Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chicken Soup with The Best of Chicken Soup...

Human depravity of the kind witnessed in places like Texas Christian University, Steubenville, Maryville, and of course Columbine before the massacre will not be going away anytime soon. I'll never run out of vile people to blog about. And yes...I know The Onion is satire. I included that link because satire is often far more accurate than anything the mainstream media is willing to print. With that in mind, I think it's time to sum up some of the basic elements of why yesterday's victims of community sanctioned cruelty become tomorrow's serial killers, mass murderers, and terrorists.

Whether you're still in school or well into old age or anywhere in between, if you hate bullies then this post is for you. This was my first attempt to systematize the high school and college experience that so many people are familiar with. It's been described as a bit simplistic or sophomoric...and admittedly, it is, but it's also useful to anyone who feels the need to categorize all of the individual social cliques they had to deal with in their teens and early twenties.

This post further systematizes the bullying process. It should remind many readers of specific individuals they were forced to interact with during their adolescence and early adulthood.

This post describes bullying from the victim's point of view and references a case of bullying that occurred almost two years ago. I can find no significant media coverage of the outcome of His Majesty's court case.

For anyone interested in systems analysis, this post is for you.

This post emphasizes the principle of leading by example.

Here I attempted to put loud, obnoxious, and very righteous Americans under a spotlight. One of the political hot buttons I had in mind when writing this was abortion. Imagine how quickly one of those right wing nut cases would arrange for his lilly white, ultra pure, super Christian daughter to quietly get an abortion in a distant city if she were raped by an ugly, drug addicted, black guy.

Distraction from America's real problems is a common method of avoiding any obligation to address them. Terrorists are supposed to be the most evil people in existence...at least...that's what we're told. Yet no one seems anxious to mention the fact that Americans like killing, maiming, and torturing their fellow Americans in numbers that put even the most prolific terrorists to shame.

This post is in honor of all those heroes of resilience who claim to have been bullied and never even thought about killing anyone...Yeah...right.

And finally...this post employs an Orwellian reference to describe the ability to embrace two mutually exclusive beliefs simultaneously.

I hope you've enjoyed the soup.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chicken Soup with shameless fundraising organizations...

This weblog is mostly about people and institutions that enable abusers, so writing about an organization that on the surface appears to be raising money for a good cause might seem off topic.

It isn't.

Yesterday evening I received a call from a number that my caller I.D. identified as 202-817-XXXX. For obvious legal liability reasons I won't be publishing the entire telephone number. The name that appeared was "Washington, D.C." which coincides with the area code.

I normally don't pick up calls I don't recognize because they're almost always telemarketers, but since the call originated from the capitol city of our glorious empire I took the chance. After I said "hello" there was a several second delay before the caller started speaking. He identified himself as a representative of a veteran's organization I did not recognize and cannot now remember the name of. As he continued with his pitch, I noticed two things:

1) His pitch was very smoothly delivered as if he'd spoken the same words a thousand times without losing his salesman's artificial enthusiasm.

2) Unlike most telemarketer calls there was a complete absence of background noise. Normally one can hear a subdued cacophony of voices all blended together. This caller could have been sitting in a soundproof room.

The caller conjured up terrible images of veterans who fought for our country who are now cold, sick, jobless, homeless, and hungry. He finished his pitch with, "We're asking for a one time tax deductible donation. Can we depend on you?"

Like most people, I don't want to either feel, or appear to others as someone who cannot be depended on. But...unlike many of my fellow Americans who no doubt blindly provided this organization with their credit card number, I am cynical to the bone. I decided to ask a few pertinent questions, "Can you tell me how you got my number and do you have any idea who you're calling?"

After several seconds, the same smooth, practiced voice responded, "I'm sorry. Could you repeat that?"

At this point I knew I was talking to a computer. I decided to ask a really easy question, something anyone raising money for cold, hungry veterans would surely be able to answer accurately, "Can you tell me the name of the President of the United States?"

Again there was a several second delay. "I'm sorry. Could you repeat that?"

I burst out laughing and hung up.

I was pretty disgusted with this call for a number of reasons. There really are war veterans who really are suffering from service related disabilities. Many of them really are unable to find a job or receive the medical care they need. And every career conman on Capitol Hill is proud to be photographed with a veteran or two, preferably veterans who are smiling and wearing uniforms bedecked with medals.

So why are those veterans-in-need having to hire a fund raising organizations to beg for money? Or are these organizations raising money out of the goodness of their heart? And what percentage of the money collected actually finds it way anywhere near a veteran? And why doesn't the fund raising organization hire disabled veterans to man their phone banks? Perhaps computers work cheaper and don't take bathroom breaks? What should the next Timothy McVeigh learn from the fact that America places such a low value on the well being of its disabled veterans? And why have America's corporate lapdogs in Washington, D.C. deferred their responsibility for those veterans to organizations who's only objective is to maximize profits?

