Friday, February 25, 2011

Chicken Soup with Izzy Kalman...

This post is being completely rewritten on 1/11/2013...and further updated on May 23, 2014.

Poor Izzy keeps stepping on his own dick.

It may also be helpful to read this, this, and this first.

The original content of this post was excessively scathing of both Izzy Kalman's techniques and personal character. In an effort to avoid sounding as hollow and insincere as Mitt Romney, I won't be offering any belated apologies. But, after an extensive e-mail exchange with Mr. Kalman I now have more information to work with.

From what I've been able to learn from our e-mail exchange and from what he's written, Kalman's technique involves depriving the bully of the pleasure of precipitating a negative reaction from its victim. I was a runt in middle school and playing dead was a pretty effective short term technique. Playing dead, becoming very quiet, and glaring at some of the witnesses for the next few days also seemed to unnerve many adults who even back then understood the significance of the cliche, "He was a quiet man."

My primary criticism of Kalman's technique is that it has no effect on the bully's sense of legitimacy or its pathological need to dominate, brutalize, and terrorize other people's kids for pleasure. It also neatly relieves adults, particularly the bully's parents of any responsibility for consistently role modeling civilized behavior by transferring that responsibility to the demographic group least able to fulfill it: children who are frightened, confused, and often under siege from multiple directions. In my opinion, bullies and the criminally incompetent parents who raise them are no different than any other group of criminals that prey upon children and should be treated as such. But...since no politician, subject matter expert, or other opinion leader appears brave enough to openly criticize bad parents for their role modeling, I don't see this problem being addressed effectively without even more victims turning into homicidal maniacs.

Izzy Kalman appears to believe in what he's doing, but any technique that simply convinces the bully to move on to more satisfying victims has no overall effect upon the problem. It's roughly equivalent to advising motorists to lock their cars, take their keys, and place valuables out of sight. It's a good thing to do, but it doesn't prevent a determined thief or vandal from harming you and it certainly doesn't transform car thieves into law abiding citizens. It only provides a small incentive for them to break into someone else's car. Bullies will continue to damage victims and precipitate the development of serial killers, mass murderers, and domestic terrorists, and as long as their victims murder other people's children, bullies and their criminally incompetent parents have no incentive to clean up their act.

I believe that Izzy Kalman has convinced himself that his techniques are effective, but I also believe that he woefully underestimates the desocializing effect that community sanctioned bullying has on the victim's long term values and subsequent behavior. Being bullied didn't transform me into a killer, but it did teach me to understand killers. Even Adam Lanza's initially baffling choice of targets presents a certain amount of cold hearted logic. If you despise the community you grew up in and you want to hurt that community as much as possible, destroying what that community cherishes most and then depriving it of any chance to take revenge is a very effective technique. The citizens of Newtown, Connecticut now understand how victims of bullying feel. They're in great pain and utterly confused about why they were chosen and how anyone could be so fucking cruel.

Criminally incompetent parents and the cruel, violent progeny they dump into our nation's schools and neighborhoods are a serious national problem and an obvious danger to everyone. I think it's time for everyone to be brave enough to admit it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Soup with the bully enablers...

Serial killers, mass murderers, and domestic terrorists can learn a lot about people by watching how the bulk of a community's population enables a relatively small proportion of bullies.

Artificial social structures like corporations and military units are shaped like pyramids. These structures are tools, created by people to fulfill a purpose and dissolved when they are no longer needed. Natural social structures are shaped like a diamond, a pyramid on top of an inverted pyramid. These structures are the products of nature, and like forgotten minefields they tend to endure long after their original purpose ceases to exist. Columbine High School, and a lot of other places proudly display just such a structure.

Here's how it works:

Draw a large, four-pointed (playing card style) diamond on a piece of paper. Draw two straight lines across the top and bottom 1/10th of the diamond to form two small triangles. The Pack Alphas occupy the top triangle and the Scapegoats occupy the bottom triangle. Scapegoats provide a convenient outlet for the routine and arbitrary cruelty of any Pack Alpha who feels the need to reinforce its authority and social status. An Alpha without a Scapegoat is like a Nazi without a Jew. There's no one to feel superior to and no one to use as an example for others to fear. The rest of the student body is scattered throughout the rest of the diamond with the bulk of the population tending to occupy the middle levels of status.

Other than the Alphas and Scapegoats, the other 80% of the student body fits very neatly into one or more of the following five groups of Enablers:

Group One - Toadying Sycophants: These individuals genuinely envy and admire the Pack Alphas and regularly complement and fawn over them in the hope of currying favor. Many of these individuals are best described as alpha wannabes and prey upon Scapegoats as much as or more than the pack alphas. This group also includes adults who look upon association with or overt displays of support for the local sports teams as a means of increasing their own status within the community. It's not unusual for fathers to push their male children into violent, competitive sports and for mothers to literally pimp their daughters to the football team in the hope that they'll become more popular. Kip Kinkel's father did this. He and his wife are dead now.

Group Two - Enabling Females: Enabling females generally fall into one of four categories:

1) Female Sociopaths enjoy watching people being harmed and often flirt with men in order to give their pack alpha a flimsy excuse to attack. Female Sociopaths often display the behavior of Alpha Females. One need look no further than South Hadley High School for a good example of their character.

