counseling and education this will work much better. In the long run it is important to prevent the abuse that leads to the crime in the first place. If this is done than there wonít be any need for the rehabilitation since they would have been raised right in the first place.

When it comes to emotional or controversial subjects many people might be more inclined to choose their beliefs based on their belief system and their biases which are often shaped by the system. In order to change this what may be necessary is a massive public campaign to encourage rational thought and teach the public about potential ways that their beliefs could be distorted by demagoguery or other manipulation tactics. The public needs to understand the difference between information that is based on research and information that is based on political manipulations.

Comments?


The real victim rights advocates

In order to understand who the real victim rights advocates are it is important to understand that the most important right for victims should be not to become victims in the first place. The fact that they did become victims leads to the second best way of addressing the situation which would be to avoid further victimization of both them and other potential victims. Once you consider this then it may be clear that the real victim rights advocates are the ones that do the best job trying to figure out what causes crime and how to prevent it in the first place. This involves careful unbiased research into criminal behavior. Several researchers have done this and they have gone through peer review. Some of these researchers include James Garbarino, Ellen deLara, Alice Miller, Joanne Scaglione, Dorothy Otnow Lewis and many more. They have concluded that most of the most violent people became violent after suffering from violent upbringing. This has been confirmed through corroborating sources and isnít dependent solely on the testimony of felons trying to get a lighter sentence. In fact felons rarely admit to the abuse they suffered as a child unless urged to do so in some cases they still refuse to admit to being abused as children.

The problem with the system is that it focuses on either punishing the suspect or proving his innocence and getting him off. There is little effort to study what causes violence and even less to inform the public so that they can act on this. The real victim rights activists are the ones that do this.

Research has also shown that many of these felons also suffered from bullying and ridicule as a child. This may not seem important to some but to those that suffer from it for extended periods of time it makes a big difference and leads to a lot of anger. Once you understand this then it becomes clear that the real victim rights advocate are those that help develop programs that minimize or prevent the abuse and bullying that children endure when they grow up. James Garbarino, Alice Miller and Dorothy Otnow Lewis have all done research that clearly indicates that violent felons have routinely suffered from violent past and James Garbarino, Ellen deLara, and Joanne Scaglione have all written books about how to reform schools, minimize bullying and help parents understand better how to raise their children. They have also written about some social programs like head start and the home visiting program that helps social workers contact at risk parents and work with them to avoid abuse. In many cases if they begin early enough they manage to do this with a minimum amount of conflict that often comes up when addressing abuse. Parents become defensive if they arenít approached in the most effective way possible, the home visiting program offers advice before children are born sot there is no need to imply any abuse.

Many of the high profile people that portray themselves as victim rights advocates donít do these things. They often do more harm that good although in most cases I trust it isnít intentional. One exception to this would be someone like Nancy Grace who is far more concerned about drama than about victim rights. People like this often use demagoguery to manipulate the emotions of the public. Nancy Grace routinely incites anger at the person suspected of the crime often even before they have nearly enough evidence to know for certain that they have the right person. Once a demagogue like this finds a villain they often try to make them seem as evil as possible often overlooking anything that might indicate either innocence or mitigating circumstances that could help explain the crime. Demagogues generally seek what they call justice which often seems like vengeance. What they donít seem to understand or donít care about is that many of these violent felons often went through abuse and they are often angry in some cases they also seek what they consider justice or vengeance. This doesnít mean they act in a fair way quite the contrary they rarely do. What they seek is a sort of vigilantly justice. This isnít what most of us would consider fair justice but when they are raised in a violent environment they often grow up with a distorted sense of justice. When they grew up no one stood up for their rights as victims so they learned to do it themselves anyway they can. In other cases they are just angry at everyone and donít even understand it themselves. The problem is that most victim rights advocates only address the victims that they know about. Many children are routinely abused and there are no victim rights advocates trying to help them.

The real victim rights advocates are the ones who try to change the system so that they can prevent as much child abuse and bullying as possible. If anyone feels the need to distort the truth in order to protect the rights of victims they wind up doing more harm than good this means that decisions will be based on a false set of facts and this will inevitably lead to problems.

Demagogues are often too quick to tell victims what they want to hear and comfort them in the short run. This often leads to more damage in the long run. After a victim suffers from crime they are often angry just like the perpetrator was when they suffered from abuse as a child and they want what they consider justice. In most cases this is often what society tells them over and over again which is that they must be punished. Society doesnít repeat that we should learn what causes these crimes nearly as often and most people overlook the importance of research into the subject. This also may lead to a rush to judgment in many cases. When there is a serious crime there is often a lot of pressure to solve the crime as quick as possible. This doesnít mean that there is sufficient evidence to solve the crime though. Under these circumstances prosecutors and police often jump to conclusions too quickly. In many cases they are extremely reluctant to admit if they made a mistake. There are many cases where the courts have dug in their heals when defense lawyers have found overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the prosecutors. One of the justifications for this is that victims want closure and they donít want to further traumatize them. If this is the case then it indicates that they are more concerned with punishing someone for the crime even if they donít have the right guy. When this happens something that is often over looked is that the real criminal is still out there and may commit another crime.

The rush to judgment has at least two major potential drawbacks, they could punish the wrong person and they could pass up an opportunity to learn about the cause of the crime and how to prevent it. True justice should involve learning from what causes these crimes and how to prevent it and it should start much earlier. If there was more concern about justice in grade schools when it is much easier to deal with problems while they are still small problems then there will be much fewer problems in court. Also if there were more concern with social justice before it results in court action it would be much easier to deal with.

Comments?


Do advertisers and political strategists choose the agenda for the public?

They certainly try to, if they donít then all the marketing research and polling that they do is a total waste. However if you ask most people whether their decisions are influenced by advertising I suspect a large percentage will say no. Most of these people probably donít understand advertising and manipulation tactics therefore I suspect they are actually the ones most likely to be influenced by the Mass Media. The ones who are the least likely to be influenced by the Mass Media are those that are more accustomed to search for information on their own. This isnít a guarantee since some people may be predisposed to search for information that supports their own beliefs. The best way to avoid this is to review how you developed your own beliefs and recognize whether they start with the right basics or not. It also helps if you understand the tactics often used by the Mass Media to manipulate the public.

Politicians often have agendas that they want to accomplish and it isnít always what they tell the public. The reason for this is that they are often more concerned with there own agenda than what the public wants to accomplish. When this happens they try to figure out the most effective way to convince the public they are looking out for the best interest of the public without interfering with their true agenda. This often involves telling the public what they want to hear and manipulating their emotions. That is what political research is all about. If the public wants the politicians to look out for their best interest they have to do a better job understanding how they have been manipulated in the past and avoid it. The most effective way to do this is to learn the basics of any given subject and make sure that they are never forgotten. Many complicated political plans often contradict the most obvious basics. Political advertisers often repeat catch phrases over and over again to get their point across and when the public hears it often enough they start to believe it even though they may contradict the basics.

Advertisers do the same thing when they want to sell stuff. Justice shows get their financing from advertiser and they are based on ratings. The most effective way to get high ratings is to use demagoguery. This also attracts a segment of the public that is less savvy about recognizing manipulation tactics. Advertisers like this kind of customer since the demagoguery that Nancy Grace uses attracts the same type of people that are most receptive to advertising.

When it comes to violence the public often acts based on emotions. Demagogues have recognized this for thousands of years and used this to manipulate the public.

"A group is extraordinarily credulous," wrote Sigmund Freud, "and open to influences, it has no critical faculty, and the improbable does not exist for it. The feelings of a group are always very simple and very exaggerated, so that it knows neither doubt nor uncertainty."

The orator who wishes to sway a crowd "must exaggerate, and he must repeat the same thing again and again."

Freud pointed out that the mass was "intolerant but obedient to authority...What it demands of its heroes is strength or even violence. It wants to be ruled and oppressed and to fear its masters."

He wrote this more than 80 years ago when the public was less educated and they still hadn't learned from WWII. Similar quotes have coming from demagogues like Hitler and Lenin and this one from Charles Manson: "You can convince anybody of anything if you just push it at them all of the time. They may not believe it 100%, but they will still draw opinions from it, especially if they have no other information to draw their opinions from."

Information like this could be used for at least 2 purposes.

First if the demagogue wants to use an understanding of manipulation tactics they can do so to manipulate the public. This is often done by many people including Hitler, Lenin and many more moderate demagogues. Right now the more moderate demagogues are causing a bigger problem because the public doesn't recognize them as demagogues. However some of them aren't quite so moderate if you look at them closely. Including Nancy Grace, Jean Valez Mitchel, Geraldo Rivera etc. Demagogues generally pray on the emotions of the public and the easiest emotions to pray on is anger and hate. This is important when it comes to preventing school violence or any other type of violence. This explains why so many people are quick to seek vengeance but very slow to try to find out what the real cause of problems are. Some researchers have made an exception and have investigated the true causes of violence and it is clear that early abuse is one of the biggest contributing causes if not the biggest. However when they try to point this out to the public it often sounds like they are trying to excuse the Behavior of violent predators. Demagogues often start screaming loud and clear and more qualified researchers often back off and do more research. The advantage is that more research is being done but it isn't getting through to the public and it isnít achieving the desired goal. James Garbarino has argued that we need to get away from the idea that researching the cause of violence means excusing it. Vincent Bugliosi has also made a similar argument if you look closely at his book Helter Skelter. He has stated that "both (Hitler and Manson) suffered deep wounds in their youth, the psychological scars at least contributing to if not causing, their deep hatred for society." He has not attempted to say this is justification quite the opposite he continued arguing for the death penalty in Mansons case anyway. This doesn't mean he didn't recognize Mansons abusive childhood as a contributing cause. He has also appeared in at least one commercial promoting help for troubled youths that were not what he considered beyond salvation. In Helter Skelter he cited several of the Manson family members that he thought were capable of rehabilitation and advocated that they received the help they need.

Second it can be taught to the public so that they can understand when they are being manipulated. They can teach the public how to get a rational education and avoid being manipulated by demagogues. Unfortunately this is rarely done although it may have been what Freud intended. Freud was neither the first or the last to understand these principles many people including Hitler, Lenin, Twain, Machiavelli etc., have demonstrated that they understand this but unfortunately there has been little if any effort to educate the public about this.

Comments?


Consistent punishment guidelines

In order for punishment to work as a deterrent as many people claim is the primary purpose there needs to be a consistent set of guidelines and the public has to know that it will be enforced fairly, this should include the jury pool. In the nineties there was a report prepared by a group of expert scholars to set up a recommended set of guidelines for punishment of certain crimes. This wasnít a strict guideline with no flexibility; it gave judges the option to go outside the guidelines when he/she thinks it necessary. In this case the judge would be required to provide and explanation for why he went outside the guidelines. Ideally this would involve making the law as simple and easy to understand as possible. One problem is that there are so many different laws about so many different subjects that people don't even know what the law is. There is no guarantee that these guidelines are ideal but by putting it in writing and showing the work they can enable them to find and fix any mistakes that may be in there. Unfortunately these guidelines whether these guidelines are perfect or not were never implemented and the current system is highly inconsistent. There were politicians and commentators calling for tougher penalties and fewer excuses. These calls for tougher penalties also hampered research into the causes of crime and prevented people from understanding the most effective ways to prevent crime.

Punishment does work as a deterrent if the individual cares about the future and he thinks there is a good chance of getting caught. However this isnít always the case so it is important not to rely solely on punishment. Punishment should be combined with education programs and most important prevention programs. People are much more likely to respect the rights of others if they have a reasonable life and others respect their rights. This is why abuse victims and social outcasts are often more likely to commit crimes.

