Trump Derangement Syndrome

I’ve seen a lot of TDS over the last couple of years but mostly it was confined to individuals who I figured were already a few Coco Puffs short of a full bowl.

My general rule regarding groups of people is that they are almost always incapable of brilliance, but also less likely to do something extremely foolish or crazy, compared to individuals. So imagine my surprise that over 60% of a state assembly agreed with this:

New York is one signature away from allowing prosecutors to pursue state charges against presidential associates who have received federal pardons.

The Democratic-controlled state assembly on Tuesday passed a bill 90-52 allowing the state-level prosecution of people pardoned of federal crimes, provided that they worked for or were related to the president at the time of the pardon.

Sanity has its limits. Insanity has no bounds.

Quote of the day—Jose Nino

Previous social-democratic governments had implemented strict gun control, which Hugo Chavez not only took advantage of once he got into power, but expanded upon to disarm and subjugate the Venezuelan population. When the wrong political players are in power, today’s “common-sense” gun control legislation could be tomorrow’s stepping stone for gun confiscation.

Modern-day politics doesn’t care for unintended consequences nor long-term policy implications of regulations. For that reason, elected officials like Bernie Sanders have such strong followings.

As socialism becomes popular, other facets of human activity such as self-defense and privacy will be under the chopping block. Socialism does not operate under a vacuum and is indeed an all-inclusive package of human control.

As the great economist Ludwig von Mises said best, “Great conflicts of ideas must be solved by straight and frank methods; they cannot be solved by artifices and makeshifts.”

In this case, the forces of liberty cannot afford to back down.

Jose Nino
April 6, 2019
Gun Rights Will ‘Feel the Bern’ Under a Sanders Presidency
[Politically, even if not by constitution, many states are lost to socialism and the federal government, for the first time, has multiple legislators who are openly admitting they are socialists. The best hope we have is for the federal courts to keep them in check while we attempt to change the culture. Failing that we could see a shooting war break out.

Because of this we need to put a lot of effort into changing the culture. One would think that because of all the dramatic failures of socialism throughout history, and even those unfolding before our eyes, that it should be easy to convince people of the folly of socialism in all its flavors. This is not true.

I suspect there is a deep rooted, perhaps genetically implanted personality trait, that makes socialism attractive. Perhaps this trait had evolutionary advantages in family units and tribes of up to a few hundred people. But as soon as social units became large enough they can’t solve the free rider problem through peer pressure the sharing of resources by the whole group fails. That is the most basic failure of socialism.

As the free rider problem becomes obvious to the population, instead of transitioning to private ownership and an individual rights social organization, what almost always happens is they adhere to their preprogrammed attachment to shared ownership and implement a forced rider model. This, which can be shown by countless examples, is a death spiral into extreme poverty, mass executions, and even genocide.

I can explain this in a logical fashion. I can’t explain it in the proper, I suspect it must be emotional, fashion to override the preprogramming. Leaving deprogramming methods involving high velocity lead off the table, does anyone know how to do this? Any ideas?—Joe]

#EnjoyYourTrial

The anti-gun people have a narrative of “gun safety”. We know, as do they, they have never encouraged people to take a gun safety class or learn about guns. Ignorance and deliberate deception is all part of their game plan.

They insist background checks are “common sense” and save lives. They don’t save lives and are a deception for the real objectives:

  • Creating lists of gun owners
  • Delaying the exercise of a specific enumerated right
  • Increasing the costs (time and money) of exercising our rights

They insist we don’t need a particular type of gun or accessory and we end up trying to convince them we do need it. It’s a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. They should be the ones attempting to convince us there is a “compelling governmental interest,” and have narrowly tailored the law to achieve that interest (strict scrutiny). Until they can do that the proposed law does not pass constitutional muster and they are attempting to infringe upon our rights. The default position is the proposed law is invalid until they can conclusively demonstrate they have met the requirements.

As it is we are playing defense and losing in public opinion.

It would seem to me that we need an easy narrative of our own. It must be something that tweets and sound bites well. It must put them on the defensive. We must gain the initiative in social media and when we contact our political representatives.