2) Social Climbers hope to trade the use of their bodies in exchange for elevated social status, inclusion in a high status group, and of course, money. This is a bit like renting a hotel room by the hour. Obviously, they're willing to risk serious injury and are stupid enough to ignore the lessons of O.J. Simpson. The next time you read about a violent sociopath like Ryan Tucker, ask yourself why any female would go near him if he could not offer high social status and money.

3) Airheads are attracted to pack alphas because they're ignorant and hopelessly idealistic morons. This group consists of females who believe they can help their alpha male turn his life around and become a better person. A woman once left a comment on one of my blogs describing Ryan Tucker as "kind, amazing, gentle, and strong." Yeah, right. My local newspaper printed a story a few years ago where the girlfriend of an extremely violent criminal defended his character by stating, "He's a really nice guy as long as you don't provoke him." It's good to have an airhead in your corner.

4) Slaves are exactly what you think they are. Slavery as a legal institution where people are openly bought and sold like any other commodity no longer exists, but it's still practiced widely. In this weblog slavery will be defined as living in a situation where personal experience has taught you that you will be beaten, tortured, physically confined or restrained, isolated from routine contact with others, injured, or killed if you disobey a command or use forbidden words like no, stop, or goodbye. I'm not certain how anyone could take an accurate census of this condition, but I feel confident that hundreds of thousand of American women live with men who are, for all practical purposes, slaveowners.

From the Pack Alphas' point of view, the primary duty of Enabling Females is to reinforce the illusion that the Pack Alphas are irresistible to females. This illusion is absolutely critical to an individual Pack Alpha's ability to maintain its social status and the respect of its peers and immediate subordinates. Attempting to break off a relationship with a Pack Alpha is usually hazardous to one's health as successfully doing so undermines the pack alpha's illusion of irresistibility. Once again...remember what happened to O.J. Simpson's wife for daring to break up with him.

The Enabling Female's secondary duty involves satisfying the Pack Alpha's basic sexual needs by playing the role of a Penis Garage. A Penis Garage provides a place for the Pack Alpha to park his Humvee at night. Not every Enabling Female is required or even allowed to fulfill this duty. Being chosen to fulfill one's duty as a Penis Garage is after all, an honor. Most Enabling Females must satisfy their petty fantasies by fawning over the Pack Alphas in the vain hope of becoming one of the chosen ones and by constantly reminding those lucky enough to be chosen as a nighttime parking spot how lucky they are. In some circumstances, a Penis Garage is routinely reminded of her good fortune by other Enabling Females regardless of how abusive, controlling, or violent her Pack Alpha becomes. In other circumstances, Penis garages are preyed upon by other females who want to take her place.

Group Three - Cowards: Members of this group are terrified to appear critical of the Pack Alpha's behavior. In order to avoid appearing critical, the worst of these scumbags will shamelessly blame the Pack Alpha's criminal behavior on the victim. This is quite common in cases involving a popular athlete committing date rape but is most often seen when low status males are assaulted by high status males. In this regard, Columbine High School was far from unique. Cowards, particularly adults in authority are as common as flies in an outhouse.

Group Four - Calluses: These individuals are indifferent to the suffering of anyone chosen to be a Scapegoat by the Pack Alphas. The worst of this group displays the behavior of the reformed alcoholic by reminding anyone who complains about bullying that being victimized made them tougher or better.

Group Five - Oblivians: Anyone who attended an American high school remembers these individuals. They're the ones for whom everything seemed to fall into place. Usually these students possess good social skills because their parents are sane. They are usually decent looking, healthy, and intelligent for genetic reasons outside their control. And they expect to go to college because their parents have enough money to simply write a check. They are absolutely oblivious to the suffering and the cruelty going on around them. For them, the world is a wonderful place full of pretty girls, good looking guys, admiring teachers, and for most of us an unimaginable sense of well being. These people are not evil. They are simply clueless Oblivians.

Scapegoats provide a convenient outlet for the routine and arbitrary cruelty of any Pack Alpha who feels the need to reinforce its authority and social status. Scapegoats also provide a visual example for four of the other five groups to fear. Toadying Sycophants, Enabling Females, Cowards, and Calluses all live in fear of being demoted to the role of Scapegoat. Oblivians don't live in fear. They're just oblivious. The arbitrary punishment meted out to Scapegoats reminds everyone to conform and to accept the Pack Alpha's authority without question.

At Columbine, most of the Pack Alphas appeared to be athletes. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were obviously Scapegoats. And the rest of the student body fulfilled their roles as Enablers by supporting or ignoring whatever the Pack Alphas felt like doing to the Scapegoats. This created the illusion that the Columbine Killers targeted people indiscriminately. They did not. Given the absence of dead and wounded goths and other obvious oddballs, it seems reasonable to assume that Harris and Klebold intentionally avoided harming those whom they perceived as fellow Scapegoats.

Terrorists can learn almost nothing by studying what the killers did. They can learn much about the population they traditionally target by observing the behavior of bully enablers.