In order to understand what the most effective guidelines to prevent further crimes it would help to have an organized list of different guidelines from different states and countries for their punishment guidelines. This wonít be the only contributing factor but it will be a step in the right direction. Additional information about other contributing factors should be added in as soon as possible.

The most important set of guidelines for punishment may not be the ones in criminal law for adults but the guidelines for little children. The reason for this is that this is where the education system and justice truly starts. The precedent set here should be carried over into the adult justice system. If there is a good system in the early child hood education system it will be much easier to set up a system for adults. The earlier intervention and rehabilitation happens the more likely it is to succeed. There is often a belief that rehabilitation doesnít work, in the most extreme cases this is probably true but the reason it is true is because they didnít address the problem soon enough. There are few people if any who would argue that someone like Gary Ridgeway or Richard Ramirez can be rehabilitated adequately enough so they can be returned to society. According to Dr. Stanton E. Samenow the most extreme felons are not susceptible to rehabilitation biggest they never had a sense of order to begin with. The biggest reason for this is that most serial killers suffered from a brutal upbringing that made them very angry and emotionally unstable. They are so far gone it is hard to imagine that they can ever be safely released. For those that believe that their rough childhood should be considered mitigating circumstances it is usually to avoid the death penalty and perhaps to obtain more privileges within prison. The fact that they are already so violent and that violent upbringing creates more predators is another reason to make sure they donít have an opportunity to abuse members of the next generation. TV lawyers that try vigorously to get people like this off are for the most part done for propaganda purposes or drama I suspect.

This doesnít mean that all felons are beyond rehabilitation but the ones that are treated the earliest and with the proper education programs are the ones that will be the most successful. There are often objections to providing educational opportunities to felons that arenít provided to others. The most effective way to address this is to try to provide more educational opportunities for everyone. This can be done by making information more readily available to everyone in an organized fashion. The internet could be a very effective way of improving that. The more social injustices are reduced the less likely we are to have a big problem with crime.

Another important thing to make punishment more effective would be a more effective way to provide equal opportunities for legal defense. The current system provides much more lenient punishment for the rich than for the poor. Looking at social justice before it gets to the courts is also very important to make punishment more effective. If a class of society doesnít believe theyíre going to get a fair shake they are much less likely to care about punishment. If they are often subject to unfair treatment whether they commit a crime or not they may not care about punishment. If they donít care about their own future punishment wonít deter them, theyíll just be concerned about living for the moment. If they only care about living for the moment theyíre not going to let the threat of long term punishment deter them.

My point isnít that punishment shouldnít be part of the system it is an important part of the system but it shouldnít be the sole focus of the effort to prevent crime nor should it be considered the most important effort.

Comments?


How to create a monster

Start by abusing your child. Occasionally slap him when he gets older make the beatings more violent. If he fights back hit him even harder. After a while he will become nervous and scared of you, when this happens it is a matter of time before he gets nervous and does something stupid. When this happens give him a break instead of hitting him again laugh at him and humiliate him a little bit. If he cries threaten to give him something to cry about. This is good since when ever he tries to think things through and discuss things you can hit him. This way he will learn to settle everything with violence. When he goes to school he may be very nervous so the other older abused children will sense this and they may take out their anger by bullying him. When this happens and he comes home beat up blame him not the bully. Tell him he should have stood up for himself and teach him to fight so you can have a tough kid you can be proud of. If he gets in trouble later in school and the teachers call you and ask you to discipline him you can downplay it then reluctantly agree to hold him accountable. When you punish him make sure he knows he is being punished for being caught not for causing trouble itself. This way heíll learn to hide it and avoid getting caught next time. An occasional compliment for winning a fight would be a good idea. You might also want to cheer him on if you ever see him abusing animals. It would help if you gave him positive feedback for something and this is as good as any other thing. Feel free to demonstrate so that the kid could get the idea from you to begin with. It would also be a good idea to beat up your wife a little so that he learns that kind of behavior is acceptable. Teaching the kid to blame minorities for all the problems in the world will be a good idea too. It doesnít matter whether the minorities deserve any blame or not in fact it may be better if they donít as long as you keep repeating it often enough not only will you convince your kid that itís true but youíll reinforce your own belief that it is true. Teach him all kinds of superstitions and mix this up with mythology so he wonít be able to sort out right from wrong. Neglect him when you feel like drinking and when you punish him for something make sure it isnít consistent and it is often over trivial things and done in an emotional way.

If youíre the mother of a child being raised like this you can do your part to by verbally abusing him to and telling the kid all this abuse is for his own good. You can also join in on the abuse especially when the kid is smaller so he still canít stand up to you. In fact it would be much easier if you made sure you started beating him while he is still you otherwise he might realize he can fight back. Of course he may eventually be able to fight back any way when he gets bigger so you have to be ready to find more effective ways to keep him under your power. Otherwise youíll just have to get rid of him which might not be to bad an idea since then someone else will have to deal with the monster you created. At that point you might want to think about places to put the blame because you certainly wonít want to take it yourself.

If the child is a girl be sure to treat her just as abusively after all with womanís lib movement woman have just as much right to become monsters as men. This means they have just as much right to be abused as a child. If this isnít new ignore it after all we donít need to let inconvenient facts get in the way when trying to create a monster.

If there are discussions about stopping violence be sure to join in and dispute anything that might help address the situation in a rational manner. It would be a good idea to propose all kinds of ideas that are counterproductive and do much more harm than good. Ideas that are tough to implement and wait for the last minute will do the trick nicely. After all why should you settle for creating just one just one monster when you can help preserve a system that creates many.

Most important of all donít let anybody know that you are trying to create a monster; the best way to do this is to avoid telling even yourself. Keep in mind if you let others know how to create a monster they might interpret this as things to avoid doing to prevent violence. If you can convince yourself of your own B.S. stories that would be ideal. If you donít know how to this you may have missed your opportunity you should have gone through this same training as a child.

Comments?


Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez is a very good example of a Mass Murder where research has uncovered many of the leading contributing causes to violence including an abusive childhood where he was badly abused in a strict Christian household. This was followed by bullying and later by violent couching from his cousin Mike. It would be foolish to base conclusions on just one case but this case shows many traits that are common among many violent crimes as well as some that are very rare. Unfortunately the traits that are rare are the ones that get the most attention and the common traits are the ones that are the most credible.

Ramirez was badly abused as a child starting with the abuse he received from his own father that was passed down through the generations. He was later subject to bullying by other students. His behavior was kept in check by strict Christian disciplinarian methods. When the discipline was no longer maintained the anger from his childhood was still there and the control was no longer available. He received what Lonnie Athens referred to as violent couching from his cousin Mike who was a Viet Nam vet. Mike told him stories about Viet Nam and Ramirez was present when Mike killed his wife. The strict disciplinarian methods that were used on Ramirez are very common among may religions and they do keep people in control to a point but they also teach people to deal with there problems through violence. These methods have a tendency to reward anyone who accepts discipline without question in many cases. This means that people often donít check facts and maintain old beliefs without many if any to find and correct mistakes. In some cases including Ramirez it leads people to adopt fanatical beliefs. The belief in Satan is very common among Christians. This set the ground work for when Ramirez encountered another person who adopted Satanism. At the time Ramirez was going through a period where he doubted the existence of a benevolent God which wasnít surprising since he was abused in the name of a God who uses the treat of violence to keep people in line. By adopting Satanism Ramirez may have been switching to the opposite extreme when he changed environments and wound up in a culture where there was very little control and the only way he leaned to deal with tough situations was through violence. This could be similar to the enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality. When Ramirez was raised in a violent home to worship Christ and hate Satan he may have eventually come to the conclusion that if Christians werenít so friendly as they claim he might as well go to the other side.

There is also evidence of denial when it comes to his own abusive childhood. Philip Carlo investigated his childhood for his book and found a history of abuse but in an interview Ramirez claims he wasnít abused:

RAMIREZ: Right, in society today. I believe that-uh-tension in the workplace, and also lack of jobs, and the way families are-are brought up, and child abuse, sure-it's like a recipe. Drugs, poverty, child abuse-all this creates angry individuals. And, then again, lust killers-people tend to lump all serial killers in the same category, but there are different types of serial killers, as you knowÖ.

CARLO: Okay. Do you think that child abuse has anything to do with the development of serial killers

RAMIREZ: Oh, it has everything to do with development of all malfunctions in the adult life. Child abuse, in its many forms, can-uh-produce many forms of-uh-life's miseries and griefís as an adult, you know? Mental disorders and such. Me myself, I've never experienced child abuse.

Ramirez seems to understand that child abuse is a contributing cause for many serial killers yet he denies it happened to him. There are several researchers including James Garbarino, Dorothy Otnow Lewis and Lonnie Athens that have found this denial to be common place.

There is also a lot of panic and jumping to conclusions that went on during the summer when he went on his rampage. The damage done by the panic wasnít as bad as the murders but it was still bad enough. This is semi routine when the media hypes up a serial killer. In the case of Ramirez it is hard to deny that this is one of the cases where there really was a serious threat to society out there but the way society responded to it in the short term didnítí do much to stop future crimes nor did it help solve other problems. One thing that is often overlooked is that when the public becomes obsessed with one subject they fail to address many other subjects and panic about the one subject they are obsessed with. On the other hand a high profile incident does often spur people to act on it. This doesnít mean it involves activity that is as rational or effective as it could or should be but it is a start. In many cases including mass murders after the panic dies down and the public looses interest some researchers continue to study the problem and find the real solutions. The problem is that when the public stops paying attention they are no longer too concerned about solving the problem. The trick is to convince the public to pay attention in a calm controlled manner and try to set up a system that maintains programs that solve problems.

http://www.philipcarlo.com/index.php?page=interviews

Comments?


Keith Hunter Jesperson

Keith Hunter Jesperson aka the happy face killer is a typical case of how child abuse can lead to extremely violent behavior and later lead to denial of the abuse. Keith Hunter Jesperson told his story in ďI: the creation of a serial killerĒ 2002 by Jack Olsen. He described how he was raised in a strict household by a father who had a drinking problem and often abused his children. He suffered from bullying and humiliation from the other children as well. When he was caught getting into trouble it often seemed as if his father was more concerned about how he damaged his reputation than the trouble he got into. At times ridicule was used to discipline him and his father was fond of practical jokes that many people would consider cruel. His father was often cruel to animals and he taught it to his children especially Keith. Keith wound up torturing and killing animals and committing arson before becoming a serial killer. There is a long list of abuses that he suffered as a child. As usual there are also denials of these abuses in some cases Jack Olsen was able to confirm some aspects of them through independent sources and it is clear that even though some of the details may not be conclusive the general environment of abuse was there. Jesperson has demonstrated a history of lying he confessed to 166 murders at one point. This didn't help his case and it indicated that fact checks are important but this doesn't mean that all of his claims are false. It appears that he may have become more serious and credible after the trial and the media spotlight was no longer on him. Other details almost certainly were false but in most cases this was about parts of the murders not the abuse that lead up to the murders.

Shortly after reading this book I saw the tail end of an episode of American Justice about this case. They showed his father on TV saying that he couldnít understand how Keith became a serial killer. This went unchallenged. His father has down played the abuse Keith suffered as a child but in some cases the version that Keith presents seems more credible and was backed up by additional corroborating evidence. His father seems to be in denial and this gives the people that want to minimize mitigating circumstances something to latch onto and use to refute Keithís claims. A close look seems to indicate that his father may have blocked out the memories and he also suffered from an abusive childhood. There was apparently a history of violence in the family dating back generations. They may have mentioned the abuse earlier in the show but I doubt if they spent much time on it. This is typical of the way they downplay any thing that could be considered mitigating circumstances. They closed the show giving the viewer the impression that this was a total mystery. The book was written years before this show was taped they could have easily have found out that information if they wanted to. By constantly repeating stories that exaggerate the brutality of the crime and ignore the abuse to the defendant that led up to the crime it prevents the public from understanding that there is a way that crime can be dramatically reduced.