I discussed this with Brian K. and we came up with:

These can be used in a variety of ways:

Think women shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns without a man’s permission? #EnjoyYourTrial (Aimed at may-issue states.)

Send teens to war but don’t let them own handguns? #EnjoyYourTrial

Disarm peaceful African Americans because they live in the wrong state? #EnjoyYourTrial.

Deny me the right to defend my family because of my skin color? #EnjoyYourTrial

You are trying to ban guns in common use protected by the Heller decision. #EnjoyYourTrial

A right delayed is a right denied. #EnjoyYourTrial

You are demanding people ask permission for a guaranteed right. #EnjoyYourTrial

Background checks don’t save lives (https://fee.org/articles/california-s-background-check-law-had-no-impact-on-gun-deaths-johns-hopkins-study-finds/) and infringe our rights. #EnjoyYourTrial

Gun control is prior restraint of specific enumerated right and is illegal. #EnjoyYourTrial

“Red flag” laws are prior restraint and are illegal. #EnjoyYourTrial

What you are doing is illegal. Everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. #EnjoyYourTrial

In each invocation you can include http://bit.ly/EnjoyYourTrial1 (for private citizens) and/or http://bit.ly/EnjoyYourTrial2 (for politicians, law enforcement, and other government employees).

Yes, I know it’s not 100% correct in every context. But the point is to gain the initiative and put them on the defensive. I think this has a chance of doing that.

Quote of the day—Thales

If a Rightist is going to have a problem with you, the odds are he’s going to punch you in the face. Or follow you into a bathroom and beat you down. The Right is much more fond of directness. Does anybody really think, say, a redneck is going to dump bleach on you and run away? Do you think he cares about the symbolism of a noose, or that he’s going to go out of his way to wear a certain hat – so as to make the right fashion statement during the attack? No. If he has a problem, he’s going to get in your face, probably punch it repeatedly, and walk away when he feels his point has been made.

In this the Left betrays how little they understand us. For even their hoaxes seem like bad parodies to us. It’s what a Leftist would do, only reversed in ideological polarity. It’s not what a Rightist would do. They don’t get us. Their rank-and-file doesn’t have any clue who they are dealing with anymore. Even the Media is too stuck on Leftism to understand anymore. There was a time, perhaps, when wiser Leftists would have thought “well, that doesn’t sound a whole lot like them… maybe we should check into this a little more.”

That time has passed.

This is profoundly dangerous to us all. Because, not knowing us, they cannot understand where the limits are. They’ve been butting up near our maximum levels of tolerance for some time now. Sooner or later, one of them is going to exceed that boundary because he doesn’t even know it’s there, anymore.

Thales
February 22, 2019
Leftist Hoaxes: A Failure to Understand the Right
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—America’s 1st Freedom Staff

Rasmussen’s telephone and online survey of 1,000 American adults asked the question point-blank: “In crimes involving use of a gun, which is more to blame—the shooter or the availability of guns in America?” An astonishing 31 percent of people placed the blame on the inanimate object, the gun, and not the person pulling the trigger. Unsurprisingly, Democrats were much more likely than Republicans—51 percent to 13 percent—to blame the object over the person.

It’s worth asking: Do these same people think access to vehicles is more at fault than drivers? Are knives more at fault than stabbers? If not, why? What makes guns different?

Actually, we can tell you what makes guns different—a political agenda. Liberals have long been on a mission to obliterate guns, the Constitution and freedom in America. Gun control has never been about guns; it has always been about controlling people. The only difference today is that anti-gunners are openly admitting their end game. And if they must give ridiculous answers absolving human beings from any responsibility governing their own actions, well, so be it.

America’s 1st Freedom Staff
December 25, 2018
Blaming Guns, Not Killers
[They are twisting things a bit here. The question wasn’t about whether guns or people were to more to blame. The question was whether the availability of guns or the shooter were more to blame. Still, it’s an interesting insight into the mindset of people.