As one who is civilized enough to have earned the right to complain about terrorism would be caught dead enabling a bully.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken Soup with the University of Maryland

There's just no end to behavior that terrorists can reference in order to sleep at night.

On April 30, 2005 an as yet unidentified partygoer at an off campus house on Princeton Avenue, College Park, Maryland decided it would be a good idea to memorialize the 6th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre by bullying and humiliating 19 year old student Daniel Murray. For reasons of statistical probability, I'm going to assume the bully was an athlete. Murray (the victim) returned later that night and torched the place, leading to the death of student Michael Scrocca.

The case went unsolved for the better part of a year. The break came in the form of an anonymous tip. Why this person waited a year to contact the police has not been reported, but I can speculate:

I first learned of this case from an episode of Investigation Discovery titled "Where there's smoke." Investigators expressed surprise by the number of 18 and 19 year old partygoers, none of whom were suspects who wouldn't speak to them without an attorney present. Some might assume that this behavior was just a sign of the times. I have a different theory.

Amongst the partygoers was a notorious bully, possibly a dangerous sociopath like George Huguely. His bullying of Daniel Murray was either witnessed directly or known of by almost everyone there. Potential witnesses, particularly those who lawyered up were painfully aware of the danger involved in acting as a witness against the bully. If the bully was indeed a student athlete, the university would have moved mountains to protect him against the slanderous insinuations of those who witnessed his criminal behavior. Many of these witnesses knew or suspected that the fire was started by the bully's victim but also knew that identifying him would involve testifying to the behavior of the bully. That can be unhealthy. It took a full year for one of them to make an anonymous call to police.

The pattern is becoming painfully familiar:

A bully with a long history of cruelty and violence is shamelessly allowed to avoid punishment by a society that makes an awful lot of "we love our children" noise during campaign season.

One of the bully's victims has been the subject of so much community approved cruelty that he no longer values other people's lives.

When the victim is arrested for retaliating, everyone conveniently overlooks the chain of events leading up to his decision to retaliate. In fact, he wasn't retaliating at all. He's just a nut who dreamed it all up on his own. (The Columbine Effect) Then the victim of bullying is sentenced (Murray was sentenced to 37 1/2 years in prison.) and everyone washes their hands.

No effort is made to prevent another similar tragedy from occuring because the overwhelming weight of a bully loving culture ridicules anyone who attempts it.

One young man will spend the majority of his life in prison.
Another young man died in the fire.
A third young man was badly burned during his escape.
The bully gets away without enduring a hint of public criticism.
In the words of the South Hadley Bullies, "Mission Accomplished."

This is a common pattern that all terrorists, foreign or domestic can study in order to assuage any feelings of guilt they may otherwise be encumbered with.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicken Soup with George Huguely...

Terrorists and soldiers share a common problem. It's a lot easier to do their job and sleep at night if they can learn to hate their targets. Not to worry. Americans seem almost obsessed with behaving in a manner that makes them easy to hate.

Think of your own daughter, niece, or sister as you take a good, long look at what the American Family has become infamous for producing.

This is George Huguely, the habitually violent, habitually drunken American Hero of the athletic field who killed his girlfriend Yeardley Love because she dared to believe she had the right to use forbidden words like no, stop, and goodbye.

Silly female. Didn't she know that women are the property of the most violent American males on campus?

The particulars can be found here. This quote from the article says it all.

"The two sides of the George Wesley Huguely who could stroll a manicured golf course in the afternoon and allegedly commit an unfathomable act of fury in the wee hours of the next morning were not unknown to his friends and teammates."

By using the term, "two sides of George Huguely" it sounds like they're preparing an evil twin defense. I like more honest terms: George Huguely is a violent sociopath, he was raised that way, and no one was brave enough to say so publicly before he chose to prove his manliness and exhibit the quality of his parents' child rearing efforts by slamming Yeardley Love's head against a wall...accidentally of course. George Huguely does not suffer for lack of defenders.

George Huguely is being defended by Attorneys Francis Lawrence and Rhonda Quagliani.

Attorney Lawrence can be found here attempting to convince us that a mysterious force yet to be adequately studied by physicists crushed Yeardley Love's head. Poor unfortunate Mr. Huguely was simply an observer.

You can read more about Francis Lawrence and Rhonda Quagliani here. Pay particular attention to the comments section where people are actually expressing support for a man who drugged and raped a woman because he successfully escaped punishment for many years. Why do so many Americans want to help terrorists sleep at night?

Lawyers can be forgiven (just barely) for defending society's effluent. After all, it's their chosen profession. What cannot be forgiven and what makes it easier for terrorists to do their job guilt free are all of the people who defend the George Huguely's of America with their silence while the victim is being terrorized, brutalized, and controlled in a... ahem, manly fashion and with their phony condolences and expressions of bewilderment only after the criminal has been safely locked up or killed. George Huguely's lacrosse teammates demonstrated this behavior masterfully by acting as pallbearers at Yeardley's funeral. They said and did nothing to protect the victim beforehand, but they were perfectly willing to posture before the cameras after the fact.

The average American is some combination of mean, stupid, and callous, and terrorists know it. Keep up the good work.