Saturday, January 13, 2007

Is Psychological Impotence in the Face of Violent Crime Really the Answer?

While reading more on the news story on the carjacking and subsequent murders of a Tennessee couple, I scrolled down and saw that the story had some further links to information on how to prevent carjackings. "Great", I thought, "I'll take a look and see what I can learn." What I learned is, it is best to give the carjacker your keys and get out of the car to keep yourself from being harmed.

A further link on the news story took me to a page on "No nonsense self-defense" where I learned that the average person doesn't have what it takes to fight back against a carjacker:

If you argue or resist a carjacker, the odds are you will be shot.
Like all robbers, the carjacker has come to the situation ready, willing and able to commit violence. While it may seem "it comes out of the blue" to you, the carjacker already has prepared himself to commit violence. You are literally playing against a stacked deck. Everything he needs to commit serious violence is in place at the same time you are surprised and shocked.

Unfortunately, most people have never faced such raw, unbridled violence. They suddenly find themselves dragged out of their normal, everyday parameters of existence and thrown into a strange -- and dangerous -- alien landscape. It's a place where none of the rules they are accustomed to apply. An effective strategy to "defend your space" under normal circumstances could in this instant get your brains blown into a fine pink mist.

Your normal defenses are not enough. Words, anger or outrage are insufficient to protect yourself against someone committed to violence. It is nearly impossible for the average citizen to effectively defend himself when confronted in such a wild and unexpected manner. To go instantly from thinking about scheduling the day or what you are going to have for dinner to the killing savagery necessary to overcome an armed opponent is beyond even most trained martial artists. And by the time you could muster enough outrage to effectively defend yourself, the carjacker would have long since pulled the trigger.

Have you noticed that most of the tips you get in recent years for how to survive a violent crime involve an accompanying psychological maneuver of first trying to make you feel impotent? And instead of suggesting remedies to overcome this impotence, these survival tips usually just tell you to give the criminal what they want. But what they typically don't say is that you can get killed using that approach also. Jeff Cooper has a whole different approach to surviving violence--as I recall in one of his books, he talks about the use of color codes for getting one in the psychological mindset to deal with violence:

I forget when I first dreamed up the color code, but it was a long time ago. I have been teaching it and preaching it, practically forever, but I never seem to have got it across! The color code is not a means of assessing danger or formulating a tactical solution. It is rather a psychological means of overcoming your innate reluctance to shoot a man down. Normal people have a natural and healthy mental block against delivering the irrevocable blow. This is good, but in a gunfight it may well get you killed. The color code enables you to change your state of mind by three steps, each of which enables you to overcome your mental block and take lifesaving action.

There is no easy answer to what to do when confronted with a violent crime--certainly, it seems best to avoid a crime if possible by being aware of one's surroundings etc. But once violence is in front of you, passivity is not always the answer. Remember, the criminal has a script in his mind too--that is, that you will not fight back. The element of surprise can work just as effectively for law abiding citizens who are willing to do whatever it takes to save their own lives or that of a loved one.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Double Homicide in Knoxville

Here in Knoxville, a young couple was brutally murdered following what appears to be a carjacking and yesterday, "persons of interest" were found and are being interviewed:

U.S. Marshals say Channon Christian was raped numerous times leading up to her death. Federal Marshals from the Western District of Kentucky say this whole thing started as a carjacking and ended up as rape and murder. However, it's important to note that the men taken into custody are still persons of interest. They are not being considered suspects at this time....

Davidson was renting this home on Chipman Street. That's where police found Channon Christian's body Tuesday. Her boyfriend, Christoper Newsom's, body was found just blocks away on Sunday. Local police are tight-lipped about what happened but the U.S. Marshal's office in Western Kentucky tells us this is a brutal, brutal murder.

"Before they killed her they reportedly raped her numerous times and then killed her and dumped her in a garbage can from what I understand," Knighten said.

US Marshal Knighten refers to these persons of interest in the article as gentlemen--you see that a lot, suspects or persons of interest in this case referred to as gentlemen by law enforcement. What is that about? Why not just call them men? Why add the gentle part?

Read more about the murders here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Who but Enemies of the Good would Object?"

The Countertop Chronicle's blog pointed me to an interesting article in the WSJ editorial page entitled: "The Michael Nifong Scandal" that states "that the Duke rape hoax is redolent of past decades' phony child-abuse cases." Here are a few excerpt's from the editorial by Dorothy Rabinowitz:

Mr. Nifong's confidence that he had nothing to fear from establishment opinion or from the leaders of the great university as he bounded about making hash of the rules of justice--prime among them the accused's right to a presumption of innocence--proved justified. And might have remained so longer but for the catastrophic effects of the accuser's unraveling stories.

For all the public shock and fury over his behavior, there is little that is new or strange about Mr. Nifong. We have seen the likes of this district attorney, uninterested in proofs of innocence, willing to suppress any he found, many times in the busy army of prosecutors claiming to have found evidence of rampant child abuse in nursery schools and other child-care centers around the country in the 1980s and throughout most of the '90s. They built case after headline-making case charging the mass molestation of small children, and managed to convict scores of innocent Americans on the basis of testimony no rational mind could credit. Law officers who regularly violated requirements of due process in their effort to obtain a conviction, they grasped the special advantage that was theirs: that for a prosecutor dealing with molestation, and wearing the mantle of avenger, there was no such thing as excess, no limits to what could be said of the accused. In court, rules could be bent, any charges presented, and nonexistent medical evidence proclaimed as proof positive of the accusation...