Comments?


Rejoice We Have Justice Rejoice

There is much more emphasis on obtaining justice for crimes after they occur and very little emphasis on obtaining justice in everyday things that leads up to crimes especially abuse and bullying. This should raise the question are we more concerned about justice or vengeance. The quick easy answer is to say with conviction that it is justice we seek. A closer look might not indicate this is true. It is important to remember that in order to obtain true justice we need to prevent or minimize these crimes. The most effective way to do that is to study the causes of crime and programs to prevent them. In the future we should rejoice more when we find the case than when we apply strict punishment. This doesnít mean we shouldnít send violent criminals to jail of course. In the short term this is the only way to stop them from committing crimes but in the long term it is much more important to address the abuse that leads up to major crimes.

The emotional anger does more to hamper true prevention efforts than it does to help prevent crimes. There are way too many people expressing joy when they convict someone of a serious crime without realizing they are passing up an opportunity to learn from the events and prevent future crimes. Many of these people are also denying some of the most important contributing causes either to protect people they donít think should be held responsible or to eliminate any consideration of mitigating circumstances. These biases are one of the biggest obstacles that need to be overcome in order to effectively prevent violence.

This is especially bad when it comes to high profile cases. When the media gets a hold of a subject and hypes it up and the people get excited without looking close at the details there is the greatest tendency to jump to the wrong conclusions. This is especially true when they start hyping up how good the victim is or how cruel the perpetrator is. This is clear in the cases of mass murderers where there is an enormous amount of panic then when the mass murder is caught there is an enormous amount of relief. What goes unnoticed by many is all the other issues that are ignored while there is a great panic going on. In this case if you think about it even the worst mass murders commit a small number of murders compared to the amount of lives lost from many other causes. If you look at the coverage about mass murderers when they are caught there as often a big celebration. The cops are often looked at as heroes even if they ran an incompetent investigation and lucked out.

In many cases there is more concern about the appearance of justice than there is in justice itself. This is clearest if you look at the many cases that have proven to be wrongful convictions. The authorities often try to back up convictions even after there is an enormous amount of evidence that they have convicted the wrong person. There seem to be many people in the justice system that arte more concerned about protecting there own reputation and the authority of the system than to make sure they convict the right person. This attitude leads to a corrupt system that only seems credible if you donít look to closely. The closer you look at some of these cases the less just the system seems. In order to fix this the first thing that needs to happen is that we need to stop pretending that the system is working properly and we need to stop relying on emotional reactions to rush to judgment.

List of Death Penalty Exonerees Since 1973 from deathpenaltyinfo.org

Comments?


Without Conscious

Without Conscious is a phrase most often used to describe the attitude of Mass murderers and serial killers and rightfully so; however this doesnít mean that the phrase should be limited to that. Serial killers are usually without conscious and even when they arenít they seem to be and the damage they do is just as bad; however it shouldnít stop there. An example of a serial killer who may not have been quite without conscious could actually be Gary Ridgeway. This may seem surprising but when he allocated in court to what he did in court and some of the victims forgave him he began to cry and show emotion. He didnít do this when he was confronted with vindictiveness. This may have been because he was accustomed to hate; this is what he grew up with and he learned how to deal with it by hating back in return. When confronted with hate he was without conscious but when confronted with compassion and forgiveness he broke down. This should be followed up by an effort to find out how and why they became without conscious so that it can be prevented. Numerous studies have shown that most if not all serial killers have been badly abused and or neglected as a child usually both. This is usually far more extensive than the abuse many others endure as children. It is often claimed that others had bad childhoods but didnít become murderers, This is true but there is a reason for it and that reason should be studied so that child abuse can be prevented for everyone whether they are at risk of becoming a murderer or not.

This is often down played for emotional reasons or political reasons and solutions are passed up as a result. When solutions are not implemented then the problem will remain or escalate. Would it be reasonable to consider the possibility that those who downplay the effect of child abuse on Mass Murderers are also without conscious? I think it is worth considering; however I donít think that most of the people who do this are without conscious just those that understand that they are preventing solutions for political reasons and do it any way. When someone is angry and does the best they know how to this doesnít mean they are without conscious; however when someone like Nancy Grace manipulates the crowd and puts on an act so bad that it is hard to believe that she believes her own point of view. If she really understands that what she is doing is doing more harm than good and does it anyway there is a strong possibility that she is without conscious. The same could be said for many other talking heads that manipulate the less educated members of the public including Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Geraldo and many others. This could also include many of the people behind the scenes that handle the programming and decide what goes on the air. By drowning the public with trash TV and providing no more than a token amount from academic sources that truly try to explain to the public what causes violence and how to prevent it the Mass Media does far more to make the problem worse than to solve it. The term without conscious could and probably should be used for many other events done by many of the most powerful members of our society; however this is rarely done since they have political power and few people care to stand up to them. Would it be considered without conscious to start wars based on false pretences and then cover this up repeatedly? This is exactly what has been going on for thousands of years and it is well documented for those with the access to the right information. A lot of this is available to the general public although the Mass Media doesnít put much emphasis on it most of the time. Wars have been started or escalated on many occasions based on false pretences including Viet Nam, the overthrow of a revolution in Iran in 1953, the later arming of both Iran and Iraq during the 1980ís, the installment of Pinochet in Chile, Manual Noriega, at least one if not both of the Gulf Wars and many others. Should the people that did this be considered without conscious? There is also a much bigger effort to provide advertisements to hype and glorify the military than there is to inform the public about the Peace Corp., Seeds of Peace and other non violent ways of solving problems. If the people who make these choices do so with full knowledge and understanding of the consequences of their action be considered without conscious.

Corporations are industrializing the world at a massive rate and routinely downplaying the damage to the environment. When they first started doing this they may not have fully understood the damage they were doing but now it is hard to believe that any of these corporation donít understand that the pollution they are causing is killing thousands if not millions of people. In many cases they are often influencing foreign governments for profit. This often leads to wars where millions are killed. Should they be considered without conscious for this as well? Capitalism has become a belief system where a small percentage of the rich obtain their wealth by distorting the way society is perceived and run so they can increase their wealth at a much bigger expense to the vast majority of the public. Corporations put more emphasis on trade and jobs since they can skim a percentage every time they sell something but little emphasis on whether the products are actually providing a benefit for the public. This has dominated the lives of everyone so much that trade has become much more important than quality of life or even life itself. When ever quality control causes risk to life they often cover it up rather than try to fix it in the most effective way possible. The excessive focus on trade also takes people away from their families and distracts them from addressing the most important social problems we have. Should this Capitalist mentality be considered without conscious?

Comments?


Mass Murderers are animals
So are other people; we have more in common with the animal kingdom in some way than most people realize.

Animals that have dysfunctional child hoods also become violent when they turn into adults. The similarity is clearest when you look at our closest animal relatives including Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans and even Baboons. Jane Goodall has found that when a baby Chimpanzee is abused by their mother they also become abusive to their children. She also found that Chimpanzees participate in what could be considered primitive warfare. There were chimpanzee communities that fought with other chimpanzee communities over territory similar to what primitive tribes may have done thousands of years ago.

When Chimpanzees Gorillas or even Lions are removed from their environment at a young age they don't learn how to take care of themselves in the wild and become domesticated. This has been demonstrated by many researchers of wild animals including work studying Primates, Lions, dogs and many other animals. Domesticated animals rarely if ever can be returned to the wild without the help of a reintegration program by those that know how to reeducate the animals. This is because when they take the animal out of the wild they disrupt their education system that has been set up by nature. When children are uprooted from their environment as a result of a more or the diverse of parents they often encounter transitional problems especially if they don't receive help. This has also proven to be a problem for foster children who are moved from one foster home to another.

The disruption of communities can also be seen on a much larger scale when different forms of government have been disrupted. When the Europeans took over many less developed countries they disrupted the tribal government. Then when they left and control was handed back to the natives in many cases the natives didnít know how to handle the new power. In this case the new leaders often became tyrants like Idi Amin or Robert Mugabe. The problem here is that the previous form of government was forgotten and there was never an education system set up to teach the public how to create a new form of government. Other societies that succeeded in setting up republics that are much more civil in the past did so because they had a segment of the population that understand how to set up a reasonably good government although these have rarely if ever been perfect. When the Europeans were in power they followed the same procedure that deprived the local population of the education they needed that the southern slave owners did in the pre- civil war US. By making sure the natives didnít have a good education they made sure they couldnít challenge their authority. This later meant that without a good education they couldnít challenge the authority of the tyrants that took over after the Europeans left. Without the Europeans they just wound up replacing one set of tyrannical government with another. This will continue to be the case at least until the people are allowed the opportunity to receive a good education and they know how to govern themselves again. This doesnít have to mean returning to tribal ways but they were better than what they have now and it is worth considering so that they can restore the good aspects of the tribal ways. They can also incorporate the best aspects of more advanced democracies into the new form of government when they develop it.

On big difference between man and other animals is their ability to set up educational systems. When people spend more time with their children they can teach them to be much more productive and civilized than other animals. But if they only teach them part of the job they often become dysfunctional. People have a much better research and educational system. This has been true for thousands of years; however they havenít been giving all people equal opportunity for a good education. By withholding education from a large segment of society they maintain a powerful class system where some people have more rights than others and the education they need to stand up for their rights. One of the biggest advantages people could have is the enormous amount of academic work that has been done over the past hundred years. There has been an enormous amount of advancement in the understanding of human behavior in many subjects including psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, criminology etc. they have all found a significant amount of research that indicates how important the early child rearing is to our culture and how this could affect violence prevention. Unfortunately this message isnít getting across to the public so in order to take full advantage of this there needs to be a much better education system set up and ideally there should be a better public awareness program to let adults know more about the subject.

Comments?


Violent health care town hall meetings

In order to understand how to reduce or eliminate the violence or uncivil behavior going on now at the town hall meetings about health care it is important to take into consideration things that are not happening as well as things that are. In fact the things that arenít happening may be as important if not more important than the things that re happening. What should be happening is a discussion about how to improve health care that starts with the simple basics because that is where some of the biggest problems are. The reason people are getting upset is because their health care needs arenít being fulfilled and for the most part as far as I can tell the high profile debate being presented on TV isnít changing that.

In order to provide the best health care at the lowest cost one of the most important things is preventive medicine. There are many things that can be done to prevent people from getting sick in the first place without much cost to the public. Anti-smoking programs, weight loss programs and nutrition advice can be done mainly by better education the public. Some things like exercise can be done by the individual for nothing contrary to what advertisers want you to believe you donít have to spend money to exercise. Some people think that buying equipment will help motivate them, this isnít new but it has never worked before. Advertisers have been pushing this idea for years but most of the equipment they sell just winds up in the basement ore being used as an expensive clothes rack. The media has spent very little time discussing preventive medicine and when they do it isnít always as productive as it could be for example CNN recently mentioned preventive medicine in relation to diabetes. It is important to mention a lot of different diseases and how to prevent them but they shouldnít present them as isolated cases and ignore the rest. In this case they just mentioned one disease and addressed just that one, what they could have done is mention that there are many and started with on example providing a source to a longer list of other examples. This could have involved telling the public where they could go for more details on each subject.