Feel free to relay this story to your favorite member of Congress.

Perhaps the person known only as "Completely disgusted by ignorance" could fire off a strong letter to her Congressman.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chicken Soup has an embarrassing question...

Someone using the online name "Completely disgusted by ignorance" expressed her disagreement with my perception of Ryan Tucker's criminal behavior on Debbie Schussel's website a few weeks ago. The post she left a comment on was dated August 22, 2006 and the comment she appeared to be replying to was dated November 19, 2009. It's unlikely she stumbled upon it randomly so I'm left to assume that she was doing an internet search for Ryan Tucker.

I replied to her comment with an invitation to present the facts of Ryan Tucker's behavior as she perceives them.

"Completely disgusted by ignorance" is always welcome to enlighten all of us "schmucks" by presenting a few "facts." We could begin with why she believes that we're "schmucks." Could it be that her achievements in life are so great that she has every right to look down on the rest of us? Has she cured cancer, developed a new and efficient form of spacecraft propulsion, established world peace? After all, I've led a pretty unremarkable life. I've been consistently employed for the better part of forty years. I've managed to avoid establishing any professional relationships with our nation's law enforcement community. In a society that boasts an impressive divorce rate, I've managed to stay married to the same woman for 25 years. Stranger still...we actually like each other. My children are earning high grades in their various science disciplines in college...

But that's about it...the portrait of a total loser.

Her Majesty in comparison has...um...well...what is it she's been doing anyway? What exactly has she accomplished that makes her feel so superior to the rest of us?

I have a potentially embarrassing question for Her Majesty...

Have you ever supported yourself by working a job?

Please...enlighten all of us ignorant schmucks. Regale us with tales of your many worldly accomplishments

I'm assuming that this is the same woman who is the subject of the post immediately preceding this one...but I cannot be sure. Perhaps she will enlighten me with facts.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chicken Soup with Ryan Tucker's greatest fan revisited...

Many years ago a close acquaintance of mine relayed a memorable scene from the play, "Evita."

Evita Peron is complaining to an old naval officer that people are still referring to her with a very uncomplimentary term. The naval officer calmly replies, "I've been retired for years and people still call me captain."

Someone whom I assume to be a close female relative of Ryan Tucker left a few comments here and on other weblogs criticizing our decision to remind readers of Ryan's criminal behavior. She expresses her frustration with the fact that after so many years Ryan Tucker and his three friends still have to read about their crime. I'm also assuming she's concerned because his children are now perusing the internet and beginning to realize that their father, in spite of being retired for years, is still being called a violent criminal. So here's my solution:

Assuming you really are a close female relative of Ryan Tucker, you can expose the horrible lies written about him by bringing his children to meet Bryan Boyd. They will see that he is perfectly healthy. They will see that he is not a brain damaged cripple living in his mother's spare bedroom. They will see that he has a regular job, a girlfriend or wife, and lives a reasonably good life. And when you're finished exposing me as a liar, have Bryan Boyd leave a comment on this weblog explaining that he was not attacked by four vicious sociopaths, one of whom attacked him at least once before. Have Bryan Boyd provide a link to his Facebook page or weblog where I can view photographs of Mr. Boyd enjoying his good health. Do something besides whine about the fact that in the information age, being a close female relative of a violent criminal is embarrassing.

And if you are the woman who knowingly chose to marry a violent criminal when you could have chosen almost any one of a million far more civilized men to spend your life with, there is something very important you can do for your children.

You can strongly advise your children to avoid doing anything they don't want the entire world reading about for the rest of eternity.

Tally Ho Horned Frog.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chicken Soup comments on Izzy Kalman's defense of the First Amendment...

As readers may already be aware, Chicken Soup has been prevented from leaving comments on Izzy Kalman's Psychology Today website. When I attempt to leave a comment, I'm rewarded with a blank white screen. After a few attempts, I did what Kalman probably hoped I'd do. I simply stopped trying.

Then I read his latest article.

Izzy Kalman criticizes any effort to restrict what students can say while preventing me from posting comments, not just on his articles, but on every article by every author on the Psychology Today website.

I then found that I could leave comments under the name and e-mail address I'd been using all along as long as I didn't do it from home. Here's what I wrote.

"If you are a public school student and you are physically strong, unusually aggressive, or skilled in the fighting arts...in other words...if other students have good reason to fear you, then you enjoy the right to say anything you want about anyone.