In his role of avenger of a young black woman alleged to have been brutalized by white males, Mr. Nifong proceeded with similar assurance. His was a crusade. Who but enemies of the good would object? (I bolded this for emphasis). Confronted with hard questions about his evidence, whether from the defense or the press, Mr. Nifong answered that these challenges were all designed to intimidate the rape victim. More than once the DA suggested, as criticisms of his case multiplied, that he was himself a victim of the press.

The jury to which Mr. Nifong played--the black population of Durham--duly helped re-elect him. This could not prevent his case of rape and abuse against the three Duke students from coming undone, thanks in part to his own heedless behavior but mainly to the accusing dancer herself, whose shifting stories and checkered past could not be hidden.

Have you noticed that in our society, that as long as you are fighting the "good fight" that little things like facts, innocence, evidence, freedom, autonomy and discrimination against groups deemed as "bad" don't really matter? When did appearing as a crusader trump justice and truth in our society? And when did the fear of appearing "hard-hearted" become so strong that the majority of people will go along with these abusers of justice to avoid looking like "enemies of the good"? Just a few questions I think about from time to time.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Podcast with Mitt Romney

Here at the Glenn and Helen Show, we are hoping to bring to our listeners personal interviews with as many of the potential 2008 Presidential candidates we can beg, uh, I mean invite to come on. So we were delighted when Governor Romney agreed to a "get acquainted" interview with us to talk about his views on national security, the second amemendment, healthcare and what makes him different from the other presidential candidates as well as the Mormon issue.

He also addresses a controversial video that was recently put up on YouTube indicating that the Presidential hopeful is a "flip-flopping" liberal--hear his side of the story in the podcast. You can also read more about Governor Romney at his website

You can listen to the show directly (no downloads needed) by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the show by clicking right here, and you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup, iPhone, etc. by going here and selecting the lo-fi version. And, of course, you can always subscribe via iTunes.You can see our archives here where you can check out our other interviews with Senator John McCain, another presidential candiate for 2008 or Governor Mark Warner, who discussed in our prior podcast with him, why he decided not to run.

This podcast is brought to you by Volvo at www.volvocars. us

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The 54th Carnival of Homeschooling is up at the Homeschool Buzz blog.

A Perfect Mess

I often run across interesting books at while I am shopping, so I couldn't help but click through to a book with this intriguing title: A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder--How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place. Initially, I started to dismiss the book and move on to something else, thinking, "Great, a book telling people who are basically disorganized and messy to stay that way," but when I thought about it, this idea started to make sense.

Many people I know who are successful at what they do have a cluttered desk, can't remember all their appointments, and their closets are so full to the brim with clothes and other items that the door bursts open when you so much as touch it (I won't name any names). On the other hand, I know people who are so anal retentive that they spend all their time organizing and obsessing over what goes where, so much so that nothing else gets done; those who are fans of feng shui come to mind. I don't mean to pick on these organizers; some of what they do, I am sure is of benefit to people, but how much organization is too much? In other words, do cluttered closets make for more creative minds and vice versa, do overly neat and organized closets make for a mind devoid of creativity?

I doubt it is that simple and as the authors of the book suggest, it appears to be moderately disorganized people and businesses that tend to be more efficient, robust and creative than obsessive neatniks. But how mess is too much mess? Is there a fine line between being an "organized slob" and being just a plain slob? As one book review of A Perfect Mess aptly puts it:

The book's peripatetic path eventually proves that despite what your mother, your boss or your girlfriend tells you, a certain amount of disorder is a good thing. "There is an optimal level of mess for every aspect of every system," they argue. The question is, how much chaos is too much, before the weight of disorder, the hoarding of junk or worse still, the fear of throwing things out, "disposophobia," obstructs your ability to function?

So the million dollar question becomes, what is the optimal level of mess for your particular system and how do you know when you have found it?

Monday, January 08, 2007

It appears that my boyfriend, Roy, can't stay away from me or my blog. However, shy devil that he is, he has now sent his "friend" at the Sadly, No blog to get my attention with this post declaring that I am an "Idiot Philanthropist" for donating some of my proceeds from BlogAds for Michelle Malkin's trip to Iraq. Yet, the link provided by Sadly, No is now sending me more traffic to generate more money to send to the very causes that my new friends indicate they despise. Who is the idiot?

Update: It appears that my boyfriend has a sense of humor! And BTW, Roy, if you read my comments, you will see that you all rented me a boat (my cost? about $800.00) not bought one, but keep coming by and owning a boat might just be in my future. Don't underestimate yourself!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Carnival of the Insanities

The Carnival of the Insanities is up at Dr. Sanity's place. If you have not done so already, check out insanity #13--the spiders on drugs video. It's a hoot.