Another important way to cut health care costs is to improve health care for children. This is where preventive medicine is most effective. If children get regular check ups and advice about preventive medicine they are much more likely to lead a healthy life with much lower medical bills throughout their lives. Good health care at the beginning of life is more important than at any other time, this should start before children are even born.

The health care debate seems to be spending little if any time reminding the public of the most obvious basics about how insurance works. The way insurance works is people who buy insurance pool their money by paying premiums to health insurance providers. The insurance providers pay their own expenses make some profit and put the remainder to pay for health care. This way if you have a sudden large health care expense you are covered in theory but if you are healthy you still pay even though you donít need medical attention. This means the healthy help pay for the medical costs of the sick. It also means that insurance companies donít actually provide any health care at all. What they do is organize the financing. The more expenses they have the higher premiums have to be to cover costs. This means that when they spend money trying to convince the customer that they are covered they may actually be taking away from the money available for treatment. Once the public understands this they will realize there is a serious problem with the way health care is currently being handled. This is important to consider when trying to cut costs. If the objective is to provide better service and care for the customer at less cost then expenses for the insurance companies should be kept to a minimum. The insurance companies spend an enormous amount of money to influence the way this is interpreted but their objective is to maximize profit not look out for the best interest of the customer. Once you understand this it may be clear that the capitalist way may not be the most effective way to accomplish this goal.

Another thing that is hardly being mentioned about health care is the patent laws. Part of the reason the cost of health care has sky rocketed is because when the public wasnít paying attention the drug companies and politicians extended the length of patents to an unreasonable period of time. In many cases the research may have even been funded partly by tax dollars and the patents are still being extended. This is similar to what they did with copy right laws. Robert McChesney wrote about this in ďThe problem with the Media: U.S. communications politics in the twenty first centuryĒ It would be helpful to read a similar study on what they did with the patent laws, right now I donít even know what they are just like most of the public which is part of the problem. It would be helpful to know what is happening in other countries where there are better patent laws. There was plenty of talk about people going to Canada to get their drugs much cheaper. It would help to know what Canadaís laws are. There was an attempt to make it sound like there was greater risk of bad drugs if people went to Canada. I doubt if there is much truth to this it was probably done by the same media that is misrepresenting the health care problem and gets advertising money from drug companies. This is part of the problem with the media that McChesney wrote about.

An important part of the health care debate will always include seniors of course. They are the ones that require the most health care. This is where some of the toughest choices need to be made and it doesnít help if demagogues are trying to raise the emotional content of the debate. Like it or not at this point in life there may be a tough choice between the length of life and the quality of life. Making the most accurate information available to the public ion the most effective way possible is important to this situation. If important information is withheld for political or emotional reasons then decisions will be made based on a false sense of reality and this almost always leads to unnecessary mistakes. We need a serious discussion about hospice and how to make the end of life as pleasant and peaceful as possible. Demagoguery will not help this. Another thing to keep in mind is that excessive discussion about this will only distract from more important aspects of the debate like prevention and child health care.

It would also help to provide a list of other health care systems and let the public know where there are descriptions of them so they could compare them. In the USA there is a common assumption that we have the best system in the world but this is clearly not true and it would be foolish to automatically assume that socialist systems are bad without looking at how they work. The more organized the foreign programs are the easier it will be to understand and pick only the good aspect of these systems.

The media has contributed to the tension by simply not even trying to cover the subject well. All these simple basics could have been covered much better by the media if they wanted to. Instead what seems to be happening is that people are being divided into groups supporting different complicated plans that no one understands and they are being played off against each other. This is a classic divide and rule tactic being implemented by the politicians and media commentators. The people in the lower and middle classes are fighting amongst themselves and the corporations are making all the money while providing inferior health care at excessive costs.

Comments?


These solutions are not new but they are still not getting across to the public.

There have been experts expressing the idea that child abuse is a major contributing cause of adult violence for hundreds if not thousands of years. The problem is the message isn't getting through to the majority of the public. Some of the best organized research is the newest including work done by James Garbarino and Joanne Scaglione but others have done research much earlier. Alice Miller has done some of her most important work at least 20 years ago. Vincent Bugliosi has cited some research in the seventies that indicated that child abuse was a contributing cause of violence, there is even some work in the Warren report from 1964 that supports this concept. They described how rough upbringing made both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby problem adults, even if the rest of the report proves to be flawed this part has been proven to be accurate. Sigmund Freud has done a lot of research on this subject over 80 years ago. A lot of the details of his work have been challenged but the fact that child abuse and bullying leads to latter abuse has only been reinforced. There is even work written by novelists up to at least 2 hundred years old supporting some of these solutions. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens both support some of the conclusions on this page. These weren't written by psychologists but the novelists clearly knew more about human behavior than most people.

The problem is that the message that is getting through to the public is being controlled by people who cater to emotions and political beliefs more than to research. There are plenty of research papers that are being presented to the public but they are often contradictory and they are rarely explained in detail so that the public understands the work behind them. The beliefs the public seem most likely to adopt tend to be those that are repeated over and over again in a forceful way. These beliefs are rarely ever held up to appropriate scrutiny. What we need are more scholars that are communicating with the public in a better manner. There needs to be a better effort to explain to the public how these scholars come to their conclusions and the public needs top be taught to think things through instead of rushing to conclusions. As long as the information the public receives from the highest profile leaders and orators is designed to manipulate emotions without checking facts then efforts to prevent violence will be severely limited by ignorance.

Both Lonnie Athens and Dorothy Otnow Lewis wrote about some of the political obstacles the encountered when trying to investigate the causes of violent behavior. They both wrote about how in the 70s and early 80s there was little or no grant money available for this kind of research. Dorothy Otnow Lewis helped finance her work by taking legal fees for testifying in criminal trials. She often testified for the defense about mitigating circumstances. She was criticized for trying to earn money getting criminals off at times. This doesnít seem to be a reasonable allegation since most of these criminal defendants had little money and some of the money she earned went to researching violence. There appears to have been more financial incentive for those who attempted to maintain the status quo which involves blaming the defendant and declining to look much farther for possible mitigating circumstances or for the true causes of violence and how to prevent them. Fortunately there seems to be some indication that this may be beginning to change. Some of the more recent books coming out seem to indicate that there may be more research going on into the subject.

One of the reasons that may have helped to spur the more recent research into the subject was the school shooting outbreak that began in the late nineties. This could be the only possible silver lining to these school shootings, as far as I can tell is that the only possible benefit that we could receive from them is to learn from our mistakes. Unfortunately the research still isnít getting through to the majority of the public. There are more research books on the library shelves for those that care to look for them but the majority of the public doesnít generally do this. The majority of the public still relies on the Mass Media for a lot of their information and the Mass Media isnít trying to get this message across to the public. What we need is a better effort to get the message across to the public.

Comments?


Setting a better example for the Mass Media

The Mass Media isnít even trying to do a good job. They are controlled by a very small percentage of the population. Some of the problems with the Media have been clearly defined in a book by Robert W. McChesney ďThe problem of the media: U.S. communication politics in the twenty-first centuryĒ 2004. He describes how only five media companies control the vast majority of media outlets. They are forbidden from collusion officially but unofficially they meet with each other at board meetings for other companies supposedly unrelated to the media on a regular basis. They donít pay for the use of the airwaves nor are they required to give most members of the public a chance to have air time. Some of the few ways to influence the Mass Media is to boycott it or write congressmen. They can and do routinely ignore these methods. They have an enormous influence over the vast majority of the public. A lot of this influence is a result of right wing talk radio which receives preferential treatment by the Mass Media. Bernard Goldberg claims to expose this media Bias in his book ďBias: a CBS insider exposes how the media distorts the newsĒ. He is actually even more biased than the Mass Media and after he was ignored for a while he has been promoted by Fox as an expert at exposing the Mass Media. This should raise major alarm bells. If a Nazi was claiming to expose Hitler would you trust him? If Fox was truly as concerned about reforming media they would start by changing their own practices not claiming every one else is worse. The success of democracy is supposed to be based on the free press. This issue was originally raised when the governments controlled the media. Now there are a small number of companies controlling the media and the vast majority of the public doesnít fully understand how biased the Mass Media is or how much it influences the public. We need serious Media reform so that there is input from the public and preferential treatment should be given to those that do accurate research and do a good job showing the work. This doesnít mean that the rest of the people shouldnít have a say in how the media is run but if I want to know about a particular subject I want to hear from people who have done research not just talking heads who are constantly changing positions and not keeping track of the work behind it or trying to correct contradictions.

This is especially bad when it comes to dealing with violence. Violence is routinely used to manipulate peopleís emotions and accomplish goals for special interests. The Mass Media spends little if any time telling the public what the true causes for violence is. They spend much more time using demagogues like Nancy Grace to manipulate the public.

We may not be able to get Media reform right away but in the mean time we can do a better job setting a better example for the Mass Media. This could start with creating alternative Media outlets and drawing more attention to them. With the internet some of this has already happened but it isnít nearly enough. One of the biggest alternative media outlets available is Wikipedia which is edited by the public. This gives the public an opportunity to set a better example but in order for them to do this they will first have to learn how to do a better job themselves. Wikipedia is currently discussing ways to reform what they are doing. This is a good idea and it is a good opportunity to improve the direction of wikipedia and recruit new users. They are doing a lot of good work but they still have some problems to work out. One problem is how to weed out political objectives that are contrary to the best interest of the majority. In order to improve this it will require more participation from the majority of the public. The public will also have to learn to understand how the media works better and how special interests manipulate the media. They need to spend more time checking sources. In some cases they do this very well but in other cases where there are people on Wikipedia with political agendas it doesnít work quite so well. One example of this is school violence. Wikipedia has many articles about school violence but very little about prevention. I tried to improve this myself but was unable to accomplish much because of disputes with others in some cases it seems as if the issue of gun control may be part of the problem. There is more about the discussion on gun control in wikipedia than there is about research done by people with the appropriate educational background. There are plugs for politicians and a comment from Ted Nugent about how we need more armed people but when I attempted to provide sourced material from people I considered qualified researchers they were referred to as advocacy and un-encyclopedic. I may not be the best writer on wikipedia but I believe that much more can be done to improve the way this subject is addressed. The assumption that preventing violence based on academic sources should be banned from wikipedia but political speech should go unchallenged seems unreasonable to me. Iím not opposed to presenting alternative view but when Ted Nugent receives as much attention if not more than scholars who research the subject that seems biased to me. I believe that an encyclopedia should provide more priority for academic sources than political sources. This is supposed to be about academic work so that politicians can use the information to make their decisions not the other way around. When politicians or commentators decide what is true then the researchers search for evidence to prove they are right this strikes me as highly unscientific.

The media could do a better job by providing more information from academic researchers about the circumstances that lead up to violent acts which usually involve other less serious violent acts and child abuse. They could give them much more air time than they do instead of the demagogues. In the mean time wikipedia and independent blogs and news outlets can set a better example. Wikipedia as well as other outlets can provide more information from credible sources like James Garbarino, Joanne Scaglione and many others. In addition to the ones I have cited here and elsewhere Iím sure there are many more that I havenít checked. It is just a matter of looking for them. The problem is that many people have already made their decisions based on information that they have received from demagogues. There needs to be a better effort to teach people about how demagogues manipulate the public as well.