I suspect that if the question about gun availability had been preceded by appropriate other questions the result would have turned out much different. For example:

Question 1: In crimes involving alcohol such as spousal abuse and date rape which is more to blame—the person or the availability of alcohol in America?

Q2: In crimes involving knives such as murder and assault which is more to blame—the person or the availability of knives in America?

Q3: In crimes involving cars such as bank robberies and manslaughter will driving at high speeds which is more to blame—the driver or the availability of cars in America?

Q4: In crimes involving use of a gun, which is more to blame—the shooter or the availability of guns in America?

Then, what I would like to see is how many people, if given the opportunity, would go back and change some of their answers.

If I had a big enough sample I would order the questions at random for each person and see how many “preloading questions” were needed to get a different answer to the gun availability question.

And then perhaps a week, a month, and a year later, ask each of the people who seemed to be responding to the “preloading” just the gun availability question. Is it possible that if they were lead to a certain conclusion by asking questions in a particular order of they will remain of that mindset for an extended time?

Psychology is so very interesting. Rational thought is just a thin veneer over a swamp of emotions.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Crichton

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

Michael Crichton
September 15, 2003
Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion
[Or as I sometimes say, truth and falsity.

It’s critical, and extremely difficult, in all things. I see it most often in the fight to preserve our right to keep and bear arms.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Larry Correia

To pull off confiscation now you’d have to be willing to kill millions of people. The congressman’s suggestion was incredibly stupid, but it was nice to see one of you guys being honest about it for once.  In order to maybe, hypothetically save thousands, you’d be willing to slaughter millions. Either you really suck at math, or the ugly truth is that you just hate the other side so much that you think killing millions of people is worth it to make them fall in line. And if that’s the case, you’re a sick bastard, and a great example of why the rest of us aren’t ever going to give up our guns.

Larry Correia
November 19, 2018
The 2nd Amendment is Obsolete, Says Congressman Who Wants To Nuke Omaha
[The quote above is the conclusion to his post. The post is basically a confirmation of my Boots on the Ground analysis.

The political left doesn’t understand numbers and they don’t understand the psychology of gun owners. Correia gives them some insight:

A friend of mine who is a political activist said something interesting the other day, and that was for most people on the left political violence is a knob, and they can turn the heat up and down, with things like protests, and riots, all the way up to destruction of property, and sometimes murder… But for the vast majority of folks on the right, it’s an off and on switch. And the settings are Vote or Shoot Fucking Everybody.  And believe me, you really don’t want that switch to get flipped, because Civil War 2.0 would make Bosnia look like a trip to Disneyworld.

Don’t expect the political left to let facts get in the way of their beliefs.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jen Zamzow

Anyone serious about building consensus on gun policy needs to be slower to judge and quicker to listen to those who disagree. I understand why gun-safety advocates might not want to listen to those who are skeptical of gun-safety laws. People are being killed in their places of worship and kids gunned down at school; this kind of crisis can make people feel they don’t have time for dialogue.

However, listening to those who are resistant to gun-control laws is more than just a sign of respect. Understanding what motivates people can help us come up with better solutions that are more likely to stick. Instead of focusing on what motivates us, we need to ask what motivates them. We don’t all need to take the same path to get to the same destination. We can get more people to the destination if we can find a path they’re willing to take.

Jen Zamzow
November 14, 2018
Why we can’t agree on gun control
[Great advice! The truth cannot be learned if people do not listen. Listen to others on the condition they listen to you and then see where you both end up. To see if both sides are really listening try a role reversal in your second session. If you can’t argue your opponents side then you probably aren’t listening.

Numerous studies have shown that conservatives understand progressives far better than the other way around. So this actually something of a “trap” for progressives. —Joe]

Quote of the day—John Schussler

No, the difference is that the Republicans controlled the Senate in both cases and thus could both prevent Garland from getting a hearing and force a hearing and vote for Kavanaugh, forcing the Democrats to get as dirty as possible to have any chance at influence.