If you are physically weak, unaggressive, and unskilled in the fighting arts, you are free to keep your mouth shut or someone will shut it for you.

By the way...why am I not allowed to post here from my i.p. address? Is my freedom of speech unusually disturbing to you?

My comment was titled, "Some are more equal than others" and though I didn't include this description in my comment, I like to think of Kalman's interpretation of our Constitutional Rights as the First Amendment, Columbine Style.

Feel free to let him and his readers know what you think.

Chicken Soup with Matthew Barnett's rapist and attempted murderer enablers...

I wrote about Matthew Barnett's behavior in a previous post.

A few weeks ago America once again shamelessly demonstrated its customary level of depraved indifference for violent crime victims. Matthew Barnett received the token, ritual finger wagging from the Judiciary including such horrible, medieval punishments as "a suspended sentence of four months in the county jail and two years of probation." In layman's terms this is roughly equivalent to the "double secret probation" imposed upon Delta House in the movie "Animal House."

Judge Glen Dietrich also imposed seven special restrictions:

1) "No alcohol." Yeah...I'm sure this is enforceable.

2) "No contact with the victim." There were no such restrictions placed on the assholes who harassed the victim's family enough to prompt a change of address. Nor was there any mention of the arsonists who burned the victim's home. Blaming an electrical fault is worse than insulting to anyone with an I.Q. over 50.

3) "100 hours of community service." No doubt coaching children's football. He is, after all a role model.

4) "Restitution of $1800 for counseling services for the victim." No doubt paid for by the wonderful parents who role modeled his majesty's behavior.

5) "Drug testing." How often and how much warning will he receive from his politically connected family?

6) "Substance abuse counseling." This has a questionable history of success.

7) "Acknowledgement of wrongdoing to the victim in the form of a verbal apology delivered by the Jackson County prosecutor. That apology was “heartfelt” and “genuine,” Peters Baker said during the press conference." He wasn't even required to apologize himself. The prosecutor did it for him. This last gem of depraved indifference is especially heartwarming. A politically connected rapist and attempted murderer was saved from the embarrassment of having to deliver a disingenuous verbal apology in person.

As the group "Anonymous" tweeted, "Good job America."

I'm sure the world's terrorists are sleeping soundly knowing that we're such a caring and civilized nation.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chicken Soup with the Super Columbine Massacre Role Playing Game (SCMRPG)...

At the request of one of my readers I'm writing about a website titled, "Super Columbine Massacre Role Playing Game" otherwise known by its acronym, "SCMRPG." No, I can't pronounce the acronym either.

The link will bring you to the front page of the site where anyone who understands why individuals choose to build bombs or pick up a gun will find two points of interest. If you scroll down just a bit you'll find the official trailer that features cheesy, early 1980's Atari style images of the videogame in question. These images are combined with an audio track where journalists reveal their ignorance about human behavior, or perhaps just their herd mentality by blaming mass murder on videogames. If you scroll down a bit further you'll come to a montage of windows. The lower right hand window includes a statement from one of the parents of the deceased.

"My son was killed in this senseless tragedy. He is dead now because two angry boys had very easy access to guns."

Being a parent, I can certainly feel sympathy for the individual being quoted. But, from the standpoint of someone who understands why it happened, his/her statement only reveals the usual mindless herd mentality of those who want to blame the Columbine Massacre on anything but a toxic environment where large, physically powerful sociopaths were deified, lavishly rewarded, and allowed to victimize anyone they looked upon as different and therefore unworthy. Consider the oxymoron "wrestling scholarship" while pondering the consequences of maintaining such an environment.

Several years ago I encountered an internet character known as "Trench Reynolds." During one of our online debate/arguments where he was displaying his usual hatred for individuals whom he labeled as "mutants," I asked if he'd ever bothered to talk to them and take the time to listen and understand their position. His response was to provide me with a couple of web addresses where "mutants" congregate and to wish me luck. SCMRPG was one of them.

I posted regularly at the site from about June, 2009 until January, 2013. I encountered a wide variety of characters ranging from articulate and cool headed to borderline explosive. I stopped going there largely because I'd learned about as much as I expected to and became bored with it. The name I was using, "Columbine101" linked to my Chicken Soup weblog which allowed anyone who was interested the opportunity for further reading.

A few days ago I learned that Adam Lanza also posted there under the name "smiggles." I don't remember him but given the fact that there are hundreds of individuals posting there and the possibility that we may never have posted under the same subject headings that's not surprising.

Feel free to visit the site and if you have any questions or comments particularly regarding anything I may have written, please address them here as I no longer post there.