There doesnít appear to be many people at wikipedia who are interested in providing more information about prevention. There is plenty of academic work to provide good information about prevention and the rules of wikipedia usually gives preferential treatment to academic work. The exception seems to be when there is political opposition. When this happens it can be countered with political support. The benefit in the long term could be very large if it helps to advance public understanding of the problem and how to solve it. The invitation for discussion by Jimmy Wales and Michael Snow is welcome and I hope it leads to improvements in wikipedia. Wikipedia has a lot of potential but it canít be any better than its contributors and that is the general public. This virtually guaranteesí that there will be a significant amount of disagreement. The public is in my opinion not as educated as they could or should be and this canít be fixed quickly. It will surely be long effort to correct superstitions. This requires a long term education project which many educational institutions may have to help with. Wikipedia can be one of them.

Invitation for discussion by Jimmy Wales and Michael Snow

My recommended article

a proposal submitted about setting a better example

Comments?


Violence as entertainment

Violence is often regarded more as entertainment more than it is as something that is horrible and avoided in the most effective way possible. This is often done in more subtle ways by many people that arte shocked by violence and truly want to prevent it. The use of violence for entertainment purposes is promoted largely by the mass media but this isnít something new. Before the mass media was established in its current state violence has been used as entertainment in mythology for thousands of years. What is relatively new is the way new technology is drilling it into our culture on a massive scale that reaches a much larger audience.

The Mass Media is using violence as entertainment not only in movies and sitcoms but in the news and shows that are presented as objective even if that pretense is extremely weak. Some of these shows claim to be advocating victim rights but they are clearly more concerned about raising ratings and stirring up peopleís emotions. This isnít limited to entertainment it is also used for political reasons. By stirring up emotions they are using the way violence is portrayed to encourage even more violence and in many cases as war propaganda. Adolph Hitler wrote about how violence can be used as war propaganda and many people learned to recognize how he did it but there are still very many more subtle ways and other not so subtle ways that continue to be overlooked.

The Mass Media is using violence for profit. Not only do they sell a lot of videos but they also use it as a great advertising draw. They are making a steadily growing amount of profit without doing much if anything to explain to the public how to avoid violence. They could use their position to help get the messages from qualified researchers like Garbarino, Lewis etc but instead they give much more attention to demagogues who manipulate the public. Robert W. McChesney explained in his book ďThe problem of the media: U.S. communication politics in the twenty-first centuryĒ 2004 how the Mass Media is dominated by a few large players and they may have increased their rights to copyrights to stories about true life cases of violence so that certain player can buy the rights to sell the story of high profile crimes. When Pamela Smart went on trial there were several bad movies that rushed to the TV screens to take advantage of the high interest in the subject. Since then there has been some media reform but not to help get messages across from researchers that are sincerely interested in teaching the public how to avoid violence but to protect copyrights. The goal of this legislation seems to be to protect the rights to earn profit regardless of what information is or isnít provided about avoiding violence.

The use of violence as entertainment is often presented as informative or educational material. This raises the question of how can you tell informative or educational material apart from entertainment material or if they can serve both purposes. If they serve both purposes I donít see much problem although it may not seem quite right but if it serves only for entertainment it shouldnít be passed of as educational. The most important way of recognizing the difference is to determine whether it helps the public understand the issue and how to prevent violence in the most effective way possible or at least the most effective way the producer of the material knows how to do. If the producer of the material is doing the best he knows how to but it isnít very good then it is important to recognize that and either give those that do a better job a chance or educate the producer of insufficient material. Educational material that is designed to inform the public in the most effective way possible needs to be organized in the most effective way possible and it needs to be designed to find out what the cause of violence is and how to prevent it.

Organizing information in the most effective way starts by making sure there is always an index in books. Any other organization advantages including source notes etc. will also be helpful. Books like Ann Rules donít have them and they read more like a novel. This seems to be designed more for entertainment purposes and possibly propaganda purposes. They often tend to exaggerate the indifference of the perpetrator and downplay the abuse the perpetrator may have received as a child. Anything that is designed to distort perception to present a strong bias isnít educational. There is a very strong tendency amongst many people perhaps a large majority to exaggerate the crimes of those perceived as monsters or perverts. This is usually unnecessary since the crimes that they committed are usually bad enough to make the point without exaggeration. There is also a tendency to downplay anything that could be considered mitigating. These tendencies are both counterproductive when it comes to preventing violence since the most effective way to prevent violence requires an accurate perception of reality. This is true regardless of how much punishment the guilty should receive since prevention should be designed primarily those that havenít committed crimes at all mainly children. The concern about punishment routinely distorts perception and impairs to understand and prevent violence.

Many people look at violence more as a hobby where they try to figure out who done it. This creates a culture where many people trade ideas to solve crimes but more often than not there is no more than a token of discussion about the events that lead up to the crime itself. When previous events are discussed it is usually the events immediately preceding the event and rarely abusive upbringing that is among the most important contributive causes to crime. When abusive upbringing is discussed it is usually as a mitigating circumstance and not as a cause that can be recognized and prevented in the future. A modest amount of education might change the direction of these discussions and lead to much more productive ideas about preventing crime. If this happens violence as entertainment or who done it hobbies can be turned into productive prevention ideas.

Comments?


Obsession du jour

The first problem with criticizing the obsession du jour is how do you tell people to ignore the Obsession du jour without drawing attention to it. This wouldnít be a problem if we had a good media that was trying to keep the publics attention on important subjects but we donít.

Joanne Scaglione, James Garbarino and Ellen are doing research on how to prevent bullying which leads to an enormous amount of violence including school violence. If the public was aware of this they could make a lot of improvements based on decisions made with accurate research. But instead of reporting on this the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

Dorothy Otnow Lewis and Lonnie Athens have been doing research into what turns people into dysfunctional serial killers. This confirms the work done by other researchers and they have found that most if not all mass murderers have been badly abused as children and often they have also been subject to bullying and other unreasonable treatment before they became violent mass murderers. This indicates that by reducing child abuse and bullying crime can be dramatically be reduced. But instead of reporting on this the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

Jimmy Briggs and Peter W. Singer are investigating child soldiers and how to stop armies from forcing children into fighting wars. They are also investigating how to rehabilitate these children. But instead of reporting on this the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

Richard Gabriel and others have been trying to develop more improved ethics for war to minimize the damage done by it although they recognize the only true way to implement true ethics is to minimize or eliminate war. The Peace Corp, Seeds of peace, Habitat for Humanity and other organizations have been looking for more peaceful ways to settle differences. But instead of reporting on this the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton discovered the laws of planetary motion and the basics of physics. There are still an enormous amount of science fiction stories and alleged science fact stories that contradict this but instead of reminding the public of this the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

There has been a long history of floods and other natural disasters that have been followed up by research into how to minimize the damage of these disasters. Some of these researchers have worked on better ways to build secure dams when necessary that can hold up to disasters. Some of these researchers have pointed out the simple fact that if you donít build in a flood zone you are much less likely to be flooded out. Some researchers have found ways to build earthquake proof buildings but instead of reporting on this the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

There have been plenty of studies indicating how much pollution contributes to diseases including lung cancer and many other cancers. There have been efforts to discover alternative ways of obtaining electricity and other necessities. Many of these efforts donít involve much if any more cost than existing methods. In most case if you figure in the unacknowledged costs the existing methods are already much more expensive than the alternatives. There have been some stories about these in the media but not many mostly the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

There have been plenty of studies on the damage caused by gambling. Some people have simply looked at the fact that in order for gambling industries to make a profit they must first cover expenses then profits before returning the remainder to the winner. In stead of pointing out the obvious fact that all gambling industries are fixed the media is focusing on the obsession du jour.

Joy Behar says ďOut with the old brainwashing demagogues delivering the obsession du jour in with the new kinder gentler demagogues delivering the obsession du jour.Ē Or something like that; those are the words I heard even if they arenít the ones she used.

The media is keeping the naÔve and intellectually lazy members if the public distracted. They are using this method to evade any rational accountability for themselves as well as the government and other institutions. They donít completely control what people think but they do have a major influence on what subject they are thinking about at least. For many members of the public they also have a major influence on how they portray any particular subject.

This will continue to happen as long as the public allows them to get away with it. Most of the public is to naÔve to pull themselves away from the influence of the Mass Media. There are some that have the independence to look for information on their own. The rest need some help at least until they develop a stringer will of their own. They may receive help from some of their friends if they are so inclined to point them in the right direction. This isnít a guarantee since many of peoples ďfriendsĒ are just as misguided as them. We need a better set of checks and balances where people listen to different points of view and a media that is at least trying to focus on the most important issues of the day and the basic principle of a large number of different subjects that are being ignored. The Mass Media is being controlled by to small a group of people and they are more concerned about manipulating the public for their own purposes than educating them.

Until the public can take the initiative to educate themselves we will never have a truly free press.

Comments?


Public relation campaign for child abuse prevention

A public relation campaign to prevent child abuse would be a major step in the right direction. In order to reduce child abuse in the most effective way possible it will take as much cooperation from the public as possible. Teachers and social workers canít be everywhere and many people donít understand how much damage child abuse does in the long run. Most people see the immediate result but fail to see the long term damage that child abuse does. In order to do this in the most effective way possible it must be done in a educational manner not a manner that appeals to emotion and leads people to rush into something and overreact. This means avoid using the hype and disgust that the demagogues like Nancy Grace and Geraldo Rivera use.

A good public relations campaign will accomplish at least two different things, it will inform the public how much damage child abuse does so that people will realize how important it is and it will provide the public with some ideas about how to fix the problem.

The first step would involve informing the public that most if not all violent felons suffered from violent upbringing. It could also involve informing the public that abuse leads to bullying and delinquency at school. Abuse is a major cause for school drop outs and many other problems. In most cases the cause and effect isnít immediate but there is an enormous amount of research available to prove that it is real. This could involve letting the public know where more information could be found on the subject. There are many books in the library on this subject if you care to take a look and also plenty of web sites.

The second step could involve informing the public about programs that have been proven to help prevent violence and let the public know how to participate in them. There are plenty of child care organizations that could help participate in these programs. This should start on the least controversial programs since that is the most effective way to get something done while further discussion goes on. In some cases even the least controversial programs may meet resistance until the public understands them better. If this is the case it will help to make the case with as well organized information as possible. It is important to help prevent abuse as soon as possible. Rehabilitating children after they have been abused has proven much more difficult than preventing the abuse in the first place. In some cases it may even be impossible. For example if you donít start the rehabilitation until the abused child becomes a violent adult it will be much tougher. Informing the public that the most effective programs start at as young an age as possible and maintain some prevention activity. Letting the public know where to get involved so that they can help stop violence will be a big help since many people care about the subject but donít know what to do to help. One example of a very effective program that may help is the child visitor program. The way this works is that when at risk mothers seek prenatal medical care the people at the hospital offer to let them participate. They will receive visits from a nurse or social worker who receives basic training and helps with simple child care chores and provides advice and counseling. This has proven to be very effective and it doesnít involve much if any conflict which may occur if they wait until the abuse occurs. Unfortunately there are penny wise and pound foolish people who donít understand this program so they resist it. It is important to explain to the public how this work and ho effective it is so they understand it is much better than building more prisons.

The media can be a very important help with a good public relations campaign but unfortunately if they wanted to help address this problem they probably already would have done a better job of it. They may still help address it more if they receive a little encouragement. In the meantime there can be a grass roots movement to inform people about the subject through community organizations like the PTA and many other organizations as well as on-line organization to inform the public. A good grass roots organization could be part of an effort to obtain cooperation from both politicians and the Mass Media. By setting a good example at the grass roots level and pointing out that the Mass Media may not be up to par it may encourage them to change. Another way to help would be to inform the public about how counter productive the typical demagoguery used by the Mass Media is. When someone from the media demonizes criminals and inspires hatred it only increases the level of emotions and distracts people from real solutions. The most effective way to stop violence involves controlling emotions and improving efforts to find rational education based solutions.