And the assertion that these are empty accusations is just wishful thinking on the part of Republicans. There’s no conspiracy here, the guy’s pretty clearly an infantile little douchebag — and hanging on to him was a big mistake. Women in both parties are now incandescent with rage and will make what was a likely moderate turnover of Congress into a landslide. After which point they’ll impeach Kavanaugh for perjury (his lies are now well documented…that testimony the other day will be the rope they hang him with) and the Republicans will have both lost Congress and the SOTUS seat they want so badly.

John Schussler
September 29, 2018
Comment to Quote of the day—Matt Walsh‏ @MattWalshBlog
[My response in the comments:

It’s interesting to read your viewpoint on the situation. It is quite different from some others. I talked to a big Trump supporter (best president EVER!!) last week who saw the fallout from the Kavanaugh confirmation process to be a huge win for Republicans in the elections next month.

As Scott Adams puts it (paraphrasing), “People are watching the same screen and seeing different movies.” My QOTD post for tomorrow has a lot more related information but I think you probably get the idea.

To determine who is “watching” the movie which most closely matches reality we only have to wait a month until the elections and see which is the better match. I’m going to make your comment my QOTD post for the day after the elections to remind us to review the predictions. This will also allow us to explore the predictions made by the book “When Prophecy Fails“. Either my Trump supporter will have their “prophecy” fail or you will have your prophecy fail. It will be a great test! I’m really looking forward to it.

Today is the day we evaluate the test results.

So…. which person has the better grasp on reality?—Joe]

Saving face

For several years in the early and mid 2000’s I worked for a government laboratory and occasionally had contact with the CIA. One of the things I remember more clearly than any other is talking to a manager who had a team of psychologists working for him. They studied the psychology of Arabs and Muslims and how people in the west might influence them. I asked if he could share any insights with me.

He told me, “They think very differently than we do. Perhaps, more different than we can think.”

I don’t know if this came from that same team but the timing is pretty good. It was first published in 2007 and I found it absolutely fascinating:

‘Face’ Among Arabs

In Western cultures a fact is an objective absolute not subject to mutation through human interpretation. But the Arab mentality treats fact and truth as relative, to some extent a projection of the mind for the benefit of the self or ego. With this subjective processing the facts become what the Arab emotionally wants to believe is true. They can thus be made to mesh harmoniously with criteria which stand higher on the value scale because connected with the maintenance of face. Neither facts nor their connotations can stand up against the Arab’s facade of personal dignity or be arrayed to form an attack on his surrogate of face.

Knowledgeable Arabs realize that their people and countries fall in some measure short of the progress and development that some other nations have achieved. Unable to find themselves at fault for this, they are naturally led to seek the cause of their troubles in outside sources-the will of Allah, the imperialists, Israel, family and personal obligations, and many real wrongs which have been done them. This saves the collective face from appearing defective and allows those who can accept subjectively interpreted facts to maintain their sense of personal dignity and self-confidence.

In any situation in which shame or guilt threatens the Arab he will be able to explain away whatever impinges on his personal dignity with an array of facts that are meant to be accepted by the listener and not challenged. Whether the story is believed or not and whether the facts are objective or logical are secondary considerations; it is considered quite unmannerly to embarrass him by challenging his explanations. Many of the stories of Juha and his donkey which abound in Arabic folklore have their point for the Arab not in the happenings, logical or illogical, they portray but rather in the quick wit and inventive genius with which the hero survives each incident.

In many phases of the Arabic cultural setting the Westerner with his fetish for objectivity is decidedly out of place, for a subjective interpretation of facts and truth is most suitable in a milieu where face and personal dignity are the things of prime importance.

In summation, the face concept can be said to have three interrelated aspects. The Arab’s extreme effort to show himself blameless, an effort which seems too transparent and unrealistic to Westerners, is the product of the high value his culture puts upon personal dignity, of his feeling answerable for his conduct to society rather than to any divine conscience within himself, and of his sense of the subjectivity of fact.

While reading this I was struck by the similarities between the psychology described and people and organizations which advocate for socialism, gun control, and other causes of the political left. Think of the sexual scandals of Bill Clinton and the responses by him and his supporters. Think of Hillary Clinton claiming she dodged sniper fire. Think of the Fast and Furious, IRS targeting conservatives, Solyndra, and  Benghazi scandals of the Obama administration and yet today many in the political left claim there were zero scandals.

Quote of the day—Ashe Schow

There is absolutely nothing an accused person can present that would actually be considered exculpatory. Meanwhile, any and all evidence just reinforces the accuser’s trauma and truthfulness.

Ashe Schow
5 Signs You’re In The Midst Of A Moral Panic
[Salem “witches”, the satanic panic of the 1980’s and 90’s, and others are discussed in the article.

It’s not a scholarly article but it’s good enough that you can see some common patterns that would have a low chance of false positives when broadly applied.

When Prophecy Fails also applies in many ways. Read my short synopsis of the book to get the gist of it.

The political left had a firmly believed prophecy that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election. When that failed they made a series of new prophecies involving the evils of a President Trump administration and prophesized all the more fervently. One of the more memorable was the prediction by Nobel Economics Prize winning economist Paul Krugman on election night:

It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?

Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.

Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.

All the predictions about the various investigations of President Trump and his advisors will result in his impeachment have repeatedly been proven false. But evidence cannot convince them. These people are in a state of hysteria.

As long as the Five Conditions are met they will continue to remain in their irrational state and increase the passion with every prediction that is proved false:

  1. There must be conviction.
  2. There must be commitment to this conviction.
  3. The conviction must be amenable to unequivocal disconfirmation.
  4. Such unequivocal disconfirmation must occur.
  5. Social support must be available subsequent to the disconfirmation.

Their numbers are growing smaller and while a good sign for the long term the short term consequences of the increased passion means there is also increased potential for violence.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jane C. Hu

Staunch conservatives who reported feeling highly anxious after the Pulse shooting were more likely than less anxious conservatives to favor gun laws by around 40 percentage points. Highly anxious conservatives were 20 percentage points more likely than low-anxiety conservatives to think the government can prevent shootings. Liberals, on the other hand, were already likely to support gun control and to believe that the government could be effective in preventing shootings, so anxiety was less likely to change their beliefs.

Overall, the University of Kansas researchers conclude, anxiety leads to “a marked decline in ideological division.” In other words: post-shooting anxiety seemed to close the gap between liberal and conservative beliefs on gun regulation.

It’s not clear how long this effect would last after the initial shooting, but it suggests that the days immediately following a shooting might be the time people feel most compelled to act on gun legislation.

Jane C. Hu
September 21, 2018
The best time to talk about gun control is right after a shooting
[The study paper is here.

I find this very telling.

Hu regards achieving a particular end is more important than means. She is advocating people take advantage of people in a highly emotional state rather than let cooler heads and time arrive at a more reasoned plan.

This is evil and it should be treated as such.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jennifer Granholm

Right. And that actually corroborates Ford’s story.

Jennifer Granholm
September 23, 2018
CNN’s Jennifer Granholm Claims No Corroboration Actually Proves Claims Against Kavanaugh — Tucker Isn’t Buying It
[Context is important:

“Kavanaugh, Judge, Smith and her friend, Leland Keyser, have all said they don’t remember anything like this ever happening. And Leland Keyser, who says she believes Ford, said she doesn’t even remember being at a party where Kavanaugh was present,”  CNN’s Jake Tapper said in the video.

“Right, and that actually corroborates Ford’s story which is that she was so horrified by this that she kind of snuck out or slunk out of this apartment in a way that no one would know what happened because she was so utterly mortified,” Granholm followed up.

Tucker Carlson commented, “Are you following this at home? See if you can track the reasoning here. When you are corroborating witnesses can’t corroborate your story, the one you say they can corroborate, your story has still been corroborated — maybe even more so so.”

So… In response to finding out that all of those who are claimed to be witness to an event report no recollection of the event this mental giant, Granholm, insists this supports the claim the event actually happened. The question I would have asked her is, “So, if all four people reported the event did happen would this mean the event did not happen?”

Of course, we know the answer. Logical thought processes are not something they care about. It may even be they are incapable of them. It may be they have a mental disorder. It may be that they are so used to a supportive media they know it doesn’t matter what they say as long as it supports the narrative. It may be that because it was someone from her “tribe” making the, almost certainly, false claim that there was no way she could comfortably side against the false claim.