If the Mass Media doesnít do a better job addressing this subject and many others it would be very helpful to create more interest in alternative media. With the availability of the internet there is an opportunity to create a much better media at least from the editorial point of view. Research and investigation will be tougher since they require a bigger budget but much of the work is already available at libraries and existing organizations. The creation of a better alternative media and informing the public about how the Mass Media receives preferential treatment by using the airwaves at no cost and very little input from the public could help elect more sympathetic politicians and create better laws to help develop a more fair mass media policy with more input from the public.

Comments?


Abuse impairs creativity and can create indoctrination

When a child is abused by a parent the child may become scared of the parent and may seek to obtain approval in the most effective way possible. This often may involve agreeing with what the parent says regardless of how consistent or rational it is. This method can be used to pass on prejudices from one generation to the next. If a parent dictates the truth to the child without explaining how conclusions are drawn this may lead to irrational beliefs. This would involve indoctrination whether it is intentional or not; it may lead the child to adopt many contradictory beliefs and prevent the child from figuring things out on his own. This may mean that when the child grows up he may be dependent on the leadership of others to direct his life. A child like this may be much more susceptible to joining fringe cults like the Manson or the Jones family. Both these cults attracted followers who had no place to go and came from abusive families. Iím sure most if not all fringe cults also attract similar followers although I havenít seen the research into most of them. If the only way a child learns to fit in with friends is to agree with them regardless of what they say this may lead to an insecure adult who may become overly dependant on the crowd for support. A better alternative would be for the parent to spend more time listening to the child. When the child is always asking questions this should be encouraged most of the time. It may be annoying but this is a very important part of the educational experience.

Most of not all people develop their behavior patterns early in life, some of the most important behavior patterns begin developing at a very young age. If children are abused at an early age they become angry and grow up to be violent. If they are taught to control their temper and think things through they develop good reasoning skills. If they are accustomed to constant arguments where people donít listen to the other side they often grow up with a closed mind and worry more about proving they are right than figuring out what is true. Children that are taught to discuss problems and listen to the other side are much less likely to grow up to be argumentative adults.

Once you understand this it helps to understand what type of childhood someone probably had based on their behavior as an adult. If someone is infatuated with programs that use a lot of hype like Nancy Grace or Glenn Beck and thinks they are credible sources of information it is likely that they spent a lot of time arguing with others without learning how to settle their differences as a child and never grew out of it. In some cases this may have a very serious effect on democracy or lack of democracy. A recent example is the incident with Joe Wilson who yelled out during Obamaís speech. He may have had some legitimate complaints but that isnít the way to address it and at other times apparently he has adamantly advocated for false claims including denying that the USA gave weapons of Mass destruction to Saddam Hussein. Some of his followers have backed him up with emotional support that isnít based on accurate facts. This could lead to making important political decisions based on lies. This kind of behavior could be a major threat to democracy since democracy wonít work if the public isnít informed. It is very difficult in the short run to deal with people who respond more to emotional pleas than to rational discussion that explores both sides of the issue. One way to handle this could be to use further emotional pleas carefully designed to advance an argument but this doesnít lead to understanding the subject even if it does work. In the long run it would be much easier to understand how these behavior patterns develop and educate children right from the beginning. If children are taught rational reasoning skills from the start they will do a much better job thinking for themselves. This will not mean they wonít make mistakes but it least it will be their own mistakes not the mistakes of their leader. This will also mean that different people will make different mistakes and if they talk it through rationally they will be able to work out the details and correct the mistakes. The alternative is to believe the person who yells the loudest or the one who is the most charismatic. Unfortunately this takes a long time but if it is done right it will last much longer too. This means focusing more on educating children than on debating older people. In the short term adults still have to be dealt with.

This doesnít mean that reeducation can be forced on people that would lead to more problems than solutions. But there should be a better effort to explain social behavior to the public and make more accurate information available to them so they can do a better job making decisions.

Comments?


Denial: Tell me something good I need to hear something good

When a child is abused they may become very insecure and they may be more inclined to latch onto any kind of hope in many cases it may be a false hope. This leads to beliefs in quick fix solutions like religions, the lottery and get rich quick schemes. People who become insecure are much more likely to follow the crowd and become independent on others for support. In the moist extreme cases they may suffer from black outs. What is much more common is people who are easily distracted by trivial things like the ďBalloon boyĒ that just made the media obsession list.

More common behavior tends to include the lottery and religious beliefs that doesnít include much if any scrutiny. Wishful thinking and lack of determination encourages shallow behavior that is often counterproductive. It also leads people to follow the crowd and believe what they are told without scrutiny. People like this often accept stories they are told about without scrutiny and make little or no effort to sort out the truth from fiction in a story put out by the leaders of society that they are predisposed to listen to. Some facts are very easy to figure out like the fact that the lottery has to be fixed in favor of the house in order to survive and prosper they must first cover expenses then cover profit before giving back winnings to the public. The existence of this massive industry is evidence of an enormous amount of shallow behavior and wishful thinking. There is also a big problem with people that accept political arguments without thorough scrutiny. An example would be the Health care reform proposals that have been presented to the public without addressing many of the basics. I addressed this in the previous entry about violent town hall meetings. By providing package proposals without organizing them in a reasonable way whether it is health care on any other issue it makes it tougher for the public to sort out the details. It is much easier to shut it out and trust the ďexpertsĒ. The problem is if the experts were so credible they would have done a better job presenting their work so the public could understand it and they wouldnít need to rely solely on the experts.

Child abuse and sexual abuse is often denied and the memories suppressed because it isnít socially acceptable to bring them out into the open in many cultures. These abuses are much more common than people realize. In many cases when they are brought out into the open it may seem like it is getting much worse when what is actually happening is that abuse that has been happening all along is just being brought out into the open. When this happens there is a tendency by many people to blame those that bring it out into the open but this only prevents people from acknowledging the problem and fixing it. In the most extreme cases this may be brought out in criminal trials by defense lawyers to argue mitigating circumstances and this is often met with the claim that the abuse abuses are made up to justify their crimes. Many researchers including Dorothy Otnow Lewis and James Garbarino have found that this isnít true. Defendents are usually very reluctant to use it as a defense and often deny it happens at all. In many cases they only find out about the abuse as a result of determined investigators that search for independent evidence. There is also a great deal of denial when holding leaders accountable including parents and religious leaders. The Catholic priest scandal is a classic example that continues to face efforts to deny or downplay the events. There is a great deal of reluctance to hold parents accountable for the actions of their kids because they canít see a direct cause and effect. It is rarely ever so obvious that a direct cause and effect can be detected and proved. What is much more common is an environment of abuse and neglect that teaches abusive behavior.

Another common example of denial is the constant demand for justice focusing primarily on punishment and very little on extensive research. The people calling for justice are often as angry as the perpetrators of violence. These people donít realize that in many cases the perpetrators started out calling for justice then when they didnít obtain what they thought was fair they took matters into their own hands. There are of course many other cases where they gave up and stopped caring so the violence they committed is clearly unjustifiable; however that doesnít mean it is unexplainable.

In more extreme cases it leads to black outs and suppressed memories about abuse and in the most extreme cases it may lead to psychological conditions like schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder. Cornelia Wilbur and Dorothy Otnow Lewis have both done research into this and concluded that it is real and the result of serious child abuse. There are some critics that claim that multiple personality disorder is not a real disorder in some cases they say it is being faked for the benefit of criminal defense. This may be true in some cases but there is evidence of some kind of disorder that precedes the need for this claim as a defense. Even some of the critics claim that the child abuse still leads to psychological problems and if they are faking it to an extreme degree that would be somewhat insane itself. So this would indicate the alternative is something with the appearance of multiple personality disorder.

The most effective way of dealing with this is to address child rearing in a consistent and rational manner from the beginning. This involves teaching them to sort through details from an early age without excessive pressure. This means taking the time to help them along and in some cases allowing them to sort out their own mistakes within reason.

Comments?


Misplaced blame

The blame for something is most likely to be misplaced when someone jumps to conclusions without thinking things through. This is more likely to happen if someone never learns to think things through in the first place. People are not born knowing how to think things through they have to lean it based on what they are taught from their parents or whoever raises them. If their parents never learn how to think things through they canít teach it to their children.

The blame for problems is often misplaced if the proper place for blame is those with more political power. There is a long history of this because if you blame those in political power they may punish you. An old example of this is when the Romans persecuted the early Christians and they needed someone to blame so the blame shifted to the Jews. This was done because it was safer. In Jesusí time supposedly he was a Jew and so were his followers so it doesnít make sense that they were responsible for his death and the history says that it was the Romans that finally crucified him, however if they openly blamed the Romans they knew they would also be persecuted.

This is also common when a parent abuses a child, for example if a father abuses a son and is constantly complaining about blacks or Jews or some other group that he may dislike the some may learn early on that if he wants to receive positive feedback from his father he should also blame the same group. If this works to obtain positive feedback and it is repeated often enough then the boy will believe it. In this case the boyís prejudices will be developed as a way to obtain positive feedback instead of as a result of rational thought. If this starts early it may develop into a pattern. This is often the way many prejudices start. Once someone starts thinking this way they often react more to emotions and less to reason and they become much more difficult to deal with for other people.

If you look closely I think you may find that many of the most widely spread prejudices are the result of indoctrination and abuse that people receive as a child. When Hitler was abused as a child he couldnít strike out at his father who he learned to respect but was often told that the Jews were to blame. He didnít become an anti Semite until he was older but as a child the abuse made him very angry and he looked for someone to blame and he also developed a desire to avoid the abuse by becoming the one with the power. Many violent people start this way. They get the impression that the world is full of abusers and victims and they try to avoid being the victim by holding power over others and become the abusers.

It is very common for leaders to use misplaced blame to manipulate the public and divide them amongst themselves. One common example is the conflict among workers that often sets some workers against others. This is a very old tactic, when the dominate belief was that blacks were inferior the business leaders often claimed the blacks were the ones taking away jobs now they often blame it on illegal immigrants. The irony is that a close look will indicate that illegal aliens are guilty mostly of being born in the wrong country. The discussion about free trade is being dominated by the corporations in the press. What they rarely if ever mention is that they are in favor of equal trade but opposed to equal rights to a safe environment or worker rights. This results in a lot of misplaced blame.

Demagogues often use emotions to exaggerate prejudices and redirect the blame for any problems that may be occurring at any given time. They use this method to keep the crowd under their control. The biggest threat from demagogues isnít the one you recognize from people like Hitler and Manson but the threat the people donít recognize from those they admire and respect. This is why the public needs to do a better job keeping their leaders accountable. In order to catch misplaced blame it may be important to rethink some of the basics that may have been put above reproach. If these basics were accurate in the first place then they will hold up to thorough accurate scrutiny.

Comments?


War isn't the answer!!
Then what is??

First of all it is true that war doesnít solve problems. War is about the absolute absence of solutions and all out fighting and destruction. It is often based on the implied assumption that there is an enemy and the enemy is responsible for all our problems; therefore if we just destroy the enemy all our problems will go away. This assumption is never stated but it is implied by past activity. This assumption is totally false. In order to arrive at solutions the first thing that has to occur is that the fighting and destruction has to come to an end. The best thing I can think of to say about war is that if there is a power so cruel and destructive like Hitler then that power has to be destroyed first before the real solutions can be implemented. However in hindsight it is always easy to look back and see that if the appropriate actions were taken before Hitler rose to power then Hitler could have been stopped without war. Then perhaps the best thing I can think of about war is that they demonstrate things that we could learn from so that we donít repeat our mistakes. If so this is at best a benefit that comes at far to high a price.

The real solutions come after wars come to an end or better yet they could begin in the future before wars begin if problems are addressed before they get to big. Real programs to solve problems are usually education based. Programs like the Peace Corps., Seeds of Peace, Habitat for Humanity etc. are much more productive and more likely to bring about solutions. They may run into problems and in the past they have been heavily criticized for inefficiency but these problems can be overcome once they are recognized and corrected. Unlike military ďsolutionsĒ there is little or no need for secrecy in these programs that is part of the reason they have been heavily criticized in the past. When these programs have problems they are less likely to be hidden then when the problems are found they are more likely to be corrected. In the military when there is a problem there is often an excuse to cover it up since secrecy is routine therefore problems are often allowed to get much worse.

In the long run the most effective way to stop wars is to stop the causes of wars. One of the biggest unrecognized causes of war is child abuse. There are many cultures where there are epidemic rates of child abuse. This provides an ample supply of angry violent people that can be led into war easily by their leaders.

Another problem is that leaders are rarely held accountable to their own people. Even in countries that are considered democratic accountability is often insufficient since the public often doesnít know what their government is doing nor do they know how to hold their government accountable. The way to address this is a massive education effort to make all the information available to the public that they need to hold their leaders accountable. The people also need to learn how to set up a system to interact with their government representatives on a regular basis. This information needs to be organized in the most effective way possible according to subject. Then each subject needs to have an accurate description of the basics which should never be forgotten. Governments are involved in decisions about every thing that influences the public whether we like it or not therefore we need to understand these subjects. One of the more obvious examples where people overlook the basics is gambling which has to be fixed in favor of the house in order for the house to survive and profit. If the public understood this there wouldnít be much if any gambling industry. This may seem trivial when it comes to preventing wars but it is one of many small social problems that create unrest that can build up and become a much bigger problem.

In order to stop wars the social injustices that leads to war need to be addressed. There are many class conflicts that often lead to greater problems. These are often about money or business. There needs to be a better way to address these problems before they escalate. The most effective way in the long run is to improve the education system for everyone. This shouldnít be influenced by race, creed or sex. In many cases the lower classes need a better education to understand their options and more peaceful ways to accomplish their goals. The upper classes need a better education that encourages them to understand other cultures and they shouldnít be taught that they have some automatic birth right that makes them better than they are. This isnít new and a lot has been done to improve this but there are still more subtle ways of coming to the conclusion that they are more deserving than others often by omitting certain facts.

In the long term in order to avoid war we need a society that has true justice that starts at an early age and is maintained throughout life. This means giving people equal opportunities and allowing them to participate in society and receive equal benefits for their work from the beginning. In many cases it may involve looking out for the best interest of some people even if those people donít know how to express their own views well. These people may need a better education but if they donít get it and they see that they arenít getting a fair shake they may become disenfranchised and rebel. This may not seem rational but it still happens. By educating them and allowing them to have a fair shake this can be avoided. They shouldnít have to fight or argue every step of the way to get what is rightfully theirs. The more time spent fighting or suing the less time there is for productive activity for everyone.

The three most important things that can be done to avoid war in the long term are:

1 Stop epidemic levels of child abuse worldwide.

2 Provide education to everyone in the most effective way possible.

3 Provide equal opportunity and real democracy to everyone.

Comments?


Protect the Afghan Schools

And the schools of many other third world countries including Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Columbia, Sri Lanka and many more. This doesnít mean the right to abuse these children by the natives should be protected though. This is easier said than done of course.

The long term hopes for peace depend on how the children of the next generation are educated. If the USA and other western countries truly want to advance democracy around the world the most important thing is to teach the children right and provide them with an education that enables them to set up their own government and run it themselves. Past efforts to negotiate with local warlords to keep the peace have failed to do this. What may often happen in many countries is that local leaders are put in place with the help of the western governments who are sympathetic to the ideologies of the west. They often wind up dealing with western corporations in a manner that puts capitalism ahead of the best interest of the people they are supposed to serve. The resources are often plundered from many of these third world countries and used to promote the best interest of a small number of rich people at the expense of the majority. The most effective way to avoid this is to make the best education possible available to these children. In the modern age this should also involve developing a good supply of computers hooked up to the internet so that these children can benefit from a vast source of information.

There needs to be more concern with minimizing collateral damage to prevent a large number of people from joining the forces that are fighting the western countries the best way to do this may involve greater risk to American and allied soldiers but if they truly are trying to advance democracy this is what needs to be done. There is an enormous amount of propaganda about how these soldiers are sacrificing their lives to preserve freedom but this often proves not to be the case. If they want to back up this propaganda with honesty they need to do as much to protect the schools and other social institutions as they often say they do. If the Western countries led by the USA truly want to be considered the protectors of the world they need to consider the needs of less educated people who donít know how to run their own governments and stand up for their own rights. In order to do this the local people need a much better access to education than they have had in the past.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other authors have written about how many third world countries have a very violent culture that encourages strict disciplinarian methods that often cross the line to child abuse which tends to teach the children to become violent when they grow up. This will not help these countries look out for their own best interests but lead to more constant fighting. It may not be easy to tell them that they need to try to do a better job raising their children but in the long term that is what needs to be done. There needs to be a better education system set up to help young parents as well as the children. Many of these parents were raised in violent homes themselves so this may not be quick in many cases. Some of these parents may be more open to criticism than others so they should be the ones in the short term to receive help since it may be the most effective. However the ones that are the most likely to resist criticism canít be ignored since they may be the ones who wind up raising the most dysfunctional children. There needs to be more safe places for children so that they can grow up without fear. If they canít protect them every where right off the bat they might want to consider safety zones that can gradually be expanded until whole countries become stable and prosperous.

There have been efforts like this in the past to reeducate children and they have often involved indoctrination rather than education. Hitler was one of the most famous ones that did this with the Hitler Youth. Hitler was at one point competing with Eugenio Pacelli over who would control the Schools and neither of the two was very open to fact checking. Both sides wanted to dictate the truth to the children based on their own ideology or religion. This needs to be avoided. The best way to do this is to make sure there is an open system set up that allows for fact checks. Different points of view need to be considered before finding out what is true. There may be a lot of resistance from people who want to protect their way of life and in most cases this should be respected but if their way of life involves setting up an indoctrination system that turns the public into a virtual slave class then it will mean they are protecting the way of life of the tyrants at the expense of the innocent who deserve to have their rights protected. It is often very difficult to tell who is truly more interested in looking out for the best interest of the public or who is just trying to appear to look out for the best interest of the public. To do this often takes time and a calm look at the details.

One of the most common excuses why this shouldnít be done is that you canít force democracy on the public which is true but you can force tyranny on the public and this is often what happens when people settle for this answer. It is also true that more can be done so that these people get a better education so that they can choose democracy on their own. The excuse that you canít force democracy may sound good at a glance but a closer look will expose flaws in this excuse.

Comments?


Espionage isn't intelligent

The use of the term intelligence for espionage information has always been improper but since it has been repeated so often many people donít seem to realize it. This isnít new but regardless of how long the word has been used improperly it is still wrong. It gives the people the impression that the most intelligent way to behave is to keep massive amounts of information that the public needs to make important decisions secret. In order for a democracy to work the public has to be involved in the decision making process. This participation should be based on decisions made with access to any relevant information needed for any given subject including war. In the past there have been many wars that were started based on false assumptions given to the public by their governments. The justification for this has often been the security of the country yet after the facts come out years later it has often turned out not to be true. The use of this term is also often done based on the assumption that the most important aspect about preserving democracy involves fighting. This assumption has always been false as well. While fighting has often been necessary to protect democracy the most important way of preserving and strengthening democracy has always involved educating the public in the most effective and accurate way possible.

Not only is espionage not intelligent but it isnít efficient either. There has been an enormous amount of effort to spread false information to deceive the other side and the inevitable result is the other side does the same to you. This effectively maintains a system where both sides indirectly participate in actions that prevent anyone including themselves from having access to the information they need to make intelligent decisions. This creates an enormous amount of wasted time and effort for everyone. There is no way to know just how much of a waste this is but there should be no doubt that it is big and the results are far from intelligent quite the opposite it is downright stupid.

The most effective way to put an end to the assumption that espionage is the most effective way of solving problems may involve focusing on the education and non military solutions to build better relations with other countries. This could include more emphasis on programs like Peace Corps, the Marshal Plan and International Habitat for Humanity. There shouldnít be much if any need for secrecy for these programs since they arenít designed to infringe on the rights of others. Unfortunately there still is a controversy therefore there should be a better education program to inform the public how effective they are.

Another way to put an end to the reliance on espionage is to advance democracy worldwide and perhaps establishing more Truth and reconciliation commissions or just Truth commissions that are designed to get the truth out. These should be thought out carefully before they are begun again. Simply having a Truth and reconciliation commission isnít good enough it is important to get the details right ahead of time on how they will be run. The public needs to be in on the decision making process. They need to be prepared for the type of things that will inevitably come out. There has to be careful consideration of what type of incentives people are given to come out with the truth. This shouldnít involve allowing people to be in a position where they can continue to infringe on the rights of others. In order for this to work it would almost certainly have to have some form of compensation for those who have been wronged when ever possible. If it isnít possible the most important thing may be exposing the truth so that disaster will no linger repeat themselves and the public will have the information they need to make their decisions properly. A truth commission isnít something that should be rushed into unless it is a small scale one that could serve as another test case. Even then it should be done carefully perhaps with a limited scope on a certain subject. The appropriate set up for further truth commissions should be based on a close look at past truth commissions and the problems they ran into. For example the most famous one is the one ran by South Africa. This wound up leaving a large military force free without any training except for military purposes and they became mercenaries many of whom wound up working for Executive Outcomes. These people were later suspected of involvement in additional atrocities. Future truth commissions that leave soldiers out of jail need to involve retaining and possible counseling if necessary.

There also needs to be more education about simple semantics. This is only one of many words the public routinely uses improperly simply because it is repeated over and over again. Another common example is fundamentalism. The word Fundamental means basic. The way many religious people use it implies that every thing in the bible is correct. The statement that the bible is correct is not a very basic statement since it applies to a large book with lots of more basics within it. In order to find the basics of the bible you need to look inside at the details one at a time but that is another subject.

Comments?


Enemy Du Jour

Wouldnít it be a good idea to find out why we always have at least one enemy to guard against and address the situation even if it is entirely their fault?

For many leaders the most important objective doesnít seem to be to learn how to get along with everyone fairly. It often seems as if they may want to maintain a segment of society that is disenfranchised and uneducated. They often donít know how to stick up for their own rights but they do recognize they are getting the short end of the stick for one reason or another. When these people get angry and strike out they can be demonized and the blame for many problems can be put on them.

There are always plenty of people that we have to guard against whether it is a country that wants to go to war with us, terrorists or predators including mass murderers and pedophiles. Finding out the cause for this may not be easy but if we want to avoid having enemies all the time someone needs to try and then get the message across to the public. There are some people that have actually been trying to do this but the Mass media and the politicians havenít been doing a good job giving the bully pulpit to the right people. As I have stated before the biggest problem is child abuse. This is true whether it is the abuse that a mass murderer receives before he becomes a monster or the widespread abuse that many children have to go through around the world providing a lot of angry adults ready to fight wars. There are of course many other problems that need top be addressed but this is the most important one.