Monday evening daughter Jaime and I were discussing the Kavanaugh situation and I arrived at the conclusion that the political left has realized their political future is over if Kavanaugh’s appointment to SCOTUS is confirmed. With that a near certainty, the risk of losing support via crazy, and even illegal, behavior is the better option. From the chaos generated they may be able to avoid near certain political extinction.

Tribal loyalties, even when they didn’t always match reality, were evolutionarily advantageous. That doesn’t meant they were useful in determining truth from falsity. Determination of truth, and even reality, is an extremely tough problem. Our brains only have approximations of knowing reality. It has only been since the dark ages that we have succeeded in formalizing processes, with extreme difficulty, and proteolyzing these processes which usually work. Most people do not follow these processes and in many cases actively reject them. It is relatively easy to support the claim that reason is just a thin veneer over the human brain.

I suspect her mind worked back from the conclusion she had reached and this was the best way of rationalizing the conclusion from the available evidence. I have found there is no guarantee smart people will think logically. Smart people are frequently just more creative in their rationalizations.

When in positions of power these people are extremely dangerous. These are the type of people who can and will find a rationalization to commit genocide.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dana Loesch‏ @DLoesch

A lot of very sensitive, triggered people out there today. A reminder: never bend a knee to the outrage mob.

Dana Loesch‏ @DLoesch
[Don’t forget:

Have you ever noticed that crazy people will act only as crazy as you let them be?

Tell the children they aren’t going to benefit from throwing a tantrum.—Joe]

They are crazy, but you already knew that

The SJW mind is somewhere on the mental disorder spectrum. Michael Savage wrote the book on it but here is another strong indicator that sort of bubbled up sufficiently for me to finally put into words.

What they call “microaggressions” and flip out over would be considered signs of paranoia in a clinical setting. They can find evidence of their delusions of persecution in the most innocent action or word. They cannot be convinced they are not victims.

They are crazy and at some level I’m pretty sure you already knew that. Perhaps my observation can help you articulate it better and confirm your own suspicions.

Quote of the day—Kurt Schlichter

Right now, social justice fascism is just too valuable to them to just abandon. It works. It lets those who rightfully would have no power exploit the stupid and weak elite to exercise unearned authority. These goose-stepping aspiring Red Guards got a taste of power and they like it. And they are bad people. They have to be stopped, here and now.

Kurt Schlichter
July 23, 2018
Conservatives Reject Unilateral Disarmament In The Face Of Liberal Social Fascism
[He makes some very good points. There days when I think risking riots and civil war by standing up to the fascists isn’t worth it. Perhaps we should just let them throw their tantrums and don’t make a big deal about it.

No. Compliance with insane demands just encourages more insanity.

At the class this last weekend Greg make what I thought was great point that I have mentioned several times, expressed in different words, by my counselor. Greg expressed it more succinctly:

Have you ever noticed that crazy people will act only as crazy as you let them be?

We have to set boundaries and enforce them. Schlichter drew a line in the sand. I’m willing to enforce it. Are you?—Joe]

Different perspectives

If you attend a class at Insights one of the things you are taught is mindset. And it’s not just the mindset you need to have to be able to do what you have to do to use lethal force to defend innocent life. You learn a little bit about the mindset of the bad guy.

One example from this last weekend was from Greg (paraphrased):

The Green River Killer took great offense when an interviewer mentioned his raping of women. He insisted he did not rape them. They were prostitutes and he always paid them for the sex. “But you took their money, because there was never any money found with their bodies.” His response was, “They were dead. They didn’t have any use for it.”

And, of course, they never said no when he came back and had sex with their bodies for several days. So how could that be considered rape?

This is part of what the Insights trainers call, “removing the paint job”. Criminals may look like ordinary people on the outside but they aren’t what most people really consider human on the inside.

This last Sunday near the end of the Street & Vehicle Tactics class Derek opened up.