George Orwell warned us over fifty years ago about this when he predicted that the world would constantly be fighting one enemy or another and constantly switching without acknowledging the enemy has changed. Big Brother always used this as an excuse why the leaders couldnít tell the public what was going on. They advise the public to just trust the leaders who lead them from one war to another. This wasnít the result of a gift of prophecy; he just recognized a repeating pattern of history than satirized it in his book. Then the public for the most part forgot much as Orwell described in his book where the public always forgot the stories were changing. There was little or no effort by most of the public to learn from this and when necessary put his description in clearer ways so that the public could understand his message easier.

The most powerful governments and the Mass Media have always been using the enemy Du Jour as an excuse to keep secrets from the public and often to manipulate their emotions for their own purposes. There are some things that they can teach the public without infringing on the secrecy supposedly needed to protect us. This includes the research that many good academics have already done on how child abuse leads to future violence. There is also a lot of work on different ideas on diplomacy including organizations like the Peace Corp, Seeds of Peace, Habitat for humanity, the Marshal plan and much more. A more accurate perception of how the economy is run could also be presented to the public. In many cases the Multi-national corporations that dominate our economy often deal with tyrants that repress their people and the tyrants that they supported in the past have often become future Enemies Du Jour. There is much more the public can learn about how past conflicts have arisen and how future conflicts can be avoided. In many cases it may involve letting the public know what really has been going on in the past in a more organized manner. There are many cases where the US government and other governments have clearly mislead their own people while they lead them into war often based one the excuse of national security which often turned out to be a false premise. This includes the Gulf of Tonkin incident plus the fact that the US government was propping up the South Viet Nam government at the time, the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, The installment of Pinochet, the reinstallment of the Shah of Iran in 1953 and many other cases. These have been reported in many cases by reputable sources and acknowledged by the government itself at times. However that doesnít mean the message has gotten through to the public or in some cases even to the members of congress. Joe Wilson made a passionate denial of the fact that the USA sold chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein despite the fact that this has been reported in the news on several occasions. If the congressmen arenít even willing to acknowledge accurate facts how can they be trusted to make rational decisions?

Not only do some congressmen make decisions based on emotional beliefs but so do a large percentage of the public partially thanks to the media demagogues who are constantly leading them on. Instead of trying to get the facts straight the public is routinely encouraged to jump to emotional conclusions and follow their leaders to fight the Enemies Du Jour. There is little effort if any by the Mass Media to focus the attention of the public on the root causes of conflicts abroad and at home and to find rational solutions to them. The Mass Media and the government is using the threat of the Enemies Du Jour as an excuse to avoid accountability and this is a much bigger threat to democracy even than the legitimate enemies.

There is also some doubt about whether the Enemies Du Jour are legitimate enemies in some cases but even if they are the Bush government obviously over reacted so did the Mass Media and the Mass Media is still overreacting. One of the biggest enemies the USA has been fighting is of course Al-Qaeda who is supposedly responsible for 9/11. They are not nearly as powerful as the Mass Media and the government often makes them pout to be with a massive amount of propaganda. These are a bunch of people who have little if any rational education and their base is supposedly in the caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan. There funds were initially provided by Osama bin laden who is or was a millionaire. Itís hard to believe he still has much money if any or even that he had as much money as they claimed before. Keep in mind that during the eighties he was funding the war against the USSR instead of running his business. We are supposedly trying to defend against people with box cutters shoe bombs and other primitive devices. This is supposedly adequate to justify the secrecy and the obsession with the war on terror. I donít dispute that terrorists are a problem but keeping the public in a constant state of panic and shrouding most of the activities of the government in secrecy isnít the best way to solve the problem. Like any other problem the best way to solve it involves finding the root causes of the problem and preventing them. In this case the root causes of the problem is that these people come from parts of the world with little or no rational education available to them instead they have a massive amount of religious indoctrination forced on them. Another part of the problem is that they really are being oppressed by both their own governments and in most cases other governments often with the help of multi-national corporations. In many parts of the world the multi-national corporations are extracting the resources of third world countries and providing little in return to the local residents. This includes little or no effort to educate them. Without a good education and when they see that their resources are being shipped abroad is it any surprise that they are angry at the western governments. Also in many cases they are fully aware that western governments have propped up past tyrants and supplied weapons to their enemies. One of the most obvious cases is Iran and Iraq where not only did the USA pop up the Shah in the fifties but in the eighties they provided arms to both sides of the war with Iran keeping it going and many of the common people paid the price. When Sadam Hussein attacked Kuwait, a rich country, the USA stepped in and made promises but then when Sadam attacked the Kurds and other Iraqiís the USA abandoned them. What they need to solve this problem is mainly more education for the public and better democratic opportunities. Lethal force should be at best the last resort not the first. In most cases the education needs time to take effect so this has to be a long term commitment. The most important thing the military can do is to protect the schools and other social institution until the countries are more stable. This may not seem like it should be our responsibility to many but when you consider that USA corporations and governments are partially responsible perhaps it should be especially if the USA continue to claim they are fighting for democracy. Also in the long run it will be cheaper to educate the public than to fight one war after another. This I very similar to the idea that if you educate a single child right the first time when they are little kids it is easier than to wait until they are troubled teens and try to reform them. It will just be on a larger and more complicated scale so people have to stick with it longer.

The Obama government isnít doing much better as far as I can tell. Obama seems to have taken a few small steps and promised to do more but he could do much better. If nothing else he could use the bully pulpit to educate the public much better about the causes of these problems with the help of many academics that have studied any given subject. Then he could do much more to advance diplomatic and educational programs around the world hopefully with the support of the public at home and abroad once they understood the subject better. The problem is that he was put in a position to win the presidency with the help of donations from the same multi-national corporations that are part of the problem. No high profile politician can gain national office or statewide office under the current system without the support of money that can only come from the supporters of the multi-national corporations. In the long run we need a better system where the control of the elections and the media is reformed. This doesnít mean more censorship when it comes to reforming the media but less. In the past the Mass Media has had the bully pulpit to stand up for their right to free speech then they have used it to drown out everyone elseís right to free speech. We need a system that enables the scholars that have studied any given subject and the common man to have more influence over what the Mass Media presents to the public. In order for the common man to know what to do with their right to free speech they need better access to a good education that isnít distorted by indoctrination from the Mass Media.

In the short term we need a better grass roots effort to educate the public with or without the help of the Mass Media and as the public becomes more educated they will understand how the enemy du jour is being used to manipulate their emotions. This can be done in many ways and I suspect that in some cases it is already happening but the Mass media isnít reporting on it so many members of the public donít know about it; instead many of them are being led by demagogues like the ones who seem to be organizing the tea parties including Dick Army. Organization like Free press and Vote smart as well as many anti-war organizations can do a lot to educate their members. Also more can be done to organization like Wikipedia to organize information so that the public can understand it if they can overcome the opposition by some people within Wikipedia that are resisting this. I have written more about that on another page cited below.

If Obama or the Mass media do more to educate the public about this in the right way fine but they canít be trusted to continue to do this in the future. If they could be trusted to do this they would have done it long ago instead of praying on peoples emotions and demonizing the enemy du jour.

Comments?


External links

Suggest a site

http://www.prepareinc.com

http://www.yellodyno.com

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org

http://www.civitas.org

http://www.ncvc.org

http://www.parentpacks.com

http://www.missingkids.com

http://www.ncmec.org

http://www.ymca.net

http://www.soccer.org

http://www.littleague.org

http://www.autism-society.org

http://www.fullpower.org

http://www.paxusa.org

http://www.gdbinc.org

http://www.aclu-sc.org/school.html

http://www.ncpc.orgeduleo5.htm

http://www.cfchildren.org

http://www.character.org

http://www.edweek.org

http://www.edletter.org

http://www.nssc1.org

http://www.ncsu.edu/cpsu

http://www.safechild.org/bullies.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/violence/index.htm

http://www.dropoutprevention.org

http://www.nassp.org

http://umn.edu/~serve

http://www.search-institute.org

http://www.safeschools.org

http://www.aauw.org

http://www.edc.org/HHD/hatecrime/id1_homepage.htm

http://www.ed.gov/pubs/HateCrime/start.html

http://www.ed.gov/pubs/Harassment

http://www.ed.gov/pubs/Harassment/climate1.html

http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/02-1994/parent.html

http://www.tolerance.org

http://www.dontlaugh.org

http://www.pflag.org

http://www.apa.org

http://www.naswdc.org

http://www.glsen.org/templates/index.html

http://www.cwla.org

http://www.learningpt.org/

http://npin.org/index.html

http://www.trauma-pages.com/

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/uslgbt

http://www.naeyc.org

http://www.childabuse.org

http://www.patnc.org

http://www.crimeprevention.org

http://www.misterrogers.org

http://www.teenchallenge.com

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050420091955.htm

http://www.fightingcrime.org

http://www.isafe.org

http://www.josephoninstitute.org/Survey2000/violence2000-commentary.htm

http://www.talkingwithkids.org/nickelodeon/pr-3-8-01.htm

http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/bullying/a/bullying.htm

http://www.safeyouth.org

http://www.bullybeware.com/index.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050411100940.htm

http://schoolshooting.org/


Bibliography


Ishmael Beah, "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" 2007
Jimmie Briggs, "Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War" 2005
Brooks Brown and Rob Merritt, ''No easy answers: The truth behind death at Columbine'', Lantern Books, New York, 2002. ISBN 1590560310
Vincent Bugliosi, with Curt Gentry, "Helter skelter: the true story of the Manson murders" 1974
Philip Carlo: "The night stalker: the true story of America's most feared serial killer" 1996
Gay Courter, "I speak for this child: true stories of a child advocate" 1995
Dave Cullen, ''Columbine'', Twelve, New York, 2009. ISBN 9780446546935
Gavin de Becker, ''Protecting the gift: keeping children and teenagers safe (and parents sane)'', Dial Press, New York, 1999. ISBN 0385333099
Don DeNevi and John H. Campbell, "Into the minds of madmen : how the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit revolutionized crime investigation" 2004
John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, "Obsession : the FBI's legendary profiler probes, the psyches of killers, rapists, and stalkers and their victims and tells how to fight back" 1998
Pete Earley, "Prophet of death : the Mormon blood-atonement killings" 1991
Richard Gabrial, "No More Heroes: Madness and Psychiatry In War" 1988
James Garbarino, "Lost boys : why our sons turn violent and how we can save them" 1999
James Garbarino and Ellen deLara, "And words can hurt forever: how to protect adolescents from bullying, harassment, and emotional violence" 2002
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "Infidel" 2007
Jack Olsen, "I : the creation of a serial killer" 2002
Jack Olsen, "Salt of the earth : one family's journey through the violent American landscape" 1996
Dorothy Otnow Lewis, "Guilty by reason of insanity : a psychiatrist explores the minds of killers" 1998
Alice Miller: translated from the German by Ruth Ward: "The drama of the gifted child" 1981
Richard Rhodes, "Why they kill : the discoveries of a maverick criminologist (Lonnie Athens)" 1999
Ann Rule, "Green River, running red : the real story of the Green River killer, America's deadliest serial murderer" 2004
Joanne Scaglione, Arrica Rose Scaglione: "Bully-proofing children: a practical, hands-on guide to stop bullying" 2006
Flora Rheta Schreiber, "Sybil" 1973
Jim Schutze, "Bully: does anyone deserve to die? : a true story of high school revenge" 1997
Peter W. Singer "Children at War" 2005
Peter W. Singer "Corporate Warriors" 2003
John Toland, "Adolf Hitler" 1976

Full Index
Indoctrination Tactics
The Real God Maybe
Free Speech
Censorship
Lessons From Histoy
What Religious people really Worship
Democracy
Theory for everything
107 Wonders of the Ancient World