The day before we learned Derek grew up on New York City. He and one other member of his family (including cousins) went into law enforcement. Everyone else became criminals. He knew more criminals and saw more criminal acts by the time he was a teenager than I probably will in my entire life.

He went to the funeral of the first person he knew who was murdered when he was eight years old. His dad would tell him to take a particular coat when he went out, because that was the one that had the .38 special revolver in the pocket—he was eleven years old. When he went to college the police told their class to not go to a particular convenience story because they would get robbed. He saw multiple people come back from that corner in their underwear—even when there was snow on the ground. Taking their pants was the easiest way to make sure they got everything in their pockets. When we were practicing avoiding a mugging he showed us how a professional team of muggers would do it. If you stepped into their “kill zone” when a gun discreetly shoved into your ribs and calm, quiet, voice would tell you what to do and you would be on your way in half a minute without you wallet, phone, watch, etc. They then would reset to their start positions and wait for their next victim to enter their box. He told us of his cousins telling him of stories about how they jacked someone for their wallet in a parking lot and details of other crimes.

That was Saturday. On Sunday he said he wanted to share some things he had never shared with a class before.

He said he had a realization from watching our reactions to his stories the day before. He asked, “Before you were 25, how many of you went hunting? Went fishing? Hiked in the forest? Swam in a lake?” Nearly all of us were able to answer most of the questions with a yes. Then he said, “I didn’t do any of those things. I never even dreamed I might be able to do any of those things when I was growing up.”

His lesson rambled some. He obviously had not practiced it. His lesson was that our world view is dramatically different from many criminals. It is so different that we can’t really comprehend how different it is. There are a lot of similarities in some respect. Some of them have families they are supporting, most of them have families that love them.

But we don’t just have a different tribal label. We are so different in so many way that we probably cannot think like them.

Frequently they are firmly committed to a life of crime. Just like a drug addict or alcoholic, counseling doesn’t work unless they made the choice to seek it out. And he is now a counselor!

He found a path away from that life when he was young and can now socially blend in to either world. He wanted to share that insight about both worlds with us. We, almost for certain cannot and should not expect our standards of behavior and belief in a specific social contract to be shared by them. They have a much different social contract.

While many of us may be ignorant of their culture and beliefs to the point of extreme denial and extreme conviction that they must be like us, they know, sometimes with great passion, that we are not like them. Frequently, they do not want outsiders in their territory. If you do tread on their territory be on the lookout for signs of hostility and heed the warnings.

Quote of the day—Quinn Norton

in the wild, in really dangerous situations — even when people are being hunted by men with guns — when encryption and security fails, no one stops talking. They just hope they don’t get caught.

Quinn Norton
May 20, 2014
Everything Is Broken
[It appears this is true or at least very close to being true. I’ve heard it said that most criminals only go to jail because they talked. The TV shows and movies where some super smart detective or reporter figures things out are fiction. In real life the bad guy got unlucky, the good guys got lucky, or the bad guy talked.

Norton isn’t talking about bad guys in the usual sense. She is talking about political activists and reporters trying to take down corrupt (at least in their world view) governments. But still, people have a very difficult time keeping quiet even when their life depends on it. They want to share exciting information. They want acknowledgement and praise for accomplishing some difficult task. They want the status that comes from contributing to the fall of a powerful opponent.

This is something to remember if you ever get into such a situation. Almost for certain, you will want to talk about things that could get yourself and others thrown in jail or killed. If you have to talk then only talk face-to-face with people that already know what you know and keep in mind they may be recording the conversation so they will get an lighter sentence.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Windy Wilson

The ability of people to rationalize their way to slavery is one of the mysteries of psychiatry.

Windy Wilson
July 3, 2018
Comment to Quote of the day—Jim Mastro
[My hypothesis is that it has to do with the failure of socialism/communism to scale up from the tribe level to larger populations. These dysfunctional political systems “feel right” in a lot of ways. This probably was extremely useful in evolution and increased the probability of successful tribes. But when those feelings are acted upon at a level where evil tyrants can retain power bad things happen and many people don’t, or can’t, understand why.—Joe]